(We all seriously hope Najib has a concrete financial plan for the country when it comes to empowerment of its people and the economy and not doing for the sake of his own political survival in the upcoming political party elections. As taxpayers, no one wants to see their hard-earned money down the toilet on short-sighted financial plans. Image source: www.antaranews.com)
Sorry for starting with something “international” this week – Malaysia’s political circus show hardly makes a dent on the front pages at where I am now.
As you may be aware, President Obama and most of the western world have put the blame squarely on the Syrian Government for the recent chemical attacks. David Cameron tried to get the UK Parliament to pass a motion on Syria and failed.
And despite that and rather strong opposition from the US Senate, the Obama Administration seemed bent on punishing the Syrian Government for the alleged chemical attacks on its own people (how they effectively going to do it another question). That is until Russia came up with an alternate solution and provided a way out for Obama from a rather sticky situation.
Obama’s proposed shot over the bow is really not effective unless there are troops on the ground – something the American public is well aware of and does not want to do after the same blunders in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Then this came up:-
Syrian rebels in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta have admitted to Associated Press correspondent Dale Gavlak that they were responsible for last week’s chemical weapons incident which western powers have blamed on Bashar Al-Assad’s forces, revealing that the casualties were the result of an accident caused by rebels mishandling chemical weapons provided to them by Saudi Arabia.
“From numerous interviews with doctors, Ghouta residents, rebel fighters and their families….many believe that certain rebels received chemical weapons via the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and were responsible for carrying out the (deadly) gas attack,” writes Gavlak.
Rebels told Gavlak that they were not properly trained on how to handle the chemical weapons or even told what they were. It appears as though the weapons were initially supposed to be given to the Al-Qaeda offshoot Jabhat al-Nusra. According to Abdel-Moneim, the weapons exploded inside a tunnel, killing 12 rebels.
If accurate, this story could completely derail the United States’ rush to attack Syria which has been founded on the “undeniable” justification that Assad was behind the chemical weapons attack. Dale Gavlak’s credibility is very impressive. He has been a Middle East correspondent for the Associated Press for two decades and has also worked for National Public Radio (NPR) and written articles for BBC News.
Saudi Arabia’s alleged role in providing rebels, whom they have vehemently backed at every turn, with chemical weapons, is no surprise given the revelations earlier this week that the Saudis threatened Russia with terror attacks at next year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi unless they abandoned support for the Syrian President.
Well, this piece of news may just be a part of an elaborate spin to turn the public opinion against Obama’s stand on the Syrian conflict. But then again, what if it is true? Let’s just hope that this does not escalate into something bigger and cause the world oil price to spike again.
It is just the excuse for the “you know who” to reduce the subsidy and take the amount saved into another wasteful adventure.
And speaking of “you know who”, it was not a big surprise when Najib, after increasing the petrol price recently, turns around and announces this:-
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced a massive economic empowerment agenda for bumiputras while thanking the community for their strong support for Barisan Nasional in the 13th general election.
The Prime Minister said: “Based on the support of the Malays and other bumiputras in the 13th general election, the Government has decided to take a quantum leap to implement concrete and thorough strategies and approaches.
We call this bumiputra economic empowerment, and it is to safeguard the community now and forever.”
Be mindful that Najib is not talking about small fry money here. And it is good that the Government is looking into ways to “empower” the community (which it claims to be still weak and in need of Government help since 1969).
The question is will the community get the necessary funding and help lock, stock and barrel or will it trickle down after the various fat cat middlemen, cronies and corrupt politicians have put their dirty hands in it?
And what happened to all policies and money that was poured to “empower” the community in the past – money that belonged to taxpayers from various race, culture and religion?
Has it gone down the drain or has it quietly went into the pockets of cronies and corrupt politician?
The BN may have announced a series of new race-based measures to boost the economic situation of the bumiputeras, but who is to be blamed for the community falling behind even after almost a half-century of affirmative action?
It is time to ask the same question as it seems to be the same thing all over again. The PM had announced the same race-based policies before and under the same whistles and bells and in the same name of championing the community but after some time, nothing much changes and before you know it, the PM announces another race-based policy and the vicious cycle starts all over again.
The Government says subsidy is bad but throwing taxpayers’ money on the same failed formula and getting no positive result is worse. The BN Government have been recycling the same old policies and re-branding them with new names but be rest assured, it only fattens the already fat lazy cats.
Can you think you can trust the politicians to keep to their words this time around and whatever “empowerment” that should happen do happens? Yes? Well, think again.