Friday, September 20, 2013

Ah, Dr Awang Hitam! (Do your homework, IDEAS)

The Mole: Ideas without any idea of what a welfare state is?
Original posting: 

Simply taking an ideological stance against welfare spending without considering real-world evidence seems disingenuous, especially since Wan Saiful heads a "research" institute. - Is Malaysia a welfare state, Viewpoint, NST, 20/9/13

I've read Dr Awang Hitam (a relative of Utusan Malaysia's Awang Selamat, perhaps?) a couple of times in the NST. Reminds me a bit of the blogger SatD, minus the colourful language and mind-boggling graphics. The two are not the same person, let me assure you. Great minds think alike. Dr Awang Hitam's latest piece in the Business Times today, Is Malaysia a welfare state, counters the points made by Wan Saiful Wan Jan.; ncidentally, SatD took the Chief of IDEAS to task a couple of days ago over his call to scrap Article 153 h e r e.

Since most of you no longer read the NST, I reproduce Dr Awang Hitam's piece in full.

6.2PC OF GDP: Our social spending pales in comparison with the 18pc to 22pc in OECD countries, according to finance ministry data
RECENTLY, the chief executive officer of the Institute of Democracy Economic and Social Affairs (Ideas) Wan Saiful Wan Jan argued that Malaysia is fast becoming a welfare state. 
He raised an alarm that if we don't cut our welfare spending, we will have a big crisis down the road. Unfortunately, his claim - which is not backed by any analysis or data - is not correct on several counts. 
First of all, let's see how much we have spent on welfare.  
Quick calculations using data from the Ministry of Finance show that in 2012, our welfare spending - which in-cludes energy subsidies, social services (housing, education, health) and direct wel-fare is equivalent to 6.2 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP). If we exclude the energy subsidies and social services, the spending on direct wel-fare is less than 0.04 per cent of GDP. This is peanuts compared with other countries.  

The social spending of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries ranges between 18 per cent and 22 per cent of GDP, much higher than Malaysia's. 
Yes, welfare spending has increased slightly since 2000, but to claim that Malaysia is fast becoming a welfare state is a bit far-fetched. 
Is it wrong to spend on programmes to help farmers and fisherman increase their production? Is it wrong to spend on educational assistance programmes, which include nutrition programmes, transport and allowances for poor pre-school and school children? Is it also wrong to give financial assistance to the poor, senior citizens, the disabled, Orang Asli and other vulnerable groups?  
Second, using Greece and the United Kingdom as examples for "on the verge of bankruptcy" due to welfare policies is again blatantly ignoring economic evidence.
Yes, Greece was one of worst affected countries during the sovereign-debt crisis but this is due to decades-long twin deficits, while in the UK it was due to a bailout of their weak banking sector. In both countries, welfare spending is NOT the source of the crisis. 
Even if we assume that huge welfare spending is the reason for the crisis, then we would expect those countries that spent the most on welfare to be the hardest hit or in crisis. 
The top five social spenders - France, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium and Finland - are not on the verge of bankrupt 
Iceland, a country which did default in 2008, is not even in the Top 25 list. Neither Greece nor the UK are among the top 10 spenders in Europe. 
It is therefore important for the author to clarify what he meant by welfare state because the countries he had chosen as examples to undermine welfare poli-cies are not the biggest social spenders in Europe.  
He also argued that welfare is bad because it rarely breeds competitiveness. That is again wrong and not supported by empirical evidenc 
If welfare rarely breeds competitiveness, then why have European welfare states such as Norway, Finland, Sweden and Denmark always been highly ranked in the Global Competitiveness Index by the World Economic Forum? These are countries that have maintained their positions as top competitive countries, despite high public social spending.  
Simply taking an ideological stance against welfare spending without considering real-world evidence seems disingenuous, especially since Wan Saiful heads a "research" institute.  
While ideology may appear to be principled, overzealousness can lead to misuse or misrepresentation of data to suit the convictions of their advocates. 
It is also puzzling that he is against the assistance for the poor and disadvan-taged considering that the political party of which he is a life-time member is a strong proponent of "Negara Kebajikan" 
One wonders then whether the output of such an insti-tute can have the intellectual rigour and honesty to be trusted. 
But what is certain is that it is totally irresponsible to argue for the reduction of already low welfare spending, as this will expose the vulnerable to economic shocks over which they have no control to change or mitigate. 
Even the Asian Development Bank in a report in July suggests that middle-income status countries in Asia Pacific should strengthen their systems of social protection. 
Our middling income per capita, rising costs of living and astronomical increase in housing prices have created an urgent need for social assistance for the poor, nee-dy and middle-income class citizens - who are slowly but surely falling through the cracks. 
To simply ignore them and the human cost of such disregard because of rigid adherence to dogma is indeed a great injustice. 
Read more: Is Malaysia a welfare state?


  1. Anonymous12:16 pm

    AS I said Wan Saiful itu sapa? A stupid Englishman wannabe pig. A Chingk arselicker par excellence.

    He is nothing more than a ventriloquist's puppet, spewing out anti Malay garbage stuffed up his filthy unwashed arsehole by his Chingk masters. A case of letting the tongue wag and getting the arse fucked in return. A maruahless pseudo-melayu scumbag who is of no value to anyone, least of all, himself.

    To his Filthy Chingk masterpig, here is a similitude:

    "Verily, the parable for an arrogant and hypocritical Chingkie is that of a pig's arse. Smeared with shit and perfumed by the foul smell of its excreta, the hole of his puny universe gains momentary insights into the nature of reality with every swish of truth. But alas, that glimpse of reality is momentary, a flickering candle enlightening a darkened soul for verily when the swish stops, the stale rancid air of racist pride returns to snuff that whiff of truth while paranoia blankets his being even as hatred smothers his conscience and ignorance neuters his intellect till he regresses even further into the primeval cave of his racist self, seeking the comfort of superstition, the solace of lies, the balm of prejudice to salve his imagined hurt, his conjectured slight, his assumed humiliation "

    ( from 'Confucious the Confused, Anal-Acts'- Chapter 25 verse 19)

    Look for that swish here, Chingk pigs:

    P/s; You can add Mohamad Ariff, the fuckarse know nothing pseudo- economist, to Wan Saiful's pig pen. The two would make excellent buddies.

    Warrior 231

  2. Anonymous12:48 pm

    Rafizi must be still in diapers, a necklace pacifier and a 'bantal bucuk'.

  3. charleskiwi12:56 pm

    Malaysia may not be welfare state yet, please remember everything and every problem always starts from being small from the start. Besides Malaysia's deficit, especially with all the Allah's blessings, is very big by comparison.
    Are you saying Malaysia should keep giving away contracts to all the Umno's cronies without tender and with inflated prices just for the benefits of only a few should be continued.
    Or do we wait until the black gold has run out, it wouldn't take long for that to happen just like Indonesia, Only then should we be frugal ! Just imagine how much savings if only contracts were awarded by tenders ?

  4. Anonymous1:57 pm

    But you cannot discount the fact that discontent from Bumiputras is on the increase?

    Hopefully you know well that Bumiputras also comprise the non-Muslim original inhabitants of Sabah, Sarawak and also the Orang Aslis in Peninsular Malaysia? Jangan ingat MELAYU sahaja.

    It took many years for Ho Chi Minh's ambition to be realized. Likewise Mao, Mandela, Ghandi etc.

    You think it will not happen in Malaysia?

    Tuan - the movement has started. Now we have the bumiputras also expressing concern. They are not the ordinary nasi lemak selling Ahmads but folks who can discern whats going on.

    Those in the establishment can be coerced to parrot what the Executive wants to say/convince, but you try lah for once - come over to the side of the folks who are suffering and then you will know.


  5. Samad3:47 pm

    No, it's not wrong to help farmers and fishermen. But is there any monitoring mechanism, say for every monthly allowances, free boats, heavily subsidized diesel, insurance coverage for fishermen, all the fish breeding initiatives by government (juvenile fish got thrown to sea so fishermen can catch them) ... how many tons of fish did they land? As far as I'm concerned, government is still issuing APs to import fish. This is just talking about fishing industry alone. We haven't gone into other industries yet. How about Agriculture? How about those who are well off, but still send their children to public universities, hence limiting the opportunity of those who are less fortunate?

    There must be a cost-benefit analysis done. Government mustn't be giving money to those who has no interest to improve upon their own standard of living.

    Affirmative action is necessary, only if done right. That is to assist the needy, when they deserve to be helped.

    We are creating a sense of entitlement among the people. It is not about helping anymore. It is about what they should get.

  6. Anonymous3:51 pm

    Warrior 231, must you outdo the belligerence of our opponents? We Malays are dignified by our Adab even as we address the oppression of the tyrannical. Unbridled fire burns up everything in sight .... and we may stand to lose the (little) good along with what's bad.

  7. Anonymous5:12 pm

    What's the point of the country achieving developed country status with superior economic competitiveness while the majority of the natives were pushed to the fringes and lived like beggars.
    I have never subscribed to those experts dishing out advice, theories and craps. It seems any measures to help those native Malays to get out from clutches of poverty will be viewed negatively by them.
    You know what, welfare or not, the native Bumiputras with their privileges and special rights are here to stay. What you said or not said don't really mattered. it just the music to the ears. What really matters is the Bumiputra agenda always dihatiku.

  8. Anonymous5:19 pm

    "Hopefully you know well that Bumiputras also comprise the non-Muslim original inhabitants of Sabah, Sarawak and also the Orang Aslis in Peninsular Malaysia? Jangan ingat MELAYU sahaja."

    Well spoken. So called Bumiputras in East Mal have rarely felt the "generosity" that's doled out to the "Real Bumiputras".

    Double standards, even there.

    "Warrior 231", yep, the adab there has become bi- ....

  9. Anonymous5:44 pm

    Anon 3.51:

    Perhaps you haven't yet absorbed my brother 231's pith which, according to you, is "belligerent".

    See, we in the Warrior continuum is a breed of species not like the ordinary run-of-the-mill malays where "adab and sopan santun" rule the day even in the midst of the pendatang's biadap and kurang-ajar attitudes.

    We are courteous and polished, yes. We are well-mannered and affable, no doubt. But that is in general. But where opportunities demand and where situations plead, especially whence our race is being constantly being bombarded by insolence and a general ethno-phobic chutzpah rules the day, we in the continuum cannot afford to stay quiet and fold our hands.

    That's when the continuum leashes 231. To tell you the truth, like Jacob's progeny Simeon and Levi whose capability to be angry would put everyone cowering for cover, we in the continuum do not dare to be near 231 whenever he is angry. And verbal onslaught and vulgarity is the least one should be worried about in case 231 is all riled up.

    But rest assured not all of us are like 231, though all of us have the potential to be. For example, Warrior 667 is Super Intellectual but tender-hearted: he cries when he watches films like "The Great Gatsby". Warrior 1824 is a billionaire who never is: he gives most of his wealth to Charity. Warrior 128 has a day time job as a viagra peddlar in Petaling Street but at night---seriously you don't wanna know his crime-fighting alter ego at night.

    (Read here for further insight into the Warriors that make up the continuum).

    Now as for the matter at hand. (I myself have no special talents or powers except that they brought me in because I can hack into Wall Street and manipulate numbers. And you think 2012's crash was due to Hurricane Patty?).

    Methinks, this Wan Saiful fellow comes from this super Intellectual Research Institute fronted by the opposition and funded by you-know-who from overseas. Their alumni:-

    (i) The Dong Shong President (or whoever, not that I remember their names) who got 3, I repeat THREE, PhDs but couldn't string a decent line of English sentence properly. (Yeah, the one that got punched by one chinese student in public).

    (ii) The Guan Eng accountant who calculated the cost of the Penang tunnel to be 6 billion whence in actual fact it was 4, and blamed the "convenient error" to a faulty Casio FX-16 calculator (or Excel Spreadsheet, I can't remember).

    (iii) Jeffrey Wong, DAP's Sabah biggie, who got knighted by the Queen and became Sir Jeffrey. After the realization of the photoshop fiasco and the denial of the British Embassy, Sir Jeffrey was, of course quick and courteous enough to explain that his prestigious knighthood was actually the propoundment of Queen Emma Kamehameha of Hawaii, an extremely plausible explanation which saved the integrity and rectitude of the good Sir in particular, and the DAP in general.

    (iv) Wan Something, Son of one Lance Korporal polis who, after getting tired of stopping cars and drivers not wearing seatbelts for extra incomes, decides to study hard, got some bumiputra scholarship to study in the UK, got lost in the culture shock that ensued, and decided that the best way to make Malaysia move forward is to repeal all bumiputra privileges. Now I scratch my head trying to digest this. But the closest I got to understanding his predicament is by realizing that ...

    all those in favor of the gay agenda and same-sex marriages wouldn't have been born had their parents subscribed to that very same philosophy that they are now fighting for.

    Well that's all, folks. See you around soon. Whatever you do, don't get our brother 231 all start up again lest he eschews a new set of profanities which even the Oxford Dictionary haven't got as listed yet!

    Warrior 89 of 4096

  10. Anonymous6:37 pm

    We have already lost a lot by standing still and beradab to those who do not understand ADAB!

  11. Anonymous9:19 pm

    just forget about this awang itam! why not focus on panglima hitam or cock my late father used to called ' awang '.

    pasir gudang

  12. Sad man, Wan Saiful Jan, Azmi Shahrom and like-minded people are Chingkies warriors. No Chingkies want to belittle their race like these pseudos did to their race.
    Azmi is used by the Star. What they are scared to say, they leave him to say it. And they go a-clapping. And Azmi thinks he's a GREAT liberal.
    Why must they be apologists? And why must Najib and his Cabinet members go on an explanation blitz to justify the Malay Econimic Empowerment.
    Hey, Malays voted for UMNO despite Chinese getting everything but voted for the DAP.
    So they are entitled to be rewarded. Am using the word entitled because you Apeks and Koliangs dont like it.
    Enuff said. Let the Bumis have a stake too in the economy. Is that wrong?

  13. i heard cheap or maybe free education and also free medication in few europe countries.. UK, France, etc.. doesnt that constitute as welfare state?

  14. IT.Sheiss12:22 am

    In fact I want Malaysia to be a more of a welfare state than whatever little bit it is now.

    This IDEAS think than is a neo-liberal organisation and I am ideologically opposed to neo-liberalism and the U.K. Conservative Party which Wan Saiful supports.

    One of its key funders is the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty, a neo-liberal organisation.

    So is the Atlas Policy Network and the International Policy Trust.

    The neo-liberal policies of Thatcher and Ronald Reagan began to reverse the gains in social security and socialised medicine which the labour unions won through a hard fight.

    IDEAS are no friends of mine.

  15. Anonymous9:14 am

    The warrior is suffering from post-traumatic angst disorder, because all his dire predictions haven't come to pass.

    Indeed, the targets of his ire are not only surviving, but also prospering and going from strength to strength.

    Whereas he and his ilk are still spewing the same old and tired rhetoric that has been shown up to be the self-serving cant that it is.

    So expect more diatribes and lashing-outs as he sees himself and his fellow apparatchiks being overtaken by others, both people and countries.

    And it must be galling to play the role of Pied Piper in a world that refuses to take you seriously!

  16. anon 9:14,

    The idea (not the moronic guys from IDEA) is, by making those predictions, they may be prevented.

    More of 'what if' scenario

    Warrior 10
    (Jersey Warrior Liverpool FC no 10)

  17. Anonymous6:02 pm

    "Well that's all, folks. See you around soon. Whatever you do, don't get our brother 231 all start up again lest he eschews a new set of profanities which even the Oxford Dictionary haven't got as listed yet!" - Warrior 89 of 4096

    Congrats, No.89, on your faulty tenses, and also on not knowing what the word "eschews" means.

    Also, why are you even using bahasa penjajah? Tak malu ke?

    Other posters (see OutSyedTheBox, and many others) have no problem in posting in BM on an English-language blog.

    Surely your brother (or alter ego) 231 can figure out in Bahasa the phrases like 'fuckarse' that are seemingly key to his excessively long, syok sendiri rambles, no?

  18. Wan nabeColonialApologist1:20 am

    I agree with SatD that Wan Saiful should be the one treated like the other Saiful. His so called explanation just justified other malays in calling him a traitor his sick mother not withstanding. There is no difference with what he said. Maybe even as God retribution for insulting his mother's race.
    It is not up to Wan Saiful the China men arse licker to decide if the Malays are strong enough or what not. This is simply the Federation of Malay States where the Malay roam free just like the Red Indian used to roam freely in Americas before they were decimated by Christian Europe.

    This bugger Wan Saiful is just a colonial apologist. If the Christian Colonialists have not brought in millions of Chinese and Indian to work in their rubber plantation and tin mine, the Malays would not have need 153.

    As it is until the Yellow Peril threat is reduced to below zero all effort to save the Malay states must remain.

  19. KareemMohamedArif is Indian1:28 am

    Its amazing isnt it how the Chinese and the anti malay group find these stupid arss holes to attack the Malays.

    Beside Wan Saiful there is Abdul Kareem Mohamad Arif who is an Indian ma. He is not Malay. That is why he is against UMNO economic plan for the Malays.

    This Indian become such a influential economics adviser during UMNO Indian Presidency.

  20. Anonymous2:30 pm


    The exact reaction I wait for this troll. (He trolls elsewhere in Helen, in Syed, in Rocky etc etc looking for pro-malay writers by dissenting for the sake of dissenting but nary armed with valid points or justifiable facts).

    Anyway as I had guessed: factually challenged, unrefined in thoughts and benighted in erudition, the best he could come up with is to split-hairs on spellings. He thought that with this, he now stands to be in the same league with Warrior 231. But of course that is so, in his dreams.

    I can almost hear now the Lim-family-associated Crimson Legume directors egging him on:-

    "Go ahead. Enter Rocky Bru and trash those malay ultra prosaic writers. What's that? You're not up to it? Hey did we ask you to be on the same intellectual footing? Just go make noise is what we are asking you. Go now. Go."

    And suddenly this Arse wants me to write in Malay. And suddenly he is all more patriotic. Hello Boon Toh! I write in Malay 10x more proficient than when I write in English, and I do so with 10X more productivity, if you ever care to read them malay language blogs.

    What, scared that your other beans come in here and suddenly be schooled by me? You want them to not understand if I write in Malay, a proud and sheer outcome of 10 long years of SJK(C)?

    Regarding my use of "Eschew" to mean "spew", as he pointed out, that is a great give away to the state of English proficiency (or want of) he is in. Perhaps Malapropism is as alien to him as Mother Teresa in a Strip Tease club, no?

    Yep. Go ahead and google around. Perhaps you and the other beans can gain knowledge and be schooled here in these pages more than you can ever dream of.

    Warrior 89/4096

    p.s. To Red Bean Directors: pssstt... Can't you send someone else? It's tiring. This nincompoop here is fast becoming a liability to you people.

    p.s. To Warrior 231/4096 : We are not worthy

  21. Finland bolehlah beri subsidi yang besar kepada rakyatnya bila rakyat terpaksa membayar cukai, saman dan denda yang berkali ganda tinggi dari Malaysia. Pernah dengar saman lalulintas individu di Findland boleh mencecah sejuta.

  22. Finland bolehlah beri subsidi yang besar kepada rakyatnya bila rakyat terpaksa membayar cukai, saman dan denda yang berkali ganda tinggi dari Malaysia. Pernah dengar saman lalulintas individu di Findland boleh mencecah sejuta.