The recent headlines in the local dailies has left me quite disturbed of the present government of Malaysia. The level of incompetency, ignorance, stupidity, and corruptness of several ministers in the government just left me speechless. I sense that the government of today is no longer serving the needs of the rakyat but more of their personal whims and fancy.
* Since it’s the world cup fever season, I shall use some football analogy.
There’s been many nice promises and targets set by the government in the 10th Malaysia Plan. However, I sense that it’s just a very rough idea of what the government plans to do for the next 5 years. There’s no concrete plans of the implementations and actions that will be taken to achieve the targets. It’s like the M-team wants to win the world cup but there’s no strategy going into the game, our coach just tells us to kick the ball into the net, but the opposition team (reality) is not going to make it as easy as it sounds.
Then we have our national budget deficit. I believe most Malaysians (myself included) do agree that the country’s budget deficit issue needs to be addressed. On one hand, we have an ex-CEO with business acumen heading the government’s transformation program team (Pemandu) telling us that the government’s subsidies on essential food and petrol needs to be reduced/removed or the country may go bankrupt by 2019.
On another hand, we have the finance ministry and central bank saying the figures being exaggerated. So who’s telling the truth? Well, it doesn’t really matter because the government of the day is spending money like there’s no tomorrow on projects which I doubt will bring any multiplier effects to the economy. So if the money saved from the reduced subsidies are going to be spend the way it is currently being spent. Then perhaps the subsidies should be kept as it is for the benefits of the poor rakyat.
Here’s a list of some projects which I felt “Do we really need it?”
Do we really need a new RM800m parliament? Or even a renovation that would cost another RM150m which has just been recently refurbished just a few years back. I’ve not personally entered the parliament hall, but from the images of it on TV, the sittings do look very comfortable. Perhaps a little too comfortable to the extend that some MPs are falling asleep during debates.
Do we really need another new RM800m palace? The current palace could still serve its purpose and the main palace building has been standing tall even before independence with some history within its walls. The money will be better spent on developing human capital to help bring the nation to a higher income nation. Anyway, it’s been set in stone and construction has already begun.
Do we really need nuclear power plant? I do agree that we do need to source for an alternative energy and reduce our over dependency on coal and gas, but nuclear? Last I check, nuclear is not a renewable energy either, and neither do we have the uraniums to run the plant nor the technical expertise. Given our ‘tidak apa’ attitude, if applied to the operations and maintainence of the nuclear plant may just wipe out the whole South East Asia. I’m not looking down at fellow Malaysians to run a nuclear plant, but is this the best option? The risk and negative impact of nuclear waste is certainly not cheap. Wouldn’t it be cheaper to go green? Perhaps solar power would be perfect given our country’s climate. We now have a couple of solar panel manufacturers here in Malaysia, so why not get some used here instead of fully exporting it? It may be expensive for now, but given enough R&D and mass production, I bet it can only get cheaper.
Back to some football analogy… We’re like a mediocre football club building a new and bigger stadium even without a huge fan-base to fill up the current stadium’s capacity during football matches. Instead, the money will be better used to buy better players, or better coaches to enhance the player’s training sessions to improve the teams’s game in the football league.
There’s just too many ‘white elephants‘ infrastructure development in this country. Well, don’t get me wrong, I’m not against infrastructure development. I do agree that some infrastructure developments such as the public transportation (such as LRT or MRT), a bigger LCCT, and high speed broadband are necessary to keep Malaysia competitive. There’s just countless hours wasted in traffic jams and our broadband speed is very much like narrow-band in more developed nations like Korea.
So… do we really need it?