REFSA (Research for Social Advancement) | 29 August 2012
In conjunction with Malaysia’s 55th year of Independence on 31 August
In the run-up to our 55th Merdeka Day celebrations, the federal government has been particularly keen on reminding Malaysians of all it has done for us.
Full-page newspaper advertisements and massive roadside billboards trumpeting ‘Janji Ditepati’ (Fulfilling our Promises) and a theme song of the same title make much of recent BN federal government handouts such as the RM500 Bantuan Rakyat 1 Malaysia cash payments, RM100 student aid and RM200 book vouchers for students.
As generous as these may seem, they are mere peanuts in comparison to the largess heaped upon the elite and connected. The student aid and book vouchers totalled RM550 million and RM263 million respectively. Elsewhere, at the stroke of a pen, the government forgave former Malaysia Airlines chairman Tajudin Ramli’s debts – a total of RM589 million! And let’s not forget the RM250 million NFC scandal which saw loans for cow-farming being used to procure expensive cars and ultra-luxury condominiums instead.
The ‘promises’ the government has fulfilled are mere crumbs in comparison to the munificence shown to its cronies. Just two sets of cronies alone quietly reaped hundreds of millions of ringgit, while millions of Malaysians are exhorted to be grateful for the mere hundreds of ringgit each receives.
Alas, this is but a small example of the federal government ballyhoo that diverts attention from the issues that really matter and the Janji Diketepi (Promises Unfilled). Our parting shot: 55 years after independence, KL still floods, even after multi-billion ringgit mega-projects like the SMART tunnel.
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