People in many countries are already taking to the streets to protest soaring oil prices, spiraling prices of consumers items, shortages in food supply and low wages. You see them on TV, the Internet and reading about it in the newspapers.
Malaysia is lucky to have citizens who do not really show off their discontentment by taking to the streets. They normally vent their anger and dissatisfaction by producing letters of protest to the wakil rakyat, consumers association or choose the Press.
Only a small faction chose to demonstrate in the streets of Kuala Lumpur or Penang. No untoward incidents took place. Only a few will be detained and then released on police bail.
In other countries, the demonstrators costs millions of dollar in terms of damaged properties. So often, such a protest turned ugly and claimed innocent life.
Even in Indonesia - a member of the OPEC cartel - an announcement by the government to hike up oil prices was met with clashes in the streets between the police and protesters, most of them university students. At about 6000 rupiah per liter (less than RM2), the rate is still seen as burdensome to the Indonesians, whom 70 per cent of them depend much on agriculture to survive.
In India - where its disparity gap is among the widest in the world - such an announcement also ignited protests all over the country. It claimed some life and left many injured.
We are still lucky. Pak Lah's government is still very fortunate not to be confronted with such a scenario.
Although some peace gatherings are too common nowadays, the atmosphere is still under control.
Malaysians do not like bloodshed, neither do they want to live in hardship. But how long can they hold on to such a pressure? With the hike up of fuel prices, followed by other consumer items, does the government realise that time-bombs are ticking everywhere in the country?
We cannot afford to face a situation like Indonesia, India, South Korea, the Philippines or Belgium. But should such events occur, how would the government attend to it?
Does Pak Lah, Najib, Shahrir and the rest of our leaders really know what is going on in the hypermarkets, 'pasar' and retail outlets around the country? How many enforcement officers are there now to monitor the situation?
Even the mid-income group is already choking. What about the lower income group then?
Of course our leaders can make do with the 10 per cent cut in their allowances as they can still afford to reach out for anything they want in life.
But imagine this - what can they do with... lets say, a RM1,500 monthly income (no extras), with a house to pay, a cheapest car, a wife, 2 kids aged 10-16, and water and electricity bills to pay? Even a Kancil owner, who now pays RM88 for a full-tank (previously RM60) should sell-off his car in order to survive.
What about those earning less than that? RM1000 or RM800 per month? MAKAN CICAK LAAA!