Came back recently from a trip to US, where I spent quite a long holiday there, visiting afew cities during my stay.
After coming back, I went to my favourite coffee shop in Paramount Garden for breakfast last Sunday. Wow, a plate of fried kway Teow has gone up 10% from RM 5 to RM5.50.
Went to one of my favourite cafe and a plate of nasi lemak has gone up a few dollars. Nasi Bojadi is now over 20 ringgits. WithRM 50, you can now buy so little even in a hypermarket!!
what has happened?
Reading the newspapers, it seems like traders and hawkers are to be faulted since there are so many photos of enforcement officers visiting markets and checking on prices. Is it really due to profiteering by all these small traders?
Prices have generally gone up. I do not have any business but by running a clinic, I too know how much medicine costs have gone up. Paracetamol , the cheapest of all drugs, is now more than 3 times more costly than just 5 years ago. Running nose medication , especially those with vaso-constrictor drug pseudoephedrine, has gone up 8 times. The latter is because of an artificial shortage caused by the Ministry restricting the import. The reason given is there are people using pseudoephedrine to make other more sinister drugs that are commonly used by patrons of night clubs and so on.
Tranquilizers have gone up more than 10 times, and are unavailable most of the time. Again because of certain restriction by government authority to reduce its import. But there are many patients with psychosomatic symptoms that require such medication to tie than over. So these genuine patients have to folk out ten times more than the usual price to get their medication.
The last few years also see a general hike in all the drugs, be it generic or originals, but not to the extent of the drugs mentioned above. Instead of causing an artificial shortages, the government should target those who manufacture sinister drugs and those who misuse it in the night clubs and so on, instead of making the genuine patients pay for the huge increase.
Then, outside the medical fields, almost everything has gone up in prices. This is not so much due to profiteering , but due to increase in overhead.
After the 505 GE, price of petrol has gone up. This translate to an increase in transportation cost.
Electricity tariff has gone up.
Property prices and thus renta rate has gone up. Assessment in KL has gone up and this translate again to an increase in rental. Those with foreign workers have to pay RM110 more because of the i-kad. The weakening Ringgit has also caused imported goods to be more expensive.
All these resulted in an increase cost n doing business. Not so much profiteering.
So instead of asking enforcement to go down to markets to check prices, government leaders should ask themselves, what have they done ?
Malaysia is a rich country. Why are we having deficits years after years? Why do we need such a big civil service workforce? Why do we need so many ministers? why the need to have lavish functions whenever a minister needs to hold a meeting or so on?
Why are there so rampant corruptions and wastage? Just look at the Auditor-General’s annual reports.
If all these can be tackled, do we need to spend so much on subsidies?
All the photos of officers checking on prices are more for political reasons and rural consumption. BUt if the leaders really care, they should postpone GST, cut down on wastage, and lower electricity and toll charges.
Reducing subsidies do not really need to raise tariff or taxes. It can be done by more prudent spending and more belt tightening by the government.