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Saturday, December 28, 2013

GE13: Selling dreams, raising prices

Will Malaysians be able to read Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak's game to vote wisely in the future or will they be duped again in GE14?
COMMENT
Year 2013 will draw to a close very soon and many people are going about with long faces due to the impending increase in the price of goods, electricity tariff and toll next year.
More than the 50 people interviewed agree that the BN Government has lost direction and the nation is thus on the road to perdition.
Some of them also wished that they had the means to migrate to greener pastures. Below are a few of the comments:
  • “If I strike lottery now, I will certainly migrate, there is no more hope here.” – single woman in her early fifties.
  • “My husband and I will work very hard so that we can send our three children overseas for a better future.” – married couple in their early forties.
  • “If you are renting a house here you have to do the same overseas but the landlord over there is better.” – businessman in his late forties.
The comments reveal that the government has lost the plot and failed miserably in the principles of good governance and sound management.
After the RON95 petrol price hike in early September, many exurbanites were unhappy with the government but at this point in time even some of the semi-urban voters who supported BN are unhappy with the way the government is running the nation.
The rural folk though are still happy with the government. Large signboards in rural areas telling the benefits of GST (Goods & Services Tax) have continued to ensure that these people will always support the government’s initiatives even if it is detrimental to their pockets.
The rural folk will only wake up after GST is implemented when the toothpaste will cost more than usual.
The fence-sitters, who had voted for BN, may rant and rave at the government via social media now. When it comes to the general election year, the government will dish out the goodies and many of them will swing their vote to BN again. This is a repetitious cycle all too common now in the general election scenario.
Until the people wise up to BN’s strategy, the ruling coalition’s grip on federal power will continue to remain strong and constant.
Before GE13, PAS has informed the voters that the BN Government will increase the price of goods if they win and many had then promised to vote for Pakatan Rakyat.
That is the reason why Pakatan came up with the slogan of “Ini kali lah”. But all in vain. Pakatan’s slogan should have been “Lupakan saja lah” because the rural voters are still backing BN as the GE13 results have showed.
Although the voting pattern revealed an urban-rural divide, the situation can be remedied if the rural voters were not so easily deceived. The main problem here is that the rural people fear a change of government and prefer to place their trust in BN.
Meanwhile, the urbanites continue to grumble because they are more affected by the price hikes than their rural counterparts.
But of course BN finds it beneficial to continue perpetuating this urban-rural divide as it is to their advantage.
Umno leaders have also urged the government to reward those who voted for BN and this is certainly a reference to the rural folk.
“Perhaps that is why the price and tariff hikes are implemented to punish the urbanites. Of course another reason is that the government needs to replenish its coffers,” said PAS information chief Mahfuz Omar.
The GST is not a bad thing per se but it is the reason for its implementation that is bad. The reason being the government is in dire need of funds due to mismanagement of the nation’s economy. Hence the need to collect taxes but who can guarantee that the funds collected will benefit the ordinary rakyat?
At the end of the day, one can only surmise that Malaysians have been hoodwinked by the BN leaders yet again.
PAS Shah Alam MP, Khalid Samad said: “Before GE13, the Prime Minister said that he will take care of the citizens but after winning he starts to raise prices like there is no tomorrow. He sells false hopes to get votes. Thus he is indeed a proven dream peddler.”
Are Malaysians ever going to be able to read the dream peddler’s game in order to vote wisely in the future? Will the citizens be duped again in GE14? Have we really learnt a costly lesson this time?

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