Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Keep people poor and in debt, and they will be afraid to stand up for rights or justice?

FREEDOM - Well that has been something that Malaysians have not really fully experienced - thanks to the UMNO-led coalition(today the Barisan Nasional) that has 'ruled' in Malaysia ever since independence in 1957. 

The funny thing is that many Malaysians have not just adapted but have also accepted the state of affairs...and some even believe that is all that we deserve... If there are going to be any changes, well we Malaysians really must WANT it and be willing to fight for this...we cannot simply be an 'independent' by-stander, not committed...and doing nothing...

GDP - Is UMNO-BN borrowing to increase spending to increase GDP? Debt RM908.7 Billion, Reserves RM426Billion only?

Well, now there is a lot of 'finger pointing' at Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak - 1MDB, kleptocracy, 'poor' governance, etc...BUT, the fact is that Najib could be very easily removed as Prime Minister - it is the Members of Parliament(wakil rakyat/peoples' representative) that is keeping him in power - the moment that Najib loses the confidence of the majority of the MPs, he cannot anymore remain as Prime Minister - he will have to resign and/or advise the Yang DiPertuan Agung to call for a new elections. 

Then, there is UMNO itself, UMNO members can also get rid of Najib Tun Razak as the President of UMNO...but that too is not happening? 

What about BN component parties - MCA, MIC, Gerakan, Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu(PBB), Parti Rakyat Bersatu Sarawak(SUPP), Parti Liberal Demokratik(LDP),Parti Progresif Penduduk Malaysia(MYPPP), Parti Bersatu Sabah(PBS), Pertubuhan Pasok Momogun Kadazandusun Bersatu(UPKO), Parti Demokratik Progresif(PDP),  Parti Rakyat Sarawak, ... Well, have these 'independent' BN component parties all lost its independent voice - silence means, the consent to all that Najib and the BN government is doing? UMNO dominance and control within the BN looks like the new reality - and its various component parties seem to have simply lost its own identity...freedom..independence?

Wakil Rakyat(peoples' representative) - MPs are peoples' representative and as such what they say and do should reflect the voice of the people? But alas, how many of these 'representatives' even have consultations and/or discussions with the people they allegedly represent? How many even provide information to the people of their constituencies? What is the problem about having a once a month public meeting with your constituents using some town hall, community hall or some other venue  - to simply report back to the people what is going on, to answer simply LISTEN to the views and concerns of the people you are supposed to be representing? [Well, Opposition MPs could say, they could not get the halls and the required permits in BN controlled states, but what about Selangor, Penang and Kelantan?

Well, if you do not have the time to meet the people once a month, well you could start a Blog/Website/FB Page - and keep the people in the know of the main issues, concerns, your opinions, the answers to your Parliamentary questions ....Hello, you are paid a lot being an MP, surely this could be done. Well, some have Blogs/Website ...but they use this to simply post their photos of them shaking hands, handing out 'gifts' and 'bantuan', opening some functions ... Important - but people need more information concerning major issues and concerns, etc...

People are also the problem - because they simply 'vote' without properly considering the candidates or the parties - do they have a history of being 'democratic', fighting for justice and rights,...OR you vote because the leadership of parties picked and chose these candidates? Do you try to meet with your MPs to get information, discuss issues, etc...? Or do you just go to see the peoples' representative to get 'donations' and 'contracts'? 

DEMOCRACY - Well, we claim that we live in a democracy, but the reality is that maybe we are living in an 'autocracy', 'dictatorship' or a 'feudalistic' state? We do not challenge or dare to voice out a different opinion from that of our 'leader' - we just listen and follow? We are 'obedient'...we are 'loyal' - and that is the problem not just in the government, but also in ordinary societies. The style of leadership is no more 'democratic'...and when members question or voice a different opinion, the solution seems to be simple - we expel them as members - usually the leaders do this, and the members simply do not question. Well, in a democratic organisation, there will also be many different opinions (some even against the opinion of the 'supreme' leaders)...there will always be criticism of actions taken and decisions made. But at the end of the day, despite the different viewpoints, criticisms, etc ...they will decide and take a common stand. Seldom, do they get a 100% support...but more than 50% is sufficient, and they do not expel members simply because of the difference of opinions. 

Is our political parties democratic? Well, at the recent UMNO AGM, oddly there seem to have been no different view or opposition to the actions of the leadership? PAS expelled Husam Musa because of his opinions and the wrongdoings he highlighted...and was there even a Disciplinary Hearing? Mahathir's Pribumi party has also been expelling 'leaders'/members who publicly raised questions and criticisms? So, look at the various parties - is it democratic? A party that does not practice democracy may not have the capacity to govern Malaysia in a democratic manner...

FREEDOM - well, that is what everyone is fighting for. But alas, many today may have sacrificed 'freedoms' and even rights in favour of mere survival ...

DEBTS can affect your 'freedom' and desire to struggle for 'rights'. If you end up with large debts, and monthly loan payment obligations, then a worker will not even highlight wrongdoings and fight for better right - Why? For fear of repercussions - loss of employment, overlooked for promotions, etc..UMNO-BN policy of not insisting on regular employment, and allowing unchecked precarious employment(short term contracts, workers supplied by contractors for labour, etc) simply makes this FEAR more ...and, hence a greater loss of FREEDOMS.

Well, this UMNO-BN government is encouraging people to buy OWN houses - take out your EPF(savings for old age) and buy your own house. Now, you can get almost 100% loan - and you get to pay back in 30 years. If you get a RM100,000 house(now very difficult), and you are paying say 5% interest on the loan, well by the time you end up paying your loan, you would have paid 150% interest, and that means you paid RM250,000-00 for the house, and monthly payments is about RM550 roughly - Well, how much monthly income needed for your survival? Minimum wage of RM1,000 - how much for all the other payments - electricity, Indah Water, water, telecommunication, Astro, transportation, etc...Will you finish payment by your retirement age? 

Problem is where will you buy the house? Will you be staying in it? Well, now employment security is gone ...thanks to the government, many people are on short-term contracts, and private companies can end up retrenching you...and finding a new job near the house you purchase is not at all easy these days. Civil servants do get transferred to where the need is, and same to many who are working in private sector. Now, if you are forced to move to another town - then, there is extra accommodation expenditure. Surely, the government knew all this - but alas the reality of ordinary people is not much the government's concern. And the fact that one is burdened by such monthly loan payments makes a person 'docile' - not willing to demand or even claim rights. Well, there you have it - people end up putting themselves in a situation, that makes them indifferent and not bothered...a non-payment of loan payments could result is loss of homes, cars, etc. 

Practically and reasonably, the government should have just build houses for people...and rent it out at a nominal sum. The government should have provided housing loans with a very low interest - hence becoming truly responsible for the people. When one suddenly loses monthly income - government could delay payment, or even re-structure payment. But if you took a loan from an ordinary private bank, you can forget about compassion - not pay, lawyers letter, house seized and auction. Low rental houses really a need especially for civil servants, and poorer Malaysians. Increase financial obligations - and the people will be 'controlled'.

Malaysia was a nation blessed with natural resources and goods - PETROLEUM, RUBBER, TIN, OIL PALM,...and good weather. Remember the British colonial government held from from granting Malaysia independence for a long time because of this...'wealth'...Finally, it handed over the government to the UMNO-MCA-MIC coalition...WHY? Why was that coalition given the power? A good question to ask...had it anything to do with that continuation of the British 'divide and rule' strategy...or more important 'protecting the wealth and businesses' of the British in Malaya? After all, the Malaysian government post-independence did not take back land, property or British businesses? So was it true INDEPENDENCE or was it just handing over power and control to cronnies or 'friends' or people who will protect British interest?

There was no dismantling of unjust oppressive laws the British left - like the laws 'weakening' and 'controlling trade unions? The old Sedition Act 1948 still is there and is still being used.

Why would they still maintain these policies and laws, that restrict freedoms, so long after Independence? Well, maybe it worked...and it certainly has kept UMNO, and now the UMNO led coalition, Barisan Nasional, in power. Further, if we look around, many of these leaders and their families have become rather wealthy...Comparatively, many Malaysians are still poor...and ultimately, the government, has admitted that financial assistance is needed for families earning less than RM4,000 monthly. [Beware the BR1M - because it is not a right in law, and depends solely on the discretion of the government of the day. It should be made into a right in law - then it becomes a right for all Malaysians]

The government administers the people's monies - but alas, now we continue to hear how a lot of public funds have also been wrongly taken by individuals for their own benefits - Corruption, Kleptocracy, Other Abuses of power, etc ....(Just have a look at even the Auditor Generals Report - and wonder why even after being highlighted, not much real actions have been taken against the guilty individuals...) The failure of government to take strict actions against the corrupt, especially in government, only makes the problem even bigger...Blame and responsibility would ultimately lie with the Prime Minister, the MPs that kept him in power, and of course the people who by their votes brought about this..

Now, the UMNO-BN government is slowly removing subsidies, increasing tols...increased cost of living. 

Worker wages, rights and 'weakened' unions were all put in place allegedly to make Malaysia more attractive and draw in foreign companies to come open their factories - So, many Malaysians sacrificed a lot and accepted these low wages and the state of affairs, and the government tried to keep cost of living low - so people could live decent lives. 

But these all are changing very fast under UMNO-BN, as now it moves even faster to adopt more and more neo-liberal(capitalism) policies - "Whatever you want you pay for it...if you cannot afford it, then too bad". Remember, the biggest advocate of neo-liberalism was the US, and the model has clearly failed which the emergence of a new class of poor and homeless. The policy does not care for those who cannot compete...the winners of the 100 meter race gets medals, and the others get nothing. 

Well, such 'neo-liberalism' thinking may be OK where all of the citizens are already well-to-do, and so some 'winners of the rat race' can get more and more...But reality is that in a human community, it will not work - for human beings are diverse in skills, abilities, capacities ...and our responsibility must always be for the well-being of ALL - not just ourselves and/or our families. Governments should ensure this, and as such the focus must always be for the poor and marginalised - to ensure that their livelihood is as equitable as others - but the UMNO-BN seems not to understand this. Look at BR1M - logic dictates greater assistance for the poorer families and individuals - so this practice of giving the same sum for all families earning RM3,000 or less is illogical.

Uplifting the socio-economic status of the poor in Malaysia - somehow the UMNO-BN government failed to grasp that concept...look around you. Welfarism or monetary payouts works for flood and natural disaster victims - but for an effective upliftment of the poor, one needs to give people the ability, skills and assistance so that they can themselves later improve their socio-economic position and will be no more be dependent on welfare or monetary assistance...

All in all, the UMNO-BN government, in governing Malaysia, has forced most Malaysians into poverty or financial instability - and so, they will continue to 'depend' on this government's welfaristic practices... 

They have encouraged Malaysians to be in debt - with the encouraging of people to buy homes, cars, etc ...on loan. A person who have much monthly loan obligations will be less likely to take RISKS which is crucial if we want to gain more rights and liberties, voice out and stop injustices and violations of rights, if we want to 'check and balance' leaders of government, etc...

Now, for those willing to speak up...government just created more THREATs - well, there is the Sedition Act, Peaceful Assemble Act, Criminal Defamation, Targeted Enforcement of Laws, Multimedia Act, Censorship laws --- well, the threat is targeted to almost everything ...including social media (even pressing 'Like' can get you in trouble)...Siti Noor Aishah Atam is in jail for having in her possession 12 books that were not banned in Malaysia. According to the government, Malaysians in this democratic country must be QUITE and accept things...your democratic right is the ability to VOTE once every 5 years...

One indicator of the failure of government is CRIME - well, is it increasing especially thefts and robbery (Well, UMNO-BN was smart - so no more statistics of crime - just some crime index?? Very smart. Well, then let us look at the number of persons in prison - well, in 2016, it was revealed that there are 59,600 in prisons (Does that even include the possibly thousands under Detention Without Trial laws - ABOLISH POCA AND DETENTION WITHOUT TRIAL LAWS (38 Groups) - 142 juveniles have been arrested under the Prevention of Crime Act (POCA))

59,600 convicts in prisons in this country...Director of Inmate Management of the Prison Department, SAC Nordin Muhamad said of the total, 71.3 percent of those in prison are Malays and 66 per cent of them are between 22 and 40 years old.
59,600 persons in prison in a country of about 30 million - That is like 1 or 2 number of voters in a Parliamentary Constituency - and what 71.3% of prisoners are Malays, in a country where 50% of the population are Malay? Well, is that an indicator of the failure of UMNO-BN...

The special preference provided for in the Malaysian Federal Constitution for Malays and natives of Sabah and Sarawak was meant to uplift the socio-economic condition of ethnic groups that were inequitably lower than primarily the Chinese Malaysians and Indian with all these special allocations, UMNO-BN seems to have desperately failed even with the Malays? Well, or maybe the money and benefits have not been flowing to all persons in the said targeted ethnic groups - because there is certainly an increase of the number of very rich individuals from the said groups - and the rich have been growing richer and richer...

The keeping people poor and always needing the UMNO-BN, was that the strategy? Well, in recent years we have had cases of RM2.6 billion in PM's personal account, alleged loss of billions of ringgit from 1MDB (which strangely the government and 1MDB says that there was no such loss - but several other countries say the opposite like US, Singapore, Switzerland, etc ...) 
Majority are poor...indebted(with personal monthly loan repayment obligation) - so many Malaysians will just not have the 'capacity' to be bothered about other people in Malaysia - or the well-being of ALL Malaysians, and will be too fearful to take force a change in government or the priorities of the government? 

RISK will always be there when people want to CHANGE things ...So, will Malaysians take RISKS...or will they continue to keep UMNO-BN in power for the BR1M money, the chances of getting scholarship, the chance of getting jobs in the civil service, the possibility of getting a 'low cost house', 'small contracts', government 'subsidies', etc...

The failure of UMNO was the lack of questioning amongst the members of UMNO - likewise the failure of BN component parties. They say 'Silence is CONSENT' - so MCA, MIC, Gerakan, ...? Maybe, it is time that the various members of political parties need to re-evaluate their principles and core values, and even their leaders > Are you ready to abandon values and principles for some of your party members becoming Ministers or YBs? 

Yes - FEAR and desire not to do the needful for the betterment of Malaysia (nay...for the betterment of ALL persons in Malaysia) - Is that what you believe in and want?

The UMNO-BN government or persons associated with these parties have made 'insinuations' that there will be repercussions for those who oppose the incumbent, what will you do? 


Some 33,500 convicts in prison because of drug abuse

Some 33,500 convicts in prison because of drug abuse
Of the total, 71.3 percent of those in prison are Malays and 66 per cent of them are between 22 and 40 years old.
KUALA LUMPUR: Some 33,500 of the 59,600 convicts in prisons in this country are because of drug offences and they represent 56 per cent of the total number of prison inmates nationwide.

Director of Inmate Management of the Prison Department, SAC Nordin Muhamad said of the total, 71.3 percent of those in prison are Malays and 66 per cent of them are between 22 and 40 years old.

"What is worrying is the involvement of our citizens in drug abuse. Only 11 per cent of prisoners due to drug offences are foreigners," he said while sitting as a panel member of an anti-drug forum, here today.
The forum organised by the Malay Consultative Council in collaboration with the Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF), the Malaysian Drug Prevention Association (Pemadam) and Utusan Melayu Bhd, was attended by over 100 participants specially invited to find a more effective plan to fight drug abuse.

Meanwhile, principal assistant director (International) of the National Anti-Drug Agency (AADK) Hamizan Haidzir expressed concern over the rising number of drug abuse cases in this country.

In 2016 (last year), the number of arrests for drug offences stood at 30,844 people compared to only 26,000 in 2015 (the previous year).

"Drug abuse is on the rise throughout the world, particularly with the entry of synthetic drugs which have negative effects on the central nervous system."

Hamizan said the authorities will intensify its efforts to fight drug abuse by increasing the frequency of raids on premises with the aim to trace and arrest those involved in drug abuse.

-BERNAMA- Astro Awani, 14/6/2017


Worst off in this situation is the Malay population, I believe. The non-Malays, because they are alienated by the Bumiputra policy has learnt how to survive and even prosper without government assistance or preferences. Well, the 'Bumiputra' preferential policy really helps UMNO-BN, because without that many will not be able to make it in the market - in getting jobs, etc...

UMNO - well, it is a Malay party - and there are only about 50% Malays in Malaysia - but for the past few years, there is no more disclosure of the real number of Malays in Malaysia, as we now suddenly get the Bumiputra figures? 

Well, some of the ethnic groupings in Sabah and Sarawak are really not that happy of being lumped in as Bumiputra? Why? Who really are benefiting from these 'Bumiputra' preferences and allocations? How many Malays - what is the percentage of the total Malay population will this make? How many Kadazans? How many Ibans? How many Penan? 

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