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Saturday, 1 October 2016

Fast 7: To the Malaysians who are now in Australia...

I had noticed that many former or current Malaysians who have now moved to Australia likes to continually attack the Malaysian government over several issues, which is normally propagated by the PakaTun politicians.

Among these issues which they like to use to whack Malaysia are these 7 :

1.  Malaysia is going bankrupt due to high household debts.

This is the most strange as the commonly cited Malaysia's household debt to GDP is 89%. But Australia's ratio just overtook Switzerland and Denmark (both of which is about 120% too) to became the highest in the world earlier this year at 125.2%.

If you don't like to read graphs then you can read about it here in the article titled "How Australian households became the most indebted in the world".

2.  Malaysia is going bankrupt due to high government debts.

They say that Najib has increased the govt debt greatly since he became PM and that the Govt debt to ratio has jumped 13% from 41.24% in 2008 to 53.9% now. This was mainly due to the Great Global Recession that started that year and Najib did some pump priming to save Malaysia from a bad recession when he took over.

However, what is lost to those Malaysians in Australia is that the Govt Debt-to-GDP ratio in Australia also jumped since 2008.

In fact, it jumped more - 25% from 11.7% to 36.8%.

Looking at the current trend and the fact that the Australia economy is struggling now due to the slump in commodity prices and reduced demand from China, many believe that this will continue to grow and could overtake Malaysia soon - whereas Malaysia's ratio has been relatively stable over the past few years.

But the thing is, Malaysia is far from going bankrupt even at 53.9% as at current ratio, there are 71 other countries way ahead of Malaysia in terms of Govt Debt-to-GDP ratio indluign Japan, France, USA, Germany, UK etc.

Also, Malaysia had a ratio of 103.4% in 1985 so if Malaysia did not go bankrupt then, how is it that we go bankrupt now at 53.9%?

3.  Malaysia is going bankrupt due to high External (Foreign) debts.

Well, Malaysia doesn't owe any money to IMF and World Bank (we cleared these decades ago). Based on the expanded definition from 2 years ago to comply with international standards which includes foreign ownership of bonds and bank deposits in Malaysia owned by foreigners, Malaysia's external debt is now RM846 billion - or about 66% of our GDP.

But Australians should know that their gross external debt is now AUD 1.94 TRILLION or about RM6,130 billion - this is about 120% of Australia's GDP of AUD1.62 trillion.

In fact, foreigners own a huge piece of Australia.

A country's international investment position (IIP) is a financial statement setting out the value and composition of that country's external financial assets and liabilities. A positive NIIP value indicates a nation is a creditor nation, while a negative value indicates it is a debtor nation.

A news missed out by most people at the end of 2015 is that due to the Ringgit depreciation in 2014 and 2015, the fact that the majority of our government debt is in Ringgit and our continued trade surplus, Malaysia reverted to a net creditor nation status in the year 2015 - certainly very different from what PakaTun saying that we are bankrupt or failed state.

What this means is that Malaysia owns more assets overseas than foreigners own in Malaysia - meaning Malaysia is very good at investing abroad.

There is only a very short list of countries of probably 18 major countries in the world who are in a net creditor status.

And as at end of last year, Malaysia is one of them.

Australia does very poor in this area. Australia's net IIP liability position (as opposed to surplus in Malaysia) was A$1,012.1b at 31 March 2016, an increase of A$51.4b (5%) on the revised 31 December 2015 position of A$960.8b. 

4.  Malaysia is losing competitiveness and their foreign trade is suffering.

Actually, Malaysia has consistently been exporting more than it imports. In fact, July's trade surplus, despite low oil and gas prices, marks Malaysia's 225th consecutive month of trade surpluses recorded since November 1997.

Australia trade balance fluctuates quite a bit and has been in trade deficits recently - including a deficit of AUD 2.41 billion in July of 2016, As you can see from the graph, the Aussie trade balance frequently enters negative territory 

5.  Malaysia's economy will be destroyed due to implementing GST

Of course this is utter bullshit since 170+ countries have already implemented GST or will implement it by 2018.

Australia's GST rate of 10% was implemented in the year 2000 - a full 15 years before Malaysia implemented ours at 6% in 2015.

Let's not even talk about comparing personal or corporate tax - we all know Australia's tax rate is much higher than in Malaysia.

6.  Because of Najib, Malaysia is experiencing a big drop in foreign reserves as investors pull out money - that is why Malaysia's currency is shite.

Well, did you know that Malaysia's FOREX reserves at USD97.7 billion is more than double of   Australia? USD47,3 billion as at end August 2016?

Well, now you know.

In fact, it may surprise you that since Najib took over as PM in April 2009, the Aussie Dollar actually hasn't changed much against the Ringgit - and in fact spent much of its time being lower against the Ringgit until only the past two months where the Aussie dollar recovered some ground.

7.  Recent gun murders shows Malaysia is unsafe

Well, there were a few sporadic cases hat happened which our police have mostly solved.

Comparing gun murders is not pretty but then Australians should know that both Melbourne and Sydney have seen gun shootings and deaths spike over he past year.

You can read the article Scary trend in Australian gun crime with more than 200 shooting deaths a year

And then there are those Malaysian-Australians who would say that there are extremists in Malaysia but You’ll Never Guess Which Country Is the Biggest Per Capita Contributor of Foreign Fighters to ISIS.  It isn't Malaysia, the Middle East or Central Asia or even in Europe. It's Down Under

Other little facts also show that Malaysia's nominal GDP growth is faster, Australia's unemployment rate is higher, you are more likely to afford having maid here in Malaysia and also if you are an Asian (or a Muslim), you'll more likely to run into racism or racist taunts on the streets of Australia than you would in Malaysia.

And those fighting for the rights to have vernacular education in Malaysia while over there in Australia would note that there are no vernacular schooling system in Australia.

Some even parrot the opposition line about the cost of the pandas in Malaysia saying we are wasting money but are ignorant that Australia also received pandas from China where they pay the exact same amounts to China since it is a uniform worldwide policy. But like I had written before, the Panda diplomacy  in giving pandas to countries they most favour actually have big trade benefits far outweighing whatever cost you pay.

Of course, being a ex-Malaysian or a Malaysian now staying in Australia gives you the right to criticize Malaysia but please do criticize based on actual facts and don't parrot the lines of the PakaTun propaganda here in Malaysia coz if you drill-down, you may get embarrassed by the hard facts.

But really, there is little need to whack your ex-country as you already made your choice where to call home - especially if your main source of propaganda and "news" about Malaysian has been these online portals and FB postings from the Red Bean Army cybertroopers. Here are some recent examples of these propaganda online:

  1. If you repeat them enough times (Part 1)
  2. My reply to "Tun Daim"
  3. Answering A Kadir Jasin

As with all the other countries in the world, both places have their pros and cons.

Australia has excellent Mediterranean weather though - especially in the coastal cities.

But our durians are much better (yes, Australia also grows durians).


  1. The greatest issue facing Malaysia is deep rooted corruptions from top to bottom in the system. Can you enlighten us on the credibility of current Government?

    1. Actually, Public distrust in their own govt is a normal modern occurrence globally.

      For example, a 2012 study shows One in three Australians believe the Federal Government is corrupt and only one in five believe that governments can usually be trusted to do the right thing.

      The media and trade unions were also viewed as the most corrupt institutions.

    2. Australia has a history of legal corruption, where big business can make donations to sitting MPs or Senators. Maybe this influences them, maybe it doesn't?

      As for the deep rooted nature of corruption in Malaysia, I would call it functional corruption. It greases the wheels and helps them to turn, at all levels and within all ethnic groups in Malaysia - everyone benefiand suffers at the hands of corruption from top to bottom.

      What metrics for credibility do you offer mr bystander?

    3. There are always two parties in any corruption cases.
      Why only the one who receives get the attention when the giver
      is also as much at fault if not more?

  2. Very good article. I always tell people no doubt Msia is very hot throughout the years but when you experience a cold winter you will miss Msia so much. The whole world is not doing well in the past 2 years yet we are much better than many countries.

    1. That sounds abit backward thinking. Means as long we are not the last then we are doing okay

    2. We're not last. We're not average. We are above average in terms of growth and economic stability. You can't always be first but it does not mean we can't try.

      But people who condemn Malaysia, especially ex-Malaysians already in Australia basing their criticism on gossip, hatred and wrong facts should be condemned too.

    3. It's very mischievous in yr economic comparisons.

      In short, it's not apple to apple.

      A simple question, WHY quoted developed countries in high household debts, high government debts, & high External (Foreign) debts etc etc as compared with M'sia?

      Why not some 3rd world economies?

      Their economic data, that u'd used in the example, COULD also be better than the developed countries!

      What gives?

      & WHY r they the basket cases for economic studies?

      Developed countries have a very very much higher economic default tolerance compare with M'sia, or for that matter, any 3rd world countries.

      When any default occurs, the country can withstand the aftermath without any serious economic consequences.

      Can u honestly say the same with M'sia?

      An example,

      Deutschbank has a very high hearing ratios, now, but it could still remain operational, with or without the help of the German govt.

      If Maybank will to be in the same, or higher gearing ratio as Deutschbank, Maybank would very likely go under, without massive govt supports.

      Get the similarity?

    4. I guess the headline is quite self-explanatory but if you cannot get that, I used Australia because there are MANY Malaysians or former Malaysians living in Australia and they like to complain about Malaysia on FB.

      This is also the same reason I did not use Russia as the comparison coz Malaysians who migrted or living in Russia don't slam Malaysia the way those in Australia do.

    5. Australia's foreign debt, both private & public does not exceed AUD 900 billion. Your figures reproduced below are way off. This is one example of how you manipulate figures to convince your argument.
      But Australians should know that their external debt is now AUD 1.94 TRILLION or about RM6,130 billion - this is about 120% of Australia's GDP of AUD1.62 trillion

    6. Anthony? It's not AUSD1.94 trillion? Oh.. then you better go ask your Australian Bureau of Statistics to correct themselves :$FILE/Table17%20Gross%20External%20Debt%20Liabilities_53020_June_2016.pdf

      Can also ask this website to correct themselves.

      Both mentions AUSD1.94 trillion woh

    7. But facts r facts!

      Oz has higher household debts, government debts, & external (Foreign) debts as compared with M'sia.

      But Oz also has higher economic default tolerance compares with M'sia.

      U have conveniently ignored this important fact!


      Ditto with all the other examples that u r trying hard to pull wood over the eye of the M'sians in Oz.

      Betul ke?

      So, ain't u trying to hide the fact that should a financial calamity, likes the one that hit Thailand in the 97, M'sia would very likely asking financial help from IMF, based on her current economic data that so well rehearsal in yr presentation.

      Perhaps u will term that case as temporary insolvency, not bankruptcy!

      Jangan tipu lah!!!!!

    8. Kah kah kah! Anthony must be thinking Aussie Gov have makan dedak from Najib to release such statistics.
      And CK is a typical RBA. Why it comes to overall cost of living, they will say: why compare with 1st world countries, why not 3rd world? Then when compare living standards, they will say: why compare with 3rd world countries, why not 1st world? I guess they learnt how to pusing twist & turn cerita from a certain ethnic group.

  3. Durian is must better is a comparison statement, i didnt know Australia produce durian

    1. Yes it does. Limited scale and not nearly as nice as what we have here.

  4. If you believe everything the government says, you are dumb. If you believe everything the opposition says, you are dumber.

  5. Replies
    1. I did. It's in the article. With chart and all. Did you even read before you commented?

  6. I am open minded to facts, but I am cautious about it because there are 2 types of facts - I coin it as 'facts derived at expectation' and 'facts derived beyond expectation, both good and bad'. Facts are facts and though I agree that it is shallow to hastily consider them lies, one has to look beyond the facts - both in terms of depth and breadth. Let me share few examples. It is absolutely natural that any Government choose to paint a rosy picture on the state of employment, but the parameters used by the local EPU and DSM are different from ILO. Take the parameter on 'layoff', the definitions by EPU and ILO are different and it is obvious which is more prudent. Another example, IDEAS once claim that it's statistics show a positive result that parents are happy with the education policy but upon careful scrutiny on the population sampled, majority are parents from below-average income bracket. No prejudice, but there is a correlation between income group and level of intellect and social expectation on education. Putting it crudely, how far or 'sophisticated' the expectations from poor parents can be.

    My point is, while the facts are true (I am just trying to be optimistic), it do not absolve critical thinkers from questioning the relevance and validity of facts especially when prudence and conservatism are the imperatives of planning and risk management.

    Another point worth noted is, many like to compare ourselves as much better off than other countries and eagerly tender how other countries are far worse. Isn't this the fundamental flaw of benchmarking? Since when we benchmark on the worse off and not the best? Interestingly, this seems to be a behavior of governance, very much obvious in high profile cases from MH17 to GDP to QS ranking etc etc.

    Now I have yet talk about social perception, something most would conveniently dismissed as immature but it's impact cannot be ignored. If a leader can call for emulating terrorist or complimenting violence and aggression or make u-turns and failed miserably on the basic principles of good governance (such as transparency and accountability) on issues of national interest like 2.6b 'donation', 1MBD etc etc, it is only natural for the people to make logical perception and 'constructive prejudice'. Most people missed the context of integrity, it is not whether it's a donation or otherwise, it's due diligence and transparency that develops the crucial public trust any Government must have. When this happens, everything else will fail despite having the most accurate facts because integrity is at stake.

  7. Very articulate and factual piece as usual. Good job LSS in debunking lies propagated by some ungrateful, or should I say jealous, ex-Malaysians.

  8. Those that migrate to Australia have a need to condemn Malaysia with anything they can including lots of untruths and hearsay , just to justify their reasons for migration.

  9. We beat australia when it comes to financial scandals.
    Our youths are undernourished especially when you see the mat rempits. The lower income cannot afford basic food. And no welfare. No free healthcare. Affordable education only for a segment of society.

    1. Youth unemployment is high in Australia as is gang activity in Melbourne and Sydney. Malaysia does not have free healthcare? Yes, you are right. we have to pay RM1. Lower income cannot afford to have basic food? Dude, we don't live on trees here. I have yet to hear anyone dying of hunger in Malaysia over the past 10 years. We have various welfare assistance here and have set-up more over the past 7 years. That is why our hard-core poverty has plummeted in recent years and is at negligible levels now.

      Affordable education is available to all who qualify - right up to University. And if you qualify, you can still go to University - either on a scholarship or a loan called PTPTN.

      Obviously you have not been back in Malaysia for quite a long time or basing your judgement on propaganda. what you are describing is FAR from reality.

      PS. For a moment there, I thought you were talking about the Aborigines in Australia.

    2. what makes you think that all malaysians who moved to Australia criticise the government? do you have any facts or numbers that can back you up? Do not for Once Generalise us. If you want to base it on those who participated in Bersih they are only a small fraction out of the total of migrants.

      people moved here because of higher income, better education system for their kids, better healthcare system, govt here do not have quota system for Uni intake (unlike back home) etc. things that they find it hard to get/achieve in Malaysia.

      Mind you i have been robbed twice in Malaysia once outside my house and once it was a break in. when the police came they told me that it's just a petty thief and there's nothing much they can do about it.. yeah what a reply from a law enforcer.. worst still when i asked whether i should drop by the police station to make a report he said nope it's alright. Been living here for 10 years without gate and i sleep soundly every night.

      Yes economy has slowed down the past 5-6 years and yeah you are probably right about the high debt that Australia has. But do you know that Australia has gone 24.5 years without recession. LSS, care to elaborate? And care to tell the readers how on earth can Australia achieve that?

      What i can sense is that just because of a couple of bad apples that you guys saw through social media, your reaction was to jump the gun. I can't give a shit about bersih etc. what i want is a better future for my kids.

      LSS it's unwise of you to use 'MANY MALAYSIANS' when you're trying to make a case. Where did you get the numbers from? Did you pluck the numbers from the sky? Did you base on hearsay? i can see you did a good job by attaching charts and figures on other matters.. but to use "many malaysians" you have just shot yourself in the foot and make a fool out of yourself. You're no better than those bad apples who criticise the govt if that's how you view ex-malaysians.

      Most of us still love our country and don't you put poison in our mouth. Because if you do you're just like another Pakatun!

    3. Yes! LSS, we haven't even begun the conversation on how each country has treated its indigenous population. Yes, both have affirmative action for each, but Malaysia being a Host Society, the majority of its population are the indigenous.

    4. No free healthcare? No of course not, not when u have to pay only Rm1 even for cancer treatment here. No such thing free lunch, bub. So how much does it cost to treat cancer in Aussie? Is it "free"?

    5. sickput you must be one of the migrants that is desperately trying to justify their migration. How sad, but if Mat Rempits existed in Australia be sure that the police will show you or them a few tricks. All your statements about the education, no welfare etc.. is a creation of your sick mind, and welfare is a creation of the west and that includes Aussies. We in Malaysia we work and earn, and if we have people starving , tell us why nearly 3M migrants want to come here to cari makan.

  10. Any reason why the Ringgit is still not at a parity to the Aussie dollar since we are in better shape than the Aussies?

    1. For the same reason why the Aussie Dollar is not at parity with the UK pound, the Japan Yen, the Euro, the Swiss Franc etc..

      All countries have their level and reasons why their exchange rates is at where it is.

  11. i m 55 and live half my life oversea but still i come back to malaysia.there is no place like malaysia ,the grass is not greener over the fence....

  12. When will we realize that if we really want to fix this then the Rakyat must accept that we need to fix ourselves first. Leaders r a reflection of the people they lead. But once we fix ourselves then by itself the nation will produce capable n good leaders. Simply replacing leaders will not solve the problem

    1. Precisely! Be the change that you want to see. But its seems easier to change the leaders rather than change ourselves. And to add a point, change for change itself, without a follow-up plan, is dangerous - look at the post-arab spring nations.

  13. Then can US citizen bash Malaysia? Since USD is high, and they set good example by the government from the top. US even took Malaysian USD 1 Billion just by having one excuse without the need of releasing a single bullet!

    Whoever saying Malaysia is better than Aussie, bear in mind that both ChIna and Aussie need to pay for the mess that Malaysian had done, because those Chinese tourists trust and support Malaysian. If Malaysia really so good, why don't Malaysia fully fund its own search and rescue operation? We can't even clear up our mess to begin with, what else can you expect from a small child country that always rely on bigger nation?

    Maybe LSS can say Malaysia is better than Iraq, because US didn't start claiming lives here yet, US simply just take Malaysian money (just like that). Aussie is paying for your search and rescue operation, and this is how you Malaysian repay Aussie citizen? LSS you as a Malaysian should be proud of yourself.

  14. Many Malaysians in Aussie condemns Malaysia not because they "hate" Malaysia or Malaysians. This article (shall the facts and numbers stated are correct - let us assume they are) perhaps are more pointed out to those LCLY Malaysians staying in Aussie who thinks better off themselves compared to those loving in Malaysia.

    I am no economist so I shall not keh-khiang to pretend that i know. But the above sure is a good read. However LSS, i think we all cannot deny that the corruptions and abuse of political power in Malaysia made serious after another and some with evidence. Such, we Malaysians cannot tolerate.

  15. ...LSS as usual good research. actually this "BANKRUPT" thing is a Pakatun weapon to mislead the chinese, & stupidly enough this 90% (or 9 out of 10 chinese that voted for dap) chinese took it in Line, Hook & Sinker. frankly, the more of this pakatun chinese migrate overseas the better.... so that we will become even more minority.....

  16. I wouldnt say malaysians moved to aus because of debt levels or wider economic performance stats u sighted at a country level. Its the economics at an individual level that the economic arguements translates to... better work life balance, 2-4 months pay gets u a decent family car, a nice landed family home in the suburbs still very attainable to the average joe. Perhaps malysias better stats at a country level but not at an individuals experience only proves a point. Corruption happens everywhere but not at the magnitude in malaysia!
    Dont have to worry someone is trying to pinch my handphone or wifes handbag. Better kids education and parents dont have to break a leg to save up for. For this we give up being closer to extended relatives and the cheap services and food.For these we come back to enjoy once a year and to help boost those Malaysian stats u take pride in.

  17. Is racism more rampant in Australia? Do they impose religious edicts on citizens? Do they have something as oppressive as the MKN? Compare corruption index between the two countries... which is higher? How about the number of convicts? Ratio wise which is higher? How about the number of bankrupts? Drug addiction problem? Freedom of information, speech, expression and media? We should aim not to be the richest but the happiest country in the world cos we don't believe that Cash Is King. Godless people say that.

  18. I agree with the facts by LSS. The same facts that I always told to my friends and family. Australians always wonder why Malaysians dont want to take up their citizenship and prefer to be Australian PR only.
    We should be grateful. I agree that the healthcare benefit is just RM1, and we dont have to buy medicines at the pharmacy. We dont have to book appointment to see doctor, just walk in.
    What i grateful the most, we dont have to pay for ambulance and firfirghter service. Unlike in Australia, if you call ambulance from public hospital also you have to pay like $200, firefighter at my hostel $699 for false alarm.