Plug the Evaporation of Our Money

Posted by M ws On Thursday, August 11, 2011 3 comments
Five years ago, when Najib was the DPM, he said Malaysians should change their lifestyle and adapt to the inevitable fuel price increase. He remarked that Malaysians should be more prudent in their spending and ensuring no wastage. Five years down the road, we still read about excesses while coping with subsidy cuts, increased prices of goods and services coupled with the shrinking ringgit while we lament our almost weightless wallets.


According to a recent  FMT report, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s household electricity bill was RM160,000 and water bill RM66,000 a month. This is not as shocking as other items of expenditure.

In December '08, Malaysiakini revealed that in a written parliamentary reply to DAP MP Liew Chin Tong, Abdullah had revealed that the government forks out RM6 million a year for rental and maintenance works for his official residence, Seri Perdana.

According to the reply, RM4.15 million is paid as rental to Putrajaya Holdings – the master developer of the federal administrative capital – while the remaining RM1,896,616 is for maintenance works. The government also pays RM3.4 million (RM2,273,888 for rental and RM1,129,992 for maintenance) for Seri Setia, the deputy premier’s official residence. In total, this works out to about RM26,000 per day for both residences.

In April this year, The Malaysian Insider reported  that according to Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, upkeep for the official residences of the prime minister, deputy prime minister and ministers in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) cost RM3.4 million last year. The government spent RM1.76 million running Seri Perdana, the prime minister’s sprawling residence in Putrajaya, and another RM1.59 million to maintain the deputy prime minister’s Sri Satria residence.

PM Najib said on April 1 that the recent surge in the cost of living may force the government to slow subsidy cuts, and that while the government was committed to reducing the nation’s deficit, “we don’t want rising prices in Malaysia to be a major burden for the people.” Walk the talk!! Although he has already announced the government’s willingness to fork out RM4 billion more in addition to the RM10 billion allocated for subsidies this year, do not rejoice yet.

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A month later, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has not come outright and said it but all indications are that there will be price hikes on essential items. He said that the subsidy burden is expected to double this year from RM10.32 billion to RM20.58 billion. He said that hefty subsidy costs is taking a toll on the government and that it could not bear the costs. This could be an indication that the government is preparing the public for more cuts.

Today, The Malaysian Insider reported that in a bid to reduce its energy bills, Putrajaya order all government buildings today to set its air-conditioner temperature to no lower than 24°C and will order the private sector to follow suit by 2013.

Since last Monday, some RM91 billion has been slashed from the stock market and things are expected to turn for the worst.

As such, instead of coming up with such laughable suggestions about controlling the temperature of government buildings to to slash energy bills, the government should:

  • scrap the controversial National Service before asking the public to accept subsidy cuts. The National Service programme is estimated to costRM560 million this year while the Students Integration Programme for Solidarity (RIMUP) was only allocated RM2.4 million. Isn't that quite ridiculous?
  • rein in unnecessary spending such as the Curi-curi Wang Malaysia RM 1.8 million Facebook pages to free up funds to maintain subsidies that are crucial to softening the impact of rising prices.
  • avoid spending on grandeur projects which despite costing an arm and a foot, offer no real benefits to the rakyat. A good example is the Warisan Merdeka which will cost RM5 billion. Read this.
  • tell the people how our lawmakers are cutting costs. The PM should give us at least a dozen ways as to how HE is going to reduce expenditure instead of telling us to righten our belts. Don't his advisers have a tight rein over public expenditure?
  • For instance, why can't the Putrajaya lead the way and stop using air-conditioners and start using fans? That should really cut down a lot in the electricity bills than that of many government buildings combined. If you have been to Putrajaya, you can see that very few staff occupy each floor where the air-conditioning is running at probably below 24 degrees Celsius. All it takes is for them to open the windows, enjoy the sunshine and cool fresh air of the vicinity. This cannot happen in the cities which is filled with smog!
  • work seriously to ensure that the leakages and wastages are plugged first and then only withdraw subsidies
  • eradicate corruption and cronyism to give all a fair playing field. Otherwise, some could be tempted to look elsewhere for other sources of income
  • stop bailing out ailing projects/companies
  • bite the bullet and put the rakyat first above all else.
  • stop the 'evaporation' of our money!!! Prevent costs from ballooning. Put a cap to such adjustments once and for all instead of letting costs increase virally!
To date, they expect us to follow what they say and not what they do. Obviously, leadership is NOT by example. And are we satisfied with that? Are we convinced they have the will to put US first?

Clearly, CHANGE is an IMPERATIVE for this country and that can only happen with a massive swing in the right direction. You can make that happen!

3 comments to Plug the Evaporation of Our Money

  1. says:

    Captain Obvious Dear masterwordsmith,

    Prime Minister: "B-but, but, but, wasting money on stuffs is always fun!"

    Cheers!

  1. says:

    nick Sis,

    You're absolutely correct to use the word "evaporation" to describe what's happening to the wealth and riches of this country. It's a slow and yet "massive" process which we the rakyat barely see it happening. Just like the sea where millions and billions of cubic meter of water evaporated and so does our tax money,Petronas revenues and various revenues of the GOM. All going up and disappear!

    Curiously enough, I still remember the designated chauffeur of this country telling us that the GOM can't afford to spend additional RM700 million to subsidize basic necessities of the people. BUT then just recently, the GOM told the people that it is implementing massive but dubious (since it's not done through open tender system)infrastructure program that will cost us RM52 Billion (the figure will increase and so far no one knows exactly how much it will really cost). Adding to that, the defense Minister too said that the GOM is spending another RM6 Billion for 6 "advance" patrol boat (at RM1 Billion a piece maybe it could submerge just like a submarine or NOT!) and additional RM400 million to maintain the fleet of expensive "surface sailing" submarine (to you and me, that means "unable to submerge"). Various other Ministry are also jumping on the band wagon and started to "tell" the people of various project ready to be implement that will cost taxpayers tens of billions.

    So, all in all the GOM is saying that it CAN'T SPEND additional RM 700 million for subsidies for fear of going bankrupt BUT are ready to spend nearly RM100 Billion to go on a shopping spree and buy expensive "toys" and that WILL NOT bankrupt the country. That is the perfect example of OXYMORON behavior and thinking or was I wrong in thinking that millions is smaller than billions??? Or DID the chauffeur drove us somewhere we didn't want to go and charging us extra for "his" service and expensive to maintain "car"?

    Nick.

    GOD bless and have a nice weekend, Sis.

  1. says:

    ahoo It is a case of a rich warlord telling a beggar, we need to tightened our belt and learn to live with whatever little we have.

    What lesson can we learn from a man who was born with a golden spoon versus those born in their wooden huts with zinc roof ? Worse still are those sloganeering exercises taken that addresses many issues at the surface only but did nothing to alleviate the ever raising cost of inflation.

    Just too little too late ! Change we must and change we will do and nothing can stop this movement of people's power.

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