Sunday, 29 July 2012

Have we become a ‘sick’ nation? - Awang Abdillah

The Pakatan government when elected must immediately draw up a plan to curb further deficits and control future national expenditures or go for surplus budgets.

We are now living in politically stressful environment. Since 1981 the scourge of abuses of political power notably corruption has thrived well under the authoritarian governments of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and now Najib Tun Razak.

Not only are these gross malpractices thriving well to this day, they have also established themselves as “the norm” in the Malaysian system of governance.

We now have had over 30 years of bad governance and Malaysia has reached a critical stage so much so that it is now considered to be a ‘sick’ nation in South East Asia.

Najib continues to announce unreasonable psychological moves to camouflage his hollow economic models.

He tops this up with elements of violence to scare those perceived as his enemies.

It is also not surprising to note that on the many occasions when he floated all kinds of rebranded laws there were little changes to the legal provisions.

Let’s not forget his signature ‘flip-flops’. His indecisiveness has led to conflicting directions.

Hence, I believe the Najib, as Prime Minister of Malaysia is incapable of continuing to hold such office.

National debt at critical levels
He must be removed and that also includes displacing him as president of Umno.

The best route now for the people of Malaysia however is to change the Umno-led Barisan Nasional government to a Pakatan Rakyat administration.

Only then can Malaysians reform the current political system.

The change of government will enable an elected Pakatan government to investigate the gross malpractices committed by the Umno-BN federal government since 1981 until now.

I personally am looking forward to a Pakatan government that will investigate the billions in financial losses suffered by Bank Negara in speculation activities in the London forex market in 1992-1993.

This was done upon the directive of Mahathir, who was the premier at that time.

Mahathir had gambled away billions of Bank Negara foreign exchange to buy the British pound with the belief that the currency would rise. Instead the British pound fell when the British government devalued its currency.

The actual losses were never revealed by Bank Negara.

I am also wanting to see a Pakatan government that will curb the escalating national debt. Malaysia’s national debt is now reaching a critical level.

‘Pakatan can do a full audit’
The Pakatan government when elected must immediately draw up a plan to curb further deficits and control future national expenditures or go for surplus budgets.

Voting in a Pakatan government in the coming 13th general election would also be a nod to a full audit investigation into the inflow and outflow of funds of the Employees Provident Funds (EPF) from 1981 until today.

The EPF Board is a government public body that manages the workers’ compulsory life savings fund in the country.

Under the EPF Act, the workers as well as their respective employers are required to make monthly contributions into the savings accounts of the former. Over the years millions of employees have contributed billions of ringgit to EPF.

As at June 2010, the total savings deposits was reported at RM407 billion.

However the EPF has now become the main source of domestic borrowings by the federal government.

And over time the role of the EPF as the traditional primary lender to the government has been abused to serve the personal interests of the Umno political masters.

Awang Abdillah is a political analyst, writer and FMT columnist

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