Hey, Big Spender!

Times are getting tough. All are asked to be brace for what is expected to be a rough 2014. Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak and his Government (and present line up of Cabinet Ministers) are steaming ahead with the ‘rationalisation of subsidies’.

First, we heard it from Minister in-charge of ‘Transformation Programs’ Dato’ Idris Jala that the Federal Government would not be able to cope with the annual subsidy of RM43billion. In 2010, he said that by 2019 if ‘business as usual’ and no transformation is made, the Federal Government coffer would go belly up.

Hence, by the second half of 2013 Prime Minister Najib ‘rationalisation of subsidy’ program started. First it was the retail price of petrol and diesel up by 20 sen in September. Then comes Bajet 2014, sugar is completely subsidy free when suddenly the price shot up by 34sen per kg. Consumption tax in the form of 6% GST would be introduced by April 2015, to make up the revenue deficit.

Then the announcements of electricity tariff would go up by 15% and possibility of many of the Non PLUS highways toll rates up too comes in to effect in 2014.

On ground, retail prices are up across the board. Grocery shoppers already feeling the pinch that food stuff across the board gone up, be it chicken, fish, beef, fruits and vegetables. Even spices are up.

Everyone is grousing. Especially the lower income bracket. The most are the lower income and lower middle income segment who are urban and suburban dwellers. Their Ringgit has shrunk termendously. Nothing to factor that their lifestyle is grossly impaired with the traffic jams they have to endure.

Yes, Prime Minister Najib is kind enough to give them hand outs of RM600.00 in BR1M to families with aggregated earning of less than RM3,500.00 a month.  Spread that monthly, would effectively subsidies half a week of grocery bills. By 2013, BR1M was extended to singles. He gladly announced 6 million Malaysians would benefit from this scheme.

Bajet 2014

In reality, other cost is going up. Even rental and school bus fee. In  a nut shell, majority of Malaysians are asked to tighten their belt and change their lifestyle.

One interesting fact is that Prime Minister Najib announced his budget for 2014 at the proposed amount of RM264billion. Only RM46.5 billion is for development expenditure or CAPEX. That is 17.6% of the whole 2014 budget.

The rest which is RM217.7 billion or 82.4% is operating expenditure or OPEX. That is very huge.

The 11 point austerity drive which Prime Minister Najib announced on 30 December 2013 has been seen as ‘insincere’ to substantially reduce OPEX and budget deficit, considering the VVIP travel bill is actually much more than the savings possibly derived. It is actually pittance and should considered as an insult to the bigger majority, finding it toughrer to make ends meet in these days where almost everything is up.

The other side of the field is totally different. Here you have PMO admitting that the Malaysian Government last year spent RM181 million to lease and maintain aircrafts for VVIP travels, especially for the Prime Minister and consort.

How could Prime Minister Najib stomach the fact that he started the vow “Rakyat diutamakan“, is facing a tougher living when the kind of money was splurged on his convenience, comfort and luxury should be seen as nothing but sinful.


Published in: on January 11, 2014 at 20:00  Comments (20)  

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20 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Yes, nothing but sinful. Awww, Najib, how could you. And your wife, too.

    I often wonder if the man is confused, or desperate to achieve high income status without being sure how to do it, allowing the unwarranted price increases, the Minister of Internal Trade issuing a statement that he is not being sacked or something, Najib appearing to be running helter skelter, even to Los Angeles reportedly for a private weekend fling, on the government executive jet that he appears to have regarded as his personal property.

    Maybe the man just doesn’t care, having been uncontested at the UMNO party elections, thinking that he can do whatever and still win the party and the general elections. Maybe he has personal or family problems running to LA to check on what Rosmah is doing .. and Rosmah has a past – but that’s their personal matter, only that the report of him flying to LA using the government jet without any official engagements is disconcerting to us tax payers.

    Anybody knows if he is in LA on some official purpose please tell us so that we can feel less dejected with a not-quite-right behaviour of a PM.

    • Well, the country does need US investments. And US MNCs to fill up office space in TRX.

      And, given the rising political temperatures in the region, maybe the PM is being savvy in locking in US backing for Malaysia, just in case the politics in the region goes apeshit.

      So, maybe, the PM and his advisors are having off-the-record discussions with high-ups in the US Administration.

      Can a TPP sign-up be far off then?

      After all, quid pro quo is the norm in realpolitik these days.

      • Alamak, people ask “Anybody knows ..”, you came in with maybe this maybe that.

        Maybe you no unerstand ingles ha?

        We know you blokes sayang Ah Jib Gor arr? But, hell, why gave him Chinese tsunami, ah?

        You and your kind ultra kiasu ah?

    • It is no secret that the PM and his advisers are pretty awed with the US. Still pretty awed, which is a surprise since there is a shift in the balance of economic power in the Asia Pacific in the last 10 year’s or so when the US was busy fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. China is now second to the US in terms of economic power and geopolitically it has undermined the hegemonic power of the US in Asia Pacific. And the PM and his advisers are grappling with straws trying to hang onto the tail coat of a weaker US global influence. TPPA indeed huh? Without China the TTPA is meaningless to countries in this region as they enslaved themselves to the dictates of the not so great US anymore. In international relations never put all your energies cultivating one superpower or one great power. Hence if Malaysian leaders think they can take Malaysia to a better deal by dancing and doing tango with the US, then they are backing the wrong horse.

      • Postgrad. How many Malaysians realise how big the US is ? As far back as 1982, California had a GDP the same as Ausstralia which equals 7th in the World. Los Angeles’ GDP was the same as the Republic of Singapore. Malaysia has no place to fool around with the United States if our leaders really know about the World. Indeed, these Malaysian leaders are backing the wrong horse with their infatuation with these great United States. It can only end in tears sooner rather than later with such a short sighted policy.

  2. Najib should complete his degree and not lie about his Industrial Economic degree from Nottingham University.

    The way he manage the finances of the country shows he does not understand economics and in capable of managing the country finances.

    • He should be given a surprise test questions and see if he understands concepts that are central to economic models upon which policies are formulated to address financial crisis, debt crisis or just general economic situations. Same tests should be given to his economic advisers. By the way, labs are such a controlled environment, so much so the lab products can still catch the cold virus when the global economy sneezes. Get that ?

  3. Biggie,

    Probably Najib the Felinist could get tips if not learn from dear stepson-in-law, how to ‘raise money from undisclosed investors in South East and West Asia’ and make so much in so little time.

    Then he, Dear Prime Ministress and inner-circle can travel in this luxury you described.

    BTW if part of his 11 point austerity drive is JUSA C or higher grade officers got to slash entertainment allowance and JUSA C or lesser grade officers no longer can fly on business class. I’m wondering whether his ‘Special Officers’ and ‘Aides’ still globe trot on business class and stay in 4/5/6 star accommodations.

    Since so few amongst them are actually JUSA C grade officers.

  4. This Idris Jala fella, does he even have a Bachelor degree in Ecomomics? Or what was his major? Mass communications? So, how come he is the one advising the govt on Malaysia’s economic policies and measures. Tak masuk akal. Shell or empty shell should not be the one and only criteria to measure the ability of a person to shape the economic fate of Malaysia. Mad as a hatter. Just look at the state of Malaysia’s economy now? Out of thin air it has turned into like Latin American countries in the 1970s. This is absurd. Is this a massive conspiracy, incidental, created or real? In fact the whole austerity bloody measures are unacceptable.

    • Ah, the arch-enemy of “neoliberalism” and “free market capitalism” surfaces again, to regale one and all with his economic nostrums.

      All very pukka and twee. Emotional, even.

      But sadly lacking in specifics.

      Which is par for the course for all those pushing a populist agenda.

      Let’s see if their prescriptions can pull Malaysia out of it’s economic rut and into the ranks of high-income, high-wealth developed countries by 2020, or whatever date is in vogue now.

      Meanwhile, the less fortunate among us have to scrabble along and bottom fish for scraps. Maybe even to the extent of toiling in foreign lands, which, of course, is anathema to the nationalist anti-neoliberalists among us.

      • What the blardi hall lu talk ah? Accusing people no specifics yet lu no give anything specific, stu. Lu DAP kind Oppo hippo always make wild, unsubstantiated and unjustified allegations, ah?

        And lu can give “prescriptions can pull Malaysia out of it’s economic rut and into the ranks of high-income, high-wealth developed countries by 2020”? What prescriptions? Not an iota of a thought from you except wild allegations.

        You “toiling in foreign lands”? Do so and don’t come back, will ya? We welcome only those who put out constructive criticisms – or at least those who don’t criticize just for the sake of doing so.

    • Typical. If criticisms are levelled against square headed economic neoliberals, they’d blame it on the emotion of the critics. They just cannot believe that the world economy is not just about those greedy capitalists and MNCs that plug themselves to the ignorant generosity of some national govts.into getting tax holidays, easy credit, cheap workers and lo and behold they think they are the saviour of mankind. Why not just accept the warts and wrinkles of economic neoliberalism even if people like zoltan sneezes pretty quickly when economic neoliberalism don’t receive good reviews.

  5. Former information minister Zainuddin Maidin making proposal that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad be brought to Putrajaya to help the BN government tackle raging racial, religious and economic issues.

    He said not to take over the stewardship of the country from Datuk Seri Najib but to help Najib face issues that are engulfing the country.

    Give a place to Dr Mahathir in the Cabinet, he said, to give moral support to prime minister Najib, “to strengthen the country’s rule and restore the people’s confidence before restoring the ISA,”.

    I agree.

    • actually we have tested tun mahadhir for 22 years , not too succeessfuk , see what happened now or just say , he failed , try Ku Li……………..

      • Ku Li is as successful as your “succeessfuk”.

    • And the current PM didn’t even finish his Bachelor degree? Didn’t graduate? Oh…
      Anyway, bring back Tun M into the mainstream of policy making.

  6. This is what we get when we have somebody who has neither vision nor spine. What he and his wife did was indefensible, living the high life while the rest of the country were told to tighten their already tight belt.

    It is clear that he have no idea whatsoever what is important and what is not for this country. Heck, he cant even tell who support him/his party and who is the enemy. His “don’t rock the boat” approach on just about everything is pathetic. He look good only when everything is moving perfectly well and smooth. At the first sign of challenge, he will turn to his advisors and CONsultant then absconded from his responsibility to provide the much needed direction and leadership. To make matter worse, these advisers and CONsultant understand perfectly his style and the “opportunity” that presented itself. For them, it is a low hanging fruits ripe for the picking.

    I believe this 2 factors combined is why we are where we are today. If there is one thing that he is good at, I believe it is how he use his position to manipulate others to keep him in power. Last Pemilihan UMNO is a testimony to that.

    Those in UMNO leadership better be warn. If the status quo remained going into next GE, most of you better be prepared to go to prison.

  7. “he cant even tell who support him .. and who is the enemy” – beyond the timing Mamat Khairy Jamaluddin and Makcik Shahrizat. The cengkuriks who helped ensure Ah Jib Gor wasn’t contested at last UMNO party elections.

    That’s why he cunningly gave the senget-thinking Khairy a Minister’s post and the always angkat-bola Makcik a Women Adviser’s post (whatever the functions nobody knows until to day) with the rank of a Cabinet Minister.

    And now he thinks he is infallible. I’ve been looking for some Cassius and Brutus. To politically bring about his demise. They have not come out yet. But a few in PERKASA are losing patience.

  8. […] leadership is the cost of running the government under his stewardship. He has been seen as extravagant and opulence. Especially on expenditures for his own convenience, comfort and […]

  9. […] Federal Government has been spending a little bit too much on operations, managing and running the country. In fact, in the Bajet 2014 presentation speech in […]

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