Fellow citizens! Make your own report card — Sakmongkol AK47
APRIL 16 — I sense an air of hopelessness and despondence among Umno supporters and leaders. Dr Mahathir “thinks” Najib can pull it through. Mahathir seldom thinks as he is more at home trusting his gut feelings. So when he has to think, instead of trusting his political instincts, Umno is in trouble. He is hoping.
Others less informed but nevertheless conceited enough to show to the public their exuberance and enthusiasm for all things Umno are now not responding and arguing about the issues we put forward. Instead they will either mutter some unsupported statements or go for the usual stock in trade Umno ad hominem attacks. This time, we don’t even have time to humour them, so let them drown in their own sputum.
Their sense of bleakness, which is reduced to mere entreaties now, reminds me of some passages from TS Eliot’s poem. I first heard of these passages during one of those talks given by “comrade” Kassim Ahmad, as he was then, at the University of Malaya. That was some time ago. I Googled and found those same passages;
“I said to my soul be still, and wait without hope; for hope would be hope of the wrong thing; wait without love, for love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith. But the faith, and the love, and the hope are all in the waiting. Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought: so the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.”
Dr Mahathir waits without hope. The lesser Umno beings also wait without hope. They are hoping for the wrong thing. And so they go on believing the darkness that Umno brings is light and the rigor mortis that is embracing the dying Umno as something in motion.
Let’s continue with Najib’s report card to the nation about his ETP and GTP. The various plans that he has in store to jumpstart the economy again. Umno leaders always have this game plan — come out with big sounding terms to jumpstart the economy. How does having grandiose terms increase productive capacity of the nation to produce goods and services to sell to the world or to service the world to bring in additional income?
One of the core pillars of the ETP is the oil and gas industry. Then Idris Jala comes up with some statements saying we can’t rely on these extractive industries because oil and gas are depleting resources. That we already know. Yet the oil and gas industry contributes only about 20 over per cent to the GDP. Manufacturing is a bigger contributor. The oil and gas industry can be exploited further.
I find this statement contradicting with the esteemed positioning of the O&G industry in the ETP scheme of things. It’s also strange given the fact that out of the 113 marginal oil fields, only two were given out to Mokhzani Mahathir’s and Sharil Shamsuddin’s companies. How about the 111 marginal fields?
Are we waiting for Omar Ong to come out with a business plan where Ethos will function as global project co-ordinator like it does in the FGV listing come-what-may exercise, while CIMB is perhaps busy culling up some merger plans for some new O&G outfit to manage the 111 marginal oil fields. Maybe a new company will be floated and more money going to the BN and Umno piggy banks?
That is a likely scenario.
Then Najib opens up Johor Premium Outlets some months ago and mouthed the usual superlatives about how this business is going to raise income for the nation. The goods sold at JPO are all imported which means money going out of the country Mr PM. This is a consumption industry which does not increase the productive capacity of the economy. It’s a shopping paradise for the rich, whether local or Singaporeans. Maybe Singaporeans and others will spend money in JB, which raises the incomes of sellers and some people but hardly to the level which can make a big contribution in the quest to make Malaysia the first Muslim country to reach the status of a first world.
And will Najib not be ashamed, if ever that level is reached, it is reached on the labour of non-Muslims, which Najib’s party Umno is bullying and intimidating?
The companies busy in the Iskandar region. What are they doing? Most are building high-end housing projects which will hardly add to the productive capacity of the economy. Iskandar region will end up as a rich and famous playground and home away from home.
Meanwhile JB residents and the surrounding area will have to accommodate increasing cost of living because now they will have to compete with well-heeled foreigners snapping up the high-end residences in Johor. That’s Najib ETP.
When we were school-going children did we write our own report cards? We never did unless we were really naughty boys and girls who went to party, played truant, smoked cigarettes and marijuana. Then, after we didn’t do the exams well enough even to pass, fearing scolding and beltings from our parents, we forged the report cards and gave As for most of our subjects.
That’s what Najib did when he reported to the nation about his ETP and GTP. He has more to hide rather than to report by making a self-report card. Isn’t that a stupid and self-promoting exercise? He could have at least assembled a team of sycophantic academics and political activists who will pretend to discuss some serious intellectual subject in a staged forum and assess his ETP and GTP. But he didn’t because his advisers say it is best for him to give his state of the union address to lend credence to his dubious 69 per cent rating.
All hail to the chief! Auta on babe. — sakmongkol.blogspot.com
* Sakmongkol AK47 is the nom de plume of Datuk Mohd Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz. He was Pulau Manis assemblyman (2004-2008).
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified.