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Sunday, June 08, 2008

Who you gonna trust?

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Walski's freedom of choice post fore-note: If a more intelligent discourse on how we're being constantly lied to is more your cup of joe, read Raja Petra's latest post. But if you don't mind not-so intelligent, irreverant, and smart-ass, then read on...

Here's one observation that Walski's managed to make over the last few months. When the Government says one thing, the truth is probably the exact opposite.

Here are some examples:


Image hosting by PhotobucketNothing mars credibility more than the eventual truth...

Flop: We all know now that later on February 13, the PM announced the dissolution of Parliament, paving the way for BN's worst ever performance at the polls, on March 8th.

Black becomes white, white becomes black, and as a result, Malaysian padestrians get killed while using a zebra crossing - which is this country is actually yellow, but whose actual color doesn't really matter, 'cause most Malaysian drivers don't know what the fuck those lines on the road mean in the first place. Or why the lines need flashing yellow lights beside them.
(flip-flops the ultimate Malaysian fashion statement, and more, in the full post)

Oh, but Walski's side-tracking, isn't he? Okay, well here's another more recent example.

Flip: May 31st, 2008

Image hosting by PhotobucketNothing mars credibility more than the eventual truth...

Flop: Malaysians were given a generous 78-sen up the rear-end economic gift on June 4th, 2008, with the highest single increase in gasoline prices. It was a bigger, deeper ass-fuck for diesel. With such such a drastic price increase ambush, three things come to mind:

  • Insincerity
  • Impudence
  • Incompetence

If there's anything we've learned in the last few years in Malaysia, it's that rumors, like dreams, eventually do come true...

Some people have even stated that the current administration, with this latest price hike stunt, is committing political suicide, but that's rather inconsequential, because BN has been dying a slow and painful death anyway. It's just that either BN itself doesn't realize it, or it chooses to live in the ever-growing denial that Everything's OK. And when things don't turn out OK, blame someone else.

In short, the point is that we have a government that can't really be trusted anymore. When truth, like utopia, becomes a dirty word, if we're not yet worried, then it's high time we should be. Or at least, Walski thinks so.

With the drastic fuel price increase, of course, came some pacifiers, too. Not now, of course, but come August. And that's still a good 2 months away almost, and a lot can happen in 60 days. Already, we're told that the RM 625 rebate on road tax for cars below 2,000 cc is not an annual rebate, but a one-off for this year.

And then, there are the most immediate 4-prong softeners. Yeah, sounds like a kinky sex toy, doesn't it?

Here's what Walski thinks about these four panic-station measures:

Improve public transport
Err... haven't we been hearing talk about this since 2006? And what exactly has been done about improving public transportation since then? As far as Walski can see - Jack shit. Nada. Zilch. So, while we can expect more talk in the weeks to come, and then some more talk afterwards, real action is another thing altogether. Walski is as confident about anything concrete coming out of this, like he's confident that it's gonna snow in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow morning.

Cut costs at government departments
Okay, for starters, how about instituting a 10% pay-cut for all top-tier Government Servants, with immediate effect, starting with all the ministers in the federal Cabinet? Change our lifestyles? Yeah, lead by example if you're really sincere about making a change. Or how about forcing all of Putrajaya to use public transportation to get to/from work? Now, that's a big cost-cutter, both on an institutional and personal level. Put it this way, forcing everyone in Government to use public transportation will give an added incentive towards making sure point #1 is carried out with earnest and urgency. Or else risk a major civil service walkout. Oh, and stop funding for all moral policing, too, while you're at it - you'll make a lot of Malaysians happy.

Improve the safety net for the poor
Now, this is a little perplexing, since not too long ago Malaysians were told that the "poverty rate declined from 22.8 percent in 1990 to 5.7 percent in 2005" (page 3 of the speech made during the tabling of the 9th Malaysia Plan, on March 31 2006). Has the rate of poverty increased since? So, okay... it's also not really clear what the benchmark for poverty is - one benchmark for all areas in Malaysia, rural and urban, is certainly not an accurate measure to begin with - but a safety net is always good. Improved fishing nets are better, since the result is more tangible, but safety nets are okay, too. Walski won't speculate what kind of safety net we're talking about here, by the way. It could very well be that Malaysia will be seeing the introduction of food stamps, or something similar. We'll just have to wait and see. Let's just hope that the party administering the safety net is a government agency, and not a privatized party of cronies.

Expand the list of controlled-price goods
This is another way of stating that the subsidies are going to be shifted to other things, such as foodstuff. But hang on, didn't the government just recently announced the lifting on the ceiling price for chicken? Probably we're going to see another flip-flop in the fowl area, Walski suspects. Ideally, what savings the government expects to enjoy from the subsidy reduction on fuel should primarily go towards subsidizing certain basic foodstuff - not just a token percentage of those savings.

But with the recent track record of saying one thing and delivering something totally opposite, Walski waits with baited breath to see exactly what kind of measures are introduced. For sure, this is one government Walski simply does trust anymore, especially before the fact.

What's weird is that unlike previously when we were lied to, this administration doesn't even bother to explain the lies anymore. It's almost as if lying is the new Executive SOP (Standard Operating Procedure). Times have certainly changed, haven't they? But that leaves us Malaysians with an even bigger connundrum.

If you can't trust your government, who you gonna trust?