Saturday, November 22, 2008

Malaysia government is not lying on statistics

The economy of America, and the economies of all countries, is becoming integrated into a new global economy. Looking backward to a world that economically no longer exists as a guideline for what is going on is woefully incomplete, inaccurate and provides no insight except to point out the reality that we are living in a new age with new forces, flows and dynamics.

Although standards of corporate governance have improved greatly in Malaysia in recent years, and despite the fact that foreign companies - in particular foreign manufacturing companies - continue to be welcomed with open arms, Malaysia's business environment continues to disappoint. An overall score of 61.5 ranks it 36th (out of 167 countries), but places it firmly below regional competitors Hong Kong and Singapore - which score 82.2 and 83.8, respectively - as the country's affirmative action policy serves as a serious barrier to foreign firms in a number of key areas, and corruption remains a key concern.

Two issues are currently dominating Malaysia's political scene and present possible threats to stability. The first is an ongoing war of words between Abdullah and Mahathir. Mahathir has been critical of Abdullah's style of leadership and his abandonment of major infrastructure projects, and had gone as far as to accuse him of nepotism. Though there is an imminent change in leadership is minimal, but confidence in the government has been damaged. The second issue is race. Sentiment at branches' annual assemblies of the ruling UMNO party was heavily pro-Malay sometimes seemed threatening other races and this has damaged the government's reputation.

Malaysia is highly externally dependent, with exports contributing over 120% to overall GDP, and as the global economy slows, Malaysian growth will drop. Little support is likely to come from the domestic economy, which will be feeling the effects of monetary. Inflation, however, is not expected to ease and will not drop below 2% after the effects of fuel price hikes last March. I am not sure that the stimulus plan will help to support the economy later in next year. However, referring to some statistics, think the government is not twisting her statistic.

Relatively, though we can't smile but I do hope we can breath easily on the oncoming onslaught of recession in year 2009.

No comments: