Does BN even know what a job is? by Chris Lee Chun Kit


Does BN even know what a job is?

I remembered once driving along the North-South Highway and seeing a huge banner of the Menteri Besar of a particular BN-ruled state welcoming the diaspora population back home for the festivals. On first glance I thought “well, he is trying hard to increase his public profile” then I realised,

“wait a minute, instead of welcoming the diaspora back for the holidays like it is a norm, shouldn’t he be doing something to stop or even to reverse it?”

Yes , basically that particular BN MB seemed to be happy to portray that his state had contributed a lot of home grown talents to Penang, Selangor and Kuala Lumpur as well as overseas. He was proud that other states and countries could benefit from the best brains his state could offer.

Basically, he was indirectly implying that he was proud in failing to provide jobs and retain his talents. If that is the case then as an elected government, he has failed his people. But I know, some would argue that people are allowed to seek employment elsewhere like in the cities around the world but if that is the case then what is the role of the elected government then?

You see a while back, Deputy Health Minister and former Penang Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Hilmi Yahaya had claimed that the Penang State Government had failed the people of Penang when he said that around 6000 people had lost their jobs when their factories closed. Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng then responded by saying that based on statistics from the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida), 24,000 job opportunities had been created in the state in 2016 under his administration and then urged the Deputy Minister to respond to whether he thinks Penang had benefitted from the job creation. Dr. Hilmi has since been silent.

Dr. Hilmi was obviously trying to spin facts to work in his favour and thus create a perception that the Pakatan Harapan coalition government was incapable of governing. This form of attempt to destroy confidence is nothing new as the BN often claims that they are the only coalition worthy and smart enough to govern. What Dr. Hilmi had conveniently forgotten was that many states which are directly governed by BN has been severely lacking in jobs and has resulted in a brain drain of the talented youths to the cities or other countries.

You see, many BN leaders are so comfortable with their stable high salaries in their offices of power that they do not seem to realise nor understand the needs of their electorate anymore. Let us just skip the technical terms and get straight to the point, people need jobs because jobs equals spending and spending generates an economy. Without a job, the populace will be unable to earn a living and be forced to move elsewhere. So if they are unable to look for a job in their home state, then did their governments do enough to ensure that investors bring jobs to their respective states?

Not every Malaysian has the financial nor academic ability to leave their homes and seek jobs elsewhere. Family and financial commitments are among many causes that may lead to a decision to stay home. However, the option to stay home and find work seems to be increasingly difficult in many BN states due to the inabilities of their leaders to find ways to improve the economy. As a result, the people have to suffer while the BN mismanages the economy of both the state and the country. The depreciation of the Malaysian Ringgit coupled with BN crony monopolies of local industries has resulted in rising living costs while salaries remain stagnant and low, lower in the states that the BN governs, due to lack of economic competitiveness.

One would think that after comparing their failing economies to the well managed ones of Pakatan Harapan states like Penang and Selangor, they would learn. But what do these BN leaders know? They have high salaries as government officials both in the state and federal levels. They can afford to send their children to international schools and overseas. As far as they are concerned, their priorities are power and retaining power. Your welfare does not cross their minds at all.

They do not seem to understand nor even care to understand.

Chris Lee Chun Kit is a City Coucillor of Penang Island (Majlis Bandaraya Pulau Pinang) representing the DAP. #ilovepenang

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