The Putrajaya Jualan Sentuhan Rakyat programme yesterday, where the Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Minister, Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin, accompanied by the Federal Territories Minister, Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor and even the Chief Secretary to the government, Tan Sri Ali Hamsa, dished out groceries with big discounts is most saddening but very symbolic.
It is a most symbolic characterization of what UMNO/BN want the 15 million Malaysian voters to do – to “lelong” away their rights and interests and those of future generations in the 14th General Election on May 9, 2018 so that Malaysia can continue to be a global kleptocracy, not only 1MDB scandal but also 2MDB, 3MDB and more 1MDB-line scandals galore making international headlines but not in Malaysia.
Malaysiakini gave a most colourful report of the Putrajaya Jualan Sentuhan Rakyat programme, as follows:
“Goodies galore as caretaker minister slashes grocery prices
“Caretaker domestic trade, cooperatives, and consumerism minister Hamzah Zainuddin dished out groceries with big discounts during the Putrajaya Jualan Sentuhan Rakyat programme today.
“Armed with a microphone, Hamzah disrupted the already cheap sales by first lowering the price of whole chicken from RM7 to RM5, with a limit of four chickens per person.
“’When the minister sells, it will be cheaper. Why did you all rush? You should have waited for the minister,’ Hamzah joked with the crowd before slashing the price of chicken.
“He then caused a mad rush for rice when he announced that two bags of 10kg rice would be sold for just RM10, or RM5 per bag. The ‘Faiza Emas’ brand rice’s normal retail price is RM26 per 10kg bag.
“Other goods that Hamzah unilaterally slashed prices of, as he moved from stall to stall, included beef from RM20 per kg to RM15 as well as potatoes, onions, eggs, frozen fish, Milo and condensed milk.
“Each time he announced a discount, incumbent Putrajaya MP Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, chief secretary to the government Ali Hamsa and Umno permanent chairperson Badruddin Amiruldin assisted him by packing the goods for buyers and acting as impromptu cashiers.
“’Lelong, lelong,’ Tengku Adnan would yell while repeating the price of the newly discounted goods for good measure.
“Met by the press later, Tengku Adnan said the caretaker government wanted to ease the people’s burden with the programme.
“’We are grateful because the government of today always helps ease the people’s burdens. We want the rakyat to be happy. Don’t worry be happy. You’ve got BN!’ he exclaimed.
“Wholesalers who had already set up their stalls at the empty parking lot before Hamzah arrived told Malaysiakini they were caught off guard by his impromptu discounts.
“’I was shocked because we were already selling (whole chicken) at a low price (RM7) then the minister further subsidised it to RM5 and the response was good,’ Amnah Ibrahim, a public relations representative of major poultry company Leong Hup International, told Malaysiakini.
“Asked by reporters if the ministry would compensate the sellers, Hamzah responded: ‘That is between the domestic trade ministry and the wholesalers.’
Anyone at the “Goodies galore at great discount galore” binge at the Putrajajaya Jualan Sentuhan Rakyat programe would have been caught up and participated in the frenzy of great discounts galore for the goodies on sale, presided over by the Minister for Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Minister and funded from public coffers.
But is this right and what the 14th General Election is all about?
There is no doubt however that if Pakatan Rakyat had done the same thing, not using public funds but private funds, to conduct a similar “Goodies galore at great discount galore binge”, the police, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the Election Commission would have swung into action and all those involved in the Pakatan Harapan “Goodies galore at Great Discount Galore binge” would have been called up for questioning, and all the discounted goodies whether chicken, beef, rice, potatoes, onions, eggs, frozen fish, Milo, condensed milk all seized by the authorities as possible State evidence!
It is most heart-breaking is to see how a general election, which is to determine the future of the nation and that of Malaysian citizens and future generations has degenerated into a circus like the “Goodies galore at great discount galore binge’ involving not only Ministers but even the Chief Secretary of the Government, the No. 1 Public Servant of the country.
Would Tan Sri Hamsa Ali publicly apologise for such a shocking breach of proper decorum and behaviour by the topmost public servant in the country, setting the worst possible example to the 1.6 million public servants?
I am reminded of the two factors highlighted by Malaysian tycoon Robert Kuok in his Memoirs which caused the rise or fall of nations: Moral compass and the rule of law.
The Putrajaya Jualan Sentuhan Rakyat programme yesterday shows that under the UMNO/BN government, we have lost both – that we have a government without moral compass and which has no respect for the rule of law!
This is in fact what the 14th General Election is all about, to Save Malaysia and restore the moral compass and the rule of law, instead of hurtling towards the trajectory of a failed, rogue and kleptocratic state.
We want to reset nation building policies and directions by returning to the fundamental nation-building principles agreed by our forefathers and laid out in the Merdeka Constitution 1957 and Malaysia Agreement 1963, where we dare to dream again the Malaysian Dream to be a world top-class nation which could optimize and leverage on Malaysia’s assets – vast human talents; wealth of diversity of races, religions, languages and cultures; great natural resources – and respected and held in high esteem in the international arena instead of being scorned and held askance as a global kleptocracy as at present.