This Government Does Not Deserve Another Chance
People often say that despite all the shortcomings of the present Malaysian regime, they deserve another chance. After all, everything has its ups and downs; we can't expect a perfect government.
Some modicum of incompetence is often to be expected from any human, especially an institution full of humans like the government. Inefficiency and corruption is often a by-product of this incompetence.
But really, what is the logical case for continuing to support this regime, and giving it another chance? The evidence suggests we have given it more than one unnecessary chance to prove itself.
Assuming you care about human rights and all that jazz, or just want a stable legal environment for your business, the regime which has run West Malaysia for over 52 years and East Malaysia for 44 has been given way too many chances.
A present member of the cabinet, Rais Yatim, has already chronicled how this regime has manipulated the laws of the land to its liking far too many times and for far too long. Those who like to think the deterioration of the rule of law and our country's institutions can only be traced to recent times ought to read Rais' PhD thesis, Freedom Under Executive Power in Malaysia: A Study of Executive Supremacy.
But let's assume you don't care about the law or institutions or any of that crap. Let's just assume you like seeing your tax money being well-spent, and the fruits of your labour being well-invested.
We don't have to go very far to see how this regime spends your money. Today's Sun frontpaged the Port Klang Free Zone, which it labeled the "Disaster Zone".
In the early 90s, the Selangor state government gifted 405 hectares of land to some fishermen's co-operative. The co-op sold the land to some company (whose current chairman is the treasurer of UMNO) for an average price of RM2 per square foot. (Each hectare is about 90,000 square feet.)
This same company sold that land to the Port Klang Authority for RM25 per square foot. PKA also granted this company a contract to develop that same land. PKA is now in debt to the tune of RM5 billion. With no source of revenue to pay off this amount, it goes to the government to pay off its loans.
This isn't an isolated event. Almost every other day scandals like this break. But still, not everyone cares about this. I mean, maybe the government is just so stupid that they keep investing in projects that are bound to fail, right?
Let's not kid ourselves, folks. This is not a government that is just a bunch of nice bumbling fools. How does this argument even fly? Do you seriously believe that the flaws of every government failure have not been apparent in some way?
Let's return to this Port Klang Free Zone disaster. The government advised PKA that they could legally force the company concerned to accept a price of RM10 per square foot. And it's patently obvious that PKA could have had an open tender to see if anyone could outbid PKA for the chance to develop the free zone. Heck, it's so obvious that Abdullah Badawi has acknowledged it (of course, he flip-flopped and hedged on when the government would actually get around to implementing open tenders).
I really don't see how you can attribute these disasters, these scandals, to just government ignorance. How much longer are we to persist in believing that this does not come up to the level of outright malfeasance? Until we realise that this is a government that does not give two shits about the country's future, I don't have much hope for Malaysia's survival as a united developing nation.