It is a given that the gap between the haves and have-nots in Malaysia is widening. The recent study by the Khazanah Research Institute, the United Nations Human Development (UNHD) Report 2013 and a recent book by Dr. Muhammed Abdul Khalid, all gives the latest evidences pointing to this maldevelopment.
According to the UNHD Report, the total wealth of the richest 40 Malaysians is equivalent to 22% of the country’s GDP, an increase from 15.7% in 2006. In relative terms, Malaysia’s 40 richest individuals are in fact much wealthier than the top 40 richest individuals from the United State, Singapore or Thailand. At the households’ level, the top 20% of Malaysia’s population hold more than 51% of the country’s wealth with the top 10% owning more than 35%. Meanwhile, the bottom 20% has less than 5% of the country’s wealth.
The general consensus is that the issue needs to be urgently addressed for reasons of social equity, social stability and economic growth.
The government’s plans to address this issue, however, have one very glaring omission and that is it does not involve the use of taxation.
The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) remains seriously concerned that Malaysia continues to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) with 11 other countries including the United States. Hence CAP has sent a letter to the Prime Minister of Malaysia and submitted copies to all Ministers urging the Government to withdraw from the whole negotiation and not sign the TPPA. Below is our letter to Y.A.B. Dato' Sri Mohd. Najib Bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak and Cabinet Ministers.
The inescapable fact is that fuel subsidy will eventually have to be scrapped as it is economically untenable in the long run. The question is when? Our answer is now is the right time as crude oil price is tumbling.
Recently, the Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) was in a Meeting with Indah Water Consortium (IWK) and the National Water Service Commission (SPAN), where IWK announced its plans to change the current tariff system from the standard monthly rate to a system based on water consumption instead, which will incidentally increase the IWK bills for many consumers. They plan to implement this change sometime in January 2015.
Malaysia may lose by RM5 billion from trade in the TPPA, besides damage in other areas: The Government should thus exit from the TPPA negotiations
A new paper by a senior economist working in a United Nations agency has shown that Malaysia will not enjoy a net gain in terms of its trade balance as a result of joining the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). Instead, Malaysia will suffer a decline in its trade balance with the other eleven TPPA countries by nearly RM5 billion.
This finding provides another major reason why Malaysia should not join the TPPA.