“I am not out to be popular. We try our best, and this is something we are very serious about, but naturally people will not be happy", said the Prime Minister. Well Sir, if not being popular is the main objective, I'd say you've met your target.
Yesterday I tried to reason with people when the announcement was made in the afternoon thinking that the implementation would be sometime in August. Then I gave up defending what I thought would be a form of National Service in fear of being slapped silly by my audience when we were told that the hike would take effect at 12 midnight.
There was no room left for the rakyat to adjust. It came down just like that, like a blade from the guillotine. Kuala Lumpur was paralysed for a few hours last night because of this. Everytime I pressed down the power windows I heard profanities, no prizes for guessing right whom it was for.
I thought March 2008 was the lowest ebb as far as support for the government was concerned. But if a snap election is called this week, I'd give a ten to one odds that BN would be slaughtered like the cows during Aidil Adha, and it'd be so quick there won't be enough time for the religious recital before the knife strikes either.
The act was necessary I suppose, but the timing is suspect. This involves the everyman. It could have been more subtle. There will certainly be a converse effect in relation to other goods. Unscrupulous merchants will take advantage of the situation, and bad words will continue to flow out of the consumers everytime they go out shopping. Are we able to get out of this political doldrums or could Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi be The Last Prime Minister from UMNO.