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Take a look at the attached photos. Is it caring or cunning politics at work?
On 16 August 2012 hundreds of residents scrambled to Semenyih. They got news (by word of mouth mostly) that there is going to be freebies given out to help them tide the unbearable cost of living.
And so all the oldies and housewives went to an event in the township as it being a working day the breadwinners were busy with their daily jobs.
Mind you the people ran to the venue not because they were going to welcome the captain of the nation; they did not eagerly drop their household chores and rush over because they would get to see the very man whom they only so far saw in print or from the idiot box.
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They all had only hope – that they will get free this-and-that to help feed their families.
And what did they get?
They came back with a 5 Kg bag of rice for each NRIC they were able to produce. And they were also given a large T-shirt with the PM’s mug shot screaming from the right front side of the T-shirt plus a CD titled “Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak Visit To Ladang Tennamaram, Kuala Selangor” and prominently showing the PM flanked by MIC and BN politicians (on the CD cover and disk).
Why trick the ordinary folk
Now what is this? Political pre-election campaigning? Or is it another propaganda message of “Jangi Detepati”? Or is it honest to God caring for the people’s plight and hardship in putting rice on the table?
If it was charity, then since when did acts of charity become the bait for political fishing? Is it ethical to get people to scramble and gather for handouts just to get them to show up in your presence?
And if it still is a responsible behavior giving out 5Kg of rice per NRIC, why have a CD on politics too distributed?
If you argue that the CD is pure information dissemination, then the next question is what has a T-shirt with the PM’s mug shot printed on the front got to do with information dissemination? Or even with a presumable act of charity?
NRIC for T-shirt with PM's mugshot
Everyone who turned up with an NRIC in hand got this free-size (rather over-sized) T-shirt – old ladies, old men, young, fat, lean – all of them had but one size T-shirt.
How is a T-shirt with the PM’s picture going to alleviate the hard times the rakyat are going through? Five Kg of rice may fill a few plates for several days - but a T-shirt with the PM’s photo?
And let us get real honest. How many people will wear that out-sized T-shirt with the PM’s picture up front and walk about all over their Tamans and public spaces?
In summary is our politics of the day coming to plain caring or sheer cunning?
5kg of rice or Najib's mugshot
If you want to give 5 Kg of rice because it is a government effort and duty to respond appropriately given the acknowledged hard times, then why do you need a T-shirt with the PM’s picture and CD to go along with the event?
But if you argue that the event is not to give out charity nor to alleviate hardships but to invite them to listen first-hand to some ‘truths’ you want to tell, then why give out rice, T-shirts and CDs at the same event?
Or is this all a cleverly disguised campaigning in the run-up to GE13?
Politicians you need to take control of your public events and the public relations angle with greater awareness and wisdom. Unless of course if you are all sworn loyalists of cunning politics, who cares really what public relations can or cannot do.
Please stop wasting public funds to earn brownie points or political mileage for your selves. If you have to do your political talk shows do use the money from your pockets yeah. And do remember to also not claim that it is another national “janji Detepati”.