It's a serious question. Although I fully agree that the nation in order to progress has to be weaned off subsidies, whacking the general public which is dealing with inflation and increases left-right and centre with an electricity tariff increase is just cruel, and with a coming election, downright stupid.
Peter Chin comes out and says that the government has no power to force IPPs to reveal their contracts. Don't make me and the public laugh. Are we talking about the same government? The government that can arrest and lock up opposition politicians at will, one which the Prime Minister is vicariously in control of our natural gas and oil reserves? One which billions can be disseminated to cronies and their associates? One which controls the media to a 'T' to ensure that they don't publish anything negative about the BN government, but openly endorses racism, and division? The same government who advocates People First, Performance Now? If it is indeed the same government, then I must be completely blind.
As for the general public, what is the impact of all of these issues?
Let's make a list of what is more expensive:
1. 7.12% increase in electricity tariff.
2. 8.3% increase for manufacturers who will pass it to the consumer.
3. Food prices in Malaysia has increased at a 200% rate against world food prices.
4. Between September 2010 and April 2011, vegetables have increased between 40 to 60% in price.
5. The price of onions have gone up by 400%
6. Sugar is up by 10.2%
7. A household with an income of RM1,500 would find that their costs have gone up by 40% just from their grocery bill.
On the flip side, the average salary in this country has risen by 2.6% over the past 10 years from 2000 to 2010, or a paltry 0.26% a year! This is almost akin to a Japanese savings account, where you get out less than you put in.
Yes, by all means reduce subsidies, but you need to ensure that we can be a competitive economy in order to do so! What is the point of trying to sugar coat everything when this is a classic case of mis-management of the highest order. To use a business analogy, it is like saying, the directors screw up and the workers have to pay for it and get penalised consistently. To add to the point, the workers are also the shareholders, and at the AGM, we are compelled to re-elect them to the board of directors because of all the past success of our company. Doesn't make much sense. Of course, just before the AGM, the directors payout a token bonus, buy us lunch and say that the future would be better under them. Come on people, we weren't born yesterday.
At this point in time, BN has just given PR a lot more ammunition come the next General Election. They hope the electorate have a short memory, but PR shall just come back and recap everything they have screwed up on. If BN wants to silence PR, it's a tall order to lock up all the politicians during the election under the Internal Security Act. Obviously, questioning the government's policies and decisions are a threat to national security. If we are to operate as a true democracy, it is the right and duty of the people and the opposition to remind the government as to what their responsibility is.
Does Barisan Nasional want to lose the next election? I doubt so. However, it's a massive uphill climb for this government. Can they make Peter Chin a scapegoat and sideline the Sarawak United Peoples Party? Perhaps, considering the SUPP were caught out at the latest elections. The opposition has a really easy job. There is no need to dig up dirt when they so willingly present it to you on a silver platter.