(Adam doing his impression of myopic Malaysian leaders.)
UPDATED. SEE BELOW.
Did you see the artist's impression of the soon-to-built new Istana Negara? It’s on the front page of The Star Tuesday 14 November, 2006
When I first saw it I thought I was looking at some Arabian stud farm. I don’t know why I thought Arabian stud farm but I did. Also it looks like it is set to be built in the middle of some arid wasteland to rival Putrajaya. If you look at the photo of the model you will notice the bare landscape but of course just like in all Malaysian architectural endeavors, in this model there are actually little shrub-like things that we are supposed to think of as trees and greenery.
Reminds me of a time when a Singaporean friend laughed at us Malaysians. “Wah, you flers very optimistic leh. You plant those pathetic twigs in the ground and pray that they will grow into real trees issit?” We do that don’t we? Cut the big old trees down. Plant little saplings and then water them with hope and neglect. Okay la these days they have somehow taken to planting palm trees instead. Don’t look good. Don’t provide shade. In other words, worth shit to nobody. Anyway, I am digressing. Back to the Istana Negara baru…
I have never been good at math. But this really confuses the hell out of me la. Okay, the 9th Malaysia Plan has been allocated RM200billion or something like that, right? And I read today that that amount has almost been spent! Okay, that money is for doing great stuff. Eradicating poverty, building schools, hospitals, infrastructure. You know, stuff that help to take us towards that Vision 2020 dream of becoming First World. And when you come to think of it that way, RM200billion ain’t a lot of money these days. Especially since our Ringgit is worth close to horse manure outside of Bolehland. So when I read that the government was planning to spend RM400million to build a new palace to house the Malaysian king, the Yang Dipertuan Agung, I was a little peeved. Wouldn’t you be? And the news of this latest Bolehland effort to throw more of the taxpayers money down the toilet came too close to the debacle of the Klang flers and their million Ringgit mansions.
The reason that the Klang fler gave for building his horrendous mansion was that he had to house a rather large family. 11 children and 11 grandchildren or something like that. Oh yes, he also said that he had included a surau in the mansion which he fully intended to let his neighbours, who were all living in less than shanty town conditions around his edifice, use 5 times a day for prayers. In this respect the Klang fler had more reason for his folly than the government for spending money on large buildings. Approved or otherwise. Why? Read the reasons given for wanting a new Istana Negara.
“We need a new palace with bigger space. Currently, the Balai Rong Seri of Istana Negara is also used as dining and meeting rooms. One room for multiple use is just inadequate”…Works Minister, Datuk Seri Samy Velu. Why???
The Balai Rong Seri is being used BOTH for meetings and dinners? Yay! Great. Maximise usage. Save money. I am sure that palace officials who are worth anything will know not to plan dinners and meetings at the same time. Actually, why not? Dinner meetings or meetings over food has been a Malaysian thing since Parameswara and his members sat under a tree chowing down and decided to make Melaka their home.
And unlike the Klang fler’s mansion I don’t think the neighbours are going to be allowed to take their evening stroll on the grounds of this place.
And in the photo of the launch which had the PM and the DPM present even the King appears to be telling old Samy that the place is too big.
I wish it was really funny. But it isn’t.
What is happening to my country?
And why are clowns getting away with murder?
UPDATE Monday November 27, 2006
Just so the Malaysian rakyat do not feel left out of the goodies handout, good old Samy has just announced that toll rates for five highways will go up on Jan 1 next year. Why? The government can no longer afford to subsidise toll increases. Surprise! Surprise!
Maybe the money saved will be used to help those 1,555 schools in the rural and interior areas of the country that still do not have water and electricity.
I know. Sometimes I am an optimist.