Having served in the Malaysian civil service for three decades, I am surprised by the rhetoric call of Dr Mahathir Mohamad to eradicate poverty in the Langkawi International Dialogue.
This is not the first time our supposedly highly esteemed former premier has to address on poverty issue, at an auspicious international seminar at that. He must have forgotten that during his premier tenure-ship, practically only his close circles of friends and supporters were made extraordinary rich, leaving the great majority of Malaysians (irrespective of their ethnicity) struggling to keep pace with the inflation and continue leading a meagre life. The people in the East Coast states are still the poorest, relatively speaking. This is of course partly due to the ever changing political climate in Kelantan and Terengganu.
Why is it that many leaders in the world always say something and do a different thing, albeit not necessarily the exactly opposite thing? One would wonder if some leaders are only capable of uttering empty words, with hardly any inclination of taking any concrete action.
The Langkawi dialogue could be yet another round of showmanship and hollow talks. What a terrible waste of time and money! How unbelievable! How preposterous!