Malays can’t count, should not run economy

I wrote in mid-Mar that it was grave strategic error to shut down the economy to keep the lid on hospitalisation.

The proof?

In mid-Mar, the number of virus cases stood at 190 when the economy was shut down.

Today, the number of virus cases have spiked to 600+ but the economy remains open.

How come?

Obviously, the shutdown in mid-Mar was a grave strategic error.

The economic stimulus packages were sheer waste of money, burdening taxpayers and using future incomes, crippling the generations to overcome.

Unlike in 1997, during the Asian Currency crisis, the communist-style economy owned by the gov’t sector — GLCs, GLICs, gov’t owned firms including Petronas — are no help this time.

Malaysia Airlines has degenerated from a “turn around” situation to “throwing good money after bad” i.e. down a bottomless pit.

I offered to run Malaysia Airlines. Then, CV-19 came and hit the aviation sector the worst.

AirAsia provides the best clue to the future direction and health of the Malaysian economy. Already, AirAsia has announced plans to lay off 2, 400 staff i.e. 10 per cent of its 24K workforce. It promised to re-hire the 2, 400 staff at the earliest opportunity. Never has any Company made such a promise.

If AirAsia no longer resorts to further layoffs, it’s signals the Malaysian economy is in recovery mode. AirAsia laid off only 250 staff in June this year.

If AirAsia re-hires the 2, 400 and the 250, things may be looking up for the Malaysian economy.

The prognosis is not good. AirAsia Japan has ceased operations. This is the second time the Company ceased operations.

AirAsia India may be sold to the Tata Brothers who already have a 51 per cent stake in the Company. Tata has deep pockets and hopefully can keep the airline going. It remains to be seen how the Company in India can manage without the expertise of AirAsia Malaysia. Tony F provided leadership.

India, even before the pandemic, was a difficult market. It was not a pretty picture.

India remains hostile to foreign investors.

Speculation is rife that the Malaysian gov’t may bring back the GST. Before the gov’t brought in GST, I warned in malaysiakini against introducing the consumption tax. If it must be introduced, I suggested 2 or 3 per cent for a start.

When PH promised to do away with the GST, I warned that the plan will not bring down prices which had increased by 24 per cent, not 6 per cent as expected.

I also warned that consumer prices will increase further when SST replaces GST.

It’s unfortunate the so-called Malays want to manage the economy when they never learnt to count.

The Malaysian gov’t behaves as if it’s a super duper rich gov’t by simply resorting to borrowings, thankfully domestically so far, and further indebting future generations.

Mahathir ran to Japan twice to get samurai bonds. We no longer hear about these bonds.

At this stage, it would be a wonder if Malaysia still hangs on to the five-year Malaysia plans inspired by the USSR.

I think these five-year plans will be abandoned. I stand corrected.

That brings us back to the Annual National Budgets.

In the past, these Budgets came to RM250b per annum. Only RM50b was for development. The rest was for the expenditure component i.e. keeping the bloated civil service afloat.

In Nov this year, it would be interesting to see how much would be devoted to development in Budget 2021.

There are no prizes for guessing it would be less than RM50b.

That would create political problems.

Get Ready For Bad Time Ahead! – As Malaysia’s Economy & Corporate Debt Get Worse, Retrenchment Has Just Begun

561 new Covid-19 cases, second-highest on record.

https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/546113

The gov’t should be able to tell us why these virus cases are happening. It does not seem able to do that. Obviously, the gov’t doesn’t know what the virus is all about.

In that case, how’s the gov’t going to educate the people on the virus.

Intelligence is the ability to learn from one’s own mistakes.

Those who don’t have the ability to learn from their mistakes are obviously not intelligent.

Those who commit the same mistakes, in the hope that the results will be better this time, are insane.

Mental illness is not a medical definition, it’s legal.

Only the court can declare someone insane. The court will refer the patient to a hospital for an evaluation before institutionalising, if necessary, for life to keep the public from harm.

https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/546067

COMMENT/ Sabah’s serious Covid-19 situation.

The virus spike in Sabah appears to be in the PTI areas which have since reportedly been cordoned off by barbed wire.

Apparently, the recent snap Sabah election drew many from outside the state. The Home Ministry warned about “foreigners entering the state to create trouble”. They allegedly held dubious ICs and apparently contributed to the virus spike.

The NRD, according to the Home Ministry, stationed officers at the polling stations to weed out those with dubious ICs i.e. entered in the electoral rolls but missing from the NRD data bank.

Backdoor PM Abah Moo was right. The virus spike in Sabah is a PTI phenomenon which contributed to community spread throughout the country.

I wrote a blog piece urging the gov’t to get all those who voted in the snap Sabah election to stay at home for 14 days. The call fell on deaf ears.

It’s clear the gov’t doesn’t have the intelligence to understand the virus. It’s not even clear the gov’t has the intelligence to learn from its mistakes.

If the gov’t repeats the mistakes, hoping for a different and better result the next time, that comes within the Definition of Insanity.

Insanity is not a medical definition but legal.

Only the court can refer a person to the nearest hospital for an evaluation and institutionalise him or her for life, if necessary, to keep the public from harm.

The previous State Ministry of Health was a failure because the Federal Ministry of Health and the Finance Ministry did not transfer funds to it.

So, the new gov’t had no choice but scrap the Ministry.

Likewise, the new gov’t probably scrapped the Education Ministry. This is a good move. The Education Ministry is nothing but politics.

What Sabah and Sarawak need is a State Education Commission followed by State Education Bureaus at the district level.

Again, the Federal Ministry of Education and the Finance Ministry should transfer funds to the Commission and the Bureaus.

Author: fernzthegreat

Joe Fernandez holds a honours degree in management, majoring in economics, and has opted from academia in law to being a jurist. He was trained professionally on the job as a journalist. He's a longtime Borneo watcher, keen on the history and legal aspects of Malaya's presence in Sabah and Sarawak. He teaches the English language privately and has emerged as a subject matter expert in public examination techniques.

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