Monday, July 28, 2008

Wakil rakyats insensitive to peoples’ plight

Wakil rakyats insensitive to peoples’ plight

The purchase of the 14 brand new Mercedes E200 Kompressors,costing RM3.2m, to replace the Proton Perdanas by the Trengannu State government for its Exco members, although was not surprising , nevertheless has created much debate and controversy.

More than four months have passed after the last general elections and our wakil rakyats have yet to keep their promises they made during the election campaign. It is very sad that there seem to be no positive indications that they are serious in wanting to honor their pledges at all. The Mercedes Benz fiasco just goes to show this uncaring and inconsiderate attitude of our wakil rakyats.

The Prime Minister,Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, on announcing the recent drastic hike in fuel price called on the people to change their lifestyle in order to cope with the steep rise in fuel price. He further pledged to do whatever possible within his means to alleviate the burden of the rakyat during these trying times. What kind of lifestyle are the politicians adopting to help the rakyat overcome the current financial crisis?

When the vast majority of Malaysians, especially from the lower income group in urban areas, are finding it almost impossible to cope with the escalating cost of living, our wakil rakyats are more interested in changing their Proton Perdanas to Mercedes Benzes for greater comfort. Don’t they see this as absurd and a total lack of empathy for their constituents? Isn’t it a blatant misuse of public funds? The ACA must be commended for their swift action to investigate this misuse of taxpayers’ money and hopefully their actions will deter others from resorting to such extravagant expenditure.

It would also be unwise for the Selangor state government to go ahead with the purchase of Camry to replace their own fleet of vehicles for their Exco members. All Pakatan Rakyat state governments who have been voted into power must keep to their pledge of placing the interest of the people above theirs. They should practice a great deal of prudence in spending public funds at all times especially now at a time of financial crisis when the people are under tremendous stress.

In fact they should move away from the practice of providing cars for their use. Instead all Exco members should be encouraged to use their own cars whereas the government pays to maintain their vehicles like all other senior government officers.

The wakil rakyats should themselves turn down the offer to use luxury cars for official use so as to show their solidarity with the people. They should not need laws to force them to comply if they truly have the welfare of people at heart,which they should at all times. They will not be where they are if not for the people who voted them.

Dr.Chris Anthony

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