Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The spin has begun....

Tis the season of "spin" and we need to discern truth and propoganda. Here is an example as highlighted by blogger Jeff Ooi at http://www.jeffooi.com/

Your per capita income up 40%, now at RM22,345? 5:37pm, February 9.

I immediately connected with Tony Pua, DAP Sec-Gen's Economic Advisor, moments after the Star SMS Alert reached me.Bank Negara's rogue forex speculator, now Second Finance Minister, Nor Mohamed Yakcop was quoted as saying in Penang that Malaysia's per capita income rose by 40% in 2007 compared with 2004.

He said that per capita income was now RM22,345 compared with RM15,819 previously.

In other words, Nor Mohamed was implying that Malaysians from all walks of life are better off now than four years ago, when Abdullah took over from Mahathir.
Tony has this response:

Nor Mohamed Yakcop must either be completely out of his mind, or can no longer perform simple Mathematics or worse, attempting to insult the intelligence of ordinary Malaysians.

Malaysia's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 5.0%, 5.9% and an estimated 6.0% in 2005, 2006 and 2007 respectively according to the Government's official statistics. (Source available here)
Based on the above growth rates over the past 3 years, Malaysia's GDP grew by approximately 17.9% from 2004 to 2007.
Income or GDP per capita is calculated by dividing the GDP with the total population. Therefore, it is completely inconceivable that our per capita income increased by 40% when our GDP grew by only 17.9%. Unless of course, the honourable Minister believes that our population shrunk by some 16%!
To achieve 40% growth, Malaysia must be growing in excess of 12% per annum. Hence, to grow by 40% over 3 years, with a population growing at just under 2% per annum, that will actually make Malaysia the fastest growing economy in Asia, outstripping even China and India.
The Second Finance Minister should refrain from getting intoxicated by the general election fever, in the attempts to paint a heavenly picture of the Malaysian economy. He must instead make an official public apology for his outrageous claims.

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