Friday, June 29, 2018

Malaysia's Economy: Hope in Pakatan Harapan

It is a fact that Malaysia’s economy is in a mess. 

We already know about our 1 trillion debt situation. 

It doesn’t stop there. The exorbitant mega projects are bleeding us dry – and forcing the government to re-examine and re-negotiate them. 

And almost on a daily basis, we are bombarded with shocking revelations of shady and dubious government deals – thank you, Najib Razak! – that inform us that corruption moves the wheels of business and remind us that corruption is so pervasive. 

I am glad that the Pakatan Harapan government have no intention to hide the godawful news from us; that they persist in wanting to be transparent and taking the bull by the horns.

This means we are abandoning the unhealthy practice of hiding debts. 

And one hopes that we immediately cease to pad up the costs of government schemes just so to deceive markets – besides, enriching cronies and opportunists. 

Sure, there has been alarm and anxiety about the market’s performance. As of Friday last week, Bursa Malaysia have been subjected to foreign selling for eight consecutive weeks. 

I share the belief that despite any short-term turbulence we might face, we can only come out of this much, much stronger together in the medium to longer term. 

I don’t think I am wrong to say that Malaysians know that things can get better, will get better. We are optimistic. 

And it is good to know that Malaysian companies whether big, medium and small are confident business will improve with the Pakatan Harapan government in charge. 

Research house RAM said its latest Business Confidence Index which surveyed 3,500 firms across five industries after GE14 found a general increase in optimism in both corporations and SMEs. 

The continued positive readings indicate Malaysia’s economic resilience in 1H 2018 is likely to flow to the second half of the year, supported in particular by the corporate segment’s firm optimism. 

Both the corporate and SME segments displayed higher overall indices after GE14 compared to before the event. 

The RAM Business Confidence Index is a comprehensive survey jointly conducted by RAM Holdings Berhad and RAM Credit Information Sdn Bhd, on business sentiment in Malaysia. Released on a quarterly basis, the index is based on data from a survey of close to 3,500 SMEs and corporations across five main industry segments respectively. 

The index, designed to measure forward-looking expectations, offers a timely barometer of future economic activity to guide businesses’ investment decisions and planning as well as provide inputs for strategic policy making by the stakeholders of the economy. 

Actually, things are not that bad! They could be worse – if Najib Razak had won GE14!

I am positive that investors' confidence will be restored. 

Malaysia is on the mend – simply because we have Pakatan Harapan. 

Footnote: We have Lim Guan Eng (extreme left) and Azmin Ali (left), two former menteri besars who had transformed Penang and Selangor into economic powerhouses respectively and who are now in charge of Finance and Economic Affairs. Keep the faith, Malaysians!

Yesterday, at the World Cup, the last round of group matches were played. 

In Group G, we already know Belgium and England have qualified. Even as England lost 0-1 to Belgium and Tunisia beat Panama  2-1. 

In Group H, Japan lost 0-1 to Poland. Likewise, Senegal lost by the same margin to Colombia. Nonetheless, Japan join Colombia into the round of 16. 

(Japan and Senegal shared equal points but the former are the chosen ones because of FIFA’s Fair Play rule with fewer yellow cards).

Germany may have been ousted but France are still in there!

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