.MY passing thots

Commentaries on current and topical issues in Malaysia

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Budget 2004 - my wish list

Malaysia will await with great anticipation come Friday (Sept 12), when Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohammad presents his last Budget in Parliament in what is widely believed to be a people and election-friendly Budget.

The ordinary people from all walks of life can expect a lot of goodies and hopefully it will include the following:

· Up to two per cent cut on personal income tax
· Higher tax relief for personal/spouse and children
· Tax relief for life insurance premiums
· Higher tax rebates for the purchase of books
· Higher tax rebates for new PCs and original software
· Incentives to encourage more people to sign up for Internet (dial-up and broadband connectivity)

Sunday, September 07, 2003

Double windfall for Malaysian CD buyers?

Why pay more for original audio CDs is not an issue confined to Malaysia. In the USA and elsewhere around the world, more and more music lovers are downloading music, legally or otherwise. In an apparent move to check the free fall in demand for CDs in the US, the Universal Music Group Music giant plans to drop CD prices | CNET News.com had announced it would reduce its suggested retail pricing for music CDs to US$13 (and perhaps the street prices will go sub-US$10), from US$17 and US$19.

The price reduction, expected as early as month, came on the back of a prediction by Forrester Research - a steep fall in CD sales, as audio and video file sharing over the Internet continued to emerge as a preferred option among consumers Study: CDs may soon be as final as vinyl | CNET News.com.

It said 20 per cent of Americans engage in music downloading, and half of the downloaders said they were buying fewer CDs. By 2008, 33 per cent of music sales will come from downloads, with CD sales down 30 per cent from their peak in 1999.

Needless to say, it will be interesting to see how the Malaysian music companies will react to this new development on the back of the government's move to fix the prices of the audio CDs, VCDs and DVDs to curb piracy. Does it mean a double windfall for Malaysian CD buyers?