Posted by SM Maulana
Write-up – on Sheih
I wrote about those difficult times that clouded my life because I anticipated that Malaysia is heading into another economic downturn. I was wrong; Malaysia is actually heading towards economic catastrophe.
We have suffered recession period in the eighties and faced an economic downturn in late nineties. It took us sometime to recover in the eighties but the leadership took a sharp decision to stabilise the economic in the late nineties with some bold decisions which managed to help us back on our feet sooner that many others although the road we have taken led towards tonnes of criticism.
Anwar Ibrahim forced us to swallow the IMF medicine during the early stage of the downturn in 1997, before Mahathir took a blunt decision which resulted amongst others, the sacking of Anwar and followed by bold decision which saw Ringgit pegged against the Dollar and the enforcement of capital control, among others.
Behind the curtain of political uncertainties during that period, our economy managed to stop heading south and soon, we are back on our feet, faster than the rest and this too help to cure the political problems.
In the late nineties, the clashed is more because of ideologies and political survival. However, today, our economic problems are more of external factors and only one domestic factor. The single domestic factor is that, we have a pariah as a leader.
That pariah is none other than the shameless Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
In many more posting to come, I will prove to you that this fella is a liar. He lied about the state of our petroleum income and he lied about not having the choice but to reduce the fuel subsidy. Or he actually is an honest pariah who knows nuts about running the country.
But today, I will focus on what only a pariah can do, and that is turning our economy into a recluse economy.
For many times now, we heard that we should change our lifestyle and to spend less. I totally disagreed, as I strongly believe that when we spend less, meaning we are not doing our part to generate the economy.
What we should do is to spend as usual or even more but spend it wisely. But pariah will do what pariah born to do. When we are forced to curb our spending Abdullah is spending lavishly. He travelled in a bullet proof BMW 7 series and a brand new executive jet, among others. He is never spending wisely neither did he curbing his spending of taxpayer’s money.
Recently, we are faced with an increase of fuel prices at a scale we never imagine before. Even an idiot will know, the increase of fuel prices will escalates into rapid increase of all other things. In a transportable world, where goods are moved from one point to another, will mean an increase of fuel prices will cause the increase in transporting cost. An increase in transporting cost will only mean an increase in our expenditure. An increase in our expenditure will mean, even things that are not moveable will also suffered in increase of cost because everything is interrelated.
When everything or part of the things we need daily has increased, meaning we have to spend more on those things which resulted in us having less to spend. Automatically, the community will have to spend less and this will force the economy to slow down. Inflation rates increase while we are heading towards recession.
As a result of realising the truth that has happen, a Pariah leader push the panic button. They announced cost cutting measure across the board, which in actual fact will do more damage than good.
In an economy that relies heavily on the government, cutting the government expenditures will cost more damage toward the economy. When the government started to spend less, the industry that rely heavily on the government will doom.
The increase of fuel prices will curb the mobility of the community. Domestic tourism will feel the effects. The hotel will start to stare at those empty rooms. When the government reduce the usage of the hotels too, this will only mean bad. This is one obvious example.
In a matter of fact, what the government should do to help the economy to stabilise itself is to force people and even the government to spend wisely yet to spend more. But how to spend more when you have pretty much less in the pocket?
Instead of announcing all the negative measures by the government, what they should do is to provide more incentives for everybody. Such as reducing income tax and company taxes, bonuses and income from voluntary separation scheme should be tax-free. The government will have less but people who are benefited from such incentives will have more and will spend more and this is one of the things that will trigger the rebound in the economy.
The government should also immediately force the people to use less fuel and change into Natural Gas for Vehicles or NGV. The government should enforce all petrol stations to equip with NGV pump. Incentives should be given to NGV user and penalty for those petrol and diesel user.
Malaysia have the biggest natural gas reserved and why aren’t the government serious about it.
In a matter of fact, the increase in fuel prices is unnecessary for Malaysia, if the government actually serious about the usage of NGV.
The government has been talking about NGV for more than a decade but there are only less than 50 NGV pump in Klang Valley and for majority of other states in Malaysia, there are not even a single NGV pump.
With the increase of NGV usage will result in less usage of petrol and this will mean we can sell more of our petrol to other country and increase our income.
We are facing what we are facing now because we have a Pariah Prime Minister and bunch of jokers as the minister. And for this, sorry to say but UMNO is solely responsible for the horrible life we are facing.
I am not an economist and the manner I looked at the economy may be too simplistic. Yet, what about those who we paid fortunes from taxpayer’s money, why can they do the simplest thing we expect from them? And the simplest thing to do now is to step down before we walk into your office and drag you out of there.