President Obama shot down the idea of a second stimulus package, something which many had speculated thanks to the suckers’ rally that has lost its steam, clarifying that the first stimulus should be given time to show its effect. Obama urged Americans to be patient as his economic recovery plan was designed to work over two years *gulp*, not four months. Unfortunately more than two million jobs have lost and Americans continue to suffer. Naturally the Republicans took the opportunity to criticize the president and said the first stimulus has theoretically taken US$10,000 away from every American household to bailout companies but in return Americans do not feel a dollar richer.
During such critical stage, Obama did the right thing by setting the right expectation in explaining to the voters that the economy will not get any better soon, at least not within two years. If the president needs to maintain the trust of Americans, he has no other choice but to tell the truth. The earnings season which will kicks into high gear next week will be the immediate yardstick in measuring the health of American companies since the first stimulus package. You don’t make empty promises you can’t deliver especially if you’re the President of the United States of America. Time will tell if Americans will handover another four years to Obama after his first term.
Former Malaysia Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi learned the hard way when he over-promised the voters and as a result lost heavily in the Mar 2008 general election. Badawi was further humiliated when he was forced out of the office by none other than his own deputy, Najib Razak, who today made a series of “sweet” promises in conjunction with his 100th day as Prime Minister. As anticipated all the government-controlled newspapers sing the song of praises to Najib and all the ministers did the standard operating procedures (SOP) – Najib is the best and Najib is the greatest hero since the creation of Superman *yawn*.
Najib announced that road users will enjoy 20% discount if they pay toll more than 80 times per month. Whoa! This is indeed the greatest mankind invention since bread and compass. It beats me why only motorists who pay more than 80 times per month will enjoy the pathetic 20% discount when in fact the parasite concessionaires who are sucking the average-Joes money everyday due to extremely lopsided agreement should be stopped since the first day Najib took office. Of course we know that these concessionaires are actually the right-pocket of Najib’s administration (UMNO) so to buy over the roads actually means to slaughter the goose that lays golden eggs. Coincidently according to a poll by Merdeka Center, Najib’s popularity has skyrocketed to 65% from a mere 42% just before he became the country’s sixth prime minister.
Let’s give him the benefit of doubt and his approval rating has indeed climbed to 65% currently. No doubt he’s a better prime minister than his successor Abdullah Badawi. Opposition parties PKR-DAP-PAS should take this seriously and work doubly hard to ensure continuous support from the voters. Already the people have seen the benefits of having a strong opposition to check and balance the corrupt ruling government. But could the 65% approval rating was due to the fact that the poll was carried on fence-sitters who naturally gave the thumbs-up compared to Abdullah Badawi who slept on the job most of the time? Even Najib’s mentor, Mahathir, admitted the prime minister scored some points because he (Najib) doesn’t sleep on the job *grin*. Perhaps Najib should call for a state-level election for Perak as his 65% populatiry could now translate into a sure-win election.
Najib also promised he would improve crime problem and combat corruption *yawn again*. Maybe the prime minister was trying to insult the peoples’ intelligence once again. If he was serious about tackling the crime problem, the least he can do was to get rid of the current Inspector General of Police and appoint another person who can dedicate his or her time in crime prevention. We don’t need a police chief who would not think twice about assaulting the public over wearing black shirts or pulling a supposedly respected House Speaker as if he (Speaker) was a dog. The IGP must be made to understand that he survives on taxpayers’ money and not the prime minister’s money. If Najib was serious about combating corruption, maybe he should put former transport minister Ling Liong Sik and Chan Kong Choy on trial over PKFZ RM12 billion’s scandal. If my neighbor’s dog could smell something fishy about these two former transport minister, certainly a prime minister who enjoys 65% approval rating knows these two individuals are not angels after all.
Perhaps Najib should, for once, get the police and anti-corruption to check on Selangor former Chief Minister Khir Toyo’s claim that his controversial mansion costs only RM3.5million. If his mentor Mahathir is not convinced about Khir Toyo’s story, definitely you don’t expect us to believe him too, do you? I believe people will throw at least 80% of their support to Najib’s administration if he can show at least the political will on the issue of crime and corruption. Hence to promise quality of life, quality of education, better rural infrastructure and public transportation are not necessarily. It would be miracle if he can focus on the main problems – crime and corruption. So don’t over-promise because people are not stupid, not that they expect Najib’s 100th day of goodies is something which are achievable in the first place. We’ve enough of Barisan Nasional’s slogans thus Najib would do the people a great favor if he could just shut up.
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