Archive for March 6th, 2007

The Blood-sucking banks?

Cheque Clearing System

by Tgopal
Kota Damansara

Once upon a time, not too long ago, when the communication system in the world was at it’s infancy, we had so much problems dealing with banks.

Transferring of fund may take days or even weeks. To withdraw RM10, you may have to queue up for one hour or longer. If you had found a discrepancy in your bank statement, it may take months because the bank clerks/officers had to manually search for files which may be located in a store room hundreds of kilometers away.

But thanks to the latest communication technology now, almost all transactions performed at your fingertips in a matter of seconds, or at least we were convinced that way.

Let’s look at two scenarios and I leave it to the judgment of the readers on to what extent our banks are exploiting us, the customers without whom, they will never exist.

Way back in 1993, when I was still working with a local bank, a house cheque banked into a savings account will be cleared immediately but would be under one day float if it’s deposited into a current account. Still, if the current account holder had an ATM card, he could withdraw the fund after 5pm the same day.

Local cheques would be cleared in two days using KLACH system, in which, these cheques would be sent to the account holder’s branch so that the officers there could verify signature and other technical details. Simply put, if I bank in a local cheque at 3pm on Monday, I can withdraw the money on Tuesday after 5pm at any ATMs.

Fast forward to year 2007. If I bank in the same local cheque at 3pm on Monday, I can only withdraw the cash through ATM on Thursday morning, that this TWO full working days later! ( except for Public Bank, where you can withdraw the night before).

With so much of improvement in the information technology, aren’t we supposed get access to our fund earlier. Why is this working the other way around? Read the rest of this entry »


“Freedom for Sale” scandal – IGP and Dy Minister forced to “smoke peace-pipe”

The RM5.5 million “freedom for sale” allegations have ballooned out to become a major scandal of the Abdullah premiership, affecting the efficiency, professionalism and integrity not only of the police and the Deputy Internal Security Minister, Datuk Mohd Johari Baharom but also the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who is also the Internal Security Minister.

This scandal should not have happened if the 125 recommendations of the Royal Police Commission to establish an efficient, incorruptible, professional world-class police service had been taken seriously by the Prime Minister, Cabinet and the Police and the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) been set up and running.

Malaysians are shocked by the revelations of the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Musa Hassan and Johari in their attempt to blame the other party for the RM5.5 million “freedom for sale” scandal.

Subsequent attempts by both of them to retract or clarify their statements have failed to minimize the damage of their earlier utterances which constitute damning evidence that something is very rotten with the administration of justice and the upholding of law and order in the country. Read the rest of this entry »


RM149 billion KLSE losses in 5 days – PM/Ministers not stock market consultants

RM149 billion KLSE losses in 5 days

The Cabinet tomorrow should warn off all Ministers to stop acting as investment consultants to talk up the market after the expensive lesson of RM149 billion losses suffered mostly by small investors in the stock market in the past week after the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s Chinese New Year advice to enter the market to “ride on the momentum”.

Small investors had overcome their skepticism and reluctance to enter the stock market following the Prime Minister’s exhortation at the Gerakan Chinese New Year open house in Kuala Lumpur on the first day of the Chinese New Year on February 18, 2006 to enter the stock market to “ride on the momentum” of the good economic times on the ground that the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (KLCI) could surpass the 1,350-point level following positive indicators of the country’s economic growth — namely the trillion ringgit total trade last year, the increasing foreign and domestic investments and the rising ringgit.

In less than a week, small investors who acted on the advice of the Prime Minister and flocked into the stock exchange were badly burnt.

In two days on 27th and 28th February, the KLSE plunged 76.42 points from 1,272.87 to 1,196.45, wiping out RM69.45 billion market capitalization in two days.

It is deplorable that Abdullah, who was visiting Yemen at the time, did not immediately learn the lesson that as Prime Minister and Finance Minister, he should not double up as stock market adviser as he persisted in advising Malaysians “to have confidence and be prepared to invest in the KLSE to attract bigger foreign participation”.

Other Cabinet Ministers have also got into the act to double up as investment consultants. Read the rest of this entry »