Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Voting for a stronger Ringgit/The old house in Holland Park

Pic file: Holland Park

18 Oct 2022: Whose house this? is a posting I did in 2010, quoting a now-defunct blog Another Brick in the Wall (the blogger, like me, is suffering from a writer’s block at Thick as a Brick), about how our wealthy politicians were spending Malaysian taxpayers’  money on properties abroad. This was long before 1MDB, when the most corrupt among our corrupted would claim they only stole, at worst, tens of millions and not hundreds of millions, let alone billions. 

Why am I ressurecting this old posting of mine? Well, this morning a colleague alerted me that the article was being actively shared in whatsapp groups. Everybody wanted to know, whose house is that? It must have something to do with the coming general elections, I was told. So I contacted Brick, who’s 12 years older now and, therefore, can claim to suffer from memory lapses like some old politicians do. “I don’t remember,” Brick said, “but the house must belong to someone close to the nonagenarian.” 

That’s the thing about bloggers. Hardly anyone make them immediately accountable for what they post. People are only interested in suing them to stop them from exposing them and, in the case of our authorities, in shutting down their blogs so they’ll stop barking at their political masters. Which was what happened to Another Brick. 

“We are going to die!”

At today’s exchange rate, the said house in Holland Park would cost some RM45.5 million. But a Ringgit today will get us considerably less than it did 12 years ago, not just abroad but also at Mydin or the wet market. That’s because our Ringgit has depreciated phenomenally in recent years. You can’t even exchange your RM for the local currency when you are abroad, that’s how pariah our Ringgit has become. [Read Syed Akbar Ali’s posting 4.72 Ringgit for some grim perspectivee]. 

His detractors like to blame former PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad for this and to a certain extent they may be right. But to be fair, it would take more than an individual or a massive scandal to put the currency in its current state. We need a competent leadership, a competent government, to address all the weaknesses that have caused our money to slide into, and remain in, the gutters. 

Was Ismail Sabri an able Prime Minister and was his government a competent one? Is Tengku Zafrul the Minister of Finance who can haul our soiled butts from the doldrums? Do you have to overthink your answers to these questions?

The coming general election is an opportunity for us the voters to put the right people in government who will put back our house - this nation - in order.

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