Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Umno Najib And All The King's Horses And All The King's Men

All the king's horses and all the king's men are now in line.

Najib's party lieutenants have all been returned at the just concluded Umno General Assembly.

What does all this mean to the country?

Nothing, except that the gravy train can now continue on its merry way.

With greater panache perhaps, but certainly with more abandon as we can expect.

While the long suffering Bolehlanders who love to be taken for the ride GE (General Election) in and GE out, can look forward to more burden on their already burdened shoulders with the introduction of the dreaded consumption tax, the GST (Goods and Services Tax)

The GST is touted by government economists as the most equitable and just form of raising tax.

But it is really indecent in the Malaysian context for a number of reasons.

The GST is indecent because the disposable income of the average Malaysian is still low, what with the ever rising prices of everyday goods and services.

It is indecent because it does not discriminate between the rich and the poor.

It is indecent because, at the most basic level, it means that the government wants a share of everything that you buy or consume.

The milk that your child needs. The bed that you buy, well, because you need a place to sleep on that government also wants to have a sleep in too, so to speak. How indecent can that not be?

It is indecent because they are hundreds of ways for the government to raise revenue without impacting hard on the poor rakyat that its fails and/or does not want to do.

Like cutting down on corruption, corrupt practices and procurements that cost the nation billions of ringgit annually.

Stamping the annual illicit outflow of funds that has amounted to more than a trillion ringgit now and that has won us the dubious title of the country with the second largest illicit outflow of funds in the world.

Stopping the fanciful and profligate mega projects ala Mahathir that we are so fond and proud of that benefit few except the small coterie of the privileged and politically connected, their cronies and families.

Withdrawing the economically inexplicable billion ringgit subsidies to crony companies for example, like the ones who produce excess electricity that is not required by the national grid that TNB (the national electricity board) could and does produce more efficiently and cheaply that it is forced to buy from!

Cutting down on the size of the bloated civil service and especially the PMO (prime minister's office) and improving productivity.

Cutting down on the Pm's frequent and expensive trips overseas that have cost us millions already.

Stopping the awarding of public project contracts under the protective but perfidious skirt of the OSA (Official Secrets Act) directly to parties and cronies and families and the politically connected and the appointment of expensive and dubious consultants and on terms that the public don't have knowledge of or have access to, on pain of prosecution and jail, that must have cost us a lot in terms of opportunity costs and efficiency and corrupt monies.

Having, instead, an open and transparent tender system for all public projects that do not impinge directly on national security.

Stopping all political party events disguised as public functions at public expense.

Balance the budget!

We have been spending like crazy the past 16 years. We just can't afford to spend more than we earn each year.

This profligacy has ballooned our sovereign debt to about 600 billion ringgit, more if we take into consideration contingent liabilities.

This use of the device of contingent liabilities is really not a smart aleck move but one that is possibly devious and potentially detrimental.

That figure, together with contingent liabilities, has already brought us past the legal limit of 55% of our GDP? Are we technically bankrupt already?

It is not surprising that Fitch rating agency has downgraded our credit rating to negative.

We could also even consider revising or altogether doing away with the payment of monthly stipends to ex MPs and ADUNs.

Why should Malaysians continue to support them for life just because they had been a one or two term MPs and/or ADUNs? No work no pay!

And hundreds of other ways that the government could well look into to raise revenue.

That is why GST at this junction of time is indecent.

All the king's horses 

And all the king's men 

On the merry 

Gravy train 

With great abandon 

And panache, 

Will they lead 

The nation - 

To Apocalypse,  

Say? 

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