Subsidy, is a rather uninteresting topic. It was interesting. Maybe because it was a newer word to me then.
Malaysians and most of the world's citizens will be facing a turmoil of steep price increase in household goods. Steep may be too polite to describe the worsening situation. The global crude oil price have crept above US$110 per barrel. Something unheard of, something never imagined a decade ago. Fuel price have a direct impact delivery and production cost. Thus, making it inevitable for the cost to the passed down the chain, victimising us-the end consumers.
Here in Malaysia, the topic is hot. As a freshie in the working world, I am already feeling the pinch on food price increase. Even with a decent, above average income, I realise the diminishing value of the Ringgit I earn. What more those who earn much lesser and to make matters worst, have a family to feed. Will we ever solve this problem? No!
Removing the subsidy on fossil fuel is the worst nightmare of most people. Except for those in the oil & gas industry, others will never have enough compensation for the inflation that will hit them hard. A next tsunami will hit us with devastating effect. Maybe much stronger than the Asian Economic Crisis - 1997. I am not sure how will China, India, Vietnam & part of the ASEAN contain and mitigate the worst effects of this unwelcome economic event.
By channeling money saved from the subsidies and shelving of mega projects to the hardcore poor and the soon-to-be deemed new hardcore poor, might help elevate some burden. My opinion is such that, money shouldn't be directly channeled to the people. This is to avoid misused and corruption. Instead, the government should introduce other initiatives. My suggestions would be:
1) Better education and healthcare
2) Create more skilled employment opportunities
3) Provide higher tax rebates for citizens earning below RM36,000 per annum
(the figure is derived from an estimate based on personal opinion)
4) Reduce wastage by government officials (do less functions, travel low-budget & etc.)
5) Increase tax (%) for citizens earning more than RM180, 000 per annum
6) Reduce or abolish tax on ASEAN produce
I hope something like this would be done to elevate at least some burden from the people.