Speech at DAP Dinner at Chai Leng Park , Penang on Sunday, July 24, 2011
Since assuming office as Prime Minister, Dato Sri Najib has been talking about 1 Malaysia slogan and economic transformation.
But he has not been able to walk the talk on 1 Malaysia concept. Many things that have been happening in the country are anti 1 Malaysia.
A very good example is the UMNO controlled paper Utusan Malaysia being allowed to engage in unethical, irresponsible, dangerous and racially motivated false reporting to demonise the opposition parties and struggle.
On the economic transformation, it is a case where the government has made so much hype of its benefits to the nation, yet it is something which the ordinary people, especially the lower income group cannot see and feel.
Just ask the ordinary people what have they benefited from the economic transformation talk by the BN government, they will tell you what the impact of (price increases) barang naik that the Barang Naik (BN) government has brought to them.
Recently, at a forum organised by Malaysia Rating Corp Bhd, Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) senior analyst Muhammed Abdul Khalid said in his presentation that the nation has a negative income growth in a growing economy.
It was said that wage increases in the country have been lagging behind rising prices of goods and services over the past few years, and this is fuelling a widening income disparity between the rich and poor.
Muhammed said about 34% of the population earn less than RM700 a month. This means a third of the working population have an income below the official poverty line of RM720 a month.
According to Muhammed, the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) expanded at an average rate of 5.3% every year between 2000 and 2009. In the meantime, wages increased by 2.9%, which was slower than the annual inflation rate of 3.2%.
Muhammed said a lot of the country’s wealth is concentrated in a small group of people, with 20% of the population owning 95% of the financial assets.
So how much has the BN government done to help the majority ordinary people?
The answer is obvious.
BN has failed to do a good job despite having been in power for decades.
Will Najib’s economic transformation programmes be effective in addressing the real problems faced by the ordinary folks?
Again, the answer is no because it is the government that lacks the political will to do what is necessary and right.
Foreign workers are allowed to flow in as cheap source of labour.
The minimum wage Bill recently presented in Parliament is a toothless tiger which cannot really address the workers’ plight.
The key to better days is change.
Come the next general election, workers must be united and vote for change to bring about a new federal government which will truly serve their needs and protect their interest.