Saturday, January 21, 2017


It seems incredible that there are people who think that only they have the moral high ground and that their prejudices are OK and your differences with them are not OK.

One would have thought that only in this little minded country of ours that we have people like our previous topmost leader who had his prejudice into affirmative policies which neglects others. He now fears those from China as he previously also feared those from China. But this time he says that the old Chinese here should also fear the new Chinese, like he is now. It is a fact that once you have phobias, you will always have the phobias, no matter how you may wish to disguise them - unless you have a sudden dose of wisdom and enlightenment and wake up the reality of yourself.

What really dismayed me were the bad manners of the Obamas and the Clintons who think that only they are the decent people who have decent views - and those who differ from them in their public statements are indecent. I simply just cannot phantom why they could not give Trump and his wife the due courtesy as anyone would give to the President of the US and his wife - unless of course they have decided to disrespect the President of the US themselves. Even John Lennon who subsequently returned his OBE to the queen at least had the decency to behave properly in front of her.

Now we have pressure groups out in numbers to protest against Trump and the US Presidency. This is incredible. Where have the respect for the law gone to? I can see parallels of the situation in our country and I think it is not healthy. I rather bear the nonsense rather than to have chaos and violence done in the name of justice - for it depends on what justice and whose justice.

You are losing the game and you have decided to those the chess board. It was alright when you were winning.

There are many of us in this country who have bear our burden of so many injustices which we have learned to take it as part of the game. It is a rough game. It is an unfair game. But life is real, and we should protect life and bear the rest.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

What Is Better Than GST?

There is recently this very public question of "What is better than GST?", and I think it needs an answer.

1. No GST.

The best alternative to the GST is no GST. There is no god-given right for the government of the day of any country to impose a tax on everything in life.

The GST is argued to be good because it reaped RM40 billion for the government. It is good for the government but no good for the general public.

A RM40 billion withdrawal directly from the pockets of the ordinary people as they go about their daily lives is a punishment for them, especially those with fixed incomes. It leads directly to a reduction of their real incomes.

The counterargument could be that the government is pumping back some money to the low income groups to "compensate" them for the GST. Yes, very nice conceptually but unlikely to be correctly practised - some who deserve may not get it and some who do not deserve get it.

2. Reduce Government Spending.

Since the purpose of introducing the GST is to fund the government deficit, it is logic that the alternative is to reduce government spending.

The government is spending too much money. The government should cut down on its lavish lifestyle. Projects should be better scrutinised for their economic viability, and cost cut by not over-specification. The most showy events in public today are government events.

3. No personal income tax.

If there should be GST which is indirect tax, there should be no personal income tax which is direct tax. To impose GST on top of the personal income tax is for the government to tax on taxed income of persons - the government is trying to discourage consumption on top of discouraging effort.

We know income tax has been reduced with the introduction of GST, but the argument here is that income tax should be abolished altogether at least personal income tax.

Cope out.

It is a cope-out argument that the introduction of the GST is justifiable because so many other countries are applying the GST or its equivalent. I think for once we should learn to argue from first principles and need rather than using a precedent from elsewhere. When is this country going to be original?


There are so many issues about the implementation of the GST. The whole thing boils down to that the burden of the implementation falls on the businesses. If they do not understand the system, they get punished. The incompetence of the implementors of the GST does not matter, for it is costless for them.


The current bout of inflation has been enormous, about 20-30%. The biggest cause has been the currency depreciation as a result of expectations of higher US interest rates and the outflow of the ringgit to other currencies. The ringgit outflow could be related to repatriation of stock market proceeds and profits, the redemption of ringgit bonds, foreign workers remuneration as well as better investment opportunities abroad. The lack of opportunities in the country is a serious concern. The 6% GST is a small issue, relative to these colossal impacts of the ringgit weakness. Nonetheless, the GST does not help in the situation and could the trigger that makes everybody decides that there is no more respective for the stability of retail prices. We have created inflationary expectations and we are passing the cost of higher prices to other people, with precedence from the government.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Stocism: The Art Of Living In Adversity

There seems to be a perennial interest in the philosophy of stocism, that revered stone-faced approach to living.

Stoic: person who can endure pain and hardship without showing their feelings. (Oxford Dictionary.)

The primary goal of stocism is how to be happy or rather how to live a happy life. So, we are not talking about just moments but the whole stretch of one's life, although everything would be based on the moment, and hence, a series of moments.

To live a happy live is to live a life that one wishes - not in the sense of frivolity - but in the sense of living in accordance with one's inner being. Be a good durian if you know you are a durian, and not trying to be a rambutan.

In other words, stocism is about being one's true self. It is by being true to oneself that one can truly be happy with oneself.

This is because this is the reality.

The reality is out there, and not inside you, and therefore it is not part of you. Whatever the reality is, it has nothing to do with you. This is the reality.

The only way reality has an impact on you is when you react to it, the reality. By reacting, you allow reality to hit you.

Which means that in order to ensure that the reality has no impact on you is for you not to react to it. By not reacting to reality, you do not allow reality to hit you.

Here you are, alone in this world. There it is the reality, existing by itself, existing before you were born and will exist after you are gone from here.

Pain is external to you. There may be pain in a part of your body, but yo do not have to own that pain. You can make pain an alien to your being. You do not have to react to the pain.

Now, what do you do in this apparent stalemate?

The only thing to do in this real life is to live according to your own true self.

Know yourself.

Live your life, your own way.

Do what you have to do; do not do what you don't need to do.

Do as per your true self. Live your life with integrity to your true self.

To live life with integrity to your true self, you have to keep life simple. You can only know a few key elements of your own true self, and you have to keep your faith with those few points of yours.

Be honest - don't lie, don't cheat, don't misrepresent, don't mislead, don't say what you do not know.

Have courage - endure though not suffer, don't be afraid.

Be rational - use your head, re-examine carefully all those impressions of things in your mind and make sure that they are true, calm your senses down by keeping still in order to know yourself, behave on the basis of what you know.

Stocism is therefore about living a virtuous life according to yourself, your own nature, being true to yourself, without depriving others from doing the same.

Living In The Present

When the real world today seems all in shambles, the world is in shambles, but not you.

You are intact. You know who you are. You are being honest to yourself.

If you are in debt, then pay off the debt by selling the assets you have accumulated. If that is not sufficient, get yourself declared bankrupt. Do what you have to do. Don't try to avoid the consequences of your own past actions. Don't blame others for your present troubles. You did not credit others when you were doing well before; you owed everything to yourself. Your financial world may collapse, but you are still alive. Only you will decide for yourself that you should be unhappy. You do not have to get others' approval to be happy.

The same applies to your fame, your reputation - bestowed upon you by others for no reasons of yours that you can fathom and for no good purpose that you can use it for. You are like everyone else: human, alive, aging, waiting.

In such adversity, it is a real joy to be alive, because that is the only thing that now defines you - and possibly the only most important thing.

Every step you take is entirely yours and yours alone. You decide. You do. You live.

Be happy. Be alive.