Archive for the 'Economics' Category

The shifts from SST to GST, and back to SST were controversial. There were debates on its effects on inflation and living costs. While the GST introduction led to a one-time rise in price level and that, I think, has not been widely disputed, the effect of SST reintroduction on price level has been more […]

I do have strong policy preference, and that preference originates from my ideological leanings. But the preference only sets the default position, or more accurately, the initial stance. I am willing to be swayed by data and models but then again, over the years, I have learned data and models can be bent so much […]

There is a kerfuffle about the definition of foreign direct investment, due to the former PM Najib Razak’s messaging and the general public’s unfamiliarity of it. I strongly believe Najib actually understands the nuances of FDI but he is navigating through the somewhat complex definition to score political points with half-truths. Truly, you need to […]

The 2019 first quarter GDP will be out on May 16. Since we live in an age of trigger warning, let us play the game first: The consensus views are that growth for the quarter will be weak, possibly in the lower half of the 4.0%-5.0% range. Some are even betting on something lower. There […]

When the Malaysian consumer price index dipped 0.7% an 0.4% year-on-year in January and February this year, there were hysterical claims that Malaysia was experiencing deflation, never mind that deflation is characterized as persistent decline in prices rather than temporary dip. And never mind that the bad deflation is one associated with decline in demand, […]

Recently, there was a column complaining about taxes on the middle class, claiming the middle class is being overtaxed.[1] The origin of the complaint is easily understood because a slew of measures have announced by the government and those new taxes include departure levy and the imposition of sales and service tax on some digital […]

Now that the dust has settled somewhat and the conditions are now more conducive for rational discussion, I would like to discuss about the nature of the debt and liabilities of the Malaysian government. This an non-accountant view, so pardon the terminology. I know the current government’s approach in the matter has diverged from the […]

The Department of Statistics will be releasing the 2018 fourth quarter GDP statistics tomorrow. I was wrong about expecting the 2018 third quarter GDP growth to quicken based on the faster consumption growth. Consumption growth did rise spectacularly and as stated earlier, there was no austerity. But external pressures prevented overall GDP growth from going […]

I rarely use plastic straws for my drinks. I am not religious about it but if I could help it, I would avoid it. I think I started doing so since at least 2010-2011, partly to allay my guilt for breaking a rule I made up when I was in college: use less paper. That […]

The Department of Statistics will release the third quarter GDP figures on November 17. To celebrate… Before you play the game yet again, here is some background. The 2Q2018 GDP grew slowly at 4.5% YoY, largely due to an unexpected major gas supply disruption in west Malaysia. The relatively weak growth was enough for many […]

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