by Dr. Tan Kee Kwong (former 3-term MP Segambut)
- a personal view of the country’s financial state
As a private citizen now, I am just going through the main headlines in the papers this morning (June 11). I see all sorts of figures and fantastic projections. To me it is just USELESS! There is no money. As old Mother Hubbard said, “The Cupboard is bare.”
Malaysians, please ask yourselves. What has the government done for the past 54 years. The country’s finances have been so badly managed, lots of prestige projects that don’t add value to our beloved country. Worst of all, there is widespread perception of MASSIVE CORRUPTION.
A few examples which indicate to me that the government has no money:
- Government contractors are complaining that many of them have not been paid for 6 months!
- Roads in WPKL are in bad shape, there is no money to tar the roads!
- Government grants to schools to pay for water, Telekom and TNB bills, even such small sums, are being cut by 20%!
- Gratuity for some senior civil servants: in the past, it used to be paid in one lump sum on retirement; now they are asked to accept payment in 4 instalments!
- Pension: all governments in the world are moving away from pensions; Malaysia also did the same many years ago. Yet because I believe that cash flow was so bad, some civil servants two years ago were asked to change from EPF back to the pension scheme. To me, that means that the government don’t even have immediate cash to pay EPF! Is it because if they opt back to pensions then it would be the future prime ministers’ headache?
To add to all this, the appetite of the UMNO rent seekers are getting very excessive. Some years back there was a tender exercise to supply laptops and overhead projectors for schools. The tender amount was about RM100 million. In one discussion, the middle man/”rent seeker” demanded RM60 million out of the RM100 million. The managing director of that company that was keen to tender almost fainted!
What all this means is that the government would never get value for money. We have been told by the Auditor-General that RM42,000 was paid to buy a laptop. Anyone can go to Imbi Plaza and buy the top end models for a maximum of RM8,000.
A story to compare Taiwan and Malaysia:
|1. Population||22 million||27 million|
|2. Land use||60% of Taiwan can’t be used, mountains||In Malaysia we have massive land resources, tanah terbiar or cultivated land left fallow up to two million acres|
|3. Crude oil||Not even one DROP||We produce oil in Kelantan, Trengganu, Labuan, Miri, Sabah; there have been reports that we have even given Blok L & M to Brunei, said to contain oil worth US Dollars 100 BILLION !!!!!!|
|4. Foreign reserves||Third highest in WORLD after China & Japan, even more than Singapore||Our ringgit is so weak|
|5. Govt debt||ZERO||RM380 Billion (according to reports)|
So my dear friends, it begs the question. WHERE HAS OUR ENORMOUS WEALTH AND RESOURCES GONE?
Many years ago, I was a member of PAC (Public Accounts Commission) in Parliament. I remember very clearly that at one meeting of PAC in 2007, we called the Second Finance Minister to answer on the transformation of GLC’s. I demanded an answer to why the real accounts of Petronas were NEVER tabled in Parliament. Even we as members of PAC could not examine the accounts of Petronas. His feeble answer was Petronas was under a special akta (act) created by the prime minister, whereas he was only in charge of the
NOW WE UNDERSTAND MORE WHY DESPITE OUR MASSIVE WEALTH THE COUNTRY WILL BE BROKE SOON (according to report attributed to a government minister)
So my clarion call and plea to all Malaysians who love our country, WAKE UP BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE! SAVE MALAYSIA NOW!