Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Garbage in, garbage out

Did you sleep well last night? No? Worried about share prices and the economy, ah? Well, I slept fine. You see once Najib assured us that “the fundamentals of the Malaysian economy are strong,” well, what else do I need to know? You see, people sometimes tell me I'm a real naïve sucker. It really doesn’t take much to convince me; Najib said it, I’m the type to just believe him. Aren’t you?

Now, I know, you’re going to tell me: "wait a minute, you fool, haven’t you been following the news? Forget about the U.S. economy and the mess over there on Wall Street, take a look here on Petaling Street, la!” I know, I know, you and your type are just going to try to confuse me, but I already told you, what Najib said. According to Malaysiakini,"Najib said Malaysia was a diversified economy and its 'stronger links to Asia' would allow the country to be in a better position to weather this challenging period." Huh! See la! Mind you, I’m not too sure what Najib means, but it sure sounds good to me.

Never mind the other news in recent days that Malaysia’s FDI outflow had increased by 81.9 percent from RM20.89 billion in 2006 to RM38 billion in 2007. In fact, I know you’re also going to tell me that the inflation rate has never been as high in over a quarter a century! Further, you will probably tell me: "look, man – the stock market also gone down 29 percent this year, la." Never mind, one! Remember, Najib said ‘the fundamentals of the Malaysian economy are strong.” Foreign investments, inflation, and stock market, maybe even the unemployment rate is all rubbish, la. This is not fundamentals, you know! Look at the real fundamentals, man.

What? You asking me – if not inflation, share prices, negative foreign investment flows, etc – then what are the real fundamentals? What man, how I know? You ask this kind of questions, what you think I am finance minister or what? Next thing I know, you will ask me how I think our economy is going to be affected when Malaysia fell to 47th in the 2008 Corruption Perception Index. What? You asking me how do I know? All I know is Najib said….

Very hard to talk to you people la. Just pay attention to ‘the fundamentals’ – don’t worry about the facts…those things are meaningless you know. Then you'll sleep better. If you still cannot sleep, try some hot Milo - it always helps me.

Oh, by the way, Selamat Hari Raya to you all, ah.

G. Krishnan