The tabling of the federal government budget is still ongoing but the Economic Report for 2013 by the Ministry of Finance is already out. Here is where the projected GDP figures and government finance are available for the first time. I think the biggest point about this year’s budget is government spending. In most years, […]

Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM) and the National Human Rights Society (HAKAM) have proposed to introduce something called the Social Inclusion Act.[1] The general idea behind the proposal is noble but if this act somehow finds itself in a queue for debate in the Parliament (which I think is unlikely given how private member bills […]

I handle my finances conservatively. I spend very little for someone my age and my profile. In fact, I impose a sort of limit on my spending. I am conscious of it and get mildly nervous if my total spending grows too fast even when I can more than afford it. I probably do buy […]

This economic crisis is a challenge to advocates of small government, especially for those who establish their argument based on finance. Even those who ground their position on something more profound like libertarians are being challenged simply out of the practicality of the situation. The situation is that the cost of borrowing for several governments […]

In our modern Malaysia, one can hope that government policy comes about through the general will of the people peacefully through democratic means. One can further hope that this mean not merely crass majoritarianism but that which is respectful of individual rights. After all, the government and the state derive its legitimacy from the people, […]

I am a secularist. I strongly believe in the separation of the state and religion. At the very least, the state should not interfere in personal belief within libertarian constraint and religion should not influence the state to the extent that it transgresses individual liberty. Although there are other concerns I have written throughout this […]

The 1Malaysia campaign has been around for at least two years now but it was not until recently that I fully realized how extensive the campaign is. Passing through the expressway that connects the Kuala Lumpur International Airport to the city, the term 1Malaysia assaulted me eyes endlessly. The billboards were full of it. I […]

The prime minister has said it so many times. His administration wants to turn Malaysia into a high-income country.  One of several initiatives that the administration believes can help in that direction is the introduction of minimum wage through the establishment of the National Wage Council. In promoting its supposedly market-friendly and market-driven policy, the […]

I am generally in favor of subsidy cuts in Malaysia. Yet, I hesitate to support the recent liberalization. The economic rationale for liberalization is clear. Public discourse on this front has seen enough progress that liberalization is a popular position to take in Malaysia. Let us recap the most commonly cited arguments. Firstly, the subsidy […]

There is mutual frustration between those in government and those who identify themselves as ordinary citizens in Malaysia. The frustration originates from the incapability of both to understand the other side’s challenges. This makes the gears of a huge machine — the government — stuck. It needs to work again. The period immediately after the […]

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