Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush...

(Adam: Oh no! Not that same story again, papa...I mean Pak Lah. YAWN!)

Everytime there is a price increase on anything the Malaysian raayat get the same tired old excuses from politicians and people whom they have voted to give the mandate to manage their lives in this country. In The Star March 1, 2006, Prime Minister Badawi was quoted as saying that the estimated RM4.4 billion in fuel subsidy saved will be spent to improve the public transportation system. Is it just me or has that been said so often it sounds like a broken record? Well, savings from reducing fuel subsidies go to improving public transportation system. Increases in power tariffs will be for improving something else and so on and so forth. But as we all know Malaysia's public transportation system is still a joke.

Like I've said before it isn't the price increase that I am personally pissed off about. It is the way it was announced and implemented. Sure, we all knew that a price hike was imminent. They'd hinted at it often enough that unless you're really stupid you would know that it was inevitable and prepared in your own ways to deal with it. But why does it always have to be increase first then talk about the plans to deal with repercussions? Why can't it be plan first, increase and then put mitigation plans into effect.

So the Prime Minister says the money saved will be used to improve public transportation. So? How is it going to be used? When? Who? Where? It’s not like they have spent time planning an efficient public transport system, estimated how much it will cost and then get the money from the lowering of the fuel subsidy. It’s almost like somebody came to the realisation that ooops! We can’t afford to pay all these subsidies anymore so let’s withdraw some of it and then tell everybody that we’re going to do something nice for them with the money saved. But of course, since we didn’t plan on what to do really. We’ll leave the money on paper and I am sure that sometime in the near future we’ll need a couple of submarines or a fleet of jet fighters. Or some highway will need repairing. Improving public transport? Oh yeah…forgot about that didn’t we? Hmmm…when can we make the next announcement about withdrawing some more fuel subsidies?

Alright. To be fair to my favourite Prime Minister I am sure that there were plans made to use the money from the subsidies to improve public transportation or whatever. Just for once I, as a voting, tax paying member of the raayat, would like to be told about what exactly those plans are. Not just that money will be spent. Can ah? Not much to ask is it?

And this morning when I read The Star I was really ‘too larn’ la (damn pissed off).

While we are all still reeling from the 30 sen increase in fuel prices and anticipating a total upheaval of our budgets, our Deputy Prime Minister in his infinite wisdom has seen it fit to ‘advise’ us on how to spend our money wisely! Change lifestyle, he said. Hullo, Mr. Deputy Prime Minister we know that already. We’re not stupid and we’re not your little children. Now, how about you telling us in some sensible detail what YOU plan to do with the extra money? When are you going to show us in action what has been promised? Najib said that one change in lifestyle which Malaysians had to make was to accept public transport. Accept? What the fuck does that mean? That we accept that the Malaysian public transportation system SUCKS? We accepted that already that's why we have cars that consume petrol that now costs 30 sen more. When was the last time he took public transport? Does he realise that LRT’s don’t connect? Does he know that there are not enough car parks at LRT stations so that commuters can leave their cars and train it to work? Does he know that most public transport is not disabled friendly? Does he know that KL is NOT a pedestrian friendly city?

Oh yes, did you read this bit in the Star article today? The DPM said, “Some ministers have told me that they use the light rail transit to go for functions.” Really? What’s Najib been smoking?

Actually, The Star today is full of tragically funny stories.

“Don’t Raise Fares” says the Entrepreneur and Cooperative Development Minister to all commercial vehicles, public transport and lorry operators. Okay. So who's going to pay for the 30 sen increase in my fuel costs? No what the YB meant was don't increase unreasonably. Okay. Why didn't you do some homework and tell us exactly what we can raise when you announced the 30 sen hike? Would have made life easier for everyone, right? Of course, then you won't have chance to make press statement la. Too bad they didn't put your photo in the article la. Maybe save cost in printing lor.

Meanwhile, we’re also going to have to deal with KL taxi drivers and their sour faces and their “Tak mahu pegi sana. Jam la”, “Mahu pegi Puduraya dari Jalan Petaling ah? RM30.00 la. Takda meter.” And this time I won’t blame them.

On page N6 some big shot has called for a study on the impact of the fuel price increase. Another study. How many millions will that take out of the savings from reduced fuel subsidies? Dunno. Don’t care also. Must study what.

Apply for fleet card, transport operators urged wor. That story is on page N6. Apparently, they get a discount on diesel. But “HULLO” shouldn’t this have been put in place before the increase? While at it, what about the above mentioned taxi flers? Petrol and gas prices go up by 20% but their meter rate is still the same? So how to put smiles on taxi drivers faces for the tourists? Okay la, we shall think about increasing your meter rate but in the meantime you just continue fleecing tourists and pissing off locals lor. After all that is part of our Malaysian mystique ma.

Ho hum!

Wait, a nightmarish thought just struck me. What if they lumped that proposed multi-billion Ringgit crooked bridge to nowhere under public transportation system? Oh NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Okay, okay....calm down now. What's the worse that can happen? Withdraw some more subsidy lor. Then how? Change your lifestyle la. You deaf ah?


blinka.Li said...

uncle, people 5mins chicken poo poo heat also u so kek sim (sakit hati) for what? they say rancang rancang lo!they rancang also never do anything one. Pedestrian friendly ah? Just build walkway not much money to make somemore not glamor wor..u think they use public transport, hullo, they dont even know the word traffic jam. Polis tahan here there, somemore can speed like ambulance ar! U know what, just maybe we should flood the whole KL if not the whole country la, then use sampan to work somemore hor, no need to worry about flood! tourist attraction somemore!!!! this garment argh!

Egghead said...

might as well put forward a proposal so that no one need to travel to office... use all the subsidy savings to invest in high-speed network... resolves many many problems with that!!

those useless flers up there... deserves a boot up their ass lah... moreoever... we are paying for their petrol usage everywhere they go... damn them! and they call it a life-style!

cronoz said...

yeah rite. Improving public transport. LOL. I heard that since they terminate bas mini services middle 1990's. Till now, sorry to say but Malaysia public transport still in deep shit. Now they want to use excess money of MYR4.4b to improve public transport. Hahahhahaha. Dreamers.

KK said...

Dear Patrick, you have spoken for the grassroots.

Our de'pui'ty PM's remark was totally uncalled for and it was like adding salt to the deep cut wound. Change what lifestyle? Most of us don't even have a life to begin with!
I would like to invite Najib to take a LRT and come to visit the grassroots to see for himself how life is. I am a small business owner and I can tell you things are not looking good. And I can bet you in another 3 months time, the finance companies will be so busy repossessing back a lot of cars from the loan defaulters. Perhaps we should advise those vultures (tow truck companies) to solicit biz from the finance companies now and make some middleman money.
I sure hope the RM1 billion saving wouldn't be used to build more stupid monuments & fountains at roundabouts so that Malaysia's Book of Records can make a fool out of us again.
kek sim lah come to think of the whole thing.

Anonymous said...

Dear Patrick,
DPM said change lifestyle? WELL SAID . from pauper to beggar !
probably he should change hislah. try not going for free function dinners , pay his own and take public transport then.baru dia tahu. all his life anak menteri, mana ada suffer ?
I'm already driving a 1982 proton -cannot even upgrade to Gen 2 ??
Melaka -no LRT / no monorail what public transport ?
all ministers i'm sure are with cars and petrol provided, right.
entak apa punya nasib , Malaysia ini.
Yang menteri x2 , lagi lah kaya, rakyat mati kena "cancer naik harga "

wani said...

well ,fuck the DPM. he doesn't know a thing about his rakyat. easy for him to say " change your lifestyle", it's not his lifestyle that will be affected but ours(err..i mean my parents and yours too). the govt focuses on the development of klang valley only, but what about the other areas, like segamat, where i'm studying? for god's sake, every malaysian pays tax, so why can't they do something about it?

nimble912 said...

Kudos Patrick for putting the hammer to the nail. Our public transport? Bah! Hum Bug!!! Look at the blardy state of our so called public buses!! They dont stay new and well oiled to run efficiently for long. To deliberate and critique the state of our public transportation network in country, one can write a thesis on it.

Lets not forget the power tariff increase that is just around the bend. Not long after the increase in power tariff, we'll probably see more increases to our water supply (need electricity to run the processes wat!). This again is another issue that one can scrutinise. While its true that TNB has not increased their tariff rates (since 97?), it does not take a rocket scientist to question the justification for the increase now given that they have continued to publish "profits" year after year. Thats 1.2B for 2005 and 813M for 2004!!! The layman can jolly well be asking, "Eh macha!! Making money wat. Still want to increase some more?"

Alas, all these increases (petrol, diesel, power, interest rates, etc) are gonna add burden on the business environment and us consumers in general. When the pressure becomes too great and loan defaulters start to rise, who is gonna bail out those blood sucking bankers? Don't worry!!!! There's this 4b worth of savings from the reduced petrol subsidy that our gahmen still don't have a clue on how use it for ma.

Alas, while everything is on the up and up, Why my gaji no up??!! Alamak......CCB KNN kiam siap bosses!!!!

FireAngel said...

Public transportation system = MAS

BWHhAHahEHAehAHEaheHAEH... ahem.

i've just said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
KHMER said...

I think I know what the 4.4b will used for.Paying for all the billboards that read "Subsidi Kerajaan meringankan beban rakyat; Anda membayar RM1.62/liter."

Now should read "Subsidi Kerajaan meringankan beban rakyat; Anda membayar =RM1.62=(use paper to cover) RM1.92/liter."

KHMER said...

BTW "Tough action against those who raise prices" says Datuk Mohd Shafie Apdal.

How about the Niahmah-ment that increase the price of petrol by rm0.30?what action will be taken against them?

but look at the bright side,we got another entry in the Malaysia book of records for "Most number of rakyat screwed everytime there is a price increase"

nimble912 said...

Malaysia boleh ma

Ann said...

So the DPM tells Malaysians to change their lifestyles. That's rich. Instead of insulting their intelligence, he should lead by example: travel by public transport and give up all those taxpayer-funded perks. Only then would he have earned the right to dispense such advice; otherwise he should just stick it where the sun doesn't shine.

Oh, but I forget; this is Malaysia, the land of "do as I say, not as I do"; a place where the notion that elected officials must earn people's respect and trust is alien. When are Bolehlanders going to get off their collective arses and say enough is enough?

patrickteoh said...

Thanks Ann, for putting it so succinctly. Insulting the public's intelligence is now a common practice in Bolehland. Of course, when being insulted in times like these and just after the 30 sen hike really hurts. Well, the DPM did say that he has "heard" that some of his cabinet colleagues use the LRT to travel to functions. Hahahahahahahaha...but of course he only "heard" lah. I think you got it a little wrong there, Ann. In Malaysia elected officials don't earn respect, they DEMAND it.

Bolehlanders get off their arses and say enough is enough? Well, that's not going to happen anytime soon, I'm afraid. Too busy lah, brudder. Have to cari makan la. Waffor want to make trouble isnit?

KHMER said...

When we do stand up,we would most probably just be saying enough is NOT enough to cari makan......

missunderstoodme said...

Patrick, I too have the same views as you are. Everything you wrote is what I have been dreading/mumbling to myself about the fuel price increase. But I don't speak on behalf of me (I don't own a car, but I do drive one) but to those who earned small money to buy a kancil only to be use when there is emergency needs like going the hospital or sending their little children to school so that to shed them from the treacherous malaysian polluted air and hot environment. they really SAVE money like "ikat perut" like hell just to make life a little bit easier for their surviving family. it hurts me to think of how are they coping up with the 20% increase per liter of petrol. we are a developing country, then it just right to say that we should all be living in a better more developed home with all the neccessities FULLFILLED, as compared to what we had some 50 years ago.

It will all just soothe me down if I would know how the saved money will be used instead of telling people to change lifestyle.. (err.. what's a lifestyle?) Which is "no lifestyle at all". How can we tell this to the people in the cabinet? I will just be very happy to hear what are the plans to improve the "never-was-never-will" reliable public transport. It will be truly remarkable if someday I would be more than happy to leave my car at home and take bus to go to work ;)

Anonymous said...

Here are some bumper stickers I'd like sell for 30 sen each. Anyone interested?









melurian said...

What's wrong with LRT ? The train still ok mah, quite puntual, so what's wrong with that ?

Billy said...

I just have to say this. For many years, the public transportation were managed by independent companies owned by the Chinese and Indians. They were not very efficient but I can always be assured that they will arrive at my bus stand to pick me to go to work. Sometimes, they would be a few minutes late but it was tolerable. The buses were old but they were certainly making money despite the poor infrastructure in the city. In the housing estate where I am staying, the buses promptly would arrive at an hour interval to pick up the passengers. However, some smarty pants in the government decided to nationalise the public transport system by having them housed under a bumiputra consortium; and you know what happened? The buses now never arrived to pick up passengers and they have been reporting losses eversince. It is just simply mindboggling. If UMNO cannot run this business why venture into it and make the rakyat suffer? Now they are paying the price and if I were them instead of coming out with more stupid ideas to improve the system, hand back the buses back to its original owners and allow them to operate independently.

Anonymous said...

Methinks the Deputy PM must be so used to the lifestyles of the rich and famous, with someone always there to open doors for you, no need to fork out cash for daily expenses like bus fare, taxi fare, lunch, dinner ... all settled by card or his personal assistant? For him to suggest a change of lifestyle shows that his reality must be so different from the everyday people's. It'd be interesting to interview an ordinary guy for the adjustments he'd have to make because of inflation (Chow Kit road bazaar for clothes), and ask the DPM about HIS lifestyle change - that is, if the increases even affects him (no more savile row suits?).

simpleton said...

I don't if anyone remebers , but Najib is the same Idiot who advised students to go for a buzzcut back in the mid nineties and sparked my dumbass principle to go on a short hair crusade. Shit , these morons send their kids to swanky private schools and they tell us how to bloody live. Shit

simpleton said...

What next , a one child per family policy like China...sure as hell don't know how lower income are gonna afford all this

xaviers said...

Hey maybe that is what Change lifestyle means... have less kids.

fujiwara shun said...

hey Pat. didn't know you had a blog going on. boy, sure missed your voice over the airwaves back 4 (perhaps)?

nevermind, the past. i absolutely enjoyed your blog...had me laughing out loud (almost but not yet in stiches). but like they say, this malaysia what...

good on ya mate...