Thursday, December 19, 2013

2014, The Year of Rising Prices

The recent announcement of price increases due to the withdrawal of subsidies have taken a lot of flak from many quarters. This is what follows when people have been used to subsidies and expect it to be as a matter of right. I am not saying that subsidies are wrong, but they were mostly a quick-fix solutions to emergent problems that have outlived their terms and had taken root as part of life.
                      When our rating took a turn for the worse, the powers that be responded with a knee-jerk action that took many by surprise. Now the resultant effect is being felt by all and sundry. Thus we shall welcome 2014 as the year of rising prices. No matter how much explanation are given to rationalise the increases in electric tariff, tolls, petrol, sugar and other necessities, the majority of our people have to bear the brunt as prices rise much faster than incomes which is the right recipe for inflation.
                     The announcement of the establishment of a laboratory to deal with the larger issue of the rise in cost of living is rather too little and too late an action to solve the pain. As a responsible government, it has to anticipate this critical issue, as the signs had been rearing its ugly head for a long time when the country had been living on a deficit for far too long and our overdependence on oil for generating revenue. We have seen how even developed countries have gone almost bankrupt due to their complacency in tackling their economic problems and we seemed to be oblivious to them. Now we are faced with the stark reality of joining their ranks. The rhetoric has to stop and the pain have to be dealt with in the most urgent manner.


Al-Manar said...

It is a situation created by complacency. We can go on debating how it gets to this stage and who have been responsible. I think if we can stop corruption and scrutinise our spending that will be a start. Politically we need to be united. Malays, being the majority, need to see what is obvious to us all, you and me alike. I think you agree something should have happened soon after the last GE. Alas, it never did.

abdulhalimshah said...

Dear Pakcik,
The incongruency and inconsistency of behaviour vis-a-vis slogans in dealing with issues regarding debt reduction and achieving prudence in spending public moneys on top of that reigning in rampant corruption has led to our present predicament. What is lacking most is focus and perseverance. Our nation-building effort must go beyond the racial divide and create a solid foundation for an integrated society which is essential for our future survival. Malay unity is only achieved with a new formula minus petty politicking. If politics is divisive, than remove that stumbling block and think out of the box.