Your MP's Question of the Week #40

As 2008 draws to a close, there remains one catastrophic event that is sweeping across the globe that our “sleeping” administration has neither seriously acknowledged nor addressed.

Most countries in the world (including our neighbour down south) have publicly admitted that the financial and economic tsunami, which originated from USA, has resulted in their economies going into recession and their governments have taken steps to help manage the accompanying devastating effects. The most worrisome being thousands of jobs are lost and businesses closing shops on a daily basis like there’s no tomorrow.

The ultimate casualties will be the people and their families, with putting food on the table being the greatest challenge in the days to follow.

Our Badawi administration back home, it seems, is still in dreamland and nothing concrete has been done so far to prepare or protect the rakyat from the full force of the annihilating tsunami. Apart from other negative economic news, as it is, our two major exports and money earner for the country – petroleum and palm oil – have been badly battered by on-going plunging prices which have yet to bottom out (approximately US$36.53 per barrel and US$457.6 per ton, respectively, at today’s close).

The apparent cluelessness and inaction of our leaders during such dire times are most disquieting and frustrating! Perhaps our leaders know something we don’t?

As has often been suggested by our leaders, is it true that our economy is decoupled from the world’s largest economy (United States of America) and therefore the rakyat of Malaysia do not really have anything to worry about vis-à-vis the failing economies that are dropping like flies around us and that we should continue to sleep easy like what our leaders seem to be doing?

– Terjemahan oleh Lee Wee Tak – Ucapan ribuan terima kasih dari Wee Choo Keong –

Soalan Mingguan WR Anda ke-40

Pada penghujung tahun 2008, suatu malapetaka melandai sejagat tetapi pihak pentadbiran kita yang “masih tidur lagi” tidak memandang berat atau menghadapinya.

Kebanyakan negara (termasuk jiran kita di selatan) telah mengakui kepada umum bahawa tsunami kewangan dan iktisad ini, yang berasal daripada USA, telah mengakibatkan ekonomi mereka merosot dan pihak kerajaan mereka telah mulai mengambil langkah menghadapi kesan-kesan buruknya. Kesan yang paling membimbangkan adalah kehilangan beribu-ribu jawatan dan penutupan perniagaan saban hari.

Rakyat jelata dan keluarga mereka akan menjadi mangsa dan cabaran terbesar adalah membekalkan makanan kepada seisi keluarga di hari-hari yang akan datang.

Pentadbiran Badawi nampaknya masih dalam dunia mimpinya dan tidak mengambil sebarang tindakan untuk melindungi dan membantu rakyat menghadapi kuasa pemusnah tsunami iktisad ini. Selain daripada perkembangan ekonomi yang negatif, 2 ekspot utama dan punca pendapatan negara – minyak mentah dan minyak kelapa sawit – telah dilandai kejatuhan harga pasaran uang masih berterusan (kira-kira US$36.53 setong dan US$457.6 seton, rpada harga pasaran tutup hari ini).

Kejahilan dan sikap diam diri para pemimpin kita dalam keadaan genting kini amat membimbangkan dan menghampakan kita semua! Ataupun mereka ini tahu sesuatu yang kita tidak?

Para pemimpin kita kerap menyatakan bahawa iktisad kita tidak bergantung kepada ekonomi terbesar dunia (yakin Amerika Syarikat) dan oleh itu rakyat Malaysia tidak perlu bimbang ekonomi-ekonomi lain yang menjunam di sekitar kita dan kita seharusnya terus tidur nyenyak seperti pemimpin kita kini?

4 thoughts on “Your MP's Question of the Week #40

  1. temenggong

    Malaysia is a trading nation with exports of roughly US$165 billion a year. That makes us susceptible to economic and currency fluctuations. We are entirely dependent on world trade.

    Due to the fall in oil prices which would wipe out earnings of about US$ 60 billion in 2009, we can say we have no money for investments in 2009. Besides whatever oil money we receive is going towards paying for operating expenditure. That means paying govt salaries!

    IOW, all our income is going towards paying for Operating Expenditure and is still a large shortfall here which is covered by borrowings, and zero for Investment Expenditure.

    The end result of this is that we will be bankrupt and have to lay off one-third of the civil service and shut down nearly half of our govt programmes like Rela, National Service, etc.

    This situation has been building since 1994 but the high oil prices were masking the problem.

    These things will inevitably happen by itself over the next two or three years. I would hate to be in the ruling party in power in the next few years. Let BN sack the malay civil service and uniformed services and face the crunch. They built an obese service over the last 40 years, so let them bring it down.

    No party can come to power and reverse the situation. The only way to reverse is to trim the govt service, by half. And almost the entire lot of foreign workers have to be repatriated and all estates shut down. Only smallholdings can continue and survive.

    Wee, please let the civil servants know of this. That the party is over! Put it in simple terms like the cops, teachers, hospital staff and the pensioners are not going to be paid for months. This is the scenario waiting to unfold. The malay society which is largely dependent on the govt, is going to be in chaos.

  2. lee wee tak

    YB, have to disagree with you on 1 point

    those “leaders” are not my leaders. I usually disagree with them

    I suppose they can sleep easy as the retirement funds of their grand children should be secured, thanks to some creative personal financial management scheme, that’s the something they know and that we might not know.

    I doubt the present leaders know what to do in a crises. Mahathir discourages initiative and original thinking from his subordinates and might have seen this as a threat to his power hence the people who are intelligent and working for him – Musa Hitam, Anwar Ibrahim etc are banished in 1 way or the other. The No.2 who enjoyed better working relationship with him…Ghaffar Baba and Badawi, well ………..

    Hence under this “my way or the Kamunting way” leadership, there is no succession plan; there is no emergence of real strategic thinkers amongst the UMNO leadership ranks to take over from him. Badawi was supposed to be the puppet but as fable story goes, pinochio came alive and somehow gotten a habit that can make his nose grow long, or Najib, whose promotions seems to be due to his blood ties rather than any true visible achievement, like Brooklyn Beckham will one day play for England just because his dad got 107 caps, never mind if Brooklyn can kick a ball properly or not.

    Ironically, the slowness of development in the Malaysian financial markets helped us. Derivatives, futures, options, essentially paper wealth musical chairs are never a big part of our economy hence we have not been hit directly. The real shit that hits the fan for us is that come few months’ time, when the overseas orders stop coming in, our OEMs and exporters will have to cut production etc.

    I foresee in 20 years time, or sooner, the Malaysian economy will be rocked by retirees hit bad by credit card detbs accumulated in their younger days.

    It is time for the world economy to revert to the old value system where economic strength is measured by tangible production capabilities, rather than paper wealth indicators.

  3. lee wee tak

    Temenggong, you are right

    to correct our economy structure, we have to ship back the foreigners and take the extra civil servants into their places, that means construction sites, factories, coffee shops, restaurants and all that

    that will stop the foreign exchange outflow but we will have voters revolt amongst the civil servants, a huge group of lazy, inflexible, arrogant, unproductive, unimaginative group of people replacing a mixed bag of hard working and not so hard working foreign labourers.

    In practice, it cannot be done. The only thing the government should do is to freeze intake and increment of civil servants for 3 years and instill cost cutting measures of 10% a year for the next 5 years for this bloated piece of leech. How to cut cost? Remove “lawatan sambil belajar”, remove training courses, open tenders for supplies to government offices, reduce red tapes hence cost of administration. I believe there is a lot of fat that we can cut off.

  4. Wangsa Maju Resident

    YB Wee, I know lah this is out of topic but I want to say something here okay.

    About the Hudud Law that PAS wnat to implement, I wish lah Tuan can you please tell Karpal Singh to just shut his mouth ah. He is messing up by opening his mouth and talking nonsense. He of all people should know lah it is not so easy to have Hudud Law. There must be 2 third majority in Parlimen before this can happen what and also ah the constitution must be changed also. What like this he also do not know ah? Maybe Karpal Singh is getting old aledi and he should not open his mouth unnecessary lah. Please lah YB Wee, can you tell him ah?

    Also ah, can Pakatan Rakyat MPs stop all the stupid nonsense they are doing. Why so much noise and fighting and want to resign lah and so on and so what. This is confusing all the Pakatan Rakyat supporters you know. Also, BN must be very happy now and laughing like mad dogs to see all this happening in Pakatan Rakyat.

    Please lah, Pakatan Rakyat must stop all their nonsense and do their work quietly so the people will vote them again in the next GE. What lah, how to be the government like that. Thanks all and YB thank you too.

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