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Showing posts with label children. Show all posts
Showing posts with label children. Show all posts

Monday, June 9, 2008

Malaysians Feeling the Effect of Corruption, Not Oil Hike

Average Malaysian should consider that the recent hike in oil prices is a sign of corruption having a direct impact on Malaysian’s daily life. Will Malaysians allow the rich to become richer or will they put a stop to this trend once and for all?
(Picture Courtesy of Penarik Beca)

If it wouldn’t for corruption, Malaysians would not have to experience such a high rate of oil price. But, since Barisan Nasional has nearly run this country into bankruptcy (remember Bank Negara has gone bankrupt more than twice), when a problem like the rise of international oil prices hits Malaysia.

Of course, the powers that be do not want to sacrifice their share of the country’s wealth, so naturally, the extra cost is transferred to the average people. This would mean that mothers and fathers will have less time to spend with their children and each other, families will have to start cutting more than corners, less time can be spent buying quality food and clothing, rate of divorce will be higher and many more.

Furthermore, please remember that having less money is the least of average Malaysia’s problem. Such an increase in our cost of living will result in less savings for our children or even none. The future of our children is at stake and if the situation does not improve, it would mean that our children might not be able to enjoy the same quality of life that we have managed to enjoy.

And many will testify that since 2004 our average incomes did not increase that much or even enough to offset rate of inflation. We are forced to make ends meet each time end of the month arrives. At the same time the price of goods increases without a hitch.

Now, after suffering for 4 years, Malaysians are subjected to more hike in prices of oil and subsequently goods. We now question, how will Malaysians respond? Will there be an uprising and a movement to demand for their rights. Or at least they should move to protect the future of their children?

Average Malaysian should consider that the recent hike in oil prices is a sign of corruption having a direct impact on Malaysian’s daily life. Will Malaysians allow the rich to become richer or will they put a stop to this trend once and for all?

Many Malaysians actually do not know the extent of corruption effecting their lives. Most Malaysians just simply accept the government line that the hike is only due to international pressures and the BN government is only doing what they’re suppose to do, in the interest of the people.

The challenge now is to get the average, run-of-the-mill Malaysians to realize this fact. The fact that their children’s future is at stake is not so much on their minds, largely because of their ignorance.

The way I see it, the oil problem is a good opportunity for Pakatan Rakyat and the rest to spread the sensitivity against corruption to every Malaysian regardless of their walk of life. We have languished so much under a corrupt system and we are now made to pay for the corruption of a few.

If we take our Indonesian neighbor post Suharto, it seems everyone is of one opinion that their state of poverty is largely attributed to corruption. Such a realization in the minds of every single Indonesian regardless of their social status. We must emulate the Indonesians in spreading this realization.

The key to curbing corruption lies in the people, not the government. How does one expect a body of the government to check on corrupt practices by the government itself. It’s like asking a thief to serve as judge and jury and convict himself. It just doesn’t work.

The other challenge is to spread the realization among the rural people. The rural community are largely Malays and they are mostly involved in the commodity sector. Since a few years ago, the commodity prices have experiences massive hike thus increasing their income ten fold.

And rural people are largely low users of fuel in their daily lives. They mostly ride on motorbikes and when they drive their cars, it’s usually to go for visits and other recreational or social activities. Therefore, on average, they utilize less oil per capita as compared to their urban counterparts. We, in the city, are forced to drive to work day in day out. As such our utilization of oil is at least 5 times theirs.

Furthermore, the rural folks are not bogged down by mortgages and car-loans as much as us in the city. Therefore, the cost of living in the rural area are largely cheaper than in the cities.

As a result, the rise of oil prices by the government, effects rural folks the least. Therefore, anger is at a lower rate among rural people as compared to urban dwellers.
In fact, Barisan Nasional managed to hold on to Negeri Sembilan by the skin of their teeth simply because of high commodity prices. As a result, the rural electorate in Negeri Sembilan votes for BN in large numbers.

On the other hand, most Malays in the cities either works for the government or for a GLC. Very few are truly independent. Therefore, their voices are stifled and are forced to accept whatever the government dish out to them.

Barisan Nasional also realize the fact that most Parliament and State seats are comprised of rural areas. That is why they are willing to take this chance. I mean to what extent will the urban people protest to recent oil price hike? Will they come out in large numbers and protest the government until it falls? The BN doesn’t think so and therefore are willing to take this chance. After all, with the rural votes, the BN is able to control the Federal government albeit without a 2/3 majority.

Furthermore, the BN can always rely on the SPR, JPN, PDRM, the Army, mass media etc to lie and cheat in their favor. Their corrupt practices can continues because they are confident that with just votes from the urban area, the PAkatan Rakyat will not be able to topple the Barisan Nasional.

Therefore, it is our challenge to spread the realization down to the kampong people so that all Malaysians will speak in one voice in defiance of corruption, nepotism and abuse. The kampong folks must be made to realize that corruption will destroy their future and their children future. This is our challenge indeed.

Tulang Besi
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