Malaysia too many holidays !?

Posted On 12/02/2008

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First, Malaysian has a thick skin Prime Minister say he work hard (note : he didn’t say anything about work smart). Then we have some “Malaysia competitiveness research” say that business complain Malaysia has “too many holiday”.

Well, nonetheless, it is frustrated when you need to get things done and hit by the holiday bonanza.

Manufacturer complain about the overtime paid, stock broker complains lost of trade due to holiday, people complain they can’t get the work done because of close government office, the list go endlessly. But the funny things is, no manufacturer and shops complain about the spending that shoot up during holiday season! In Europe and USA, no people complain about “too many holiday”. Should a paper report that, they will become the laughing stock.

Government competitiveness
The biggest problem of Malaysia competitiveness has little to do with “too many holidays”. We always hear people try to argue by relating to Malaysia government long process for business application. Because long holiday just prolong the whole legality approval process.

However, the truth of the prolong process has nothing to do with holiday, but Malaysia government departmental red tapes, Napoleon(Animal Farm) mindset derived from NEP, lack of improvement process.

You can check various countries starting business process from Doingbusiness.org website.

For example, to start business in Singapore, it took 5 process, 5 working days, cost 0.8% per capita. In Hong Kong, it took 5 processes, 11 working days, cost 3.1% per capita. While in Malaysia, it took 9 processes, 25 working days, cost 18.1% per capita. How about the China? It took 13 process, 35 working days, and cost 8.4% per capita.

So Singapore only spends 0.8% per capita on resources to approve new business application. This is HUGE contrast to Malaysia 18.1% per capita. It means 1 Singapore government worker who handle the applications process, are equal to 18 Malaysia government servants. Or you can say this, Malaysia hired 18 times more worker than Singapore to do the same things.

Now do you see the problem real problem of Malaysia ? It has nothing to do with holiday, but competency.

Private sector economy structure
It doesn’t take long to learn Malaysia private sector economy. As many blame, most suppliers are ethnics Chinese or Indian. However, the TOP supplies chains that control the supplies, are non other than Government political Link parties, it can be a Malay,Chinese,Indian, Iban, etc. For example, the rice are control by Bernas, cooking oil are control by various “conglomerate”, the national car main supplies are non other than Malaysia DPM related company. And the list go endless.

But when you look into the bottom supplies chain, there is little ethnic pattern you can follow. For example, major Malays residential area, many sundries shop owner are Malay or Indian. While in area with majority Chinese, again, many sundries shop owner are Chinese or Indian. No single ethnics monopolies the sundries shop businesses.

However, there is one truth about the job diversifies : the majority ethnics Malays job are not as diversifies compare to Chinese and Indian. For example, majority of private automobile service center are close during Chinese new year. On the other hand, you will find all Malay ethnics automobile mechanic are inside Proton car services center. Most urban shops about household product, e.g. furnitures, lighting, frame, flower, kitchen product,etc own by Chinese. Few Chinese will go to Courts Mammoth, the favorite
hire purchase conglomerate that favor by ethnics Malay and Indian.

In agricultures, whether Malay,Chinese,Indian or Bangladesh farmer, there is no holiday for them.

And by the way, for for distribution chain, it is about inventories. It is ridiculous if they can’t keep 3 days inventories, even for perishable product. Refrigerator invented before Malaysia gain independent.

Conclusion : the real complaint
And looking at each facts, it is not difficult to conclude that, the main complaint are towards Malaysia government incompetency!
When dealing with government department, it is the time consuming, costly and tiresome, whether for normal people, foreigner, investor and even government servant themselves!

Despite the early country that call for e-Government, the country has failed to cut the red tapes, time and cost. And to make things worst, the business application alone cost the tax payer 18.1% GDP. The administration has degraded into a beast that consume huge number of human resource, time and money.

However, government has little interest to improve the system. To the opposite, Malaysia government under the current administration are more interested on staying in power than making improvement. I am not surprise that the cries of “too many holiday” come from Malaysia government associate institution, which spin and cover the the real culprits behind the issue.

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