Sunday, January 19, 2014

Malaysian solution: When in trouble, form a committee

KOTA KINABALU: The formation of a special committee to look into the cost of living makes little sense apart from confirming that the federal government is aware of a problem, said former Sabah chief minister of Sabah Yong Teck Lee yesterday.

Yong said tackling the steep price rises felt by consumers throughout the country required much more than committee meetings, which appeared to be just window dressings.

He said even Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman’s instruction to the Ministry of Consumer Affairs and Community Development to monitor reports on the exorbitant hikes in the prices of goods and services made little sense.
Yong, who is also president of Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), contended that if the federal government under the leadership of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak was really concerned and cared for the peoples’ wellbeing, it would not have hiked the prices of fuel and power tariff in the first place.
Yong observed that the criticism Najib received over his comments equating the “price of kangkung” to the country’s economic policy demonstrated the clear indication of the people’s frustration.
He however did not address the fact that financial experts had warned that there was no other option other than then the current federal policy to pass on the burden to consumers.
“The prime minister said the people should be thankful to the government that the price of kangkung has gone down. Who doesn’t know that kangkung can be easily found in the drain?
“(It is) fuel and electricity (increases that) are the main contributing factor for price hikes. This is simple economics.” he charged.
Yong said the ongoing phenomenon proved SAPP’s predictions before the 13th general elections, that if Barisan Nasional coalition returned to power, the prices of goods and services would go up and people would be demoralised.
Opposition in a mess
The Sabah-based politician also hit out at Pakatan Rakyat de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim for  not heeding warnings about the shaky politics in Sabah as was proved by the defection Luyang assemblyman Hiew King Cheu from DAP soon after the election.
“Unfortunately, they (PR) still fielded him (Hiew) as a candidate. Now, he has not only betrayed the people of Luyang, but also the people of Sabah.
He said though SAPP did not win any seats in the last election, nonetheless it is proud that its dignity and support from its members are intact, unlike the MCA and LDP which are currently still plagued by internal fights.
Yong also slammed the state opposition elected representatives for lacking the courage to cast a vote of ‘no confidence’ against the chief minister and concentrating on trivial fights among themselves over the so-called ‘opposition leader’.
He said this political culture should end and elected leaders should stand by their principles and not simply turn with the tide to hang on to their positions, a barb aimed at three assembly representatives who stood on opposition platforms but have since switched sides.

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