A Tale To Tell & Remember

I'm very much inspired by the words of Thomas L. Friedman in his book "The World Is Flat" which renders about the influence of bloggers in this new age. I want to keep the highest integrity and honesty in posting my words to the world. This blog act as a testimony to my alacrity of sharing information with the borderless world. Hope we can share a high regards of veracity and chivalry with this blog because that's why it is here. So help me God!

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Tuesday, 29 July 2008

My article is being published by Berita Harian today

29th July 2008 - Berita Harian published my article on working formula against inflation today. Read [here]. I need to express my gratitude to Datuk Manja Ismail for believing in that article. As I told my viewers before, it’s part of my effort in fulfilling the Malaysian dream of becoming first world by 2020.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Capitalism and opportunity - Part 1


[This article I wrote is dedicated to all the Third World Nations regardless of their locations and ethnic background as long as they want to believe in the true potential of Capitalism and its holy endeavour in bringing wealth to close the gap of income differences between the “have” and the “have not”]

By: Ahmad Syah Ejaz Bin Hj. Ismail

Never before were the new developing nations or also known as the Third World Nations getting perplexed and confused on how to manage their economic resources for the betterment of their countrymen. These nations [Third World] were renowned as the main tap of natural resources which can be capitalized and exploited in bringing wealth to their citizens. But it is uncanny for the economist in explaining the failure of their managers i.e. the government in charge to mobilize these resources in bringing more wealth and decrease their interdependent on the core nations [developed] for productivity capital such as cash flow, technology know how and direct investment.

It seems that the interdependence of these new developing nations is infinite towards their former colonizers for survivability. The answers are not that such symbiosis between these two civilizations is a win-win situation but a foreboding. The essence of true Capitalism emphasize on the importance of mutual agreement and voluntary exchange, but with the implementation of WTO must abide rules, the new developing nations has no other options but to abide to the new trade regime just to remain alive. The West and the WTOs’ supporters have failed to see the latent problems this new economic regimes bring such as Free Trade Agreements (FTA) and Bilateral Trades (BIT).

Previously, more than 30% (sic) of the contributing factors of the developing nations success came from countervailing duties (CVDs) and anti-dumping (ADs’) measures not just for the sake of protecting domestic infant industries from harsh competitor of the established economic players but also from un-fair trades between giant business players that were backed up by billions of capital dollars, not to mention foreign hedge funds (which were unknown based). These profits which were gained from CVDs’ and ADs’ were used productivity capital for the government to create national players and funding the educations of their countrymen. It is true that Capitalism encourages maximum profits, but such total abolishment of CVDs’ and ADs’ among the new developing nations will only decrease the much needed funds for their development.

Eventually, their interdependent needs towards the core nations will be infinite and prone to be the subject of the trades’ players. It happened in Latin America when a sovereign nation heed to the instructions of business player [banana republic].

There are critics among academics on how the new developing nations need to scrounge for funds in developing their industries. The most important factor in Capitalism is intelligence. One must bear in mind that billions dollars of capital in central banks is not a guarantee of an economic success. There must be adequate intelligence for these funds to turn into a productive capital. In Capitalism, one can collect the needed funding through speculations. I believe almost 50% of world turnover and profits were based on just mere speculations. But the profits forecast and future perceived turnover must be followed by actions and physical development. The idea of perceiving profits with inaction will only create a disaster in the following bringing down the whole system of economic activities.

The success of speculation is an open secret. For Capitalism, the capitalist government can capitalize on these method in bringing wealth and opportunity. But one needs to be very being careful of not excessively miss abuse their intelligent and skills in speculating growth thus speculation can bring enormous wealth and also dreadful disaster. Not all good things will last and the planner must realize the importance of mobilizing the funds which he got from speculation to a productive capital. Discipline is the main essence in ensuring these enterprises to succeed.

To be continue...

Reference:

The Great Crash – 1929, by John Kenneth Galbraith. Mariner Books, 1997.

Monday, 21 July 2008

Patience

Updated: 23 July 2008 - Mr. Megat Affendi, I know you’re reading my blog. Why don't you tell us your views on patience?

Old posting:

How far does patience go? Tell me what you think.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Wish me well on this one

18th July 2008 - I'm writing a book now (Malay literature) by the title "Angsana di Batu Feringghi". Wish me well on this one.

Anwar Ibrahim

Let me give my fair take on Mr. Anwar Ibrahim. I’m sure a lot of friends and outsiders would love to hear my views on the particular prodigal man including my Australian friends who might be reading this blog. Mr. Anwar Ibrahim is a VERY special man, no doubt about that. He surely can talk and have GREAT oratorical skills. Plus he is a very smart man and very close to his long friends, he still is and never forgets about them. He is a very helpful person when it comes to friends disregards of his position even when he was the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Honestly speaking, he might be the right person that was needed by Malaysian during turbulence time such as now. But Mr. Anwar Ibrahim has a weakness which bulldozes every right potential that lies in him. This weakness might be the right noose/ ammo that can be use and I believe were used frequently by the Americans when he was the Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister. I don't blame the Americans for capitalizing on him, we are the USA's third largest trading partner. It was not that Mr. Anwar Ibrahim adopted the IMF prescription which ousted him from power, but because he was morally unfit for the position.

Had Tun Dr. Mahathir appointed him as his successor, Malaysia would surely fall preys to the White House neo-conservatives. It happened before during the Indonesian purge in 1965 with the downfall of Soekarno (please refer to the declassified documents by the CIA), and it would surely to happen in 1998 in Malaysia. After he was fired from office, things started to look personal for Mr. Anwar Ibrahim. Mr. Anwar Ibrahim never a changed man. His ambitions for Prime Minister post was strong than ever. He was the same man who propagated Baling demonstrations early 80s and he is still the crowds’ puller of today. I pity Mr. Anwar Ibrahim for his weakness. Had him not the craving sexual perverts, he would be one of the best Malaysian Prime Minister. But habits are very hard to get rid of and he had to pay for it. And he is willing to go down in ashes for it, thus he got no place else to go back.

If he admits that he is a sexual perverts, the whole nation will go on him for believing in him since 1998. But Mr. Anwar Ibrahim is Anwar Ibrahim. But I can tell you that he still is a good friend among friends who knew him.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

My article on ‘Working Formula against Inflation’ published by Utusan Malaysia today

16th July 2008 - My article which I wrote on the working formula to deter inflation and stagnant economy was published by Utusan Malaysia today in the Documentary section. Read [here]. I shall be thankful to those that have a trust in that article as I have a trust in my writings and idea.

That article I wrote were dedicated to all the Malaysian who currently in harms way of stagflation. I remember when I were filling up gas for my scooter somewhere in Kajang, there was an old Chinese man came up to me while I was waiting for my turn to fill up gas. He shared his thoughts and how hard it is today for him in his daily life experiencing the inflation problems in every angle. It left me a mental mark that I have an obligation to do something to ease his burden and every Malaysian burden off. So I decide in writing that article.

Monday, 14 July 2008

Working formula to elevate Malaysian from economic recession due to the global oil price hike

By: Ahmad Syah Ejaz Bin Hj. Ismail

The effects of the global upsurge of world oil price which were traded at the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) are obviously felt by Malaysian especially when the government decided to lift out the heavy oil price subsidies in June 2008. With the increase of the oil price it catapult the domestic Consumer Price Index (CPI) of Malaysia at a very high level from 3% to around 6-7% as such it transpire the difficulties facing the domestic consumers even though the real CPI figure might be much higher by the end of 2008. There were no more acknowledgements of potentialities unto the Asian Tigers nowadays, a stark difference of the earlier decade in 1990s when Gross National Product of Malaysia reaches 8 to 9% per year. Today, the GNP of Malaysia are mingling at 5 – 6% a year, half figures of the previous decade which promised the success of Vision 2020.

Currently, Malaysia was suppressed in every angle to keep their Foreign Direct Investment (FDIs’) within its boundary. The neighbouring countries such as Vietnam, Thailand and India proved to be competitive in terms of their labour cost for Malaysia and in a way had shifted investment from Malaysia. This statement of mine is back up by the clear evidence of newsflash where many factories which operated in Malaysia especially in producing consumer electronics products had closed their operation in Malaysia causing hundred of thousands domestic workers to lose their source of livelihood not only among the direct workers, but also the peripheries stakeholders which involved in non-direct activities involving these FDIs’ such as the food sellers that operated nearby these factories. Some foreign companies however still operates their factories in Malaysia but have adopted cost cutting measures by retrenching partials of their workers and have paid their ex-workers some allocation of reimbursement for compensations to terminate their contract.

It was indeed a very hard time and a dire situation when these unemployed Malaysian were put in harms way next burdened by the inevitable increase of the oil price which further stifle their economic problems. What can be termed from these after effect of economic problems re known as a stagflation. It was a new economic phenomenon which sees the rates hike of domestic inflation in parallel with the high percentage of unemployment. This problem which saw inflation and employment moved in tandem really put policy makers at a lost. The policy makers cannot adopt a disciplinary action of suppressing the inflation down by the increase of the interest rates (which proved workable before) to stem the inflation. Thus why, Malaysian needs to find the right formula to solve this economic downturn of stagflation and put back the nation economy on the right track to achieve Vision 2020.

Even though it is admitted that Malaysia is no more a competitive in terms of its labour cost, but the trend of investment from the multinational companies does not relies solely on the low labour cost per se. The Foreign Direct Investment – FDIs’ on certain nations and MNCs’ were contributed by many factors that includes weather, political stability, geo-strategic location, investment policy of the government in power, the purchasing power of a certain nations and many more. These afore-mentioned factors were known as the comparative advantages. Through these comparative advantages, Malaysian definitely still very attractive to pull FDIs’ among the MNCs thus bringing the much needed new technologies and knowledge for Malaysian in relative advantages from FDIs. These type of economic theory [the comparative advantage], can be seen when millions of Australian pours their Australian dollars to the Island of Bali, Indonesian even though Australian itself were a very attractive place for vacation [with its beautiful beaches and coral sea]. Malaysia must realize its own potentialities and comparative advantages that it has to create a new wealth opportunity for its citizens.

The current stagflation problem will be brought to a worse condition if the government decides to hold and cancel its planned infrastructure. It is understandable that amid stagnant economy such measures of save keeping and prudent spending by the government on the intention and on the basis to save millions of ringgit by scrapping the big scale projects, but the method is misguided. By doing so, it will further escalate the stagnant economic problems and sparking a spiralling inflation problems which will cost investors and those that had invested millions of ringgit in the proposed projects to a bankruptcy. One need to understand that when the government decides to implement certain projects especially the big scale one, this motion will soon be followed by fast takers action from various investors on shares, real estate, products and things pertaining to the implementation of the projects and such it will drive prices up.

In the expectation of seeing the projects to be finish, local banks i.e. merchants or hedge funds will obscure millions of ringgit to the investors for the implementation of the projects and most of the time this value is much more higher compare with the real price. This high level of borrowings and investment can only be turns into profits if the projects are implemented and finish. If the government decides to not go on with the projects, this bubble of prices will then explode and burst in a sudden manner contrary to the way it increases (a level by level). This will not only lead out to bankruptcy, but also an untrustworthy investment feelings among the foreign investors towards the Malaysian development policy and its potentials of growth.

Malaysia current experiencing a very deep identity crisis which sees itself to be confused to pick either between central development methods that was adopted by the ex-Soviet nations before or the capitalistic dogma which emphasized free trade agenda and the non-intervention policy by the government on trades issues and business dealings in the market. I do agreed that in a young capitalist nations such as Malaysia the price control regime is workable, but one need also to bear in mind the after effect of price control mechanism on certain products will only lead to more unnecessary economic problems. Sometimes this short term method of controlling prices to suppressed inflation will only leads to a more worse inflationary problems one after another such as black markets and the shortage of basic necessities.

The effects of the world wide oil price hike are inevitable. But what were needed amid the fears of stagnant consumer spending by the people on the lowest tier are some lights and opportunity arises from smart fiscal policy in helping domestic consumers to adapt with these changes of high inflation starting with the positive mode of spending among the people itself. If the government decides to give cash money to the people, it is forecast that they will only resort to pay up their credit card bills and keep the extras in their bank account in hoping for a better economy to spend. This method does not help in solving the stagflation problems. What was suggested best is that for fiscal policy to take place starting from billions of ringgit from the exports of rubber, petroleum and palm oil to be used through the implementation of the various infrastructure projects aimed to lessen the increasing cost of transportation which relies heavily on petroleum products. This long term implementation of infrastructure projects will of course need money to be spent. To help the people to adapt due to the burden of the inflationary problems, government must create alternatives and opportunities and such can be started from the integrated rail systems of trains.

This integrated transportation infrastructure programme must be planned accordingly and needs to carry out the basic principles of people’s mobility and their choices for better time and cost budgeting. The usage of busses travels are irrelevant due to its reliability on fossil fuel for energy. What need to be developed are the matrix systems of train travel which can operate with a very high load of cargo/ trade products from one place to another in shorter period of time. This type of developmental projects can help in decreasing the transportation cost and at the same time create a relative advantage of means to carry out industrial products in an efficient manner then a wide opportunity of jobs for Malaysian. For an example, when the government decides to lift out the high oil subsidies in June, the bulk quantity of irons that were carried using Lorries on the highways were cut in half as to reduce the transportation cost. This then will lead out to inflationary problems and black market, plus the problems product shortages. If the government decides than to adopt the price control measures on iron, this particular products will be shifted to another place such as China in the lookout for a better profits margin and it is proved that the Chinese are a willing buyers and do pay triple market price just for the sake of continuing their national development agenda. Malaysian then would be at the losing end and with the short term method of suppressing inflation bringing another bad effect of stagflation to the Malaysian as a whole.

The best investment for Malaysia amid global tension of energy and stagnant economy is by creating the trans-peninsular rail track from the west coast to the east which can carries heavy load of trades’ cargo in a shorter period of time. This type of putting ones harbour among the global interest of trades can be seen through Israel experience when it capitalize on the straits of Tiran by opening up the Eilat harbour for ships to dock and transferred its’ cargo from Eilat to Asdod harbour located in the Mediterranean seas through the land route. It was a major breakthrough for trades to Israel when it managed to reap the benefits if world wide trades through the usage of its Eilat harbour even though there are Suez Canal to carry the freighter cargo from the Arab gulf to the Mediterranean Sea. As such, Malaysia must learn from this experience and begin to capitalize on its geo-strategic comparative advantage by creating an opportunity for global trades on its high speed train and efficient manage of large cargo from Penang Harbour to Kuantan Harbour bringing options for world wide player of not to use the Malacca straits. This will then create millions of work opportunity for Malaysian in services and tourism sectors. It’s a win-win situation for globalization and Malaysia.

Apart from them, it is suggested that the government will try to find a holistic approach for the current stagflations problems. By giving vouchers and cuts in public transports fares for pensioners, it will surely elevate Malaysian from the current hike in transportation cost. It was also suggested that free food programs can be introduce for students in primary and secondary schools as to assure the high attendance of students to school amid the increase of transportation cost. The best investment in deterring future economic problems and uncertainties is by educational means and as such opportunities must be created through education.

-End-

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Formula berkesan menangani kemelesetan ekonomi negara

[English version of this article will be posted soon enough after I’ve done with the translation]

Oleh : Ahmad Syah Ejaz Bin Hj. Ismail

Kesan peningkatan harga minyak sedunia yang didagangkan di New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) amat dirasai terutamanya oleh rakyat Malaysia. Dengan kenaikan harga bahan api tersebut maka berlaku juga kenaikan Indeks Harga Pengguna pada kadar yang cukup tinggi dari 3% kepada 6-7% atau mungkin lebih pada akhir tahun 2008. Tiada lagi keajabaiban ekonomi untuk negara-negara yang pernah dikenali sebagai harimau Asia seperti dekad 1990-an di mana Keluaran Negara Kasar negara mampu mencecah angka 8 hingga 9% setahun. Sehingga hari ini, Keluaran Negara Kasar negara melingkar hanya dari 5 hingga 6% hampir separuh kurang dari jangkaan setiap tahun seperti dekad lalu yang mampu membantu kepada pencapaian Wawasan 2020.

Pada hari ini, Malaysia ditekan dengan persaingan yang sengit dari negara-negara dunia ketiga seperti Vietnam, Thailand dan India, terutama dari segi kos buruh yang murah. Ini dapat dilihat apabila kilang-kilang barangan elektronik kepenggunaan (consumer electronics) mula menutup operasi mereka di Malaysia dan beralih ke negara-negara jiran. Tidak cukup dengan itu, beratus ribu rakyat Malaysia yang bergantung sumber pendapatan dan rezeki mereka dari rantaian operasi pengeluaran barangan elektronik kepenggunaan syarikat asing ini baik dari pekerja langsung syarikat tersebut kepada pekerja sektor perkhidmatan yang berkaitan hinggalah kepada mereka yang berniaga makanan di warung-warung berdekatan dengan pusat operasi kilang-kilang ini mula kehilangan sumber dan rezeki masing-masing.

Ditambah dengan itu, kesan inflasi yang tinggi dari kenaikan harga minyak menambahkan lagi tekanan kepada golongan yang kehilangan sumber pendapatan ini. Apa yang dapat disaksikan adalah negara mengalami masalah stagflasi (stagflation) yang serius iaitu inflasi yang memuncak tinggi diiringi oleh pembangunan ekonomi yang beku di pasaran domestik. Jika pada dekad-dekad 80-an dan 90-an kadar inflasi dapat didisiplinkan dengan peningkatan kadar faedah yang tinggi di bank-bank perdagangan, situasi yang berbeza dapat dilihat pada hari ini apabila inflasi memuncak dan pada masa yang sama pengangguran juga tinggi. Inilah masalah baru yang dihadapi oleh ekonomi dunia dan para penganalisis pasaran tercari-cari formula tepat untuk menangani masalah ini dari menjadi lebih teruk.

Walaupun diakui bahawa Malaysia dikategorikan bukan antara negara yang mampu menawarkan kadar gaji buruh yang rendah, tetapi corak pelaburan yang diperlukan oleh pelabur antarabangsa adalah tidak bergantung sepenuhnya kepada kadar buruh yang rendah semata-mata. Kadar pelaburan luar (Foreign Direct Investment -FDI) adalah disumbang oleh pelbagai faktor seperti budaya, cuaca, kestabilan politik, kedudukan geo-strategik, dasar ekonomi luar sesebuah kerajaan yang membantu, nilai kuasa beli wang sesebuah negara dan banyak lagi. Faktor-faktor ini digelar sebagai kelebihan bandingan (comparative advantage). Melalui kelebihan bandingan inilah banyak pelaburan asing mampu ditarik masuk oleh sesebuah negara dari sesebuah syarikat trans-nasional yang ingin beroperasi. Kelebihan bandingan ini dapat dilihat apabila banyak pelancong-pelancong dari Australia masuk ke pulau Bali, Indonesia bagi mendapatkan perkhidmatan dan kepuasan belanja nilai dolar Australia di Indonesia walaupun negara Australia itu sendiri terkenal sebagai pusat percutian pantai yang baik. Malaysia juga tidak harus terkecuali dan perlu berusaha keras bagi menonjolkan kelebihan bandingan yang ada pada Malaysia kepada pelabur luar bagi menarik FDI ke dalam negara.

Masalah stagflasi yang dialami oleh negara ini akan bertambah buruk jika Kerajaan memutuskan untuk menangguhkan implementasi projek infrastruktur yang bernilai jutaan ringgit. Memang diakui niat untuk menangguhkan projek tersebut bersifat mulia iaitu mengurangkan bebanan kewangan Kerajaan, namun secara tidak langsungnya, masyarakat di sekitar dan mereka yang telah melabur dengan banyak kepada ekspektasi perjalanan projek akan mendapat kesan yang amat negatif. Perlu difahami bahawa apabila Kerajaan mengumumkan untuk melaksanakan sesebuah projek infrastruktur berskala besar, ini akan diikuti dengan tindakan menaikkan harga saham, tanah dan perkara-perkara berkaitan sebagai memenuhi ekspektasi untuk melihat implementasi projek tersebut berjalan. Seterusnya bank-bank perdagangan akan mengeluarkan pinjaman bernilai jutaan ringgit dan kadang-kala melebihi nilai sebenar harga saham, tanah ataupun barangan berkaitan. Kadar hutang yang tinggi ini akan hanya mampu di bayar hanya jika sesebuah projek tersebut berjalan dengan jayanya. Jika Kerajaan memutuskan untuk tidak meneruskan projek-projek ini, maka harga saham, tanah dan barangan berkaitan akan jatuh merundum seumpama belon yang pecah dan meletup tidak seperti trend peningkatan harga yang naik secara berperingkat sejurus selepas projek tersebut diwar-warkan. Ini akan mengakibatkan bukan sahaja masalah kemuflisan dikalangan pelabur domestik dan peniaga berkaitan tetapi ketidakyakinan di kalangan pelabur luar kepada dasar pembangunan negara.

Malaysia sebenarnya masih berada di dalam krisis identiti yang serius dalam menghadapi proses industrialisasi dan dasar pelaburan strategik. Malaysia masih keliru untuk memilih samada mahu meneruskan konsep perancangan berpusat yang banyak diaplikasikan oleh negara Soviet terdahulu ataupun meneruskan agenda keterbukaan di dalam perdagangan bebas dengan lebih menekankan tanggungjawab sosial dikalangan syarikat-syarikat swasta dan pengurangan intervensi Kerajaan di dalam sesebuah pasaran. Diakui bahawa rejim kawalan harga pada sesetengah barangan adalah perlu bagi memastikan tiada peniaga mengambil kesempatan ke atas situasi spekulatif harga. Walau bagaimanapun untuk sesetengah produk/ barangan, kawalan hanya akan memburukkan lagi masalah inflasi seterusnya mengakibatkan berlakunya masalah kekurangan bekalan di dalam pasaran.

Kesan kenaikan harga minyak yang tinggi di pasaran dunia sememangnya tidak dapat dielakkan oleh Malaysia. Walau bagaimanapun, adalah perlu untuk pihak bertanggungjawab membantu rakyat mengadaptasikan situasi mencengkam ini seterusnya membantu menggalakkan perubahan pada pola perbelanjaan secara positif. Jika rakyat diberikan wang ringgit (cash money) bagi mengurangkan beban inflasi dan kenaikan harga minyak ini, paling tidak mereka akan hanya membayar hutang kad kredit dan menyimpan wang tersebut di bank seterusnya mengharapkan situasi ekonomi bertambah baik. Ini adalah sangat tidak membantu dalam mengurangkan masalah inflasi dan kemelesetan ekonomi yang berlaku sekarang. Kaedah terbaik bagi membantu rakyat dalam menghadapi kemelesetan ekonomi ini adalah dengan mengalakkan perbelanjaan pengguna dan ini boleh dilakukan melalui implementasi projek infrastruktur jangka panjang yang memerlukan perbelanjaan oleh Kerajaan. Untuk membantu rakyat negara mengadaptasikan diri dengan keadaan ekonomi yang menjerat ini, perbelanjaan haruslah dilakukan dengan membina jaringan pengangkutan yang cekap.

Pembangunan infrastruktur ini haruslah dilakukan dengan tujuan menggalakkan mobiliti rakyat dari satu tempat ke tempat yang lain dengan perancangan penggunaan waktu yang tepat dan singkat. Penggunaan pengangkutan seperti bas yang menggunakan bahan api petroleum adalah tidak lagi relevan. Apa yang perlu dibangunkan adalah jaringan keretapi laju yang mampu membawa muatan yang tinggi pada jangka masa yang singkat. Ini akan membantu mengurangkan kos pengangkutan dan mengekang masalah inflasi barangan tertentu yang boleh di bawa secara pukal menggunakan perkhidmatan ini. Sebagai contohnya, apabila diumumkan kenaikan harga minyak pada bulan Jun yang lalu, muatan besi yang diangkut oleh lori-lori kontena berkurangan disebabkan langkah penjimatan kos bahan api diesel dan ini seterusnya akan menyumbang kepada kekurangan bekalan besi itu sendiri di pasaran. Situasi ini seterusnya dieksploitasi oleh pihak yang tidak bertanggungjawab untuk menaikkan harga besi dengan tinggi. Jika dikenakan rejim kawalan harga pada barangan besi ini, maka bekalan barangan ini akan beralih ke negara-negara yang sanggup membayar dengan harga tinggi seperti China yang terbukti sanggup membayar harga pada kadar tiga kali ganda lebih tinggi dari harga jualan di pasaran bagi meneruskan agenda pembangunan negara tersebut. Negara kita seterusnya akan rugi dari mekanisma penyelesaian jangka pendek seperti ini.

Antara pelaburan yang terbaik buat Malaysia adalah dengan membina jaringan pengangkutan landasan keretapi laju dari timur ke barat dan mampu membawa muatan yang besar melalui kontena. Ini akan membantu bagi mencipta kelebihan bandingan untuk pengangkutan kontena barangan tanpa perlu melalui Selat Melaka yang memakan masa yang lama. Kontena-kontena ini boleh diangkut dengan cekap dari pelaburan Pulau Pinang ke atas gerabak keretapi barangan dan dipindahkan melalui pengangkutan keretapi laju merentasi banjaran Titiwangsa ke pelabuhan Kuantan di timur Malaysia seterusnya ke atas kapal kontena ke destinasi di negara timur jauh. Strategi ini telah dibuktikan menguntungkan apabila Israel menggunakan konsep yang sama pada pelabuhan Eilat di Selat Tiran bagi menawarkan perkhidmatan pengangkutan kontena barangan ke pelabuhan Asdod di laut Mediterannean melalui jalan darat tanpa perlu melalui terusan Suez. Ini secara tidak langsung telah meletakkan kepentingan ekonomi dan kestabilan negara tersebut di kalangan negara-negara Arab disekitar.

Dengan pembangunan rangkaian pengangkutan seperti ini, rakyat Malaysia juga akan mendapat manfaat secara kelebihan relatif melalui mobiliti seharian dan akan terciptanya peluang pekerjaan melalui sektor perkhidmatan dan sektor pelancongan. Kelebihan bandingan seperti inilah yang dicari oleh pelabur luar untuk melabur di Malaysia. Malaysia harus pandai menggunakan kelebihan geo-strategik bagi menarik FDI masuk dan bukan bergantung kepada kadar buruh yang rendah semata-mata.

Selain daripada itu juga, pendekatan penyelesaian secara holistik haruslah diguna pakai bagi membantu rakyat Malaysia menghadapi kemelesetan ekonomi dan inflasi yang memuncak ini. Adalah dicadangkan agar pengurangan kadar tambang untuk pengangkutan awam diberi kepada golongan pencen dan mereka yang layak. Selain daripada itu juga, pengenalan kepada rancangan makanan percuma di sekolah mampu mengurangkan beban kepada golongan berpendapatan rendah seterusnya memastikan jumlah kehadiran pelajar ke sekolah tidak terjejas dek peningkatan kos pengangkutan yang dirasai oleh golongan sederhana dan berpendapatan rendah akibat dari peningkatan harga bahan api.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

I don't trust this man when he talk

10th July 2008 - I just heard that Mr. Prime Minister will hand over power to the able Deputy Prime Minister in mid 2010. Almost three years time when there's a lot need to be done to mend back UMNO from within starting by number one post and his son-in-law. Why should he give his post for someone else when he contests in this upcoming UMNO General Assembly? Is it for the sake of two more years in service or is he looking for a window of opportunity to remain and keep his post?

The transition of power should be now which is the right time for everything positive about UMNO and National Alliance. Trust me, based on my knowledge and strategic reading behind my back, UMNO and the National Alliance will lose the next election in 2013 for the first time in history if he remains with his self serving decision. Period!

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Happy Birthday Tok Det, we love you!

Happiest moment
10th July 2008 - Happy birthday Tok Det, we love you. I still remember when you came to office, everything seems to be alive. That was the beauty of having Tok Det nearby!

Impasse

8th July 2008 - And these 4 witnesses (must be a pious background), should see these event (adultery/ crimes/ fornication) without doing nothing? An act of desperation from a desperate animal. I believe millions of Malaysian owe Tun Dr. Mahathir a big apology for what happened in 1998. God bless Tun Dr. Mahathir for saving us from this animal!

Malaysia and trade relations – where are we heading?

Malaysia and trade relations – where are we heading?

By: Ahmad Syah Ejaz Bin Hj. Ismail

[In this brief article of mine about trades and bilateral trade agreement (BIT), I will touch on the issues of trade evolution, factors contributing to wealth accumulation in developing countries, voluntary exchange in trade as a whole, GATT and Most Favoured Nations (MFN), and the effects of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) for Malaysia]

If we look at the history of trades in Malaysia, it can be categorized into four main phase which are i) pre-world war; ii) post World War II; iii) pre-1970s; and iv) post-1970s. Much had changed in trade activities ever since the European introduced the gun boat diplomacy with the arrival of the Portuguese in Malacca circa 1510. Before the invasion of Malacca by the Portuguese, traders and rural peoples’ of Malacca conducted trades based in mutual agreement and voluntary exchange. In as much, the way the Arabian traders who anchored in Malacca never forced South East Asian traders to do business with them and as such it had helped in professing most of the Malays in South East Asian region to embrace Islam.

With the arrival of the European traders in Malacca straits, the way the Asian conducted trades activities also changed. The differences of ones capabilities in producing crop, output and products had foster an interdependent linkages between world populations as such it had created the first comparative advantage of doing businesses among the worlds’ populations. The European would enjoyed the uniqueness of silk and porcelain craft from China and spices from Malacca, while the South East Asian populations would enjoyed the toys products from China and garments from the West.

But the major impact of trades never before had been felt after World War 2 when major superpowers depended on their colonies to keep supplying raw materials for their industry. In trades, without interest, trades and business itself cannot be accomplished. In an interdependent world, the only factor which makes trades and business possible is interest itself. In secluded or hermit nations which they think they can survive without trades, they will end up having a low quality for their peoples. This is because interest are absent and don’t play a major part in their daily business activities and life. One way or another, interest needs to come first before any trades come into play. The situation I might call as relative advantages that ensure growth and increase of the well being.

For small nations such as Malaysia to venture into trades, it needs three major factors to be prepare for trades which are i) interest; ii) ideology; and iii) institutional structure. This three main factor will ensure a smooth sailing for Malaysia into free trades. Malaysia need to have a big chunk of interest into global economy by supplying the world populations not merely a raw materials, but a finish products which can be used as a relative advantages for imports for other necessities products. To have a robust economy and strong beliefs in free markets, Malaysia need to nurture a wealth amassing community a clear cut breakaway from passive community which relies heavily on governmental expenditure and government fiscal policy. The responsibilities of private sectors in contributing towards nations development is a must and this can be encouraged through a right institutional structure especially in terms of macro and micro economic management of the government.

The differences of nation’s provisions doing trades between world nations’ create an impetus for the introduction of General Agreement of Trade and Tariffs (GATT). Tariff was often used as a barrier to entry for players in trades especially among the developed and developing nations. The need for protectionism policy in trades isn’t something new but arises long before the worlds were fully reciprocated through trades. It was debated heavily when Richard Cobden challenged Robert Peel [British Prime Minister], in the episode of the repeal of the Corn Laws which occurred in 1846 and which ushered in Britain’s nineteenth-century embrace of free trade.

But the weaknesses of GATT itself in determining a totally free market were questioned by the developed nations when most of the nations [Third World Nations] that were trading with them used the countervailing duties (CVD), hostile tariffs and anti-dumping measures in ensuring the competitiveness of domestic producers in trades and business. As from my reading, the benefits of CVDs’ itself were very large and trading nations benefits largely from such measures in development funds. This however were not agreeable for the exporting nations and thus catapulted the introduction of World Trade Organisation (WTO), which were believe to open a wide opportunity for business among the major trade players.

The changes of world trade contour also were felt post-1970s period when most of the business players were no more states actors but multinational companies. But one also needs to bear in mind that multinational companies also were posturing towards nations berth in terms of its policy and trade activities. The implementation of GATT saw the developing nations have a sovereign power to choose their trading partners based on mutual agreement and voluntary exchange. As such, the particular trading system was labelled by the Western world as Most Favoured Nations (MFN). For MFN, reciprocal relationship a particular privilege granted by one party only extends to other parties with which it has a most favoured nation agreement. The autonomy of doing business were under a certain and particular states which is good for free markets, when the words free itself translate the voluntary exchange of doing business among trading partners.

The Kennedy Round (1964-1967, Geneva Switzerland), is the first serious steps for free market when signatories nations agreed to i) slash tariffs by half with a minimum of exceptions; ii) to break down farm trades restrictions; iii) to strip away non-tariffs regulations; and iv) to aid the developing nations through so called free trades activities. However, the agreed terms of farm trades and aiding the developing nations were merely a lip service for world community and the clear evidence of neglect the trades terms which make possible the introduction of GATT and later WTO were left out in every bilateral trade agreements and free trade agreement signed by the trading parties.

This is the major risk and setback in the true spirits of free trade.

Reference: Protectionism – The Ohlin Lectures by Jagdish Bhagwati. MIT Press Paperback, 1998.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Tok Det doesn't agree with my idea...

3rd July 2008 - Tok Det doesn't agree with my idea of abolishing Price Control. Read [here]. Well it's not the first time we had a disagreement. But he got a very strong argument there. Perhaps I need to study more on the subject matter so that I can came out strong against a statesman which proved by his track records that he can deliver good results for 22 years. Don't get me wrong, I'm sticking to my previous stand, but I shall study more on it... I promise... perhaps starting with Ayn Rand's!

Faces of Tun Teddy

Faces of Tun Teddy