Instead of blaming DAP, SUPP should push the PN government to extend the UTC hours for the good and convenience of the people.
Yesterday, SUPP has attacked DAP on the suggestion to extend the working hours of UTC to address the large crowd coming to UTC especially after the MCO.
During PH time, the government did reduce it to 7pm(weekdays) for fiscal rationalization(saving public money) because, clear data showed that after 5pm, the traffic of customers coming is reduced to about 15%. Weekends we continued to open.
Of course it not ideal but it was a tough decision that was decided after considering the data and the need for fiscal consolidation. This is public money and we have to manage it responsibly.
This was pre-Covid / MCO and there was no backlog.
Fiscal consolidation was needed as our country’s debt was high, hitting more than 1 trillion ringgit. All these figures were presented in parliament and even tabled in the Budget Parliamentary Select Committee which consists of both government and opposition MPs.
The report on our national debt was signed and acknowledged by members of the opposition, YB Khairy Jamaluddin and YB Alexander Nanta Linggi, who are now both ministers.
So those saying we are lying about the financial status of our country and that we actually have money proven by the big economic stimulus announcement by PM, need to better understand what fiscal borrowings and debts is.
The current finance Minister has clearly said that the budget deficit will double; meaning the country will borrow more money causing our national’s debt to increase. And when he said that the government will raise money domestically, it means that they are borrowing from local institutions including our EPF, PNB, SOSCO..etc.
All those are debts which we eventually need to pay.
Now under the PN government, even with the expected big crowd, they have further reduced the operation hours from 7pm to 5pm. This means those that finish work at 5 has no chance to settle their affairs on a weekday. With the social distancing rules, and backlog due to MCO, the queue will be even longer as seen in the past week
In order to reduce crowding, one of the ways is too spread out the crowd through an extension of service hours, and this can be done until the clearing of the current backlog. So extraordinary times do require certain adjustments and adaptations and thats why we suggested it in first place.
So instead of misleading the public and merely throwing baseless accusations at DAP, SUPP should instead push their own government to provide better services for the people.
They should also question their own government why it took so long for UTC to open when other government services were allowed to open much earlier.
All these queues could have been reduced if they have statted their services much earlier with the agreed SOPs and also look at ways to properly address the long queues while protecting the people from the spread of the virus.
Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen
MP Bandar Kuching