APRIL 22 — Heavyweights from both sides of the political divide are descending upon Hulu Selangor. And what is happening in Hulu Selangor indeed steals the attention of the entire nation.
In the midst of the electoral campaign, a string of issues pop up. But with the leaders, both from BN and the opposition pact busily engaged in the by-election in Hulu Selangor — another one in Sibu on the way — and with all the time and resources invested in politicking, how many will actually be bothered about the more important issues?
This is democracy in its most mystical form: Politicians claim that they need an electoral mandate to bring good life to the people!
That said, our living qualities and conditions have not improved because of the frequent elections and by-elections.
During the campaign period, a female student was raped in a school in Rawang; a teenage girl on motorbike was sprayed with pepper mist, abducted and later raped in Teluk Intan, Perak; and there was an attempted rape at a public toilet at the Komtar bus station in Penang.
While social security is the obligation of the federal government, the state governments cannot be spared from their responsibilities.
Former Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Khir Toyo declared the state as a developed state free of illegal squatters. But some areas in Hulu Selangor today are still denied utility supply; Tamil primary schools in estates are still without electricity supply; while supermarkets are non-existent in Batang Kali.
Perhaps Hulu Selangor voters can take this opportunity to question the two governments (federal government and state government) what they have done to Hulu Selangor and other places during the past 50 years and two years respectively they are in power.
Since taking office as the country’s prime minister about a year ago, Datuk Seri Najib Razak has unveiled the Government Transformation Programme as well as the New Economic Model, while voicing his aspirations for a high-income nation by 2020. But without meaningful reforms instilled into our politics, can we actually create a knowledge-based economy?
The high-income nation status is much anticipated, indeed, but before our incomes can increase we have seen postage tariffs rising by 100 per cent and the fact that 40 per cent of Malaysian families still make less than RM1,500 a month.
As the National Economic Consultative Council has said, Malaysians are still unable to wean themselves from government subsidies, assistance or even dependence on special privileges.
If we do not expedite reforms, we will be rendered helpless when government debts are escalating over the next few years.
While we are waiting for the effects of KPI, the NKRA and 1 Malaysia to take shape, perhaps Najib should look into more aggressive actions to bring about genuine reforms.
Many people still hold an excessively lenient attitude towards the Pakatan state government in Selangor. Some say they feel happy seeing their reduced water bills each month, along with other goodies such as allowances for newborns and university grants.
Nevertheless, we haven’t seen notable improvements in local government services as well as infrastructure over the past two years.
And after the Home Ministry has turned down MBPJ’s application to set up an auxiliary police unit, we do not see any follow-up action in the state government’s neighbourhood crime prevention initiative.
If the public are so easily contented with what they are having now, how do we expect the Pakatan state government go further from here?
Election victory or a respectable track record? Perhaps Pakatan should give what the voters want a serious thought. — mysinchew.com
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified.
50 years vs 2 years — Lim Sue Goan