Monday, March 19, 2018

Don't control commercial prices like a communist state

FMT - Price hikes during festive seasons: Mavcom to fix domestic airfares (extracts):

KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Transport Minister Ab Aziz Kaprawi today assured that the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) would fix the ceiling rates of domestic airfares soon to overcome price hikes during festive seasons.

He said Mavcom was expected to complete drafting proposals for airfares during festive seasons by June.

Mavcom had launched a study of the airfares after receiving complaints on the matter.

I personally am against the above or the controlling of prices of so-called 'essential items' such as eggs, oil, sugar, flour and what-not, with enforcers playing Big Brother over cups of mamak teh-susu-ais.

In Oz, prices will always rise when festivals approaches. MAS prices shoot up come Christmases, New Year Days, Chinese New Years and Cheng-Bengs. Christmases will always see prices of seafood, smoked poultry & meats, wine, etc rise. But life goes on without any government interference.

Yes, some opportunistic traders can be unscrupulous and avaricious. But if one doesn't like the increased prices, one doesn't buy it as no one forces one to. One's self control and restraint will be what moderate the prices.

The Malaysian government still pampers far too much to consumers. Leave the market forces to work out the prices.

It should only intervene when there is grave injustice, like a monopoly or cartel selling oil at exorbitant rates. Perhaps it may then be a good opportunity to switch to healthier lifestyle by steaming or grilling your terung and hard-boiling the eggs, and eating them with ulam and nasi, wakakaka.


  1. Agree on no ceiling prices as this goes against free market practices but the problem is, our businesses works like a cartel. Try going to a kopitiam here and see all prices are standard no matter what dish is it- be it chapfan, kai fan, all kinda mee (western meals still pricier). Even price hikes are unison from all of them. This is just 1 example, there are many many others.

    The Government needs to break their backs of this despicable business practices.

    1. could it be because of competition, to offer better/lower prices?

    2. Whenever there is a competitor that tries to offer below their prices, these quasi-cartel will ensure he either toes the line and fix the price as they do, or his business will never survive past 1 year. They are just individuals in the larger schemes of business.

      A kuaw teow stall that I frequent, lamented he could have maintained the old price and still be a happy man but due to pressure from other stall owners, he was forced to up price in tandem and thus lost some loyal customers.

      This is just from 1 kopitiam. Expand this despicable acts to the larger macro businesses in Malaysia and you can see our problem.

    3. actually I'm one of the few bloggers who grew up with hawkers and still am friends with many. I have never in my life heard of that.

      Kopitiams OTOH do belong to associations and it would be during those association meetings that they might have agreed to a common approach for stable business instead of undercutting, but never to "fix" prices to earn unscrupulously. Everyone in those associations want long term profit.

      And a lil' tidbit for you, after those association meetings the members adjoin for mahjongs wakakaka

    4. Much of Malaysia's economy is a cartel structure.

      The Federal Government "leads by example" because so many essential items are supplied through a Government appointed monopoly or Government mandated pricing.

      Many other items and services are priced at Association-mandated prices. If you don't toe the line, you may get a "friendly" visit from representatives of the Association or competitors.

      Even when there appears to be so-called "competition" , there are no real competitive services or competitive pricing.

      Companies resort to gimmicks to entice new customers.

    5. KT, you been way too long away overseas. Come back and talk to ur hawker friends again. They will tell you things have changed and concur with my story, or perhaps they might be the ones instigating this cartel arrangement.

      Government mandated pricing only depresses prices and hence their profit margins. When subsidies and price caps are removed, their conniving, scheming nature comes out to bloom. Free market apparently, wasn't so free after all.

  2. No price control means free market competition, means no monopoly (APs)!

    Can work ke?

    When there r so many rent-seekers to support, so many tongkat addicts to support!

  3. its more or less the same concept with zero rated gst on selective item right, n prevent profiteering in the case of transportation.

    i think u misunderstood free market.

    1. AND u advertently human nature!

      Free means free. No exception!

      Ain't this the purest form of idealism u subscribed to?

      Hence, capitalism has lost its laissez faire soul in yr so called 'free markets competition!

    2. the major cause that help to create wealth n eradicate poverty in china is private ownership. whats marxism, socialism n communism stance on this?

    3. That's that unique character of Chinese socialism!

      Private ownership IS only part of the contributing factor.

      Without the accessible transportation links - road, rail, private ownerships that create jobs & indirectly wealth, WOULD NOT reach those remote locations where poverty plays her ugly game endlessly!

      Who built those transportation links?
      Private entity?

      Similarly with streaming educational courses via 4G in those remote villages. Upgrading of the local skills via these easy accessible education means (4G streaming) provides readily knowledgeable labours who r not available previously.

      'Capitalist' purist, which comes first?

      Yr private ownership or that accessible facilities that spark the ideas to locate private enterprises to these poverty stricken & remote villages?

      U read & understand, but NEVER digest the ESSENCES of the idea. Hence, u follow rail-trackly. For u, capitalism is SIMPLY 'free' marketing competition while socialism is ONLY state controlled economy!


      Apply some Zen technique to yr thinking process lah.

      Only then u will not be trapped in 牛角尖!

    4. the capitalistic usa dun built transportation link? dun provide education, n dun do 4g5g6g? apalah lu cakap sini?

      under mao there is no private ownership, deng change all this with his 包产到户 with private ownershio element. mao criticized deng cat theory, he believe liu n deng wan to revive capitalism. he whack both kawkaw in cr. what u call mao socialism then, a nepalist socialism?

      the greatness of deng is when he see marxism socialism n communism dun work, he change course n adopt capitalism. of course from a political stance, he cant tell communism a failure.

      what u did all tis years when u r in china? everyday write slogan for ccp kah so no time to read?

    5. Sai hei AGAIN with a hateful blur-sotong wearing tinted glasses!

      Modern China with a Chinese-style socialism AND not yr grandmother's Mao era stories IS the issue here.

      If u CAN'T grip hold of the idea, & keep wanting to live in yr pasts, then DON'T resolve to 套帽子! 非

      Do continue with yr 攒牛尖角 with yr socialism bashing by lamenting yr archaic & bitter understandings of their learning curve.

      U can indulge living in yr make-believe nightmare of continuous Communism failure EVERYTHING, yr choice.

      I see the successes of Chinese-style Communism in China, working to propel modern China ever forward.

      I have current & concrete evidences while u ONLY have past errors to emphasize!

      Eat yr heart OUT!

    6. the relevant question is can capitalism work under an authoritarian govt, the west claim no, deng not sure, but can try, thus the reform start, n it seem the china experience demonstrate that u dun need a liberal to manage capital, perhaps a authoritarian regime can do equally good. n my point is, regardless yes or no, y not let the people have a choice n a say.

      u write many words but u still cant answer my simple question.

    7. What's yr simple question?

      实事求是 that's all to my points!

      Successful & practical, thought not 100% perfect examples r a plenty in modern China. AND yet u keep drilling into that erroneous pasts as if u r still living in those period.

      U keep 攒牛尖角 in yr twisted sopo understandings, based on learning curve errors to 'attack' socialism. Along the way maintaining yr usual tactic of 套帽子 to discredit those who hold views difference from yrs.

      Yes, let the people have a choice N a say - BUT, with guided conditions!

      Simply bcoz humanity has not reached the level of self regulation as prerequisited in PD.

      Bleeding-hearts, like u, ignore human natures cultivated by localised behaviours (traditions) & unknown fears (religious) believe human, as a whole, can makes rational decisions.

      Yet, most of the time, as proven in the course of human history, atrocities resulted.

      Capitalism & socialism share equal blames for their narrow interpretations of that COMMON human psychological NEEDS.

      AND yet people like u keep maintaining to categorize them into different, distinct & mutually exclusive 'concepts'!

      Perhaps that's how books corrupt ones thinking process. Especially for those who read, understand BUT cannot digest, thus holding on to that 死板 railtrack like useless classifications.

      Chinese socialism IS not perfect but 摸着石头过河,勇以改革 has bring commendable results to the people. Along the way, 一将功成万骨枯 is the unavoidable collateral damage!

      I dare say, based on my yrs of observations on the China ground level feeling, if true election of one man one vote is to be held NOW in china, CCP & Xijinpeng will still win with landslide!

      龙应台 2010 年北大演讲总结的「我不在乎大国的崛起,我更在乎小民的尊严」IS the poison that BEST summarised that moronic view that propagates amongst people like u!

    8. the fact is, when there is private ownership, n market dictate supply n production, there is already a character of capitalism. china is now more capitalistic than many so called capitalism nation. i am perfectly fine, with tis. historically china is secular n capitalistic, i dun know y u want to twist the fact like ccp did.

      n i never criticise ccp approach toward the economy n poverty eradication, i am asking y ccp dun let the people choose n talk, r chinese people more inferior compare to others? n what kind of guide u need? n y u so understanding n sympathetic toward ccp but not bn?

      i dun expect answer from u, i just wan u to ponder how to make yr argument more convincing.

    9. Bloody hell!! U don't read carefully or u just stubbornly hold on to yr railtracked views, comes rain or shine!

      REMEMBER private ownership/market economy ARE not the sole patents of capitalism! They r intrinsic to human nature. Drill that to yr mind before u read on!

      The current modern China is just exhibiting her INTRINSIC nature where marketing mechanism for profit & brotherly compassion intertwined in her administration.

      Do understand that even with private ownership if there is no market accessibilities (road/rail/skilled labour) there WILL not be profit! No profit, no investment, thus the poverty cycle repeats in those remote villages!

      U have obviously refused to see the hands of the state in making those accessibilities. Using yr shallow definition of socialism, ain't this state controlled efforts?

      So what capitalistic doctrines r u talking about?

      China has been administrated as such for a long long time over her many cycle of fall/prosperity before the ideas of capitalism & socialism have even been formulated.

      CCP has rediscovered that part of the working China! The Chinese, party & people, r now marching towards that secular & 'capitalistic' realm of 中国梦. So did I &/or CCP twist anything on this? Or r u the one?

      "Y ccp dun let the people choose n talk"

      My understanding is again PD!

      If Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, (六四事件), was to be successful, my take is there would not be the current modern China!

      U could argue otherwise.

      But the REAL fact is there is a modern & growing affluent China NOW.


      "understanding n sympathetic toward ccp but not bn?"

      What r u trying to imply - a self-serving bn vis-a-vis the current working CCP?

      Just show me the result of that 40+yrs of nep in uplifting the Melayu lah.

      Pathetic & totally insincere come to mind!

      So HOW to be understanding & sympathetic to this bloodsuckers lair?

  4. it works only if there is competition. unfortunately competition doesnt happen if the base price is not 'artificially' controlled. in the good old days when some domestic routes are not divided and controlled by a single airline, there was still some 'decent' competition. after they divided some routes between airasia & MAS, the baseline prices during festivals like CNY is ridiculous, especially btw west & east malaysia. Dats why e ridiculous pricing becoz u onli have 1 airline choice 4 dat route. take it or swim over e South China Sea urself!

  5. Food & Beverages & Household Items & Personal Care Products are subject to
    Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Mechanism to Determine Unreasonably High Profit for Goods) 2016 come into effect from 1st January 2017.

    1. Hawker foods where there is no singular price structure, receipt proof or even displayed prices makes those law moot and allows profiteering(or perhaps plundering) by these business owners.

    2. for a little while such hawkers might profit but once customers get the feel of the market they (the hawkers) will lose in their business

    3. The problem is, the surrounding market goes up as well. These kopitiams don't act independently, its usually a concerted price increase from all the neighbouring kopitiams, not just one. So us consumers have no choice really.

    4. In tiny Reddot, one can still eat a decent set of breakfast nasi lemak at around S$3 with a cup of coffee & a lunch of bowl of noodle with icy drink at S$5 at the hawker centres at many housing estates.

      What gives? S$ is bigger than RM?

      Blaming hawkers for profiteering is easy & showing the naïveness of know no business sense!

      When the source is controlled & monopolized, like rice, flour & sugar, the resulting products of noodle, mee, kopi WILL be priced accordingly.

      Cartel? For a small roadside businesses like hankering! What a cheap target for a moron to rant his worthless 2cent!

      One should target those rent-seekers who hold the APs on those essential items.

      Controlled items in bolihland r for show to hide inefficiency, just like the current rice & sugar manufacturings/distributions!

      If ever there is a small profit margin but large volume sale business for sustaining, amongst fear & intense competitions, hawkering comes to mind!

      Perhaps, those hawkering centres u have visited ONLY have one individual stall selling the food item aka monopolized setup.

      Otherwise, the money-pinching consumers, hard pressed by the daily simple & yet necessity high consumptions WOULD shop wisely. That's how many hawkers have gone out of business leaving fews just to struggle to make ends meet!

    5. Yes. Ever wondered why meals at these places too are standardised to S$3-4? Its already cartel-ised, but by the biggest cartel there, Singapore Government.

      You see, despite the appearance of free market capitalism there, their markets are more restricted and dictated by their Government agencies such as NTUC. Big foreign businesses like AEON, Tesco, and previously-Carrefour, aren't able to thrive there becoz they not allowed to undercut NTUC supermarkets, and their hypermart locations are restricted to the boondocks.

      Open ur eyes and senses, don't you ever wonder why its strange that any meals in a kopitiam is similarly priced and this similarity is uncannily common to other kopitiams within surrounding areas? Do you ever ponder if a plate of kai-fan has the same cost as a plate of fried kuay teow, and therefore must be priced the same? Or do you just pay the overpricing and then whine that its all Government's fault? Open ur eyes and senses.

    6. Again sai hei!!

      "it's strange that any meals in a kopitiam is similarly priced and this similarity is uncannily common to other kopitiams within surrounding areas?"

      The BIGGEST hawker cartel in Reddot is free market competition. So r those in bolihland with a twist!

      "Not allowed to undercut NTUC supermarkets, thus foreign businesses like AEON, Tesco, and previously-Carrefour, aren't able to thrive there! And their hypermart locations are restricted to the boondocks."

      Wakakakaka……… how many blur-sotongs u have swallowed?

    7. Sai hei talking to someone who haven't been to Singapore. Open ur eyes and senses.

  6. KTemoc,

    You describe yourself as a socialist (presumably a social democrat) but what kind of socialist or social democrat opposes price regulation on essential items to prevent profiteering?

    Are you an oxymoronic neo-liberal socialist or an anarcho-capitalist socialist.

    I'm all for price regulation and control for the benefit of the people. Kudos to MAVCOM.

    At the same time, mutually agreed prices such as is sometimes practiced by kopitiam owners to avoid ruinous competition and a race to the bottom is fine, provided their agreed prices are not excessive and better still are approved by the relevant price regulator as well.

    Did you know that The Malaysian Bar also has its standard rates for legal services rendered by its members, who are allowed some leeway to vary their rates from the standard rates, as long as they remain within a specified band.

    This too is to prevent ruinous undercutting amongst members, which will adversely affect their quality of professional services to clients.

    In Australia, the journalists' union has laid out standard rates for work done, even by freelance journalists, once again to avoid a ruinous race to the bottom.

    Does your "socialism" go so far as racial equality, human rights,LGBTQ rights, women's rights, social justice and so forth but exclude workers' rights to fair remuneration, employment protection and defence of their economic interests?

    If yes, then you are no socialist but a liberal.

    It's because of "socialists" like yourself that right-populists like Trump won, the right came tops in the Italian elections, the right are in control in Austria, the Front Nationale made major gains in France, even if they did not win and so forth.

    1. self regulation, not government intervention at every whims.

      There many shades of socialism - I keep a distance from the communist type of regimentation

    2. For the swaying-in-the-wind bleeding-hearts of neither here or there, it's easy to get into alphabetic idealism!

      U people HAVE put real colours into the overlapping areas of the two competition sopo doctrines.

      For what??

      To showcase yr blur2 understanding of the underlying concepts OR to syiok-sendiri!

      Tsk……tsk……no wonder, we r in such a mess worldwidely!

    3. we want you for President-for-life, Mr Your Excellency CK, wakakaka

    4. Wakakakaka………

      U will regret!

      If I'm president-for-life, u will be amongst those that I'll lock up & throw the key away!

      Know WHY?

      There r basically 4 kinds of people inhabiting on this Earth.

      1) blur, no knowledge

      2) blur but knowledgeable

      3) sly but no knowledge

      4) sly but knowledgeable

      Guess WHO'S the most evil?

      Guess which category u belong to?


    5. I submit to your brilliance

    6. DON'T put me on the altar!

      Just remove yrs!


  7. Guys and Gals,
    What did Deng say about black cat and white cat? Is it important? Thank God that lee Kuan Yew is a pragmatist. As pragmatists myself, I will go for something beneficial to the country, its citizen including myself.
    Pragmatists would know that Najib must die cock stand. Hahahaha! Even if Master kaytee moc kong says otherwise