Thursday, January 22, 2009

It's All About Chinese New Year and the Economy

Festive season is on!

For the Chinese, it will be a time of giving angpow and receiving angpow, eating, drinking, gambling and late nights.

The economic downturn that seems to affect everyone has dampened the festive mood and of course the spending.

I notice that there is not enough media coverage on the impending slowdown that Malaysia, like many other countries faces.

I read in Singapore Straits Times recently and they devoted many, many pages to the slowdown. The Singapore government wants to prepare the rakyat to face the slowdown.

However, I notice that the Malaysia media do not give adequate coverage of the impending slowdown in Malaysia. Either it is a directive from political power, or lack of awareness by the media on inevitable slowdown that we are going to face.

While other nations have admitted that they are entering recession, Malaysia is still talking about growth of 2-3 percent.

I’ve also read small prints by economic analysis that the government growth will not be more than 1 percent.

Of course I must admit that economic prediction is like weather forecasting. In fact, the American bankers, financial analysts and so-called experts have been proven deadly wrong.

The government should do more to face this impending slowdown or it would turn into déjà-vu or a state of denial.

We are now told that government may introduce a 2nd stimulus package. We have not even heard much about the 1st stimulus package.

Economic stimulation will not work unless implemented properly so that the target group could directly benefit from it.

There is a lack of information in the 1st stimulus package. The government dissemination group should be beefed up in time for crisis in order to keep the rakyat informed and connected of what the government is doing. This will generate goodwill of what the government care and do.

The government has to do more in the stimulus package to lighten the burden of the lower income group in view of inflation and the possibility of reduced income.

I cannot imagine why it takes so long for the government to review the electric tariff, which has a direct impact to all industries.

It has been shown in many countries that direct monetary grant to the lower income group to help them tie over the financial crisis is effective.

It is a question of having accurate data and distribution of the direct grant. Rakyat are normally not appreciative of indirect subsidy since everybody seems to benefit.

A new approach is needed to demonstrate that the government care and willing to share the burden of rakyat. The impact from economic slowdown often has the greatest effect on the lower income group.

It is estimated about 200, 000 people will be retrenched. I suspect more often than not, it is Malaysian workers who get retrenched more than foreign workers.

Enforcement is weak here. Why an employer should retrench a Malaysian worker who is paid RM1000 – RM1200 per month and a foreign worker whose salary is just RM600 – RM800 per month?

There is a need for monitoring mechanism to ensure that the process of retrenchment is not abused.

The government needs to drum home that employers must save cost to save job and not save cost by cutting jobs.

Road accidents and mortality has become part and parcel of any celebration. Our highway becomes a war zone, averaging about 20 deaths a day.

There was even some smart suggestion that express bus should not be allowed to operate after midnight since accidents occur more frequently at night. It is a typical Malaysia knee-jerk reaction by politicians.

Since most crimes are committed at night, then the government should implement curfew after midnight to reduce crime rates.

Politicians should learn to be more creative and innovative in responding to media query rather than shooting from the hip, which often becomes a dining joke.

Let’s not get depressed by such political statement. It will only serve to dampen our festive mood for celebration. Happy Chinese New Year!


喜庆佳日季节来了!

对华人而言,农历新年是赠收红包、吃喝、小赌一番、欢庆至通宵达旦的时节。

然而,经济萎缩看来已影响每一个人的过节心情,购年货的预算也随之缩小了!

谈到经济,马来西亚也正如许多国家一样,已受到经济放缓的冲击。但我发现本地媒体对有关现象的报道却少之又少。

最近翻阅新加坡海峡时报,我发现该报章拨用很多篇幅报道市道萧条的新闻,显示新加坡政府要人民做好心理准备,以应对不景气。

然而,我认为大马媒体没有充分报道国内已逼近的经济萧条实况。是因为受到政治力量指示?或因传媒的意识和醒觉不足。

正当其他国家已进入萧条状态,大马则反其道而行,一味强调2%至3%的经济增长率。同一时间,却又一些经济分析员在不同的媒体上指国家增长率不会超过1%。

我个人认为,经济预测与天气预告没有两样,两者皆变化无常;事实上,即使美国银行家、金融分析员以及所谓的专家的论点,都已证实谬误。

我认为,政府应该作好更多举措来面对经济不景的问题,否则将会陷入粉饰太平及拒绝面对现实的窘态。

最近,政府即将推出第2个经济振兴配套,可是我们却对第一个已宣布的经济振兴配套所知不多。经济振兴配套若不能彻底落实和推动,将无法达到经济苏甦的效果,涉及群体则不能够直接从中受惠。

第一个经济振兴配套的资讯非常匮乏,政府的传播团体应该第一时间确保人民随时掌握最新信息,了解政府的动向。这将使政府推行的关怀举措产生亲和力。

鉴于我们将面对通膨与收入减少的可能,政府有必要在经振兴济配套中做得更多,减轻低收入群体的经济负担。

我无法想像为何政府必须耗费那么长的时间来检讨电费收率,因为这对所有行业都构成直接冲击。

环顾四周,许多国家都向低收入国民提供资金援助让他们度过时艰。这项措施已证实取得良效,成功与否则胥视实行单位,能否确保 直接资援名单的真确性,以及援助金的发放制。

人民一般都不欢迎间接似的辅助金措施,因为此举将让所有人都受惠,包括不需要援助的人。

政府应该采取更能展现当局愿与民共负重担的措施,因为在经济不景时局,低收入群体将首当其冲。

一般臆测,约20万人将被裁退,我料想被裁的大马人会比外劳更多,这是因为我国的执法宽松无力。试问,雇主维和裁退了月薪介于1千到1千200令吉的本地员工,却雇用月薪600至800令吉、与本地员工薪金相近的外劳?

我觉得有必要设定一套监督机制,以避免裁员过程出现滥用现象。我也认为政府必须引导并确保雇主能采纳保留员工的节源措施,而非实行裁员来降低成本。

另一方面,公路意外和死亡似乎已成为任何佳节必然发生的事故,平均每天有20人命丧公路,我们的大道已俨如战场。

可是,竟然有人鉴于晚上的交通意外频繁,而提出“精辟”意见,欲严禁长途巴士午夜上路,这简直是政治人物的典型常态。若果如此,由于许多罪案都发生在夜晚,政府是否要为了减少罪案率,而在午夜宵禁呢?

政治人物在应对媒体询间时应该学习创新,否则将成为人们茶余饭后笑话。话说回来,我认为我们大可不必太过介意这些政治人物的说话,这只会破坏我们的庆祝佳节的气氛。

在此,我也要感激各位一路来到到访与支持,并籍此通知各位我的部落格会歇息10天。恭祝各位农历新年快乐!

5 comments:

Robert Gan said...

Dr chua and family. Kong Hee Fatt Choy.

You are my only chinese representative leader.

Ooi Beng Hooi said...

If buses are banned from travelling midnight,

then the government should not allowed housemen to work more than 30 hours during on calls.

Isn't that dangerous to the patients?

KoZeK said...

GONG XI FA CAI DR. CHUA & FAMILY

FOR THOSE MUSLIM, IF YOU WANT TO HAVE YR SUPPER AT 2:00 AM ONLY CHOICES ARE MAMAK OR TOMYAM SEAFOOD RESTAURANT. YOU CAN NOT FIND ANY MALAY FOOD DURING THIS PERIOD, B COS THEY SAY MALAY TAK RAJIN! NOT TRUE IT IS B COS OUR KERAJAAN PREFER FOREIGN TASTE. NO AP NO MONEY, NO WORKER PERMIT ALSO NO MONEY.IN THE MARKET THEY SAY ANY APPROVAL RM1000.00. SO DONT BELIEVE WHAT SYED HAMID SAY, HIS DEPARTMENT IS THE ONE ISSUED THE PERMIT.

MELAYU AH MELAYU HAK HAK KITA DIKIKIS OLEH MELAYU BUKAN NONMALAY.

NEIL said...

If they shut down the highway at midnight,then there will be masssive jam during the day which will be worst.This will create false alarm.The best way is to follow what China did during the Olympic.All cars with the last digit even, can travel on certain days and all cars with last digit odd,can travel on such a day.Split out the travel time so the highway won't be that jam.
PKR is organising a huge CNY party in Selangor and it was a huge success.What about MCA and if MCA did do one ,will you be invited and stand beside OTK!If not, then MCA is again a party that subscribes to selfish people.

Low said...

Start to like your blog. enjoy reading it and most importantly there are constructive elements that we always miss out from themain media (i.e newspaper and TV)

Bloger writ-up and the comments received should become the think-tank for some one who can decide the country policy in the future.

Welcome to my Blog

As a concerned MCA member, I am trying my best to help in the process of rebuilding and repositioning of the party.

Therefore, I welcome party members and members of public to post your constructive suggestions and opinions on my blog on how to rebuild and reform the party, eventually enabling MCA to regain support from all party members and the community.


Thank you for your suggestions.