Hornbill Unleashed

December 16, 2013

Bleeding the rakyat dry

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
Tags: , , ,

Selena Tay

The rise in living costs is the result of the government’s economic mismanagement, including perhaps BN’s overspending for GE13

Christmas is less than two weeks away, but for this columnist it is a time for juggling bills instead of singing Jingle Bells. What with the Chinese New Year coming about a month after Christmas, expenses are heavy and there is the usual flurry of end-of-the-year bills to be paid.

And then there is word going round that the price of RON95 petrol will soon be increased again, perhaps at the end of this month or next month or February the latest.  The increase will be between 10 sen and 30 sen.

Each time there is some price increase, those who are affected will grumble and groan via social media. But does the government ever listen?

BN leaders constantly proclaim that we have a caring government. But is this really true? Do they ever listen to the rakyat’s complaints? If they really do care, they should engage with citizens before implementing major price increases or new taxes.

Implementing increases without first engaging with civil society shows up the government as dictatorial and unreasonable. Our so-called leaders neglect the rakyat’s interest in favour of their cronies.

Of course, nothing stays at the same price forever, but the hikes should not be burdensome, and one increase coming after another certainly does not help give any impression that the government is caring nor considerate.

Why is the government suddenly burdening the rakyat post-GE13?  Has BN overspent during the hustings?

Newly-elected PAS vice president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man has called for a protest against the rise in the cost of living.

But will protest rallies change anything?

Will they stop the rise in vegetable prices, which have been soaring at a tremendous rate? Will they reduce the cost of eating at a Chinese coffee shop to what it used to be? A plate of fried kueh teow in Kepong Baru has gone up from RM4.50 to RM4.80 and looks set to go up to RM5.00 after the next hike in the RON95 price.

This columnist reiterates that the nation is in what we can call “technical bankruptcy”, which was explained in an article last month.

Chain effect

Because of this difficult situation that the nation is in, the prices of goods will have to be jacked up so that the grocery stores, mini-marts and hypermarts will make more money and pay more in taxes. Thus we are servicing the national debt when buying groceries.

Still, the best way for the government to get more money from citizens is to increase the price of petrol and electricity because everyone will then be hit in a chain effect.

The BR1M money, which has been increased from RM500 to RM650 for payout next year, is a pittance. It should at least be RM800 and perhaps RM1,000 for the low-income group.

This country relies a lot on domestic consumption to power the economy.  Therefore, by the end of next year, people will be hoarding or stocking up in anticipation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which is to be launched on April 1, 2015.  This means that immediately after GST is implemented, there will be a lull in spending on certain goods, especially among low-wage earners.

The economy will get back to status quo only after some months.

The Chinese Year of the Wood Horse, which begins on Jan 31, will see prices galloping and consumers wearing their belts more tightly from February. In fact, people have already begun to spend less on luxury items.

Year-end expenses will especially be hefty for people with schoolgoing children. We pity the many low-income parents with many children.

All this distress that citizens are suffering is due to the government’s mismanagement of the nation’s economy.

In 2007, the national debt stood at RM267 billion but it ballooned up to over RM500 billion last year.  What gives?  What happened?  How come it has soared to such a high level in just five years?  There must be something wrong somewhere.

The government is simply bleeding the rakyat dry.

And now even GST is touted as a people-friendly tax. The government’s infomercials say that with GST we pay only one type of tax instead of two, as in the Sales and Service Taxes.  But then not everyone pays these two taxes all the time since they are levied only in hotels and some restaurants. The government is being economical with the truth about the GST in order to hoodwink the public.

The government does not have to be caring. It needs only to be responsible. It must pay the price of its mismanagement not by burdening the rakyat, but by using revenues from oil and the sale of offshore assets and properties.

2 Comments »

  1. well, BN stands for Barang Naik.
    those who voted BN should just take this on the chin.

    Comment by abb — December 16, 2013 @ 11:41 PM | Reply

  2. it was in the early 7Os that a Sporean friend told me a joke on their sea ports, earlier on which was known as SHB, aka Spore Harbour Board.he said this means Suck Human Blood. Later another coy was formed & known as National Maritime Board–NMB,he said this means No More Blood, later SHB been changed to Port of Spore Authority–PSA,he said this means Please Suck Again. Please dont have to worry as Bodohland seems is having never ending natural resources for the corrupted suckers to suck lah.

    Comment by tiuniamah — December 16, 2013 @ 1:44 PM | Reply


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