AUGUST 12 — I'm still not over having a “new” government. You don't usually wake up one morning to find you have a new prime minister as well as a new political coalition.
It's like buying a new car and waking up the next morning to find it gone, replaced with a secondhand car of dubious origin, one which you're not entirely sure would pass a Puspakom test.
When you get something new, you expect it to at least be better. Instead, we have one minister antagonising one of my colleagues for using a (correct) description of an upcoming Bill.
Then we have another minister who smokes in the Dewan and gets a paltry fine for it. Don't forget that other minister who seems to have magically forgotten his medical training, and instead decides to prescribe warm water as a Covid-19 preventative measure.
If I could return this government for a refund, I would.
I would also suggest this current government demand their money back from whoever is doing their communications and PR messaging.
There's the stupid move to no longer provide translations in English or other languages for government press statements.
We also have returned to the days of cakap tak serupa bikin (not putting your money where your mouth is) where politicians talk a good game about penalties and following pandemic SOPs... while VIPs have big gatherings with no social distancing or proper use of masks.
One of our ministers, you can guess who, has been photographed either not wearing a mask or thinking a mask should be worn under the chin.
Then there is this other minister, with his rosy projections, who should really be called Minister for the Advocacy of Banks.
It's disconcerting to see him constantly talk up about how much our banks seem to be “suffering” when I know, as he would know, that all that talk of loss of billions are paper losses that do not, in actuality, hurt the banks all that much.
With the consolidation of the banking sector in recent years, there are no small banks that would fall under in the current economy and there is no danger of any of the banking sector names going under.
Meanwhile, actual, real people are still struggling to find work, getting evicted from their homes, taking pay cuts or find their entire industries up-ended, such as what is happening in the hospitality and aviation industry.
Not too long ago a pilot took his own life after being retrenched; that is the reality of our times where the uncertainty has created a climate of fear and trepidation.
In these times where Malaysians need reassurance, aid and hope, instead we have politicians saying we need to feel sorry for and grateful to the banks.
I strongly believe that in the end, the last election's results were simply due to people being unhappy enough they decided they needed a change.
What is most disappointing is this current government does not seem to remember that lesson judging by the increasing unhappiness I'm witnessing that is not going to be quelled by our prime minister offering a prayer on national television.
Perhaps, instead, he should be praying for the future of his party because at this rate — between Umno's lack of co-operation and the current Pakatan coalition's determination, I'm not sure Bersatu will last long enough to be more than a tiny footnote in our history books.
If there's something to be said about our current governing politicians, it's that they have now reached the stage of dropping the pretence about actually caring about anyone or anything besides the upcoming election.
Until that happens, expect more GLC appointments, a few party branches (don't ask me which party) imploding and more attempted state government coups.
Politics will never be boring in Malaysia but I wish, dear God how I wish, there were fewer idiots in it. But clown shows will of course attract clowns so what else can we do but grit our teeth and pretend to enjoy the show; at least until the next election.
* This is the personal opinion of the columnist.
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