Your say: 'They still get all-expenses paid holidays'

Modified 11 Jun 2008, 12:43 pm

vox populi big thumbnail 'When the rakyat can’t even afford to pump gas, they have the cheek to announce a so-called cost savings plan which still consists of fully-paid holidays but ‘only’ confined to Asean countries.'

On PM makes RM2 bil cost cuts after fuel hike

Lemon: We have leaders with the thickest skins on earth. When the rakyat can’t even afford to pump gas to go to work and we are turning off lights at home to save on electricity, our leaders have the cheek to announce a so called cost savings plan which still consists of fully paid holidays for ministers without a spending limit, and which ‘only’ confined to Asean countries. What?

If you guys wanted to go for a holiday, shouldn’t you pay for your own as opposed to the government seeking additional funding from the rakyat? For goodness sake, the whole bunch of you, please just resign or you will be booted out of office.

Our most ‘caring’ leaders has also chosen to bleed the rakyat first before digging into their own pocket. Cost-cutting plans, which should have been kickstarted long time ago is only proposed now because the rakyat is getting very angry.

Lilian Tan: Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's proposed cost-cutting initiatives to placate Malaysians are truly laughable. Why on earth would we be impressed that our ministers can only now go to week-long vacations to Asean and local destinations when the livelihoods of so many Malaysians are in jeopardy?

To show that he feels for the people, the prime minister should sell his RM200 million jet and fly commercial like everyone else. And how about cutting down the number of ministers from 28 to 14 and replacing their gas-guzzling official cars of Mercedes Benzes and BMWs with Proton Perdanas?

Peter Ooi: At first glance Pak Lah's cost cutting exercise looked very impressive. But knowing that even a beggar in China could part with his last coin to donate to those unfortunate earthquake victims, it was not really of a sacrifice on the part of our ministers.

Before the oil price hike, many Malaysians were already living from hand to mouth. Many of the children of the poor have to labour for a few ringgit just to make sure that their families have two simple meals of broth with salted fish. Oh yes, some may even have to skip one daily meal.

Now the prices of goods would definitely rise higher and would make life for them extremely hard. In view of this scenario, limiting our ministers’ holidays to Asean countries is no big deal. Already they are having such good life.

It would be more reasonable to scrap all holidays for them. Remember beggars can part with their last coin for quake victims. Doing away with their holidays would not in any way make them poorer than the beggars.

One more act that Pak Lah should do is to ban ministers from taking their spouses along on overseas trips. Besides that, the PM should also withdraw servants allowances for ministers and top government officials.

In times of difficulties, their wives can help to cook and wash for the husbands. This is not too big a sacrifice for after all the pathetic conditions we are in are a result of their incompetency in managing the country.

Oh yes, Pak Lah, might have conveniently forgotten to scrap prestigious events like the Monsoon Cup and the Formula 1. Those two races are not actually enriching the lives of the poor and average. As I see it, it is more of an occasion for the rich and well-connected to mingle with celebrities.

Dr Krishnarajah: What? Did we queue up during polling day to vote in somebody in so that he can enjoy life like having free overseas holidays, entertainment allowance, police outriders? If I had known this I would have done some apple-polishing and got myself too to stand for elections, never mind even if it is at Tanjong Rambutan.

Who cares who I am supposed to serve? From what I see, the ministers care for no one but themselves and serve no one but only themselves. Now I understand why. Oh dear. No wonder some with lovely careers throw it away and give some pathetic reason that they want to serve the needs of the people and the country and so become ministers and politicians.

I am too disgusted to comment further – when the tiger has already tasted blood, you mean to say it will settle for 7-Up? No way, man.

Yumcious: In keeping with his performance so far, this PM is again introducing new half- measures. I'm sure I won't be the only one to raise a hue-and-cry about these so-called stand of solidarity the ministers are taking with the people (if you can believe what Najib is saying in the press).

We are still paying for the ministers' all-expenses paid holidays? And we are still paying for their monthly entertainment expenses, albeit 10% less? Half-measures, half-measures. If he is serious, take a pay cut and have no holidays on our dime, and have no ‘entertainment’.

Seriously, does he want to tell us that when they meet somebody, they will pay for the coffee and GROs? And when they have done all that, they then tell us they ‘understand our plight’. They should just shut up.

Yih Feng: The current mess is wholly and entirely the government's fault. Their gross economic mismanagement over the decades and their systematic monopoly of power to deny others a fair chance to manage the economy has resulted in this.

In fact, it is obscene for such fools to be paid close to what they are paid for doing essentially nothing. In any other job, they would have been sacked long ago. But with their many instruments (state-owned media, ISA etc.) they've prevented their own sacking.

I find it digusting that our DPM claims that the government is shouldering the burden just because they lose 10% of their close to RM20k 'entertainment' allowance a month. I find it even more disgusting that no apology has been made for their complete incompetence, and that they find it perfectly okay for the rakyat to be burdened with their own misdeeds.

Confused: It's a tough decision for Pak Lah to reduce the oil subsidy and raise the petrol prices as we really need to optimise our resources. However, what we cannot understand is that certain policies and wasteful projects continue to steam ahead.

Examples - the issuance of AP permits to a few fat rent-seekers. Why can’t we allow the motorists to bid for the AP permits and the monies go directly to the treasury? Why allow wasteful projects to continue but discontinue beneficial projects like the Penang monorail which is ‘green’ and provide an alternative for motorists there to save on petrol and avoid the nightmarish jams?

Nick Chang: Due to the fuel hike, our PM is always comparing the fuel price with other countries such as Japan, UK, US, etc but may I know did he ever think or compare our car taxes with those other countries?

The car taxes here alone are more then the car selling prices in other countries. Who can compare with this? Can somebody tell me? How many times have the rakyat requested for the government to show us the Petronas accounts but still there is no news about this.

Why? Should we be happy to be Malaysians as PM always says 'We should be proud of being Malaysian'? But what do we get instead?

KevinP: Firstly, thanks Mr PM for making it known to Malaysians the benefits of all the cabinet ministers and deputy ministers. In fact, it would be good to actually publish the salaries and all the terms of their employment. After all, we Malaysians put you there so I guess we have the right to know what are your perks while in office are right?

Secondly, Mr. PM, a 10% cut of their entertainment allowances? All the while I was led to believe that you were normally being entertained rather than the one doing the entertaining? No?

Rop: This barang naik government should do away with all the unnecessary perks and sky-high allowances for all their ministers and MPs who are slyly enjoying at the rakyat ’s expense. If they really want to empathise and feel how the ordinary rakyat is going to experience the great, big financial crunch that is looming, why can't they tighten their belts like we have by paying for their own transport instead of posh taxpayer-paid transport?

Why don't they force themselves to live and suffer like how we ordinary the rakyat are going to do in the near immediate future? The recent cuts announced are just a mere pittance compared with the perks and allowances they get. Cakap kena benar-benar serupa bikin .

Stv: The costing down of the BN government announced by Pak Lah is actually a symbolic move. The rakyat has no intention to cut the national leaders’ allowances and we even can increase their salaries and allowances by double if they are capable of managing the country well in terms of security, safety and the economy.

This costing down was only 2.86% of Petronas last year's profit (RM70 billion). We are more focused on the profit of national oil company and we want to know where has its profits gone?

To the BN government, please do not treat the rakyat as children. Cutting down on the allowances of ministers and deputy ministers will not divert the rakyat 's attention from Petronas’ RM700 billion profit since its establishment in 1974.

One Rakyat: If these people (the ministers, etc) are honest in serving the rakyat , there is really no necessity for an ‘entertainment allowance’ for them. Contentment in heart through doing a good job is enough to give satisfaction to good souls.

No necessity for an ‘entertainment allowance’ at the rakya t’s expense. The rakyat go on their holidays, etc, out of their own pockets. Why can’t these people do the same? After all, they have opportunities to make big money (like it or not, they do use their clout).

If these ministers don’t like the idea of a zero entertainment allowance, they are welcomed to pack up and go. The rakyat do not really want them. Use the allowance and salary money to subsidise the fuel.

On Rebates for BMW owners too?

Environmental Realist: JustaBloke wrote: ‘How can I be denied the rebate simply on engine capacity? My neighbour drives a brand new BMW 3-series but enjoys the rebate. Is there any justice here?’

Yes, there is. Because you're missing the point. It's about moving from a subsidy mentality to a market-driven and conservation mentality. Malaysians have relied on handouts and subsidies for far too long.

Priority for the rebate should go to those who use less fuel. If your neighbour is using a below 2000cc BMW and you're using a bigger-engined, older and probably more thirsty car, then he should get the rebate before you.

I sympathise with your retired with no-pension situation, but you must have some income or you would not be able to run a 2,300cc Merc. The rebate will only fill your car's big tank about four times.

On Lim: Why stop at paltry 10 percent cut?

My View: I just can't understand why PM, DPM and cabinet ministers need to have entertainment allowances. What kind of people would theyentertain? If they did not do any entertaining, do they need to return the allowance?

I am just curious. In my mind, government officials should not entertain and should not be entertained to get rid of corruption, cronyism and favourtism.

Li CG: For what the current and previous governments have done to Malaysia, they deserve no free holidays, no entertainment and no salaries. We are in a state of despair. Umno, MCA and MIC should use their party funds to repay the rakyat .

On Subsidies removal should've been gradual

Ratormo: Is it possible that Umno needs the oil subsidies to fill up it's war chest (after depleting it at the last election), knowing fully well that they will lose the federal government in September.

Possibly to launch a come back in the 14 th general elections? Just a thought! Maybe some little bird somewhere can shed some light on this?