Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Marc Faber - US Government Will Go Bankrupt!

Friday, July 24, 2009

The reality of the Global Financial Tsunami

Matthias Chang had been right on the money so many times it’s not funny anymore. Who was it who sneered at him with “Even a broken clock will tell the correct time twice every day?” I think we now know who the ‘broken clock’ really is, don’t we?

Anyway it’s still not too late to give credit where it is due. Perfect timing is key, they say. But, first, get yourself a new clock. ;-)

Once again Mathias Chang proven right 100% — Dow closed below 7,000 today
By Matthias Chang
Tuesday, 03 March 2009, 08:16

In an article dated the 12th December 2008, entitled “Obama’s Last Gamble” which was posted to my website, I forecasted that at the earliest, by the end of December 2008 or at the latest by the end of the first quarter of 2009, the Dow will plunge below 7,000. I had also forecasted that just before the inauguration of Obama there will be a suckers’ rally that will continue for a short while soon after.

The Dow rallied some 800 points to reach 9,000 in the days leading to the inauguration of President Obama and since then it has swung back and forth but always downwards.

Today, the Dow has breached the critical level of 7,000!

Worst is yet to come.

Since 2006, I have been proven right time after time.

When the Dow was 14,000, I advised my friends that it will soon dive below 11,000. Further research showed that even at this level, it could not be sustained and I gave the call to short the Dow as it would plunge below 9,000. These facts can be verified in my books, The Shadow Money-Lenders and Will Barisan Nasional Survive Beyond 2010? published in early 2008 and the articles posted to this website!

Not one political / financial analyst in Malaysia dare make such calls. They were completely out of the loop, frolicking in La La land and telling fairy tales that a “new era of prosperity was on the horizon. Good times are here for good”. This was even after the collapse of Bear Stearns in 2007 and Lehman Bros in 2008. All these “famous” economists and feature writers of leading financial dailies could not see beyond their noses, and some of them even have a string of alphabets behind their names!

Many have asked me how I have been so accurate. I told them I have a crystal ball. And my crystal ball is MERE COMMON SENSE.

As I am not part of the vested-interest and have not indulged in frivolous gambling at the stock market and or the derivative casino, I could stand apart and look at the unfolding events objectively. Neither was I infected with the investment bankers’ virus – structured investment vehicles!

This is also a reflection of my legal training. As lawyers, we have to present objective truth to our clients and advise dispassionately the pros and cons of any situation.

The world’s financial system is in total disarray!

It is bankrupt!

It is the end of the era of Wall Street and City of London Global Ponzi Schemes.

And war is round the corner.

Who do you want to believe – the sleepy heads and blockheads on the 4th Floor of the Prime Minister’s Office, the so-called leading financial analysts or me?

All the statistics from Bank Negara are suspect. The Governor got it wrong so often it is an embarrassment. The same applies to the Treasury. I have stated that the GDP for 2009 will be zero or negative. The government has since revised its growth forecast downwards several times and will continue to do so in the future.

If you want to survive, continue to visit my website!

Matthias Chang is a genius, an economic genius on top of that

This is probably the most gutsiest prediction on the Malaysia economy by the former aid to Tun Dr Mahathir, Matthias Chang.

Matthias Chang,18 November 2008

"Let´s put some money in our mouths. In the past I have challenged those who disagreed with me, that if they can prove me wrong, I would gladly pay them a RM5,000 cash reward. There were no takers. None could prove me wrong!

In the past few days, the mass media have gone out of the way to interview politicians and the Governor of Bank Negara to project a rosy picture that somehow our economy will overcome the severe pain and disruption from the on-going global financial tsunami.

I am willing to take on anyone from the Badawi regime and Bank Negara that by H1 of 2009, the KLCI will drop below 700. If I am wrong in my analysis, I will pay the first five individuals from the said Badawi regime and or Bank Negara the sum of RM5,000. These five individuals must within a week register at my website that they are willing to take me on in this challenge.

They have to provide their full name and address in accordance with their NRIC/MyKad and their designation.

If they lose to me, they must pay me the same amount!

Fellow citizens, don´t listen to the Badawi regime´s fairy tales. Prepare for the worst and the worst is yet to come. You owe it to your family. The best way to save our family and our country is to be prepared for all eventualities. We must tighten our belts, save for the stormy days that will surely come and not spend, spend as advocated by the Badawi regime´s ministers.

Use common sense. What do you tell your children as responsible parents when the family is going through hard times - spend, spend, spend or be thrifty, thrifty, thrifty?

Remember the flight safety rules when flying - when the oxygen mask falls from the overhead compartment, you are to wear the mask first before attending to your children. If you cannot save yourself, you are not in a position to save anyone. This is a fundamental principle of survival for everyone when a plane is about to crash!

Apply the same principle to economic woes and we will all be saved.

Here are my warnings for 2009:

By 2nd Half of next year, the automobile industry will go into a tailspin and suffer massive losses.

By 2nd Half of next year, credit card debts will soar, credit limits will be drastically reduced (worse than 1997/1998) and interest rates> on outstanding will increase sharply. It is already happening!

By 2nd Half of next year, shipping rates will drop drastically and this is also happening. Our ports and shipping companies will suffer.

By 2nd Half of next year, our housing market bubble will burst notwithstanding all the stimulus and pump-priming. Arab investors will not be coming. Dubai and Abu Dhabi is already in a financial / property gridlock! Why would they come here when they have to save their own asses?

By 2nd Half of next year, our exporters will be in tears, when Letters of Credit (L/Cs) will not be honoured and inventory stacks up at ports and in factory premises. Chinese exporters are already stipulating what LCs from which global banks will only be accepted.

By 2nd Half of next year, FELDA settlers will also be in tears. Having spent their windfall early this year (because of Badawi regime´s false optimism), their savings will be down and they will bleed.

By the 3rd Quarter of next year, corporate NPLs will shoot up! Relaxing mark-to-market rules will not help.

Malaysia will have a huge immigration problem when these hardworking people are thrown out of work and have to compete with the swelling ranks of Malaysian unemployed..

In the meantime capital outflows will continue.

Let´s see whether the statement that Malaysia has more than enough reserves (since according to Bank Negara, we need only have US$30 to US$40 billion reserves) will provide sufficient confidence to foreign investors to continue to invest in Malaysia ..

You can call the above observations - rubbish, pessimism, gloom and doom etc. but that won´t change reality.

Pause and think. In my previous warnings and alerts, I have stated that by the latest - the 1st quarter of 2009, things will get ugly and scary!

If I am not right, why did the leaders of the just concluded G-20 summit in Washington , in their so-called "Action Plan" stipulated that their policies, remedies etc. must be implemented by the end of the 1st Quarter 2009?

My articles were all written BEFORE THE SUMMIT and obviously I have no control over the leaders of G-20.

So ask yourself -"Why Oh Why Must the First Action Plan Be Implemented by the First Quarter of 2009?

This is only the first tentative steps by the G-20 leaders and there is no guarantee that the measures will work. The original Bretton Woods initiatives took almost two years to be formalised and put to work. There is no magic wand to be wielded by the leaders for instant cure. It will be a long hard grind. In the meantime, more shits will hit the ceiling fan. That is a given!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Muhyiddin, make sure you mean what you say and please walk the talk, you are a better UMNO leader compared to some nincompoops

Umno plans to regain public confidence in two years
By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani
PUTAJAYA, July 23 — Umno has laid down a masterplan to regain public support in the next two years and will be organising a training and motivational programme to help strengthen the party‘s leadership next month.

Part deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the party is currently working on a detailed blueprint so that every level in the party leadership will be informed of their tasks and responsibilities.

“We want to see an impact in the near future, we have set a time frame of two years. If everything is executed well in the two years then we are confident of regaining the support of the people,” he said.

The programme will be held first for members of the supreme council before it is attended throughout the country by the party’s divisional and branch leaders.

“We are still waiting for Datuk Zahid on what programmes will be conducted in terms of the training module. I am confident this is an important first step in reforming the party,” he added.

Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid, as the chairman of the training committee, will be in charge of determining the modules for the programme.

The deputy prime minister was attending a ministerial conference at Marriott Hotel in Putrajaya.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Matlamat menghalalkan cara -Falsafah Machiavellian

A crisis of credibility
Raja Petra Kamarudin

Let there be no misunderstanding about this. Politics is about the attainment of power, plain and simple. If anyone tells you otherwise, then he or she is either a bad politician (in that he or she does not understand politics) or a good politician (in that he or she is lying through his or her teeth).

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that lying is wrong. Okay, as far as religion and morals are concerned it is wrong. But lying, or what I would call ‘telling your version of the truth’, is very much part and parcel of the political game. A good politician, meaning Machiavellian politician, must master the art of ‘lying’, or spin doctoring (that is giving the masses your version of the truth).

But then you must know how to lie. ‘Zam’ is hopeless. He is such a novice that he trips over his own lies and digs a deeper hole than the one he is trying to cover up. President Clinton is however superb. He denied all along he told Monica to lie. When cornered, he said, it is true he did not tell her to lie. Okay, maybe he told her to bend a little, but never to lie (baring in Malay). Alright, maybe it did not quite happen like that. But then you must always have a fallback when your lies are discovered.

Anyway, back to the issue of the day. Firstly, politics is about the attainment of power. It is not as many politicians will tell you: to serve the people. But this is what politicians will tell you: “I want to serve the people”. Sure, that’s what they all say. And that is what I meant by ‘lying’. Secondly, politics is about perception. It is not what you are that is important. It is how people perceive you that counts (Of course, as far as religion and morality are concerned this is not honest. And that is why religious or moral people should not become politicians; because they have to mislead and fool the people with false perceptions).

You can be the biggest slime-ball, but if people perceive you as a saint, then that is all that matters. On the other hand, if you are a saint but people perceive you as a nut, then you would not go far in politics.

Anwar is perceived as an Islamic leader. In fact, until today, many non-Muslims still fear Anwar because of his fiery Islamic past. Many still refer to him as an ‘Islamic firebrand’. Whether this is true or not is not the issue. This is not important in politics. What is important is that he carries the image of an ‘Islamic leader’, and some view him as a radical Islamic leader.

Dr Mahathir Mohamad is Machiavellian. He recognised Anwar’s strong Islamic image and he knew that if Anwar had gone to PAS and eventually took over the leadership of the party, as the late Fadzil Nor had planned, this would be bad news for Umno. So he agreed, at Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah’s prodding, to allow Anwar into Umno.

Mahathir’s strategy was two-pronged. Firstly, he would deny PAS Anwar’s leadership. Next, he would assist Anwar to climb the Umno ladder, first as the Youth Leader and later as one of the Vice Presidents, so that he could use or ride on Anwar (‘kudakan Anwar’, as the Malays would say) for his own political gain. But by the time Anwar became the Deputy President -- again with Mahathir’s help who instructed Shahidan Kassim to lead a revolt of Umno Parliamentarians to pass an unofficial ‘vote of no confidence’ against Ghafar Baba in Parliament -- he became too big for his shoes. He thought that his meteoric rise up the Umno ladder was because of his ‘strength’ and he decided to pitch this strength against his ‘creator’. As they say, the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. And Mahathir took back what he gave Anwar, his political career, and Anwar fell flat on his face.

For his ‘service’, Shahidan was rewarded with the appointment as the Perlis Menteri Besar and the takeover of the privatised Bernas, an extremely lucrative cash cow by virtue of the rice monopoly and rice import permits it holds (now you know why rice in Malaysia costs more than in Thailand).

No one had any reservations that Mahathir made Anwar. Anwar was not a self-made man as he visualised himself to be. Somehow, only Anwar did not seem to realise this. Or maybe he thought that that was all in the past and now he is already his own man -- like the Space Shuttle that scuttles its ‘mother ship’ and moves forward on its own steam once it reaches outer space. Mahathir gave one tug of the carpet below Anwar’s feet and that was the end of him. He never saw it coming. He never even felt it coming. It is like when a Samurai warrior’s sword lands on your neck. You can actually walk a few more steps before you fall down and die. You may have lost your head but your body takes a few seconds to realise you are dead before it plays the role of the deceased.

Everyone is clear what Mahathir is. Either you love him or you hate him. Either you perceive him as the most corrupted Prime Minister in Malaysian history or you perceive him as a giant amongst men who gave pride to this nation and placed Malaysia onto the world map. No longer is Malaysia ‘near Singapore’ or ‘south of Thailand’ like how one would have to explain where Malaysia is to the uninformed westerner in the days before Mahathir took over as Prime Minister. Whether for the right or wrong reasons, Mahathir made Malaysia famous.

But what is Anwar? Is he an Islamic firebrand? Is he a moderate Muslim? Is he a liberal ‘lover of the West’? Is he an educationist? Is he a capitalist? Is he the champion of farmers, fishermen and the homeless? Is he opposed to corruption, nepotism and cronyism? Is he the biggest benefactor of cronies and in his time many became filthy rich? Is he all the above? Or is he none of the above? Yes, which is the real Anwar? Will the real Anwar please stand up!

You can hate Mahathir or you can love him. One thing you are sure though, you know what he is. The problem with Anwar is; it is very difficult to decide whether to love him or hate him because you don’t really know what he is to be able to love him or hate him.

Anwar, for all intents and purposes, is suffering a crisis of credibility. He lacks credibility. In fact, he never did have any and he became popular and achieved great heights merely because he was Mahathir’s blue-eyed boy -- no different from the Khairy Jamaluddin situation today. Many do not actually love Khairy. But they know that he is the Prime Minister’s son-in-law and the most trusted adviser, so they all want to hang onto his coattails -- though they don’t like him.

Anwar has been released from prison almost 20 months now. But he is yet to make his move. And this is affecting his credibility. What in heaven’s name is holding him back? Simple! Money! You need money to play politics in Malaysia, or anywhere in the world for that matter. But money is something Anwar does not have yet. And the reason for this is because of the crisis of credibility that he and his party, Party Keadilan Rakyat, are suffering from.

It is not that they never had money in the beginning. They did. But the sources have all dried up. Generous donors who once used to give no longer want to do so. And this is because they no longer know whether the money is being put to good use and for the intended reason or whether the money ‘leaked’ along the way and has been ‘hijacked’.

This is not a new problem or something that cropped up only recently. It has been an inherent problem since the party was formed in 1999. Much money has flowed into the pockets of the party leaders. But it stayed in their pockets and never filtered down to the ground. In the meantime, those on the ground have had to sell off their assets to finance party activities. Some had to borrow from loan sharks (ah long) to finance the last election. Many went into debt and until today are still hocked up to the eyeballs. Some are facing bankruptcy. Some used up all their life savings and pension fund (EPF) and now have to face the remaining years of their life with no guarantee of how they are going to feed their families.

The horror stories are endless. Suffice to say, many sacrificed and suffered financial ruin because of their commitment to the cause and to ensure that the party moves forward.

As Hanafiah Man, one-time keADILan Youth executive secretary and chief editor of the party newspaper, said, “I don’t mind if we are all poor and suffering. But when we at the bottom suffer while those at the top live a life of luxury, then this hurts.”

Hanafiah and the acting youth leader (during the time Ezam Mohd Nor was in the Kajang Prison), Zahid Md Arip, took the party to task on this matter during the party’s annual general meeting in Sungai Petani. They took the floor to slam the leaders for not being sincere to those at the bottom who are struggling and sacrificing for the party. They pointed at the leaders assembled onstage and warned them that the party’s youth movement will not tolerate leaders who receive money in the name of the party but use it for personal purposes. If the money was collected in the name of the party and for party purposes, then the money should be filtered down to the ground to finance party activities.

Many donors were shocked when they learnt that the party was broke. Millions had been donated to the party, they said. How can the party be broke? The telephone bill went unpaid and the telephone line got cut numerous times. The water connection also got cut because of years of unpaid bills and for about two years those working in the party headquarters had to visit the public toilet in the car park to answer the call of nature. Suppliers’ bills were not paid and some even threatened to bankrupt the party if they did not receive their payments. No printers would take party jobs unless one of the leaders personally guaranteed the debt. Invariably, the guarantor would end up paying off the debt the party could not service.

Whenever the party president, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, was confronted with this and when it was pointed out that it is public knowledge that many had donated generous sums to the party, she replied that one must differentiate between ‘personal’ donations and party donations. No doubt some people had donated some money, but this was meant for the family and not for the party.

Eventually, Hanafiah, Zahid and ten other youth leaders got so exasperated they decided to resign from the party en bloc, as did the party information chief, Ruslan Kassim. Even publicly chiding the party leaders during the annual general assembly about the mismanagement of party funds did not seem to work. They wrote off the party entirely and called it a day. Of course, the official spin is that these are traitors who were bought over by Umno. But they -- and many others who shared their view but decided to still remain in the party nevertheless -- did not see it that way. If there was any betrayal, it was the party leaders who had betrayed the members in the way they mismanaged the money donated to the party.

One day, around August 2004, one of Anwar’s lawyers called me aside and asked me, “How much money has the Free Anwar Campaign (FAC) received from donors?” Not one cent, I replied. Okay, Wan Azizah did donate RM1,000 at the launch of the FAC in August 2000 and Anwar’s brother gave RM2,000 once in the five years that the FAC was in operation. Another supporter donated a notebook computer to replace the one that was confiscated by the police in March 2001. But that was about it.“

But there are those who claim to be directors of the FAC who have received a lot of donations from all over the world. Don’t tell me they did not give you anything.”

“With God as my witness, not a cent,” I replied.

“What the hell!” the lawyer said. “They are using FAC’s name to collect money. If they are not passing you any, then you might as well just close the FAC. Why let them use the FAC to make money?”

“I will close it the day Anwar walks free and not a day earlier,” I told the lawyer.

“What if Anwar remains in jail 15 years? Are you going to keep going for 15 years and allow these people to use you to make money?”

“I suppose so,” I replied.

“You are so stupid. People are using you. They are making money while you are suffering.”

I in fact already knew this even before the lawyer informed me about it. Earlier, one of the PAS leaders told me he met one of the FAC directors in the UK. He was with a Malaysian millionaire who now lives there -- a man who became a millionaire during the time Anwar was in power. The PAS leader mentioned the name of the FAC ‘director’ and the Malaysian millionaire, both whom I knew.

The so-called FAC ‘director’ is a member of Anwar’s inner circle and the man who runs Anwar’s propaganda unit plus his personal website, anwaribrahim.com.

“What were they talking about?” I asked the PAS leader without hinting that the FAC director was in no way representing FAC in that meeting with the Malaysian millionaire. “About some funding for FAC,” said the PAS leader. “That was what I managed to pick up as they did not speak openly in front of me.”

So I knew even before Anwar’s lawyer informed me about it that ‘certain people’ were collecting funds in the name of FAC. And I even knew who they and the donors were.

One day, I received a phone call from the United States asking me to confirm whether it is true that keADILan would need a lot of money to be able to win the next general election (which was held in 2004). “Of course,” I replied, quite surprised at this sudden question. “That goes without saying. But who told you this?” I asked the American chap at the other end of the line.

The American then informed me he just had a meeting with four keADILan party leaders to discuss funding for the party to face the next election. And he told me who the four were.

I was not upset about the party soliciting election funds. But the man who phoned me was a FAC contact, not a party contact (and I never asked for or received one cent from him in all the time I knew him). So clearly they were using the FAC network to collect funds for the party and I was being kept in the dark. But my FAC contact in the US would not consider any funding unless I confirmed that the four were legitimate and not fakes. I informed the American that the four are actually members of Anwar’s inner circle (not the one who met the Malaysian millionaire in the UK) and therefore extremely legitimate.

I knew only one man could have introduced these four to our US contact. And this would be my fellow FAC director in Australia. I immediately phoned Australia and asked the chap there whether he knew about the four party leaders who were now in the US to negotiate funding for the party. “Four?” he replied. “I know about the three. Who is the fourth?” I ran through the names of the four but did not question him any further on what was going on. From his reaction it was apparent that he was the one who had arranged the meeting.

These two incidences were those that were personally brought to my attention. There were of course many more such cases which were related to me through third party sources. And most know who these people are -- both donors and recipients -- but no one wants to rock the boat by talking about them. Those who know and could no longer tolerate the shenanigans quietly left the party without revealing the real reason for their resignations. And the party lost many of its leaders over the years from 1999 till recently when Datin Saidatul Badru Said Keruak also resigned.

At the last public rally (ceramah) Anwar addressed in Sungai Buloh recently, he lambasted those he said who expect money or payment before they would do any work. If you are not prepared to sacrifice but want to be paid before you will work, then we might as well all just go home and forget everything and allow the present government to rule till doomsday, argued Anwar.

Anwar just does not get it. It is not that people want to be paid before they will work for the party. They are quite prepared to struggle and sacrifice, even spend their own money for the good of the cause. What they do not want is to be made suckers. They hear about the money flowing into the party leaders’ pockets and remaining there. This is what they are fighting against, corruption. And then they find their own leaders no better than those they wish to replace. Why bother to replace them then? Might as well, as Anwar says, let them rule forever.

Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s future lies in it getting sufficient funding. As it stands now, that would be most difficult. Many who once gave now know that the money has been mismanaged and they no longer want to be suckers. This is the huge crisis of credibility that Anwar and his party are facing. How Anwar is going to overcome this is not known yet at this stage. Anwar is heading international agencies whose job is to ensure transparency and good governance. Charity, as they say, starts at home. Back at home, in Anwar’s own party, there is a need for transparency and good governance. How does one preach honesty when one’s own honesty is being questioned?

As what one of the party leaders said, Mao had his Gang of Four who brought about his downfall. Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has his Gang of Four as well, also known as the Four-Ks (Khairy, Kamaluddin, Kalimullah and Kak Endon, now deceased), who may also bring about his downfall. And Anwar too has his own Gang of Four. And it is this Gang of Four which is causing much unhappiness and an exodus from the party. Anwar will have to choose between his Gang of Four and the future of the party. As it stands now, the Gang of Four seems to be Anwar’s favoured lot. And this could mean sayonara for Parti Keadilan Rakyat.

ARTIKEL KEDUA

Monday, July 03, 2006
Politics, politics, politics
Raja Petra Kamarudin

One of the previous Italian Ambassadors to Malaysia once said that Italian politics is very complex. I mean, just read Julius Caesar to understand what he means. It seems, according to the Ambassador, Italy has had 40 governments in almost as many years. That is how complex Italian politics is. Nevertheless, added the Ambassador, how complicating Italian politics may be, they still can’t beat Malaysia. Malaysian politics is even more complex. The Past-President of the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) told me once that Malay politics is very ‘matured’, not like Chinese politics. Chinese politics is ‘rough’, he explained, while Malay politics is very refined and polished.

I suppose both the Italian Ambassador and the MCA President are right. It is not easy to comprehend Malay politics as much as you may think you are able to read it correctly. What you see is not always what you get. But then maybe this is because the Chinese do Kungfu, which believes in a direct hit to the jugular with one strike to end the fight. Malay politics, however, is fashioned after Silat, which is plenty of dancing and circling before one moves in on the opponent. Even then, sometimes the strike never comes, especially if the Silat is done during a ceremony, which would be only ‘show Silat’.

One of my Chinese classmates from secondary school, Teh Yim Seng (don’t where he has disappeared to since), told me a joke back in 1966, the days before the race riots of May 1969 when ‘racial’ jokes were not yet considered ‘sensitive’.

“When you see one Chinaman,” said Yim Seng, “He would set up a business. When you see two Chinamen, they would set up an association. And when you see three Chinamen, they would set up a Mah Jong table and gamble.”

“When you see one Indian,” added Yim Seng, “He would drink. When you see two Indians, they would form a union. And when you see three Indians, they would fight.”

Then came Yim Seng’s punch-line: “When you see one Malay, he would play politics. When you see two Malays, they would play politics. And when you see three Malays, they would play politics.”

Yes, very racial indeed if you go by today’s standards. But in those days, whether you are Chinese, Indian or Malay, we would all roar with laughter at this very accurate reflection of Malaysian life 40 years ago. Hmm....come to think of it, has anything changed in 40 years?

Well, as my late mother was fond of saying, “Many a true word is said in jest.”

Malays need politics like a fish needs water. You can take the Malay out of the kampong, but you can’t take the kampong politics out of the Malay. If you want to kill the Malays it is very easy really; just ban politics and the Malays would wilt (layu) and die. Maybe that is why Malays are called Melayu (wilting).

During the early days of the Reformasi Movement in 1998, one of the chaps in our clandestine meeting that was plotting the demonstrations all over Kuala Lumpur said that since he and his wife got involved in Reformasi they have been having a better sex life. It seems they had become hornier. Well, who says one cannot get an orgasm through politics?

Yes, politics can act as an aphrodisiac. So those who face ‘problems’ should get involved in politics, in particular in movements out to topple the government, and become a stud again.

Okay, without revealing too much about my own sex life, can all those who are puzzled as to why I am so passionate about opposing the powers-that-be now understand what drives me? What? You thought it was all about human rights, free speech, justice, and all that crap? Well, that too I suppose. Anyway, I think I had better change the subject before I get a PG18 rating.

The expected happened. As soon as word broke that Malaysia Today was hosting Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to a dialogue, and even before the dialogue proper could happen, I received many phone calls from all and sundry. Many of these callers had either not phoned me in a long time or had never phoned me in my entire life. All of a sudden my phone would not stop ringing.

The Top Ten questions these callers asked were:

Who is paying for the event?
Who is sponsoring Malaysia Today?
Where do we get our money from?
Has Mahathir ‘bought’ me?
Why am I doing this?
Did they ‘turn me over’ during my ISA detention of 2001?
Do I now believe Anwar is guilty of sodomy?
Am I sulking (merajuk) because Anwar does not care about me anymore?
Is this a gimmick to promote Malaysia Today?
Is Mahathir using Malaysia Today or is Malaysia Today using Mahathir?

Notice that the top four questions all relate to money? These are the most ‘popular’ questions. The insinuation is: we must be doing this only because we are being paid a lot of money to do it.

How insulting. And I just fly off the handle when insulted. If there is one thing I cannot tolerate and will not compromise on is insolence. My wife can testify to the fact that I go berserk when confronted with biadap (insolent) individuals. I don’t know why, but somehow I can take most things in my stride, even solitary confinement. However, when someone is insolent towards me, I tend to retaliate with a most pompous and indignant stance. Okay, be warned, I did not start this, they did, and I am not about to let them off lightly -- even at the risk of being accused of being overly emotional.

I wonder why no one asked me these questions, or at least the ‘top four’ questions, back in 2000 when I launched and headed the Free Anwar Campaign (FAC). FAC was my fulltime job and I travelled the length and breadth of Malaysia, plus to the United States, in my campaign to spread the word. But no one was concerned then about where I got my money from, how I financed the FAC, or whether, since I had no income-generating job, I was able to feed my family.

I eventually had to send some of my kids to the UK because I could no longer afford to support them. Since I was born in the UK and therefore had Right of Abode to the UK for the next two generations, my kids could work in the UK plus get free education. Without Right of Abode they would not be allowed to work and it would cost them about RM100,000 a year each to enter university, living expenses included. And I have five kids mind you. Now, not only could they work in the UK and get to go to school free, but they can also enjoy benefits and receive all sorts of financial aid from the UK government.

It broke my wife’s heart to have to part with her kids but she realised it was for the better. Being ‘unemployed’ (since as the Director of the FAC I earned no salary), there was no way we could support them and send them to university. And it would be five years before I could get my hands on my EPF savings. Even then, my meagre EPF savings would only last a year if I used it to finance my kids’ education. As it is, according to the EPF, most retirees finish their savings within three years after they retire if they depend solely on their savings to finance their retirement. Your EPF savings is just not enough to last till you die if you live another ten or twenty years after you retire. But if I die before I reach 60, then the problem would solve itself, though that would mean I die broke and would leave nothing for my wife to continue her life with if she outlives me a few more years.

Anyway, that is my problem and no one else’s. But no one asked me all these questions then. It was of no concern to anyone whether my unemployed status and my fulltime non-income generating job as the Director of the FAC was a financial burden on me. In spite of that, I stayed on until the last day, 2 September 2004, when Anwar was finally released and saw freedom. Only then did I ‘officially’ relinquish my post as the Director of the FAC. And I never sent Anwar Ibrahim or his family a bill for the many years work I did. Even if I just calculate the ‘lost’ salary on the job my wife and I resigned from so that I can head the FAC fulltime, which was RM7,500 per month, Anwar owes me RM450,000. And I am not including the other expenses, such as travelling all over Malaysia, or else the bill would easily come to RM600,000.

When Anwar was finally released, and therefore my job as the Director of the FAC came to an end, no one from Anwar’s family phoned me to say thank you. Well, to be fair, Anwar did shake my hand at 5.30pm on 4 September 2004 and he did say thank you. His brother-in-law, Pak Lang, also told me that the FAC has done a great service to Anwar and he attributes Anwar’s release to the efforts of the FAC. I told him that even if the FAC did contribute in any way it was a small contribution and not the only contributor. Many other factors must also be taken into consideration such as Anwar would never have seen freedom if Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi did not wish for it to happen.

I promised my wife I would never bring this matter up as it goes against Malay culture to do so. We did this not for the money, argued my wife, but to see justice done. Yes, I agree, and I promised her the matter rests and we would never raise it ever. But now I have to break that promise to my wife. I toiled for years with no salary and without grumbling about it. But I host Mahathir to just ONE event and they raise the issue of money, suspect that I have been paid by Mahathir, ask who is financing me, and much more, right down to the allegation that I have been bought off, sold out, ‘turned’, etc.

Okay, if they want to talk about money, then let’s talk about money. And I now ask them: who paid me or financed me when I headed the FAC all those years?

Actually, that was supposed to have been the first and only event Malaysia Today organises for Mahathir. However, seeing that it has attracted so much controversy, I think I will organise a few more just to rub it in to the critics that I do what I want and no one is going to tell me what I can and cannot do. Hey, I am a loose cannon aren’t I and loose cannons are supposed to be like this are they not? And loose cannons just love a good fight and presently it appears like Mahathir is the only one giving the government a run for its money. The opposition, Anwar included, seems to have gone to sleep.

Do my comments sound too harsh? Hey, this column is called No Holds Barred and no holds barred must sound harsh. If not it will not be no holds barred.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Dr M has shown to be of much quality be it in the government or 'opposition'

Dear Tun

Dear Tun M,

I hope that this open letter reaches you in the pink of health.

(I am writing this letter in a casual manner and I hope that you will excuse my ignorance of protocols here).

I have always, among my friends and relatives, openly declare that I am a ‘Tun supporter’. I may be but two fifth your age but I pride myself with the knowledge of your personal development from Lorong Kilang Ais to The Mines Resort. As an urban resident, without you Tun, there will not be the luxury and comfort that we are able to enjoy today. But many shallow Malaysians take this for granted.

Many do not agree with your actions and policies implemented during your tenure as our Prime Minister. They are wrong. They are ignorant. There are merits in your every policies. What the general public does not understand is that to move the country forward, there will have to be sacrifices.

I do not fault you for implementing policies that benefit the Malays. Anyone who calls you a racist is a nincompoop. They only need to look at your circle of friends and confidantes to know the truth. To carry the nation forward, the Malays being the largest population of our nation has to be made the catalysts. And hence your policies to improve the Malays financially, economically and socially. Fine by me.

But I know, and you know, that regardless of how noble your plans and policies are, they did not work. And this isn’t going to change. Instead, a group of monstrous, greedy and corrupted Malay elitists have been created. The true Malays, the general Malays, are falling further and further behind by the day.

The Malaysian Chinese will never be affected by whatever policies the government of the day implements - they are excellent survivors. And oh how you envy them.

The Indians have been poor and will continue to be poor. And so are the non-Malay bumiputeras.

Tun, it is now time to re-evaluate your Grand Plan.

UMNO is now an incurable disease. I know that you know that. And I know that you know that you are helpless in trying to rectify the situation. UMNO will not change from within - not with its spread of long evil tentacles springing from the top echelon down to the warlords and little ketua-ketua at the so-called grassroot level. Is there really such a thing as the ‘grassroot supporters’ of UMNO today anyway?

UMNO is killing the Malays. And along with that the rest of Malaysians. To help the Malays and all Malaysians, UMNO will now have to be the sacrifice.

Malaysia is now a failed state.

The people no longer trust the BN Government.

The people no longer trust the Police Force.

The people no longer trust this… apa nama… MACC.

Hope is a key component of life. Security or the very sense of it is a key component of life. I shudder to think what Malaysians who have lost these two elements of life are capable of doing. I was at the Kelana Jaya Stadium yesterday for the Justice for Teoh Beng Hock Solidarity Gathering. I am afraid that UMNO has awaken the ‘don’t get involved’ Chinese. I hope I am wrong for the Chinese have numbers. And the Chinese have the money to get much to be mobilised. And if that is true, then a perfect storm is brewing.

To top that, Malaysians know that the general election is not fair. Let’s add ‘The people no longer trust the Elections Commission’. UMNO via BN will continue to rule Malaysia because our elections are not fair. I hope Malaysia as a nation can survive until the next general elections. I fear that desperate Malaysians will do a Bangkok? I fear that Malaysia will end up being a Pakistan. A Bangladesh. A Myanmar. But if this does happen, can you really fault these fellow Malaysians?

Tun, you can help us red blooded Malaysians make a difference. Please help us return the country to us.

Will you help us topple UMNO, please?

Will you help us establish a two party system in Malaysia, please?

There is no need for you to be a part of Pakatan Rakyat. That will be quite a challenge. You will have your ways should you choose to.

The fall of UMNO today will not be the end of UMNO. It will be the beginning of a new UMNO. A real UMNO baru. One which you vision. And with that, we will put UMNO back in government again.

But Tun, we need you on the side of the rakyat now. You will make the difference. And that will be your ultimate legacy to Malaysia.



Warm regards,

Simon Templar of Salt, Pepper ANd a little Kicap

Sunday, July 19, 2009

An Appeal to Free Gaza - A Profile of Courage - The Free Gaza Movement - By Christopher and Matthias Chang (20/7/09)

By Christopher and Matthias Chang

Monday, 20 July 2009 00:35

Death creeps on you unexpectedly, sometimes like a thief in the night, sometimes it leaves a calling card, telling us that it is only weeks or months that we have left to make our arrangements and sometimes, it emerges as a savage disease that ravages your body.

The shock and pain lingers on and tried as hard as we can to feint composure and normality, the dark loneliness overwhelms us and we cry out in anger and in anguish - Why? Why now? Why in this way?

To love someone for so long and to see life slipping away is an unbearable burden. It is unfair. It is just not right. We turn back the pages of a life once shared. And it seems like only yesterday that the first word we learned to cherish, would forever linger in our lips – “mummy”.

We remind ourselves to be strong … there are just too many things to be said and yet cannot be said. We are lost for words. And as tears well in our eyes, we are consoled that at the very least, we have our time to say our goodbyes and to seek forgiveness. The final hour is yet to come.

But there are others who are less fortunate and we must not let our own grief and pain to cast a shadow over their plight and suffering – a lingering pain and anguish that seems never to go away, even after fifty long years.

We speak of death and crimes committed against the heroic Palestinian people.

The smell of blood, shed in vain lingers in the air everyday in Palestine.

A bullet splits the skull and a mother is left carrying a dead child in her arms.

An explosion flattens a tenement block but the mangled bodies of women and children beneath steel and rubble are mere statistics.

Homes, schools, hospitals and places of worship are destroyed with impunity with the latest weaponry supplied by the US to Israel but the world turns a blind eye to the atrocities. War Crimes Tribunals are quick to be established against third world tyrants but US and Israeli war criminals are beyond the reach of international law.

For over two years, the Palestinians in Gaza were starved of basic food and other necessities by a cruel and inhumane blockade imposed by Israel and tacitly supported by the US, the European Union and neighbouring countries of the Middle East.

Their cries for help and justice were rebuffed by the international community but the courage of two NGOs – Viva Palestina and The Free Gaza Movement have put to shame the double standards and hypocrisy of several leading member countries of the United Nations. Defying the brutal Israeli regime, the two organizations broke the siege and blockade of Gaza. But more need to be done, for the blockade of Gaza is a humanitarian catastrophe.

Viva Palestina succeeded in bringing two convoy of lorries laden with supplies through the Rafah Crossing, while the Free Gaza Movement since August 2008 and using only small boats and against all odds broke the sea blockade repeatedly.

Although the first five voyages successfully reached Gaza, the only international boats to do so since 1967, the last three attempts have been violently stopped by the Israeli military.

On one occasion their boat, Dignity was rammed by Israeli naval vessels and just recently on June 30, 2009 another boat, The Spirit of Humanity was illegally commandeered in international waters and the volunteers were forcefully arrested by Israeli commandos and incarcerated in prison for six days (some longer) for the alleged offence of intruding into Israel illegally!

Those unlawfully imprisoned included Nobel Laureate Mairead Maguire and former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. The cargo of medical supplies and children toys were confiscated.

Undeterred by these brutal actions of the Israeli military, the members of The Free Gaza Movement are determined to continue in their efforts to break the illegal siege of Gaza by sailing unarmed boats with human rights workers, journalists and parliamentarians, as well as much needed humanitarian and reconstruction supplies.

The courage and determination of the members of The Free Gaza Movement led by its chairperson, Huwaida Shapiro is exceptional and the only protection they have is the spotlight of world conscience and your unstinting support.

Last week, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and members of the Perdana Global Peace Organisation and the Kuala Lumpur Foundation To Criminalise War met with this incredible team of volunteers and pledge to assist them in their endeavours.

Their number one priority is to get more boats to break the siege of Gaza.

Without boats, supplies cannot get into Gaza.

Each boat costs €200,000 to €300,000 and they need to have at least 5 boats by yesterday.

Winter is coming soon and the Palestinians in Gaza need shelter, food and clothing. Time is of the essence.

We therefore appeal to all Malaysians to come forward to help the Palestinians.

You can help by:

1) Donating generously to acquire the boats to bring supplies to Gaza;

2) Be a volunteer to help the Free Gaza Movement;

3) Disseminate this appeal to as many people as possible;

4) To lobby your Members of Parliament and State Assemblymen and women to support this noble endeavour;

5) More importantly, to lobby the Malaysian Government, specifically the Prime Minister to finance the purchase of at the minimum one boat.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Death at MACC headquarters

Written by razaleighhamzah

With all Malaysians I am shocked and deeply dismayed at the death of Teoh Beng Huat, political secretary to a member of the Selangor state executive councillor, at the headquarters of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission in Shah Alam.

The circumstances surrounding Mr Teoh’s death put the credibility of the government and our investigative and law enforcement agencies under a microscope. The public will expect nothing less than a full and independent investigation into how something like this could have happened.

I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences to the late Mr Teoh’s family and to his fiancĂ©e.

July 17, 2009 at 6:10 am

Thursday, July 16, 2009

NAZRI AZIZ, UR THE BIGGEST IDIOT IN HISTORY, AFTER BEING RUDE TO TUN DR MAHATHIR MOHAMAD, WHAT THE FUCK ARE U BULLSHITTING ABOUT?

PELIK… BERITA PELIK….JATUH CINTA PADA BANGUNAN



NAZRI : JANGAN TUDUH–TUNGGU SIASATAN -malaysiakini

Nazri Aziz meminta supaya pihak, termasuk DAP supaya menunggu selesai siasatan terhadap kematian setiausaha politik exco Selangor, Ean Yong Hian Wah, yang dipercayai jatuh bangunan pejabat SPRM Selangor di Shah Alam.

"Jangan tuduh-tuduh. Kalau tuduh, kenyataan mereka keluar nanti dekat laporan akhbar, menyebabkan masyarakat buat pandangan (sendiri) sebelum penyiasatan dibuat," tambahnya.

Mayat Teo Beng Hock, 30, ditemui di atas bumbung bangunan bersebelahan pejabat suruhanjaya tersebut.

Mengulas lanjut, Nazri berkata: "Saya dapat laporan awal dari SPRM mengatakan dia dah dilepaskan selesai soal siasat semalam.

"Jadi, dia patut balik rumah. Kita pun tak tahu dia nak terjun bangunan tu...," kata Nazri ketika dihubungi Malaysiakini.

"Kita kena tunggu dulu siasatan tu macam mana. Jangan terus membuat kesimpulan," tambahnya.

Dalam sidang media di pejabat SPRM negeri itu, Pengarah Siasatan SPRM Datuk Shukri Abdull berkata mayat ditemui jam 1.30 tengah hari ini.

Ditanya bagaimana mendiang ditemui, beliau berkata seorang pegawai suruhanjaya ke tempat kejadian selepas mendengar jeritan seseorang tentang mayat itu.

Menurutnya lagi, siasatan terhadap Teo - sebagai saksi kes - selesai kira-kira 3.45 pagi tadi tetapi dilihat masih berada di bangunan tersebut sekitar jam 6 pagi.


KAH KAH KAH… KAH KAH KAH…

Kah kah kah…. MUNKEE NI ADA LAGI…. kah kah kah…

Woit… PELIK…. SIASAT SAMPAI PAGI KE?.... kah kah kah..

Woit… PELIK…. LEPAS SIASAT TAK NAK BALIK BALIK…kah kah kah..

Woit… PELIK….PELIK… INI BERITA BETUL BETUL PELIK….ADA KE MANUSIA DALAM DUNIA INI LEPAS KENA SIASAT BERJAM JAM…. BILA BEBASKAN…. TERUS LEPAK DI SITU….TAK NAK BALIK KE RUMAH….kah kah kah..

NOTA: Mungkin Teo Beng Hock ini telah jatuh cinta dengan bangunan SPRM hingga tak nak balik balik. Pelik.

Tetapi – kenapa tak nak balik kerana esok nak pergi mendaftar diri kerana nak berkahwin. Cukup pelik.

Oooooh ..Mungkin teksi sudah tak ada waktu subuh? Pelik. Kereta dia ada di tempat letak kereta. Pelik juga.

Kalau tengok gambar dalam Malaysiakini seluar dia koyak dan nampak seluar dalam. Ini lagi pelik.

Kalau tengok gambar yang sama – ada pulak batu bata dekat dengan kakinya. Ini sudah tujuh kali pelik.

Kalau macam ini lebih baik lagi Badan Pencegah Rasuah yang dulu. BPR jarang menyiasat. Kalau menyiasat tak sampai mati kah kah kah.

Open letter to Dato' Kadar Shah Tun Sulaiman Ninam Shah

Dear Dato'

Firstly, I want to congratulate you, Dato' Kadar for your sincerity in helping a damsel in distress, Manohara Odelia Pinot. Even your courageous acts got compliments from M. Bakri Musa, an UMNO critique. I just hope that you keep blogging now that you have been away for some time. Looking forward to your comments on the image and integrity of UMNO and especially MACC now that there is a death in the MACC building itself. I support your application for injunction from court so that all money politics cases in UMNO are investigated before the general assembly begins but looks like they obviously didn't heed or give two hoots about you or your comrade Dato' Mazlan Harun. I hope you will keep blogging about the current affairs as I am a loyal reader of your blog. It is good that you 'bocor' the writings on Datuk Shafee Abdullah's white board as RPK has revealed. Shake them abit. UMNO needs reform badly, or otherwise, they will lose badly and Sabah and Sarawak will not even be enough to be their 'fixed deposits' in the coming general elections.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The best brains to help the Prime Minister of Malaysia

Najib’s inner circle

KUALA LUMPUR, July 15 — The people in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s inner circle;

Tan Sri Peter Sondakh

Sondakh advises Najib on Indonesia.

He came into contact with Najib when he was negotiating to sell a controlling interest in his telecommunications group, Excelcomindo Pratama, to Malaysia’s national telecommunications company Telekom Malaysia in 2004.

Flush with cash from the sale of his telecommunications group, Sondakh, now 57, acquired hotels in Malaysia, including the Sheraton Imperial. The latter was owned by a financially troubled unit controlled by Telekom Malaysia’s parent company Khazanah Holdings, the country’s state-owned investment agency.

Since then, Sondakh has emerged as an informal personal adviser to Najib on matters related to Indonesia.

Omar Mustapha

Omar was Najib’s aide when he was DPM.

The one-time special assistant to Najib owns a business consultancy called Ethos & Co.

Omar, who is 38 years old, also has links with Sondakh.

The two struck up a relationship several years ago when Omar was assigned by Najib, then Deputy PM, to build a network in Indonesia, which was identified as a potential investment destination for Malaysian companies, particularly state controlled enterprises.

Businessmen who know Omar say that he is being tapped for strategic advice.

He is also said to be the architect of the Premier’s “1 Malaysia” slogan — a call for a more united Malaysia, which has become the central theme of Najib’s first 100 days in office.

But Omar, who graduated from Oxford, has been ensnared in a controversy in recent weeks after the board of the national oil corporation Petronas rebuffed a proposal by Najib to appoint his young aide as a director.

Bankers and lawyers familiar with the situation say that the board of directors of Petronas opposed Omar’s position because he failed to honour his scholarship agreement with the oil corporation after it financed his studies in Britain.

After graduating in the mid-1990s, he worked briefly in Petronas and another government-linked corporation before joining consultancy firm McKinsey.

He left it to set up Ethos in early 2002 with several friends, and two years later was appointed Najib’s special officer in the DPM’s Office.

Omar did not respond to requests for comment.

Siew Ka Wei

Siew controls several public-listed entities.

The businessman and Datuk Mohamed Al-Amin Abdul Majid, a senior politician from the ruling Umno, are said to be close to completing a takeover of a 70 per cent interest in a private company that owns the Malay Mail.

Political handovers in Malaysia often result in changes in the top positions in the country’s mainstream media organisations and this is one change on the cards.

The lanky, cigar-chomping Datuk Siew, 53, is a controlling shareholder of several public-listed entities such as Nylex and Ancom.

Al-Amin, who is also 53, is a board member of both firms.

Tan Sri Tan Kay Hock

Tan is said to be a golf buddy of the PM.

He is the low-profile controlling shareholder of Johan Holdings, a public-listed investment holding company, and said to be a golf buddy of Najib’s.

The Financial Times had reported that Tan, 61, was the owner of the 607ha Guiana Island, which is now at the centre of a fraud case brought by the United States authorities against Texan billionaire businessman Allen Stanford.

Joe Low

Another low-profile businessman, he was a key architect of a multibillion-ringgit sovereign wealth fund established by the state of Terengganu.

The fund, called the Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA), has sparked controversy because it will be created using borrowed money and not existing capital held by the state. It will raise capital from a RM5 billion bond issue, which will be guaranteed by the Malaysian government.

Little is known of Penang-born Low, who a TIA official said is an adviser to Malaysia’s King, Sultan Mizan, and has close ties with several Middle East investment funds. — The Straits Times

Friday, July 03, 2009

The ultimate truth about Malaysia Inc.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Who is really running Malaysia anyway?

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is a man of contradictions of sorts. For
example, he stands firmly behind certain principles, but, at the same
time, he believes in the principle of the ends justify the means. That
in itself would be regarded as unprincipled by certain quarters. To
Mahathir, however, that is a principle and a principle he holds dear.
The legendary Robin Hood too had principles if you want to go by that
'philosophy'. He robbed from the rich and gave to the poor. Robbing
would be an unprincipled act to most. But, to Robin Hood, the
principle of robbing would only be unprincipled if one robs from the
poor, or robs from the rich and keeps the loot all to oneself. But
robbing from the rich to help the poor is not wrong if the objective
is to help the poor. And keeping a small 'service fee' in the process
to pay for the overheads of running your operation is also allowed --
or else how would you be able to continue helping the poor? Yes, the
ends justify the means. And that is why Robin Hood is the 'goodie',
the hero of the story, and not the villain.

I remember the first public function I attended soon after Mahathir
became Prime Minister where he was not only the guest of honour but
the host as well. In fact, it was he who invited us to dinner at the
Equatorial Hotel and the purpose was to impart his philosophy to
members of the Malay and Chinese Chambers of Commerce. Basically, it
was a 'to get rich is glorious' speech and Mahathir made this speech
even before China's Premier did. And Mahathir also spoke about how it
is not important whether it is a white cat or a black cat as long as
it can catch a mouse. Later, China's Premier too said the same thing.
Of course, Mahathir did not put it exactly the way China's Premier did
but the implication of what he said was the same.

Mahathir is and always was against the New Economic Policy (NEP). But
he realised that the Malays are so dependent on this 'crutch' that if
you were to abolish it they would go into a panic and revolt. Like it
or not, Umno's fortunes depend on the perception that this party is
the saviour of the Malays and the defender of Malay 'rights', which is
an absolute fallacy of course and Mahathir knew that. In that sense
Mahathir was ashamed of the Malays and he wanted to change their
mindset. He wanted to drag the Malays screaming and kicking into the
'real world', the world where the strong survive and the weak die. But
he discovered, to his horror, that the Malays enjoy being weak so that
they can continue getting government 'protection'. They do not want to
be strong. If they were then the government need no longer continue
protecting them and the NEP can be abolished.

Mahathir knew that the Malays were not ready for shock treatment. They
needed to be slowly weaned away from the NEP. You cannot suddenly
abolish the NEP and declare that Malaysia is now a free-for-all
society and may the strongest survive and the weak die. That would be
the end of Umno and Barisan Nasional. MCA, MIC, Gerakan and the 10
other Barisan Nasional component members do not want this as well. The
non-Malay and non-Umno candidates in Barisan Nasional also depend on
Malay votes to retain power. The death of Umno would mean the death of
Barisan Nasional and the end of non-Malay political power as well. The
thing closest to the hearts of the Malays is their 'rights'. Next is
their religion (yes, in that order). If Umno and Barisan Nasional no
longer guarantee the Malays their 'rights' then they might as well
turn to religion. If Umno goes out the door, then PAS would benefit.
The Malays would turn to PAS in the absence of Umno.

So what can replace the NEP? This Mahathir spelt out clearly to the
gathering of Malay and Chinese Chambers of Commerce members at the
Equatorial Hotel dinner. The Chinese can get rich. Maybe even some
Malays can become tycoons as well, just like their Chinese
counterparts. But these rich Chinese and Malays must in turn help the
struggling small-time Malay businessmen. This is the umbrella concept.
The government will provide the umbrellas for these big players in the
corporate world. And these big players would then assist the others.
The small-time businessmen can seek shelter under these umbrellas of
the tycoons.

Mahathir then started identifying all those tycoons and potential
tycoons who have either already made it big on their own or have
proven that they possess the business acumen to make it big with a
little help from the government. Basically, Mahathir went hunting for
millionaires and those who have shown their acumen managing government
corporations. These millionaires would be turned into billionaires.
But this comes with a price. They would have to repay this government
help by spawning other businessmen. They would be the trustees of the
umbrella. But they must give birth to thousands of other small-time
businessmen.

There was one flaw to this marvellous plan though. And that flaw is
human nature, basically greed. While they got rich with government
help, they reneged on their promise to help others in return. The rich
got richer but the poor did not share these riches. Many umbrellas
were created, but the umbrella concept did not materialise as planned.
Not many were prepared to redistribute their wealth to others. And
Malaysia Inc. failed to meet its objective. This was Mahathir's
greatest regret.

In 1990, at the end of the NEP, Mahathir tried to get it officially
declared ended. But there was strong resistance from the Malay
grassroots. They did not want it ended. They wanted it to continue
indefinitely. Mahathir was flabbergasted. He knew that the Malays
could not continue depending on the NEP. For one, it is unfair to the
non-Malays who had agreed to the NEP soon after the 13 May 1969 race
riots because it had been promised it would go on for only 20 years.
Secondly, if the Malays continue depending on the NEP, then there
would never come a time when the Malays would be able to stand on
their own two feet. And there would certainly come a time when the
Malays would need to compete once the trade borders are torn down.

Today, those who became rich under Mahathir's grand design of the
umbrella concept or Malaysia Inc. are still rich. But the poor have
not shared this newly-created wealth. And Mahathir has to now live
with the allegation that he created and nurtured cronies. Sure, he
created and nurtured cronies. But he did so for a purpose. The ends
justify the means. But he did not see the ends bearing fruit. And that
is because he overlooked one basic characteristic of human nature,
greed, and the reluctance of those who got rich with government help
to share their wealth.

That, Mahathir has to live with and accept as his failure. His
intentions may have been noble, but is not the road to Hell paved with
noble intentions? And maybe the ends should never justify the means as
Mahathir's experiment in social re-engineering has proven.

Anyway, on Friday, 28 July 2006, Mahathir will be speaking to a crowd
of Umno members in Kota Bharu, Kelantan. Much has happened since he
last spoke at the Kelab Century Paradise in Taman Melawati on 24 June.
It would be most interesting to hear what he has got to say this time
around. Since 24 June, Ani Arope has raised the issue of how the IPPs
were badly handled. Malaysia Today has addressed this issue in two
previous episodes of The Corridors of Power. Then there is Anwar
Ibrahim's allegation that Mahathir lost RM30 billion of our money on
the Forex fiasco. I believe this too needs clarification. But we shall
not put words into Mahathir's mouth as that is a most impossible thing
to do when dealing with the Grand Old Man. We shall allow him to do
the explaining himself.

One thing that Malaysia Today would like to raise is the matter of
Terengganu's oil royalty which we hope Mahathir will address on 28
July. Since the mid-1970s, Terengganu had been enjoying a 5% royalty
on all the oil and gas extracted in the state. That is what is
provided for under the Petroleum Development Act. In fact, not only
Terengganu, but any state in Malaysia where oil and gas is extracted
they would enjoy the same. However, in 2000, this royalty was
withdrawn and converted to Wang Ehsan (goodwill money). Suddenly, the
RM800 million or so a year that Terengganu was supposed to get as its
5% share of the oil and gas revenue was transferred out of the state
and into the hands of one man, Idris Jusoh.

Malaysia was then already suffering from an outbreak of JE. But in
Terengganu it was JE of another kind, Jusoh Enterprise, Idris Jusoh's
family business. Jusoh Enterprise or JE was suddenly flush with funds,
RM800 million a year to be exact. Then, in 2004, Umno, under the
stewardship of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, won back the state from the
opposition. But the state did not win back its 5% oil royalty. The
Wang Ehsan continued and Idris Jusoh, who now became the Chief
Minister, continued to single-handedly manage the fund. Even the State
Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) and the Terengganu State
Economic Planning Unit (UPENT) were left totally in the dark. One man,
Idris Jusoh, decided how the money was spent, and it is a lot of
money.

But the new Prime Minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, would not tolerate
one man managing the state's coffers. He wanted Idris Jusoh's hands
out of the RM800 million a year cash box. However, to revert to the 5%
royalty only meant that the money would come directly under state
control. That would not serve their purpose. They wanted direct
control of the RM800 million. Now it was under the control of the
Prime Minister's Department but passed down to Idris Jusoh's hands.
What they needed to do was to get Idris Jusoh's hands out of the
equation.

Then Khairy Jamaluddin, Abdullah's son-in-law cum adviser, came out
with a fantastic new 'umbrella concept', better than even Mahathir's.
They wanted control of the RM800 million a year. But they did not want
to get it out of Idris Jusoh's hands by putting it into the hands of
the state. That would merely be a case of out of the frying pan, into
the fire. They wanted direct control of the money without Idris Jusoh
deciding on how the money is spent.

And this is how they did it.

First they appointed Wan Farid, Khairy's 'running dog', as Abdullah's
Political Secretary. Then they appointed Wan Hisham, Wan Farid's
brother, as the State Exco Member in-charge of tourism. Then they gave
Patrick Lim, Khairy's business partner, the sole monopoly of all state
tourism projects. Now the network is intact and Idris Jusoh has been
cut off.

Patrick Lim's job is to create all sorts of state tourism projects at
hugely inflated prices. He would then propose these projects to Wan
Hisham, the man in-charge of tourism. Wan Hisham would then pass them
on to his brother, Wan Farid. Wan Farid would then pass them on to
Khairy. Idris Jusoh would of course be left out of the loop and he
would only know about them when it was a fait accompli -- as the
Malays would say, "Nasi sudah jadi bubur."

They built 30 houses at RM1 million each on an island in the
Terengganu River. They launched a RM300 million a year yacht race
called the Monsoon Cup. Hundreds of millions a year is being spent to
'attract tourists to Terengganu'. It seems this year the amount of
Wang Ehsan has shot up from RM800 million to RM1 billion -- so there
is even more money to play around with.

To ensure that Idris Jusoh keeps his hands out of the cash box,
Abdullah himself chairs the state meetings though he is the Prime
Minister and not the Terengganu Chief Minister. Of course, Idris
Jusoh, being the Chief Minister, is allowed to sit in on these
meetings though he has no say on what they propose. Patrick Lim,
though he is not in the government, is also allowed to attend these
meetings.

Abdullah would then propose all sorts of tourism projects conjured by
Wan Hisham, Wan Farid and Khairy. Details are of course not discussed;
only the gist of things and the amounts involved. Whenever Idris Jusoh
raises any questions, he would be told to 'leave it all to Patrick Lim
who knows what to do'. Idris Jusoh is not to involve himself in the
details.

After awhile Idris Jusoh got quite pissed and tried to resist. One
project that he knew nothing about was placed before him and he was
told by Patrick Lim to sign the papers. But how could he sign the
papers when he knew nothing about it and would eventually have to bear
responsibility for it?

Patrick Lim walked out of Idris Jusoh's office and phoned Wan Farid
who complained to Khairy. Within an hour Idris Jusoh received a phone
call from Abdullah who ordered him to sign the papers, which he of
course did straight away.

Patrick Lim's hold on Abdullah was apparent to all but somehow not to
Idris Jusoh. One day Abdullah visited Terengganu to chair the regular
meetings on how to spend Terengganu's RM800 million (which is now RM1
billion because of the increase in oil prices). Idris Jusoh fetched
Abdullah from the airport but before his car could move Patrick Lim's
car cut in front of Idris Jusoh's car and Abdullah got out of Idris
Jusoh's car and got into Patrick Lim's car. Idris Jusoh should have
realised then who really runs Terengganu.

Yes, RM1 billion a year is a lot of money. This money, which should
belong to Terengganu, is not going to the state. It is going to Wan
Hisham, Wan Farid, Patrick Lim and Khairy. And Abdullah chairs the
state meetings to decide how the money is spent. And Wan Hisham, Wan
Farid, Patrick Lim and Khairy help spend the money. And they spend it
all. And Idris Jusoh has no say in how it is spent. And if he refuses
to sign the papers he will get a phone call from Abdullah.

Now do you know who runs this country? Abdullah says he and not his
son-in-law runs this country. Idris Jusoh however will tell you that
Khairy runs this country. And Khairy also runs Terengganu and manages
its RM1 billion a year through Wan Hisham, Wan Farid and Patrick Lim.
And Abdullah chairs the Terengganu State meetings on behalf of Khairy
and according to the plan on how Patrick Lim wishes to spend the RM1
billion a year.

And now do you know why Mahathir is so pissed? And he has every reason
to be pissed. In fact, I too am pissed. And that is why I agree that
Mahathir stays pissed with Abdullah and his son-in-law. The Terengganu
issue alone is enough for me to get pissed. And rest assured that
Terengganu is but the tip of the iceberg.

Yes, it is nice being able to walk in the corridors of power. And much
can you do when you walk in the corridors of power. And RM1 billion a
year is nice to manage if you have that power to do so. And when you
walk in the corridors of power you would of course have that power.


Perdana Menteri tinjau Pulau Duyong sebelum Piala Monsun

Utusan Online - 25 Julai 2006

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi akan meninjau persiapan untuk
penganjuran kejohanan kapal layar dunia, Piala Monsun di Pulau Duyong
di sini, sempena lawatan dua harinya ke Terengganu mulai 31 Julai ini.

Setiausaha Badan Perhubungan UMNO Terengganu, Datuk Rosol Wahid
berkata, Perdana Menteri memberi perhatian besar kepada pulau itu dan
mahu memastikan penganjuran kejohanan itu pada tahun ini lebih meriah
dan hebat.

Selain meninjau projek berkaitan kejohanan itu, kata beliau, Abdullah
akan turut menyerahkan kunci kepada sebahagian bakal pemilik projek
Rumah Mampu Milik yang dibina oleh kerajaan di pulau tersebut.

''Projek rumah itu dan satu lagi projek jeti baru nelayan dijangka
dapat disiapkan apabila Perdana Menteri tiba di pulau itu," katanya
ketika dihubungi di sini, hari ini.

Menurut Rosol, Perdana Menteri pada hari pertama lawatannya akan turut
menghadap Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin di Istana Badariah dan pada pukul
3 petang akan merasmikan majlis pecah tanah projek pembinaan
Universiti Darul Iman di Dendong, Besut.

Pada pukul 8.30 malam pula, Abdullah akan menghadiri majlis jamuan
bersama rakyat di Kampung Rhu 10, Penarik, Setiu.

Pada hari kedua lawatannya, kata Rosol, Perdana Menteri masih
mempunyai atur cara padat termasuk pada sebelah pagi mendengar
taklimat pembangunan aplikasi sistem tanah di Pejabat Daerah dan Tanah
Kuala Terengganu.

Abdullah kemudiannya akan melawat Pusat Pengumpulan dan Pemproses Nira
Nipah di Kelulut, Marang.

''Dari Marang, Perdana Menteri akan berehat sebentar di calet Pulau
Duyong sebelum melakukan tinjauan di projek pembinaan Taman Tamadun
Islam di Pulau Wan Man.

''Di pulau itu, Perdana Menteri akan turut menyaksikan beberapa majlis
menandatangani MoU termasuk perjanjian tempahan pembinaan perahu
tradisional," kata Rosol.

Pada sebelah malam sebelum berlepas pulang ke Kuala Lumpur kira-kira
pukul 10.30 malam, Abdullah dijadualkan mengadakan perjumpaan dengan
para pemimpin UMNO dan Barisan Nasional (BN) di Kediaman Seri Iman di
sini.

Menurut Rosol, pihaknya percaya Perdana Menteri mengambil kesempatan
dari lawatan dua harinya itu untuk melihat sendiri perkembangan
terbaru projek- projek mega yang sedang dan akan dilaksanakan di
Terengganu.

Kata beliau, antara projek mega untuk Terengganu yang sebelum ini
diumumkan sendiri oleh Abdullah adalah projek UDM, Taman Ilmu, Taman
Tamadun Islam dan pembangunan semula Pulau Duyong - yang setiap satu
projek membabitkan kos bernilai ratusan juta ringgit.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Let's take up Farish's challenge

My ideal politician

By Farish A. Noor ~ July 3rd, 2009. Filed under: TOM_Main.
(Note: This article first appeared in The Nut Graph, where as usual it’s much better laid out and has pretty pictures — Yusseri)

THE historian’s lament is that he or she is often witness to mistakes of the past, and yet is unable to prevent them from recurring. In the end, the historian is cursed with the Cassandra complex and accused of being a tiresome doom sayer.

At the risk of being black-balled from dinner parties, I would like to restate that our country’s current state of affairs should remind us of our collective errors in the not-too-distant past. For example, just when we thought that talk of a unity government was dead and buried, this wearisome poltergeist has been resurrected to spook all and sundry.

One is forced to raise, yet again, the most obvious of questions: How can we work towards national unity as long as there remain politicians who continue to harp on and on about the myth of racial-ethnic unity?


How can we ever dream of a Malaysian nation that is Malaysian in character as long as we cannot make that simple leap beyond communitarian and sectarian politics?

With age, I have begun to feel that the fight is lost and that our efforts are akin to the absurd labours of Sisyphus. But let us entertain a glimmer of hope at least, and in that spirit I would like to state my own preferences for what I would like to see in Malaysia.

The ideal politician

For a start, I would like to see a Malaysian politician for once.

By this I mean a Malaysian-minded politician who can genuinely claim to be blind to the distinctions of ethnicity, culture, language, religion and gender. A politician who is first and foremost a Malaysian citizen. And whose labour and effort are dedicated to upholding, defending and promoting the livelihood, well-being, honour and integrity of fellow Malaysian citizens, on the basis of a common Malaysian citizenship.

In other words, I would like to see a Malaysian citizen assume the role of politician in this country, rather than have communitarian representatives of sectarian interests dominate the political landscape.

Secondly, I would like to see a Malaysian politician who has the temerity and moral courage to state the simple fact that racial differences are an absurd fiction and have no basis in biology or history. This politician would accept that the ideological device of racial differentiation was introduced to Southeast Asia during the colonial period as a device to divide and rule Southeast Asian societies.

Form for malay, indian, chinese, lain-lain, with malaysian ticked’I would like to see a Malaysian politician who has the courage to admit that, as a nation, we have been conducting our politics for half a century on the basis of a colonial fiction that was fundamentally a lie. And that the time has come for us as a nation to grow up and admit that our settled assumptions about racial identity and difference have to be critically rejected for good.

Thirdly, I would like to see a Malaysian politician who has the courage to say that we cannot allow this country to be divided along sectarian cultural-linguistic lines. A politician who understands that we need a comprehensive, universal and inclusive national educational system that reflects Malaysia’s plurality while also uniting the nation under a common citizenship.

I would like to see a Malaysian-minded politician who has the courage to risk the wrath of his/her constituents by arguing for a Malaysian education model that brings together the diverse aspects of contemporary Malaysian society, culture and history.

In other words, an educational system that will be designed to foster the value of a universal Malaysian citizenship rather than to reinforce the sense of ethnic and religious particularism and differences.

I would like to see a politician who is prepared to have our history textbooks revised in order to reflect our diversity and the contribution of all communities to Malaysia’s development.

Fourthly — and this might be difficult for some of our politicians — I would like to see politicians who understand that politics is not a family business. And that the mantle of leadership of political parties is not to be passed from papa to mama to son to daughter, but left open for the public to engage and contest as well. As an appendix to that, I would also be happy to see a politician who can tell his/her son or daughter: “No, you don’t have to be a politician like me, keep studying and just be a good public servant and citizen, and I would be proud of you.”

Fifth — and this may be the most difficult one of all — I would like to see a Malaysian politician state clearly and with conviction that the instrumentalisation of religion, ethnicity and/or language as a tool for whipping up voters’ primordial sentiments is dangerous. And that we need to return to a national politics that is above all rational, objective and free of emotionalism.

Thus far, however, I have yet to encounter any of the above in terms that I can count as genuine or sincere.

The instrumentalisation of the vernacular language debate, for instance, is a case in point where political parties on both sides of the fence are deliberately standing on their soap boxes and playing to the gallery in the crassest of terms. And they do this at a time when the general standard of English in Malaysia has dropped so drastically that I have to reject academic papers by Malaysian professors who cannot string a single English sentence together without half a dozen spelling and grammatical errors.

This, then, is the absurdity of today’s Malaysian politics when it is patently obvious that our nation-building programme has gone off tangent and the existence of multiple educational streams actively and consciously divides our society further.

In a situation where politicians can talk about national unity while also calling for ethnic-religious unity at the same time, the rational social scientist is left baffled. As a historian of contemporary Malaysia, all I can do is record the insanity and inanity of the times we live in, and to remind my students and readers of the mistakes that were made not too long ago.

Yet academic labour has its own limits, and the limit of rational critique is reached when we arrive at the frontier between reason and un-reason. That uneasy boundary is where I am left standing today, and it is an odd feeling to be a historian recording the collective madness of a nation that has lost its way.

Rather than more bridges crooked or otherwise — built by crooks or otherwise — airports, shopping malls and monuments, we need to build some Malaysians first. And for our sake, I hope this process starts sooner than later.

"Common sense is not so common" - Voltaire

Much Ado About The 30% Bumiputera Equity Participation Policy - By Matthias Chang (3/7/09)
By Matthias Chang
Thursday, 02 July 2009 20:19

Any genuine attempts by the government to mitigate the effects of the global financial tsunami and promote growth of the economy must be applauded and I do so here in this column. It is better late than never.

The policy instruments that are available to the Prime Minister who is also our Finance Minister are limited because of the nature of the problem that we have to confront.

If I may be permitted to use a simple analogy - If one has only five bullets and there are ten targets, shooting the wrong targets would be a waste of the bullets and if we end up without any bullets, we will be at the receiving end of hostile fire with no defences whatsoever.

When the government announced recently that the Foreign Investment Committee would be abolished, as its principal role of ensuring the 30% equity ownership by Bumiputeras of the Malaysian corporate cake has failed, it brought cheers from some quarters and deep anxiety and worries from bumiputeras and other stakeholders who were the primary beneficiaries of the “discarded” policy. But the first tier bumiputera elites have no complaints.

I appreciate that there is a desire to effect change and a serious attempt has been made towards that end, but the bullet fired has been wasted, because I take the view that the so-called policy change has not resulted in any fundamental shift in addressing the underlying social and economic issues.

Common sense tells us that this instrument of the NEP is an inaccurate measure of the share of the national corporate wealth and has in fact caused unnecessary friction and misunderstanding between the bumiputera and non-bumiputera communities in Malaysia. It is one of the root causes of the continuing racial tensions between the various communities in Malaysia.

The policy sounds good, looks good but its effects were far from being good for Malaysia, specifically the bumiputera community.

Let me explain this matter by applying common sense.

Step 1

Let us assume that A and B owns an island and the economy of the island rests solely on the extraction of bauxite. A had the capital to start the project while B, the expertise. By mutual agreement, the shareholding was agreed to be in the ratio of A 70% : B 30%.

Therefore, the corporate wealth was divided mutually 70:30 and B therefore achieved 30% equity participation in the corporate pie.

One day, F came along and was eager to purchase a stake in the business. A was reluctant to divest, but B was willing to sell at a premium. The deal was done between B and F.

Now F is the 30% equity owner of the bauxite mining business.

B is happy with the cash payout to spend in ways that he desired. And no one can fault him as it was a business decision. He made a profit. But he no longer owns a stake in the company.

However, it must be recognised that he did at one time acquired and achieved a 30% stake in the corporate wealth of the island economy. But, he chose to cash out. In a free market economy, this makes sense from his perspective.

There is also the probability that sometime in the future, A may cash out his entire 70% stake or part of it if the price is right and there is a willing buyer like F. In that event, F would become the majority owner.

Good luck and best wishes for his future success. But in the latter situation, A and B would be equally contented as they chose a cash payout rather than having a share retention. Who is to judge their business decision? It was a willing buyer, willing seller transaction.

The important thing to remember is that B did achieve 30% equity stake at one point in time. If B wants back the original stake, he will have to pay for it, maybe at a premium.

Step 2

Another island economy.

For historical reasons, the natives in this island were neglected by their former rulers and were mainly confined to an agrarian economy producing food for the growing population which were imported by the former rulers to mine the mineral wealth of the island.

Over the years, a sizeable portion of the immigrant population was able to venture into various kinds of small businesses – retail, small scale construction, barter trade etc.

In 1957, the inhabitants of the island were able to oust the former rulers and began to manage the affairs of the island by themselves. It was apparent to all that unless something was done to address the disequilibrium in the share of the island’s wealth amongst the inhabitants, social unrest and chaos would ensue and the economy would plunge.

Affirmative action was agreed by all as the solution to the pressing problem. The natives should be given every opportunity to acquire a larger stake in the economic pie. And every effort must be made to enlarge the economic pie so that more can share the enlarged economy.

It was a good policy. It was aimed at eradicating poverty and fostering social justice. I was all for it.

One of the methods to promote a greater share of the corporate wealth was to ensure that should there be any new businesses, the natives were to be allocated 30% equity participation in that new venture. An agency was established to ensure its proper implementation – the Foreign Investment Committee (FIC).

The majority of the natives have no idea how this 30% equity participation is to be allocated but it can be said that they were happy and contented that a huge effort has been made to address the problem. It did not really matter to the farmer in Kedah or the Felda settler in Pahang as to who got what and how much. It felt good that efforts have been made to address poverty. As they say, some are more equal than others.

Back to business at hand.

Many businesses were started and because of the affirmative action policy, 30% equity was allocated to the “selected representatives” of the native community.

The selected bumiputeras, were in the situation as Mr. B in the first island story referred to above.

Therefore, at the point in time of the allocation of the 30% equity, the selected bumiputera (be it an individual or a corporate representative) acquired and achieved the target 30% equity stake.

Thus, in the first island story, there was only one company. But 30% equity was acquired by B. The target was achieved in the island’s free market economy.

In the second island story, after the policy was implemented, every new business was required to allocate 30% equity to Bumiputeras.

Thus, at the point in time of every new venture the target of 30% equity participation was indeed achieved. The “bumiputera (native) community” had achieved the 30% equity participation target.

It has now been revealed that RM54 billion worth of this 30% equity stake allocated and owned by the selected bumiputera representatives were in fact sold i.e. they cashed out for a cash gain. Only RM2 billion worth of this 30% equity stake remained in the hands of the selected bumiputera representatives.

These bumiputeras exercised the option to have cash instead of shares. Thus, they realised the equivalent in cash the 30% stake.

Therefore, it is scandalous and seditious to say that these bumiputeras did not achieve and acquired the 30% equity target. That 30% equity stake acquired over the years amounted to RM56 billion, of which only RM2 billion worth of equity are still held by the selected bumiputera representatives.

THEY SOLD OUT!

But can we blame them? It was a business decision. They preferred the immediate realisation of a capital gain to that of collecting interim and final dividends which may or may not be declared, depending on the vagaries of the economy, the industry and the health of the firm in question. And as they say, better to have a bird in the hand, than two in the bush.

SO WHAT WENT WRONG? NOTHING! ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

This is because, in all societies, some are more equal than others.

Additionally, in a free market economy, cashing out is a valid option in any business. Even a majority shareholder may one day cash out for his much awaited retirement.

In the above situation, when the selected bumiputera representative cashes out, he/she has exchanged shares for the cash equivalent, often times at a premium. He/she preferred hard cash instead of an equity stake. It is his/her right within the overall scheme of things.

The majority shareholder does not cash out because it is his business, his blood, sweat and tears and unless the business continues he would end up with nothing. It is much easier to sell a minority stake than a majority stake. There is also the emotional attachment which a majority shareholder has (and usually he/she is the founder) for the company.

Obviously, when the selected bumiputera representative sells his 30% equity stake and if he fails to invest wisely the hard-earned cash, there will be no future income. The selected bumiputera representative’s share of the economic cake in the future is thereby reduced, but he/she has enjoyed the benefit of the 30% stake allocated to him/her. So what is there to complain?

Step 3

Don’t blame the existing majority shareholder and or the acquirer of the disposed 30% equity stake. The latter was willing together with the majority shareholder to realise a gain (or loss, which is a risk of business and investment) in the future rather than having the hard-earned cash for immediate gratification.

And, as the business grew, so the profits and the proportionate share thereof between the shareholders A and F. Wealth is thereby created and enhanced. Future income is assured.

Production and the expansion of production of goods and services (and hence wealth) is a direct result of savings, the postponement of immediate gratification for future gains and risks of potential loss!

A simple business decision which everyone has to make!

Common sense tells us that the selected bumiputera representatives had the 30% stake but they literally sold out the community for a cash gain and immediate gratification.

Who tolerated and condoned this state of affairs?

Surely, not the majority shareholder or the acquirer of the 30% stake! They had no choice. They had costed this gigantic tax into their business plans and had to work doubly hard to recover this additional burden.

Who should bear this responsibility? It is the entire bumiputera community who had the wool pulled over their eyes and unquestioningly allowed this policy to be implemented in a manner that benefited the chosen few – the elite bumiputera class.

THIS ASPECT OF THE NEP WAS AN UTTER FAILURE.

BUT THERE WERE SUCCESSES IN OTHER AREAS – OPPORTUNITIES FOR HIGHER EDUCATION, BETTER JOB OPPORTUNITIES, A SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOOD IN AGRICULTURE etc.

Step 4

If bumiputeras are the majority shareholders, and having parted with the first tranche of 30% equity in the performance of national duty, were to be asked again to allocate another 30% equity to another group of selected bumiputera representatives when a new venture is initiated, you can bet your bottom dollar, there will be political and social eruptions greater and more devastating than that of Mount Vesuvius.

We should all pause and think objectively and not let emotions rule our minds!

From an economic point of view, this compulsory 30% equity stake is in fact a tax on all taxpayers, regardless of race, creed and culture. The only people who benefited from this gigantic social and economic tax are the selected bumiputera representatives, the elites.

What has happened over the years is that one generation of selected bumiputera representatives reaped the harvest of this policy, squandered much of the gains, some moved on to greater things while many lost a fortune.

From a gain of 30% equity stake, matters returned to ground zero followed by clamours for social justice, a bigger share of the economic pie and more affirmative actions. The second generation of selected representatives took advantage of the situation and made another grand harvest. Now, the third generation is demanding their dues. But the cake has shrunk as a result of the global financial tsunami.

I would like to pose the following questions to all those disenfranchised bumiputeras who for the last 30 years never had a chance to dream about, what more to have the opportunity to personally acquire and hold a portion of the 30% equity stake allocated to selected bumiputera representatives:

What are you going to do about this injustice done in your name?

When are you going to demand a proper accounting for the “disappearance” of RM54 billion allocated to your selected representatives when they sold out?

Why are you asked to pick a fight with the majority shareholders and the acquirers, when you should be questioning your selected representatives who have been allocated the 30% equity stake?

Is this really a racial issue or an issue of injustice and exploitation within your community?

Why is it that they can drive BMW 7 series, the Mercs, the Jaguars, the Ferraris etc., have multi-million dollar homes while you can only afford to drive a Kancil and live in a rented or low cost flat?

Are we supposed to accept that some are more equal than others?

I am for the NEP to eradicate poverty and social injustice.

But I am not for this social and economic tax borne by us all. Yes, by Malays and non-Malays, except the filthy rich.

The policy has not been abolished as such, but curtailed. The devil is in the details. Those of you who are driving Kancils, you should be happy as this huge tax have been reduced to 12.5% from the previous 30%. The second and third tier elites have been sacrificed so that the first tier elites can survive the coming financial fiasco.

Let us not debate or fight on racial lines, but rather we should collectively turn the spotlight on all those who have been selected to live off this gigantic tax fraud!

This is common sense.

Use common sense when addressing this issue.