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Economic Action & Progress

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Category: Ramblings
Published Date Written by Jason Loo
 
Well, it has finally happened ... the government is starting to take notice after the recent announcement of the inflation rate released by the Dept of Stats (please refer to my previous article here).  Following that revelation, there have been a number of actions taken but non-conclusive as of now.

The most significant the inclusion of tackling living costs initiative under the NKRA. However, an  additional statement from the Ministry piqued my interest : "The National Key Result Area (NKRA)- 7 and 2012 budget to combat increasing high cost of living will focus on the urban poor and rural  hardcore poor, said Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanazdlah. " - Source :
http://www.mysinchew.com/node/61433

lower-cost-of-living

So, i presume now that means the benchmark of living costs would most probably be based on the urban poor to rural hardcore poor. Among the proposed items to implement under this new initiative are food stamps, tax reductions, plant cash crops, increase supply and distribution of food. Note : Proposed items are not detailed out  yet so we will know the exact implementation plan probably by end of year.

cash

In my previous article, I did mention about the impact of being a fully-developed nation. First, what is considered a fully-developed nation ...

from Wikipedia .. "A developed country is a country that has a high level of development according to some criteria"

For a full description from Malaysia's point of view, please refer to my previous article here.

So, now we are looking at achieving becoming a fully-developed nation by 2020. That was the vision set forth by previous administrations and it has been taken up currently to spur the nation's belief  in the govt and instill confidence. Even the King has stated to intensify efforts for Malaysia to transform into a fully-developed nation by 2020. (Source : The Star)

Being a fully developed nation requires a lot of commitment, not only from the government but the nation's people. The society must be strong to withstand onslaughts as well maintain a solid  solidarity and uniformity across the nation, regardless of race, color, or any diversity.

Furthermore, the nation's economy must also be resilient and the administration must be pro-active in eradicating  poverty, maintaining a healthy and robust economy while ensuring that we citizens are not left behind in terms of people, process and technology.

The coming years will need to see changes in the majority of the population to cope with the 'explosion' of knowledge in the chase to becoming a high-income society. That means children must train  from young to learn quickly, absorb and utilize the knowledge gained efficiently.

knowledge

The society must also learn discipline and adherence to certain aspects such as eradication of corruption and cleanliness. The ideal model would be similar to other societies which have adapted for fast,  effective and efficient manner of working. This includes countries such as US, UK and Singapore.

We cannot forego what others have worked tirelessly to build over the years. Malaysia is slowly recognized in the world as the epitome of peace and stability in the region and stands out as an  emerging beacon of prosperity and unity in an otherwise world which is becoming more chaotic and in turmoil.

With success of Petronas and AirAsia, these are opposite examples of govt-backed and non-govet-backed profitable firms .. this shows that foreigners can setup their establishments in Malaysia and  continue to build a strong workforce made up of Malaysians.

mal

This brings me to an article a few days ago on a prospective game developer who was looking to build its outsourcing workforce. After  evaluating us, the conclusion was that our current game development industry was still in its infancy. Singapore and India was mentioned as having better readiness. However, I am pretty sure there  are homegrown game development companies in Malaysia who are good but somehow they did not fit the vision.

That brings us to the question even if we do reach developed nation status, how or what will be the perception of the world upon us ? ...

globe
 

Economic Waste

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Category: Ramblings
Published Date Written by Jason Loo

A recent article in The Star about food eating and wasting habits has become a popular topic among discussions in forums and blogs. This is especially true in the light of rising food prices as well as the population boom in Malaysia. According to the article, 930 tonnes of unconsumed food is thrown away everyday.

food-waste
Food wastage is more in urban areas compared to rural due to the income discrepancy. The habit of focus is on the way Malaysians pile food on their plates and overeat. This is evident in the growing numbers of late night or 24 hour restaurants mushrooming all over town.

Nowhere that you can see people eating meals during the break of dawn, brunch, lunch, hi-tea,dinner, supper, late night supper and early morning breakfast so easily. Furthermore, the amount of food prepared by the restaurants and consumers does not seem to be proportionate to the amount eaten. Another evident display of food is the buffet lines that we see being offered by hotels. Should we practice food conservation now before its too late ?

ObeseFamilyinFrontofFastFoodRestaurant

Already, Health Ministry statistics have shown us that 30% average Malaysians are obese or overweight. Food and drinks such as roti canai, nasi lemak, teh tarik, cendol, nasi goreng, mee goreng has never been more readily available to us food prospectors than now. Speaking from self-reflection, yours truly is definitely overweight and the tummy shows it all.

A check on Malaysia Department of Statistics site, shows that there is 4.7% increase in food prices from the period of Jan - June 2011 compared to 2010. (http://www.statistics.gov.my/portal/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1210&Itemid=89&lang=en).

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) also shows an overall increase of 3 percent compared to the first half of last year. The most significant increases for the first half of 2011 comprises of increases in

- Transport ( + 5.1 per cent );
- Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas & Other Fuels ( + 1.7 per cent )
- Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco ( + 6.3 per cent );
- Restaurants & Hotels ( + 5.5 per cent );
- Health ( + 2.5 per cent );
- Education ( + 2.0 per cent );
- Miscellaneous Goods & Services ( + 1.7 per cent );
- Furnishings, Household Equipment & Routine Household Maintenance ( + 1.4 per cent )
- Recreation Services & Culture ( + 1.0 per cent ).

 graph-21

The fact now, with Govt expenditures increasing and the need to increase the coffers, Malaysians are looking at probably removal of more govt subsidies and introduction of GST. In the race to achieve Vision 2020, these are probably the sacrifices that Malaysians will have to face.

What does it mean to us once we reach developed nation status ??  Stay tuned to find out from my next article ...

In the meantime, remember Waste Not, Want Not ... eat food proportionate to your need and avoid overeating and getting obese :)

FoodWaste


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