A vote for BN is a vote for ‘cronies’, says Pua
LABIS, Jan 21 — DAP national publicity secretary Tony Pua claimed today that Barisan Nasional (BN) had failed to stop cronyism at the expense of the public.
He said BN’s cronyism had become progressively worse in its half-century rule and the past two decades had seen the ruling coalition enriching a few while increasing the public’s burden
Pua was responding today to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s claim yesterday that BN needs to stay in power so that the people’s interests can come first, ahead of the coalition’s.
He added that “Najib must be finding it more and more difficult to sing the same BN song over the past 50 years.”
The Petaling Jaya Utara MP claimed Najib’s warning that “if incapable people who only knew how to make empty promises were chosen as leaders, the country would collapse”, would come to pass if the voters continued to extend support to the coalition.
The Selangor DAP deputy chairman cited highway toll concessions as the clearest example of how BN guaranteed billions in profits to “companies which are cosy” with it.
He claimed that the North-South Expressway makes more than RM1.5 billion in profits per year but the government still paid an annual compensation of RM800 million to keep toll prices down.
He added that independent power producers, which he said are owned by BN cronies, continue to receive RM6 to 8 billion in subsidies while food and fuel were subject to subsidy cuts.
Pua said Pakatan Rakyat (PR) state governments have fought cronyism despite limited powers and opposition from the federal government.
He cited Selangor’s dispute with the federal government to prevent private water supply concessionaire Syabas from “unfairly increasing water tariff rates in 2009 by 37 per cent.”
He added that the PKR-led state also provided 20 cubic metres of free water to each household at the cost of RM120 million a year.
Pua compared this to Johor, where he alleged that BN “colluded with the private concessionaire, Syarikat Air Johor to increase water rates by as much as 63 per cent in November 2010.”