Monday, May 31, 2021

Bread for the People

1. I have mentioned in one of the recent postings that the uneven treatment of people breaking the Covid-19 Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) brings back memories of class struggle of the past. 

2. The struggle that pitched the ordinary people against the ruling class. On the side of the suppressed masses were the thinkers, poets, writers and dreamers. The ruling elites had the political power, money, the army and the propaganda machine. 

3. The French people might not have bread to eat but they had the likes of Voltaire and Jean Jacques Rousseau to speak up for them and keep their spirit alive. With their philosophical views and passionate writings, they brought about changes by abolishing the class division and other chaos in the country. 

4. The French elites were so detached from reality (or just didn't care) that, when the powerful Queen Marie Antoinette was told that the people had no bread to eat, she said they could eat cakes. 

5. Then on 14 July 1789, the French people stormed a medieval armory-cum-political prison known as the Bastille and triggered the French revolution. Marie Antoinette and her husband, King Louis XVI, were put on trial, found guilty and had their heads chopped off. 

6. I'm sure Prime Minister Mahiaddin Md. Yasin, being the representative of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, had read the French history and would make sure that when the two-week lockdown resumes tomorrow, the people have enough bread to eat. I don't think the rakyat are expecting to be served cakes or beef of any type. 

7. We may not have the eloquence of Voltaire and Jean Jacques Rousseau but we have the social media at our disposal. We can express our views, expose injustices and call for change. 

8. Mahiaddin, Hamzah Zainuddin and Saifuddin Abdullah can use their vast power to cow the people or even incarcerate them, but truth will prevail. The social media has no editor that they can order around. 

9. It's a level playing field. It favours not the king nor the pauper. Whoever plunges into it will be subjected to the same bouquets and brickbats. 

10. For those brave souls who are here in Malaysia (as opposed to those who live abroad or are fugitives from Malaysian laws), do be careful. Please respect the laws, ethics and customs of the country. Remember the saying, there are many ways to skin a cat. 

Thank you.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Tajuddin Isn't the Only Embarrassment

A Kadir Jasin


1.The swift sacking of Tajuddin Abdul Rahman as the Chairman of Prasarana Malaysia Berhad is the government's way of pacifying the people following Monday's first ever LRT train crash that injured more than 200 passengers.


2. The light rail transport (LRT) system for Kuala Lumpur and the Klang Valley has been in operation for 23 years, carrying some 800,000 passengers a day.


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3. Tajuddin's insensitive, amateurish comments at Tuesday's press conference had added insult to injury for the victims and riled up the social media.


4. The Umno warlord was widely criticised for his uncouth comments and treatment of the journalists with many blaming the Prime Minister, Mahiaddin Md. Yasin @ Muhyiddin, for appointing him to the job.


5. Tajuddin’s firing was done by Finance Minister, Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz, via a one-paragraph letter dated May 26. Prasarana is under the purview of the Finance Ministry.


6. There was a chorus of condemnation against the Prime Minister when Tajuddin's appointment was announced on last May 13. Mahiaddin was accused of committing political corruption for using Government-linked companies to buy support of Members of Parliament.


7. Tajuddin might have made an absolute ass (as in donkey) of himself at the PC but the joke is actually on the person who appointed him.


8. Alas, Tajuddin isn't the only embarrassment in the Perikatan Nasional Government. Many among Mahiaddin's hundred odd appointees to the Cabinet, the GLCs and as deputy ministers are as bad or even worse than the Pasir Salak MP.


9. This is to be expected because the appointments were not based on merits but merely to have as many MPs as possible on the government's side.


10. It’s interesting to see Umno’s reaction to Tajuddin’s humiliation. This Perak politician is an important member of the party. He is a member of its Supreme Council and was only recently appointed its Election Director.


11. Incidentally, Umno President Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had said a few days earlier that it wasn’t fair to blame Umno for the poor performance of the PN Government notwithstanding that many key members of Mahiaddin’s XL Cabinet are from the party.  


Thank you.


Note: Adapted from my Facebook.


About Me

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I was born in 1947 in Kedah. I came from a rice farming family. I have been a journalist since 1969. I am the Editor-in-Chief of magazine publishing company, Berita Publishing Sdn Bhd. I was Group Editor NST Sdn Bhd and Group Editor-in-Chief of NSTP Bhd between 1988 and 2000. I write fortnightly column “Other Thots” in the Malaysian Business magazine, Kunta Kinte Original in Berita Harian and A Kadir Jasin Bercerita in Dewan Masyarakat. Books: Biar Putih Tulang (1998), Other Thots – Opinions & Observations 1992-2001 (2001), The Wings of an Eagle (2003), Mencari Dugalia Huso (2006), Damned That Thots (2006), Blogger (2006), PRU 2008-Rakyat Sahut Cabaran (2008), Komedi & Tragedi-Latest in Contemporary Malaysian Politics (2009) and Membangun Bangsa dengan Pena (2009).