Idris: RM103b can be saved, Government debt growing by 12% yearly

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will save RM103bil over the next five years if it slashes its subsidy bill now.

On the other hand, the country would become bankrupt by 2019 if the Government debt continued to grow by 12% per year, warned Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala.

“If we do not do anything, by 2019, our debt will equal our GDP. We do not want to end up as another Greece,” he said at the Subsidy Rationalisation Open Day.

To the point:i Idris explaining the hard facts concerning subsidy cuts during the Subsidy Rationalistion Lab open day in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Idris labelled the move to cut subsidies as “the most unpopular decision the Government has made since Independence”.

“You may be angry today. You and I do not like this. Nobody will be dancing on the streets to celebrate this, but we must do it for our future generation.

“If we vote not to do this (cut subsidies), our children in later years will condemn us for not taking the right decision,” he said.

Idris, who is also Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) chief executive officer, said he was encouraged that 61% out of 191,592 respondents who took part in an SMS poll supported the subsidy reduction.

To another poll question, 66% said the reduction should be done over between three and five years, he said.

Recommendations from Pemandu’s subsidy rationalisation lab, where key players from the public sector, private sector and non-governmental organisations brainstormed over six weeks, were displayed at the open day.

Later, Idris told reporters that Pemandu would process the public feedback on the proposals before presenting its report to the Cabinet.

In my opinion, Govt should cut the subsidies gradually and help to mitigate the effect on the lower income group. The middle class group will not have much impact since they can afford to drink rm10 coffee at Starbucks but not willing to pay rm2-3 more for daily necessities.They can waste their money at club,entertainment,spa but not willing to pay more for daily necessities.What a kiasu we have been.

Another crucial element of reducing the impact is by reducing subsidy, the Govt will have more savings. The savings should be made to increase the salary of workers in the country especially in Govt sector. This will help Malaysia to achieve higher income per capita and making the country as a high income nation.

For example in UAE..The salary is high, car is cheap, fuel is cheap but the living cost is very high as well as property/rent..Same goes to Singapore..My point here is, there is a price that we oughta pay for high income status.

I just hope the impact will be as minimum as possible but I know that is called daydreaming..Our society knows how to grab opportunity and seize it to their advantage..Well,do what you think is the best.

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