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.