I have been sitting and listening to Pahang's Budget speech by YAB. Menteri Besar and Budget debates by the Members of State Legislative Assembly for the past four days; continuosly and without any change-over like many of counterpart departments.
The reason? There is no one senior and experience enough to do so. It would be grossly unfair for me to send very junior officers as they would for sure feel out of place.
The Honourable Speaker at the end of the second day reminded the Assembly members that the debate so far had been monotonous and hoped that it would be more colourful in the next speakers.
One hot topic that never fail to be debated is the problem of frequent breaks in water supply that are caused by old pipes breaking. The member from Triang, after a long winded speech or rather lecture on the History of America, from slavery, freedom and equality fights right up to Barrack Obama that was often interrupted by BN members after seeing where he was bringing the debate to, spent much time on the issue of broken pipes, interrupted water supply and sloppy workmanship involved in the repair works of the broken pipes.
Pahang still has a very long water pipes (some are even 30-50 years old). Replacing them with new pipes requires a lot of money. These AC pipes would burst whenever water pressure is increased.
It looks to me that the Federal government has to chip in with adequate money to all states to have all these pipes replaced once and for all!
Then a member raised a problem of monkeys, just like in the case of RoyalTlady in her stories. He claimed that Perhilitan released the monkeys in a village; the accusation that was quickly denied by the EXCO member responsible.
Then YAB Menteri Besar reminded members that the monkeys can be just like us and vice versa if we were not careful. He narrated the story of a gang of monkeys raiding a ripening banana on a banana tree. The chief at first just looks at his members taking the bananas (trying to show the world that he cares after his subject), but soon after that, he starts grabbing the bananas in all his hands and feet and his mouth!
Another member then raised an issue of carabeef (beef from buffalo) being sold at RM22/kg instead of the usual RM18/kg during the recent festivities.
"Actually fresh beef is not listed in the price control item. Only frozen imported Indian Buffalo meat is." - Explained the EXCO.
The consumers should use their power in this. Why should they buy expensive carabeef when they could choose say, frozen Indian carabeef or chicken? When consumers boycott a product, the sellers would then have no choice but to lower their price!
But this has never been the case among Malaysian consumers. Personal experience tells me that while I am negotiating for a cheaper fish price there will surely be another guy offering to buy the fish at the price offered!
Today and tomorrow the Assembly will see the winding up speeches by the EXCO members and the YAB MB. The 2009 Budget will then be passed.