How should we judge a government?

In Malaysia, if you don't watch television or read newspapers, you are uninformed; but if you do, you are misinformed!

"If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." - Malcolm X

Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience - Mark Twain

Why we should be against censorship in a court of law: Publicity is the very soul of justice … it keeps the judge himself, while trying, under trial. - Jeremy Bentham

"Our government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no
responsibility at the other. " - Ronald Reagan

Government fed by the people

Government fed by the people

Career options

Career options
I suggest government... because nobody has ever been caught.

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?
Corruption is so prevalent it affects English language?

When there's too much dirt...

When there's too much dirt...
We need better tools... to cover up mega corruptions.

Prevent bullying now!

Prevent bullying now!
If you're not going to speak up, how is the world supposed to know you exist? “Orang boleh pandai setinggi langit, tapi selama ia tidak menulis, ia akan hilang di dalam masyarakat dan dari sejarah.” - Ananta Prameodya Toer (Your intellect may soar to the sky but if you do not write, you will be lost from society and to history.)

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Cheng Boon Ong: Move beyond economics, let's focus on the social

Before I post the excerpt, in my humble opinion, it is surprising how materials and other costs of production can be considered unavoidable, but not labour cost. There was no sincere effort to enable increase in wages over the years. There was no regard for uplifting the living standards of fellow human beings in entrepreneurs' quest to optimise profits. Similarly, country leaders are just as eager to ensure lower overall costs of production in order to attract foreign investments.


"Before the liberalization of air services in Southeast Asia, my family made do with road trips to neighboring Singapore and southern Thailand. As much as air transport is a requisite in this region of sprawling archipelagos and mountainous mainland, it used to be limited and unaffordable. In 2008, I celebrated the advent of low-cost carriers: my first regional flight, from Kuala Lumpur to Hanoi. 

Last December, the 632-million strong Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) launched its own ASEAN Community. Tariffs and non-tariff barriers between the 10 member countries have been gradually reduced with the aim of forming the seventh largest economy in the world. Investors and “Aseanites” (ASEAN nationals) have been promised freer flow of goods, services, investment capital, and skilled labor.

The questionable economic integration aside, intra-ASEAN migrants (those moving between ASEAN countries) have increased four-fold to 6.5 million between 1990 and 2013. According to a study by the Asian Development Bank and the International Labor Organization in 2014, almost 70 percent of the region’s migrants originate from another ASEAN country. 

With sustained demographic and economic differences between countries, regional labor migration will continue to rise.

There are several disconnects between ASEAN’s aspirations and its present reality. 

Only skilled labor migration is promoted through ASEAN’s mutual recognition frameworks of qualifications and skills. Currently targeted at eight professions, they are negligible as a proportion of ASEAN’s total employment. 

Most of regional labor migration will continue to comprise the low- and medium-skilled. A significant number of them undocumented.

More often than not, migrants do not receive similar treatment for health care and social security. As a migrant destination country, Singapore has over the years reduced or removed completely (depending on residency status) medical subsidies for non-nationals, making health care particularly expensive for 39 percent of its 5.54 million population. 

Another example, migrant workers in Malaysia cannot be insured under the national Social Security Organization’s work injury and invalidity schemes. 

Because of this, the country is under scrutiny for potentially violating international labor standards on equal treatment for migrant workers.

The possibility of working abroad also raises a question on how — or rather, where — one should save for retirement. One option would be to participate in the host country’s pension or provident fund scheme. In a social insurance setting, a worker typically needs to contribute a minimum number of years (for example, 15 years in Thailand) before he or she qualifies to receive a monthly pension upon retirement."

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