Wednesday, June 2, 2010

GOLDEN YEARS LOSING THE GLITTER

For many pensioners and retirees, the golden years have certainly lost much of the glitter. The latest buzz about the government's proposal to remove the subsidies for petrol, sugar, cooking oil and other essentials adds more gloom to the already bleak retirement picture.

Even if you don't drive, you still end up spending more on public transport as taxi and bus fares are bound to increase. And even if you are diabetic, you will still end up paying more for food as food retailers and outlets will use the removal of sugar subsidy as an excuse to raise prices.

Whichever way we look at it, our retirement savings are depleting at an alarming rate. Just total up your monthly expenses and see the amount rise steadily each month.

If the people have to make sacrifices, it is only right and just that the government should also tighten its belt. No more wasteful spending of public funds, especially on projects that do not benefit the rakyat, like spending RM20m to build the Malaysian Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo.

The RM20m Malaysia Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo 2010

Or paying USD1 billion for the purchase of two Scorpene class submarines and the lease of a retired French Navy Agosta class boat. And the joke is, the first submarine that was delivered failed to submerge! Money gone down the drain? It would be interesting to know the full amount spent on boosting the defense system under Najib's term as Defense Minister. Are we facing a serious threat of external attack?

We should not only watch how we spend our retirement savings, but also keep our eyes open for any misuse and abuse of public funds. That's our money too, and we have a right to see it spent prudently and for the benefit of the people.

Footnote: Last year alone, the government spent a staggering RM78b on subsidies. This works out to about RM12,900 per household. Government debt stood at RM362b last year or 54% of the GDP. (Figures from the Star.)

1 comment:

Antares said...

Whether we like it or not, we have no option but to keep tabs on the hanky-panky our politicians and their business cronies get up to - and vote out the crooks at every opportunity!