“A lot of unhappy things have happened in Penang, the same in Selangor”.
Dr Mahathir Mohamad had made his observations off-the-cuff from Bangkok in late January (see screenshot, Bernama report).
In mid-April, like Rip van Winkle awakening from slumber, the Aliran past president decides now to make a hue-and-cry about Dr M’s statement.
Whereas the ex-premier was succinct (two sentences, 46 words), P. Ramakrishnan penned an open letter 1,888 words long to defend his Pakatan heroes. Lim Guan Eng’s style appears to have rubbed off on Mr Rama.
Rama’s open letter appeared in FMT yesterday, in Anwar Ibrahim’s blog, Lim Kit Siang’s blog and elsewhere.
In his letter to Dr M, Rama asks “what have the BN achieved during their long tenure in office except undermining our unity and keeping the people apart?”
Rama considers Dr M’s throwaway line – “If we allow the situation [of Pakatan rule in Penang and Selangor] to deteriorate badly, it will be difficult to repair” – as a “rambling” statement, “ridiculous and garrulous”, and “sweeping claims that are without merit”. (Helen’s comment: Shades of Zairil, see HERE).
He proceeds to compliment Selangor and Penang on their freedom of information. (Helen: Oh really? And Selangor Times is the paragon of media fairness?)
The Selangor and Penang exco have publicly declared their assets, Rama boasted … (Helen: Not quite true. I logged on to the state government portal and the Selangor exco’s assets declaration were not accessible).
Read also, ‘Selangor MB declares his salary but no info on his assets‘ (The Star, 16 March 2009)
Meanwhile, the Penang exco asset declaration was only made in January this year. That’s a whole 47 months after Lim Guan Eng’s administration took office in Penang.
A most lengthy interim, wouldn’t you say? They had 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 in which to fulfill their promise of transparency. What took them so long?
Rama also brought up the Penang government doling out RM100 to senior citizens the last three years.
Rama claims that “the very thought of [the angpow] appreciation really warms the hearts of these people”.
Hmm, the trishaw peddler in the photo above doesn’t look all that thrilled to be receiving his RM20 cash handout from the Cheap Minister.
Nonetheless too much brown-nosing can sometimes backfire to hilarious effect. The unintended turn of phrase (below) from Rama is really funny!
“Every voter who dies in Penang and Selangor is given RM1,000 and RM2,500 respectively for funeral expenses.”
Hahahaha. Vote at your own peril?
“This assistance is greatly appreciated, especially by the poor. For the first time a voter receives something very specific and substantial when he or she dies. This had never happened under BN rule,” says Rama elaborating on his praise of Pakatan’s bizarre generosity to entice the electorate to the polling booth.
Finally, after 1,750 words, the reason for Rama’s paean to Pakatan is revealed:
“All this caring and giving [by Pakatan Penang & Selangor] must make a great impact on the people. If given more time there will be other good policies that will benefit the people and perhaps make it difficult for the BN to make any headway in the future.
“Is that what is worrying you, dear Tun? Is this what you meant when you sounded the warning to the BN, ‘If we allow the situation to deteriorate, it will be difficult to repair’?”
Rama stepped down as Aliran president a few months ago but remains an exco member. His open letter to Mahathir was carried in the Aliran website under the title ‘Is the Tun hallucinating?‘
Aliran is supposed to be a non-partisan NGO championing the cause of social justice. But they behave more like a wannabe political party diligently canvassing for Pakatan, don’t you think?
Related: DAP melangkah ke Johor
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Divert: In the interest of streamlining discussion threads, it is appreciated that readers who wish to add your say should leave a comment at ‘Straight from the Hosanna’s mouth, haw-haw-haw‘ where there is an ongoing forum.