Sunday, February 7, 2010

Give Malaysians High Wages

I happened to chance upon a Dr. Fong Chan Onn article on page F26 in The Sunday Star today, and this bold statement caught my attention, so much so that I began to scrutinize it: “Many countries caught in the middle-income trap have deliberately jump-started their economy through a high wage policy”. I couldn’t agree more. He used Singapore as an example: “…in the 1980s, its economic progress stagnated and the Singapore Government deliberately compelled companies to increase their wages by 50% or more. Though painful at first… companies became much more capital-intensive and focused on high-end manufacturing and financial activities. Today, it is a vibrant economic hub of Asia”. And he also advised: “The [Malaysian] Government should encourage our wages to be pushed up in line with the rest of the world”. And it’s about time too. I did say in an earlier posting how an escalating cost of living is really making life very challenging for many people – a wage increase can put back money in Malaysian wallets and also pull us out of this recessionary quicksand. But can we muster the courage to do this? I doubt it!

In the Scottish Cup, Celtic progressed to the quarter-finals when they soundly defeated Dunfermline 4-2. But in the first 30 minutes, Celtic actually suffered a 1-2 deficit, before they recovered to overpower the Pars. Celtic goals came from Kamara (20), Rasmussen (43), Callum Woods (own goal, 59) and Keane (penalty, 68).

No comments: