Thursday, March 13, 2008

Badawi not keen to drop the NEP

Quoted from the Straits Times of Singapore, March 11 2008:
... Flanked by BN component party leaders at a press conference yesterday, he played down the failure to obtain a two-thirds majority in Parliament. When first asked about it, he retorted:
"In what way is it so vital?", "As far as we are concerned, we are not so crazy to be wanting to get two-thirds".

Hmmm... that's strange, perhaps Badawi and his advisors are having a major blonde moment. We will all recall that BN fought tooth and nail, dragged the opposition contenders names through the mud with media blitz, not to mention the numerous quipps by BN contenders that 2/3ds majority is in hand... which later turned into... if we don't get 2/3ds majority, the people will suffer the consequences.

Furthermore, this comment by Badawi is certainly not in line with the more level headed MCA President: "We never thought the outcome would be like this. We will not blame the voters. We will take note of the strong message the voters have sent us this time and at the same time, we will deliver what we have promised the people".

Much better, it's obvious that some people have learned their lesson... but the target was really UMNO, not MCA.

But the remark by Badawi is shocking, it shows that UMNO still believes they are all powerful and unaffected by their dismal results and poor public approval ratings. So it looks like little is going to change on that front. Guess we will just have to handover the entire elections in 4 years time to the opposition, provided they perform - which there is no reason why they shouldn't.

Worst of all, Badawi indicated that, Quote: "He did indicate, however, that he would not do away with the remnants of the New Economic Policy (NEP), which many had deemed pro-Malay".

This is strange, I think we can all recall that Badawi was not long ago, for the systematic dismantling of the NEP. But today, he changes his story. Why? Best guess, Badawi is playing the racial card (like the rest of his UMNO colleagues). Now that they have lost favor with the Malays, he seems top be offering them a reason to come back, and he thinks that by singing songs of old, the NEP, that they will support him? Guess again.

Just today Badawi warned the DAP that dismantling the NEP in Penang will bring about economic strife to the Malays in Penang, and Lim Guan Eng will be fanning racial tensions because the Malays will be marginalised.

So who is sewing the seed of anger in the hearts of people?

All Guan Eng is doing is putting a stop to the NEP in terms of government tenders and ensuring that government tenders are open for all. How is this removing Malay rights? Besides, this has been a highly unpopular policy with the non-Malays, and these days Malays alike.

Besides, in spending public monies, shouldn't the tender be open to all? And not question whether you are Bumiputra or Non-Bumiputra, and whether 30% of your workforce is made up of Bumiputras. Perhaps this is why we have sub-standard build quality, town planning and so forth. Because the contractors, some Malay company knows that regardless of what they do, they are promised the contract under the NEP. How will we progress this way? How can we be world class?

Shouldn't the contract be awarded to the company presenting the best quality at the lowest price? These days, if you ever spoke to anyone having dealings with government departments, you'd come to understand that things, be it services, tangible items and so on, are purchased with taypayers money at highly inflated prices.

Just last year, the local papers covered the Auditor General's report which highlighted the purchase of numerous things at ridiculous prices. ie. Screwdriver set = RM300+ (real value RM30), 2 pcs. 3.2 megapixel digital cameras = RM8,000+ (real value RM1,500). Yet they are purchased, and someone is making a lot of money in between. That series of articles were quickly stopped after 3-4 days of reports.

Therefore, the DAP's idea of practicing open tenders in Penang is definately a good way forward for better management of government expenses and hence public funds.

So, the Prime Minister who claims that he is a "PM for All", is really just a fallacy, because his actions speak volumes of what his true intentions are - and that of UMNO.

UMNO should really stop being a spoiled sport and not fan racial sentiments and let the Opposition do what they promised the very people who voted for them. Unless, of course, UMNO is afraid that it might actually work out.

UMNO really needs to reinvent itself and offer the Malays something more without denying the poorer Malays opportunities, and the rest of the minority races as well.

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