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'Come clean first before slashing subsidies'
Published:  May 30, 2010 7:57 AM
Updated: May 30, 2010 1:18 PM

your say 'Fiscal austerity is required only when you have a clean management of country's wealth, otherwise all the rakyat's belt-tightening will go into the pockets of greedy politicians and businessmen.'


Subsidy reforms may be all talk, says Kit Siang

Fido Dido: Let the rakyat be the judge. The government has to look into material procurement procedures, abuses, civil servants' job evaluation, corruption, etc.

There are so many deficiencies to correct. Increase savings rather than straight away proposing the removal of subsidies. What about the hefty independent power producers' gas subsidies? They should be taken away.

Fair Mind: To prevent bankruptcy, there are 1 to 100 ways to increase income and A to Z ways to reduce expenditure. What Idris Jala has done is to look just at way number D to reduce expenditure, and has taken a total and in-depth view/study of the problem. If this is the way our government is managing our economy, no wonder our country is heading towards bankruptcy.

For the better prosperity of our nation and the future generation, we should look beyond race to helm our most important Finance Ministry. We should get the most suitable candidate to manage the citizens' money without caring what colour his skin, but rather the grey matter of his brains and his integrity.

Anonymous Yahoo: Cut the subsidies and siphon it to the 40 wealthiest people in Malaysia. The rest of us will be eating sand (oops, even that has already been sold illegally), while our richest friends have caviar with belacan !

Fiscal austerity is required only when you have a clean management of country's wealth, otherwise all the rakyat's belt-tightening will go into the pockets of cunning and greedy politicians and businessmen.

Also, it's the politicians who are trying to divide and rule by race. Greece or no Greece, with a current deficit and billion-ringgit stimulus package (maybe another one soon, with all the global economic cover-ups) and massive kickbacks, maybe we don't have to wait until 2019.

Beetle: RM1.7 billion cost overrun in Bakun. How much money has been paid to the first contractor, Ting Kek Phing's company? If this is not mismanagement, then what is?

Asking the rakyat to sacrifice and support the cutting of subsidies, and here they are throwing away the nation's money. How often do we read this type of news, but no one is sent to jail for misappropriation.

No wonder the culprits are getting more and more daring. BN, the rakyat will never support your proposal to cut subsidies. Stop corruption first, then you'll see how rich Malaysia can be.

Furthermore, stop the spin that 61 percent of the people support your proposal to cut subsidies according to your survey. Allow an independent company to do the survey, and I bet you at least 80 percent of the people are against the cutting of subsidies.

Just me: Yes, subsidy will be cut, but excessive taxes will remain. Our car taxes is one of the highest in the world, yet no BN politician makes any comparison.

The amount an ordinary car owner saves is more than enough to pay for four to five years of free petrol. Passport fees was increased from RM60 to RM300 during the 1997 financial crisis. They promised that when things are well again, they will reduce it back to the previous level. So now we pay for the highest passport rates in Asia.

Any BN politician care to comment on these two?

Multi Racial: Based on what Idris said, it means BN has failed. The party has driven the country to this situation due to mismanagement and corruption. All those who have been in the cabinet for a long time are responsible for this fiasco.

So I am holding Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Najib, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, S Samy Vellu, Ling Liong Sik, Rafidah Aziz, Muhyiddin Yassin, Hishammudin Husseion, etc. responsible.

All those past and present menteris besar and chief ministers and their exco members are also responsible. They should all apologise to the public and retire from politics for good.

Ong: A large portion, if not most, of the RM74 billion a year subsidies, besides being siphoned off by crooks, has gone to the well-off who don't need to be subsidised because the well-off are bigger consumers of subsidised goods than the less well-off.

The whole subsidy scheme should be scrapped, subject to the condition that the government then uses half of the RM74 billion to distribute to the lower income half of the population.

Those who need to be subsidised remain happy, and for a start, the government saves RM37 billion a year, or RM185 billion over five5 years, which is considerably more than the RM103 billion savings required to prevent Malaysia from going bankrupt.

Cala: Sime Darby's fiasco involving to the Bakun Dam can be traced to Mahathir's traits of 'irrational, irresponsible, and profligate' way of conceptualising development projects (Wain, 2009, p. 319).

Had Abdullah not cancelled the Bakun Dam contract awarded to a company of which 60 percent is controlled by Syed Mokhtar Bukhari (Wain, 2009, p. 314), the loss suffered by Sime Darby today would most probably be bigger.

Habib RAK: We all know that the root of the problem is corruption. Until we solve the corruption problem, no amount of good measures will be able to contain the alarming rising debt. You cannot fill the barrel, if the big hole is not plugged!

Lim Chong Leong: Instead of achieving the developed nation status by 2020, we will achieve the bankrupt nation status by 2019.


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