Polls Gimmickry Or For Real? Truth Be Told, Our Spending Power Is Weak

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IF ONLY GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AND POLITICIANS TALK TO MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC AND LISTEN TO THEM, THEN THEY WILL KNOW THE TRUE PICTURE OF WHAT IS HAPPENING ON THE GROUND

COMMENT: Who are we supposed to believe?

When Mydin managing director Ameer Ali Mydin còmmented that despite Malaysia’s strong economic growth, Malaysians actually dont have money to spend.

Rahman Dahlan, Minister in charge of Economic Planning Unit was quick to dismiss it as untrue.

Ameer Ali, in a radio interview was explaining how the hypermarket chain had suffered losses amounting to RM100 million by taking part in the government’s KRIM project.

Rahman said that one sub-sector like the hypermarket does not reflect the nation’s economic performance. It hinges on the financial position of the federation and the needs of the state.

According to him Malaysian consumers still have money to spend as private consumption contributing 53.2% to the national GDP continued to be the biggest contributor to the economy.

AMEER MYDIN

Statistics wise, it might be so, but talking to people in the streets they tend to agree with Ameer more.

Many complain of the high cost of living and they don’t see their ringgit stretching very far. With wages remaining stagnant, it is not easy for the average family to make ends meet.

On top of that they also blame their situation on the GST.

Government officials and politicians of course, swayed by statistics, tend to see things through rose-tinted glasses.

If they only talk to members of the public and listen to them, then they will know the true picture of what is happening on the ground.

Don’t forget Malaysia has one of the highest household debts around. From all accounts, illegal money lenders or ‘ah long’ (loan sharks) are really thriving. If only we could get statistics on this, then we will definitely know the true situation of our households.

Of course, politically Rahman couldn’t possibly agree with Ameer, as its tantamount to admitting the failure of the government’s economic approach.

Someone like Ameer who has been running business and who really knows consumer spending couldn’t be too far off.

With Chinese New Year around the corner, the atmosphere is rather subdued if we care to notice.

What does it tell you?

Ameer should be commended for being honest. As a businessman, he has nothing to hide. He only knows how to handle what is real as he has to worry about his bottom-line all the time.

Our spending power is weak, that is the truth, Mister Minister!

HAD OUR OWN POLITICIANS HAD ALWAYS BEEN MORE ALERT ABOUT OUR OWN RIGHTS, WE WOULD NOT BE SEEN AS BEGGARS, WOULD WE?

Let us hope the much publicised recent meeting with the Federal Attorney on Sabah’s rights with our States representatives was not a mere PR exercise.

From what we can gather some progress is being made on the issue.

Apandi Ali with Anifah and Teo Chee Kang.

Then the way things are going, we cannot dismiss that this exercise is also to impress the voters before the 14th general election expected sometime soon (this year).

While the priority is on the 40% revenue entitlement where the State Government and the Finance Ministry are involved in determining the amount, we must not forget the proviso.

It all hinges on the financial position of the central government.

With all the reported leakages, and the huge financial commitments of 1MDB and also mounting national debts, are they in a position to pay up?

We can only keep our fingers crossed and remain hopeful that it will not take another 50 years to get what is due to us.

If only our own politicians had always been more alert about our own rights, we would not be seen as beggars, would we?