Too bad all the people who know how to run the country are busy driving taxicabs and cutting hair.– George Burns, American comedian, actor, singer and writer
Someone in Malaya was talking about a ‘Plan B’ to ensure PKR President Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim becomes the next prime minister.
Whatever this ‘Plan B’ is, Zuraida Kamaruddin, the federal Housing and Local Government Minister, seems to think it involves people who behave like the opposition and bent on toppling the government of the day.
The story behind this call for ‘Plan B’ is the so-called understanding that Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will hand over the premiership to Anwar in June.
However, not only are there doubts as to the existence of the understanding but Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad likes to keep the prime minister-in-waiting waiting on tenterhooks with not a few twists and turns:
“As far as I’m concerned, I have made a promise that I will step down and that Anwar will succeed me,” he told CNBC in an interview in Bangkok, Thailand. He said he would step down as prime minister within three years, because the government needs three years to reduce Malaysia’s debt from 80 percent of gross domestic product to 54 percent.
That was on June 22 last year, and within three years could mean this coming June (as promised) or it could also be the end of the three year period.
One can imagine Anwar counting three years on his fingers!
Hardly a month past, on Aug 1 Dr Mahathir reiterated his promise to hand over reins to Anwar but before that he wanted to make sure the country is back on an even keel.
“It may be two years, it may be three years, I don’t know,” he said, and then adding he had met with several members of the opposition who had expressed support for him to complete a full term as prime minister.
He didn’t say much about those who were supporting him until on Nov 22 when he said he was prepared to face a vote of no confidence as he believed he had strong support: “All I know is PAS also said to support me, thank you. Umno said they also support me, thank you. I did not know who else did not support me, but if they did not support me they can always pass the resolution of no confidence towards the prime minister.
Then on Dec 10, he said: “As far as I’m concerned, I’m stepping down and I’m handing the baton to him. If people don’t want him that is their business…”
Asked if a handover could come in December 2020, Dr Mahathir said: “We’ll look at that when the time comes.”
On top of all that, there were those who openly said they wanted Dr Mahathir to complete his term. Not a few of these people are MPs and assemblymen of Anwar’s own party.
These are politicking at its best and they come at the expense of services rendered to the people.
If Anwar seems quite capable of keeping a sane front in public, some lieutenants of his aren’t as cool and these seem to be the people who were talking about ‘Plan B’.
“It is a democratic world. Anybody can do anything they like but it is sad to see that though we have become a government, we still want to go around the streets. Looks like they still cannot behave like the government of the day,” said Zuraidah, rather mildly.
Veteran journalist Datuk A Kadir Jasin was less diplomatic though: Berhenti cakap politik, buat kerja. (Stop politicking, just do your work)
But did they stop? Far from it, which is why very little has been accomplished by the PH government.
Its GE14 promises remain largely unfulfilled while the ministers and deputy ministers keep encroaching into each other’s territories that many times they left Malaysians wondering if this was also part of the New Malaysia they are bragging about.
Here in Sarawak, even the MyTV decoder distribution is being politicised.
The project to give out the free decoder was started by the previous government, and according to state DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen because MyTV did not make much effort in distributing the decoders in Sarawak, DAP decided it could do a better job, and “to save cost”.
If indeed they have saved cost, well and good, but it surely didn’t look like DAP has done a better job, otherwise Chong would not have cried sabotage last year while on Feb 15 he accused the state government of not facilitating the distribution.
The problem is not with MyTV or the state government (which had better things to do, knowing too well MyTV had a contract to deliver).
MyTV was given the contract; it should have been allowed to deliver that contract. As with most business contracts, surely MyTV’s contract to deliver the decoders also spelt out its side of the bargain if it failed to make good the contract.
The real problem is DAP wanting to get some millage by being seen as being able to give something free to the voters.
The district offices throughout the state surely could have done a better job of distributing the decoders. There they don’t play politics like the PH people do.