Friday, 28 November 2014

Pujangga Sri Kijang muncul Juara

Pujangga Sri Kijang bersama Puan Siti Salbiah Dasiyo
Penantian berakhir kira-kira jam 10.30 malam tadi apabila Pujangga Sri Kijang dinobatkan sebagai Juara Pesta Pantun Integriti 2014, dengan mengalahkan pasukan daripada Jabatan Penilaian dan Perkhidmatan Harta, Suara Anak Bumi 1.

Lebih manis lagi, pemantun kedua daripada pasukan Pujangga Sri Kijang telah diumumkan sebagai Pemantun Terbaik.

Pujangga Sri Kijang diwakili oleh Azuraini Ab Karim, Marina Musa, HB Hamdan dan Fatimah Yahya.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Fuel Subsidy Cut

This is one of the few issues that I disagree with Pakatan Rakyat. I personally think that DIRECT fuel subsidy is not good for the economy in the long run.

The direct fuel subsidy policy distorts prices of so many products and services. Rakyat and the Government may disillutionally think that transport-related costs are cheap when in actual fact, they are not.

First and foremost, we need to agree that someone must pay for the subsidised portion of fuel price. Since the Government intervened the fuel price by lowering it through subsidy, rakyat might think that they pay less on fuels. Actually, the Government pays for it using a portion of its revenue (of course bulk of it from taxes) and deprives rakyat of other benefits such as better education, healthcare and public transport.

In addition, subsidised fuel has moral hazzard to consumers as it might not incentivise them enough to save on fuels. Hence, increase the subsidy to be paid using "duit rakyat". Also, it gives wrong impression to some people that the cost of owning private transport, especially cars is cheap and affordable. 

Nevertheless, the above does not mean I support some of Barisan Nasional policies pertaining to the abolishment of fuel subsidy.

Firstly, I do not think BRIM a viable policy to counter subsidy cut. Although it directly goes to the targeted groups, BRIM handouts do not have impactful spillover effects.

Instead, all savings from subsidy cut should go to public transport, such as providing free public transport to school children, senior citizen and OKUs as well as strengthening the efficiency and effectiveness of public transport. Enhancing effectiveness can be done through widening the coverage of public transport, at least by bus and strengthening the efficiency can be done through increasing the frequency of service and introduction of dedicated line for public buses and taxis.

I also disagree the continuation of subsidising the IPPs. If rakyat have pay full price, why should we allow IPPs make lots of profits, due mainly to subsidy and one-sided purchase agreement.

The same goes to natural gas subsidy which was reported that about 80% of the total subsidy went to businesses and corporations.

In summary, I agree for the prices of fuel and natural gas to be determined by market. Nevertheless, the savings from the subsidy cut MUST go to public transport, at least to provide for the following two objectives:

  1. Free public transport for children, senior citizens and OKUs; and
  2. Strengthen the effectiveness and efficiency of public transport nationwide. 

Friday, 21 November 2014

AirAsia ASEAN Pass

To all my friends, AirAsia has announced yesterday its new product called ASEAN Pass. It allows the pass holders to fly up to 10 times within 30 day to any of AirAsia routes within the 10 ASEAN countries for a flat price of RM500, excluding airport taxes and charges.

According "Abang Tony", the ASEAN Pass will be available starting from 15 January 2015. One of the conditions is no repeats. Well, AirAsia needs to elaborate on this. My understanding is if one flies from klia2 to Bangkok (1 out of 10) and flies back to klia (2 out 10), he or she cannot fly to Bangkok again in order to utilise his or her balance of up to 8 flights. 

Why I used "up to" is because each eligible route will be valued in the range of  1 credit and 8 credits. A 30-day pass comes with a value of 10 credits. If the first flight costs you 8 credits, you will be left with 2 more credits 😋

I'm sure my friends Aidie and Eja as well as my cousin Ojot will find this new product of AirAsia, irresistable!

Hopefully, this innovation will spark more innovative products from other airlines serving ASEAN countries.

The picture is taken from The Borneo Post.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Pesta Pantun Integriti 2014

Pujangga Sri Kijang
We formed a last minute team to represent the Bank in the augural of Pesta Pantun Integriti 2014. The team is called Pujangga Sri Kijang.

The organiser is Jabatan Penilaian dan Perkhidmatan Harta and it's open to all agencies under the Minister/Ministry of Finance, Malaysia.

We beat Jabatan Akauntan Negara in the qualifying round before beating Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri in the second semi-final. In another semi-final, Jabatan Penilaian dan Perkhidmatan Harta beat Langkawi Development Authority to reach to final.

In shaa Allah, Pujangga Sri Kijang will meet the tuan rumah, which is called Suara Anak Bumi 1 in the final which has been scheduled on 28 November 2014.