MM's suggestions on the fight against inflation in Malaysia

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MM's suggestions on the fight against inflation in Malaysia

Post by Rifdee on 2008-06-21, 22:41

The Star
18 June 2008

You walk the talk first

The Government wants us to change our lifestyles to cope with
inflation. It is easier said than done since most people were having
it difficult even before the hikes. The Government must first set an
example by doing things it should have done long ago.

WITH the recent hike in fuel prices and the Government's exhortations
for us to change our lifestyles in order to cope, may I provide here
some suggestions for the Government and those who work for it to
"share our burden".

1. Stop having meetings, especially out at resorts, far enough away to
be able to claim transport allowances. Have online meetings instead or
teleconferences. Use Skype or chat.

2. No need to order special pens, bags, T-shirts, notepads and other
goodies for those same meetings.

3. No need to order kuih for mid-morning or teatime meetings in
government offices, or nasi briyani lunches for those meetings that
happen to end just at lunchtime.

4. Cancel all trips for government servants to conferences overseas
unless they return with full reports of what they did there, who they
met and what they learnt and how they mean to apply what they learnt
at home. Ask them to do presentations to colleagues who did not get to
go, on the most interesting and important papers that they read.

5. Scrutinise invoices for contracts to make sure they are truly
reflective of what those projects or supplies cost.

6. Stop elaborate launches for government programmes. In particular,
stop the buying of souvenirs, special batik shirts, corsages, bouquets
and caps.

7. Make all civil servants and politicians travel economy class. That
means really travelling at the back of the plane and not buying full
fare economy class tickets that allow them to be upgraded to Business

8. Stop having the full complement of police escorts to cut down on
petrol costs. If they need to be somewhere by a certain time, start
earlier like the rest of us. Wouldn't be a bad thing for them to also
experience a traffic jam.

9. Once a week (or more), have ministers use public transport so they
know what everyone else has to suffer. This might provide them with
the incentive to improve them.

10. Once a week, let ministers go to a market to buy food for their
families with instructions to not spend more than RM100.

11. Get ministers to carpool. They might get more work done just by
being able to talk to each other to see what can be coordinated
between their ministries. For instance, the Ministers of Health and
Women could discuss what to do about women's health issues in the car
on the way to work. Maybe have a secretary to travel in the front seat
to take down notes on what was discussed. By the time they get to
their offices, things can get implemented.

12. Once a month, get civil servants to work with one disadvantaged
group in order to be better able to appreciate their problems. It
could be blind people one month, hearing disabled people the next,
orang asli the following month and people living with HIV/AIDS after

We could start buddy systems which pair one civil servant with one
disadvantaged person and at the end of it, ask each pair to make
recommendations on how to make life better for each other. This might
get rid of the problem of desk jockeys, people who never stray very
far from their desks yet make policies for people they know nothing

13. Have PA systems that shout out the name of the officers who have
to serve people at government offices so that people get the services
they came for and don't have to keep coming back just because the
officer was out having coffee.

No counter should be left unmanned for more than five minutes before
the officer is paged to go back to their stations. This should cut
down waiting time for the public and save them transport costs in
having to keep returning just to get one thing done.

14. Government officers who lose people's files should be fined and
have their names publicised for being careless and causing
inconvenience to the public. Instead of making the public travel to
their offices several times to deal with their problems, they should
travel to go see their client and deal with it right there and then.

And every officer who goes out of the office should be given a
reasonable time to get his work done after which he is expected back
in office so he doesn't waste time doing something else.

15. And newspapers should save paper by reporting real news rather
than non-news that they carry, particularly nonsensical utterances by

As they say, we need to do this all together in order to make a
difference. So if the Government and politicians make these lifestyle
changes, I will do my part and change mine.
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