The New Malay Poverty A Time Bomb
The following observations by this writer Professor Geoffrey Williams (in Free Malaysia Today) should be translated into Malay and widely publicised:
I have truncated the article and as usual added my comments in blue.
To put Malaysia’s economic, social development into context 65 years (later) Malaysians born at Merdeka will retire into old age povertyEPF members withdrew RM155 billion savings (during Covid)
equivalent to 15.5% of total fund size
decade of pension progress has been wiped out
6.62m (52%) of 12.78m EPF members under 55 savings below RM10,000 equivalent to RM42 per month in retirementAlmost 5m or 75% are Bumiputeras2.58m Bumiputeras have savings less than RM1,000
3.2m members under 55 at “very critical” level, less than RM1,000
2.58m or 81% of them are Bumiputeras
256,300 members aged 54, half have equivalent of RM154/month in retirementhousehold poverty line is RM2,208 per month, with RM1,169 for food.
Among active contributors, 73% do not have adequate basic savings
Terrifying as these numbers are, they are tip of iceberg EPF and other formal pension schemes cover around 57% of populationless than 0.5m private retirement scheme (PRS) members only 4% of elderly population receives basic social protection from governmentbeyond EPF, 16.43m, or 68.9% of working age population, no regular pension cover
includes 7.26m outside labour force, 680,000 unemployed, 4.28m informal sectors
4.26m in formal employment but without regular pension savings
Taken together, 87% of working age population have inadequate cover
3.6 million people over 60 years old, most in retirement2.6 million with inadequate cover total 69.4% of adult population facing or living in poverty in old agetired mantra, save more, work longer will not work
aged 40, median salary, no pension savings, must save 48% monthly wage minimum pension savings threshold. Someone who is aged 50 would have to save 97%
these age groups have to work beyond the grave to reach threshold savings (after) 65 years successive governments (not) delivered decent living standard
(will) someone running for election offer some alternatives and some hope.
My Comments :
(will) someone running for election offer some alternatives and some hope ??
No they will not. The politicians do not care. They do not even understand what these numbers mean. The majority of them may not know and do not understand the significance of these numbers.
Also thanks to the failure of the education system, too many of their constituents do not even know how to write in figures ten million, hundred million or one billion.
And thanks to the success of religious indoctrination many of the people dont care if they do not have enough savings. It is god who grants them their daily bread.
So why should the politicians bother? Besides the politicians can promise them free this and free that. Cash is King - a few hundred Ringgit or a thousand Ringgit once or twice a year.
That 4.28 million in the informal sectors would include those working at stalls, pisang goreng folks etc. This number is going to increase.
This is the result of 52 years of mollycoddling the bumiputeras, giving them almost everything free - from cradle to grave. With no real incentives to make them competitive and productive.
Putting layers of bumiputera license holders, quota holders, AP holders or 30% "bumi-equity" shareholders between producer and consumer with no real value added by them did nothing but create a super duper class of free loaders. Also known as Dr Mahathir's 'Melayu malas' or "lazy Malays".
And yes Dr Mahathir did create the crooks among the Umno politicians - it began during his time as well.
I would not say ALL our problems began with Dr Mahathir. I disagree. As I have mentioned a few times before there is no real "Malaysian" problem. Most of the problems that we face in this country are Malay problems. The other non-Malays in the country are actually quite capable of just cruising along by themselves.
Dont forget that it was during the time of Dr Mahathir that the word "billionaire" became common in Malaysia. Quite a few Malay and non Malay billionaires were created. Most of the Malay billionaires disappeared - because they did not really earn their wealth, hence they did not have the skill sets to sustain their wealth. All the non-Malay billionaires survived and have gone on to make even more billions.
Opportunities were created but the non-Malays benefited the most because they were largely on their own. It was survive or die. They learned to survive.
Hence you see those numbers presented by Prof Geoffrey Williams above. This problem was created by the politicians. The politicians absolutely cannot solve this problem which they created. Tikus tidak boleh membaiki labu.
The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of MMKtT.By Syed Akbar Ali
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