Tun M’s Cabinet reshuffle – Who should go?

Press Statement by Thinalan Rajagopalu, MIC National Youth Leader

With the recent talks on having a cabinet reshuffle for the betterment of our beloved country, MIC Youth will be fulfilling one of the most important responsibilities as an Opposition – to question the government of the day, and to hold them accountable for their actions.

Thus, a review of ministers who may need to be reshuffled is imperative for this purpose.

As the title suggests, the first person whom MIC Youth believes should be replaced, is Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, the Minister of Youth and Sports.

Here are the top 9 ‘questionable’ issues that Syed Saddiq should be held accountable for:

Foodpanda Fiasco

At the top of the list is the Foodpanda fiasco which Syed Saddiq waded into, as it hinges on people’s livelihood.

Two months ago, Foodpanda implemented a change in policy in their payment scheme for riders outside of Klang Valley. Instead of a fixed rate of RM4 per hour, riders outside of Klang Valley are now paid a rate of RM4.50 to RM7 per delivery.

Instead of coming up with a solution, Syed Saddiq demonstrated a total lack of understanding of basic economics, when he made demands against a private company which merely exercised its rights within the laws, on its operations.

After the aforesaid demands were made, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamd was quick to even distance himself, and the rest of the government from Syed Saddiq, by stating that they were merely the latter’s personal opinion.

In the end, the young riders’ livelihood was toyed around by Syed Saddiq for cheap publicity and political mileage.

Basikal lajak

Last month, the case of Sam Ke Ting came to a conclusion after two years. The case involved eight teenagers who died, when they collided with Sam Ke Ting’s car while riding their ‘basikal lajak’.

Syed Saddiq once again sought for publicity, when he commented that ‘basikal lajak’ riders should be guided and not punished.

The comment was then criticised by netizens for obvious reasons.

It is clear that Syed Saddiq does not understand the purposes of punishment under the law, which in itself involves rehabilitation of the riders, as well as being a deterrence or warning to other riders to stop this dangerous trend.

Dr Zakir Naik

Several months ago, Dr Zakir Naik reportedly told the ethnic Chinese here, to ‘go back’, purportedly implying the latter to be ‘pendatang’.

Syed Saddiq initially supported some of his fellow colleagues in the notion of having Dr Zakir deported for such racist remarks, only to sing a different tune 10 days later, when he urged everyone to forgive the controversial preacher instead, after a special dinner with him.

Cronyism

Ahead of his party election, Syed Saddiq appointed 13 Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) Youth members as state sports development coordinators.

When the minister was interviewed, his only reply was that there were 4,000 staffs and it was impossible for him to know the political affiliation of every single person.

It is utterly insulting that he actually thinks Malaysians would believe him, that it was a mere coincidence that all 13 appointees were PPBM Youth members and he was not aware of their political affiliations.

Calling for Waytha Moorthy’s resignation

Late last year, a riot broke out between two Indian groups in a Subang temple, over its relocation issue.

As usual, craving for attention and publicity, Syed Saddiq wanted to show his support for the Indian community. Oddly, he thought the way to do it was to attack his own comrade, by calling for the resignation of P.Waytha Moorthy, from his post as minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of National Unity and Social Well-being.

Is Syed Saddiq absolutely clueless about the convention of collective ministerial responsibility which is enshrined in Article 43 of the Federal Constitution?

Calling for disciplinary action against Ronnie Liu

Waytha Moorthy was not the only comrade whom Syed Saddiq is willing to step on for publicity.

Two months ago, when Ronnie Liu wrote an article titled “Mahathir: The Paper Tiger”, Syed Saddiq made an open threat to attack DAP’s top leadership unless Liu apologised.

For the record, since Liu is not a Cabinet minister, he is free to provide constructive criticisms against the government of the day. In fact, DAP has even accepted Liu’s explanation on the content of the article.

However, there was no apology from Syed Saddiq after the explanation was given.

As a minister who is supposed to represent the youth, there could not have been a worse candidate than one who is perpetuating the negative stereotypes about young people being brash and unapologetic.

Numan Afifi Saadan’s resignation

Last year, Syed Saddiq’s press officer, Numan Afifi Saadan, was forced to resign because the latter is an LBGT activist.

Due to the sensitivity of the issue, Syed Saddiq did not defend Numan Afifi, despite the latter being forced into resignation.

In fact, to this day, Syed Saddiq has never made it clear on his stand in relation to the issues on LBGT.

While the issue is understandably complex and sensitive, is sweeping it under the carpet really the approach that should be undertaken by a minister who is supposed to be the role model for youths?

Demanding for employers seeking ‘Mandarin speakers’ to be investigated

Early this year, Syed Saddiq demanded for employers seeking ‘Mandarin speakers only’ to be investigated.

Needless to say, Syed Saddiq was criticised for being ignorant of the difference between race and language.

It is embarrassing to say the least, but how can we achieve racial unity when the person leading our next generation into the future, lacks such elementary knowledge and common sense?

Malaysian contingent’s below par SEA Games achievement

The Philippines SEA Games will close the curtains tomorrow. It is almost certain that Malaysia will return with around 60 gold medals, ranking 5th among the competing nations. The achievement is far below the 70 gold medals set as target by the government before the Games, and not even half of the 144 gold medals we won in 2017.

Southeast Asian Games – Opening Ceremony – Philippine Arena, Bocaue, Philippines – November 30, 2019 Malaysia athletes during the opening ceremony REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez

Kudos to all the athletes for the marvellous performance and achievements. If only we had proper sports development program like the one our former Sports and Youth Minister Khairy Jamaluddin planned and implemented, which yielded remarkable results in KL SEA Games 2017, the athletes could have fared far better with superior number of golds. Unfortunately, our current minister is more interested in taking selfies and being a publicity freak.

If Syed Saddiq actually had an ounce of integrity and dignity, he would have resigned by now. Unfortunately, for us Malaysians, the only way to have him replaced is to hope for the Cabinet reshuffle to happen, so that our youths would be able to see better days in the future. -The Sentral

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