Many people are disappointed, not just Nurul Izzah Anwar, with the performance of the Pakatan Harapan government since it took over the helm of the federal government after the May 9 general election.
The concern is not just with the lack of reforms. There are, in fact, many other issues. First, it would appear the opposition is now in control of the national agenda. The opposition decides what games to play, the government follows.
Second, it would appear the government is reverting to the old habits of the past. APs for cars are back in circulation while “grandiose stuff” are getting more attention than bread and butter issues. There are even elements of backpaddling to cater to vested-interest groups.
Have you noticed that the present government can’t even condemn racism and religious bigotry boldly and explicitly anymore? It is as if “the wrongs” are sacrosanct and beyond criticism now. Anyone doing so will be accused of violating the constitution, the inalienable rights of certain institutions and the so-called social contract. Worse, they are threatened with legal action.
Not only that, those in PH can’t even use harsh words on past misdeeds committed by the former government. They can’t even condemn them for stealing, for creating “sh*t” and for running everything to the ground.
Seriously, I just can’t quite understand why thieves and robbers are allowed to run loose attacking the government, while the government which was duly elected by the people, is on the defensive. The only explanation I can think of is the disunity and the “ulterior motives” harboured by each of the PH coalition partners.
Each PH partner, while staying together in the coalition right now, is also preparing for any eventual fallout. I suspect they are getting ready to woo the opposition MPs when the time comes. Hence their reluctance to go all out to counter the opposition, tooth and nail. In the process their reform and national agenda are hijacked.
Besides, PH’s incompetence and indulgence in no-brainer projects has also caused disquiet and distress among the people. I may not know much about automobile engineering, but the flying car and third national car projects are nonsensical to me.
For goodness sake, our track records are against us. All this is nothing more than misplaced national pride which will cost us, just like what MAS, the so-called national airline, did to us. If we are incapable of running an airline after 60 years, we, in all likelihood, can’t make cars, much less flying cars. Please don’t keep saying this time is different. We have no time and resources to waste.
PH promised us many things which were important to our quality of life. But the environment is still as shitty as ever. Only major crises and disasters will prompt the authorities into action. In the meantime, we are sitting ducks waiting for the next crisis to come our way. Water levels in catchment areas now can’t withstand three weeks of drought. Some ministers are good in highlighting this, but may I know what we are going to do about it?
In the meantime, the new government (especially in Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur) finds it so difficult to undo high density and devious projects approved by the previous government, citing legal implications and high compensation costs, et cetera, as reasons.
Since when is a government afraid of legal action and compensation when upholding public policies for the good of the people? I think it is time for the PH government to stop talking about transparency and accountability if it has no intention of honouring them. The people are not stupid.
One more thing, remember the Penang state government was clamouring and yelling for its airport to be upgraded and expanded before the general election? One year into the election, Penang is still talking while a new airport at Kulim, Kedah, has been approved. If this is not baloney, what else is?
T K Chua is a reader of FMT.
The views expressed by the writer do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.