Two of Pakatan Harapan’s ten big promises are the abolition of GST (returning to the SST regime) and the reintroduction of fuel subsidy.[1] While I can agree with most of its other proposals that include credible investigations into various financial scandals besetting the Barisan Nasional government, I oppose these two policies. With respect to the […]

It is the final GDP release before the year goes to the dogs! The Department of Statistics will announce the fourth quarter figures tomorrow at noon. Before that, let us play a game: For some context, the year 2017 was a pretty good year for GDP growth. It came after a pretty bad two-year period […]

Bruce Gale wrote a piece in the Straits Times defending Najib’s economic policy recently. While I do agree with on points like subsidy removal, I have several issues with the article. The one I take the most exception is his claim that the goods and services tax (GST) was needed because Malaysians were avoiding income tax, […]

The GDP growth for the second quarter decelerated further to 4.0% YoY from 1Q16’s 4.2% YoY. But the most interesting GDP component ever since the GST was implemented in April 2015 is private consumption. And there was a huge jump in that part of the equation. The 2Q16 private consumption expanded 6.3% YoY from 5.3% YoY in […]

Apart from the slowdown in consumption, I was wrong. The Malaysian GDP grew 4.9% from a year ago, considerably higher than what I thought it would be at 4.1%-4.2% YoY. Still, economic growth is decelerating quite drastically. Trade surplus did not improve as exports contracted worse than imports, and not the other way round as I wrote […]

There is something quite weird going on in the imports data. In the last quarter, we all know we had GST for the first time. It replaced an older consumption tax. After all have been said and done, the effective rate was higher than it was under the old regime. That means higher tax. You could also […]

The Malaysian GDP figures released yesterday suggest there was indeed a pre-GST spending spree. Private consumption growth was phenomenal especially if you consider the fact that previous quarterly growth figures have been slowly dropping gradually over the past year from 8% year-on-year to all the way down to mid-6% in the third quarter of 2014. The […]

I think the general consensus is that there will be a spending spree before the GST, which will be implemented on April 1. The idea is that a lot of consumers would expect price hikes of various degrees on or after April Fools’ Day. So, people would rush on to capitalize on current cheaper prices. […]

The government is getting a lot of flak for its decision to adopt the dirty float mechanism in determining petrol and diesel prices. Pakatan Rakyat, Rafizi Ramli especially, is attacking the government by highlighting the fact that the government is not passing the full saving from the falling crude oil prices to the consumers and pointing out that […]

The anti-Lynas camp organized a public forum at the Malaysian Parliament some time ago last year. There was a panel of several men and women highlighting the cost of allowing Lynas to operate its rare earth metals refinery plant in Pahang. An expert took his turn to speak. He patiently explained the inverse-square law in […]

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