Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Denial or the Nile?

I read this Malaysian Insider op-ed piece entitled, The economy: Government not in denial but... with a twinkle in the eye and a loud sigh. Such a contradiction in physiological response can only come from reading news reports about the Malaysian government.

Many Malaysians, even those who are not contemplative by nature, cannot avoid the sensation that something is about to give way. We're not sure what. The air can sometimes be so thick with tension that you can use a knife to cut through it. Behind the quietude of the happy and inscrutable mask that Malaysians wear the electrons are zooming around the connected synapses of Malaysian minds about things that may not be said.

There are things Malaysians can't say aloud for fear of offending of ethnic sensitivities.

There are things that Malaysians can't say aloud for fear of offending religious sensitivities.

There are things that Malaysians can't say aloud for fear of offending language sensitivies.

There are things that Malaysians can't say aloud for fear of economic sabotage.

These are things that Malaysians can't say aloud for fear of incarceration.

Just what exactly can Malaysians say?

There are even things that the Malaysian government can't say aloud for fear that Malaysians will suddenly lose their confidence.

So I say aloud here and now that many Malaysians should apply to emigrate to any part of the great nation of Egypt that is appurtenant to the Nile.
http://brianlean.files.wordpress.com/2007/11/nile-river.jpg.

6 comments:

walla said...

The head spins just trying to think out the permutations. The govt subsidizes fuel. Then it reduces the fuel subsidy but gives a rebate. Then it reduces the price but reveals it has been earning a tax from it.

Meanwhile it cuts EPF contribution which will reduce the EPF fund but takes a big amount from that as loan to Valuecap which is to invest in portfolios akin to those of EPF. At the same time, the govt wants employees to spend to boost the economy. But what would be the case if the employee spends and the economy expands but the expansion does not increase the income of the organization in which the employee works and therefore the income of the employee? Wouldn't it therefore mean the employee is being asked to spend when he should be saving for a future which is not only uncertain but also likely to cost more for the diminished buying power of his currency? Such as happens by market liberalisation without counterbalancing domestic competitiveness?

As you try to unscramble all this, you reach for a gitane but realise you will have to save more for the future. So why is tobacco tax so high when you need to be hazy in order to see through the same haze that is the mass of economic strategies that have been presented to you?

So a govt is separate from the citizens plural when crafting economic policies. But how separate is separate? 100:0? 80:20? 50:50? 40:60? When they craft a scenario, is it a look-down shoot-down method or is it a balanced 50:50, for instance, look-down look-up shoot-down shoot-up method?

If the method doesn't factor the real situation from the citizen's direct daily experience, then to the lack of real data that will clarify the situation clearly for everyone, ad-hoc perceptions and human emotions will come into play across a matrix made of a host of other, non-economic, factors such as inter-racial jealousy, faith-based tensions, and communication gaps. Feel-good will become feel-bad, soon feel-worse. When that happens, there will be more clampdowns which will strike fear and reduce the very investor confidence that is the underpinning objective of the policies.

Rather than beat around the bush, present the facts intelligently and completely, and show how they are used to explain why policies are made so that everyone will be assured that cool minds are running the show and everyone is on top of things.

In the absence of that, let no one be faulted for thinking otherwise. That the real situation is hid. That the facts belie the words. That what will be designed next as a blanket panache is strong enough and relevant enough for the individual to be able to use it to protect his family in the months ahead while affording alternative channels for his own acumen to customize for whatever shortfall he will be facing in his own domain of employment or business or industry.

The only consistency of inconsistent governments is the treatment of their citizens as too simple-minded to understand and accept facts.

The nondisclosure of real and important facts was the very reason the present global financial calamity has arrived.

Anonymous said...

A couple was emigrating to Australia. At KLIA immigrations counter, the conversation went on like this.
Immigration Officer(IO): Why are you leaving the country?
Couple: No comments
IO: Is it because of religion?
Couple: No comments
IO: Is it because of job opportunities.
Couple: No comments.
IO: What are you going to do in Australia?
Couple: Then we can comment.

Patricia said...

I so agree with what you say here on two fronts: One being that something is about to give - and rival the big bang! Two being that there memang is so much we cannot talk about - and add the big bang to that list of yours!

Pat

de minimis said...

walla

I like your statements:

"The only consistency of inconsistent governments is the treatment of their citizens as too simple-minded to understand and accept facts.

The nondisclosure of real and important facts was the very reason the present global financial calamity has arrived."

anon 4:30

:D

Patricia

*BIG* BANG!!!

myop101 said...

it is another step towards Big Brother system...

Anonymous said...

This 'denial or the Nile' symptom points to the following;

1) Those 'intelligent' one, within the loops, trying to perpetuate the 'bright' sides just to continue the show. Otherwise they will be sitting-ducks with a lot more hard works.

But then how good can it be when those in (1) r mainly best-of-the-worst class. When the pressure get built up, as conventional text-book references failed to yield expected results & yet still remain thinking within the box. They cracked like falling eggs. With that they also bring the whole apparatus down. This go again their 'intelligence' while the perks r good. So pretend they must while the goings r still good!

2) Those 'blur-sotong's, continue as usual & justify the 'good time' using maths/logic provide by (1) above. Simply twisting the causality just because the situations r out of their deep!

The saddest part been there r more (2) than (1) in the current setting of the govt.

So de minimis U r right to suggest their move to their presumed 'holyland'.

But guess we just have to dream on!

anomie