Najib is getting desperate about the UMNO/BN prospects for the 14GE in less than three weeks’ time

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak must be getting desperate about the UMNO/BN prospects for the 14th General Elections or he would not be doing something which he knew was wrong and illegal.

The announcement of RM53.6 million worth of aid for 67,000 taxi drivers nation-wide yesterday is most improper and wrong – not something which a Prime Minister strict about good governance principles or a caretaker government should do.

If the Najib government is genuine about giving over RM50 million of assistance to the taxi drivers, why was it not done before the dissolution of Parliament last Saturday, but only now when the caretaker government should not be making any new grant or allocations until a new government is formed after the 14th General Election on May 9?

Has Najib suddenly been struck with a bout of panic after the dissolution of Parliament on April 7, fearing that UMNO/BN could be evicted from Putrajaya, forcing him to scamper about to find new ways to raid the national coffers to hand out to goodies to more Malaysians?

The whole episode, ending with some 30 taxi drivers getting hurt after they were caught in a rush to grab cards for RM800 worth of fuel aid after Najib’s announcement, was most unseemly and most disgraceful.

It was only infinitesimally more dignified than the disgraceful “lelong” outing, known as the Putrajaya Jualan Sentuhan Rakyat programme, the day before.

At the Putrajaya Jualan Sentuhan Rakyat programme, the Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Minister, Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin, accompanied by the Federal Territories Minister, Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor and the Chief Secretary to the government, Tan Sri Ali Hamsa, went helter-skelter to dish out groceries with big discounts.

Armed with a microphone, Hamzah disrupted the already cheap sales going on and went helter-skelter to lower the price of chicken, beef, rice, potatoes, onions, eggs, frozen fish, Milo and condensed milk while the Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan and the Chief Secretary to the Government assisted in the “circus” by packing the goods for the buyers, with Tengku Adnan yelling: “Lelong, lelong”!

What is mortifying is that the bill for both the circus events of the Putrajaya Jualan Sentuhan Rakyat and the fuel aid for the cabbies are finally to be paid by the Malaysian taxpayers themselves!

I am reminded of the two factors highlighted by Malaysian tycoon Robert Kuok in his Memoirs on the cause of the rise or fall of nations: Malaysia has lost the moral compass and there is no rule of law.

Both “circus” binges have one thing in common: the perpetual government of Malaysia for 61 years have lost the moral compass and cease to know what is right from wrong.

Even worse, they have become very cynical practitioners of the art of power, for they dare to do what they did because they enjoy immunity and impunity from the rule of law – they know what they have done is wrong and illegal and but they know they can get away with such acts.

Will the Election Commission, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the Police swing into action against those who had perpetrated these two circus events as violation of election laws?

Of course, not. Those who were responsible for these two circus events were confident that there is no rule of law here, that they are enjoy immunity and impunity for their open flouting of the most basic norms of a clean, free and fair elections.

May we, we should thank the Najib, Hamzah and Adnan for highlighting what the 14GE is all about – for the country to restore its moral compass and the rule of law.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader