Multiple mega projects, all in billions of Malaysian ringgit, with double-digit, triple-digit projects that brought single and double-digit losses and billion dollar bailouts – and thank God the bailout of Boeing by Malaysia’s EPF did not happen!
Coupled with the 1MDB kleptocracy scandal with billions in losses, spent in a lavish but scandalous manner, the extravaganzas from the days of Barisan Nasional regime is still echoing in the courtrooms.
These scandals bog the PH regime down, scandals it inherited after it took power last year. It will be untrue to say the PH leaders and campaigners did not warn the public of the immense task that lay ahead of them if they were to win the general elections in May last year.
The difficulties faced by the PH government was among the topics of conversation from several opposition orators.
But as usual, the public has a short memory and the ex-PM Najib Razak is playing his cards well.
The BN supporters and fallen leaders are now poking fun at the PH regime for twisting and U-turning on several issues, including the unexpected re-introduction of the sales and services tax.
To be fair, the BN left the PH in the lurch with a dire economic situation in the country, a situation that will need major correction and deeper carvings in PH’s application of its manifesto.
This turned the BN leaders into bigger trolls, accusing the PH of not respecting its own plans and killing billion dollar projects that would have brought benefit to the country.
But in all that, it is Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s questioning of the ‘profits’ made under the BN in the last 9 years that grips Parliament.
Dr Mahathir chided an opposition lawmaker who said Felda only made losses under the PH while it was profitable under BN. The PM suggested that some crooks have left their mark and the PH government now has to clean up the mess.
In the court of public opinion, the people are at odds on whether the country suffered and by extension; the people suffered from these scandals.
The sharp division in public opinion shows the extent of the power of money. How much money can buy and how far and deep the corruption can go in the mental fabric. Is it part of societal degradation?
The division among the public adds to the woes of the PH which has to deal with the psychological warfare from a cunning opposition that does not seem to have any firm plan on how to put the country back on track.
In the meantime, the new Mahathir regime is struggling to drive its points to the public which is more concerned with the standard of living than the difficulties the government is facing.
The hand that used to give is holding back, and this is not a good sign for the people who are used to being spoon-fed. They are hungry, unhappy and they are demanding answers.
While the PH soldiers on with its agenda of change, more effort has to go into diverting diverting public opinion away from the trolls to the issues that really matter.