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Sakmongkol ak 47

Friday 3 October 2014

Government Incompetence, People Suffer

The last time (2013) the oil subsidy was reduced it was done under the name of subsidy rationalisation. The government wasn’t happy that those who were targeted as beneficiaries of subsides did not benefit as much as higher income people who were using ron95 too. Deputy Minister Ahmad Maslan said, the government saved RM1.1 billion in 2013 by cutting down subsidy.   
Did the government save RM1.1 billion or was Ahmad Maslan was just showboating. Where has the 1.1 billion gone to?
This year, 2014 the subsidy cut made previously would save the country RM3.4 billion. Where is the money?  Adding up, the government should have saved RM 4.5 billion. Where is the money?
Also, because our diesel is cheaper, people smuggled it into neighbouring countries and sell it on open seas. The government said enough and so it took back the subsidy.
Now, it is taking back the subsidy what reasons can it tell us? Surely smuggling has been reduced. Those targeted to benefit got the benefits. So what’s the reason now?
It seems the same reasons are given. The government does not say it- but Dr Mahathir appears to speak on behalf of the government who is in the drawing room figuring out what to say to the people. Dr Mahathir is of course smarter that these dumbasses.
The government helps the rakyat by making them suffer more. The price increase of ron95 and diesel will push up the price of other goods and services. Even of the humble kangkung.
Who will be most affected? The lower income group of course. Transport is a necessity. As a means of personal transport or for the transportation of something more important- food and services.
The poor, as a result of Engel’s Law spend a larger proportion of their income on food. The transportation to ferry the food will increase and gets loaded up in the price of food items. That will make the poor happy and they will thank God, lucky the price increase is only 20 sen.

Let’s look at the issue from other perspectives- the ones the government doesn’t want you to look at. The state of the finances for instance.
When government starts withdrawing all subsidies after having given them out, this indicates a few things. The government cannot sustain the spending anymore because it has no money. It has to save money.
So it scours the political horizon to identify the path of least resistance. It identifies that formless mass known as rakyat who can make noises but cannot speak as one voice. Aha- the government says, let’s take away the subsidies on petrol. The cross fires, the arguments to-ing and fro-ing will be too complicated that, taking away subsidies on petrol is easiest. There will be people who support withdrawal and those who are against. They cancel out each other and allow the government to have its way.
But why must the government take it out on the ordinary folks when the problem arises from its incompetence?  Sure, we can justify the cut back because economics textbooks say subsidies distort the market- so do corruption, high spending, falsification of pricing, inflated purchase price etc. etc. these are sources of leakages more severe than government giving subsidies on people who are hard-pressed to make ends meet and who have to use petrol and diesel.
Because dear readers- we have been suckered. This is a government of the top 20%, by the top 20% and for the top 20%. They won’t carry out policies that injure their interest. Such as cutting back on wasteful spending.
How much is our MRT going to eventually cost? How much have we lost on 1MDB- RM38 billion? How much have lost through the government inept handling of MAS? Can we cut down the humongous allocation to the PM’s office? Why don’t we cut down on our spending?
I have been advocating fixing our spending as a fixed percentage of our GDP. Say 22% of or GDP to finance government business. They must spend within this fixed allocation.
The problem is how will the government explain to the people why they are withdrawing subsidy on petrol when the world price of oil is going down? 

They can’t lie to us anymore- that could only mean, this government has run out of money and must cut back on its spending. It chooses its victims well- the hapless rakyat who must use transport to move around and do business.
But more important, the reason why government has to cut back on its spending is because it has difficulties in borrowing. the government’s credit worthiness is questionable. You have been racking up public debt to almost 550 billion that’s already near the self-imposed ceiling. The actual public debt is even bigger if we take into account all those contingent liabilities. These are essentially guarantees to loans taken by GLCs, which if they default, will cause the government to pay up. The sum of contingent liabilities is probably now RM160 billion. That makes our total public debt to close to 70% of the GDP. More likely maybe 80% considering the fact that household debt is over 85% of GDP.
The country and its people are in debt. The UMNO people have no clue about all these because they have the licenses, the secure government jobs by which they can fleece the treasury by artificial pricing, buying goods and serves at inflated price.
Its ok you want to raise the price of the 2 products- we know you have bankrupted the government, empty our treasury. The government has no idea how to raise revenue because its mentality is that of a rent seeker not a productive economic agent. 


ordinary malaysian,  3 October 2014 at 23:02  

We can go toing and froing to no end. The most puzzling is that as a net exporter of oil, when oil price goes up, we should be earning more and therefore should be reducing the price of petrol too for our long suffering consumers. But invariably, when oil price shots up, petrol price follows in upward trajectory. When oil price goes down, price of petrol also goes up. No make sense lah. Always up, up and up whatever the oil price movement. This is perhaps the puzzle of the century that no matter what happens to the oil price movement in the international market, we as consumers of a net oil exporting nation, are suckered. (greedy/poor/reckless oil futures market involvement, accounting for part of the misery?)

Another perplexing puzzle is why voters continue to sucker themselves by happily voting for misery without fail each time a Ge comes along. They hear and they continue to believe lies and sweet talks. Then they grumble and complain when the cost of living goes up and then they are back to believing lies and sweet talks again. Masochism cannot find a better companion then the Bolehland voter, long fed on duMNo's designer diet of deign and dangle.

bruno 4 October 2014 at 00:00  

Dato,Petronas is the cash cow and main contributor of the Umno/BN gomen.Just take a peek at Petronas balance sheet and one has to wonder why we are soon to be neighbours with the Pigg's nations.

bruno 4 October 2014 at 01:34  

Dato,besides this hike in gas prices,I would like to comment a bit on the PR politicians from where I left off a couple of posts back.

Like I have said before,Azmin has already been officially sworn in as the new MB of Selangor.And the immatured PR politicians still have not had enough of PAS and Khalid.

When you see the likes of Anwar,Azmin,Rafizi and Tony Pua,please tell them to let sleeping dogs be.Khalid has already left office and is holidaying in Australia visiting his daughter.He has already shown his middle finger to his political enemies and asked them to f#ck off.Please tell your comrades in PR to grow up and do their job well or come the next GE,they will be shown the revolving door and makan sendiri.

Greenbug 4 October 2014 at 03:40  

The fact that the PM has "clever" people like Ahmad Maslan and Hassan Malek to explain this latest round of price increase of RON95 and Diesel tells us this country has been in the deep end of the longkang long ago... so why are we surprised?

dukuhead 4 October 2014 at 06:19  

i can't wait to read the next Auditor-General's Report. But, will they find a way to do away with that also?

tebing tinggi,  4 October 2014 at 06:52  

The problem with Malaysian ,when the patrol is cheap ,they smuggle out or being used illegally for self gain ,could't care less it's rakyat money they are doing with .

Anything is cheap hear are being smuggle out or being illegally used.
That Malaysian ,janji dapat untung.

Anonymous,  4 October 2014 at 08:42  

Dato, it has been pronounced by the authorities the petrol hike is for the rakyat's sake. Why no one believes? Use lah this disbelief to translate your votes in the next GE otherwise more and more outlandish statements will be proclaimed and continue to get taken in again and again.

Anonymous,  4 October 2014 at 08:54  

Well said Datuk Sak !

The poor and the elderly on fixed
pensions are going to suffer because of the fiscal irresponsibility and incompetence of our Finance Minister.

Phua Kai Lit

Anonymous,  4 October 2014 at 09:16  

Dato, so far the Pakatan/Azmin govt in Selangor is doing well. Refrain from witch hunts however continue genuine search and report on the water deals and kiddex. Unofficial mouthpieces will keep quiet, less said better, and when there is something to disclose on these secretive deals, govt will have more oomph factor and people support.
Good read on Tony Pua's statement "Selangorians are in complete shock when new Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali announced yesterday that the Selangor state government (including the State Secretary) does not yet have a copy of the water restructuring agreement signed with the Federal Government 3 weeks ago".
Like also Wong Chen's homework and disclosure on the IRB bill for retabling in Parliament.

Factual and truthful, and now onus on the Fed respond.

Message to PKR, DAP, PAS, get your act together, govern well and you will be rewarded in the next GE. Otherwise it will be the grapes of wrath.

Sumpitan Emas,  4 October 2014 at 12:29  

Fact 1: "RON95 petrol, diesel subsidy reduced by 20 sen per litre"

Fact 2: "RON95 petrol, diesel increased by 20 sen per litre"

Same "half-empty glass — half-full glass" argument.

Fact 1 is people-friendly. Fact 2 makes people angry.

At my age, I am not angry anymore, not even disappointed. Only saddened by the reality that, the one — the father — achieved so much in his short time while in office, and the other — the son — seems to be endlessly preoccupied with damage-control on matters economic and financial.

If there is one thing he DOESN'T deserve NOW, it is advice from the old grouch who is incapable of winding down and letting go.

I will continue to watch the events as they unfold, but on Selangor, just let Azmin work out his dreams and hopes (in the full glare of a mindful and much-abused public).

Anonymous,  4 October 2014 at 17:17  

Dear Dato", I think the Rakyat deserves these rubbish dish our by the govt as they keep on voting for them.

Even if the petrol price increase by RM1.00, these suckers will still vote for BN.

I believe these suckers (lower income group) will suffer the most from the price increase but I'm happy for them.

I really hope the petrol price will go up further by another $0.60.

Call me a sadist but these suckers need to be taught a good lesson.

Anonymous,  4 October 2014 at 17:36  

Well said Dato. Our debt to GDP ration is frightening. Greece comes to mind when one look closely at the numbers. In spite of our precarious financial position, the "make hay while the sun shines" corruption mantra is still being played out to great enthusiasm by the Najib regime. If we think the situation is bad, i'd say "We ain't seen nothing yet!

flyer168 4 October 2014 at 20:01  

"Government Incompetence, People Suffer"


This is even more interesting (Stoopid!)...!

Just to share this...

Kita Tak Sengaja Naikkan Harga Minyak - Najib -

When is Jibby ever going to grow up...???

Anonymous,  4 October 2014 at 21:42  

Another price hike, and the kangkong-RON theory still hold ;-

"Let there be a RON rise, our beloved kangkong shall remain affordable.

Anonymous,  5 October 2014 at 00:29  

Friends from Laos, Vietnam and Indonesia informed Petronas has reduce its price at its stations in the respective countries. Wonder why and what's going on with petronas money..

Anonymous,  5 October 2014 at 14:42  

I believe Rafizi should not continue to speak on Kajang. Old stories now and more effective keeping quiet for some time.

Anonymous,  5 October 2014 at 19:03  

The government may not be as stupid as you think. I am quite sure they will be giving $ hand outs to the rural poor (the core of their supporters). Its the more urban, educated, middle income guys (who mostly vote against BN) like us, who will bear brunt.

Krishna 6 October 2014 at 07:05  

I am a firm believer that subsidies should be removed. It tends to help the rich more than the poor - the fuel subsidy in particular. I agree it will hurt the poor a little bit but the savings can be used to help the poor in more ways than one. Let the aid go to the people who need it and bring up up their quality of life. With our resources, we should be able to lift all the rakyat from the poverty trap within one generation. All we need is an intelligent government and the rakyat can be educated how to choose one. They are not hapless.

Anonymous,  6 October 2014 at 10:06  

Orang malaysia tidak bijak. Mereka mengundi berdasarkan emosi dan ikut kawan.
Kalau mereka bijak mereka akan analisa setiap ucapan yang diucapkan oleh setiap parti.
Samada oleh annuar dari pkr, guan eng dari dap , hadi dan nik aziz dari pas , juga najib dari bn.
Mereka boleh membezakan yang mana banyak menipu dan mana kurang menipu..
Mana yang lojik dan mana yang hanya untuk sedap pendengaran.
Selepas itu buat pilihan.
Kita tidak akan silap

bruno 6 October 2014 at 10:29  

Now that Khalid has been chased out of office what is the PKR or PR going to do with the water deal and the proposed expressway.These two issues will be the you do and you don't do and still be damn.These two bush fires are lit up by PKR and PR and will come back and burn their batangs further down the road.Because either way they screwed up big time and cannot win.In the end Azmin's balls will be caught between the sawhorse and have to support the deals.You guys better believe it.

The only way to save PKR and PR in GE14 is for all the blind lackeys who backed the Kajang circus to be replaced by the Dyana Sofas.

noor mohamad,  6 October 2014 at 15:14  

Kalau kerajaan tarik balik subsidi semuanya bolehkah kita jamin mereka akan belanja dengan berhemah.

Yg paling pelik selama ini, rakyat terus percaya dgn pemimpin yg kaki penipu dan pentingkan diri.

Yg bagus macam Khalid [MB Selangor] kita buang pulak!

Anonymous,  7 October 2014 at 17:58  

Thanks to both PKR Wong Chen and DAP Tony Pua.
Both handled different issues very well.
YB Wong Chen successfully got the contentious IRB bill amended before the second reading. If not, the controversial investment panel would have slipped in and bill passed.
YB Tony Pua also insisted the PM needed to clarify the 1MDB debt in his 2015 Budget speech. The colossal debt is frightening, and for once Dr M concurs. As reported in the Malaysian Insider, Dr Mahathir had said: “the money for 1MDB is not from the country’s surplus. It is a debt. Billions of ringgit in debt that is added to the already-high national debt. The national debt must be paid. If not, we will be bankrupt like Argentina. A country that has been facing a deficit every year could not possibly pay off a debt this big.”

Therina Jopri 24 November 2014 at 21:29  

Salam Dato'

Reading this after the announcement to float the petrol price, one may ponder that goods prices will only go up and up when petrol price increase, but will not go down when the other goes down. Macam mana? :)

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