Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Becoming a high income nation…..

I suppose every nation can become a high-income nation if a high per capita income and a high salary for workers are all that it takes to be considered as one.symbol of the rich

But certainly it takes more than that. A high per capita only represents a high average if all the gross income of the nation is divided equally among all the  people. But the income pf the nation is never divided equally. Often 90% of the income is shared by 10% of the population - the rich and wealthy- and only 10% is enjoyed by 90% of the population.- the poor and impoverished. In such a situation a very high gross national income does not mean that the country is already developed. Increased productivity can only happen in the modern sector of the economy while the low productivity sector - the poor and traditional sector of the economy, remains impoverished..

High average income among the people also does not mean that all workers are enjoying a good income. Top management executives  in the private sector and the public service  maybe earning a very high income but the common worker earns hardly enough to make ends meet. Even setting a high minimum wage and upgrading all pay scales in the public sector, almost  equivalent to that which prevail in the highly industrialised and modern business sector, does not mean much if the cost of living
keeps rising like the tidal waves.
home of the poor

It is the level of living attained by the bottom 10, 20, 30, or 40 % of the low-icome earners which must be used as a measure of development. The less productive and poor segment of the population usually forms the  main bulk of the population of the developing or less developed countries.
The poor majority gives the country its name and identity - the average citizens of the country. They are the people that you see in the less developed areas of the cities, in the thousands of villages and the underdeveloped rural areas - the inhabitants of the slump and neglected parts of the country. If these people remain poor because of low productivity, low income, and economically unsupportive living environment, the country as a whole remains as an under developed or developing country although you might have many city centres as rich as New York, London, Tokyo etc.
don't discount us

Malaysia is certainly moving forward in terms of gross national productivity and gross national income. But many factors are keeping the standard of living for the average income earner dejectedly low as compared to that enjoyed by the rich Malaysians. Rising cost of essential goods for decent living, huge leakages in disposable income as a result of "kleptocracy" within the government as alleged by the world, and a  fiscal policy that imposes higher charges, taxes and rents, reduces subsidies to help the poor, and distribute development funds and monetary gifts to gain political support, has eaten away into the increased wealth and assets. The fall in the market price of major export commodities such as oil, rubber, oil palm etc has further aggravated the economic wellbeing of the nation.

Current talks on the possibility of a rise in toll charges, charges for electricity and water, another jump for the GST from 6 to 8%, more borrowing from various Funds such as the EPF by the government to supplement its financial needs, make the people - the average wage earner- more jittery. There seem to be little or no control at all on the increase in the price of foodstuff, housing and public services formerly provided by government but now by the private sector. The tender and bidding system for securing development projects in the government seem to have been manipulated to allow for a wide margin of profits to be shared by certain parties. Is this being investigated into so that the development costs of projects can be more realistic and "grease-free"?

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Malaysia: Everything Can If...

Malaysians of all races have joked about the slogan "Malaysia Boleh (Malaysia Can). In many cases it's because there are several things that government has done which they consider "stupid" or "foolish" and not in the interest of the poor and the lower-income group of citizens. Donations and gifts to high-powered leaders are okay. But to the underpaid public servants, even ten on twenty ringgit is a hideous crime called corruption.

There is a strong drive now to catch the erring public servants working in government agencies. But politicians whether  holding public office or not but reputed to have received millions or even billions as donation and "gifts" are enjoying a life of luxury and plenty. Mereka boleh.

Holding a protest gathering without an official approval by the police is 'tidak boleh' (illegal). But if government supporters like the 'red shirts" decide to hold such gatherings in the city, it's  boleh ( can).
They certainly would have obtained an approval from the police, if questioned. The police might even help to control the traffic.

There are indeed several things that can be done in Malaysia if you approached the right authority or person in authority. Some say, anything at all, if the powers that be is properly approached. Most important is to know who to approach. If he (or she) says 'yes', you're on. Many things that were before  considered as unnationalistic or against the interest of the  bumiputras have been done, with proper approval of course.

So, young Malaysians. this boleh land is yours to exploit as entrepreneurs provided you can find the right backing or be on the right side of the political road. Make a wrong move and you might find your
rights being withdrawn. You can even become an outcast in your one country.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Millionaires of Malaysia

The Millionaires of Malaysia

I wonder how many millionaires and billionaires there are now in Malaysia. Millionaires grow like mushroom after a rainstorm with politicians swarming the field which before was the territory  of the business tycoons and magnates. The latter make their millions through business and trading, manufacturing, providing services, playing the stock market etc. The former just play with words and influence over people, get elected or selected to hold a public office, then play "monopoly" with the national assets and wealth.

There is no doubt that all prominent politicians from the political parties in power in Malaysia  today, are rich and belong to the millionaire group. Even billionaires, although they have no business empire to talk about. Their business is just politics  and "politicking". Once they fall out from the corridor of power for whatever reason such as "a disagreement with the boss",  "backing the wrong horse", or "considered disloyal", they will be out on the street like the common citizen. Of course, some had already made their pile and can enjoy life in luxury.

I'm persuaded to believe that these rich politicians are the ones who make Malaysians as a people appear rich and prosperous, while the working class of Malaysians are really struggling to maintain a middle-class style of living. Let alone the farmers, fishermen, and odd-jobbers who form the poverty-prone group.The business magnates and tycoons are easily identifiable and their assets well-known. It's the rich politicians, some with no obvious source of income, who don't grumble over the high cost of living, rising prices of consumer goods and services, rising taxes, charges and rates over many things,  that worry the common man in the street. Some prominent ones even refuse to declare their assets. A distinct group of well-to-do politicians that have emerged in Malaysia today are the "dedak" (chicken feed) receivers". They are reputed to receive millions from their billionaire Master.

So, why worry when there are thousands of millionaires (and billionaires) in Malaysia? We are a rich nation then. Why worry if the national debt is more than half of the country's income? The worry is that
the rich politicians are not helping to increase the assets of the country but draining them. How?  You are a damn good citizen if you don't know and better if you don't care. When people get rich without working their ass out, some downtrodden folks are doing the work for them, and paying the debt they create. One day the assets of the nation will be drained and you have to sell the country to the wealthy
business magnates and tycoons.

And the rich politicians? They have to flee or the tortured and hungry citizens will come after their necks. Let's hope this won't happen in Malaysia.      

Friday, September 9, 2016