How you’re being taken for a ride by the Suckers

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Jan 17 2008
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By now everybody in the urban area knows about the general election’s heat that is gaining momentum. Left are the rural people who rely only on electronic and print media, both are controlled by ruling government, for news and happenings. As much as the government has trumpetted the feel-good factors just short of brainwashed them physically, the inflation is getting out of hand. Forget about the government’s inflation figure that seems forever stagnant at 3 percent or so. Yeah right and the price of a plate of chicken rice costs only RM2.00.

Recently there was this argument between the opposition party and the deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia. With the ruling government’s election machinery at full speed the opposition told potential voters that if the opposition comes into power, they will utilize the gigantic profits from national oil firm Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) to subsidize the current high fuel prices by reduce instead of hike it. The deputy Prime Minister counter-attacked that should the opposition did what it said, the country will go bust – bankrupt.

You don’t really need to be a rocket scientist to conclude how the deputy Prime Minister misled the public with his statement. Is Malaysia that fragile? Thank God Malaysia is not ruled by absolute monarchy like Brunei but that didn’t stop the ruling government from milking the revenues from Petronas to the last drop. Isn’t it puzzling that despite tons of natural resources such as tin, rubber, palm oil and crude oil the country continues to have foreign debts and now even on the brink of bankruptcy if you reduce the fuel prices (meaning increase the subsidy). Where has all the nation’s wealth gone to all these years? Perhaps the conversation below which I picked up days ago could summarize the “effectiveness” or rather the “corruptness” of the current government.

  • Customer: Boss, can you reduce the price of the baby milk powder?
  • Shopowner: Sorry but my margin is very slim. I’m sure you’ve scouted around to know that my price is reasonable.
  • Customer: Yeah, nowadays to raise a baby is such a hard task.
  • Shopowner: Yes, it is – is this your first baby?
  • Customer: Yes, that’s why I’m scouting around for the best price without sacrificing the quality.
  • Shopowner: Understood how you feel. Well, I thought I should let you know that most of the milk powder’s prices will be increased by Feb 2008.
  • Customer: What? **the customer was cursing for a couple of seconds – F&$#@ ** But I thought our currency has strenghten. What’s the rate now? It was RM3.80 to a US dollar but now its’ RM3.30 right?
  • Shopowner: Heck, its RM3.20 something now.
  • Customer: Are all these milk powder made in Malaysia?
  • Shopowner: Nope, mostly are from overseas but probably some packaging are done here.
  • Customer: So why the prices increase despite the strong local currency?
  • Shopowner: You wanna know why? Let me tell you what happen to my friend who’s a property developer. He won a RM100 million government contract and his profit is about two to three million net after being squeezed by the government, time is bad you know. But do you know how much the particular government agency asked him to mark up?
  • Customer: Another RM10 million?
  • Shopowner: My friend was asked to mark-up by another RM180 million – now the whole project is roughly RM380 million. ** this time it was the shopowner who was cursing F&$#@ **. We were working like a dog but they just sit inside their comfy air-cond room yet could pocket RM180 million profits net. ** continue to curse again **
  • Customer: Huh ** scratching head unbelievable **? No wonder some politicians said the country will go bust.
  • Shopowner: That’s the fact. So, do you still want the milk powder? I’m sorry but I can’t go any lower than that.
  • Customer: Give me a dozen.

Ringgit Junk NoteSo, do you know why the country could actually fall apart despite blessed with natural resources? The deputy Prime Minister didn’t lie when he warned about the potential of nation’s bankruptcy. Considering a project could be ballooned twice the actual amount, you really need to do your part by paying more for the fuel. You don’t want the nation to collapse, do you? But what’s the moral of the story? Stock-pile your milk powder dude!

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