1. Let me begin by admitting that I am not a trained economist or financier. Still I don’t think it is fair for anyone to say I do not understand BR1M and the good things about it. I have in the past made some decisions on economic and financial matters which seem to have given good results for the country.
2. I have been opposed to giving monetary handouts as a way to increase the income of people right from the beginning. If at all financial aid should be given to the very poor who are unable to work to earn an income. My primary objection is because handouts on such a scale look too much like bribery. And when this is given near elections or the manifesto promises this, the impression that it is about buying votes just cannot be dismissed. If incomes are to be increase it should be by way of creating opportunities for work or business.
3. But BR1M has more negative implications than that. It increases the tendency towards personal dependence on the Government even for one’s income, without any effort by oneself. It weakens the character of people and reduce their competitiveness in the market place.
4. We want high incomes. But high income should come from increases in productivity. High productivity results from better education and training. A manual labourer cannot be more productive than a mechanic or a craftsman. And they in turn cannot be as productive as an engineer. The ability to increase productivity comes from greater added value to the products.
5. It follows that when we promote industries with greater added value, than the incomes of employees would increase due to greater contribution of the employees. We should note that in countries with big Government revenues from the foreign exploitation of resources, and people are given a part of the revenue to sustain a good lifestyle, there is a lack of desire to work.
6. Giving money does not increase productivity. Without increasing productivity, competitiveness will not improve. And the economy will not really grow. These countries invariably depend on foreign workers, executives and entrepreneurs.