Monday, April 13, 2009

Not quite a beginning

The blinkers are slowly coming off, at least in terms of public statements.

Now we have Nor Mohamed Yakcop, new Minister in the PM's Department in charge of the EPU, saying, as reported by the Malaysian Insider, that the export-driven economic model which saved Malaysia from the Asian financial crisis would not work this time.

“The model that we have been using... will no longer be relevant in the coming 50 years because it is a model based on low wages, based on exports to the US, which can no longer be used in today’s times,” Nor Mohamed told a press conference.

“We need to find a new economic model, a new supply chain, to reduce dependence on exports (and) increase dependence on domestic consumption. We have to look into this in the medium to long term,” Nor Mohamed said.

Okay, that is just describing the water when people are beginning to drown.

Malaysia's economy needs structural changes, that's for sure.

But, before anything else, it's the education system that needs to be fixed. Just to be sure, by education system, I mean the whole thing; primary, secondary and tertiary education.

What disturbs me is that there is still a Ministry of Education and, a Ministry of Higher Education. There should only be a single Ministry of Education. That way the entire pipeline can be holistically revamped. Two Ministries only means dysfunction, discord and a hell of a lot of red tape. It's the education pipeline that suffers. It's the human capital that is affected.

Just by this alone, one gets a sense that the restructuring process is going to take far, far longer than hoped for.


etheorist said...

Correction, please!

Investment, investment, investment.

Not consumption.


Anonymous said...

It is correct to say that total consumption need to be increased and reinforced.It is also correct to say that low salary or low labour cost is no longer suitable as an economic strategy.
But, are we not aware that Singapore used to review the overall (public and private sector) salary of the work-force once in 2 years?
If there is no uu-ward adjustment of salary to keep in line with inflation, how could you expect a productive labour force?
The augument that it can cause inflation is non-sence.
Without any increament of salary of Govn servants, inflation is always on the rise.Then, how could the workers survive?
Some boses augue that the time is already bad, if an increament were to be given, they might aswell close shop. So, losing job and having a low paid job, which is better?
But, if they can not perform, just go ahead and close shop.

malaysian said...

Could`nt we review the salary of the public and private sector say once per 2 years where it is mendatory for all employers of say incorporated company (Sdn Bhd and Bhd) to comply with the decision of the Govn to increase the salary of staff?
If the Govn keep on relying on low salary as an inducement to lure foreign investors, we shall be finish.
If a company need to rely on low labour cost ti survive,I think it is time that our Govn ask them to close off and shift to other country.
Although our country need capable labour we also need capable employers.

walla said...

Looking around, it is easy to draw the inevitable conclusion.

Which is we can't make the grade. We have been resting on our laurels for too long. We have become laurel's but also soft hardy's.

Even the best brains we have who have not left are left to do maintenance work most of the time.

And those who can become the next jay walker's (not jaywalkers) face frustration each step of the way, what with sceptical funding but surfeit red tape.

So what can we do? The population is about 27 million. We need in the next two years or so to make it 28 million.

But not quite by means which you are imagining right now.

We need to lure that one million to come in. If Najib and company want to reform and transform, that's the only card left to play.

The tadpole under the tempurung has become the katak that's about to be satay-ed.

Recruit the best of those with all the right knowledge, skills, connections and fighting spirit to come in and make this country their home; well, if they don't want it to be their home, then parking lot also ok.

They don't have to come with money; just their brains and knowledge.

And it may just work. Even if it's just ten percent of the target. Those who are knocked out by financial crises elsewhere who can be persuaded that over here the weather's not bad, the people friendly, and the cost of living is tolerably better while the pressure of rat races is light. Which is so nice for innovative work. Just transpose those reasons we had put together for the MSC and repost them for this talent drive.

Doesn't matter who they are or where they're from. Just smarts and sparks.

Such a massive infusion may just achieve some critical mass. If not, more local eyes will open on how much the rest of the advanced world has already moved ahead.

Mindset change by diffusion.