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Economic Ambition

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Category: My Life
Published Date Written by Jason Loo

2020

As I was going through the newspapers this morning, I wondered what is the fuss all about with the rallies and elections and government schemes. Then I started to think about what our previous Dr. Mahathir's vision was for our country. He dubbed it Vision 2020, where Malaysia will reach a developed nation status.


So I asked myself, as a fellow Malaysian, how do i know what is a fully developed nation ?

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After some research, here's some points to ponder from the Prime Minister's office. http://www.pmo.gov.my/?menu=page&page=1898 :

By the year 2020, Malaysia can be


1) a united nation, with a confident Malaysian society,
2) infused by strong moral and ethical values,
3) living in a society that is democratic,
4) liberal and tolerant, caring,
5) economically just and equitable,
6) progressive and prosperous,
7) and in full possession of an economy that is competitive, dynamic, robust and resilient

Challenges identified to overcome :
1) united Malaysian nation
2) creating a psychologically liberated, secure, and developed Malaysian Society
3) fostering and developing a mature democratic society
4) establishing a matured, liberal and tolerant society
5) establishing a scientific and progressive society
6) stablishing a scientific and progressive society
7) establishing a fully caring society and a caring culture
8) ensuring an economically just society
9) establishing a prosperous society

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From Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Developed_country), the term developed country is used to describe countries that have a high level of development according to some criteria.

This criterias could be :
1) income per capita
2) degree of industrialization
3) Human Development Index (HDI) - The UN HDI is a statistical measure that gauges a country's level of human development
In summary, to achieve a fully developed nation, Malaysia will need to unite its various races, eliminate economic poverty, create a vigourous low and middle-income society, establish a continuously vibrant self sustaining industrilization in which our skills are needed.

Next question is, where are we in terms of reaching that status ?

Interestingly, by referring to the HDI (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_Human_Development_Index), Malaysia is ranked as a developing country under High Human Development at no. 59 (as of June 2011). This was a drop from no. 57 in Dec 2010 (http://www.aftasources.com/news/show-540.html). Furthermore, according to the article, Malaysia's ranking has been gradually dropping from 2005 till now.

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In the course of pursuing the dream vision of 2020, the present govt has embarked on a series of initiatives aka programmes that will hopefully improve our nation's competitiveness and rankings in the global scene. This includes the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) and Government Transformation Programme (GTP), under which there are six key areas identified as the National Key Result Areas (NKRA). This two programmes are aimed at improving public service delivery and help move the economy up the value chain.

From a recent report released by the Asian Development Bank (ADB)  -http://www.adb.org/Documents/Reports/asia-2050/default.asp entitled Asia in 2050, the ADB predicted that seven Asian economies will drive Asia's growth. One of the seven identified is Malaysia. The report further warned against failling into the Middle Income trap where countries that stagnate in the middle income status and cannot progress further. Malaysia is highlighted as a particular concern due to the receding national GDP compared to the 1990s.

Malaysian citizens have been feeling the pinch of such an endeavour with increases in prices of goods, essential resources e.g. petrol, brain drains, and others. On top of that, property prices around the areas surrounding Kuala Lumpur has shot up by more than 50% this year, with increased national expenditure in infrastructure. Despite all this, the average national income of citizens have not risen proportionately with the increase and becoming a burden.

This is evidenced by the recent launch of the My First Home Scheme, which aims to help first time house buyers to get a home if their household income is less than RM 3000. However, the price of the property is limited from RM 100k to 200k which means the properties are either flats or apartments.

Looking at things to come, we shall all be prepared to face higher increases in all services and goods before the year ends.

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1Pengguna Walkthrough

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Category: My Life
Published Date Written by Jason Loo

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As highlighted by my article last week on Economic Education, here's my featured article on using 1Pengguna.com.

First and foremost, the problems highlighted in the newspaper about accessing the site seems to have been resolved. During my time exploring the site, there hasn't been any slowness or downtime at all. However, there has been another report on the site being easily hacked by a local group called the Rilekscrew. Please refer here.

Now, before I go on to the main feature of the 1Pengguna.com site .. let me explain what it means to readers who might not understand what Pengguna means. Basically, Pengguna refers to consumer and the site URL could also be translated as 1Consumer. Currently, the Malaysian government has gone on a drive to promote unity among the many different races in Malaysia. 1Malaysia is the main campaign being driven at all levels, national to district.

Without going into the Pricewatch, let us explore the other features available in the site.


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1. SMS Info - Services offered :

a) Member registration
b) Price check
c) SMS Subscription
d) Stop Subscription (For One Product)
e) Stop All Subscription
f) SMS Complaint
g) Consumer Claim in TTPM

2. Latest promotion - Contains a few promotion brochures

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3. Latest News (From Bernama.com)
4. Consumer Tips - Some relevant facts about consumerism
5. Latest Events - Calendar of nationwide events
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6. Latest blog posts - blog postings from 1Pengguna members
7. Latest polls - Consumer polls

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8. Latest photos - Photos from members
9. Latest Video - Videos for consumer information e.g. "Get rid of piracy"
10. Chat with the Minister - Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob

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11. Newest members - Latest members to register at the site
12. Portal Statistics - Total no. of members, no. of groups, photos, videos

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Now, let us go further to explore the Pricewatch feature touted as a means to get Malaysians to go online and compare prices of products before buying.

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1. Penafian (Disclaimer) - User must agree to understand that the information provided by the portal is not directly responsible for any
losses incurred and does not represent any body or organization.
2. Choose Yes and Select an option to proceed.
3. For this demo, I will choose Premise and Product Info option first.


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4. Once option is selected, page will automatically go to the search criteria page with the following info to fill in :
a) Negeri (State)
b) Daerah (District)
c) Kawasan (Territory)
d) Jenis Premis (Premise Type)
e) Senarai (List)
5. Once the necessary criteria is filled in, a list will display the results.


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6. In the screenshot above, I chose to view 2 premise types
- Hypermarket and Wet Market
7. Now, go back to the main Pricewatch screen (by clicking on the Kembali / Back button).
8. Select option Banding Harga Barangan (Compare Product Prices)
9. You will be brought to a page with search criteria based on Negeri (State), Daerah (District) and Kawasan (Territory)

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10. In my example above, I selected the following :
Negeri - WP Kuala Lumpur
Daerah - Cheras
Kawasan - Cheras
11. Click on Teruskan (Continue) button.
12. The next page will show another bunch of selection criterias based on Jenis Premis (Premise Type).

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13. For my example, I selected Hypermarket.

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14. Notice that 2 outlets are shown in the list on the left. Please select two outlets and move them to the list in the right.
15. Click on Teruskan (Continue) button.
16. The next screen will ask user to choose the Kategori Barangan (Product Type).

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17. For my example, I chose Gula (Sugar).
18. A list of Sugar products will be displayed. I chose Gula Putih Bertapis Halus.
19. Click on Teruskan (Continue) button.
20. The next page will ask user to select the premise outlet to compare prices. After selecting the premises, click on Teruskan (Continue)
button to proceed.

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21. A PDF page will be generated and displayed for the user to compare.

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Now, there are a few items I find lacking in the product price information such as Price validity period and whether it’s a promotion item etc.

However, I would consider it a good try from the Ministry to provide such a portal. I can see it growing and eventually become  somewhat like Pricegrabber.com or Kakaku.com albeit without the commercial part.

Hope you have enjoyed this segment of walkthrough with me and thanks for reading my blog. Till next time ....  :)

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