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Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Misleading concept of Subsidy:
The word "subsidy" has been brandished by the government as if it has so generously helped the rakyat and in doing so incurred losses. This simple example will help to explain the fallacy: Example: Ahmad is a fisherman. He sells a fish to you at $10 which is below the market value of $15. Let's assume that he caught the fish from the abundance of the sea at little or no cost. Ahmad claims that since the market value of the fish is $15 and he sold you the fish for $10, he had subsidised you $5 and therefore made a loss of $5.
Question : Did Ahmad actually make a profit of $10 or loss of $5 which he claimed is the subsidy?
Answer: Ahmad makes a profit of $10 which is the difference of the selling price ($10) minus the cost price ($0 since the fish was caught from the abundance of the sea). There is no subsidy as claimed by Ahmad.
The government claims that it is a subsidy because the oil is kept and treated as somebody else's property (you know who). By right, the oil belongs to all citizens of the country and the government is a trustee for the citizens. So as in the above simple example, the government cannot claim that it has subsidised the citizen!

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