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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

DPM's weak reply to 100-day plan shows BN's empty cupboard


Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said that BN would respond to Pakatan Rakyat's 100-day reform plan. He said, “Prime Minister Najib Razak has already informed us that we will respond on the 100-days reform programme as a whole.” Isn’t that a bit “too little, too late”?

However, BN have not given a time-frame for when their alternative proposal will be ready for the nation’s perusal. BN have been caught on the hop again and are forced to react to PR. That cannot be a good trait to possess, to go on the defensive.

The most damning reaction must be the personal slight felt by Muyhiddin Yassin who also holds the portfolio for education. Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim claimed that education was “never high in Umno or Barisan Nasional’s list of priorities.”

Anwar claimed that a PR federal government could afford to pay for a proposed allowance for teachers, which is projected to be around RM3.2 billion annually, by eliminating the “wastages” of the BN administration.

When PR suggested in their 100-day reforms that teachers would be paid a special allowance, Muyiddin must have been angered that PR had the audacity to question his poor handling of his ministry.

The 100-day reform programme was tabled by PR at their convention in Penang recently and contains nine agendas which include the management of the country, economy and education. All would be carried out within a 100-day period if they won the 13th general election.

Among the plans are for Khazanah Nasional Berhad and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to facilitate the takeover of highway assets by the government to abolish tolls, to revamp the subsidy structure to reduce subsidies for the private sector and shifting it to cover subsidies for the public, to increase teaching allowances to RM500 per month and to get rid of Felda Plantations to allow farms to be managed by Felda's second and third generations.

Muhyiddin attacked the PR pledge as financially imprudent and maintained that such a move would drive the country into insolvency and added that any such allowance needed to be across the board.

He said, “You are talking about millions of civil servants who also should be treated the same.”

Muhyiddin's statement shows that he does not value the contribution of teachers in nation-building.

Moreover, the complete civil service under years of BN rule is bloated and inefficient and needs to be pared down.

Muhyiddin said, “We in the Barisan government have had many experiences and each proposal that we want to do we will consider it holistically. It is not that we cannot, we can but we must take into account of the implications.”

What other implications can he possibly mean? Muhyiddin has a tendency to be very vague in his answers.

How about cancelling those time-consuming mega-projects which only serve to massage the egos of BN’s leaders who behave as if they have megalomania tendencies?

What need have we for a 100 storey Warisan Merdeka? Or of 12 mega dams in Sarawak? Or of another astronaut programme?

Muhyiddin and other BN leaders seem to be overcome with feudal tendencies that bigger and more ostentatious projects would increase their reputation and standing locally as well as in the international arena.

Pakatan have a mammoth task to rebuild Malaysia from the recklessness and ruin of the BN administration.

The depth of Pakatan’s 100 day reform package reveals the scale of BN’s failure. PR have to rebuild the economy and strengthen communities after decades of BN rule. They also have to put back the trust of the people in its leaders, in politics and in democratic institutions.

Thus far, BN would rather concentrate on mega-projects and ignore its youth, its children and its teachers. BN’s fascination with mega-projects just shows how far it is willing to descend to achieve moral and cultural bankruptcy

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