(Adam: Look papa, prices going up again!)
It is beginning to look like an unstoppable juggernaut that is going to crush the life out of everybody. The Star yesterday reported that Perak is going to affect a 15% increase in water rates. Of course, there's the mandatory 'it will not affect the lower income group' disclaimer attached to the announcement. And that usually translates to "if you ration your water consumption to 2 cups a day you'll be fine". And if it's Perak this time we can bet it won't be long before everybody also kena one.
Water rates going up means everything else follows, right? Even more so than petrol and electricity rate hikes. Think about it. Your teh tarik is going to cost more even if you drink it sitting under a coconut tree and tokking kok with your friends by the light of the moon. Those Ipoh flers won't be able to enjoy their Ipoh chicken with taugay at old prices even if the shop owner switched off all the lights and fans and used a wood fire to cook his chicken and beansprouts (which need a lot of water to grow). And don't even think of asking, "Boss, glass of cold water, boss" from the coffee shop/mamak stall owner and expect to get it free or at a nominal 10 or 20 sen.
If this water rates increase spreads to other states (I say 'IF' and not 'WHEN" to make you feel a little better for a little while la) beer drinkers will cry also. Main ingredient in beer? Water. Oh yes, teetotallers please learn to drink warm cola's at your favorite burger joints. Ice? You got to be kidding.
And then ah...if pay more for water and the H2O you get is clean and drinkable, it would be easier to bear. But pay more for tap water and then still have to buy filters and bottle water for drinking. Eh brudder, that's a bit too much la.
And that's another thing that we Malaysians have stomach-ed much too easily. Those flers have been very sneaky la. Just think about it. How long ago was it that we have potable water from our taps? When did they start getting you into the practice of buying and using expensive water filters in your home?
Did they make any noise about us having to pay for and NOT get clean water?
No, right? Why?
But they sure made a lot of noise about a musical documentary about some old geezer named Chin. They sure spent a lot of time debating scenic bridges. They even suggested the 'noble' offer to satisfy the sexual needs of single and divorced women.
On another note, the DPM's call for us to change our lifestyle recently didn't really worry me too much. Until yesterday.
I was at the supermarket buying milk for my kids. As I walked out of the store I noticed these 2 flers who'd set up a stall selling durians. You know the ones. They open the durians and pack the seeds for you in shrink wrap and polystyrene trays. I am no fan of the King of Fruits but out of curiousity I went over and checked it out. I pointed at a pack containing just 3 seeds of a durian. "How much, boss?"
I admit that I have not bought a durian for years but I don't ever remember durians costing that kind of money. Okay so they also take the fun out of opening the thorny baargers and pack it for you. But RM10 for 3 seeds???!!! Not so long ago I remember my friend Donald's durian stall in SS2 Petaling Jaya offering ALL you can eat for RM10! A friend told me that if I wanted those packed durians I should wait until the supermarket's closing time. They will sell them cheap then cos they can't keep them overnight. Is that true? Another friend told me that changing lifestyles doesn't mean everybody changes down. That durian seller sure must be changing his lifestyle upwards selling at those prices. Hahahaha... I'm not laughing.
So you think I am being naive and unrealistic? No. I mean I am not so naive as to believe that prices will always stay the same. Sure prices of goods and services will go up. It's an inevitable fact of life. But we continue to get the same shit but pay higher and higher prices. Mana boleh beb?