Oct 31, 2008

Malaysia Ranked below Vietnam Cambodia Phillipines and Indonesia

Political and Economic Risk Consultancy (PERC) based in Hong Kong latest report for year 2009 on the country risk analysis of 16 Asia Pacific countries rated Singapore as the most stable stating that Singapore has the most stable conditions and sound economic policies including measures to help the poor.

"Singapore's fiscal situation is strong enough for the fiscal incentives that are going to help the country get over the crisis and spread the pain of recession, in addition to good policies the government's ability to implement them is a plus point" said PERC's managing director Mr. Robert Broadfoot.

Social stability is also expected, he said, "the labour situation is stable and more harmonious than most countries, and you don't have religious fundamentalist movements".

The reports also concluded that despite external shocks, Singapore and Hong Kong will emerge stronger in their credibility as regional and international centres.

The most risky countries rated are India, Thailand and Malaysia. They are vulnerable not so much to the financial fallout but due to internal developments, the report added.


1. Singapore @ 2.76
2. Australia @2.90
3. Hong Kong @ 3.23
4. Japan @ 3.70 (approx)
5. Macau @ 3.90 (approx)
6. Taiwan @ 4.70 (approx)
7. USA @ 4.90 (approx)
8. South Korea @ 5.0 (approx)
9. Vietnam @ 5.1 (approx)
10. China @ 5.2 (approx)
11. Cambodia @ 5.5 (approx)
12. Phillipines @ 5.7 (approx)
13. Indonesia @ 6.0 (approx)
14. Malaysia @ 6.07
15. Thailand @ 6.28
16. India @ 6.87

*Ratings are at 0 for the least risky to 10 for the most risky.

Oct 22, 2008

Chief Injustice

A FORMER ruling party lawyer has been appointed Malaysia's chief justice after a rapid rise through the ranks, triggering opposition criticism on Wednesday about the independence of the judiciary.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced on Tuesday that Mr Zaki Azmi had been promoted to be the country's most senior judge from his position as Court of Appeal president.

He was a legal adviser to the ruling United Malays National Organisation just last year when he became the first lawyer to be directly appointed as a judge in the Federal Court. Three months later he was appointed president of the Court of Appeal, the second-highest judicial posting in the country.

Mr Zaki's phenomenal rise through the ranks in a short time has raised eyebrows in the judicial fraternity.

Besides his connections to the ruling party, Mr Zaki also chaired the party's disciplinary committee, and used to be on the board of several companies. He resigned all posts when he became judge.

Mr Lim Kit Siang, a leader in the opposition Democratic Action Party, said Mr Zaki's appointment was disappointing and that there were more senior judges suited to fill the post.

Traditionally seniority determines the chief justice appointment, although there is no official system.

'This goes against the whole principle of proper judicial appointments and promotions,' he told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Mr Lim said the opposition would not protest Mr Zaki's appointment further and would give him a chance to prove his impartiality. But he said the opposition would remain 'very vigilant' to ensure that Zaki would 'rise above his past.'

Bar Council president Ambiga Sreenevasan said she was concerned about Mr Zaki's political affiliations and business connections.

'These concerns can only be dispelled by him through the conduct of his duties and by a demonstration of independence and impartiality at all times,' she said in a statement.

Mr Zaki's appointment comes amid questions about the integrity of Malaysia's judiciary, which many say has been compromised following allegations that top judicial appointments in recent years have been manipulated.

A video clip recorded secretly in 2002 - and made public by the opposition last year - showed a prominent lawyer allegedly brokering judicial appointments while talking on the phone with someone who later became the chief justice. Report from Associated Press.

Oct 16, 2008

Impact of Global Financial Crisis on Malaysia

What wil be the impact of the world financial crisis on Malaysia?

Malaysia will not be spared from the global financial meltdown and already suffering from spiralling inflation before the financial crisis and recorded highest ever inflation rate during this year, even before the people could adjust to the inflationary cost of living the global financial crisis will inevitably affect world economy and Malaysia is highly dependent on its major trading partners which will see a global slowdown and is expected to trigger a deeper and harder recession.

Slumping commodities prices on the concern of global recession has seen crude oil fell more than 50 percent from its high in July 2008 to about US$ 73 per barrel and crude palm oil is now trading at a low of Ringgit 1760 from a high of Ringgit 4300 dropping more than 60 percent according to old Ben. Ben added that this will throw out the recent financial budget as it was drawn up based on now outdated prices of these commodities of which Malaysia is highly dependent on.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecast recently that the world economy will be at its weakest pace since 1982. Demand for made-in-Asia exports is weakening as growth in the region's biggest markets in the US, Europe and Japan slows amid a global financial crisis.

The Malaysian Institute of Economy Research (MIER) said that the Malaysian economy may grow at its slowest pace since 2000 and may expand at 3.4 percent in 2009 after growing at 5.3 percent this year. 'It is likely that growth would deteriorate in late 2008, as the Malaysian economy takes the hit from the knock-on effects of a flagging global economy,' the partially government-funded research institute said in a statement. The outlook for the global economy is 'turning increasingly dismal,' MIER said.

Mr Carl Weinberg, chief economist at High Frequency Economics, said that even if credit flows are restored, the troubles are not over for the entire global economy.

'The world economy is still headed into a recession despite the global financial market rescue effort,' Mr Weinberg said.

'The decline will be deep and protracted. It has already started. Nowhere is the economic house in greater disorder than Euroland, although some may argue that Japan is a bigger mess.'


Oct 5, 2008

No Cause For Celebration

You just could feel it in the air when the blogging community gathered during this Raya holidays and none felt any of the celebrations as the recent ISA (Internal Security Act) arrest has affected the mood and all around the solemn atmosphere is that of the gross injustice that has been the abused of this ISA.

Our activities during this holidays has been hectic as some of us shuttle through the country participating in the various protest activities on the ISA and my hats off especially to zorro, gus, haris, nanda and many others who made a difference and some of them like zorro and gus even shuttled up to Kamunting and back all in a day and upon return had the time to meet their fans and supporters until late through the night and please take note that these guys are not paid any monetary reward and had to even fork out their own travel expense.

These guys are truly champions all throughout from the general election 0f march 2008 through Permatang Pauh and now, where the passion to see a better tomorrow for the people of this nation is their endless struggle in the battle of good over evil. And lets be reminded that their dedication and struggle is better than any politicians that you know and see as all this while their effort and work to the nation is for free. And all this despite the constant intimidation and threats from the powerful tyrants of the use of the evil ISA on them, there is the incessant fear that they may just be lock up without any warning and yet they fight on, these are the selfless warriors of truth and are not looking towards any financial gains at present or the future and their satisfaction will be that there is true governance of just and moral that works for the progress and harmony of the people and country.

We all felt for the nation that the continued abused of the ISA on its people will bring regression to the societal development of this country. The continuous use of fear and racial propaganda by these racialist parties that rules will impaired the mental perceptive of its people where it could create a breeding ground for extremism which will than be difficult to repair.

And in consideration of all that has happen and the constant threat of the ISA, there is just no cause for celebration of any event in this country until the day that the people are set free from this fear and threats.