Source : Free Malaysia Today

Syed Jaymal Zahiid | May 23, 2012

A World Bank reports states that the country’s export oriented economy likely to be affected by global recession.

KUALA LUMPUR: Slow economic reform is stalling the Najib administration’s aim to transform Malaysia into a high-income country by 2020, the World Bank said in its biannual East Asia and Pacific economic update.

Malaysia was told to hasten several key initiatives including dismantling its hefty subsidy regime and widen its tax base if Putrajaya is earnest in achieving its goal but noted politics was a major hurdle.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak was forced to delay spending cuts amid soaring cost of living as his ruling coalition faces its toughest election yet, but the bank pointed that Putrajaya must go beyond “quick wins” if it is to flesh out its 2020 ambition.

The bank also warned that Malaysia’s export-oriented economy will likely be affected by the global recession, predicting a 4.6% growth and 5.1% next year.

Combined this with the snail-paced reform, the country’s required target of a consistent annual 7.5% growth to reach a high-income nation status in eight years’ time is in jeopardy.

The report also echoed the views of various opposition leaders who called on Najib to focus and precipitate key structural reforms needed to boost the economy.

ETP progress

But while detractors claim the premier’s reform was heading nowhere, the bank said Najib’s Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) has “registered notable progress”.

“The challenge now is to go beyond quick wins and accelerate the implementation of more difficult – but critical – structural reforms that lie at the core of boosting the economy into high-income levels,” it said, adding that putting reform in place could easily be accelerated.

Fear of a potential voter backlash stalled Najib’s plan to implement the goods and services tax (GST). Analysts say the new tax scheme was key to broaden Malaysia’s tight revenue stream. The unpopular plan for subsidy cuts was also delayed.

Political observers say the prime minister will first need a stronger mandate in the upcoming polls to carry on with the stringent economic measures.

Yesterday, Second Finance Minister Husni Hanadzlah conceded that it will be tough to meet the 5% to 6% growth projection from Budget 2012.

He said China’s cooling growth, weak economic recovery from the US and a prolonged eurozone crisis dragged Malaysia’s export sharply, while the World Bank said the ongoing risks to the global recovery constitute risks for Malaysian growth

Source : The Malaysian Insider

By Neville Spykerman

KUALA LUMPUR, June 24 – The government’s stimulus packages which amount to RM67 billion have so far failed to revive the economy which has contacted by 6.2 per cent in the first quarter.

Charles Santiago today told parliament that most of the money for the stimulus packages had either not been distributed and/or not spent.

The Klang MP who was debating the expenditure of restructured ministries said the first stimulus package amounting to RM7 billion was announced in Nov 8 last year, of which 99 per cent had already been distributed to the various ministries.

However as of June 5, only RM1.4 billion had been spent or implemented.

“This amount is for work done and finished and only amounts to 20 per cent of the first stimulus package,” said Santiago.

The second stimulus package amounting to RM60 billion was announced in March and of that only RM4.2 billion had been distributed and RM1.2 billion spent as of this month.

He said this meant that only 3.9 per cent of the money allocated for the stimulus packages had been spent in the last seven months.

He said the government seemed to have misunderstood the meaning and purpose of having the stimulus packages which were “time sensitive”

“Timing and which sectors to spend on is crucial for any stimulus package to work.”

Using Australia as an example Santiago said the country spent A$10 billion in just three weeks prior to Christmas last year in order to spike the economy by 1.2 per cent.

He said the money was channelled into the hands of consumers because the government wanted to cushion the impact of this year’s economic downturn.

However, in Malaysia the money was being used like normal expenditure with no impact on the economy.

“The government has missed a golden opportunity,” he said, adding that both local domestic and private spending is down while exports have so far decreased by 27 per cent this year.

Source : China Press 3/6/09

Title : Charles : The government unable to manage economics

Sub title : Ean Yong Hian Wah : Seeks government land to build temples


Press Statement by Member of Parliament Klang Charles Santiago in Klang on 18th April 2009.

It is appalling to read Utusan Malaysia run a frontpage article titled “Bangkitlah Melayu”, urging the Malays to rise against the other races who are allegedly demanding way too much. But maybe the answer lies in the fact that the paper is linked to the ruling UMNO.

Although at first glance the verbal diarrhea by Datuk Ibrahim Ali, the Member of Parliament of Pasir Mas seems to pour cold water on Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s 1Malaysia concept, the lines blur upon careful scrutiny.

If Najib is serious about getting rid of racist language that strife to divide the Malaysian society even further, then he should formally put an end to the affirmative action policies which have only lined the wallets of the ruling elite.

But, on a different note, mere rhetoric by Ibrahim, Utusan Malaysia and other UMNO members would not help achieve Najib’s call to Malaysians to break away from their “ethnic prison”.

Picking up on Najib’s statement after chairing his first cabinet meeting, I urge the premier to act sternly on Utusan Malaysia, which practices obsequious journalism to pander to the whims and fancies of its UMNO bosses.

The country is facing enough economic problems without a whole new franchise cashing in with their bully–boy tactics. Najib’s top job and concern should be about the economy, which is handicapped by rising unemployment and declining demand.

The effect of massive job loss may increase the national unemployment rate, which currently sits at 3.5 percent, to 4.5 percent. The country’s manufacturing sector recorded a 26.1 per cent decline in sales in February. The Malaysian Institute of Economic Research, a government-linked think tank, has said that the country’s export-driven economy would shrink 2.2 percent this year, more than the government and central bank are forecasting.

Bursa Malaysia Bhd early this week reported a net profit decline of 63 per cent from RM 42.1 million a year ago to net profit of RM 15.5 million in March of this year largely due to the decline in equities trading revenue

Malaysia’s GDP grew just 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter from a year ago, as exports continue to drop due to sagging global demand.

Utusan, Ibrahim Ali and Najib should be aware that pushing the racial line when the country’s economy is sliding fast would not help the people. These groups should strive instead to promote an enabling environment for every Malaysian, especially the poor.

Specifically, Najib’s slogan should not be persuasive language used to hoodwink the people even further. He is after all not competing to win the best slogan title against former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad who chanted Bersih, Cekap, Amanah and his one-time blue-eyed boy Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s “Work With Me, Not For Me.

In short, we do not need mere political slogans, racist rhetoric and bigotry. The country needs to focus on the economy.

Charles Santiago

Member of Parliament, Klang

















查尔斯圣地亚哥 敬上



Press Statement by MP Klang Charles Santiago in Parliament on 17 March 2009.

Najib Should Focus on the Economy and Not Political Persecution

First Gobind Singh Deo was suspended from Parliament for one year. Then veteran politician Karpal Singh was slapped with a sedition charge for his threat to sue the Perak ruler over the constitutional crisis in the northern state of Perak.

It is clear that both the prominent lawmakers and my DAP colleagues have been targeted for political persecution.

The suspension against Gobind is an abuse of power by the ruling Barisan Nasional. It was brought about as a result of him questioning the link between Prime Minister in Waiting Najib Tun Razak and the lurid murder of a Mongolian woman.

But, he had raised what is lingering in the mind of most Malaysians.

Karpal’s sedition charge, on the other hand, hints that the royalty is above the law. As a seasoned lawyer, Karpal had only pointed out that the Perak sultan could be sued over the fall of the Pakatan Rakyat-led government in the silver state.

Karpal had echoed the sentiments of most Malaysians who are aware of the coup orchestrated by Najib to topple opposition rule in Perak as he prepares to take over the top job at the end of March.

Both the suspension and sedition charge clearly indicate a disturbing sign of intolerance as Najib gears up for UMNO’s internal elections which would entrench his position as the country’s next premier.

But Najib must be reminded that he is set to take over the leadership of the country when Malaysia is faced with the worst possible recession since the 1998 Asian financial crisis.

The RM 60 billion stimulus package announced by Najib last week needs to indicate more on how the funds would be disbursed to effectively bolster the economy.

Therefore, I urge the in-coming premier to stop the power chase and instead concentrate on the setting-up of a Parliamentary select committee that reports periodically to Parliament and a dedicated website informing all Malaysians on how, when and where the funds are being spent.

Charles Santiago

Member of Parliament, Klang

Vice-Chairman of DAP Selangor

016-626 7797

Chinese version












查尔斯圣地亚哥 敬上



016-626 7797


Date : 11th Mar 2009

The second economic stimulus package of RM60 billion, presented to Parliament by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, is a measure that’s too little, too late and too laxly structured to generate the positive economic impact that the rakyat is expecting from the government to save the country from the throes of a financial meltdown.

The government’s handling of the first stimulus package of RM7 billion was dismal, to say the least. Too much precious time and resources was wasted on the politicking over the past few months that there had been too little political will to effectively implement the package.

With its delayed response, the government lost a golden opportunity to cushion the economy from further deterioration. Now, we are being presented with Stimulus Plan 2, with all the inherent woes and inadequacies that scuttled the November stimulus package.

The impact from the global recession on Malaysia’s production, trade and employment is, meanwhile, all too real. The growth of the Malaysian economy dropped by 0-1 per cent in the last quarter of 2008.

Net real exports of goods and services fell 40 per cent year-on-year in the last quarter of 2008, as compared to a decline of 15% in third quarter of 2008. Interim January 2009 data suggest that exports fell 28 per cent year-on-year from RM53.0bln to RM38.3bln.

This is the worst fall in the last 28 years since 1981.

The decline is on all fronts, affecting manufacturing and also domestic-oriented industries.  Even the oil and gas industry – usually a highly profitable sector – is showing an unanticipated slump now, due to the collapse of global oil prices.

Fourth quarter earnings in 2008 fell 127% year-on-year for 11 leading companies in Malaysia’s O& G industry, including Petronas Gas, Shell Refining, Tanjong Offshore, Dialog,  Alam Maritim, EPIC, KNM, Petra Perdana, Ramunia and Wah Seong.

These data demonstrate such a steeply accelerating decline of the economy, that the  Malaysian Institute of Economic Research predicted there is a 50 percent chance of the country going into a recession by the end of the year.

If this is true, then at this very moment we are in a recession – technical or real.

It is, therefore, shocking that the government has taken a rather cool attitude in responding to this economic devastation when the first signs of trouble emerged outside our shores in October 2008.

To give Najib credit, the very volume of the budget for the stimulus package – RM60 billion – indicates that the government at least has some idea of the scale of the crisis confronting us at the moment.

But what has been left largely unanswered is how the stimulus package will create additional income and enough jobs for Malaysians to help them weather the crisis in the short term.

For example, Najib has proposed the creation of 163,000 “training and placement opportunities in the public and private sectors” over the next two years.  The Finance Minister reports that at this time, about 55,900 jobs have already been lost. Another 23,900 workers have taken pay cuts, while 100,000 people have been denied overtime work .

In my view these numbers are rather low and thus underestimate the severity of the problem faced by ordinary Malaysians.

But assuming that the last two categories of workers in this list lose their jobs in the next two to four months given that their companies are already having financial difficulties and combining with the 55,900 who are already unemployed, clearly there will be more unemployed workers than jobs created in the next two years. Independent studies suggest that up to 1 million Malaysian workers can be retrenched by year end.

What will be done about them?

To generate new jobs, the government proposes to use only RM 2 billion from RM 60 billion allocated from Stimulus Plan 2. But most ordinary Malaysians would think if RM 2 billion is enough. However, if the Ministry of Defence can award one company RM2.45 billion for the provision of submarine rescue systems, then my answer to the lingering question would be that the sum is simply not enough for 1 million retrenched workers.

Another question that should have been looked into is whether it is economically wise to dish out direct assistance – such as cash hand outs, vouchers, etc. Studies have shown that direct assistance has the tendency to induce rapid multiplier effects and generate additional spending, increase income, output and employment, and create demand over time than indirect methods such as tax cuts. Fiscal policy that provides more wage income directly to unskilled workers and in rural areas is likely to be much more effective in increasing aggregate incomes than other forms of public spending, because of the higher value of the multiplier in such expenditure.

The point is that direct spending is not only desirable from a social or welfare perspective – it also provides very direct economic benefits because it is much more effective in dealing with the economic situations of credit crunch and aggregate demand slowdown.

Wage employment schemes increase the incomes of those who are most likely to spend their income rather than save it, which means it will lead to higher multiplier effects and make public expenditure more effective in reviving output and indirect employment. We need to generate additional spending, increase income, bring up output and employment and create demand.

Therefore, I suggest that the government reviews its policies in relation to direct expenditure or assistance as a strategic effort to stimulate the economy.

I also suggest that a Parliamentary select committee be formed to oversee the stimulus packages and report to Parliament on a quarterly basis. The public did not hear a whimper for almost three months on how the first stimulus package was spent.

It was only very recently that state news agency Bernama ran a short article giving a scant breakdown of the disbursement of the RM7 billion, with the chief operating officer of the Finance Ministry’s Project Management Unit Mohd Othman Zainal Azim being the only source for the story.

The dismal lack of transparency and accountability, appalling as it may be for a project worth RM7 billion, characterizes our system of governance which sorely needs credible institutions of oversight to ensure fair play and merit in almost anything.

I call upon the Ministry of Finance to post all necessary public information on a website so that Malaysians and investors can scrutinize expenditure, including open tenders and ensure transparency.

Up-to-the minute information, all posted on the Internet, is the manner in which the Obama Administration in the United States is keeping Americans updated on how taxpayer money is being spent on stimulus packages in the country.

With all the multi-media super highway capability and fibre-optic technology in Malaysia, it would be a shame if we cannot emulate such as a Web-based model of bookkeeping for our stimulus packages too.

Such transparency will ensure that the new stimulus package progresses according to principles of integrity and merit, and will not quickly turn into a selamatkan UMNO and BN project.

Charles Santiago

Member of Parliament, Klang

Vice-Chairman of DAP Selangor


English version : Press Statement on the RM 60 billion Stimulus Package










大马11家主要的石油天然气公司,2008年第四季的总收入下跌127巴仙。这些公司包括国油(Petronas)、蚬壳提炼(Shell Refining)、丹绒岸外(Tanjong Offshore)、戴乐(Dialog)、环境海事资源(Alam Maritim)、东方太平洋(EPIC)、科恩马(KNM)、Petra Perdana、拉慕尼亚(Ramunia)和Wah Seong

这些数据显示经济加速下滑,大马经济研究机构预测我国有50巴仙的可能性在年底进入衰退。如果这个预测正确,我国经济已进入衰退 无论是技术还是真实。


需要肯定纳吉的是,这个数目庞大的振兴经济配套 – 600亿令吉 显示政府对我们目前面对的危机的严重性,至少还有些概念。


















查尔斯圣地亚哥 敬上




Source : Merdeka Review


Source : The Rock News


Soalan : Charles Santiago [Klang] minta Menteri Kewangan menyatakan mengenai Dana Asean sebanyak US $120 billion. Berapakah sumbangan Malaysia dan negara-negara Asean lain. Apakah tujuan dan bagaimanakah dana ini akan digunakan untuk memulihkan ekonomi di rantau ini.

Jawapan :

asean1 asean2

Source : The Star

Thursday March 5, 2009

THE INTERNATIONAL Labour Organi-sation (ILO) has started a study on Malaysia and whether it needs to have retrenchment funds or benefits.

Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam said the study was being done on Malaysia’s request and was expected to be completed by June.

“We will decide based on recommendations made by ILO. We are very positive about it,’’ said Dr Subramaniam.

However, he said retrenchment funds would not be set up now.

Dr Subramaniam also said it was not a government policy to give retrenchment benefits to those who had lost their jobs.

“We will help them increase their chances of employment with retraining,” he said during winding up in the Dewan Rakyat.

The ministry is also looking into a minimum wage policy.

“We want to increase wages in the country. In that way, jobs would be more attractive to locals and will reduce our dependency on foreign workers,’’ said Dr Subramaniam, who spent more than two hours taking questions from MPs.

Among them were Tian Chua (PKR – Batu), Charles Santiago (DAP – Klang), M. Kulasegaran (DAP – Ipoh Barat), Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid (PKR – Kuala Langat), Saifudin Nasu-tion Ismail (PKR – Machang) and Datuk Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (BN – Pasir Salak).

Earlier, Dr Subramaniam said a briefing organised by the ministry on retrenched workers next Tuesday at Legend Hotel was cancelled as the second stimulus package would be tabled on the same day.

Chong Chieng Jen (DAP – Bandar Kuching) and Fong Po Kuan (DAP – Batu Gajah) had voiced dissatisfaction over the briefing to which they had been invited only to be later told that it was for backbenchers.

Source : The Star

Tuesday March 3, 2009

ALTHOUGH the ringgit has gone down in foreign exchange since last year, the value

of the currency is still stable, the Dewan heard.

Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Ahmad Husni Mohamad Hanadziah said although the value of the ringgit depended on the supply and demand on the foreign exchange market, it fundamentally reflected the status of the national economy.

“Our fundamentals are strong. Although trade export had gone down, our exports are still more than imports. Our foreign direct investment is still strong.

“In other words, we do not forecast that our exchange rate will drop drastically. There is no possibility of that happening,” he said in reply to a supplementary question from Dr Tan Seng Giaw (DAP – Kepong).

To another question from Datuk Ahmad Hamzah (BN – Jasin), Ahmad Husni said the ringgit’s position in relation to the US dollar was important due to a large number of transactions being conducted using the US dollar.

“We must realise and understand that the bulk of our transactions, more than 86%, are in US dollars. Globally, about 80% of transactions are conducted in the US dollar,” he said.

“Overall, our exchange rate is still strong compared to other countries such as Britan, Europe, Japan and Australia,” he said.

To a question on Islamic banking, Ahmad Husni said there were no plans to make it compulsory for financial institutions of government linked companies (GLCs) to adopt the Islamic financial system.

“We are flexible. Our policy is to allow GLCs to practise either the Islamic banking system or the conventional system,” he said to a supplementary question by Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi (BN – Batu Pahat).

Meanwhile, the second stimulus package remains a mystery – Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop is silent about the details despite being constantly asked by MPs from both sides when he was winding up for his ministry on the motion of thanks on the Royal Address.

Datuk Seri Dr Fong Chan Onn (BN – Alor Gajah), Charles Santiago (DAP – Klang), Chong Eng (DAP – Bukit Mertajam) and Dr Dzulkifli Ahmad (PAS- Kuala Selangor) interrupted him on various occasions with questions related to the mini budget. But Nor remained tight-lipped about it.

Dr Fong questioned whether Malaysia had sufficient surplus for the stimulus package, said to involve a huge sum.

He also said funds in Tabung Haji

and Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) should not be utilised as these were people’s money.

“It is unfair to use half of the national reserve for the stimulus package and the Government is responsible to explain its measures so that people will continue to have confidence,” said Dr Fong.

To this, Nor Mohamed said that Malaysia’s national reserve was more than RM100bil, adding that liquidity in the market was RM185bil excluding funds from Tabung Haji and EPF.

“All will be revealed in the mini budget,” he said.