Friday, March 4, 2011

Caring Government

I was at KDU University College yesterday to attend the D’Utama Toastmasters meeting. The second Yap Bell Xun told me that Lim Bing Yee was to be the Toastmaster of the Evening, I made up my mind to go because she is one bubbly person who can make a meeting comes alive! And besides, it’s a great feeling to just sit back and hear speeches and evaluations without having to play any role. Overall, it was a meeting that lacked quality, but the members compensated by wrapping us up with snug blankets of enthusiastic energy.

On Tuesday, according to Bukit Aman, there are still 17.3 million traffic summonses – mostly for speeding – yet to be settled. This is despite a six-month grace period and a 50% discount to incentivize motorists to settle. Now The Sun yesterday front-paged that these traffic offenders are getting a ten-day extension. This is what I call the Malaysia that cares. It doesn’t matter if you have committed an offence; you can still settle it because the government are so understanding. Simply put, they are prepared to bend backwards because they lack the political will. Don’t forget that these errant road users are voters too and you cannot have them getting angry with the government just because of a speeding ticket, right? That would be a disaster when the general election comes around. Najib cannot take that chance – he must win at all costs; otherwise he may lose his job.

Sure, the government are undermining their own road safety initiatives by being charitable and condoning. But this is not the first time the government are shooting themselves in the foot, and it won’t be the last either. Sure, this encourages people to break the law – but I dare anybody in the government who are without sin to cast the first stone! Nobody, right? Sure, more people will become speed demons. This is Malaysia wad! We already have druggies, Mat Rempits, snatch thieves, parang-wielding robbers, crooked politicians – one more won’t hurt the country!

Sir Howard Davies, the director of the London School of Economics has resigned over their links to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi – as reported by BBC News yesterday – saying he recognized the university's reputation had "suffered" and he had to quit. He acknowledged that the decision to accept £300,000 for research from a foundation run by Gaddafi's son, Saif, "backfired".

The LSE council has commissioned an independent inquiry, seeking to clarify the extent of the LSE's links with Libya and establish guidelines for future donations. At least Davies did the honorable thing.

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