We are still cheaper

We are entering a period of higher inflation compared to the last decade.

We know that inflation is rearing its ugly head, but it is more of a world wide phenomenon, and comparatively, we are much better off than many of our neighbours.

This is not to say that we should rest on our laurel. I have on many previous occasions asked the government to adopt fairer policies so that economic growth can be accelerated, as a way to beat the imported inflation.

 I would like to post some figures taken from a Chinese newspapers about the comparison of prices of certain items between our neighbours and our country.

Here is the list of price compariison:

1. Petrol pump price (RM/litre)

    Malaysia        1.92

    Indonesia      2.41

    Thailand        3.01

    Philippines    3.16

    Singapore      4.23

2. Flour (RM/Kg)

     Malaysia       1.35

     Indonesia     1.90

     Thailand       2.30

     Phillipines     2.10

     SIngapore     2.30

3. Sugar   (RM/kg)retail price

     Malaysia      1.45

     Indonesia     2.30

     Thailand      1.80

     Phillipines    2.92

     SIngapore    3.28

The newspapers also listed the price of chicken, eggs , beef etc.  Malaysia is still cheaper than many countries around us, especially in the basic foodstuff category. We have to thank the subsidies that make all these possible.

In the long run, subsidies are bad for the economy, most economists will tell you. It will lead to smuggling, hoarding, artificial shortages as well as slower development as much needed funds for developemnt would have to be used to subsidy foodstuff.

(On the other hand, many may argue that if wastages can be reduced, the amount of money saved would be able to be channeled to development projects. )

Nevertheless, the subsidies, which would be bad for the economy in the long run, has helped to shield the lower income group from the full impact of the imported inflation. We are still able to enjoy cheaper petrol, cheaper electiricity as a result, cheaper food and so on.

Malaysia is still paradise. If not for certain unfair policies and deteriorating standard of governance and loss of excellence, it would in fact be the ideal place . Our best bet  is still for our government  to realise it should adopt a fairer and more liberal policy, practice good governance, overhaul our education, place less emphasis on race but more on meritocracy. 



9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. monsterball
    Jan 14, 2008 @ 20:08:35

    Yes Doc…The government is so weak in management…keep thinking of themselves…how to win votes…..by playing race and religions…so nice for the weak and greedy to hear and have…….for past 50 years and on going….that once our oil is dry up…..no more rich…..then our real paradise will become a hell country to live in.
    For more than 30 years …everyone is shouting for meritocracy to their deaf ears…as once they do that…..they are finish..no more race and religion goodies……chances to loose out to oppositions more real.
    Looking at your chart…ordinary folks will think….WA!!!…what a great government we have…which we all know is not true…..as long as your last paragraph of your thoughts are not taken seriously by the government….and will not do so….thus a change of government is our only hope..to try out new things……for a better and realistic country….for our future
    Only educated Malaysians can think like that…and fortunately…most young voters can think for themselves and want a change too. We old folks vote for future generations……..not for ourselves….when we vote them out.


  2. ahmad
    Jan 17, 2008 @ 14:30:58

    If government withdraw subsidy, many average “rakyat” will go hungry and situation will be very desperate,only the government officials and the multi-national corporate CEO’s can afford all the expensive food in Malaysia since they are having
    high income.Doc, you will have no problem since you are professional, but many will suffer if subsidy is gone.


  3. monsterball
    Jan 18, 2008 @ 02:30:42

    Ahmad….Mis-managements and corruptions are the two main reasons why government cannot withdraw. What Doc meant was…if our country is properly manage…we have oil export too….thus oil increase prices are balanced out by the great profits we earn….but the government always tell us the bad news..never the good news…and Tian Chua have proven Petronas make more than what needed to be subcidised….thus the word subsidy should be taken out….as we earn more than what we need to keep the oil prices down…no need to increase oil prices at all.
    And if the government have train the Malays sincerely…all will be at par wit the Chinese….after 50 years..thus no need to spoon fed them anymore….and if real sufferings put in a level playing grounds…..it will be the malays …not knowing what to do…not the chinese or indians.
    The only solution is the government train all races with total sincerity and stop playing race and religion politics….while they rob the country wholesale.
    It is a purposely rojak management to keep staying in power.
    This is out-dated….and if one with out-dated management ideas to manage a modern country…we ask for it…and we will suffer like hell in the long run.


  4. steve
    Jan 18, 2008 @ 11:48:43

    Actually majority of Malaysian of ethnic chinese n Indian are poor n hard core poor.Only a few percentage of them are “taukey” or big boss.I will prefer subsidy than getting our rakyat money stolen by those corrupt officials, at least the waste is lesser than the unaccounted $$ go into official oversea bank accounts.


  5. jeff
    Jan 18, 2008 @ 11:57:29

    Doc, no doubt subsidy is bad for economy, but in Malaysia it is a necessity for the rakyat to have food to eat, inflation is rising so fast,many low income group can not keep up with it, big businesses and politicians are stealing so much from the country through fraud in “white elephant” projects, if subsidy withdraw,many will go homeless and hungry in this “bolehland”


  6. monsterball
    Jan 21, 2008 @ 06:04:57

    Jeff……..As you can see…we are talking how to solve Malaysians problems…all created by UMNO.
    This is exactly what they want…rojak the country….and make Malaysians depend on them.
    But Malaysia export oil…Indonesia and Thailand import oil……so there you can see…why should oil prices be increased?
    And for 2008…it seems not less than 70sen per litre.
    The rich will be richer..the poor will be poorer….is a sure sign of massive corruptions….reminding me so much of HongKong 40 years ago…..the rich and the very poor in squatter houses…living side by side.
    It still is in H.Kong. Do we want to be like them?


  7. jeff
    Jan 22, 2008 @ 00:41:04

    monsterball … no Malaysians want to be like China or HK or Taiwan as a matter of fact,those greedy are only interested in one thing in life!–plenty of $$$$$.

    The problem in Malaysia is because we given too much power to BN last election(90% parliament seats), opposition is too weak to check their overwhelming corruption, n also because of TDM iron fist era, many of the root problems are exacerbated by his one man show like stripping the independence n integrity of judiciary, etc…but he is laughing his way to swiss bank…


  8. monsterball
    Jan 23, 2008 @ 02:11:45

    jeff….I am talking about Hong Kong corrupted politicians….and not China as a whole.
    And particularly for China….I beg to disagree.
    Only the serious loyal and fair minded politicians will appreciate them….yet few such countries in the world…do admire and respect China.
    That’s why Singapore and USA have very high regards for China.
    Who are we to judge other countries….when we voters dare not make a change with the obvious massive corruptions and selected people to be rich. Ours is the sick country of Asia…if not the whole developed world.


  9. jeff
    Jan 24, 2008 @ 04:52:32

    monsterball ;

    I personally can not stop S’pore n USA high regard on China which probably rest on their naiveness on this communist giant,they have a false sense of optimism of communist party 2 systems lie. when we talk about HK., we are referring to a province in China, with half of the legislative body in this autonomic zone appointed by Peking, i cannot accept it ” one country two systems” political slogan.

    If you read Doc. recent post,high poverty level already took place in China.”Fear’ among countries toward China rising military power is true, since history has shown us communist aggressiveness in the past whenever they rise up in the world.


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