|James Chin is a Malaysian academic. The views expressed here are his own and do not reflect the views of institutions he is associated with. He can be contacted at |
APRIL 23 — Here are some more incredible (but true) stories from the land of make believe, Bolehland. Bolehland is a country far, far away where everything is possible, where the strange and unbelievable is actually everyday life, where anyone with the proper connections can get away with anything, and where the words “accountability”, “fair”, “just” do not exist. All the stories are taken from the Bolehland mainstream media so they must be true.
1. All chairmen must fly first class for the sake of subordinates
This a direct quotation from a former mentri besar (chief minister) who is alleged to have spent RM1.7 million on “study trips” to places like Disneyland during the holiday season. I’m sure this former MB learnt a lot from his “study trips” since we know when he came back, he never builds anything close to resembling Disneyland. Anyway, back to the quote. When asked about the huge amount spent on the trips, e.g. first-class tickets, this is what he had to say: “You must remember when I was the (PNSB) chairman. I have my entitlement. If I were to reduce my entitlement to what an officer gets then what is the officer going to reduce to? I am the chairman. There is the deputy chairman, board of directors, government officers going along. If I fly business class (not first class), then what happens to my state secretary? He will complain. If I am travelling alone it is easier. But I am travelling with a group of people and if I downgrade myself — it’s a problem for the others.” So there you have it. Airlines have first class in order to help those below the chairman’s post get business class. You cannot have a chairman flying coach or business class otherwise what will his subordinates think? He will lose the respect of his subordinates in addition to forcing them to fly coach. In Bolehland, the most important thing is protocol and entitlements. This is the reason why there are so many applicants who want to be politicians. If you are a VVIP, you must be in first class or not go at all. How dare you expect politicians to sit in economy. Economy is for taxpayers like you and me.
2. You are only poor if you don’t have a TV or Astro
According to the NST, the Welfare Department says if you have a TV or Astro, then you do not qualify for government aid since you are not “hardcore poor”. The department bars the disabled from getting welfare aid if they have Astro or a television set at home. The rule applies even if one lives in someone else's house, temporarily or otherwise. In one case, a disabled 40-year-old, paralysed from the neck downwards, who lives with her partly-paralysed mother, was afraid of getting a TV and Astro connection after being warned by a welfare officer that they would cut aid to them if she did so.
This is the first time I have heard that in Bolehland having a TV is considered to be “rich”. Nevermind that a new small TV nowadays cost less than RM200. You can also get a second hand one for free in some charity shops. In the case of the disabled, what do the authorities in Bolehland want them to do? Sit around and stare at the wall all day long? The answer is “yes” because if they stare at a TV, they are no longer poor.
3. The “best best boss” can be found in Bolehland
What is the best company to work for in Bolehland? The answer is Maika Holdings. And how do I know that? Simple, read what happened at an inquest in the death of an Indian actress, Sujatha, who died last year. This actress also worked as a PA to the boss of Maika. To cut the story short, during the inquest it was revealed that the boss of Maika, who is also the son of a VVIP, just loved to look after his employees. He gave this actress RM200,000 in cash for her apartment, funding for medical treatment and education, and also for her two brothers’ education in Australia. The boss also acted as the guarantor for the hire-purchase loan which Sujatha took out to purchase a Mazda RX8 sports car. He also took her for a holiday in Perth.
Wow, I wish to nominate the boss of Maika for Bolehland’s “Best Best Boss” award for his undying kindness and welfare of his employees. Is Maika hiring? I’m sure millions of workers are lining up to join. With a boss like this, there will never be any issue of strikes, unhappiness in the workplace, fake MCs, days off, etc. Malaysian workers will be the envy of the world.
4. If you don’t report it, it does not exist
There is one company in Bolehland that owns all the private free-to-air TV stations. Apparently, one of the big bosses in this company, MP, sent out an email telling the editorial staff that they cannot report that some VVIP and his wife might be involved in a Mongolia murder case. Thus if it is not reported, then it is clear that there are no links, and therefore there is no case. Who says you cannot make things disappear? Who cares if the international press has all gone to town with the same story.