April 14, 2016
Ladies and Gentlemen, the real traitors are…
If small-time tax evaders are traitors to the country, what about bigwigs who mismanage or plunder billions in taxpayers’ money?
I was in the midst of filling up my income tax form recently when I received a notification from a news app on my phone. Thrilled by the distraction (filing income tax returns is like ironing jeans without the power on), I read the newsflash: “PM: Tax evaders are traitors”. Intrigued (and a little nauseous), I followed the link to the full article – and was almost sorry that I had when I was done.
As a single mother of two who is the sole breadwinner in my household, I was outraged by the news report. But my resentment has nothing to do with tax evasion, for I fulfil my duty as a citizen faithfully (I have receipts!). I was incensed because, from the little that I make, I pay taxes for benefits that I do not enjoy.
He paid a heavy price for loving the PM and so are we for trusting the PM as our Finance Minister–we are all screwed.
I pay taxes that (I expect) go towards helping develop my country, yet I still end up forking-out almost RM1,000 monthly in tuition fees for my children, to make up for our atrociously-substandard education system. Every month for the past four years, I’ve been paying RM300 for my boy’s braces at a private orthodontist because the waiting list at government dental clinics is endless. I pay for tolls, I pay for wifi, I pay for good medical care, I pay for clean water, I pay for mosquito repellent, I pay for overpriced food, I pay for school workbooks my kids never use – I bl**dy much pay for everything! And still the government wants to squeeze me for more funds to pay for the “development of the nation”.
To put it bluntly, since my faithful contribution to the government’s coffers amounts to virtually nothing, I’m in the same league as a tax-dodger (the end result is the same, after all!) And this underscores the fact that the overriding problem in this country is not tax evaders, but the people who are entrusted with – and badly mismanage – our tax money. THEY are the real traitors!
How about sending out a newsflash on officials who appropriate the people’s hard-earned tax money for their own personal benefit? Why not question THEIR sense of patriotism?
(And speaking of shirking civic responsibility, let’s shine a bright spotlight on those who have been trained to be spoon-fed by the Federal Government, the ones who depend on subsidies and the quota system as a means of survival, the ones who sit tight waiting for assistance by authorities to put food on the table. Are they not traitors who are a threat to our country?)
It is time the powers-that-be stop blaming, shaming, scolding or threatening ordinary, tax-paying citizens for everything that goes wrong in this country. WE are not the ones who allowed our national debt to grow to mountainous proportions; we are not the ones who made questionable and inadvisable decisions that led to an exodus of foreign investors or the mysterious disappearance of billions of ringgit.
Most of us are ordinary citizens trying to make a simple living and raise a family within our means – taxpayers or no. While others help themselves to our national wealth to enlarge their collection of private jets, we are struggling to clear our monthly loan payments for those little boxes with wheels we proudly call cars. While others pilfer from budgets meant for the welfare of the less fortunate to fund extravagant overseas holidays and shopping sprees, we queue up at MATTA fair to get discounts for brief trips to Langkawi. While others benefit from police escorts which ensure speedy, non-stop, unobstructed road travel to any destination in chauffeur-driven cars, we crawl along in barely-moving traffic (thanks to poor public transport infrastructure) and pay tolls.
And even after all that, we (well, most of us) still fulfil our duty of paying taxes.
Now that I have let off a tremendous amount of steam, I must reluctantly return to filling up my tax forms