Support Joshua Y. C. Kong for PM to make this happen when the CHANGE OF BN as government is needed now.
<><><><><><> read on please
Master Koh.... Finally voice
time has come......
At long last someone from MCA has got the brain and more
important the courage to pen it down what every poor rakyat knew for a long
Surviving the Coming Hard Time !
By Stanley Koh
Stanley Koh was the
head of research unit at MCA.
It turns out that the government you voted in will not hold your
hand to see you through hard
times. Instead, it will make sure to add to your suffering because that
is the easiest way it can avoid going bankrupt.
Nasional has apparently decided that the time has come to remove or cut subsidies — the kind of
subsidies that poor people depend on, not the kind enjoyed by big corporations
and monopolistic suppliers of utilities and infrastructural
So what is the use of a government that
will eagerly shake your hand during election time but will not hesitate to pull
the rug from under your feet when it needs to save itself?
Few believe that the removal of
subsidies on essential food items and fuels can save the Malaysian government
from possible bankruptcy. If it does go bankrupt, it will be because it has
failed to cleanse a corrupt system.
It is better for Malaysians to be rich and to control a bankrupt
government than to be poor and
controlled by a corrupt government. Many countries have rich citizens
with bankrupt governments.
You do not need an economist to tell you that
RM100 in Malaysia today does
not buy as much as it did last year.
In what we may call the Malaysian
Index, we can see that food prices have been spiralling upwards
for years. For example, fresh tenggiri, which was RM13.23 a kilo in 1997, now
costs RM40 a kilo. A roasted duck cost RM13.47 in 1997, but is now at least
RM38. And Malaysians have become used to the doubling in price of some food
items during festive seasons.
Most Malaysians do not expect the situation to improve.
prices will continue to go up and there is little hope that they will come down
ago, the BN government announced that it had set up a US$1.25 billion fund to
increase food production and that it was targeting 100% self-sufficiency in rice
consumption. What has happened to the fund and the target?
When the GST (goods and services
tax) is fully
implemented in 2011, it will be a double whammy for poor and
middle-income households, pensioners, the unemployed and single
Some have argued that imposing GST on Malaysian does not make much
economic sense when only 6.8% of the population are taxpayers and a large
majority earn low incomes. Furthermore, it is acknowledged that most of us are
paying hidden taxes in highway tolls and electricity tariffs.
Indeed, the future looks
bleak. Yet, quite a number of us are gullible enough
to think that the government will protect consumers.
Are we not being stupid? Isn't it better to be wiser and brace for tougher times
believing the promises of a government that has a dismal performance record, we
should believe the law of inflation, which says, “Whatever goes up will go up
Ronald Reagan once described inflation as a
violent mugger, a threatening armed robber and a deadly hit man. In the
Malaysian context, that is an apt description not of inflation, but of the BN
government’s behaviour and policies.
So how do we fight the inflation of food prices?
agree that the average Malaysian household spends about 75% of its income on
food. Food price
hikes will therefore have an
adverse impact upon disposable income and force us to make a lifestyle
inflation Here are some of the things we can do:
- Stop eating at expensive restaurants.
- Boycott traders,
hypermarkets and hawker stalls that charge unreasonable prices.
intelligently for value and do not be too impressed by branding.
-Work out a
budget before buying. Look out for special sales.
- Prevent wastage by not
buying more than you can eat.
- Tell friends and acquaintances about shops
that charge excessively.
- Avoid buying expensive beverages or foodstuff and
find alternatives for nutritional value.
- Boycott chained markets and
fast-food joints. They are monopolised by a few large companies and can
therefore raise prices at whim.
Perhaps economist Milton Friedman was right when he said, “If you put the
federal government in charge of the Sahara desert, in five years there will be a
shortage of sand.”
Malaysians do not take the official
Index (CPI) seriously. They
know it does not accurately reflect price rises in essential
Many suspect that the government uses it as an
instrument to deceive the public into thinking that things are hunky-dory when
they are not. The government develops statistics so that the inflation-weary
public would direct its hostility towards businesses, and not blame official
The average household consumption
expenditure over the last 20
years has increased by 181.8%. In 1973, it was RM412. By 1993-94, it had gone up
to RM1,161. In 1999, it touched RM1,631.
According to Prof Lim Teck Ghee, real household
income has been growing, but at the snail-pace rate of 0.9% per year. More than
half of the population are in the low-income category.
Today, a family
of five spends 50% to 60% of household income on food compared with 20% in 1998
and 15% in 1988.
ago, there was official acknowledgement that 95% of families are finding it hard
to cope with the rise in food prices.
In fact, the biggest failure of the
Plan is that it did not help
Malaysians improve their quality of living. Inflation, whether it is imported or
locally generated, raises the cost of living and lowers the quality of
'Why not change the government?'
In 2006, when
Razak was Deputy Prime
Minister, he asked Malaysians
to change their lifestyle in the face of the rising cost of
A blogger by the name of Chong wrote in response: “Perhaps, the prime
minister should have done some simple calculations himself. People like us
basically have no lifestyle, just merely surviving with our earnings. So how are
we going to change (our lifestyle)?
“Inflation has gone up 4.5% (and above) and the
government is pushing the cost of living higher by increasing electricity
tariffs, but our income remains the same.” Others felt it would be easier to change the
government than to change a non-existent lifestyle.
“Instead of listening
to Najib asking us to change,” one critic remarked, “why not we change the
government at the next general election?” To me, that makes a lot of sense. Any
government that is willing to build air-conditioned toilets around a city at
more than RM100,000 each has no business planning a national economy.
When such a government
decides to cut subsidies, many of us will wonder whether the so-called “savings”
will instead go towards more majestic arches, fanciful lampposts, refurbishments
of VIP residences, luxurious government bungalows and fruitless overseas trips
government that stands accused of having wasted RM320 billion in 20 years —
through corruption, wastage and mismanagement — definitely does not deserve to
Stanley Koh was the head of research unit at
!**** L ****!
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