Wednesday 30 January 2008

Midweek Irreverent Chuckle

A teacher went round his class asking the pupils what their fathers
did for a living.
There was the usual mixture of  replies; office worker, policeman,
lorry driver, and so on.
Finally one young boy said that his father was a lap dancer
in a gentleman's club.
The teacher, profoundly embarrassed, moved on. 
At the end of the lesson he took the boy to one side and asked him,
"That wasn't true about your father, was it?"
"No, sir."
"What does he really do then?
"Em ... well... okay, he's a donor to a major BN political party,
but I was too ashamed to mention it."

Tuesday 29 January 2008

Subsidies are Oppressive

232 years ago, a Scottish Gentleman wrote a tome, which is still enlightening, relevant and forward looking.

Here in Malaysia, we still have an artificial, skewed economy in which many daily necessities are subsidised, and thus these are unrealistically low priced.

Some think that this is beneficial, but it fact it is detrimental, unhealthy and oppressive.

If wages were fair and equitable everyone could afford to buy goods and services at the market price.

Malaysia needs someone with the foresight and wisdom of Adam Smith - picture to the left- (born 1723, died 1790) to rejuvenate and regenerate the economy into a free market economy, and not as it is now a patronisingly pathetic subsidy orientated one.

Below is a brief outline of Adam Smith’s great work.

An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations is the magnum opus of Scottish economist Adam Smith; it was first published on 9th March 1776, during the period known as the Scottish Enlightenment

It is a clearly written account of political economy at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, and is considered by many to be the first modern work in the field of economics

The work is also the first comprehensive defence of free market policies; it is broken down into five books, contained in two volumes.

The Wealth of Nations was written for the benefit of average educated individuals of the 18th century, rather than for economic specialists, mathematicians, or academics

There are three main concepts which Adam Smith expounds upon and these form the foundation of free market economics:

· division of labour,

· pursuit of self interest, and

· freedom of trade.

An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations


Introduction and plan of the work

Book I:

Of the Causes of Improvement in the productive Powers of Labour, and of the Order according to which its Produce is naturally distributed among the different Ranks of the People

  • Chapter 1: Division of Labour
  • Chapter 2: The Principle which gives Occasion to the Division of Labour
  • Chapter 3: That the Division of Labour is Limited by the Extent of the Market
  • Chapter 4: Origin and Use of Money
  • Chapter 5: The Real and Nominal Price of Commodities, or of their Price in Labour, and their Price in Money
  • Chapter 6: The Component Parts of the Price of Commodities
  • Chapter 7: The natural and market Price of Commodities
  • Chapter 8: The Wages of Labour
  • Chapter 9: The Profits of Stock
  • Chapter 10: Wages and Profit in the different Employments of Labour and Stock
  • Chapter 11: The Rent of Land

Book II:

Of the Nature, Accumulation, and Employment of Stock

  • Chapter 1: The Division of Stock
  • Chapter 2: Money considered as a particular Branch of the general Stock of the Society, or of the Experience of maintaining the National Capital
  • Chapter 3: The Accumulation of Capital, or of productive and unproductive Labour
  • Chapter 4: Stock lent at Interest
  • Chapter 5: The different Employment of Capital

Book III: Of the different Progress of Opulence in different Nations

  • Chapter 1: The Natural Progress of Opulence
  • Chapter 2: The Discouragement of Agriculture in the Ancient State of Europe after the Fall of the Roman Empire
  • Chapter 3: The Rise and Progress of Cities and Towns, after the Fall of the Roman Empire
  • Chapter 4: How the Commerce of the Towns contributed to the Improvement of the Country

Book IV:

Of Systems of Political Economy

  • Chapter 1: The Principle of the commercial, or mercantile System
  • Chapter 2: Restraints upon the Importation from foreign Countries of such Goods as can be produced at Home
  • Chapter 3: The extraordinary Restraints upon the Importation of Goods of almost all Kinds, from those Countries with which the Balance is supposed to be disadvantageous
  • Chapter 4: Drawbacks
  • Chapter 5: Bounties
  • Chapter 6: Treaties of Commerce
  • Chapter 7: Colonies
  • Chapter 8: Conclusion of the Mercantile System
  • Chapter 9: The Agricultural Systems, or of those Systems of Political Economy, which represent the Produce of Land, as either the sole or the principal Source of the Revenue and Wealth of every Country

Book V:

Of the Revenue of the Sovereign or Commonwealth

  • Chapter 1: The Expenses of the Sovereign or Commonwealth
  • Chapter 2: The Sources of the General or Public Revenue of the Society
  • Chapter 3: Public Debts
'Slainte, here's tae ye' to Adam Smith

Why do BN politicians want to retain their positons?

  1. In Malaysia, why are incumbent BN politicians so keen to retain their positions?
  2. Are the salaries, official perks and allowances irresistibly high?
  3. Are the incumbents so dedicated and altruistic?
  4. Is there an underlying 'service above self' commitment?

The answer to the second question is 'NO' and regarding third & forth question, going by what one sees and hears, in the vast majority of cases, the answer is also definitely a very big 'NO'.

So why are the incumbent BN politicians so keen to retain their positions, there must be some very compelling reasons for it.

The MB of Selangor, for example, is reported as saying:

"During an exclusive interview with the StarMetro,
Khir expressed his desire to continue his tenure as mentri besar of the most developed state in the country"
extracted from Star on-line edition

(By the way, I think that the statement about "Selangor being the most developed state in Malaysia" is a bit far fetched; if it really is, then all the other states must be in a horrific condition!)

I open the first question to the readers of this blog :

In Malaysia, why are incumbent BN politicians so keen to retain their positions?

I eagerly await your comments. Cheers.

Monday 28 January 2008

Suharto has gone!

The death of Suharto will be welcomed by many people in both Indonesia and elsewhere.

He was undoubtedly a tyrant, and was ultimately responsible for the deaths of many political opponents, but to some he was considereed to be a great leader.

Readers may wish to read this article from the BBC, see url link below.

I consider that Jonathan Kent has given a fair and balanced summary of the life and times of Suharto, but you make up your own minds.

Sunday 27 January 2008

Police Brutality. A Day of Shame in Kuala Lumpur

The Price Rise Protests in the vicinity of KLCC in the capital city of Malaysia were peaceful and passive, but in the video below you will see you yourself that some of the police personnel were behaving like thugs and gangsters.

This video is prima facie evidence and the clearly identifiable police officers should be immediately arrested and charged.

The infamous events of Saturday, 26th January 2008 will go down in history and will record how thin the veil of democracy is in Malaysia.

Friday 25 January 2008


Burns night is celebrated tonight, so merry may ye all be,
"Slaan dji vaa"

The Selkirk Grace

Some hae meat and canna eat
And some wad eat that want it:
But we hae meat and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit.

To A Haggis

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great Chieftan o' the Puddin'-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy of a grace
As lang's my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o' need,
While thro' your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see Rustic-labour dight,
An' cut you up wi' ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich!

Then, horn for horn they stretch an' strive,
Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive,
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
Bethankit hums.

Is there that owre his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi' perfect sconner
Looks down wi' sneering, scornfu' view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckless as a wither'd rash,
His spindle shank a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit;
Thro' bluidy flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He'll mak it whissle;
An' legs, an' arms, an' heads will sned,
Like taps o' thrissle.

Ye Pow'rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o' fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if you wish her gratefu' pray'r,
Gie her a Haggis!

Robert Burns 1759-1796

Slainte Mhath!

Thursday 24 January 2008

The first post

Greetings to any readers of the humble blog.

The first post is dated tomorrow 25 January, to coincide with the Burns Night celebrations.

Now I need to search high & low for a bloody Haggis, and ‘neaps (turnips), which are as rare as hens teeth, here in Lupaland; the Whisky and potatoes I already have!