Tag Archives: INVOKE Malaysia

Economic Data is the In Thing

Good morning. Last night I attended YB Hannah Yeoh‘s youth dialogue event featuring Syed Saddiq and Izmil Amri. I have met Saddiq a few times and we had a chat on the latest economic numbers. I delivered the opening remark at 8 pm and then rushed back home to host dinner for senior academics and friends.

The dinner followed a long discussion on politics till midnight. There is a positive sense that some academics are starting to fully comprehend INVOKE Malaysia‘s big data methodology and reach.

Let me now address the latest economic data. The Q2 numbers are stronger than forecast and follows a reasonably good Q1 number. However, on the ground, this GDP growth has not really been felt. Conventional wisdom tells us that it will take about 6 months to 1 year for the rakyat the feel the real effects of the GDP numbers. Therefore, strategically speaking, Najib will still look to call the elections next year around Q1 or Q2 2018.

As for Najib in trying to take credit for the recent economic numbers, well that is the real “fake news”. As with everything that Najib claims to have done, the devil is in the detail.

GDP is calculated on the formula of consumption + investments + government investment + (exports – imports). This Q2 number is clearly driven by consumer spending that went up 7.1% and investment that went up 7.4%.

Increased consumer spending can be explained by consumers finally buying more mid range goods that they have been putting off since GST was introduced in 2015. Basically. people have resigned to pay the 6% GST tax on a new electronic stuff. However consumer confidence is still lagging for big ticket items such as homes or cars.

On investments, we note that foreigners are coming back to pick up equities due to the weak ringgit. It remains to be seen if these investments are hot money or longer term in outlook. Najib is also banking on China to bail him out. The prime example of such an “investment” is the ECRL, which in reality is an overpriced loan. Najib signs now for your grandchildren to pay later.

The next component of government investment is much trickier for Najib. Government investments in Q2 tells a darker story that is consistent with what is happening in Parliament, that the government is facing a massive cashflow crunch and therefore trying to pass laws to raise new revenue, such as the tourism tax. Government expenditure dropped to 0.2% compared to 6.8% last year.

As for the last component, this is more encouraging with imports outpacing exports at 10.7% to 9.6%. These numbers show that despite the political mess that Najib’s 1MDB gifted us, our SMEs are resilient and moving on.

Malaysia + Thailand + China + Australia

In addition to Parliament and community work, I have also been busy meeting up with foreign visitors too. A few days ago, I met up with three MPs, two from the Philippines and one from Cambodia.

Last night, I hosted former Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya and his lovely wife, Jintana for dinner at my house. I met Kasit in Bali last year at a human rights conference and since both of us are progressive politicians, we got on very well. Kasit was also very interested in what Rafizi Ramli and I are doing at INVOKE Malaysia.

Kasit is currently visiting Malaysia on a fact finding human rights mission looking into our migrant workers. Professor Tony Milner, renown historian and my good neighbour, joined us after dinner for coffee.

Today, Professor Milner returned the favour by arranging lunch and introducing me to Professor Zha Daojiong. Professor Zha is also visiting Malaysia. He specialises in and is an authority on international political economy, based at the prestigious Peking University. He is both an academic and also a senior policy advisor for the government of China.

We had a lively and sometimes combative exchange on China’s investments in Malaysia. We are both blunt and witty, and as such got along perfectly. After lunch, he extended an invitation to me and my wife (who is also an expert on China-Malaysia ties) to drop by and see him in Beijing. My wife is currently away in Hong Kong visiting friends.

INVOKE: Nevertheless We Persisted

Hi, everyone. Had a busy weekend catching up with community events. It was a very quiet month for community work during Ramadhan, and now we go into the full swing of the Hari Raya month long celebrations. My office may not have community spending money since that has been frozen by Selangor government, but we continue to soldier on! We are lucky that the goodwill that we have built with the community in the past four years, means that we are still invited to events without having to contribute anything financially.

On Saturday, my office continues our full support for INVOKE Malaysia and YB Rafizi Ramli, and all his work to ensure the defeat of Barisan Nasional in GE14. I attended the launching of the INVOKE truck. The truck is essentially a mobile stage for Rafizi to deliver mini ceramah in the hard to reach rural areas.

Unlike the posturing, politicking and deal making pursued by feckless politicians, at least in INVOKE, we are constantly doing ground work; building on big data and now preparing to actively campaign in the rural areas with our new truck.

Recall that Rafizi, due to his 1MDB related Official Secrets Act conviction, is no longer eligible to stand for Parliament in the next general election. He is facing jail term if his upcoming appeals fail. Most men in his position, will cut back on work to spend time with the family. Not Rafizi Ramli.

With time running out before he goes to jail, he is actually working harder than ever. In my humble opinion, he is the hardest working and selfless MP making preparations and personal sacrifices (time and his entire life savings) so that his colleagues have a better chance to win their seats and overthrow BN.

He is a workaholic. There are many occasions when I will shake my head in disbelief seeing him shuttle from one ceramah to another, day after day, week after week. He often jokes that he sees his wife and son, twice a week. In contrast, I aim for a work life balance, focusing on laws, mentoring interns and cerebral policy making.

I believe Rafizi feels the need to carry the weight of a nation on his back. With corrupt politicians everywhere, this young man carries the reformist hope that good will prevail and that this nation will eventually be governed by the good and not the opportunists and the corrupted.

Other than the INVOKE event, I also dropped by the Kelana Jaya Amanah Hari Raya event. I renewed my unconditional support for my brothers and sisters from Amanah. Whatever the Selangor MB says, I totally disagree with him on PAS. I will fight 110% in support of Amanah.

When I stood in GE13, the Amanah leaders were even more hardworking, reliable and honest than some of my own party members. We had to slowly remove the lazy kaki bodeks that wanted unreasonable amount of “money to mobilise”. Luckily the local PKR good guys got the upper hand and we had a core of honest and hardworking PKR team. Then together with the current Amanah leaders, and the very efficient and honest DAP machinery led by YB Hannah, we ran a good campaign and won in GE13.

I have been steadily building my internal machinery in the last 4 years. Today, we are ready with some 60 hardcore interns and volunteers, backed by a full PACA force ready to mobilise. In short, we are prepared for the coming general election.

So now it is time for me to repay the hutang budi to my Amanah friends who are about to face their first general election. I will do my very best to campaign for my very close friends from Amanah such as Ir Izham, Dr Hatta Ramli, Hanipa Maidin, Raja Bahrin, Khalid Samad and Dr Dzul.



Mesej Khidmat Masyarakat Dari Rafizi Ramli:


Saya lihat memang terdapat begitu ramai rakyat Malaysia yang sudah tidak tahan dengan kerajaan UMNO Barisan Nasional. Mereka ini sering berkunjung ke laman Facebook saya dan pimpinan Pakatan Harapan yang lain untuk mengemukakan kekecewaan dan keluhan mereka terhadap kerajaan sedia ada.

Saya ingin gesa semua termasuklah mereka ini untuk bangkit dan meneruskan perjuangan ini di luar ruangan media sosial. *INVOKE Malaysia* telah menyediakan ruangan yang amat luas untuk mana-mana pihak untuk menyumbang tenaga mereka.

Saya pasti, kerja-kerja sukarelawan yang dijalankan bersama INVOKE Malaysia seperti culaan pintu ke pintu, menelefon pengundi atas pagar, dan menerima latihan agen PACA adalah jauh lebih berkesan dalam memastikan kemenangan Pakatan Harapan dalam pilihanraya yang akan datang.

Daftar sekarang sebagai sukarelawan INVOKE Malaysia.

Selepas mendaftar, pastikan anda semak email anda dan sahkan email anda. Jika tiada email, semak “Promotion” atau “Spam” kerana kadang-kadang email dari sistem INVOKE di hantar ke situ. Selepas mengesahkan email, anda boleh login ke Sistem Pengurusan Sukarelawan INVOKE dan mula menyertai kempen.

Rafizi Ramli
Sukarelawan #00001 INVOKE

To Do, To Do

Good morning. Yesterday, I started my events at 9 am in Desa Mentari Block 7 gotong royong and ended the day at 10.30 pm in the Church of Divine Mercy, Glenmarie for a talk. The highlight of the day was the INVOKE Malaysia event to launch of the book Bina Semula Negara by YB Rafizi Ramli and Eric Lee. I gave the opening speech, followed by YB Rodziah, YB Manivanan Gowin and YB Abdullah Sani.

After that Rafizi gave a long briefing on the book, then the Pakatan Harapan panelists took the stage for Q& A. Incidentally, this morning I will be hosting the same policy group (YB Dr. Ong Kian Ming – 王建民, Dr Rais Husin, Dr Dzul) at my office to present the policy paper that my office worked on last year. The idea is my office will share the paper and get feedback and improvements from the policy committee.

I am expecting a very busy day ahead. I also have a 1230 pm meeting together with YB Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad with the police in Sungai Way to discuss the Blok 2 Desa Mentari dispute. Then at 4 pm, I will accompany YB Hannah Yeoh to make a police report at USJ 8 balai. Then we have a Jom Shopping event for Ramadhan and Hari Raya. Lastly, we have service night, where I will try to mediate the Blok 2 dispute.