Archive for May, 2010

May 31, 2010

Subsidies to Go – Not Enough

Datuk Idris Jala, the CEO of Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu), made a major presentation he terms as the most unpopular decision the Government has to make since Independence (read here).  This entails the removal of subsides for 12 items to free up RM103 billion over the next 5 years to reduce the National Debt that stands at RM362 billion today.  He also shed light that there was RM74 billion of subsidy last year.  He expounds that this decision to remove subsidies is necessary for the Government to take so that we can avoid becoming like Greece who is under severe financial turmoil given their €300 billion (RM1.21 trillion) National Debt.

Herein lies the truths and falacies of removing such subsidies that a one sided removal without a balanced set of counter actions will cause severe hardship and fling the country faster into becoming like Greece if we are not careful.

This is the theme of this article:

The Rakyat will definitely support subsidy cuts when the Government is serious and active to chase down corruption, look seriously at cutting other unnecessary expenditures, and when the economic programs bring an increase to disposable income.  Until then, all subsidies cut are merely hot air to us Malaysians who will not bother with such Government proposals that is perceived very detrimental to all Malaysians.

Otherwise, what has changed in our Government spending behavior to warrant the Rakyat giving up on subsidies that will severely impact our lives?

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May 28, 2010

Singapore Deal: Najib finds Umno more important than Parliament and Rakyat

The Malaysian Insider reported on May 27 :-

Datuk Seri Najib Razak declared today that he had obtained the backing of the Umno supreme council for the government’s decision to relocate the Tanjong Pagar railway station in Singapore” (read here).

The day the Singapore deal was announced, there on began a slew of opposing views that our Government sold out to the Singapore Government and that we had missed the real deal for a compromise of what appeared to be a “good” deal for developing the valuable land in Tanjong Pagar.  The opposition insisted on a full disclosure in the transaction in what appeared to be shrouded in total secrecy given that it was Khazanah that undertook the deal on behalf of the Government of Malaysia.

Here is some food for thought!

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May 27, 2010

Of Hindraf, HRP and the so-called 3rd Force

The Free Malaysia Today reported that BN has “upstaged Pakatan Rakyat in wooing the outlawed Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf)” (read here).  It is said that there is also a movement towards forming a so-called 3rd Force after the BN and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) together with the Human Rights Party (HRP) and other civil rights movement particularly from Sabah and Sarawak.

All this makes for interesting political reading but is it feasible and plausible to embark on such a major feat?  What are the merits and how will the average Malaysian voter view this new political play?

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May 19, 2010

Sibu Learnings

Sibu by-election is over.  Here are the results summary.

Wong Ho Leng (DAP) – 18,845

Robert Lau (SUPP) – 18,447

Majority – 398

Najib used the same strategy as in Hulu Selangor except more obvious and blatant.  Seeing is believing.  Watch his lips and see Najib sweat it out in his “I help you, you help me” pitch!

Although the reports had alleged that the BN government had pledged up to RM20m in various actions, the voters in Sibu spurned such overtures because public works projects should be the standard focus of the government of the day and not something to barter votes for.

Furthermore, much of the BN offers were to woo the Chinese voters as well as Christian voters giving them grants during election time.  The BN government had inadvertently paid little attention to the other voters especially the Melanau and Iban voters and had assumed that their votes were safe.

Given this backdrop, there are a few valuable lessons that all parties must learn from Sibu.

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May 11, 2010

Gleanings of the new Apple iPad

The new Apple iPad has recently been made available unofficially in Malaysia.  In line with the Malaysia Boleh slogan, our friends in Low Yat have been parading the iPad for a few weeks now.  The iPad probably made its way to our shores not long after Apple launched it in the US.

A quick tour of this new and nifty device brings some euphoria of sorts.  Especially so when it is so new and it is here in Malaysia.

The immediate reaction when the iPad was taken out of the box was the elated WOW!  Apple sure knows how to make these devices and they did not disappoint.

If you have used the iPhone 3G or the iPod Touch, you will find that the iPad is very much in line with the look and feel of the exquisite and excellent designed device.  Apple knows what the people want.

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