June 14, 2006

Volcano Erupts

Posted in Malaysia at 12:33 am by egalitaria

I am missing in action for a couple of days and voila, the simmering volcano for the past months suddenly decides to erupt.

Dr. M came into premiership in 1981. I was born in 1982. That means for my whole life until Pak Lah came into the picture, I've only known one Prime Minister. As a child, I never questioned Dr. M's authority and decisions in the country. He was always the towering leader, THE towering personality that Malaysians were to have clamoured after as role model.

Then came along Pak Lah, successor and some felt could act as soothing balm to the inciting remarks made previously by his ex-boss. Singapore especially would be able to sigh in relief, with Pak Lah as the more subdued and placid man. They made no reservations in saying they welcomed the new PM with smiles.

Pak Lah comes along, gives his promises in a wonderful speech laced with big words and bigger concepts. He wins a great big mandate from his people. The citizens love him because he wants to fight corruption. Indeed, he makes headlines with several people like Eric Chia. Oh yes, indeed corruption is about to be weeded out, everybody believes and pats him on the back, as well as each other for choosing the right man to lead the country (not like they had a choice, you see).

Fast-forward many months. Any other new corruption cases? How about those reported to the ACA? Does anyone see any headway made with other cases? Anyone jailed? Anyone called up? Anyone sued for bankruptcy? No, because the ACA needs "evidence". Their definition of "evidence" for corruption is so narrow it's hardly possible for anyone to report it. Plus, shouldn't the onus of proving corruption be upon the investigating agency, instead of the civilian who is seeking justice? 

I digress.

Little issues start popping out, like those irritating moles that you have to hit with a hammer in video arcades. You have the AP issue, where two men are the sole distributors of Approved Permits for vehicles. They don't need to work in any other employment. Their jobs when filling out forms? "AP-holder". Ooh, that kind of job certainly requires a lot of skill and energy does it not?  Big blow up.

And then our national carmaker Proton decides that its MV-Agusta is a liability and sells it off for 1Euro. That's less than RM5. And the company that bought over MV-Agusta apparently was set up for the sole reason of making this purchase. Very fishy indeed.

Of course you have the whole bridge and sand fiasco. We don't have the full information on international deals and affairs, so I won't say more, except that this was a pet project of Dr M's as everyone knows, and by Pak Lah abandoning it, it rubbed our ex-premier up the wrong way. When you ruffle someone's feathers the wrong way it just begs for a flaring up, a snarling, if you would like.

Dirty linen is being washed in public, and it is interesting this time for the opposition and other NGO groups to see the big display. I personally think Malaysian politics is an entire wayang on its own. No need to pay money to get entertainment in the cinema anymore these days. All you have to do is switch on the computer and you are watching the biggest movie of all time. Plus, the best part is that it is a combination of multiple movie genres: Comedy, Action Flick, Horror, Adventure. 

Now how's that for good value.  

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