Mr Prime Minister,
I am an ex-kampung boy who now live and earn my living in Kuala Lumpur. Big town this Kuala Lumpur. Despite all my educations, I am just a simpleton. I don’t know much about politics and economics. I don’t understand how all these super corridors that you have launched all over the country is going to help Malaysians generally for example. I swear. I really don’t have a clue. I also struggle to understand why, for example, you would say something and then you would do exactly the opposite the next day. Sorry. I am just dumb in this respect. As you probably can see, I am just a kampung boy at heart.
Oh, by the way, I am a Malay. A true blue Melayu if ever there was one. That is because, I think, my father and grandfather and their forefathers are Malays. And so is my mother. But I would like to insist that I am NOT a Bumiputera. Bumiputera is not a race just as Bill Clinton is not an African American. No, I am not a Bumiputera. And quite frankly, and at the risk of showing my simple mindedness again, I really don’t know why a category of Malaysians was invented and called Bumiputera in the first place. As I remember, it was for something which is called the New Economic Policy in 1969. But being something from 1969, I also do not see why the NEP is still called the NEW Economic Policy. It would be 39 years old, no? Is something which is 39 years of age new Mr Prime Minister? I don’t know but my simple mind tells me not.
Mr Prime Minister, bear with me because I am used to being paid to talk. So I could be a bit long winded. I hope you have not fallen asleep by now. Sorry. I could be boring too. Sometime that is. Just as those speakers at the various economics conferences you attended. They bore you to death don’t they Mr Prime Minister. I know. I find them boring too. But I have learnt how to fall asleep with my eyes open. Maybe you should learn that. Just may be.
Sorry, I digress. That is because I don’t have much ability to focus. It’s just like landing somewhere in Johor at the place you call the Iskandar Development Region. I don’t know where to go. It is so big. And I really cannot focus. When I cannot focus, I seem to lose interest. I hope those people you are inviting to invest in the IDR do not feel the same way Mr Prime Minister. Otherwise, IDR would not be that successful. Touch wood, I hope that would not happen.
You know Mr Prime Minister, sometime, when I did not know what else to do, or even when I have a lot of things to do but I was lazy to do them, I would read your party’s manifesto for the last general election. And also your speeches at the UMNO general assembly. You know, all those stuffs about Islam Hadhari, work with me and not for me thingy. And all those promises about “industrialising our agricultural sector”, achieving a fair and just society, a just economics distributions and stuffs like that. I tell you, they sound so good Mr Prime Minister. Way to go man….as my son would say when he approves of something said or done by his friends. Yes, way to go Mr Prime Minister.
Quite frankly, they sound so big. So they must be important I suppose. Because again, really, I don’t care much of what you said. Or what your party said. It’s good that they said it I suppose. It shows that you and your party are serious people with serious intentions I think. Which is good. I mean, can you ever imagine having a Prime Minister who is a joker? My God, that would be terrible, right? Not the way to go man…to quote my son when he disapproves of something which is said or done by his friends. I mean, nobody would want a Prime Minister, or Ministers or parliamentarians who are jokers right. Otherwise, people will not be able to stop laughing at their funny remarks in public. Betul tak? So, because of that, I am glad that you have all these serious stuffs mentioned in the manifesto and speeches. Very nice and very serious.
But really. I am just a kampung boy at heart. I really don’t give two hoots about landing a guy on the moon or buying submarines for a trillion ringgit or stuffs like that. All I want are the simple things in life. I believe it is the smaller and simpler things in life which make all our lives better. So, I do have small wishes. Or rather wishes for small things. Not big things. But small. They are a lot easier to achieve too. And most probably, they don’t cost a trillion ringgit. In fact, they might come for free.
If you are writing your party’s manifesto now, could you then consider my requests and include them in the manifesto? Please? I promise I would vote for you in you did. And I would campaign for you too. I would ask all my staffs, family members, friends, foes and everyone I know to vote for you if you did that. I just want the followings:
a) please prohibit all parliamentarians or state representatives from putting a crest telling the whole world that they are parliamentarians or state representatives on their official or non-official cars. Displaying such crests serve no purpose other than to intimidate the public or the authorities or to ask for special favours or treatment when they do something wrong! It serves no other purpose.
b) please ask them not to tint their window or windshield of their official or unofficial cars black. I mean, it is against the law for the public to do it. Why the double standard? Are all parliamentarians and state reps albinos or what? What do they want to hide? It is so unfriendly. If it is not tinted, then I could say hello to them when I am stuck in the traffic jam and anyone of them happen to be beside my car. Correct or not? If it is, then say “correct” only once Mr Prime Minister. Only once. For obvious reason.
c) please tell them that the official car, and the driver, must be used only for official functions and purposes. Like for going to the office, parliament, official functions and stuffs. Not for sending their kids to tuition or a party. Not for sending datin whatever to the hair saloon or high teas. No please. Only for official functions. Because, that car, and petrol, and the overtime payment to the driver come from the public’s money. And to use it for private purposes is a breach of trust Mr Mr Prime Minister. I am sure you know that. After all, Islam Hadhari is started by you. And oh, by the way, this should apply to the government's private jet and pilots as well, okay? So, please, no using the jet to fly people around to Paris for shopping or even to Mecca for umrah and what not. Okay?
d) please tell the authorities and government departments not to give any kind of special treatment to these parliamentarians and state reps. Meaning, if they want to renew their passports, do it like any other citizen would do. They have to be present at the immigration office themselves, take a number and wait, just like everybody else. Why must they be accorded special treatment? They are just normal people like both you and myself. In fact, they are the people’s servants! If they come out from the airplanes, tell them to go through customs check out like everybody else too. Things like that.
e) please tell the authorities and various enforcement agencies to treat them just like other citizens. Meaning, if they do something wrong, they have to be summoned or charged or whatever just like any other citizen. I read a month or two ago about the British Minister who was issued a ticket for using a mobile phone while he was driving. Why can’t our police do likewise Mr Prime Minister? After all, aren’t all parliamentarians and state reps subject to the law just like myself Mr Prime Minister. This morning, a black Proton Perdana with tinted glass and parliamentarian’s crest double park near my car and I could not get out of the parking lot. He did not even apologise to me Mr Prime Minister. In fact he gave me a dirty look when I told him to move his car. And actually he has done it twice, not once. This kind of behaviour is unbecoming of him, as the people’s servants and representative. He shows disrespect to a normal citizen like me. That is not on man…to quote my son again.
f) please tell all of them to be courteous, refined and civil at all time. To hear them utter rude words in the parliament is really depressing. It makes a mockery of the august house Mr Prime Minister. No, I mean not the house which you moved in August. I mean the Parliament Mr Prime Minister. Right. If they don’t know how to behave themselves, you should perhaps engage an image consultant firm to teach them a lesson or two about being civil. Or send them to Tunku Dara’s finishing school. I heard it is good.
g) please ask them, after their victory in the polls, to prepare a blueprint of their plans to help their relevant constituency. No, it doesn’t have to be blue in colour. What I mean is to have a plan. A basic plan. A template of sorts. Okay? Then you should ask them to give you a quarterly report of what they have done to achieve the plans in their respective blueprint. That way Mr Prime Minister, you would know what they are doing and what they have done to help their respective constituency. Then may be you should consider imposing a KPI on them. You can ask those people in Khazanah Holdings on KPIs. They are very good at it. But I a sure you know what it is right Mr Prime Minister?
I think that’s all that I want as a simple minded ex-kampung boy in Kuala Lumpur. Nothing much Mr Prime Minister. And if you look at it, it doesn’t cost a sen. In fact, the country will save some money. Because if you follow (a) and (b) above for example, you would save money from not having to buy all those crests, black tints and paying overtime claims for the drivers and petrol for unofficial usage of the drivers and cars. Save on car maintenance too. Less carbon dioxide in the air too.
Let’s forget about all those big huge things Mr Prime Minister. Because what people like me want is really, the small inexpensive things. They are more meaningful to me and people like me. And yes, they make our life better.
ps I admit Mr Prime Minister, these are all small things. But if you cannot do small things, how can I trust you to do the big things, no?