Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Subsidies who is right, Idris atau Kementerian Kewangan


On 27 May 2010 Idris Jala made what could probably be the statement of the year when he said that it is an undisputed fact that Malaysia is one of the most subsidized nations in the world, with a total subsidy of RM74 billion in 2009, equivalent to RM12, 900 per household.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Senator Datuk Seri Idris Jala said this whopping bill can be split into the following subsidy components:

Social – RM42.8 billion

Fuel – RM23.5 billion

Infrastructure - RM4.6 billion

Food (flour, sugar and cooking oil) – RM3.1 billion

The ensuing hoo-hah about Idris’s public statement really fired up politicians on both sides of the political divide with DAP’s Big Chief and defacto Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang having a time of his life taking pot shots at the Government. There was even a very appetizing slogan...Vote BN, Vote for Bankruptcy. Can’t blame the Pakatan people on this one though because Idris Jala took their bait so to speak and Pakatan just have to reel the fish in to be filleted, fried and eaten for lunch.

To cut a long painful story short, the Finance Ministry said on 8 June 2010 that the country’s total subsidy was “only” RM18.6 billion or equivalent to RM3, 246 per household.

The Finance Ministry said that the subsidy components are actually:

Social welfare - RM7.8 billion

Fuel - RM7.1 billion

Infrastructure - RM0.8 billion

Food RM2.9 billion

Even a Standard Six student could see that there is a huge difference between Idris Jala RM74 Billion and The Finance Ministry’s RM18.6 Billion.

There you are friends, One Government but different Agencies coming up with two very different and divergent figures for our annual subsidies. I wonder what the heck is going on. Knock, knock is any one in there?

Well, I suppose the good news is even with the subsidies being continued it looks like we would not go the way of Greece in 2019. Yahoo, that’s a big relief. But I do hope PM Najib will come up with a statement to set the records straight once and for all on these subsidies figures.

Questions will now be asked how the subsidies were calculated and who tweaked the numbers Idris’s PEMANDU or the Finance Ministry or was it just an honest mistake of a few well intentioned number crunchers.

Questions will also be asked whether the humongous gas subsidies for the privately owned money making Independent Power Producers (IPPs) have been taken into account. I like many in Malaysia would like to see the IPP Gas subsidies taken away first before we the ordinary folks suffer the direct subsidy cuts. The IPP owners have been getting fat and rich on the people’s expense for almost 10 years now. This has to stop, the sooner the more votes BN will recover from Pakatan.

The GE13 is not very far away, kejam celik, kejam celik by 2013 a GE will have to be called and the Najib Government should really stop shooting itself in the foot on a regular basis. Ok lah maybe one or two times is acceptable, as humans we do make mistakes but too many, then, the Rakyat will start to think that this BN Government is tempting fate…

.......Here is the latest news from MI, Koh Tsu Koon defended PEMANDU's subsidies figures and he point out that the MOF figures did not for instance include PETRONAS's Petroleum subsidies amounting to RM 12 Billion. read more in MI.

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