Archive for February 19th, 2009

Disgust at the new low in politics

The Royal Address was a valedictory address to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, when the Yang di-Pertuan Agong at the end of his address touched on the transition of leadership of the country, with the hand-over of the premiership to the Deputy Prime Minister next month.

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong recorded appreciation to the Prime Minister for his leadership and contribution, mentioning specifically to issues concerning “democracy, accountability, integrity, the fight against corruption, strengthening the judiciary and the application of Islamic Hadhari approach”.

To the majority of Malaysians, Abdullah’s tenure as the fifth Prime Minister will be remembered more for its missed opportunities than any real achievements.

We are told that a second stimulus package in the form of a mini-budget would be presented in Parliament on March 10 to boost the country’s economy, when more than four months ago, I had called on the new Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak to present a revised 2,009 Budget to take corrective measures to shield the country from the world’s worst economic crisis in 80 years so as to enhance competitiveness, boost growth and tamp down inflation. A missed opportunity.

We are told of a Cabinet Committee to Identify and Monitor the Participation of Indian Community in Government Programmes and Projects chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister, when immediately after the landslide Barisan Nasional March 2004 general election, I had called for a high-powered Cabinet Committee to present a blueprint in the first meeting of Parliament to address the long-standing issues of marginalisation and alienation faced by Indian Malaysians in the country and to bring the Indian Malaysians into the mainstream of national development – political, economic, educational, social, cultural and all other aspects of the nation-building process. Another missed opportunity. Read the rest of this entry »