Sunday, December 26, 2021

Socialism a viable option for Malaysia, says academic

Socialism a viable option for Malaysia, says academic

Shaharuddin Maaruf, a former senior research fellow at Universiti Malaya, said socialism had become relevant to Malaysia as a solution to the country’s problems. (Facebook pic)

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia is seeing many social problems – rising food prices, a widening income gap, home ownership issues and the lack of basic minimum wages.

And the answer to all these problems could be socialism, says an academic.

Universiti Malaya’s Shaharuddin Maaruf says the many problems have made socialism a relevant and viable alternative political and economic system for the country.

Speaking at a forum titled “Islam, Capitalism and Socialism” today, Shaharuddin, a former senior research fellow at UM’s sociocultural department, said socialism emphasised the public, or shared ownership of resources and means of production.

A socialist system, he said, would not allow a hike in food prices as public ownership of food production and distribution would not be as affected by inflation as privately-owned businesses.

“Socialism believes in the intervention in society’s issues, in contrast to a capitalist system,” he said.

“Contrary to capitalism, socialism does believe in a certain amount of intervention. It does not leave everything to market forces but advocates for planning amongst all related parties,” he added.

Shaharuddin said socialism was relevant to Malaysia as it encouraged equality and avoided excessive differences in wealth.

“We have the problem of a large income gap.

“There are people who earn RM10 million a year or RM1 million a month. This goes back to the problem of capitalism favouring the elite.”

He pointed out that the 5G single wholesale model under Digital Nasional Bhd was evidence that the country had “tendencies towards capitalism”, favouring monopoly in businesses and services.

He, however, acknowledged the enormity of the task of convincing the public of the merits of socialist values and socialism as a feasible alternative.

“Socialism will never succeed in Malaysia so long as the elites rule the country,” he said.

“Our problems stem from the few greedy capitalists in power.”


  1. Don't confuse the Statist interference system that Malaysia practices with a genuine market economy.

    In Malaysia , many products have only ONE or severely restricted "approved importer" or "approved producer" almost always a Ruling Party Crony.
    That artificially pushes up prices, and the profit made by the State-appointed monopoly.

    In a genuine market economy, anybody who can negotiate a viable business agreement with a supplier can become an importer or distributor in the case of local products. That builds entrepreneurship and healthy Competition. Some businesses will fail, others will prosper.
    Ultimately, the consumer wins.

  2. Wakakakakaka…

    There is NO supreme being in the dogma of socialism. There is thus NO free manna for any rent seekers. U work for yr reward - everyone has to do that.

    Can those meme-ed ketuanan freaks & table crumbs grabbing blur-sotong accept that practicality?

    Never mind about those afterlife seeking zombies - they r the goners as far as atheistic socialism!


    Where r the true marketing economy that's practicing on earth?

    Both socialism & capitalism exert multitude of control mechanisms, be they fiscal, monetary, productions & manufacturing, to tweak their own version of marketing economy.

    DON'T stick yr head into the sand like an ostrich - in seeking ur utopian dream.

    Remember - capitalism has lost it's laissez-faire principle. So too the classless dream of socialism.

    Consumer will never win IF there is NO benevolent administrator of any form.

    Humanity is only it's own AGAIN - 摸石头过河 adapts as the contemporary conditions demand - aka socialism with Chinese characteristics!