Congratulations to the winner of the Hulu Selangor Buy Election as some call it.
The residents of Hulu Selangor got this durian runtuh, or I normally call it dead man ang pow to the tune of RM1.68 million. I think the numbers do not end there
RM1.68 billion gifts for Hulu Selangor
A tabulation by a Chinese newspaper counted the following:
building of a link to Plus highway (perhaps more toll can be collected but anyone did a traffic volume study to justify the cost of construction?)
construction of 250 low cost houses (I hope there is a study of demand to supply ratio)
total of RM5 million for 100 Felda pioneer who waited for 15 years with undisclosed amount for their children’s technical training education support (note the excellent timing and ambiguity of the promised sum)
RM6 million allocation of special funds of agriculture sector for Hulu Selangor (of which benefit from this investment will never be accounted for, I believe, remember the 50 MPs who went to Taiwan to study agriculture stuff and until now we have no idea what benefit our money has generated sending 50 instead of a few specialist to Taiwan, land of Pinang Xi Si .? )
RM350,000 allocation for equipment upgrade in general hospital (funny the equipment upgrade is after a death and not before) and RM870,000 for 20 basic amenities upgrade work in 13 new villages ( the villages can named the bridges and drains as Kamal, Alan or Nathan if they want to)
a few hundreds of thousands to a few SRJK(C ) and some tens of thousands for other Chinese societies (Ibrahim Ali is strangely silent about this one)
and finally after years of appeal (I believe part of much maligned suqiu’s plead as well), students from Chinese private high schools can apply for PTPTN loans (note: can apply only) and a 68 year old granny got her citizenship after 12 years wait (another perfectly timed execution)
As a tax payer I wonder:
1) Did all this ad-hoc allocation go through the proper cost-benefits analysis and appraisal before being approved?
2) Is it within 2010 budget or would result in an overrun? (Hard to envisage federal budgetary processes would consider how many ADUN or MP deaths per annum)
3) If there is an overrun, how would the shortfall be made good? Now perhaps we can think about the reasons behind proposed GST, proposed 3 time increase in traffic fines, annual issuance of PNB unit trusts unheard of during the Mahathir years – we may look at the merits of whether this PNB unit trusts are really unsecured public borrowings
4) Talking about the concept of opportunity costs - has any legitimate, necessary and approved allocation being diverted from elsewhere to fund this ad hoc splurge?
Any hospital, schools, government office etc that was in the queue for funding suddenly found that the planned and expected funds did not arrive? Any contractor due for payment for his/her contract work suddenly being denied the expected cashflow to pay his subcontractors who subsequently can’t pay his/her workers and suppliers?
5) The proposed UiTM in Hulu Selangor…is it within the planned expansion of a high education development master plan or just an ad hoc addition which would result in disruption and wastage of funds?
Municipal officers should take note. In future, when pressed by residents for a host of drainage, potholes, inadequate lightnings and all that, a possible answer is that the solutions relating to local public amenities has a direct relationship to the state of health of the member of parliament or state assembly. Perhaps in future we might see advertisement by unfamiliar parties offering assistance to resolve local amenity issues but the contact number is some obscure foreign mobile handset number.
The decade long deficit budget trend with no tangible benefits to the mass is already a concern. We cannot be rash with our god-given wealth anymore. We are lucky we do not have any natural catastrophes like in the Philippines, Indonesia or China.
We the rakyat have to pay taxes and bear the risk of business failure, bankruptcy, unemployment, retrenchment and other reasons for loss of income and security. The elected administrators of this country, safe with their pension entitlement in future, must be held accountable for their decision making and implementation.
If the administrators and their appointees are not prudent and sensible to carrying out their fiduciary duties as administers, safeguard and grow the wealth of nation, we have to consider how solid their iron rice bowl should be.
Any way, is there an element of corruption here? If there has not been a by-election, would such promises and disbursements be made? Is the pay out due to genuine need of the Hulu Selangor people and in the ordinary course of administering the country or just because of the need to win a by-election? The taker is as guilty as the giver in a normal corruption case.
Would the fair minded officers in the MACC care to comment?