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


THE REALITIES OF NEOLIBERALISM AND THE GIG ECONOMY FOR WORKERS

Two good videos on neoliberalism and the gig economy by UK based PhD student, Tom Nichols.

The first video points out that Keyesianism is not social-democracy but an early post World War II measure to regulate capitalism from its tendency towards damaging excesses and to achieve class collaboration between labour and capital.

He goes on the describe how this worked as long as post WWII capitalist economies were in a phase of growth but once growth slowed and began to stagnate in the early 1970s, they rolled back these regulations and worker protections, crushed the labour unions and allowed a free-for-all, unfettered capitalism, which has now run up against its own contradictions, whilst workers and citizens suffer from the consequences.

In my over 20 years of writing about the ICT and Internet industries, I have been relentlessly subjected to the repulsive neo-liberal ideologies peddled by people such as management CON-sultants, neo-liberal economists, as well as government officials and even government ministers, as well as business, economic, financial and ICT journalists, as well as Pakatoons who regurgitate such neo-liberal nonsense, often brainlessly in parrot fashion. 

Neoliberalism: WTF? Neoliberal Capitalism from Ronald Reagan to the Gig Economy | Tom Nicholas

When I was a student in the U.K. back in the 1970s, the term "gig" referred to a live performance by rock bands such as Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Genesis, Pink Floyd and so forth, so it had a "cool" ring to it but now we can see the real significance of the term "gig", with even engineering graduates having to drive e-hailing taxis and deliver food by bicycle or motorcycle to eke out a meagre living in jobs which even a failed SRP (Lower Certificate of Education) student during my time in school would do. I guess today, even toilet cleaners need to have a college or university degree.

Neo-liberalism and globalisation also allows mostly foreign-based multinational corporations to profit from the labour of gig workers at the expense of domestic taxi companies, which is a return of neo-colonial ownership of our domestic industries and the exploitation of our domestic labour, with the profits being repatriated overseas, much like they were during our colonial days.

The Gig Economy: WTF? Precarity and Work under Neoliberalism | Tom Nicholas

Until today, after nearly two years of being in power, our "pro-people" Pakatan Tiada Harapan (Pact of No Hope) government has done nothing to repeal restrictive laws upon the freedom of trade unions to fight for workers rights nor have they strengthened labour and consumer protection laws.

Nor have the Pakatan Tiada Harapan state and federal governments  done anything to curb the rampant property and high-rise development craze which are denying residents of green spaces, whilst adding to increased traffic congestion on our roads and creating more concrete jungle heat islands in our towns and cities, not to mention projects such as the Penang South Reclamation which will build three artificial islands off the southern coast of Penang islands which will disrupt the livelihoods of fishermen and also the Melaka Gateway project which has adversely impacted the lives of fishermen in the Portuguese Settlement.

All these projects only property developers, real estate agencies, contractors and related industries, and there is a continuation of apparent nexus between property developers and state governments carried over from the days of Barisan Nasional state governments into our much touted "New Malaysia" under Pakatan Tiada Harapan.

Many often wonder why despite the current property overhang due to supply far exceeding demand for properties and affordability of these properties for average Malaysians, yet the property development craze is allowed to continue unabated and even intensified under Pakatan Tiada Harapan state governments.

What are the property developers building - high rise condominia and mixed commercial or limited-commercial developments for ghosts to occupy?

Or as reportedly said in Vancouver, Canada and in Australia, are these massive property developments in Malaysia just physical money laundries, which will stand as mostly empty, decaying white elephants littering our landscape?

Or is it a common feature of largely resource-based economies, where besides mostly relying upon their primary industries for their wealth, as whatever productive industries such as assembly and manufacturing leave their shores, they have little choice but to prostitute their real estate to earn foreign exchange? 

Yours trully

Politi Scheiss

Friday, 31 January 2020

CONGRATS TO THE U.K. PEOPLE ON BREXIT

Forget about the Coronavirus and the endless saga or puerile Malaysian politics and the power struggles as to who will become Malaysia's next prime minister for a moment.

At 7.00pm, this first day of February Malaysian Time (23:00 hours GMT/UTC) - less than four hours from now, the United Kingdom will have formally left the European Union.

About three and half years ago in 2016, her people voted to leave in a referendum but most members of parliament on both the right and left, as well as the YUCK! centrist Liberal Democrats, tried their best to frustrate or even deny the people's democratic decision to leave.

Oh yes! How can we forget the Right Honourable John Bercow many calls for or-d-e-e-e-e-e-e-rrrrrr! in the U.K. parliament, whilst members of parliament on both sides of the political divide duked it out, twisted and turned in a comedy of trying to delay or deny the U.K. people's democratic will, and sell them out like the Syriza party in Greece did by caving in to European Union and global financial bureaucrats and imposing their austerity dictates upon the Greek people. 

Most disgusting for me was the how most 'Labour' Party members of parliament, many of whom won their seats thanks to voters, most of whom had voted for the U.K. to leave the European Union, yet these 'Labour' members of parliament, who were at heart against the U.K. leaving and tried their best to delay or prevent the U.K. from leaving, or to reach some kind of deal with the European Union where the U.K. would officially leave but defacto remain a part of the European Union and still subject to its control and diktat.

The deadlock got so bad, that a general election was held on 12 December 2019, which was mostly about the U.K. leaving and the 'unthinkable' happened - I.E. many constituencies which had traditionally voted 'Labour' for decades voted Conservative and the Conservative Party won a comfortable majority in parliament, allowing the new U.K. government to go full steam ahead towards the U.K.'s exit from the European Union, or what is called "BREXIT" for short.

Whilst I am no lover of the Conservative Party, however on this occasion I welcomed their win, just for the sake of a successful BREXIT.

Without further ado, let me leave you with two opinions by two pro-BREXIT commentators.

First is Jeff Taylor who has been hammering on in favour of BREXIT from what I perceive is a generally right wing or centre-right perspective:-

Brexit Day is here! Rejoice!

Jeff Taylor criticises the 'left' for wanting to keep the U.K. in the European Union but hard left commentator George Galloway who years earlier was booted out of the 'Labour' Party, has also been hammering in favour of BREXIT.

The UK leaving the EU might be the beginning of the end for the bloc - George Galloway

BTW. George Galloway had earlier registered a new hard left, pro-worker, pro-people party - the Workers Party of Britain which is pro-BREXIT and intends to replace the 'Labour' Party as the party of the U.K.'s working people.


Lastly, I leave you with an independent opinion by Statista on the economic loss of BREXIT to the European Union:-

Brexit Day

Brexit: what the European Union loses

by Martin Armstrong,
 
Jan 31, 2020

1,317 days since the nation went to the polling booths and voted to leave the European Union, 'Brexit Day' is finally here. A lot has been written, forecast and argued about what the effect on the UK will be once it is finally out of the EU, but in this infographic we're looking at it from the other side.

Once the transition period comes to an end on 31 December 2020, the EU will once and for all lose 13 percent of its total population. Economically. 15 percent of GDP will now also be on the outside of the union. The UK's significant gross contribution to the EU budget will of course also be gone, making for a loss of 12 percent.



Congratulations! U.K. people on your BREXIT, which has dealt a blow to the globalists' agenda.

The road ahead, won't be easy but you will prevail.

Hopefully you'll vote George Galloway and his Workers Party in as your government in your next general elections and roll back the neo-liberal tide which has ravaged people's, especially workers' lives since the days of Thatcher and Reagan, and set in motion the tide which will bury the Chicago School, von Hayekists, von Misesists neo-liberals and warmongering neo-conservatives and their policies decisively.

And, before I end - who do you think I would like to see be elected U.S. president in November 2020 ?

Well, there's only one, yes only one -, and that is Tulsi Gabbard, who promises to dis-engage the U.S. from foreign wars and interference in the internal affairs of other nations and bring U.S. troops home, even though Tulsi has a slim chance of winning the Democrat Party nominations, let alone be elected president. 

However, like all elected leaders, Donald Trump being an example, and not to forget our Pakatan Harapan government, they often make major U-turns on their election promises once in office.

At the end of the day, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, which is why employers have a probationary period for new employees to see if they are up to what they had claimed during the interview befor confirming their employment.

Perhaps we should have a 100 days or 180 days probationary period for elected governments and elected representatives as well, but unlike for employees, that has not been the practice anywhere, as far as I am aware. 

With warmest regards

POLITI SCHEISS
(Anti-Globalist)