Malaysiakini Yoursay

Who benefit most from subsidy cuts?

Yoursay  |  Published:  |  Modified:

YOURSAY 'Haven't ordinary rakyat, especially working class, sacrificed enough?'

'Subsidy cut to look after rakyat's interest'

Swipenter: My simple mind tells me this. With the reduction in subsidy of 20 sen for RON95 and diesel respectively, the government is estimated to save RM1.3 billion in subsidies.

 

Before this latest hike, the subsidy was 48 sen (now 28 sen) and 52 sen (now 32 sen) per liter for RON 95 and diesel respectively.

 

PM Najib Razak says that "subsidy for fuel, petrol, LPG (liquid petroleum gas) and diesel amounted to RM24 billion" last year.

 

Assuming that the subsidy of RM24 billion was all for RON95 and diesel the reduction of 20 sen would save the government in the region of RM9.6 billion (2/5 x RM24 billion). The difference of RM8.3 billlion (RM9.6 billion - RM1.3 billion) in subsidy gone to subsidising LPG and other fuels?

 

That is very interesting. Who are the beneficiaries/recipients (apart from those of us using LPG for cooking) of this RM8.3 billion? The independent power producers (IPPs)?

 

Oh Ya?: Haven't the ordinary rakyat, especially the working class, sacrificed enough since Merdeka? Just look at their wages. Isn't it one of the lowest in the region? On the other hand, isn't their tax rate one of the highest in the region?

 

And Bolehland is blessed with oil revenue and other natural resources. Where has all the money gone to? To the pockets of the ruling elite, the rent-seekers and crony capitalists? Why are they not asked to sacrifice?

 

Why are the IPPs and toll road concessionaires not asked to pay more taxes? Instead they are given soft loans while the ordinary rakyat are borrowing at commercial terms. Why should they continue to sacrifice to benefit them?

Samurai: It's like a robber telling us stealing our money is for our own good, then running away gleefully to splash it all on all kinds of luxuries while we nurse the wounds.

For years now Najib has been telling us subsidies need to be cut because the country badly needs the money, but in those years, his government has not set the example by showing true frugality and prudence in spending. On the contrary, the auditor-general's reports show the exact opposite.

So saying it is 'for our good' is just spitting in our faces, like the arrogant thief who once robbed me at knifepoint (when I was twelve) in Kuala Lumpur, then cursing me with all kinds of swear words.

The anger I felt then, is exactly the same feeling I have now.

 

Negarawan: I have no respect for a PM who flies around the world with his wife on extravagant and expensive holidays while the rakyat at home suffer and cannot even make ends meet.

 

And now he says the rakyat must make "sacrifices". The rakyat cannot be fooled by gimmicks like BR1M (Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia), which hardly covers the escalation in the overall cost of living by the petrol price increases, not to mention the upcoming GST (Goods and Services Tax).

 

In other countries, petrol prices are coming down in line with the drop in oil prices.

 

But not in Malaysia because the Umno government has plundered the wealth of the country through massive corruption, wastage and mismanagement, the financial burden is passed on to the rakyat.

 

Sa Tombs: Plough back all the money taken by way of corruption, exorbitant contract awards given to cronies, wasting time and non-productive effort over politics, account for national oil company Petronas funds, stop jetting around the world, appoint people on merit and not on ‘kulitfication’, promote bright students and generally make all the people happy, and you don’t have to say that it is for our benefit.

 

Iiiizzzziiii: Whoever are advising Najib, professional consultants or whatever, have just committed the biggest mistake here by letting Najib talked. He should have maintained an elegant silence and let others do the explanation.

 

What do you take the people in Malaysia for? Fools? Now, who is the bigger the fool here? No amount of sweet talking is going to help here. Borrow more money and give them back to the public to help people cope with the increase in petrol price. How exactly is that helping the country economy?

 

Where is the money coming from in the first place? If it is any consolation, Najib shall be remembered as the PM make Malaysia bankrupt, while the professional ‘con’sultants laugh all the way to the bank.

 

LKT: When the country is running a budget deficit cum high national debt, Najib being the PM and finance minister, should volunteer to reduce the budget of his massively overstaffed PM’s Office and his beloved Rosmah Mansor’s Permata as well as retiring their executive jet to show solidarity with the rakyat.

 

Also trim the size of his motorcade when moving around town. If he can't sacrifice all these luxury, his call for the rakyat to sacrifice is just hollow nonsense.

 

Najib, you are the PM of a minority government. If the job of running the country is too much for you and Umno to handle, you should leave it to Pakatan Rakyat.

 

The country is blessed with massive natural wealth and human capital, yet after 57 years of being run by Umno, Malaysia is slowly sliding towards economic abyss. There is a limit to how much more money you can tax from the rakyat before things start to implode right before your eyes.

 

Man on the Street: Mr PM, your reasoning on the reduction of fuel subsidy is due to the enjoyment of this subsidy by the rich, tourists, foreigners and illegal workers does not hold water.

 

These groups are very small compared to the overall population. So why punish the poor and the middle-income earners who make up the bulk of the consumers or those who enjoy the subsidy.

 

Your defence will be that the BR1M is there to reduce their burden. But BR1M is your political tool to justify your unpopular moves and to hide your inability to generate the country's revenue through other means or sources.

 

Ipohcrite: Sure, reducing subsidies is indeed a way forward to heal the nations's debt woes and economy. Only if done right.

 

But from the way things go, it seems cutting subsidies is the easy way out for the incumbent government compared to the hard task (due to lack of political will and reluctance of upsetting the party bigwigs and cronies) of reining in wastage, brazen ‘mark-ups’ in procurement, leakages, etc, which appear in the Auditor-General's Report year after year. So the long-suffering rakyat continues to suffer.

 

Dalvik: I'm sure majority of Malaysiakini commenters here, will agree with me that stopping leakages has been, and will continue to be, the rakyat's interest.

 

Please stop telling us what's good for rakyat. If you can't stop the leakages at the top level, what makes you think diesel smuggling can stop at ground level? Stop punishing rakyat because you failed to stop leakages.

 

CiViC: Subsidised fuel being taken advantage of, smuggled out, or benefitted the non-deserving ones are entirely separate problems that comes back to the same question of control and management.

 

If the government is unable to manage the country's resources because of its sheer incompetence, please don't penalise the people for it.

 

Giving all sorts of contradicting excuses to cut subsidy just shows the insincerity of the government in taking care of the people.


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These comments are compiled to reflect the views of Malaysiakini subscribers on matters of public interest. Malaysiakini does not intend to represent these views as fact.

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