“One million ringgit is nothing” – Satu Pandangan Kritis Dari James Chin (The Malaysian Insider)
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“One million ringgit is nothing” – Satu Pandangan Kritis Dari James Chin (The Malaysian Insider), http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/index.php/opinion/jameschin/30707-one-million-ringgit-is-nothing.
JUNE 27 — The above phrase was allegedly uttered by Tourism Minister Datuk Ng Yen Yen when she was talking about the ministry’s costs in engaging former Formula One team Ferrari boss Jean Todt in promoting Malaysia. You can read it here.
My first reaction is “What Planet are our politicians living on?” Our politicians are really so out of touch with ordinary people. How many people can earn one million in a lifetime?
Let’s see. If you earn RM3,000 a month, you get about RM39,000 a year (including 13th month bonus). One million ringgit means you have to work about 25 and half years, at the same salary. Okay, maybe 20 years given your salary will increase every year.
So you really have to ask, how come it is so easy to throw a million here and there?
Many of our political leaders do not really have any idea of how ordinary people live, especially the poor, since most of them are well off. Quite a few are born with a gold spoon (even better than a silver one) although the standard rhetoric coming out of their mouth is their concern for the poor.
If political leaders really want to know how real Malaysians live, can I suggest they live for a month in a low cost flat built by the government? As I understand it, there are many empty ones around KL, some quite close to Putrajaya.
Maybe they can move in there with their families and see how real people survive with little.
Far more interesting if political leaders can do a house swap. Let the poor family move into the homes of ministers and they can move in the opposite direction. If any political leader does this, he or she can have my vote in the 13th general elections.
In this country we treat political leaders as our “masters”, especially ministers. In any other developed country, they might not dare to lord it over their voters.
Unfortunately, I suspect this is not only at the ministerial level. It seems to be culture in the entire civil service.
Government departments are known to spend lavishly on conference and training workshops in some of the leading hotels in town. In fact, I am almost certain that some of these hotels’ F&B will not survive without government business.
Millions were spent on the launching of the various growth corridors. Millions are spent annually on these sort of events. In almost all cases, there is no direct benefit to the economy.
You really have to ask if this sort of wastage is acceptable to the rakyat, as in the taxpayers. Many of these workshops can be conducted internally – most government departments have large conference and meeting rooms, and there really isn’t a need to hold these sorts of things in a hotel. The only conclusion :
- The civil service has too much money
- Civil servants enjoy a day (or two) out of office
- Politicians love events held in hotels
- Civil servants do not have event management skills, or
- all of the above
The kind way of looking at this is that the government is helping the local economy by spending money.
But this argument doesn’t hold water since this sort of spending does not really add value to the economy other than the bottom line of the hotels concerned.
The money could be better used for things like education, health care and infrastructure like hospitals and schools. Every year we read schools are falling down, or equipment in rural schools in East Malaysia are so bad that teachers refuse to teach there.
Investing the money for the future is always preferable than giving civil servants and ministers a good time at some hotel.
Coming back to the million ringgit and Jean Todt, according to the minister, RM388,000 is to be paid to Todt for holidaying twice a year in Malaysia.
I’m not jealous – all I want to know is how do you spend RM170,000 (the cost of a single terrace house in Seremban) on a single holiday in Malaysia? Does it involve renting an island, say, the entire Pangkok Island resort? Are they being served lobster and champagne every day?
You really have to wonder what the government is thinking when they approved this sort of budget. It is really beyond belief and fit for Bolehland.
It is like they have lost their common sense completely. Is it any wonder that our personal tax rate cannot come down. We need to give more money to the government so that they can spend millions for people to enjoy our (in)famous hospitality.
“It is an intellectual insanity when doing the same things over & over, but hoping for the different result”
NIZAM @ ahmadafzainizam.wordpress.com