Scary news indeed! First, we get news that the Iceland government collapses. Now there's news that the California State government is going bust!
This here's an article which analyses how the State of California - one of the biggest economies in the WORLD (!!) - went bankrupt, written in layman's language.
I just want to highlight a very succinct point the writer made:
"While all of this tax revenue is drying up, the state is still budgeted as if the party was just getting started. In other words, revenues dried up, but expenditures didn’t budge, and now the state is broke."
Jeng, jeng, jeng!! Sudah pokai asyik nak berjoli lagi! Some people may be incredulous at such dumbass governments who can't tell the difference between an empty wallet and a full one.
Do we see this happening in Malaysia?
Now, I'm no economist. I'm just a layman with my EYES WIDE OPEN. And this is what I see.
Budget for 2004: RM60+ billion (with a deficit projected)
Budget for 2009: RM200+ billion (also with a deficit projected - eh, the money yang dulu tu dah habis bayar ke belum? Sekarang nak deficit lagi? Got to pay back one, okey!).
That is one...FAT budget! Budgeted government expenditure alone in 2009 is RM150+ BILLION - 2.5 times the ENTIRE budget of 2004! Kalo ada wang unlimited tu, ok la. Nak berjoli dengan wang rakyat and spend like nobody's business also tak terasa sangat. Whether such expenditures are prudent or useful, that's another story la.
This budget is based on the assumption that Petronas will continue pouring $$ from crude oil revenues into govt coffers. But now, crude is in the under USD40 bracket - a mere 30% of the oil revenue assumptions that the budget is based on (and prices are projected to remain so for the next few months at least). At these rates, Petronas itself is wondering if it can even survive seeing that it has invested billions in overseas ventures! Where is the government going to get the money?!
That's why got bullshit like fuel tax and (the impending) GST la. Wah...trip up the rakyat with your nonsense management, then pull more money out of their pockets when they're down, ah? To borrow a line from "Limbo Rock": How low can you go? But that's another story la.
What we really need now is serious bipartisan discussions about how to handle the economy. But do we see any serious debate about the state of the economy and what needs to be done?
We STILL have the same lame Budget. Which is already completely irrelevant anyway since the projected billions in government revenues from Petronas has just about dried up, without a hope in hell of being restored.
(Meanwhile, our Finance Minister is too busy jaga pintu in Perak to make sure no more UMNO ADUNs escape!)
We STILL have the incredible RM150+ billion govt expenditures - God knows what they are spending on! As far as I remember, there has been no convincing justification on these expenses.
(Meanwhile, our PM is traipsing around the world for God-knows-what purpose, and issuing statements like "change will come in March when UMNO elects its new leaders." WTF?! Aren't YOU STILL the PM? What the hell you doing now? Just hanging around until time to off-work, is it?! I guess you got that damn attitude from the years you spent in the civil service!)
What seems to be more important to our politicians is keeping themselves in power (and their hands in the money pot). Thus...the RM7,000,000,000 "stimulus package". (Read my previous 2 posts on why that whole thing is a tragic joke upon the rakyat).
So...is Malaysia in a similar state as California? Revenue drying up but still spending like there's no tomorrow? You be the judge la.
But hey! On the bright side, the Star reported yesterday that Malaysian employees' confidence that they will not be affected by the global financial meltdown is the highest in the region. Higher than even Singapore! And Singapore is possibly going to retrench 500,000 Malaysian workers!!
Wohh... caya lu la, dude! Damn manly, man, to laugh in the face of disaster!
Or is this due to the utter failure of the Malaysian government to prepare the country to face the crisis?
And following from that, the bigger question is...do we continue to allow such a government to continue ruining our country, or do we get rid of the dead weight?
YOU be the judge.