April 01, 2017

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Money hoarders manipulate commodity prices

  • Khin Maung Oo
  • If asked what the most commonly discussed topic of everyday conversations among people is, the reply may be “commodity prices.” On streets, in buses and at work places, people talk about it. Their voices are full of annoyance, disappointment and sometimes anger. It is a big problem for most in the country, especially people from grass-roots level as it causes many difficulties for them to deal with it. Accordingly, the problem becomes an extremely big problem for the government per se, because it is like a parent to all citizens. Here, I would like to say that many people have this misunderstanding that the government is wholly responsible for dealing with this problem. We are all well aware that we find it difficult to manage even the affairs of a family consisting of less than a dozen members. The bigger an institution or organization, the greater is its responsibility. Ruling a country is certainly not like running a boot-camp. And, we should not think that we have already done our duty just by electing the government we want and hope for—the rightful and trustworthy parliamentarians. We need to support them by giving feedback and by being interested in the work being done by the Hluttaws at different levels. Just as it is the duty of Hluttaw representatives to report back to the people on a regular basis, it is also important for the people to monitor the effectiveness and honesty of the Hluttaw representatives they have chosen by exercising their right to vote.
    We had been under the suppressions of former regimes, hence the desire to escape from these bitter experiences. Out of our great aspirations to change everything, we voted for change. However, we have forgotten to change ourselves, or may have pretended to forget to change ourselves. Cheating oneself is worse than tricking others. One knows the most about oneself. Some people always say to others to have pity for the poor and to help them in whatever way we can. They are not above giving a small chance to their inferiors, but they tend to rush towards a cash bonanza, pushing aside others with force. Greed is concerned with everyone, but we should notice that excessive greed may harm us some times as greed blindfolds our visions and judgment. Especially, parvenus and tycoons who reach the present state through cronyism and the greediest persons have a tendency to make a grab for great opportunities.
    The said kind of people who get enormous amounts of money try to hoard rice, cooking oil, basic commodities and fuel oil, selling out them when prices reach the amount they expect. Thus, for them, wealth is accumulating whereas debts are multiplying day by for most people—workers, government employees with fixed incomes and families with meagre incomes. At such a time when every family member of a jet-set society drives different types of cars, some children are walking about the town bare-footed. While some people are having a good time in KTV’s or bars, many housewives are waiting for their husbands’ arrival, hoping for a meager amount of money to buy some rice for the family dinner. In fact, the main cause of such a gap can be said to have been partly attributed to our excessive greed. We are all responsible to solve this problem and do whatever we can to solve it either individually or collectively.
    We have laws to deal with such kinds of offences, malpractices and mischievous deeds of the ultra-opportunists and money-hoarders. Due to weaknesses in the rule of law, we are meeting and will still be meeting such incidents. We need to solve such a weakness in the rule of law urgently. If we know the root of a disease, we can find the medicine which will cure it. Our only duty is to help our trusted government to the best of our ability in preparing the medicine.

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