Saturday, 25 July 2020

DAYA MASYARAKAT AIMS TO UNITE ALL NGOs


Did we the people vote for these NGOs? I didn't, so what right do they have to represent me or the people.

Have NGOs done anything for us the people? Well, none did anything for me.

Why not unite workers, smallholders and petty traders to fight for and defend their rights and interests?

Why not campaign for more affordable and quality public housing; radical improvements in our education system and higher standards of education; more quality, affordable or free healthcare for all; more extensive, quality and affordable public transit; tighter regulations on rampant and congested high-rise development whilst protecting the environment and ecology?

Such policies are best implemented by a government, so what's needed is a political party committed to serving, advancing and protecting the interests of the people if it wins the election, not a bunch of NGOs which nobody voted for.

They seem to be more interested in establishing a Dictatorship of the NGO-tariat.

Well, at least Isham (Hishamuddin Rais) recognises that Pakatan Harapan shot itself in its foot back in February 2020, whilst NGOs scream "backdoor government", which anyone who uses their brain, knows is bullshit - a pathetic cry of sore losers.

The pathetically small turnout mostly of wannabe management, yuppie NGO-types at a protest rally at Dataran Merdeka immediately after the Pakatan Harapan government fell is evidence of little popular support. Some people were worried that there would be a huge traffic jam and they would not be able to get home quickly but the traffic out of Kuala Lumpur was pretty normal that evening and the Movement Control Orders to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 had not been implemented by the present government which had not been formed.

The Free Malaysia Today article follows below:-

Power lust and 'PM virus' that felled PH

Nora Mahpar - July 25, 2020 9:30 PM

PETALING JAYA: An activist has blamed the fall of the Pakatan Harapan-led government on the "lust" for the prime minister's post.

Speaking at an event here today, Hishamuddin Rais said all hopes and dreams of reforms evaporated after the 22-month old administration fell on Feb 24.

He said that historians 100 years from now would look back on the events of 2020 as a tragicomedy in which the "people's victory" of May 9, 2018 had been snatched away by a "lust" to be prime minister.

"We have to learn from our mistakes. Let us not be easily trapped by those wearing robes who are filled with religious rhetoric," he said at the launch of a social organisation called Daya Masyarakat today.

Hishamuddin said the political landscape had changed because of two "viruses" – Covid-19 and the "PM virus" – which led to the political crisis.

The Pakatan Harapan government in power since the 2018 election fell on the resignation of Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the coalition chairman and prime minister.

Under an agreement struck prior to the general election, Mahathir was to hand over power to Anwar Ibrahim at an unspecified date. The question of the handover date would feature frequently during Pakatan Harapan's short stint in power.

PKR vice-president Tian Chua, who is Daya chairman, said Malaysians should commit to rebuilding hopes so that the sacrifices of the past decades were not wasted.

He said Daya would be a social movement to unite all NGOs "to restore the strength we built up before".

https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2020/07/25/power-lust-and-pm-virus-that-felled-ph/

Yours truly

POLITI SCHEISS


Thursday, 11 June 2020

DOW JONES PLUMMETS 1,862 POINTS

Dow plummets 1,862 points, its worst day since March, on cautionary Fed messages and 2nd-wave coronavirus fear

Ben Winck

Jun. 11, 2020, 10:06 PM

  •     US stocks tanked on Thursday as cautious commentary from the Federal Reserve and rising coronavirus infection rates prompted investor concern.
  •     All three major indexes posted their biggest single-day declines since March 16.
  •     Texas, Florida, Arizona, and California all reported strong upticks in case counts or hospitalizations, increasing fears of a second wave of COVID-19 infections.
  •     The Federal Reserve said on Wednesday that the pandemic could result in permanent economic damage and an extended period of high unemployment.
  •     Oil dove as well, with West Texas Intermediate crude trading as much as 11% lower.
  •     Watch major indexes update live here.

  • US equities plummeted on Thursday as investors grew warier of rising coronavirus case counts and mulled cautious commentary from the Federal Reserve. All three major indexes posted their biggest single-day declines since March 16.

  • A much-feared second wave of COVID-19 infections is becoming likelier in some states as reopening efforts continue. Texas reported its third straight day of record coronavirus hospitalizations, while Florida notched its worst weekly increase in cases. Arizona and California also revealed spikes in new cases. The surging case counts pushed the US total above 2 million.

  • Traders also weighed Fed Chair Jerome Powell's comments on Wednesday; he said the pandemic could result in permanent economic damage and an extended period of high unemployment. He cautioned that, despite May's better-than-expected jobs report, "it's a long road" to a labor-market recovery.

  • Still, the Fed signaled a willingness to continue economic stimulus efforts, saying it would leave rates near zero and continue multibillion-dollar bond purchases.

  • Here's where US indexes stood at the 4 p.m. ET market close on Thursday:

  •     S&P 500: 3,002.10, down 5.9%
  •     Dow Jones industrial average: 25,128.17, down 6.9% (1,862 points)
  •     Nasdaq composite: 9,492.73, down 5.3%

  • Read more: We spoke to 3 financial experts, who broke down why you should buy these 13 ETFs to maximize stock-market returns right now

  • The Dow's slump marked its worst day since April, reviving market volatility not seen since the initial upswing from coronavirus-induced lows.

  • "We were probably due for a 5% or 10% correction, but obviously I didn't expect that to happen in one day," Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives at the Schwab Center for Financial Research, told Business Insider.

  • He continued: "When you get a day like today, it's one of those times that tends to scare people who don't have a lot of experience in this. So the selling begets more selling, which begets more selling."

  • Though surging COVID cases raised fears of a prolonged recession, the White House stamped out the possibility of another nationwide lockdown. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC on Thursday "we can't shut down the economy again," adding "you're going to create more damage" with such an action.

  • Read more: Renowned strategist Tom Lee nailed the market's 40% surge from its worst-ever crash. Here are 17 clobbered stocks he recommends for superior returns as the recovery gains steam.

  • Weekly jobless-claims data released on Thursday backed up Powell's gloomy sentiment. Roughly 1.5 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance last week, the Labor Department said. The reading brought the 12-week total to 44 million. Continuing claims, or the number of Americans receiving unemployment benefits, slid slightly from the previous week, to 20.9 million.

  • Some of the day's biggest losers were those that gained the most on reopening hopes. Carnival Cruises, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian Cruise Line all plunged. Airline stocks including Delta, American, and United slid sharply as well. Gap and Kohl's were among the biggest losers in the retail sector.

  • Early moves in the Cboe Volatility Index mirrored the stock market's sharp downturn. The VIX, known as the stock market "fear gauge," spiked as much as 54% Thursday, breaching the 40 threshold for the first time since late April.

  • Oil tanked through the session amid the wider risk-off attitude. West Texas Intermediate crude sank as much as 11%, to $35.41 per barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, slumped 9.4%, to $37.82, at intraday lows.

  • Carmen Reinicke contributed to this report.

Sunday, 8 March 2020

PSM CALLS UPON GOVERNMENT TO REMOVE THE FUEL SUBSIDY

I'm pretty sure Malaysians will gladly vote for Parti Socialis Malaysia (PSM) if petrol prices at the pump increase, despite the sharp plunge in the price of Brent Crude.

When the price of Brent Crude was down around US$30 per barrel, people were complaining that the price of fuel at the pump did not drop correspondingly and just because the price of Brent Crude plunged to US$33.98 per barrel today, PSM calls upon the government to remove the fuel subsidy

This is a perfect example of an oxymoronic term i coined - i.e. neoliberal-socialism.

I'd expect such a call to come from the likes of the neoliberal think tank, the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) but not from a party which claims to be "socialist".

However, this should not be surprising in the 21st Century, when "far-left" governments such as Syriza betray the results of the Greek referendum and impose austerity dictated by European Union and banksters' upon the Greek people. 



Removing fuel subsidy will save RM6 bil, govt told as global oil price plunges

FMT Reporters - March 9, 2020 9:44 AM

PETALING JAYA: Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) today called on Putrajaya to do away with the fuel subsidy, saying this would save the government nearly RM6 billion in the wake of reports that oil markets have suffered their worst drop since the Gulf War.

The party's environmental and climate crisis bureau committee member, Sharan Raj, said Perikatan Nasional should abolish the automatic pricing mechanism (APM) and allow for free float.

He said the money saved from removing the APM could be used to subsidise and expand public transport nationwide.

"The government could purchase more than 6,600 electric buses with RM6 billion savings or nearly 34,000 electric buses in five years," he said in a statement.

He added however that the price of diesel should be regulated to prevent upward pressure on inflation.

Noting that diesel is widely used for the transport of goods and public transport services, he said floating diesel prices would result in price fluctuations for logistic costs.

He suggested that the price for Euro 2M Diesel and Euro 5 Diesel be fixed at RM2.20 per litre and RM2.00 per litre respectively.

Earlier today, Bloomberg reported that oil markets tumbled more than 30% after the disintegration of the Opec+ alliance triggered an all-out price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia.

Brent futures suffered the second-largest drop on record in the opening seconds of trading in Asia, behind only the plunge during the Gulf War in 1991.

Putrajaya had planned to implement a targeted petrol subsidy scheme for low-income earners prior to the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government. It has since been put on hold.


Meanwhile, stay tuned to the price of Brent Crude:-


Meanwhile, the ringgit weakened sharply from RM4.17 to RM4.2 to the U.S. dollar.




PSm should keep its scheiss to itself.

Yours truly

POLITI SCHEISS
http://politischeiss.blogspot.com/

Monday, 2 March 2020

THE SEVEN DAYS WHICH SHOOK MALAYSIA, AND PERHAPS MORE TO COME.

Looks like we're still in for a rough ride moving forward, folks. We could well be in a brief lull period now before the next storm or series of storms.

As I had said several times before in various forums, if a motion of no confidence is moved in parliament against Muhyiddin as prime minister, he will very likely have to resign, his cabinet will automatically dissolve and most likely a snap election will have to be called and if the outcome of that election produces no coalition or pact of parties with at least 112 seats in parliament - i.e. 50% plus 1 seat, there will either be another round of horse trading to make up the required number of seats for a majority or another snap election will likely be held and if once again, no coalition or pact wins at least 112 seats, the whole process will likely repeat again, and if this loop continues, Malaysia will be unable to get down to business as usual and will stagger on as a dysfunctional democracy. 

Bloomberg of 2 March 2020 writes, digging deeper into the background of events and causes which led up to the SEVEN DAYS WHICH SHOOK MALAYSIA (23 - 29 February 2020), and these go back farther than the events of 23 February 2020.

One could say that Bloomberg presents a rather western-eyed view of the events and that the writers of the article and the analysts quoted may appear to lean towards a pro-Pakatan Harapan perspective, but I leave you to read and decide for yourselves whether they make sense or not.

However, one thing I agree with is that it was intra-Pakatan Harapan and intra-PKR infighting which brought the Pakatan Harapan government down, and who knows - it may well be a unity government headed by Mahathir or someone else which will be required to stabilise the situation. Democracy is a messy business after all, especially when there are elected representatives ever ready to jump ship for opportunistic reasons, just like employees change job for career advancement, higher pay or both.

The Bloomberg article follows below:-

politics

How a $7 Billion Dispute Helped Topple Mahathir's 'New Malaysia'

By Anisah Shukry, Elffie Chew, and Yantoultra Ngui
2 March 2020, 13:00 GMT+8 Updated on 2 March 2020, 22:00 GMT+8

*   Infighting took down coalition after historic win in 2018
*   Policy differences remain even if Mahathir manages comeback

In the weeks before his shock resignation as prime minister threw Malaysia into turmoil, Mahathir Mohamad was getting agitated.

His then-ruling alliance had suffered a series of by-election losses, stunting its momentum after a historic election win in 2018 against a government in power for six decades. Mahathir wanted quicker action to reduce living costs, a key part of the "New Malaysia" agenda that had propelled the bloc's surprise win. But his proposals only spurred more bickering within the unwieldy coalition of four parties with racial and religious differences.

One conflict centered around highway tolls. In January, Mahathir agreed to let the conglomerate Maju Group take over highways operator PLUS Malaysia Bhd., which is controlled by the finance ministry, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified. Under the deal, valued at about 30 billion ringgit ($7 billion), Maju Group would've scrapped toll fees in return for government contracts to maintain the roads, the people said.

But his coalition partners disagreed: The largest, the Democratic Action Party or DAP, was strongly opposed to the deal because it wanted PLUS to be directly held by the government, according to a person familiar with the discussions. In the end, the administration rejected all bids for PLUS and restructured concessions to reduce highway fares instead of eliminating them.

The failed deal highlighted a series of policy disputes that eventually brought down the coalition, showing that the differences in Mahathir's government extended far beyond when he would cede power to Anwar Ibrahim, his long-time rival. New Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin is backed by parties that lost in 2018, shifting Malaysia back to an agenda favoring the Malay majority.

Mahathir, 94, hasn't given up: He's revived the alliance with Anwar and the DAP, and said on Sunday he has the numbers to oust Muhyiddin in a confidence vote during the next meeting of parliament, now scheduled for March 9. But even if he manages to quickly return to power, those policy differences in his coalition still remain -- signaling more turbulence ahead either way.

For Malaysia, the political disarray comes at a bad time: The economy is already growing at the slowest pace in a decade, and faces more downside risk as the global coronavirus outbreak disrupts travel and business operations. Malaysia's stock index is one of the world's worst performers since the 2018 election, and the ringgit last week reached the lowest level in two years.

This account of what led to Mahathir's resignation is based on conversations with multiple officials who asked not to be identified talking about private matters.
Cabinet Revamp

The infighting that brought down Mahathir's government had been brewing for months. He had wanted a cabinet revamp since at least November, but the disparate nature of the coalition -- made up of parties with contrasting views, including the multiracial DAP whose top leaders are mostly ethnic Chinese and his own Malay nationalist party -- meant he had to tread carefully or risk dismantling the alliance.

While Mahathir was mainly disappointed with the management of the economy, he could only oust ministers who belonged to his own party to avoid destabilizing the coalition, according to a person familiar with the discussions. One of them was then-Education Minister Maszlee Malik, a member of his Malaysian United Indigenous Party, or Bersatu, who came under fire for pushing policies that appeared to bolster Islamic influence in public education. His termination in January was meant to prod ministers Mahathir couldn't forcibly remove, the person said.

But it made little impact. The PLUS deal was one example: Mahathir's cabinet had invited companies to present bids for the company, which were then evaluated by the ministry of works. Maju Group was so confident it would be approved that it had begun approaching banks for funding, even before a decision was to be made at a Jan. 9 cabinet meeting, two people said. But the DAP opposed it because of Maju Group's track record and its close relationship with Mahathir, a person said.

When the deal eventually collapsed, Maju Group's executive chairman, Abu Sahid Mohamed, called the decision "stupid." Mahathir said the final call came down to PLUS's main shareholders: Khazanah Nasional Bhd. and Employees Provident Fund, both state-owned funds that manage public money.

Maju Group, Abu Sahid, the DAP, former Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng and Mahathir's office didn't respond to requests for comment on the deal. The finance ministry declined to comment.
'All of Them Are Weak'

Other key policy decisions also stalled due to differences in the cabinet. They included how to turn around companies from ailing flag carrier Malaysia Airlines Bhd. to FGV Holdings Bhd, one of the world's largest producers of palm oil.

On Jan. 20, Mahathir made a rare show of frustration in a meeting with journalists, warning his administration could be a one-term government unless it changes.

"They still don't understand," he said. "Instead they fight among themselves, they divide their people and all of them are weak."

As tensions within the cabinet grew, questions again began to surface over succession. Mahathir had repeatedly pushed back the date he planned to step aside for Anwar, who said publicly he expected to become prime minister around May.

Several of Anwar's rivals to the succession saw an opportunity to pounce. Azmin Ali, who was deputy president in Anwar's party, began holding talks with members of the opposition in the former ruling coalition anchored by the United Malays National Organisation, or UMNO. That party includes Najib Razak, who faces charges he denies over a money laundering scandal involving billions of dollars allegedly siphoned from state investment firm 1MDB.
Succession Fight

After a coalition meeting on Feb. 21, Mahathir and coalition leaders announced that he would stay on through the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings this year, which are being hosted in Malaysia. He said he retained the authority to decide whether he would step down at all. Anwar concurred and said he would need to be patient.

"There were two opinions, but in the end -- and I'm proud of this -- in the end it was all up to me, whatever I say, they will follow," Mahathir said.

Yet all was not well. Saying he was acting on behalf of Mahathir, Azmin invited lawmakers from across the country that weekend to fly to Kuala Lumpur in a bid to form a new coalition that excluded Anwar, according to people who were present at the event. The Feb. 23 meeting, attended by leaders from across the ruling and opposition coalitions, anticipated announcing a new government shortly, the people said. Some leaders also met with the king that day.

But Mahathir himself didn't attend the meeting, with his media adviser later saying that he didn't agree with Azmin's decision to work with UMNO. Instead, on Feb. 24 he went to the king and submitted his resignation -- a move that automatically dismissed the cabinet. He was then immediately appointed interim prime minister, putting him in the driver's seat to form a new coalition.
Unity Government

In public statements, Mahathir made it clear he wanted a unity government that was non-partisan, making it more likely he would get a cabinet that listens to him. He said he was willing to work with any individual lawmakers in UMNO but not the party as a whole, since it was still associated with Najib and corruption allegations.

"Keeping in mind Mahathir's authoritarian propensity and draconian track record, that sort of unity government is but a few steps away from de facto dictatorship," said Oh Ei Sun, a senior fellow with the Singapore Institute of International Affairs. "It could only be viable if he clamps down on dissent as before, and the lack of opposition would regress Malaysia to the dismal oppression of his first term."

The 20 billion ringgit ($4.7 billion) stimulus package Mahathir announced last week while he was interim prime minister reflected the divisions in his coalition. He made significant changes to the package compared with the version submitted earlier by the DAP-controlled finance ministry, said a person familiar with the matter.
Tactics Backfire

Mahathir's tactics ended up backfiring. While many initially supported him to return, soon they were proposing alternative names for prime minister, including Anwar and Muhyiddin, who was president of Bersatu.

After all the chaos, Mahathir now finds himself back with Anwar and the DAP -- but in the opposition rather than running the government. At the same time Muhyiddin's new coalition appears similarly disparate, raising just as many questions about policy direction if it manages to survive Mahathir's no-confidence vote and avoid a snap election.

"There doesn't seem to be a strong sense of ideological direction," Johan Saravanamuttu, an adjunct senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, said of Malaysia's new government. "I'm wondering how long that coalition will hold together."


I don't quite agree with that last statement about Muhyiddin's coalition being a disparate one. It is in principle, since it is comprised of different parties but the member parties in his coalition have fewer antagonistic ideological differences, and they are more focused on their common objectives, whether we agree with them or not.
 
Meanwhile, the ringgit has strengthened a bit to RM4.20 to the U.S. dollar,


whilst the U.S. dollar plunged on the U.S. Dollar Currency Index (DXY)


Yours truly

Politi Scheiss

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

CHANGE THE GOVERNMENT - BUT WHO IS CAPABLE ???

Syed Akbar Ali (a.k.a. OutSyed the Box) or just (OTSB) wrote at the end of his long blog post - "Economy Shutting Down - 2019 GDP Growth Was 4.3%":-

"We must get rid of the government."

Even supermarkets in oh so hip, hype and happening Bangsar are closing down. What next - the upmarket pubs?

The question though, is what alternatives are there besides Pakatan Tiada Harapan (Pact of No Hope) and an UMNO/BN-PAS plus some other parties coalition government?

As was rightly pointed out by a commentor to his post, there is no viable third force.

I'll leave you to read OTSB's blog post below:-

OTSB's comments are highlighted in blue.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Economy Shutting Down - 2019 GDP Growth Was 4.3%




Msia's GDP 4.3% in 2019 
Lowest since Global Crisis in 2009
4th quarter 2019 (4Q19) GDP growth 3.6%
lowest in 41 quarters since 3Q09
Bank Negara statistics released today

OSTB :  Its already happening. We are in it now. The economy is just grinding down. 

The scary part was that 3.6% growth in the 4th quarter 2019. 

And that was before the Corona virus, before Dr Mahathir fighting with India and the US. Before India cancelled 4.0 million tonnes of palm oil. Before oil prices hit US$50 per barrel.

Now with the Corona virus, after India cancelling 4.0 million tonnes of palm oil, crude oil hitting US$50 per barrel and Dr M picking a fight with the US, what will the GDP growth be in the 1st quarter 2020 (1Q20)? 

Today is already 12th February, 2020. 
If 1Q2020 goes below 3.6% then our GDP growth for 2020 could slip below 4%.

So Dr Mahathir you know what to do - why not pick a fight with China, Indonesia, Thailand, the EU, maybe Boris Johnson too. Dont forget the Japanese - but they never get upset at anything.

Here is more exciting news. 
This is coming from Bangsar.
The rich peoples' neighborhood.
Which makes it double bad. 
The rich peoples' economy in Bangsar is also shutting down.


Jasons Food Hall, upscale supermarket shutting down in BSC (Bangsar Shopping Centre).
The retailer's last day of business will be on March 22

notice reads: "been a delicious journey with Bangsar for last 20 years! 
Jasons Food Hall will close on March 22, 2020.

Dairy Farm in 2014, had 147 stores, currently it has 60 outlets.

Giant will be exiting Sabah S'wak within 2 months, it had 17 stores
retailer completed exit from Sabah two weeks ago

OSTB : So after 20 years Jason's Food Hall is closing shop. Jason's at BSC caters not just to the rich in Bangsar but also the rich from nearby Bukit Damansara.  Obviously these folks do not have as much money to shop anymore.

Bukit Damansara is largely crony economy based. 
Bangsar is a bit less. 
Some Masjid India business folks also live in Bangsar. 
They are all having a tough time too.

Recall I uploaded the FMT story that Shah Alam is becoming a ghost city? 
Well last week I was in Putrajaya. 
Putrajaya is also going quiet, maybe another ghost town. 

The building occupied by the Immigration Department is for sale.



The  ground floor is empty (except for that coffee kiosk).  The whole place is quiet.

We went looking for breakfast at that Dataran Perdana. 
But the makan place (overlooking the lake) was closed - at 9am.  
A girl with a few parakeets said they opened at 9am. 
It was 9 am but still not opened.
Well even if it had opened at 9am, there were few people there. 
The place looks dead. 

It is not difficult to fix this economy at all. 
And it can be done in less than 12 months. 

The PH has had almost TWO YEARS already. 
They still cannot turn around this economy.

The Minister of Economic Affairs is pre-occupied with other things on his mind. 
I prefer he remain pre-occupied that way because the guy really does not have a clue about what to do with the economy. 

Imagine he wakes up one morning and says 'Ok I will do something today".
The Minister of Finance seems to know no better.  

Folks, what happens when the GDP growth slows down?
The Government's tax collections will go down.
When the tax collection goes down the government has less and less money to pay BRIM, pay subsidies, pay Civil Servants their salaries and pensions etc. 
There will be almost no new development projects. Or fewer.

To do anything the government must have tax revenues.
To collect tax revenue the private sector must pay taxes.
To pay taxes they must make profits from their businesses.
No business, no profits, no taxes, no government revenue.

The government does not understand this simple equation.

They tax the people without realising that taxes make the people poorer.
You cannot make a society rich by taxing it heavily. 

You must unlock the peoples' potential to do what they want with their lives.
The government just shut up and go away. 
Go sit in a dark corner.
Let the people do what they want to do.

The country's economy is crashing because the government is the problem.
The government and its stupid policies are an obstacle to growth.

We must get rid of the government.


A friend has suggested that I revive my blog Moribundity Index. Perhaps I should since we are likely to see more evidence of moribundity in the near future.

BTW. I understand that Aeon Big in 3 Damansara Mall (formerly Tropicana City Mall) will close at the end of February 2020. A cashier told me that the rent was too high and that they will instead move to the Jaya One complex in Section 13, Petaling Jaya, where the Cold Storage supermarket used to be.

Meanwhile, no sign of any supermarket or new tenant taking over the space vacated by the Cold Storage supermarket in the Jaya Shopping Centre, Section 14, Petaling Jaya after it closed down on 31 December 2019.

Looks like OTSB is right. The economy is shutting down.

Go figure.

Politi Scheiss


Monday, 10 February 2020

WHAT VIABLE ALTERNATIVES DO WE MALAYSIANS HAVE TO THE LOUSY BUNCH ???

Whilst voters elsewhere are increasingly voting for alternative parties either of the left or populist right, what viable alternatives do we Malaysians have to the lousy bunch of politicians, coalitions, pacts and parties which we have right now?

The left-nationalist Sinn Fein (We Ourselves) rose from obscurity to come out tops in percentage of votes in the recent Republic of Ireland (Eire) elections, ahead of by Fianna Fail (Soldiers of Destiny) and Fine Gael (Family of the Irish), thus ousting Fine Gael from power, along with the former Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar, a general practitioner by profession (though they never tagged "Dr." before his name) and incidentally perhaps Ireland's first ethnic Indian Taoiseach and the Dublin-born son of Ashok and Miriam  (née Howell) Varadkar.

However to the Irish, Leo Varadkar is Irish, FULL STOP, unlike Malaysians who are all about race, religion, language, as well as 1MDB, 2MDB, 3MDB, 4MDB, Altantuya, Teoh Beng Hock, as well as kleptocracy, comptency (or more accurately incompetency), transparency, accountability, who had hetrosexual or homosexual intercourse with whom, backdoor government, who will be 8th prime minister and when, rumours of a "Pakatan Nasional" ("National Pact") coalition between a faction within the ruling Pakatan Harapan (Pact of Hope) splitting off the form a pact with UMNO and PAS which are currently in the opposition, to form a new government and send the other faction within Pakatan Harapan onto the opposition benches in parliament, whilst the economy sputters, supermarkets and businesses are closing down, engineering graduates drive e-hailing taxis, the steps of escalators at LRT stations and commercial stores collapse, the price of crude palm oil is heading southwards again after a brief rebound following news of Pakistan buying more Malaysian palm oil, the ringgit having weakened to over RM4.14 to the U.S. dollar, the price of Brent Crude having dropped to U.S.$53.90 per barrel, prices of essentials still sky high and many other economic problems. 

Anyway, ethnicity is not important to me and sorry Leo Varadkar but you were in the wrong political party which implemented the wrong policies, or you may very well still be Taoiseach today.

BTW. "Taoiseach" is pronounced something like "Tee-cher".

You can hear how George Galloway pronounces "Taoiseach" towards the end of this short video below:-

#MOATS: Varadkar has clearly lost - it would be absurd for him to continue


Fine Gael is Ireland's equivalent of a conservative party, whilst Fianna Fail are social democrats similar to the U.K.'s Labour Party, whilst Sinn Fein began as the political wing of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) which together with other Irish nationalists, such as Eamon De Valera (who founded Fianna Fail) fought for Irish independence from Britain and won a partial victory bar the six northern countries which are still part of the United Kingdom (likely to soon become the Disunited Kingdom if Scotland votes to leave and the six counties eventually reunify with the Republic).

However, due to neo-liberal degeneration of social democratic parties worldwide, especially since the end of the 1970s when Thatcher became the U.K.'s prime minister in 1979 and Reagan became U.S. president in 1980, both Fianna Fail and Fine Gael implemented neo-liberal policies upon the Irish people, with the former implementing them to a lesser extent than the latter, or it could be said that Fianna Fail implemented neo-liberalism with a "kinder face" than Fine Gael but both parties imposed neoliberalism none the less, hence Sinn Fein's coming out tops in Ireland's election which is based upon a proportional representation voting system, rather than the "first past the post" electoral system in the U.K. and in Malaysia.

However, the problem with the proportional representation electoral system is that most often, none of the parties gain enough votes to form a majority in the parliament (Dáil Éireann, Bundestag or whatever), so the leading party or parties must find coalition partners to be able to form a government and the current speculation is that Sinn Fein will partner with Fianna Fail to form a government and hopefully Sinn Fein will be able to curb Fianna Fail's neo-liberal tendency.   

Back to Damian Wilson's article in Russia Today (you may have noted that I rarely cite articles by the British Bullshitting Corporation, CNN, CNBC, Fox, other mainstream British, U.S., Australian, Canadian, New Zealand or Western European media).

I really love these two paragraphs in his article:-

"Establishment politicians throughout Europe, and even further abroad, have now spent a couple of decades shifting away from fulfilling the roles that we have come to expect of them. We no longer have any real first class statesmen or visionaries with brilliant ideas that fit right in with the new social, technological and global environment."

"Instead, we are overloaded with narcissists, media obsessives, intellectual lightweights and poseurs using hollow assurances of a life devoted to public service to disguise the reality that they are more interested in the business of self-service."

Whilst Damian Wilson refers to Europe in the above two paragraphs, the points he made can be equally applied to Malaysia's current crop of self-serving politicians.

Meanwhile over in Germany, the right-populist Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) party switched its votes from its own candidate to Thomas Kemmerich of the business-friendly (hence likely neo-liberal), pro-European Union, pro-free market, pro-privatisation, pro-marijuana legalisation Free Democratic Party of Germany in the Thuringia state elections, thus electing him as Premier of Thuringia (similar to a Menteri Besar (Chief Minister) in Malaysia).  The "economic liberal" - i.e. neo-liberal FDP is a junior coalition partner of Germany's ruling Christian Democratic Union and Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU) coalition. Angela Merkel, Germany's current Chancellor (Prime Minister) is from the CDU, which opposes any collaboration with the AfD or the Left party, so put pressure on Thomas Kemmerich to step down as Premier of Thuringia.

It's support for a Free Democratic Party candidates is rather politically opportunistic (sacrifice of political principles) on the part of the AfD which besides being German-nationalist, anti-immigrant and is opposed to same-sex marriages, the party also is eurosceptic and opposes further integration of Germany into the European Union, if not a total GEREXIT (Germany Exit).

In his article, Damian Wilson slams the CDU of putting pressure on Thomas Kemmerich to relinquish his post.

Anyway, like it or not, the current trend in politics today, especially in the west, is where voters are abandoning mainstream centre-left and centre-right parties and polarising either to the populist right or left ends of the political spectrum, and in more developed and affluent western countries, as well as imperialist western countries, the tendency is to move towards the right, whilst in former colonised countries such as Ireland, which have no imperialist legacy, the tendency is to move to the left, unless as in Greece, the "far-left" Syriza sold the Greek voters in the referendum down the drain in face of the European Union financial oligarchs.

Meanwhile, over in the United States, Bernie Sanders calls for a "recanvass" (I guess that is a recount) of votes in the Democrats' Iowa caucus debacle, where despite Sanders leading in the popular vote, however Pete Buttigieg was ahead of Sanders in delegate votes.

Sanders asks for recanvass of 25 Iowa caucus precincts


"Last Monday's caucuses turned out to be a disaster of epic proportions for the Democrats, as the smartphone app intended to tally results "glitched" and the reporting phone lines collapsed under the workload. Full results were not available for days, and when they finally trickled in, they showed Buttigieg 0.1 percent ahead of Sanders and getting one more delegate as a result – but Sanders winning more of the popular vote."

https://www.rt.com/usa/480529-sanders-caucus-recanvass-iowa/


However, George Galloway is pretty sure that Bernie Sanders will eventually win and become the Democrats' presidential candidate who will go head to head against Donald Trump in November 2020, unless his fellow Democrats stab Bernie in the back and put one of their fellow swamp creatures as the Democrats' presidential candidate.


BERNIE WILL WIN NOW | What happened in Iowa? (SUB) #MOATS #USpolitics

I really love how George Galloway hammers away at the ludicrousness of having to use a smartphone app to count heads at in a caucus vote. This comes from someone who once made steel belted tyres in a Michelin factory, when most members of parliament wouldn't know how to change a flat tyre on their car.

I wonder how many of our members of parliament, state assemblymen and assemblywomen know how to change a flat tyre on their car. Perhaps they will search for an app on the Google Play Store or the Apple App store which will tell them how to change a flat tyre or perhaps even change it for them, or maybe they will call their Filipina or Indonesian maid to change it for them - perhaps the same maid who also wipes and washes their bum after they have done a crap. Are they any smartphone apps which will magically wipe one's bum? Perhaps some MSC Malaysia status startup company can develop one and earn millions from it.

Without further ado, Damian Wilson's Russia Today article follows below:-
 

German & Irish voters make it clear they want real change. Establishment puzzled & fails to understand that the problem is THEM


Damian Wilson 


Shock election results in Germany and Ireland are signs of a political earthquake that rumbles on across Europe and with more polls penned in for this year, the voter upsets will roll on much to the dismay of the establishment.


The political tremors rumble on in Germany after the main governing party lost its leader and future chancellor Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer amid the self-flagellation of an AfD-assisted win for the CDU in a regional German vote.


Elsewhere, Ireland's general election resulted in the previously unthought of scenario of Sinn Féin (which started its life as the political wing of the paramilitary IRA) topping the poll.


Both incidents are part of a massive seismic shift that has hit politics in the Western world and shows no sign of easing, and while the career politicians and their pals sit around and scratch their heads, puzzling over what went wrong and why they didn't see it, they fail to acknowledge one simple truth that every voter knows.


The problem is them.


Establishment politicians throughout Europe, and even further abroad, have now spent a couple of decades shifting away from fulfilling the roles that we have come to expect of them. We no longer have any real first class statesmen or visionaries with brilliant ideas that fit right in with the new social, technological and global environment.


Instead, we are overloaded with narcissists, media obsessives, intellectual lightweights and poseurs using hollow assurances of a life devoted to public service to disguise the reality that they are more interested in the business of self-service.


And my, what a shock when the emperor's new clothes are revealed!


Ireland's Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has spent his time in office sucking up to the EU in return for tough words on the Irish border and a hardman role in the Brexit withdrawal bill negotiations.


While the telegenic young leader of the EU's youngest nation loved the way this seemed to play out, the folk at home were less impressed. And when the chance came to hit him where it hurts, they seized it, turning to Sinn Fein in their droves, with only the over-65s with longer memories than others of historical troubles sticking with the conventional offerings.


It caught Sinn Féin so much by surprise to win 24% that even they are guilty of playing politics with the same old rules as always. Standing candidates in select areas, using strategic voting, rather than looking to have as many people represented as possible.


Not so the German CDU candidate Thomas Kemmerich in Thuringia, who opted to enlist the support of Alternative for Deutschland in order to win his bid for office. 


While the mainstream media continues to brand the AfD as "far right" in an obvious attempt to link it to the Nazis, the party has a massive appeal throughout Germany, particularly in the east.


But what Kemmerich did was branded "unforgivable" by Angela Merkel because it is considered taboo by those in the mainstream to deal with anybody from the "far right", even where those credentials don't really fit.


So here we have a democratically elected politician hounded out of office for refusing to play by the establishment rules. Germany has a problem.


The treatment drips with hypocrisy.


Then again, the German leadership has been accused of having a tin ear ever since Merkel opened the doors to 1 million migrants in 2015, so no one is surprised by this "Mummy knows best" approach.


They don't take into account that voters are far more sophisticated these days.


They are not surprised when genuine politicians with a real connection to the people form alliances or partnerships that will actually help address the concerns of those who elected them.


This is exactly what the modern voter wants. Pragmatic, go-getters. Not someone whose hands are tied because a party machine forbids them from using any sort of initiative.


Look at Matteo Salvini in Italy. He might have been the world's worst coalition partner during his time as interior minister in the short-lived government with partners Five Star Movement (M5S) as he insisted on grabbing the headlines and dominating the national political narrative. But heavens above he was, and remains, popular.


Later this year we have more elections in Europe, which are all capable of throwing the cat among the pigeons.


There are national polls in Cyprus, Croatia, Romania, Slovakia and Lithuania with presidential elections in Poland.


Each of these EU nations has its own internal issues; sluggish economies, endemic corruption, underperforming representatives, take your pick.


Then there are a host of regional elections across Italy and more in Spain, including Catalonia, in which anything could and probably will happen as issues of immigration and the economy cause headaches for the Italians and regional separatism dogs the Spanish.


Rather than accept disruption as the new face of democracy however, the entrenched political establishment will continue to threaten, cajole and coerce those who undermine the way they do things, even if that means upsetting the voters or going against their explicit wishes.


They will do this at their peril.


People expect more in 2020. They might all have their own issues — climate, digital access, transport, housing or the lack of work — but are all agreed on one thing. They will no longer take inaction or excuses from their politicians.


Try those and see what happens.


Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!


https://www.rt.com/op-ed/480530-ireland-germany-elections-establishment/


Yours truly


Politi Scheiss

http://politischeiss.blogspot.com/



Sunday, 9 February 2020

LESLIE LAU OF THE MALAY MAIL ON THE GIG ECONOMY

It looks like Leslie Lau of the Malay Mail and I had the same thoughts with regards the gig economy on our minds this morning, where Leslie even began his commentary with reference to the term "gig" having begun as slang which refers to musicians doing a temporary stint of work before their adoring fans who paid to watch their live performance, after which they will retire to a five-star hotel to party lavishly.

Well, gig e-hailing taxi, food delivery riders, e-hailing motorcycle riders and gig jamban (toilet) cleaners certainly don't enjoy that privilege. 

The pitfalls of not saving for the future in Malaysia's rising gig economy

Monday, 10 Feb 2020 09:11 AM MYT

BY LESLIE LAU MANAGING EDITOR

COMMENTARY, Feb 10 — A gig used to be slang for the temporary engagement of peripatetic musicians to perform for a short period of time ranging from one night to even a few months at a particular venue. 

But the digital age has given rise now to the gig economy, which is a fancy or euphemistic way of describing short-term contractual or freelance work, as opposed to permanent jobs which come with benefits like medical coverage and statutory savings contributions like for the Employees Contribution Fund (EPF). 

And therein lies the catch of being engaged as a gig worker, which usually pays better than permanent employment because the employer saves money from not having to pay for benefits like insurance, retrenchment payouts and retirement savings. 

The Malaysian government has recognised the fact that the gig economy is here to stay and plans to leverage on it for future growth. 

However, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad told Parliament last October that his administration acknowledges the need to safeguard workers' rights because they did not have financial safety nets like a pension or EPF savings. 

But while the government looks at drafting new laws to protect them, the increasing number of contract workers in the gig economy — from Grab drivers to freelance and temporary online workers — will have no legal protection or protection from losing their jobs.

It is unclear exactly how many Malaysians work in the gig economy, but the rise of Grab and other such services is finally putting a spotlight on the sector.

Recent estimates show that as many as a third of the workforce in the United States are now considered to be in the gig economy. Malaysia is also heading in that direction, with the World Bank estimating that 26 per cent of our workers are now in the gig economy.

Without benefits, regular salaries and a daily routine, those in the gig economy are more like entrepreneurs than traditional employees.

This means the freedom of such gigs come at a price — workers will be taking on a bigger share of the market risks of economic ups and downs which used to traditionally be borne largely by business owners.

Take the current scare and panic over the Wuhan virus. The economic impact of the epidemic means many people could lose their jobs and be without a financial safety net and the legal protection that comes with permanent employment.

While not exactly gig work, I experienced the giddiness of being employed contractually more than a decade ago by a Singapore company without being a permanent employee.

This meant I did not make any EPF contributions. And neither did my "employer." This, of course, meant I took home more money than others doing the same job.

This was win-win as far as I was concerned — I had more money to spend and my "employer" saved on EPF contributions.

But the truth is it would only have been beneficial to me if I had not spent all that extra money. A-back-of-the-envelope calculation shows that I actually lost out on more than RM300,000 in EPF contributions, which, now that I am older and closer in age to retirement, fills me with some regret.

The moral of the story is that few people think of boring stuff like investments and retirement savings and pensions when they are young. Of course, if you are also struggling to pay the rent it is even further from your mind.

Governments have their work cut out for them in trying to convince those who are self-employed, for that is what gig workers are, to voluntarily contribute to pension and retirement funds or even buying medical insurance.

This means that laws will have to be changed to shift the burden back to employers in the gig economy like what is being done in other countries where Uber is being classified as a traditional employer and being compelled to pay out benefits.

But any changes to existing legislation will still never completely protect all workers. It is likely to only offer some protection to those who are employed in lower paying gigs.

Those in higher-paying gigs may even shun such protection as it would likely mean it would eat into their income especially if their employers are forced to pay for benefits and safety nets.

This is because nobody ever thinks they will suddenly have their gigs or contracts cancelled, or consider the possibility they may fall sick, or when they are in their 20s, the possibility of them growing old and retiring.

Not until it happens to them, of course.


Yours truly

Politi Scheiss