Some of us will be unhappy in the weeks and months to come.
GST ends this month, subsidies are enroute and the road toll burden is set to drop.
All new expenses for Malaysia. Without the GST revenue, there would be less in the coffers. Paying for subsidies would dip into the pot. So will paying off highway concessionaires.
Unless Malaysia has found several new oilfields, the money will have to come from somewhere. Unless we want to strain the national debt which is as explained by the present administration, alarming.
Standard Pakatan Harapan soundbites espouse the savings of cutting corruption and improved efficiency, which will make for the shortfall.
Let’s assume corruption is at an almighty zenith, and the combined kung fu of the new administration slam dunks it to the time of Solomon, it still cannot be so colossal enough to match the new expenditures.
The idea of upping efficiency is a slippery slope. Because a large part of inefficiencies are people, and improving process might require removing the sources of the maladies.
It is veritable this government is sticking to good news as long as it can, till it has passed the sustainable period test.
If our country under Barisan Nasional, was bleeding badly and struggling under the weight of its errors, then the replacement of 14 Cabinet members will not remove the cancer threatening the country.
Waiting for the bad news
This is not an anti-Pakatan Harapan presentation. Any government would be forced to state the bitter medicine which will lead to the renewal of the country.
As far as cliches go, here it is — no pain, no gain.
While Penang and Selangor went from strength to strength in the limited power phase of Pakatan, 2008-2018, this new phase involves the whole country. And the other twelve states are not economic powerhouses in terms of home industries and self-reliance, bar Sarawak and Sabah with their oil and gas revenues.
Pointed out above, that the path to greater efficiency, may be the dismantling of some governmental structures which choke the system. This would include personnel.
This reminds me of a local example, as in from my neighbourhood.
The provision shop near my house, is managed like an old fashion Indian Muslim shop. If I ask for eggs from one staff member, he’d pack and then verbally inform aloud that he has packed x number of eggs which cost as such. The man at the counter would repeat what was said, in order for there to be no miscommunication. The initial guy would confirm verbally that the information is correct.
There are no straightforward purchases. But whenever I have been away from the country for a considerable time, I’d head to the provision shop, even if it is more expensive than the Speedmart 99 five doors away, just to hear them do the sales process.
It’s charming. But it is inefficient.
Without straining the analogy, it has be related, that the inefficiencies in our government is connected to the people employed there.
And in a time where automation and digital technologies are rampant, surely one direct and reasonable method to reduce inefficiencies and more pertinently cost, would be removing the people who are causing the rot.
Government staff are one component to the cost conundrum, there are various ways to cut expenses, but they always, always involve upsetting somebody or a whole group.
There is no point in belabouring the argument. It’s self-evident.
What is necessary is to appear impartial and just in the process of cutting costs, when it begins.