Thursday, December 19, 2013

Malaysians Worry About the Economy

Even though almost all Malaysians pointed to the country’s economy as their main worry, it seems that many are not looking to the government for answers.
A Merdeka Center survey carried out from December 04 to 12, 2013 interviewed 1,005 voters aged 21 and above via telephone. About 40 percent of those surveyed work with the private sector and about 30 percent declared a household income of RM1,500 to RM3,000. And 54 percent of the respondents above said they “do not believe in the government’s statements about the economy”. In fact, about one in five said that they “strongly disbelieved” such statements.
The poll registered concerns from Malaysians on the impact of rising costs. Compared with a similar survey a year ago, 53 percent now viewed the economy in general as "unfavorable", compared to 37 percent before. More people expressed worries about prices of goods and services, job opportunities, business opportunities and personal income.
The government has tried to make plain that cutbacks in subsidies for example are good for the economy in the long-term and necessary to curb government debt – read my article yesterday at – but Malaysians are not at all convinced that it was making true statements, the survey shows. Of course lah! A lame explanation that nobody with some intelligence can agree.
Even the populist Najib Razak's approval rating has sunk to 52 percent – the lowest since September 2009 (59 percent) and is close to the 45 percent he had in May 2009, a month after taking over as prime minister.
Yesterday, I was in Subang Jaya’s SS19 for the Extol Toastmasters meeting. I was a speech evaluator for SK Ratnam and I also delivered my CC speech #5 titled “In Love!”.
This club has an additional meeting role – a Listening Evaluator. The designated person is given the job of listening attentively to all speeches (including Table Topics) and then come up with ten questions. Attendees will then attempt to answer the said questions – this is to establish if they’ve been all ears to soak in all the speeches. In fact, I was able to answer eight questions correctly and I was the champion.
Actually, this was a meeting where I suffered from mixed feelings, that of embarrassment and guilt because I won all four ribbons: Best Listener, Best Table Topics Speaker, Best Assignment Speaker and Best Evaluator! In any case, this meeting was enjoyable and I would give it an 8 over 10 score.


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