Saturday, December 21, 2013

2014, year of endless price increases – Dr Tan Kee Kwong

DECEMBER 21, 2013
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's famous quote "endless possibilities" is going to haunt him. More likely for Malaysians in 2014, it will be the year of endless price increases!
The prices of petrol and sugar have gone up, now electricity rates, toll rates, school bus fares and assessment rates in Kuala Lumpur are also going up.
Recently, some Keadilan MPs met with a group of political aides from the US who were amazed to find that despite the harsh repressive laws, lack of press freedom, no access to national television and radio networks, the Pakatan have been to able to achieve so much.
Last night, at a rally in Kuala Lumpur, we were told that a group of 21 employees from a bank have been sacked.

Their so called "sin" was that they refused to be transferred.
One of them has worked 11 years in the bank and stationed in Kota Baru. Earning a princely salary of RM1,800 a month, he has four kids.
Because he was active in the National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE), the bank had wanted to transfer him to Puchong, Selangor.
Obviously with his salary, he can't survive in Puchong, so he declined the transfer and the bank sacked him.
What kind of justice is this? So far, the Human Resources Ministry has kept mum on this case.
The Heat
Recently the new weekly's licence was suspended by the Home Ministry.
It is believed that their only fault was that they had highlighted the excessive spending habits of
Najib and wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.
Recently, Rosmah went on a private trip to the Middle East and was allowed to use a government jet for the trip.
What nonsense. Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, the wife of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, never did this.
Neither did the late Tun Endon Mahmood, wife of former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
Come on Najib. Face the truth. Because of all this, your popularity dropped by 10 points.
Toll increases
The government has justified this by saying that the toll companies can do this every three years.
How can this be? Look at the traffic volume for the North-South Expressway, New Klang Valley Expressway, the Damansara-Puchong Highway and the Federal highway, among others.
Don't tell me they are not making excessive profits.
My point is that the government must not allow increases in the toll rates even though legally the concessionaires can do so.
If the Seremban to Port Dickson highway operator wants to increase the rate, that is fine because the traffic volume from Seremban to Port Dickson is not very heavy.
The Federal government can learn a lot from the Selangor government led by Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.
The Selangor government, through Selangor Development Corporation (PKNS), among others, has stakes in Shah Alam Highway concessionaire Kesas Sdn Bhd and those of the Sprint Expressway and the Damansara-Puchong Highway and as such, was able to order its representatives to vote against the proposed increases.
By so doing, this can help to reduce the burden faced by the people.
In summary, the Najib Federal government can do a lot to turn Malaysia around:
1. Wastage: Every year, the Auditor General highlights massive waste but has anything been done so far? What about the RM5 billion loss from investing in silicon wafer plants in Kulim and Kuching?
2. Corruption
3. Transparency and accountability: For a start, table the accounts of Petronas to Parliament. I am a fourth term MP and we have never seen the real accounts of Petronas. If the Petroleum Development Act is outdated, we as lawmakers must amend it.
4.Government borrowings: Now it is almost at RM530 billion which is almost 53% of our national gross domestic product. Najib, please explain how in the few years that you have been the prime minister, you have doubled our national debt. How to compare with Taiwan which has not got a drop of crude oil and yet has zero national debt? – December 21, 2013.
* Datuk Dr Tan Kee Kwong is MP for Wangsa Maju.
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.
~ The Malaysian Insider

1 comment:

Ubah Mi said...

There are 2 paraihas in the country that have caused us citizens dearly!!