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Malaysia aims to join 20 rich countries and Uganda wants life presidency

On November 18, I arrived in Kuching, the capital city of Sarawak – one of the 13 states that make up the Malaysian federation.

I was in Kuching to attend the annual World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) at the Borneo Convention Centre. This event usually attracts about 3,000 participants from all over the world to discuss halal travel, food, business, Islamic banking, etc.

Malaysian Prime Minister Hajji Mohammad Najib presided over the opening ceremony also attended by six heads of state or their representatives.

I think the reason they took us to Kuching, a two-hour flight from Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, was to expose this beautiful and attractive beach city to the world. And beautiful it is: clean, well-planned and with modest prices. But of course most attractive to me was not the architecture, but the focus of the country’s leaders.

Malaysia is ranked the 6th most competitive economy in Asia after Singapore, Qatar, Israel, United Arab Emirates and Japan. It is the 23rd most competitive country in the world. There are 195 countries in the world, including Palestine.

With 31 million people, Malaysia is ranked the 35th largest economy in the world with GDP of approximately $922 billion and $27,267 GDP per capital. Only 3.4 per cent of its people are unemployed.

In fact, in Sarawak where I was, they were pleading with Indonesia to give them more workers in their palm oil industry.

Just 11 per cent of the population is in agriculture, 36 per cent in industry and 53 per cent in the services industry. Their exports include vehicles, agricultural products, technology, etc. In his address to the World Islamic Economic Forum delegates, Najib said their target as a country is to join the club of the 20 wealthiest nations in the world.

Mind you, this is a $922 billion-economy.  Uganda’s is $27 billion. Our population is now nearing 40 million people and Malaysia has 31 million people. What is their target that their prime minister is driving toward? To ensure that Malaysia, which got independence in 1957, joins the top 20 richest countries in the world.

And what is the immediate target of our leaders in Uganda? To ensure that the Constitution is changed and a provision that stops people above 75 years from standing for president is removed!

Those are the comparisons that keep running in my head each time I travel out of the country. There have been more cabinet meetings to discuss how the article that stops Gen Museveni from contesting for president in 2021 can be removed than on any other issue.

A cabinet sub-committee headed by Dr Ruhakana Rugunda was appointed to push for the removal of age limits. Top ruling NRM leaders were grouped into sub-regional committees to canvass support for this constitutional change.

And the loyal Dr Rugunda has just concluded touring Kigezi sub-region begging people to allow Mzee Museveni his childhood dream of dying in office.

I have been told by a senior minister that Museveni recently convened some members of his cabinet at State House Entebbe and analyzed how each NRM MP will vote.

Currently, parliament has about 450 MPs. Museveni needs about 300 MPs to be present and vote yes for his life-president project. At the moment, he is sure of about 305 MPs, according to those who have seen his security analysis list.

What he is not sure is whether public pressure won’t diminish his numbers. That is why he is even slow on pushing parliament to process this satanic Constitution Amendment (No 2) Bill. He had initially wanted it passed by the end of November. We are now in December and the way I see things, this matter will be discussed next year.

That is how we are ending the year 2017. Of course there are other major undertakings by Museveni and his group such as the oil pipeline, oil refinery, power dams, airport expansion, railway and roads.  But all these are affected by political decisions.

Currently, our public debt is more than $10 billion without the refinery and pipeline money. All the major infrastructure projects are funded by borrowed money because the revenue we locally collect is now being used as pocket money to rent support.

It is the reason power generated using local revenue in Jinja is sold at just about three US cents while that from private supplier Aga Khan is sold at about 13 US cents.

Financing Museveni’s stay in power has become very expensive and the discipline of his family members with whom he is running the state is worsening by the day.

That is why he can’t sack his in-law Sam Kutesa who is accused of soliciting bribes of half a million dollars and found it easy to sack Henry Kabafunzaki for soliciting a Shs 5 million bribe.

semugs@yahoo.com

The author is Kira Municipality MP and opposition chief whip in parliament.

Comments   

0 #11 Akot 2017-12-08 14:22
Stewart, agreed, yet,

After 31 years, museveni has brought Uganda & its people to NOTHING & as Ugandans hold on to tribalism instead of Uniting agains their common enemy, there is no way the demon will leave but will invent ways to squeeze balls tighter!

Yet, at this point, one wonders why museveni still pays tribal leaders because Ugandans have shown it's him they want & not 1 of their own to reform the Republic - why waste money on tribal leaders holding posts that serves no purpose now?

Money given to tribal leaders could go to medical workers/equipments-teachers-build good schools!
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0 #12 Akot 2017-12-08 14:34
Ocaya pOcure, understood, yet,

Leaders are brought in power & changed by the people & not otherwise!

Have you forgotten when all the other tribes United to bring in museveni & Acholi stood down seeing unarmed Ugandans singing praise to museveni & telling Acholi "OUT, GO BACK TO YOUR HOMES IN THE NORTH, ANYANYAS?

I have never understood why Acholi is still not Independent State, more so now we know Ugandans will never Unite & museveni will finally own the entire zone!

Has museveni not blocked the country with his age?

So, why are we still getting at one another instead of forming Independent Tribal States & each tribe manages land riches for the good of individual people?

Why labour to give museveni tax so that he buys off who ever he wants & just goes on?

In the state Ugandans are, how can they even talk of next election?
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+1 #13 Akot 2017-12-08 14:48
Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda,

Why would Ugandans elect MPs again?

Museveni can postpone next election & Ugandans will go on working in peace, more so, there is no opposition to draw Ugandans away from the demon while going with + 1 opposition candidate is complete waste of time, not to say stupid!

Why pay MPs for doing nothing when museveni only needs executives appointed by him?

Does museveni still need tribal leaders in posts & for what?

Money given to MPs/tribal leaders could go streight to hospitals-schools!
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0 #14 Akot 2017-12-08 15:09
Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda,

I said before:

" ... This is time for Kony to sneak in & kill museveni then ..... ]

gwok told Akot:

"I say STOP with putting your bet on a lame horse."

See, Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda, even some one who calls him/herself gwok (dog), does not see Kony could keep museveni out of Achçoliland & not make it part of the Uganda he wants to create!

For gwok, Kony is good for keeping museveni out of foreign land that does not need protection from the demon!

Well, B.Obama also used US soldiers to keep Kony away from museveni!

Museveni must now grow up & become a real man & just rule Ugandans without tribal leaders-MPs-Mayors, but with just appointed executives!

After all Ugandans go along with what museveni decides in peace, so why not be a real leader now?

No wonder Betty Long Camp is breathing freely now!
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0 #15 Kirya 2017-12-10 01:28
because of scared corrupt manipulated bums that is why m7 is still in power.
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0 #16 Yahya 2017-12-10 15:55
For sure Museven has become a serious obstacle to this country's development and what he should know is that majority of Ugandans aren't ready to stomach him beyond 2021.
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