MAY 3 — The minimum wage announcement made by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on the eve of Labour Day was originally good news to pave the way for the next general election. However, it was overshadowed by the violent incident of the Bersih 3.0 rally.
Najib has done many things over the past three years, including identifying seven National Key Results Areas (NKRAs), such as reducing crime, fighting corruption and raising living standards of low-income households. The government has also implemented the Government Transformation Plan (GTP), Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) and legal reforms. How could these then still attract 250,000 people to participate in the rally?
Some BN leaders claimed that members of the public were incited by the alternative coalition, and anti-incumbency is a global trend.
However, I think that it should not be ignored that the BN has “created” issues that leave an opportunity for Pakatan Rakyat to attack.
In all fairness, Pakatan Rakyat has not done more than the BN. However, Pakatan Rakyat knows how to play with issues to win votes from swing voters and young voters. The question is: where are these issues coming from?
For example, the Auditor-General exposed the weaknesses of the National Feedlot Centre (NFC) in October last year. However, the ministries involved ignored the problem, leaving room for Pakatan Rakyat to dig out more scandals.
The NFC transferred part of the RM250 million government’s low-interest loans into its three subsidiaries. These subsidiaries did not submit their financial reports for 4½ years and the authorities had never conducted any inspections. Would such things happen if the supervision was strict?
It has been almost three years, the three Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers accused of torturing DAP aide Teoh Beng Hock during interrogation have not been charged nor has disciplinary action been taken against them so far. How are they going to justify it when Pakatan Rakyat brings up the issue from time to time?
As for the Bersih 3.0 rally, BN might accuse PKR of hijacking the rally and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim of instructing the rally participants to remove the barricades. However, who has created the issue and left room for various parties to criticise BN?
There might be troublemakers in any rally and the police should have prepared for the consequences. There is a possibility of a bloodshed incident once tear gas and water cannons are fired.
If the police allowed a peaceful assembly and opened Dataran Merdeka for the sit-in rally, troublemakers would find no way to make trouble even if they wished to do so.
Since the police had set up barricades and barbed wires, it should have psychologically prepared that some people might try to make trouble. It should also be responsible for the consequences.
Most unfortunately, some policemen eventually lost control of their emotions and roughed up rally participants, as well as members of the media. Everything was posted online and it has brought negative impact to the government. The destruction is not repairable even if the police ferret out those who had removed the barricades that day.
Members of the public are now observing to see whether the police would investigate the incident and bring those who are involved to court fairly and transparently.
I’m not saying that the government’s transformation plans are not sincere, but rather not comprehensive and in-depth enough. Without an independent and professional anti-corruption agency, anti-corruption efforts would be unable to sustain for long. Without setting up an independent unit to curb the police’s abuse of power, law enforcement officers will commit mistakes from time to time.
To create the most transparent government in history, political reforms must be implemented, instead of saying nonsense like “it does not matter even the Election Commission (EC) chairman and deputy chairman are Umno members”.
Unchanged policies and mindset are the main factors causing the transformation plans lack convincing.
If they continue to make mistakes, Pakatan Rakyat would not have to worry about not having enough bullets to attack its enemy. All efforts done in the past few years would also be wasted. — mysinchew.com
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.