Langkawi ferry operators say that between last year’s and this year’s Hari Raya China and Hari Raya Haji holidays the number of domestic visitors to Langkawi has dropped by about 45% – 50%.

This is based on their ferry ticket sales (from Kuala Kedah and Kuala Perlis) which have dropped by the amount of those figures.

Local people have less money for discretionary spending. Discretionary spending means  spending on non-essential purchases like vacations and luxury items.

The single biggest cause of this drop is the GST which has sent prices of goods and services skyrocketing.

The vast majority of people who are wage earners have seen their purchasing power drop because easily 15% of their monthly income is now used to pay GST and the higher prices for goods and services caused by the same GST.

In my neighborhood the ‘food truck’ operator has reduced the size of the chicken in their nasi campur from one nice piece of chicken to a few small pieces of chicken.

And then they have increased the price from RM5.00 to RM6.00 – a 20% price inflation !!

So the young office girls and boys must spend RM1.00 more to pay for a smaller portion of  food. So if 100 people buy food from this food truck, it means there is RM100.00 less money to be spent elsewhere, including to buy ferry tickets to Langkawi.

So the Langkawi ferry operators are under financial stress, hotels in Langkawi, shops and businesses are all under financial stress.

Satay prices have also shot up.  Here is a receipt for satay sent to me by someone near and dear :

The accompanying message said, “Bought satay. Normal shop. Kena RM2.70 to RM3.00 per stick. Ouch!”

That was not from a kedai mamak nasi kandar ok.
RM2.70 per stick of satay ayam !! Thats insane.
Satay daging RM3.00 perstick !!
Poor people can just look at pictures of satay.

The gomen better give cheap financial aid to the mamak nasi kandar operators.   Why? So that the mamak nasi kandar can still sell affordable, good quality, halal and delicous food which everyone can afford to eat.

Without the mamak nasi kandar, many many folks, especially Malay people will not be able to afford to eat quick and nutritious meals. Please treat the mamak nasi kandar as part of the nation’s food security structure.

Not many people can afford to eat satay at RM2.70 per stick.

Then  the F1 Formula Race is also going to bungkus. This is the last year the F1 race will be held in Malaysia.  First here is some news :

The following is from The NST:

“The locals are not buying the tickets to watch F1,” Razlan Razali, chief executive of the Sepang International Circuit (SIC) told AFP.

Razlan said Sepang, which can accommodate 120,000 fans, drew just 45,000 to last month’s running of the race, and race-day TV ratings also were poor.

Razlan, however, said ticket sales have been declining since 2014.

My comments :  2014 was the year when the subsidies were removed as well. The peoples’ purchasing power has been seriously dampened ever since the GST was imposed in 2015.

The F1 started dying  in 2014.  The CEO himself says ticket sales have been declining since 2014. It has gotten worse post GST in 2015.

The entire economy is dying, including the Langkawi ferries and the F1 races, since the GST was imposed in 2015.

There is also another side to this F1 race going bust.

Its the crash in oil prices and the loss of gomen revenues.

I was invited TWICE to the F1 races in Sepang.

The first time I was invited by my Chief  Editor in Berita Harian (I wrote a column for the Berita Minggu then)   to attend the very first F1 Race 18 years ago in 1999.   But I did not go.  I gave the ticket to someone else.

To digress since I was a child I kept up with the more exciting (at that time) Le Mans 24 Hour car race and the American stock car racing or NASCAR racing at places like Daytona (Daytona 500)  and Indianapolis (the Indy 500).

As a 12 year old in 1972 names like  the legendary  Italian American driver Mario Andretti, AJ Foyt, Johnny Rutherford and NASCAR super Hall of Fame(r) Cale  Yarborough  were the heroes of NASCAR racing. Thats when I first learnt that there were such things as “V8”  engines.  And I learnt that “builders” referred to engine builders like Yates, Smokey Yunick etc.

Later when I lived in the US in the early 1980s  I did visit  both Indianapolis (in Indiana)  and Daytona (in Florida)  twice.

 Cale Yarborough, NASCAR Hall of Fame

But somehow by 1999, I had other things to do than attend the F1 race here in  Sepang.   Later I did attend one F1 race with some low life prepaid bloggers.  That was the race that was stopped less than halfway through because of the heavy rain.

In both  Sepang races, the tickets were for one of those very expensive  “private rooms” that are sound proofed,  airconditioned and overlook the race track. They also had  their own outside areas overlooking the tracks, a never ending buffet table, drinks,  waiters andsuch. The private rooms were huge.

In both cases,  the very, very expensive tickets were sponsored by the korporat people. First by Berita Harian and the second time by another korporat.  The  korporat who were either living off buta money, monopoly businesses (like newspapers or telcos) or GLCs.

In fact a sizeable number of  the attendees at the expensive seats in Sepang were all ‘korporat sponsored’.  It was the age of plenty oil money at that time. They were burning oil money.

Who wants to spend their own money to see the F1 races? Plus there is no technology culture here. The people who went to see the races knew nothing or very little about cars or racing.  They just went there to be seen.  Throughout the race they were more interested in eating and talking endlessly. Hardly anyone looked at the F1 cars as they zoomed by.

Now the oil money is much, much less.    Gone.

So there is less ‘korporat sponsorship’ of F1 tickets.

The GST has pushed up the prices of everything.

Also since few people have any real interest in car racing or automotive technology (which is what motor racing is all about)  who then wants to spend their own money to buy the F1 tickets?

This is Malaysia beb – kalau orang korporat  tak belanja, tak payah pergi lah.   So  this year despite an 80% discount or something for the “private rooms”  the F1  tickets could still not be sold, there was a minimum turnout. No more mani maa. No more buta money to burn.

So the F1 is going to bungkus.  There will not be an F1 race anymore in Sepang.

Like wise the Petronas Philharmonic will also likely bungkus. They are directly burning our oil money (some say as much as RM500 MILLION has been spent) for the Petronas Philharmonic.

My wife and I used to be regular attendees at the Petronas Philharmonic for the classical music events. Tickets then were more affordable at less than RM100 for the box seats.  Then they raised the prices to insane levels, up to over RM200. (Again only affordable for korporat sponsorship).  But Petronas dont care.  Every once in a while they would mail me very expensive, glossy printed materials about their next music performance.    They are still burning our oil money.

There are now other places where you can go to listen to orchestras playing classical music. Much more affordable and always full house.  But I wont say where. Nanti depa jealous, depa kata tak halal, tak suci and entah apa lagi bullshit.