Friday, May 28, 2010

Cuts Cannot be Limited to Subsidies

DAP says cuts cannot be limited to subsidies
By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal May 27, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR, May 27 — DAP’s Tony Pua grudgingly admitted today that cutting subsidies could lower Malaysia’s debts, but he said the cuts will only be successful if leakages from graft and help for big corporations are plugged first.

“I feel that in general, the points raised were agreeable. But at the same time, these plans can only be put into motion if other conditions are first met.

“He (Datuk Seri Idris Jala) was quite naughty when he said that Pakatan Rakyat (PR) agreed with lowering subsidies. We agree to it but with conditions,” DAP National Publicity Secretary Tony Pua said shortly after he attended a government open day on rationalizing cutting subsidies.

The Petaling Jaya Utara MP told The Malaysian Insider that while the government has outlined ways in which to gradually lessen subsidies, other “main causes of debts” had not been carefully addressed.

According to Pua, the issue of subsidies was a small problem compared to the actual cause of Malaysia’s huge deficit problem.

“The focus right now is too restricted to subsidies to the man on the street. The focus is too much on dealing with subsidies to the man on the street. We need to look at two key aspects,” said Pua.

The DAP man claimed that the main cause of debts was due to huge government expenditure where major problems of wastage of funds and corruption remained unsolved.

“The main cause of debts is government expenditure... this has been admitted by the Auditor-General amounted to RM28 billion. This is the often quoted figure of waste by the government.

“(Besides that) we see things like the giving out of interest free loans to private companies like Syabas, those are examples which must be addressed. Subsidy is only one of the smaller factors,” said Pua.

He reiterated points that DAP and PR had brought up during the last Parliamentary session where there have been “gross leakages” in government procurement contracts. Malaysians were also not granted proper access to some government tenders.

The government said earlier today that it will save RM103 billion over the next five years if it starts to cut subsidies now.

Idris, who is in charge of the Government Transformation Plan (GTP), said Malaysia had a whopping RM362 billion debt and must start reducing subsidies amounting to RM74 billion last year to avoid becoming a bankrupt nation by 2019.

According to the minister, the government had spent a total of RM74 billion on subsidies last year.

Idris outlined areas in which the government could slash its spending on in order to increase the country’s per capita income.

Areas which have been identified include fuel, food and infrastructure as well as tolls.

“The government subsidy bill, it is not just about the amount of money to the man on the street, it is also amount of money given to big corporations, crony companies, if you like.”

“I think IPPs (Independent Power Producers) was highlighted quite well up there, they take about RM13 billion in gas subsidies per year. Compare that against food subsidy bill, RM3.4 billion. Where should the government be focusing their attention on?” said Pua.

Pua stressed that more money could be saved if the government stopped doling out cash to giant corporations.

“A lot of plans proposed today can only take place after certain benchmarks are achieved. You cannot increase electricity rates without first dealing with fat profits IPPs are making.

“If you increase the burden on the people but you maintain the billions of profits for IPPs that would be a very unfair policy, (then)you are creating an additional burden,” he said


danny said...

couldn't agree more. Stop the wastage and corruption first, it is better to subsidizes the people than to have the money saved than to have these cronies pocketing them.

clear conscience said...


You have rightly pointed out to the goons in BN/UMNO that there should firstly go for the big kills and not those that affect the rakyat.

Check the purchases bills of the government such as defense budgets, excesses for public spendings which ultimately benefit the UMNO/BN politicians and the many jacked-up pricely contracts.

Down with BN in PRU13 for getting Malaysia into this situation. It all started with TDM and the goons had followed him blindly (including many still there in BN/UMNO) till today Idris Jala spells out bankruptcy.

What a joke we could be compared to Greece, Spain & Portugal.

Anonymous said...

Not to forget those leakage like PKFZ scandal, and other bailout by the BN government!!!

Not to mentioned the RM hundreds of Billion mentioned by Barry Wain in his book.

What about those RM million wasted on the bi-election?

What about those Billion wasted on those "direct-nego" project?

It becomes the mantra - "government does not have money because we spend them on subsidy..." But this government never blame themselves for the fail policy, bad decision and all those unnecessary bail out.

I am sick and tired to hear the excuse like - oh, we brun too much fuel - but look at our public transport system, the LRT line has never been extended since DR M time and always broke down. Look at the commuter which always like sardine and always broke down too. Look at the bus - it only change name the service level remain the same. Have these minister try to forgo it's luxury fleet of cars and take the public transport for a month to better understand why we burn so much fuel? Why not our KPI minister put KPI on the all these?

Why not our KPI minister put some KPI on the number of corruption cases being solved and the RM being saved? What happen to PKFZ? Why so silence? Not only Melayu mudah lupa, all Cina, India, Iban, semua sudah jangkit penyakit mudah lupa?

Anonymous said...

Subsidies cut? GST?

1. Independent Corruption Agency
3. Get rid of crap Judges
4. Independent Election Commission

If UMNO/BN want their cake, why should we be without OUR cake especially when its so much smaller.

Anonymous said...

Well, no country in this globe will survive on subsidies anymore as a matter of time, no question about it! And, no one owe us any living, we have to fight to survive!!!

But, personal income tax, car import tax and many of those irrelevant taxes have to be reduced or abolished for good. Services have to be improved too.

Apart from that, why there is never a proposal to streamline government departments to cut costs as what most major MNCs and private companies in the developing nations and Malaysia do?

What about reducing the numbers of lawmakers and state legislative representative to make things more effective and efficients? These are all monies and costs. Simply Stupid to push everything back to the rakyat. Bloody irresponsible BN government.

Today is 2010, the rakyat is no longer bodoh.

Unknown said...

I am sure it is not the subsidy that bankcrupt the country.
It is blatant mishandling and abuse of the nation coffers by the BN or any government of the day.
Remember MAS,Renong, Perwaja, Naval Dockyard as well as all other big project awarded to so and so that cost the treasury tens of billion if not hundred. How to account them? Can we bring them to book and held them responsible.
I heard Tun Daim is behind most of them.
Now you tell me that I am sure you can name mega project that the BN government have given to all their cronies just to fleece the rakyat high and dry.
We are paying more for the rice, cars and the spare parts because of the excise duty and high import duties couple with the issuing Aps to all those well connected, in these case their cronies. The BN government give a bit just to bleed you and I the taxpayer and nation coffers is now left with almost nothing and now is telling hey guys it is time for all of you to pay more for all the essential goods.
If having read what is written and we still do nothing about it then we are the most sorry people on earth.
We are not going to be like Zimbabwe but we are Zimbabwe because of the people in power.

Anonymous said...

To Mr Idris,
You are a respected Malaysian personality. Pls think abt the REAL problem of leakages ala 'AliBaba' and FAT subsidies ala 'crony' companies.

These ARE the real problems.

Pls STOP all the wayang kulit!

Peter said...

Dear YB Tony Pua,

I am a Pakatan supporter, but I view news that Pakatan mulls street protests against subsidy with apprehension. I hope Pakatan makes it very clear that Pakatan is not against subsidy cuts per se as there is no doubt that subsidy is not a good thing, but that Pakatan wants the blasted UMNO/BN government to first address leakages, cronyism, patronage and corruption before implementing subsidy cut

Anonymous said...

Since we like hear ekonomi , govt smile on last month consider car sales tax increase but why we cannot smile when petrol subsidy cut which also good for ekonomi .
Rich people own prestige car mostly claim their petrol charges
as company expenses . Still don't affect them but when company expenses increase , bonus to staff will decrease or langsung tak ada
is another year end story , food increase how much is our story ( mee goreng cooker drive car , and when petrol price increase ,
of course mee goreng naik harga ) . Why we can't make some food more cheaper instead every food item more expensive . Not possible for Sime which owns 30% in Tesco ,have policy 0% or only 1% profit for food and beverage item , but inform us cost overrun is almost RM1 billion for four projects .

Anyway , example when we petrol on Shell , the question is Shell still paying company tax to Govt more than petrol subsidy it received , or vice versa .

So far not even UMNO and PAS able to give the correct answer why Allah word ( should use or not to use it ) except our former PM , Pak Lah who explain in Chistian Religion , there is 3 Gods but In Islam Religion , there is only 1 God . Yes , Allah is God but
in my religion , my God is Buddha , not Allah .
So the correct issues is not the word Allah should use or not , but why UMNO give warning to us not using the word since we have our own God based on our religion ?

Is there any relation with God and Gov debt RM362.4 billion ( domestic debts amounting to RM348.6billion ) or 53.7 per cent of the gross domestic product ( GDP ) ? Anyway why Tesco only willing sell bun 30% cheaper after one week but not at the time when it is fresh . May be Msia dont have that kind of heart " Delight the Public " , so no matter how " greedy Msia "
good in calculation but still careless at the end until give two oil-rich areas worth AS$100 ( RM 320 billion ) to Brunei "
Profesional Count , why dont let
the God Count

pearljade said...

cut subsidies, then implement GST...the government think the rakyat all live in luxury bungalow and drive mercedez? subsidies is just a small issue, please address the root cause and bigger problems instead - corruption, over-spend, GLC's deficit, low-cost flat scam etc...

Anonymous said...

Jala's task is reducing subsidies. Leakages in the spending is not under his power. he is also powerless in the leakages problems unless he is the finance minister

sonika said...

i hate politics

Anonymous said...

The govt is censoring the internet