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Showing posts from October, 2018

Why EPF So Good Ah?

The study by the World Bank was timely (I will explain later). Being a government led pension fund puts EPF squarely against other similar funds by other countries. I must say that EPF has been punching above its weight for the longest time.


The Future Challenges 

However, we need to know why EPF did well, or else we will not be able to replicate the past performances. I think its critical that EPF, having done wonderfully, has to reposition and re-strategize because it has gotten too big for certain assets that it has invested heavily in the past.

EPF will also have to contend with how much more inter-related and correlated global markets is nowadays and will continue to be even more so in the future (thanks to the proliferation of ETFs and indexing).

As good as EPF has been, we have to be cognizant of the fact that Malaysia is still a place where there are not a lot of safety nets (e.g. reasonable life term pension scheme, unemployment benefits, free medical, free university education, …

The Real War Behind The Trade War

Well, the main reason we have the trade war now is Trump, whom I am trying very hard to describe without using foul language. However, it is not a deficit issue that is driving the trade war. In my view, the trade war is the result of four main issues, which will be elaborated later.

Being the reserve currency, it will be naturally strong. Being naturally and unnaturally strong will inevitably lead to trade surpluses (ceteris paribus). Unless the Federal Reserve practice tight monetary policies the same way as Paul Volcker, the "balance sheet" will get out of whack. That leads to whether China purposely weakens the yuan to exacerbate the trade gap.

Maybe China does but even so, it is insufficient to justify the gap. China is a developing nation with hordes of people becoming middle class from rural class - it is thus necessary to stay competitive to build up every sector of the economy.


a)  The Strategic Asset Acquisitions By China - Beijing does not mind registering huge surpl…

Why Capital Gains Tax Should Not Be Implemented

I have to reiterate why a Capital Gains Tax is a very bad idea for Malaysia.

Unique traits of Malaysia:
a) Very open economy


b) Ringgit has been weak, which actually has helped plenty of exporters but they are being very quiet about it
c) There are very very few safety nets for Malaysians unlike many developed countries, which means we should not overly burden the lower income group
d) We have a very simple tax code, let's not complicate it as its a major plus point for FDI
e) Our stock market has the largest portion of GDP that is listed compared to all the rest of the bourses in the world, that implies that it has a very high multiplier effect for the rest of the economy. Hence efforts must be made to preserve its vibrancy.



Capital Gains Tax - Categorically no. The entrepreneurial spirit Malaysia is so proud of should never be curtailed, not even with a small capital gains tax. Being an open economy, we must allow the economy to function as freely as it can. This goes back to the (e) f…

Tread Gingerly On Taxes

Plenty of voices now in anticipation of the upcoming Budget on new taxes to be implemented to help shore up our finances. Malaysia is a very open economy. There are traits to consider before implementing new taxes.

Unique traits of Malaysia:

a) Very open economy
b) Ringgit has been weak, which actually has helped plenty of exporters but they are being very quiet about it
c) There are very very few safety nets for Malaysians unlike many developed countries, which means we should not overly burden the lower income group
d) We have a very simple tax code, let's not complicate it as its a major plus point for FDI
e) Our stock market has the largest portion of GDP that is listed compared to all the rest of the bourses in the world, that implies that it has a very high multiplier effect for the rest of the economy. Hence efforts must be made to preserve its vibrancy.

Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz has come up with a few recommendations, so too from a few local and regional economists.

1) Inheri…

Open Letter To Communications & Multimedia Ministry & MCMC

The back drop:


According to MCMC, TM’s starter pack of 30 Megabits per second (Mbps) before MSAP at RM139 was now priced at RM79, while Celcom’s 40 Mbps starter pack has been reduced to RM80 from RM180, Maxis’ 30 Mbps starter pack now at RM89 from RM139 and TIME’s 100 Mbps starter pack now RM99 from RM149.
Meanwhile, TIME’s package of 500 Mbps was now priced at RM139 while its one gigabit (Gbps) package was now RM199. The statement also said the implementation of the MSAP and reduction of prices was in line with the government’s efforts to provide high-quality world-class broadband services at reasonable prices. “The MCMC will continue to work with the Communications and Multimedia Ministry to improve the quality of broadband services in Malaysia,” it said.
Hope you can address the elephants in the room: a) What about existing subscribers, who form the bulk of users now ... if we allow the telcos to force current subscribers to fulfil their package commitments, do you think that is fair? …

Must Watch - Project Gutenberg

It is easy to understand why its called the stylish Project Gutenberg if I tell you its about counterfeiting USD. Its also stylishly a bit film noir. Its at the same time a homage to the 70s and 80s shoot-kill-extravaganza HK gangsters movie genre.


Thankfully its a lot more than just that. Its probably the best role for Chow Yun Fatt has undertaken oohh ... for the last 20 years. Can see a bit of the fire in his eyes still there.




While it is safe to say that NOTHING is really ORIGINAL anymore, one can easily say this movie is about:
20% A Better Tomorrow
10% Face Off
30% Keyser Sosa


The hard part should be for the scriptwriter to wove the backstory and flow of the plots and sub plots, the many plot twists, that towards the end we do not know who is real and who is not.


Very entertaining, also the main reason why despite throwing tons of money China still cannot make a HK style gangster movie. The director Felix Chong Mun Keong is an old hand. 

Rating: 8.5/10

Zero-Harm Policy

I love it when people try to spin. The CEO of Lynas pleaded with our new government on the review of the project in Malaysia. IF the operations result in zero harm to the people, the communities and environment... then you should have no problem dumping the waste or processing the waste in Australia. I mean, the land area is many x the size of Malaysia... and I am certain the desert area land price would be cheaper than in Kuantan.

All that plus you have to ship the waste to Malaysia, you can save so much on logistics. So I can only surmise that either its too costly to hire Australians or you want the lowly paid Malaysian workers or foreign workers OR the present regulations in Australia would have made it insurmountable (in terms of cost for safeguarding the project or that the rules totally forbade the existence of such a project).

What makes you think Malaysians deserve to have the project that Australia has definitely rejected. I don't think we are that desperate for jobs.



Sala…