Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Barisan Nasional's Bomb

It was not the least bit unexpected.

In fact, a friend and I were discussing it over fries and ice-cream at McDonald's only a week or two ago.

It's a tough world, and in spite of their blatant incompetence, Barisan Nasional does know how to play its cards.

The Works Minister has just announced that the new National Palace a.k.a. Istana Negara will not cost RM1 billion after all. It will just cost about RM600 million or thereabouts.

To read the whole article, go to Twisting and Turning by Raja Petra Kamarudin.

This is the ploy by the BN government.

All this while, the Agong has lived his life in relative obscurity. He performs his functions, the occasional ribbon-cutting, officiating, but mostly akin to what the Royals in the UK do.

He does not involve himself in politics for his dos and don'ts are bound by Constitution. And he certainly does not issue press statements, which can be a difficult situation as people take it upon themselves to misrepresent him.

Due to our sorry state of politics, BERSIH decided that the only party to approach to remedy this situation was the Agong. And that's when the limelight fell on him.

So now the BN goons want to drop a bomb on the head of every other normal citizen who works hard and pay taxes. They innocently drop juicy bits of information about how much expenses the Agong incurs.

Perhaps a mention or two about him being an equestrian, and how much it costs to own a horse and maintain it. A tidbit about the palace being renovated. Maybe a sports car. Heck, maybe even an overseas trip.

BN wants to show us "class". It points out the disparity between our lifestyle and the Agong. Of course, this the right time for the politicians to come down to ground level and portray themselves as the ordinary joe-next-door.

So right now, BN is banking on the citizens balking at the amount of expense an Agong incurs.

We're supposed to panic.

We're supposed to say, "No way, Jose!" And our allegiance and love for the Agong will miraculously melt away and we will be filled with scorn.

Well, not all endings follow the script. Certainly not Barisan Nasional's.

Firstly, this particular Agong has carried himself with honour and elegance. Secondly, unlike BN, the citizens have some measure of regard for the Constitution.

So drop the bomb all you like, BN. It ain't gonna faze us one bit.

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