To win the war, win the hearts !

In many countries, senior citizens are given privileges such as paying  less for certain bus or train fares. Admission fees to certain areas of public interests are reduced or even waived for this group of citizens, most of whom are over 60s, retired, but have contributed their whole lives doing work that have helped build the society into what it is today.

In certain hospitals,  senior citizens are getting  discount for treatment.

The discount or reduction or even waiving of fees on the one hand is meant to help this group financially (even though in a small way only); on the other hand, it is meant to be a token of appreciation of their contribution to society in their younger days. A token not unlike giving certain titles to politicians and civil servants.

When you have a discount across the board, even the rich will enjoy it, but looking at the profile of these senior citizens, those who can be termed rich are a very small minority only. So the discount and the reduced fares do help a lot of citizens especially when their savings are getting less everyday and cost of livings are going up. For the minority rich who also receive this discount, it is meant to be a recognition of their contribution.

I have never written on the RM100 that a certain state government is giving to its senior citizens. I do not see anything wrong. Such a move is a recognition and appreciation of what the senior citizens have contributed in the past  and also a way to help the poorer section, as many of these senior citizens have lost the ability to work, and is dependent on their savings or their children to look after them.

The principle is like those who give discount or reduction in fares to the senior citizens. It has nothing to do with bribery. To think that RM100 can bribe a person is too naive a thinking, and I am indeed saddened that this issue  has become political.

A government in power has to look after the weak and the destitute. Even though there are rich people among senior citizens, their rank is small compared to the majority, most of them are indeed weak and poor. An amount such as this may not mean much to a working young men earning 4 or 5 figures a month, but to a pensioner who lives on his saving, RM100 can mean food for the next 2 weeks….

The way to win elections is to win the hearts of the people. So i would not fault the government of that state to do this, and to object to it is certainly not a clever move, if whoever objecting to it wants to win the hearts of the people.

P.S. I suspect even Confucius, as an advocate of giving respect to the elderly, would have approved of this… Sigh!

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24 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. klm
    Mar 16, 2010 @ 12:30:21

    But Dr Hsu. Gerakan is against this move and even made a MACC report, saying it is corruption. Is Gerakan so smitten by hate and is so intent to wreck any good deeds? Is Gerakan transformed into a political monster?

    Like

  2. Dr Hsu
    Mar 16, 2010 @ 12:34:40

    I would say those who opposed to this move are very wrong. Gerakan is an egalitarian party, and any move to help the weak and the poor must be welcome and not criticised for the sake of criticising.

    Like

  3. mccann105
    Mar 16, 2010 @ 12:44:51

    if u like someone u have 1000 reasons ..if u dont like that some one u have 1000 excuses..picking on the senior citizens is real bad taste..being silent no body will say u are dumb.,.giving a good compliment will earn gerakan some good brownies points..when this appeared on the news,,gerakan is never short of dumb ass. this will create out cry.imagine the impact each family from his parent..
    maybe gerakan want to hari kiri themselves .

    Like

  4. genesis1
    Mar 16, 2010 @ 12:48:43

    disgusting immaturity of gerakan …this will harden us NOT TO VOTE GERAKAN ..ANY GERAKAN FRIENDS I HAVE…i will tell them off…my father is very angry on this…tomorrow we will put a notice,..gerakan members NOT WELCOME to our coffee shop…we will put gerakan statement side by side..

    let people read…

    Like

  5. CYC
    Mar 16, 2010 @ 13:38:35

    This guy with inadequate or invalid mindset is committing political suicide.An egalitarian party should have booted him out from holding youth movement post long ago unless KTK wish to satisfy his UMNO master’s need. Gerakan youth under Mah Siew Keong acted more sensibly compare to the current bunch under LSP who also behave like an underage bellboy. Having said that, I am not an admirer of LGE who constantly try to consolidate his position by sidelining those not in his good book.

    Like

  6. Richard Loh
    Mar 16, 2010 @ 13:42:46

    Amen to you Dr. Hsu

    Gerakan is fighting very hard to make a come back in the next GE but the way they fight will further distance themselves from the rakyat.

    Like

  7. Jong
    Mar 16, 2010 @ 14:13:59

    Shame on Teng Hock Nam and his bunch of scumbags! They are bankrupt of ideas and have run out of issues!

    They cannot see the good LGE’s PR govt is doing for Penang and criticise PR’s every move for the sake of criticising and still in denial to the fact that Penang people have long rejected them and was waiting for 8Mar08 to happen!

    Like

  8. mykantree
    Mar 16, 2010 @ 14:16:31

    There was an article ” Has Gerakan lost its way?” recently and an apt one to boot, when viewed in light of their objection to the Penang State government’s gift of RM100.00 ti its senior citizens. I think these Gerakan people has changed the meaning of the word ” Corrupt ” to one that is the opposite to its actual meaning in their dictionary.

    Gerakan will indeed be History!

    Like

  9. Ken
    Mar 16, 2010 @ 14:45:38

    Lim Keng Yaik said that Gerakan has lost Penang for good. Looking at the way Gerakan Penang behaves, I must agree with him. When LGE moved house to a rented bungalow because his official residence had to be treated for termite infestation, Gerakan reported him to MACC for corruption. Are these goons too free?

    Like

  10. CYC
    Mar 16, 2010 @ 14:54:57

    Gerakan will soon follow MCA’s footstep where its president shall be decided by UMNO. Good for this bunch of higher qualification but with lesser brain and dignity hypocrites. Its an easier job to bark rather than compose sweet melody.

    Dr, do u agree with Teng Chang Yeow’s admission that ” We have no choice since married to BN family” ? (sorry for the direct translation) during the public debates(?)/ forum(?) recently with Liew Chin Tong. How stupid an admission that virtually validated the impression all other BN components parties except UMNO in reality have no say in decision making process.

    I would rather be peasant with equal right in PR than become a minister with no right in BN. This is my proposed slogan or manifesto for next GE., ha ha !

    Like

  11. clearwater
    Mar 16, 2010 @ 15:07:29

    To politicize Penang state government’s RM100 gift to its senior citizens is shameful and unbecoming conduct. This is only a gesture and should be lauded, not criticized. Teng Hock Nam and Gerakan has lost its moral bearings. Perhaps he and his gang are kicking themselves for not having thought of the idea when they were in power and squandering state resources on useless projects.

    Like

  12. Dr Hsu
    Mar 16, 2010 @ 15:15:13

    CYC
    Look at the green party of germany. For certain elections, it supported one side, and for certain elections it supported another side. The changing of sides is because of its belief that at that moment, the side that it supported would be carrying out good policies for the people. Just like the 2 party system, the rakyat can support one side this election, and if it is no good, the rakyat can support another side.

    By joining a coalition, it does not mean that it must be permanently there. They must think out of the box. Even Tun Razak thought out of the box and hence he did away with the Alliance and copted almost all opposition parties into BN except DAP in 1972 .Even PMIP (PAS) joined BN then.

    Even a marriage can be dissolved.

    Like

  13. klm
    Mar 16, 2010 @ 15:29:49

    Dr Hsu. Unfortunately the comfort zone for Gerakan is working with UMNO. Do you think Gerakan will think out of the box? Gerakan is so set in the comfort zone that most people in it cannot think out of the box. Like Pavlov’s dogs, they are so well conditioned that they will respond on cue.

    Like

  14. Taikohtai
    Mar 16, 2010 @ 16:35:14

    I was told by a Singaporean friend that Singaporeans citizens get regular monies from their government if their national investment arm TEMASEK does well.
    She is a still a beneficiary although she resides in Australia as a PR.

    Like

  15. disgusted
    Mar 16, 2010 @ 17:14:38

    To win the war, win the hearts…..yes, good caption.

    And Ultraman (old new player) is joining the contest ring sending both Superman and Batman back to the drawing board to re-strategise their campaigns.

    Maybe, giving RM100 to “aged old” delegates might win hearts (and votes)….sorry, just joking.

    Yes, in developed countries like Sweden and generally in Europe, old aged citizens are generally well taken care of with what Dr has said. Discounted fares on public transport etc.

    Nothing wrong, everybody grows old and really old. But in Bolehland, interpretation matters most. Paying RM350 to RM400 to voters to go back hometown to vote is considered not bribery but paying old folks one-third of that amount is bad bad bribery. That’s why we tagged this w$nderland B$lehland. $$$$$ makes everything Boleh.

    Like

  16. A true Malaysian
    Mar 16, 2010 @ 17:20:41

    I don’t see Tun Razak forming BN as ‘thought out of the box’. In fact, by forming BN, Tun Razak did in fact curtailed dissenting voices and opinions which are essence of making democracy spirit alive and flourish.

    DAP, unlike Gerakan, is more far sighted than any of the political parties opting out of the coalition, holding on steadfastly its ideology of multiracialism, multiculturism and Malaysian Malaysia concept. On the other hand, Gerakan, which in theory, having the same political ideology like DAP, has succumbed to Umno’s pressure, and chose to join BN. For this, I see it as betrayal of trust of Penangites on Dr. LCE / Gerakan. The state of Gerakan now is in fact, culmination of its own doing by joining BN. The rest is now history. I would think LCE regretted his decision. Only he knows.

    From the way Gerakan, MCA & MIC leaders think and say, they are very much being brain-washed by Umno. Their logic is no more logic like us, but ‘warped logic’ which is not logic in normal human perspective.

    With this kind of ‘warped logic’, I don’t see BN as a credible party for the ultimate 2-party system that we, right thinking Malaysians aspire for. Umno does not favour this 2-party system in the first place.

    In this sense, Gerakan, if reformed, get rid of this ‘warped logic’, back to its multiracial ideology and opt out of BN, can still find a lifeline to survive the next 13th GE. Tough road is ahead of Gerakan, most likely it won’t be able to win a single seat, but it simply has no choice but to go through this tough road. If not, it is better to dissolve and distribute the wealth it accumulates. Right thinking members like Dr. Hsu can form an offspring party and start playing as a 2nd force in the 2-party system. That’s the kind of 2-party system that I wish to see, not the one of BN-PR.

    (Note : those old guards of Gerakan leaders and their related youngsters are all hopeless and should not be invited into the offspring party)

    Like

  17. ahoo
    Mar 16, 2010 @ 18:22:09

    Politicians who prostituted themselves cannot choose their customers nor the pimp master. Thus, they will have to continue selling themselves until they are unwanted or retired.

    What a sad day that will be when the choice is so clear that politicians must first learn on how to serve the people and of course the perks and rewards like MP’s retirement allowance, AP etc.

    When the state govt do something good for the people, they must commend the good deeds and if there are misdeeds, scream at them by all means. Stand with the people at all times and if that is too hot to handle just quit from politics and be an ordinary voters like us.

    Like

  18. romerz
    Mar 17, 2010 @ 04:24:03

    Dr Hsu,

    Let me share with you what I think of this RM100/- payback to senior citizens as a Penangite.

    Frankly speaking (from my perspective only), this RM100/- is not going to do squat for the elderly. Frankly I think this is no more than a public relations move.

    BUT and this is an important BUT!

    Rather than focusing on what this payment could do or the superficiality of it, I would rather concentrate on how is it that a cash-strapped PG state government could do this when this exercise could cost upwards of RM17 million.

    They could do it because they implemented open tenders, cut down on wastage and fine-tuned procurement procedures wherever possible through CAT.

    And this is something which must be applauded.

    Political gimmick on the part of DAP/PR maybe, but it clearly shows where money can be saved or even generated if governance in Malaysia is honest and done above board.

    For this reason, I support this initiative by registering my mum for the exercise but will donate the RM100/- to a worthy charity.

    Politics aside, let us not even talk of GST (which is only postponed) until we can eradicate corruption with the political will to do things the right way without consideration for rent seekers!

    Like

  19. romerz
    Mar 17, 2010 @ 04:26:12

    I forgot to add;

    That is why the DAP/PR state government of Penang has my heart despite their foibles and occasionally I may disagree with them.

    Like

  20. klm
    Mar 17, 2010 @ 11:48:43

    It is difficult for BN to practice what you say. These people have got use to high handed methods. They have got used to grabbing what they want. They think they are the master. How can they win hearts?

    Just look at Penang. Even the pipsqueak Gerakan still behave in this high handed manner. Bullied inside BN, outside they bully the people.

    Like

  21. Ken
    Mar 17, 2010 @ 12:07:15

    RM100 a year is not going to do much for anybody but it creates awareness of the new Penang govt and hopefully opens a door into their hearts. Remember that oldies are usually the most conservative in voting. Many of them still vote BN because they are haunted by fear of the May 13 bogeyman.

    It may be political gimmick or just a desire to give a token amount to oldies but nobody should call this corruption. Real corruption is Ng Y** Y** (editor puts** in names to protect the reader )to old folks home during a by-election and distributing ang pows and asking them to vote for BN. Where was Gerakan’s voice when this happened during the 3 by-elections in Perak?

    Like

  22. ong
    Mar 17, 2010 @ 12:12:50

    I expect that any average person with average intelligence can see and understand that RM100 per year (mind you, not RM100 a week or even RM100 a month but a miserly RM100 a year), even by the standard of the poor, can only be no more than a token of appreciation. Unfortunately Penang Gerakan cannot see and understand this. For just this one reason alone Penang Gerakan is surely not fit to be ever again voted in again as part of any coalition to rule Penang.

    The contents of Gerakan has become so rotten that even if it leaves BN, it will have no chance at all to be ever voted in again by any electorate, either on it’s own or as part of a coalition. To me there is only one option left. Close shop and those decent ones still left there can go and join one of the PR coalition parties.

    Like

  23. petestop
    Mar 17, 2010 @ 16:32:48

    If only Gerakan has Doc Hsu as moral compass, I believe Gerakan will be back on its original and true path again.

    Frankly, RM100 per year is peanuts, we spend more than that on a meal sometimes.

    However, true to its Socialist background, this is but a demonstration of what can be achieved if we eliminate the inefficiencies (be it from corruption, poor performance, etc) from the govermental process and returning back the savings to the people.

    Sames goes for the “No Plastic” day (from Monday to Wednesday) policy that is a great idea, and if you want to use plastics on those days, you pay RM0.20 for each, proceeds will be donated to charity.

    What I would really really like is to see smokey and noisy vehicles (especially old lorries and buses) off the road. But this is under purview of Tansport Ministry.

    The thing is that I don’t even see such polluting vehicles in China !!

    Common sense tells me there must be something wrong with our fuel or our enforcement, and obviously inhaling such pollutants may account for the relatively low life expectancy in Malaysia.

    Like

  24. Bentoh
    Mar 18, 2010 @ 14:33:22

    I only hope a certain faction of the Gerakan will voice against Gerakan Youth Penang’s stupendous move…

    But thus far, Dr Hsu you’re the only one…

    Like

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