Some write for money. Some write to share. I write to share. Defence, economics, these are my fields. If I err, point out to me, so I will learn.
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Saturday, December 19, 2015
China - Friend or Foe?
Saturday, December 5, 2015
National Security Council Bill
Saturday, November 21, 2015
Malaysia - Defence Budget Constraint
Thursday, October 29, 2015
Love Your Country, Not Your Party
Sunday, October 25, 2015
Friday, October 23, 2015
PDRM AW139 Purchase
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Expansionary Monetary Policy and Housing Developer
Sunday, October 18, 2015
Malaysian Economy and Currency
During the recent depreciation of RM, many were quick to blame the nation's leadership without understanding what actually caused the depreciation.
Many did not, or rather choose not to see that the depreciation was largely caused by external factors and further worsened by some internal factors.
Thursday, October 1, 2015
Farewell thee, Beloved Son of Malaysia
|Tan Sri Yuen Yuet Leng|
Nation's Unsung Hero
15 Sept 1927 - 1 Oct 2015
Sunday, September 13, 2015
Reasons Behind My Mistral Prank
Friday, September 11, 2015
Riddle of the Day
Thursday, September 10, 2015
Berita Panas! Mistral pasti milik kita!
Budget 2016 Suggestion Forum
Going through PM's Budget 2016 suggestion page, I saw an insurmountable task ahead. Not just in defence, but the whole government machinery.
Many of these well-meaning suggestions are actually already in place.
So where is Kementerian Penerangan? Sleeping on the job?
Friday, September 4, 2015
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Mistral Fiasco - Malaysia to the Rescue?
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Saturday, July 4, 2015
Ditto to MINDEF's Response Over Dress Code
|The reporter or the news - you decide|
Thursday, July 2, 2015
Take security issues seriously
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Perhaps I am writing from my heart. Many of my posts are results of years observing, reading and understanding. Thus, allowing me to provide views with slightly different slant.
While what I write is essentially my world view, I do respect the view of others. At times, I would be harsh on others, years of frustration in military writing tends to come to the surface at times. Sarcasm, yes, sarcasm bites.
Let's hope I can write longer.
Saturday, June 27, 2015
Sharing is Caring
Friday, June 19, 2015
The Submarine that Never Was
|RMN Scorpene class Submarines, renamed as Perdana Menteri class. Photo sourced from Wikipedia.|
|Photos of Zwaardvis class submarines rusting in Lumut. Photo credit to now defunct defence magazine, Tempur.|
Thursday, June 18, 2015
Know Your Stuff Before You Try to Talk Shit with Me
Thursday, June 11, 2015
Helicopters of Malaysia
Just so people can understand better, I've decided to compile a datasheet of helicopters that are in Malaysian government service, both military and civilian. From this datasheet, you may determine if I had tried to pull your legs why we should have bought all 25 units of EC725 instead of only 12 units.
Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Sabah Earthquake - Lessons Learnt
Saturday, June 6, 2015
And They Say We Don't Need It
Thursday, May 28, 2015
Dissemination of Preliminary Investigation Report without Permission
Monday, May 25, 2015
Tommy the Pacifist
Sunday, May 24, 2015
Short Update - May 2015
- 11th Malaysia Plan is now being presented in the Parliament. So far, no update on defence allocation.
- Mindas Muktadil, one of the Muktadil brothers who was involved in the recent spate of kidnapping in Sabah had been gunned down by security guards in Jolo.
- Suspected mass graves of human trafficking victims are believed to have be been found along Malaysia - Thailand border. Further details on this, probably in 2 weeks time after I finished my exam.
- Things getting hotter with USN P-8 Poseidon flying near Fiery Reef had been challenged by China's PLA. Recording of the challenge had been released by CNN. And yet, we are behaving as everything is ok. More on this after my exam.
- Saab 2000 AEW&C. Why we need the system and how it will help us to solve the above-mentioned problem.
Friday, May 22, 2015
11th Malaysia Plan - First Glance
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Defending Malaysia - 11th Malaysia Plan
Thursday, May 14, 2015
Pameran Evolusi Senjata dan Kemanusiaan Sejagat - Home Guard
Just to share this video which I took end of last year.
Monday, May 4, 2015
Income Disparity - Income Growth in Malaysia
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Malaysia And South China Sea
Monday, April 27, 2015
EPF and Retirement Age
A few years back, when the Govt had decided to increase the retirement age for civil servants from 55 to 56, and then to 60, it was only time before the private sector is being compelled to adopt the same retirement age. When that had happened, there was a mismatch between the private sector retirement age and the EPF's retirement age.
Employees who were supposed to retire at the age of 55, were instead continued to work. Yet they received the fund that they were supposed only to receive upon their retirement. At the same time, they no longer contributed to EPF even though they are going to work for at least another 5 years.
Upon receiving the fund from EPF, many used up the fund within 5 years. With Malaysian life expectancy currently hovers between 75 to 76 years old, this means many of our senior citizens will be left without fund for the next 10 to 15 years.
EPF has its roots in its predecessor, the Employee Provident Fund Board which was formed under the Employee Provident Fund Ordinance 1951. In 1982, the ordinance was upgraded to an act, and in 1991, the law was replaced with EPF Act 1991. The sole reason of setting up the fund was to assist Malaysians to save money for their use when they retire.
The original act, which was an ordinance was created during pre-independence time. Back then, access to healthcare service was not available to most Malaysians. Today, you can find rural clinics at almost every district nationwide. With availability of cheap healthcare services and improving hygiene awareness, life expectancy for Malaysians gradually rose from 60 to 75 today.
The removal of communist threat had also helped this as people can live longer without being worried their lives would be snuffed out be these terrorists.
Unclaimed Monies Act 1965
You would have thought that people would ensure their hard-earned money would only be spent by themselves. However, the opposite is true. Every year, banks around Malaysia had to remit millions of ringgit worth of fund to the Unclaimed Monies unit, which is located at Menara Maybank. What constitute unclaimed monies are monies kept in CASA (current account and savings account) that are inactive for period of more than 7 years (meaning no deposits or withdrawals), non-auto renewal fixed deposits/investment accounts more than 7 years) and unclaimed EPF fund belonging to members who are more than 75 years old. Apparently there are Malaysians who forgotten they had opened EPF account which had accumulated funds for their retirement. Yet they had forgotten (or they had died without informing their next-of-kin.
So what was EPF's actual proposal that got buried under tonnes of misplaced concern that the EPF monies would have been used to bail out the so-called mismanagement of 1MDB?
Far from being used for sinister purpose, the suggestions floated by EPF consist of 2 distinct amendments.
To raise full withdrawal age from 55 to 60.
To increase maximum tenure for members to keep their funds in EPF from 75 to 100. This is to allow the members to continue receiving dividends over their fund in EPF till the member reaches the age of 100.
As always, I would need to state my stance.
I have no problem to wait till 60. So far, EPF had done a good job in their investment. So I am not duly worried. But that is just me.
This is something we should consider on. This would do good to the member and his/her next-of-kin. To prevent this from ever happening to us, make sure we prepare our will to include our EPF savings. Then again, if you don't formalize your will, your funds might end up in the hands of Amanah Raya Berhad. That again, would be something for discussion on another day.
Note - currently I have a deluge of ideas what to write about our socio-economics (my background was in accountancy, with strong flavour of economics), unfortunately my focus would be more towards economics. Once I settle back into my old routine, I will write again about military and defence. One topic is dancing behind my head right now. Will see how it ends up.
Friday, April 24, 2015
End of Sabbatical
The last couple of months, I have not written much any heavy analytical driven articles due to my commitment as a new employee in a new environment. As I am slowly sliding into the new role comfortably (a credit to a great boss and a great team - identities all withheld), I would slowly start my writings again.
The month of May would probably see at least one current issue article, but that is not a promise as I have an exam end of May. So wish me luck!
At any rate, if I have good ideas, or I'm on the heat (means I need to write something to let me have a good night sleep), I would put it down. As promised, I will now focus more on my blog rather than Facebook.
Monday, April 20, 2015
GST, Transfer Pricing and Money Laundering
Before I go any further, allow myself to explain what is transfer pricing. I will try to explain this in the most laymen term as possible.
Transfer pricing is the act of assigning value to a cost of operation, be it in completed product (goods), or services between related companies located in different tax jurisdictions. Th cost assigned to these goods or services should be the based on an arms length deal (meaning the assigned cost should be as if the goods or services are obtained from a non-related business). An illustration of transfer pricing in an ideal environment would be as follows.
Ali owns My Company Sdn Bhd which manufactures frozen putu mayam for export. He also owns Sg Company Pte Ltd which operates in Singapore to sell his product in Singapore. His former partner, Muthusamy owns MutuPutu Sdn Bhd which also sell putu mayam. As MutuPutu is selling putu mayam at RM10 per packet, Ali priced the cost of putu mayam made by his company for sales to Sg Company Pte Ltd at RM9. While the price is RM1 cheaper than what Muthusamy is selling, the pricing can still be considered as at arms length as Ali did not seriously underpriced his putu mayam and the difference can easily be attributed to savings from promotional activities (Ali doesn't need to promote to his own company to sell his own products).
In the real business world, transfer pricing are mostly applied on multinational corporations or MNC. We have lesser concern with MNC's conduct in transfer pricing as they would be very sensitive of transfer mispricing. What we are concerned are small and medium size industry owners, like Ali.
Using the same example as above, now we consider the effect of corporate income tax. The corporate tax rate for Malaysia and Singapore respectively are 24% and 17%. Say Ali receives an order of RM9,000,000 of putu mayam to be exported to China. Instead of selling to China via My Company Sdn Bhd to China at RM9 per packet, he now sells it to China at RM5, which is only RM1 lower than his actual cost. At RM5 per packet, his tax incurred is RM240,000 (assuming 100% of his cost is tax deductible). In Singapore, he bills the Chinese company his putu mayam at RM9 (let's keep it to ringgit to better illustrate it). Thus, he incurs tax of RM680,000. This totals up to RM920,000. Had Ali exported everything from Malaysia, he would have to fork out RM1,200,000 over the same deal.
With GST in place, the government can afford to lower down the corporate tax rate to attract more investment into Malaysia. One of the key reasons MNC are investing in Singapore today is because of its lower corporate tax rate compared to Malaysia. You can say infrastructure and human capital, but infrastructure can be built, while Singapore's human capital are largely powered by Malaysians and other foreign talents from countries like China, India and Philippines.
Money Laundering - The GFI Report
The last five years saw the emergence of an international lobbyist group called Global Financial Integrity. It had twice labelled Malaysia globally as the 3rd highest outflow of funds suffered from purported money laundering. The report had prompted Bank Negara officials to check with the group on how they had derived the figure. The group had sheepishly confirmed that they had obtained the figure from calculating the bill difference of products exported from Malaysia to overseas, and most of the figures if not all are exports via Singapore. Unfortunately, Singapore govt was reluctant to release the figure how much of the exports to Singapore had actually passing Singapore and later being repriced higher. Much like what Ali did in his export of putu mayam to China.
With the corporate tax rate lowered, this would provide disincentive to people like Ali to evade corporate tax in Malaysia via transfer mispricing. Effectively, this is creating a self-imposed barrier to have the products or services exported via Singapore.
How does lowering corporate tax rate helps me? I still pay the same tax.
As mentioned, lowering tax rate for corporation would attract more investment into the country. In fact, we have places like Bayan Lepas Free Trade Zone and Kuantan Free Trade Zone built solely to provide pioneer status for corporate investment into Malaysia, where they get to enjoy pioneer tax status at the rate of 10% for 10 years.
Using the same template as the second scenario, say now Malaysian corporate tax rate is at 19%. Ali would be paying only RM950,000 in tax. If he exports through Singapore and tries to misuse transfer pricing, he would be paying tax of RM870,000. While he still saves RM80,000, his cost of delivery and exposure to 2 to 3 exchange rates (RM to USD to SGD to RMB), would discourage him from using the same method (export to China via Malaysia would only incur 1 conversion rate as Malaysia and China have special trade relationship).
While the scenario that I have explained above shows how GST will help to minimize transfer mispricing, there is another 2 component that would lead to transfer mispricing.
Currency Flunctuation - SGD
While most Malaysians see the strengthening of SGD as proof of a better managed Singapore economy (which in a way is true), many do not realize that SGD is not a fully trade-able currency. It is in fact tightly controlled by Singapore's MAS in order to control inflationary effect in Singapore.
To maintain Singapore's competitive advantages, SGD is being traded based on a basket of currencies, with the weight-age for each currency, including RM being classified as national secret. Thus, the one possible mean for Singapore to sabotage the weakening reexporting from Malaysia is by strengthening her currency against RM, which would still attract transfer mispricing to occur. However, this is unlikely as how far does Singapore is willing to go? The very act is like ingesting a poison pill. This action would only make cost of operating in Singapore far too expensive for companies and might even backfire against Singapore royally.
Lets face it. Corruption is rampant in Malaysia. Some people claim you need to grease some hands for things to move.
Some of these people who are more than willing to pay to grease some hands too are more than likely to be miffed when the enforcement officers do not want to accept their bribe. So whose fault is it?
For corruption to go, don't give. Two wrongs doesn't make one right.
We are all one the same boat. We live and we sink together. For the last 40 plus years (I'm counting from 1973, when Petronas was formed), the burden to fund the development of Malaysia had fell on the shoulders of Sarawak, Sabah and Terengganu. Now that GST is being implemented and petroleum revenue is slowly diminishing, time for the rest of Malaysia to repay back to the 3 states for their contribution.
Saturday, March 28, 2015
'The only thing that is constant is change'
(Heraclitus, circa 500 B.C., Ephesus, Greece)
Malaysian MRCA Programme - The Next Step
However, the lack of announcement does not mean that Malaysian Government is not committed to do window shopping during the same air show. The lack of announcement had instead resulted in an even more intense jostling and bidding behind the scene for the small pie in Malaysian defence budget.
Saturday, March 14, 2015
Updates and What not
- The first A400M had just arrived in Malaysia today. One of the giants had landed at Subang AFB late evening today. Unfortunately, I wasn't there for its arrival as I was engaged in a separate event.
- Views on the war against Da'ish as an ideological war has been strengthened by a writing by Fareed Zakaria recently. He stated that Pentagon has now approach this issue as an ideological war instead as a normal all out conventional war. Finally, someone in US are really thinking things through.
- EA forms are out. Time to pay your tax and be 'patriotic'.
- AFP was informed of the Battle of Mamasapamo by MILF, not by AFP. Now that is something to ponder about.
- Cold War 2. What you think about it?
- Myanmar conducted an air raid on a town in Yunnan Province, China, killing 4 civilians. Remember #5?
Majlis Tahlil Kpl Azrul Tukiran (PGB - KIA, Kpg Simunul Jaya, Semporna - 2 Mac 2013)
|Demi Tanahair Tercinta|
Friday, March 13, 2015
Sleeping on the job - Symptom of Manpower Stretch?
Action had since been taken on the 2 officers. And the internet is now filled with condemnation at these officers.
Friday, February 13, 2015
Happy Chinese New Year
In view of the upcoming Chinese New Year, I will be taking a short break from writing to focus on my family & my studies (knowledge upgrading).
To all who celebrates Chinese New Year, Happy Chinese New Year to all. May the Year of the Ram brings better tidings to all of us after a tumultuous Year of Horse.
Sunday, February 8, 2015
A400M - Boost in MAF Strategic Capabilities
|The first RMAF A400M in flight. Photo courtesy of Airbus Defence & Space|
|The first RMAF A400M in flight. Photo courtesy of Airbus Defence & Space|
RMAF Current Transport Aircraft
Currently, RMAF are operating 2 types of transport aircrafts; the venerable Lockheed Martin Hercules C-130, which is affectionately called Charlie, and Indonesian-made CN-235 transport planes.
Saturday, February 7, 2015
Threat from Daish - Religion or Ideological War?
Back then, the civil war in Syria had worsened and US government had begun to supply weapons to militant groups in Syria that were opposed to Bashar's government. Apparently, some of the weapons that were supplied by the US were later found to have made their way back to Iraq and were used in several attacks within Iraq itself. It was only then that the US government realized that the ISIL that they had been supplying weapons to fight the Syrian government were actually the same Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI or Tanzim Qaidat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn). This was despite the fact that Iraqi military intelligence had warned the Americans of the links between the two groups.
|DS Hishammuddin in answering the Q&A session during 3rd National Aspiration and Leadership Symposium|
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
The Fallacy of a Patriotic Tax Payer
'I have the right to say because I am a tax payer'
'Do you know how much tax I pay? I pay ten times more than you'
Often we hear and read such retorts whenever we are in the midst of heated arguments on the direction of one's country or state. The view was that every single tax payer has the right to determine how his or her tax is being used in the development of his/her country.
Often, many choose to highlight the tax they paid as their patriotic contribution in nation-building.
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
Murkier Account of Battle of Mamasapono
Saturday, January 31, 2015
Condolences to Philippines National Police Special Action Forces (PNP - SAF)
In the Kampung Siminul Jaya ambush that killed 6 of our men, of which one of them was the husband of my ex-colleague, we were lucky that Kiram's terrorists did not press their advantage. Why they did not press their advantages, we will never know.
Saturday, January 24, 2015
My View on BR1M
1. Fiscal policy,
2. Monetary policy.
Cold War 2
Diplomasi dan Ketenteraan - Di Sebalik Tabir Hibah Pesawat Black Hawk TUDB
|Sumber foto - http://www.army-technology.com/projects/black_hawk/|
Bagi memahami erti kata ini, perlu kita kaji kembali sejarah Sabah itu sendiri. Tetapi bukan daripada perspektif sejarah yang diajar dalam sekolah-sekolah di Malaysia. Sebaliknya dari perspektif sejarah seperti yang dicatatkan oleh sejarahwan Brunei Darussalam, Pehin Jamil dalam bukunya Tarsilah Brunei II.
Sabah Di Bawah Brunei
Daulat Sabah pada asalnya dimiliki oleh Kesultanan Brunei. Malahan, sejarah penubuhan Brunei itu sendiri dipengaruhi oleh Sabah. Keseluruhan Sabah dari sebelah timur hinggalah ke barat berada di bawah Kesultanan Brunei.
Pada tahun 1660, berlaku rampasan kuasa dalam Kesultanan Brunei. Dua orang putera Kesultanan tersebut bergaduh akibat sabung ayam sehinggalah menjadi sebuah perang saudara. Pengiran Muda Alam menjadi korban pertama dibunuh oleh Pengiran Muda Bongsu. Akibatnya Sultan Brunei ketika itu, Sultan Muhammad Ali dibunuh oleh penyokong Pengiran Muda Alam.
Kekosongan tersebut menyebabkan munculnya dua orang individu yang cuba mewarisi takhta Kesultanan Brunei; Sultan Muhyiddin (cucu Sultan Muhammad Ali) dan Sultan Hakkul Abdul Mubin (pembunuh Sultan Muhammad Ali).
Sultan Hakkul Abdul Mubin menubuhkan istananya di Pulau Chermin, Kinarut, Sabah. Dari tahun 1660 sehinggalah 1673, percubaan demi percubaan Sultan Muhyiddin untuk menewaskan Sultan Hakkul Abdul Mubin gagal. Akhirnya, Sultan Muhyiddin cuba mendapat bantuan daripada Kesultanan Sulu. Kawasan yang dijanjikan oleh Sultan Muhyiddin adalah kawasan yang meliputi kawasan ESSCOM hari ini.
Bantuan dijanjikan oleh Kesultanan Sulu untuk serangan ke atas Pulau Chermin. Tetapi ketika serangan dilancarkan oleh Sultan Muhyiddin, tentera Kesultanan Sulu tidak membantu menyerang. Mereka hanya tiba setelah tentera Sultan Muhyiddin berjaya menewaskan tentera Sultan Hakkul Abdul Mubin.
Murka dengan penipuan Kesultanan Sulu, Sultan Muhyiddin menghalau tentera Kesultanan Sulu.
Kesultanan Sulu masih juga cuba menuntut wilayah yang dijanjikan oleh Sultan Muhyiddin dalam beberapa percubaan walaupun mereka tidak menunaikan janji mereka di medan perang. Namun setiap kali dihalau oleh Sultan Brunei. Penguasan wilayah yang pernah dijanjikan kepada Sultan Sulu kekal dengan Sultan Brunei. Namun tidak dinafikan terdapat daerah yang berjaya dikuasai oleh Sultan Sulu. Tetapi memandangkan kaedah perhubungan yang kurang efektif ketika itu, mereka tidak dapat dikesan dan dihalau. Kehadiran Kesultanan Sulu di situ sepertimana lanun yang kita hadapi hari ini.
Kehadiran British di Sabah
Setelah British melalui Syarikat Overbeck dan Dent mendapat hak pajakan ke atas Sabah, syarikat tersebut dicatatkan dalam sejarah turut mendapatkan pajakan bagi wilayah sebelah timur Sabah daripada Kesultanan Sulu. Di situ terdapat kekeliruan yang dicatatkan dalam sejarah Malaysia.
Dokumen rasmi Kesultanan Brunei menyatakan bahawa pajakan yang diperoleh oleh Overbeck dan Dent meliputi keseluruhan Sabah, termasuk wilayah yang dituntut oleh Kesultanan Sulu. Tetapi kenapa Overbeck dan Dent mendapatkan pajakan daripada Sultan Sulu?
Tujuan pajakan tersebut tidak lain dan tidak bukan hanyalah untuk memastikan aktiviti penerokaan Sabah oleh mereka tidak diganggu oleh lanun dari seberang. Syarikat Overbeck dan Dent hanyalah merupakan sebuah syarikat swasta yang mendapat piagam untuk meneroka. Tujuan penubuhan syarikat mereka hanyalah untuk keuntungan. Sama seperti sikap segelintir peniaga yang lebih rela membayar wang perlindungan kepada kumpulan kongsi gelap daripada membantu polis membanteras kegiatan mereka.
Pencerobohan Lahad Datu
2013, kumpulan pengganas di bawah Jamallul Kiram II cuba mendapatkan wilayah yang dituntut dahulu untuk Kesultanan Sulu (hakikatnya mereka cuma buah catur Nur Misuari). Ops Daulat dilancarkan dan kita kehilangan 10 orang anggota pasukan keselamatan dari ATM dan PDRM. Salah seorangnya suami kenalan saya. Di sebelah pengganas, angka korban rasmi adalah 70 orang.
Semasa krisis Lahad Datu berlangsung, Jamallul Kiram telah mengirimkan jurucakapnya, iaitu Abraham Idjrani dan anaknya Jacel Kiram untuk memohon bantuan daripada Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah untuk memaksa Malaysia menyerahkan Sabah kepada mereka. Sebaliknya, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah yang membuat lawatan rasmi ke Manila ketika itu tidak mempedulikan permohonan bantuan mereka.
Lawatan Rasmi Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah ke Malaysia
Tahun lepas, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah telah membuat lawatan rasmi ke Malaysia. Datuk Seri Hishammuddin yang juga Menteri Pertahanan ditugaskan sebagai menteri kanan menjadi pengiring kepada baginda Sultan Brunei. Masuk tahun 2015, MenHan mengumumkan hibah ini daripada Sultan Brunei.
Hibah ini membawa makna bahawa Daulat Sabah dipegang dan diiktiraf oleh Malaysia. Dan ini sebenarnya merupakan tamparan ke atas Sulu, bukannya Malaysia.
* bilangan sebenar akan cuba dipastikan.