Consumerist: Subsidies, Goodies, Feel Good Spins And Elections!

Dato Jacob George

‘In Australia they were courageous, politically fair, accountable and transparent in announcing the dates of the next elections without any ‘hide and seek’, so that the government of the day and the opposition can do what they are called to do – govern!

And not be caught shamelessly trying to buy their way to a nomination or worst bribe the electorate with all forms and kinds of goodies and the mainstream media and mercenary journalist and bloggers ‘feel good stories and spins?’’ Dr Jacob George

Consumerist: Subsidies And Asian Capitals Facing National Elections

Malaysia faces a general election when there is enough courage to call for one, while, our neighbors Philippines and Indonesia have theirs coming too.

In Australia, they were courageous, politically fair, accountable and transparent in announcing the dates of the next elections without any ‘hide and seek’, so that the government of the day and the opposition can do what they are called to do – govern!

And not be caught shamelessly allegedly trying to buy their way to a nomination or worst bribe the electorate with all forms and kinds of goodies and the mainstream media and mercenary journalist and bloggers ‘feel good stories and spins?’

Here, despite the many goodies and cash payouts – Malaysians are generally struggling with various battles revolving around ‘bread and butter issues; escalation of costs of living and services and their credit crunch!

So I predict that the continued outflow of goodies will not sway the voting patterns in GE13!

Voters in all regions have made up their minds – it is only the fence sitters and even they have recently shifted!

Far too much scandals have rocked us by, many allegations still unanswered which includes the brutal murder of a very pretty Mongolian lass while accusations are made unsubstantiated against political opponents assisted by a cowed press?

Some countries are using race and religion big time but this has received flak as communities within nations has moved from such tendencies in view a globalized reshaping of national and international borders and UN Security Council and international laws, though times slow but still addressing genocide and apartheid!

In the Philippines and Indonesia there is far greater challenges and in Indonesia the whole question of fuel subsidy threatens gravely.

It is widely reported that the Indonesia’s government is again trying to confront runaway fuel subsidy costs that now account for more than 30 per cent of state spending and are draining funds that should be going for much-needed infrastructure in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.

I am advised Pak Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s administration have new measures in mind to restrict use of subsidized fuel.

But will he with an election next year and hurting memories of violent protests over fuel-price rises in 2005 and 2008?

Like some ASEAN countries specializing in subsidies, Indonesia is under pressure to reduce the subsidies.

But raising fuel prices is suicidal as it will hurt low income communities.

Here the last increase took place while all eyes were on Lahad Datu!

We have repeatedly spoken about the removal of subsidies but if that is not addressed in a fair and reasonable way it will create a backlash!

You cannot remove subsidies at one level and importantly revolving around grass root communities and the middle class but give out huge obese subsidies to the industry captains and cronies in other sectors!

This is vulgar!

And there are many imponderables to consider as we face the future with challengers and fed with fabrication, outright lies and news manipulation where truth becomes a major casualty of political wrestling.

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