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)
2. Flour (RM/Kg)
3. Sugar (RM/kg)retail price
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.