Sunday, June 08, 2008

How many households in Malaysia really do have an household income of RM3,686-00?

"The average household income of Malaysians, Abdullah added, had increased from RM3,249 in 2004 to RM3,686 last year.".. Now, this is the AVERAGE monthly income but I am sure that the majority do not earn so much lesser as let us not foget that the GAP between the RICH and the POOR in Malaysia is one of the worst in Asia. (In 2004, it was said that the top 10% was about 22 times richer than the bottom 10%. In a country of about 27million, the bottom 10% is about 2.7million persons)

What we really need to know is HOW MANY HOUSEHOLDS really do have a monthly income of RM3,686-00? monthly income of less than RM500? monthly income of less than RM1,000? etc.. Then, we will be able to get a CLEAR pictureof the actual state of affairs in Malaysia.

Our government today talks always in terms of "Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP)" , ".. growth, in particular the services, construction, mining and plantation sectors...", ....and really that does not in any way give any direct correlation with the actual income (or increase of wealth) of real families, households and persons. Companies may be making money BUT that does not translate to also workers making more money. Normally, when companies make more money - all it means is that its shareholders and directors make more money....not the workers.

The concern of the government seem to be on the BIG picture --- the achievements of the Big Companies (the stock/share markets) and not the lives of the real people.

Sadly, the recent disclosure again Deputy Education Minister Razali Ismail is shocking and reveals this government's concern for its people. "...One-third of Malaysia's schools do not have water and electricity, a minister said according to a report today, pledging to fix the problem by 2010. Deputy Education Minister Razali Ismail told state news agency Bernama that all 9,806 schools in the country will have access to basic utilities by the end of a four-year education development plan.Razali said 70 percent of schools in the country already have access to water and electricity...." (Malaysiakini 6/6/2008, 'One-third of schools lack water, power').

Remember that in late 2005, the MALAYSIAN Education Minister revealed that out of 4,036 national schools, 794 (about 20%) were without electricity, and 1,555 (about 38.5%) without toilet facilities.... [of course then he was talking in 2005 about National Schools and now they are talking about 'Malaysian Schools' - but that is how they continue to be unclear about the facts revealed...]

This is how the government of Malaysia today is -- concern more about the "BIG PICTURE" - and not at all sufficient focus on the reality of its people.

I really do not TRUST these figures about poverty, and household income. It was not long ago also clear that there can be serious discrepancies between "government figures" and other independent done statistics --was it that ASLI stats matter

PM: Understand fuel price hike, play your role
By : Azura Abas

KUALA LUMPUR: The people should get accurate information on the global fuel price phenomena so that they can understand what the country is facing.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the government had held out for as long as possible to protect the people from fuel price hikes but the price had risen steeply and rapidly in the world market.

He said in January last year, the price of crude oil in the world market was only around US$50 (RM161.50) a barrel but had increased to almost US$130 a barrel 18 months later.

Analysts are now predicting it would continue to rise to US$200 per barrel.

"In this situation, government expenditure will not be able to meet the difference between controlled selling prices and that in the world market despite higher revenues earned by Petronas," Abdullah said in his speech at the investiture ceremony held in conjunction with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin's birthday at Istana Negara.
Abdullah said this was a challenge that all Malaysians had to face.

"Everyone has a role and responsibility in facing these trying times."

He said the government would do all it could to ease the burden faced by the people, especially those in the lower-income group.

Steps would be taken to increase direct aid to those affected and steps would be taken to ensure prices of essential goods remained affordable.

The government would also employ other measures, including managing the public sector expenditure prudently; expanding the controlled items list; improving public transport; and shelving programmes which did not fulfil current needs.

On the government's effort in eradicating poverty, Abdullah said the poverty rate had fallen from 5.7 per cent in 2004 to 3.6 per cent last year while hardcore poverty had eased from 1.2 per cent to 0.7 per cent over the same period.

The average household income of Malaysians, Abdullah added, had increased from RM3,249 in 2004 to RM3,686 last year.

He said many challenges still needed to be addressed to ensure the nation continued to progress.

Among them were the world economic growth slowdown due to the stagnant United States economy which had seen spill-over effects in Europe and developing economies.

In spite of this, Abdullah said the national economy experienced encouraging growth last year, proving that the nation was on the right track.

"Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth last year stood at 6.3 per cent despite a challenging world environment.

"All sectors recorded strong growth, in particular the services, construction, mining and plantation sectors. Consumer demand growth was also healthy at 11.8 per cent."

Abdullah said the government had also succeeded in reducing the national deficit to 3.2 per cent, achieving economic growth that was supported by a resilient domestic economy besides having a more diversified economic structure.

"These achievements clearly show the government is always implementing policies and economic management strategies that are flexible and pragmatic."

On the fight against corruption, the prime minister said steps were being taken to make the Anti-Corruption Agency a full-fledged commission while a parliamentary select committee on corruption prevention had also been set up.

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