How will RM1,000,000,000,000 help?
The mainstream newspapers today proudly announced on their frontpages how the country's trade had broken the one trillion ringgit mark . And according to them, with this amount of money, we could build 555 Petronas Twin Towers or buy 1,000 A380 Airbuses - as if that matters the most to the ordinary rakyat.
My question is: will it also pay for the building of more hospitals, schools and other public facilities that will benefit the ordinary rakyat? Will it also see that all the roads and highways in the country are safe with no potholes, that all the drains which are perennially clogged be cleared of all debris and garbage to enhance our quality of living?
Will the amount of money ensure that everybody gets proper medical treatment and services, and students get full scholarships so that they do not have to borrow any money to pursue their college education?
Using the Petronas Twin Towers and Airbuses is not an intelligent way to describe how the country's trade has expanded. If we have broken a record of sorts, it should be translated into the construction of projects and the provision of services that the rakyat directly benefits from.
It should not mean that senior and junior government leaders can now be more callous and take it to mean that they now have more money to spend on unnecessary expenditure such as going on foreign trips on the pretext of wanting to get first-hand information on how to clear garbage from drains that have been clogged for decades.
It also does not makes any sense if this newly-acquired wealth allows the senior leaders to purchase bigger official houses and private jets for their personal enjoyment. This is already happening while those who live in squatter areas are forcibly evicted so that new and taller buildings for shops and offices are built.
One trillion ringgit mark passed? Really, who benefits?