The money-making schemes need to stop

SEPTEMBER 2 — “Which ministry ah sending all those Merdeka SMS?” That’s the gist of angry Facebook messages and tweets I’m getting.

Whoever is gleefully abusing the ability to mass text the entire nation: stop it. Stop it right now.

The last thing we need is someone glibly sending propaganda messages and with Malaysia Day happening soon, I hope they cancel plans to repeat a similar deluge of texts.

Speaking of wasteful and ridiculous actions, there is the proposal to create a competing e-commerce platform run by the government.

Remember what happened to that supposed Bumiputera challenger to Plaza Lowyat? How it was an expensive and embarrassing failure? That’s how this new proposal will likely end up.

Shopee and Lazada work just fine. For the most part though I find myself just purchasing items directly from China’s Taobao because its breadth of choice and attractive price points are hard to beat.

Who knew online shopping would get me to return to my neglected Mandarin studies and have me conversing with mainland China sellers more often than I talk to most of my friends?

I have zero confidence in a government-run e-commerce portal considering most government websites look like they were designed by a secondary school intern and half don’t even have their security certificates properly registered.

Do you know how annoying it is to surf to a Malaysian government website and get a warning “this website might not be secure”? 

Where could that money instead be channeled to? Viable companies that are already in operation, perhaps? Look at our technology park that once brought promise of a burgeoning IT economy but instead reminds us that we have way too many shady areas in government procurement.

We also have a minister who thinks Malaysia could be a global competitor in the drone arena. I’m sorry but that ship has sailed years ago; drone technology has advanced to the point we would need to spend a lot of time and money to catch up to China and the West.

Besides all these white elephants someone seems to keep dreaming up, can we have a moratorium on GLC posts and senatorships? No one benefits from those besides those appointed as we need new senators like we need a Hermes dealership in Putrajaya.

If our finance minister can make the list of so-called direct negotiation contracts public information, perhaps it’s time we also make public the names of people who keep coming up with money-draining ridiculous projects.

My suggestion? Make them sit in a corner, ponder their regrettable life decisions and be made to write “I will not spend the nation’s money like a bottomless expense account” until they learn some sense.

* This is the personal opinion of the columnist.       

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