SOME MALAYS START TO SEE THE LIGHT – AFTER TARRING DAP AS SOCIALIST FOR DECADES – ‘WE HAVE THE PROBLEM OF A LARGE INCOME GAP. SOCIALISM WILL NEVER SUCCEED IN MALAYSIA SO LONG AS THE ELITES RULE THE COUNTRY. OUR PROBLEMS STEM FROM THE FEW GREEDY CAPITALISTS IN POWER.’

Socialism a viable option for Malaysia, says academic

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia is seeing many social problems – rising food prices, a widening income gap, home ownership issues and the lack of basic minimum wages.

And the answer to all these problems could be socialism, says an academic.

Speaking at a forum titled “Islam, Capitalism and Socialism” today, Shaharuddin, a former senior research fellow at Universiti Malaya’s sociocultural department, said socialism emphasised the public, or shared ownership of resources and means of production.

A socialist system, he said, would not allow a hike in food prices as public ownership of food production and distribution would not be as affected by inflation as privately-owned businesses.

“Socialism believes in the intervention in society’s issues, in contrast to a capitalist system,” he said.

“Contrary to capitalism, socialism does believe in a certain amount of intervention. It does not leave everything to market forces but advocates for planning amongst all related parties,” he added.

Shaharuddin said socialism was relevant to Malaysia as it encouraged equality and avoided excessive differences in wealth.

“We have the problem of a large income gap.

“There are people who earn RM10 million a year or RM1 million a month. This goes back to the problem of capitalism favouring the elite.”

He pointed out that the 5G single wholesale model under Digital Nasional Bhd was evidence that the country had “tendencies towards capitalism”, favouring monopoly in businesses and services.

He, however, acknowledged the enormity of the task of convincing the public of the merits of socialist values and socialism as a feasible alternative.

“Socialism will never succeed in Malaysia so long as the elites rule the country,” he said.

“Our problems stem from the few greedy capitalists in power.”

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