Monday, November 2, 2015

No More Subsidized Rice for the Poor

The Malaysian Government demonstrated their uncaring nature when they withdrew a subsidy on rice meant for the poor.
Since 2008, subsidized ST15 rice (Super Tempatan 15 percent broken) had been made available to ensure that the very poor could afford rice at the lowest price. [Note: ST15 (above pic) is of a lower quality compared to ST5, the local rice variety bought by many Malaysians]. Certainly, a very commendable deed.
But now this practice has ceased because studies have shown that the rice meant for low-income Malaysians were also being bought by non-Malaysians.
Samsuddin Ismail, Padi and Rice Division secretary in the agriculture ministry said Saturday they went to the extent of terminating the licenses of the rice dealers involved but the ‘leakage’ problem persisted. Not only that – but there were also distribution issues, of insufficient supplies in some places and too much in other places.
The authorities didn’t want to admit poor enforcement and corruption were the causes. They made half-hearted attempts to tackle the issues – but in the end, they opted to take the easy way out. They gave up!
Therefore, the poor are being penalized simply because the government are too stupid to come up with solutions. I guess it is just too much work for the bureaucrats in government – they very much prefer instead to sit on their fat asses.  

On Saturday, ITC Bintang Toastmasters and YMCA of Ipoh Toastmasters had a joint meeting in Ipoh, Perak. I was one of two speakers from Kuala Lumpur and I presented an Advanced speech from the Storytelling manual. It was about Red Riding Hood and I gave it a Victor Ong twist.
Otherwise, the meeting was okay. Still, we started late even though ITC Bintang Toastmasters were forty minutes early. And we outnumbered YMCA of Ipoh Toastmasters. It is noteworthy to mention that we weren’t properly introduced and there was limited social interaction amongst the members of the two clubs. My score for this meeting is a mere 2.5 over 10.


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