Posts tagged ‘economy’

April 3, 2012

Najib: Don’t Change Drivers … Only If

Datuk Seri Najib Razak called on Malaysians tonight not to switch to a “dangerous” government in coming polls after his administration claimed it had exceeded last year’s targets for its transformation plans.

The prime minister reminded voters in a live televised address that “we need a capable driver that can streamline all factors to ensure the vehicle arrives at its destination at the appointed time safely.” (read here).

It is very interesting and amusing to find our PM pleading with Malaysians not to change the Government. The only reason he is saying this is that his grassroot feedback tells him that all is not well and the support for his administration is not good. In fact, he is showing signs of desperation to engage Malaysians this way.

A PM in real power and driving seat will not need to say such things or eat humble pie. A PM who is really driving should already know where he is taking the country is a better place and the passengers, us Malaysians, will be happy even though the ride may be very bumpy and difficult?

It is this type of PM who can make the hard decisions and get real results and not some public relations ETP report that moves the economy. We need the PM who is really driving and knows where he is taking the people. And not down the hell hole either.

Government statistics which is truthful and accurate can only be gleaned AFTER the people on the street already felt, suffered and possibly many died in the economic quake.

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March 24, 2012

Malaysia Spiraling Out of Control?

Our Deputy Finance Minister, Awang Adek Hussin, told us in Parliament that we don’t have to worry about our national debt even though we are 2% shy of the theoretical threshold.

“It is not at a critical level at the moment. Our limit or threshold is 55 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), we are now at 53 percent. So you don’t have to worry about it,” he said during Question Time in the Dewan Rakyat today. (read here.)

Such is how our Government is explaining all the worrisome signs of a severely ailing economy. The Government still thinks Malaysians are the dumbest people around and will swallow everything they tell us. On the contrary, Malaysians have come of age and know what is fact and what is fiction and most of all, what is sheer baloney!

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April 8, 2009

What to think of the 3B results?

It is 8 April, the day after a historic 3 simultaneous by-elections in Malaysia – Batang Ai, Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau.  This has never happened before but these by-elections were specially timed to be after the Umno Presidential Election that saw Najib take over the helm of Umno and shortly thereafter as the new PM of Malaysia.

At the end of yesterday, we saw the obvious happening again.  Pakatan Rakyat took the 2 Peninsular Malaysia by-election seats while Barisan Nasional retained their Sarawak seat.  This was expected given the growing sentiments in West Malaysia while Pakatan Rakyat was attempting to score a first beach head in Sarawak which they failed.

So what should we think about the results?

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February 26, 2009

Growing Unemployment – Scary!

Today’s article (read here) by The Malaysian Insider gives us a grim and terrifying view of the year 2009, especially the second half.  It reports Datuk Noraini Ahmad, the deputy human resources minister, telling Parliament that 100,000 will have lost or will be losing their jobs by the end of the year.

However, she was not forthcoming and honest about the entire situation and attempted yet to paint an overly optimistic picture.  Never mind the projections done by others regarding potential unemployment nor the possibility of an exodus from Singapore back to Malaysia due to a downturn of that economy.  Most people feel that the impending situation is more depressing than this.

The thing that begs an answer is not what is happening and will happen soon to the growing unemployment numbers because we all know even though our Government remains in denial.  We must know what the Government is planning to do with them.  Registering them is but the first step.  So quoting numbers only is rather a meaningless chatter by Noraini.

Will Malaysia be in a position to offer unemployment assistance to those who have been impacted for at least a few months?  The “dole” as they call it in US, has helped many cross tumultous times and similar programs are done in many western countries like Australia, UK, etc.  But can Malaysia do the same in a better way and yet check the abuse?

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February 18, 2009

Malaysia ranked low and pathetic for Budget openness

Today, Badawi told us Malaysians that he was unhappy that only 70% of the RM7 billion stimulus budget was disbursed (read here).  He feels that it is just too slow.

However, what is more interesting is the fact that nobody in the public of Malaysia knows where the RM4.9 billion went.  We heard the announcement of the RM7 billion stimulus plan and now we hear that 70% has already been disbursed.  We have not seen a change nor any impact of any kind to the Malaysian economy.

This specific oversight of details made public pertaining to such disbursement and other budget items is shocking.  The Government thinks that it is “acceptable” to keep the Malaysian public in total oblivion of where our money is disbursed.

The lack of openness by the Government is actually ranked in a worldwide study by Open Budget Index 2008 Rankings (read here).  In case you missed it, here is the index chart.

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February 17, 2009

Najib’s Admission of Economy Faltering A Turning Point?

Najib today admitted to the fact the Government stand on a 3.5% GDP growth will have to be reviewed reflecting concerns that it can be a negative growth instead (read here).

This is the first time we have actually heard our Government acknowledging the reality that we all have felt and admitted for a long time.  It is no longer possible for our Government to hide the reality and the attempts to talk our economy out of recession is an utter failure.

The first RM 7 billion stimulus went no where to be felt.  We only heard about it but nobody seems to know what it actually did.

[UPDATED] The Star reported today (18/Feb) that Badawi acknowledged that only 70% of the RM7 billion stimulus plan has been disbursed (read here).  Again, nobody seems to know where the RM4.9 billion went.

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February 15, 2009

More Disposable Income for Malaysians to Stimulate Our Economy – No Income Tax for 1 year

In the national effort to boost domestic demands, consumers must have the ability to spend.  The propensity to spend is derived from the income of individuals.  In layman’s terms, we need CASH, MONEY, RINGGIT MALAYSIA, in our own hands to spend.

In June 2008 when the Government raised prices at the pump, it immediately caused a spike in inflation and everything a consumer was buying, be it food or otherwise, started to rise.

Even now when the pump prices have been dramatically reduced below the June 2008 prices, the prices for food and other things have not returned back to their original at all.  In fact, they stayed firm.

In this shortsightedness and a blind stroke of a pen, all Malaysian consumers suddenly had less disposable income.  Mind you, the income tax remained the same, the amount of money left to spend can buy far less things because the prices have all gone up and stayed up.

Again, in layman’s terms, we now have the same money but buying far less things with it.  In short, we have less MONEY.

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February 7, 2009

Wake Up, Malaysia!

If the BN Government can act in the same haste and fervor in the Perak “takeover” for the much needed action and support for the Malaysia economy, we the people of Malaysia will be much impressed.

For now, we are totally abhorred about the Perak situation and the total inaction of fixing our economy.  We have the BN Government on both sides of the continuum of reaction and for each end they are used wrongly.

It should have been inaction in the Perak situation to let the due process take place and to have total fervor and haste to rescue the economy.

Who is running the country?  What are the priorities of our voted government?  Who bothers about what the voters want?

We want a stable government to run a stable and growing economy.  What we are getting is just the opposite.  Their priorities are just set wrong!

Tengku Razaleigh is spot on in his comments on the Perak situation as well as our economy (read here).  He is showing great statesmanship and leadership of a renewed man.  His insights are sound and his advice is balanced.  There is a new sense of respect for this man whom Umno has written off.  He doesn’t shoot his mouth, he has respect for the Constitution, the law and the people.  He has displayed such wisdom that portrays hope to become the next PM of Malaysia.

If Malaysia can vote a leader to be PM, will it be Pak Lah, Najib, Anwar or Razaleigh?  At this time, all bets will be on Razaleigh for his round of objectivity and statesmanship.  We look forward to Umno to rally around such a leader than can bring hope based on the law and the Constitution.  He has remained as the people’s leader all this while and that is probably why he was rejected by Umno’s leadership.

Wake up, Malaysia!  We need leaders like Razaleigh.  Let the rest of the elected leadership take note.  Malaysia is a country for the people, not the leaders!


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December 14, 2008

Can’t Ignore Economic Challenges – Is there a Bipartisan hope?

Although the Rakyat in Malaysia has been feeling the strain from the inflationary pressures largely impacted by the global financial challenges as well as the unnecessary large fuel price hike in June, our cost of living has skyrocketed and our standard of living has plummeted.

We feel the pinch (correction: punch) of the economic contraction on the street first and this is certain in everybody’s daily lives.  Everything edible or inedible has gone up except salaries.  Even of late, housing loan repayments have gone up too.  Our propensity to spend has diminished.  That also means the propensity to save has diminished too.  And this time round, it is significant.

However the Government tries to persuade the Rakyat the opposite will not work because the stark reality has set in to all walks of life.  Inflation is nothing racial or religious or political.  What we face in economic and financial challenges has no color or creed.  But how we are equipped to face up to it should not either and our economic policies and execution should be for all Malaysians.

The Economist Intelligence Unit has published another wake up call.  Carried by TheMalaysianInsider (read here), this report pointedly tells us Malaysians that what we are told by the Government is just not true.  Here is a summary:

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October 18, 2008

State of Denial?

The US markets have been tumbling due to the crumbling of mega financial institutions.  Their government has taken swift action to shore up the impact.  The European markets are having the tremors.  The Asian markets are significantly impacted.  Even Singapore announced that they are in a technical recession.  But our Malaysian Government says we are still well protected and we will not be hit as bad as other countries.  What other countries?

Is this true or are we too busy with party elections?  Are we in a state of denial that our economy won’t be impacted much and is still very resilient?  Certainly, we want to believe that to be true.  But is it?

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