The World Anthem




by Donplaypuks® at

It pains, saddens and grieves me to openly criticize Pakatan leaders, especial those who have somewhat demonstrated that corruption does not have to be an integral part of Malaysian politics and State and Federal Goverments procurement contracts and dealings. This is also the same leadership in Selangor and Penang that, between 2008 and pre-GE 2013 brought in vastly superior (as compared to UMNO/BN) and improved measures of openness, transparency and accountability in their administration, financial dealings and economic programmes. More than that, with their record FDI's and financial surpluses which were never achieved in 51 years (since 1957) under UMNO/BN crookedness, they won the admiration not only of the Auditor-General for good governance, but more importantly, accolades and bouquets from the Rakyat (citizens), including many from non-Pakatan States.

Sadly, since GE 2013, the wheels seem to coming off the chugging trains of the Chief Ministers of Selangor and Penang. Their actions and body language since being voted in for a second term of office are disturbing, and more worryingly, suspicious. They seem to have lost the plot. Incredibly, Pakatan has not organized a united public protest against the staggering increase in cost of living, premature introduction of GST (and a 6% rate) in an undeveloped economy or still leaden-footedness of the Election Commission in correcting and up-dating the electoral roll, not to mention a partisan police and MACC, all directly attributable to PM Najib's inept premiership and UMNO/BN Machiavellian manipulations.

Selangor CM Khalid Ibrahim was a bulwark against the Federal Government's 10-year lobbying and machinations to ram through the Langat 2 Water Treatment Plan Project, a (still) much unwanted and redundant $8 billion proposal (surely for the benefit of a UMNO/BN and their cronies) to channel water from Pahang to Selangor, where it rains 365 days a year! He became a folk-hero for standing up to an obscene proposal by Syabas to increase water tariffs in Selangor by 35%, despite not complying with many contractual obligations such as reducing water wastage and pilferage. Puncak and Syabas's $5-$10 million a year CEO and UMNO crony, Rozali Ismail, who was also recently paid an incredible ex-gratia sum of $20 million before GE13, and then had his Chairmanship extended for a further 5 years, had to repeatedly rely on Federal Government bailouts/loans running to over $1 billion to keep Syabas afloat.

Post GE 2013, Khalid is now talking about palaver and smoking the peace pipe with Najib's Government of Thieves about the Langat 2 Plant. More than that, he is proposing to burden the Rakyat with stratospheric pay rises (some as much as 200%-350%) for Exco members and Assemblymen by dishonestly and nonsensically (and non-transparenly) comparing pay for political and state administration jobs with "equivalent" private sector pay scales. (Pray tell, what exactly are the private sector equivalent jobs and pay of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker, who work less than 6 months a year, and Assemblymen who also receive pay as MP's and for directorships in GLC's?). 

Khalid has also demonstrated poor timing and acute insensitivity at this juncture when the masses are reeling from one price hike to another engineered by PM Najib who is pathetically manoeuvring like a cornered rat, to cover up utter maladministration by UMNO/BN for over 30 years, by passing the buck to the Rakyat. PM Najib and his Government of Thieves are in panic and complete disarray over a record National Debt exceeding $540 billion, which doubled during Najib's leadership commencing 2008! They are hoping against hope that some major miracle will bail them out, after being put on international watch by the World Bank, IMF and rating agencies like Fitch. This is a $540 billion public debt that any UMNO/BN will NEVER, I repeat, NEVER, be able to extinguish, and it will burden future generations for a very, very long time!

And Khalid is now proposing to be pally-wally with Najib's criminally inept regime? Wtf is going on??!!

To add insult to injury, now Chief Minister of Penang, Lim Guan Eng has gone out and got himself a brand new $300,000 Mercedes Benz, after having being satisfied with a Camry since 2008! What gives? Do these Chief Ministers think their job is done despite being some distance away from seizing the jewel-in-the-crown, Putrajaya?

No doubt, it's his legal entitlement. But this is the same Lim Guan Eng who in 2008 flayed the UMNO/BN Trengganu Government for its profligacy in buying 14 Mercedes Benz limos for $3.42 million (or about $245,000 per car). As reported on 25/07/2008 in The Edge:

"It is not wise of the Trengganu state government to spend RM3.42 million to buy 14 Mercedes Benz E200 Kompressor limousines, especially at a time when the people are reeling from rising living costs. Instead, moderation should have been exercised. Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, who expressed these views to the press yesterday, however, agreed that the quality of a Mercedes Benz was better than that of a Proton Perdana V6 Executive. The Benz’s maintenance costs were also lower. He said that the Penang state government had cancelled the order for five new Perdanas worth over RM600,000 and decided to use existing vehicles. We decided to make do with what we have to save cost as long as the car can move and reach the destination. Even the state secretary (Datuk Jamaludin Hassan) had complained that the Perdana has incessant gearbox problems and a leaking roof but that should not be an excuse to splurge. They could have even purchased Toyotas. They are the leading car brand in the world, overtaking even General Motors and are much cheaper than Mercedes Benz,” said Lim. He said Umno should practise what it preached. Umno must do something about this. Its leaders are living luxuriously while the people are suffering.”

This is the same Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng who in his usual smarmy brycreemed Pontiff style also preached to UMNO/BN, claiming open admiration for the simple lifestyle of 7 CE Caliph, Umar ibn Abdul Aziz:

"As a leader, He is known to be extremely pious and is disdainful of luxuries. He preferred simplicity, depositing all assets and finery meant for the caliph into the public treasury. He abandoned the caliph's palace to the family of Suleiman and instead preferred to live in modest dwellings. He wore rough linens instead of royal robes, and often went unrecognized Rulers usually appoint people to watch over their subjects."

Hypocrisy and double standards? You betcha!

How then do we take to task Najib and Rosmah for their  $180 million Airforce One abuse of power, when Pakatan's leaders too seem to putting their snouts to the trough and being seduced by glitz and glitter? How do we take the higher moral ground against UMNO/BN, when these Pakatan leaders forget the huge element of service that goes with the job and territory of Chief Ministers and politicians, for which the reward is public respect, admiration, adulation and a place in the history books, not obscene Singapore Minister-like three million dollar a year salaries and entitlement to platinum service?

Lim Guan Eng should not take voter-patience and support for granted. If they can vote him in, they can equally vote him out. And this man, (and some close aides in his administration too), has, in the last year or two, made some major mistakes and embarrassing statements and had to back-track and apologise publicly for them, after UMNO/BN-like, first hotly disputing he had done or said anything wrong. The fiasco over the DAP's Central Executive Election (CEC) last year should put LGE on alert that he is not quite a Mandela, and that in fact he has a long way ago. He has single-handedly given UMNO/BN via the shameless Registrar of Societies (ROS) the very weapons to deregister DAP!

There is also much disquiet in Penang and beyond over some of Lim Guan Eng's decisions over what is perceived as unbridled and rabid real estate development, the environmental costs of which will come home to roost and haunt Penangites in the years to come. There is suspicion that the Chief Minister has been supping with the same conscienceless bunch of tycoons who have been bank-rolling UMNO/BN the last 30 years by wilfully inflating contract costs. Granted that, with an evil and crooked Federal Government hell-bent on undermining and strangling Penang, LGE is having a tough time steering his ship through shark-infested waters. But that goes with the territory! However, he has to be more consultative and transparent, and less appearing to be a Caesar. E.g. If land contra deals have been done with China companies for undersea tunnels and highways at market valuations, then why are they allowed to collect tolls? We are sick and fed-up to the eyeteeth with UMNO/BN (since 1987) illegally and unconstitutionally classifying all Toll Highway contracts under the Official Secrets Act, making instant billionaires of worthless cronies/real traitors and burdening the Rakyat with contractually built-in toll increases (or taxpayer compensation in lieu of) despite a huge increase in highways traffic. And now Guan Eng wants to tread the same path?

The point is also that we continue to believe in Pakatan; our support for it is not diminished by the strange post-GE 2013 behaviour, indiscretion, hypocrisy, insensitivity and PR goofs of some Pakatan Chief Ministers. However, we do not wish to have to choose between the lesser of two evils. We wish to have the best government ever to replace the wayward and thieving regime of UMNO/BN. In that respect, I would quote Umar ibn Abdul Aziz:

"I appoint you a watcher over me and my behaviour. If you find me at fault in word or action guide me and stop me from doing it."

We, the PEOPLE, service notice on Lim Guan Eng and Khalid Ibrahim that we have been watching you. We hereby service notice that your professionalism, honesty and integrity is seriously found wanting. Change or be changed permanently. Do not wear our patience thin! Lim Guan Eng, return the Mercedes or pay for it from your own pocket if you so desperately desire it. And don't ever quote Umar ibn Abdul Aziz ever again. We expect the leaders we support to walk the talk and not indulge in bullshit doublespeak, double standards and ugly, hypocritical behaviour or talkingcock.con. 

Donplaypuks® with the PEOPLE's money, man! You don not need Mercedes Benz and fancy salaries to serve the PEOPLE, if that was your priority in entering politics. If you and your cohorts think that you can get better pay and rewarding jobs in the private sector, please, please RESIGN TO-DAY and apply. Let's see who will rush to employ you at $30,000 and $20,000 a month salaries plus perks, once you are out of Government, and also allow you to determine your own salary increments, bonuses and perks!!


KoSong Cafe said...

Politics is not everybody's cup of tea. While some can become politicians like duck to water, others just do not have the real interest to be a full time politician, especially if a person who prefers a private life.

From the way you criticise the CM and MB of Penang and Selangor respectively, you really should take a dive into politics to show whether you can make it as a politician, since you have challenged them to apply for a top post in the corporate world. In fact, it is easier and more practical for you to show you can lead a Pakatan party or even a new party, instead of them proving to your satisfaction that they could get a top corporate job each. Since LGE is an accountant and Khalid had been a CEO of a plc before, I believe both have no problems proving their worth in the corporate world.

I do not know LGE nor Khalid personally and I doubt they know anything about me, just in case you think I am apple-polishing for something or a blind follower who believes Pakatan leaders can do no wrong. You have valid points about their 'unbecoming' extravagance, but I think some of us expect too much from them, using Mandela as a yardstick or Nik Aziz's exceptional thrift as an example.
I would put them as good leaders in their own way but not great by your standard. Don't forget they were elected by tens of thousands of voters, and we cannot tell what the voters think of their actions now until the next election. Even then, we can never tell for sure because each voter has his or her reason for voting for or against someone.

Donplaypuks® said...

KoSong Cafe

Thanks for your comments.

It's a fact that pay scales and rises in most private sector companies are not determined by employess, but by compensation committees. Certainly, top job pay rises do not and never have averaged 20%-60% per year for 5 years. Also, no way will inexperienced managers who are learning on the job command $20,000 and $30,000 a month salaries within 5 years.

As for Khalid he left Guthries after a big hoohah, and till today there is a $100 million lawsuit hanging over his head about his bank loan over share purchases. So, his record is not as spotless as many think!

LGE got his accounting degree in 1983 and entered full-time politics in 1986. So, he does not have real commercial experience to speak of.

The point is these CM's are indulging in the same nonsense the that many, and they themselves, have been criticizing UMNO/BN for many years. It shows up their hypocrisy. Their feathering their own nests seems wholly inappropriate and insensitive to plight of the masses who are facing hard times.

As for entering politics, I don't think I'm cut out for it. But, public criticism goes with the office and territory of CM's. If they can't take the heat, they should leave the kitchen!

Roti Sunshine said...

We are all farting in the wind as there is no pay and benefits benchmark for elected representatives in Malaysia.

Who should decide their pay and perks? To the ordinary voters a Mercedes S-Class maybe exorbitant. To a top level manager, the same car maybe just reward for a CM. So where do we draw the line?

We are like the 3 blind men touching different parts of the same elephant.

Donplaypuks, what then should be the right car for the CM of Penang? Mind you, the previous car lasted 18 years and LGE isn't going to change car ever so often!

Incidentally, don't compare the pay of a CM with that of a MD from the commercial world. The PM of Australia receives approximately AUD450000 a year while the MD of one of the Top 4 bank receives approximately AUD10 million. Ask the MD of one of the Top 4 banks whether they want to go into politics?

To conclude, unless there is a compensation benchmark for elected representatives, we are all farting in the wind!

Anonymous said...

Sorry LGE. Sorry TSK. You're both pwned!


Anonymous said...

As a corporate person, I don't see anything wrong about what LGE and TSK have done.

If LGE and team have been using cars that's 18 years old and cost heaps in maintenance and repairs, it makes Ringgit-sense to get new cars at competitive price. It'll likely be cheaper in the long run. What LGE should do is to published the financial impact of using 18-year-old cars compare to new cars.

As for TSK, by hiking the salaries of these lawmakers, he is taking the first step towards getting these people to focus on doing their job to serve the rakyat. It is human nature that if your pay is hardly enough to meet your financial needs, you will look for ways to increase your income, instead of just focusing on doing your job well. Hence, the temptation to take bribes and other unauthorised rewards in return for favours. What TSK should do is to publicly make it clear to these lawmakers that he will not tolerate any corrupted practices and will publicly embarass anyone found to be indulging in such practice. Yes, this may be hard to put into practice but it will send a clear message regardless.

It is not a question of bad timing but extremely bad public messaging, in both cases.

Donplaypuks® said...

Anon 2.10 pm/Roti Sunshine

I am not disputing the right of LGE to a new limo. So, after having lectured UMNO about wasting the taxpayers' money on 14 brand new Mercs @ $245,000 each ($3.42 million), why did he order a $300,000 Merc? Why not a brand new and latest Camry or Toyota, which after tax exemption, discounts etc. will cost less than 1/2 of a brand new Merc? Why the stylo-mylo desire, but sham and hypocrisy?

Also, we are talking about Malaysia, NOT CEO's in the western world or Australian PM. Remember also that all these State CM's and Assemblymen also draw salaries and allowances as MP's where relevant.

So, they only work at best, half their time in state affairs. One report has ot that MB Khalid draws some $50,000 per moth with state and MP salaries and allowances. So, with the new increase. he will earn more than the PM!!??

Who determines their pay? Exactly my point. They have voted themselves these stratopheric pay increases. Do employees in the private sector get the right to vote thier own salary increments and bonuses? They should form an independent (of politicians) board comprising persons of integrity from the public and private sector to do this.

No benchmark? First set the KPI's, then study the averages paid in SEA (excluding S'pore which has reached 1st world status. It's as simple as that.

LC renoir said...

I guess one Mercedes IS cheaper than 14 Mercedes and that the same car is probably more expensive today than in 2008. Even so, it's a mistake to buy the car at this present time, when millions of Malaysians are going be hit by BN's GST and all that. Guan Eng is a relatively young politician and probably not politically astute. I think you've a point here.

I've largely stopped writing on politics since the first election "tsunami", figuring that things were going to get better. That was childish optimism on my part. I think it's time to comment again and may I say that it's good to listen to constructive criticism of a party we both support - PAKATAN.

bumi-non-malay said...

All this Chiken feed compared to Najib House Electricity Bil of $7,000,000 many Mercs can be bought?? or Proton if you like this Haram Tax payer funded car??

BN = Barang Naik and the peolpe be wiser to SLAM the $7,000,000 thats $7 million ringgit electricity bil one year alone....with cost rising ...will be $10 Million for Rakyat Ubah corak hidup so that Najib UMNO-BN and cronies enjoy their Sham or we BBB....Bangun Bangkit Bantah!!