Looking at the title alone might lead you into thinking that this blog post has nothing to do with investing. Please continue reading and I will show you why this topic is related to investing in the stock market.
The fortune of public listed companies in a country depends on the country's economic advances. This is especially true for those with their manufacturing plants and offices located in their home country. Some companies even diversify outwards to mitigate the impact caused by bad economic progress in their home country.
Hence, if the economic policies implemented are not good enough, local companies' long term prosperity will be severely affected. Frankly, what I see from the newspapers everyday has limited relevance on economic policies made to boost our economy. Most of the efforts are placed in solving 1MDB's issue, political bickering, etc.
My humble opinion, be it government or oppositions, please put more focus on delivering economic values to the Malaysians.
We have absolute abundance in natural resources like petroleum, natural gas, palm oil plantation etc., which have generated much wealth for us. These gods gifts have given us an advantage as compared to other countries without such natural resources.
So, how can Malaysia be better? I have a few recommendations in general.
Facilitate the Process of Government Services
For those applications and renewal processes, they should be completed as fast as possible. The government has done a smart move by assigning companies like MyEG to deal with some of the processes. MyEG, a public listed company in Malaysia, certainly deserve our praise as it has done a great job in offering services online.
Faster application and renewal processes allow us to spend more time on contributing to the economy.
Improve the Punctuality of Public Transports and Reduce Road Congestion
I must confess that the Malaysians public transports are very far off the satisfactory mark. For instance, if a train is late for a round, the next train will be extremely crowded, forcing them to wait for another round.
If the public transport is improved, we could be more punctual for work and most importantly, we do not need to drive anymore - congestion issue is then greatly mitigated. These allow the Malaysians to free up themselves to contribute more to the economy.
More Help for the Exporters, Especially the Very Profitable Ones
Manufacturers and exporters especially those involved in rubber gloves and palm oil plantation should receive the most benefits and assistance from the government. The Big 4 glove manufacturers in Malaysia (Hartalega, Kossan, Supermax and Top Glove) are having increasingly expensive and shortage of foreign labour.
It is noticeable that the government provided many kinds of tax incentives and reinvestment allowances to help the local manufacturers. This move is laudable and I hope that the government will continue or even better, increase its support to the manufacturers to incentivize them to keep abreast of their expansions.
According to the latest global corruption perception index (CPI), Malaysia was ranked 54 out of 175 countries surveyed. We were way behind Singapore (ranked 8) and it is the least corrupted nation in Asia. Hats off to the Singaporeans.
How does corruption affect a country's economic progress? Just a simple illustration can let you see the light. For instance, you went against the rules and regulations of the road, a police caught you and you bribe him RM50. Instead of using the money to bribe, you could have spent that money elsewhere for consumption. Also, the summon could be used by the government to do more infrastructure projects.
This is exactly why highly-corrupted nations are hard to prosper due to the 'lost money'.
These are the four points which I think we could do even better. Let's begin at oneself by, for example, not bribing the policeman. I hereby end this blog post by the first sentence of our national anthem - "Negaraku, Tanah Tumpahnya Darahku".