YOURSAY | ‘Our leaders feast on lavish lunches while rakyat struggle’



YOURSAY | ‘Nice to see my tax money being used to feed the ‘hungry’.’

Prabakaran demands explanation over MPs' RM6k lunch

Vijay47: Looking at the photo of government MPs helping themselves to a feast said to be worth over RM6,000 with Dewan Rakyat speaker Azhar Azizan Harun also in attendance, we realise that everyone present at that shameful meal was someone who, were it not for the caprice of fate which thrusted them to political power, was destined to a lifelong diet of plain rice and boiled kangkong (water spinach), with fried fish a rare treat.

Like all nouveau riche, the group could not resist embarking into an orgy of eating where taste was measured by cost. They somehow believe that such extravagance infuses some elegance into their miserable primitive lives.

In ordering the most expensive dishes, in quantity far exceeding what they were capable of eating, they revealed not just crude gluttony but arrogance in holding that theirs is the right to spend as they desired, they were not accountable for any feeding frenzy they cared to participate in.

These are the very people who when the moment suits them would wax eloquent about how they were ordained to protect Islam and the Malays and look after orphans.

Bordering Bandar Utama, which is essentially 70 percent Chinese, 20 percent Indian, and 10 percent Malay, is a mosque whose management had sent residents a call for assistance during the early ravages of the movement control order (MCO).

I will never forget what the message said: “We care for the neighbourhood poor, any help would be welcome. RM100 will feed a family of four for two weeks.”

I was stunned and moved to tears reading this, RM7 a day for a family of four. Of course, most of us in the neighbourhood contributed. And here we have a bunch of unscrupulous leaders spending RM6,525 on a lunch at RM362 per shameless head, posing in a picture with their thumbs up and all.

As for Azhar, you are the pathetic pits, seemingly bent on a mission of eradicating every last vestige of respect that may have remained. I suppose in your trademark defence, you will claim you did not order the udang galah (giant prawn), you simply requested it.

Annonymous: Many of our poor rakyat were mercilessly dragged to court and charged for defying the MCO by gathering in groups at their own house and at the restaurant to eat as well as not practising social distancing.

My family of seven was rightfully denied to sit together at a huge table of 10 in a restaurant, and was told very strictly only six were permitted to such a table. But the restaurant owner was kind and shoved our family to a private room and sat the seven of us on a super huge round table meant for 15, just to be in compliance with the MCO and rules on social distancing.

But here, it is evidently clear this bunch of politicians in power are seemingly above the law, sitting together in huge numbers and blatantly celebrating lavishly and feasting luxuriously with thumbs up, while millions of the poor folks including those in the kampung and the B40 (bottom 40 percent) group struggle.

Now even middle-income families and workers are suffering from income and job losses. Many homeless people are suffering on the streets, crying for mercy and begging for whatever little help/crumbs they can get for their survival in these very difficult times and unprecedented global crisis.

How many of these powerful politicians, ministers and government-linked company (GLC) bosses living a life of luxury with expensive cars, bags and jewellery are facing pay cuts or retrenchments?

How many of these GLCs with overpaid top bosses have been bleeding and are now on the verge of collapse with a need for bailouts (by taxpayers) as expected in these trying times?

Constitutional Supremacy: How come Azhar was present during this lunch of government MPs? Is he part of the PN backbenchers group?

As House speaker, which is akin to a judge's post, Azhar should not have joined the partisan politicians from PN. From what he was before today, he has become unrecognisable. The speaker must remain impartial and conduct himself with dignity.

Compare yourself with your predecessor Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof. He would have never joined such a group. In addition to this latest picture, last week there was a viral photo of Azhar bending down and kissing PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s hand.

Proarte: The House speaker should also join the opposition leader and Pakatan Harapan MPs in a “working lunch” to discuss ways to improve discipline during parliamentary debates.

Will Azhar also be seen in a photo opportunity with Anwar Ibrahim and Harapan MPs?

I think we know the answer based on the speaker's conduct on day one of his appointment when he allowed racist and colour prejudice against opposition MPs to go on unchecked. He only acted when there was an outcry over his alleged bias.

Leon: To be fair, RM6,000 for 18 people is not that much. It’s about RM350 per person. It’s high but it’s not that high, like thousands of ringgit per head.

A minister’s salary is at least 10-20 times that of average Malaysians. We should not however exaggerate and say that people only eat potatoes during Covid-19. Things can be bad but not that bad.

At least they ‘tapau’ home some leftovers rather than throwing the excess food away. So perhaps we should talk about more relevant topics than minor things like this. We should not be so sensitive.

Prominority: Many small spendings like this can mount up to millions. First of all, these MPs should realise whether such luxury is justified.

The poor are suffering for one square meal a day, these greedy MPs are enjoying the government’s money. Morally speaking, this behaviour is to be discouraged.

Headhunter: Overindulgence at the rakyat's expense. They will never change, will they? To paraphrase Marie Antoinette, peasants like us can eat cake. But what is this compared to the billions that politicians and their cronies have stolen from us?

Slumdog: The sense of entitlement and insatiable gluttony is for all to see. The rakyat is facing financial ruin, loss of jobs and misery and we have these people of title, feasting. Now let’s wait for the spin.

FlabberPro: This is how they defend their race and their religion because they are blessed beyond measure. Their defence will likely be that their meal was sponsored by a non-obliging sponsor and none of the rakyat's money was used for this one disgustingly lavished meal.

If it were the DAP, Amanah or PKR members in this picture, they would be barking for an explanation and claim that the rights of the Malays had been challenged because "DAP is seen enjoying udang galah with the rakyat's money".

BlackTiger7716: Keep up the good work Batu MP P Prabakaran (in bringing forth this issue). I hope you don’t crumble as those in power will now notice you and who knows what will happen for voicing this out. But the truth will prevail.

Cyclonus: Nice to see my tax money being used to feed the “hungry” – those hungry for power and hungry for money...

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