Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Rockest Blog Ever!!

Clarice who checks out my blog decided to present me with the above-mentioned award. Awww, I am so touched.
Yesterday, I gave back-to-back talks to Fifth Formers at SMK Tengku Ampuan Jemaah in P Klang. Again, it was conducted in a combination of English and BM. So far this year, I have been to 8 schools to give talks.

Today, SPM results are out. So 19 ADP students fanned out to the 9 schools as planned – but there were students who backed out at the eleventh hour! The idea was for them to help out Marketing to promote HICT, and more specifically, ADP. It's about ADP students themselves taking ownership of their own program. For the nineteen who came, I say Thank you very much, and for the others who didn’t bother – well, please remind me not to ask you anymore! I am sorry to even think of asking for your help! Mike pleaded with me not to get upset; and Mathew reminded me that this definitely won’t be the last time that I will be disappointed.

So what’s my verdict on the RM60 billion stimulus package for Malaysia? I have been trying to understand where this all leads to. I agree it is an awful lot of money but I don’t believe it will help us much. I believe Najib is playing it very safe because what he is proposing is the typical fiscal band-aid that countries like the US, Australia, and Japan are similarly applying. The Malaysian Insider headlines it under “Najib signals return to ‘Big Govt’.” It reports that this huge sum of money be spent on loan guarantees, infrastructure and public sector expansion – these are likely to benefit only a few selected and privileged entities (e.g. Proton, Khazanah, RTM). The Internet newspaper had spelt it out clearly: “It is effectively a restatement of Malaysia’s old, government-knows-best policies. It’s the opposite of what Malaysia really needs, which is to ditch this thinking and shift to a business climate that encourages private investment and entrepreneurship”. I happen to subscribe to this view as well. We do need to see the benefits of any “stimulus” go all the way down to the masses, spreading far and wide, and benefiting as many people as possible, thereby creating a real multiplier effect. And what is also a cause for concern is the fact that Malaysia will raise debt to fund this largesse. The fiscal deficit is now projected to reach a whopping 7.6 per cent of GDP, up from 4.8 per cent. Now that’s a big chunk of debt! Let’s hope I am wrong, for the country’s sake...

Arsenal suffered a 0-1 defeat this morning (well, actually Wednesday in the UK) but beat Roma 7-6 on penalties to reach the Champions League quarter-finals. I must admit it was sheer luck that allowed Arsenal to sail through, but if I am to be honest, the Gunners don’t deserve this result because their defending was so lame, and they didn’t play as if they wanted to win!

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