Economist Dean Baker, co-director of the Centre for Economic and Policy Research, based in Washington DC, explains what the United States could have done to rein in its housing bubble. Some lessons for Malaysia here, I think.
Corporations, many of them believed to be developer firms, are expected to outnumber NGOs by ten to one at the mainland Penang Local Plan hearings, beginning on 26 November.
An informed source has revealed to me that at one upmarket seafront apartment suites complex in northern Penang Island, the actual occupancy rate is just 10 per cent, even though the apartments have been sold out. Contrary to popular belief that much of the property speculation/investment in high-end properties in Penang is by foreigners, the rough breakdown by nationality of owners of these particular apartments is as follows: Malaysians based in the country (60 per cent), Malaysians residing/working abroad (20 per cent), and foreigners/others (20 per cent).
What is the Commons? All the natural and cultural resources that should be accessble to everyone in society. The Commons includes the hills, the seas and beaches and rivers, forests, even park land. But now corporate predators are eyeing, gobbling up or “enclosing” the Commons under various forms of privatisation. This is not something peculiar Malaysia; it is a global phenomenon. Take a look at 1200 Australians coming together in a protest to call for the reversal of legislation that would allow 99-year leases for private development in national parks. Hands off the Commons!
The latest round of secret negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement is underway in Utah, USA. The principal beneficiaries are expected to be large corporations.