Thursday, February 28, 2008

Rezeki oh Rezeki, what is rezeki?

I was reading this blogpage earlier, and read abourt one Cik Tam who doesnt have pewaris harta yang melambak...

I have been meaning to write about rezeki for the past 3 months, as usual, always dont have time and dont have enough idea to write.

First of all, my apologies for writing in English... not that I cannot read and write in Bahasa Melayu, but I am thinking in English.

Also my apologies for for writing lintang pukang... I will write as the idea comes out of my brain..

Quote Mejar(B) Mazlan from Brunei,"bila manusia itu sudah 40 hari didalam rahim, dia sudah bernyawa. Rezeki nya, hidupnya dan matinya itu sudah ditentukan di Loh Mahfudz (betul ka aku eja ni?)."

Quote arwah bekas Mufti Selangor Dato' Haji Ishak Baharom, "Teringat aku kata kata arwah guru ku, kamu tak perlu bersusah payah mencari rezeki, kamu hanya perlu belajar dan berusaha untuk rezeki, kerana rezeki itu sudah ditentukan."

Quote Suhaimi Md Yasir, "Rezeki itu Allah bagi ada tiga macam, dan kita tak selalu nya dapat semua tiga. Satu, harta, makna nya hidup senang banyak harta dan gaji besar. Kedua anak anak yang soleh. Kadang orang ada banyak anak, itu rezeki tu. Kalau tak ada anak, dah nak buat macam mana. Yang ketiga ilmu yang boleh dimanfaatkan. Selalunya Allah tak bagi semua tiga tu."

For non Muslim, (atau orang kafir dalam bahasa melayu) the rule is simple, just work hard rezeki akan Allah beri sebanyak yang dia mahu.

BUT for a Muslim the rule is more!
A muslim must work hard for his rezeki, ie berusaha. And berdoa minta kepada Allah. And for the rezeki yang Allah beri, a portion of it belongs to the poor dan yang memerlukan. Never forget that. A Muslim must give some to charity, as a sign that we thankful to Allah for what Allah has given, semoga Allah menambah rezeki kita.

Perihal rezeki ilmu.
There are some people that Allah given rezeki in the form of ilmu dan skills, so that is Allah test for him or her so that he or she can manfaatkan ilmu and skills for his bekal kealam kubur nanti.

Perihal rezeki harta.
This either a good job that bring in a lot of money, 5 figure, 10 figure or a lot of money that he has... would he spend in the way of Allah or the other way. please remember that semua di dunia ini hanyalah pinjaman. Kesihatan, harta, anak anak, isteri everything. So kalau banyak duit tu... belanjakan lah kejalan Allah.. selagi masih boleh belanjakan ke jalan Allah. Kalau kat kubur nanti dah tak boleh buat dah.

Perihal rezeki anak anak.
Kalau anak anak tu soleh.., InsyaAllah nanti mereka akan doakan kita bila kita sudah tiada dimuka bumi ini.

Bersyukurlah kita dengan rezeki yang Allah beri, dan jangan sekali kali menolak rezeki..takut takut nanti Allah akan kurangkan rezeki kita.. habis dah bagi tak mahu...
Rezeki tu datang dalam berbagai bentuk, bukan wang ringgit sahaja.
kerja, duit orang bagi, makanan, kesenangan, isteri, anak anak..ish patut tulis..isteri2.
Maka sayugialah diingatkan, sebahagian dari rezeki yang Allah beri itu kepunyaan orang miskin. Berapa besar portion dari rezeki itu untuk kita beri kepada orang miskin, (dan lain-lain yang berhak seperti isteri2 kita, anak anak, ibu bapa, saudara mara, jiran tetangga) itu terpulang kepada hati kita.

Alahai kalau kedekut.. 10 sen pun berkira.
Haruslah diingat lagi kedekut, lagi sempitlah rezeki kita.

Monday, February 25, 2008

An Old Friend from years ago who stand in P18 Kulim

Here is the blogger website.
Zulkifli Noordin.

Please contribute to his campaign, here is the Maybank account number;

Sumbangan Dana dan Bantuan Tenaga
Sumbangan boleh disalurkan ke akaun Maybank, Jalan Masjid India Branch no: 164593029443.
Cek boleh dialamatkan kepada 'Zulkifli bin Noordin' di alamat Tetuan Zulkifli Noordin & Associates, Tingkat 7, Wisma Yakin, Jalan Masjid India, 50100 Kuala Lumpur.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Article on Inflation in the Economist

Found this article on inflation in the Economist. Condition, ie economic condition, fundamentals is more or similar in the Middle East to Malaysia. I support steps taken to remove subsidies on good and services, e.g subsidy on petrol, rice and cooking oil etc. Instead consider compensation payments to low income families to offset their loss of purchasing power.

Definitely I dont like what Govt did to PROTES protester! See the pics of in Malaysiakini. Hey they are highlighting inflation issues!
Inflation plague
Feb 4th 2008
From the Economist Intelligence Unit ViewsWire

Prices are rising in the Middle East

Inflationary pressures are rising in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, partly owing to exogenous factors such as high global commodity prices, but also fuelled by the predominance of currency pegs to the weakening US dollar and to the abundance of oil-related liquidity in the region.

While oil-exporting countries in the region are benefiting in terms of the huge fillip to growth and to their external balances provided by persistently high oil prices, the non oil-exporting countries and countries that import oil-related products despite being oil producers (such as Iran and Syria) have been suffering. Although fuel prices were markedly higher in 2006-07, the full impact of the price rises in many countries was not reflected in inflation data as a result of the widespread practise of subsidising the retail price of "basic essentials" (primarily food and energy) in many MENA countries. This was also the case as global food prices started to rise strongly in the second half of 2007.

Biting the subsidies bullet
The fiscal burden of these subsidies is starting to prove unsustainable, however, and many governments—including Jordan, Syria and Tunisia—have announced their intention to either eliminate or cut subsidies in 2008. The cuts in subsidies will add significantly to inflation in these countries, depending on the extent to which subsidies are cut. In Jordan the government is proposing the complete elimination of subsidies, but has outlined a package of compensatory payments for low-income households. Syria is also considering compensatory payments. Such payments, however, could merely serve to sustain domestic demand and thus price pressure in the economy.

The prices for building materials, such as steel, cement and copper, have also risen strongly over the last couple of years, driven by strong economic growth in Emerging Asia, particularly China, and by the construction boom in the Middle East itself. This has added to inflationary pressures across the region, but especially in the GCC which is trying to develop rapidly the necessary infrastructure to sustain its ambitious economic development plans. The rise in the cost of construction materials has exacerbated the problem of a shortage of housing supply that was already pushing up housing and rental costs in the GCC.

Dollar peg dilemma
Currency pegs are widespread across the region. While many North African countries operate pegs dominated by the euro, the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries are almost all pegged to the weakening US dollar. This has led to a rise in imported inflation and counter-cyclical interest-rate policies.

There was much debate over the course of 2007 about whether the GCC member states would chose to abandon their pegs to the US dollar given that they were contributing to already rising inflationary pressure. Speculation about a change in the prevailing exchange rate regimes reached fever point in the summer following the decision by the Kuwaiti central bank to drop the dinar's peg to the dollar in favour of a peg to a trade- and investment-weighted basket of currencies (albeit still dominated by the US dollar).

Following the Fed down
Since the summer, there has been additional pressure to either revalue the pegs or depeg altogether as the US Federal Reserve embarked on a sharp loosening of monetary policy conditions through interest rate cuts. This pressure has heightened since the beginning of 2008 with the Fed cutting rates by a total of 125 basis points in two moves in January. To a greater or lesser degree all the GCC countries have followed suit and lowered local interest rates. As a result, real interest rates in all GCC countries are now deeply negative and particularly so in the UAE and Qatar which have the highest current inflation rates. Nearly all the central banks have opted to cut their equivalent of the discount rate while keeping their lending rate on hold. While this will theoretically curtail the expansionary monetary impact of lower interest rates, in reality it will not be very effective as commercial banks in the GCC have little recourse to borrowing from their respective central banks.

Yet more subsidies
In the absence of sophisticated monetary tools, most GCC countries have come up with package of measures designed to either counter the negative impact of rising inflation on incomes or to contain price increases. In the UAE the governments of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah announced caps on annual rent rises of 5% (the caps were 7% in 2007 and 15% in 2006), although anecdotal evidence suggests that landlords are more than capable of circumventing these constraints. The UAE government also announced in its 2008 budget that it was giving a 70% pay rise to all public-sector workers (almost all of whom are Emirati nationals). In January 2008 Saudi Arabia announced a swathe of measures designed to contain inflation (and the negative impact of inflation) including subsidising a wide range of fees, awarding a 5% cost-of-living allowance to all state employees and pensioners and boosting social security payments. The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA, the central bank) has also enacted two increases in the commercial banks' reserve requirement. The initial rise in November 2007 was the first time the requirement had been changed in 27 years. (Increasing the reserve requirement is a form of monetary tightening as it reduces liquidity in the banking system as well as the lending base of the commercial banking sector.)

The central bank's lack of flexibility on monetary policy and the absence of sophisticated monetary tools have also made it difficult to manage the avalanche of liquidity generated by record oil earnings. Private sector credit growth has soared, even in traditionally conservative Saudi Arabia where it reached 15% year on year in the third quarter. Rates of around 30% year on year meanwhile have been seen in 2007 in the UAE and Qatar.

With this level of credit growth and rapid population growth (as expatriates flock to the GCC to tap into the burgeoning employment opportunities), domestic demand has soared creating problems with supply, particularly in the real estate sector. There was already a shortage of housing that was pushing up the price or rental cost of housing, even before the recent rise in the global price of building materials (and shortages of supply) and rising wage pressure in the construction sector.

What can be done?
As already highlighted, the monetary policy tools available to MENA governments are constrained by the prevalence of some form of currency peg. One alternative anti-inflation tool that is not apparently being considered, particularly in the GCC, is reining in fiscal expenditure; indeed all the GCC states have pledged to maintain their extensive network of subsidies. The same is true of less solvent countries in North Africa, such as Morocco, who will not risk cutting subsidies for fear of the negative social and political ramifications. Furthermore, the size and scale of ongoing infrastructure projects in the GCC, and to a lesser extent across the region, will necessitate growth in budgetary spending for some time.

In a similar vein, with a focus on social stability, the GCC authorities are upping public-sector wages as part of their policy of ensuring that the oil wealth is distributed amongst the population. In poorer North African and near Eastern countries, wage pressure is not so strong, given relatively high unemployment rates. However, attempts to raise the social security net are likely, given the concern that falling disposable income will be socially and politically destabilising. In Iran, where annual inflation oscillates near to 20%, the government is choosing to hand out much of its windfall oil revenue in populist gestures.

Another possible tool that does not appear to be under consideration—at least at the official level—is a break with the currency pegs. The pegs in the GCC are longstanding and have helped maintain macroeconomic stability and attract investment. It can be argued that as the GCC economies modernise and become more dynamic, the currency pegs seem outdated, but what seems clear, is that the regional central banks are not going to be bullied by commercial and financial sector interests to alter a regime that has served them well in the past.

Supply-side measures could help to dampen the current high prevailing rates of inflation. The GCC authorities have tried such measures, including a cap on cement prices in the UAE to help the construction industry or threatening fines on retailers that overcharge, but these measures are piecemeal and, so far, have not had a noticeable impact. Qatar imposed price controls on wheat-based products, however there is a danger that, if too strictly enforced, these could backfire and lead to shortages.

In summary, it looks as though MENA governments, where they can, are partly choosing to live with higher rates of inflation or are choosing to dampen the impact of rising prices by continuing to subsidise goods or by inflating wages. Although these are by no means the textbook responses to inflationary pressures, it looks as though the authorities might succeed in managing expectations, helped by a less inflationary global environment. Our view is that global growth is set to slow in 2008-09 and that by 2009 global non-oil commodity prices and oil prices (to a lesser extent) will be falling, which should take some of the heat out of the regional economies.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Street Protests Wont Lower Inflation but changes in monetary and fiscal policies will.

What is inflation? In economic terms, it is defined by rising prices of goods and services. It means money is losing value. I found this definition on RBNZ website.

In Malaysia, the problem is not just imported inflation (higher oil prices) but largely structural, but high oil prices has been a convenient scapegoat for a Govt at lost to explain and come up with viable solution. When the Govt done nothing, except blaming the high prices of oil in the international market.

The people are tired of the same excuses, so they protest and demontrate, as reported in Malaysiakini. Arresting the protesters and media blackout wont solve the problem, but changing monetary and fiscal policies will.

I am not saying there is no point in demonstrating against price hikes and get arrested. Actually they have done a very good job in highlighting inflation issues, price hikes and inequity in our society.
And, by being arrested for demonstrating on price hikes and inflation issues, they have showed that our Govt have no contingency plan to alleviate the effect of inflation suffered by the masses.

Inflation is a macroeconomic problem. Its one of the effect of runaway growth, and it could be the effect of external shock. In our case, or the case of world economy in general, the effect of price hikes of scarce commodities, ie oil, coal and other resources like iron and other metals.

will continue later.