Side Views

When ministers talk nonsense — Abdul Haleem

MARCH 14 — One of the prolonged illnesses, which afflicts Malaysian politics, is ministers coming out with stupid if not absurd statements. Usually it is followed by a sudden flip flop.

Today, we have our Tourism Minister saying foreigners are shunning the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme, because they do not perceive the country to be peaceful and stable. Bernama reported Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen blaming recent street demonstrations for hindering promotional efforts for MM2H. She even said that “this is the key barrier preventing foreigners from staying in Malaysia for long period.”

I have a question for her. When did we launch the MM2H programme and since then how many street demos have we seen in Malaysia? Just because she is running out of ideas to explain her ministry’s failures she should not assume Malaysians will just accept her idiotic answers. An SPM student would be able to cook up more concrete reasons than her. Or perhaps this MM2H was a failure from day one.

Just in case she is unaware of them (she is busy promoting Malaysia), let me give her some of the possible reasons why foreigners are not showing interest in MM2H.

Malaysia is NOT SAFE. Read about Nurul Nadirah who went missing, only for her charred remains to be found a couple of days later? This is not the first time we have found a missing toddler’s remains in a gruesome condition.

The Malaysian Government acts with NO SENSE. Grammy winners’ concerts get cancelled at the eleventh hour. Why? She had an offensive tattoo? To whom? And after all that it turned out not to be a real tattoo at all. Any official apology for those who bought tickets and were not offended by the tattoo? Let’s not go into the number of movies, books, T-shirts that we have banned. We even censor song lyrics and we DID censor a certain phrase that appeared in The Economist.

Bad Traffic System — We have a SMART tunnel which is not so SMART. I can’t recall if it’s been SMART from day one. A two-hour heavy downpour in downtown KL is enough to bring the entire city to gridlock.

A corrupt and inefficient Public Service — Do I need to elaborate further?

We are ranked 45th on the Global Cities Competitiveness Report and 60th on the Worldwide Corruption Perceptions index. The Little Red Dot by comparison ranked third and fifth place respectively.

The list goes on but my point here is stop giving us stupid answers.

By the way, some time back in January our PM boasted Malaysia has the “best package” as a country, just go here to read about it.

I am sad that even this is not helping Dr Ng promote the nation. Sigh!

* Abdul Haleem reads The Malaysian Insider.

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


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