He's warned us again! Yesterday, the NST reported on its front page Dollah Badawi's warning for his detractors NOT to push him. "It's harder to be nice," he declared. A while ago, in his 90-minute presidential address to the Umno general assembly, the PM and Umno president issued the same warning: don't test his patience. His government will not blink in acting against those who dare exceed the realm of reason.
I don't know if he was issuing that warning to Dr Mahathir, Bush, Kit Siang, his own son-in-law, me, you, Lee Kuan Yew, the world, the Devil or the half-past-six advisers from the 4th floor and NSTP. What I know is this kind of talk, from a bully or a statesman, always leaves a bad smell. Oh, yes, what a pong!
Other highlights from the address:
FDI - Yes it's slow but that, Dollah said, is because we're not as opened to mergers and acquisitions. But the PM vowed that national interest will always come first. Malaysia will not go the Pak Kadok way, menang sorak kampung tergadai. He will not sell off the country.
[note: no mention of Pantai Hospital, Parkway Holdings or the Singapore-Johor Economic Region, though]
The Economy - Yes it's slower. But that's because he wanted to reduce the deficit. Dollah said he has succeeded - deficit was 5.3 per cent of GDP when he took over; it is now 3.5 per cent. Now we are in better position to spend!
Stock market - Yes it's a little drab but we'll just have to be patient. The PM said he can, if he wants, get the Cabinet to agree and list Petronas and Felda on the Bursa. That will add billions of ringgit in market cap and make Bursa KL the biggest stock exchange in Asia. But, he said, that is not the economic transformation he has in mind for the nation. "It's not like cooking instant mee," he said.
Corruption - Is the fight against corruption waning? No, it's not. There seems to be more corruption but that, Dollah said, is because the media are freer in reporting about corruption cases. No arrest? That does not mean he is slowing down in his fight against corruption. At the same time, the PM said the people should come forward and provide proof of corruption and not just make wild accusations.
Bumiputera equity - To say that the Bumis have achieved more than 30 per cent equity is to accuse the government of lying. "This government does not lie".
Islam Hadhari - Islam Hadhari
Misc - Let's pray for Dr M's health, the PM said. And a Tun Ghafar Fund will be set up.