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29 May 2013

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Huffington Post

“The ruling BN coalition lost the popular vote, gaining only 47%, and turned in its worst electoral result ever as it was largely abandoned by minority Chinese and rejected by voters of all races in urban areas.”

elections-voters-queuingup-tmi

The outcome of the recent election in Malaysia has been a huge disappointment to democratic economic reformers. Malaysia has been continuously running budget deficits since 1998 with government debt rising to US$164.6 billion in the third quarter of 2012, bringing Malaysia’s debt-to-revenue ratio to a level similar to that of Italy’s.

After 55 years of one-party administration by the ruling coalition, it was considered to be high time that Malaysia had an alternative new vision. However, not only does it look like more of the same, but the greatly reduced majority for the ruling party makes it likely that any reforms will be postponed until October or November. This is when new party leadership elections will take place and Prime Minister Najib Razak will have to answer to the traditionalists in his party for its poor electoral showing.

The ruling BN coalition lost the popular vote, gaining only 47%, and turned in its worst electoral result ever as it was largely abandoned by minority Chinese and rejected by voters of all races in urban areas. The result should be seen as a message from voters tired of corruption and patronage politics and also a rejection of the BN’s austerity plans for balancing the budget with a new consumption tax and lower food and fuel subsidies.

Malaysia has been recognized for its strong “tiger” economy, growing at 5% in 2013 and surprisingly resilient at a time of negative developments internationally. This is despite dismal export performance because of the recession and stagnation in Europe and the slow economic growth in the US. Consumer confidence is expected to continue holding up and the inflation rate is stable in spite of higher food prices and is expected to remain at between 2.3 percent and 2.8 percent until 2016. Unemployment figures are low and expected to remain around 3 percent.

However, the underlying structure of the Malaysian economy is based on its relationship with its international trading partners and the domestic economy needs to be backed by the more lucrative external market. A vulnerable domestic economy must be strengthened if it is to continue to withstand the current global economic downturn and the status quo will no longer serve Malaysia well.

Malaysia had hopes of economic reform with the emergence of a strong political opposition under the leadership of Anwar Ibrahim whose issues based campaign pointed to the need for ongoing reform. Institutional shortcomings that constrain the country’s prospects for long term economic expansion include the prevalence of corruption and lack of transparency and a judicial system that is vulnerable to political interference.

These are pressing issues that the government must address if it is to maintain competitiveness and achieve growth potential. The folly of reducing taxes has contributed to the budget deficit, and Malaysia’s rate of 26 percent seems reckless when compared with Thailand’s 37%, where the GDP has also been growing at a healthy rate.

The present government’s appetite for debt has been escalating since 2008, negating the effects of inward foreign investment. This has been justified as government spending on commercial enterprises to stimulate the economy, but too often has been seen as funding large-scale projects that reward political crony capitalists and support their companies. The strain of debt load inevitably becomes significant and falls on the wage-earning people.

Austerity measures such as cutting public services like health care will be deeply unpopular and a lower standard of living will be seen as divisive and unjust in view of the wealth of the lightly taxed super rich bracket. Tackling debt should be a major subject of policy discourse in Malaysia but not on the backs of working families.

Chinese economists who have studied Malaysia have concluded that the country will be unable to move ahead into a higher income level while it remains held back by a lack of tertiary industry, an education system that is falling behind in technological expertise and a restrictive low-wage economic model. Malaysia’s dependence on cheap uneducated foreign workers has depressed local wages and productivity growth.

The closely contested general election brought these issues to the forefront. An awareness across the political divide of the need for Malaysia to continue its economic expansion and attract further in¬vestment should play a key part in future policy-making.

The Inter¬national Monetary Fund (IMF), has forecast 5.1 per cent growth for 2013, although exter¬nal factors, such as slower than expected expansion in the US or China, along with the threat of continued recession in the euro¬zone, could affect the country’s economy. The so-called New Economic Model proposed by the existing government will never produce the promised high-income status for Malaysians in 2020 unless there is a change in the management of Malaysia’s resources based on the wellbeing of future generations.

Malaysia’s rapid economic growth may well be coming to an end, as natural resources are being depleted and the workforce has reached a limit of productivity. A new era of social justice underpinning economic decisions was envisaged by the Pakatan Rakyat opposition coalition. Their failure to gain enough seats was particularly galling given that the election laws favour the ruling party and electoral fraud, abuse of power and control of the Elections Commission made it almost inevitable.

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim may have lost this election but he has certainly won the fight for change and social justice and he has a much stronger presence now to challenge the status quo, work for electoral reform, to put an end to corruption and to influence the restructuring of the economy for a more sustainable future for Malaysia’s people.

1 May 2013

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The Malaysian Insider

The Pakatan Rakyat (PR) promised to change civil servants’ pay scheme to weekly from monthly when it takes power, potentially giving civil servants an extra four weeks’ pay annually, in a move to get votes from the 1.4 million-strong civil service.

De facto PR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim delivered his Labour Day’s address here, to greet thousands of supporters at the same ground in Precinct 3 where PAS’ spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat was given a historic welcome last week.

“Our approach is to give benefits and rewards to defend the fates of workers, equivalent to their sacrifices and work load. This is the principles that is not understood by our friends on the other side,” Anwar said to the crowd here who welcomed him with standing ovations and “Reformasi” chants earlier.

PR’s pledges for civil servants, called “Declaration of Putrajaya 2013”, were delivered to Anwar by its author PAS’ Datuk Husam Musa, who is making a bid for the federal administrative capital in the May 5 polls.

Civil servants are also slated to get interest-free home loans for first-time home buyers, and earlier pension age – 45 for women and 50 for men – should PR win Election 2013.

PR also pledged to reduce the promotion period from 15 to 10 years. Workers union will also be allowed, and any political interference in the civil service will be stopped.

Earlier on, Anwar praised the civil service for contributing towards his good record while in the Ministry of Education and the Treasury, but lamented that the workers have been demoted due to political interference and use of foreign consultants.

He also criticised the Public Service Remuneration Scheme (SBPA) which was introduced on January last year. It was scrapped just after two months, after being criticised for only benefiting top government servants while leaving the majority of the civil service with paltry salary hikes.

“This shows the attitude of Umno-BN leaders, they have always sided with the rich people above,” said Anwar.

It was revealed last year that under the SBPA, the Chief Secretary would draw a salary of RM60,000 while those in the “Premier Service” category were to rake in RM36,000, a vast difference from those in the lower pay grades, some of whom were only given increments as low as RM1.70.

The then prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had announced that the existing Malaysian Remuneration System (SSM) would be maintained with improvements, where salaries of the Chief Secretary to the Government and top-tier civil servants in the “Premier Service I” (Turus I) category would only be adjusted by seven per cent.

Civil servants in the management and professional groups and Grades 1 to 54, in turn, would see their salaries hiked by 13 per cent across the board.

“I assure you, a PR government will restore people’s trust towards the civil service’s professionalism and we will reform the service to increase their dignities as competent civil servants,” Anwar said to cheers from the crowd.

Malaysia’s bureaucracy is powered by some 1.4 million workers. Some 80,000 people live in Putrajaya, with 15,798 of them registered to vote.

20 March 2013

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By KPRU

When Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak launched the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) on 21st September 2010, it was done with the intention of keeping Malaysia on the right track to a high-income status nation by the year 2020. In 2012, ETP boasts 72 out of 131 EPPs launched, surpassing its GNI target of RM830 billion and also surpassing its private investment target worth RM94 billion.[1] The ETP also boasts itself of the pool of acronyms; EPP, NKEA, SRI, SEDIA, IRDA, NCIA, RAPID, BOs, BLESS, and much more. And yet, your average Joe and Jane on the street not only does not fully understand the ETP, they seem to be left out from the fruits of labour of the ETP.

Failures of ETP

Prior to Najib’s ETP and GTP address on RTM last night, the failures of the ETP listed include; falling surplus in which the share of external trade to GDP (gross domestic products) shrunk to 145% caused by weak external environment; the silent death of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) which was supposed to be a part of the ETP; Malaysian investment abroad worth RM19.5 billion in the first half of 2012 surpassed the RM13.6 billion worth of inward investment; the GNI per capita of 49% as boasted by Najib in from USD$6,670 in 2009 to USD$9,970 in 2011 was misleading. The real figure was a minor 16.2% according to World Bank data. Recycling old failed projects such as the Karambunai Integrated Resort City and the Tanjung Agas poject. The failure to attract foreign investment to Educity, Iskandar. Of the ten institutions approached by the government, only two have been fully functioning.

Think tank Political Studies for Change (KPRU) believes Najib should also show the other set of glaring failures of the ETP which includes the falling of Malaysia’s rankings in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report (WEFs GCR; Table 2). Amongst the fall in ranking are the fall in wastefulness of government spending ranking; a fall in labour market efficiency, a fall in the government’s budget balance position ; a fall in the labour market efficiency; a fall in the women in labour force, ratio to men, a fall in the technological readiness under NKEA and more.

 

Dazzling but Substance Lackluster ETP Speech

During the ETP and GTP speech, Najib claimed 149 EPP projects have been announced but in actual fact, according to the 2012 Annual Report, the real number is 152 EPPs planned with 408,443 employment created and it’s expected GNI contribution is RM135.64 billion. Najib used ringgit Malaysia as the currency for GNI, however in an earlier 2012 report, American dollars was used instead. Why the discrepancy and non-compliance of currency? Najib also claimed an increase of 22 percent in private investment from 2011 to 2012. However, what can be seen is that still the major contributor of investment are from the government. Najib boast the ‘success’ of the RAPID Pengerang project and in the 2012 report state drawing the likes of Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia (NUMed), Netherlands Maritime Institute of Technology (NMIT), Raffles University Iskandar, University of Southampton Malaysia (USMC), Reading University Iskandar, Raffles American School and Marlborough College Malaysia (MCM). Yet, he seems to have left out the representatives of those institutions facing immense struggles of bureaucracy causing a mismatch of departments put in place and a lack of students with staff interested to work in Educity.[2]

Najib in his speech also quoted several international rankings such a the World Bank Ease of Doing Business Report  2013, World Competitiveness Yearbook 2012/2013, AT Kearneys FDI Confidence Index, Globe Shopper Index by the Economist Intelligence Unit, and also the International Living Magazine to display Malaysia’s positive international outlook. Yet, KPRU sees that while Najib likes to bask in the so-called glory of the ETP, Najib have failed to state the rankings stated by the World Economic Forum’s GCR Report, in which Malaysia pretty much fell in the expectations of accountable and transparency or that 50% of business lost business in Malaysia over corruption as stated in Transparency International. Malaysia be a leader in global shopping but Malaysia also suffers a heritage loss such as the crumble of iconic places in Jalan Sultan, Tun Perak, Lebuh Pasar and even the infamous yet iconic Pudu Jail and the non-discriminatory loss of our million years old forests particularly in East Malaysia.

 

Epilogue

Najib may have claimed much successes over the implementation of the ETP but what remains is the amount of gold felt by the common people of Malaysia. He may have boasted on the ‘surge’ felt in the Kuala Lumpur Bursa and the sukuk investment revealing in dazzling numbers, percentage and tables but KPRU sees that none of all that matters when those who feel the returns are the corporate and political figures rather than the common people of Malaysia. In a nutshell, Najib’s ETP is a series of projects benefiting UMNO rent seekers rather than the ordinary Rakyat that he used to claim in hisJanji Ditepati rhetoric.

 

Table 1: List of ETP Activities and its Failures

No. Failure ETP 2012 Report
1. Falling surplus – the share of external trade to GDP has shrunk to 145% caused by weak external environment.[3] As of 31st December 2012, 149 EPP projects were launched worth RM211.34 billion.
2. Oil palm replanting programme – the target plant areas was 126,500ha but only 103,000ha was achieved.[4] 113,000 hectre  of oil palm planted
3. Growth of real GNI is only 4.7%, much lower than 6% target in ETP. Its claim of RM797 billion “target” for 2011 GNI was lower than the MoF forecast of RM811 billion. This “target” was only publicised after the GNI data was released by the MoF. Furthermore, it is very low, calling for just 7.8 per cent growth, well below the average 8.8 per cent targeted in the ETP Roadmap Report. The ETP focuses on GNI, but CEO Datuk Seri Idris Jala misdirected Malaysians by citing the stronger GDP numbers.[5] GNI per capita increased 49 percent in 3 years.2010- RM8100

2011-RM9700

2012-RM9970

GNI in 1957 was merely USD257

Purchasing power parity is 2x of the Malaysian GNI.

4. 1 on October 25, 2010, PEMANDU said LFoundry Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of German-based Landshut Silicon Foundry GmbH, would undertake a 200 mm water fab worth  RM1.9 billion project. Yet nothing was mentioned in the “Achievements” section of the ETP Annual Report. Instead, a much smaller RM100 million equipment refurbishment and training centre project was highlighted.Lfoundry in Germany is declaring itself insolvent and going into bankruptcy proceedings. -
5. Damansara City 2 project by GuocoLand (Malaysia) Berhad was unveiled in the 3rd ETP Progress update on January 11, 2011. There was no status report, it was not even mentioned in the “Moving Forward” section. Instead three additional heritage routes and the upgrading of Masjid Jamek were highlighted instead.  Marina Island Pangkor’s International Resort & Entertainment Extension Project was showcased in the 4th ETP Progress Update on March 8, 2011. Strangely though, no progress update was given in the Annual Report on this huge project.[6] -
6. According to Asia-Pacific Sovereigns Andrew Colquhoun, ETP has failed to boost Malaysia’s average income fast enough to avert a middle income trap.[7] -
7. According to Refsa, only 21% of income will eventually go to the workers as opposed to the current 28%. Only 21% of the income created by Pemandu’s ETP will go to workers. Compare this to Singapore which allocates 40% and South Korea and the US which set aside 50%.[8] -
8. Karambunai project was initially announced in October 2010 during Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s budget speech as a RM3 tourism project which more than tripled in value to RM9.6 billion when it was included in the fifth ETP update on April 19, 2011.[9] Between in 2011 and 2012, Malaysia attracted 50 million visitors with RM100 billion GNI.
9. Abdul Jalil Abdul Rasheed, who helps manage US$3 billion as CEO of Aberdeen Islamic Asset Management in Kuala Lumpur, is worried the lion’s share of the billions in private investments needed for the ETP will come from government-linked companies who then raise funds by issuing bonds. These bonds then get government guarantees, making the government’s debt position even more worrying should a default happen.[10] TERAJU manages the Skim Jejak Jaya Bumiputera (SJJB), a Government initiative introduced in 2007 providing “lastmile” support to eligible Bumiputera companies for listing on Bursa Malaysia. The initiative will consequently allow forgreater Bumiputera corporate equity.

Khazanah Nasional Bhd and Permodalan Nasional Bhd have identified a total of 10 companies to be divested to Bumiputera companies. Eight of these have officially been tendered for divestment.

10. 1Malaysia email or MyEmail project from last year that was taken by then public-listed Tricubes Bhd. It recently lost its listing status as it was not able to regularize its financials. RM5 million was invested but only 22,000 Malaysians registering for it. Lfoundry scrapped its operations in Kulim Hi-Tech Park.[11] 2012 Report state the failure of the Myemail is due to failed public relations with the public.
11. According to Standard Chartered, a more focused approached than the ETP is needed to transform Malaysia. Instead of the ETP, Malaysia should emulate South Korea and Taiwan in reinventing its economy and moving up the value curve to high-quality products.[12] Between 2011 and 2012, 1087 sundry shops were transformed under the TUKAR scheme with shops experiencing an increase of 30% of sales.
12. The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC), which was supposed to be part of the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), has died a silent death due to pressure from certain NGOs.[13] -
13. RM594 billion of the incremental RM594 billion GNI that the ETP creates will go to corporate profits;Just RM166 billion will go to wages for employees; and

RM40 billion will go to the government in net taxes.[14]

GNI will contribute RM135.64 billion and 404,443 employment opportunities.
14. PEMANDU’s target is to double nominal income per capita to RM48,000 by 2020. But using its forecasts for income and population growth, and inflation, the target should be RM54,145, not RM48,000.[15] -
15. MSC was renamed MSC Malaysia, the name of the lead agency changed from MDC to MDeC (while still remaining the Multimedia Development Corporation), MDeC is straitjacketed – it has been given the mandate to oversee and implement an initiative that promises to be as transformative as the other TPs were supposed to be, but without the teeth to do so.[16] MdeC will focus on ongoing industry initiatives on two thrusts: Maintaining a competitive environment in Malaysia to attract foreign investment in outsourcing; and increasing the competitiveness of local companies by enhancing their scale, credibility and market reach.
16. According to HwangDBS Vickers Research, GLC/Bumiputera developers tipped to benefit from government land redevelopment, owners of large land bank and investment assets in KL should also stand to benefit from ETP.[17] 48 MRT package contracts contributing to RM19.8 billion and 45 percent of those 48 contracts are awarded to Bumiputeras worth RM8.9 billion
17. Foreigners withdrew $42 million from Malaysian offshore equity funds in the last six months of 2012, while adding a net $129 million and $230 million to Philippine and Thai funds respectively.[18] -
18. Malaysian investment abroad of RM19.5 billion in the first half of this year surpassed the RM13.6 billion worth of investment that the country received.[19] RM547 million worth of creative output and 157 hours of man hours was poured into the making of the Academy awarded of the movie Life of Pi.
19. Cypark Resources Bhd has covered the 26ha former landfill in Nilai, Negeri Sembilan, with up to 32,000 solar panels, turning the area into what is said to be the largest solar photovoltaic (PV) farm in the country and South-East Asia.[20] -
2 In 2009, Najib dismantled a long-time restriction that benefited “sons of the soil.” They can now own 100% stakes in businesses in 27 sub-sectors. Najib’s 2012 budget extends that reform to 17 more sub-sectors such as medical and education services. But bigger reforms are absent from manufacturing and the labour market that suffers from entrenched affirmative-action policies.[21] 18 subsectors liberalised including quantity surveying that will be liberalised in 2013.Competition Act 2010 gazetted in 2012 and the first case is solved.
21. Only 30% of Malaysians obtained higher education qualifications compared to Singapore’s 46%, Thailand’s 41% and South Korea’s 89% in 2010. 80% of our workforce only receive secondary level education and only 25% of our workers are highly skilled compared to Singapore’s 49%, Taiwan’s 33% and South Korea’s 35%.[22] MSC Malaysia MyUniAlliance Programme is a new initiative by the MDeC with support from PEMANDU. The goal is to develop graduates who are industry-ready and employable.
22. Najib says the GNI per capita rose 49% from US$6,670 in 2009 to US$9,970 in 2011. But World Bank note the figure was only 16.2%.[23] GNI per capita increased 49 percent in 3 years.2010- RM8100

2011-RM9700

2012-RM9970

GNI in 1957 was merely USD257

23. Foreign education institutions are struggling to launch in Educity. Of ten institusion approached to open campuses, only two institutions have officialy fully operated. Globally recognised institutions including Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia (NUMed), Netherlands Maritime Instituteof Technology (NMIT), Raffles University Iskandar, University of Southampton Malaysia (USMC) and Reading University Iskandar have set up campuses.
24. Recycled old projects such as the Tanjung Agas that was originally launched in 2009 with an investment shot of RM8 billion[24]that is relaunched under ETP as a transforming project. -
25. IHH Healthcare IPO falls flat, expects not dividends as it is no longer attractive to investors nor is it supportive of its rich valuation.[25] -
26. The renaming of the Kuala Lumpur International Financial District (KLIFD) or now known as Tun Razah Exchange (TRX)  worth RM25.07 billion with the possibility of creating a propertyglut.[26] RAPID Pengerang will provide 4000 employment opportunities with 20,000 contruction workers.

 

 

Table 2: Fall in Malaysian Ranking in the WEF GCR from 2011 to 2012[27]

Indicator

Ranking in WEF GCR 2011 and 2012

NKEA/SRI

Wastefulness of government spending

12 to 19

Public finance reform SRI
Government’s budget balance position

96 to 110

Public  finance reform SRI
Intensity of local competition

26 to36

Competition, standardisation and liberalisation SRI
Extenct of market dominance

14 to 19

Competition, standardisation and liberalisation SRI
Labour market efficiency

20 to 24

Human capital devfelopment SRI
Women in labour force, ratio to men

114 to 119

Human capital devfelopment SRI
ICT use

57 to 68

Communications, content and infrastructure (CCI) NKEA
Technological readiness

44 to 51

Communications, content and infrastructure (CCI) NKEA
Broadband internet subscriptions

62 to 68

Communications, content and infrastructure (CCI) NKEA
International internet bandwith

60 to 83

Communications, content and infrastructure (CCI) NKEA

*WEF GCR is an abbreviation for World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report

 


[1] MI, Dissecting the ETP Annual Report (Part 1) — Grade A+ for obfuscation! — Ong Kian Ming and Teh Chi-Chang, 31 Mei 2012,

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/sideviews/article/dissecting-the-etp-annual-report-part-1-grade-a-for-obfuscation-ong-kian-ming-and-teh-chi-chang

[2] MI, Foreign Schools Find Iskandar’s Education Hub Less Than Stellar, 24 Disember 2012,

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/foreign-schools-find-iskandars-education-hub-less-than-stellar

[3] The Star. Falling Surplus Nothing To Worry About, 9 Mac 2013,

http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2013/3/9/business/12815156&sec=business

[4] The Star, Challenges for the Economic Transformation Programme, 28 November 2012,

http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/11/28/business/12380117&sec=business

[5] MI, Dissecting the ETP Annual Report (Part 1) — Grade A+ for obfuscation! — Ong Kian Ming and Teh Chi-Chang, 31 Mei 2012, http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/sideviews/article/dissecting-the-etp-annual-report-part-1-grade-a-for-obfuscation-ong-kian-ming-and-teh-chi-chang/

[6] MI,  Dissecting The ETP Annual Report (Part 2): The Mystery Of The Disappearing Entry Point Projects — Ong Kian Ming And Teh Chi-Chang, 7 Jun 2012, http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/sideviews/article/dissecting-the-etp-annual-report-part-2-the-mystery-of-the-disappearing-entry-point-projects-ong-kian-ming-and-teh-chi-chang

[7] The Edge, Fitch Positive On Malaysia’s ETP, But Public Finances A Concern, 13 April 2011,

http://www.theedgemalaysia.com/business-news/185024-fitch-positive-on-malaysias-etp-but-public-finances-a-concern.html

[9] MI, Putrajaya Says ‘Recycled’ Projects Part Of ETP ‘Ecosystem’, 13 Mac 2012,

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/putrajaya-says-recycled-projects-part-of-etp-ecosystem

[10] MI, ETP Faces Battle To Win Big Private Investment, 17 September 2012,

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/etp-faces-battle-to-win-big-private-investment

[12] MI, ETP Too Broad To Transform Malaysia, Says Standard Chartered, 16 Januari 2012,

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/business/article/etp-too-broad-to-transform-malaysia-says-standard-chartered

[14] Ong Kian Ming, ARTICLE: ETP: Part 6 — The ETP Will Make The Rich Even Richer, 6 Mac 2012,

http://ongkianming.com/2012/03/06/article-etp-part-6-the-etp-will-make-the-rich-even-richer/

[15] ibid

[16] DNA, Digital Malaysia: Whither Now, Wither Now?, 23 Julai 2012,

http://www.digitalnewsasia.com/insights/digital-malaysia-whither-now-wither-now

[17] Asia Views, Glcs, Developers The Big Winners In ETP, 21 Disember 2010,  http://www.asiaviews.org/headlines/17-main-story-/27486-storyalias13

[18] Reuters, Run Up To Tense Election Puts Malaysia, Investors On Edge, 17 Januari 2013,

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/01/17/uk-malaysia-election-idUKBRE90G19S20130117

[19] MI, Economists: Malaysian Growth Could Be Hit By Investment Outflow, 19 Oktober 2012,

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/economists-malaysian-growth-could-be-hit-by-investment-outflow

[20] The Star, Banking On The Right Power, 20 Mac2012,

http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2012/3/20/north/10949092

[21] WSJ, Malaysia’s Old Economic Model, 12 Oktober 2011,

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203633104576624570334832018.html

[22] The Edge, Tough Task Ahead For Malaysia’s Talent Corporation, 14 Oktober 2010,

http://www.theedgemalaysia.com/lifestyle/175306-tough-task-ahead-for-malaysias-talent-corporation.html

[23] Malaysia Kini, Kit Siang Calls Najib’s GNI Growth Bluff, 13 Mac 2013

http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/223771

[24] The Star, Tanjong Agas Mega Project To Take Off Soon, 23 Februari 2009,

http://thestar.com.my/maritime/story.asp?file=/2009/2/23/maritime/3298307&sec=maritime

[25] The Edge, Hot Stock: IHH Falls On Rich Valuations, HK Venture No Impat, 14 Mac 2013,

http://www.theedgemalaysia.com/highlights/233026-hot-stock-ihh-falls-on-rich-valuations-hk-venture-no-impact.html

[27] MalaysiaKini, Signs That The ETP And GTP Are Failing?, 6 September 2012,

http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/208117

13 March 2013

Pendapat

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Malaysiakini

Bekas Timbalan Perdana Menteri Tun Musa Hitam menegaskan tidak adil jika menganggap negara akan bankrap jika pembangkang berjaya memerintah negara.

Menurutnya, sekiranya mengambil alih Putrajaya, gabungan tersebut akan berusaha sedaya upaya untuk mengekalkan ekonomi negara berkembang dengan baik, lapor Sinar Harian.

Harian itu melaporkan Musa (kanan) sebagai berkata, perkara penting adalah memberi gambaran baik terhadap ekonomi negara supaya mampu menarik pelabur.

“Itu kenyataan politik, bagi pendapat saya tidak, malah saya telah ulas perkara ini secara terbuka, termasuk kepada pihak bank dan orang luar. Ini adalah pendapat dan pendirian peribadi saya.

“Jika pembangkang memerintah, mereka tidak akan membuat pelabur dari luar negara lari.

“Mereka tidak akan buat sedemikian dan membuat ekonomi bankrap,” beliau dilapor sebagai berkata dalam sidang media, semalam.

2 March 2013

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25 February 2013

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Malaysiakini

Pakatan Rakyat has unveiled its election manifesto, entitled ‘Manifesto Rakyat: Pakatan Harapan Rakyat’ (The People’s Manifesto: Pakatan the hope of the people) to capture the attention of 13 million voters by pledging to reduce their financial burden, among other promises.

In tabling the manifesto at a Pakatan convention today, PKR director of strategy Rafizi Ramli said the coalition intends to eliminate monopolies and to raise tax exemption to RM4,000 compared to RM2,500 at present.

The coalition will also, within a day of coming to federal power, abolish the highly controversial rare earths refining project in Pahang, review the petrochemical hub project in Johor, review certain dam projects in Sarawak and also review environmental laws including those on logging.

“We will remove monopolies … we will renegotiate with independent power producers and disband 1Malaysia Development Bhd which serves the agenda of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor,” he said in tabling the first section of the manifesto.

The manifesto is divided into four sections – the people’s economy, people’ welfare, government for the people and fulfilling people’s aspirations.

21 February 2013

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Malaysiakini

PKR has launched its new think-tank today with the aim to help them make policies that are “directed towards social justice and a sustainable future”.

In addition, it would also run programmes to educate youths on being more effective in their activism.

The think-tank, dubbed ‘Institut Rakyat’, featured many prominent thinkers in its eight-member advisory panel.

These include former UN Research Institute for Social Development board member and economist Jomo Kwame Sundaram, constitutional law expert Azmi Sharom, Malaysia CEO of the Year 2010 award winner Stanley Thai, and media professor Zaharom Nain.

“They are the ones, with their expert advice, professional experience, intellectualism and scholarly experience, who will give directions to the think tank,” said Institut Rakyat director Wong Hoy Cheong.

“We need evidence-based policies, not policies that are created, and then followed by ‘evidence’ pulled out of thin air to support it.”

Other notable figures in the institute include suspended Bank Islam economist Azrul Azwar Ahmad Tajudin who serves as the institute’s research consultant, and former Maybank CEO Wan Azmi Wan Hamzah who serves as a director.

The institute is chaired by PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and her deputy Syed Husin Ali, a former senator.

Although PKR-linked, Wong said the institute is dependent on donations from well-wishers and does not receive any funding from neither the party nor any government.

‘Offering critical analysis and commentary’

Meanwhile, the PKR de facto leader said the institute would be independent despite its relationship with his party during his keynote speech at the launch event in Subang.

“The paramount role of a policy studies institute is to offer critical analysis and commentary in order to influence them to meet the requirements of good governance.

“The establishment of this institute, being affiliated with PKR, grants the risk of being reduced to a self-serving mouthpiece.

“Hence it is of the greatest consequence that it should be independently run and that it performs the task it is set out to do in its charter, which among others is to advise and critique without fear or favour.

“To remain true to this, it must listen to the voice of the people. It must promote the culture of the ruling political coalition from the government – and I am anticipating an imminent victory, God willing,” Anwar (right) said.

He added that young leaders in the party have long lobbied with the party’s ‘old guard’ for a party-linked think tank just as other parties have done, but with freedom to do its own research.

“This is a rather unique event in my political experience, which is that I have to succumb to the pressure of the youth from time to time to create new institutes and new ideas,” he said while thanking those involved in the lobbying.

20 February 2013

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Malaysiakini

That was why he gambled away billions during Bank Negara’s wild speculative days because he could not understand the word ‘cash’.’

Dr M admits contradiction, but denies being untruthful

Anonymous #19098644: Dr Mahathir Mohamad is the natural successor to Joseph Goebbels, the minster of information during the Adolf Hitler government. Goebbels believed that if you tell a lie often enough, it becomes the truth.

In his autobiography ‘A Doctor in The House’, Mahathir even said that he had a meeting with Singapore’s second president Benjamin Sheares on a particular date. The Singapore government subsequently refuted it and said it was not possible as Sheares had died before that date.

This is typical Mahathir for you, writing fiction instead of facts. For him, if what he testified under oath is different from the facts, it is not perjury because it is due to different assumptions.

He claimed to have been Malaysian finance minister but does not know the difference between cash price, special price and contract price.

His legacy is alive today in the son of MCA chief Chua Soi Lek who is supposedly an accountant but doesn’t know the difference between debit and credit.

I Miss The Real Malaysia: Cash price is when you pay your cronies. Special price is when you give super discount to your children or high price for government contracts. Contract price is what you want public to see.

No need to be accountant to know lah, diploma student already know… I wonder how he got his grades and how he became PM.

Bumiasli: When in court, one must never answer questions he does not understand. If he had wanted, Dr M could have requested the court to explain further on the terms he claimed he did not understand.

Anyway, the terms used were not something which a former PM for 20 odd years would not understand. And to top it all, he held the position of finance minister. This type of witness is not cooperating with the court.

Absalom: So being popular and winning elections overrides doing the right thing, which is saving taxpayers’ money?

It stands to reason, why some politicians do everything in their power (including abuse it) to make a lot of money so they can give some away to be popular, and win elections.

Dark Knight: Become popular with whom, Mahathir? With one company or with the entire electorate?

The government would have become popular with the electorate by saving money, but Mahathir did the opposite – paying more to a company and claiming now it was done to seek popularity.

This does not make any sense at all. And how could he misuse taxpayers’ money to seek electoral popularity?

Gggg: Did anyone ask Mahathir how can buying the piece of land at a higher price be good for his popularity? Was he admitting the extra money helps in elections?

NewMalaysia: What a lousy excuse, and you gladly approved the project without even getting the terms and facts correct? This is how you and BN manage the country’s funds?

Again my biggest question would still be how Kuala Dimensi was able to get hold of such a big piece of land of 1,000 acres before selling it to Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) with a huge profit?

Unless, of course, they obtain inside information of the project. Try explaining that first.

Rightan: If RM21psf (per square foot) is cash price, then why buy at the contracted price of RM25.85psf, which already incorporated the interest and then pay an additional interest at 7.5% per annum?

No wonder our school children are so confused nowadays by the behaviour of our politicians.

FellowMalaysian: Mahathir’s age has finally caught up with him. After being carefully rehearsed by Ling’s lawyers and accountants, he admitted making a blunder with the land price figures.

The day before, Mahathir was so sure of his knowledge in finance and his grasp in accountancy terminologies that he even lectured in court how various figures of land prices were derived and lamented that lawyers were unable to comprehend these figures.

With the blunder which he admitted yesterday, it is indeed hard to believe that what he had mentioned in Ling’s hearing so far had not been the result of an intensive course by Ling’s accountants and lawyers.

Lim Chong Leong: When statements are contradictory, that means one of them is not true, which in turn means the speaker of those statements had been untruthful.

What is there to deny? It is a fact that he was untruthful in at least one of those statements. Period. No need to say what a schoolboy understand or does not.

So all these charges against his old friend Ling Liong Sik is just a ‘sandiwara’ (a show), nothing more nothing less.

Sangat Teroh: That was why he gambled away billions of ringgit during Bank Negara’s wild speculative days because he could not understand the word “cash”.

Hang Babeuf: Those who are “truly and truthfully contradictory” are people who want “to have things both ways”.

That is to say, people who do not wish to accept the responsibility of making clear choices, or people who will not accept responsibility for the choices that they have made.

Heavywater: So much lies and deceit. Ling might as well just go to jail and end his suffering, to be followed by Dr M for aiding and abetting a felony offence.

One would have to wonder what more has happened beside this case? Cash is cash, everyone knows what that means, so how come Dr M misunderstood the question. He is learned after all, is he not?

StoptheRot: A school boy had been running this country for more than two decades. No wonder we are where we are. All a mess, like tumbled toys.

JT1E80: When Dr M contradicts himself that is still truthful, because Dr M is incapable of lying. The rest of us mere mortals, especially if you oppose his views, are incapable of telling the truth.

It would seem that Dr M has an exclusive franchise on truth. It does show what sort of a deluded person Dr M really is.

19 February 2013

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15 February 2013

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14 February 2013

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7 February 2013

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