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Feb 9, 2008

Mr Prime Minister, Sir: You are beyond repair

By Din Merican

Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi is truly beyond repair. This is someone who came into office in 2003 as result of Tun Dr.Mahathir Mohamad’s “folly”. He ran a good campaign and received a resounding mandate. After 4 years in power, he has proven to be incompetent and the state of Malaysia is rotten. What a big letdown!!

Our country is now a butt of jokes at cocktail parties and in the pubs around Bangsar, not to mention in the OIC countries, the United States, Europe, Japan and China and ASEAN. Except for himself, nobody believes him anymore. Even his predecessor is actively working to ensure his political demise.

Badawi is a man who is completely unreal. He forgot that in November last year he said at his own party convention with the regard to BERSIH March to the King’s Palace, “saya pantang dicabar”. In stead of being cowed, 60,000 Malaysians, mostly Malays, defied him. He is that same UMNO leader who allowed Hishamuddin Tun Hussein Onn (at Khairy Jamaluddin’s behest, of course) to project the worst kind of Malay nationalism by his keris kissing antics. Hishamuddin stoked the fire of racist politics in the climate of mounting inter-ethnic and religious tensions.

Badawi’s tough actions against the Indians who took part in the Hindraf rally and subsequent use of ISA against five Indian leaders who are in Kamunting, Perak galvanised the normally timid and complaint Indians into political activism which now threatens the MIC and Samy Velu’s political future. After acting tough, he has since backed down and suddenly he is talking about national unity and appeasing the Indians with imaginary programmes. Do you believe that this snake oil salesman?

Badawi promises us everything yet he accomplishes nothing. Here is a “leader” who acts not on the basis of firm convictions or set of well founded beliefs, but out of expediency and duplicity. His 4 year rule— he is now desparately pleading to be given another 5 years to complete his mission— is a story of mismanagement of the economy, poor public service performance, rampant corruption, rising crime rate and unemployment, inflation, wasteful public expenditure and a judicial scandal. It will be a major catastrophe if voters are again deceived by Badawi’s promises.

What of the man himself? If we can believe the New Straits Times (February 9, 2008) and The Star, we know that he has a rather inflated view of himself. He is quoted by both these pro UMNO-Barisan Nasional papers as saying: “I work very hard. I mean it and you know it. It is the will of God that I have become the Prime Minister and it is my responsibility to work and serve the people”. As far if that is not enough, he goes on:”I have not benefited one sen from anyone for what I have done. Some people want to give me money, but I do not need it. The government takes good care of its Prime Minister.” Believe him? He is back to his 2004 Mr. Clean image. As far his hard work, we all know that his work ethics and time management are at best suspect.

Let me ask him a few questions since he is the Minister of Finance and takes care of our nation’s tax revenues and controls our national expenditure. First, why do you need to purchase an Airbus Corporate Jet costing RM 200 million for your own use? How much more of taxpayers’ money did you spend on refurbishing the aircraft to suit your expensive taste? The Royal Malaysian Air Force own planes to fly VIPs and Royalty. Aren’t they good enough for you? Obviously, not.

Second, how much of taxpayer’s money did you spend on renovating the Official Residence of the Prime Minister after you took office in 2003?

Third, on what basis did you as Minister of Finance award the RM25 billion project to redevelop the Penang Turf Club land to Patrick Lim of Equine Capital, or the monorail project costing some RM3 billion to Scomi, a company controlled by your own son, Kamalludin Abdullah. I suppose, you cannot remember what you did.

Fourth, how much subsidy has been given to Rapid Kuala Lumpur to run a bus service? Who are the real owners of this company, which is also running Rapid Penang?

And, fifth, why do you have to spend PETRONAS money to host the annual Monsoon Cup? More questions can be raised, but that is enough.

You said some people want to give you money. Why did you not report this to the Anti-Corruption Agency so that action can be taken against them for attempting to bribe the Prime Minister?

You have plenty to answer for. It does not surprise me that you are unable to deal with Zakaria Ideros, Khir Toyo and even your Deputy Prime Minister cum Minister of Defence for earning through his cronies a total of nearly RM1 billion as commissions from the purchase of two French made submarines and Russian fighter jets. You are also not able to explain what happened in the case of the RM 4.7 billion Port Kelang Free Trade Zone project where UMNO and MCA leaders are involved, inter alia, in a land acquisition scandal, raking in nearly RM1 billion in profits.

These are not mistakes at all, Mr Prime Minister. They are come under the category of “dereliction of duty” and the buck surely stops at your table as Minister of Finance and Prime Minister (as First Lord of the Treasury). The state of Malaysia is rotten under your stewardship. The voters should know that. Unfortunately, your Government controls the media and we will never know the facts.


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