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Charles Santiago

Posted by : Admin Direktori Blog | Rabu, 1 Jun 2011 | Published in

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Charles Santiago


查爾斯:以民為本‧“調電費應檢討3問題”

Posted: 01 Jun 2011 03:06 AM PDT

Source: Chinapress

 


Pertandingan membuat Bah Chang& Pertandingan mewarna untuk kanak-kanak berumur 4-7 tahun

Posted: 01 Jun 2011 02:53 AM PDT

Source: Chinapress

 


Super June 2011: Socialism for the Rich & Free Market Poverty for the Poor.

Posted: 01 Jun 2011 12:05 AM PDT

Here is a ragbag of grievances of the ordinary man on the street in Malaysia – the non-thought out removal of subsidies, hike in the prices of gas, power tariffs and utilities plus spiraling costs of food and essential items.

 

Despite the ruling Barisan Nasional government’s garbled statements to justify the subsidy slashes, the vexed question remains – why is the public forced to carry the financial burden when Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s government carries on its failed privatization policies and continues to bailout cronies such as the Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and Selangor water bond holders, among others?

 

Power producer firms by tycoons like Ananda Krishnan, Syed Mokhtar Albukhary and Francis Yeoh would continue to get a subsidy of RM19 billion.

 

Let’s look at what the rakyat would receive from the government – a hike in electricity tariffs which would go up by 7.12% starting today, forcing Malaysians to brace for higher inflation.

 

The price of natural gas would also rise by RM3.00 per million metric BTU every six months until it reaches the market levels.

 

From today onwards the government would also remove the super subsidy for diesel for nine categories of commercial vehicles.

In addition, the Association of Malaysian Hauliers (AMH) will raise its haulage tariff guidelines by 20 per cent.

 
 

The waiving of electricity bills for domestic users who record less than RM20per month would cease this coming December. There are 900,000 users in this category.

 

The government says the subsidy cuts and tariff hikes are crucial to trim its burgeoning subsidy bill and plug the budget deficit.

 

So why hasn’t the government withdrawn the RM19 billion subsidy to the IPPs and cronies?

Good question.

 

However ruling UMNO leaders and Najib want to sugar-coat it, this is clearly the government’s way of passing on the burden of its decades-long economic mismanagement to the people.

 

In an immediate response to the removal of super subsidy for diesel, Pan-Malaysia Lorry Owners Association immediate past president Er Sui See said that lorry operators would almost certainly pass the additional fuel cost to consumers and manufacturers as the cut would have a great impact on thin profit margins.

 

While the electricity board, TNB, shares the subsidies with the IPPs, the 5.49 million households would be hit when the suppliers, shopkeepers and food manufacturers absorb the increase in tariffs by passing it on to the public.

 

Malaysians would have to further tighten the belt as the prices of food, goods and services would go through the roof.

 

Food prices in the country have increased at more than twice the rate of global food prices in the first four months of 2011.

 

A FOMCA study notes that food prices of the eight most bought vegetables has increased between 40-60 percent between September 2010 – April 2011.

 

The working class in Malaysia has been burdened with stagnant wages for the last ten years, with wages going up by just 2.6%between 2000 and 2010. But the cost of living in Malaysia is going up with the price hike of essential items like sugar, flour and cooking oil.

 

The price of onions have gone up 4 times from 32 cents per kilo while the price of dried chillies have doubled from one dollar eighty cents per kilo.

 

Other food items which show a significant hike are sugar at 10.2%, vegetables at 8.1% and rice and seafood at 1.6%. The price of food and non-alcoholic beverages have gone up 2.4% compared with 2009.

 

These price increases have put a huge strain on the grocery bills of households as a significant 40% of households earn less than RM1,500 a month.

 

Therefore the tariff hikes and subsidy slashes would further burden the people, push thousands into poverty and exert stress on the most vulnerable communities, who spend more than half of their income on food.

 

And Malaysians would be forced to pay an extra 30% cost for each food item compared to 2005, by the end of this year.

 

Since taking over the government, Najib has parroted his People First slogan. But clearly his loyalty lies with the ruling elite and cronies who would continue to make and enjoy huge profits at the expense of further impoverishment of majority of the population.

 

In this model of development it is obvious that the rich and cronies are constantly protected by the UMNO-led ruling coalition government.

 

But Malaysians would go to sleep on the last day of May and wake up to a nightmare.

 

Charles Santiago

Member of Parliament, Klang

 

 

 

 


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