Money distribution politics
By TAY TIAN YAN
Translated by Soong Phui Jee
Sin Chew Daily
It is rumoured that the 2012 Budget would bring civil servants a “surprise”, including wage adjustment and bonuses.
We shouldn’t be too surprised as it has been a “surprise” of the annual Budget over the past few years.
However, Pakatan Rakyat has tabled an alternative budget three days ahead before the federal government presents its 2012 Budget.
It is not a problem to raise wages and distribute bonuses. We should appreciate the contribution of civil servants since they are the backbone of the country.
More importantly, 1.3 million of civil servants equal to 1.3 million of votes.
The government has been facing a deficit of RM50 billion and it should not be a problem to bear another RM5.9 billion.
This reminds me of Greece. Yes, we are talking about Greece again.
However, in addition to its economy, let’s learn also about its politics.
Greece is a two-party democratic country and it is indeed its advantage. Greece is also a populist state, and it is where the problems lie.
Populist politics means pleasing the masses and arousing the people’s passion to achieve political purposes.
Populism does not care about ruling ideologies, management efficiency and prospects, but only power retention is concerned.
The immature two-party system has exacerbated populism in Greece.
There are two major political parties in Greece, namely the New Democracy (ND) and The Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK).
To fight for power, the two parties have given every effort, including distributing political candies, to gain the people’s support.
The situation was worse 30 years ago when Andreas G. Papandreou, father of the current president, took the office.
He implemented a set of “dependency politics” and recruited a large number of civil servants to ease unemployment. He also provided them with social benefits similar to those of advanced countries, even Greece was a pauper among European countries.
Everyone was eager to join civil services and if a satellite fell to Greece, it would hit mostly civil servants.
Of course, the government had to give them work to do. Therefore, a coffee shop licence application had to go through the examination of 25 government departments and the loss caused by the delay of approval was actually paid by consumers.
The government had also set up a body in 1950 to drain a lake and build roads in northern Athens.
In 1957, the lake was drained and the roads were built. However, the body was retained even without a new task. Today, sixty years later, the body still exists and it was actually recruiting a new driver before the outbreak of debt crisis.
Today, when the Greek government has to cut deficit to save the country, these civil servants have been the first to stage street protests.
Malaysia is not Greece but Greece is a mirror, reminding us not to repeat its mistakes.
The Malaysian economic problems lie on the lack of productivity and the slow economic growth has resulted in low-income.
Regardless of the BN or the Pakatan Rakyat, they should propose policies to revive the economy and drive growth instead of emptying the Treasury while making the people to become more dependent on subsidies.
It is easy to distribute money and it is also easy to collapse a country.
Nampaknya media Cina pun tak seronok dengan bajet yang dibentangkan oleh Anwar. Populis dan nak menang undi itu satu hal. Tapi sampai nak menjahanamkan tabung perbendaharaan, adalah satu cadangan yang tidak dapat diterima akal.
Anwar khabarnya memang tidak berpuas hati dengan kerja Rafizi Ramli kali ini. Walaupun tidak bercakap secara peribadi dengan Rafizi, Anwar menyatakan perkara sama kepada Azmin Ali. Bajet alternatif kali ini Anwar sifatkan sebagai weak dan tidak berjaya. Tak mampu nak wujudkan minat orang terhadap PR. Malahan, Anwar sudahpun mengarahkan Azmin untuk melakukan ‘head hunting’ dan mencari seorang dua lagi ahli ekonomi muda untuk diserap ke dalam Pejabat Penasihat Ekonomi Selangor.
Antara yang menarik minat Anwar adalah seorang anak muda yang sedang bertugas di Strategic Planning, PETRONAS. Seorang lagi yang Anwar sedang perhati dan minta Azmin risik adalah seorang VP di Khazanah Nasional yang dikatakan mempunyai pemikiran ekonomi yang sangat advanced. Kedua-duanya, putih dan jambu…satu lagi penyakit biasa Anwar.
Rafizi nampaknya sudah semakin turun saham. Anwar memang tak gemar budak lelaki montel. Rafizi sudah terlalu montel buat Anwar. Anwar mahukan yang kurus, slim dan mempunyai pemikiran yang kedepan. Bukan perut.
Anwar khabarnya sanggup menawarkan harga yang tinggi kepada dua-dua anak muda PETRONAS dan KHAZANAH NASIONAL ini. Kita tunggu kalau-kalau Azmin berjaya membawa pinangan Anwar. Kalau berjaya…SAH, Anwar memang ada ‘taste tinggi’ bab-bab anak ikan ni.
Ingatan juga buat penasihat (punahsihat) Najib – supaya tak buat bajet nak menghabiskan duit kerajaan sahaja. Fikir panjang.