First word to describe the whole thing.... CHAOTIC! People who submitted forms at together to the same office found their names missing. The first thing when I got there was the confusion about the forms given by MCA and UMNO... turned out the form given was MCA was not valid. The people were told to get the UMNO form... I got the impression that the government equals to UMNO. Been reading about MCA being the running dog.... after this morning, I tend to agree. What power sharin?? In the end people were scolding the MCA reps because they seemed so helpless.
SECOND WORD.... loads of CRAP! Then I went in to listen to the speech... actually not many were interested to listen to what YB Ahmad Bashah had to say cos they just wanted to get their money and go back to work... regardless of race. I found it funny that the police guy joked that people don't work on Saturday. Obviously he's forgotten his roots. Farmers need to check on the fields, sundry shop owners need to open their shops, stall owners have to prepare for the lunch crowd, etc, etc.... he spoke like a true bureaucrat or is it idiocrat as coined by Citizen Nades. I think he's little out of touch with the man on the street.
Yet another word... the whole exercise felt INSINCERE! Another thought that came to mind.... I think the Buddhist Tzu Chi did a better job at disbursing their aid. They came across as more sincere and better organised. They went house to house, and systematically tagged each house with a sticker after each house had been visited. I also heard they went into the villages too. They distributed food and RM200 cash to each household in the flooded areas they visited. And they did all that within the 2 or 3 weeks after the flood!!!! I saw Tzu Chi members from Taiping in town one of those days. This wang ehsan.... the YB said it's wang kerajaan, Najib is giving it.... I wonder whether he realizes that it's wang rakyat, and that the government of the day is just a trustee to it. The government with its behemoth machinery pales in comparison to this private effort! Isn't it rather shameful!!!
Look at how people had to line up in the open air. Tempers began to fray as the day became hotter. They did not erect any tents. They actually expected people to stand under the hot sun... I don't know whether that's meant to discourage people from waiting, some actually did stand for more than 2 hours! Also, the petugas were rather slow. Certain lines for those with names beginning with L moved so slowly and took a long time.... I learned a lesson, if your surname is L, put an ang moh name in front, preferably with a B, C or any of the upopular alphabets. Whatever it is steer clear from M or L. But surprisingly, the M line moved rather fast compared to the L.
ACCOUNTABILITY... I noticed that the people were given a pink sheet of paper... with no security features. Even cinema tickets have better security. And you are supposed to take that piece of paper to change for RM500 cash!!! One can duplicate it quite easily with a scanner and a colour printer. Why not a check? The way it is done leaves too many holes for money to disappear I should think. There were some who went to check but found that their pink slips had gone missing....
People really wasted time... I had many friends there and many of them had a story to tell. But basically I think many felt that even in giving, there is a racial divide. One Malay chap asked a Chinese man how come he didn't have the Borang (I forgot the name, but it's the one issued by UMNO).... cos the guards kept saying that must have that Borang.... those who don't have were asked to go get one... so some people were sent on a chase round town.... only to find the UMNO office closed since it's a Saturday! One lady retorted that they're Chinese and not UMNO members! So how to get that Borang????
Notice how racial we are... Chinese politicians for the Chinese... Malays for the Malays... what actually does 1Malaysia mean?? Even in giving out aid, UMNO makes people feel that we owe it to them... we don't need the politicians to come make a show of giving the aid... we need the government agencies, the civil servants to be efficient, fair, transparent and accountable in carrying out their duties... not be some lackeys to a political party. I've never felt this racially segregated till I went to look see this wang ehsan thing on Saturday... and it's depressing to see us sink so low. And you wonder why Malaysia is so racially divided???
Checking the names... why not make it available on the Net... as it was, the people had to run around to all the MPs offices to check their names. Many people didn't know about it. They say it's published in the papers... many missed it. Why no letters of notifications? Why not bank into each victim's account? Isn't this an age of electronic banking? It would have been more transparent and made accountable. Electronic banking leaves trails... In an age where technology reigns supreme, they used the old method of checking names....
And the final thought? IRRELEVANCE! We'll slip into irrelevance at the rate our politicians divide and rule us. The rate they sow the seeds of racial mistrust because they want to keep the people suspicious of each other..... I wonder whether we can ever really do rally together!!!
It was an educational Saturday morning out... but it resulted in a backlog of clearing the house up.... more tales coming up.