Malaysia is on a course of self-destruction while the government continues with its ostrich-like optimism.
Malaysia is a nation with a myriad of problems. While all countries have their own list of national woes, our government is not trying to solve ours but seem to be adding to it instead.
Here are just some:
1. After nearly four months, Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is still missing;
2. A Chinese national fish farm manager kidnapped on May 6 off the coast of Sabah and a Malaysian man kidnapped last month have yet to be rescued;
3. Dengue and tuberculosis epidemics are in full swing;
4. A Malaysian High Commission staff is off to face criminal charges in New Zealand;
5. Baby-dumping, rapes, murders and snatch thefts go on unbated;
6. Drug trafficking, human trafficking, vice and gambling dens are still enjoying a good run;
7. Stupid and racist comments by government ministers (past and present) continue to be made;
8. List of goods to be exempted from GST (Goods & Services Tax) is as yet still undecided;
9. Price hikes continue to plague the rakyat;
10. A stadium collapses in Terengganu, a road collapses in KL, and mishaps occur too often at construction sites;
11.Wastages, leakages and corrupt practices continue to drain the nation’s coffers.
We know there is no such thing as Utopia but Malaysia seems to be on a course of self-destruction.
BN politicians, who form the government are responsible for solving these problems. However they continue to ignore proposals put forward by opposition politicians yet do not have any good ideas of their own to offer, much less implement.
Pakatan Rakyat is plagued by factionalism and a divergence of purposes so this too is of no help to the rakyat.
Pandas more important than the homeless
There is currently a shortage of cooking oil in the market. The 2kg “Helang” and “Knife” brands cannot be found in regular sundry shops. The only brands available are the expensive corn and sunflower cooking oil brands. What are the politicians saying about this?
While the police are doing a good job busting crime syndicates, more should be done by the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development to help the homeless by building hostel-like homes and shelters for them.
Surely not too difficult a task when a RM25 million home was built to house two pandas.
In England, the homeless can rent a room in a community shelter for one pound a night. They are also given an opportunity to earn an income by selling the “Big Issue” (a community newspaper).
Back home in Malaysia however, Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor has placed a ban on soup kitchens in the middle of KL, clearly an indication of the government’s inability to give a helping hand to the destitute.
“The government seems to be afraid of soup kitchens which are doing a good job of feeding the poor and the homeless because they show up the government’s shortcomings,” said Nizar Jamaluddin, the Changkat Jering PAS state assemblyman.
What is the government doing?
There are numerous complaints that the price of vegetables, meat and fish have shot up tremendously. Why is this so? Is there no Price Control Act for this sort of thing? Why only lower prices during festive seasons? Why not the whole year around?
Adults with a household income of below RM2,000 are now resorting to only one meal a day, which is brunch (breakfast and lunch combined). Dinner is two slices of bread and a nightcap. Some have been practising this cost-cutting measure since January this year.
“Otherwise, how do we survive? Everything, whether food or household goods, is so costly these days. It is difficult to make ends meet,” is their constant lament.
The problems of the nation and low-wage earners are piling. Household debts and property prices continue to soar and still no concrete solutions are forthcoming from the “powers-that-be”.
Only an ostrich-like optimist can say that things are getting better. The government should act fast to solve the nation’s woes.
The situation will definitely deteriorate after Chinese New Year in February next year, which is only eight months away.
And do not forget, March 8, 2015 will be the one year anniversary of MH370 having gone missing, if the plane is not found by then.
Not that far away, is it?
Selena Tay is a FMT columnist.