MP SPEAKS When comedians like Harith Iskandar pillory ministers, not just on stage but in the public domain, the stocks of His Majesty's ministers and deputy ministers have fallen to a new low.
Harith is right that going by Ahmad Maslan's definition that the deputy minister has got three jobs as Pontian MP, deputy international trade and industry minister and Umno information chief, he (Harith) would have got six jobs - as comedian, emcee, writer, actor, coach and director!
However, as Harith rightly pointed out, it does not mean he has six jobs but only that he does six different things.
In fact, going by Ahmad's definition, the person having the most jobs in the country would be none other than Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak himself.
Najib is prime minister, finance minister (and at one time, even trebling in the cabinet as minister for women, family and community development), Umno president, Barisan Nasional chairperson, MP for Pekan, chairperson of the much-maligned 1MDB advisory board, soon-to-be chairperson of the highly-criticised National Security Council - and chairperson of countless government-related boards and commissions, a list that Najib himself would not be able to recite offhand.
Does this mean, going by Ahmad's definition, that Najib is the most overworked and underpaid person in the country?
Not to forget a job that Najib had accomplished without equal in the world: getting an RM2.6 billion donation for a general election - money that was deposited in Najib's personal banking accounts before the 13th general election in March 2013!
Very soon, comedians like Harith would have to call it a day because ministers and deputy ministers like Ahmad, Abdul Rahman Dahlan, Paul Low and even Najib would have taken over their jobs.
And the option for commedians...
This will probably leave the professional comedians with the option of venturing into politics to encroach into the protected domains of the ministers and deputy ministers!
This whole episode would been quite fun to end the year 2015, except that it is a reflection of a grim and gloomy year, not only hounding Malaysians with two mega scandals - Najib's RM2.6 billion donation and RM55 billion 1MDB - but haunting the people with the host of economic woes caused by the Goods and Services Tax (GST) implementation, devaluation of the ringgit, fall in the prices of commodities, flight of capital and loss of confidence of foreign investors.
Parents preparing their children for the new school year found that prices of school supplies have gone up by 30 percent, while low-income Malaysians face a hard and harsh new year, sandwiched between falling incomes and rising prices, with simple pleasures like goreng pisang, satay and tom yam not spared the inflationary spiral.
Instead of ministers and deputy ministers doubling up as comedians, the government should come out with an economic blueprint to increase the people's productivity and incomes – which is what Najib's Budget 2016 had dismally failed to do.
Najib should take the opportunity of a Special Parliament Session at the end of January to present a revised Budget, as well as a special economic blueprint, for Malaysians to face the hard and harsh new year.
LIM KIT SIANG is the MP for Gelang Patah and DAP Parliamentary Leader.