'PM’s urging for rakyat to play golf is ridiculous'
4:18PM Feb 9, 2015
By Joseph Tawie
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s suggestion that golf should be a game for the rakyat has been described by Sarawak PKR as "ridiculous and outrageous" when the rakyat are struggling to make ends meet.
The prime minister had made the suggestion at the Maybank Malaysian Golf Open Final in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
In a statement today, Sarawak PKR Information chief Vernon Kedit said it was an expensive game, which only the elite could afford to play.
The prime minister’s suggestion reminded him of the infamous statement by Marie Antoinette asking the masses to ‘eat cake’ because bread was not available during the French Revolution.
“If the rakyat cannot afford to eat bread, how can you expect them to buy cake? This ridiculous and outrageous suggestion by the prime minister clearly shows that he is out of touch with the reality on the ground,” said Vernon.
Najib also announced that the government was allocating RM2 million to the Malaysian Golf Association to promote the game in 11 schools.
Vernon said that he used to play golf in his younger days, and therefore had personal experience of the game.
He said golf sets were expensive, and even the cheapest would cost more than RM5,000. Golf shoes, clothes and accessories added to the cost.
Membership of golf clubs were grossly expensive in Malaysia while non-members had to pay high green fees, he added.
Vernon said that Najib’s suggestion also reflected badly on government for not prioritising taxpayers' money.
“That RM2 million which Najib gave to the Malaysian Golf Association is a disgraceful waste of public funds.
"As an example, RM2 million could go a very long way in the constituency of N.31 Layar to upgrade primary schools and their dormitories. The money would be well spent and the results appreciated by the rakyat,” he said.
He invited Najib to come to Betong to tell the rakyat there to play golf and asked him to build an 18-hole golf course in the heart of Layar where its rigorous terrain would prove a challenge to even top players.
“I challenge him to give away free golf sets and free golf accessories and outfits to 1,000 voters in N.31 Layar. Only then can he ask the rakyat to play golf,” he added.