The big policy cock-up of the last few days comes via Barisan Nasional in Selangor, who are clamouring to reclaim the state after being dumped nine years ago. It would reverse a 2017 law requiring consumers to pay 20 sen at the checkout per plastic bag used. A fairly reasonable response to environmental concerns, really. Just ask Kenya! We won’t be having that thank you, said lawmakers and commentators.
To me, this says two major things about Barisan Nasional. Firstly, they will throw absolutely everything at the wall and let’s see what sticks. And secondly, beyond the grand national transformation schemes, there is little thought given to policy on a state or local level and that is highlighting how out of touch the governing coalition is in some parts of the country.
After last month’s redistribution of seats it is likely over 100 seats in Malay-majority areas are expected to see three-way fights, with UMNO facing off with a combination of PAS, BerSatu, PKR and PAN. Bring it on, says UMNO.
Deputy PM Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has ‘hinted’ the election will be held before Idul Fitri. Which is a huge ‘duh’ but still – any movement at the station is fine by me!
This follows on nicely from a few pieces last week taking a larger, more macro view of where Malaysia is at, this time through the lense of racial politics.
Artist and political activist Fahmi Reza was this afternoon jailed for a month and fined 30,000 ringgit for his iconic (spotting one around KL is an honest thrill) depiction of PM Najib Razak as a clown.
Science, Technology and Innovation Deputy Minister Abu Bakar Mohamad Diah, you cracked me up.
See you on Friday,