Umno/BN no joy for babies

Dean Johns | Dec 7, 2011

I’ve always had a soft spot for babies, and thus have found the fathering and nurturing of several in the course of my somewhat chequered marital career to be life-enhancing experiences.

So I was far from surprised that, of all the lovely people I was privileged to meet at the Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia dinner in KL last Saturday night, the new acquaintance I found most utterly enchanting was the youngest ‘member’ or at least attendee, a three-year-old aptly named Joy.

There were two reasons why my heart went out to this delightful little sprite. Firstly, her spirit of frolic and fun that inspired me to play so many silly games with her that I ended up limp with exhaustion and soaking with sweat, while she was still as fresh as the proverbial daisy and ready for more.

And secondly, she reminded me of my own similarly joyful daughter Sammie, whose birth in Malaysia 16 years ago transformed me from an appalled but passive expatriate observer of the local political scene to an outraged critic of the evils I saw her as having to face if she stayed in Umno/BN’s Bolehland.

Happily she’s been spared most of such problems, thanks first to the efforts of her mother, maternal grandparents and some very good teachers in Malaysia, and also her subsequent relocation into the admittedly far-from-perfect but at least somewhat more progressive Australian educational system.

But as is perhaps evident in the columns I write for Malaysiakini, I’ve maintained the protective rage that her arrival in my life generated, and remain inspired to vent this emotion on behalf of Malaysian sons and daughters of all ages, races, genders and religions.

Rage at the fact that, as almost everybody in this nation with even a shred of awareness knows by now, Umno/BN, behind its pretence of promoting and protecting Malay rights, religious beliefs and prosperity, has been misleading, suppressing and shamelessly ripping-off the Malaysian people, Malay and non-Malay alike, for decades.

Defective ‘growing-up’ milk powder

And perhaps most reprehensible, at least in the long-term, is this kleptocratic regime’s depriving millions of young Malaysians of the truly excellent and enlightened education they need and deserve, while sending its own pampered offspring overseas or, in flagrant breach of its own rules, to local international schools.

And now, apparently no longer content with educationally and otherwise victimising children and adolescents, now Umno/BN has been cheating toddlers and babes in arms by selling sub-standard milk powder to their unsuspecting parents through its lavishly publicly-funded chain of ‘discount’ stores known as Kedai Rakyat 1Malaysia, or KR1M.

Investigations by Tony Pua and other diligent opposition politicians have revealed that the now-discontinued 1Malaysia ‘growing-up’ milk powder previously sold for months in KR1M outlets contained no trace whatever of 15 essential nutrients, vitamins and trace elements, and provided a mere 4.5 percent of the calcium and just 7.4 percent of the iron that the relevant food regulations deem necessary for healthy growth and development of young bodies and minds.

And arguably even more disgraceful was that this same product for babies and toddlers was found to contain many times the maximum permitted level of Vitamin A, which in excess can lead to symptoms including liver dysfunction, reduced bone mineral density, skin discolouration and hair loss.

Yet, when faced with these shocking revelations, the Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai, the same Lai who lied when he denied that police fired water cannons and teargas grenades into the grounds of a hospital during the Bersih 2.0 rally earlier this year, rather than apologising or better yet resigning, attacked Tony Pua for revealing the truth to the previously unsuspecting public.

In fact, Lai had the hide to accuse Pua of “trying to politicise the matter”.

Fraudulent concept

Which was hypocritical in the extreme in light of the plainly evident reality that the entire KR1M operation is just another cheap and shabby attempt by Najib Razak and his Umno/BN colleagues and cronies to use their fraudulent ‘1Malaysia’ concept to politicise every possible aspect of society.

And speaking of trying to kid the Malaysian people, the head of Wanita Umno and Women, Family and Community Development Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, was apparently too busy defending her husband and children against allegations of impropriety in their involvement in the notorious National Feedlot Corporation scandal to bother about such trifles as dangerously defective milk powder.

Though admittedly her department did lavish heaps of cash on full-page colour ads in the mainstream newspapers showing her interacting with children with disabilities to demonstrate was a truly caring person she would like to be perceived as.

But there was precious little concern shown by Shahrizat or anyone else for mothers, babies or children by, or indeed for any Malaysian families other than those of members and cronies of the ruling regime, in the recent Umno general assembly.

All we saw and heard was one infantile rant after another against the opposition, and juvenile calls for oaths of loyalty to the ever-predatory party.

Not a word about any plans to address any of the countless genuine concerns confronting Malaysian families, like the rising cost of living, the worsening of the nation’s corruption index, the massive wastages, frauds and thefts revealed by the recent auditor-general’s report, and the budget cuts on education and health to enable the purchase of outrageously-overpriced ‘defence’ items like the world’s most expensive patrol boats, and a fleet of armoured personnel carriers whose prices have mysteriously multiplied several times between their purchase in Turkey and delivery to the Malaysian army.

So it’s as clear today as it has been for generations that, for as bright a future as possible for my young friend Joy and her contemporaries, and for even younger and as-yet-unborn babies, it’s vital to put an end to the criminal misrule of Malaysia by this gang of Umno/BN boobies.

DEAN JOHNS, after many years in Asia, currently lives with his Malaysian-born wife and daughter in Sydney, where he coaches and mentors writers and authors and practises as a writing therapist. Published books of his columns for Malaysiakini include ‘Mad about Malaysia’, ‘Even Madder about Malaysia’, ‘Missing Malaysia’ and ‘1Malaysia.con’.

  1. #1 by monsterball on Sunday, 11 December 2011 - 3:51 pm

    The way to capture a man’s heart is through the stomach.
    The way to capture parents votes is through sowing love and care for their children.
    UMNO b hypocrites have been trying this stunt for decades.

  2. #2 by Loh on Sunday, 11 December 2011 - 7:10 pm

    ///Sakmongkol AK47 :December 11 2011 DEC 11 — Dengar cerita CEO NFC suami Sharizat dpt gaji 100k sebulan anak sulung age 31 dpt gaji 45k sebulan anak kedua age 27 dpt 35k sebulan anak ketiga age 25 dpt 35k sebulan Jika ini betul ia sesungguhnya memalukan Ambil duit rakyat buat bayar gaji besar.///–Malaysian Insider

    NFC pays Shahrizat’s husband and sons a total of 215 K a month. The amount of money spent buying the two condo units at 12 million ringgit was only an advance payment of salary for 57 months, a little less than five years. What the family uses with the salary advance was for them to decide. Khairy insinuated that it was good investment using NFC funds for condo purchase actually amounts to accusing them of misappropriating government funds. It was just a lump sum payment of salary in advance for 5 years. They are at least convinced that the company would last five years. After that if NFC goes bankrupt, it is quite normal for a limited company to go bankrupt. Don’t we remember that bank bumiputra went broke twice losing a billion ringgit and more each time. NFC is only a quarter of a billion ringgit; sub-sub-sui by UMNO standard.

    Whether the staff can be given salary advance for five years, and the quantum of pay is a matter for the board. They can certainly have a meeting and make it retrospective. That could be the reason why Shahrizat is smarter than Mamakthir to know that she does not need to resign. Whether NFC proves that UMNO serves the interest of the gang is a matter for the voters to decide.

    UMNO claims that it has developed the country. Well as a contractor, UMNO had done some work. But have the contract value been too high, judging by the perks they received, is a matter for the voters to decide. As contractor, UMNO corrupts the minds of the majority of the citizens to believe in entitlement and that their livelihood is the responsibility of other human beings.

  3. #3 by Loh on Sunday, 11 December 2011 - 7:20 pm

    The accusation of being a warlord and the counter claim of a godfather is a small matter. Yet some people think that they should straighten the score.

    They should watch the debates among the presidential hopefuls of the Republican party vying for the 2012 nomination in USA. If these hopeful share the same mentality, they would not be on the stage.

    When the quarrel is between two persons why should the underlings get involved? Even if money and position is not their motive serving the party, party leaders have responsibility to the ordinary members. They do not have the absolute liberty to leave the party as if it is a private company. Even in a private company, the boss has the responsibility to the staff. Perhaps professional politicians in UMNO are more dedicated; but to what?

  4. #4 by dagen on Sunday, 11 December 2011 - 7:53 pm

    Dear Dean,
    What I hv to tell you is something quite obvious, well really. I am only too concerned that as a good citizen of this umno owned country you might just hv forgotten one crucial point – no doubt caught in the thrill and joy of monkeying about with that little girl. I certainly did just by merely reading your account of that beautiful event. It was upon deep reflection did I realise that you might possibly hv compromised your loyalty. Call it a fantasy if you may but the severity of the situation requires that I issue to you this little reminder. You see the little Joy may in the fun of the moment utter desires, perfectly childish and innocent ones, that contradict the unquestionable and untouchable ketuanan rights of umnoputras. Simple examples like “I want to be queen” or something else like “I am the greatest barbie”. The law is the law. Umnoputras’ rights are umnoputras’ rights. Neither can be ignore or breached. In case she did trespass the boundary then she would of course be treated as anti-agung, anti-sultan, anti-islam jenis umno, anti-gobermen, anti-melayu (actually umnoputras), unpatriotic, ungrateful etc etc; and hence despite her tender age and complete innocence, she could have her citizenship revoked; and or she could be ISA-ed. The severity of the situation would necessitate your immediate intervention and should you fail then you too would be made to face the same consequence. I certainly hope that none of what I fantasised happened and if it did that no one noticed it.
    Merry x’mas.
    Umno is great.
    Jib is the greater.
    Ros is the all time greatest.

  5. #5 by boh-liao on Sunday, 11 December 2011 - 9:55 pm

    What abt d wayang unfolding in Pg’s DAP? Part n parcel of democracy?

  6. #6 by tak tahan on Sunday, 11 December 2011 - 11:52 pm

    Another tadpole turned frog to earn fast money and dubious fame.Bodoh punya baruah tak tau malu!!

  7. #7 by monsterball on Monday, 12 December 2011 - 3:49 am

    Now Mahathir said…why change the government when UMNO b is not broken…and all wrongs done by his party can be repaired.
    He even listed out..evil..thieves …robbers…as some of the wrongs done.
    The lists of commentators are sick of Mahathir’s logic.
    And we can see……..the lists goes on and on.
    UMNO b is rotten to the core…encouraged b Mahathir…yet he sort of ask Malaysians….keep voting UMNO b forever.

  8. #8 by monsterball on Monday, 12 December 2011 - 4:18 am

    Parents of the minorities have been sacrificing and struggling for their children’s better educations for decade.
    Parents for the majority…if found not supporting UMNO b are also struggling.
    Plane loads of Muslim students to study overseas..supported by UMNO b are not qualified to study overseas…but are chosen…because parents are UMNO b members.
    Of late…they are confused…for some UMNO b parents are not supporting UMNO b at all.
    MCA is trying hard to win Chinese sponsoring ..this and that for Chinese….even hospital bills…including funeral bills.
    Selangor and Penang PR government donate money to ALL Malaysians…no race choosing on all the help they provide for the poor and needy….no race distinction ….nor care who they vote for.
    They help Malaysians sincerely.
    That’s one reason…amongst so many..why UMNO b government is loosing support everyday.
    UMNO b is rotten party….yet Mahathir asked Malaysians don’t change the government….saying all can be repaired.
    Can UMNO b bring back the dead?
    How can UMNO b undo all the billions stolen…Mahathir never tell us.
    I guess he is asking Malaysians to forgive ad forget.
    God can forgive.
    Humans can also forgive…if the sin is once or even twice…and never repeated again.
    Time to change the government….and the usual smart old man still trying to find idiots to support his party.

  9. #9 by k1980 on Monday, 12 December 2011 - 7:11 am

    What? No traces of melamine in the 1Malaysia ‘growing-up’ milk powder ?

  10. #10 by Loh on Monday, 12 December 2011 - 10:03 am

    For 54 years UMNO has been listing the number of non-Malay professionals compared to Malays; they did not list the number of non-professionals among the non-Malays. For 54 years UMNO has been listing the number of tycoons among the non-Malays; they did not list those who have to eke out a living. UMNO policies ignore the sufferings of ordinary non-Malays who were non-competitive, and they face double jeopardy of not receiving aids from the government, but also are made to pay for government’s discriminating policies in terms of reduced opportunities or education, deprivation of equal opportunity for business, and the most glaring of all discriminations, in paying a higher price for housing so that Malays can get a direct discount. The person who obtained NFC largess was even entitled to discount for the condo.

    The need to place Malays in the special position for assistance was first listed in the constitution as limited to 15 years and subject to review. The intention was that having helped Malays for 15 years, they should be able to look after themselves and their dependents. Persons born in 1957 are reaching retirement age next year. These persons came to this world with government assistance provided to their parents and grand parents. They have thus gone through the better living environment and should have been capable and willing to take responsibility to ensure that their children are competitive. It would be a waste of government resources and the sufferings of others who made government racial discriminatory policies hassle free if the people come to this world, enjoy the unfair advantage and leave it without any valuable impact on improving the capability to be self reliance of the persons whom they helped to bring to this world. But government policies were said to be relevant. Hence, the time has come that people should no longer be placed in the special position to demand entitlement for assistance based on race. There are outliers, who despite all government policies are still poor and downtrodden. To prevent people who are poor and needy of help causing social problems, the government should help those they are included in the list of people who are poor, and who are the intended beneficiary of original objective of NEP, the poor irrespective of colour, metallic white or otherwise. They are NEPians.

  11. #11 by Cinapek on Monday, 12 December 2011 - 10:18 am

    As if stealing, robbing and pillaging from the rakyat is not enough, the BN Govt is even insidiously ruining the health of babies without any sense of guilt. They are targeting the most vulnerable section of the population, the poor, by first increasing in compounding fashion the cost of living and then try to appear to help them with the KR1M stores selling products that do not meet regulations and with false labelling that could be detrimental to consumers’ health.

    Despite the exposure of all these flagrant violation of product labelling ( which could be interpreted as fraud), the BN Govt further disgraced themselves by refusing to charge the culprits under the various laws and regulations. Instead they are still boasting what a great job they had done because the Domestic Trade minister just declared a few days ago that the KR1M stores had forced the other stores to sell their products at a cheaper price. He is not only in denial mode but expects the rakyat to believe his stupid argument to compare the good products sold in the normal stores to the falsely labelled goods sold in KR1M stores. And this despite the admission by Health Ministry officials that Tony Pua’s claims were true!!!

    As with all BN’s “good” intentions one has to suspect that there must be more than meets the eye on all this supposedly acts to “help” the rakyat. Someone, somewhere stands to make something out of this.

You must be logged in to post a comment.