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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Let’s aim for zero subsidy to cut wastage

IT IS with dismay that I read about the hue and cry on fuel subsidy, sugar subsidy and all the other subsidies highlighted of late.

It will always be difficult to determine who should receive these subsidies since we do tend to be unscrupulous in wasting all resources available.

I still remember my university days when I stayed in the hostel and we paid RM10 per day. This included our room rental, food and of course water and electricity.

It was pricey way back then but what made me cringe was the attitude of some of my friends.

They would take more food than they could eat and throw the balance away, leave the room with lights or fan on, or let the tap run while attending to something else. They claimed they had paid for it and thus could waste all they wanted.

The same goes for this subsidy mechanism. We pay tax, we expect the Government to subsidise, and we waste.

With subsidised fuel, we will use our car to go to our local store. At a subsidised rate, we consume sugar till we develop health complications.

Even the healthcare system is heavily subsidised.

We pay RM1 at the government hospital, demanding immediate emergency care when actually we have just a minor cold, the medicine for which can be bought over the counter.

With the RM1, the hospital does investigations way beyond its worth. Blood investigations can cost up to RM100 per test and radiological investigations up to RM400 (for a CT scan).

And now to even subsidise alimony?

That was indeed the cherry on the ice cream. Yup, you guys go ahead and get married and if you are sick of your wife, just leave her. The Government will take care of it.

Yes, I am a government servant and seeing the way we demand things when actually we should feel thankful that we are paying not even a fraction of what we are getting really irks me.

I think we should gradually aim for zero subsidy and channel government funds wisely. Look at how much we can save in not subsidising.

And when the things are not cheap, we will appreciate it more and hopefully be less wasteful.

The Government could use the funds thus saved for more necessary projects. We can give more in monthly aid to the poor registered with the welfare department instead of the meagre sum now.

Train more welfare officers, and look out for those in need. Make sure the subsidy goes to the truly needy.

Our people should wake up, earn more and make our country proud.

Johor Baru.

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