14.2 Million Malaysian Labour Force Have Lost Faith In The Federal Government As They Are Caught In A Vicious Cycle Of Debt, Rising Prices, Unfair Low Wages And Public Financial Losses Caused By Inefficiency, Wastage And Corruption.(e/c)

2015 May Day Message by DAP Secretary-General and MP for Bagan Lim Guan Eng in Kuala Lumpur on 30.04.2015

14.2 million Malaysian labour force have lost faith in the federal government as they are caught in a vicious cycle of debt, rising prices, unfair low wages and public financial losses caused by inefficiency, wastage and corruption. There were 13.7 million Malaysian workers employed and 455,000 unemployed as at February 2015, resulting in an increase in the unemployment rate to 3.2%.

As May Day approaches, Malaysian workers have little to look forward to. Despite all the hype by Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Razak about the successes of BN’s economic transformation programme, they are impressive only for spinning the facts and hiding the harsh reality that these rosy statistics of 6% economic growth in 2014 means very little to ordinary Malaysians who remain mired in household debt and a widening income gap.

How come then Malaysian ringgit and our capital markets were the worst performers in Asia in 2014 despite the 6% economic growth? Malaysian capital markets plunged by 6% last year as compared to Thailand stock markets rising by 15% last year despite recording a growth rate of a mere 1% in 2014. As for the ringgit, our currency has dropped precipitously against all currencies, resulting in imported inflation. The heartless imposition of 6% GST on 1 April 2015 only worsened rising prices.

What is the point of transforming Malaysia into a high-income advanced economy by 2020, when EPF data shows that 62% of Malaysian workers earn below RM2,000 a month? This corresponds to the Department of Statistic’s latest report, which shows that median monthly wage of Malaysians is RM1,700. With so many Malaysians earning such a low income, any talk of a high-income society is nothing more than smoke and mirrors.

Another problem afflicting Malaysians is the extremely high household debt to GDP ratio of 87.9%, or RM940.4 billion as at end-2014. This alarming ratio is the highest in Asia and is proof that Malaysians are caught in a vicious cycle of debt and low wages. As cost of living escalates, especially with the newly implemented GST, Malaysians will struggle to make ends meet as wages are not rising in tandem with productivity. In the end, not only do they borrow more, they also end up using more of their income to service their debt.

The recent public uproar over the EPF’s proposal to raise the full withdrawal age limit to 60 from 55 clearly shows that Malaysians no longer have any faith or confidence in the Federal Government’s ability to manage their money. Although the proposal is not without its merits, the fact is that the Federal Government’s recent track record of mismanagement and lack of transparency, especially in light of the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal, raises much concerns over what our sovereign wealth is being used for.

More worrying is the fact that EPF’s own data reveals that 90% of Malaysians nearing retirement age do not have enough funds to sustain a basic lifestyle for more than 5 years. 68% of EPF members aged 54 have less than RM50,000 in savings, which is a far cry from the RM198,600 recommended minimum savings.

Whilst the BN Federal Government struggles to manage the economy burdened by corruption, leakages and debt, the PR Penang State Government has not only managed to record a budget surplus of RM453 million from 2008 to 2013, we have also turned this surplus into an anti-corruption dividend through social welfare programmes to the tune of RM287 million to help the needy and other vulnerable groups. As a result, the present PR Penang state government has managed to reduce its income inequality with a Gini Coefficient of 0.37 from 0.42 before, the best in the country in reducing income inequality.

It is clear that Malaysians need a lifeline when the BN Federal Government offers no salvation. Instead, only a PR government with a proven track record can fulfil the aspirations of the people and ensure a competent, accountable and transparent government that will not only ensure economic growth but also equitable distribution.

Lim Guan Eng

—-Mandarin —-

民主行动党秘书长兼峇眼区国会议员林冠英于2015年4月30日发表五一劳动节献词:

1420万名马来西亚劳工已经对联邦政府失去信心,联邦政府陷入一个恶性循环,欠债累累、物价上涨、不公平的工资以及因无效率、浪费及贪污而造成的公款损失。

1420万名马来西亚劳工已经对联邦政府失去信心,联邦政府陷入一个恶性循环,欠债累累、物价上涨、不公平的工资以及因无效率、浪费及贪污而造成的公款损失。截至2015年2月,1370万马来西亚人受聘,另有45万5000人失业,失业率已经上达3.2%。

随着五一劳动节的到来,我国劳工却没有什么展望。尽管首相拿督斯里纳吉不停地展示国阵的经济转型计划多么成功 ,人民却只感觉到他们扭曲数据及掩饰残酷的现实,那么所谓2014年经济成长率达6%的堂而皇之的数据对我国人民一点意义也没有,普通老百姓还是身陷在家庭债务及日益加剧的收入悬殊之中。

虽说我国经济成长达6%,为什么令吉及我国资本市场在2014年成为亚洲表现最差的国家?我国的资本市场下跌6%,而2014年泰国在经济成长率只有1%时,股票市场却上升15%。我国的货币令吉贬值情况也非常严重,导致进口通膨。政府无情地在2015年4月1日推行6%消费税,只是加剧了通货膨胀。

如果公积金数据显示62%的马来西亚人月入只有2000令吉,2020年我国转型成为高收入先进经济体有什么意义?根据统计局数据显示,我国人民平均月入为1700令吉。如果那么多马来西亚人的收入那么低,什么高收入社会只不过是镜花水月的假象而已。

另一个让人民痛苦的问题是家庭债务占了国内生产总值87.9% 或2014年底的9亿4040万令吉。这个比例是亚洲最高的,也证明马来西亚人陷入高债务、低收入的恶性循环。随着生活水平上升,再加上消费税,马来西亚人将面对更大的生活压力,他们的工资与生产力不相称。最后,他们不只必须借贷更多,结果还必须以收入来偿债。

最近公众群起反对公积金局提议将公积金提款年龄从55岁提高到60岁可以看出,马来西亚人对联邦政府的理财能力已经完全失去信心。虽然这项建议也有优点,但是由于联邦政府在管理钱财方面的不良记录及欠缺透明度,特别是一马机构的420亿令吉丑闻,公众特别关注政府到底把我国的财富用在哪里。

更令人担心的是,公积金局也提露,90%的马来西亚人到了退休年龄依然没有足够的资金去维持接下来五年的基本生活开销。68%的公积金成员到了54岁,存款不到5万令吉,比当局建议的退休存款19万8600令吉还差一大截。

在国阵联邦政府挣扎管理受贪污、疏漏、欠债拖累的经济时,槟州民联政府不只在2008-2013年期间创下财政预算盈余的记录,我们也将这些盈余转为反贪红利,拨出2亿8700万令吉用在社会福利,派发给有需要的弱势群体。结果,槟州民联政府成功缩短贫富悬殊的差距(基尼系数从0.42改善至0.37),成为全国缩短贫富差距最多的州属。

很明显地,马来西亚需要一条救生索,而国阵已经不再是我们的救星。反之,只有民联政府可以让人民施展抱负,秉持能干、公信、透明的原则,并确保经济持续成长及财富合理分配。

林冠英

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