Saturday, 05 April 2014 08:30

MORE THAN HALF A TRILLION RINGGIT: About time for M'sians to claim back from the Umno elite


Written by J. D. Lovrenciear


Tan Sri Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah is reported to have disclosed that more than half a TRILLION ringgit from Petronas has gone to questionable government expenditure which “could have been used more productively to fund a national pension programme like that of Sweden.”


Speaking at the launching of Anas Alan Faizli’s book “Rich Malaysia, Poor Malaysians” in Kuala Lumpur, the through-bred royal lineage leader and staunch UMNO member explained with grave concern how the nation’s oil company Petronas is today, as a result, forced to ‘look for other sources of income in investment opportunities’.


If an opposition member revealed such concerns, we can safely say that there is a hidden political agenda and if we still subscribe to his or her ranting we can be accused of being 'penghianat negara'.
But if we cannot believe a senior and staunch UMNO member who else can we believe?
Ask and the truth is revealed
Tengku Razaleigh exposed that the government has been using the wealth of this young nation accumulated by Petronas to ‘bail out government-linked companies out of muddy financial crises since 1985’.
In the wake of this shocking admission, we need to pause, ask and take inventory of several crucial and time-defining questions:


Malaysians, how many of you had cupped your head in your palms, prayed in silence out of hope in darkness or ran helter-skelter to find the money to ensure your children could get into a college of choice to pursue an education of passion?


How many of you have to endure nightmares come end of each month as you tried all kinds of financial gymnastics to make ends meet for your family?


How many of you are forced to take on an extra job or pressed by the increasing financial constrains to seek the goodwill of your spouse to leave home in search of that extra income to tide over the times?


How many of you are living on borrowed cash – be it credit card spending or relief from Ah Longs, mortgages and aid from friendly sources?


How many of you are desperately counting the days and months or years before you would retire so that you can take your EPF savings and plug all the financial holes that have been giving you years of sleepless nights?


How many of you on retiring after three decades or more find yourself back in square one breaking your tired limbs with work totally unrelated to your years of experience and qualifications?


People's wealth turned into private wealth of a select few Umno leaders


As the Founding Chairman of Petronas, certainly the Tengku has reasons and justifications to worry for the health and future of a national company that could have been the miracle for all Malaysians.


The Tengku cannot be merely politicizing. He definitely is not one in the likes of some loose cannons within UMNO merely surviving on one-minute publicity stunts.


He claimed that the country’s ‘socio-politics has regressed’ ascribing this to the ‘sad and shocking state of affairs today’.


And as many Malaysians have also known or even suspected or as our popular word around 'speculated' goes, the root of the problem that has deprived all Malaysians of the two trillion over ringgit that could well have served as our pension funds fashioned after the Swedish system, the Tengku attributed the state-of-affairs to two causes affecting the political and social sectors.


One is the disease-infested rent-seeking culture and the other being that sickening patronage mindset in our midst.


Perhaps Malaysians should take a look at how every person who has worked or lives in Sweden enjoys a pension scheme by first visiting their website: www.government.se/sb/d/15473/a/183496.


So do we Malaysians want back the over two trillion ringgit returned to our nation’s coffers for the sole well being of all Malaysians?


Or shall we dismiss the Tengku as yet another sour-grape, loose cannon too and carry on with our day and night fumbling quest for that extra ringgit to tide over the times while the next tidal sweep of financial crisis hits and sucks yet another two trillion ringgit more? - MAILBAG




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