Doing your job is not a gift — Dharm Navaratnam

JULY 18 — Yesterday,  the second phase of the Sungei Buloh to Kajang  MRT line was opened and I am so excited.  I am even more excited to find out that according to a blog bost from  one of our esteemed Ministers, the MRT is a GIFT to the country from the Prime Minister!!

Wow!  I do so love receiving gifts.  It’s even nicer when the gift comes all wrapped up in lovely coloured paper with a ribbon on top.  I wonder if all the new MRT stations will be gift wrapped or perhaps the trains will have a huge ribbon on it!  Yay!  Cant wait to open my new gift!

Sarcasm aside, perhaps my English language skills are suffering though because my understanding of the word ‘gift’ is that it means the same thing as a present i.e something given for free.  Unless I am dreadfully wrong, the building of the MRT was paid for by taxpayers money.  I pay my taxes and have been doing so faithfully for more than 25 years.  Passengers are also going to have to pay for the MRT each and every time they use it.  So pray tell, which part of the MRT was a gift to the country??

Maybe he meant that to use the word ‘gift’ loosely or figuratively and imply that the MRT is a gift from the PM because the building of the MRT was done to  help ease public transportation woes and improve the transportation infrastructure.    Even if we take that approach, it would be a gift from the Government and not really the Prime Minster per se.

The problem though, with this approach, is that we are ignoring one salient point. It is the job of the government to develop the country and to put taxpayers money to the best use.  It is the governments job to to ease transportation woes.  It is their Job, nothing more and nothing less.

So while I’m sure many Klang Valley residents look forward to using the newly opened MRT line, please dont insult us by trying to tell us that it is a gift.  You have only done what you have promised to do.  You have only done your job. 

One can only hope that the MRT will help to alleviate some of the transportation woes that Klang Valley residents face daily.  If that happens, then you can consider it a job well done. Only time will tell and I personally do hope the MRT line fulfils all its objectives.

But by no stretch of the imagination can it ever be considered a gift.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail Online.

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