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Focus on vital economic issues PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 26 February 2009 09:01


THE COMMON GOOD: Focus on vital economic issues
By : PAUL SELVA RAJ for Consumer Research and Resource Centre, Kuala Lumpur

THE world is in the midst of an economic crisis. Jobs are being lost. Prices are not coming down, no matter how much the politicians may shout.

The policy-makers seem unaware what every consumer knows and is part of their daily experience -- after the earlier price hike, prices are staying put or going up.

It is true that in a market economy, there is not much the government can do anyway.

It can control prices and maintain or increase subsidies to some extent, but fundamentally, the market will determine prices based on the simple principle of demand and supply.

However, there is one thing the government can do. It can focus. It can focus on the economy and the many social challenges people are facing. It can try to understand the market, to further liberalise it so that with strong competition at every level of the food chain, consumers will benefit. It can try to understand how other nations in a similar predicament are taking steps to help consumers and workers face the challenges.

That is what they were elected to do; that is what we expect them to do. We are voters once in five years; we are consumers every day.

But the politics has not stopped. After the March 8 general election, there was September 11. Then, two by- elections. Now, the confusion is in Perak. The beginnings of another side-show in Selangor. And who knows what's next!

Meanwhile, the people suffer.

For the good of the nation, for the good of our citizens, our workers and our consumers, it is time for everyone to take a step back and reflect on what politics is all about. Is it about individual power or is it about enhancing the common good? When does politicking become enhancing and when does it become destructive?

Let us all as citizens and spiritual beings pray that the malaise that is ravaging Malaysian politics will go away. That politicians will once again remember they were selected to enhance the common good. That the news that we will read in the front page every morning is news that will motivate us, sustain us and give us the courage to face these tough times.

It is our right to expect this focus from the government; it is our responsibility to serve and make sacrifices to help this nation endure and reach its fullest potential.


Last Updated on Thursday, 26 February 2009 09:03
Interest rate cut to 2pc PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 25 February 2009 16:29

By : Rupa Damodaran


KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Negara Malaysia has cut its benchmark interest rate again, this time down to two per cent to help lower borrowing costs and support domestic demand.

In a statement yesterday, the central bank said the Overnight Policy Rate (OPR) -- which determines banks' lending rates -- would be reduced by another 50 basis points while the ceiling and floor rates of the OPR have been reduced to 2.25 per cent and 1.75 per cent respectively.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 February 2009 16:31
How Consumers Shop Differently Today PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 24 February 2009 16:25

 By Sean Gregory Sunday, Feb. 22, 2009


The American shopper is dazed and confused. What do I really want, versus what do I really need? Sure, I can afford the plasma television now, but should I save that $2,000, in case I get laid off tomorrow? Can I really tell my snobby friends that I now shop at — egads — Walmart? To gauge the mindset of the American consumer, and the state of shopping during this recession, TIME checked in with respected retail expert Paco Underhill, the CEO of Envirosell, a consulting firm, and author of Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping.

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 February 2009 15:05
When women smoke PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 23 February 2009 10:06

Sunday February 22, 2009

We know smoking is dangerous, but for women, there are also other health risks due to physiological and lifestyle differences, which puts women in a more dangerous position.

A CAR pulled up next to me as I was waiting at the traffic light last week. A slim hand reached out from the car window, a cigarette dangling from the fingers. When I looked over, I saw that the driver was a young woman, maybe in her early 20s.

More and more women, especially teenage girls, are picking up the filthy habit of smoking. This is despite decades of medical and public health campaigns about the dangers of cigarettes. Unfortunately, the voices of scientists and health authorities are often drowned out by powerful advertising and marketing by tobacco manufacturers.

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 February 2009 15:06
Jury awards Cooper City widow $8 million from Philip Morris PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 20 February 2009 11:32

by Tonya Alanez | South Florida Sun Sentinel
3:49 PM EST, February 18, 2009 
FORT LAUDERDALE - Tobacco giant Philip Morris must pay $8 million to a Cooper City widow whose husband died of lung cancer, a Broward County jury decided today in a landmark case that could foretell the outcome of about 8,000 similar lawsuits pending in Florida.

Last Updated on Friday, 20 February 2009 16:15
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