Friday, September 25, 2009

Good Class Attendance

Today’s classes are well-attended, and overall, I am happy with the class attendance. I don’t believe many of them read my blog, therefore they are unlikely to know that I was displeased with the poor attendance on Wednesday. Still, I am glad that they are now taking my classes seriously. I do want these students to do well, but as they say, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink!

It is hilarious to note that Malaysian authority figures are falling over each other to pronounce that we are definitely seeing signs of economic recovery! International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed said as much on page 04 of today’s The Sun. And Bank Negara Malaysia governor Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz, came up with a similar-but-not-quite statement that there are signs of recovery, but only in domestic demand (The Sun, September 25, 2009, p 01). Mustapa, whose Cabinet portfolio is International Trade should have known better because this same newspaper carried a Bank Negara report that gross exports contracted further (-26.3%) in 2Q (-20% in 1Q) due to weak demand for our manufactured products and even commodity exports also fell by 40.6% in 2Q (-23.8% in 1Q). So my point is, we shouldn’t be so quick as to believe glib-tongued politicians and bureaucrats!

I do not often agree with what our former prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad says or does, but his remarks carried by today’s The Sun echoed with my own belief, that “Malaysia’s economic expansion will be even greater if its people enjoy higher salaries and benefits which will lead to increased productivity” (p 14). Hear, hear! If only Malaysian employers are listening!

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