Koon Yew Yin
26th Dec 2015
COMMENT Our prime minister is said to have had an “annus horribilis”. He will probably be very happy when this stressful year for him comes to an end.
Malaysians who are not familiar with this Latin term may have dirty thoughts when hearing the term for the first time. They should be excused for thinking of rude or four-letter words when cursing the BN government for making the lives of many Malaysians so hard and miserable.
It is safe to say that our prime minister is not alone in his year of disaster and misfortune. Millions of Malaysians are having it worse – much worse.
At least the PM’s personal bank account has increased by RM2.6 billion. But pity him; let’s not forget that much of this money has had to be distributed to Umno leaders, including members of parliament, state assemblypersons, supreme council members, division leaders, bloggers, media experts, etc.
Much of it has also gone to various consultants, and even more to ‘special consultants’ such as Jho Low.
This ‘fayloh’ (fat man), as he is popularly known in less polite circles, seems to have played out the prime minister, the entire cabinet, and the whole 1MDB board, as well as Bank Negara, etc.
Yes, that was one hell of a move. It deserves to go into the Guinness Book of Records for its sheer size and audacity, especially the super yacht Mediterranean excursion. But I guess that will never happen.
As for the ordinary rakyat, the list of complaints against the government will run into several pages and is getting longer by the day. Every day, it appears that there is a new scandal.
Corruption not about God
Meanwhile our Minister of Integrity in the PM’s Department, Senator Paul Low Seng Kuan aka Corruption Hunter King of Malaysia has said that he would be out of a job if Malaysians were “Godfearing” and held themselves accountable for their own actions.
The minister, who holds the portfolio of promoting governance and integrity, said that if all Malaysians possess that trait, even cabinet members would not dare abuse the power entrusted in them and would instead practice good governance.
That to me is one of the most stupid statements of the year!
Taxpayers like me and readers are paying big bucks for Low’s salary, car and driver allowance, local and overseas travel, medical, pension entitlement, etc, so that he takes his job seriously and works hard at catching the crooks, especially the big-time ones. But our crocodile man seems to be able to catch only small or baby crocs. The big crocs seem to be able to get away with lots of cash.
And what can he come up with to explain his inability to do his job properly? Malaysians are not God-fearing!
He seems to be implying that since Muslims are Godfearing, Christians are God-fearing and Hindus are Godfearing, therefore all other Malaysians such as Taoists or Buddhists or others who do not believe in God are the ones responsible for corrupt activities.
Corruption has nothing to do with whether one is God-fearing or not. Ask any ordinary Malaysian who or what is the cause of corruption and I am sure you will hear an earful about “condos for cows”, “submarines which cannot dive”, “Mara property fraud in Melbourne”, and many more which have been kept out of the news headlines.
If absence of “God-fearing” is Low’s reasoning, he should close shop, resign from his position immediately, and save taxpayers from having to bear the cost of keeping a PM-, Umno- and BN-fearing minister in the cabinet.
Prayer is not enough
But we have bigger problems than Paul Low.
As if the pain of having to pay GST to make up for the big hole in our national finances caused by 1MDB and other scams is not bad enough, our oil, gas, palm oil, and commodity exports are doing badly. Plus, our ringgit has been dropping like a stone. Maybe it is because the whole nation is not God-fearing.
Thank God, the ringgit has steadied somewhat during the last month. Let’s pray together with Low that the cabinet ministers practice good governance and do not abuse the trust and power entrusted to them.
Those with children studying abroad must pray harder as their ringgit shrinks in foreign currency terms.
Oftentimes, prayer is not enough. What we need to do is kick the responsible party in the backside.
But even that does not seem to be working.
So for this coming year, I urge Malaysians not only to rely on prayers or on delivering the government and authorities a kick in the backside.
I suggest we kick BN out altogether and elect a new government the quickest opportunity we have.
For a better year, we need a better government – that is, a change of government.
KOON YEW YIN, a retired chartered engineer, is a philanthropist.