Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Look ma, no hands!

Everywhere else in the world, people cringe over fear of economic backlash due to the global financial crisis, but not this blessed nation of ours. Our leader’s assurance after assurance with regard to the future of nation economically is pretty assuasive to the ears. Tonight while having my dinner I overheard the calming voice of Finance Minister 2 in Buletin Utama. Listening to him saying, "we have no reason to worry, our fundamentals are strong and no recession is going to hit us not this year or next year," makes me want to laugh and, at the same time, cry. When facing a crisis, to keep the people calm is obviously the way to go. It will work if the people are oblivious of what is happening elsewhere in the world. While pretending everything is okay, the act of reaching for the "forbidden" cookie jar in the middle of the night, insinuate other things. By the way, to which counters will these cookies be handed to? Will they come with milk & lullaby too?

Talking about current economic trends due to the global crisis, we actually do not have to go that macro. What's happening around us currently should send shivers down the spine of any right-minded business person, especially those small ones that do not have the privileges of EPF money coming to their rescue, but instead must keep contributing to EPF on behalf of their employees without fail. If you are in the service line the trend currently is leaning towards bad more than good. For instance, there are more bad paymasters than the good ones currently. Money is not coming into businesses as projected and as what is shown on paper, on the invoices. Nowadays, from what I gather, most business owners are more prone to dig into their reserves at the end of the month just to make ends meet for the same. When your business can't afford to pay itself at the end of the month, there's your red alert. This you can't afford to ignore. To make matters worse, your staffs will still be relentlessly asking for that yearly pay raise and year end bonuses. You can't help but to oblige given the circumstances currently.

It's also no secret that most institutional and governmental clients are planning to drastically cut costs and expenses next year, meaning a lot less money for your business. Clients are also becoming overly conscious when it comes to discounts, to a certain extend merciless. They'll be doing their window shopping to several of your business competitors before choosing yours. You can't always depend on loyalty anymore. Well, who can blame them? Everyone is looking for the best bargain due to increasing costs in everything (Well not everyone apparently, not when it comes to buying helicopters). And sadly due to all this, especially in the service sector, incessant under-cutting will be fair game. That maybe good for the clients but not for the business owners. Incomes steadily shrink while the overheads climbing up the ceiling. That's the harsh reality of most small businesses today. Mind you, this is now, the time the oracles of the MOF are saying that "the economy is in good shape, the economic fundamentals are strong ...yada, yada, yada".

Looking at those increasingly unhealthy trends, albeit from simpler point of view, I can't help to wonder are we really, as a nation, economically unassailable as proudly proclaimed over and over again by the these MOF soothsayer?

“The finance portfolio has been handed over to me by the Prime Minister at a time when the country’s economy is in good shape. The economic management is stable and our fundamentals are strong so Malaysia is not in a crisis. God willing, we are not heading towards a recession next year,” he said in his speech at the ministry’s appreciation ceremony for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi here yesterday.

I don't know why but when I read the news or listening to them, I just can't shake off these particular images from my head. An image of a kid riding a bicycle while letting go both of his hands off the handles, unmindful of a car coming straight at him, yelling proudly at the terrified onlooking mother, "Look ma, no hands!".


Zubli Zainordin said...

Look Man, Bus No Driver...

Jed Yoong said...

HAntu Laut got new post on our EPF funds being used to prop up the share market...

aston said...
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vesewe said...
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mamasita said...

Morning LK..from a housewife point of view;our country actually dah siang2 suffered with the rising prices of foodstuffs and petrol.Even that gave almost everyone(except the filthy rich)a near heart attack.
I believe our trying to lessen the torment on the rakyat.Coming from Tan Sri Nor Yaacob is a comment worth weighing.He is a very honest bloke.
Kita kasilah our leaders try their best not to make the economic scenario not so panicky looking with all kinds of economic measures.Biasalah.Kita pun bila susah pinjam sana sini.So Govt. pinjamlah duit EPF kan? Nanti lagi teruk kalau everybody hits the panic button now!Lagi hirukpikuk!Hopefully,the govt. tengah preparing the country with many damage-control that the 'economy' will not nosedived into the longkang besar and patahriuk!Habis2 kuat jatuh atas padang rumput and luka lutut and siku sikit..maybe patah gigi and benjol dahi!hmmmmm!Tu lah!Mama cakap taknak dengar!Buat lagi!

konek said...

What is your problem? Pak Lah said that now he is walking the talk with the 9MP, but those are not what we want from his talk talk days. We want him to fulfill his pledges in having a transparent, accountable government. Stop giving us lies!

Sick! Simple and dirty way to become billionaire in Malaysia.

Singapore (transparency, efficient and clean government) had proven to the world that they have struggled and gone far better than Malaysia (racist and corrupted government) in terms of economy and others even though they have been separated from our Bolehland since 1963.

Hello Malaysia……….Wake up!

Sadly, the government is not setting and leading a good example for the private sector and people to follow, e.g. transparency, social responsibility, non discrimination, equal employment opportunity, competency and accountability, and etc.

It is the private sector, in particular the multinationals with huge resources, that are setting and leading a good example for the local businesses to follow.

Always country's culture. We might not know whom pocket is filled with money but we sure know about this kind of process. Worse still a lot being supportive of certain parties just to get projects as that. They are selling their soul for money. This is just of the thousand cases repeat happened.

They give the contract to one company to earn all the money - what some more is crony way of awarding the contract. Hope BN government will feel the pinch later.

Pak Lah is Mr Clean? Oh my God, biggest lie of all!

Biggest sin of Pak Lah is inaction and ignorant! With all the power he is holding now coupled with the biggest margin ever in election victory, Pak Lah can do many things. But he chose not to. He just let all his cronies and airheads ministers grabs whatever things they want, do whatever they want!

I think Pak Lah is the laziest prime minister we ever produced! He could be totally incompetent too. Probably that is the reason why Mahathir wants to remove him at all costs.

yuking said...

The only method BN can stay in power is to keep the nation uninformed, stupid and struggling to put food on their tables.

If the nation is uninformed, then BN will have less to worry about stealing their money and telling a totally different story of how they are helping them get better. Take a million, donate a thousand.

If the nation is stupid, then they will ask less questions. Unable to think logically and systematically, everything that the BN force feed to the nation will just be taken at face value. BN says that malays should be given more help.

If nation is struggling to put food on the table, the less time they have to care about the decapitated political condition in the country.

So BN can just continue to marginalize every single person who is not a malay.

So why talk about them not reaching their promised goal of being first world when it is not their goal since day one. Everyone here knows what their goal is. We know that their promises are as empty as their heads.

What they want is to get as much money as possible and stash them in some other country because sooner or later, the ringgit will be worthless. Maybe cheaper than rupiah.

We will have to see if that really happens after the next election.

reek said...

Economy is one thing. The standard of our Malaysia education system is another. So what do we get when we add both of the factors together?

The global economy is showing signs of minor recession, if not a serious one.

This kind of "invisible hand" can't be control by us. However, the quality of education is man-made and is controllable.

If they are really serious in tackling the jobless problem, they shouldn't be doing what they are doing now.

They are merely "filling the holes" with silicone paste and certainly can't do this forever because the whole building will collapse one day.

Even a pig knows about this simple scenario. I guess they are even worse than a pig. Long live Umno!

The saying goes: "We will reap what we sow" and the Murphy's Law must come real: "The solution to a problem will definitely breed far potent problems to come".

Instead of taking the bull by the horn and addressed the root problem of incompetence and obsolescence of the dysfunction system, the system managers chose to patch the pot holes by using inorganic substitutions.

The main concern of Umno is that unemployed graduates pose a source of resentment that could lead to momentum for opposition and critics such as Dr Mahathir especially.

Anyone ever wonder why government invest in education really? In ancient times, education was entirely private and the realm of the privilege, and truly talented.

People did not complain because agric-based societies could sustain themselves that way and did not know better.

With industrialization and now service economies, value of labour becomes very low and cannot keep the population employed.

So the primary reason why government invest in education seriously is - firstly to keep young people occupied and secondly employed.

The priority to create high value labour force is really secondary in feudal societies and that is what we have a feudal society with a veneer of modernity.

So you can argue blue to your face, they will not deal with it the way you think it should because so long as there is money in the kitty and especially they don't have to be accountable to be people that pay those taxes and funds, they will keep day-dreaming and hope beyond hope and waste rather than pay the price of progress, modernity and justice.

Most of the unemployed who for one reason or other can't find jobs within 6 months to a year typically belong to the shitty pool.

These lots who probably shouldn't have qualified for university in the first place will now be part of our civil service and we can hope (and pray) that they will "improve efficiency".

coolooc said...
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mamasita said...

Correction sikit..Kita kasilah our leaders try their best not to make the economic scenario look so panicky looking, by implementing all kinds of economic measures that may save the country from further economic turmoil.

Vesewe?We are not having an English class here!So go and fly kite lah!

Anonymous said...
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mekyam said...

spot on, mr loyar!

the 2nd finance minister, in his vast knowledge and wisdom about things economics, may know what he is talking about.

but as you intimated, to simply tell a population who is experiencing a daily reality that totally belies his assurance to take it easy, without offering any explanation, smacks of being callous and patronizing.

i think he should revert to the practice of his former boss [i'm referring to tun dr m], i.e. explain to the rakyat in simple easy-to-understand language WHY he and his current boss, NTR, say malaysia alone is spared the economic blight that is being faced by the whole world.

that way, not only would he still any panic among the rakyats but also give substance to his assurance and perhaps even get the rakyat's cooperation to ride whatever economic eventualities as one.

kluangman said...

Ekonomi Malaysia bergantung kepada 'mulut' pemimpin kerajaan.

Pakar Ekonomi sudah tidak relevan dan pengajian ekonomi di Pusat2 Pengajian Tinggi juga sudah tidak penting.

Masuk politik pembangkang atau kerajaan, ada sedikit jawatan, di situ anda sudah boleh bercakap pasal ekonomi negara dan dunia.

Pendapatan dan perbelanjaan bergantung kepada rasuah dan subsidi dan sekarang ada sumber baru iaitu melalui saman malu.

Malaysia boleh !!

mekyam said...

kluangman said... sekarang ada sumber baru iaitu melalui saman malu.

LOL! nampaknya begitulah.

ini betul2 mencuit orat geli saya, kluangman. :D

Lawyer Kampung said...

Don't worry so much mamasita. ;-)

This "vesewe, yuking, reek, aston, konek, cooloc" whatever is actually the same person, making the same racial & degrading remarks over & over again. A racist lunatic!

Just have a look at the following links: