Tuesday, March 10, 2009

RM60 billion package

How much for the small man? During a meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister on the same day he announced the 0.1 per cent GDP growth for the last quarter, he told us that the biggest personal challenge for him ensure that the smaller-income guy and his family get through the global economic meltdown smoothly.

He was talking about the average wage earner who takes home RM2000 or less, each month who's not able to earn more from overtime work because his employer can't afford it, who does not have other means of income to supplement his household of five. Najib said we are looking at a U-shape downturn, which means the economy may stay down for a longer period than if it was the usual V-shape slowdown.

The talk then was that the MoF would announce a RM10 billion stimulus package and everybody spoke of how small it was. Now, the RM60 billion package that Najib announced at Parliament this afternoon looks more like it (the Bernama story here, Najib's full speech here).

But you can't please everybody: someone asked me on the phone as I climbed down from Bukit Aman just after 5pm (for a follow-up "interview") if the Government really had RM60 billion to spend! I want to see how it's going to benefit the smaller-income guy and his family.

By the way, did you hear talk that Daim Zainuddin was coming back in some advisory capacity to the Government? Daim and I didn't go along very well when I was the Business Times editor and he was Economic Advisor to the Government, but other than Dr Mahathir thye say there's probably no other who'd spur greater confidence in the Malaysian economy than the (so-called) "Shorty".


  1. Anonymous7:10 pm

    Maybe shorty is bringing back the billions he stole and charge the govt less interest as the say nothing like being closer to home.

    short billionair

  2. Anonymous7:13 pm

    Malaysia nak print duit RM60 billion.
    Tell the rakyat where is the money coming from?
    The allocation of resources much to be desired - oooh my God!!!
    Macam ini lingkup lah nampak nya!!!
    Lah.... tak caya ke Rocky!!!

  3. Anonymous7:16 pm

    I hope there's something for "treating mental conditions" when it comes to the `small man'.

    You see, I'm very concerned about one guy - his mental health seems to have declined dramatically. I think it has to do with a fake coalition imploding.

    This guy here fashions himself as "a masked defender" of something,,, in pursuit `of truth and justice', `without fear or favour', and all that jazz.

    Now he keeps repeating he's "Willing to stake his life" for... Bangsa Malaysia,,, like the one fashioned by "Ayah Pin Junior" (which is EMPTY). His reiterations sound so faked and deluding!

    Please, someone; get my friend the masked defender to the nearest psychiatric ward! Now that the lies and emptiness of `Bangsa Malaysia' are clearer by the day, I have the feeling he'll do something harmful to himself!!

  4. Just keep Badawi and his goons oou of the picture and everything would turn out well.

  5. Anonymous8:08 pm

    Why nothing mentioned about improving public transport? We don't need sky bridges - we need sky trains.
    Rapid Kl is not addressing its problems with the LRT system - please, help build a better transport system instead of throwing money to get people to buy cars via the scrapping policy.

  6. Anonymous8:16 pm

    Dear RB
    My only concern is whether the package is a crate of fish for us to devour momentarily or a casting net to catch the fish today,tomorrow and the future years. And not forgetting the few and influential marauding sharks encircling the policymakers hoping to get a bigger bite of the 60 bn thrown.


  7. Anonymous8:18 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. "...than the (so-called) "Shorty"."

    Wah lau e, Bro Rocky. Don't be so mean la! He got robbed last year and lost a few pair of good Berluttis (I think!). Have pity mah.

    BTW, you recall the joke that went around about Dr. M, DSAI, and Daim flying together in a plane?

  9. Anonymous9:03 pm


    thanks for the advice. i have to open my mind and my heart. hope you also. thanks bro


  10. Anonymous9:11 pm

    Kalau ader Arw TS P Ramlee, mesti dia kata, sekadar dapat dengar dan bau sebutan RM60b pun boleh DAH KENYANG!!

    Just hope they dont come flashing the "HAJAT" TO HELP with Kompangs and the usual frills,

    Dek kato orang, hebah bagi semua orang NgaNga dan terliuk!!.

    OOOO Rocky, how I wish what they are telling us is TRUUUEEEEE!!!

    Aladdin.... where are you??


  11. Anonymous9:16 pm

    it is ok, remember when Dr M mention RM100billion, people worry because how to finance it. i think ok for now, if not have to pump again.


  12. It is actually true that only Daim and Mahathir has proven track record of their capabilities.

    No matter how many Economists we have, it is still quite hard to believe which one to listen to.

    My field is Economics as well and I can tell you that almost every Economist do not see eye to eye on opinions.

    At times, it depends which school of economic thought one prefers.

    I hope Najib can appoint not only Tun Daim as advisor but also Tun Dr Mahathir.

    We need Dr Mahathir in the Government.

  13. Anonymous10:38 pm


    The latest rumor in town, Abdullah appear to be joining PKR on 1 April 2009!!! Can you confirm?

    Also this:

    ".....According to the source, Abdullah hinted that he had a core of loyal supporters within the party who would keep Najib in check....."

    Who are the loyal supporters to check Najib? Ali Rustam? KJ?


    Pak Lah has lunch with Anwar
    Mar 10, 09 8:50pm
    Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today had lunch and a rare meeting with Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim at a function in Hulu Langat, Selangor.

    The presence of the two leaders at the same table raised eyebrows as well as questions on whether the outgoing premier and the waiting-to-be premier are stitching a political pact.

    While some in the opposition camp, including PKR Youth chief Shamsul Iskandar Md Akim, who was with Anwar today, have denied that there was a "secret meeting" between the duo, this however has not stop the speculation.

    According to a source close to Anwar, the two leaders had a four-eye meeting which lasted about 20 minutes.

    "Anwar asked Abdullah how he could have entrusted the country to (Deputy Prime Minister) Najib (Razak), which the PM said it was too late to do anything now," said the source.

    According to the source, Abdullah hinted that he had a core of loyal supporters within the party who would keep Najib in check.

  14. Anonymous10:41 pm

    rocky, there is nothing special about daim! so why must government depend on him? or he wants more and more, see his international bank!! only open in problematic countries or heaven countries.


  15. Anonymous11:03 pm

    Daim come back as Finance Minister?

    When are they going to sack FM II?

    3.5% growth in 2009??????

  16. Anonymous11:04 pm

    Rocky, now that you are a servant to your political masters, how come you don't know?


  17. Anonymous11:15 pm

    What 60 billion? If you dissect the whole speech, the mini budget is only worth 15 billion..

    Najib tried to blind us with numbers. The ordinary man wont be affected. We need the banks cooperation, we need to ensure this stimulus reach the intended target...

    Why subsidise the toll when the govt can buy back?

    sorry to say but Anwar was right when he called for a fresh budget last year. This mini budget may be a wee bit late..

    Lets brace for the worst.

  18. Layarilah laman http://pemudaumnokemaman.wordpress.com/

  19. This budget is known as BN Cronies Budget!
    Bail Out! Bail Out! Bail Out!

  20. Anonymous12:10 am

    Dear Rocky.

    Daim become economic adviser to najib.You must be jocking.I am sure out of 60 billion package 10 billions will go to his crony.

    Today news,Effandy nawawi bocome a Senator.His next post willa minister in najib lineup.

    Good Luck

  21. Bro Rocky,

    Small man? Heck, there's nothing for even the medium sized ones too. :)

    Whatever initial shock I had in seeing the RM60b figure subsided as soon as I managed to read the PM2B's speech giving details of the so-called stimulus package.

    Disappointingly no tax cuts or tax holiday for the working bunch.

    Why is there so much focus on Sabah and Sarawak anyway?

    There was also strangely no stimulant to force growth, but the press would go to town with the caring package bit.

    Ah... well.

    PS: Are the 50k contract jobs the same as the 50K bunch who did not get their contract extended? Just curious, really.

  22. Anonymous12:27 am

    whats going to spur this "shorty"?
    money? a young girl?
    oh, goodness only he knows. stock market punting is just pocket change for him, didnt he say that?
    and his son is now a major player in SES, isnt he?
    how did the "shorty" become so rich?
    sri ram gave him a hiding didnt he? well done, ram, you are my man.

  23. If thats what we need, then shorty it is!

  24. Anonymous2:22 am

    Dear Rocky and all,

    Please give Najib a break guys, at least he's doing something.. I can see so many smart ass amongst us here got nothing else to do but comdemning any step taken by govt. Whatever it is, there are actions being taken and pray that it will ease us. I wonder if the dungus Pak Lah has tackled it earlier, it might be better for our economy. Lucky he let go the post, I bet if he still holds it, surely still in deep sleep and update us with a good feeling words.. Cant wait for him to go. Sick of looking at his face on the papers and TV screen trying to erase our mind over how bad he is as PM in this few days time..

    New world without Pak Lah..

  25. how did the "shorty" become so rich?
    sri ram gave him a hiding didnt he? well done, ram, you are my man.







  26. Anonymous5:41 am

    Hello there Abg Rocky!

    You might not remember me, im a freelancer for Mediate Communications, close friend of Nana, Cheeseng & Anthea.

    I was wondering if you could do me a small favor. My friend Gael, Ex-Mediate staff, will be organizing a Fund Raising Event called “Malaysian Health & Happiness Festival 2009”. The purpose of this function is to raise fund to help underprivileged & abused woman.

    You can get all the information’s at :

    The Festival is the first health and Wellness family festival of it's kind in Asia, combining exhibition, conferences and stage demonstrations. In promoting natural health and wellness, it also provide a platform for health professionals, practitioners and therapists to connect to each other and a wider public.

    The will be loads of local & international speakers from a wide range of fields who will give a speech at the workshop. A part of the proceed from the products sold & the admission for the workshop will go straight to the fund.

    Everything is going smoothly for us, we manage to secure a venue, find adequate sponsors and find plenty of exhibitors. What we are severely lacking is publicity. So I was wondering if you could find the space and time to promote this event in your blog? Its all for a good cause. Your blog is one of the most popular blog in the country, so there is a great potential to reach out to a lot of people who might be compelled to help our cause.

    Of course, the final decision will be your own whether to publish it or not, but we will be forever grateful if you could lend us a hand, it is after all for a very good cause. And of course we will be greatly honored if you could make it to the event itself.

    I could be contacted at "wewantpeace2003@yahoo.com"

    Your sincerely

  27. Anonymous7:11 am

    I would trust Daim with my life ... this guy has built masjid even more than PAS ever build one in Kelantan for 19 years ...

  28. Anonymous7:36 am

    You people kononnya nak menolong Rakyat, but come up with RED TAPES yang berbelit2.

    Lets take one simple case.
    This college boy, anak yatim piatu… with schoolgoing siblings. Father died almost a year ago. Wang KWSP over RM300K. But your system belit sana sini, between taking care of his family and having to attend lectures, KENA NAIK TURUN MAHKAMAH like beggars (and making him run around to haul in WARIS, WARIS2 BERLAPIS LAPIS DOCUMENTS BLAH BLAH – and him having to coughed out and pay FOR LEGAL FEES), just to get to SATISFY your RED TAPES!!

    Just hope the Government is not using these kind of “UNNECESSARY DELAYED FUNDS” to HELP finance the RM60b stimulus package for the benefit of OTHERS!!


  29. Rocky How on earth you did not get along with the 'MAN" Daim Zainuddin. That suprise me. Daim is the architech of Malaysian Economy. He turn meltdown to iceberg. he made headways with his no nonsense 'work not talk' attitude during the 80s till he step down in the 90s and taken over by the nonsense Anwar Idbrahim who manipulated the stock market that it became the biggest casino in Malaysia after Genting. He was brought back in the 98 crisis and it yield results. He works well with TDM that what we Malaysian sees and the output talk for itself. Beetween Rocky and Daim, Rocky cant beat that guy! ha ha. Anyway it great to see a great man who had experiances handling economic crisis especially if TDM is brough back as advisor and we will walk the tall again. You see in this century crisis there no room for the Fourth Floor boy. Havard graduates or Phd boys, they mess things and made it worst. In this crisis we need affirmative decissions and effective planning with no flip flopping and the attributes are in Daim and TDM workmanship. Najib should reliase by now it takes 2 to tango!. By the way when Daim spoked it has substances compares to AAB and Nor Mohammed. If Malaysian wants to revive the biggest casino then support Anwar to topple BN as soon as possible!

  30. We have something called http://www.recovery.gov/

    So how transparent is the govt?

  31. I haven't done a full deconstruction of the budget yet, but N Azrin is correct: direct expenditure is only going to be RM15 billion. The rest from what I can see are tax rebates/allowances and investment, plus the RM25 billion in guarantees (which are contingent liabilities).

    Funding the potential extra spending (RM35 billion in total) is not going to be a problem.

    First, the banking system has over RM180 billion in excess liquidity - the March 1st cut in the SRR alone released RM16 billion.

    Second, my read is that a lot of this spending is backloaded to the end of this year, or next year.

    This is a sensible budget. The current downturn is not cyclical, but is going to persist a few years based on what's going on in the US and other advanced economies. That calls for spending on structural issues, not short term boosts to income.

  32. Anonymous8:58 am

    Whatever he's gonna do, make sure he doesn't 'sneeze' or run out of 'pocket money'.

  33. Anonymous9:01 am

    How much for the small man? you asked. Then you finished off writing of 'Shorty' playing an advisory role.

    Is the small man, Shorty? Are you implying that Daim will get a cut of that 60 billion ringgit?

    -Silence is Golden -

  34. Anonymous9:06 am

    We need whatever it takes to help us through this credit crunch.
    If Daim is the answer, so be it.
    Like him or not, he has a proven track record.
    Effendi Norwawi will also figure prominently in Najib's cabinet.
    Hello Mahani, hello Tiara.

  35. ko ni banyak betul orang-orang besar tak suka ko...

    Tony lah, Daim lah apa lah..

  36. Anonymous9:39 am

    Daim? Are you crazy, Rocky. That guy plundered all of Malaysia's worth more than the Portuguese, Dutch, Japanese and British did in 400 years.

    He owns 4 banks. Where do you think the money came from?

    Najib will be making a big mistake if he takes Daim.

  37. Anonymous9:55 am

    While you cannot please everybody in the stimulus package just announced, the package seems to have pleased something like 3 people only. The general public does not benefit from it at all. The scope is too narrow. The multiplier effect is not going to be strong. How to stimulate the economy this way?

  38. Anonymous10:02 am

    While they are at it, why not bring back, Mike Tyson, Thamby, and all the well known thieves and robbers....they can re-enact the ALIBABA abd 40 thieves tale again.

  39. Anonymous11:10 am


  40. Anonymous11:17 am

    Dear rocky,

    maybe u can translate precisely HOW this package will benefit the profile that Najib mentioned.

    "He was talking about the average wage earner who takes home RM2000 or less, each month who's not able to earn more from overtime work because his employer can't afford it, who does not have other means of income to supplement his household of five."

    - please convince or advice us exactly this RM60B will help the person described above. Thanks

    - Curious

  41. Anonymous12:10 pm

    Hw many sub we can buy wth that money..u want answr ask najis

  42. Anonymous1:02 pm

    What RM60 billion? My count is that its only RM18 billion of which RM15 billion is in the form of fiscal spending and a (measly) RM3 billion tax cuts.

    Out of that RM15 billion fiscal spending, only RM10 billion is for 2009.

    Of that RM10 billion, half is going to pay for operational expenses including for hiring more gomen workers, which this country already has too many.

    Ok, so there is a lot on credit guarantee but what is the point of easy credit if there is no market? The export market is drying up. Nothing I see in this package will increase private domestic consumption, needed to compensate for the fall in exports.

    Overall, I give this package an "F" for "Fail".


  43. Anonymous2:59 pm

    I don't mean to be sarcastic but 50 odd years of NEP and we still do not have a class of Melayu that is capable of running the country efficiently? And that we need to 'recycle' ex-ministers (i.e. Daim) to help pull Malaysia out of this L shape recession?

    Where are all the capable, clean, dedicated, honest Melayu leaders? I have a feeling many of these potential Melayu leaders are overseas. Not surprise when one day, a Melayu leader appear as the Governor in the US or a MP in UK/Australia. Whose lost is it if not Malaysia? Bangunlah Malaysia. Brain drain is just not limited to the kaum 'pendatang'.

  44. The so-called stimulus package is nothing but a political gimmick I would say. It is just also another shock treatment to our slowing economy.

    It is a much anticipated package especially for the cronies and goons of UMNO/BN, I believe. Why should the government focus on expenditures when they should be worried on getting markets for our export products?

    How the government wants to raise RM60 billion? By taxing higher middle-income earners who by today's standard are not middle income anymore. Cost of living has gone up if they remember correctly.

  45. Anonymous3:33 pm

    Is there no one else that Datuk Seri Najib and his cabinet can turn to for advice on how to rescue malaysia from a recession other than Tun Daim?
    Malaysia is full a great talents but it seem that only one man have the answer how to take Malaysia out of this recession.
    I strong do not agree bring back Tun Daim as advice to the government as he have a tainted past.

    I would suggest bringing in Tengku Razaligh Hamzah and Jomo Kwame Sundaram as special economic advisers to the government of Malaysia .

    Keng Tiong Hai
    Kota Kemuning,
    Shah Alam

  46. Anonymous3:52 pm

    We the "small man" had been living in recession for tens of years, I guess it is the "big men" ways of life that they are worried of.

    Anyway, since efforts are finally made to "HELP" we the "small man", sekadar ini yang kami harap dapat GOMEN pertahankan;

    1. Monitor prices of BASIC necessities such as beras, minyak masak, tepung, susu bayi, telur ayam, baja tanaman (these are our daily basic needs). Ini lah saja makanan yang kami mampu tiap hari, sayur tanam kat belakang dapur!!

    2. Letrik, Air dan gas dapur, tolong jangan naik dengan mendadak. Takder duit kena potong, berpelita pula kami, air terpaksa tadah hujan. Kayu basah, takder gas, nah tanak nasi pun tak boleh!!

    3. Tambang bas, keperluan kami untuk pergi kerja dan untuk anak ke sekolah. Tak mampu pi sekolah makayah kena tangkap pula!! Masaalah lagi!!

    4. Kos Ubatan - tak ada wang untuk beli ubat, kami mati, siapa pula nak tanggung anak2 kami?

    5. Cut all RED TAPES. Because of your inefficiencies and your fanciful peraturan, we the ordinary Rakyat have to "PAY"!!!

    Sebagai contoh sebelum ini, tambang dan masa pi balik pi balik pi balik (So far I have to attend the hearings 4times, dengar kata, banyak lagi peringkat, yang perlu dilalui).

    Semata nak dapatkan Sijil Faraid pun boleh ke tahap RM6K!!! Apa ke hal semua nih??????? Tak pikiaq ker kepayahan kami!! Mana nak cekau duit banyak nih???


  47. Mula-mula, dgr khabar "bugdet mini", tup-tup 60 billion. "mini" ke tu?

    Ape pun, budget yg sebelum ni pun tak nampak kesannya, apakah jaminan duit 60 billion ni dapat di salurkan ke rakyat bawahan yang memerlukan dan meningkatkan ekonomi malaysia?

    Takut, budget saje besar. Perlaksanaan tak serupa percakapan.

  48. Anonymous4:07 pm

    Salaam, Pak Rocky

    My first reaction to the "mini-budget":

    - what happened to the widely-anticipated reductions in corporate and personal income tax rates?

    It can't have escaped the government's notice that Taiwan has recently reduced it's corporate tax rate from 25 per cent to 20 per cent. And that Singapore's corporate tax rate is 18 per cent and top personal income tax rate is only 20 per cent.

    So, why didn't the Malaysian govt cut tax rates?

    Quick answer: because it couldn't afford to. It would have blown the budget deficit sky-high and forced the credit ratings agencies to downgrade Malaysia's ratings. And because the govt doesn't have alternative sources of revenue (with the falls in the prices of crude oil and palm oil and no value-added tax or tax on consumption). Plus the govt is committed to pay out RM25 billion+ annually for subsidies.

    With tax rates one of the key factors in a country's international competitiveness rankings, it is hard to see how MNCs could justify investing in Malaysia, or increasing their investments here, when there are more competitive lower-tax countries elsewhere in the region.

    Next question:

    - how will the govt address and rectify the structural defects in the Malaysian economy? Structural defects include affirmative action and quotas, the national education system, continuing focus on labour-intensive industries and sectors, under-performing govt-linked companies, corruption, lack of broad-based sources of revenue and an on-going brain drain.

    If the govt does not have the political will to correct the structural defects in the economy, then RM60 billion will be just money down the drain.

  49. /// How much for the small man?...

    By the way, did you hear talk that Daim Zainuddin was coming back in some advisory capacity to the Government? ///

    I thought the small man already has enough to live a million lifetimes with his billions...

  50. Anonymous1:15 pm


    how come nobody is asking where the money is going to come from? you must have the money to spend if not you will be borrowing into the future. so who did government borrow from? our future generation of course who is lending for today spending. hmmm.. which government agency do you think have that kind of money?

    creepy crawlies, that is how american economy got into deep s--t in the first place. the american government was borrowing thru all the treasury bill, bonds both private and sovereign issued to the world who gobbled it up and letting the americans have such high life at the expense of the rest of the world.

    members of the public are so easily hoodwinked especially if they are not familiar how the financial system works. wake up malaysia...we are selling our future.....

    keturunan jebat

  51. Anonymous8:08 pm

    keturunan jebat,

    Kan ternyata duit Harta Pusaka yang tidak dituntut berbillion2.

    Anak yatim, balu, terpaksa berhutang dengan Ah Long (nak bayar hutang Arwah yang lain),tak mampu hantar anak ke sekolah, makan nasi ika kering tiap hari..

    Just hope sementara putar belit and delaying the rightful distributions kepada yang berhak... THEY ARE NOT UTILISING THESE FUNDS TOO????


  52. The mini budget to me is a miserable miser budget that does not benefit the millions of ordinary wage earners and families. It seeks to pamper the unemployed educated fellos asking them to be professional students than work for their keeps! It does not stimulate me to feel optimistic about the money ever benefiting the small man on the street! see www.jonathan66-my.blogspot.com

  53. Anonymous2:15 pm

    Stimulus package announced by a very stimulating PM in waiting that will most probably benefit his very stimulated group of friends.

    As for me, I am not his friend, so I suppose I wont be benefitting from it.. and most probably have to work my ass off to support this mega RM60 billion Stimulus package.

    Eh, where do you think this very stimulating PM in waiting is going to get so much money from ah? You people think our little paradise got so much money to vormit out ah!? Get real la.. even cash cows like EPF and Petronas is slowly drying up!!! The government better not cheat me.. when it is time for me to take my EPF, it better be there... READY & STEADY for me to take in 1 lump sum and not in installment!

  54. Anonymous5:32 pm

    Hah Skillcannon 1066,

    You mau tembak apa lagi pasal Singapore students? Go to Kelantan and study how such a poor kid, in Malaysia, can excel in all her subjects..

    Instead of Nga Ngaing the performances of neighbouring countries' kids... go and meet her.

    The least you can do to appreciate is to reward her a beautiful bangalow for being such an inspiration to kids of our MALAYSIA...


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