Wednesday 29 June 2011




30 Activists from Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) including two juveniles have been charged under Section 122 of the Penal Code (waging war against the Monarch and trying to revive the communist ideology ) and are remanded for 7 days for practicing their freedom of expression. If they are charged under this section, then they will be denied bail.

The group were arrested on the 25th June at Kepala Batas, Penang while they were distributing leaflets to inform the public of the Udahlah-Bersaralah ("It is Enough, Time to Retire") national awareness campaign that the PSM recently conducted from 24 to 26 June 2011.

The news of PSM trying to revive communism was based on common t-shirts of left leaders found in the bus carrying the PSM activists.

The news that PSM was trying to revive communism was the major story in all the local mainstream media and is meant to create fear of an imaginary enemy – a tactic used commonly in the past to crackdown on activists.

Monday 27 June 2011

Sunday 12 June 2011

Spiralling debt has fuelled the neoliberal version of economic growth - but the party's over

Total US debt has doubled 4 times since the 1970s, making a nice bell curve - well, up until the 2007/08 financial crisis. All this spiralling debt has fuelled the neoliberal version of economic growth, of which asset price appreciation has been a fundamental driver. But at some point the reality that the debt can't be repaid strikes home. The bailouts of banks, the US effectively printing money, is only delaying a collapse of the global economy like nothing seen before. We need to understand and prepare for history changing events.

See Death by Debt by Chris Martenson, which reveals the scale of the debt mountain and points to evidence that the hyper-financialised edifice of the neoliberal economy is on the brink of falling over.

Thursday 9 June 2011

Call for Tax on Financial Deals to Fight Global Warming

by Frank MacDonald
from The Irish Times
8 June 2011

A tax on international financial transactions could generate “real funds immediately” to help developing countries protect tropical rain forests and fight global warming, the latest round of climate talks in Bonn heard yesterday.

Greenpeace activists burn a symbol of carbon dioxide (AFP/DDP/File, Theo Heimann)
Bolivian ambassador Pablo Solon, who called on all countries to adopt such a tax, complained that most of the $30 billion in “fast-start” finance pledged by developed nations at the Copenhagen climate summit in 2009 had not come through.

Instead of countries “re-branding” aid as climate finance, he said, a tax on international financial transactions “would be a mechanism that can generate real funds . . . to act immediately to address the protection of forests and fight climate change.”

Mr Solon also called for the Kyoto Protocol to be renewed at the Durban climate summit in December, on the basis that there was “no time” to negotiate new legally binding treaty” aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions in developed countries. “We cannot come out of South Africa with the targets we have now, as the UN Environment Programme has shown they will lead us to 4 degrees Celsius of global warming. We must have targets that limit temperature rise to between 1C and 1.5C to preserve life.”

Thursday 2 June 2011

Number of millionaires increases 12.5%

The capitalist press tells it like it is. Last year the number of millionaires worldwide increased by 12.5%, and at a time when the real economy is stagnant.

The transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich continues at pace. But ultimately it's unsustainable, no economy can survive when wealth is concentrated in so few hands. The "bubble economy", inflated by the US effectively printing money and the bailouts paid for by ordinary people, will go bust sooner or later. There will be major political fallout which will fuel more grassroots revolts around the world.

Millionaires Control 39% of the World’s Wealth
by Robert Frank
from Wall Street Journal
31 May 2011

Last year was another good year for millionaires – though their pace of growth is slowing.

According to a new report by Boston Consulting Group out today, the number of millionaire households in the world grew by 12.2% in 2010, to 12.5 million. (BCG defines millionaires as those with $1 million or more in investible assets, excluding homes, luxury goods and ownership in one’s own company).

The U.S. continues to lead the world in millionaires, with 5.2 million millionaire households, followed by Japan with 1.5 million millionaire households, China with 1.1 million and the U.K. with 570,000. Singapore leads the world in “millionaire density,” or the percentage of millionaires, with 15.5% of its population now millionaire households.

The most important trend, however, is the global wealth distribution. According to the report, the world’s millionaires represent 0.9% of the world’s population but control 39% of the world’s wealth, up from 37% in 2009. Their wealth now totals $47.4 trillion in investible wealth, up from $41.8 trillion in 2009.

Those higher up the wealth ladder also gained. Those with $5 million or more, who represent 0.1% of the population, controlled 22% of the world’s wealth, up from 20 percent in 2009.

As you can see from the accompanying chart, millionaires control 29% of North America’s wealth, while millionaires control about 38% of the wealth in the Middle East and Africa. While the chart makes it look like millionaire-wealth in America is more concentrated, we also have far more millionaires, so their wealth is more spread out among the millionaire population.

Still, the data supports a trend we have been seeing for years: the rise of the global, winner-take-all (or most) economy.