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Mar 2, 2008

Free Advice


The government has just launched a website, Warkah Untuk PM, where Malaysians can submit messages of support and hope, grouses and recommendations.

First of all, I fail to see the need for a blow-sunshine-up-where-it-don’t-shine sort of website. After all, if you support the Barisan Nasional government, the best message that you can send is at the ballot box. It works the other way round too.

But if you have suggestions and recommendations, this would be useful, provided the really good ones do get forwarded to the PM, and of course, Lembap Lah gets cracking on them.

Najib, who launched the website on Saturday, said that “the first 100 people who come up with good ideas for the government to consider will have the opportunity to meet the prime minister in person.”

There’s no need for that actually. I bet these 100 people would prefer to see their ideas acted upon rather than getting to meet the PM as a reward.

I have a few ideas of my own but I don’t think I’ll be sending them over by way of a warkah for Pak Lah (it rhymes!).

I’ll put ‘em up here, where everybody, including the PM, can see them (Note: This is not an exhaustive list):

Re-introduce local government elections
Don’t give me that crap about “there will be too much politicking”. We have that already. In any case, the benefits of having these elections are considerable. Among them:

1. Provide a low-level entry point and training ground for aspiring politicians.

There are too few avenues for people who want to serve the public to get elected into positions that would allow them to do so. You can’t have everyone aiming for a state assembly or parliamentary seat.

There are many good people who should be given the chance to prove themselves, and what better place to start than in their own communities.

If they’re really good, they can go on to bigger things.

But if they can’t even take care of their own backyard, then they will be kicked out, and the country is spared from having to pay for the mistakes they would have made at a higher level of government.

It’s like the elimination rounds of Political Idol. The talented will be spotted, and they will progress. Bad shit will be flushed down the toilet.

2. Provide the proper channel and outlet for local concerns and frustrations.

Right now, MPs and assemblymen have been reduced to taking care of potholes and clogged drains.

That is not what being an MP or assemblyman is about, as such issues should be addressed by local councils.

If these issues are not satisfactorily resolved, then the people should be allowed to boot the councillors out of office, not bend the ear of their MP or assemblyman.

Worse, MPs and assembleymen are currently exposed to the risk of being punished at the ballot box for things they should not be responsible for.

Local council elections would ensure that the right foot lands on the right arse.

3. I get to run for a seat.

Remove excise duties on cars (a tax on car buyers) and abolish APs (a subsidy for the connected, paid by car buyers) for imported cars
1. If cars were cheaper, we would buy more and replace them more frequently. Imagine what that does for the car industry here.

2. If cars were cheaper, we would have more disposable income to spend on things other than our monthly car loan payments. Imagine what that does to the economy.

3. If cars were cheaper, Malaysians would be very happy with whoever was the bloke in charge when they became cheaper (hint, hint … duh, ya Pak Lah, that’s supposed to be you).

4. If cars were cheaper, I could buy me some serious shit ride.

Make KJ minister after he wins Rembau
I mean it. Right now, he’s shooting his guns but is responsible for jack shit.

Give the boy some real work to do, and see if he can walk the talk.

Plus, it’s important that KJ gets as big a boost as he can at this early stage of his shot for the premiership, because there is no telling how long Pak Lah will last as UMNO president.

So there you have it. Three of the several hundred million ideas I have for improving this country.

Don’t thank me all at once.


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