Serving Without Conscience
Datuk Sri Mohd Najib Razak’s first budget as Prime Minister was nearly shot down in Parliament very late last night in what could be said as the confirmation with the narrowest margin in Malaysian history. The vote scored a pathetic 66 ayes to 63 nays. Reliable sources say that Najib, Muhyiddin and Ong Tee Kiat had to come to Parliament from their official functions to save the night and a very embarrassing situation for Barisan Nasional. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Minister in charge of Parliament himself was absent, otherwise he would have done his job by ensuring the seats were occupied by the BN MPs.
A rejected budget and one tabled by the Prime Minister himself in his capacity as the Finance Minister would have implied a no-confidence move against the Government of the day and would have made world headlines within the hour.
On my last count, Barisan Nasional had 137 seats out of 222 in Parliament. That would mean there were 71 absentees from the BN bench on a night when the reputation of the newly minted Prime Minister and his RM191.5 billion budget hung in the balance. What could be said about these 71 BN Parliamentarians? Are they:
A) Irresponsible B) Reckless C) Stupid D) Complacent E) Lackadaisical F) Tired G) Careless H) Out to embarrass the Prime Minister I) Morons J) Serving as our envoy to Washington
Damn straight! The answer is all of the above. Barring the honorable gentleman serving us in Washington D.C., the rest should be hauled up and given a dressing down for not being in Parliament where they were assigned to and elected to remain when it is in session. Talk about KPIs, this particular incident should stick out like a sore thumb on the record of these MPs.
The Prime Minister should begin to evaluate them, and those who do not have an acceptable excuse should be downgraded while quietly pin pointing their successors in their constituencies to ensure that they are properly groomed and ready to be nominated and received well by the people in the next general elections.
Prime Minister Najib Razak should plan well ahead to ensure that the people who are ready to work to achieve his aspirations will be accepted without much opposition within his party. He can do so by informing the candidates well in advance in strict confidence so that they too can prepare themselves well instead of jumping for joy like they struck the winning number in a lottery, being nominated at the eleventh hour at the MB’s residence, but hadn’t done much base touching with the people at large.
The telephone call I received this morning informing me of yesterday’s nightmare almost gave me a nosebleed. Let’s hope the fresh candidates for Parliament in the next general elections can be groomed early and trained by the BTN from now to condition their minds and political culture to avoid possible hemorrhages for BN in the future.