Hard times ahead!

Petrol and diesel are going to cost more in a move to reduce subsidies and rein in budget deficits.

From the economic point of view, this might be a good move since a country’s financial health cannot survive prolonged deficits, which have to be funded by borrowings.

We have budget deficits for far too long and federal government borrowings have skyrocketed to about 54% of GDP at end of 2012.  This has resulted in Fitch Ratings’ move to downgrade Malaysia’s sovereign credit rating outlook to Negative from Stable.

So on the surface, we need to reduce deficit spending and a way of doing it is to reduce subsidy on petrol and diesel.

The question   is of course whether this is the only way to reduce subsidy.

Looking at how much big money are wasted through leakages and wastage, mainly as a result of corruption and abuses,  the government can certainly save billions if it has the will and resolve  to really tackle corrupt practices.

The problem   is that PM is not strong enough to do that. If he really pushes hard, he will antagonise most of the warlords holding the key to his re election in the coming party election. He too has too many skeletons in his closet. So with his weak position, he is really in a dilemma with regards to tackling wastage and leakages.

So he is choosing the easy way out. Just cut the petrol subsidy and save about 3 billions a year.

The billion dollar question: will this saving really go to reduce subsidy or will it be used for other big projects in order to please more warlords and gain support?  Will this be used to consolidate his position and win election? Nobody knows at this stage of course.

Another problem is the timing of the rise of petrol and diesel prices. Ringgit has depreciated against US dollars the last few months . Imported things may cost 10% more now compared to around May when exchange rate was then around 3 ringgit to a dollar. Now with the rise in petrol and diesel prices, transportation is going to cost more and this will translate to higher prices for goods and services. As a results of these, cost of living is going to go up further.

This comes at a time when economy is slowing down amidst uncertainties ahead.

With cost of living already very high, and many people unable to survive on their earnings, crime rate has gone up these few years.

So my last question is:  With another round of rise in cost of living pending, will more people find it  harder to survive?

Will crime rate go up further?


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Simple Sense
    Sep 03, 2013 @ 15:26:48

    Believe it, corruption is just like cancer! Cancer, beyond certain stage, will destroy the whole body. Corruption, when become pervasive and deep rooted, also destroy the country. History is full of examples of how a government reign ended due to corruption.
    It is always easier to squeeze the small people for more money than to confront the warlords and the dark power unless one is willing to do like the previous Chinese secretary, Jou Ron Ji, he bought 100 coffins and declared that 99 of these are meant for the corrupted government officials and one for himself. He was telling that he was ready to die fighting corruption in the Chinese government! He was successful then. He was like a chemo therapy for the corruption in then China, it obviously relapsed after he retired.
    A over subsidized economy is also a form of corruption! A mass collaboration in corrupting the economy of the country. So, the rakyat themselves also part of the problem, but left alone to face the consequences!
    The day will come when robbers also has nothing to rob! History tells us repeatedly what will surely happen next! When will this day be, it is anybody guess.


  2. klm
    Sep 03, 2013 @ 16:45:49

    Prices go up. But salary don’t go up. And more bags get snatched. More houses get buglarised. More ATMs get stolen.. More govt servants will demand coffee money. This is the dao of bad govt decision.


  3. Wave33
    Sep 03, 2013 @ 19:37:32

    Dr.Hsu and Simple Sense,

    I believe this blog is only read by urban folks. It is a repeat of what we have been complaining about. The urban has voted overwhelmingly against BN on 505.

    Our message has not reached the rural areas. If we do get the opportunity to explain how cancerous is corruption, I doubt it the rural folks is able to make any sense from it. It is like, no issue to them.

    Being faithful to their religion takes an upper hand compare to the economic health status of our country. It is okay to be poor, as long as I am with God. BN can guarantee a lot of perceived fear that the kampung folks are worried about from becoming reality. Kampung folks like these guarantee from BN on the their protectiveness on their religion and upholding the superiority race against the world.

    Deficit? Corruption? Don’t understand, so no problem. I still have my BR1M.

    Terima kasih BN for BR1M!


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