Friday, June 13, 2008

A subsidized mentality......

Tomorrow is Friday the 13th. According to news report, there will be a mass protest in downtown Kuala Lumpur. The protest is organized by GERAMM, a coalition of people who are against the recent petroleum price hike. GERAMM said, it will be a peaceful protest. In this regard, I do hope the Police and the Federal Reserve Unit can exercise extreme care not to irritate the protesters. Maybe the police and FRU should refrain from confronting the protesters head-on, but conduct a very discipline crowd control to ensure the protesters the passage of way to conduct the protest peacefully as originally intended by the protesters. After all, we are a civilized country having great respect for freedom of assembly and expression. Aren't we ?

Friday the 13th is also a very superstitious day for a lot of people. So, let us pray that no untowards or negatively extraordinary things happen tomorrow. The recent petroleum price hike of 41% is extreme high, and a lot of people are caught unprepared to face this man made stupidity. Naturally, people are extremely frustrated because they are unprepared to deal with this higher costs of living and and its subsequent after shocks. I do hope the authority show some compassion on these protesters, give them the avenue and free passage of way to express their frustrations and anxieties peacefully.

On the other hand, our mentality and addiction for subsidies know no limits. Where else in the world you can find petrol subsidy, rice subsidy, sugar subsidy, cooking oils subsidy, flour subsidy, housing subsidy, education subsidy, and so on. To enable our locally manufactured lesser quality car to sell well, we imposed heavy duty on imported cars, another form of subsidy in disguise. At the end of the day, we may also need subsidy to raise our children. Who knows, eventually, even our faith in God also need to be subsidized. The government was not elected to only manage prices of goods or play preferential treatments. We elect them to managed today resources to achieve tomorrow results with strategies and action plans. The manipulations of prices should be left to the morons who think they are smarter than the market forces.

Come to think of it, sooner or later, we all have to shed our reliance on subsidies. We simply can't go on living like parasites depending on this subsidy or that subsidy. But having said that, we are also living in a managed economy where the prices of essential items are controlled by the government. And petroleum happened to be a basic necessity and essential items for all Malaysians. Therefore, the right thing to do is, the government should refrained from enforcing selective subsidy schemes. Either we implement complete subsidies, or remove all form of subsidies completely.

When a person can afford to buy a house costing hundred of thousands of ringgits, why the rest are obliged to subsidize him with a 10% discount ? Robbing the poor to enrich the rich ? Why academically less competent scholars are allowed places and scholarships at the expense of more competent scholars ? Our best brain are drained to other countries at young age, while the not so talented are left behind to be the jaguh kampung. How can the country survive in the long run with no pool of best talents ? I can go on and on with my biased perception of what I think is inappropriate. But I am not going to waste my breaths harping and spewing negativities. I know, what ever condition or situation I am in, I will play by the rules, adapt, and contribute positively to the financial well being of the country. Because I am so used to live my life in Malaysia without any subsidy, hand-outs, or preferential treatment. Lacked of opportunity and scarcity made me a stronger man. I am a patriot, not a parasite.

We have been depending on subsidies and preferential treatments in all sort of excuses for too long to the extend that we are no longer competitive and productive. In fact, some of us even think that parasitic and rent seeking demands at the expense of other hardworking and law abiding Malaysians are our birth rights.

Removing petrol subsidies is painful to a lot of Malaysians. But we have to start some where to remove all form of subsidies, price control, and preferential treatments. For healthy and sustainable growth, we should practice a free, fair, and open economy to encourage productivity, competitiveness, and meritocracy. Let the market establish its equilibrium, where supply meets demands, and where meritocracy sustain competitiveness and productivities.

The economic reality is, we are all now in a sinking boat with shrinking cake. We must all come together, and work together to find our strategic posture to survive as a united nation. Let us not be blinded by short term comfort at the expense of long term extinction. As much as I am angered with the recent petrol price hike. I know, the sooner I adapt to this new reality, the stronger I will become. I stand on my two feet with pride without any hand-outs and subsidies from the government. While I play my part to adapt and contribute to the well being of Malaysia, I sincerely hope the government is also guided by moral and ethical values to play fair by eventually removing all form of subsidies, be it in the form of preferential treatments or unfair allocation of resources. let's us treat all Malaysians fairy irregardless of race, religion, class, creed, or whatsoever.

Yes, I am an oxymoron. On one hand, I am angry with the price increase of petrol and electricity. But I am also a rational man knowing very well that continued reliance on subsidies will eventually turn the nation into a fertile bed breeding bunch of shameless parasites. So, bring it on, and face the reality now. Why waste your time and breaths behaving like cry babies and participating in mass protests kow-pek kow-booing our grievances.

Life is short. NO BODY OWES US A LIVING. Get real, get a life, work harder to overcome obstacles........

Latest from various sources

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (Map, News) - More than 1,000 opposition supporters marched through Malaysia's largest city Friday in the biggest public show of anger over the government's decision to dramatically raise fuel prices.... Read Malaysians march to protest fuel hike.

KUALA LUMPUR: Some 2,000 protesters marched through the Malaysian capital Friday in the largest of a series of demonstrations against last week's steep fuel price hike. Read Thousands protest fuel price hike in Malaysia

1 comment:

Ipoh Coffee said...

Have you had your white coffee?

The word "subsidy" has been brandished by the BN government as if it has so generously helped the rakyat and in doing so incurred losses. This simple example will help to clarify the situation:

Ahmad is a fisherman. He sells a fish to you at $10 which is below the market value of $15. Let's assume that he caught the fish from the abundance of the sea at little or no cost. Ahmad claims that since the market value of the fish is $15 and he sold you the fish for $10, he had subsidised you $5 and therefore made a loss of $5.

Question : Did Ahmad actually make a profit of $10 or loss of $5 which he claimed is the subsidy?

Ahmad makes a profit of $10 which is the difference of the selling price ($10) minus the cost price ($0 since the fish was caught from the abundance of the sea). There is no subsidy as claimed by Ahmad.

Had Ahmad not caught the fish himself but purchased it from another person at the market price ($15), then he is right in claiming that he had made a loss of $5 (Selling price $10 –cost $15) which is the amount of the subsidy.

The BN government claims that it is a subsidy because the oil produced by Petronas is kept separated and treated as somebody else's property (you know who). By right, the oil belongs to all citizens of the country and the government is a trustee for the citizens. So as in the above simple
example, the BN government cannot claim that it has subsidised the