I don't know why my company bothers to pay my salary. I barely do much work anyway ;-)
Instead, I spend most of my time discussing politics via email with my friend, Kenneth.
As a political-activist type, most of my mates think like me and have access to the same sort of information. So it's refreshing to get views from people like Kenneth.
He was relating how the average citizen would react in the current political climate.
He said, "With things getting more expensive at home, do you think people will take the risks and vote in an Opposition team, knowing that BN might starve their constituent from funds? People have seen this happen in the papers, so they'll be wary."
I have heard this before from many people who have been disillusioned about what Pakatan Rakyat can do for them. And these are actually very valid concerns.
The mainstream media goes on overdrive to report about how some eatery owner did not get his license renewed and now bears a grudge against the Penang state government.
But it does not report this:
The 4 PR states of Penang, Selangor, Kedah and Kelantan have beat the other 10 BN states by attracting RM25 billion in investments comprising 53% of Malaysia's total investments of RM47.2 billion in 2010.
For the first time in history, Penang is now the new champion of investments in Malaysia, coming out top in 2010.
Penang replaced the previous 2009 champion Sarawak by recording RM 12.2 billion in 2010 as compared to Sarawak RM3.9 billion. Penang was No. 4 in 2009 with RM 2.1 billion but shot up 5 times to No.1. On the other hand Sarawak went down from No.1 in 2009 with RM 8.5 billion to No. 4 with RM3.9 billion in 2010. Penang's success in drawing in RM12.2 billion is an extraordinary vote of confidence by both foreign and local investors in the PR state government of Penang.
The No.2 state after Penang is another PR state of Selangor with RM 10.6 billion in investments. In fact the 4 PR states of Penang, Selangor, Kedah and Kelantan combined comprise RM 25 billion investments or 53% of the total investments in Malaysia of RM47,177 million in 2010. These 4 PR states alone can beat the remaining 10 states of BN Malaysia combined!
Despite the financial constraints and limitations imposed by BN, PR has shown good governance.
Penang was mentioned in the Auditor-General Report for being the best financially managed state with record surpluses of RM88 million in 2008 and RM77 million in 2009. Penang became the first state government in history to be commended by Transparency International for CAT (Competency, Accountability and Transparency) governance in establishing integrity in leadership.
Penang has wiped out hard-core poverty, the first state to do so in Malaysia. They give their senior citizens RM100 every year and when these seniors die, their beneficiaries get a one-off RM1,000/-. All partially assisted schools - Chinese, Tamil and Sekolah Agama Rakyat are given a fixed sum of at least RM11.3 million every year.
They are working towards a wifi state, offered free of charge.
Penang is going green and leading in green practices such as "No Free Plastic Bag" campaigns and waste treatment through 3R of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Penang enjoys the cheapest water rates in the country. Penang is also the Silicon Valley of Malaysia and selected as the most livable city in Malaysia on par with Kuala Lumpur.
Pakatan Rakyat has done more in 3 years what Barisan Nasional failed to do in 51 years.
So who says that PR can not govern? They may not have the experience but neither do they have the experience to cheat or be corrupt. PR has proven that a clean government can outperform corrupt governments.
Penang once used to be renowned only for tourism. Today, it is moving beyond that.
Those of you who have friends who doubt Pakatan Rakyat's capability, please forward this and let them read what the mainstream media would never dream of publishing.