The nation is engrossed with the following priorities of this UMNO-led Government :
- Police want to interview the woman who was filmed performing oral sex with former Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek. Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said police were looking for her following two reports lodged recently in Ampang and Petaling Jaya. "We are investigating the case under Section 377A of the Penal Code for carnal intercourse against the order of nature as the two people who lodged the reports claimed that there was oral sex in the DVD."
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- A day after the about-turn on the toll hike for five major highways in the Klang Valley, the Government has today changed its mind allowing conditional use of the word ‘Allah’ in Christian publications.Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said a gazette would be issued as early as tomorrow to cancel the earlier gazette.He told reporters here yesterday that there were mistakes madein the drafting of the Feb 16 Read here for more and here
- Police sprayed chemical-laced water at about 300 supporters of detained Hindraf leader P Uthayakumar. The supporters were accompanying nine people representing nine states and a relative of Uthayakumar, who intended to lodge police reports alleging that the Hindraf leader was denied proper medical attention for his ailment. Read here for more
- A group of Umno Youth members mobbed DAP stalwart Karpal Singh in Parliament House.Dewan Negara President Dr Abdul Hamid Pawanteh said this was tragic because Parliament was supposed to be a place where anyone can freely visit. Read here for more
- Police yesterday seized a laptop computer belonging to Bandar Kuching member of parliament Chong Chieng Jen in connection with an investigation into an article posted as a comment in his blog. Sarawak Criminal Investigation Department chief Senior Assistant Commissioner II Huzir Mohamad said the laptop was seized from Chong's legal office in Wisma Mata Kuching because of lodged report last year, claiming that the article, originally posted in a blog by a "Mr Smith", was seditious in nature as it touched on religion. Read here for more
- Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today the Perak state assembly speaker cannot call an emergency sitting of the assembly because the court has yet to make a decision on the status of the government in the state.Read here for more
Who is managing the economy now? Is it running on auto-pilot?
The figures don’t lie.
(Image courtesy of Anil Netto's blog)
This was largely due to a drop in manufacturing from 1.8 per cent growth in the third quarter to a shrinkage of 8.8 per cent in the fourth quarter, largely because of a contraction of 12.3 per cent in export-oriented industries.
Meanwhile, portfolio investments continued to flee the country. In the fourth quarter, RM25 billion flowed out of the country though that was lower than the RM38 billion that left the country in the previous quarter.
Some economic analysts now predict Malaysia's GDP growth will fall to 1% this year; others believe such estimates are overly optimistic and that the country is headed for recession.
But the Bank Negara governor said we have nothing to worry and insists we will not slide into a recession. She was reported as saying that growth for 2009 would be 5.0 - 5.5% (oh, puh-leeease!).
Over the last eight months, the country’s foreign reserves have dropped by US$34 billion. They have dipped from a high of US$125.8 billion on 30 June 2008 to US$91.6 billion as at 13 February 2009.
In the third quarter of 2008, Malaysia’s foreign reserves fell by RM31.5 billion.
The balance of payments posted a deficit during the third quarter of RM31.5 billion. (We had a surplus of RM26.2 billion in the second quarter.) In other words, we had to dip into our piggy bank because our payments were MORE than our receipts during the third quarter.
The breakdown of this balance of payments deficit is as follows:
- Current account (trade in goods and services): RM38.7 billion surplus.
- Capital and financial account: RM61.5 billion deficit (an INCREASE of 400 per cent from the second quarter!)
Meanwhile, portfolio and financial derivative funds have been fleeing the country. The third quarter of 2008 saw RM56 billion leaving the country, 134 per cent MORE than the second quarter of 2008.
In November 2008, Malaysia's exports fell by 5% compared with the same month in 2007 as global demand fell and commodity prices plunged. Malaysia's exports mainly comprise electrical and electronic products (40%), crude oil and petroleum-based products (11%), and palm oil and palm-oil based products (10%). The most worrying drop was in the exports of electrical and electronic products, which fell 16% over the same period.
The number of workers engaged in the manufacturing sector in November also fell by 5% from a year earlier. Unemployment was officially quoted at 3.1% in the third quarter of 2008, but it is likely to inch upwards in 2009 as more export-oriented firms shed workers.
(Image courtesy of Anil Netto's blog)