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YOURSAY | M’sia the ultimate loser if Pua takes a backseat

YOURSAY | ‘But there are lessons to be learned as well.’

I was quiet in Harapan govt after Dr M rebuked me, says Pua

OceanMaster: Damansara MP Tony Pua’s explanation as to how he sees issues and resolve them in a manner that puts the government and people first while never compromising on integrity is totally alien to BN and parasitic politicians and connected businesspersons.

That is how Singapore operates and if Pua was to be in Singapore, he would have been one of the top civil servants, if not a cabinet minister. They are think-tanks, have the brains to assimilate, digest complex issues and come up with sustainable solutions.

There are very few people who have that level of capability, credibility, and integrity in our country today who are willing to take up public office.

Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad for sure would not have bought into them. The biggest racist and “my way” guy, Mahathir had politically assassinated them while the DAP bosses just stood there with their tails between their legs.

Worst, the short-sighted impulsive DAP “Ah Bengs” don’t see value in them as well. Their departure from key elected political roles has severely dampened my appetite for DAP surely.

MS: Getting castigated by Mahathir is actually a distinct badge of honour. Especially when the reason for his ire is for opposing what he holds dear - encouraging cronies and enabling their free access to the nation’s kitty.

That said, the dilemma the DAP faced during its short time in government was sticking to its values, its ideals, and its mission, which are all contrary to everything Mahathir stands for. So it had to choose between playing along with the coot and staying in government or arguing with him and be forced to leave.

Whether or not it chose badly is for its supporters to decide. What is clear, at least in hindsight, is that a hastily cobbled together coalition with strange bedfellows whose ways and means are crooked and toxic is dangerous even if it momentarily pleasurable.

Mahathir is now the past, even though the damage he has done will go on for generations. Pua and others in his mould represent the future - that is, if there really is a future for this once-promising country.

Malaysia Tulin: Pua, while you may have some good ideas, the execution was a failure.

The minute Pakatan Harapan got a hold of power, the coalition immediately went into “cutting this and that”. Some of the cost-cutting measures are actually not savings.

Let me take one example - LRT3. The cost cutting was done without proper analysis and taking into account the future needs. The route from Bandar Utama and Johan Setia is potentially a heavy passenger load route, just like Kelana Jaya line.

The original trainsets of 42 x 6 cars were needed, but Harapan cut it to 22 x 3 without proper study. For every route, during operations, there will be spare sets. For operation, almost 90 percent of the fleet will be utilised and it needs more during peak hours.

With 22 sets, you can meet a headway of 1.5 or 3 minutes. Even if you were to expand the fleet in five years, you must pay more, and reducing from six cars to three cars does not make sense.

Today, the LRT3 project timeline is rescheduled and we have to wait longer to see it completed. And you do need more sets, and additional money will be needed to increase the fleet.

For MRT Line 2, Harapan proudly proclaimed that it saved billions. Yes, you reduced the fleet, yet failed to understand for a 51km line with the targeted headway, you need the right number of sets.

You could have reduced the aesthetics of the station from 5-star to 2-star - there would be no issue - but cutting the fleet size is stupid as sooner or later, you need to expand the fleet with additional cost.

Maybe you prefer waiting for 10-15 minutes for trains to come during peak hours, but today the people demand efficient and fast and quick headways of trains.

These are some examples of Harapan’s cost-cutting failures, done without proper planning and study. In reality, Harapan did not save.

And in cutting the allowances of fisherfolk as well as Taruc’s (Tunku Abdul Rahman University College) annual grant, what did you try to prove?

Pua, you did not ‘turun padang’ in every corner of Malaysia, and you did not understand the daily challenges on the ground. You are a brilliant guy for managing a “company’s finances and charting its growth”, but to manage a country with its challenges, I don’t think so.

So Pua, the next time if you get elected again, please ‘turun padang’ to understand truly the economics and the real situation on the ground.

Mazilamani: The DAP ministers during the Harapan administration and Pua should have known the treatment rendered to people who stood up to Mahathir. It included Musa Hitam, Anwar Ibrahim, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Najib Abdul Razak. To him, Pua is just a nobody.

He accorded the same disrespect and distrust to DAP that he offered to MCA and MIC, so no one must be surprised by how he decided to keep DAP leaders at a safe distance.

Why? Because DAP was genuinely focused on using the gifted opportunity to clean up and expose the mess within the government. DAP ministers were very clear about the ailments suffered and the cure deserved by the country. Mahathir saw this as a dangerous intrusion.

The downfall of the Harapan government did not happen at Sheraton Hotel, but a secretly long-planned move by Mahathir.

He enlisted unsuspecting persons to do his job for him in order to look victimised. That may be reason why former PKR deputy president Azmin Ali and Bersatu’s Hamzah Zainudin left him.

My2cen: Whatever said and done, I hope Pua learned his lessons. Understand the situation before shooting his mouth and executing his plans.

Pua may be smart, but the smartest person is one who knows how to work with people so that his plan can succeed. Learn to consult and collaborate with others.

People rejected him in his party because he is very brash and arrogant. So be smart. In governing, you want people to support your ideas and plans. Listen to them and involve them.

Salvage Malaysia: Sorry, Pua. I don’t think your narrative of being quiet after the rebuke is true. You were really disliked.

I hope you can swallow the bitter pill and learn that arrogance had destroyed Umno and then the same thing happened to you.

For years, I’ve been commenting on Lim Guan Eng’s arrogance, not to run him down but only to hope he can become a greater leader. Alas, I see you appear to be of the same mould. Listen to your speech and observe how many times you glorify what you did then.

Honestly, I was moved by Bangi MP Ong Kian Ming’s humility. He saw and understood certain things and that he may not have approached it right although his intentions were right.

But never you or Lim. I will put my money that hopefully one day, Ong will come back as a strong political leader with wisdom and humility. Both things that you lack.

The Wakandan: Malaysia is not a poor, deprived country. So why are we in a dire financial situation?

Pua just did what the Finance Ministry should have been doing - avoid wastage either through criminal kleptocracy or simply inflated contracts given to cronies in negotiated deals.

If the country is run normally - never mind by a genius or not, just normally - and when possible, with added value for every expenditure, Malaysia should be not far behind from other Asian countries like Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea or even Thailand.

But look at where we are now. It hard to imagine that we could be like South Korea as Najib said, even though he had been a finance minister himself.

We just need honest Finance Ministry officials or assistants and a finance minister who does not steal money to run our economy. People like Pua and former DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng would certainly be missed.


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