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Friday, October 21, 2016

Was it a budget speech, or a three-ring circus ringmaster's pitch?

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Was Prime Minister Naijb Abdul Razak delivering the budget speech just now, or was he a ringmaster playing to the gallery of a three-ring circus? Indeed, I was hard-pressed to decide.
It was full of poems and pantuns, rhyme, rhythm and song, but perhaps lacked the serious decorum that one would have expected of a respectable PM delivering a solemn national document, in discharge of the public trust he holds.
Decorum that the Dewan had in turn demanded from the riled-up opposition parliamentarians who walked out, minus the PAS holdouts and what they claim is their more decorous conduct.
But perhaps it was Naijb who riled those across the aisle with his innuendos and sniping tongue, stopping after several paragraphs or so, just to poke fun at the opposition and his favourite target ex-PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad, whom we understand he hates and obviously hates him back.
But to poke fun at the good doctor in the budget speech is perhaps too much. Not to mention to make mention of memes and 'anak dara'-themed coconut rice.
This, my dear PM, is not a ceramah, nor is it kedai kopi banter over your roti canai and teh tarik sessions with fawning sycophants.
Though considering how your cabinet is stocked and parliamentarians' mettle now null, it perhaps might as well be.
And like a ringmaster, Najib spent most of the time using his voice like a whip, lashing out, raising, lowering and lashing out again.

And like a magician pulling rabbits out of a hat, Najib seemed to have filled the House with this person and that, whom he called out to each and every time his speech went to the part of goodies that he threw their way.
There were cabbies and mosque imams, tok siaks and bilals, athletes, scientists, policemen, soldiers, micro loan programme Tekun participants, and yes, even the dead.
Is he unveiling a budget, or a circus troupe, as he name-drops all through his speeches, naming this person, that person living and some who have passed?
Not to say that I expected more of him, but tut... tut... how unbecoming.- Mkini

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