Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The real issue - tough times ahead

The real issue is this - Malaysia's economy is heading towards turbulent times. With the fuel prices continuing to go up and slower external economic activities, our inflation is likely to hit 6% to 7% in June. Our banks, which sailed through the subprime problem unscathed, are expecting slower loans growth. That means banks would see less businesses. At Bursa Malaysia, most of the initial public offerings that debuted in the first half of this year have fallen below their offer price. Investors are nervous, staying away despite the cheap bargains available. According to the latest SMS alert from The Star, the KLCI has fallen below the March 10 level, down 17.84 points to 1,156 at 11.30am. Already businessmen are complaining about a slowdown, struggling with higher production cost while workers expect more to tie over the bad times. Freight charges and airline travelling have all shot up, with many airlines already going bust, jobs lost and travel agencies badly hit. Our politicians - whether in the BN or PR - should be finding solutions on how to get Malaysians out of this troubled waters. Malaysia, which used to be on the radar screen of investors because of its political stability, has become a joke in the region. The Umno politicians are too busy fighting themselves in the Umno elections and PR politicians obsessed with gaining power, we are in a mess. Worse, we are now caught in a sodomy allegation controversy. Sequel, as movie goers, will tell you are bad. The general election is over - let's get on with the task of grappling with the real issues at hand. That should be the BN's main concern while for the PR, it should focus on running the states it controlled, show Malaysians it can do the job and take on the BN in the next round. The jobs of ordinary Malaysians are more important.

31 comments:

Jonathan said...

Well said, am fed up with all these silly dramas, twists and turns in the political arena. If we need that, we would watch korean or taiwanese soap instead. Its time to do your jobs as public servants.

Anonymous said...

Well said, except for the part of the PR states doing their job. The problem is that BN, or rather UMNO has been vivtimizing those states by creating a parallel govt ( example the ketua kampung network by Mudx2 and the tourism network by Lesbo). Also funds to the PR states have been cut, although this money rightfully belong to the states as the people and businesses there pay tax. The trouble is really UMNO refuse to come to terms with today's reality that less people support them. They have to get on with the job of running the country. As for the hunger for power, that also appies to UMNO, where the severe infighting is taking place.

bujai said...

bro,

talk about our stocks exchange. the trend is that, (i believe) when others are capital-driven, we are the only which is politically-driven...

Anonymous said...

Just let Singapore manage Malaysia as obviously politicians here do not know how to run the country.......let's just outsource the Prime Ministership to Singapore........all the rulers should gather and sign a petition to this effect before Malaysia becomes Rwanda.....

amoker said...

For one, we have to be comfortable with uncertainty. This is a trait that is lost with the many years of protection and effects of NEP. Some will excel in these conditions are other will go under.

Anonymous said...

Datuk Wong,
Who are we (you and me) to give advice to BN and PR politicians who the rakyat have elected. They want to quarell let them, they want to fight (give them gloves), they want to run amok (give them parangs, changkuls, knives) they want to shot give them pistol, AK47, shotguns, MIG, and C4. They are kids but worse than that they dogs. They don't think let them all die.

Rosli Dhoby,

alvin lee said...

hi chun wai,

if u can recall, i have once told u that very soon we can in fact produce a movie about Malaysia's politics.

As u can see it yourself, each episode is becoming more and more thrilling.

Anyway, on a more serious note, I personally think that the present situation whereby all our top leaders like, PM,DPM and wife,IGP,AG and not forgetting KJ,are all being implicated for having committed a crime is not good for the country. I just wonder how the hell our police can begin investigation against their boss. Pity our police force!!!!!

caravanserai said...

Political disturbances
When the truths never arise
When leaders of both sides
Battling to assemble faces
Waving to the pleasing crowd

When the economics run
No concrete pursuits in the pan
Corridors full of windy crying
People wonder………….
What the politicians are doing?

Musical chairs eager to catch it
Each leader plotting for the fall
Economics running on its auto pilot
Foreign companies and investors look elsewhere
Do these politicians care?

Rules and red tapes
Marshalling by the red face napoleons
Making life uneasy for locals and investors
And Cuepecs still asking for many

The businesses sinking
The effects will come in plenty
High costs zooming in
The business communities will feel the pinch
Employment may be cut
People will lose the economic worth

And yet our BN government
Running after a sodomy charge
A private consent amongst adults
Let it be go on with our economy

Ezam barking at the wrong tree
Trying to make his worth on rejoining party
When events need more of his attention
Like his new party he forgets to mention
UMNO now chains him for good
On the pole he keeps barking loud and clear

The country economic
The whirlpool efforts will flow in
The political leaders better think hard on it
Don’t waste time poking at the wrong side
The people and country need projects and guidelines
Quickly to cushion the slowdown of economic activities
Washing nearer to our shores………….

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I am not sure if we are all living in the same country. Times are tough but I was just back from lunch in Bandar Utama and it was business as usual. Children in school uniform could still patronise outlets like Starbucks and Coffee Bean. I have already put my family into economy mode but many do not seem to need to adjust the lifestyle. Meantime, all the politicking, street rallies, etc, are causing me more financial damage. How can anyone in his right mind think that a change of government will turn things around?

sinnersaint:saintsinner said...

Mr Chun Wai

In one of my postings, i've mentioned that UMNO & BN should focus on the economy not their internal bickering, we see it happening to UNMO, MIC and MCA. These are not leader who care for their people, ut their only concern is their own welfare. Many of them are Multimillionaires or have become filty rich.

Mr Chun Wai, i'm happy that you have taken a bold move to express the concerns of the people, there are many out who are suffering in silence and these politicians are all concerned with their "power and position" in their respective parties.

If some of these politician have intergrity, they should leave their politics or party and/or join the ones who are committed towards the welfare of the people and country.

The former MIC Youth Chief is one those who threw in the towel when he couldnt agree with his President. I dont know him but respect his decision.
Bisically, get out if you cant contribute for Malaysia/ns.

I feel many Malaysians are sick and tired of all their games/nonsense, like i've mentioned, we are not in the 60 nor 70 anymore. MALAYSIAN ARE LITERATE;WE KNOW BETTER and are well informed, than to trust their sweet nothings.

So, If BN cant takes us out of the inevitable, then let PR manage it, after all its about managing the economy for the betterment of Malaysians, not their family, sons, relatives, cousins, cronies and friends.

All Malaysians deserve to be treated with respect and decency.

May God bless uS All, i mean all of us, East & West Malaysian, whoever resides in Malaysian too.

meiyen said...

People going about their business are the silent majority who I should say, seem quite content and have detached themselves from all the squabblings you read on the net or in the press.

Anonymous said...

For almost 51 years, Malaysia has withstood many storms with differing categories and the people are still as united as one. Maybe stronger I would say as even many Malays are now starting to leave their shells of aging NEP or equivalent. They are some towering Malays who dare challenge themselves to better the Chinese in terms of merits and not crying Ketuanan Melayu rethorics. Those who are not afraid to discuss certain elements in the Social Contract in an open way and still get on with life unscathed. As a 46 years old man, I have only handful of minor incidences of racial bias throughout my experience in life. So, today, if anything happens to my beloved country, I blame the power crazy politicians who bent on receiving and being served rather than to serve and to give. I blame them for creating racial tension and economic deterioration. It's time the people of Malaysia rise up and challenge any powers to be (whether BN or PR) to buck up or ship out! All corrupt politicians are traitors of the country! ALL!

Anonymous said...

In any organization the ROT always start at the top. Once the top is rotten, it trickles down all the way, as every level wants a piece of the pie. And if the top is taking, it cannot catch the lower level if the lower level is taking, as the lower guy threatens to blow the whistle on everybody. If the top is clean, it can catch any lower level corrupt person with out fear. Not the other way around. A clean guy on the bottom will get shipped out very fast by a dirty senior.

johnny cheah said...

How can you say inflation this year will be 6 or 7 percent. The BN government said only 2.8 to 3 percent inflation. Better retract your forecast failing which the BN government may throw the ISA at you

Anonymous said...

Hi, good to see you blogging and some rather fair comments. I hope you are no more an agent of MCA. I hope you have woke up too after March, the 8th.

Anonymous said...

WCW,

"We are in a mess" is apt and well said.

Why do our politicians still bickering?
Why are our so-called leaders not leading?
Why is the MTR so limp-wristed (bu!!fu@^ed by An3$r?)?
The country is directionless.

We need leaders to get us going, to coax us into doing what's best FOR THE COUNTRY and its FUTURE.

What the fu@% are these a55hol4s we elected doing?

Where are the good politicians? If they are no, let's just apply Capital Punishment to all of them and let a new group in.

Syafiq

Anonymous said...

If anyone remembers, it is anwar who is engaged in this perpetual election campaign. When the country is about to come to term with the election result and start the business of governing, it is anwar how talks about defection etc. That moron is so very destructive. His main objective is just to destabilise the country which will be to his benefit.

Kamal

ben said...

Hmmmm! Finally, you're talking on the bread and butter of the rakyat.

All media should be apolitcal and exposing the weaknesses of ruling or opposition. The day that happens then a 'New Malaysia' is borned which perhaps fits into your personal dream (rakyat like me too) with your blog name.

For far too long, Malaysian politic is centred around individuals and ethnicity rather than a system\institution. As a result, the policies implemented were based patronage rather than on the needs of rakyat irrespective of race or religion.

I hope that with your influence in the Star, you can take the lead to provide a more balance report.

Yes, the real issue is are we ready for the tough times ahead ? Already, people like Warren Buffect is saying that the recession in US will be worse than the great depression in 1929. For those economists who say that Asian countries have decouple from US/Europe, it's self-denial and wishful thinking.

Hope that you'll continue to speak your mind with fear or favour!

http://ctchoolaw.blogspot.com/
http://epolicy.blogspot.com/

jojo51 said...

I strongly agree. We should be very concern about our economy. But how are we going to move forward when no one is taking charge. Sad to say our PM is too weak to lead the country. In this turbulent time we need a very resourceful and dynamic leader, a leader who is brave enough to take calculated risk, to make his own informed decision and not forever depending on consensus.

As a leader we cannot be satisfied with a 5% GDP growth for the last 5five years. Anybody can do that. Malaysia can never be great with such percentage growth. Even African countries can do better.

This year and the coming years will be a very challenging time. The country need new ideas, new directions and new way of managing the economy. Playing safe is a sure way to lose.

I am still waiting for someone to take charge.

Anonymous said...

Am i visitor No 100,000? Not bad for a site just started in April. But long way from Rocky and Che Det!

Anonymous said...

Haha it is a joke. How can the cops investigate their boss?
For there to be any investigation of the IGP, it has to be either an outsider , or someone more senior than the IGP.
The junior cops will shiver in their pants just thinking of how to investigate the IGP.

sinnersaint:saintsinner said...

Ms Meiyenn,

i dont know where you live but the majority are feeling the pinch and they are voicing their concerns, maybe you should stop someone on the streets and ask them, maybe LRT/Bus stations, or taxi drivers....

one should not assume, that alls well just because the majority is not running AMOK, they are probably worrying bout how to pay their bills or cut expenses, some might even have sleepless nights.... Who knows, only the ones who are going thru it daily.

Anonymous said...

Today KLSE down 21 points were due to PKR drama which cause so many uncertainty. They just coundn't care less about the people suffering but themselves. Power crazy to topple the government with what ever means. Talking about changes to get the people support but without any idea how to even begin to correct their own problem. Expecting more troubles as they are planning more country rally to preempt the sodomy allegation investigation against their leader. and topple the government.
These poeple should be lock under ISA only the country will have peace.

BlueMoon said...

Dato' Wong,

Fair comment, but, who's to blame? The Malaysians themselves are responsible for all this mess. They've voted the idiots and put them in power. They used their buttocks instead of their brains when polling. Now these idiots are slowly turning this country upside down. The very people who've voted for them start feeling the pinch. Today alone more than 1000 people in Penang lost their jobs when one company suddenly shut-down, citing bad business and high cost of production. All bad things only took place after the 13th election. Prior to this there were no Turkey hideout, no SAPP saga, no jump ship, no show-cause letter, no vote of confidence and absolutely no PR.

Politically, a signifacant large segment of Malaysians failed to differentiate between the gold and the pot.

M.Kate said...

Mr Wong,
The bad times had been here since 1 year ago. With high fuel surcharges, the entire logistics industry has been badly affected. I dont have the statistics but can almost guarantee that a check will show a dramatic decrease in import and export. While all our politicians cum morons are gooning around, the economy is taking a tumble, and continue to go down the drain for the months and years to come for sure. There are NOTHING done to stop investors from leaving, nothing done to bring in new investors, everything is more expensive and continue so. It's doomsday for all of us. The only happy news I get from the newspapers are from the comic section. Headlines after headlines makes the country a laughing stock to the world. I have given up on any hope for this country. Walk on the streets and talk to those in business will tell everyone how bad business is.

Rockin' Chains said...

There is a thin line between playing safe and speaking up. Have we crossed that line? Or have we only blurred that line?

Perhaps the fault lies in the capitalists that exploit its workers, brain washing society to fear freedom and denting hopes of us achieving pure emancipation and enlightenment.

Anonymous said...

There is a saying: "No change without pain".
Any employee in an ailing corporate will know that when there is "corporate restructuring", many employees will suffer from retrenchment or paycuts, etc in an attempt to revitalise the company. Similarly, for an ailing communist centrally driven economy to reinvent itself to become a market driven economy, it goes through a tough period before it can reach its destination.
Now coming back to Malaysia, if the country wishes to break away from the current established system of corruption at every level and in every corner, it will go through a difficult period of adjustment. Which incumbent power wants to give up power and a gravy train of easy dirty money? And we are talking about incumbent power at every level, politicians, civil servants, police, military, etc. Many foul means will be used to stop the change. Is a death threat to DSAI far fetched? If a Mongolian woman can be murdered and blown up because one or a few persons are trying to cover up something, then with PR taking over the government, we are talking about a lot and a lot of powerful figures who will get affected. And we are talking about the possibilities of a new government digging out information that can send dozens and dozens of people to prison. So, is a plot to kill DSAI not possible?
Unfortunately for the Rakyat, to endure the pain during the period of change will be bad enough in normal world economic conditions. But this is happening during a global massive hike in the prices of fuel and food. But then, corrupt governments are normally brought down during bad times. During good times, many things can be hidden, and any fool can govern a coutry. But in bad times, all the rot shows up, and the hungry masses who have nothing to lose will take to the streets. I think Malaysians will be going through this phase. The bad times just started. I am sure the rich and corrupt would have sent a lot of money oversea by now in preparation for a quick getaway if things go terribly wrong for them.

Ordinary citizen

Anonymous said...

Malaysia is living in dangerous times.
The ruling elite are fighting among themselves, and fighting for a piece of the spoils (our national treasury).
The ruling elite and the opposition are fighting to govern.
The federal government are finding ways to undermine the PR states.
The corrupt are looking for ways to steal as fast as they can before the walls crumble.
The global prices of food, oil, minerals are going up fast.
FDI are fleeing Malaysia.
The corrupts' ill gotten gains are fleeing the country.
Jobs are being snatched away by more competitive countries.
The country is slowly being sapped dry.
Meanwhile, like a frogs in a slowly boiling pot, the average citizens sit complacent, wondering what is going on, why this is going on, and why they cannot be left alone in peace to be boiled dead.
AVERAGE JOE

J. D. Lovrenciear said...

It does not take one to be an economics graduate to know the current pulse of this bleeding nation.

And you should be commended for the courage to state things as they are despite being in the MSM which many misconstrut as being a handicapped organ of news.

In fact the word at the market place is: WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH THIS NATION OF LEADERS?

It is also a fact that a widespread fear is presently seeping the nation at every nook and corner. We only have to do a walkabout at the market place or warong for a better picture.

It is being speculated that an emergency situation is in all likelyhood to erupt. If this turns out to be true then that will be the crowning thorns for this nation.

We would have joined the ranks of several third (perhaps fourth) world nations that are embroilled in backwater autocracy and waring.

Investors will pull out. Jobs will suffer. Runaway inflation will seep in like a tide and remain reeking. The country would have sunk permanently scared.

No, we cannot afford this. Not if we love God, King and Nation.

Any one party or individual who sees this as an option to secure power, as well as all those who allow this seige to take place would be eternally guilty of a crime against the Malaysian flag of hope, development, progress and democratic justice.

The final bastion now precariously rests in the lap of our revered Royalty. And if that light at the end of our nation's tunnel of despair is extinguished we may as well be prepared to be another Myanmar.

J. D. Lovrenciear

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr.Wong,

I think you have trying to highlight the important of economy to the life of ordinary citizen, but I'm sure you understand that politics is the highest point at piramid that affecting every other sectors,including economy. Malaysia is undergoing the genuine democratic reformation, after the right wing politicians took over the power from Tunku Abdul Rahman 1971, since then the country has been governed by a single party, using divide-and-rule (copy from British colony), changed severely on constitution, and now the reformation process still no complete yet, the current economic turmoil(oil price, food price) provides the impetus for ordinary citzens to rethink whether they should continue to accept cronism, high level of corruption, and injustic in judicially!
Every evolution of political process has its price, let's pray that this reformation process will be completed soon.

helen said...

Nice post Wong. The economic problems Malaysia is facing are not unique. The US and the United Kingdom are in chaos as a result of economies built on the back of bad debts from mis-sold mortgages and over acceptance of loans and credit card applications. I think many countries will be facing tough times for the foreseeable future.