Change of lifestyle – please lead by example

A few days ago, the Prime Minister gave an advice on how to deal with the rising prices of goods and services. He mentioned that all of us need to change our lifestyle to cope with inflation.

I think that is good advice. We all need to cut unnecessary expenses, saving more money for essential items such as food, energy, water and children education. A simple thing like planning the trip and cut down unnecessary use of cars will help a long way to cut petrol expenses.

I hope the PM will lead by example and direct all civil servants to be more stringent in their spendings,

Firstly, a lot can be saved by cutting down overseas trips for ministers , deputy ministers , Parliamentarians, Assemblymen and senior civil servants. Cut down the so-called learning trips unless it is really necessary. If possible, civil servants can try using Air Asia for destination around the country.

Secondly, cut down on the elaborate preparation for the so-called VIP visits. In the old days, during Tunku and Tun Razak’s time, I understand they travelled extensively around the country but most visits were working no-frills visits. It is suffice to have a simple welcoming ceremony; a tent or even just under the sun is okay for the VIPs working visits ( remember Razak, he always wore a hat during his rural visits) , and no elaborate meals or expensive decorations should be prepared. 

 At the moment, there are too many meetings for a civil servant. Sometimes, a senior civil servant spends more time in meetings than on his or her jobs.  For practically all of these meetings, there will be food either before or after the meeting. Some times the food can be quite lavish especially for those at the top. I think just tea/water or some biscuits should suffice for all these meetings.

Ministers and his entourage normally claims lot of expenses over stay, mileage or food. SOme time the minister or deputy minister may claim many times  more than his basic pay… this was told to me by  former MPs and senior government officers. There were also rumours, ( remember no smoke without fire), that some of their private functions and entertainments expenses were also claimed from government coffers.

Of late, senior officers are given laptops, palm tops, handphones (often the latest top of the line models). This should be reviewed. Sometimes a model just a few months down the line work as well, but will be much cheaper. Anyway, there should be a constant check on these types of expenses. Very often, the expenses are marked-up, and very often, government are paying much much more for the same model that you and I can buy outside….. remember the few hundred dollar screw driver? or the million-dollar cutlery set when one of the former KL mayors was in office?…

With all these cost cuttings , I am sure there will be millions and millions of saving which can be used for development or assistance to the poorer group of people.

I have not included the billions of dollars that can be saved from corruption or abuses. PKFZ saving alone could have given us a second Penang Bridge with plenty of  change left to improve the transport system in the island.

In a nutshell, by having  a austerity and anti corruption drive, we can save billions…………..which can be used for building more schools, more hospitals, more colleges and giving more scholarship for the needy…….


18 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ghazala Khan
    May 28, 2008 @ 14:22:03

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  2. Nick
    May 28, 2008 @ 17:14:37

    The starting pay for fresh graduates back in the ealy eighties were in the range of RM 1,300 to 1,800 tops. Today, about 25 years on, the starting pay is about RM 1,600 to RM 2,400 tops. What I am saying is Malaysian employers are stingy like hell. They have somehow hookwink and supported a system that is robbing Malaysia of its finest brains. Our cream have all opted to work abroad because the pay is too low to sustain a reasonable lifestyle. If you expect our population to cut back, can you call for the Government to set a better example and introduced a minimum wage first? That way, we start the ball rolling. Frankly, it is impossible for a single man or woman to survive on a salary of RM 1,500/mth; in the same vein a married couple with 2 kids on a combined salary of RM 3,000/mth. Inflation pressures is on everything and it has indeed impact our lifestyle. Our MPs especially the BN crowd are the worst examples of abuse of office. They go around with their posh cars and surround themselves with all the perks that goes with the job. Tell AAB to stick his advice up his a*** because I don’t think I can learn anything coming from him. Can he sell off his jetplane first before giving advice? His own daughter operates a shop at Pavilion that priced itself beyond the average. His own son is one of the richest man in malaysia. C’mon, don’t advice. Walk the Talk lah!


  3. monsterball
    May 28, 2008 @ 17:58:28

    UMNO leaders are great in advising Malaysians
    Yes….Doc….no use to advise so much..when they themselves are reckless big spenders of people’s money.
    Like I said…the behave like self appointed..little Kings….so similar to England olden days..advising citizens this an that….yet they behave like Royalties..throwing parties..every evening…..while the citizens starved to death.
    In…Malaysia’s case…not that bad…because of our natural resources…but citizens are daily suffering …. trying to make ends meet.
    First sign is the 12th election.
    Next election…simply change the government permanently is best solution.
    What can be worst off than now?
    If PP did not win Selangor…we will have more than 1200 Rapid buses..more than 10 years old….running the city bus system…managed by UMNO.
    Such is the dirty tactics…when few become filthy rich again.
    Lets presume each bus…cost the government .not more than RM30k to buy these junks….and another RM10k to give face lift and certain repairs. It will be fun…to much did UMNO government… pay the seller.
    If a table costing RM12O anywhere can be bought..and it is recorded in government book….being RM500 per table…and few thousand are bought…not just one… all forgotten. You know why..I think Khalid have a hand’s full of bigger things to reveal…later on.


  4. Jason Ang
    May 28, 2008 @ 23:30:30

    又一民政领袖效劳民盟政府 Another Politic frog? What is your comment ?
    黄凌风 | 5月28日 晚上8点47分

    tan kee kong interview 240805 forward thinking继李家全之后,又有一名民政党领袖将为人民联盟州政府效劳!雪州政府今日宣布,委任民政党联邦直辖区主席陈记光(左图)出任该州土地发展调查委员会主席。


    雪州大臣卡立依布拉欣在新闻发布会上表示,这个工作队将拥有6名成员,除了陈记光之外,另一名联合主席是聂莫哈末再因(Nik Mohd Zain bin Nik Mohd Yusof)。















    李家全是在4月20日,接受槟州首席部长林冠英委任,出掌两个负责规划槟州经济的要职,即槟州发展机构(PDC)董事,以及投资槟城(Invest Penang)董事兼执行委员会主席。




  5. romerz
    May 29, 2008 @ 00:34:22

    The trouble with Malaysian leaders is that they think the majority of Malaysians are unable to think for themselves hence requiring them to play the role of all-knowing ‘father’.

    Why is it that these leaders seem to think that they are leading a ‘brainless’ herd of followers who depend on them to tell us how to adjust to challenges?

    Don’t they realize that most of those whom they lead are already more sophisticated than them?

    I think most Malaysians would agree, irrespective of race, that if those who have the reigns of power in this country are honest and there is no corruption and wastage in this country, we as a nation would be better equipped to face the challenges coming our way.

    I think its time to get rid of those leaders who are caught in a time-warp and are unable to come to grips with modern day living with its corresponding challenges.


  6. steven
    May 29, 2008 @ 01:59:33

    Just remember to hammer down the final nail to the coffin of this ruling elite in the 13th election, then only they will walk the talk.


  7. peng
    May 29, 2008 @ 09:25:24

    Of course it’s easy for the govt to spend and abuse because it’s the rakyat’s hard-earned money!


  8. Dr Hsu
    May 29, 2008 @ 09:45:09

    romerz, this is the result of the politics of patronage.

    Leaders of the ruling parties are surrounded by people who always say yes to these leaders. These yes men have their own agenda , many trying to climb up the political ladders and some for “kang Dao”.

    If day in and day out, a person is surrounded by such yes men, he will soon think that he is the only clever one. Those who point out their mistakes or give constructive criticism will be viewed as enemies trying to beliitle the great leader.

    After a few years, they will think that what they do is always right. They are almost like God, no one can criticise them…I am sure you can easily name a few of these arrogant leaders, whose behaviour actually make people abandon BN.

    But while they are arrogant infront of the people, they are like beggars, quoting Dr Lim Keng yaik, in front of those higher up than them in the hierachy.

    It is true…Just observe..


  9. Justin Choo
    May 29, 2008 @ 10:42:46

    Dr Hsu,

    Just found your interesting blog thru a link. Wish this could be earlier.

    This lifestyle change mantra is actually very stale. It just reflects on the little pea brain who recite this. There are many people like me, living a very simple lifestyle with no luxury for any frill, just to make ends meet. What lifestyle change are they talking about? The only change for us is to upgrade our lifestyle.

    These VVIP politicians are living in dreamland on borrowed time. As you correctly said, they think they gods!! I feel sorry for them when the hammer falls on them; and it is imminent now. They will be like lost sheep when that happens.


  10. Dr Hsu
    May 29, 2008 @ 11:51:45

    Hi, Justin, welcome to the forum and thanks for your input.

    You have a nice blog too. Keep it up.


  11. Meng
    May 30, 2008 @ 00:17:45

    The problem is budgeting and allocation to the government departments. Each year the respective department would submit the same bidding with an increase of 20-30% without looking indepth on the real requirement. Just copy and add extra percentage. Thats why they have plenty to spend each year. When the allocation is busted they justify for additional fund and are usually approved.

    So spend spend why return the money to the Treasury.??
    Even with the accounts committee report who cares ??? Thats how it is.


  12. jeff
    May 30, 2008 @ 02:25:18

    Our country has so much wealth from oil based resources, but only benefit a select few through government mega projects, individuals who own all these corporations are usually family members of the umno elites n crony, without all these wastage in civil service, it is not possible to move our nation wealth toward the assign beneficiary.


  13. pohwatchdog
    May 30, 2008 @ 21:26:31

    Leadership by example is the key words. We must change our lifestyle by eating less, cutting down consumption of petrol, walks more, cutting expenditure on unnecessary spending and etc. Have a “Healthy Life Style” campaign and trim down “middlemen” syndrome on government spending.
    This problems exist with many level of middle men and cut down subsidy on petrol.


  14. steven
    May 31, 2008 @ 00:40:54

    Spending several hundred for a screw driver is only part of the deal of deception to funnel nation wealth into the hand of cronies n family members of umno, MCA n MIC, all are legit. in the eye of the cabinet, even with ACA and GAO investigation, no prosecution so far has been meted out, since they are just toothless agency with no real power to act n decide.


  15. FROG
    May 31, 2008 @ 09:43:52

    We must adjust our lifestyle in view of the rising cost. In the West,they eat out once a week and have their breakfast at home.Eating in a restaurant is a luxury for the Europeans even though they have one of the highest per capita income. In Malaysia,we eat out everyday! Are we going to the Western lifestyle accordingly? Frankly speaking,you save a lot if you eat at home. But,it’s going to make life difficult for our hawkers and food outlets whose business will be affected.


  16. monsterball
    Jun 01, 2008 @ 17:18:00

    In the West….there is no blessed oil.
    Here we Have surplus ans should be very rich…for all Malaysians enjoy the benefits.
    Why should such a rich small nation like Malaysia….with citizens budgeting…like Westerners?
    Yet…our country is so backward….compared to the West….except….having buildingsor constructions… show off….we are the tallest…the largest…the longest…this and that…..making the West and whole world ….laughing over our illogical and idiotic .braggart government….attitudes…thus looking down…all Malaysians.l
    Yes…we have no choice. We are being robbed of our country’s wealth….high and dry….so lets all budget.
    We asked for it!


  17. steven
    Jun 01, 2008 @ 22:35:34

    Paying several million to the russian to put a malay into their spaceship is regarded by our leader as “Malaysia boleh”, go figure !!!!making us all a world laughing stock.


  18. Trackback: Spend more prudently the people’s money « Dr Hsu’s Forum

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