Posted by Hadid al-ikwan
No, don’t end subsidies. End wastages, high administrative costs and corruption. Then we will be able to afford subsidies, just like the other countries that also have subsidies can. And this is what we want Tengku Razaleigh and Anwar to talk about.
NO HOLDS BARRED
Raja Petra Kamarudin
The country will go bankrupt if the government continues giving out subsidies, says Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah. I suppose this is a statement of support for the recent increase in the price of petrol and a vote of no confidence on Anwar Ibrahim’s pledge that Pakatan Rakyat will reduce the price of petrol if or when it comes to power.
I do not quite agree with Tengku Razaleigh’s statement or with what Anwar Ibrahim has pledged. First of all, for Anwar to say that the petrol price should not have been increased is easy. We don’t want to know about what should not have been. We want to know what should be.
Can Anwar please table his economic blueprint so that we can see what he has up his sleeve? Malaysians no longer want to buy this ‘vote me in first and then I will show you how I can do it’ — or what the Americans would label as ‘read my lips’ rhetoric.
Read my lips: there will be no petrol price increase after the 8 March 2008 general election. Read my lips: I am not going to call for a general election soon and Parliament is not going to be dissolved tomorrow. Read my lips: I did not use the rakyat’s money to buy a RM200 million Airbus. Read my lips: my son’s company, Scomi, did not get RM1.5 billion worth of contracts from Petronas. Read my lips: I am not getting married to Jeanne Danker. Read my lips: I do not have a house in Perth. Read my lips: I am not involved in the Iraq Oil-for-Food scandal. Read my lips: Najib Tun Razak is my successor. Read my lips: Anwar Ibrahim is my successor and I am not going to sack him in three days’ time and do you need me to kiss him in public to prove it? Read my lips: only three people are involved in the Altantuya murder. Read my lips: the Royal Commission of Inquiry will wrap up the Lingam Tape scandal before you can finish screaming mala fide. Read my lips: I will not be challenging Ghafar Baba for the Umno Deputy Presidency. Read my lips: I am not rejoining Umno even if I die and am reborn and I will remain in Semangat 46 until the day I die like Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Hussein Onn. Read my lips: Malaysia did not physically lose RM30 billion in the currency speculation fiasco and it is only a paper loss. Read my lips: Raja Petra was not detained under the Internal Security Act, as I did not sign any detention order. Read my lips: Raja Petra was detained under the Internal Security Act for planning to bring in M16s, Molotov Cocktails and grenade launchers to start an armed revolution.
Nope, no more read my lips rhetoric please. We have had enough of all this over the last 50 years. What we want now is for you to put your money where your mouth is. ‘Show me the money’, the Americans would say. Yes, money talks, bullshit walks — and bullshit is what has been dished out these last 50 years. It is time everyone come clean and put their cards on the table, face up. We want to see what hand they are playing with. Do they have a full hand or is this mere poker playing?
There is nothing wrong with subsidies. America subsidises its agriculture until sometimes you make more money not planting anything, which helps control the price of farm produce. Japan subsidises exports until it is cheaper to buy a Japanese camera in Kuala Lumpur than in Tokyo. Britain subsidises education for its citizens by charging the foreign students high fees.
How do these countries do it without going bankrupt, if subsidies are supposed to make a country go bankrupt? Britain, for example, has the best education system in the world — and that is why foreign students do not mind paying high fees to receive a British education, thereby making it possible to subsidise local students. But then Britain’s universities are not headed by BTN operatives whose main function is to brainwash Malay students into believing that Malays own this country under the Ketuanan Melayu concept while the ‘immigrant’ Indians and Chinese should be reminded that they are ‘guests’ of this country and if they don’t like it they can go back to India or China.
That is why students flock to Britain in spite of the cost. And that is why Britain can subsidise its citizens. You can’t get these foreigners to come to Malaysia even if it is free. Hell, you can’t get them to come here even if you paid them, don’t talk about free. It is the quality and not the cost or subsidies that count. If you are able to offer quality education like Britain, the cost does not matter and locals can be subsidised from the fees the foreign students pay. So we have to look at the system. We solve the system and the rest automatically solves itself.
Malaysia’s problem is corruption. We spend double what we should because of corruption. Corruption, not subsidies, is what is killing this country’s economy. Corruption, not subsidies, is what is bankrupting Malaysia. Hundreds of billions has been wasted over the last 51 years since Merdeka. These hundreds of billions, if it had been put to good use, could have done a lot for this country. Today, we talk about ending the subsidies because we no longer have any money. But we no longer have any money not because of the subsidies but because of the corruption.
Just add it up. The amount is astronomical.
In the early days, we used to spend RM1 on administration and RM4 on development. And this was when we did not have any money. Yet we could still allocate 80% of the country’s expenditure to development, as modest as it may have been. Today, after 50 years of ‘progress’, we spend an estimated RM8 on administration and only RM1 on development. The Malays call this ‘mahal tali dari lembu’ (the rope is more expensive than the cow).
Out of a workforce of 10 million or so, 1.1 million-1.2 million work for the government. This means about 5% of Malaysians work for the government. And why is that? Just go into any government department and see for yourself why. No one is working. Everyone is just sitting around doing nothing. And if you disturb their peace by going to a government office to ask for something just see the fuck face they give you. They forget that we are paying their salaries and that they work for us. We are not disturbing them by going to a government office. It is their job to serve us.
Indonesia, which has ten times Malaysia’s population, has only twice the number of civil servants. Granted things are a bit slow in Indonesia. But considering their very underpaid civil servants and understaffed civil service that would be unavoidable. America, which has about the same size population as Indonesia, has only twice the civil service. Going by Malaysia’s ratio, America should have a civil service of 15 million instead of just four million.
We spend RM10 billion to develop Malaysia and another RM90 billion on administrative costs and ‘leakages’. That is how we spend our RM100 billion. And that is why we have no money. So herein lies the problem. Solve this problem and we will have more money for other things, subsidies included.
No, don’t end subsidies. End wastages, high administrative costs and corruption. Then we will be able to afford subsidies, just like the other countries that also have subsidies can. And this is what we want Tengku Razaleigh and Anwar to talk about. Don’t say ‘read my lips, no more subsidies’. Instead, say ‘read my lips, no more wastages, high administrative costs and corruption’. That is what we want to hear Tengku Razaleigh and Anwar say. And if Tengku Razaleigh and Anwar don’t understand what I am talking about, then step aside and let me show you what I mean. But be prepared for a ‘blood bath’ because only a ‘butcher’s knife’ can achieve the results.
Sigh….I just love the way Iran solved its serious corruption problem in 1979. They lined up 10,000 corrupted civil servants and shot them all. No more corrupted government officers, no more corruption. How I wish I had been born in Iran instead of England. I would have had a great time in 1979. Sigh…..