Monday, August 25, 2008

So... this Nationalism thing...

... what's in it for me?

That's more or less the kind of sentiment we get around here. National Day is coming up, and here's a question worth thinking about for a Malaysian:

Do you in any way feel indebted to society? Such that you feel compelled to protect and uphold the Malaysian way of life?

I suppose comrades living in foreign lands could do well to reflect upon this question, but drifting around on the Net, I get the sense that in most civilized nations, there is a clear sense of social contract between ruler and the ruled*.

Rather than directly publish the responses to the above questions on this blog, I'm going to attach below an e-mail that's been making the rounds that pretty much sums up the average urban M'sian's view of M'sia. The e-mail has not been edited, save to italicize it to differentiate it from the rest of the text on this blog. Comrades from beyond M'sia, please forgive the occasional crime against English:

When we started work around 1973
a 1.3 Litre Japaness car was RM 7000

Today the equivalent let's say it is RM 60000............8.5 times

In 1973 a double storey house was about RM 45,000...or less
Today it is about RM 300,000............6.6 times

In 1973 an Engineer's pay was RM 1000

Today it is about RM 2000 +/-............2 times....

From 1973 to 2008........35 years......what is the Trend.?

Bearish !!!!

In a stock market when the trend is bearish , what do we do?..Exit !!!

When a country's trend is bearish what do we do

This Bearish trend is more difficult to turn around as compared to the stock market.

I have used these 3 items House, Car & Salary as a measurement of the country' s

performance for the past 35 years....

There is a book I saw in MPH bookshop entitled :

Malaysia: The Failed Nation

some of you may be interested to read up.

I agreed with the writer.....

This morning I was having Coffee at McDonald ( now the coffee..100 % Arabica quite good

@ RM refill !!. I asked how much per hour is their pay?

RM 3.00 ! x 8 hours = RM 24 per day... x 25 days = RM 600 per month

My daughter works part-time during her University days...she worked at Gloria Jeans Coffee

..the pay Australian $ 14.00 ( @ 3.15 = RM 44 per hour.....x 8 = RM 352 per day !!! x 25 days = RM 8800

13.3 times
more !!!!! ......Price of houses in Perth is about the same in KL
Price of cars are about 23 % Perth.( Australia )

I think more and more people are becoming aware of this Bearish trend.

Developed country by 2020?...means High income country

Let's look at some as of year 2005 ( Financial Times )

USA GNP per capita US$ 35400

UK GNP per capita US$ 25510

Australia GNP per capita US$ 19530

Singapore GNP per capita US $ 20690

These are developed countries by income measurement

Malaysia GNP per capita US$ 3540

Year 2020..developed country?

Really...a sad story.

Worrying Trends, isn't it??????

Ringgit sliding further and further under BN
Gan | Jul 8, 08 4:03pm
Recently, I interviewed some fresh graduates applying for jobs with my engineering company. I accepted two applicants on a starting salary of RM1600. It struck me as odd that 15 years ago, I myself started work as a fresh graduate engineer for the same pay.
Indeed, if you compare the salaries of graduates now and 15 or even 20 years ago, you'll find little difference but that their purchasing power is vastly different. It's the same story when you compare salaries of shop assistants, office staff, factory workers and others.

To compound the effect of inflation, the ringgit has depreciated greatly against all major currencies. The real income of most Malaysians has moved backwards.
This is why many Malaysians suffer under the petrol hike. The root of the problem is that our real incomes have shrunk in the face of inflation and depreciated currency.. Malaysians have not been spoiled by subsidy but are unable to move out of the time lock of stagnated and depreciated incomes.

If you compare the per capita incomes of Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea, they are a few multiples of ours although at independence all these countries were the on the same economic level as Malaysia.

What has gone wrong? We were the rising star of East Asia, a country rich in natural resources with the most promising potential.
The reason is massive corruption, plundering of resources, wastage of funds for huge non- economic projects, anti-public interest deals with politically-linked companies and passing-of-the -buck to the man in the street..

Four decades of NEP where education, economic and employment policies are defined by race ensured that meritocracy took a back seat.
Our university standard has declined and the today best and brightest of our youth emigrate to escape the racial inequility only to contribute to the economies of foreign lands.

The reputation of our judiciary which was held in high esteem worldwide has sunk so low that foreign investors now insist on arbitration in Singapore in case of any dispute.
We also have a slew of oppressive laws such as the ISA, OSA, Uuca and PPPA which stifle free speech and are designed to keep the ruling parties in power.

We have become less attractive to foreign investors and now lag behind our neighbours in Asean for foreign direct investment. Even some corporations who have established themselves here are moving out.

All the economic and social malaise cannot help but affect the value of our currency. The strength of a country's currency is after all, a reflection of its fundamentals.
Furthermore, Bank Negara has a policy of weak ringgit to help exporters, never mind the burden on the common folk. The government is pro-corporation, not pro-rakyat.

While the poor and middle-class are squeezed, an elite group gets breathtakingly rich. We have the distinction of having the worse income disparity in Asean. A re-distribution of wealth is under way from the poor and middle-class to a select group of politically-connected elite.
The end result of this re-distribution will be a small group of super-rich while the majority are pushed into poverty and the middle-class shrinks. This is what happens when the rich gets richer and the poor get poorer.

There is much that is wrong with Malaysia. The responsibility for pulling the country backwards can be laid squarely at the door of the ruling regime. It is BN's mis-governance, racial politics and culture of patronage which has seen the country regress economically and socially.
We seem to be sliding down a slippery slope, further down with each passing year of BN's rule. Another five years of BN rule and we'll be at Indonesia's standard under Suharto. Another 10 years and we'll be touching the African standard. What a way to greet 2020.

Is there any hope for Malaysia?

Faced with the reality that BN will never change, many Malaysians desperate for change turn their lonely eyes to Anwar Ibrahim.
Pakatan Raykat has promised to treat all races fairly, to plug wastage, fight corruption, reform the judiciary and make Malaysia more competitive.
But some have questioned whether we can trust Anwar and his loose coalition of disparate parties..
The question is not whether we can trust Anwar and Pakatan Rakyat but whether we can afford not to.
Can we afford another ten years of BN's misrule?

* With the notable exception of the US under the Little Bush administration, in which it appears that the rulers have lost the plot.

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