Sibu has not been spared of floods on the first few days of Lunar New Year!
The heavy downpour kept Sibuians in suspense and it turned out to be another hit. Certain main roads including Jalan Pedada have been partially flooded and this causes Brooke Drive to be badly clogged up. What usually is just a ten-minute journey took me up to forty minutes to drive.
This Lunar New Year is generally quiter. The poor market sentiment and low consumer confidence have been cited to be the chief causes.
Our hotel experiences less walk-in of New Year guests. Other trades have not been excepted, I believe.
The world's worsening recessionary conditions have kept prudent consumers daunted, worrying the worst is yet to come and the slowdown might be prolonged. As conservative as our Malaysian government took a drastic step to slash our rate by 0.75% before the Lunar New Year to circumvent a harder hit ahead. This signaled a bleaker outlook than anticipated, making consumers generally get even more cautious in spending.
One consolation here is that our government is prepared to go on an expansionary fiscal policy to revive the economy. But our nation is already deep in red in budget deficit for 2009. With the shrinking oil and palm oil tax revenue, how much more generous can our Federal government be?
All the best to everyone of you in Year of the Ox!