Sunday, May 29, 2011

Volume 3 Issue 22: Two-Cent Economics

Malaysian Alcoholics?

According to this lousy newspaper, Malaysia is the world's 10th largest consumer of alcohol. Intuitively, any Malaysian with half a brain would know that can't be true. I quote the highly inconsistent and poor newspaper:

Malaysia has been named by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as the world’s 10th largest consumer of alcohol despite its small population and size.

Statistics by the international body this year also showed that Malaysians spent over US$500mil (RM1.5bil) on alcohol with a per capita consumption of seven liters.

Beer consumption in Malaysia is 11 liters per capita.

Did any of you just did a double take? Surely you must have read it wrong. Perhaps you are drunk? If Malaysia's per capita consumption of ALCOHOL is SEVEN litres, how can BEER consumption per capita be MORE THAN SEVEN litres? Like I said, anyone with half a brain would have realized that something must have been amiss. Last I checked, beer was still alcohol. Perhaps they included the statistics for Ginger Beer and Root Beer?

So, I dug further and went to look for the WHO report which is entitled "Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health" (pdf file). Guess what I found? Here:

Alcohol consumption in liters per capita (2005)

Yes, I cut out a portion of the data. For those of you who doubt the integrity of the data, click on the pdf link above and go to page 61 of the pdf file. In the quoted WHO report, which has up to 2005 figures only, we see CLEARLY that Malaysia's alcohol consumption per capita is at a paltry 0.82 liters. So where did the seven or eleven liters come from? Whoever this Christina Tan is that is reporting for the Star should probably be sacked.

Better still, just stop subscribing to the Star. I have time and again found unreliable news in the Star and it is getting very frustrating. Reading the Star is probably no better than reading a Women's magazine: toilet reading at best.