Andrew Sia has some thoughts of the petrol issue as well....
Petrol up by RM1 ?!?! All those who support the 20sen petrol price "beacuse it's GOOD for the country" should LOGICALLY support a RM1 price increase also because it's even BETTER for the country ya?
The last time petrol went up 30sen in 2006, it was kononnya to "improve the public transport system". This was the Teh Tarik column I wrote in the Star then in response.
>>YES! As a patriotic Malaysian, I suggest that the petrol price be raised by RM1 instead of 30 sen. Why?! Because I want our country to become a true Negara Majuuu . . .
Even now, with a mere 30 sen petrol price hike, RM4.4bil of "wasteful subsidies" has been "saved" to overhaul our public transport system. Yup, the next time you take a long distance express bus, the drivers will never again:
* send sms or nod off at the wheel.
* come two hours late.
* tell us, “Aiya aircon rosak-lah . . .”.
* drive 130km/h downhill in the rain.
In short, because we are paying more for petrol, enforcement on Datuk-linked bus licence holders will doubtless improve by breathtaking bounds. No more cockroaches running out from under the seats either!
Within KL, other awesome sights from the RM4.4bil should include:
* never waiting more than 15 minutes for the next bus — just like the cheap and efficient mini buses back in the 1980s and 90s before that Intrakota monopoly took over.
* taxi fares will drop when we do away with the middleman taxi toll collectors, I mean, licence holders — only one permit per driver from now on.
* there will be shady tree-lined pathways for us to cycle or walk on.
* transport planning will improve magically: the most super-jam packed place in the Universe — Megamall on a Sunday — will finally get an LRT stop!
Isn’t that all fantastic Value For Money from a mere 30 sen petrol price hike?
Now, imagine the marvels from a RM1 increase! We can then save RM14.6bil which can be pumped into the public education and health systems.
All the best teachers, now giving private tuition classes, will be recruited at top dollar to replace those school teachers which are inept.
Next, believe it or not, there will be enough scholarships for ALL our top SPM and STPM scorers to acquire the best know-how from the greatest overseas universities.
And when they return home in a few years time, we will have priceless human seed capital to build our high-value-added, IT-powered K-economy. No more need to import all those IT-wallahs from Bangalore, let’s refuel the MSC with 100% Malaysian brain juice instead!
Let me come to public health. Going to government hospitals? No more long queues or second-rate treatment. All that money will be deployed to raise salaries so that the best medical brains remain in public service.
In addition, much more money can go into roads, rural clinics and the Flying Doctor service in Sabah and Sarawak so that no Malaysian will ever need to trek and boat for three days to get medical care.
Why, the RM14.6bil can even be channelled to prevent crime — by paying for private security guards to do daily patrols in housing estates nationwide, thus sparing us the cost of security services and gated communities. Indeed, I believe the police can supervise this subcon scheme very well.
What’s next? Helping the poor? Boosting agriculture? No more dirty tap water?
So. Friends, KL-ites and countrymen. This RM1 petrol price jacking is the Honourable Way forward for Malaysia. What’s NOT to support about it?
Oh . . . you say that it’s the government’s job to do all these things anyway because they collect taxes?
Well, well, well... that’s the "typical subsidy mentality" that’s got to go if we want to progress folks! Once give, you fellas will keep on expecting. When stop giving, then you simply scold "da bladi garmen". Not thankful at all.
It’s about time you ***gers grow up; you think the government is your Father giving out pocket money, is it?
OK, they may be your Father when it comes to telling you what you should or should not think, but when it comes to money, sorry-lah, it’s time for you fellas to Make Sacrifices, Share the Burden and Be Responsible for the country.
The rakyat must Accept Lifestyle Changes. If you have to, then sell the car, ride a motorbike and double your personal accident coverage.
But all in all, Don’t Worry. The price of everything will not go up . . . I mean, should not go up... because our Malaysian businessmen are equally patriotic and they won’t simply simply take advantage by raising prices. Right?
Even if they do, eh, who ask you to go and buy that teh tarik? Make at home-lah.
Wait a minute, maybe that’s precisely what’s going to happen... People will bring home-packed lunches to the office... They won’t go out to shopping complexes so much... And then business owners will renovate their bungalows less...
But ignore all that doomsday talk from egg-head economists: that inflation, less disposable income and decreased consumer spending will hurt our economy.
These academics are wrong. Consumer spending by 24 million Malaysian consumers is too well distributed to stimulate the economy.
It’s better to centralise things in our hands, because the government is always more efficient at spending the RM14.6 billion on stuff that brings the maximum economic multiplier spin-off benefits to the maximum number of people. Take the National Astronaut Programme or fancy decorated roundabouts for instance.
Therefore my friends . . . you see there are no real objections to this modest proposal of a RM1 increase in petrol prices. Instead, a "world of benefits" will flow to our public transport, education, health, security and Everything Else.
So if you’re truly patriotic, if you want Malaysia to become a Negara Maju, you’d be out on the streets tomorrow clamouring for this RM1 petrol price hike.