Who are we?
By 1M Malaysians Reject 100-storey Mega Tower Today at 7:48pm
If you are new to this community, and you wonder why we are here, what we are ultimately up to, here are our answers.
[This is Part 1 of our self-introductory notes as we will soon celebrate our second mensiversary and welcome our 300,000th member.]
Honestly, we’re not against the Tower
To be very honest, we are not fanatically against the Mega Tower.
We have said it loud and clear, if the PM can pledge no bail out for PNB on this Mega Tower project should it fail, if he can show us a benefit-cost analysis to prove that this is the nation’s top priority that PNB should invest in, and if he can convince us with a feasibility report on town planning perspective, we will turn ourselves into the tower’s most enthusiastic supporters.
What we are against is how the tower was decided. The local communities – from the five schools to the traders – are not consulted. The PNB investors are not consulted.The entire nation is not consulted. According to the Age, “the cost of the new tower has not been finalised, and detailed drawings are not yet available”, yet the tender has been won by Fender Katsalidis in Melbourne.
Why was this particular Australian architectural firm chosen? Why was not there an open tender process for Malaysian architects to bid? And are we not shameful to call this Warisan Merdeka (Heritage of Independence)?
We are against the Arrogance of Power
And even if the building cost does not balloon to a greater sum, RM 5,000,000,000 is already a huge sum.
How huge? If one earns RM 2000 a month, s/he would have to 208,333 years and 4 months to save up that sum.
As an average Malaysian earns RM 4000 a month, it takes the monthly salary of 1.25 million Malaysians.
For that amount, don’t the public deserve to be informed and consulted?
The Prime Minister says now PNB must ensure commercial viability and business opportunities for the project go ahead. We welcome this positive change in attitude, but why put the cart before the horse?
A Political Community for Public Accountability
So, we are not against the Mega Tower per se, but the arrogance of power.
If the PM is to scrap the Mega Tower in Kuala Lumpur and build a RM 5B monument in Putra Jaya, are we going to disband this facebook page and start another new one to protest?
We are already a community, one that grows stronger by the day. We survived the blocking of administrator’s publishing right by Facebook in our first week. We survived the police and university intimidation on our first mensiversary cake parties.We survive countless attempts to divide us on ethnic, religious or linguistic lines.
We are more than just a Facebook fan page. We are a community.We are as diverse as Malaysia on many fronts yet we are united by one single cause: public accountability.
We hold these truths to be self-evident: all governments’ funds including their investment in government-linked companies belong to the people, not the politicians or their grandfathers; and people are the boss.
A Political Community of Ordinary and non-Partisan Malaysians
We are proudly a political community because we care about the quality of public policy and public institutions.
We are also proudly non-partisan. There are enough political parties and web pages for those who want to be active in party politics.
While we welcome all Malaysians of all political persuasions to join us, we recognise the vast majority of the community members are ordinary Malaysians who are not active in political parties or political non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
We are grateful that new media like Facebook has allowed ordinary Malaysians to express ourselves and communicate with each other when our mainstream media have failed miserably to provide us public sphere.
We will keep this page as the vehicle for non-partisan Malaysians who want a better country and value for tax money to network, have fun and plot for good governance.
So, join us. We are growing steadily and will surely reach 1 Million although we do not know when.
We do not know if we will grow fast enough to stop the first stone being laid for the Mega Tower. But we are growing stronger.
And we promise to give arrogant politicians a hard time. We promise that they will dream of cakes in their nightmare should they think of another white elephant.
So, join us, have a piece of cake, and tell them a simple truth: “this country does not belong to your grandfather or your father!”
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