A friend forwarded an email to me. This is what was stated in the email:
In Cambodia they have satellite TV too. They only pay USD5.00 per month (or approx RM16.00 per month) for 100 channels. I was really surprised. Over here we pay over RM100.00 for a package with Astro and get less than 30 channels. How come?
Cambodia has much, much less infrastructure han ust. They need to spend more to provide satellite TV services and yet they are about six times cheaper. And considering that they get about four times as many channels, you can approximately ‘compound’ their ‘cost advantage’ and say that they get 24 times more “value for money” than us in terms of paying for satellite TV (6 times cheaper price x 4 times more channels = 24 times more “value for money”)
I pay for 130 plus a month for my Astro package. If what is written in the above email is true – perhaps those who have lived there before can help to verify this point — what i am paying is 32 times less ‘value for money, using the calculations from the writer of the email above. The problem is that we are NOT 32 times richer than the Cambodia. Dollar to dollar, we may be ten times richer but definitely not 32 . If such a country can offer such price to their people, why can’t we? We are a country that is supposedly IT orientated; a country with the so-called Multimedia Super Corridor.
Maybe , in the face of rising living cost, I need to cut down on my Astro subscription.. When I first subscribe, it was more for the benefits of my children, and now that our children have grown up , and now that you can download almost all the serials and movies over the internet, it is time really to re assess whether it is worth subscribing to Astro. Apart from the news channels, and national geography and History channels, nowadays we hardly see watch any serials over Astro, because they are showing only the old serials. For the latest HK serials , you need to pay extra (Astro on demand) , on top of the 130 plus a month.
It is really easy to download the latest serials from internet, and convert it to Mpeg 2 and there it is , you can plug you pen drive and watch the latest of American or HK or Korean or Japanese serials, maybe just a day later than what was shown over there. The only problem is that the format downloaded can only be played on your computer but not on your TVs..You can solve the problem by downloading some of the very good converting software from CNET free of charge ( i like to download from CNET because they run spyware and antiviral check on the software listed on their site) .
The one I use is called Any Video Converter freeware, and you can convert files of any format into mpeg2 to play on your TVs, or to avi format and play through your DVD player. Or if you have the time, you can even burn it into DVD and create your own collections of self made DVDs. Try the freeware DVDvideo soft studio freeware for burning into a DVD (again you can download it from cnet).
The point i am trying to make is that we are paying too much for our pay-to-view TVs channels. If Cambodia can be so cheap, there is no reason why we cannot have more channels for the amount of money we pay monthly. Why should we pay so much more for so much less?
That is the problems of being a middle-income country. While the salary we get is in the range of middle-income countries, the projects started by the people holding the monopolies are charging a fee near to the Developed nation’s standard( sometimes even higher). We pay like a developed nation for our broadband, we pay quite a hefty amount for mobile charges, we pay so much more for Pay-to-view TVs. We pay through our nose for our cars, which is so much cheaper in most of the first world countries.
Yesterday i read in the papers that the cabinet has agreed for a hike in electricity charges. Although I doubt whether it would be imposed before the next general election, one thing i am sure is that electricity bills will go up once the GE is over. Once an election is over, there is no need to worry about the votes anymore, and all sorts of price increase can be expected.
Any hike in electricity bills will have a multiplier effects on living costs, since everything else will go up following a hike of electricity charges. There will be another round of price increase, and another round of tightening our belts. On top of that, we can expect more cuts in subsidies. On top of those, there is the GST which will be imposed once the election is over.
Life will then be even more difficult. Food prices will be higher, transportation costs increased; the only thing that will not be raised is probably the salary, since most businesses will simply not be able to afford any more salary increase, following the increase in utility bills and everything tied to it.
Very soon, a person holding a 3000 salary job may not even be able to live decently in the city. As one reader has mentioned, a breaking point maybe reached. I dread to think of such a day.