BN administration latest flagship gadget to retain power, which is estimated to cost tax payers RM2.6 billion for 2.5 million applicants, will do the country more harm than good for the country.
Instead of worshipping this as a blessing from demi-god, first and foremost, it looks like an one-off election gadget, a customary by-election sweetener ("remember Najib's 'you-help-me-I-help-you' classic in Sibu?); only on a wider scale.
In fact, the PA of Koh Tsu Koon, a minister in the prime minister department, informed one of the local Chinese dailys that only offcials from Barisan Nasional can certify applications of this BR1M forms. Any forms carrying a Pakatan representative signature will be rejected
only certifications by Barisan Nasional people's representatives are accepted as effective
If this is really a governmental initiative using tax payers' money to aid the poor, then civi service is suppose to be apolitical. The above effectively confirms this initiative as political campaigning scheme funded by misallocated public funds and misuse of public service machinery, no more, no less.
Question 1 : is this expenditure included in the 2012 budget which already carrying a bigger deficit than the Pakatan akyat's alternative budget and having a very optimistic gowth forecast when all other news around the world is doom and gloom? The potential collapse of EU monetary unionsoft landing of China'seconomy etc?
Question 2 : who is financing this handout? Tax payers, of course. Whatever that the BN administration spend, be it submarines we do not need, KLIA 2 which has huge cost overrun while KLIA is underutilised, wanton abuse of public funds highlighted by the Auditor General's report, it is our money.
Yet, it is the hallmark of Barisan Nasional to remind Malaysians to be grateful for whatever that they are enjoying now.
Why should we, when our own money is used to finance a public relationship campaign? And is BN administration going to continue with this dish out on an annual basis when there is no anticipated forthcoming election?
Treating voters like beggars is not the mark of a sucessful and responsible government. Democratically elected government should implement policies and administrative structure that help the tax payers and citizens to be financially independent and excel, not rendering them status of beggars and grateful for meagre, 1 time hand out.
Business dynamics and employment opportunities won't grow too much when too many people are kept disempowered and counted on an easy to mine voters deposit. Certainly not the way to create a high income population in our nation.
Is the RM500 a cure all for our cost of living woes, fuelled by corruption, inefficient and stifling public sector? (The drop in our ranking in recent international corruption index says it all).
RM500 would probably lasts a month or two. And to strike the iron while it is still hot, all signs of a GE to be announced within a 2 months window period once the payment mechanism are sorted out and carried out. I heard unconfirmed rumours that February has been considered as the target month for GE.
The wanton expenditure today will come back and haunt us tomorrow.
The Inland Revenue Board will be given higher collection target. Recent tax amendments (section 107C) have given the IRB wide range and undisputable power (even above the judiciary) to hit tax payers with amounts that the IRB thinks fit. Helluvaway to encourage foreign and local investment sentiment.
Come next budget, here would be some more creative measures like imposing service tax on credit cards and hike in service tax on Astro for example, converting temporary teachers' contract of service to contract for service to squeeze basic amenities from them, will be introduced.
And rest assure GST will resurface once GE is over and done with. The amount of tax recovered, while no reduction in income tax rates will make this RM500 handout looks like chicken feed.
The massive handout is a credit to Pakatan Rakyat. Following Penang's measure to eradicate hardcore poverty and Selangor's Mesra Usia Emas, Tawas & Jom Shopping schemess, BN has no choice but to match Pakatan's policies and up the stakes.
Even the forthcoming RM200 book voucher scheme was a 2009 proposal mooted in DAP's alternate 2010 budget.
Anyone remember any BN initiative that provide such open cash handouts? Maybe the road tax rebate as an appeasement in Badawi's administration. That is also a loose change from the petrol rates hike pre-GE12.
The difference between Pakatan schemes and BN schemes is that Pakatan funded their schemes from budget surpluses while BN continue to accumulate massive budget deficits and national debts - drawing out from EPF, banks and insurance companies as well as issuing international bonds.
There is nothing wrong to take back some rebates from taxes paid although the payers and the payees are probably different categories of tax payers but we do not owe any vote buyer any favour. Secrecy of our votes is stated in the election laws and you won't see this handout again until there is another need to ask for favour again.