Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sacrificing Public Jobs

Hundreds of thousands of public jobs are going to be sacrificed in order to meet the UK Government's spending cuts. Even with the tight-fisted austerity measures in place, PricewaterhouseCoopers' latest economic outlook (Webpage, published November 27, 2011) sees the UK's debt to GDP ratio climbing upwards as borrowing will hit £10.2 trillion by 2015 and this burden could slow growth for decades.

I wonder if this will become a reality in Malaysia too when similar conditions visit Malaysia in the not-too-distant future. Will we have the courage to slash the bloated civil service to save the country – irrespective of who controls the government by then?

Like it or not, the world economic outlook has darkened significantly and no matter what the government says, Malaysia will be adversely affected! And our debts will continue to pile up. Let us not kid ourselves!

Thailand's worst floods in half a century devastated vast areas of the kingdom and have left more than 600 people dead. Flood waters are now receding in many areas and the Bangkok city center has been spared. But elsewhere, Thais say they have been forgotten by authorities preoccupied with saving the shopping malls and skyscrapers of downtown Bangkok. As the floods swept south towards the capital following months of heavy monsoon rains, huge flood barriers made of giant sandbags were erected to keep the waters away from the city's commercial districts.

This tactic kept the center dry, but at a cost: the walls have held the waters back in northern and western areas, keeping them flooded since October. This means that many have endured the inundation for more than a month, without any significant relief from government agencies or charitable organisations. At its peak the water rose almost 2 meters and it is receding, if at all, only by a few centimetres a day.

While life is returning to normal in the protected parts of Bangkok, misery continues to wait on the others who live outside the perimeter of the sandbags. Many Thais are now asking: Why should Bangkokians have the privilege over those in outer and rural areas? The Thai government has a lot of explaining to do!

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