After about two months of absence from yhe country, doing pilgrimage to Mecca and recovering from jetlag and spiritual readjustments (readjusting from a life of prayers and supplication to Allah then crashing back into the material world is not quite easy), I find myself rather disoriented. There were too many things that didn't maku much sense to me.
The first thing that baffled me was to see a notice from Citihall addressed to a relative imposing on him aa assessment tax of RM131,200 a year for an acre of undeveloped agricultural land in Sungai Pencala. I understand tha the value of land in that area has been reevaluated, the status othe land having been changed from agricultural to industrial. The previous year he had to pay about RM400. The new charges almost gave him a heart attack, and indeed he had to undergo an operation for a minor heart attack later. A evaluation or cess tax of RM131,200 f year for an acre of lang isjust ludicrous to. There must be a mistake somewhere in the caculation although Citihall blendly talked of a 300% raise in the tax. Even a tax of RM12k or RM13k would force the old man to sell the land...
On reading the papers I saw that the new rate imposed by Citihall has shocked people in many areas in Kuala Lumpur including Jinjang and Kepong. A 300% raise in evaluation tax is certainly somethi g never heard in the history of thiscountry.
Then I heard the overall cry of anguish. "The price of almost everything has gone up by leaps and bound, especially that of petrol. Electric and water charges will also go up and so will the toll rates. The only thing that comes down in this country is rain...rain and more rain causing the worst flooding in Pahang and Trengganu." Then there was the announcement about the raise in the allowances of Prime/Chief Minister, Ministers and parliamenterians in xpite of the millions needed to help the flood victims.
We hear also that lands for new indusrrial and commercial purposes are being sold to foregner in the new development corridors, at fantastic prices. It follows tha the coomercial buildings and shophouses (including residential homes) will be built an sold at fantastic pricess, far beyond the financial capacity of the non-superrich Malaysians to buy. Yes, there are rich Malaysians too but very few Bumis. Even now the luxury homes in commercial areas are not affordable to the Bumi middle claas. So, how is the economic status of the Bumis going to be improved vis-a-vis the incresing strength of the non-Bumis?
The country is making haste to become a developed nation by 2020. The Per Capita is supposed to shoot up to RM15,000 or more. The income of workers are to be raised. But what we see is prices of consumer good going up faster than the rise in the personal income of workers. So is the charges fo public services now taken over by the private sector and the taxes or avaluation rates.
Is the standard of living and level of comfort in life really improving? Are the citizens getting more for the rinngit they earn or there's just more ringgit but of less value? We can only ask questions. Ghe leAders must provide honest answers and not reply to the hard questions in equivocal platitudes as we often here in parliament.