19
Jul
15

Is it possible to believe what government officials say?

QUICK TAKE: Government officials seem to be always flip-flopping these days. At first it will be yes, while in the next moment it becomes no, it is not. This acrobatic backward somersault starts right from the very top. Najib Razak had once promised to abolish the Sedition Act but then went back on his words. Therefore, it is no surprise when others do the same too.

Take the case of Mara’s purchase of the Dudley House in Melbourne as a hostel for Mara students. When the scandal was reported by Australian daily the Age about this controversial investment, Mara chairman Annuar Musa declared that the purchase was done according to procedure.

Mara had overpaid for the property by spending A$22 million while it was worth only about A$17.8 million. The difference was pocketed by the officials according to the investigative report.

When he held a press conference on June 24, Musa said that the prime minister had approved the deal. Then 24 hours later he contradicted himself by saying that Najib had actually opposed the deal.

Interestingly, the blame of this turnaround fell on the media amid claims that they had misreported the entire affair. This is the usual and most convenient way

Thus the blame for all this turnaround fell on the media. They had misreported about this. This has become a standard and most convenient way for government officials to extricate themselves from any controversy.

Another notorious flip-flopping official hails from the Ministry of Finance. He famously reasoned that the fall in the value of ringgit was due to a previous PM’s attack on Najib. This in turn prompted Bank Negara Malaysia to issue a statement disavowing his explanation and stating its wish to be not involved in any political argument.

It seems nobody can trust the words uttered by this high official who is also a deputy minister.

The prepaid top-up issue remains a contentious issue. Most shops still charge GST on top of the amount of top-up. The deputy minister had said that the top-up would be inclusive of GST but some shops still persist in charging GST.

…more
29 Jun 2015 – Ant Daily
by Ahmad Mustapha Hassan
Is it possible to believe what government officials say?

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