While I was hastily writing a Selamat Hari Raya post, I was in Singapore for a short holiday, visiting some friends and ex-colleagues. That was during my first night there.
On my second night, I joined in a conversation with a hostel guest, a German. He's a quality assurance manager at a factory in southern China.
He was curiously asking for the Malay translation for the 5 Sing Dollar note and our 5 Ringgit note. I gladly translated it for him.
Over a round of drinks, he revealed that he came here to have a break and to look at possible jobs related to his position here. I asked what's the economic and job situation in Germany right now. All I know was that for the second quarter, Germany's GDP was only at 0.2%, while France was at break even point. Jobless rate is still around the same level as in France - 10%, with at least 3 out of 4 able people (excluding seniors). Therefore, it will be absolutely hard for foreigners like myself to find work in Europe down the road in the next few years or so, unless there is a sudden miracle or something that I do not expect it to come. Also, the job priority would be on their own people first before others.
The man also told me that Kuala Lumpur is his secondary option for job searching. After being impressed with the public transport efficiency in the city-state, he wanted to know how's the public transport system fared in Kuala Lumpur. Honestly, I told him it's still not very well efficient with too many ropes rather than having it simplified and easier to maintained. I also told him that it's very hard to buy a car given of the protectionist money included into the cost of buying car in Malaysia.
I also told him the traffic conditions at peak hours, particularly on evenings and on usual Fridays.
We also talked a few other things but the questions he asked was more on economic and career matters. I told him to try getting one in Singapore first unless there's no vacancy there. The reason is not because of they have more expatriates staying there rather in KL, but for economic reasons, 6 months down the line. It is because if there is another global scale recession, Malaysia will not survive that long.
First of all, the Euro is in jeopardy. Greece is in the balancing act of whether to stay or exit the Euro. If the exit decision is taken, the decision is considered catastrophic and the Euro is considered break-up.
In other words, Europe is sneezing at the rest of the world including America and China.
Secondly, the German constitutional court is weighing on whether the European Financial Stability Facility's ESM (the stability mechanism) is constitutionally feasible. Being the main paymaster of the Euro, if the court blocks / says not feasible, ESM can't provide the necessary bail out money of 100 billion euros (approximately) to Spain, as well as money to Italy. Worse of all, the EFSF said that there is no plan-B if the negative verdict is revealed.
There have been warnings that the Euro could collapse as early as September. Just wait until if European banks take longer holidays - a tell tale sign of collapse.
For ASEAN territories, only Singapore and Brunei have plenty of reserves to be ready for this. Not Malaysia's GDP nor the amassed debt of almost half-a-trillion can save Malaysia in the next few years - not by how the money is managed right now. Unfortunately, not many of us are aware that we are borrowing money from various sources, EPF included just to support ourselves - we simply do not have extra resources (apart from the foreign reserves) to keep Malaysia manageable.
In 2009, Singapore used 1/35 of their reserves (only mere SGD 20 billion) for stimulus. Their annual GDP for 2010 was at an amazing 14.6%.
The only piece of advice I told the man is to get ready for it should he happens to be working and visiting Kuala Lumpur next time round.
Race and religion issues coupled with mismanagement was quite hardly a rare occasion down south there. For the sake of nation building, everyone understood that race and religion has to be separated out of the state.
Many hate this word - secularism - but it came to my understanding that if that is applied, "aqidah" and the way of life will have improved tremendously. Mentally, people will be far better rather than told to absorb and question nothing. Why are still nations in the Middle-East in particular still socially far behind then the other countries somehow?
Motor-mouth politicians and those who talk faster than the brain thinks in Malaysia plsu those who do still stick to the old guard conservatism scream of their neighbors like Indonesia and Singapore as infidel nations (casino, eat pork, secularism, etc..) but yet they do things that are considered as what infidels do (corruption, committing white-collar crimes, breaking the trust / mandate). People like those, when humiliated in public either fall into the shadows or will start whining longer in the public, like the two Alis (Ibrahim Ali, Hasan Ali) and the lot.
Maybe I feel glad that being expelled from the Federation in 1965 is a disguise for them. And they have become one of the AAA credit / richest countries in the world. We almost matched them in might around the early 90s, but sadly we never recovered after the Asian crisis. We're still not really out of the woods, contrary what many people including Dr. Mahathir would say.
Cakap kafir tapi buat haram ah!