Minister Idris Jala had sounded the alarm bell by stating that this country could go to the dogs or ended up bankrupt in 9 years if nothing is being done to the subsidy system. At present, the government spends a large chunk of its annual revenue on various subsidies.
Before we even start to debate the merit of dismantling these subsidies, we should look back at its historical background. Handing out subsidy was an easy way out to momentarily address issues of inefficiency, incompetence and inability to move up the higher value chain.
The government should have helped to address the issues through various capacity building programmes. The nation could have been prepared to go on a higher value chain and to be more productive and competent.
Unfortunately, for decades the government had lost various opportunities to revamp, reinvent and reenergize our socio-economic policy direction. The government never had the political will to implement any real reform. It looks like history is going to repeat itself again especially after the protest of 70 odd Malay NGOs against the NEM. Najib may yet again retreats from his policy like his predecessors.
Policy flip-flops and inconsistencies had ruined many good and well thought out policy vision including the Vision 2020 and the effort to become a knowledge economy.
Hence, dismantling the subsidy system which is sucking this country's resources dry must come with a steely political will to end mediocrity, cut wastage and adopt financial prudence. The government cannot expect the people to accept higher prices without first tackle its own financial mismanagement, wastage and internal corruption.
With limited resources, this government should be ashamed of itself for trying to use the same resources to buy votes at the by-elections in Hulu Selangor an Sibu.
Our workforce is suffering from a middle income trap. Our average income per capita has not grown that much since 1997 compared to other countries in the region. At USD7000, it has barely made a jump from USD5,600 more than a decade ago.
Any increase in the essential items, oil & gas, toll rates, sugar and others will trigger higher inflation.
What is the government plan to help boost per capita income of the people? What has the government done to create more higher paying jobs for the people?
What has the government done to tighten its own financial management, cut wastage, combat corruption and leakage?
It is important for Idris to realize that subsidy cut is not the only solution to avoid this country from becoming bankrupt. Barisan needs a total overhaul and we need more trustworthy people running the country.
Give us some action on the PKFZ. Why the deafening silence?
If Barisan cannot balance the book, perhaps others should be given a chance to try since we running out of time.
Why must only the people suffer for the mismanagement?