Shrinking money

One of the most obvious things that can be seen in this CNY is the high prices of eating out.

Most of the higher end Chinese restaurants’s charges have gone up so much that a meal for 8 to 10 persons can easily go up to four figures.

Even the prices of food by the so called “Tai Pai Tong”, or road side stalls, have gone up so much. A meal in a coffee shop type of restaurant can go up to Rm 500 easily, and mind you , these types of food outlets are not even manned by big chefs.

After the CNY, i notice that lots of things have become dearer in the hyper market chain that I go to every month. I have to dish out extra money to buy the same amount of foodstuff compared to just end of last year.

Things are going to get even more dearer. With the Mad man refusing to let go of his power in Libya, oil prices have gone up, and freight prices will go up. Prices of commodities needed as raw materials for industries have skyrocketed. Food items will see huge rise in prices.

This phenomenon is not just in Malaysia, but the whole world is experiencing inflation.  But in Malaysia, we could have weathered this phenomenon better if we can save from the leakages and wastages. I heard over the morning news that  our corruption agency has estimated that last year alone, 10 billion ringgits were lost to corruption, and I am not surprised.

Imagine how much could have been done with this 10 billion to help the poor? The poor is no longer just those jobless people or low income earners, , but many of the so-called  middle class in urban areas as well.

Ron 95 prices can be expected to be capped at the present price for a while, since the governemnt would not want what happened in the Arab countries to happen here. That woulod mean that more money would be used to subsidise petrol, and how long can that be tolerated will actually be one of the main determinants of whether we will have a General Election soon.

When people face hardship, they would want change. If RON 95 prices go up, the govenrment will find it hard to control the already escalating prices of foodstuff and so many other things. If that happens, votes and even power can be lost. So they will have to call an election before  the rising prices of foodstuff gets out of hands.

So, we may have a state election  (Sarawak) next month, following which perhaps will be the big one later this year. If BN can win Sarawak in a big way, then we can expect GE to be called maybe in mid year, or AUgust.

I have previously expected it to be held  late this year or early next year, but because of the prospect of inflation and shrinking disposable income , I think it may be called earlier.

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14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Richard Loh
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 16:07:00

    Prices have gone up since Dec’10 and double up from Jan’11. Annually I have steam boat at home with my 2 daughters. Almost the same type of vegetables, fish and usual ingredients for steam boat. The price increased from last year is 35%.

    Hawker food all increase between 30 cents to 50 cents per dish or bowl. Drinks between 10 cents to 50 cents.

    From the government view point they will claim that its worldwide trend but conveniently forget to highlight the wastages and leakages.

    Like

  2. klm
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 16:34:42

    I ma grateful to the Egyptians and Tunisians for starting this revolution. It is making the autocratic govt scared. I wish that the govt will do the same thing as the Saudi. Bribe me not to cause trouble. I want my subsidies.

    Like

  3. A true Malaysian
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 21:29:47

    Najib and Pek Moh are playing ‘God’ in deciding when are the GE and Sarawak election respectively, not for the good of the country as a whole, but for their selfish interests, their survival. It is very unfair to play ‘God’ that way.

    Exact date for the next general election should be determined by immediate first Parliament session after conclusion of the preceding general election, to avoid wastages, minimise politiking and reduce uncertainty. It should not be decided according to the ‘mood’ of one man.

    Like

  4. sosong
    Mar 03, 2011 @ 19:08:12

    If less corruption, govt could at least subsidize foods to reduce burdens of the poor people.

    Like

  5. KK
    Mar 03, 2011 @ 19:50:53

    Er.. inflation itself (mild one ie.) is actually desirable economically .
    The problem in Malaysia is that per capita income is stagnant or increase too little over time for the common man.

    Like

  6. Phua Kai Lit
    Mar 04, 2011 @ 09:17:55

    Dear Dr Hsu

    I wonder if Malaysia is the only oil-exporting country that “cannot afford”
    cheaper petrol for its citizens?

    I bet that after the next General Election (and if BN is returned to power), the price of RON 95 will be increased by large amounts.

    Like

  7. Taikohtai
    Mar 04, 2011 @ 09:18:23

    Doc,
    Even here in Gold Coast, basic things are getting more expensive. The GC city council, with two other local councils, recently formed a new company ALLCONEX to bill water and almost straight away, water rates are going up 25%, way above the inflation rate of 4%. Allconnex CEO who earns over A$350,000 pa said that water is too cheap, forgetting that most families only make one quarter of his income. Local communities are getting furious and I think some councillors will be voted out soon. Unlike Malaysia, Australians do not wait until things to go pear shaped before taking action in the ballot box. More importantly, corruption is NOT tolerated in whatever form.

    Like

  8. CYC
    Mar 04, 2011 @ 13:46:10

    Inflation by itself is not scary but inability of the govt to increase our per capital income is definitely a disaster.

    “The test of first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two oppose ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald.

    Like

  9. Meng
    Mar 04, 2011 @ 22:29:07

    I am sure the money has not shrunk so much….. to cost 1 billion for a patrol boat.

    Like

  10. Li Li Fa
    Mar 07, 2011 @ 10:32:35

    It is true and obvious that the effects of inflation are eating into the pockets of consumers.

    A plate of ordinary Wan Tan Mee costs RM4.00 or RM5.00 in some areas- an increase of Rm0.50 or more. Will prices go further up? If only I can foretell the inflation index.

    If the petrol price of RON95 were to go up again, it will definately have a domino effect on many consumer items, and the ordinary folks are to bear the brunt of this price onslaught.

    How far can we all stretch our RM?

    Like

  11. SunGod
    Mar 07, 2011 @ 11:29:17

    The RM shrunk so much because most of the raayats money were swimming in the politicians pockets. Lots of raayats still can’t see and reliase
    where our money go even though many cases of corruptions were reported in the papers. How to pity these raayats who still support the UMNO government?

    Like

  12. petestop
    Mar 07, 2011 @ 15:19:33

    Frankly, the Rakyat themselves are corrupted. Nobody else to blame.
    Najib said “You help me, I help you”. That about sums it all to the prevalent mentaility of Malaysians

    What with all the goodies doled out during buy-election and always it is the buy-election that BeEnd does very well.

    Not only we don’t have a cap on political spending, and even if we do, we have lame institution that unable to take any bite and more likely just follow what their political master tells them.

    Now somemore with the so-called 1Malaysia NGO that appears every buy-election. Not only 1Malaysia is using our taxpayer money to promote, then the political parties hi-jack it during buy-election for their own political purpose.

    The thing the Rakyat don’t realise that it is their own money that BeEnd is using to bribe them.

    I can only say that Malaysian deserves what they voted in.
    Garbage in, garbage out, I always say.

    Like

  13. wisely
    Mar 08, 2011 @ 08:14:28

    Dr. Hsu,

    What do u think of the recent ban of gambling by PAS and DAP silent stand? Can we really sincerely believe PAS will not implement Islamic state once PR takes over and that DAP can protect our right as non in this country? Look at what happen in Arab world today, do u think PR is a good alternative to BN? Like to hear ur comment!

    Like

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