Friday, July 16, 2010

Time to Tighten Belts

At the MIA Toastmasters meeting yesterday evening, I was one of three evaluators. Two Toastmaster luminaries were also present: NJ SIngam and Yeoh Cheng Lim who took up the roles of General Evaluator and evaluator respectively. And it was also great to see familiar faces like Marcus Chee and Thilaga Kanapathi as it had been quite awhile I have been to this club. This term, Johnny Yong is the club President – I always remember him to be hard-working, heedful and humble.

Well, yesterday evening, text messages were already abuzz with news of impending price increases and subsidy cuts that will come into force at midnight. So this morning, I woke up to find that the government has increased RON95 petrol and diesel prices to RM1.85 and RM1.75 respectively – a hike of 5 sen per liter. The subsidies for RON97 have been completely removed and its price will be subject to market forces. Natural gas goes up by 10 sen per kilogram to RM1.85. And the price of sugar is also increased by 25 sen per kilogram to RM1.90. Najib has declared that this brilliant move would save his government RM750 million a year. Big deal. The government may save this amount but they will also squander and splurge even more on something else. Leave it to politicians to come up with creative ways to spend taxpayers’ hard-earned monies.

And does the government care if common folks are further disadvantaged? My position is loud and clear. With stagnant wages, spiraling inflation and escalating cost of living – this is a stupid thing the government are doing! FIRST, eradicate corruption, eliminate cronyism, erase wasteful government spending before sanctioning these measures. Do you think the government listened? Phooey!

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