Saturday 25 August 2012

The art of selective listening - Selena Tay

Have the people of Kelantan been victimised because of their vote for PAS? So when will the oil royalty payments be made to them?

Recently Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has set up a committee to look into the oil royalty payment issue of Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang. In fact, this committee is only to appease the Kelantanese in view of the ever-impending 13th general election.

And just so that it is not so obvious, Terengganu and Pahang have been added in for good measure.

A coalition of 58 NGOs have held a round-table discussion and have come up with a resolution saying that the federal government has to pay up the oil royalties to the Kelantan government without further delay. These NGOs have urged the federal government to quit stalling and forget about the said committee.

PAS vice-president Salahuddin Ayub has mentioned that the PM has failed to honour the agreement made between the Kelantan state government and Petronas in 1975 made during the second PM’s tenure.

This was when DAP MP Lim Kit Siang, then aged 34 had posed a futuristic question in Parliament pertaining to the oil royalty payment. The BN federal government had then replied that the oil royalty payment would accordingly be paid to the Kelantan state government.

But as the federal government holds the purse-strings, the Kelantan government is powerless although the federal government has no right to withhold payments. Therefore the Kelantan government has initiated legal action against the federal government to obtain what is rightfully theirs after all avenues for negotiation have fallen through.

Earlier this year when the PM was in Sabah, he had told the Sabahans that Kelantan is the poorest state.
Thus when the PM visited Kelantan after his Sabah visit, the Kelantanese had held up a banner mocking him, saying: “Berilah kami bayaran royalti minyak. Kami rakyat miskin. Kami juga rakyat 1Malaysia.” (Please pay us the oil royalties. We are poor citizens. We are also citizens of 1Malaysia.)

Have the people of Kelantan been victimised because of their vote for PAS? So when will the oil royalty payments be made to them?

Water shortage

Now it is the turn of Selangorians to be victimised via the threat of water shortage. But just as equally worse is the foreigners threat. As in the case of Sabah, PM Najib should also set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to look into the foreigners issue in Selangor and KL.

As the age-old saying goes: ‘Prevention is better than cure’. Listed below are the towns or localities where there is a large presence of foreigners, some legal and some illegal for sure.

In a few cases, even the local Malaysians are severely outnumbered: Kuala Selangor, Hulu Selangor, Ijok, Kg Paya Jaras, Sg. Buloh, Rawang, Kuang, Kundang, Damansara Damai, Bestari Jaya, Wangsa Permai, Selayang (areas near Selayang Mall), Pasar Borong Selayang, Kepong Metro Prima, Serdang, Puchong, Kajang, Klang, Kuala Langat, Hulu Langat, Ampang, Gombak, Segambut (KL), areas surrounding Jalan Chow Kit (KL), areas surrounding Jalan Raja Laut (KL), areas surrounding Pasar Seni (KL), and areas surrounding Kota Raya (KL).

The PM has always said that he is listening to the voice of the rakyat. So will there be a RCI for Selangor and KL in regards to the issue of the influx of foreigners to our shores?

This problem is a big headache and before we the citizens in Selangor and KL suffer the same effect as what the Sabahans are going through now, we must highlight this issue by writing to the mainstream papers.

We can also let the PM know about this problem via Twitter and Facebook as he is big on these two medium of communication.

Clean electoral roll

And what about the electoral roll? Has the electoral roll been cleaned up yet? What about the voices of 250,000 genuine Malaysians on April 28? Will the electoral roll be cleaned up before the general election is held?

Clearly it can be seen that the PM will only listen to certain selective issues.

Another issue is the feedlot fiasco. Will the money that is being used to fund this project be returned to the government?

And what about the issue of the RM888 billion of illicit money outflow that has been brought up in Parliament by Kuala Selangor PAS MP Dzulkefly Ahmad?

Suffice to say, we or at least this columnist and the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) MPs who represent a large segment of Malaysian voters are still waiting for answers to the above questions.

Is the administration in Putrajaya only looking into matters pertaining to BN’s interest while other issues that do not concern them are conveniently ignored and forgotten?

Issues such as open tender, transparency and accountability still need to be answered by the government while the hudud issue is still hyped up unnecessarily by the BN-controlled media.

Most importantly, the time has come for the PM to provide solid, logical, reasonable and acceptable answers to the questions posed to the federal government by the Pakatan MPs.

In addition to that, the federal government has also rode roughshod over the citizens by bulldozing through unreasonable bills to become laws just because of an overwhelming majority in Parliament which is currently what is happening now.

And that is the great danger of having a weak opposition – laws that are detrimental to the rakyat can be easily passed. And that is why it is imperative to have a strong opposition to provide sufficient check and balance in Parliament so that the BN federal government cannot simply enact any legislation that favours them or gives them a great advantage over the citizens.

Selena Tay is a FMT columnist

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