Home TA Online RM81bn in subsidies: Optimise allocations; wipe out corruption, rent-seeking

RM81bn in subsidies: Optimise allocations; wipe out corruption, rent-seeking

Anwar’s government should prioritise some fundamentals

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Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has rightly said that the rationalisation of subsidies is important to ensure that the people receive help while the country’s economy remains strong.

The government subsidy bill for electricity, fuel, food and other items is expected to surpass a whopping RM81bn this year. 

It is reassuring that the government will come up with strategies to target subsidies mainly at the deserving. They are the ones who need the aid, and such aid will not jeopardise the economy. 

But Anwar’s government should prioritise some fundamentals to ensure that the RM81bn in subsidies does not end up as a perennial crutch that will affect the nation in the long run.

First, make the war on corruption a top priority for the government.

To do this, it needs to beef up the anti-corruption initiatives and strengthen the agencies and instruments that battle corruption. Implement measures to  ensure that the Attorney General’s Chambers and the justice system are not compromised or seen to be compromised. 

Royal pardons for crimes committed against the people should not be toyed with.

Second, focus on raising productivity. We need not worry too much about the private sector’s productivity as it has always spurred the economy.

Instead, look into the headcount of the civil service, which is bloated beyond justification.

Finally, declare war on profiteering business people who hoard, cheat, short-change or steal from the people. These cheats are among those responsible for the annual subsidy flops each year.

Let’s boldly abandon the rent-seeking and the political curry-favour culture that we pretend does not exist in the country. 

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The above three strategies will enable the unity government to optimise its subsidy allocations and fortify the nation’s economy and financial health. 

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
  1. Tegakkan maruah serta kualiti kehidupan rakyat
  2. Galakkan pembangunan saksama, lestari serta tangani krisis alam sekitar
  3. Raikan kerencaman dan keterangkuman
  4. Selamatkan demokrasi dan angkatkan keluhuran undang-undang
  5. Lawan rasuah dan kronisme
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