Another round of BR1M? — Tay Tian Yan
JUNE 11 — In recent years, we have said hello and goodbye to various governmental plans with numerous acronyms. To be honest, those who were confused will remain confused and for those who were not confused, will still have no way to know about the results of the plans.
There is one exception, however: The 1 Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M).
If you have not heard about the BR1M aid, at least you know about the RM500 aid, right?
Most households with a monthly income of RM3,000 or below have received the RM500 aid in the previous round. The feeling was so real when one holds the money in one’s hands. It was much more gratifying than just hearing about those plans and acronyms.
Of course, the gratification to the government was also more real.
However, in view of the lack of the country’s statistics capacity, many households earning more than RM3,000 monthly have also enjoyed the RM500 aid.
Haven’t you heard that? Some people dressed in fine clothes went to collect the RM500 aid in their Mercedes-Benzes without even feeling embarrassed. To them, if it was government-distributed money, then why shouldn’t they take it?
The government would not mind, after all, as long as these people feel gratitude to the government.
Therefore, even Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has bluntly said that the people would not thank the government for what it has done, but they would after receiving the aid.
Since it is effective, and the general election would not, or could not, be held so soon, they are now considering for a second BR1M payout to make the total aid RM1,000 for each household, so that the people’s gratitude to the government would be deeper.
Wait, there is a doubt here. Is the move of distributing the RM500 aid meant to make the people feel gratitude? Is it just meant to gain votes?
Unfortunately, they are the answers, at least for the government.
Foreign governments also distribute aid, even though the names are different. Some call it consumption vouchers, and some called it people’s bonus.
However, they are not meant to make people feel thankful. For example, the Japanese government did so to encourage consumption and revitalise the market, while the Taiwan government did so to stimulate the economy to avoid recession.
The Barisan Nasional aid distribution involves a great amount of money. The first aid payment alone involved more than RM2 billion. Another round of payment could raise the amount to over RM4 billion.
However, the government does not even bother to show a financial statement.
And the move is meant to gain gratitude votes instead of serving any economic purpose.
The problem is, is it right to do so? Could they really do so?
It lacks legitimacy in economics and it lacks ethics in political science.
Malaysia has had a fiscal deficit for 15 consecutive years. In other words, we spend more than we earn and have to borrow money to meet the difference.
Today, the country’s total debt is RM360 billion, equivalent to RM13,000 of liabilities for each citizen, or over RM60,000 for each household.
From the financial management point of view, the government should think of ways to revive the economy, increase revenue and reduce spending, instead of directly distribute money to the people.
Political issues should be handled through political means, instead of economic measures. To seek for the people’s support, they should convince them with policy, instead of giving them money. — mysinchew.com
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.