One of the factors contributing to the persistent fiscal deficit in Malaysia has been the deliberate and gradual reduction of income tax rates over the years.

From a fairly progressive tax system, Malaysia has moved towards a regressive tax system. The government has trimmed the tax rates for the rich and super-rich over the years.

Singapore is now bucking the trend by raising income tax rates for high-earners by 2 per cent.

The scheduled teleconference with Sirul in Australia over an internet radio station has failed to materialise. The link-up with Mahfuz Omar at the Pas Media Centre in Jalan Raja Laut, KL was due to start at 11.33am over Hijau.FM.

At 10.44am, ‘Sirul’ was apparently contacted and given a phone number that would be used to contact him for the teleconference. But the event failed to get going.

The TPP is “the largest—and worst—trade deal you’ve never heard of,” says a campaign on In other words, “Nafta on steroids”. You may not have heard of it because the negotiations are all being done in secret. Perhaps even over a round of golf?

Incidentally, Robert Reich in the video above is “an American political economist, professor, author, and political commentator. He served in the administrations of Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter and was Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1997” (Wikipedia).

By now, 1MDB has supposedly “redeemed” US$2.3bn from a fund registered in the Cayman Islands.

Of this amount, the firm says US$1.2bn (60 per cent) had been “redeemed” earlier, as reflected in its 31 March 2014 accounts. On 13 January 2015, 1MDB announced it had “redeemed” the remaining US$1.1bn. It also reportedly received US$267m in dividends.