EPU is for economic planning, not to pan BN's enemies

Hazlan Zakaria

Modified 26 Oct 2016, 2:12 am

COMMENT I wonder if Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan forgot to read the handbook that came with his new cabinet appointment.

I truly wonder if he is aware of the fact that he is minister in charge of the Economic Planning Unit (EPU), and no longer just a backbencher politician in charge of BN's strategic communications that got Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's back, so to speak.

While I applaud his epic trolling of BN's enemies online, and especially on Twitter, I wonder if he has missed the mark completely with his new appointment, as he does not seem to be making proper use of the great power at his fingertips with great responsibility.

Whatever powers accorded to him comes with the weight of public trust, and like all public officials must know, open to public scrutiny as they shall be held accountable for their actions.

After all, he has been promoted, not anointed. And targeting those who question the government and its policies – which is an expression of legitimate democratic dissent – by using a public agency under his charge, is uncalled for.

And a man of the world like Abdul Rahman should know that democracy does not stop at election's door, but follows all elected officials all their careers, which is why public opinion and perception is the crux of democratic politics, not secret policing the populace to weed out non-conformists.

In any case, the EPU is an adjunct of the PM's Department dedicated to planning and delivering economic initiatives that will better the rakyat's plight, not a political tool to target, vilify and punish those who disagree with the government of the day...

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