18 July 2010

'Upward price adjustment' aka 'Price hike: call a spade a spade'.......

The Perak Consumers Association (PCA) has criticised the government for insulting the intelligence of consumers by playing with words to mislead them on the price increase of essential goods.

“We are not living in the dark ages. (It's no longer so easy) to take consumers for a ride with such coinage of words,” said an angry PCA president Abdul Rahman Said Ali.

“Muzzling the media from reporting the truth will not prevent people from learning the facts or gaining such knowledge, as modern communications is so advanced,” he said.

He was referring to media reports on the price hikes, watered down by saying Premier Najib Abdul Razak had “made a bold decision” in reducing the subsidies for fuel, gas and sugar. The vocal consumerist argued that Najib should instead be bold to speak the truth and prepare to face possible backlash from consumers, rather than trying to pull the wool over their eyes.

“Removal of subsidies is not a policy (solution), but it is mere housekeeping,” he said, implying that tightening the consumers' belts to cover the government's overspending does not solve the nation's budget woes.

He argues that any implementation of the subsidy squeeze must be accompanied by financial concessions that benefit the consumer. For example, Rahman wants the government to reduce toll charges across the board, to lift the quota embargo on rice imports as the price of rice is much cheaper overseas, and reduce the high taxes on imported cars to encourage an competitive, open market to bring down car prices.

Rahman also demanded that the government itself embark on an austerity drive to ensure that public funds are economically spent. This means cutting mega projects that do not benefit the public, cutting wastage in government spending and clamping down on corruption that drains the nation's coffers. He pointed out that this included unnecessary and lavish expenditure, such as providing free meals at government meetings. He added that the continuing procurement policy of government tenders, which is closed or through negotiations rather than open, is a sore point.

Rahman commented that the price hike may seem small, but even a five sen increase in essentials will have a spiralling effect, such as on transport costs and related goods and services. He is sceptical that the government will be effective in preventing such spill-over effects on the cost of living, other than to pay lip service in meaningless warnings to perpetrators who take advantage of price increases, or make excuses such as lack of manpower to enforce rulings to keep costs down.

Meanwhile, the anti-fuel hike protest movement (Protes) will launch their campaign against the govermenment's move to raise petrol, diesel, sugar and liquified petroleum gas this July 28.The launch will take place at the Kuala Lumpur-Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, Protes coordinator Dr Hatta Ramli told a press conference today after a meeting with other Protes leaders on the matter.


A comment from Beetle, who has this to say..........

Last night the BN government held a grand dinner in a five star hotel for 2,800 Bakisa members in Kota Kinabalu and the PM and his"first lady" was the guest of honour. At an average of RM100 per head a total of RM280,000 was spend for food not inclusive of other expenses.How do the government expect the rakyat to support the subsidies cut when they themselves are so extravagantly spending the rakyat's money. Is this the BN's motto "Do what I tell you to do and not what I do". You can spin and lie but the rakyat will have eyes to see for themselves whether you are sincere.

Potong subsidi tak cukup elak pembaziran,baca di sini.


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