The booby trap Pakatan set in its budget

“As more and more Hongkies pump money, these cities will see an influx of local Chinese businessmen seeking opportunities and benefits. Before long, cities like Ipoh, Malacca and regions around Gelang Patah and Pasir Gudang would become densely populated with Chinamen who Kit Siang will make sure are registered as voters towards GE15. Now, do you have any idea where the Malays will end up? In the dumps, of course”

THE THIRD FORCE

What’s the difference between a mathematician and an economic strategist?

Well, a mathematician will tell you one plus one always equals two. An economic strategist, however, will add value to the two and try very hard to have it perform like a four. But a magician can do what neither two can ever do – he can add absolutely nothing to the four and have that four turn into an eight.

In Pakatan Harapan, we actually have magicians capable of performing such tricks. They can pull money from out of nowhere and put that money onto your hands. Yes, the guys at Pakatan are wizards in every sense of the word. They are going to turn stuff you dislike into money before giving you that money to spend.

And we’re talking stuff like the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and toll charges. Under Pakatan Harapan, the rakyat will no longer need to pay anything for quality education or worry about making road-trips anywhere. According to its leaders, the less you spend on stuff you hate, the more you help revitalise the economy by spending on stuff you truly like.

But here’s the catch.

The more you spend on stuff you like, the greater the need for businesses to supply that stuff. But because businesses aren’t going to be able to cope overnight, the price of that stuff is bound to increase. Now, common sense dictates that the higher the price, the lesser the value for money you will get each time you decide to purchase that stuff.

Of course, Pakatan will tell you that the depreciation in value is temporary, that given time, businesses will expand and better regulate their supply chains to meet demands. But we have seen over and again how prices in Malaysia never fall once they have risen. In other words, you’d be a fool to think prices will eventually drop once businesses are able to cope with demands.

So tell me, who will suffer in the end?

The consumer, of course. And while you console yourself thinking the guys at Pakatan did not see it coming, people like Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and Lim Kit Siang will milk every dime they can out of tycoons whose companies register sky-high returns. They will continue to do so until such a time that consumers refrain from overspending as prices of goods become too steep.

And when the spending drops, so will the ability for businesses to sustain their bullish revenue streams. Such businesses will resort to tax evasion tactics to compensate the increase in operational costs. When that happens, Mahathir and Daim Zainuddin will tell you that the country needs to impose GST to prevent businesses from robbing the nation of its wealth. By 2020, you’ll probably see the return of the very GST Pakatan promised you it will abolish.

Daim Zainuddin, Mahathir’s financier and trustee, makes it clear that GST is the way forward.

See the magic?

It is the same magic that Lim Guan Eng used to inflate cost of living in Penang. In 2009, he got Tan Sri Tan Kok Ping to speculate on the property market by engaging the help of crony developers. These developers – the likes of Hunza Property’s Khor Teng Tong – began snapping up property in regions that lacked quality homes just to inflate a housing bubble. The purchases forced the revaluation of non-prime property and turned the island state into a developer’s playground.

By 2010, even an engineer who took home RM4,000 monthly could never afford quality homes on the island. But that didn’t seem to stop Guan Eng. The Chief Minister continued to sell state land to cash-rich developers and got them to erect luxury high-rises. These developers advertised their projects in China and Taiwan to create the impression that Penang under the DAP was destined to become the next Hong Kong.

Of course, the boom in property prices brought along with it rises in infrastructural and other related expenses. To impress upon you that the state could cope, Guan Eng performed ‘financial acrobatics’ by reapportioning funds here and there. For instance, between the years 2010 and 2014, he got his men to shut down state trustee accounts and quietly channeled money from those accounts into a consolidated fund. The fund was then recognized as state revenue and reported in ways that suggested exponential budget gains.

And that is how the state registered a cumulative RM574 million surplus between the years 2008 and 2015. When asked, the Chief Minister insisted that his administration was guarded by Competency, Accountability and Transparency (CAT) principles. However, checks by my team revealed that the state is faring badly and was promised funds by Singapore. To qualify for those funds, Guan Eng must first get his dad to wrest control of the entire Malaysian west coast come the 14th general elections (GE14).

And yet again, who will suffer in the end?

You will. If Lim Guan Eng could turn Penang into a city for the rich and famous, think what Pakatan Harapan under Lim Kit Siang would do should Barisan Nasional lose the next election. The senior Lim would likely turn port bearing cities along the west coast of the peninsula into luxury enclaves to lure Hongkie investors into trading along the Malacca Straits.

As more and more Hongkies pump money, these cities will see an influx of local Chinese businessmen seeking opportunities and benefits. Before long, cities like Ipoh, Malacca and regions around Gelang Patah and Pasir Gudang would become densely populated with Chinamen who Kit Siang will make sure are registered as voters towards GE15. Now, do you have any idea where the Malays will end up?

In the dumps, of course.

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