(Photo source: http://www.all-creatures.org)
Is it just for shows?
It may have sounded “great” for some people who read on the measures taken by the PM to save RM2 billion after cost cuts. They must have thought that finally the politicians are coming down to Earth and starting to “share” the burden of the people.
A dawn of new era seems to be near – PM looks serious for the first time, real change just might happen. But re-reading the news reveals rather disturbing facts (from Malaysiakini):-
A freeze on new employment (non essential positions) within the government, renovation work, asset acquisition (cars, computers, furniture, etc) and limited budgets for government functions
(What does this means – that there was over-employment, over-budget for government functions and purchases of unnecessary items before this? Remember the bastard who wasted RM48,000 of public funds for a car number and still holding his job? Will future cost cutting efforts include sacking money wasting officials?)
Ministers and their deputies’ entertainment allowances will be cut by 10 percent Cabinet members will also see their annual all-expenses-paid holidays restricted with immediate effect – they and their families will now be confined to Asean and local destinations.
(Ha a luxury that often paid with hard earned public funds. Everyone needs a break and go for a holiday. Being “hard working people” in the Government, a politician too need the break but is it necessary to be an “all expense paid” holidays? Shouldn’t they pay some from their own pockets? What is the amount spent by these politicians on holidays? And remember with the family leeching on public funds, it is giving a frightening thought that money spent is not going to be small)
While no ceiling was set for these trips, the number of days has been capped at seven days. Overseas travel for work will also be limited to conferences and major international assignments. For local government retreats, workshops, seminars, conferences and meetings, the use of hotels will be stopped altogether.
(With no ceiling in sight, is it means it is “OK” to fly 1st class for the entire family, stay in the 5 star hotels and spending money for shopping like water?)
There is a 10% pay cut from entertainment allowance but nothing is mentioned on any pay cut from their salaries. And what it really means by entertainment allowance?
Aisehman asked the same question in his post titled “Entertaining Thoughts”.
Why do these people need an entertainment allowance? What constitutes ministerial entertainment activities?
RM2 billion in savings – in reality is not from “extraordinary” cost cuts but rather from “what should have been done a long, long time ago” cost cuts.
Nothing is spectacular about these cost cuts – to keep them on the “budget” only invites questions and suspicious outlook on the government. Not a comfortable position especially when it looks like there may a change of Government itself before end of this year. The Government has to do something, anything to show that they too are “changing their lifestyle”, right?
Comes RM2 billion “cost cutting measures”. If simple actions gives a whopping saving of RM2 billion, can we save more?
Anilnetto rubs it in with his post titled “Why the generous subsidies for IPPs?” He asks:-
Perhaps the Petronas CEO and the government will care to explain why Petronas has to sell natural gas to the IPPs at vastly subsidised prices? Some RM30 billion over the years…
The government must also tell us why Tenaga has to pay the IPPs for capacity charges for electricity it really does not need.
Also, why are we spending billions to lay the longest undersea cables in the world to transmit electricity from the Bakun Dam to the peninsula, when there is a 40 per cent reserve capacity in the peninsula?
Imagine a saving of RM2 billion for a year – we could have saved billions over the last few years. Pak Lah says “I understand the suffering of the people and I hope these measures can help the people.” But is he?
More cost cutting measures may be taken up by the PM in the near future but in the meantime, the country is bleeding in wastages (due to ignorant arrogant officials) and over-payments (due to screwed agreements like with IPP and toll concessionaires).
By the way, Pak Lah is creating more committees – shouldn’t he cut cost and leave it to the relevant ministries to handle the issues? After all, isn’t that their job?
The latest cost cutting “antic” by the Government has been called as “all for show only” and predictably it is not a surprise.
After all, it is the “Government” of Malaysia that we are talking about – where public funds been wasted just so a few well connected people can make loads of money (remember this?), where public funds been used for very expensive PR work (remember the shot to the space?) and where public funds have been used without any accountability (remember this for some recalls?)
The only consolation so far is that Samy Vellu is not around to increase the toll prices for his “favorite” people (the toll concessionaires) as he mentioned sometime ago. Otherwise another 10% increase would have been another hard screw to back of the people.