Monday, November 7, 2011

A Different World....

I spent the Aidiladha holidays in my village of origin (which according to the Negri Sembilan Adat Laws includes my wife's village), and bought all the newspapers available for my reading pleasure. They include two or three papers that do not qualify to be considered as the mainstream news media. In fact two maybe considered as the voice of the opposition.

Reading the two latter papers, I found myself in an almost totally different world. The names of people and places are the same but the stories have a slant that makes me feel quite foreign, or an alien who has dropped into a strange and chaotic world. The front pages suggested that this country is so rich that the wife and daughter of it's number one leader could spend a few hundred thousand ringgit shopping from just one foreign department store. Then we have a report on the government financial expenditure as examined by the Auditor-General. God. We seem to pay some RM27 million for an armed combat vehicle which other countries bought at some RM4-5 million. Thus the bill for more than 200 vehicles went up to RM6 billion or more. My maths does not allow men to remember such amount of money whereas only a billion or a little more should have been sufficient if the purchase was not made through an Agent.

Well, who cares if we have so much money.Even a drinking glass which normally costs RM2-3 may cost RM150 or more if we chose one made of crystal. A ceiling light can be bought for less than RM100 but an imported chandelier may cost you a few hundred thousand ringgit. The world offers something for the poor and also for the super rich. But when a comparatively poor country buys a Rolls Royce for its ambassadors, we begin to question the wisdom of the decision makers. However, Malaysia is not that poor and is aspiring to become a high-income nation in 2020. Should we, therefore, start to lead a life of what the economists refer to as high consumption? There is no doubt that government doles out billions of ringgit in assistance, subsidies and bail-outs. No problem. But yes, we have problems when you can't even take care of all the poor and helpless, provide those incapable of doing normal work with a comfortable living allowance, and allow beggars to walk the street begging for a living.

Whatever the reason for purchasing the more expensive material for national defense and national prestige, there is no justification for extravagant wastage. The Auditor General's Report seem to show that rich government organizations are spending far beyond their allocations and making the budgeting process a mere farce.

The voice of the opposition I refer to painted a picture of us living in a totally corrupted nation with corrupted leaders all around us. We are surround by tragic incidents, inhuman sufferings and criminal offenses including murders and rapes. We are among the damned and the doomed. God, no wonder some foreign countries have a totally different picture of life in this blessed country where even the oppositions and the critics live in comfort and plenty. Sometime I wonder if I am really looking at the real or make-belief world around me. It's easy to get confused.


kaykuala said...

Akhi Norzah,
In salesmanship, it is fundamental not to run down your competitor. If there are two peddlers selling durians side by side, one cannot tell a potential customer approaching them that the other is selling bad durians. He just needs to say his durians are good, period! The potential customer will become suspicious and may not buy his product.

This the opposition didn't seem to realise.The voters can decide on their own. If the opposition run down the govt with such vehemence it might have a negative backlash. The opposition also have their fair share of bad apples. The TBHock case came to light because of corruption allegations of their ADUNs,sand-mining woes etc etc. The opposition is just as bad! Now just a year to go what have they shown besides accusations.If they are not careful and voters get fed up of hearing unsubstantiated allegations the opposition might be voted out just as they were voted in.

abdulhalimshah said...

I do not join any party but I do care what happens in our country. This blatant wastage is simply mind-boggling. Are we to be taken for a ride for such wanton blunders. Even if the defence purchase is to channel funds to the party coffers, it should be done within reason. Now why should we pay RM6 billion which could be done in less than RM2 billion. Now this is is simple thievery, nothing more. It does not make sense and from whichever political party one supports, this to me is downright criminal. We must throw out the bastards.

norzah said...

Akhi Hank, in as much as the opposition is lambasting the government the government is doing the same to them. Every move made by the opposition especially PAS is considered inappropriate, even when the ustazs are just emphasizing what the al-Quran says.

What bothers me is that reading the mainstream papers seems like hearing a tape recording over and over again. Everything is running on so well and on time. There seem to be no problem at all and yet problems loom large everywhere, especially in the way government is spending public money.

Why let the opposition papers spill all the beans. There's nothing wrong in government spilling some of the beans itself, to shoe the public that we all make mistakes sometime. More endearing will be the action taken immediately to correct the mistake and compensate those who are wronged.

norzah said...

Akhi Halim, right on again Bro. The wastage and the leakages pouted out and implied by the Auditor General report seem to be baffling. Too obvious and daring to believe. Yet, after some hue and cry, after a prolonged investigation, things will simmer down and disappear from the scene, until the the next report comes out.

That seems to have been going on year after year. Is this the attitude of the rich towkey rubbing on to the government? It's said of a rich magnate that he does't mind if his CEO squanders a few hundred thousand if he could bring in hundreds of million to the company.
But in government we are dealing with public funds!
So how can we get rid of the buzzards?

Al-Manar said...

I still buy newspapers but wastefully glanced through, not knowing what to believe. I suppose as long as the two main Malay parties cannot see the urgent need to bury their differences, I cannot be swayed to say X is better than Y, or Y better than X.

norzah said...

It's really a problem now in regard to what can be believed. Akhi Pakcik al-Manar. Even the mainstream news sometimes contradict each other or give different versions of the same story. Different leaders will then give different interpretations. The opposition papers will of course give the opposit picture.

As such truth can only be a transient concensus by several parties. What you want to believe must be based on your own faith, faith in yourself.

abdulhalimshah said...

It boils down to a simple truth, that ALLAH is most Glorious and Most Merciful as we still have many Faithfuls who pray for the safety and survival of our country, unlike our neighbours who are faced with natural calamities of the highest order. But there is another curse which befalls us, that is despite all the good fortunes being showered on us, but we fritter away all these God-send fortunes until one day we shall have to beg from others just what Greece is facing today and next on the plate will be Italy.

norzah said...

Hope we don't end up like Greece, Akhi. As it is now I understand that other SEAsian countries are doing better than us. Thailand was surging ahead until the flood caused a setback. Even Indonesia is doing far better than us, on top of getting a few billion ringgit each year from us thru wages paid to Indon workers employed here.