Jumaat, 11 Julai 2008

Something's Gotta Give …

Friday, July 11, 2008

Hi ya all ….what a boring year…

Pretty ironic how the stock market today portrays the feelings of its participants… after umpteen years strolling down the alley of the Malaysian Bourse/ Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange… suddenly, many feel exhausted with the jittery and lacking of impetus… waiting is exhausting huh?

So, some exit, many still sidelines… not to mentioned the pretenders who wishes and hope for a miracle, my advise is; hypocrisy is bad in the long run, it will damaged your own confidence and others on you. For those hardcore who still is striving and giving it a go, the best of luck to you, for you are the real market players the like of which I call the survivors of the Malaysian Market, hang on there. (You should be able to categories which category you fall in)

Today, is not about valuation nor it is of about the blue ocean strategy… any Tom, Dick and Harry can say out wisdom about oil price going up, Commodity euphoria, US market being vulnerable, regional market bubbling or whatever crap that they can come out with… we can read from the news papers and the magazines, can we…. I say these goons are complete lyres. They try so hard to justify the means from the ends. On hind-side views are even worst culprits, stupidity comes is style, so to speak. The Malaysian market has its domestic crisis brewing… by the day, Politics aside…

The fact is today we wake up and got to know half of Malaysian households have a monthly income of less than RM3,000. This was revealed in the 2007 household income and facilities census by the Department of Statistics Malaysia. Of the 5.8 million households in the country,
8.6% of the households earned below RM1,000
29.4% of the households earned between RM1,000 and RM2,000
19.8% of the households earned between RM2,001 and RM3,000

In the Dewan Rakyat yesterday, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Amirsham Abdul Aziz said;
12.9% of the households earned between RM 3,001 and RM 4,000
8.6% of the households earned between RM 4,001 and RM 5,000
15.8% of the households earned between RM 5,001 and RM10,000
4.9% of the households earned between RM10,000 and above.

That is shocking, and that should be shocking to everyone. RM3,000 per household is only acceptable if you live in rural areas or small towns. There is absolutely no room to move if you are on RM3,000 per household and living in urban areas. Let's just look at a hypothetical urban family of 4 living in urban areas. I am only suggesting conservative amounts here.

Mortgage/Rent (low cost): RM500 per month. Small car repayment: RM300 per month. Allowance for 2 kids: RM100 per month.. Mobile phones: RM200 per month. Petrol: RM200 per month.. Utilities: RM150 per month. Food/Household Items: RM700 per month. Daily Commute/Lunch: RM400 per month. Outside Meals: RM300 per month. Support For Parents/ Sibllings: RM300 per month. Miscellaneous: RM300 per month. That is RM3,150 per month. (not inclusive of taxes and EPF contributions!!!). Forget about Astro, movies, CDs, holidays, toys, new clothes, etc.

There are many reasons why HALF the households are living on RM3,000 or less - we basically fritter away so much, we as in the people elected government. Maybe has mismanagement of resources, poor investing, corruptions, poor planning. This is almost unforgivable given that we are so rich in natural resources. We keep our Ringgit low in order to compete, we never move up appreciably in the international competition curve.

Is it any wonder that most are willing to give the others a go. For those who are pragmatic enough to be concerned with your livelihood, then it matters not to be "fed-up". Being fed-up is giving up.

There are two main things to do: one is to improve conditions for the poor; two is to revamp/ plan for a more effective management of our resources. If the ruling government is not taking it up, we should make sure someone else is. On the first part:

- increase the tax free threshold to RM40,000

- have a better and more inclusive low-cost housing scheme for those under RM3,000 per month

- making sure necessities are still subsidised

- we need a minimum wage policy of around RM1,200 at least

The second part, well, we know what needs to happen first. This is the report card that the has been "slacking" for the past 20-30 years, or is someone willing to argue we did good?

Cheers.. till then

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