Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol. 37, No 21. August 28, 1974

Inflation, unemployment and landlessness

Inflation, unemployment and landlessness

Sdr. Rahman then pointed out that as an appendage of Anglo US imperialism, Malaya also suffers the same diseases that Britain and the US suffer. In these countries inflation is rampant. Hence, the British and American monopoly-capitalists have been passing the bug of inflation to Malaya. Today, inflation is galloping in the country causing great hardship to the vast majority of the people, particularly the workers and peasants.

To refute the arguments that foreign investment helps to create employment, Sdr. Rahman stated that at the beginning of the "First Malaysia Plan" the unemployment rate in this country was officially at 6.5%. But, at the end of the Plan, after more foreign capital has moved in, the official unemployment rate has increased to 8%. The Second Malaysia Plan only hopes in the next five years to maintain the unemployment rate at 7.3%. Thus foreign investment has resulted in an increase in the rate and the number of the unemployed instead of reducing it as it is often claimed. The employment that it creates is only meant to facilitate profit maximisation. This is not surprising, said the speaker, because to maximise profits, the foreign monopoly capitalists deliberately have an army of the unemployed which they could use as a weapon to depress the wages and to break strikes. In addition, to minimise cost, they have also resorted to capital intensive methods. Therefore, an increase in the rate of unemployment is a logical consequence of a policy which relies on foreign investment.

Having made these points, he then touched briefly on another effect of foreign investment in this country, namely the growing landlessness among the peasantry which constitutes about 60% of the population. With most of the fertile land, which should be owned by the people, grabbed by the foreign monopoly-capitalists, it is only logical that the problem of landlessness is getting worse with each passing day. Felda's efforts to overcome the problem are minimal because the few thousands that benefit each year make up less than 10% of the total that become landless every year!