I refer to the recent news report on the minister of works' announcement that toll rates for several highway will increase next year. It is unbelievable the way the government continues to increase toll charges without any cap or ceiling in sight.
The excuse for this, given by S Samy Vellu, is that the government had to compensate concessionaires to the tune of RM68mil last year and RM76mil this year because the toll collected was insufficient.
Yet this very same government that can spend RM400 million on a new palace complex along Jalan Duta, can continue to employ municipal councillors who are able to afford four-storey mansions and can continue to plunders our forests and wildlife for a few million dollars when it can stand to gain billions by looking after them.
The list is endless. The question that should be raised is who are these highway concessionaires and are the public paying through their noses for projects that could have be done at half their costs?
Unfortunately, in Malaysia tenders are not given to companies that can do the job most cost effectively. And always, it is the Malaysian public that pays for the follies of the government.
We all know Australian journalist Michael Backman is right in his assessment of Malaysian politics and economics.
While it was painful to hear him conclude his article with the words, "That's not Malaysia 'boleh', that's Malaysia 'bodoh' (stupid)", it is more painful to know, within our own hearts, that he is right.