While all these appointments are being made, the public must pick up the bill, which includes the considerable perks and pensions, P Ramakrishnan writes.
Many things that are done by the backdoor government don’t make sense.
Do we need a bloated cabinet? Should the Senior Minister, Ismail Sabri, who is the Defence Minister, be making all the announcements on health matters when we have a health minister?
While there are no answers to these questions, we are told of another appointment – that of a special envoy to the Middle East on 2 April 2020 with ministerial rank.
What is surprising about this appointment is that this special envoy can’t travel to the Middle East during this period to discharge his duties – whatever they may be! Since he is unable to proceed to the Middle East, why make the appointment at this juncture? What is so pressing for this appointment?
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The consequence of this appointment is a drain on the finances, especially when we are in dire need financially. He will have to be paid his ministerial salary, concomitant allowances and perks – for not functioning as an envoy in the designated countries. Does it make sense?
When he finally makes it to the Middle East – only God knows when – an establishment must be set up for him: a building to house his office, staff to man it, domestic workers to serve him in his residence, car and driver and whatnot – all of which would require a huge budget!
How necessary is this appointment? Don’t we have ambassadors in these countries representing Malaysia? So why do we need a “special envoy with ministerial rank”?
In his role as “special envoy”, he will be jet-hopping from country to country in the Middle East chalking up huge expenditure. He will need to stay in five-star hotels, receive travel allowances, ride in limousines to meet heads of states, exchange impressive gifts, throw a banquet in these countries, etc.
Each such trip would incur mind-boggling expenditure, which will be a great drain and strain on our limited resources at this difficult time when we are tackling the coronavirus pandemic – money that is sorely needed to help the poor who are struggling to survive from hand to mouth.
What is Hadi expected to achieve as “special envoy” that the present ambassadors are not able to do? Is it a ploy by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to get rid of him so that Pas pressure will not be on him? If that is the case, Siberia would have been a better alternative!
To be sure, he won’t be going with remarkable credentials as a Muslim scholar after purportedly having written that infamous letter to all the Muslim leaders trying to mislead and hoodwink them with his fairy-tale description of the political situation in Malaysia.
These leaders know through their embassies the Malaysian political situation and the ground-level sentiments of the people on the backdoor government. They know that this backdoor government will not dare to go to Parliament to legitimise its position. They know that this backdoor government is not ethical in refusing to summon Parliament to secure sanction for the unprecedentedly huge loans taken for the stimulus package and to debate how this money will be used to stimulate the economy and help businesses and industries suffering from the lockdown.
Having 222 MPs scrutinising the budget and deciding how this money should be used is certainly far better than 70 ministers and their deputies making a decision on such a huge outlay of public funds.
It is believed that when thieves rob their victims, they share the loot among the gang members. That is why they band together to carry out their stealing.
What special expertise does Hadi have for this role as “special envoy” then? Going by his recent letter to the Muslim leaders, his ability to tell the truth is nothing to crow about. He goes with a tainted reputation, and to be sure, these Muslim leaders will take whatever he dishes out to them with a pinch of salt!
Should he truly be our special envoy to the Middle East? Perhaps there is also another reason for this appointment. In the fashion of robbers and thieves who steal and share the loot, this backdoor government has to look after all the crooked cronies who came together to topple a duly elected government of the people and betray the popular mandate.
Having stolen the government through the back door, it is nothing surprising if Perikatan Nasional is seen by some to be behaving just like the thieves. The way they have been distributing and sharing the wealth in making their various appointments is a way of sharing the loot.
The various leaders who came together to steal the government have to be rewarded handsomely. That is how we have a bloated cabinet – actually it’s a crowd in the cabinet. There are 70 ministers and deputies enjoying all the salaries and perks that go with the appointments – car, driver, allowances, house rental, gardener, and whatnot – that would add up to a tidy sum.
Others in the gang have also to be rewarded. New appointments as directors general of the various ministries and chairpersons of government-linked companies and other agencies have to be made, thus mindlessly displacing those with expertise occupying these positions and doing a fine job. It is not the national interest that counts but political interest that will ensure their power and position.
While all these appointments are being made, the taxpayers must pick up the bill, including the life-long pensions if the appointees serve long enough to qualify. Every sen that goes into the appointees’ pockets is money denied to the deserving. Whatever they are provided with is done at the expense of the vast majority of the poor.
Some would conclude that this is the conduct of an uncaring government.
We are reminded of this saying: The gentleman understands what is moral. The small man understands what is profitable.