Thursday, October 09, 2014

When "Menteri-Menteri bongok" wrongly explained as "good for government"

Image that has gone viral

Within the week the fuel rationalisation to raise petrol pump price by 20 sen was announced, two notable Tan Sris expressed an alarming opinion that the government could not be relied upon to help solve many of the nation and rakyats' woes and needs.

One is of the view that government is only there to serve only corporate interest and not "rakyat didahulukan" as per the campaign slogan for GE13. He went on to say that Dato Najib's political fate lies with the upcoming budget, which opposition has already tried to put down.

Wrong budget and it is the end of Najib and BN.

Both the Tan Sris seemed to share a common view that the government is under the power oligarchy of ruling elites, civil and Chinese taukeh which only serves the interest of business and corporate, including government and multinational corporation. 

It must have took the two government loyalist Tan Sris long period of observation to come to that conclusion. The public sentiment arising from the pre-Eidil Adha fuel rationalisation announcement serve to confirm their view.

The perception problem is compounded by "Menteri-menteri bongok", as one Whats App received described, explaining fuel rationalisation and GST as good for government without showing sensitivity to the rakyat.

What they should have said

They should have explained that the fuel rationalisation is meant to stop foreigners and profit driven companies abused the subsidy meant for the rakyat.

In the days of old, government had to spend merely about RM2 billion a year on fuel subsidy but today it is RM23 billion a year. Much of it, circa RM9 billion is lost due to smugglingaactivities to foreigners clients.

But, do not give excuse like our coastline borders are too open to encroachment and smuggling activities, it only opens the ruling party to criticism of corruption when all along it is civil servants in customs, KPDNKK and others are the ones with their hands in the pie.

Admit that it had got out of hand. Do not deny and claim it is under control when public can see openly the smuggling activities. Then admit that the only choice left is to rid off the price differential.

However, the public must be assured to still receive subsidised fuel through a new scheme using Mykad, in which only citizens can have access to subsidised fuel. Foreigners living in this country or coming through the border cannot get subsided fuel.

Assure the public that the selection of the system to be used will be transparent and open public tender. There is no rent seeking arrangement of over-riding commission on fuel paid by the public to the system provider. Government must own the system, has the source code and operates it themselves.

Hopefully, the "Menteri-Menteri bongok" maintain the same price level because subsidy spent will be drastically reduced by a focused distribution.

That way the public support the government if they say no one should be profiteering from subsidised fuel for the people, which is basically government sharing nation's wealth with the people. Emphasise subsidy for business people to profit from will stop.

Quote the amount of subsidy used by private sector and foreign companies.

Subsidy to IPPs and indirectly Tan Sri Francis Yeoh's palace is heard to total RM19 billion and not added to the RM23 billion statistic bandied around. Since IPPs will affect energy prices, another inflation sensitive component, government has to think of a way to address it.

What they should not be saying

The problem started when Dato Wahid Omar was busily saying the mean monthly income is RM5,900 and it is now on the rise. Hooray ... high income model works, at least for the upper class!!!

It wasn't long ago that Wahid said to the effect that more than 70% of Malaysians are earning below RM3,000. Probably there is a factual correction needed but the gist is the two statistics are different economic indicators but government ended looking inconsistent.

Being seen as inconsistent will negate any facts or arguments presented.

One reason public got emotional about the fuel rationalisation is because the 20 sen increase was explained with the same recycled argument by "Menteri-Menteri bongok."

It shows grave insensitivity and poor understanding on the part of government on the plight of the common rakyat. Najib gets the blame as being too distanced from the rakyat plight. [Read this FB comment by Saiful Nang that has gone viral here]

They should not be repeating the same argument that our fuel is still cheaper compared to other countries, including poor Cambodia and the  same old process of fuel pricing structure.

They should not insult the public intelligecet to say it is not fuel price increase but reduction in subsidy. The Minister may not be intelligent but he does have to show to the public.

Surely such cliche as "rakyat harus bersyukor" in the midst of public tsunami of anger is an act of stupidity at its extreme. Neither does it offer comfort to quote hadith on documented incidents of Prophet Muhammad being posed with the issue of rising prices.

Splashing out statistics and telling the government could re-channel the subsidy to government projects is also a no-no. It does not take opposition but rakyat at the warung could conclude that "Ha ... rakyat have to pay so that cronies get contracts."

Missed priorities

True, we have to do things differently and the nation can go bankrupt as what Dato Idris Jala used to say. But what are our priorities?

Dato Idris Jala's economic planning Pemandu unit is preaching that but what his outfit is doing is merely is similar to Investment Banker rearranging corporate balance sheet. They are too gng ho without much thought to do balancing by boosting economic growth and consider it's drastic impact on the rakyat.

Nation building through the economy is about creating economic activities and new growth sectors, not just more infrastructure, construction and properties as what local businessmen and institutional investors are too engrossed in domestically and overseas.

It is about building industries, competencies, capability, jobs, knowledge, sustainability, continuity, entrepreneurship, and all for a long term social nation building agenda.

Instead every new Ministers and Prime Ministers, BN or PR are interested in building personal legacies. Their speech writers and press secretaries wrote glowing coffee table books which potrays their boss as another statesman.

Not only growth has been long foresaken and plight of the rakyat ignored for corporate interest these days, the elite economic planners at Pemandu with their expensively assembled foreign branded consultants are more interested in dreaming as being world players.

It reflects the unrealistic expectation of the urbane Kuala Lumpur.

Failure to understand

Many failed to realise that the public's seemingly unrealistic reaction to the fuel rationalisation is not about not appreciating the fact that our subsidy spending has grown too much.

It is not about them being too much of a masyarakat subsidi, although there is truth that the long years of pampering during the time of plenty has turned Malaysians into one. Malaysians complain a lot and over petty issues.

More so in these times when everyone are so partisan that quite a big segment are criticising for the sake of criticising because of their hate for Barisan Nasional or they refuse to rationalise and just want another government.

One misfortune of Malaysia is a large segment of Malaysian are too kiasu and selfish about themselves. Their understanding of  patriotism tend to be self-centred.

Frankly, the 20 sen increase is not significant dent on their budget. There are more pressing and priorities issues such as rakyat's housing. So the real reason public is angry lies in their fear for uncontrolled rise in prices of other goods.

The public will not want to believe any denials or attempt to present statistics. They are more in tune than the Ministers. So it does not help when some chicken branded Minister say we are monitoring the situation.

The public knows the government cannot do anything. The economic oligarchy has dominated the distribution system that government sincere intention to help rakyat through such things as GST and price control will be sabotaged by them or lost in translation.


Najib is too high up in the social echelon to understand how rising prices is so uncontrollable.

One businessman confided that he is more careful with his budget these days. He reduced buying from three ikan merah to only one fish per week in his weekly trip to the wet market since the price  rose from RM18 to RM28. It is pointless to tell them that CPI is few percentages only.

Most discouraging part is Najib may not realise that underlying the emotional reaction is the subliminal distrust in the ability of current government to administer and manage the country.

Najib may have done much effort but he is perceived as being dictated by what the people and advisers around him say and unable to check on them. They is a growing believe amongst the public that Najib is not in charge and has lost control of government because too many obvious problem, particular his appointments, seemed to pass him by.

It is maybe quite unfair since he is has already spread himself thin and saddled with too many issues to address which he could not rely upon to his team of Ministers to do.

Political observer see government failed to realise that BN is still not in a position of political strength to make drastic people sensitive decisions despite the upset at Telok Intan, wider majority in Pengkalan Kubor, Selangor state leadship and problems and within and among opposition parties.

All it takes is increasing fuel price, begin GST and the political focus and pressure returns back to BN.

If Budget failed to truly address problems in basic needs, UMNO and BN is finish.

* Edited 9:45 PM


Anonymous said...

The pressure cooker is slowly boiling. Everything is in place for the lid to come off in GE14.

Pakatan Rakyat will gain more seats but not the federal government. Expect Selangor, Penang & Kelantan to be retained with Perak joining them, Terengganu maybe.

Johor is slowly going there.

Unknown said...

Not just menteri is bongok,PM is bongok too.Kalau PM tak bongok he will not be that easy to take advise from the BONGOK adviser

BruHaha said...

With all these ultra-bongoks still around, we can say goodbye to BN come GE14.

However, Wahid has opened the pandora box by speaking the truth about pro-capitalists govt policies.

The PM hears but is not listening. He failed to blend into the sentiments within the grass roots.

Malaysian public is making less noise nowadays. But that may not be necessarily good news for the government because less noise means more thinking.

The public is just fed-up. That is really bad... bad news.

I consider myself as pro-establishment but my instinct says BN will vanish after GE14.

Mark my words.

Joe Rizal Praha2 said...

Wassalam. Tigo oran ni macam Tigo Abdul-filem arahan Arwarh P>Rmlee. Tu lah Malkaysia kucar kacir tak tento arah. PM is clueless the TPM knows nothing -the cabinet is wingless not knowing where to fly and what to say.
Ini lah yang dikatokan oran buto meminpin oran colik. H ha ha.

Joe Rizal Praha2 said...

Wassalam. Tigo oran ni macam Tigo Abdul-filem arahan Arwarh P>Rmlee. Tu lah Malkaysia kucar kacir tak tento arah. PM is clueless the TPM knows nothing -the cabinet is wingless not knowing where to fly and what to say.
Ini lah yang dikatokan oran buto meminpin oran colik. H ha ha.

Anonymous said...

We are becoming like Ghana. One teh tarik in Ghana RM10.00.

salleh said...

Agree. Finish. Skrg bn and pr are equal. Both x boleh pakai. Pening mau pilih parti mne pru14 nnti.

Anonymous said...

Well said.
However i m hoping that the budget is splendid to the rakyat. However if the govt still hv menteri bongok who is unable to reach and communicate to rakyat - whats the use of a good budget.

moral of story

a. Govt must realize rakyat aspiration. listen, feel and act.

b. Get rid of menteri bongok. Gaji and elaun tinggi nak. Govt deserved smart MPs and ministers.


Anonymous said...

Padan muka hampa semua.Dulu pr janji untuk rakyat hampa kata pembohong.Sudah.itulah akibat jadi penyokong BN.Bongok macam Najib juga.Kami dah tau kerajaan BN menipu dari tahun 1998 lagi.Hampa manusia bebal.Melayu bodoh jenis pariah.kami melayu yang tak terkesan dengan kebodohan Najib.Sebab kami naik dengan usaha kami sendiri,bukan macam penyamun-penyamun umno.Padan muka.hampa semua boleh pi maposs la..

NAJIBbongok said...

These BONGOK TRIO of PUNAHSEHAT were chosen by the most BONGOK prime minister! Dont blame much to them but but mr Najib Bongok blurr man should the one to be punished, pull him off the chair, save UMNO BN from further damage!!

NAJIBbongok said...

These BONGOK TRIO of PUNAHSEHAT were chosen by the most BONGOK prime minister! Dont blame much to them but but mr Najib Bongok blurr man should the one to be punished, pull him off the chair, save UMNO BN from further damage!!

Anonymous said...

A similar senerio at one kmentrian Karajan .
A pengarah doesn't know how to make decisions.
Keputusan pengarah d buat oleh pembntu tadbir nyer.
The pembntu tadbir gives advice n the bonggok pengarah just follow whatever is convenient.
The pengarah Takut untk membuat keputusan sndiri
Pengarah yg pengecut n timid.
Kesian Kesian Kesian


Peon di putrajaya said...

Najib is the type of person who is afraid to take the responbility in making any decision himself and rely a lot on his close advisor ie idris jala, amokh, wahid omar and omar ong in his cabinet while in umno he depend on kunan, jj and dato rauf.

And these are the bongok advisor that najib depend on while the bongok menteris and umno MT just follow .

Dolla Badawi is much smarter as he leave all the decision to his cabinet or Umno MT while KJ and and the 4th floor boys act as his advisor to accept or not

Anonymous said...

and anwar, hadi, guan eng can do better ?

doubt it very much.

have to agree that we need to build industries, knowledge, high value-adding activities in the REAL economy.

bukan paper shuffling and corporate trickery. inovasi 'tin kosong'. podah khzanah and gang. real value haprak.

and cut the crap about not able to monitor the boundaries. we have well equipped people like police, army, rela etc, etc. just catch those blardy smugglers and cut their b+*$s off.!

Anonymous said...

I live in JB and I know what is going on rite now at most pump stations here in this city; the Sporean is bribing the pump attendent mostly the banglas to get access to ron 95. It just cost them 10 or 20 ringgit!

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