16 February 2012

Time the government woke up

From The Malaysian Insider http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/opinion/article/time-the-government-woke-up/


I like what Dr Kamal has written. If you're in a hurry, just read the bolded bits for the gist of the article.

And yes, leaders of the Malaysian government of the day, many of the thinking Rakyat are not anti-govt, and we voice our frustrations not merely for the sake of it, but we are entitled to a properly functioning and accountable government. We vote, we pay taxes (plenty of it - Customs dept just said they collected a record amount of revenue last year from among others, taxes on vehicles. Why are imported cars so expensive in Malaysia??? ).

This country belongs to all Malaysians.

FEB 16 — To the government of the day, please get your priorities right.

Stop planning a policy to tell Malaysians which doctor to go to, and how many times to get sick in a year. Your time would be better spent sending some “I am just somebody’s wife” home to her husband. 

I still am clueless as to why she is so indispensable to the government. As a matter of fact, Malaysians did not even vote for her in 2008. 

The PM should take note of his previous predecessor’s style of management. I remembered ministers, mentris besar, even deputy prime ministers sacked, or made to resign from their much coveted positions, whether they deserved it or not.

Correct me if I am wrong but I have not heard any reassuring statement from the government vis-a-vis this somebody’s wife, except the fact that they had appointed an independent auditor to audit the company’s accounts about two months back.

Just as a reminder to the wise, keeping silent on this issue is anything but elegant and ignoring it will only fuel the angry sentiments of the rakyat today. Already the children — sorry, I mean the company directors — have said it’s business as usual and they do not think it is wrong to use taxpayers’ money to buy vehicles, properties in Singapore of which some were under their names.

This is, yes, referring to the same taxpayers’ fund which was meant to be used for breeding cows to feed the nation.

Such arrogance.

And please back off from the EPF. It is our retirement and savings fund. If the “investment” is indeed guaranteed by the government why won’t the banks take it? Are the banks stupid or is the government assuming we the rakyat are?

As for me, I have no trust in the federal territories minister who cannot even keep KL roads clean, with the city still lacking in good signage, with uninvestigated allegations of corruption during the fasting month involving dishing out licences for stalls at pasar Ramadan. The potholes in KL speak volumes of his ability to properly manage Kuala Lumpur and I am uncomfortable with him helming the project worth billions of ringgit from the EPF.

He is lucky if it is just me who feels that way. 

Instead of coming up with a scheme for the EPF, why don’t you direct your energy to planning a better future for Malaysian degree holders, instead of churning them out on auto-pilot?

I was flabbergasted to find out we are producing some 12,000 nurses a year when the country (public and private) only requires about 2,000 per year. Please tell me that this is deliberately done, because if not then somebody has been sleeping on the job.

Countries like Australia and the UK cannot seem to have enough of them, but here we have an oversupply of undertrained, unemployable nurses that no one, and no other countries seem to want. 

What happened to our Malaysian Qualification Agency that has been entrusted to accredit private colleges?
Why would we need a separate Higher Education Ministry if they cannot even monitor the number and quality of graduates churned out by public institutions?

Before, we had an oversupply of religious teachers. Now nurses. Soon doctors? 

What are you actually doing? Can the government please wake up?

And on February 7, 2012 The Star carried a report and I quote: “The Health Ministry is working on creating vacancies at government hospitals to absorb the large number of unemployed graduate nurses.”

To paraphrase a Malay saying, “wah wah banyak cantik?”

What kind of message are you sending out to the public — that it is okay not to be competitive and market oriented because the government will eventually absorb you whether you are good or not? 

So almost everybody wins. The PTPTN, money-making private colleges with unmarketable graduates, as well as the graduates who according to one report quoted poor English-language skills and lack of interest in science as reasons for their unemployment.

So, the losers will be the tax-paying rakyat, who has to pay to support the burgeoning and otherwise uninterested civil service. And judging by how things are, they will increase the tax and come up with new schemes every time they absorb unemployable graduates to cover operating costs.

Enough is enough.

Rather than drain our money away why not bring the rakyat into the decision-making process by holding referendums like they do overseas? Let us vote and give out piece of mind on PPSMI (teaching of science and mathematics in English), 1 Care, or whether we should allow our EPF savings to be used to finance a multibillion ringgit housing deal.

Are you worried that we may just veto your decisions?

I am not against the government nor am I anti-establishment. I am just pro-commonsense and am sick of the array of nonsense they serve us day after day.

Maybe we should all honk our horns when we drive near Parliament — you know, just to wake them up and remind them that their time is almost up.

Because it’s either they wake up or move out.

By Dr Kamal Amzan

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