Friday, December 19, 2008

Political Will

In the next few installments let us smalltalk on Political Will. The political will to get better quality of life and cheaper cost of living for the people, you and I included. I don't have any economic studies background but the last 9 years of my life have been spent observing politics in official capacity. In Malaysia, politics includes almost everything. It seems like if we have the political will, a lot of things can be resolved.

In the last GE, Barisan Nasional lost out to the so called Pakatan Rakyat, a term which I feel very inappropriate esp. in Pahang. To me they should be called Pakatan Pembangkang. The main issue that appealed to the voters in the last GE was "barang naik". We have to admit that. Memang barang naik. I am not pointing fingers at anybody and we in the State are actually very, very helpless in this matter. Barang naik is beyond our control. The State is in no control of the price of petrol, foods and you name it!

At the moment, what the State can do is to control the water tariffs and the quit rent and all other fees relating to land. That's the only two things, the State has control over and provided so under the Constitution. Both have not been raise for umpteen years!

Pahang have been subsidising water for umpteen years, BUT it was never made known to the public. In Pahang, for every RM1 (one) of water consumed by the user, the State pays another RM1.50 (One Ringgit and fifty sen). This easily mean that a water bill of RM10 should actually read RM25. RM10 paid by the consumer and another RM15 paid by the State.

Similarly with land quit rent and the one commonly known as cukai tanah by the kampongfolk. It is still the same RM8 per acre for the kampong land from the time of my late father. It takes more than RM8 to travel to the Land Office just to pay another RM8 quit rent!

Why must Pahang sacrifice all those? Simply because, the leaders have the political will to make life better! If we care to look, Pahang have been using the same Wisma Sri Pahang since it was bulit in the 60's. Pahang don't have wonderful office building and the MB's office (including mine on the same floor) should have been declared "not fit" some ten years ago!

Why can't the leaders at the Federal Level do likewise? Didn't they realise that the bulk of the revenue for the country come from the States? Pahang collected taxes under the Custom & Excise Department amounting to more than RM700 million a year! Not mentioning the taxes paid by Genting and many others. Why can't the money come back to the State by any other lucrative ways? Not that the State be given percentage of collection, but can't it mean that when the State need Federal aids, it should readily and easily given?

Isn't it not appropriate for the Federal Govt do consider the State's plight to improve the water supply by just providing the funds? Not loans but outright grants! Its just like borrowing our own money if we see in that angle.

This is one aspect of the need for political will to share the revenue collected from the State. In my next installment I will look at the petrol price vis-a-vis the harga barang.

1 comment:

  1. Hello,
    Happy Friday!
    Kee Kee.
    Anyway, ain't it obvious that Federal govt was a ploy by the Brits to cripple the states'/sultans' powers?
    If you ask me, the states should pay royalty/tax to the Fed govt and not give their hasil to the Fed and then the Fed give ROYALTY or LOAN!
    Ha Ha!
    Tks for enlightening us on Pahang's good work for the rakyat. Now Pakatan's sandiwaras in Selangor seem like nothing!
    ANd our MB doesn't even want to go to see the mangsa2 banjir but it's all ok to got to the 101 functions in hotels, etc!


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