Malaysiakini

Poverty and ignorance are BN's twin weapons

YOURSAY 'It's basically a case of keep them poor, keep them uninformed, and they are yours for the taking.'

'People kept poor to ensure support can be bought'

your sayVersey: It is a known fact that the indigenous people in Sarawak and the poor and the less informed rural folk throughout the country are trapped in a vicious circle of poverty, ignorance and voting for the corrupted politicians/party that keep enticing them with goodies during election period.

It is good to be pointed out openly by respectable academicians as a wake-up call to the society at large. It may help bring some positive impact in the end.

Bumiasli: It's very true that as long as people are poor, they can be bought over. This strategy, along with the fanning of religious issues, keep the poor people distracted. Politicians capitalise on this and offer so-called solutions in return for votes.

And now by reducing the term for both personal and property loans, the government is ensuring that people have limited money left and become even more dependent on ‘freebies' from the government.

Onyourtoes: More accurately, it is not just poverty. It is poverty and ignorance that keep the people dependent on government.

With no education or an education system that is half-baked (in fact akin to indoctrination), the people are essentially kept ignorant of their rights to demand a better life from the government.

It is more of ignorance rather than poverty per se that makes them sell their votes for a package of meehoon or a tin of Milo.

If they know they can get better than a tin of Milo, why would they settle for it despite their poverty? The really downtrodden do not know it is the responsibility of the government to help them.

Good Men: It's basically a case of keep them poor, keep them uninformed, and they are yours for the taking.

Ombak Biru: "You already see this with major government infrastructure projects. If nothing is done, I can guarantee you, I can think of four major business conglomerates, which will dominate the government," said academician James Chin, without naming them.

What are the names of the four conglomerates?

Headhunter: Spot on, academician Bridget Welsh. And it will take a lot of education before people realise that they had been had. Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud is a master in the game.

The natives are purposely kept poor. Once it a while, scraps will be thrown to them to keep them quiet for a little while.

And the frightening thing is that there is still no light at the end of the tunnel.

Dudenol: We have known this for a while. It's good that this issue is being brought to the forefront.

Our education standards have gone downhill since Malaysia has gained independence, especially in the local universities. Rural folk in east Malaysia have no chance.

Decades of money politics have created a generation dependent on government handouts. It is a vicious cycle that needs to be broken.

Wildboar: It is so unfortunate that the ones who will benefit most - and they are the ones who are suffering the most now - are the most ignorant of their rights and are forsaking a better future for a few ringgit.

Anonymous #33877536: We must get our priorities right first. We spent millions and are still spending millions on mega projects, some which do not help the population at large.

Rural development must be carried out as well. If the rural folk are given assistance, urban folk will benefit as well.

Rick Teo: As long as this corrupt BN remains in power, the status quo will remain. The people will forever remain impoverished so that they will continue to remain ignorant of what the BN government is doing.

The vicious cycle will continue because through poverty and ignorance, the foolish rural folk will continue to vote BN back to power.

Equalizer98: Race, religion, poverty and ignorance (no access to free press) are the tools that ensure BN's 'fixed deposits'.

Poverty levels cannot go down because poor foreigners are being imported to serve their needs and causes.

Cala: Does the Umno-led BN regime deliberately keep the poor in East Malaysia poor? I beg to differ. Somehow my reflexes tell me that is not the case.

If you ask me, first, it has more to do with the stage of development that has not reached the poor people in the heartland of both Sabah and Sarawak.

Second, it's to do with the low priority of setting the development budget in a pluralistic society.

To the first issue, the economic development of the poor in Sabah and Sarawak clearly ranks low in comparison with other more pressing issues which the regime is found addressing (for example, the social engineering in Peninsular Malaysia).

Another explanation is about institutional incapacity due to mediocrity found in civil service.

As to the second issue, Third World countries earned notoriety for providing low development budgets on public goods such as roads, water, telephone, internet, education, health, etc, for the masses compared to the First World.

FellowMalaysian: Political campaign financing is legal in the United States and it has been done for many decades. There are strict rules and regulations how funds are solicited and candidates must be declared them as well as how they are utilised.

What happened in the run-up and during the 15-day campaign period of GE13 as far as political funding is concerned could hardly be described as "regulated" or "legal".

First, the dubious RM40 million meant for Sabah Umno's political fund, which was only detected by the Hong Kong authorities, raised quivers.

Funds are also openly used for cash handouts, distributing free bags of rice and giving rounds after rounds of free dinners. Such practices are not only scorned at in the US, they are in fact considered abuses of campaign funds.

Dalvik: On top of that, the rakyat are poorer because we need to pay extra to survive; paying private security guards because of the incompetence of the police, paying extra car import tax because we are fed up with Proton's quality, paying extra for water filters because we will get ill if we drink water from tap, paying extra for toll because the jams would be worse if we use the freeways.

Also, it is sad to know the government is proud of giving away BR1M, without realising that their policies have created poverty.

Peacemaker: Bridget Welsh read the BN strategy like an open book. It's that obvious, huh? Keep them poor, ignorant and dependent and you can buy votes for a pittance.


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