Side Views

Not a penny more, BN — CL Tang

February 15, 2012

FEB 15 — After handing out one-off payments of RM500 to the poor, the government turns around and is now asking for a handout from the taxpayers, under the guise of paying for an improved healthcare system.

The people must now realise that this is a government that has neither the vision nor the will to move Malaysia forward in the global marketplace. After a lousy victory in 2008 general elections, the Barisan Nasional (BN) government has virtually been on a re-election campaign mode since, devising short-term populist agendas such as KR1M, BR1M, etc., none of which addresses the current malaise the country is facing — stagnant wages in the face of rising costs in the midst of a long-drawn out, slow global growth.

As it stretched out is left hand to hand out cash to poor households, its right hand is dipping into the pockets of ordinary Malaysians to fund its lavish spending and greedy cronies.

This is a government that, after half a century in power, actually praises itself as a “caring” government as it hands out a pittance to poor Malaysians, when it should be ashamed that for a country so blessed with natural resources and talent, we still have three-quarters of households with monthly incomes below RM3,000.

This is the same government that that forked out RM80 million to a foreign media outfit to boost its credentials, and the result was an embarrassing worldwide public relations disaster for Malaysia.

This is the same government that  sees no wrong doing in lending out RM250 million of the people’s hard-earned money to a Cabinet minister’s family, one with no experience or credentials, to run a national project in which the 31-year-old CEO-son duly demonstrated his superior “cow management” skills by purchasing luxury multi-million condominiums. At the same time, the government has to resort to sticking its crummy hands into our retirement funds in order to come up with an initial RM300 million to help fund homes for poor families.

This is the same government that does not blink an eye when its naval defence procurements overshot its budget by billions, as it prepares to fight its imaginary enemies in the high seas, when the real pirates are running wild inland, hand-in-hand with their BN masters, grabbing projects, concessions and sweet deals.

This is the same government whose ministers live in posh mansions in Damansara Heights, send their kids to private schools or foreign universities, and travel around in chauffeur-driven German cars. Meanwhile, the average Malaysian can barely afford his first terrace house, worries about declining education standards in his children’s schools’, and drives an overpriced local car on overpriced and congested tolled roads.

And now with 1 Care, Malaysians are now asked to fork out more of our incomes so that the government can provide us with a better healthcare system. Instead of looking hard at its books, coming up with ways to trim excess and wasteful spending, and re-prioritising spending towards health and education, the government took the rather lazy and predictable route — more tax on Malaysians.

This is from a government that has given Malaysia its biggest national debt in decades. This is from a government who claims to understand the average Malaysian’s daily tribulations in the face of the current economic uncertainty.

This is from a government that is surely disconnected from the realities that we are facing. When it has the audacity to ask the people to pay more tax to feed its out-of-control spending frenzy that yields no long-term benefit to the country, but are more likely to fatten the bank accounts of well-connected individuals.

To you, BN, I say: No more — not a penny more.

* CL Tang reads The Malaysian Insider

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified.