I wish to comment on Aleesha's letter, Forget about Bangsa Malaysia.
The 49th Merdeka anniversary had seen many letters arguing for Bangsa Malaysia, which are indirectly against race-based political parties and policies.
Just when I was looking forward to more and more support for the idea, I read the above-mentioned letter, which to me, is going into reverse gear. Of course, each person is entitled to his or her opinion, but I wish to point out specifically that what Aleesha had mentioned is wrong.
By harping on Bangsa Malaysia, we (as in those like-minded) are encouraging the people to live, work and progress as Malaysians first. There is no objections to individual races being proud of their race, practising different religions, customs and languages; except to racial parties, which are going against the concept of Bangsa Malaysia with their inherent fight for racial supremacy by one party, and racial rights by others.
There is a vast difference between encouraging our own race to excel privately and having political parties with their names and objectives for each particular race. The government of the day should be for the nation as a whole, as its prime objective. How could it be impartial if the structure is not?
I am really surprised why concepts of 'meritocracy' and 'aid based on needs rather than race' cannot be properly implemented. Meritocracy is fundamental to national achievement and advancement, yet the powers-that-be are averse to it like the plague. I can understand it only from the point of political support base. Their opposition to the latter - aid based on needs rather than race - is even more surprising because the likely beneficiaries will be the majority race of the population, until they have succeeded to such an extent that the race becomes a minority in need! Isn't that wonderful?
To the general public, the political problems in Penang is nothing more than a charade, for selfish reasons. If there is transparency and fairness in implementation of projects and there is no corruption, political leaders will not be fighting. Apparently, this fight is for the coming projects under RMK9 (9th Malaysia Plan).
To target Penang as having marginalised the Malays is only an excuse. Can the complainants be sure that Malays in the other states are not neglected? What about other races being marginalised? This only shows the weaknesses and unfairness of the present political system, which encourages each party to look after its own race.
When Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi complained of certain places in Penang being dirty, I can point out so many other places which are even worse. For example, during my last visit to Kuala Kangsar, a royal town no less, and constituency of Rafidah Aziz, the riverside is scattered with rubbish which a lone fisherman had to clear before casting his net!
Just reading the annual Auditor-General's report, one can conclude that the main reason for failures in implementation is corruption. If not, how could expenditure on high cost items be so easily made, yet under-utilised and without follow-up action? If our government is serious about correcting the situation, just concentrate on the supporting documents for each project to ensure genuine need, the procurement procedure to ensure proper open tender and the close follow-up on the implementation.
Heads of departments and ministers must be held accountable. The fact that our leaders are educated and well-exposed can only mean that they know what is wrong but do not have the will to carry out for reasons best known to themselves.
To show how ridiculous decisions are made, we just had 10 intelligent toilets costing over RM1 million each in Kuala Lumpur. Would it not be better to spend the money on the upkeep of all the public toilets in the city?
In Ipoh, we have very modern parking meters costing RM34,000 each serving 10 spaces and yet they are implementing and postponing a new coupon system which by itself confirmed those expensive ones were a mistake. When will we ever learn to be thrifty?