Political economist Andrew Aeria has sent in this comment, which I think reveals how out of touch Najib is with the hard reality facing low-income families in the country:
First, petrol price increase. He said: Change your lifestyle.
Then, crime: Change your perception.
Now, laundry drying: Change your habit by buying a dryer or dry your laundry downstairs.
This guy has no inkling of the life of ordinary people. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and he has never known privation or hunger. So, when he talks, his ideas and suggestions are all in tune with his privileged world-view of his own creature comforts. Does he think everyone living in a high-rise can afford a laundry dryer?
He obviously knows nothing about the life situation of poor and less fortunate people. And this is the person who is going to be our PM? Najib is completely out of touch with Malaysian realities. He lives on the moon. He should just do us all Malaysians a favour and (spend more time abroad) in a first-world country like USA or Switzerland where he can indulge in his fantasy “life of luxury” world. We shall certainly not miss him or his ridiculous ideas.
One real solution would be to ask developers to put in more space for airing laundry when building low-cost homes. And get employers to pay our workers more (so they won’t have to live in such crammed high-rise flats) by setting a minimum wage.
Actually, drying clothes under the sun makes full use of the abundant solar energy that we have and it is thus more environmentally than dryers, which consume large amounts of electricity.
Check out this report from Malaysian Insider/South China Morning Post:
Housewives angered at ban against airing laundry in public
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 4 — Fuming housewives and ruling party politicians are at war over a new ruling that bans laundry from being hung out from windows and on balconies of high-rise flats in the capital.
The ruling takes effect from Jan 1 and was announced by Prime Minister-designate Datuk Seri Najib Razak, a blue-blooded Anglophile who has an eye for finery, on Tuesday.
Najib said punishment for breaching the rules would be introduced later if persuasion fails. A City Hall spokesman said at present offenders usually would be fined from RM50 to RM150.
Najib, however, wants housewives to dry clothes in designated areas on the ground, inside their homes or use driers to be provided by developers of existing or future units.
He said the haphazard way of drying laundry was adversely affecting the country’s image.
“We need to dry clothes [away] from public view,” he told Bernama, the official news agency.
City Hall estimates nearly 65 per cent of the capital’s 1.9 million people live in high-rises and most of them hang out their clothes from windows and on balconies. The situation is made worse by an additional 1 million foreign migrant workers who live in crammed one-room flats and also hang out their clothes to dry.
Tourists and better-off locals applaud the ban, but housewives are angry, saying the rule is a burden.
“We have to go up and down with our laundry and it is a burden,” said Kamariah Busut, community head at the crammed high-rise Sri Sentosa flats south of the capital.
“This is just another one of the rules the bosses have thought up without consulting us,” she said, adding a meeting would be held soon with opposition lawmakers to protest against the rule.
“These millionaires have many servants to do all their chores. They don’t know how poor people live,” she said.
“I cannot comply even if I want to,” said Thamarai Soosaipillai, 69, another Sri Sentosa resident. “I am old and can’t carry [much]. The lifts also break down frequently.”
Opposition lawmaker Tian Chua said the rule should not be hastily enforced without proper consultation. — South China Morning Post