"Jika anda berbohong tentang sesuatu produk, anda akan didapati - baik oleh KERAJAAN, yang akan menghukum anda, atau oleh PELANGGAN, yang akan menghukum kamu dengan tidak membeli produk anda untuk kali kedua .
DESPITE public outcry, there is a good argument for removing subsidies. By far, however, the better option is to get rid of wasteful mega-projects.
The Pahang-Selangor Raw Water Transfer Project, at RM9 billion and likely to end up costing much more, is a case in point where the decisionmakers did not prefer the more sustainable option of a Water Demand Management Plan, at RM10 million or less annually. It dishonoured our Environmental Quality Act.
The one reason that is offered with each new water supply mega-project is that the public will run out of water without it. What better way to scare us?
Stakeholders and civil society, committed to sustainable management of our water and forest resources, cited sound environmental, social and financial reasons for not executing the Pahang-Selangor Raw Water Transfer Project, recommending instead the adoption of a Water Demand Management Plan.
It could well be that the motivation to cut subsidies is to enable more mega-projects.
For example, the 10th Malaysia Plan proposes an incredible 6,300 kilometres of new roads for Peninsular Malaysia, where there is already a well-developed network of roads and highways. This plan is certain to fragment more habitats and drive more wildlife, such as tigers, to extinction.
In a deal with China, Sarawak has launched a plan to build a dozen large hydro-electric projects to produce energy the State does not need. The projects will cause massive deforestation, flooding and displacement of indigenous people.
Thus, many Malaysians have the perception that the big infrastructure contractors clinch mega-projects with ‘sweetheart’ deals.
Regardless, our decisionmakers have worked up an appetite for mega-projects that is very costly to the public purse.
There is something the public could do to help them kick the habit – voluntarily reduce use of water and energy.
If we cut water consumption by 20 per cent at home, and businesses and industry did the same, the Pahang-Selangor Raw Water Transfer Project would prove redundant.
Given that average domestic consumption is 50 per cent to 100 per cent higher than in places where water conservation is practised, this is not a difficult goal to meet.
By means of new media and social networking tools, the rakyat can spread the message to save water and energy across the length and breadth of Malaysia.
It could help usher in the beginning of the end of a key reason why Malaysia is on the road to bankruptcy – our wasteful mega-projects.
Petaling Jaya, Selangor