Guan Eng criticises govt over lack of ‘real economic policy’

DAP chairperson Lim Guan Eng has blasted the government for its lack of decisive economic policy, in response to rising economic strife in the country.

This comes after an announcement by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) yesterday, increasing the overnight policy rate (OPR) by 25 basis points to 2.00 percent.

“The government needs to offer assistance to these key sectors and quickly overcome severe labour shortfalls as well as address the impact of rising prices caused by supply shortages as well as the weakening ringgit.

“Whilst the government has refused to listen to economic suggestions put up by the opposition, there is still no real economic policy planning apart from allowing the withdrawal of EPF savings of up to RM10,000, which has pumped more than RM40 billion into the economy,” he said.

“However, what is the government planning to do when the RM10,000 is used up or the RM40 billion EPF-induced injection dries up?” asked the Bagan MP.

Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob previously announced the government will allow contributors to withdraw up to RM10,000 from their EPF savings.

He said this decision was based on research on the ongoing recovery phase of the Covid-19 pandemic as there are still those who are financially affected and trying to rebuild their lives.

Before that, the government had allowed three other withdrawals of EPF contributions through three schemes – i-Lestari, i-Sinar, and i-Citra, amounting to RM101 billion, involving 7.34 million contributors when the pandemic hit in 2020.

Lim suggested that with the two percent OPR boost, inflation and rising prices will pose a larger economic challenge than sustaining economic recovery.

“However, sustainable economic growth for 2022 could well be impeded by a weak ringgit and structural problems relating to an acute worker shortage in key sectors of the economy as well as lack of institutional reforms that promote transparency and accountability,” said Lim.

He noted that the impact of the Malaysian ringgit’s current dip came unexpectedly with the rising global prices of oil and basic commodities.

“At the same time, economic growth is spotty with many key sectors such as tourism, hotel, entertainment, and recreation as well as SMEs still struggling to survive to reach the 2019 level.

“For the public, rising prices are not mitigated by rising wages,” he said.

Following the OPR increase, the ceiling and floor rates of the corridor of the OPR will be correspondingly increased to 2.25 percent and 1.75 percent, respectively, BNM said in its monetary policy statement yesterday (May 11).

Over the course of the Covid-19 crisis, the OPR was reduced by a cumulative 125 basis points to a historic low of 1.75 percent to provide support to the economy.  MKINI

Kekurangan Pekerja Asing: 2021 Ekspot Minyak Sawit Rugi RM30 Bilion, Belum “Kau-Tim” AP Impot Pekerja, Ringgit Jatuh Lagi RM4.39/US$

From The Malay Mail
  • KL May 11 — palm oil sector breaking point, serious labour shortage
  • govt yet to fulfill efforts to bring 32,000 foreign workers
  • harvesters shortage in palm oil estates critical
  • plantation companies waiting in vain for foreign workers since 2021
  • don’t see this happening soon
  • onus is to source workers

plantations risk losing 15-25% production this year
now 30 to 40-day harvesting intervals versus 10 to 15-day previously
labour shortage impacted planters’ yields, output 

plantation companies failed to fully profit from record-high CPO  prices 
RM6,300 per tonne in 2022

  • RM106.5b palm oil revenue in 2021, RM73bil in 2020
  • lost RM30 billion revenue (in 2021) because worker shortage
  • acute labour shortage reached breaking point 
  • serious crop losses in 2022
  • main challenge expediting process, work permits, vaccinations
  • will not create relief in 2022, best case only next year

Malaysia can export more palm oil if labour shortage addressedplan to bring in 32,000 more foreign workers

  • M’sia 2nd largest palm oil producer after Indonesia, 44% global palm oil  
  • 2020 M’sia produced, exported 25.8% and 34.3% world palm oil respectively 
  • 2020 M’sia 9.1%, 19.7% world’s production, export of oils respectively 

 My comments:

Tuan-Tuan siapa peduli pasal ekonomi negara kita? 
Masalah kekurang pekerja asing ini sekarang sudah kronik selama DUA TAHUN.
Siapa peduli?
Siapa peduli pasal rasuah dan rompakan harta rakyat depan mata oleh kaum-kaum elit? 
Siapa peduli sistem pendidikan hancus?
Siapa peduli hari ini Ringgit Malaysia jatuh lagi – sudah jadi RM4.39 bagi setiap US Dollar?

Hari itu saya dengar Mak Cik Bank Negara buat “market intervention”. Membazir Foreign Reserve kita sebab Ringgit naik sekejap saja – dua tiga hari saja. Lepas itu Ringgit jatuh balik. Hari ini RM4.39 to the Dollar pula. Dont waste our Forex reserves. Just let the Ringgit find its own level.

Tempoh hari saya sudah sebut (dan hari ini saya akan ulangi) nilai matawang Ringgit Malaysia atau apa jenis matawang dunia pun ditetapkan oleh ‘demand’ and ‘supply’ untuk duit itu. Maksudnya ia berhubung rapat dengan impot dan ekspot sesebuah negara. Dan saya sudah sebut nilai ekspot kita makin menurun, berbanding barang yang kita impot dari negara lain.
Kalau ekonomi kita banyak mengekspot barang, dan barang yang bernilai, maka pembeli barang kita di luar negara kena terpaksa cari Money Changer untuk tukar duit depa dengan Ringgit Malaysia untuk membayar pengekspot Malaysia.
Lets say Jepun beli barang buatan Malaysia, dia tak boleh bayar kita dengan duit Jepun sebab duit Jepun tak laku di kedai mamak atau di stesen minyak di Malaysia.  Jadi Jepun itu kena pi cari Money Changer dan tukar duit Jepun dengan Ringgit Malaysia dan guna Ringgit Malaysia itu untuk bayar pengekspot kita. That is how it works. Maka permintaan atau demand untuk Ringgit akan naik dan nilai Ringgit pun akan naik.
Ikut berita Malay Mail di atas itu (berita semalam) pada tahun 2021 industri kelapa sawit (palm oil industry) rugi RM30 Billion ekspot minyak sawit sebab negara kita mengalami kekurangan pekerja asing yang sangat kronik. Tak cukup pekerja untuk kutip buah sawit. Jadi kita rugi RM30 Billion nilai ekspot. Ini baru satu industri.
Macam mana pula kilang pengekspot furniture (perabot dan perkakas buatan kayu) ? Berapa banyak billion Ringgit yang mereka rugi pula, sebab tiada cukup pekerja asing?
Macam mana pula industri pembangunan, perumahan, kilang barang logam, besi, elektronik dan beribu jenis kilang lagi? Mereka semua mengalami kekurangan pekerja asing yang kronik.
Sebab itu lah nilai Ringgit jatuh. Supply and demand punya pasal. Bila pengeluaran kilang, bakery, kedai mamak, ladang dan hotel semuanya terjejas sebab tiada cukup pekerja asing maka Ringgit kita akan jatuh.

Tetapi siapa yang peduli?

Geng yang kau-tim AP impot pekerja asing menunggu saja peluang untuk kemut semua AP. Hello Dato, berapa satu kepala? RM10 ribu? RM20 ribu? Boleh cari cewek lagi ah.  Jangan lupa – bila makan mulalah dengan bismillah. 

Tuan-Tuan peduli tak?