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Malaysians stunned by five-star lifestyles of political elite

Flashback to the Sheraton Move

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Many of us are finding it difficult to make ends meet, but these elite politicians do not seem to have such a problem, Ch’ng Chin Yeow writes.

It was sad to see residents of Kubang Pasu in Kedah being given a meagre food parcel to encourage them to come forward for Covid-19 screening.

Malaysia is supposed to have achieved “developed nation” status by this year according to Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Vision 2020.

But, apparently, a meagre food parcel – comprising eggs, 2kg of sugar, canned food, biscuits, beverages, vermicelli and cooking oil – was deemed enough of an incentive to entice the people of Kubang Pasu to come forward for Covid-19 screening. Where is the prosperity for the rakyat (people) envisaged in Vision 2020?

There is such a disconnect between the politicians and us, the rakyat. The politicians seem always to have their functions in expensive hotels that are way beyond the means of most people.

It was telling that the Sheraton Move by Azmin Ali and his group on the eve of their breakaway from Pakatan Harapan took place at a five-star hotel in Petaling Jaya.

Then there was the infamous sex video allegedly taken of a politician during the Sandakan by-election. This was allegedly filmed at the Four Points, the town’s only five-star hotel (before it closed down in June) – also part of the Sheraton chain.

We have seen many other photos of politicians enjoying sumptuous meals in exclusive restaurants or hotels. Patronising four or five-star hotels seems to be a normal part of their lifestyles.

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Most of us, including the Kubang Pasu folk, do not have the means to indulge in such extravagance. The Kubang Pasu folk were simply too happy to receive meagre food parcels.

In contrast, a meal or a night’s stay at high-end hotels could easily pay for a poor family’s expenses for an entire month.

The frogs in Sabah were allegedly promised millions of ringgit each to destabilise the state government. If this is true, insane amounts of money are being thrown around.

The bloated cabinet and the appointments of politicians as chairpersons and board members in government-linked companies in these tough times hardly inspire public confidence in the Perikatan Nasional government.

The government needs to be prudent with our rakyat’s money – but it is not.

The disconnect between elite politicians and the people is mind-boggling. Many of us are finding it difficult to make ends meet, but these elite politicians do not seem to have such a problem.

Worse, the disconnect seems to be widening with no inhibitions on their part in the display of their wealth and lifestyles for all to see.

Ch’ng Chin Yeow has an interest in many issues and subjects, including history, mineralogy and human behaviour. Based in Penang, he truly likes to be a busybody

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