Crude oil has risen to a record above US$144 per barrel. That means US$150 is imminent. There are some who even say US$200 is not impossible. You don't need to be an economist to predict that a recession, even depression, is looming if the price of crude oil does not stabilise or moderate at some point. (Click here to keep track of the price of oil)
We are not talking about Malaysia but the world. Malaysia is just a pimple on the world map but we will be hit hard. Just hours ago, General Motors shares fell 15% to US$9.98, the lowest since 1954 as it faces possible bankruptcy. Investors are staying away from companies making cars and planes, it's simple. Many airline companies are already up for sale.
Malaysia has always been spared from such crisis with its oil and commodities. If crude oil goes up, our palm oil also goes up. There will be a cushion but we will still be hit with higher bills for production and food. But what Malaysia can do is to be competitive - that will mean investors must find it cheaper to put money in Malaysia.
If you have corruption, that adds to the cost of doing business, you drive away foreign direct investments. Delays from either the federal or state governments will be the fastest way to drive away money. Also cut down all this stupid talk about Singapore taking away Malaysian assets. Singapore has plenty of cash and it is normal for businesses to have foreign equities. Nothing sinister about it. The Arabs are also the ones with plenty of cash now.
But more importantly, what's our priority? Our politicians need to get the act together. The whole nation needs to focus on facing a looming recession, we need to save jobs so workers can feed their families. What the hell are the politicians doing? Instead of demonstrations, ceramahs and party election campaigns, why are the BN or PR not holding talks to brace Malaysians for what's coming? Or to tell us their grand plans? We want to hear plans and ideas, not conspiracies!