Call on progressive UMNO leaders to support the patriotic call for the scrapping of auction rights of “Patriot” number plates to Yayasan Patriot Negara Malaysia

I am pleasantly surprised that an UMNO State Assemblyman, Tengku Putra Haron Aminurrashid (Kempas – Johor) has spoken up against the ludicrous, disgraceful and most unpatriotic decision granting auction rights of “Patriot” number plates to Yayasan Patriot Negara Malaysia (YPNM) purportedly to promote “patriotism”.

Although the language used by the Kempas UMNO Assemblyman is rather down-to-earth, he undoubtedly expressed the feelings of the majority of Malaysians when he said that the Ministers who allowed an NGO to auction the “Patriot” vanity plates have effectively put “patriotism” on their “backside”.

Have decency, civility and good sense in Malaysia at the Cabinet level gone to the dogs that Ministers can approve such a mercenary and cheap-skate idea of auctioning “Patriot” number plates, as if those who used money to use the “Patriot” number plates are the greatest patriots in the country – even more “patriotic” than the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers and ordinary Cabinet Ministers?

Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein (who approved the hare-brained scheme when he was Acting Transport Minister) and Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves for the “Patriot” number plates auction decision and I fully agree with Tengku Putra Haron that “the application should have been shot down upon presentation”.

His question whether the Cabinet had approved the “Patriot” number plate auction scheme deserves an answer from the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak himself.

I fully endorse Tengku Putra’s call to Putrajaya to scrap the auction rights given to YPNM as the government should not allow profiteering in the name of patriotism.

It has been reported that YPNM expects to earn between RM10 million and RM15 million through the auction of the “Patriot” number plates and the proceeds would be used to promote “patriotism”.

There is nothing more unpatriotic and mercenary than such a notion, cheapening the patriotism in Malaysia and the contributions and sacrifices of genuine patriots in the country.

It must be a matter of grave concern by Malaysians that public ethics and morality are reaching a new low in the nation’s history.

The growing feeling that the Umno/BN coalition will be voted out of Putrajaya in the 14th general election has caused the spread of the syndrome to “make hay while the sun shines” and grab whatever one could before the sinking of “Titanic”, is undermining and probably the main cause why public ethics and morality have reached their nadir in the nation’s history.

Those who want to “make hay while the sun shines” and grab whatever they could before the sinking of “Titanic” are not patriots at all.

The Malaysian people must not allow their rights and the future of the nation to be pawned or sold by these unpatriotic mercenaries, which is why I find reports that a handful of highly-placed persons are capable, in utter impunity, of mulcting the nation of over RM100 million in a matter of a few years most disturbing.

But what is even more disconcerting is that as of now, there is no proper recourse available, as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) can only go after the “ikan bilis” but not the sharks in the country.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah