Friday, October 12, 2012

The Malaysian worker deserves more than RM900.

The Malaysian worker is one of the most productive in the world and yet today the wages that the Malaysian worker receives is no reflection of his/her productive efforts.

It does not reflect this fact because as any fool will tell you,  that when you have rampant corruption in a country no matter how hard and skillfully the best workers produce  goods of high quality and at the lowest cost the result of their efforts will remain unproductive. 

In short corruption negates productivity because all the productive gains of hard working Malaysian and more than just that are taken up by corruption.

The country with the most productive workforce now suffers because we are fast becoming a rogue nation with huge surplus of corrupt Government ministers and officials and by their huge appetite for corruption and corrupt practices the efforts of the Malaysian worker over the years since independence has been brought to naught, and they suffer whilst these greedy and selfish politicians accumulate wealth and live lavish lives.

Why only back in 1970 right to the early eighties the Malaysian workers were paid more than their Korean counterparts, more than the Taiwanese, in the early to mid sixties  we were paid more than the Singaporeans,  so what happened why is it  today our salaries are lagging far behind the workers in these countries, no one seems to ask and no one seems to even worry except the Malaysian worker who has to live with a meager nine hundred ringgit and that too is  “coming soon.”

By the eighties Malaysia was the largest producer of tin,  natural rubber,  semiconductors and even domestic air conditioners, and all this was lost because of  nothing but corruption, it was not because of China’s ability to provide cheaper labour,  it was corruption.  Corruption that would permeate the fabric of UMNO, the BN and eventually the entire Malaysian Government machinery.

In 1997 the exchange rate of  the Malaysian ringgit to the American Dollar was one US Dollar to about 2.9 Malaysian ringgit, with the 1997 crises it went to one US dollar to 3.5 Malaysian ringgit, and in that one episode alone the Malaysian worker had his salary slashed by a hefty 20 percent.

This  was something the worker had not really realized and neither was it something that Mahathir revealed to the Malaysian worker, because as he as blaming George Soros for the currency crisis whilst  Soros was doing a good job exposing Mahathir, he was afraid of being exposed and an angry Malaysian workforce.

That currency crisis would have a lot do to do later with Mahahtir’s ouster of his deputy Anwar Ibrahim for fear that Anwar would expose him and he could not afford to be exposed - stand naked in the eyes of Malaysians whom he had hoodwinked all the time.

The Malaysian worker has not recovered since the 1997 crisis, hi wages could have grown in terms of ringgit received but when you equate his earnings with its buying power the Malaysian worker is earning far less than he did pre 1997.

To back their latest wage offer this government will present a basket of goods to debate this, an insignificant basket, but take a look at the price of essentials, first a roof overhead look at the phenomenal increase in the price of homes, the price of rice, petrol, sugar, the cost of education, the increase in toll revenue, rising interest rates for loans and see how poor this worker has become, and today RM900 is this government’s response to this worker what an insult, after robbing the worker this government sets out to rob him or more, and tells the whole world it cares for tis workers.

The nine hundred ringgit was mooted by the MTUC even prior to 1997, in 1992 MTUC was seeking a thousand two hundred but had indicated they would settle for nine hundred, but the Mahahtir government would  not have it, it would attract too many Malaysians to factories and that would put a dent to the influx of foreign labour a good source of income for many government officials including some ministers of the time all this was done at the expense of our own workers, and their rightful requests for better wages were just stamped out.

The ministry of human resources was then propagating performance driven wage systems but that too after having completely ignored the performance of the Malaysian worker, bringing cheap foreign labour who were also grossly exploited, thus lowering wages.

Now the government used this lowered wage as the benchmark in industry to tell  the Malaysian worker who had reached peak productive performance to begin  to improve his performance, what an extremely wicked scheme.

Once the human effort has been exploited to its maximum productivity increase can only come about more the introduction of more modern methods that is the domain of management and yet take a look at the disparity of wages between the workforce and the management who are unable to provide this advantage to the worker who has already peaked. We still tap rubber the same way H.N Ridley did when he first brought rubber to this country and even if there has been any improvement it is totally insignificant, we harvest palm oil the way they used to do it in the early fifties, and what has this government done to improve that?

Now the PKR promises to top the minimum wage and bring it to the levels MTUC sought in 1994 they insult the Party, and they think they are doing a good job, they are not berating the PKR but rather the Malaysian worker whose counterpart just south of the border earns almost two and a half times more and enjoys a better lifestyle so much so many Malaysians go south to Singapore to earn a living.

This is the government that thought that by kicking Singapore out of the Federation, Singapore would learn a dire lesson and return with a begging bowl one day, how shamefully wrong they were, Mahathir himself was architect to that separation,  and how can they live with all this shame of not being able to look after their own people to the extent that their people have to go elsewhere to earn a living and more so to Singapore the country they thought they were going to teach a lesson to. LKY must really be having a good laugh at that man who at that time was no different from the person he is now, and led the ultras with extremist views.

Where is  our National Pride, Mahathir Mohammed? have you got any pride Mahathir in seeing this?

This is  nothing but finger pointer, who  accuses everyone and everything for his own  folly, he  failed his people and he  failed his  country  not only here but in nurturing good leaders to lead this nation people of integrity, people who are committed to see this country perform and find its rightful place in the world. 

Instead he  used this country for his  own purposes and every time something failed it was the fault of George Soros, Anwar Ibrahim and all the others but himself, he was always blameless. The leader who passed the buck.

PKR’s promise of a better minimum wage is not something plucked out of the air, it is done with the confidence that the Malaysian worker is among the most productive in the world if not the most and that being said one wonders why this productive workforce can’t turn this country around given the right motivation, they do a better and more meaningful job in really and substantially providing productive outcomes, not earning  money from kickbacks by setting up worthless consultancies  to earn in the billions to purchase second hand and useless submarines.

Productivity is not enhanced by increasing toll at  whims and fancies even though the toll operators  are making huge profits, not by changing electricity meters to charge more to the citizens who are already paying a premium to the electric Company that is protected by monopoly and is reaping huge profits, not by raising the price of petrol when we are net exporters of Oil and even then a higher grade of oil, not by the imposition of the pending  Sales and Service tax which this government dares not introduce now for fear of reprisals in the ballot box, not by covering the huge losses and illicit gains made by politicians in huge projects, purchases etc that runs in the billions which if accumulated and recovered would afford each Malaysian one million ringgit in his pocket.

Now Malaysian productivity is low,  so low because Malaysians just do not have the motivation anymore to work and all this is direct result of the policies of the Barisan Nasional Government. The more you make the more they take.

 The Malaysian worker is fed up, totally fed up,  all his productive efforts have been rendered unproductive because of the corrupt practices of this government, it has stifled competition, it has enriched cronies, it has enriched its elites, it has raised taxes, it has artificially raised prices and in doing all this rendered  the Malaysian worker unproductive.

1972 saw the advent of the Semiconductor industry into Malaysia, the first of such companies were set up in Penang and Melaka , followed by Selangor and Johor much later. At that time the Malaysian worker was paid far less than a rubber tapper in the estates. The basic daily wage of  an electronic factory worker at that time was only two ringgit and forty sen, yes, RM2.40 per day.

The worker was productive and in about five years from then the wage of the Malaysian semiconductor factory worker moved to between six ringgit and eight ringgit per day, by the eighties they were earning eighteen ringgit per day and later even higher till it came to a point where we were considered as no longer productive. 

At its height Malaysia was the largest exporter of Rubber, Tin Palm Oil and Semiconductors and domestic air conditioners isn’t that testimony of the productivity of our workforce?

There was hardly any industrial strife, there were no major strikes, the Malaysian workers efforts guided by proper  employee discipline and responsible trade unions, resulted in this, there has been no recognition of this on the contrary the Malaysian workforce is a down trodden lot. 

Tin failed not because it is not a commodity worth mining, in the sixties they used to say you could dig Kuala Lumpur and Ipoh and build newer cities at a profit if you excavated the tin beneath these cities. 

Then why did tin fail?

Ask Mahathir.  It failed because one man who even to this day claims he has all the prescription for the economic woes of this country, decided to try and wrest control of the tin market in the London Metal Exchange, he tried to corner the market and artificially tried to hike the price of tin thinking he’d succeed but the fool instead caused the fall of the entire tin market, contracts were not honoured, and as a result the price of tin fell to an all time low it was not worth mining it anymore. 

As a result our mines were shut down, the bustling town of Ipoh the crown of the silver state was rendered a dead town almost overnight and that was what the Mahathirian Magic did. 

Many  Malays used to share  that this man did it to hit at Chinese business in the country, at that time it was the Chinese who were the bogeymen in the country, and not really to raise the price of  tin.

Well he went with a real desire to raise the price of tin, he thought he could corner the tin market,  instead he took away form this nation its ability to earn enormous sums of revenue from a very precious natural resource and instead replaced it with the hacking away of our natural rain forests- the oldest in the world,  and had all the excuses to give the world to do so.
The jungles of Malaysia, in the peninsular, in Sabah and Sarawak were raped and it made BN cronies super rich, take a look at Sarawak. 

In fact when the Bakun dam was first proposed it was estimated the anyone who got the job to clear the forest would have made billions of ringgit without even having to move out of his house all he had to do was to leave it to the timber tycoons.

The tin fiasco by  an irresponsible scoundrel who led this nation was about his first in robbing this nation and instead of throwing him out of office the Malaysians elected him back to power for a next term. It’s not too late think again do we still want him and his cronies back in power?

Why is it Malaysia could never come out with a proper wage policy to ensure that its workers, the backbone of the economic activity of the country remained relevant?

Why is it that this government allowed the rights and privileges of these workers to be sold lock stock and barrel to foreigners to the extent our workers preferred to go about sell illegal VCD, leave the factories and go in search for jobs in the supermarkets, become street vendors turn to Bosiah activites, become Mat Rempit and turn to gangsterism – the answer lies in the governance of this country by the Barisan Nasional, driven by greed and its inherent inability to provide for its people – the workforce.

Any idiot will tell you that when you spend lavishly in things you do not require, or on things that are not absolutely required than it is waste.

For those of you who have learned “Kaizen”  you’ll know the definition for waste in kaizen is, anything more than what is absolutely necessary to get a job done.” He preached the look east policy and knew nothing about it.

This government had excesses in everything they undertook, there was tremendously  more than what was absolutely necessary to get jobs done and that is what we call corruption.  

This corruption destroyed Malaysian productivity and killed all hopes of Malaysians earning decent wages  and rendered the Malaysian worker unproductive, yet today those very people who rendered the Malaysian worker unproductive continue to rob the worker of any chance of improving productivity and earning more wages, a decent wage to, provide a roof overhead for himself and his family, to put food and not only food but nourishment on the table in his home, purchase a car, free himself of indebtedness, enjoy an occasional holiday with his family and still have some to save, in effect to  give him the right to livelihood which our Industrial court has defined this  to mean,  “the right to life” the most fundamental right enshrined in the constitution of this country. 

Allow this government one more term in Parliament and we’ll witness our wages falling below that of Thailand, the Thais are already moving Myanmar to set up the world’s largest industrial Zone with the Japanese, why did we not do this in Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines during our hey day? 
Singapore did this here to a smaller extent, then later turned to Batam, why did we not think of doing this?
The BN government was built on a crutch mentality, it lacks business expertise,  they could not see beyond assembly plants, even Proton today is nothing more than a glorified assembly plant, the Thais are looking ahead, they’ll own factories in Myanmar, they will relocate low end assembly plants the will move to higher end plants and Myanmar will be a feeder country to Thai industry.

We were light years ahead of the Thais in by the mid eighties and the early nineties so what happened, the crutch mentality of course and the gross inability of this government to see what is economically good for the nation.

Pakatan Rakyat is  is promising better time to Malaysian workers, it is not an empty promise, wipe out corruption and so much is possible that even if a wage increase is not forthcoming the buying power of the ringgit will increase and that will mean more money in your pockets.

It is not Soros, he had nothing to do with what happened in this country, if he was why did Mahahtir go back and see him? why did Najib have to see him only recently and that too secretly in the states with a senior Malaysian minister? 

It is this greedy and selfish government they have a few surprises for you on hold if they win, after giving you a minimum wage of RM900, they'll raise the toll, they'll introduce Sales and service tax and you'll pay taxes on almost everything you buy on top of paying high taxes, they'll increase the price of petrol and the price of houses will go up more than ever before, so what is your RM900?

Everytime Pakatan says it will give you something better they say Pakatan will bankrupt the country, it is not Pakatan it is they who will. The  BN after 55 years will bankrupt this country which is already on the verge of  bankruptcy the way they have corruptly acquired wealth from this country and parked it overseas.

The white haired man in the east is good testimony to this fact.

So make a wise choice, make the right choice, and make the only choice left to you kick out this BN government.

It as we all know  soaked in corruption it will take another fifty five years to clean them up.
As elections draw near be prepared for the government controlled media to blast away like they always do with nothing but lies about the opposition and even if there a truths, not even the worst case scenario in the opposition,  nothing,  can be better  than kick to  this government out for at least four consecutive terms, we have to check the rot.

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