|Laman Webantu KM2A1: 4081 File Size: 12.8 Kb *|
TJ KB FT AWSJ: Pakej Merangsang Tergelunsur Sakan
By Sheila McNulty
29/3/2001 5:01 pm Thu
PAKEJ RANGSANGAN KERANA TIDAK TAHAN?
Malaysia kini dilanda kesusahan... belanjawan sudah pun
dibentang, masterplan telah dirancang dan kini program
rangsangan pula dikemukakan. Tetapi kroni dulu yang beroleh
pertolongan sedangkan rakyat terpaksa bergaduh dulu sebelum
menerima bantuan. Bank telah pun bergabung tetapi mereka pun
tidak berani untuk menampung pinjaman lagi kerana sudah semakin
sedikit untung. Malah 10,000-17,000 pekerja bank dijangka
akan kehilangan pekerjaan. Saham yang menjunam menyebabkan
kedudukkan bank semakin bergoyang kerana ia turut menjadi kolateral
pinjaman. Di Filipina lebih RM3 bilion hangus lesap akibat pinjaman
untuk Halim Saad sahaja yang berkolateral saham yang sudah tiada
nilainya lagi. [KM 2841]
Banyak syarikat awam juga jauh tersasar untung jika tidak rugi
melambung. Kelembapan ekonomi Amerika menyebabkan tergugat
ekspot negara maka pakej RM3 bilion dilancarkan sementara potongan
KWSP dikurangkan untuk merangsang permintaan domestik dan melompat
sedikit untung. Tetapi jika kesannya amat terhad kerana tidak
memadai (mengikut analis MSDW, ABN Amro dl) ia bakal membuat
pemimpin negara menjadi semakin bingung.....
Ramai analis berpendapat kadar pertumbuhan ekonomi akan merosot
lebih rendah (3-4%) dari tanggapan awal (7%). Keyakinan pengguna
masih kurang dan potongan KWSP yang dikurangkan hanya mampu untuk
membeli beberapa bungkus coklat sahaja. Kelonggaran terhadap pinjaman
membeli kereta, saham dan hartanah serta pemansuhan cukai kad kredit
cuba merangsang perbelanjaan domestik tetapi itu tidak akan
dapat menampung jurang akibat ekspot yang menjunam. (A.S. menyerap
23% ekspot). Satu ketika dulu Rafidah Aziz memberi kenyataan
kesan kelembapan ekonomi A.S. adalah begitu minima - sekarang
terbukti ia agak maksima sehingga RM3 bilion terpaksa disediakan
untuk kekal segar.
"Menurut pakar dari Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co., En Daniel Lian,
pakej rangsangan itu masih belum mencukupi kerana "terhad kesannya".
Mahathir ingin mengekalkan pertumbuhan ekonomi dengan rangsangan ini
tetapi pakej sebegini kerap gagal seperti yang pernah tercatat di Jepun.
Lagipun projek yang kontroversial seperti Bakun masih ingin diteruskan.
Memang kerajaan menyediakan payung tetapi masalahnya hujan yang bakal
datang itu akan menerbangkan semua yang berpayung. Lihatlah apa yang
berlaku di Jepun. Ekspot keretanya kini sudah mula menurun.....
Kerajaan sebenarnya belum memulihkan ekonomi pada akar dan umbi. Ia cuma
menganjakkan kesan dengan bon dan dana awam sebagai benteng penghalang.
Bon-bon yang dikeluarkan itu akan semakin matang tetapi kita semakin
kepupusan wang luar mahupun dalam. Lapuran AP/Reuters menyebut rezab
antarabangsa susut lebih RM1 bilion dalam masa dua minggu sahaja bulan
ini. Kita cuma mampu menampung 4 1/2 bulan impot.
Kerajaan kini meninggikan had pinjaman bank untuk membeli saham dan
menyertai skim amanah. Soalnya siapa yang mahu membeli jika keuntungan
semakin merosot melainkan untuk berjudi? Adakah kerajaan ingin meramaikan
pembunuh diri dan penagih dadah lagi? Atau mahu mencetus satu lagi tragedi
'Kg Medan' di dunia koporat pula nanti?
Lama-lama semua kekayaan akan terhilang kerana terpaksa membayar hutang
dan bon yang tertunggak.Apakah rakyat Malaysia mahu menunggu Malaysia
hancur dulu sebelum bertindak? Lihatlah Indonesia yang begitu sukar
dipulihkan kerana membiarkan Suharto memerintah terlalu lama. Pengerusi
IBRAnya (Edwin Gerungan) merasa bosan mengendalikannya kerana terlalu
banyak kemusnahan walaupun dia dulu seorang pegawai bank yang amat
cemerlang. [Rujuk Siri: KM2 "Tugas Yang Membosankan"TAG MT 34-37] Malaysia nampaknya mengorak langkah yang serupa.
Selamat berduka semua di hari muka!!
- TJr Kapal Berita-
The Financial Times, UK
Malaysia unveils stimulus package
By Sheila McNulty in Singapore
Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia's prime minister, on Tuesday unveiled a
M$3bn ($790m) fiscal stimulus package and other measures to buffer the
economy from the slowdown in the US, a key export market. Analysts
doubted it would be enough to help.
The package includes building new schools and housing for the armed
forces while granting agriculture subsidies. In addition, Dr Mahathir
said workers' contribution to the Employees Provident Fund, the
mandatory national pension fund, will be reduced by 2 per cent for one
year to promote spending.
A tax on credit cards will be abolished. Incentives will be provided
to encourage buying cars and property. And banks have been ordered to
achieve annual loan growth of 8 per cent - a call they have ignored in
Dr Mahathir said growth would be revised to between 4 and 5 per cent,
from a projection of 7 per cent. Malaysia's economy grew 8.5 per cent
The country is highly dependant on the US to buy electronics exports -
a fact that helped it rebound from the regional financial crisis of
1997. But analysts say the US downturn has come before Malaysia
completely turned around its own economy. Consumer confidence already
is weakening. Corporate profits are below expectations.
Analysts doubted the stimulus would change that. "It's a really
insignificant, small package," said Phoa Su Sian, Malaysian-based
analyst for ABN Amro Asia Securities. She said the M$1.7bn cut in
contributions to the pension fund, the part that gives money straight
to consumers, would allow the average worker to keep M$14 per month -
enough to buy "a few chocolate bars."
Following a string of government bail-outs of well-connected
companies, analysts suspected the effort would be seen as "insulting".
The government paid M$1.79bn alone to buy Malaysia Airlines in the
most contentious such deal - one widely criticised as a bail-out of
Tajudin Ramli, who has close ties to leaders. The price - what Mr
Tajudin paid for the stake in 1994 - was more than double the current
market value despite Malaysia Airlines' more than US$2bn in debt.
"In any country, fiscal packages don't work. The most obvious example
is Japan," said Kostas Panagiotou, senior economist at Kim Eng
Securities. He predicted Malaysia's growth would slow to 3.6 per cent
this year, irrespective of what the authorities do: "The global
economy is slowing and they cannot protect themselves from that."
The Asian Wall Street Journal
Malaysia Plans to Spend $789.5 Million
To Soften Effects of U.S. Economic Ills
By LESLIE LOPEZ
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad unveiled an
economic plan, including a three billion ringgit ($789.5 million)
fiscal stimulus package, aimed at cushioning Malaysia against a
weakening U.S. economy.
But economists said the bold plan isn't expected to soon lead to a
rush of foreign investment, a vital ingredient for sustained economic
"The plan will help bring back the feel-good factor which is now
lacking," said Nicholas Tan of Merrill Lynch Securities in Kuala
Lumpur. Still, echoing a view held by several private economists, Mr.
Tan noted that economic policies aimed at "stimulating demand often
dull sentiment among foreign investors who advocate pain before gain."
The Malaysian stock market reacted coldly to Dr. Mahathir's latest
economic initiative. The benchmark Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange
Composite Index fell 5.80 points to 663.47, its third consecutive day
of decline. The index rose to 673.41 in morning trading after Dr.
Mahathir's comments but later succumbed to selling pressure on fears
of weaker corporate earnings in the weeks ahead.
Malaysia is particularly vulnerable to any economic downturn in the
U.S., which last year imported goods, mainly electronic products,
equivalent to about 23% of the country's 339 billion ringgit economic
output at current prices.
Several private economists recently slashed their economic growth
forecasts for Malaysia to between 3.5% and 5% this year, adjusted for
inflation, mostly because of an anticipated weaker U.S. economy.
Previously, they were looking for the economy to expand by between
5.5% and 7%.
On Tuesday, Dr. Mahathir said that this year's economic growth rate
may fall below the 7% expansion the government had originally forecast
because of the slower U.S. economy. Last year, the Malaysian economy
expanded by 8.5%. (The country's central bank will release its annual
report on Wednesday, detailing the outlook for the Malaysian economy.)
"The government has to take pre-emptive measures to ensure the growth
momentum is sustained," Dr. Mahathir told a media conference at the
Parliament building in Kuala Lumpur. He added that the just-announced
fiscal stimulus package will add 1.1 percentage points to this year's
rate of growth in gross domestic product, the market value of goods
and services a nation produces.
Dr. Mahathir didn't elaborate, but private economists such as Daniel
Lian of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. in Singapore believe that the
fiscal impetus will add only between 0.7 and 0.9 percentage point to
GDP growth this year. "Malaysia's monetary policy isn't accommodating.
That is why the income multiplier from the stimulus package will be
limited," Mr. Lian said.
Several brokers and analysts had been expecting a cut in interest
rates as an added booster to the country's fiscal pump-priming
initiatives. Many had speculated that the central bank would cut the
key three-month intervention rate, which currently stands at 5.5%, by
as much as a half-percentage point. But Dr. Mahathir shot down those
expectations, saying that the country's rates already were low. "At
the moment, we feel it is not necessary [to cut rates]," he told
The three billion ringgit in additional funds, which comes on top of
28.8 billion ringgit in spending measures contained in the budget
handed down last October, will go toward building schools and
universities and financing projects such as the controversial Bakun
hydroelectric dam on Borneo in Sarawak state.
Other measures announced by Dr. Mahathir Tuesday included some to
boost consumer spending. He said that workers' contributions to the
Employees Provident Fund, the country's largest pension fund, will be
cut to 9% from 11%, providing Malaysian workers with a slightly higher
take-home pay. He also announced the abolishment of a 50 ringgit tax
on credit cards, which was introduced in 1997 and borne by individual
Further, Dr. Mahathir announced that the central bank might relax a
ceiling on the amount of loans banks can extend to borrowers for
stocks and unit trust, or mutual fund, purchases. In addition, the
government also set a target of 8% loan growth for financial
institutions during 2001.
Write to Leslie Lopez at email@example.com
Straits Times Singapore
24 Mar 2001
KL foreign reserves plummet by S$470m
KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's international reserves slumped by more than RM1
billion (S$470.5 million) in the first two weeks of this month.
The central bank said on Thursday that its gold, foreign exchange and other
reserves stood at RM109.05 billion as at March 15, down from RM110.17
billion a fortnight earlier.
Bank Negara said in a statement that the US dollar equivalent of the
international reserves fell to US$28.7 billion (S$51.3 billion) in the
middle of this month, against US$28.99 billion at the end of last month.
The central bank said its total assets and liabilities were at RM143.68
billion against RM144.8 billion two weeks earlier.
Government officials said reserve levels can finance 4 1/2 months of
retained imports, and there was no pressure to alter the ringgit's peg to
the US dollar.