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Monday, October 17, 2011

How Najib trapped hundreds of Ustaz and Ustazah for a 1Malaysia Budget 2012

Sulaiman Kamal | 2:42 PM | | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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Ustaz (male Islamic teachers) and ustazah (female Islamic teachers) in Gombak cannot help but feel taken for a ride by Prime Minister Najib Razak and his administration. A few days before his much-hyped Budget 2012 was unveiled on October 7, all of them had received a letter from the district Education office or Pejabat Pelajaran Daerah to attend a half-day course at the SRJK(C) Kundang school.
This raised eyebrows as many wondered what could be so important that such short notice was given to demand their attendance for the course. The location of the school sparked suspicion as there were Islamic religious schools in the Gombak area, which could be better used to host the course.

Nonetheless, in good faith, hundreds of these Islamic or PAI education specialists gathered at the designated school to attend the weekend course on the morning of October 8, the day after Najib had presented the Budget 2012 in Parliament.
Then in the afternoon, the PAI teachers’ attentions were suddenly disrupted when slowly but surely, the school’s compound was filled with people who were obviously not part of their profession. Most of them were wearing T-shirts with the 1Malaysia logo on them. Suddenly, a group of workers went up the stage and switched the banner that was used as a backdrop for the one-day PAI course with another banner, welcoming the arrival of Najib!
The religious teachers tried to dash off but were unable to leave the hall because of an influx of BN supporters streaming in. Their cars also choked up the school compound, blocking and preventing other vehicles from leaving.
Suddenly, it's showtime
Then the magic moment and the magician himself arrived. To the din of a lion's dance and the sound of the Indian drums, Najib turned up followed by Chinese and Indian BN supporters. Guess who provided the Malay element to make the Najib even a truly 1Malaysia gathering. Yes, it was the unsuspecting Ustaz and Ustazahs.
"Congratulations to the Gombak PPD for succeeding in using teachers for BN’s political interest for the umptenth time! It shows that Najib's 1Malaysia is the most exaggerated exploitation and lies ever," PKR MP for Ampang Zuraida Kamaruddin told Malaysia Chronicle.
In his speech at the event, Najib had announced several more projects to show the BN government’s concern towards the Gombak residents. Among these were the 'instant' road project to link up Kundang with Bandar Tasik Puteri, valued at RM4 million. According to Najib, the proposed road will make it easier for the residents to go to the capital by using the new Kuala Lumpur-Kuala Selangor (KLKS) Expressway.
Another scam, show-project or pure apathy?
But experts were sceptical of the plan, which they insisted sounded "magnificent" but was not practical. Even though the project will give a little relief to the residents of Bandar Tasik Puteri and the surrounding areas, who currently have to face traffic congestion everyday to go to the Plus Highway, the project to link Kundang with Bandar Tasik Puter does not really solve their problems.
Residents commitee heads in the area said this was because there were no exits on the KLKS Expressway to Kundang, only an entry. This meant that whomsoever wanted to exit to Bandar Tasik Puteri would have to take the exit to Puncak Alam and Kota Puteri instead, which is located 4 km ahead. In other words, the residents would have to backtrack and travel even more distance than before.
Rawang assemblywoman Gan Pei Nei pointed out that everyday there were approximately 370,000 cars using the FT3209 Federal Road from Pekan Rawang to Batu Arang. Traffic is always heavy in front of the Rawang PLUS toll. Why was there no exit till now, she queried.
Residents also said the entry into the highway was located a mere 3km from the service centre of Umno assemblyman for Kuang, Abdul Shukor Idrus. Why had not Abdul Shukor, who is also the Information Chief of Selangor Umno, notice the situation and suggest the simpler and more logical solution, which was an exit, rather than a RM4million link road?
"The question that arises is, doens't Najib and his advisers do any research and homework before simply announcing projects that benefit no one except the contractors," said Ahmad Idrus, a Bandar Tasik community leader.

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