Empty scenes like this are now commonplace because of the lack of trading interest in Bursa Malaysia, prompting recent calls for trading hours to be shortened. – Picture by Choo Choy May (Malaysian Insider).

What a grim and sad picture. In Thailand, traders seem to get used to the frequent coups:

“We don’t think the state of emergency declaration is a big surprise to financial markets. It’s part of the political jigsaw that the market had expected and the sell-off should be short-lived,” Bualuang Securities head of research Chaiyaporn Nompitakcharoen, said. (Reuters)

How about Malaysia?

Thanks to Wits for the heads up:

Sept. 4 (Bloomberg) — Malaysia’s ringgit will be “almost a washout” for the rest of this year as a growing fiscal deficit, political turmoil and policy inaction on inflation turn investors away, the nation’s biggest economic think-tank said.

[Where has all the money gone?]

The ringgit will probably weaken to 3.5 per dollar by year end, Ariff Kareem, executive director of the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research, said in an interview in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. The partially government-funded think tank had previously forecast the ringgit would strengthen to 3 per dollar by the end of 2008.

[Start  buying American dollars!]

Malaysia on Aug. 29 said its budget deficit will widen to 34.5 billion ringgit ($10.1 billion) this year, or a five-year high of 4.8 percent of gross domestic product, because of a trebling in food and oil subsidies. The ringgit fell this week to near the lowest in a year.

“The deficit is enormous and doesn’t speak well for fiscal management,” Ariff said. “The ringgit is almost a washout. It’s partly a verdict on how the country is being governed. This budget doesn’t help, it worsens the currency position.”

[Does this mean we are back to being third world again?]

The ringgit may take another three years, instead of two, to reach its “fair value” of 2.8 against the U.S. currency, Ariff said.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is counting on oil prices to average $125 a barrel in 2009, unchanged from 2008, to lift revenue by 9.1 percent to 176.2 billion ringgit and narrow the deficit to 3.6 percent of GDP.

“Obsessed’
The ringgit traded at 3.4215 against the dollar as at 9:20 a.m. in Kuala Lumpur today, down from 3.3875 on Aug. 28, the day before the budget announcement that included tax cuts, a bonus for government employees, and free electricity to the poor.

The currency slumped 4.2 percent in August, the worst month since Bank Negara Malaysia scrapped a dollar link in July 2005, amid concern opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim will grab power by Sept. 16 via defections by lawmakers from Abdullah’s ruling coalition.

“Political uncertainty, perception about the country’s leadership, all these don’t augur well for investor perception,” Ariff said. “The sovereign rating could be affected.”

[Ah, I thought things would be better if Anwar Ibrahim’grab’ power? I thought it’s PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s leadership that is helping the economy spiral downwards…?]

Malaysia’s gross domestic product grew 6.3 percent in the second quarter, the slowest pace in a year. Annual growth will ease to 5.7 percent in 2008 and 5.4 percent in 2009, from 6.3 percent in 2007, the government said last week.

“We are too obsessed with growth,” Ariff said. “There’s no way we can get back to the growth rate of the late 1980s and it’s not in our interest to get back on track when we grew too fast for our own good.”

[Blame Mahathir Mohammad?]

“Out of Sync”
The government may be overreacting in its attempt to pump- prime the economy, depleting its resources before a further slowdown in 2009, Ariff said. The institute will probably lower its 5 percent growth forecast for 2009 at a later date, he said.

Fiscal measures to boost the purchasing power of consumers will “unwittingly” fuel inflation, while a “laid back” interest-rate policy will push inflation-adjusted interest rates deeper into negative territory and spur capital flight, he said.

The central bank has kept its overnight policy rate at 3.5 percent in 19 straight meetings since April 2006, even as other Asian nations raised borrowing costs this year to cool soaring prices. Ariff predicts inflation will accelerate from a 26-year high of 8.5 percent in July in the months ahead.

“Local interest rates are artificially low and they are out of sync with what we see in the region,” Ariff said. “Some marginal adjustments are required to send the right message that we are doing something, or else the credibility issue sets in.”

[Need a real good economist on board please!]

63 responses »

  1. koolgeek says:

    credit suisse has advised investors to stay away from thailand and malaysia

  2. giggle says:

    Avoid Thailand, Malaysia Stocks on Politics, Credit Suisse Says

    “We’ve been underweight in Thailand for the better part of the last two years because of a continuation of the negative domestic political sentiment,” said Beat Lenherr, who oversees more than $20 billion of assets as Singapore-based chief global strategist at LGT Capital Management. “Malaysia faces similar problems and we’re heavily underweight there as well.”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601080&sid=ayT8ilW_gkhU&refer=asia

  3. giggle says:

    14. I cannot do everything all by myself. I need support. I cannot just go to Dato Seri Abdullah, catch him by the scruff of his neck and throw him out.

    http://test.chedet.com/che_det/2008/09/why-dont-i-do-something.html

  4. Oh what happened now?

    How’s the next generation going to survive?

    Will they blame their forefathers?

  5. kittykat46 says:

    The stock market is not the same as the “real” economy, though there is obvious linkage.
    Its the political uncertainty which is stopping the Stock Market right now. Confirmation of either BN to continue in power , or Anwar and PR to take over would resolve that particularly uncertainty.

    In the real economy, the major factor is a very painful combination of rising costs – all kinds of cost and falling demand. Even companies which have adequate business demand find that its getting harder and harder to collect the cash.

    We are in for a long , dark night for the economy. And the current Cabinet is “Dunno”, useless. There is a lot which can be done to open up the economy, improve transparency.

    Plenty of good ideas floating around. But no political will to implement.

    Because what is good for Malaysia will be bad for the UMNOputras. Between Malaysia and UMNO, of course BN chooses UMNO.

  6. kkk says:

    What do one expect wen we r run by scumbags who do not know anything about economy. What make it worst is that these scumbags thought they know everything about economy and are outright arrogant and stupid. Of course , couple with our great sleepy flipflop guy who also havent got a clue what is ECONOMY.
    God help Malaysia

  7. yellow fever says:

    “If we can form a government within this short period, then a new (2009) budget will be introduced,” Anwar told reporters. “We are not proceeding with this irresponsible expansionary budget.”
    – Anwar in Forbes

    http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2008/09/02/ap5377922.html

  8. yellow fever says:

    “If we can form a government within this short period, then a new (2009) budget will be introduced,” Anwar told reporters. “We are not proceeding with this irresponsible expansionary budget.”
    – Anwar in Forbes

    forbes.com/feeds/ap/2008/09/02/ap5377922.html

  9. matt says:

    If sept 16 doesn’t happen things will become harder for the average Malaysian.

  10. You know, I have to tell you, I really enjoy this blog and the insight from everyone who participates. I find it to be refreshing and very informative. I wish there were more blogs like it. Anyway, I felt it was about time I posted, Ive spent most of my time here just lurking and reading, but today for some reason I just felt compelled to say this.

  11. Ugly MCA says:

    The much hated Najis and OKT are also responsible for this,

    BTN’s racist and divisive indoctrination courses

    As part of the course, which is mandatory before they are sent overseas, all non-Malays are segrgated and given lectures on the history of the country and how the immigration of the Chinese and Indians had taken place. And finally how the Chinese and Indians were given citizenship. The Malays too had their own similar sessions.

    The instructors blatantly told them that they should not question the rights and privileges of the Malays as the non-Malays should be thankful that they were given citizenship status and a place to stay on their soil. My daughter together with the other non-Malay students was shocked and went back to their dormitories depressed. And to the Malay students, the instructors told them to be aware of this fact and not to mix too freely with the non-Malays.

    A Malay friend of my daughter came back crying to the dormitory saying that she could not take the racist position taken by the government authority. My daughter then began questioning the bumiputra policy and was disgusted with such blatant indoctrination. This incident has also made the students harbour anger and resentment. Their fear for the authorities and losing their scholarships made them keep their cool. I am not exaggerating here – ask all the JPA students to write in anonymously and you will know the truth.

    http://blog.limkitsiang.com/2008/09/04/any-najib-apology-for-the-rank-racism-of-btn-indoctrination-courses/

  12. Ugly MCA says:

    Sorry that comment should not be in this post, susan, can please remove? Very sorry.

  13. wits0 says:

    For all intent and purpose, MCA, Gerakan and MIC etc are and have always been just Bumno in different wrappings. They cannot change and simply must go!

  14. Margeemar says:

    This Scribe has as early as August 1, 2008 been suspicious that Hindraf has been either hijacked by the BN regime and their agents or was being manipulated to serve the selfish cause of certain individuals. The following are the Blog postings of this Scribe with regards to Hindraf being hijacked and manipulated:…More http://margeemar.blogspot.com

  15. Patek1472 says:

    To Be Or Not To Be, That is the Question. (Nak jadi ke tak jadi, Itu Soalannya)
    ————————————————————
    Phrase from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

    To be, or not to be, that is the Question:
    Whether ’tis Nobler in the minde to suffer
    The Slings and Arrowes of outragious Fortune,
    Or to take Armes against a Sea of troubles,
    And by opposing end them: to dye, to sleepe
    No more; and by a sleepe, to say we end
    The Heart-ake, and the thousand Naturall shockes
    That Flesh is heyre too? ‘Tis a consummation
    Deuoutly to be wish’d. To dye to sleepe,
    To sleepe, perchance to Dreame; I, there’s the rub,
    For in that sleepe of death, what dreames may come,
    When we haue shuffel’d off this mortall coile,
    Must giue vs pawse. There’s the respect
    That makes Calamity of so long life:
    For who would beare the Whips and Scornes of time,
    The Oppressors wrong, the poore mans Contumely,
    The pangs of dispriz’d Loue, the Lawes delay,
    The insolence of Office, and the Spurnes
    That patient merit of the vnworthy takes,
    When he himselfe might his Quietus make
    With a bare Bodkin? Who would Fardles beare
    To grunt and sweat vnder a weary life,
    But that the dread of something after death,
    The vndiscouered Countrey, from whose Borne
    No Traueller returnes, Puzels the will,
    And makes vs rather beare those illes we haue,
    Then flye to others that we know not of.
    Thus Conscience does make Cowards of vs all,
    And thus the Natiue hew of Resolution
    Is sicklied o’re, with the pale cast of Thought,
    And enterprizes of great pith and moment,
    With this regard their Currants turne away,
    And loose the name of Action.

    http://patek1472.wordpress.com

  16. MITeconomist says:

    Have you ever tried to inflate a leaking balloon?

  17. Harrison says:

    “Malaysia on Aug. 29 said its budget deficit will widen to 34.5 billion ringgit ($10.1 billion) this year, or a five-year high of 4.8 percent of gross domestic product, because of a trebling in food and oil subsidies. The ringgit fell this week to near the lowest in a year.”

    ____
    During the 1997/8 financial crisis, Malaysian Government under Mahathir found a “sacrificial lamb”-George Soros for it’s own partial economic mismanagement. Some blamed Anwar Ibrahim for his attempt to seek IMF assistance among others. The fact, the very fact was that of Mahathir’s unnecessary boorishness philippic against the West at one time even unleashing doses of tirade against local investors.

    Now, the economy is on the lame, the administration of Pak Lah is sleuthing for another sacrificial lamb/s for thier own fiasco (laxity against corruption, bad management, misrule and racist quotas that scared-off investors and led local investors fleeing).

    Malaysia under these despotic (mahathir) and lame (Pak Lah) leaders and thier local despots (MBs and CMs) who amassed billions in ill-gotten-monies (kick-backs, sweetheart-deals, nepotism and cronyism) and enjoys impunity will always find another “Soros” to be blame for the sins by their very own hands.

    Malaysia BOLEH! Yes sir.🙂

  18. Harrison says:

    Now, the economy is on the lame, (correction, on the lam/bankrupt)

  19. apapunboleh says:

    Thanks to BN/racist UMNO….Malaysia will be dropped back to third world status.

  20. giggle says:

    Billy Vaughn – Come September

  21. wandererAUS says:

    “She be right, mate!”
    After all, we still have a long way to catch up with Zimbawe, hahaha. There is a famous saying in Malaysia, “Give ‘them’ a gold mine, they will turn it into a shit mine”

  22. Menyalak-er says:

    Sdr. Din Merican has a very good write up on this.
    The core issue is this type of rubbish ‘expansionary’ fiscal policy engenders terrific damage with huge bad-get deficit, artificially low interest rates, rising inflation, stagflation etc. Not to mention hemorrhages from inept/corrupt etc. practices, for which the ‘margin of safety’ is manifestly inadequate to satisfy the bottomless lusts of the few.
    It so horrendous, that even a non-economist like me and my cobbler (yeah, ‘pakai kasut recon’) can see the idiots ‘dys-economic’ policies leading the whole nation into the gutter.
    Although it was reported that the commodity prices are easing, those ‘apa-tus’ are basing that 2009 badjet on future oil prices staying at USD 125/barrel, while it has been dropping rapidly! Look at the RM depreciation!
    Wherethou are the FDIs – Somalia izzit?
    So how to make up for this ‘shortfall’ or ‘freefall’?
    Yeah, by selling daughters to servanthood/slavery/pros. to lusty Arabs/Nigerians/Ethiopians – starting with the bumno types, then going on to the EPU, Khazanah and Bank Negara flunkies (for not monitoring and putting their ‘broken’ feet down when it mattered). After that maybe, our virginial sayfools…
    Lol, we are decimated already and that is why DSAI and PR’s got to pick up and save us from further rot & ruin! A zillion piece ‘jigsaw puzzle’!
    Are you listening?

  23. amoker says:

    Seemed that our best economist is the Finance Minister 2. hahah. no wonder we are doing worst than ever. The overspent budget on administration and building more corridors, scraping the barrel on real benefit to people. Leaving the interest rate unchanged is just going to make inflation higher. Soon, what you earn will be even less.

  24. hamid says:

    RM 11.31 Billion High Speed Broadband (HSBB) awarded without Tender, even when there are many interested party.

    Quotes :

    “…….the government finally awarded Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) the big-budget RM11.31 billion high-speed broadband (HSBB) project”

    “…..However, some industry players are questioning why HSBT was rejected just on this technicality as its proposal would save RM2.4 billion in taxpayers’ money.”

    http://malaysiavoices.blogspot.com/2008/09/rm-11.html

  25. alvin lee says:

    Yes, our cabinet is really made-up of low class ministers. Sometimes I really feel sad to see the ways in which our ministers act or say in the public. Besides showing their arrogance, there is nothing substantive in most of their speeches. Actually our country has been running on “auto-pilot” all these years. Why? Simple because we do not have any capable minister in the cabinet and to make matter worse, only UMNO ministers can call the shots. The rest are there only to warm their seats with very little authority to decide.

    If such a trend is allow to continue, it is very obvious that our country’s economy will go down the drain very soon in view of the present global economic slowdown and the highly competitive business environment which we are in today.

  26. cybervaluer says:

    Yehhhh !!! guy out there. You can check the latest interest rate between 1982 until 2008 and make your own analysis. We ‘re back to economic recession la…

  27. patrickayu says:

    this is from bloomberg latest.
    Sept. 4 (Bloomberg) — Malaysia’s ringgit, Southeast Asia’s second-worst performer in the past three months, will be “a washout” in 2008 as a growing budget deficit and policy inaction on inflation turn investors away, a think tank said.

    The ringgit will probably weaken to 3.5 per dollar by year end, Ariff Kareem, executive director of the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research, said in an interview in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. The partially government-funded think tank, the nation’s biggest, had previously forecast the ringgit would strengthen to 3 per dollar by the end of 2008.

    Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, fending off challenges to his leadership, last week said he will hand bonuses to civil servants, double the number of households on welfare and cut income tax. The government’s budget deficit will widen to 34.5 billion ringgit ($10.1 billion) this year, or a five-year high of 4.8 percent of gross domestic product.

    “The deficit is enormous and doesn’t speak well for fiscal management,” Ariff said. “The ringgit is almost a washout. It’s partly a verdict on how the country is being governed. This budget doesn’t help, it worsens the currency position.”

    The currency traded at 3.4315 against the dollar as at 12:15 p.m. in Kuala Lumpur, down from 3.3875 on Aug. 28, the day before Abdullah’s budget announcement. It reached 3.4430 yesterday, the weakest since Sept. 24, 2007.

    The ringgit may take another three years, instead of two, to reach its “fair value” of 2.8 against the U.S. currency, Ariff said.

    Politics, Inflation

    Abdullah is counting on oil prices to average $125 a barrel in 2009, unchanged from 2008, to lift revenue by 9.1 percent to 176.2 billion ringgit and narrow the budget deficit to 3.6 percent of GDP.

    “Given the risks, people will re-look their portfolio holdings in Malaysia and ask if they still make sense,” said Daniel Hui, a Hong Kong-based currency strategist at HSBC Holdings Plc, Europe’s biggest lender. “The politics is getting no better and inflation is worse.”

    The ringgit slumped 4.2 percent in August, the worst month since Bank Negara Malaysia scrapped a dollar link in July 2005, amid concern opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim will grab power by Sept. 16 through defections by lawmakers from Abdullah’s ruling coalition.

    `Obsessed’

    “Political uncertainty, perception about the country’s leadership, all these don’t augur well for investor perception,” Ariff said. “The sovereign rating could be affected.”

    Malaysia’s economy grew 6.3 percent in the second quarter, the slowest pace in a year. Annual growth will ease to 5.7 percent in 2008 and 5.4 percent in 2009, from 6.3 percent in 2007, the government said last week.

    “We are too obsessed with growth,” Ariff said. “There’s no way we can get back to the growth rate of the late 1980s and it’s not in our interest to get back on track when we grew too fast for our own good.”

    The government may be overreacting in its attempt to pump- prime the economy, depleting its resources before a further slowdown in 2009, Ariff said. The institute will probably lower its 5 percent growth forecast for 2009 at a later date, he said.

    Fiscal measures to boost the purchasing power of consumers will “unwittingly” fuel inflation, while a “laid back” interest-rate policy will push inflation-adjusted interest rates deeper into negative territory and spur capital flight, he said.

    The central bank has kept its overnight policy rate at 3.5 percent in 19 straight meetings since April 2006, even as other Asian nations raised borrowing costs this year to cool soaring prices. Ariff predicts inflation will accelerate from a 26-year high of 8.5 percent in July in the months ahead.

    “Local interest rates are artificially low and they are out of sync with what we see in the region,” Ariff said. “Some marginal adjustments are required to send the right message that we are doing something, or else the credibility issue sets in.”

  28. “Empty scenes like this are now commonplace because of the lack of trading interest in Bursa Malaysia, prompting recent calls for trading hours to be shortened”

    coz everyone goes real time trading via “internet” – no need to be on site …

  29. HELLBOY says:

    KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 4 — Umno information chief Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib has urged Gerakan members to be patient in facing tough times and not to be fooled by promises made by the opposition coalition Pakatan Rakyat.

    “Like the Malay saying Dengar guruh di langit curah air di tempayan (emptying water out of its tank at the sound of thunder.),” he told The Malaysian Insider.

    He added that the crisis faced by Umno and the Barisan Nasional should be resolved through discussion and dialogue among the component parties.

    “The view is being made when the BN is at its weakest point. I think it is better for all of us to sit down and discuss the problems and how to win back the people’s support,” said the Rural Development Minister.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    How to win the people’s support :-
    a. By adopting CAT policies of Lim Guan Eng
    b. By separating the Executive’s powers over the Judicial and Ligislative.
    c. By exposing the top govt corrupt officials and proceeding with their cases.
    d. Setting up Royal Commissions of Inquiry for the various issues voiced out by the opposition.
    e. By showing a true Malaysian spirit.

  30. Cyberboy says:

    Dear harrison,

    During the 97/98 Asian financial crisis, I agree that mahathir is the one to be blamed. I had assorted lots of shares including blue-chips. Whenever he opens his mouth the shares were plummeted further. His tirade (I can agree with you) against Western countries of conspire against Malaysia is totally unfounded.

  31. Ole Timer says:

    Yes, The ringgit will continue to be on a downward trend vis-a-vis the US dollar this year and next. But so will the rest of the world’s currency. Oil prices will also go down until perhaps USD 50 – 60 per barrel, then the uptrend cycle again .. unless alternative energy like electricity makes its mark within the next 3 years.

    My prescription for Malaysia? Spend wisely, prudently, with simple common-sense. Do not spend more than you can afford. Budget deficit spending is for investment projects mainly. A little pump-priming does not hurt.

    Get the people to be more productive and get all your organizations lean – whether bottom, middle or top. Go for higher tech and automation and reduce reliance on migrant workers for cheap labor. Re-tool to biotech, health, finance .. to stay one step ahead of other emerging competitors.

    Free bank Negara and let it be independent in managing the economy. Revamp the role of Ministry of Finance, as well as most other ministries. Reduce the Civil Service especially the PM’s Department to stop the duplication of work. Regorganize the ministries on a function basis; not “jobs for people” basis.

    No more foreign loans. Work towards currency parity with Singapore dollar.

    Abolish toll charges.

    All these will turbo-charge the energy, spirit and entrepreurial “engine” of the people.

  32. malaysia says:

    I do not want my children and grandchildren to spit and pee at my grave. But if some people’s dead I definitely want to pee at their grave.

  33. hamid says:

    “But so will the rest of the world’s currency.”

    Which will be a double whammy on the msian economy.

  34. giggle says:

    “But if some people’s dead I definitely want to pee at their grave.”

    Long queue

  35. Jeremiah says:

    Given the challenging economic environment that Malaysia finds itself, I think the time is already overdue for race-based economic policies to be dismantled so that the labour force gets a breath of fresh air and free market incentives are provided for each and everyone to compete with the best brains and the most hard-working peers. (In fact, Becker’s hypothesis was that free markets, through the profit maximizing incentive, are the best way to combat racism and bigotry).

    Rational racism is no longer rational when the minority group is 40% of the population. The economic wealth generated from meritocratic labour and capital policies will be large enough for all Malaysians to share for many years to come. Not least because foreign investment capital (which seeks the highest returns at the lowest costs) will come to invest in a more vigorous and motivated Malaysian workforce.

    P.S. The problem with labour economics is that changes in policies take time to reap positive results in terms of higher productivity and wages. This is why Pakatan Rakyat, which has a mandate to change labour laws, should continue to be a viable alternative government. This will put political pressure on the incumbent policy makers to push through economic reforms or else be replaced by a more efficient government. However, the real pressure for reform is not political but economic as higher inflation of 5-6% in 2009 will reduce the purchasing power of wage earners.

    Read “The Economic Push For Political Change” at http://www.jeremiahliang.blogspot.com

  36. Honque says:

    Adoi musical instruments from US will cost more for at least 3 more years…

    macam mana nak cari makan ini macam??

  37. giggle says:

    Hey honque, gotta do jamaican style bro. Empty cans………

  38. bamboo river says:

    How to talk about economy when the BNs are busy talking about race,frogs and what nots.
    I guess when the BN ship finally sinks to the bottom, we can only see underpants floating .
    If and when PR takes over by mid September, the first thing PR should do is to revive the economy and korek back the money sucked out by the corrupt people.

    Neil Diamond’s ‘September Morn’ should be the perfect finishing for the end of BN.

  39. giggle says:

    Troubled waters stirred:

    With these disclosures, it undermines the investigation against the police and the actual swearing of Saiful on the Holy Quran. It had also seen that the BN government who were seriously involved in this ‘frame-up’ should take full responsibility and STEP DOWN to avoid pressure from the rakyat. The police force on the other hand have a lot of explaining to do to the rakyat as to how they were manipulated by the current ruling BN government to FABRICATE a charge.

    In the meantime, Saiful should be arrested immediately both by the civil and syariah courts and charged accordingly to show justice is well served.

    http://kamal-talksmalaysia.blogspot.com/2008/09/pusrawis-dr-osman-appears-in-public.html

  40. goldenscreen says:

    Susan, please stop making Thailand look like it is much better compared to Malaysia when in reality for the vast majority of Thais in the rural hinterland of the North and the violence plagued South, life is much more violent, poor and injustice than Malaysia at any time in the past 20 years.

    For all your grim assessment of Malaysia vis-a-vis Thailand, others in Thailand are not so upbeat. For example a comment left at Asia Sentinel paints a grim outlook for Thailand:

    “The writter should read article in Financial Times of which I feel more accurate. If the mob prevail this time, I cannot imagine how Thailand will be governed. We are already way back comparing with our neighbours. The uncertainty has already rocked Thailand for three years. Cambodia, Loas and Vietnam will jump ahead of Thailand within a few years. Needless to say about a more developing countries like Singapore and Malaysia, they will be even much further.”
    “70/30 system will definately be unacceptable in the eyes of the whole world. Whoever introduce this system, should be ashame of themselves for dragging back the country. Whatever happened, Samak is still a legitimate PM for having been elected by the majority of Thai people. Whether you like it or not, a rule is a rule. Minority has no right to chase out the majority no matter how powerful you are.”
    “The PAD which has the backing of a hand above the constitution has no right to play dirty trick against the government. I believe that without this unseen hand, the PAD will be dispersed long time ago. If this event happened to be in the west, which everyone is under the same rule, the TRT Party will never be dissolved. The Democrat Party should then be dissolved instead.”
    “All verdicts against Thaksin and PPP are full of prejudice which are out to destroy them. Infact, this unfair verdict not only destroys Thaksin but it destroys every systems in Thailand. Is it worth in trying to catch a mouse by burning the whole house?”

  41. proverb says:

    Proverbs 3:10

    So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

    Barns filled with plenty? Presses bursting with wine? Here are descriptive phrases of financial blessing and economic prosperity. Are you interested? They are easy to obtain! Only God’s word teaches such wisdom, for business schools are too ignorant to know the most important economic factors in the universe. Remember, they came from monkeys!

    The Preacher, who is Solomon, presented God’s certain promise to those who honor Him with their assets and the first portion of income (3:9). True honor to God is not just singing about your love of Jesus; it is giving to Him of your possessions and cash flow. The earlier verse teaches the duty of giving; this verse teaches how God rewards givers.

    In an agricultural society, the barn was where your assets were stored, and the presses were where you converted grapes into valuable wine. These two figures of speech describe a prospering farmer – he has accumulated much, and he has great cash flow. Here is the good life, from a financial perspective, presented by graphic picture language.

    This law of financial reward is as true as the law of gravity; it is as true as Genesis 1:1. Believe it! If you honor God by giving Him His portion, He will bless you financially, guaranteed! Of course, as with all other Bible promises and generalizations, God retains the right to apply different laws in your life at different times, all for His glory and your profit. But all other things being equal, the man who gives is the man who will prosper.

    Still doubting? Your lack of faith is why you do not receive (Heb 11:6; Jas 1:6-7). Bold giving by faith is an act of worship (Phil 4:18), and He will reward it. An important man once doubted God, and believers trampled him to death on the way to the bank (II Kgs 7:16-20)! And the Lord killed many Israelites who doubted His ability (Ps 78:17-31).

    What kind of return can God give? Isaac’s portfolio grew 10,000% in one year (Gen 26:12). Jacob went from nothing to great substance in 20 years (Gen 32:10). Solomon’s returns were so great that silver was as common as stones (I Kgs 10:27). It shamed him to drink from silver vessels, so they were all of pure gold (I Kgs 10:21)!

    The Lord can open heaven’s windows and pour out financial blessing and favor more than you can believe (Mal 3:10). And He dares you to test Him (Mal 3:8-12)! He knows a full measure and how to pack it down, shake it down, and pour it over the top (Luke 6:38)! He sees your balance sheet and income statement. He sees the intent of your heart and the degree of joy and zeal you have in giving. You cheat Him to your financial peril.

    Robert G. Letourneau (1888-1969) gave 90% of his income, and he died a rich man. He said, “I shovel my money to God, and He shovels it right back, but He has a bigger shovel!” This man tested God with great faith, but God was greater than his faith! How much faith do you have, reader? Will you walk on financial water at His command?

    If you suffer financially, you have sin in your life (Jer 5:25), have not given liberally (II Cor 9:6), or have not done it cheerfully (II Cor 9:7). The Lord has put holes in your bags, and your hard work and wages are falling out (Hag 1:2-11). The only exception to this rule is when the Lord is doing something else in your life for your greater benefit, but even then the duty to honor God with your assets and give the first fruits still stands (3:9).

    A man will say, “But I gave, and nothing happened.” God is not a candy dispenser waiting for you to give an offering and push the button for your favorite treat. He will laugh and judge such a profane attitude. He wants a commitment to giving (Gen 28:22). He wants to see your sacrifice, which is much more than a little, token gift (II Cor 8:1-4).

    Another man will say, “I cannot afford to give.” That is the height of folly – you cannot afford not to give! Will you dig yourself out of a financial hole by cheating the Lord? Hah! If you wait until giving is no sacrifice, it means nothing to the Lord. The Lord rewarded the widow woman who gave two mites, for it was all she had (Luke 21:1-4).

    These men are unbelievers. They think they are wise to protect their incomes to get ahead! Hah! Protection and blessings are from God only (21:31; Ps 4:8). The true and living God can prepare and furnish a table in the desert, and if you doubt it, you are damned (Ps 78:10-33). If you hold back to help your cash flow, you are going to poverty; if you give to Him part of what you think you need, He will bless (11:24-25).

    The reward of our proverb is obtained by obeying the previous proverb (3:9). Putting a few bucks in the offering box is not honouring God; giving what is left over after your expenses is not firstfruits giving; promising to give if God will bless you is not honouring God; giving of your after-tax income is not firstfruits giving. Examine your heart, reader.

    The LORD God owns the cattle on a thousand hills and everything else beside (Ps 50:10-12). He is able to supply all your needs according to His riches in glory (Phil 4:19). If you think giving a few dollars is hard, then think upon the sacrifice Jesus Christ made for sinners. Was He rewarded? He was given great honor, fullness of joy, and pleasures forevermore at God’s right hand (Phil 2:5-11; Ps 16:9-11; Heb 12:2)! Let God be true!

  42. giggle says:

    What has this got to do with Malaysia?

    Well, chances are the US dollar will most likely strengthen against the ringgit too. As a result, it is likely that imported goods, most of them denominated in US dollars, will be more expensive, making our inflation worse.

    While crude oil prices may come down, Malaysia, being a net exporter of oil, would not benefit much, as our revenue will decrease with the decline in crude oil prices. A decrease in commodity prices would also have an impact on our economy, and revenue from this would likely decrease.

    So, brace yourself for a lower ringgit. Without wanting to sound cynical, it is a fact that Malaysians are used to seeing our currency drop lower and lower — the classic case is the ringgit versus the Singapore dollar, we have been on a straight-line decline since the Seventies — and if we are not careful, we may see our currency dropping further.

    What props up a currency has a lot to do with the economic health of a country.

    The recent unveiling of Budget 2009 reveals certain worrying trends that we are facing. Our operating expenditure for 2009 will be RM154.2 billion while a comparatively lower amount of RM53.7 billion is earmarked for development.

    The operating budget is too huge and increasing at too fast a rate for comfort. From just about RM80 billion in 2004, it has almost doubled in just four years. If this trend is not checked, we will soon run out of money to develop our country.

    The increase in spending results in a deficit budget. A deficit budget for a short period is acceptable to help jumpstart the economy. But for Malaysia, we have had a deficit budget for 13 years in a row now, which is too long a period for comfort. In layman’s terms, we are in fact spending borrowed money and living beyond our means. We would only be passing the burden to our children, who would be the one servicing the repayment in later years.

    What is needed urgently is to stress efficiency and productivity in the civil service, cut down on unnecessary wastage in running the government, and tackle corruption and abuses in the administration.

    Otherwise, in the near future, when our oil runs out, we will not only be having a worthless currency but would also be staring at poverty and possibly bankruptcy. And that day may come sooner than we all realise.

    http://themalaysianinsider.com/index.php/columnists/hsudarren/8489?task=view#pc_638

  43. giggle says:

    Mahaulamak calls for mass prayers:

    Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has called on Malaysians to pray that the price of crude oil will decline further.
    http://www1.malaysiakini.com/news/89111

  44. kittykat46 says:

    The Badawi 2009 Budget was in reality, an irresponsible one, though no Establishment analyst will dare say it out, because they would be fired the next day.

    All of them work for banks, stock broking firms, accounting firms, various mainstream media , all linked to the government in one way or another, or otherwise susceptible to government pressure.

    But you can see the verdict of the market on the Budget…

  45. sklee says:

    With the Economy slowing down, unemployment going up steadily, diminishing Direct Foreign Investment and unrelenting increase in prices we are slowly but surely moving towards the economic phenomenon of stagflation…..something that is gloomy for everyone of us.The Budget deficit of AAB is wrong.Malaysia actually is a blessed country with a lot a natural resources .The sad part is that we do not know to make use of our human resources.We should be competitive, as we had a headstart in economic development and inherit a comparatively good infrastructure.

  46. Kenny Gan says:

    The ringgit may take another three years, instead of two, to reach its “fair value” of 2.8 against the U.S. currency, Ariff said.

    Only if Pakatan Rakyat takes over. Otherwise it’s all the way down.

  47. ah long says:

    “But if some people’s dead I definitely want to pee at their grave.”

    Long queue

    I don’t want to stand in front of Anwar in the queue. You never know what can happen when I drop my pants.

  48. wits0 says:

    Finding comfort in a weaker Ringgit for exports sake is actually so much temporary self gratification (petting one’s own back!) and an idiot’s dissimulation of “good news”. A two edge sword that cuts worse on self very soon enough.

    Keeping the fix deposit interests low is made to the interests of the elites for getting cheap loans and making up for those persistent loses in a leaky banking industry. This rate was supposed to have trended upwards somewhere from the end of ’05 but it never happened because Zeta is a tea lady for u-know hoo.

    Some years ago at a bank’s counter, I remember an old lady in front of myself tin he line pleading to the teller to ‘give’ a higher FD rate to her meagre few tens of thousand in deposit. At the micro level, the System actually has been oblivious to the nobodies like retired commentator Fergie, e.g., via its hidden meanness.

    Any laymen could easily come to the same conclusion after sufficient time has already passed and things become persistently self evident. It’s truly a real big mess from a system that ain’t got any integrity to apply brakes to the institutional rot. Now inflation is shooting up and it’ll be fun to watch how the System is gonna to handle it!

  49. Menyalak-er says:

    wits0: ‘Now inflation is shooting up and it’ll fun to watch how the System is gonna to handle it!’
    Dear wits, ain’t no way this side of hell they can handle it, if they don’t do something about the BLR – consumer spending and confidence being at its lowest ebb in years.
    But there are people still buying new pro-‘tongs’, spending on-credit like there’s no tomorrow (which in a sense is true for them). Many of them civil servants, who moonlight. Some of them are up to their neck in hock…
    Notice how everything is ‘tanpa wang ganjaran’ and ‘bayaran ansuran’ nowadays?
    Notice the truism in our days of yore, our parents always told us: “no money, no buy or cash is king”! Well those sayings are archaic nowadays, it seems.
    The small retailers have all closed shop or are going to soon, no cash mah.
    While those mega/hyperstores and franchises are hogging the credit market.
    Meanwhile, the crap filled bumno lords says tighten your belts! Not seatbelts mind you.
    Our younger generation is being led to the slaughter by easy credit, and are useless at personal fiscal responsiblity…
    Thus this ‘modern’ mindset of spending more on credit as reflected at that moronic Badjet – Dopeynomics in extremis!
    We can’t solely blame those faceless ones in Khazanah, Bank Negara etc, who have their wills sapped by their masters the pontianak opportunists.
    Does anyone here know how it feels to go on 24hr. transfer?
    Except DSAI and the reformasi chaps of course…
    We have to take the ’emetic’ and ‘purgative’ now before we get mortally poisoned.

  50. kerisman says:

    I don’t want to stand in front of Anwar in the queue. You never know what can happen when I drop my pants. – ah long said

    I wont have any problem as I only unzip to pee.

  51. wits0 says:

    Menyalak-er, the credit card/loan spending is truly something aped from the West and elsewhere but with a greater vengeance. How right, you’re regarding the our time when our parents used to say, “no money, wait till you start earning it yourself”. Today we don’t get that sort of astuteness in society. Have heard it so often from parents of various communities remarking how astray children are nowadays wrt propriety and expectation – they think they auto deserve all the goodies. Thanks to the given haywired and unprincipled System, too, naturally!

  52. Menyalak-er says:

    That ‘haywire’ thing has become hardwired, wits0.
    So much for aping: Dopey, i think was trying his version of ‘Reaganomics’ but without the checks and balances that come with proper discipline, astuteness and ability to stop leakages/corruption etc.
    Remember 80’s ‘Starwars’ theme that Reagan so glibly ‘revealed’ to that karat USSR? That, threat of famine, trade unions (L.Walesa) and the Pope broke the Soviets. It was a marvel, Reagan’s balls… hahaha.
    Now, dopey is trying to lob that kinda of stuff at DSAI! Whadda shit… ! If it weren’t so serious, we’d be laughing too.

  53. wits0 says:

    Yes, Menyalak-er, it was economics that broke the USSR’s back as it will be economics that will bring down the present regime of Bolehland with all its tempurong contrivances and racist politicking. Trying to fix that which is not broke, imposing a new order of fascism and racism while pretending to unite the country by oppression and the hubris of ugly partisan hegemony/nationalism. The negation of all established discipline and worthy educational standards with a miserable ad hoc tinkling within it until it lost everything but a lousy shell only capable of mediocrity and brainwashed products that are long known to be unemployable.

    The national psyche is fully screwed and the despair will soon dawn. The question is whether denials which have built up over 51 years will be faced or understood sufficiently.

  54. For Pakatan's Govt. says:

    The same amount of money unwisely spent on trying to salvage BN/Um-N0 from sinking lately, if it were to be put to good use, the rakyat would have benefitted tremendously.

    To salvage our personal pride is very costly, especially if the fault has been ours.

    They are some individuals and institutions that have benefitted from these as rewards for that salvaging attempt that will prove to have been futile soon.
    At the turn of next events, we are about to witness the downfall of these individuals and institutions with crushing defeat,shame and embarassment for taking Malaysians on a merry-go-round ride to nowhere..

    We would have not seen anything like this and we are not going to see things like this again in this country. Things are going to CHANGE for the better after these gruelling and painstaking 51 years of nightmare for Malaysians.

    There is a new beginning on the horizon for a New Malaysia. Lets get ready to take Malaysia to new heights of achievement and fulfillment with the promises we have, together as a united nation. Bravo Malaysians!!!!

  55. David Chan says:

    Hi everyone,

    I do agreed with “goldenscreen” as to compare Thailand with Malaysia, Be frank, I’ve a few Thai friends at bangkok, they don’t really care what thaksin do last time but for most of them mention, when thaksin is PM, he has bring a major development to Thailand and even bring Thailand out from the economy crisis in 1997/98 within a few years times, business has been good for majority of people especially the rural area and people called him “SUPER SALESMAN” as he is very good in attracting investment, with investment means money and business and people life improve, but after the coup,etc the thai economy is not doing well, when during thaksin time people want CHANGE, but after that when economy not doing well after change, they blame the past government …, “sound familiar” ….,he,he…, mmm, be frank, it’s all politic and at last it still “rice and bread” that matter to us …. Present Thai PM is right, why he should resign as he been choosen by majority of thai people not miniority…., This have teach us a lesson, a government must be elected by majority of people NOT minority…
    Just my opinion only … Thank you ….

  56. Davidka says:

    This have teach us a lesson, a government must be elected by majority of people NOT minority…Just my opinion only … -unquote

    MPs have right to leave the party if party cannot live up to voters expectations. That is moral. If MP do not leave immoral party then MP is immoral. Supporters of immoral Parties are immoral.

  57. tamade says:

    The only way to bring the economy situation back to the right track is to come out with a surplus budget.

    The PR is having one surplus budget, but will it be implemented after 16th September? (I still remember that Anwar has always come out with Prudent and Surplus Budgets in the 1990s, unlike Mamak Kutty and his successor)

    This is because Mamak Kutty has been harping on mega projects since 1998 and he has to advocatedeficit budget.

    He spent the Rakyat’s money lavishly and his cronies benefited.

    Rakyat’s fund flows into his cronies pockets, the rich is getting richer, and the ordinary folks become poorer and poorer each day, but Mamak Kutty couldn’t be bothered. He sacked DSAI in 1998.

    The present PeeAm and the Mamak Finance Min have messed up with the economy and this country will be in deep shit if the budget next year does not return to surplus.

    Already, Fitcher, S&P, Moody and other international rating agencies are waiting to downgrade Bolehland ( according to them, short term maintained, but “medium to long term” is uncertain) as reproted in the media recently.

    So to all brothers and sisters out there, be very very alert fort the drastic change in Bolehland’s economy in the coming months.

    Anwar is right, this country’s economy, in the hand of a bunch of brainless ministers, (the Botak Min ranked number one) is in deep shit.

  58. koloi says:

    http://www.kulitpisang.com/2008/09/more-on-budget-09/

    BUDGET 2009 – BN’s Answer to Textbook Populist Policies

    Of late, the national conversation has been centered on the turbulent political scene. Although a section may feel enthused by these developments, few would disagree that the intense politicking over the past months has relegated the discourse on governance in the eyes of citizens and politicians alike.

    If we scrutinize the political scenario, the central theme of the current debate is the extent to which Pakatan Rakyat’s populist proposed policies appear relevant and in sync with the sentiment of the people. Budget 2009 reveals Barisan Nasional’s answer to Pakatan’s proposals that at face value, appear to have captured the hearts of many.

    Public transportation – Investing in a Much-Needed Public Good

    To be sure, the Barisan Nasional knows that it has much on its plate if it is to steer the country forwards in a time of global uncertainty. The state of public transportation is a case in point.

    The infrastructure development in Malaysia has long been touted by the Barisan Nasional government as an indication of how far the nation has come from its humble beginnings. However an area of infrastructure development that has fallen short of expectations is that of public transportation.

    The restructuring of subsidies in June appeared to elevate the issue of public transportation in the national debate, erstwhile affecting mostly the lower-income group.

    The measures revealed to tackle the public transportation woes in Budget 2009 however, offer hope to the many urban dwellers of all income groups – who now more than ever, yearn for a public transportation comparable to the rest of the nation’s infrastructure.

    The introduction of new rail cars, buses and LRT lines costing RM35 billion over 5 years is a welcome relief considering the sheer congestion that commuters face everyday during peak hours. The problem of services arriving late may also be alleviated with such a measure.

    Necessary as that step may be, the government is smarter than to think that the public transportation issue is merely one about the lack of physical trains or buses. Moreover, government cannot pretend to be the most efficient economic agent I satisfying the public’s demand. A comprehensive strategy would require policies that incentivise the private operators to improve their services. For grouses characterising means of public transport as troublesome, slow and not consumer-friendly to go away, cooperation – artificial as they may be – must be gotten from the profit-making firms themselves. It is thus comforting that the government has taken note of this and afforded bus and taxi operators through tax exemptions for asset purchases as well as road tax reduction to only RM20.

    Social Safety Net and Disposable Income

    The Budget also contains a catalogue of services in the forms of welfare aids and provisions of public goods to ensure the less well-off get a better chance at life. The Abdullah administration incidentally, has a rather impressive record in alleviating poverty, with the overall incidence of poverty of Malaysians reduced from 5.7 percent in 2004 to 3.6 percent in 2007. This decline is the result of steady economic growth as well as the implementation of various poverty eradication programmes and projects.

    According to the Ninth Malaysia Plan, “hardcore poor” in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak is benchmarked at a monthly household income of RM398, RM503 and RM482, respectively. A review of 2009 Budget shows an upward revision to reflect higher cost of living and inflationary pressures for a new benchmark level of RM720, RM960 and RM830 for Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak, respectively or generous improvements of 81% for Peninsular Malaysia, 91% for Sabah and 72% for Sarawak.

    The Budget contains other orchestrated plans of the Government to eradicate poverty at all levels. The aspect of rural development for example, sees the Government continuing efforts to provide basic infrastructure so that poor rural communities can be best equipped to work themselves out of despondency – an example of a government that understands both its responsibilities and its limitations.

    It is important to note that such provisions in the Budget act as supplements to the already comprehensive and targeted measures taken by the government after the oft-misunderstood subsidy restructuring exercise in June 2008, which included expenditures of RM4.0 bilion for food security, RM1.5 billion for cooking oil, RM400 million for imported rice, RM200 million for flour and RM100 million for bread.

    Whilst indirect and complex steps to improve the standard of living have their merits, the government also recognises that on some level, simplicity can often win the day. The Budget reflects this understanding as it contains a reduction of income tax from 28% to 27% and 13% to 12% – depending on income categories – and an increase in the rebate amount (for those who earn those who earn RM35,000 a year and are thus taxable) from RM350 to RM400. With such direct measures that affect the disposable income, localised worldwide inflationary pressures can be faced with more readily by the taxable middle class who too, desire the government to be on their side as much as it has been with the lower-income groups.

    The Government magnanimously proposes to reduce import duties on various consumer durables from between 10% and 60% to between 5% and 30% to mitigate the impact of rising prices on consumers. These include blender, rice cooker, microwave oven and electric kettle. Also, the Government proposes full import duty exemption on several food items, which currently attract import duties of between 2% and 20%. These include vermicelli, biscuits, fruit juices and canned sweet corn.

    Currently, private passenger vehicles with diesel owned by in individuals and companies are subject to a higher road tax compared with those with petrol engines. The Government proposes to reduce the road tax on private passenger vehicles with diesel engines to be the same as those with petrol engines, effective 1 September 2008, to reflect a fairer approach given the current retail diesel and petrol prices.

  59. koloi says:

    http://www.kulitpisang.com

    Human capital development still a top priority

    A cornerstone of the Abdullah administration, human capital development remains a work in progress that requires constant and dynamic efforts to bear fruit. It is evident in the Budget that the government remains steadfastly committed to the agenda.

    In the competitive and increasingly globalised world, dependence on natural resources is needless to say, dangerous. The one resource available to a nation that is potentially enhancable and sustainable over the long run is human capital. Understanding the role of human capital to the long-term developmental agenda, the Budget sees an astronomical sum of RM47.7 billion being allocated for education and training – accounting for 23% of the total 2009 Budget allocation.

    This includes RM31 billion to the Ministry of Education for the benefit of 5.8 million students and RM14.1 billion to the Ministry of Higher Education, which is consistent with the investment in education that has consistently taken a lion’s share in this administration’s strategy for expenditure.

    Ultimately, a fair reading of Budget 2009 shows a government sensitive to the people’s needs, without succumbing to overly-populist policies that promise the world in the short-run but relies on little more than fortune in the long-run. Its now up to Hishamuddin, Khaled Nordin and Subramaniam to ensure this budget is spent well on teacher skills development, new curriculum that are relevant to industries, researched based lecturers and scientist to populate our universities and infra upgrades.

  60. Den Relojo says:

    I thought nobody could beat the Philippines.🙂

  61. tamade says:

    What ever monies the budget induces, if without a proper team of good administrators with transparency and accountability, most of the Rakyat’s monies will go down into the drain.

    The Auditor general’s report will prove this right year after year.

  62. david chan says:

    Dear Davidka,
    Your Question : “MPs have right to leave the party if party cannot live up to voters expectations. That is moral. If MP do not leave immoral party then MP is immoral. Supporters of immoral Parties are immoral”
    Answer : If MP suka-suka leave the party, then why we have election for ? how they answer to the people who choose them.., then they should have re-election as it is more fair to everyone as MP is choosen by the people under the party they represent.
    Thank you ….

  63. Ctizen Me says:

    The function of government is to make the finite infinite. All budgets and spending must be based on getting the full value for the ringgit. Audit of Government accouints must be Based on value audit. Presently the Audit only looks at the documents. The funds are allocated, there is a contract, there is a invoice and the money is there the payment is made. And all of us have done nothing wrong. There is no assessment if the price we paid is reasonable because government is not bound to accept the lowest or highest bidder.

    Deficit budgeting which began in 1998 is happily going on and increasing not in percentage terms but in real terms. This is what is called the alcoholic syndrome. The alcoholic is usually feels the he has extra strength when he takes his first drink. He feels strong and truley believes that the next drink will make him stronger.This process comtinues untill he falls to the ground and is only able to questions from the floor. When you finally ask him what he doing down there he will reply there is nothing in law that says it is a crime to be a little tipsy. The cycle continues.

    So the golden rule in deficit budgting is that the money must be invested for productive ventures because the borrowings has to be serviced. If you spend it on recurrent expenditure it is gone and there is no way you can pay back without selling your assets.

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