Malaysians are probably the most spoiled people on earth.Their subsidy mentality never seemed to end.Not only have they become too dependent on government's subsidies they have also become a thankless lot.
Maybe, Malaysians should be constantly reminded of John Kennedy's famous "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country." Malaysians insatiable appetite for subsidies and corruptions would one day bankrupt the nation.
The Malaysian government subsidised anything from sugar,cooking oil to cooking gas, petrol and diesel.The list is not exhaustive.There are many other crutches provided by the government and Malaysians have taken it as their God's given right and not see it as a privilege.
The sorry state of this subsidy mentality is the fault of politicians and the government.It has now become extremely difficult to remove the subsidies without offending the rakyat and a probable backlash in the next general elections which the government is trying best to avoid by succumbing to the political blackmail.
This wanting to please the rakyat, an overture now getting even more ridiculous by a new set of proposals and the likely implementation of "Robbing Peter to pay Paul" policy in the new pricing mechanism for petrol and diesel making it appears that the government has ran out of sound economic ideas.There was no indication how the government going to police the system.
Without any offence to honest Malaysians, with the low level of honesty in this country, the system would be opened to abuse.The same that happened to all the subsidised commodities, through smuggling to neighbouring countries, would happen again.Unwittingly, the government or for that matter Malaysian taxpayers are also subsiding the Thais and Indonesians bordering this country.
This time the poor would sell the cheap fuel to their richer friends and families.Unless, the government have in mind a wartime type of quota to stop abuse.It would than makes the country looks like a third world country run by a tin-pot dictator.
The Malaysian government is living dangerously.When the black gold stopped flowing from the asses of the earth on our soils, we would be so screwed financially, the whole economic structure may collapse in a flash.Almost 40 percent of our budget comes from oil revenue.
It's about time the government remove the pricking pain, once and for all, abolish all subsidies particularly petrol and diesel.The two-tier pricing system is not going to make anyone happier but would open the doors to more abuse.
If the government is seriously concerned about the welfare of the poor and those living below the poverty line, it's probably cheaper and makes more sense to give them direct benefits, putting cash directly in their hands rather than spoiling the whole nation with various kind of subsidies.
Proposal to introduce GST is a move in the right direction.This would make tax collections more efficient and compensate some of the losses through evasion and avoidance by legal manipulations.
I just came back from Vietnam and Cambodia.The price of premium petrol in Cambodia is US$1.01 per liter.Malaysia, a much richer country with better standard of living pampered its citizens with cheap petrol, diesel and hosts of other things.