Thursday, June 19, 2008


Just how much income does one need in order to have a reasonable and decent standard of living or to be able to support his family?

Here are two scenario’s. I found these interesting reads from the internet and newspapers.

Someone earning RM3,000-00 per month

(bench mark of an average Malaysian family per month). Family of four – father works, mother doesn’t and there are two children one school going and the other an infant.

The calculation :

· Electricity and water bills – RM100 (no air-conditioning, home theatre system or water

· Phone bill (Telekom Malaysia Bhd) – RM100;

· Meals – RM775 (based on three meals for the whole family at RM25 per day);

· Father’s refreshments, light lunch and the tarik during working hours – RM155 (that’s a
measly RM5 per day);

· Car instalment – RM400 (a modest Proton Saga Aeroback, seven-year repayment

· Petrol – RM300 (driving in the city to go to work and take the son to school with very
minimal toll payment);

· Car and life insurance – RM650;

· House mortgage repayment – RM750 (low-cost or low medium-cost housing repayment
for 30 years, which can stretch on after retirement);

· Tuition ( a norm for every child) – RM80 (if there is one that cheap);

· Pocket money for the child to take to school – RM20 (that’s less than RM1 a day, is that

· School fees for various activities, books and uniforms – RM130 (there is always something
to be paid);

· Milk powder for the younger child – RM50 (the least expensive ); and,

· Miscellaneous – RM100 (shampoo, soap, detergent, rice, sauce, toilet paper and other
household items).

The total for the above comes up to RM3,610 and that’s a clear deficit. And notice that the expenditure has not included some of the common things like satellite television subscription, mobile phone bills and Internet fees.

There are also no provisions for other kinds of family leisure. And the RM3,000 monthly wage has not taken into account the deductions for income tax and Employees’ Provident Fund.

Someone earning RM6,000 per month

Even if one is earning RM6,000 and having an ordinary lifestyle there is still a deficit each month.

The calculation :

Gross salary RM6,000.

· Net after EPF RM5,340;
· Net after Tax RM5,090;
· Less Housing Loan RM1,000;
· Less Car Loan RM600;
· Less Petrol RM350;
· Less Hand Phone RM150;
· Less Wife Allowance RM500;
· Less Parent Allowance RM500;
· Less Two Children Kindergarten RM350;
· Less House Electric RM120;
· Less House Water RM60;
· Less House Telephone RM80;
· Less House Food RM500;
· Less Own Lunch RM180;
· Less Car Instalment RM150;
· Less Medical RM100;
· Less Personal Insurance RM500;

Balance RM50

What is clear is that, it is becoming to rather difficult to have a decent living standard even if one is earning RM6,000. If that is so, just imagine those earning RM1,500 and below. Spare a thought for them. Who do you blame. The same people who promised “Aman, Selamat dan Makmur” – Barisan Nasional.

Incidentally here are some of the excesses of Barisan Nasional (ref :

This list below is hardly exhaustive as these are the ones uncovered so far – the tip of the ice-berg, if you will! What lies beneath could be much larger :-

1. The Bank Bumiputra twin scandals in the early 1980s saw US$1 billion (RM3.2 billion in 2008
ringgit) wasted;

2. The Maminco attempt to corner the world tin market in the 1980s is believed to have cost
some US$500 million (RM1.6 billion);

3. Betting in foreign exchange futures cost Bank Negara Malaysia RM30 billion in the 1990s;

4. Perwaja Steel resulted in losses of US$800 million (RM2.56 billion). Eric Chia was charged
with corruption for allegedly steering US$20 million (RM64 million) to a Hong Kong based

5. Use of RM10 billion public funds in the Valuecap Sdn Bhd operation to shore up the stock

6. Banking scandals of RM700 million losses in Bank Islam;

7. The sale of M.V. Agusta by Proton for one Euro making a loss of €75.99 million (RM348

8. Wang Ehsan from oil royalty in Terengganu amounting to RM7.4 billion from 2004 – 2007;

9. For the past 10 years since the Philharmonic Orchestra was established, this orchestra has
swallowed a total of RM500 million;

10. In Advisors Fees, Mahathir was paid RM180,000; Shahrizat Abdul Jalil (Women and Social
Development Affairs) RM404,726; and Abdul Hamid Othman (Religious Affairs) RM549,675
per annum;

11. The government has spent a total of RM3.2 billion in teaching Maths and Science in English
over the past five years. Out of the amount, the government paid a whopping RM2.21
billion for the purchase of information and computer technology (ICT) equipment of which
the breakdown of costs is unknown;

12. The commission paid for the purchase of jets and submarines to two private companies,
Perimeker Sdn Bhd and IMT Defence Sdn Bhd amounted to RM910 million;

13. RM300 million to compensate Gerbang Perdana for the RM1.1 billion “Crooked Scenic Half-

14. RM1.3 billion has been wasted building the white elephant Customs, Immigration and
Quarantine (CIQ) facilities on cancellation of the Malaysia – Singapore scenic bridge;

15. RM100 million spent on the Parliament building for renovations and to patch up leaks;
16. National Astronaut Programme – RM40 million;

17. National Service Training programme – yearly an estimate of RM500 million;

18. Eye on Malaysia – RM30 million and another RM5.7 million of free tickets;

19. RM4.63 billion ‘soft-loan’ to PKFZ;

20. RM2.4 million on indelible ink;

21. Samy announced in September 2006 that the government paid compensation amounting to
RM38.5 billion to 20 highway companies. A RM380 million windfall for 9 toll concessionaires
earned solely from the toll hikes in 2008 alone;

22. RM32 million timber export kickbacks involving companies connected to the Sarawak Chief
Minister and his family;

Bailouts –

23. Two bailouts of Malaysia Airline System at RM7.9 billion. At a time when MAS
incurred losses every year, RM1.55 million was used to but three paintings to decorate its
chairman’s (Munir) office;

24. Putra transport system bailout which cost RM4.486 billion;

25. STAR – LRT bailout costing RM3.256 billion;

26. National Sewerage System bailout costing RM192.54 million;

27. Seremban – Port Dickson Highway bailout costing RM142 million;

28. Kuching Prison bailout costing RM135 million;

29. Kajian Makanan dan Gunaan Orang Islam bailout costing RM8.3 million;

30. Le Tour de Langkawi bailout costing RM3.5 million;

31. Wholesale distribution of tens of millions of shares in bursa Saham Malaysia under the guise
of NEP to cronies, children and relatives of BN leaders and Ministers worth billions of

32. Time Asia magazine issue on March 15 2004, a South East Asian economist at Morgan
Stanley in Singapore, Daniel Lian, figures “that the country may have lost as much as
US$100 billion (RM320 billion) since the early 1980s to corruption. “Mind you, this is only
corruption and it does not include wastages and mismanagement which would increase the

Food for thought?