Upholding Dharma


It is a short one for this week but it has something that our country (and its good citizen) have been lacking in some areas and should be revisited. It is also something that I have been pondering on a personal basis.

Let me start with a simple case study:-

There is a junction near the housing area where a quiet number of the residents would take to make a u-turn to go to the housing area. Well, that fine as it is quite convenient for the residents. The only problem is there is a clear sign that says no u-turn is allowed. Despite this sign board and sometimes the inconvenient (and danger) posed to other road users, the residents continue to make u-turns instead of driving a bit more further and make u-turn. It may sound trivial but perhaps the residents may not be aware, they are breaking traffic law on daily basis.

The notion of dharma comes to my mind. The concept of dharma may mean many things to different people and religion. It may even have different name in different part of the world and culture. In Hinduism, dharma signifies behaviors that are considered to be in accord with rta, the order that makes life and universe possible, and includes duties, rights, laws, conduct, virtues and ‘‘right way of living’’ (Wikipedia)

Before anyone accuse me of being holier than holy (ha ha), let me assure you that it has nothing to do with religion but rather a way of life, doing the right things (as oppose to doing the things right) and ensuring that we do not hurt others out of greed, anger and of course, stupidity. You can find a variant of this in every modern society, culture and religion. Morality is one aspect of it but then the question may arise – what is right for me may not be right for you. That I agree with you. But there simpler acid test for this – be guided by the existing laws and society norms.

It can simple as following the traffic rules – don’t make illegal u-turns is one example, not driving on the wrong side of the road, put on the indicators when changing lane, wear a helmet when riding a motorbike and so on. And to something more complex like managing the country in the best interest of it’s citizen. There is no law written down to managing the country in the best interest of the citizen, of course.

This is where the society norms comes in place. No society wants to be governed by greedy, dumb, wasteful, dictator alike government – unless we are in a failing states like Zimbabwe or North Korea (but not Iran as the US wants us to believe). But we are not, we are far from countries like that. We will come across many instances of doing the right things in a day if you keep an eye and ears on it.

Asking people to do the right thing is nothing new concept. It is an age old concept.

I first came across the word “dharma” when I went to India for the first time and bought the Mahabharata from a local book store there. It was on sale (most things were) and the language used in the book was not so complicated to follow (I had to do something to kill time when the ladies were out for their shopping).

The dharma is mentioned a few times in Mahabharata which itself been called the story of dharma:-

Mahabharata is one of the oldest epics of our country, nay the world. It shows how dharma and karma govern our lives. Dharma is what is the right thing to do at a given time or situation. Dharma is based on wisdom, insight and human values. Dharma has many meanings and many dimensions as well – duty, truth, non-violence (ahimsa paramo dharma) and others. It is well said that “dharmo rakshita rakshata” – dharma protects he who follows dharma. However, if you do not follow dharma, you have to reap the consequences. That is karma – you reap what you sow, sooner or later.

(Source)

Failure to uphold the dharma will eventually attract bad karma. That’s universal – if you don’t do the right things, the consequences will not be good as well. If you don’t follow the traffic rules, you may get into an accident (or cause others to get into an accident).

The same with running this country. If you don’t govern the country well, it will not prosper and developed. And so. You may have heard variations of it – Murphy’s law, Newton’s 3rd law of motion, blah, blah

Knowing what is the right to do is one thing, doing it without fail is another:-

Doing right always is a very difficult task. Many a times we do not know what is dharma, what is not. Even though we know, unless it is a very usual habit of following it, at times of great stress it is impossible to follow the path of Dharma.

(Source)

In order to do thing on a constant basis, it takes high discipline and of course practice but more importantly there must be an acceptance that doing the right things should precede doing things right. It has to be habitual as well.

Toll Hike, Ha, Ha, Ha!


.

Go ahead, clear your mind and a have good laugh.

Hopefully it will soften the pain that you feel deep down whenever you read Ministers’ statements in this country. I don’t know if they read their own statements before they read it aloud in public. It just reinforces the notion that we need to change the Government from the top, hopefully at least it will wake some people up and get them to use their mind before talking.

Well, take a deep breath and read this:-

The government has decided not to raise toll rates in 2014 to help Malaysians face rising prices. Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the government will have to pay over RM400 million in compensation to concessionaires as per agreement with them.

The government is also considering renegotiation of toll concession agreements after a thorough review of existing concessions.

Muhyiddin said the government made the decision not to raise tolls in the light of increasing criticism from various quarters over the rising cost of living, with hikes in prices of goods and subsidy cuts.

(Source)

Reading Muhyiddin’s statement that the government is “considering” renegotiation of toll concession agreements and the government made the decision not to raise tolls “in the light of increasing criticism” from various quarters almost caused me to choke on my breakfast yesterday. Muhyiddin was talking like the issue of toll hike crop up only yesterday and the RM400 million paid came from his own pockets, sigh. Very caring indeed. The government can always find way to screw the taxpayers on way or another and in this case, there is no difference.

The call for the government to renegotiate the toll concession agreements is not a new one. Pakatan had called for the same thing way back in 2009 and a good number of years had lapsed since then and only now they want to “renegotiation of toll concession agreements”? Sorry, consider to renegotiate. Hoooo, that’s scary. But then again, what the fuck they have been doing for the past few years when they could have done all their studies (with their highly paid consultants) and renegotiate the toll agreements when the toll was cheaper back then? Had their head in the ground and told themselves that everything is alright? They could have save millions of taxpayers money and the road users would have been a lot more happy with a prospect of cheaper toll even when they are stuck in mega traffic jam on the so-called highways.

And assuming this is true, I mean that they are finally going to do something about it instead farting loud in the wind (as usual), another 5 years would have lapsed and the toll concessionaires would still have made their millions either from toll hike or huge compensations. So trust me when you hear that the government is considering renegotiation of toll concession agreements, it will remain in the “considering” phase and no real action would take place (unless until we change the Government).

The other part of the morning joke by DPM was this – that government made the decision not to raise tolls in the light of increasing criticism from various quarters over the rising cost of living. Wow, how grateful we are but hold on, you mean to say that the government actually had a choice on this matter? I thought another Minister of yours said that they have no choice on this matter despite the same “criticism from various quarters over the rising cost of living”?

The toll rate hike next year is unavoidable as it is an express condition in the concession agreement between the government and highway concession companies, according to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Wahid Omar

(Source)

Oh wait, now I get it – the government made the decision not to raise tolls (due to criticism) but they still whack the people with huge compensations. Something is not right. You are not taking money from people who actually use the highways but then take money from all people who may or not use the highway and pay the compensation. And come up to the stage and say that you have been very caring.

Anyway, have you watched the video and laughed? If that does not make you laugh, I am sure that the statement from DPM above will. There is no toll hike but the taxpayers get screwed anyway with RM400 million bill and who knows what will happen after the Kajang by-election fiasco had ended. After all, didn’t they promised to reduce the toll before the last general election but right after the general election, they threw that idea out of the window and said that they have no choice but had to raise the toll?

Have a good weekend ahead and remember this in the next general elections.

More “Goodies” in 2014


Probably my last post for the year, hope to be more “regular” next year…

kain rentang pasang di pagar bengang bn

(To be fair, one’s voting rights cannot be questioned by anyone but there must be a break point somewhere on how much of the abuse and wastage that a Government that has been in power for so long can be allowed to continue. And seeing on how all that sweet talk and endless promises of cost reduction during the election campaign simply disappeared within months from the election, hopefully people had wise up and will take things with a pinch of salt in the next election? Image source: Omak Kau)

Just as expected, here’s another news that will leave the die-hard BN supporters getting down on their knees and say the grace for voting in the Barang Naik politicians into power for another 5 years (damn, I can even see the grateful smile on their face right now as they get ready to dig deeper into their pockets):-

Prices of stationery items are expected to go up by 20% to 30% within the first quarter of next year. Industry players claimed that they were revising the prices, partly due to the increasing costs from the implementation of minimum wages and transport costs.

Other factors include the new electricity tariff rate, higher fuel price and the currency exchange rate between the ringgit and China renminbi, as most of the imported stationery items are from China. The speculated increase in toll rates and rentals are also expected to contribute to the increase.

(Source)

Look closely at the reasons for the price hike of the stationery items – implementation of minimum wages, the new electricity tariff rate, higher fuel price, increase in toll rates (which is yet to be finalized by the Government but already having rippling effect) and rentals. It sounds all too familiar, don’t they? If these are the reasons for the proposed increase (the edible ice suppliers used the same excuse), then what’s stopping everyone else from using the same excuse and raising the price of goods and services?

Didn’t one Barang Naik Minister came out in the open and said that the price hike unlikely to have any bearing on the production cost? If we had believed that, we would have been one of the dumbest people around. Of course, the stationers and booksellers are now being threatened with action under the Competition Act 2010. But if the Minister claims cartel activity and monopoly of market, then what about Astro and TNB huh? Doesn’t the same market monopoly argument applies the same?

And as more goods and services falls into the price hike category, one may need to wonder where it will end. And whether the hike is justified in the first place? Have the people in the Government had done their homework before they press on the “Hike Up” button? Have they even consider things from the business and consumer point of view? Just asking the business to “understand and share the burden” does not really the solution that anyone with brains is looking for.

Onyourtoes: You are telling only half of the story. How can you reduce fuel subsidy when government spending has remained extravagant? How can you reduce sugar subsidy when importation and distribution of sugar is still in the hands of private monopolies?

How can you justify high price of cars when issuance of Approved Permits (APs) is for specific cronies to become billionaires. Which country on earth makes billionaires out of the largesse of public policy? How can you hike the electricity tariff when lopsided Independent Power Producers (IPP) agreements have remained unresolved?

How can you continue to raise tolls when the profit of most concessionaires achieved is far beyond their wildest expectation? How can you impose Goods and Services Tax (GST) when our accounting and retailing are so rudimentary? Read my lips, it will end up with consumers paying but the money not reaching the government.

(Source)

This is in response to the recent hikes by the Government and it just shows that Government had not thought of curtailing expenses and rationalize the reduction of subsidies thoroughly. It has remained a small patch here and a small patch there but at the end, does nothing to stop the leakages. Don’t get us wrong – the consumers will definitely pay more for goods and services provided it is justified and means a substantial improvement of quality in goods & services. Unfortunately in this “tidak apa” country, that not likely to happen – if you pay more for the toll for example, does the insane traffic jam goes away?

But the question remained is whether the Government will be seeing the increase of income at their end. They always ask the people to tighten their belts but are they doing the same themselves? The purported news of 2 BN ministers going to London for their winter shopping certainly did not look good when there are only bad news wherever you look. Who is paying for the trip and the shopping expenses?

So don’t be surprised if, with so many leakages, lack of enforcement, rampant corruption, the Government does not know the meaning of austerity and lopsided agreements, whatever the increase of price is simply going to go “into the wrong pockets” and wrong purpose. And because of this, the Government can rest assured to find itself still short of money to cover its spiraling expenses and in the end, they will be forced to push for another cut in subsidies (with the same excuses) and the vicious cycles starts all over again.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed questioned the wisdom behind the government’s decision to increase the prices of goods and services at a time when people were suffering a financial pinch. In his blog Chedet, the former prime minister of 22 years acknowledged that the government needs more money but questioned if all the increases should come at the same time.

Mahathir said the government should follow in the footsteps of businesses by “costing down” where it could either increase prices or reduce cost when there is competition or when its cost of production reduces its profits. “All its cost can be examined to determine which are truly necessary, which cost can be reduced, which service can be curtailed or modified,” he said.

He said the Government often wasted money because it was not too concerned about the returns on its expenditure, citing the Auditor General’s reports that highlight the excesses every year.

(Source)

It has come to a point where even the retired old man seemed restless now. Never mind the fact that that he should take some of the blame on laying the seeds of wastage and abuse but at least he is restless now for the right reasons (and not on the same and tired racial reasons). Hmm, perhaps he can foresee the downfall of the very system that he had nurtured when he was the PM.

Any way, there are just a few more days to go before we say goodbye to 2013 and welcome a truly Barang Naik year in 2014 (some had dubbed it as the New Year of Suffering). I just hope that even so 2014 will bring a better year for all of us in other ways and exposed to less insanity all around and reinforce the notion that a real change will only change with a change of Government in the next general elections.

Happy holidays and I will see you all next year.

Ice Ice Baby, Dummy!


ice_increase

(Another good news for the die-hard BN supporters to rejoice for the coming new year – RM0.50 increase per bag and RM2.50 per block by the edible ice suppliers and you can bet your bottom ringgit that the restaurant and food stalls will put in their own increase on top of increase for sugar price for your iced drink. Reason for the increase? The notice mentions increase in electricity tariff, increase of diesel price, implementation of the “minimum wage ruling”, increase of salary, increase of raw materials and interestingly, improvement of food safety – now that is very scary!)

I saw the above notice when I read the papers this morning. This however was not a big surprise though – it is only natural for businesses to pass on the escalating operating cost to the end consumers. So do expect your iced Milo, iced limau, iced coffee, iced tea, iced water to cost you an arm and a leg from today onwards. Sooner or later, you may want to reconsider eating out and bring your own food from home (although price of vegetables & meat had gone up as well).

Having said that, here’s one that shows that some Ministers still sticking (rather stubbornly) their head into the ground:-

KUALA LUMPUR: TRANSPORTATION and logistic companies have been warned against raising their charges in view of the toll rate hike. Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Hasan Malek said the ministry could take action against their umbrella body if companies that come under it raised their charges. “The associations can be charged under the Competition Commission Act 2010 if they influence their members to increase their charges.”

Traders were warned not to use the toll rate hike as an excuse to raise prices of goods. Hasan said the ministry would take action against traders who took advantage of the hike, adding his ministry had started checking in Klang Valley traders were increasing their prices.

“It is a difficult time for Malaysians. The traders should not push the burden to the consumers but, instead, share it with them.”

(Source)

Don’t you feel like want to puke when you read this statement ” It is a difficult time for Malaysians. The traders should not push the burden to the consumers but, instead, share it with them”? Which profit driven company in their right mind want to do that?

What is happening with the Government themselves realizing that it is a difficult time for Malaysians and curtailing their over the board expenses? Some of them are still flying all around the world with the same happy sickening face – obviously, times are still good for them (pressed further, they may even ask – what difficult time?).

One thing you can be certain – that you can be rest assured that more “Christmas goodies” is on the way from Najib’s Administration. Remember it well in the next general election.

Toll Hike, A New Year Gift?


Read these first:-

tol naik sebelum dn selepas_omak_kau

toll

(The sweet talk before the elections – one good proof that one should never trust politicians who had become whiter than white, holier than the holiest man around when elections are around the corner. Barely 5 years after the election, all the sweet talk and endless promises of reducing the toll are quickly forgotten and it was back to business as usual. Image source: Omak Kau & Malaysian Insider)

Probably the last big bang from Najib’s army of highly paid consultants and dumb Ministers for year 2013…

If you had thought Najib acted like the Santa Claus on the loose before the elections, dishing out goodies and promising the sky to gain votes (you would not have missed “you help me, I help you” election bribes – it was on the front page on daily basis), here’s one for the die-hard BN fans to rejoice in tears for this coming New Year:-

The anticipated toll hike is coming too soon after the hike in electricity tariff and increases in the prices of sugar and fuel, say economists. The speculated rise of between 50 sen and RM2 in toll rates, coupled with other price hikes, would impinge on the quality of life. The hike, which will take effect next month, will affect 15 highways.

“The Government could lengthen the term of the agreements or ask the toll operators to space out the hikes,” he said. He warned that the sudden hike could result in a sharp escalation in the cost of living, which would be detrimental to the economy.

“Besides damage to the economy, there might also be widespread social repercussions. The cost of goods and services will go up,” he said. Yeah said it was unfair to raise toll charges for congested highways.

(Source)

To fair, despite of the overwhelming news and strong indications from “people” in the Government on the net & public media, the Government have not confirmed the actual quantum on the toll hike. But the hike nonetheless is still on the paper – it is just an matter of how much more and when the hike will be. Of course depending how loud the protests from the oppositions and the rakyat will be in the coming weeks, ha ha.

To tell you the truth, I never understood why there is a need to increase the toll other than it is stated IN the agreement. Not matter how I tried to understand the maths behind the proposed hike, I could not crack it. It is not like the price of petrol or raw materials which is dictated by global market supply & demand although interestingly when the global oil price came down, the petrol price remained unchanged. Well, no wonder some call this Government, the “Barang Naik” Government – there is only one way to go and that is up. The computation of the toll hikes on the other hand had remained a big secret – anyone who is able to decipher and explain it well & logically deserves a Nobel prize in Mathematics. It has been shrouded in high secrecy and confusion and totally detached from reality from day 1.

Let’s do some simple maths, shall we?

Let’s assume at the point of inking the agreement, the toll computation is set based on 10 cars per year and the toll is set at 1 car = RM1 (in total RM10). RM10 per year for x number of years is sufficient to cover the highway construction plus some sizable profit for the toll concessionaires.

In the same crappy agreement, it is also assumed that in Year 5, the number of cars per year is projected at only 5 cars per year. Why the lower figure, you may ask? If you are doing projections, that is very natural – better to keep lower figure for worst case scenario and you will avoid the need to go back to the stakeholders for more funding. Thus in order to sustain the same RM10, the toll is now increased to RM2 per car.

That seems to be case here whenever the Government announces the increase in toll – that it is IN the agreement. But is this case in reality? What happens if the number of cars per year had actually increased to 100 cars (instead of the projected 5 cars) per year? At RM2 per car (since it is IN the agreement), the toll concessionaires would be make a killing of RM200 instead of the rightful RM10 per year.

They don’t come back and say that the toll will now be lowered to just RM0.10 to maintain the same RM10 per year, do they? There is always one to go and that is up.

Now you know why the rest of us who are caught in the mega traffic jam on daily basis is very pissed off whenever the Government “after taking into consideration of the rakyat‘s hardship” announces increase in toll. Why the increase when there has been corresponding increase in number of traffic using the highway? We all know that there are 100 cars on the road and not 5 cars as projected in the agreement. We all know that as more commercial & residential areas are developed and more vehicles uses the highway, the toll charges should be reducing and not increasing.

And we know that the concessionaires are already making substantial profit even with the current toll amount:-

According to the the Pandan MP, based on the North-South Expressway’s (PLUS) details of cost in its 2010 yearly report, the longest highway in the country collected RM4.098 billion through its toll collection in 2011 and gained a net profit  RM2.515 billion before tax or a 61% profit margin.

“PLUS however only spent RM241 million or 6% on that profit margin to maintain the highway. They even spent more for salary, administration and etc by spending RM397 million. “There are not many businesses in the world that can get a profit of 61% like PLUS has recorded. Looking at the 6% they spent for maintenance alone is enough evidence that the current toll rates is too high and multiply PLUS’s profits,” Rafizi told a press conference at PKR’s headquarters today.

He further added that Kesas Sdn Bhd who operates Kesas highway recorded a 121% profit margin between the year 2008 to 2012 as reported by Maybank Investment Research on Nov 2013. Meanwhile, based on Lingkaran Trans Kota Holding Berhad’s (Litrak) 2013 yearly report, the company that operates the Damansara-Puchong Highway (LDP), collected RM369 million and gained a net profit of RM180 million before tax, a 49 per cent profit margin.

“The 49% net profit before tax is high, higher than what is made in oil and gas industries,” he claims.

(Source)

Ok, never mind, let’s not focus on the toll concessionaires – they are profit driven companies anyway and so the more money they make, it’s better for them. Let’s instead focus on the other side of the spectrum – the Government who by right should not be profit driven. The very same Government who promised “gradual reduction” of the toll when they went around on election campaign.

Let’s look at the typical reasons given by the Government in justifying the hike in toll – 1. the obvious and probably the dumbest reason that it is IN the agreement and there’s NOTHING anyone in the whole galaxy can do about it 2. the Government does NOT have enough money to continue to subsidize the increase (as a responsible Government, they want it for “cough” better use).

Let’s look at the first reason – that it is IN the agreement and that the Government is unable to do anything about it. But are they really that helpless as they are portraying it to be? Then read this:-

The Government can prevent the toll hike by renegotiating the terms of agreements with operators, said PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli.

“Most highway concessions are dominated by subsidiaries of state-owned companies, so the Federal Government has the power and leverage to renegotiate the terms,” he said. He said PLUS, Prolintas and Gamuda were three of the biggest highway toll operators and all had Government links.

“Based on either share ownership or financial assistance, the Federal Government has the power and influence discuss the matter with concessionaires and ask them to re-work the terms of he agreement,”

“The excuse that the increases cannot be avoided because of agreements signed with the private sector cannot be accepted because a large part of the toll concessions are held by the Government, directly or indirectly,” he added.

(Source)

Put it this way – no contract in the world is cast in stone especially when it is made by the ever powerful Government. Nationalization and privatization have been done in the past with a stroke of a pen. There is always an opportunity to renegotiate – the shareholders of the toll concessionaires may not like it but at the end, they are doing good for the nation by causing the price of general goods not to spike up due to the increase in toll. And speaking about the shareholders, the interesting part here is as what Rafizi had said – the excuse that the increases cannot be avoided because of agreements signed with the private sector cannot be accepted because a large part of the toll concessions are held by the Government, directly or indirectly.

And to show how it should be done, the Selangor State Government had taken steps to make their stand on the hike through their representatives on the toll concessionaires companies (thank god, the voters in Selangor did not buy into Najib’s “we have repented” road show). So, what’s stopping the federal government from doing the same? Why they cannot propose alternatives to minimize the impact of the toll hike on the public? Why the eerie silence?

Let’s look at the other reason for the hike in toll – that the Government is unable to pay high subsidies (or compensation) to maintain low toll price. On an ideal situation, there should not be any subsidies – users pay the actual cost and any money saved from subsidies should be used for development activities that will generate economy for the country. But as I mentioned, in an ideal situation it works just fine but a different story in Malaysia if you have been keeping tab on the unsatisfied hunger & abuse for tax payers. Only in Malaysia, you can fly off a politician’s wife to private functions at the expense of tax payers and act like that nothing had happened. Just ask what had happened with all the past subsidies and compensation saved? How much of it has been “burned” on overpaid consultants? How much of it has been wasted by corrupted and careless civil servants?

It does not make sense when the consumer ends up paying more but whatever money saved ends up being abused by the very politicians who have been entrusted with the said money. There has not been much done to curtail the lavish spending by the Government. There has not been much done by the Government to curtail corruption (enforcement if any has been selective). So who is to be blamed when the Government now finds itself not having enough money.

And we have yet to comprehend the impact on other costs due to the toll hike – teh tarik and roti canai price already increased to an insane level due to increase of petrol & sugar cost (it was crazy to note that the price of my usual kopi-o kosong went up after the sugar price announcement), it is only going to be worse with the increase of electricity tariff and any other hidden increase of basic goods and services. That will take another long post, so probably let’s keep that for another time.

Merry Christmas to all…

P.s. since we are on the subject of “highway”, this is what I think the Government should do on a regular basis – haul up all drivers and send them for mandatory retesting (perhaps every 3 years). This is because there are way too many bastards out there (including bus and army truck drivers but not truck drivers) who do not know to properly overtake other vehicles on the highway. They cut into the fast lane without any indicators and once overtake, cut back dangerously in front of the car without any indicators as well. Sigh.

Now Anybody Can Fly?


(Before I start with the post for this week, I just wanted to say this – if the old man is so concerned with the level of proficiency of English among graduates (no thanks to his own shortcomings when he was the Education Minister and the Prime Minister), why he did not join PAGE and give it the added creditability and force that it needs to push the change of policy (to teach Science and Mathematics in English). He instead joined PERKASA as its advisor and as we all know from how the Ibrahim the clown acts up and down like his backside was on fire whenever the opposition had raised critical issues, PERKASA and its main objective is nowhere close to the realms of improving proficiency of English in this country. Just wanted to get this out from my chest. That’s all)

f87e6530fa6fac7bcade9c6cec2e6b82.gif

(Whether it is a private jet or a public abuse of trust and power – such nonsense cannot be tolerated at any level even for a high ranking politician’s wife. Just because it is approved by the Cabinet, don’t these people who fly have some internal conscience or they are just corrupt to the core? They must be counting their blessings that they are not in China. Cartoon source: Zunar @ Malaysiakini)

Let’s get back to the post for this week and as a taxpayer, I am quite pissed off.

As you all know, there are only 2 things certain in life and it is not death and taxes. Oh sorry, let me rephrase it, there are only 2 things certain when it comes to a Malaysian politician – racial segregation and abuse of power.

Still remember Najib’s “pie-in-the-face” reaction when he faced the election results that was worse than Pak Lah’s time and realized that his wayang kulit with the Chinese voters had not worked wonders? He then squarely and conveniently blame it on the Chinese – one sick newspaper even asked “what else the Chinese wants?”. And till to this day, there are still people who is convinced that the Chinese had ulterior motive for BN’s worse performance in the electoral. They may have forgotten that 50.87% of the voters from all races did not vote for BN – that’s more than half of the voters in the country. They may have also ignored the fact that most people were not pleased and had deep distrust with the current administration for some time now – for obvious reasons too – there has not been enough work done curtail the main 4 political pillars in this country namely racial segregation, waste of taxpayers money, double standard enforcement & prosecution and abuse of power.

And it is just amazing to see how some politicians can put up a (very) thick face and trivialize the matter when they are caught red handed on the blatant abuse of public assets:-

Opposition lawmakers grilled Putrajaya on Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor’s use of the official government jet for a visit to Qatar last week to attend an international forum.

Azmin Ali (PKR-Gombak) started the ball rolling when he interjected Anthony Loke (DAP-Seremban) during the debate on Budget 2014 at the committee stage, noting that Rosmah had used the jet. “How can the prime minister’s wife use the government aircraft? We want to know the cost involved and how come she is eligible for this,” Azmin asked. In reply, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim said the Cabinet had approved for Rosmah to use the jet for this particular trip.

His reply did not satisfy the opposition ranks and Parliament turned chaotic with several MPs questioning the rationale of the Cabinet decision. “Isn’t the Cabinet headed by the prime minister? This is a conflict of interest, how can the prime minister give permission to his wife to use the jet?

(Source)

And the more the opposition grill this deeper, the more it becomes clear that Shahidan Kassim is not only talking cock when it comes to answering serious question in Parliament, he also proving to be a liar. Which is funny because the more these fellows try to cover up the abuse of power and divert the attention, the more evident it becomes to the general public:-

Pengerang MP Azalina Othman, who accompanied Rosmah Mansor during a women’s summit in Qatar, which the prime minister’s wife had gone on in a private jet, admitted that the invitation to attend the summit was extended to Rosmah in her personal capacity and not to the government.

“The invitation was not on a government basis but on a personal basis,” Azalina admitted in Dewan Rakyat today while debating the Budget 2014 allocation for the Rural Development Ministry.

To this, PAS’ Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad criticised the move, saying that a “wrong decision can’t be justified because cabinet made the decision”. “If you want to go, you go on your personal expenses,” Khalid said.

(Source)

And read here to see the so-called Rosmah’s work for the nation. You may want to keep a vomit bag by your side when you read the so-called “work” for the nation and where we “suppose” to fall to the ground in appreciation and be grateful for it. Apparently she did not go alone either. Still think more than half of Malaysian voted for the opposition for no good reasons? Despite the implied response of the voters in the last general elections, they still don’t get the message, uh? They still think that hard-earned taxpayers money belongs to them and they can spent it as and when and how they deem it fit and they are unanswerable to anyone.

The Government already paying external consultants RM7.2 billion of tax payers money through its noses for work that could be done by civil servants for free. To add further salt to the wound, they have just reduced the subsidy for petrol thus increasing the price to end consumers – with the very excuse that the Government is unable to bear the additional cost. They want to implement GST which many say will impact the lower class of people and soon we also see electricity tariff increase as well. Many more increases likely to be in the pipeline, trust me. And already people in KL are up arms over the substantial increase of assessment rates. All because this Government is unable to curtail unnecessary expenses and channel them based on right priority. Flying some fat ladies all over the world for private functions using taxpayers money is not one of them. We do not need wives of politicians to now waste even more millions of taxpayers money and abuse of public assets for personal trips and make everyone to look very dumb by trying to justify the abuse.

As taxpayers and as one who is facing ever increasing cost of living, don’t you get very angry with this over justification of wrong doing? We are not paying taxes so that politicians and their wives and family members can live a luxurious life and then show the middle finger when questioned! Where is the accountability? Where is the responsibility to the taxpayers?

I won’t say that the Government need to look into this or need to stop this blatant abuse of power and wastage. It will be a futile action – the voice of the ordinary people would remain unheard to those who walk in the corridor of powers. The year in, year out the lack of punishment on the wrong doers highlighted in the Attorney General’s report and a very poor enforcement record when it comes to catching & prosecuting corrupt politicians, speaks a lot for the lack of action. Plenty of opportunities to redeem itself in the area of fighting corruption and curtail of abuse of power have been wasted, intentionally most likely. Not a big surprise given that those who can make a difference are the same people who indulge in and perpetuate the very wrongdoings. The man at the top, obviously too weak to do anything and remains silent.

The only way to stop this blatant abuse of power and misuse of taxpayers money is by a complete change of the Government from top to bottom. A proper spring cleaning if you can call it to weed out the thrash, crap and unwanted parasites from the administration. It also should include those who are lazy and stupid. And once that is done, strict prosecution of the wrongdoers must be done – they cannot be allowed to get away with their past actions. Corruption by public servants and politicians and abuse of powers should be categorized in the same category as high treason and punishment is made very severe. For this, we need to vote in a new Government – the opposition are not perfect but they cannot be worse from the current administration – despite the limitations at Federal level, they already had set a fine example in Penang and Selangor.

Think about it as you eat the overpriced roti canai & teh tarik for breakfast whilst the fat lady goes for another trip around the world on her “private jet”.