Uno sciocco e il suo denaro son presto separati. -italian proverb-

dear pak, how are you? or rather, you should ask me how i am. if you really want to know, i’m no good.

firstly, i have to tell you that i am not one of those bums. i got my degree from a public univ, never joined any anti-gov movement and am not one of those 18,000 unemployed grads you were worried about. but i think i still deserve your worry. why? because these are hard times, pak. for a young grad trying to make it in the big bad world, you ain’t making things much easier. yea yea, i know that i should not depend too much on the government. you gotta trust me when i say that i work hard for what i earn and i’m not the spend thrift sort. i life very averagely and you ain’t making it any easier for me to make much of a living anymore.

last year, the prices of sugar, milo, fish and meats went up. not that i cook much pak, but i do consume them and the hike made the prices of my milo ais and tomyam campur go up. i kid you not that the food list on the menu has gone up and has not stopped going up and up and up. i am eating less and less and less. do you know pak, that some people in my office get by with just buns for lunch? plain nasi lemak used to be rm1 a packet. now, it costs rm1.20 and the egg and ikan bilis in the pack is missing.

a coupla months ago, the toll rates went up by 10%. it used to be rm3 to go to campus to study. now its rm3.10. what’s 10sen? plenty when you consider that the palang toll won’t give way unless i pay up the bloody 10sen. can i say to the toll operator ‘whats 10 sen?’? no. 10sen is a difference. in one month, it adds up to almost rm3. i could eat lunch with that money. but did you stop there? of course not. last month we got to know that toll concessionaires will be extended until 2038. that’s how long i’m going to pay toll to the existing booths and i’m sure there are more on the drawing board. and i betcha that the toll prices could go up again in the next 33 years, no?

government subsidies in public hospitals are going to be scraped by the end of next year… or is it this year, pak? how la, pak? not everyone can afford to pay full rates for medical and health services, not to mention medicines and pharmas. medicines will have that hologram logo now. good for you. i bet the public will have to pay for that now?

the insurance premium that people are paying under the new scale is also much higher now. this is very weird to me, pak. can an insurance company actually make a loss?

i realised also that people earning rm24,000 will need to tay tax now instead of the previous rm30,000. seriously, could you get by life in kl on rm2000? rent itself will slash one’s salary in half. the interest rates are just way too high at the moment for me to buy myself a house. come to think of it, its been high for quite awhile, kan? i see million ringgit condos being built around town, can people afford those? what about the loads of other people who can’t even afford low-cost flats? then there are car loans lagi. oh, then makan?

in november last year, you hiked up petrol prices. today, you hike it up again. this is very sad, pak. i need to travel a lot and it’s not simply jalan-jalan, pak. i have to be mobile in my line of work. i have to get from home to work to school and then all my appointments.

but are you really encouraging the use of public transport, pak? you raised the bus and taxi fares, didn’t you? and now with today’s petrol hike, i suppose the fares are going to go up again? and that crazy taxi maniac is still on the loose, i am damn scared to take cabs and so are a lot of people in my office.

but after all this, all these hikes and stretching of my poor ringgit, what is all this i hear about our inflation rate doubling this year, la? investors are running, pak.

i’m not angry, pak. i am just damn tired. i work harder and harder, hoping that someday i’ll be able to get myself a nice double-storey terrace house and a shoplot in a good location so that i could open a trendy cafe for datin-wannabe makciks to hang out, but how am i supposed to do that when i hardly have anything left my the end of each month? i was hoping to buy a camera at the end of the year, pak. i good d.s.l.r. one so that i could take real artsy pictures for work. i was hoping to get a raise if i could write and take pictures too. but its may and i realise that i can’t even afford a telephoto lense. i’m just disappointed, pak.

so pak, think of me the next time you sign some kind of price hike. i’m just guessing here, but i don’t think your pals in the cabinet get by on rm2k+ a month while paying for house and car and all. and i am paying fees for school some more… haih… i’m so depressed nowadays and you ain’t making things better…

i hope your day is well, pak. i still think you can make a difference. i voted for you, pak. please don’t make that difference be me with a shallowed pocket. thanks, pak.


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