Hornbill Unleashed

December 21, 2013

Let’s say a big ‘Thank you’ to ‘Barang Naik’ government

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

Cecilia Jeyanthi Victor

Six months after giving Barisan Nasional the mandate to continue warming the chairs in Putrajaya, Malaysians are being rewarded with …

Ø HIKE in petrol price;

Ø HIKE in sugar price (for your own good health my dear Malaysians, the federal government claims);

Ø HIKE in assessment rates;

Ø HIKE in electricity tariff rates; and

Ø NEXT! Hike in toll rates.

More are expected to come from the “Barang Naik” government and hey presto! Those who gave their ballots to the BN in the 13th General Election, please bow and say a big “Thank you” to the government of your choice!

Judging by the successive “monthly” HIKES, and more to come, is it surprising for the World Bank to predict that 2014 would be tough for Malaysian households.

It will be an understatement to tell the rural and urban poor to start bracing for tough times, when the Goods and Services Tax (GST) starts fuelling inflation in 2015.

According to the World Bank’s Economic Monitor report on Malaysia released on Dec 10, household expenditures will take a hit as the government continues to cut subsidies and other policies.

Households will need to tighten their belts even with cash aids like Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) because inflation is set to shrink domestic consumption.

BR1M is estimated to cost the government RM1.7 billion (read as taxpayer’s money), not enough to help the majority of Malaysians, especially the rural and urban poor, to cope with HIKE-driven inflation.

Former Finance Minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, had in a speech after the presentation of Budget 2014, said: “Economic reality however may not be what it is made out to be when one engages in political debate in respect of the Budget: often it is the unstated issues in the Budget and its underlying strategies and proposals that should be of great concern to thinking Malaysians.

“Take for instance, the budget deficits, which had remained in negative territory for over twenty years; now the Najib government has promised to bring the budget into balance by 2020.

“The federal deficit has been sustained by borrowings that are now reaching close to the statutory debt ceiling of 55% of GDP.

“In fact the federal debt levels in absolute terms doubled since Dato’ Seri Najib took over as Prime Minister. Coupled with private debt currently at 83% of GDP (an issue I will come back to later), the total debt exposure which will have to be carried over into the next generation will now approach 140% of GDP at current prices by the end of the year.”

In layman terms, what Tengku Razaleigh is saying is that Malaysia is going the Greece way, if not for our oil and gas.

Although the exact amount of the toll hike has not been decided, it is a forgone conclusion that come Jan 1, start paying!

Speculations are rife the federal government is set increase toll rates from 50 sen to as high as RM2.

Works Minister Fadillah Yusof was quoted as saying that the exact amount of the toll hike has yet to be decided.

According to mainstream print news reports, 15 highways may increase in toll fares next year. The The remaining 29 tolls in the country will raise toll rates in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

The motorists’ biggest contention is this: “Why are we forced to pay higher toll to use congested highways while the toll concessionaires reap ballooning profits by the billions of ringgit?”

To dig further in the pockets of consumers is the possibility of a price increase in train fares.

theantdaily spoke to Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca) chief executive officer Datuk Paul Selvaraj who said: “Increasing toll rates is terrible but not doing anything to have efficient public transportation is much worse.

“You (the government) are not giving people alternatives, public transportation has not improved; it is actually bad and people are forced to use their cars.

“You are forcing people to pay more when what you should be doing is to look into the welfare of the rakyat,” Selvaraj added.

He also said urbanites would be the worst hit as many travel to and from work daily using the tolled hihhways.

Fadillah claimed that the government had already paid RM1 billion in 2012 to maintain toll rates in 2008 and 2011.

He was reported as saying that according to the highway concession agreement, the government could adjust the toll rate every three years.

According to Fadillah, the concessioners have not adjusted in the past six years which could result in the price hike to increase by double.

“The government has to fork out RM400 million in compensation if it does not allow the adjustment. If the government allows the toll rates adjustment, then it can save RM400 million for other projects,” Fadillah was quoted as saying.

When asked what he thought of the minister’s statement, he said that all the concessionaires were government-linked companies (GLCs) which have their share of profits.

“People’s salaries are not going up; you cannot say that you do not want to use the tolls, because you are forced to use them when nothing is being done with regard to public transport,” he stressed.

On Pakatan Rakyat’s opposition to highway toll hikes through its shareholdings in LDP, Sprint and Kesas, Selvaraj said: “Politics must be put aside at all cost. Each time an announcement is made, people become angry.

“Let’s just focus on the people’s welfare and ensuring the rakkyat’s interest. Priority should be for the general good of Malaysians, not personal interest of individuals or corporates.”

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8 Comments »

  1. kesas is worth 1.2billion.
    read my lips-its BILLION.
    yet, the cronies can raise tolls further to enrich themselves at the expense of the poor people.
    THANK YOU, BARANG NAIK.
    Truly ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES to screw the people.

    Comment by abb — December 24, 2013 @ 7:25 PM | Reply

  2. “THANK YOU” for giving PR a good chance to win BIG at the next GE

    Comment by tigerykey — December 22, 2013 @ 11:49 AM | Reply

  3. BN JANJI-TIPU

    Comment by abb — December 21, 2013 @ 5:41 PM | Reply

    • nanti keling kia & sarawakians grouping up to FXXk you man,Merry Xmas & Happy New Year 2O14.

      Comment by tiuniamah — December 21, 2013 @ 7:41 PM | Reply

  4. Precisely, welfare and interest of the general people is above all, individuals or corporates. It is the people who have elected the government. Thus, a government owes its existence to the people. Don’t forget, people are the masters and they will decide…..

    Comment by owl — December 21, 2013 @ 3:22 PM | Reply

  5. What so great about BRIM ? Writer should not even mention it in their article. Mentioning it is just to cover all the plagues that exist in this nation. Let me tell you how much BRIM can do. One table full of beers and some chopped meat for 1 dozen kaki bottle. Not even worth mentioned. Look at the problematic countries in Africa or certain countries in Asia where corruptions are endemic. This is where our nation is sliding to.

    Comment by smartAss — December 21, 2013 @ 10:51 AM | Reply

  6. Barang Naik government and its Tipu Rakyat 1Malaysia ( TR1M ) agenda.

    Comment by Awaken Dayak — December 21, 2013 @ 9:46 AM | Reply

    • After the election, its call pay back time. What was promised during the election period are just mere promises to the gullible simple minded.

      Comment by Apai Semalau — December 21, 2013 @ 1:47 PM | Reply


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