RM 3.35 diesel - And so begins our perilous journey of a thousand miles - Malaysia Today (2024)

RM 3.35 diesel - And so begins our perilous journey of a thousand miles - Malaysia Today (1)

When Malaysians do not feel that the economy is allowing them to make it through the day or hope for a better tomorrow, rather than state the discontent over their financial status directly, they are more apt to agitate over racial or religious issues.

Nehru Sathiamoorthy

I have always maintained that one of the main reasons why Malaysia holds together as a country is the price of petrol at the pump.

If there is one trait that all Malaysians share universally, it is that we can all take a lot of bullsh*t from a lot of people just for the sake of making it through the day while hoping for a better tomorrow.

It is this trait of ours that has ensured that our country has remained almost entirely peaceful since our inception despite the many challenges we have faced along the way.

In the past few years, there has been a significant rise in the amount of racial and religious tension in the country. Rather than race or religious issues, it might be the economy that is the true source of these tensions.

Another trait that Malaysians universally share is that when discontent, they have a tendency of pulling the rug under your feet rather than addressing their displeasure directly. Because of that, when a Malaysian doesn’t like what you say for example, they are apt to find fault with your pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary, rather than disagree with your contentions directly.

For the same reason, when Malaysians do not feel that the economy is allowingthem to make it through the day or hope for a better tomorrow, rather than state the discontent over their financial status directly, they are more apt to agitate over racial or religious issues.

I have always been supportive of the targeted subsidy program, despite the fact that I have little to no faith in the Madani government.

I truly believe that Malaysia will continue to decline and deteriorate, until we change our economic model from one that is exploitation-based to one that is value generating.

I believe that every ailment we see in the country – from corruption, perennial racial and religious tension, being stuck in the middle income trap, brain drain, high national debt, stagnant wages and alarmingly high number of foreign workers – is at its root caused by the fact that Malaysia’s economic model is based on exploitation.

In my estimate, to wean ourselves of our addiction to the exploitation-based economic model and restructure ourselves as a true, real and high-value generating economy, the success of the targeted subsidy scheme is going to be a key initial factor.

By the time this article comes out, the first of the targeted subsidy schemes, which will see the price of diesel at the pump rise from RM 2.15 per litre to RM 3.35, would have started.

Reportedly, 30, 000 eligible diesel vehicle owners will be getting RM200 in subsidy to offset the rise in the price of diesel.

If and only if the restructuring of the diesel subsidy program succeeds will the restructuring of other subsidies – like petrol, rice or sugar – roll out.

Therefore, the restructuring of the diesel subsidy program tomorrow is going to be akin to the first step in the proverbial thousand-mile journey that our country is going to undertake in order to survive the present and build a better country for ourselves in the future.

If the subsidy restructuring program succeeds, I daresay that Anwar Ibrahim might indeed be able to call himself as Bapa Reformasi Malaysia, while PKR and Pakatan Harapan will be able to finally have a legacy that will be able to rival that of Umno and BN.

No matter what their shortcomings, no one can take away the fact that Umno and BN were the parties that won the Independence to Malaysia.

Until PKR and Pakatan Harapan win a legacy for themselves, they can never be sure of their place in Malaysian politics.

This subsidy rationalisation scheme offers a great opportunity to Anwar and the Madani government. No matter how badly they have disappointed the country so far, if they succeed in rolling out this scheme, not only will most if not all of their faults be forgiven, they would have succeeded in securing an indelible legacy for themselves.

My problem with the entire subsidy restructuring program however, lies in the fact that I have little to no faith in Anwar or the Madani government. The fact that it is Anwar and the Madani government that is captaining the ship called Malaysia in this pivotal thousand-mile journey is making me have all sorts of dark foreboding about this entire endeavour.

This subsidy restructuring program is a momentous affair, with great significance, many difficulties, powerful opponents and immense danger.

If it fails and causes the economy to seize up or be brought down by high inflation, everything from racial and religious strife to the break up of the federation might occur.

Considering the great significance and difficulties inherent in the endeavour, my heart cannot but sink when I look at Anwar and his coterie of merry men and women.

Looking at them, I can’t help but ask myself, can someone who fails to do something simple succeed at doing something big? Can those who fail to lift 10kg, be expected to lift 100 kg? Between succeeding modestly and failing greatly, are these the sort of people who will choose modesty rather than greatness?

Looking at the antics of Anwar and the Madani government for the past one and half years, I must say that I am afraid to answer these questions.

But as the saying goes “never underestimate those who overestimate themselves.”

If there is one thing you can say about Anwar and the Madani government with a greatdeal of confidence, it is that it certainly doesn’t lackpeople who overestimate themselves.

Considering that, I do certainly hope that in the near future, I will be able to happily admit that I have been absolutely wrong, and instead proclaim that Anwar and the Madani government has certainly defied the odds and exceeded expectations.

May Fortune and Fate look upon us all with favour.

RM 3.35 diesel - And so begins our perilous journey of a thousand miles - Malaysia Today (2)

RM 3.35 diesel - And so begins our perilous journey of a thousand miles - Malaysia Today (2024)
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