Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Discrimination Is Still There?

I was dreaming yesterday night. I was back in the Ipoh house one morning. Outside the room
sitting at the round dining table was my dear granny. She didn't say anything at all and I just told her that there was a 50kg Garoupa fish caught at Port Klang and for a damn good dinner at one restaurant at Mid Valley. I really wanted to go for that. She was smiling at me but yet she didn't say anything.

And then I started to cry. This was the first time that I saw her in my dreams after her demise 5 months ago. That cry woke me up in the morning.

The article of the fish is here.


The next four days, I will be in Cyberjaya for a care-taking job. At least a staff in my department gets a chance to go there and spend the week there. It may sound a little illogical of why going there but in my opinion, it's just as to make use the facility there and perhaps make a little extra money here. Perhaps in the month where you will be assigned there, you can earn perhaps up to $200 and as bonus to your existing salary.

The floor which I belong too is a little claustrophobic. Some companies that are there are no longer operating, despite having the company logos there. So, it's just a little quiet there. Remember the scene in Brazil where Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce) was taken to on his first day? That's what I felt like when I was there previously in January.


Maybank and another bank (being a government-linked banks) introduced a new ruling with effective from July 1 2007 that all lawyer firms that intend to do business with the two banks are required to have at least three partners with one of them being a Bumiputra and the person must hold 50 percent stake of the firm.

This practice is deemed a racial discrimination policy by the BAR council and this has brought attention to the Dewan Rakyat and the Central Bank. It is contrary to the meritocracy that is wanted by the PM. There are no Central Bank policies that matches the policy introduced by the two banks. This, as according to the BAR is deemed as an insult to the law profession.

Unfortunately, Maybank were a little less too late to clarify and comment on the issue. When word reached the Finance Ministry, the ministry clarified that there is a possible chance of intervention. The policy is the internal bank policy but what was spoken was contrary to the Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Ramli Ngah Talib that there would be no intervention.

On the side note from the Finance Ministry: the government has confirmed that there will be no off-shore trading of the Malaysian Ringgit as to curb repeat of currency speculation.

Discrimination Cut

Singapore's TAFEP - Tripartite Alliance for Fair Employment Practices on Monday issued a guide called the Fair Employment Practices which details the guides and tools for employers on hiring employees of all races and age. It is hope by the TAFEP that this will change the mindset of employers and perhaps increase the number of jobs by another 450,000.

The biggest recommendation in the guideline would be the outlaw of gender, age, race, and photograph fields in job application forms. Those fields will be deemed a taboo in Singapore sooner. This is to ensure that the priority of hiring people would be on the skills and the contributions a person can contribute to an organization.

This was following last year where a 180 cases of employment discrimination from the top three reasons:

1) Those jobseekers who are older of age are rejected.
2) Those who are discriminated because of race and looks.
3) Pregnant women are also victims as some employers are not willing to pay for their maternity benefits.

This is still evident in Malaysia and there has been a renewing urge to extend the maternity leave to 84 days or 12 weeks minimum than the current 60 days.

The complete article in regarding to employment practices is at this URL.

Malaysia Tax Cuts Please!

Currently, Malaysia's corporate tax is at 28 percent and the government tax of 5 percent is still there. But this does not include the services tax bundled together. This means that the government stands to earn at least 33% of an organization's turnover from these taxes.

When it comes to competing between their neighbors, big companies intend to ply their trade in South-East Asia would definitely set up shop in Singapore. Currently, the country's annual earnings is 25% from taxes. The corporate tax is to be lowered at 18 percent and to compensate that, the GST - Goods and Services Tax will be increased to 7% with effective from July 1.

The comparison intended here is that the GST that was meant to combine service and government tax together in Malaysia never came to fruition or any significant progress noted. This means that Malaysia will have to do more to get more FDI to come here. The IDR was a good thing, but it is not enough. To compete, you need to either - lower the corporate tax rate more or combine the 15% tax we pay to a 5% GST or we pay 3% of GST and make corporate tax to 22%.

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