Cabinet ministers and spin

The Malaysian Insider
May 17, 2013

MAY 17 — The new Cabinet is not even 48 hours old and one can already see some of them sketching out an alternative reality of Malaysia.

In the last 10 days, the new Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has had the task of being the government’s spokesman with the foreign media — burnishing Malaysia’s image despite the rancour in local newspapers.

In an interview published by The Australian daily yesterday, Khairy spoke of a discernible change “among the Chinese community, particularly” and the urban middle class, pointing there had been internal discussions on engaging the Chinese community to understand the protest vote.

Sure. Tell that to Umno, Umno bloggers and Umno newspaper Utusan Malaysia which have been unrelenting in hammering the Chinese and those who voted against Barisan Nasional (BN).

If that is engaging the Chinese and others, it must be a new and sophisticated way of pummelling people into submission.

But Khairy also said the reasons for the government’s electoral decline included “perceptions of corruption, the high cost of living, and concerns about job security and crime”.

Spin only goes so far, Mr Minister.

There is no such thing as “perception of corruption”… there is endemic corruption and the political elite are part of the problem. Should one even start the list that begins from Sabah, Sarawak down to why stadiums keep collapsing and cattle farm funds are used to pay for luxury condominiums here and abroad?

Are we going to get more of the Abdullah years, positive spin overseas but not matched by real reforms on the ground.

“We have won a reprieve, and now we have five years in which to deliver on change,” Khairy told The Australian. “The old-style authoritarian, nationalistic, right-wing government is an anachronism. This is the new Umno now, and our priority is the economy”, including reducing subsidies for fuel, sugar, flour and cooking oil.

Perhaps he should tell that to Cabinet colleague Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who must still be reading from the old script when writing for Utusan Malaysia yesterday that those unhappy with the electoral process should leave the country.

“If these people wish to adopt the list system or the single transferable vote used by countries with the republic form of government, then they should migrate to these countries to practise their political beliefs,” said Ahmad Zahid, calling on loyal citizens to respect the rule of law.

Why do we still have people who have penchant of asking those who disagree to leave the country? Can we dispense with such nonsense in this day and age?

Malaysia needs a Cabinet of ministers who must be connected with reality, not put a spin to issues of the day.

The 51 per cent of Malaysians who voted against BN have already made that point. How many more per cent does one need before it becomes any clearer?

  1. #1 by seetee64 on Saturday, 18 May 2013 - 9:52 am

    ” The 51 per cent of Malaysians who voted against BN have already made that point. How many more per cent does one need before it becomes any clearer?”

    Do you know the difference between parlimentary electoral votes and popularity votes? If not, then google it.

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