Friday, 31 August 2012


credit: Aussiefordadverts

Salaries in Malaysia are not going to go up drastically anytime soon. Meanwhile, inflation continues on its persistent march up.

That means, for us average wage earners, the value of our income will slowly, slowly fall because prices go up faster than wages. That’s just economics.

Though its tempting to clutter this post with CPI tables and charts that show the relationship between inflation and wages (which you can find at the economist’s blog  by the way), most people who have to observe how they spend their money can tell you how much price increases have affected their lifestyles, via food, medicine, education, etc.

Since the likelihood of all of us getting big increments in the near future is slim, any kind of relief would be welcomed with wide open hands.

So let’s talk about car prices.

Malaysians have a love affair with cars.

Maybe it’s our really good highways, or the fact that our subsidized fuel makes it among the cheapest in this region, or that we just love those purring metal beasts, but despite the fact that buying a car would cost you an arm and a leg and your nose, we would still gladly sign over a significant portion of our income for the next 5 years just so we can own our own set of wheels.

Given the state of our public transportation system, that’s not at all surprising too.

Kuala Lumpur especially is fast becoming, or already is, a mass urban sprawl, and it’s not unusual to hear of commutes of 1,2 hours just to get to work.

Cars (and bikes) are an essential part of decent living in this country, though it may not be the green thing to say.

Without automobiles how else is someone who lives in Puchong Perdana going to get to her office in Ampang in a decent amount of time? And what if your job requires you to be mobile?

Living on public transportation alone is not impossible but it would be an experience not much different than eating only vegan gluten-free food in Malaysia.

So when someone suggests that prices for cars could be slashed down, the fact that many would raise their hands in celebration is a surprise only to the out of touch.

That cheaper car prices would make life better for a group of people who are already living on the brink of poverty is easy to understand.

That cheaper car prices frees up more of our income for spending on other things should be as easily comprehended as well, but for some reason it is not.

Sure, more shopping; dresses, cameras, computers, people will buy more of these with more money, but they’ll also be able to afford better education, better homes, and better healthcare.

More money in their pockets affords them better prospects, and gives them more to look forward to when they get home from that horrible commute.

Thursday, 30 August 2012


Berbaloikah kita raikan kenangan sedangkan negara kita sangat perlukan lonjakan produktiviti dari penambahbaikan sistem pengangkutan negara?

Festival sejarah anjuran pertubuhan aktivis RakanKL ini mengajak pelawat datang ucapkan ‘selamat tinggal’ kepada kawasan-kawasan bersejarah Kuala Lumpur yang akan berubah dengan pembinaan stesen dan landasan MRT di sana.

Sayangnya, kasih kepada bandar ini hanya mahu dizahirkan sekarang apabila perancangan sudah siap dibuat dan jentolak sudah mula bergerak.

Sebaliknya, aktivis warisan kini tiba-tiba melatah untuk menghalang pembinaan Kuala Lumpur yang lebih baik, sedangkan selama ini mereka enak tidur.

Thursday, 16 August 2012


Pergelutan air yang berterusan di antara SYABAS dan Kerajaan Negeri Selangor nampaknya sudah timbulkan kemarahan rakyat!

Video ini yang team OMBIZ jumpa cukup pedasss mesejnya!

Thursday, 2 August 2012


Malaysia has earned an admirer in BlackRock, Inc., the world’s largest asset manager with over US$3.65 trillion in assets under management.

Malaysia rose three notches on the BlackRock Sovereign Risk Index to 16th place on strong momentum from late 2011, when GDP surprised to the upside.  Drawing on a pool of financial data, surveys and political insights, the BlackRock Sovereign Risk Index assesses the government debt of 48 countries.

“Malaysia benefits from strong private consumption and investment growth.  Lower short-term debt levels and an upgrade of Malaysia’s projected ability to service its debt improved its Fiscal Space Score”, noted the report by the BlackRock Research Institute.

BlackRock is one of the keystone investors in the listing of IHH Healthcare, the third largest IPO of 2012.  Along with the listing of Felda GlobalVentures Holdings, Malaysia lays claim to the second and third largest IPO’s of the year after Facebook.

Developing countries such as China, Brazil, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand have been put on the defensive in the face of slowing global growth but Malaysia has managed to stand out from the pack by deciding not to cut interest rates this year.

“Right now, our interest rate is very supportive of growth,” said Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz, Governor of Bank Negara. 

“The domestic economy is very strong. Consumption demand, private investment activity is very robust.”

BlackRock has been attracted to Malaysian bonds as they have the highest yield in Southeast Asia after accounting for inflation.  The average yield is at 3.44 percent and inflation in Malaysia has slowed to 1.6%, the least in Asia.


So, this year mark 55 years of Malaysia as a sovereign country. However, I get the feeling that some of us are not in the celebratory mood for obvious reasons:

The government introduced the “Janji Ditepati” theme for this year’s Merdeka Day celebration. A lot of people are upset with the theme because it is a replication of BN’s political campaign to win the hearts of voters. Political views aside, I think the government have no right to make a statement such as “Janji Ditepati”.

The government still has a lot to accomplish before they can proudly admit “Janji Ditepati”. The Government Transformation Programme has yet to show its intended result. The Economy Transformation Programme has yet to put Malaysia in the high-income nation group. It is evident that the government is working hard to deliver its promises but have the government accomplish enough to warrant a celebration? Has the government really done a good job? The rakyat should be the judge and "Janji Ditepati" should come for the rakyat's mouth.

And why use a political statement for the Merdeka Day theme this year? The government made a huge mistake by introducing the “Janji Ditepati” theme. It doesn’t reflect unity and patriotism, which is what Merdeka Day is all about. Correct me if I’m wrong, I think this would be the first time in 55 years we’re celebrating Merdeka Day with a political statement.

Okay, we already had a lousy start to a supposedly harmonious Merdeka Day celebration. But the Ministry of Information, Communications and Culture had to rub salt to the wound.

To further prove how lazy, uncreative and unprofessional the Ministry of Information, Communications and Culture is, the minister introduced a horrendous logo for the 55th Merdeka Day celebration.

Again, Malaysians grew sicker of the nonsense. Fortunately, the government listens to the rakyat’s discontent and has decided not to use the logo. Instead, the ministry had decided to use the 1Malaysia logo again for this year’s celebration.

1Malaysia logo is an excellent logo. However, to see the same logo being used four years in a row is a bit tiring. We have a lot of creative and talented Malaysians. One Malaysian even made an effort to contribute to this year Merdeka Day celebration by setting up a Facebook page and call upon fellow Malaysians to submit proposed alternate Merdeka logo. Some of the proposed logos showcase excellent design and creativity.

So why are we not using one of those logos? By ignoring the effort, the government is also ignoring Malaysian creativity. How are we supposed to attract more talents to Malaysia when the government does not acknowledge Malaysian talents?

Theme Song

Okay, hopefully this will be the last thing we have to deal with when it comes to our gloomy 55th Merdeka Celebration. Last week the Ministry of Information, Communications and Culture introduced the theme song for this year’s Merdeka Day.

And once again Malaysians are being fed with more bad news, this time regarding a ‘vulgar propaganda theme song’.

The song was not well received by Malaysians, to put it mildly. Since it was introduced last week, the song was given more than 30,000 thumbs down on Youtube. If the comments were any indication (the comments section was disabled yesterday), it shows that the general public just hate the theme song. And the minister had the audacity to ask what Malaysians think of it.

Now with all of these things going on, I can’t help but wonder why are we celebrating Merdeka Day this year?

Malaysians have become mature and more patriotic. The protest and discontent shown is proof that Malaysians love Malaysia and take the Merdeka Day celebration seriously. Why is the Prime Minister allowing someone who lacks understanding and creativity to manage a celebration as significant as this one?

Instead of bringing us closer together, it seems that this year's Merdeka Celebration is only dividing Malaysia apart. I urge the Prime Minister to listen to the Malaysians' voice and let us celebrate Merdeka Day as proud and united Malaysians.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012


Can the Subang Jaya Municipal Council give an assurance that their decision to introduce AfricanToxorynchite or ‘Elephant’ mosquitos into our ecosystem will not affect the local ecology?

The introduction of new species comes with a risk of ecological damage, as the introduced mosquitoes may result in destructive consequences to local flora and fauna.

Introduced species pose an ecological risk because they their size, disposition, and characteristic is disruptive and can adversely affect the delicate ecology. Case studies  have shown that some introduced species have resulted in massive environmental damage and endangered human health.

Though MPSJ’s intention of reducing the Aedes mosquito population by introducing these carnivorous mosquitoes is noble, will it be the right move in the long term? How much research was done before the decision was made?

After all, if the 400 toxorynchite mosquitoes will immediately eat and reduce the number of aedes mosquitoes, what else will they do?

Why don't MPSJ just stick to cleaning up Subang Jaya instead of playing scientist?