Monday, October 4, 2010

RM10 Smoke

This evening I was at the Summit-NLP Joint Meeting Toastmasters meeting, and I took on the role of an Evaluator for the only project speaker, Shel Ling. Good meeting and because I chose to attend this meeting – I skipped my own KL Advanced Toastmasters Club meeting.

Malaysian newspapers today announced that a 20-stick pack of cigarettes costs RM10 from today – a 70 sen increase from the previous price of RM9.30. It is the highest increase so far, as previously prices rose moderately between 10 and 30 sens. It still won’t deter smokers though.

It’s good to know that Lim Guan Eng is not taking things lying down. The Penang chief minister hit back at UMNO by describing their allegation that money from gaming sources (supposedly a RM2 million donation from the Penang Turf Club) was used to make compassionate payments to its senior citizens as “an act of pure desperation”.

He said UMNO’s attempts to attack the state government were the “last resort of scoundrels and desperados” who were trying to prevent the people of Penang from asking why similar welfare schemes had not been conducted by past administrations. “They don’t want people to start asking questions why there was no money (compassionate payment) when the previous government ruled, and why now we have,” he told The Malaysian Insider today.

“The answer is easy, previous government ‘makan duit’ (misused the funds), but this government did not. People should not allow themselves to be deceived,” he said, adding that the state government was unfazed with the attack and would carry on with the program.

Following this, 100 senior citizens from Penaga and Bayan Baru has since tearfully returned the compassionate payments they received to state UMNO leadership.

The state government has vehemently denied the allegations, explaining that the donation was separated from the pool of funds in the state’s Rakan Anti-Miskin (Friends Against Poverty) programme and was channelled only to the non-Muslims.

If this was true – what about the monies collected at the Federal level? How do Malay Muslims know that the monies they have been receiving all this while are really ‘halal’? If they do want to split hairs, then all the Muslim Federal Ministers, MPs, ADUNs and civil servants should also return their salaries and allowances and bonuses to the government coffers as these payments too came from consolidated funds including taxation from non-syariah listed companies in Malaysia. Only then will they “walk the talk”! And while they are at it, why don’t they get those people who became wealthy overnight to start returning their ill-gotten gains since the monies obtained are clearly ‘haram’?

No comments: