Monday, September 25, 2006

Don't Harp On Sugar Shortage Says Shafie Apdal. Why Shouldn't We?

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shafie Apdal Sunday asked opposition leaders in Sarawak not to harp on sugar shortage, saying adequate supply of the commodity was on the way there. "We started to send the supply to Sabah and Sarawak yesterday and it should arrive by Sept 29. "This should be able to meet the demand to some extent," he told reporters.

Shafie brushed aside a demand by Bandar Kuching DAP MP Chong Chieng Jen for the minister to quit his post for allegedly having failed to resolve the sugar issue in the state. "I don't want to respond to that. That is a silly comment. I am sending the sugar now. Will he resign if the sugar arrives next week?" he said.

Four navy ships carrying 2,784 tonnes of coarse sugar are scheduled to arrive in Sabah and Sarawak by the end of next week to ease the sugar shortage in East Malaysia.

**** First of all the minister has no business to tell anyone to stop bringing up the issue of severe sugar shortage. That is our inalienable right, as is our expectation to purchase essential commodities without hassle. His ministry has failed, and failed miserably at that. The sugar shortage has been a problem since April-May this year. What has be doing since then? If not for the fasting month followed by Hari Raya, he would have continued sitting in his office demanding that no one bring up the subject of sugar shortage.

But oh yes, our minister did do one thing in connection with the shortage. He strongly defended the sugar producers, giving all sorts of excuses on their behalf. This blog pooh-poohed his explanations from the start and our suspicions and doubts were confirmed when the Deputy Prime Minister and not Shafie warned the sugar barons to Up The Production Of Coarse Sugar Or Face Government Wrath.

By right, the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shafie Apdal should resign and take full responsibility for the hardship he has caused to an entire nation. Of course in true Malaysian style of accountability that won't happen, because it will set a bad precedent you see. Give in to this resignation demand and other ministers may actually have to work hard to avoid similar calls. Besides who are these opposition leaders or for that matter the public, to ask for the resignation of ministers? These pemimpin owe a higher loyalty to their party bosses who keep their political life running smoothly as long as they toe the line, make the right noises and don't overtly support Dr Mahathir. Who cares about small details like a sugar shortage? Moreover think of the bright side; for all you know it might bring down the incidence of kencing manis in the near future. In that sense Shafie Apdal may have, through his incompetency, actually done a lot of us a big favour!

I personally feel it will be good if he did take some responsibilty for this fiasco and therefore should at least ask that he be given another portfolio even if he does not want to resign. That would be at least a 'part' honourable thing to do. What say you?


Anonymous smallvoice said...

Who's the boss? In election campaigning period, the rakyat is the boss; thereafter, the one u elected becomes the boss.

8:54 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sugar is not an essential life support item of food. It is in fact a main cause of diabetis, a scourge in Malaysia. I am not at all sad to see it disappear from the shops.

9:21 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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3:01 AM GMT+8  

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