Atchafalaya Swamp

Friday, November 9, 2007

Robbing Peter to pay Paul

What did I tell ya?

Finally Pak Lah had the fuel hike issue addressed at the UMNO AGM yesterday. And his advisers had come up with a brilliant plan along the lines of "let's rompak Raju to pay Rahman..."

PL was quoted as saying: "... the present fuel subsidy scheme could not go on as it was costing the Government RM80bil a year".

Yeah, that's old news. So somebody has to pay. But how?

A new subsidy scheme is being looked into where the rich will pay more for fuel and the poor less.”


In my travels around the world I have yet to find a petrol station which discriminates on the basis of their customers tax bracket. Didn't know that a machine had already been invented for this.

But in Malaysia... semua boleh.

Read the original The Star's article
here and here.


Daphne Ling said...

Hi Abang Mat,

I was surprised too...

I can bet we're going to be hearing a lot of 'But our fuel is among the cheapest in the world!'

And the countries compared to will be countries with GDP and/or GNP way higher than us, COLA way higher than us, and whose CPI-basket includes goods much more diverse than us (more alternatives like electric cars, better public transport, green cars etc)...

Rockybru said...

Brilliant bro! So now we'll have new pump stations as well!

jaflam said...

MS, the idea if implemented will the best joke of all seasons and reflect the IQs of the implementers.

So now those who work hard & excel in socio-economy have to subsidies the lazy and poor???!!!!

Pak Zawi said...

mat salo,
Until they reveal the mechanism to their silly idea we can only conjecture on the way they are going to do it. Personally I can't figure how a petrol station is going to differentiate between the rich and the pauper. At the moment I can only envisage that our financial status will be displayed on or mykad. Anyway what is the cut off point from being considered poor or rich? How are they going to classify those politicians that earn fixed monthly allowance that is just sufficient to cover up their monthly household expenses, mortgage on the house and big car and yet carry millions around in their briefcase? How about those millionaires who drive around in an old jallopy wearing shorts and pagoda T shirts and by employing the smartest accountants to juggle up their account book and evaded paying the income tax be classified?
At this moment the idea of charging the rich more is only laughable, just like the gaffe by our Information Miniter made on Al Jazeera. I missed it when it was telecasted live but thanks to RTM I managed to hear his stupid remarks the next day. What a shame.

gram.kong said...

Mat Salo,
I don't usually call people stupid, but this must take the top prize for brilliant idea from the savants in UMNO. So! Pak Lah is going to be a modern Robin Hood.

Have those smart asses, including those from Oxford and Cambridge, ever for one moment, ponder in their state of drunken stupor, that the rich had already contributed to the nation's coffer in the form of higher taxes.

I pity the parents or maybe not the parents, it's the government who spends millions of ringgit to send those bright young men and girls to Universities overseas and yet came back with heads as empty as before they left for their study.

Maybe, Malaysia should switch over to Leninism to implement such a policy.

Let us hope Pak Lah keeps his sanity and not succumb to this horrendous idea.

Another possibility is for Pak Lah to consider asking the rich in UMNO to return the filty lucre back to the people.This money can be used to subsidise the poor.

Unknown said...

Let the Ministers pay for their OWN petrol, then only they'll feel the pinch. Come to think of it, might as well let them pay for their toll, phone bill, electric bill, water bill...etc. They're suppose to serve the rakyat. As of now, they are living out of OUR tax money. And they are already filthy rich! Have you seen the cars parked at PWTC! It's like walking into a NAZA showroom!

Mat Salo said...

Daphne: You bet they're going to use that same sorry excuse. But our CPI has actually gone way up and everyone knows it. The trick is, how are they going to explain that raising fuel prices is not going to be a big deal.. Malaysia is resilient, we can weather it, blah blah, huh?

Bang Jafflam: Looks like that's what he said. This does not bode well for the "have-its". But who are the "have-its?" I'm curious as to how they're going to so it. Perhaps we shouldn't laugh. Perhaps they might hit a fuel "surcharge" on late model, say 2003 and above imported cars above 1800cc. And then waive it and make exceptions for Menteris, UMNO members what-have-you.

But thinking about it makes me increduluos....

Bang Zawi: Yes.. maybe they hit on a brilliant plan. Just assume for a minute there is a way... oh, forget it. Well.. will just have to trust Pak Lah on this one.,.. ;) I missed the gaffe too on Al-Jazeera. What was it?

H-L: You look at each and everyone of the UMNO rich, and ask how did they get there? Pah! They'd never part with their gains... They will say it's their just reward for fighting the cause for the poor Malays. And they really honestly believe it. I really pity them, because all they care about is winning their seat (with very rare exceptions, of course) and then time to do their political master's bidding.

Oh, and BTW, H-L, I've actually sat down and had a 1-1 with one of these "4th Floor" boys. I don't find these 30-something "smart" at all. Well.. smart if one considers amassing millions by age 30 as "smart", but otherwise I find taxi drivers more intellectually stimulating and they look "look down" on us and that is their failing. With all these supermergers taking place engineered by the Ox-Bridge cartel... God Help Us All.

J.T. said...

Hi Mat Salo

The "bright" minds of our government never fail to amuse me. Then again, you may have a point when you said, "Perhaps they might hit a fuel "surcharge" on late model, say 2003 and above imported cars above 1800cc.
Of course, I won't be surprised (like you) when an exception is made for Menteris, etc. What else is new? The very people who should be paying their dues (like the majority of the tax payers) will still get away from feeling any pinch of economic changes. sigh

cakapaje said...

Salam bro,

To me, the truth is the gomen do not have any sense in implementing a master plan for this country - they do what they want whenever they want. But that's only because the do not have the brains to think of the consequences.

Take the automobile industry that was implemented during Tun's time. Suddenly when Paklah takes the helm, it goes backstage with not a thought of the billions of RM poured into it already! Were they serious, all locally manufactured and assembled engines should be encouraged to use NGV! But that is not the case.

Hmm...why am I making so much noise? Ok, its only because I sprained my ankle yesterday and not my fingers or mouth! :)

Mat Salo said...

Lan "Chuck": Yes being at the PWTC car park beats going to NAZA. I don't care 'bout that. I want them to concentrate on the economy more and stop wastage of public funds... but you're right, these guys don't feel any pinch at all. In fact they're so rich it boggles the mind. The best part is the taxpayers are subsisiding them They're laughing at the rakyat --how stupid can the rakyat be. Come election time they're put in power again and again. Perhaps this is our fate...

JT: Like Irlan said above, the perks a menteri gets, especially an UMNO one is phenomenal. I was wrong. They never needed to pay for these 'small-small' things. That's why these things don't bother them. They claim it on expenses anyway (reason: serving the rakyat travelling to their constituencies --or traveling to 2nd wife's house izzit?). Makes me wonder, WHO exactly are they serving?

Cakapje: Ini yang mengerikan, Pak. Dismantling TDM's legacy without so much as a thought as to how things will work out for the country in the long run. I'm really afraid that the current administration will cause more 'SNAFUs' at the rakyat's expense...

Always yang susah yang kene...

Unknown said...

Let's wait for the change...Imagine this... You drive to a petrol station... since you drive a Beemer you'll have a special lane i.e the one for expensive cars... kenari and kancil alike another lane....hehehe...and maybe with color coding too... OH! I love color coding!

This is getting funnier man...

tokasid said...

Pak MatSalo:

You see, Robin Hood did that you know! And the Sheriff was furious.

But in Malaysia, its a bit different. The Sheriff is gonna rob and 'give it' to the poor!!

The problem now is, who are the Sheriff gonna rob? The rich? Or the poor folks?

You see, the Sheriff somewhat gave us a hint that the rich might be robbed to help the poor survive. But at the same time, these filthy rich folks, they are mostly friends to the Sheriff and his deputies! If its you, are you gonna rob your friends who time and again had sponsored your Sheriffhood and your team of deputies? That will be a big no no right?

And I think this idea came from the 4th floor,no doubt about it. The 4th floor mafiaso had debated about it on stage . And yesterday Samy Vellu sort of supported the idea when he said if the subsidies were to be above 60 billions per year, we cannot implement other development projects!!

Suddenly every deputies have some statements to support the Sheriff.

Or this idea might be another of those political gimmicks to win 'hati rakyat jelata'. But behind closed door, the rich and super rich and ultra rich are assured that they will actually gain more with the idea! How? if you ask me...I don't know, but I rather think the Sheriff's department will not hurt the hands who supported and sponsored them.

What next?

ZABS said...

Salam MS,
Bagi yang kaya, berapa pun harga minyak,takkan menjadi kudis bagi mereka. Tetapi bagi yang tidak mampu, minyak diberi percuma pun mereka, tak tahu nak guna untuk apa? Mereka jalan kaki je dan paling kuat pun kayuh basikal. Mereka tak perlu subsidi minyak. Mereka hanya nak dapatkan sesuap nasi pagi dan petang je.

Anonymous said...

Dear MS,

why ur tmplate lari? All the writings kicik already :(

Abu said...

hey hey hey! what do you think the mechanism would be? Use UMNO card at the petrol pumps lah bro ..

BTW in South Africa there is no road tax. just a levy on the petrol you consume.

Mat Salo said...

Mrs. MH: Don't laugh.. mana tau there's a way to implement this. Either way the system will be open to abuse.. esp. if you got a daily necessity with two-tier pricing..

Dukun in Jebatwood Forest: I'm sure depa tak 'omong kosong' when talking about this so-called 'robbing the so-called rich'. But how come he hasn't been grilled or offered an explanation to the mechanism? I'm still waiting for an answer, but please don't tell me, "saya tak tahu".

Pak Zabs: Betul tu Pak Zab. Orang berada tak perlu 'ambik pot'. Kalau harga minyak jer naik takpe. Takde motor or kancil nak isi. Yang teruk for the lower income is harga barang dapur. Hai.. middle-class pun dah mengeloh, apa lagi kelas yang kais pagi makan sore tu? Or perhaps the BN is so efficient that poverty has been eradicated. If so, they'd better look around, then.

Galadriel: Ha.. tu laa gatal x tau how to make blog yello. Cut n paste html from other blogs last-last dapat made the sides only. Nasib I didn't lose the whole damn template!

Abu: In that case, I will be a good boy and be card-carrying lifetime member. Borang mana? :)

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

since my wheelchair is human-powered, aku tak tau nak komen camna. but since my dad belongs to the middle class, we agreed on one thing...,

its high time the rich suffers! hihi...i doubt it will hurt their wallet that much anyway.

Unknown said...

I've been knocking my head hard and still cannot see a formula. Why am I so stupid. Oh, yes, I am not Oxford trained and not the grandson and son of an Ulamak.

Mior Azhar said...

Bro Mat;
May be...yeah maybe we will be required to bring our pay slip to the petrol station. Oh God! I'm being stupid too... just like the government.

Mat Salo said...

Let's Wheel: Bro'.. let the rich suffer? The rich never suffer bro'! Problem is gomen thinks all warga's in Malaysia are rich. So they brand us rich. Yang poor only Barisan MPs, State Exco members, Ketua Bahagian's etc. That's why they need to indulge in business via their relatives and family members and claim everything for expenses. Taxpayer bayar. So now, you tell me who is going to suffer... :(

Chegu.. what I cannot tahan is, although we know we're bodoh (because we're not Oxbridge-nor-Brinsford Lodge trained, or son of a gun of Ulamak or Mamak) the worst thing is the powers actually BELIEVE we are bodoh. That's why depa kena jadi 'pemimpin' supaya depa boleh 'pimpin' kita. Short-form pimpin tu apa ya Chegu? Oh ya. Pimp.

Bro' Mior - better get your head checked. I'm afraid you can get subliminally programmed messages from TV TiGa and be thoroughly brainwashed. I suggest you turn it off.

Hee... :)

gram.kong said...

Mat Salo
I have been thinking about this subject the last few days, how best the government can reduce the subsidy on fuel in this country.The rob 'Peter to pay Paul' scheme definitely is far too impractical to put to work.

Not to discriminate between the rich and poor, yet robbing the rich to pay the poor, the Badawi government should consider the following.

1.All cars with engines above 3000 c.c should have the road tax increased five-fold.The middle class and the lower middle class don't usually buy cars with high-capacity engine, unless they are a bit mad.This means only the rich will be affected.
2.Make all public transport, buses and trains, within the city and its suburbs free during peak hours, to encourage people not to use their cars to go to work.Less cars on the road means less fuel means less subsidy.The subsidy on free public transport could be much less than the subsidy on fuel.
3.Impose entry fee on cars entering the city during peak hours.The entry fee should be pre-paid to avoid toll-collection that can impede the flow of traffic.

The above would certainly reduce the consumption of fuel and make the people happy.They spend less on transportation costs,parking fees and less annoying traffic jams.

To implement it, first the government must provide good and efficient public transports, without which, tak boleh jadi, lah.

They may also not like the idea because all the big and posh cars are owned by them and their cronies.Another problem would be, you would probably can see only the menacing Kancils and Mat Rempits on our roads during peak hours.

The wizkids on the 4th floor should do some economic calculations to see which is the cheaper alternatives.

To subsidise the fuel, free transport or makes Kancils a mandatory car to own by all Malaysians ?

Mat Salo said...

Thanks for your thoughts, H-L.. It seems since that "announcement" nothing more was heard in the media. And why the (mainstream) media isn't probing is anybody's guess.

Elections are looming large, and Rashid of SPR already knows the exact date. It has to be in early January, because it's imperative that they raise fuel prices after. I hope they can be forthcoming on their campaign trail and tell people to start tightening their belts. But please, no more tales of 'everything is hunky dory' is all I ask.

Daphne Ling said...

Hi Abang Mat,

Nope, not talking about CPI, CPI...I was talking about the goods in the CPI basket...More diverse, so more choice, and less dependence on petrol as fuel...

But sure our CPI naik...Our cost of living has been going up, and up, and up in the past few years...