When I was younger, I used to think that it is better to keep my political views to myself - just to avoid any trouble because my frank opinions may just be misunderstood. Now, too many of my relatives are involved in politics - be it pro or anti-opposition. When I say too many, I really do mean TOO MANY. When we all get together, we do exchange our opinions on the outlook of our political scene, especially in Sabah. The resignation of our granduncle, Datuk Seri Wilfred Bumburing, did not shock any of us actually. In fact, we were comtemplating among ourselves on which party that he would join when he resigns. Well, he retired from UPKO (a component party of BN) and join PR. I guess he has his own reasons - will try to ask him on what's his motivation to do the move. Hahaha!
Anyway, unlike Tun M, I am always with the view of "It is always better to be with the devil that you know than the devil that you don't" - in politics, there is no such thing as being an angel la. When a person is too nice, he will not be able to be a politician. This is my personal view - politics always has that 'dirty' element in it. I mean, come on, when the others are playing dirty, those 'new naive' politicians will have no choice but either to join them or be 'killed' in the process. Whatever it is, we, the mere mortals, will just try to sway ourselves from getting ourselves entangled in any political issues.
Recently something caught my attention, which triggered myself to be a bit more vocal in my political opinion. Like I've said before, I am not a pro-government nor am I a pro-opposition. I believe that in any country, it is always for the best when there is a good mixture of government and opposition representatives in the parliament. It creates balance.
Anyway, back to the original topic. This is about the recent Budget Report 2013, where the PM, announced that, "The Government will allocate RM386 million to ensure the prices of essential goods in Sabah and Sarawak as well as in Labuan are sold at lower prices through the opening of 57 KR1M (Kedai Rakyat 1 Malaysia); and to bear the cost of delivering products from Peninsular Malaysia to Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan including the interior areas."
I don't want to say whether it was a good idea for the PM to just make a general statement like that in his plan but I am sure that he is aware that every single point that he tabulates during his budget plan presentation, will be criticised to the max by the opposition parties - what more, GE13 is so nearby.
What I don't like is the statement from the opposition parties! I mean, if you want to make criticisms, please be more prepared with facts rather than shooting 'blanks' la.
Check out this media statement by Tony Pua Kiam Wee, DAP National Publicity Secretary & MP for Petaling Jaya Utara on Tuesday, 2nd October 2012.
Pua's big header of "Why is the Federal Government helping Mydin make astronomical profit to set up 57 KR1M in Sabah and Sarawak with RM386 million?" really amazes me on how shallow a politician's mind could be - if Pua wants to trick the public to turn against the Government by making such a remark, he has made a mistake - we are not stupid fool la. There are so many other things that he could pinpoint on the mistakes that the Government has made. Oh well, the remark is not accurate at all! First and foremost, who is helping who here? I don't think a big corporate company like Mydin will need any help to gain profit from the Government la. In fact, in the case of KR1M, Mydin is helping the Government to manage these shops as part of the company's CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) - check out this video by Mydin's Managing Director. Other big retailers will not even want to be part of it because they have to invest their resources (which could be used to gain profit for their own company) to assist in setting up KR1M stores.
One more thing, where did Pua get the data that Mydin is making astronomical profit out of this KR1M deal? Even a layman will know that you get better profit if you sell things more expensive. The items in KR1M are cheap because the profit out of the items is low! I think Mydin would be better off sticking with their own business. Its MD explained this in an article that just came out today that it is NOT a fast way to get rich!
Pua also said, "We call upon the Government to make available the RM386 million to all small retail outlets already in existence throughout Sabah and Sarawak to ensure that the maximum number of retailers and consumers will benefit from the programme to sell basic necessities at lower prices." Seriously, I want to ask him, if he has millions to invest, will he want to risk the money on someone who has little experience in retail supply chain, or someone who has only a single shop, or a company who has a proven track record of opening various formats of stores across the country? Simple risk calculation, right? I think that even if the Government offers KR1M to any other businessman, not many will take it up. In fact, according to the Malaysian Digest article, after realizing how the model of opening KR1M is not a fast way to gain richness, a lot of those who were keen before, decided not to pursue it.
One more thing to add, having multiple retail outlets across the country to get into KR1M project will be a total management nightmare - consistencies in processes and even item assortments will be gone and tracking the returns of the money invested will not be easy! At the end of the day, isn't it commonsense that in order to minimise the risk of project failure (in this case, involving millions of ringgit), you would want the project to be handled by ONE party (this is simple project management la!). The more party is involved in a project, the more complex the project management would be! I mean, HELLOOOOO, how does he think that he could run a country without even deducing such a simple common-sense?
Another politician who made a statement about this issue is the Kota Kinabalu MP, Dr Hiew King Cheu. I realized that a lot of these so-called educated politicians just like to make general statements without getting their facts right - Dr Hiew said, "...KR1M shop is a direct competitor to take away the business and income of the local small business and sundry shop or kedai runcit. This KR1M has the government finance and capital support, and it is selling goods at very price would definitely "slaughter" the existing small businesses. How can the Kedai Runcit survive? This will even affect the business of the supermarkets too." Doesn't he know that the kedai runcit can purchase these items from KR1M (at lesser prices) and re-sell the items in their shops. In this case, the kedai runcits will gain more customers too! From the selling prices, I am sure that KR1M has always been targetted to assist the needy who are living in towns/cities. The target audience is specific and the range of products is limited to essential items. Therefore, I don't think that the sundry shops/kedai runcits will be 'slaughtered' by KR1M.
Having said all the above, there is one thing that I do agree with Pua. It is the transparency of the allocated budget! The Government has always been 'weak' in this. They should be more open in terms of how the money is disbursed and show that there is no hanky-panky going on in the background. Well, that's what we, as the public, hope la... The Government needs to win back our trust so what's the harm of being transparent to your potential voters, unless of course, you have something to hide la...
In conclusion, the PRICKS are those politicians who choose to just say whatever they want without doing proper research, playing TRICKS to the public, thinking that we could be fooled. In this era where technology is available to everyone, news travel and rumours get spread so much faster than before, it is hard to fool the people la!
In the end, the people will decide! Personally, most of the people in politics are always with 2 faces - it is up to us to see which party is good for us and the country.
I will leave all of you with the above pic that I find to be, in a way, true to certain extend.
Until my next post, let's pray that our country will be more peaceful and we can live in harmony regardless of our race, personal faith and sexual preference!