Two different worlds

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Many Malaysians are struggling to make ends meet.

Graphic: theedgedaily.com

Malaysian Institute of Economic Research data reportedly shows that, in 2010, 34 per cent of private sector workers earn less than RM800 per month and 43 per cent less than RM900. Not long ago, Human Resources Minister S Subramaniam said that 33 per cent of Malaysian workers earn a monthly salary of less than RM700 per month. Those are poverty line or sub-poverty line wages by any standards.

At the other end of the spectrum, The Edge on 11 June reported that companies controlled by five tycoons have in their coffers today a combined cash pile of RM65bn.

That is just an illustration of the large gap between the rich and the poor in the country.

Further, first generation independent power producers have earned huge profits for their owners – at the expense of government-linked Tenaga, which has had to pay large capacity payments to the IPPs for electricity it does not need.

Incidentally, this disparity is not something peculiar to Malaysia. In the United States, for instance, while American workers struggle, Fortune 500 companies earned a record US$824bn in combined earnings in 2011 (16 per cent higher than in 2010).

The Huffington Post reports:

The larger economic picture hasn’t been so rosy of course. Twelve and a half million people are still out of work. Many of the new jobs that have been created lately are low-paying food service gigs. A record 46 million Americans are in poverty, and millions more are only just clinging onto financial stability — one emergency is all it would take to tip them into disaster.

But much like the too-big-to-fail banks — whose assets now exceed half the size of the U.S. economy, and which have made more profits since the financial crisis than they did in the eight years prior — corporations don’t seem bothered by the bleak weather on Main Street. They just keep growing.

In fact, many have benefitted on the backs of workers that in some cases are underpaid or at risk of losing their jobs. Among the largest companies on Fortune’s list is Walmart, at number two, which was recently hit with a $4.8 million fine from the government for allegedly failing to pay its workers overtime; General Electric, at number six, which may have paid an average federal tax rate of just 2.3 percent over the past decade, according to the group Citizens for Tax Justice; and General Motors, at number five, which amassed $9.1 billion in profits last year and recently froze pay for its work staff of 26,000.

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Fardi

This weekend I visited 2 property fairs held at JB’s City Square and KSL City (Mah Sing 18th anniversary roadshow). I am hunting for a 3-room condominium in JB. Anil’s readers may want to knwo that my ‘study mission’ has confirmed that a typical new condominium development in JB is at least RM600,000 per square feet. If you want cheaper ones, you have to try further sites from JB i.e. Senai, Kulai, Masai. The condo there may be cheaper but you will definitely need to buya car and spend more on petrol and car maintenance. Penang folks, you are not… Read more »

Royston

I have read in Chinese newspapers that Pakatan penang is planning free bus services from various parts of Penang island to George Town for workers in the morning peak and evening peak hours to reduce traffic congestion. However, this must get approval from federal government first.

Andy

Yes, I agree the condo price in JB is pretty high.
I have just attended Mah Sing 18th anniversary Property Showcase at KSL Hotel in JB and Fardi must have meant RM600 per sq ft, which is a norm for a condo in JB. JB folks can afford as many of them earn Singapore dollars (1S$=RM2.483 at money changer).

Ong Goo Kang

Mah Sing’s Chief Operating officer said 70% of their project in penang, KL and Johor is for housing below RM1 million.

The days of owning a condo costing less than RM300K in these places are long gone.

Do not complain. if you are retired, better migrate to small towns to enjoy lower cost of living. You will not miss Anil’s blog so long as internet is available there.

Salmiah

Any advatage (if any) of high-income nation will be neutralised by Barang Naik (think GST!). No net gain, may be worst. Meanwhile rakyat will be made ‘tagih’ for BR1M instead of upgrading skills or work harder with better productivity for higher wages. A Greek tragedy awaits unless ABU is materialised.

Andrew I

65bn and how to make more.

Khairul

BN’s solution is to keep rakyat distracted with rounds of Jom Heboh-style carnival nationwide as janji tak boleh pakai!

Jalan Kembali

Jom Heboh at Angsana Plaza this weekend is part of cronies agenda to hookwink the naive public eg use Ramli to attrat Man Utd fans to cheer for these crooks ?

Jalan Kembali

Income distribution is widening. One major factor is due to big chunk of earnings goes to cronies connected to the authority without merit or through proper tender process ! Wealth concentrated to selected elites to control the minds of the rakyat like all those bull-**** transformasi programs !

Say NO to corruption. Say NO to just RM500 1BRM but RM5K per household when nation’s wealth is shared fairly.

Selamatkan Malaysia !