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.)

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Triciah Yeoh: Free small businesses from price controls

"Section 15 of the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2014 states that the minister of domestic trade, cooperatives and consumerism has the complete power to impose price controls whenever he feels that profits are "unreasonably high". Under the new mechanism that was introduced for immediate implementation on Jan 1, 2017, the minister has the power to fine any business if it charges even one sen more than the past three years' profit percentages.
This matters because it applies across the supply chain, whether you are a small farmer or large supermarket. Even more ludicrous is that it applies to all household goods, and food and beverage products – including brooms, brushes, biscuits and snacks. The policy will have serious consequences on people's lives, and already has.
In May 2016, it was reported that a 32-year-old retail store operator in Kuantan was fined RM8,000 for failing to respond to a notice issued by the ministry.
He had been asked to justify why he sold a packet of laundry detergent for RM10.60 instead of RM9.90, which the government said was more justified – just a price difference of 70 sen.
A fine of RM8,000 may not sound like much to a big business, but it could definitely eat into the business savings of a small kedai runcit. One wonders whether his shop survived after having to pay the hefty amount.
Policies like these hit the small businesses the worst, because they do not have the resources, infrastructure or economies of scale to adapt as quickly as big businesses. They do not have the same connections needed either to voice out these concerns to policymakers, whether it is to big law firms, business chambers or politicians.
Thousands of stories like these mean that the country loses as much as US$12 billion a year on cumbersome business regulations, economic opportunities that we would have otherwise gained. The poorest of the poor are affected, and worse, it stifles their spirit of enterprise and efforts to get themselves out of poverty.
The signs are already showing. The SME growth rate fell by 20% from 2011 to 2015 (7.3% to 6.1%), and worse, the total early-stage entrepreneurial activity rate – or the start-up rate in short – fell by almost 50% from 2010 to 2016 (4.96% to 2.9%).
If this trend continues, this will be of great concern to the Malaysian economy, since at the moment SMEs contribute more than one third to the country's GDP, at about 36.3% as at 2016. They are the true drivers of growth as they create jobs, and perhaps more importantly, they are the very epitome of human potential that strives against all odds to better their lives and that of their families.
The Act was passed in 2014 to ensure that businesses do not profiteer out of the newly-implemented GST that took effect in April 2015. Price controls were supposed to have a limited period, up to Dec 31, 2016. But lo and behold, at the end of last year, with very minimal consultation, the government announced that it would be continuing an adapted version of this mechanism to begin effective Jan 1, 2017."


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