Food stamps not the right way, dear Mr. DPM

In Malaysia, it is probably well known that Kroni Diutamakan and they ain’t farmers. Look at the IPPs, the toll concessionaires, AP kings, the subcontracting contractors etc. What we are seeing here is that the farmers and producers are doing all the donkey work while unseen hands of middlemen, be it institutionalized or not, are making a killing.

By Lee Wee Tak

Sometimes I do wonder if our nation’s top leadership ever provides the right solution to our livelihood problems. Malaysia’s once formidable English standard has declined as a result of excessive application of nationalism but the solution to teach mathematics and science in English, without first strengthening, improving and reinforcing primary level English syllabus and teaching resource before making the leap, actually resulted in messing up the learning of all 3 subjects for many young Malaysians.

Although I believe the suppliers of text books would have made impressive profits then.

When I read this morning’s headline, I struggle to get it around my head this nugget.


Sunday July 31, 2011

Food stamp plan will help stem rising food costs, says Muhyiddin

MUAR: Malaysia may introduce food stamps soon to cushion the rise in food prices, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said.

The Deputy Prime Minister said the Government was concerned about the rising cost of living which was occurring globally, adding that the food stamp idea was among the options being considered in an effort to reduce its impact.

Muhyiddin, who heads the Cabinet committee looking into the cost of living, said rising prices was a global issue linked to the higher price of fuel which is affecting food production.

He said that at the same time, long droughts and floods which hit many food-producing countries also affected the price of many commodities.

Food stamp is a form of subsidy to assist the financially deprived to obtain food but addressing the issue of raising food prices?

I am sorry, DPM. It does not address the rising food prices and the majority of Malaysians who hold a decent job but struggling to cope with over priced cars, houses and daily living expenses would not benefit from this solution.

Sounds like another pre-general election gesture again, like that additional Mydin branch carrying that logo paid by tax payers in Kelana Jaya.

While food stamp sounds good on paper, the BN administration is not famous for proper execution of reasonably advertised policies and plans. Take a look at the long list of cock-ups namely NEP, Buku Hijau, Proton, Bakun Dam, Wawasan 2020, national service, PKFTZ, ETP etc. Just take a look at the on-going registration of legal foreign workers.

Also it is puzzling that while the current administration boast of moving the nation towards high income, it resorts to issuing food stamp to further signify the declining purchasing power and earning capacity of Malaysians.

To this writer, improving the purchasing power parity of Malaysians is a key ingredient to moving towards high income nation. While it is important to raise the wage level of Malaysians, making prices of goods and services go down, do more to enrich Malaysians.

The raise of food prices is due to external and internal factors.

Externally, the main reason is not really weather or fuel, but unethical, immoral and inhuman price speculation.

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