Unjustifiable government spending as rakyat suffer in poverty

Million ringgit excuse of a lifetime

Remember all those various movement control orders over the past 2 years?

That stressful, fearful time when we were ALL mandated to plonk our tushies at home like responsible citizens and do our part to keep the blasted Covid-19 coronavirus at bay?

Now we’re quite sure that the WFH ruling also covered the wonderful women and men in the civil service. And we’re doubly sure ‘civil servants’ included the slightly less wonderful Cabinet folks in Putrajaya.

Now hark back to that time a few months back when then PM8, now National Recovery Council head honcho Muhyiddin Yassin pitifully bleated that the gomen had nearly only federal moths left in its pockets after having spent most of its moolah on stimulus packages and Budget 2021 to tide us common folks over this seemingly never-ending pandemic.

If you felt bad for the gomen going near broke, don’t be. 

According to shiny new PM9 Ismail “Izzy” Sabri in Parliament this week, sometime between all those lockdowns and now, them enterprising Putrajaya folks somehow manage to dredge up enough coins under all the Putrajaya sofas to carry out a million-ringgit renovation of a few ministers’ and deputy ministers’ offices.

Yes, you heard that right. There’s nothing “allegedly! allegedly!” about any of this!

Seems a sum of RM1,073,580 was spent on renovating and replacing old furniture at 2 select ministers’ and their deputies’ offices between 2020 and 2021. Of this, over RM350k was spent on furniture alone (and that’s not even considering the expensive Cabinet Moo and Izzy got themselves, wink, wink)!

The reno involved the offices of the Law (held by Takiyuddin Hassan under Muhyiddin era and Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar under Izzy) and Sabah, Sarawak Affairs (Maximus Johnity Ongkili) portfolios.

To recap: Our Rich Uncle Pennybags government decided to spend over 1. Million. Ringgit. to HGTV two of its offices at a time when 1) we were supposedly running out of money; 2) every penny was/still is sorely needed by the regular people just to survive; and, 3) when most folks, including ministers, have been WORKING FROM HOME!

Pardon our French Mr Prime Minister, but what the blue fuckity fuck blazes and ten thousand thundering typhoons?

In case all the f-bombs didn’t clue you in, we’re pissed. So, pray tell Izzy & Co., of all the most urgent-est of things to check off the federal to-do list, was this really top priority?

What was so wrong with the four offices that they each needed around half a mil $$ worth of work done. Had poltergeists or a family of p̶o̶l̶i̶ tikuses set up shop there??!?

Bear in mind, it was on that same day in the Dewan Rakyat that the premier dropped this bomb, that we were dealt with sobering stats concerning the worsening state of poverty in the country.

What with lockdowns, people dying, business shuttering and many people losing their income, half a million middle income households fell to the low-income group, while the number of poor and hardcore poor households rose significantly last year.

One million ringgit may not be able to do much when you’re talking about millions of suffering folks.

But it breaks our hearts to think that when the rakyat was clamouring to #kitajagakita and help put food on the table for desperate folks raising white flags above their doors, some minister was getting a brand new swivel chair their WFH-ing ass wouldn’t even be resting on. 

Artist of the Month
Faizati Mohd Ali
Faizati is a lawyer by day and artist all the time. She’s been drawing since her teens, and her work has appeared in magazines like Gila-Gila and Gelihati. These days, she takes inspiration from her 13 cats and issues she feels strongly about, such as gender inequality, social injustice and discrimination. See more about her here.

Eksentrika is a community portal dedicated to Malaysia's arts and culture. Since 2016, it's served as a resource for insightful, informative, and practical guides related to the creative fields. Their Artist Registry hosts hundreds of talents across multiple disciplines and countries in Asia; they also publicise arts and culture events.

Eksentrika aims to nurture a thriving arts ecosystem and facilitate connections between the arts community and partners across the globe.

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