Malaysia economy has been far more advanced than those like United States, Japan and Germany. In agriculture, we used luxury condo for cows rearing. In high technology, we beat Australia to be “proud” destination of choice for Lynas Corporation Ltd. In service sector, the government so committed to boost tourism (Cuti-cuti 1 Malaysia) by investing RM1.8million on six Facebook pages. As synergy effect to their effort, they get free of charge “Curi-curi Wang Malaysia” page as bonus.
To further “boost” our economy, the BN is actively distributing rice, ang pau and other gifts to anyone that went to their ceramah. Yes, anyone is entitled, a “proof” that BN did not practice race discrimination. To top it up, popular international artists like PSY, Alan Tam, Michelle Yeoh, to name a few, are invited to cheers up worried Malaysian. Nonetheless, many questions naturally pop up. Where money for BN campaign does comes from? Maybank Investment Bank Research’s reported that Prime Minister’s Department (PMO) spent RM36.1 million for advertisements in February, more than Unilever Malaysia. BN itself spent RM4.9 million.
Economy theory says that government spending is a direct component of gross domestic product. Thus, BN government not only spent on advertisements and ceramah goodies but enter into various contracts worth billions, even just prior to this 13th General Election. No wonder national debt shot sky high.
In a Rafizi Ramli’s ceramah, he woke up Malaysians with some stunning yet simple economic sense. First, most of the national debts are sourced domestically, namely from EPF, various Amanah Saham, Tabung Haji and local banks where Malaysians keep their hard earned money. If government bankrupt, our money that is at stake.
Therefore, please realize that BR1M or any vote buying project and goodies are most likely funded with debt, which is also our money. The higher the debt level, credit rating is lower; hence the cost of further borrowing is higher.
Did we know that we need to repay this astronomical high level of debts for generations? If the BN government decided to print money to repay the debts, our foreign exchange will depreciate drastically, thus bringing down our international purchasing power.
Inefficiency, cronyism and possible political sabotage in management of utilities sectors will results in price hike. Examples given by Rafizi include unfair contracts that bias to independent power producers (IPPs) against Tenaga Nasional Behad (TNB). The later is forced to buy electricity from IPPs at a high rate. Unfortunate increase in coal (an input) price causes TNB to suffer, thus likely to force increment in electricity rate if BN won this GE. High water leakage, extraordinary high salary and political sabotage cause unnecessary wastage too.
Viewing any of recent Auditor General’s Reports will scare you off on the level of “mismanagement” (a better name for corruption) in current government. Two higher profile (funny) cases include buying a submarine that cannot sink and a fighter jet with a missing engine.
There is a video clip circulating widely on Facebook about a comedy talk show that worth mentioning. Making fun of corruption in Malaysia, a showman called himself as “Mr. Subcontract of Everything” happily explained these. If he built a nice straight bridge, he gets profit. If he built a bad crooked bridge, he also gets profit. He will gets even more profit if the bridge project is cancelled.
With corruption at every level of bureaucracy to every level of society, how far or how fast can our economy progress? Malaya/Malaysia was the world biggest exporter of tin mine, rubber, palm oil and semi-conductor components. Malaysia was once the favorite destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) while still is among the world biggest exporter of oil and endowed with lots of natural forests for timbers. Without threat of natural disaster, one may wonder Malaysia’s economy is not yet developed.
Malaysia was ahead of the Asian Dragon economies such as South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore not only in term of economy but also in football competition. Now, we are behind them in almost everything. Yet, there is one thing that Malaysia beat those countries by miles – the highest illegal money outflow (money laundering) per capita!
However, voters may wonder how Pakatan Rakyat federal government can cope with such problem. It is even more puzzling on how they can reduce petrol price, reduce car tariff to reduce car price, give free education, give monetary assistance to the poor and give free water. The math is simple – reduce, if not eliminate corruption and inefficiency. Redirecting back money saved from corruption, cronyism, inefficiency and over-priced projects to good use, the people will be benefited economically.
In getting Malaysians’ trust for becoming the next federal and state government, the “3C” problems, namely “cost of living”, “corruption” and “crime” need to be addressed. For such a long tenure of current government, especially over the last 20 years, the rakyat have been worried and suffering. In contrast, over the past five years in Pakatan states, especially in Penang and Selangor, the people see hope.
Thus, there is very low risk to change. For giving more than 55 years to a faulty-beyond-repair economic model, we should be brave to try a new one. Malaysian economy and social need to be saved and the best medicine presented to us now is changing government in this 13th General Election.
Let’s change now to save Malaysia
Ubah sekarang, selamatkan Malaysia
Umohon, tomposizo no Malaysia (in Kadazan language)