Wednesday, March 31, 2010


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Wednesday, 31 March 2010 11:39


My conviction by Justice Noor Azian Bt Shaari is a clear example that judges are above criticisms, no matter what they say in court – making snide remarks, belittling counsels, denigrating their integrity, being rude and offensive to litigants and lawyers and conduct calculated to intimidate.

Judges do so knowing that they are immune from any legal action. Additionally, they have the weapon of “Contempt of Court” to ensure that any opposition to their obnoxious conduct will be put down as being disrespectful to the court.

A case in point – a former Federal Court judge in delivering his judgment made defamatory allegations against a former finance minister who was not a party to the proceedings. It was a grievous wrong. It was only when the former minister, at great expense in engaging senior lawyers, applied to have the statements expunged, that the wrongs inflicted on him were somewhat put right. However, no action was taken against the judge. But of the millions who read the defamatory statements published by the mass media, how many knew that the statements have been expunged and the judge had no business whatsoever to defame the former minister? A man’s reputation and integrity has been smeared beyond repair. For those who cannot engage a lawyer, their fate is buried in the memory hole.

Several years ago, I had commenced legal action against leading members of the Freemasons, which included an Appellate Court judge. The High Court judge told my counsel that unless I withdrew my case I would be cited for contempt. My counsel was courageous enough to tell him off, and he backed off, and the abuse by the judge was avoided. My counsel was a former President of the Bar Council.

To cite one example of Justice Noor Azian’s unbecoming conduct as a judge in my case before her – after ordering my arrest and having placed me in custody at the basement of the Court Complex at the instigation of Defence Counsel, she asked the counsels present for directions as to how to proceed with contempt against me. Defence Counsel, one Mr. Prakash Menon gave wrong advice to the judge, not even knowing that the relevant law was amended. When my counsel attempted to draw her attention to the amended law, the judge interjected and went on a tirade of insults and abuse, accusing them of conduct unbecoming, unethical behaviour and lack of decorum.

When my counsels, as was their duty, drew attention to the relevant laws, thereby saving her much embarrassment for her ignorance, she did not retract the derogatory statements and or thank my counsels for their assistance. Such is her arrogance.

Such abuse is all too common and while many lawyers have privately complained about such behaviour of judges, few have dared to take any action.

For my stand against such abuse and conduct unbecoming of a judge, Justice Noor Azian took it upon herself to be “judge, jury and executioner”. No doubt, such a law exists that gives her such draconian powers. It does not mean that it is right. The law was amended, after Zainur Zakaria was cited for contempt when he was defending Anwar Ibrahim in the first sodomy trial.

The amended law is an unjust law and is prone to abuse by judges. Such an abuse has occurred in my case.

I was fined RM20,000 to be paid within a week from 25th March 2010. I refuse to pay the fine and I am willing to go to jail in protest against such a draconian law. I had initially contemplated to appeal to the Appellate Courts, but soon realised that whatever the outcome the draconian law will remain. I therefore, decided not to appeal.

It is my hope that my incarceration will draw attention to all concerned that this specific law of contempt, Order 52 1A of the Rules of The High Court 1980 is unjust, has been abused and will be abused in the future.

In closing I quote:

“One who breaks an unjust law must do so openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty. I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law."

Martin Luther King

Matthias Chang
31st March 2010

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

New Economic Model (NEM)

Full text of PM Najib's speech on the New Economic Model


Below is the full text of the speech by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak during today's launch of the New Economic Model at Bursa Malaysia’s Invest Malaysia conference in Kuala Lumpur.


1. Thank you for that very kind introduction. I want to say how delighted I am to be here with you today. Business leaders and investors are crucial to the health of Malaysia’s economy - and our society. I want to thank you for the work you do, the contribution you make, and your involvement in the important discussions being held here over the coming days.

2. The theme of Invest Malaysia 2010, ‘Powering Global Excellence’, is a fitting one given the forward looking nature of Bursa Malaysia and the aspirations we share for our nation and our businesses. It is also precisely what I want to talk about with you today. In a new year, in a new context, in a world emerging from recession, we are focused on:

- How to ensure a sustainable and robust recovery in the short and medium term

- Enhancing Malaysia’s competitiveness

- Sparking private investments and growth

- Putting the country on a trajectory to achieve high income levels

- Building an innovative economy and

- Bold transformation and economic reforms to modernize our economic model for the future.

3. Such an ambitious agenda may have seemed rather idealistic 12 months ago. When we gathered here last year, the economic context was very different. The world was in the depths of the first truly global recession. Over twenty million jobs were lost. Trillions of dollars of wealth evaporated. Economies around the world faced GDP contraction. Industrial production and capital investment fell dramatically.

4. We were all happy to welcome 2010. But, while Malaysia felt the impact of this recession, I believe we weathered the storm and made progress against the odds. We refused to be passive bystanders as the downturn swept across Asia, and instead acted decisively and swiftly.

5. We injected RM67 billion of stimulus funding, and found the balance in our budget between investments our nation needs and belt-tightening required to reduce our deficit. We introduced a range of incentives and service-sector liberalisation initiatives that are opening Malaysia to high quality investment opportunities in key economic sectors.

6. We are now beginning to see the results of these actions. Fourth quarter 2009 GDP figures indicated growth of a higher-than-expected 4.5 percent. Stimulus packages are driving hundreds of job-creating infrastructure projects. Exports have rebounded, and quality foreign investments are flowing into Malaysia. The fiscal deficit is forecast to fall from 7 percent to 5.6 percent in 2010. The Industrial Production Index rebounded strongly to a 12.7 percent growth in January 2010. Total exports rose 37 percent to RM52 billion and imports increased by 31 percent to RM40 billion.

7. Positive private sector activity is also a deeply encouraging sign of recovery. Coca-Cola has announced a 1 billion Ringgit investment that could create up to 2,000 to 3,000 jobs in Malaysia. Maxis’ multi-billion dollar IPO is the largest ever in Southeast Asia and represents the sort of entrepreneurial vision that I see every day in our Malaysian companies. JCY Berhad is also a proud example of a positive private sector activity that started small and now produces 25 percent of the world hard disc drives. Moving forward there will be more divestment of government holdings, capital can be raised, innovation can flourish, and wealth can be created in ways that benefit the wider Malaysian economy.

8. The global economy has not fully rebounded from the shockwaves of the past two years. No country - including ours - can be immune from the effects. But I can tell you today that Malaysia’s economic recovery is on track. The decisions of this government - and the vision of a dynamic private sector - have helped lay a foundation for the next stage of Malaysia’s economic development.

Ladies and gentlemen,


9. But, we have so much farther to travel on our national journey. As a government - and as Prime Minister - our aspirations for Malaysia and the Malaysian people go far beyond guiding our nation through a recovery. Indeed, the work we have done over the past year will be wasted if we simply retreat back to the status quo. That is unacceptable to me. I pledge this: we will work tirelessly to develop and implement the economic reforms that our nation needs to grow, our businesses need to succeed and above all, for our people to prosper.

10. The world economy - both before and especially since the financial crisis - has changed significantly. Policies which in the past led to high levels of growth and helped reduce hard core poverty will no longer be enough to raise income levels and create the high-value economy we want to see. We cannot depend solely on new capital to fuel growth. Rather we must use it more effectively to increase productivity, stimulate innovation and enhance the skills of the Malaysian workforce. We risk losing our competitive edge altogether if we do not act quickly to address structural barriers to growth that stand in the way of an effective response to the changing economic environment.

11. We can no longer rely on just a few sectors of the economy to drive our growth. We must diversify and provide incentives in new strategic industries where our nation has expertise, strength and potential for even greater success. As we expand into these areas, we should also consider the value that we can gain from the competencies of the Malaysian workforce - those living here and Malaysians abroad. They - with the support of foreign talent where appropriate – can provide the brainpower, the intellectual capital and skills to help us realize our goals more meaningfully. I invite Malaysians who have left our shores to look home once again and to participate in this transformation process to realize Malaysia’s full potential.

12. Our education system must continue to be re-evaluated and improved to create the workforce of the future, with a commitment to merit-based programmes. These will reward excellence and nurture talented graduates who excel in strategic and creative thinking, and entrepreneurial and leadership skills that will drive success in the decades ahead.

13. We need a government that enables and empowers the private sector. This means re-shaping and energizing the public sector to be more responsive and accountable to the needs of private citizens and businesses.

14. We must also recognize that some policies, which served a purpose in a previous era, may now be impediments to success, distorting the market and putting us at a competitive disadvantage. For instance, the government is consulting on a series of fiscal reforms that will reassess the subsidy system that exists in Malaysia and broaden our revenue-raising base through the proposed introduction of a goods and services tax. They will bring Malaysia in line with international norms and reduce an unsustainable reliance on a small number of industries, businesses and taxpayers. These are essential, common sense reforms that will allow us to move forward together as a nation, while ensuring that we enhance and strengthen safety net programs that support the welfare of Malaysia’s most vulnerable citizens.

15. Cumulatively, these deficiencies go a long way in explaining why Malaysia’s private investment has not recovered to pre-Asian crisis levels and - as you know - pose a threat to our long-term position as a home for international and domestic investment.

16. Addressing these issues is not just about having a clear vision and the right policies. It’s also about having a determined political will, effective execution and the full support of the Rakyat. Do we have the courage and boldness to rise out of the middle income trap? I believe we need to build a national consensus on this issue. Because growth is beginning to revive, some are questioning the need for urgency to break the habits of the past. There are now calls to protect the status quo. Do not be fooled. We need a new way of doing things. While the recovery has begun, we must act now to position Malaysia for the future. And this is the choice we now face: To rise out of the “middle-income” trap that will be a precarious position for any nation in the new global economy; or to stick to what we know, and what is comfortable, by hoping the world will adapt to us. Our choice, and the job of the government, is to pursue economic policies that succeed in the knowledge industries of the future, with high-wage jobs and prosperity that can be shared by all.

Ladies and gentlemen,


17. Today, we take an important next step in that journey. The backbone of our long-term policy agenda will be a new economic model – which will be integrated into the 10th Malaysia Plan and with a longer-term vision that will be delivered through the 11th Malaysia Plan. These can transform the Malaysian economy to become one with high incomes and quality growth over the next decade.

18. The New Economic Model is a vital part of the Malaysia we are building, the structure that will serve our people for the future. As a metaphor, think of a house under the Malaysian sun. We need a roof – an overarching philosophy that encompasses all parts of the building. In our case, 1Malaysia is the roof that we gather under. The Government Transformation Program – a programme of delivery on six key areas – is one pillar of this home. A second pillar is the Economic Transformation Plan that will deliver the New Economic Model. And the floor, the basis where all Malaysians will move forward are the 10th and 11th Malaysian Plans.

19. In the months after I became Prime Minister, I set up an independent National Economic Advisory Council, and tasked it with a thorough review of Malaysia’s economy. I asked it to make bold, yet practical, recommendations for a new economic model to transform the Malaysian economy. And I can announce today that I have received the NEAC report.

20. The Report details in a frank manner, the state of the nation’s economy – its strengths and its shortcomings - and assesses the current policies and potential areas of future focus for Malaysia. It is a comprehensive and insightful analysis. I want to take this opportunity to publicly thank the Chairman of the National Economic Advisory Council, Senator Tan Sri Amirsham A Aziz, the members of the NEAC and the Secretariat team. Their work and service to the nation deserves not only our recognition, but our appreciation.

21. Today, I and the cabinet - with the counsel of NEAC - will begin our detailed deliberations on how we move forward from here, particularly as we move from this report to a roadmap for the future. But this cannot be an old-style political debate. The new economic model has wide-ranging implications for the people of Malaysia, and we cannot afford to bypass their views on this matter. Like investors, this government accords high marks for transparency. Whether in the budget or the recent Government Transformation Programme, where thousands of public citizens were involved in the process, I have instructed that this report be published and made available to the general public to gather their input and provide them with an opportunity to be part of the decision-making process over the coming months. It is only through consultation with the Rakyat and all the other stakeholders that we can achieve a strong, convincing and effective plan to implement our New Economic Model.

22. I have made clear on many previous occasions that the era of “government knows best” is over. The Rakyat - and groups such as business leaders and investors - want and deserve input into the policy making process. We must develop a more consultative approach to engaging our most important stakeholders. Only through such a process can we broaden our viewpoints, challenge conventional wisdom, and help build transparent and open consensus for the right way forward. This is the path we will follow. People will come first.

Ladies and gentlemen,


23. As this consultation moves forward, I want to set out three principles that I believe should guide our nation’s thinking and the development of a New Economic Model. I want – as Tan Sri Amirsham has outlined – for all of us to visualize the impact of the NEM by standing in the future and envisioning what the NEM should mean to each of us as an individual and as a business.

24. Three principles emerged clearly from the NEAC report – firstly, high income, secondly, sustainability and thirdly, inclusiveness. These three principles will drive our economic progress for us to become a fully developed nation; a competitive economy strategically positioned in the regional and global economic landscape, environmentally sustainable and a quality of life that is all inclusive and encompassing.

25. We should ask ourselves this fundamental question: Will the New Economic Model create High Income jobs where the Rakyat benefit from a competitive economy, and a better way of life? This is the raison d’ĂȘtre of the New Economic Model. We want to see a Malaysia that makes a quantum leap from the current 7,000 U.S. dollars per capita annual income to 15,000 U.S. dollars in ten years as stated in the NEAC Report. The new economic model must be built from here. It will be no easy task, but the rewards will be great if we make this transformation . The challenge is how will we do it. This means building upon existing sectors and maximizing the potential of new ones through innovation.

26. Creating a high income nation will mean higher wages throughout the economy as growth is derived not only from capital, but from greater productivity through the use of skills and innovation, improved coordination, stronger branding and compliance with international standards and Intellectual Property Rights. In a knowledge economy, investment in new technology, multi skills, innovation and creativity, and increased competency are the drivers of public and private sector performance. We expect investment and competition for the best talent through paying higher wages. Even wages for blue collar workers will be based on them acquiring higher competencies, with their performance more readily benchmarked against international competitors. With more skills, comes greater responsibility, and better, higher paying jobs.

27. Among other findings, the NEAC Report highlights that today 80 percent of the workforce have education only up to SPM qualifications, Malaysia’s equivalent to the O-levels. This is not in line with a high income economy that we aspire to be., We need continuous education ,on-the-job training and re-skilling to benefit from new technologies. And by building a highly skilled workforce where productivity and competitiveness drive growth, the costs of doing business will still be competitive as capital is used more efficiently and with emphasis on quality of workers. This means a reduced dependency on unskilled foreign labour, and greater attention to multi-skilling of employees who can increase productivity. This change will also require that government raise the quality and productivity of its own workforce. I believe we have begun along this path with the Government Transformation Program, amongst others, which will enhance the nation’s infrastructure and improve access to quality education.

28. Second, the New Economic Model must include a commitment to Sustainability, not only in our economic activities, but in considering the impact of economic development on our environment and precious natural resources. There is little value in pursuing a future based entirely on wealth creation , Pursuing growth that deplete resources and displace communities will have dire consequences for future generations. This is a false and futile choice. We can have a powerful and dynamic economic approach, but one that protects the nation we love for future generations. High and sustained growth and environmental stewardship can and must go hand-in-hand. As I stated when setting up the NEAC, simply being richer falls far short of my expectations. Not only do I want the Rakyat to earn better but they must also live better. Raising the quality of life must be an integral part of the New Economic Model.

29. Finally, is the New Economic Model Inclusive? We must recognize the imperative that we harness the potential of all Malaysians, and that all share in the proceeds of increased national prosperity.

30. Inclusiveness is a key prerequisite for fostering a sense of belonging and engagement in the NEM. I want to take a moment here to touch on this issue of an inclusive New Economic Model that will ensure that no one is left out in contributing to and sharing in the creation of wealth as we progress. While perfect equality is in reality impossible to achieve in an open, global economy,an inclusive society will ensure that we can narrow inequalities in our nation, help those who need help most and engage all of Malaysia’s talents in our effort to build a competitive economic workforce.

31. Reforming our approach to fully meet these new challenges will require a change in our national mindset. In the short-term, there will be entrenched opposition. Some economic sectors may experience adverse effects. The process of change is never easy, and there will be painful moments. But for the long-term strength of our nation, we cannot afford to duck these issues any longer. If we are to truly tackle inequality and become a beacon of progress in our region, we must bring a sense of urgency to reform.

Ladies and gentlemen,


32. The New Economy Policy launched about forty years ago with its affirmative action policy has served the nation well , balancing the economic growth strategies of our nation with the need to address structural inequalities and promote social harmony. Poverty has been drastically cut, standing today at around 3.7 percent. As a nation we should be proud of this achievement. It is one that many other multi-racial nations would like to emulate. However, we still have an unacceptably large segment of low-income households in Malaysia. We the Government are now dealing with 21st century problems that require fresh 21st century approaches.

33. The NEAC report sets out an approach to tackling poverty and renewing our affirmative action policies for a new and more competitive economic context. This will be part of the public consultation, but the government feels there is merit in much of this proposal and I want to set out the broad parameters here.

34. Our first priority must be to eradicate poverty, irrespective of race. We cannot have the high income, sustainable and inclusive economy we seek when disparities in income are not addressed.

35. So there will be a renewed affirmative action policy in the New Economic Model, with a focus on raising income levels of all disadvantaged groups. It will focus on the needs of all our people – those living in the long houses in Sabah and Sarawak and poor rural households in Semenanjung Malaysia (Peninsular Malaysia), who often feel disconnected from the mainstream economic activity. Fishermen. petty traders.and small farmers also fall under this category . Not forgetting the Orang Asli and low income urban dwellers, eeking out a livelihood in tough economic circumstances. The proposal in the NEAC report suggests a focus on the bottom 40 percent of Malaysia’s income strata – both individually and regionally. These are the disadvantaged groups where special attention is still required.

36. The ultimate goal - in time - is that no Malaysian lives in poverty, that all get the chance to succeed and share in prosperity. While there are those who struggle on low-incomes and in harsh conditions, we will always provide special support to help lift them out of the poverty trap.

37. The New Economic Policy has been a milestone of our society for decades, a policy I have fully supported and admired. Its original objectives are still relevant, but it is time to review its implementation. We will chase the same goals, but transform the way we do things. Our renewed affirmative action policy, therefore, will be built on four principles:

- it must be market friendly,

- it must be merit based,

- it must be transparent and

- it must be needs based.

38. For instance, one important consideration will be developing a competitive and transparent tender process, with set and clear rules for the whole Bumiputera community, made of both Malay and other indigenous groups. This is set out as a common-sense enhancement of our policies for a new economic reality and where Inclusiveness is a key component in our new economic model. In practice, this approach will mean greater support for the Bumiputera, a greater support based on needs, not race. The Bumiputera segment still forms the majority in the vulnerable groups by any measure, and while our new approach will help those on low-incomes from any group, it will still largely benefit the Bumiputera community and at same time provide for the disadvantaged of other communities.

39. In assessing the results, fair distribution must encompass the whole spectrum of measuring wealth such as equity ownership, other financial and non-financial assets, and access to wealth creating opportunities such as long-term concessions and contracts. Even in measuring ownership, it should go beyond equity to include other properties, business assets such as retail, landed properties, commercial building, intellectual property and other services as well as managerial positions. A valuable example would be the redevelopment of Kampung Baru, a holistic opportunity of wealth creation and value enhancement that goes deeper and well beyond equity ownership. I have instructed the NEAC to develop a detailed framework to operationalise this new model of affirmative action based on a transparent and market based mechanism to achieve fair distribution of the benefits of a high-income economy.

40. The NEAC report sets out its view that the previous mechanism that concentrated on target setting should now focus on structured and dedicated capacity building investment that allows the Bumiputera to take advantage of new opportunities in the economy. In addition, fair access and opportunities to retraining, upgrading of skills and ability to gain employment will also be emphasized for all Malaysians.

41. This approach builds on our experience in implementing the affirmative action policy over many years. When they are implemented in a transparent, fair and empowering way they will yield better results. But for too long, the implementation of our affirmative action policies has not reached those who needed them the most. There is a perception that the non Bumiputera have not benefitted from the progress made to date although facts and figures show otherwise. Therefore with the new principles of affirmative action stated earlier, we need to change this perception. We can no longer tolerate practices that support the behavior of rent-seeking and patronage, which have long tarnished the altruistic aims of the New Economic Policy. Inclusiveness, where all Malaysians contribute and benefit from economic growth - must be a fundamental element of any new economic approach.

42. These are the principles I want to see guide this next phase of consultation. Can we build a new model that creates a high wage, sustainable and inclusive economy where together we prosper? I believe we are within striking distance. I believe there is widespread support for it across Malaysia. And I believe - knowing the ingenuity and creativity of the Malaysian people and Malaysian businesses - we can and will make such aspirations our national economic reality.

Ladies and gentlemen,


43. The question then becomes: how do we get there? The work of the government and the NEAC is far from over with this initial report. This is a two stage approach. We must now ensure a robust and thorough consultation and then the development of a detailed blueprint or roadmap on how the New Economic Model and accompanying economic reforms are to be implemented. For instance, working groups akin to the labs that drive development of the NKRA Government Transformation Program will be held, made up of participants from both the public and private sectors to drive the strategies behind the new economic model, culminating in a second report that is a detailed transformation roadmap. We will, in effect, develop an Economic Transformation Program to deliver on this new economic model.

44. To achieve this transformation, the NEAC has set out a series of strategic reform initiatives.

45. The eight Strategic Reform Initiatives focus on:-

1) Re-energising the private sector to lead growth; 2) Developing a quality workforce and reducing dependency on foreign labour;

3) Creating a competitive domestic economy;

4) Strengthening the public sector;

5) Putting in place transparent and market friendly affirmative action;

6) Building knowledge base infrastructure;

7) Enhancing the sources of growth; and

8) Ensuring sustainability of growth.

46. All eight initiatives are complementary and cross cutting in their impact over all sectors of the economy. All three goals of the NEM require that we achieve significantly higher growth rates in GDP in the next decade. As such, several of the policies we must pursue relate to the foundational issues, to enable accelerating the growth momentum through a holistic approach to remove all barriers. They emphasize the need for capacity building rather than just nation building as the sustainable way forward.

47. Adding to the NEAC report, what I would like to suggest is to focus our efforts effectively by targeting specific key sectors, or what I would call the National Key Economic Activities (NKEAs). These are the areas where our economy has the potential to thrive as we move into the high income bracket. In the past, the government has played a paternalistic role in recommending and promoting the sources of growth that should be undertaken by the private sector. Yes we need to provide some guidance, but we are aware that the government should not be making investment decisions for the private-sector.

48. Based on the NEAC new approach that the private sector should drive growth, the government needs to enhance its role as the facilitator for industries to flourish. The majority of the initiatives that have been set out deal with all that is imperative to set the economy right – to remove distortions, barriers and impediments that hinder our economy from progressing up the value chain and to promote healthy competition. Implementing these policies is a pre-condition to successfully tapping new sources of growth. As long as these barriers remain, the growth opportunities in all sectors will not be realized.

49. The NEAC – with the input from across the private sector – has identified key sectors that can be leaders in generating high growth rates. Sectors where our nation is competitive, has a wealth of expertise, the opportunity to leverage specialisation and has gained first mover advantages, as well the traditional comparative advantages. There is much work to be done, but the potential upside requires us to place a focus on these key sectors.

Ladies and gentlemen,

50. Mirroring the process we followed for the Government Transformation Program and its National Key Results Areas, I am committed to undertake a thorough consultation process with all the stakeholders, and ensure the National Key Economic Activities will be selected with the sole criteria of Malaysia’s best interest. The NEAC will work with PEMANDU to develop the NKEAs. They will consult the Rakyat and all other stakeholders and, when the 10th Malaysia Plan will be unveiled together with the NKEAs, a special Economic Delivery Unit will be established to spearhead the reform process and finalise and implement the NKEAs. There is still a lot of work to be done to identify a successful strategy for execution and the NKEAs to focus on, but, as a mere indication of what may come in the future, let me give you a few examples of the possibilities we are looking at.

51. In the Electrical and Electronic sector, Malaysia can leverage its early mover advantage. Building on a strong foundation, Malaysia’s future in this sector must be focused not only in manufacturing but in research and development and design, where Malaysian companies are driving innovation rather than simply importing it. Among the measures we must consider incentives for high-value research and support for SMEs supplying larger firms on a larger scale basis.

52. Resource based industries in the palm oil and oil and gas sector continue to be emphasized. In the palm oil sector, strengthening research initiatives should lead to indigenous technology that better meets market demand, such as healthy fats and oils, biofuel from biomass, cosmetics and bio-degradable plastics.

53. In oil and gas, we have one of our nation’s most visible and valued champions in Petronas. It has built a strong brand internationally, and I believe now we must also help drive growth here in Malaysia with even greater support for local suppliers as it grows. Beyond the core oil and gas sector, however, Malaysia’s international energy expertise can help companies in this industry and beyond expand internationally by sharing its know-how, partnering on international bids and offering support on a truly global scale. The strength of having a well-developed pool of local talent and companies which are able to compete globally gives us a lead advantage.

54. In services, the tourism sector has not been exploited to its potential. More can be done to attract new markets from Europe and the Americas to complement the markets from the United Kingdom and Asia. We have some of the oldest forests in the world, rich with flora and fauna and diving experiences acclaimed to be unforgettable. Malaysia can lead in providing environmentally sustainable eco-tourism adventures that are much sought after by the advanced markets. We should aim to provide services which will attract high-end tourists who seek exclusiveness and high value services. We must also be creative as we consider new areas of tourism. From medical tourism – a high-potential growth sector – to eco-tourism, luxury market tourism and visitors related to our growth as a regional education hub. Malaysia’s tourism future is bright if we have the vision and creativity to support its diverse growth potential.

55. As an agriculture producing nation that is also heavily reliant on imports of food, there is a strategic need to focus on expansion of the high value agriculture sector. There is potential to create value in rural space through large-scale agriculture, higher yield methods, new technologies, better linkages to the marketplace that will result in greater production and income. We must also promote agro businesses through integrated and modern agriculture practices.. Given that the Bumiputera community is large in rural areas in both Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah and Sarawak, an intensified expansion of modernised agriculture activities can contribute both to higher incomes and to the reduction in income inequality. And to compete globally, we must commit Malaysia’s agricultural sector to cultivation and processes that meet, and exceed international standards and best practices, as well as marketing on an international scale.

56. Malaysia also has the potential to embrace a leadership role in green technology and develop a niche in high value green industries and services. We have on the ground expertise in complex manufacturing, and are early movers in the region’s solar and alternative energy sectors. And with recent success in commercialization of natural bio-diversity into high value products which are gaining traction among environmentally conscious consumers, Malaysia can become a green hub all the way along the business development continuum – from research to design to manufacturing to commercialization, we have the skills and the public sector’s support.

57. There are many areas that Malaysia can explore to expand the sources of growth. I would like to mention another example--the financial services industry, which is both a growth sector as well as an enabler to growth of other sectors. Its growth potential is seen in Islamic financial services, as well as in the derivatives for risk management by local and regional players. Malaysia is now a world leader in Islamic finance, capital market and the takaful industries. We see the potential to become a hub for integrated Islamic financial services. For instance, Bank Negara Malaysia is currently finalizing the establishment of a physical Islamic financial centre and the imminent approval of two mega Islamic banks licences.

58. Competition is no longer only between nations but also between cities. For Malaysia to move into a higher income economy, we must exploit higher returns by adopting strategies to build density, develop clusters and specialize in high value sectors. Recognising this role, cites such as Kuala Lumpur and Johore Baru which includes Iskandar Malaysia must be developed to be more livable and be able to attract talent and be part and parcel of a more comprehensive and integrated urban-rural planning. We must develop stronger clusters that serve as incubators for start up companies, ensure shared services and develop more businesses and university linkages. Evidence shows that development of cities helped raise incomes of surrounding rural areas especially when they are integrated into the supply chain network.

59. There are many more sectors of strategic growth where Malaysia has the potential to flourish. We have strengths in the IT industry. The creative industries – our music, film, arts and cultural expertise – can be an important sector in Malaysia’s future. And with a strong base of medical, scientific and manufacturing expertise, we can be a regional home for the fast-growing biotechnology and life sciences sectors.

60. So I call on Malaysian companies, investors and entrepreneurs - to seize the opportunities before us and become regional and even global champions. We must have concerted policy intervention to turn this into reality. Companies that show innovation and foresight to reshape and revitalize their activities would have unprecedented prospects to be world leaders in the future.

Ladies and gentlemen,


61. If Malaysia is to achieve its goals, we must build a strong, solid and strategically demand driven market that connects sectors of growth to the ambitious goals I have set out for our New Economic Model. I have already touched on many of the strategies I believe we will require, including modernization of our education system to build a world-class workforce; prudent fiscal reforms that bring greater balance to our revenue and expenditure framework; and market-friendly affirmative action designed to ensure that all Malaysians benefit from this new approach.

62. But underlying all of these strategies must be a new and clear understanding of the respective roles of business and the government. The government is an enabler of wealth-creation. Our role is to ensure stability, openness and fairness in a secure environment that facilitates, rather than distorts or hinders, growth. Competition should be promoted to allow dynamic and efficient markets, and where appropriate, public sector support is needed, we should be there to help. We have also seen in the past 18 months - more clearly than ever - the need for governments to be vigilant in safeguarding economic stability when markets fail.

63. I look around this room today and I see some of the finest private sector talent in the world. You are the torchbearers of wealth creation and growth. We will be active in protecting the interests of the Malaysian economy and the Malaysian people, but we want private sector expertise and investment to flourish. Again, to succeed in a different economic context, we need to look at doing things differently.

64. One of these changes must be a new approach that expands the role of capital markets under our new economic model. Malaysia will not be successful - even in our key sectors - if we simply maintain the status quo. Sparking growth means cultivating innovation, risk-taking and creativity in development of new products or services.

65. Hence, in order to facilitate Malaysia’s new economic model, support private sector innovation and to stimulate financing in the higher-risk services and knowledge driven sectors that are critical to Malaysia’s future, I would like to see an expanded role for our capital markets, evolving from a primarily fundraising model to a liquidity-driven and risk-diversification model that encourages entrepreneurs and investors to be part of Malaysia’s exciting economic future.

66. The development of our capital markets will be further strengthened in the Second Capital Market Master Plan currently being formulated by the Securities Commission, but I also see the acceleration of capital market industries such as the fund management, venture capital and private equity sectors as a crucial part of our drive to create the high wage, high skill economy of Malaysia’s future.

67. Related to this issue, the Employees Provident Fund presently dominates local equity and bond markets with up to 50 percent of daily Bursa volume represented by EPF related trades, a situation that is not healthy for the market or for the EPF. Today I can announce that the EPF will be allowed to invest more assets overseas, both diversifying its portfolio and creating more room domestically for new participants. EPF presently has about 6 percent of assets invested offshore and this will increase significantly. EPF will also increase its direct investments in the real economy of Malaysia, as an alternative to market investments – taking positions in healthcare, commodities, property and other long-term investments that match EPF’s requirements to protect the real rate of return on its assets.

68. On the institutional front, the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (MIDA) is the principal Government agency responsible for the promotion and facilitation of investments in the manufacturing and services sectors in Malaysia. MIDA has been instrumental in the nation’s transformation under different phases of industrial development over the last four decades and has emerged as a well recognised institution among both foreign and domestic investors. However, the time has come for key changes in MIDA in order to make it a more effective investment promotion agency.

69. I am pleased to announce that MIDA will be corporatized to give it the necessary organisational flexibility to attract and retain the manpower and talents it needs in order to be an internationally competitive national investment promotion agency. The Government has also agreed to empower MIDA with the necessary authority to negotiate directly with investors for targeted projects. In addition, MIDA will also be designated as the central investment promotion agency for the manufacturing and services sectors, excluding utilities and financial services, to enhance the coordination and cohesion among the various investment promotion bodies in the country. These changes will enable MIDA to approve incentives in real time and act swiftly to engage investors more effectively. Finally, MIDA will be renamed as the Malaysian Investment Development Authority while maintaining its acronym, MIDA, which is a well known brand name.

70. In addition to this important institutional reform, I believe that we need to look anew at ensuring an appropriate balance between government, GLCs and the private sector in our economy as part of this new economic model. In the years prior to the Asian financial crisis, the private sector contribution to GDP far outstripped that of the public sector, but in the first decade of the new century, the statistics have been reversed. What started as a cyclical necessity of fiscal pump priming has hardened into a dependency and an unsustainable structural condition.

71. I have touched on many of the key principles that will underpin this recalibration of the public-private sector relationship: government reforms to reduce bureaucracy and focus on creating a growth-enabling environment; encouragement and incentives to spur private sector innovation and productivity; a focus on strategic knowledge sectors of long-term growth; and a recognition of the crucial importance that pursuing opportunities in regional and global markets will play in Malaysia’s growth.

Ladies and gentlemen,

72. At this venue last year, I outlined a strategy that would see GLCs proceed to dispose of non-core assets; to catalyse and develop the eco-systems of their core sectors; and, to compete on a level playing field with the private sector. Building upon the third principle, I mentioned that Government Linked Investment Companies (GLICs) should be allowed to divest non-core and/or non-competitive assets.

73. Today I want to announce further steps that will enhance private sector opportunities and appropriately recalibrate the relationship between the public and private sectors.

74. Going forward, I would like to see GLCs and Government holding agencies pursuing strategic collaborations with private sources of capital in Malaysia in order to provide prospective investors with exposure to the government order book and build national competencies. These coalitions will not only drive the regionalization strategy of Malaysian companies which is vital given the size of the domestic market, but also ensure ready pools of capital are in place and available for quick deployment. In addition, the opportunity to form partnerships with a wider range of co-investors including retail investors, local and foreign mutual funds remains open. If successfully implemented on a large scale, these catalytic coalitions could become a unique form of Public Private Partnership. We already have initiatives moving in this direction. Examples include the upcoming privatisation of Astro and the partnership between Malakoff and Tenaga Nasional on a utilities project in Saudi Arabia.

75. We have made progress in the area of divesting non-core assets and Khazanah alone has over the course of the last nine months divested significant stakes in Tenaga Nasional, Malaysia Airports and PLUS for the purpose of increasing the liquidity of these counters. But more such progress in this area must be made.

76. We will be pursuing further such divestments of non-core and non competitive assets that operate in areas where new strategic shareholders have the potential to enhance the creation of value, as compared to them being left within the government stable. Of course, we must ensure that any such divestments stand up to rigorous checks to ensure that they are in the public interest.

77. A transparent process will be implemented to ensure that potential private sector bidders meet a minimum set of criteria, including financial standing, track record in business expansion and management excellence, and that their proposals help grow the Bumiputera and 1Malaysia causes. The bidders will have to demonstrate delivery against set benchmarks of innovation and value creation, and support the goals of the New Economic Model – high wages, inclusiveness and sustainability. To develop these processes, I propose evaluation panels consisting of financial professionals, international industry experts and senior Government officials be appointed to assess private sector bids for GLC-related assets.

78. And because it is so important that public and private sector performance are each enhanced, we will be vigilant in ensuring that transfer of GLC assets into the private sector does not compromise our goals for public sector reform and delivery, or lead to asset stripping that runs counter to the public interest. For a predetermined period of time, this may include the retention of key management and the prevention of involuntary staff layoffs. Equally, I recognize the importance of reviewing existing tariffs and incentives available to GLCs if we are to attract private sector investment, and I propose that any such reviews are taken up at the Cabinet.

79. With clear guidelines and strategic principles in place, I can say that the journey on GLC transformation continues to maintain its momentum, and I can go further today with the announcement that Khazanah has resolved to divest its controlling 32 percent stake in POS Malaysia through a two-stage strategic divestment process. In the first stage, that begins immediately, proper corporate governance and regulatory processes will be adhered to. A full consultation with the various stakeholders will be undertaken. POS Malaysia will be prepared for the strategic divestment by addressing various aspects of its business environment including its regulatory structure, usage of government controlled land and the position and welfare of its employees. The long outstanding matter of low income of some of the staff including postmen will be reviewed. To ensure both public and commercial interests are balanced, the government will undertake a comprehensive review and update the regulatory framework of the postal system.In stage two, Khazanah will draw up a bidding and evaluation process to select a new and entreprenuerial shareholder to further modernize POS Malaysia. Further details of this exercise will be announced later.

80. To promote higher levels of economic investment, expansion and growth, several parcels of land in Jalan Stonor, Jalan Ampang, Jalan Lidcol, Kuala Lumpur have been identified to be tendered out and developed by the private sector. This asset, if not developed will be wasteful and the Government will incur cost of maintaining it. This initiative will be a good kick-off for more outright sale and joint ventures between the public and private sectors in land development. In this regard, I would like to inform you that Government of Malaysia and the EPF will form a joint-venture to promote the development of 3,000 acres of land in Sungei Buloh into a new hub for the Klang Valley. This will lead to over RM5 billion of new investments being made that will have an immediate effect on domestic growth, with an enormous potential for the private sector to participate in prominently.

81. I can also share with you today that we will gradually reduce public sector involvement in activities that compete directly with the private sector. We have begun a review of a number of companies under Minister of Finance Incorporated and other agencies, and I can inform you that we are considering privatization measures related to, Percetakan Nasional Malaysia Berhad, CTRM Aero Composites Sdn Bhd, Nine Bio Sdn Bhd and Innobio Sdn Bhd with more under consideration.

82. In addition, Petronas has already identified two sizable subsidiaries with good track records to be listed this year. These initiatives have the goal to reduce the Government’s presence directly or indirectly in business activities that are best carried out by the private sector and are a clear signal of our commitment to promoting competition in the economy, risk taking and long-term economic growth that benefits all Malaysians.

83. As I have stressed today, we cannot afford to slip back to the status quo. The challenge that stands before us requires an urgent need to review the way things are being done. Institutions, approaches and systems that have worked well in the past may need to be altered to suit the changing global landscape.

84. The announcements I have made today – on new divestments, public and private partnerships, and a renewal of government processes to spark growth – are a sign of our commitment to reform and position our country, our workforce, our companies and our future generations for the challenges of a competitive global economy.

Ladies and gentlemen,


85. In my first days as Prime Minister, I said that Malaysia must be open to change. We have no alternative but to move forward and become a high income country with sustainable and inclusive growth. Change can be painful and short-cuts will be tempting. But we cannot seek only the quick wins. This will be a journey that may cause some short-term pain, but will pay off in a stronger Malaysian future. We need to have a sustained and consistent ‘big push’ if the reforms set out today are to gain momentum and help achieve our goals.

86. In this regard, this is a defining moment for Malaysia. As we emerge from a global recession, will we have the courage and the vision to pursue an ambitious agenda for change that can seem daunting, but is essential for our nation’s future? Our answer is to create high wage jobs, give our children the best educational opportunities, and attract the high quality investment that is the driving theme of this important gathering.

87. At this critical juncture, where we balance our nation’s history with its future, I believe we do have the courage to meet Malaysia’s hopes and ambitions.

88. But this is about far more than the economic goals of our nation. This is about the life chances open to future generations. This is about raising the sights of low-income families to help them out of poverty. This is about the very fabric of our society where we each have opportunities and responsibilities. It’s about placing Malaysia at the forefront of a high-income economy so that we can stand shoulder to shoulder with other fully developed nations. I am confident - with your support - we will choose the right path, move forward, not back, and build a fairer, stronger and dynamic Malaysia for many decades to come. I call upon you to join me in this momentous journey to build a truly prosperous and a new future for 1Malaysia.

Thank You.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

So who is lying now? Petronas or Ku Li?

Petronas denies oil field find

KUALA LUMPUR: Petronas has strongly denied reports that it has made a big discovery of an oil field which is said to be one of the biggest in the world.

“We adopt a well-established reporting process whereby we make progress report to the board and stake holders as well as to the Government.

“There is no way we are hiding any information with regards to the discovery as we have no intention to hide any news,” exploration and production business vice-president Ramlan A Malek told a media briefing yesterday.

He added that an announcement would have already been made if the company had found a big oil field.

Former Petronas chairman Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah had reportedly claimed that Petronas had discovered a huge tract of oil reserve that could significantly reduce oil prices.

Razaleigh said it was the prerogative of the Prime Minister to give Petronas the green light to start extracting oil from newly-discovered fields.

To this, Ramlan said although the company did not rule out the possibility of discovering a huge oil field in the future, it was unlikely to find such an oil field in the country.

“At this moment, there are no announcements of huge oil field discovery in this region. The most recent discovery was in Brazil of a huge oil field that can produce about five to eight billion barrels,” he said.

He added that Malaysia’s current oil production of about 600,000 barrels per day was just a fraction of the total world oil production and this would unlikely affect global crude oil prices.

For future plans, Ramlan said Petronas would venture into deep-water reservoir exploration in the country.

“This will involve a huge amount of investment as we are dealing with quite a challenging environment. An average investment to drill in shallow water is about US$10mil (RM33.2mil) but for deepwater it can go up to as high as US$100mil (RM333.2mil),” he said.

Ramlan said Petronas would continue to drill an average of 30 wells per year in Sabah, Terengganu and Sarawak.

The country’s oil reserves can last until 2017 if there is no new discovery.

Apart from local exploration and production, Petronas has operations in 30 other countries as equity partners with some major international oil and gas players.

Ku Li, don't be a kuli. Stand out to be a master!

The irony about the Kelantan prince

I am writing from a political point of view and my writings do not affiliate to any party. Let me point out that this is not an anti-Ku Li article, just that it is an opinion and analysis of Ku Li’s recent statements and actions. It seems that Ku Li is a man of contradictions. Well, funny as it may sound, considering he has been consistent in his views about a more just and transparent Malaysia with key institutional reforms in place to bring Malaysia to greater heights and so on and so forth. However, he still believes UMNO is able to reform and he is planning to reform UMNO from within. As you can argue that there are still many ‘good’ people in UMNO who wish to see true and democratic reforms, Ku Li’s stance lately has been also what Pakatan Rakyat has been championing all this while. Isn’t it better for him to join and even lead PR with the likes of Anwar, Zaid and Nizar for a better Malaysia? He firmly stays in UMNO and said that if he is sacked, then he will surely leave. But isn’t this sort of ‘challenging’ the UMNO leadership? Ku Li can’t even obtain more than 1 nomination for the UMNO Presidency apart from his Gua Musang division, notwithstanding the money and patronage factor of Najib of course, but there must be some true and honest divisions out there? Otherwise, since Ku Li can’t even get support from his own party base and grassroots, how to get the majority support of Malaysians in general, seemingly the more liberal non-Malays are supporting his views in reforming Malaysia. But Najib has also managed to gain some strong ground among the Chinese and Indians since he took over from Pak Lah. And lately, Ku Li has been very critical of the government. When asked why so, he would say that he has been critical all this while, but not in this structured, strategised manner. Ku Li is a politician after all. And as politicians, strategy is vital. It seems that he has been able to ‘hijack’ a group of youngsters in promoting an agenda of liberalization and reformation in nation-building. Organizations such as IDEAS and even YCMS have managed to bring Ku Li in for their opening remarks, even attracting bright upstarts such as Omar Mustapha (thereby creating a rift between Ku Li and Najib, or was it on purpose and deliberately planned? Since Najib is quiet about the issue but Muhyiddin is making an issue of Ku Li’s loyalty) and many of the Oxbridge/Ivy League groupies. In his blog, Razaleigh has always been stressing in the rule of law, integrity, transparency and good governance (very synonymous with the ideals of Anwar Ibrahim). Yet they are political rivals and yet, Ku Li acknowledges Anwar’s achievement that Anwar has been able to attain to some degree of significant support from the Malaysian public. Ku Li, just like Anwar may be a good preacher in values and ideals, but there are no concrete suggestions and practical implementations in the pipeline that he has planted. Yes, he is involved in the drafting of the Petroleum Development Act, but as a Law professor recently say, the Act itself may be against the Constitution and isn’t the Act itself discriminatory? And did Ku Li know about the incident of the plane crash involving those Sabahan leaders who were killed just before the signing and suddenly about one week later, the new crop of Sabah leaders agreed to the 5% royalty. The elusive question is: Did Sabahans request for more than 5%? This Ku Li should shed some light. Also, he tried to throw the so-called discovery of “new oil-fields” into the limelight by stressing that the newly discovered huge oil resource should be well managed lest it be lost to the future generation forever. The question again, why the revelation? What interest does it spark? Ku Li did not tell the whole story. But what irked the most logical brain matter would be his deed in leaving RPK as collateral damage in the Sept 16, 2008 formation of a new federal government. As RPK said in his lengthy article entitled, “Zahrain, please tell the whole story” it is clear that Ku Li is very much involved in this whole mess. First, there was a comment posting in his blog requesting that he comes out clear with the Altantuya issue and that his PA, John Pang has briefed RPK about the goings-on in the corridors of power. So why is John or even Ku Li himself refused to answer this serious allegation that RPK has posted? Why hide or deny in obscurity? True to Ku Li’s fashion, they abandon RPK like hot potato and collateral damage just because Ku Li did not want to kow-tow to Dr M in setting up a Presidential Council to guide the new PM. Is this a good enough reason? Why must Ku Li get the blessings of Dr M? Besides, if Ku Li really wants to become the PM, why not appease Dr M and then once he is up there, he can do whatever he wants, including hauling Dr M and his cronies to court on the pretext of them ‘bankrupting’ Malaysia. Then, not only Ku Li will even surpass Pak Lah as the hero and icon of freedom and democracy, he will also get to seek ‘revenge’ and ‘redemption’ on his removal from UMNO after the fallout with Dr M – the split of UMNO in the 80s to form UMNO Baru and S46. And the biggest irony of all dissolved S46 and rejoined UMNO, again with Dr M’s blessings. This goes to show only one thing: it still appears that Ku Li is still losing out to Dr M. As Hishamuddin Rais has said once, “Entah kali keberapa Ku Li dijadikan kuda tunggangan oleh Mahathir Muhamad.” What RPK’s wife, Marina did (i.e. in asking Ku Li to f*** off) after the ‘derailment’ of the 16 Sept plan makes perfect sense. RPK views Ku Li as a shimmering White Knight who is probably the more acceptable leader in both BN and PR to form a unity govt of sorts, but what has Ku Li given in to? Instead of championing for the good of the cause, he is denying that he is part of the pact of the takeover plan, that he is not for sale and that he is loyal to UMNO. Isn’t this mind-boggling? While we already know and can foresee people like Zul Noordin, Tan Tee Beng and Zahrain’s stand sooner or later, they will be Independents and even BN-friendly materials, Ku Li is a different story altogether. He is seen as a voice of reason in UMNO and the champion for his state in fighting for its rights especially in the financial matters, and now even bringing it to Terengganu, Sabah and Sarawak on the pretext of it not only involved Kelantan but the whole country, where oil reserves are found. So will the real Ku Li please stand up? Even RPK did not name your name but just referred to you as just ‘this man’. I think with all the ‘controversies’ surrounding himself, Ku Li still has some reservations as to whether he should keep it to himself or reveal it to the public. There are many more issues which he is well aware of, such as the Dato’ Kadar Shah and Manohara and Tengku Temenggung issue. In short, what this piece is trying to put forward is while it is in his good intentions to promote a better Malaysia, free from corruption and transgressions, shouldn’t he be the first in promoting it by not only preaching it but rather practicing and implementing it? This is why Ku Li has the stumbling block to move ahead. He realized he is running old and time is running out for him to become Malaysia’s next PM, after all, who knows if he is harboring on the theory of RAHMAN and RAZAK where the first R in RAZAK belongs to Razaleigh? So much of prophesized theories. Ku Li is first and foremost a politician after all and in politics, it is about the attainment of power as RPK said. With this attitude of just beating around the bush, Ku Li is just wasting time or should I say, buying time while something is brewing higher up in the political circles. Finally I am not against Ku Li becoming a PM or PM-designate. It is just that he needs to come clean and true on the various links and exposes related to him, notably the ones exposed by RPK. So back to you Ku Li and I hope you won’t stay silent anymore and be a real gentleman! Cheerio!


Raja Petra Kamarudin
Zahrain sparks off verbal hullabaloo
Making his debut in Parliament as an independent member, Bayan Baru parliamentarian Zahrain Hashim made a loud entrance of sorts rousing the house into a shouting match between both sides of the divide.
The episode began serenely enough when the independent parliamentarian began his maiden parliament speech. But the ruckus he kicked up as he went along in an already all too volatile parliament was anything but serene.
Zahrain's speech on the reasons why he left PKR raised the ire of Pakatan Rakyat members of Parliament when he related his version of events leading up to September 16, 2008, the date when Pakatan Rakyat de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim said the opposition would take over the federal government.
The spark that ignited the powder keg of parliamentary fireworks was his allegation that Pakatan representatives were 'told to be on stand-by in Parliament' on September 16 to take over the legislature. He claimed that the Pakatan parliamentarians were told that 'they had the support of the army and the consent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Zahrain's claim prompted Anwar, who is opposition parliamentary leader, to stand up and say that Zahrain was 'only after power and riches'. Anwar then walked out of the chambers.
What followed next was a barrage of hoots from BN representatives accusing Anwar of not being able to take the heat and counter-retorts by Pakatan parliamentarians deriding Zahrain for what they said were false claims.
Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker Ronald Kiandee joined in the fray reminding everyone that according to the standing orders, institutions of the state, which included the Agong and judges, could not be brought into the discussion unless there was a motion on them. He was alluding to Zahrain's claims about the Agong and the military.
The verbal hullabaloo expanded with both sides making much noise and wild claims as many parliamentarians interjected - whether given way by Zahrain or not - to say their piece. Amongst the most vocal were Batu MP Tian Chua, Padang Serai MP N Gobalakrishnan and Sri Gading MP Mohamad Aziz.
However, the wet-market atmosphere ended when Kiandee adjourned the Dewan Rakyat until 10am tomorrow. -- Malaysiakini, 17 March 2010
That was what Malaysiakini reported today. Actually, there is some truth in what Zahrain Hashim said so I feel Anwar Ibrahim should not have walked out of Parliament. By doing so it would appear like Zahrain had struck a raw nerve, which actually he had I suppose. But then Anwar should not reveal this. Play poker lah, like me. Smile and wait for your time to strike back. Aiyah, Anwar, bad poker player lah.
As I said, Zahrain did not totally lie. And the fact that Zahrain raised this matter in Parliament makes the allegation very serious. You do not lie in Parliament. So Zahrain did not lie. He just left out many other facts in his statement in Parliament today.
It is true the opposition had been told -- or at least some of us had been told -- that the military and the Agong were on ‘stand by’ to swear in the new government. Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was supposed to have been ousted back in 2008 and a new man was supposed to take over as Prime Minister of Malaysia.
But this new Prime Minister was not supposed to be Anwar. It was going to be another person, an Umno man. And this Umno man is not Najib. It was going to be some other person. And Zahrain, of course, knows this, although he did not say so in Parliament today.
The plot goes as follows. I was asked to meet a certain person named Bul, short for Bulat. All the ‘old boys’ of the Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK) know whom I am talking about. Tan Sri Megat Najmuddin Megat Khas -- that Umno man from the Umno Disciplinary Board who called me his brother and advised me to return to Malaysia and clear by name in court -- also knows who Bul is and what I am talking about.
Anyway, Bul and I had our first meeting at La Bordega in Jalan Telawi in Bangsar. My wife was also present, as was a fourth person who sat there without opening his mouth and without saying a single word, as if he was a member of the KGB (yeap, figure that one out).
Bul then told me the story about Rosmah Mansor, her ADC Lt Kolonel Norhayati Hassan, and Norhayai’s husband, also holding the rank of Lt Kolonel, and trained in the use of C4, were at the scene of the crime the night Altantuya was murdered. (I got this ‘trained in the use of C4’ bit confirmed by another person, the army Kolonel who conducted the training, so I was quite satisfied that this information is correct).
I asked Bul what he wanted me to do about this information. “Expose it,” replied Bul.
I told Bul if I do that they would certainly arrest me and send me to jail. Bul promised me if that happens then they would come forward to testify. They would not allow me to be sent to jail, Bul assured me. They will come to my aid and make sure that the truth is revealed.
After the meeting my wife told me to forget it. It is too risky, my wife said. So I did nothing.
Bul then requested another meeting and this time we met in the Selangor Club for lunch on a Sunday. That same mysterious ‘KGB’ man was there, as was my wife. Bul asked me whether I was going to act on the information he gave me and I replied, no. I was not sure whether this information is true.
Bul assured me it is true. He has read the Military Intelligence report that they sent to Prime Minister Pak Lah, Bul assured me.
I looked at my wife who shook her head. Bul told my wife not to worry. Bul said he offers his guarantee that I would come to no harm. This is dynamite and Pak Lah will fall because he knows about it yet he keeps quiet. And Najib will also fall so Malaysia will get a new Prime Minister. Then we can talk about forming a unity government with Pakatan Rakyat and maybe offer Anwar the post of Deputy Prime Minister.
Against my wife’s advice I told Bul I would do it. But he must back me up when the shit hits the fan. No problem, Bul said. Kol Azmi, the number two in the Special Branch of the MIO has a copy of the report that was sent to Pak Lah and he is waiting to come forward to expose the whole thing.
Bul wanted to know when I would do it and I replied maybe I would write my article the following day. No, no article, Bul said. An article is not good enough. It must be a Statutory Declaration. The government can just ignore an article. But the government can’t ignore a Statutory Declaration. So it must be a Statutory Declaration.
In the meantime, my wife and I met Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad a couple of times to check whether he is agreeable to the new candidate for Prime Minister or whether he would prefer for Najib to take over. (Tan Sri Sanusi Junid can confirm this). Dr Mahathir gave us the impression that he is not in favour of Najib and that he is agreeable to the man named by Bul.
So we arranged for this man to meet Dr Mahathir and they met a few times. Dr Mahathir also sent Datuk Andrew Leong to meet this man to seal the deal. I, in fact, arranged for the meeting between Andrew Leong and this man. I also sat in on the meeting.
The deal was struck. I would sign my Statutory Declaration. Pak Lah would be ousted. Najib would be blocked from taking over. And the new Prime Minister would take over with Dr Mahathir’s blessing.
Along the way, however, something went wrong. The candidate for new Prime Minister was asked to confirm that he agrees to the setting up a Presidential Council once he becomes Prime Minister. And the Presidential Council, headed by Dr Mahathir, will ‘guide’ the new Prime Minister.
This candidate for new Prime Minister said no. If he becomes Prime Minister then he will decide how this country is going to be run. He is not going to become a puppet Prime Minister with the Presidential Council as the real power behind the throne. Dr Mahathir, in fact, announced during a meeting with about 1,000 Umno members in the Singgahsana Hotel in Petaling Jaya that this Presidential Council will be set up and the next Prime Minister will answer to it.
When this man said no, Dr Mahathir dumped him and turned to Najib. Najib was back in and this other man was out of the picture. But shit, in the meantime I had already signed the Statutory Declaration that was supposed to not only get Pak Lah ousted but disqualify Najib as well.
I was now an embarrassment to them. They needed Najib after all since this other man did not agree to the Presidential Council while Najib did. So they needed to clear Najib’s name. And, to do that, they have to bring me down.
And that, dear readers, is why I am in this predicament. I was supposed to be the catalyst to get rid of Pak Lah and to block Najib from taking over. But the deal went sour. And this other man who was supposed to take over was sidelined. And I was given the ‘red card’ and sent off the field.
And that made my wife fucking mad. When I was detained under the Internal Security Act, Bul phoned my wife and said that this man wanted to meet her. My wife told Bul to tell this man to go fuck himself and hung up the phone.
My wife then went to meet Anwar to tell him the whole story, most of which Anwar already knew. Anwar then went to meet this man, who was supposed to be the new Prime Minister but did quite not make it. Anwar told him that I signed that Statutory Declaration because they asked me to do so. And that was supposed to clear the way for this man, instead of Najib, to take over as Prime Minister.
But he did not dare come forward to reveal what really happened and why I signed that Statutory Declaration. My wife then insisted that Anwar go to court to meet me and tell me in person, which Anwar did. I knew then that they had abandoned me as ‘collateral damage’ and that I was now on my own.
Anyway, I related this story to the Special Branch, which was recorded. I was supposed to then sign my statement, the normal procedure when they take your statement during ISA detention.
But they never allowed me to sign my statement. On the day I was supposed to sign my statement they sent me off to Kamunting. I am probably the only ISA detainee who was not made to sign his statement. Clearly they are afraid of allowing me to sign my statement lest the government falls one day and this statement falls into the hands of a new government.
Datuk Zambri Ahmad, that senior man in the Special Branch who was in charge of my interrogation, knows exactly what I am talking about. He also confirmed he personally knows Kolonel Azmi, the number two in the Special Branch of the MIO whom I am talking about.
So Zahrain did not lie in Parliament today. What he told Parliament about the military and the Agong being on stand by to swear in the new government is true. Zahrain just did not tell Parliament the whole story. And I have just filled in the missing pieces of the jigsaw puzzle.
Thanks Zahrain. By raising the matter in Parliament this has allowed me to add to your story. Muchos gracias.

NB: This ‘man’ is without a doubt Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, the UMNO MP for Gua Musang. Bul or Bulat sounds more like Bull or Bullshit! When the shits hit the fan, semua nak cuci tangan and absolve one’s responsibility and leave the poor one (i.e. RPK) who did all the shit to continue to be in deep shit, what the fuck!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

(Mathaba News Agency) The 3 main mobile phone networks in Malaysia have been found to be cheating clients on a large scale

Malaysia's DiGi mobile phone telco is cheating its subscribers by an estimated half billion Malaysian dollars a year.

Tests show that the unscrupulous cell phone operator is sending calls to voice-mail even when the phone is receiving a strong network signal.

Calls being made to DiGi mobiles are routed to voice-mail without any delay whatsoever, thus not allowing for any switching times.

When a client does not respond to calls that DiGi does pass through, the time before being routed to voice-mail is very short, compared to other oversea operators, not allowing the mobile phone user sufficient time to answer incoming calls before the caller is routed to voice-mail.

Each time a call is routed to voice mail from a Digi phone, the caller is billed 12 cents, and charges for calls routed to DiGi voicemail from other operators may be even higher.

The company robs users double in many cases, as Digi users are forced to call their voicemail, again whilst being billed, in order to retrieve messages left by callers who would have otherwise reached the subscribers handset, were it not for the tweaking of systems to route callers to voicemail.

The costs to overseas callers into Malaysia are estimated to be several billion dollars per year.

Moreover the company has been found to be billing subscribers for services that were cancelled, such as the monthly Internet service for post-paid business companies, at 68 Malaysian dollars per month.

The company requests that cancellations are faxed to them, but then does not proceed to cancel and continues to bill for those services.

DiGi pre-paid mobile charging is however fairer than the other operators, in that although charged at a rate of 10 cents per 10 kb, as soon as $5 Malaysian is reached, there is no further charge for the day. If more than 100MB data is transferred in a day, the speed may be throttled.

Mathaba advises DiGi users to call customer service on 016-2211800 to demand deactivation of voice-mail, as well as requesting to prolong your calling tone. Users are also advised not to subscribe to any special caller ringing tones as these may not be prolonged.

DiGi has some 8 million subscribers in Malaysia making up a little over a quarter of the total mobile phone subscriber base in the country and is 49% owned by Telenor.

Mathaba has found extensive cheating by all 3 large Malaysian mobile telcos, which rate worse than those of its neighbors Singapore and Thailand.

Unlike its two neighbours to the north and south, the Malaysian mobile Internet is both unreliable and costly, much of the time failing to perform, with 3G and 3.5G having slower actual throughput speeds than Thailand's EDGE.

Calls on Skype phone from mobiles on Celcom and Maxis proved generally impossible according to tests conducted, whilst Digi's EDGE performed reliably even for Skype voice calls, similar to Thailand where 3G is generally not available due to licensing issues.

Digi is now starting to operate 3G and 3.5G broadband which we have not yet tested, but provides good GPRS/EDGE coverage, whilst Maxis and Celcom provide mobile broadband services that extensively rip off subscribers as is being reported in other news articles.

Users of mobile operators in Malaysia are invited to leave comments below, and the Telcos are urged to redress this situation, provide a working customer service without cost to subscribers and to compensate users for failure to provide services billed for.

Digi is called upon to provide exact and verifiable figures and come clean about its revenue from voice mail, how many calls are routed to voice mail each day, its switching policies and technical parameters, and to make it easy for its users to opt out of the service by default.

Technicians and employees of the company who wish to share further information in confidence, may make use of our secure contact form - communications via this form is encrypted and not visible to ISP nor telco within Malaysia.

written by onnetline, March 24, 2010 12:01:42
The MCMC heads are part of the whole scam as it's more ' profitable ' just sounding stern rather than taking actions against these cash rich telco cheats !


written by Littlebird, March 24, 2010 11:55:04
Same problem with Celcom. Not only that they have even disabled the call divert function from the sim card so you have to call the customer service to disable ur voice mail which somehow mysteriously get reactivated after sometime. And what is worse, the voice mail will keep calling you until you answer incurring the 12sen charges.

INSAP hisap sampai lesap

Wah Lau, I know what Ong Ka Ting's chief strategist did last summer
Sunday, 21 March 2010 admin-s

Ong Ka Ting has a think-tank and it is headed by Tan Sri Lau Yin Pin, the former MCA treasurer-general and chairman of INSAP, the party's official think-tank. But just who the hell is this guy?

By Chiseled Rock

Beneath the veneer of calmness, this bespectacled man from Terengganu is a cunning and greedy man. Everyone knows he has been given a litany of directorships from Ka Ting, including Star chairman, Tenaga board, Koperasi Serbaguna Malaysia, Kojadi, Huaren, etc. That makes him the perfect bagman for Ka Ting, the MCA president who screwed up MCA and now wants to screw it a second time. As Star chairman, he received an annual salary of RM200,000. Combined with income from the other companiess, he can afford to buy one bungalow every month, with a swimming pool thrown in.

But was Lau Yin Pin satisfied with what he was getting? Of course not. Between 2006 and 2008, he siphoned off RM3 million from Huaren Holdings, of which he was the chairman, to set up five companies, MIRC Incubator Sdn Bhd, MIRC Ingenious Technopreneur Venture Management Sdn Bhd, Byte One Technology Sdn Bhd, MIRC Ingenious Capital Partners Sdn Bhd and Xtrain Sdn Bhd. (see documents attached).

It was a perfect scam. Corroborating with Tan Sri Lau's and Ka Ting's cronies, they conned MCA of millions of ringgit. Now, these MCA-linked companies have either been sold off or are in various stages of being shut down. Anyway, IT companies are no-go for a political party. Why the hell does MCA want to invest in IT companies? The money could have been used for education or providing soft loans to businesses.

Next, is the Utar land issue in Section 13, PJ. When Tan Sri Lau was the Star chairman, he had wanted to develop the newspaper's old office (which now houses Utar University) into a commercial area. This includes a convention centre. Only God knows why MCA, Star or Utar needs a convention centre when there's already a glut in Malaysia (think KLCC, PICC, MINES, Sime Darby, etc).

When the stupid Ong Tee Keat's bagman Clement Hii took over The Star, he revised the project to house Star's radio units, Utar campus and hostels. Of course, Tan Sri Lau filpped and threw a fit of fury because he can no longer reward his cronies. So he leaked to the Sin Chew group of newspapers false news about how Clement Hii wanted to shut Utar when Tan Sri Lau was the one who wanted to fleece Star.

But then again, is anyone surprised? Tan Sri Lau has a lot of experience in land scams. In 2005, Tan Sri Lau made a false declaration to the Klang land office about a land application in Kg Perepat, Kapar, Klang. He had never stayed in that plot of land, but in so doing, had denied a poor Indian family who had been staying there of a roof over their heads. The MACC had opened up a file on this and are closing in after the Pakatan-controlled Selangor government came up with strong evidence of cheating.


Tuesday, 23 March 2010 admin-s

What do think-tanks do? For starters, they are supposed to come up with position papers that would put their funders in a better position to deal with future challenges.

Unless, of course, if it is INSAP, a think-tank run by MCA, in which case the top priority would be to hold weekly badminton practices and reward cronies. When Ong Ka Ting was the MCA president, that was precisely what happened.

By Chiselled Stone

Run by a woman he co-opted from the American Chambers of Commerce (AMCHAM), the only KPI Ong Ka Ting set for INSAP was how many namecards the staff can collect each week from cocktail parties especially in the diplomatic circuit.

Every Friday, INSAP would book badminton courts at the Bt Kiara Sports Complex, a short distance from Damansara Jaya, where Ong Ka Ting lives. Joining them of course, was Wendy Ong, Ka Ting's second wife.

Besides that AMCHAM woman (who doesn't play although she could shed more than a few pounds just by lifting the racquets), is Rita Sim, Ka Ting's proxy in Sin Chew newspaper which hooked the AMCHAM woman to Ka Ting. Both knew the importance of taking care of MCA's First Lady, in the same way Umno boys suck up to Rosmah.

Besides sporting events, INSAP has also become an ATM for Ka Ting's cronies. One of them is his ex-press secretary, Ng Kian Nam, who went on to join the elder Ong in the Housing and Local Government Ministry.

One day, Kian Nam the smart alec leaked to Bernama and Sin Chew Daily that his own boss, Ka Chuan had tendered a resignation letter as Minister to new dickhead MCA president Ong Tee Keat. Kian Nam thought he was doing his boss a favour. It backfired and for that Kian Nam was given the boot - and a hefty pay rise!!

He ended up in the MCA HQ's political education centre, but draws a five-figure salary from INSAP, which is chaired by Kapar land-grabber Tan Sri Lau Yin Pin.

Another crony who draws a salary from INSAP is the guy who runs the life long learning centre. The lawyer, who claims to be doing voluntary work in the centre, was actually paid RM12,000 a month from INSAP. On top of that, his firm got tonnes of lucrative conveyancing jobs for housing projects from the Housing and Local Government Ministry.

What about position papers? Of course INSAP did some work in that department too. It came up with the life long learning idea to turn a political party into a centre for career-minded people to further their education. Political work? MCA kept that aside, of course during Ong Ka Ting's time.

And oh yeah, it also came up with a brillant idea during the 308 general election campaign. The theme? Plead to voters to understand that political table-thumping is a no-go compared with subservience and behind-closed-doors dialogues. Wonderful.

Still wondering why March 8 happened? All because Ong Ka Ting bothered listening to INSAP.

Datuk Lee Kah Choon's comments

Reinvest in Penang, federal government told
By Sheridan Mahavera

PENANG, March 24 — “Penang is being pulled down by Malaysia,” claims investPenang executive committee chairman Datuk Lee Kah Choon.

By that he means the Putrajaya-centric Federal government who, he reveals in an interview with The Malaysian Insider, crafts policy that woefully ignores the state’s potential to be a money-spinner for the country.

He makes the case for how Penang should get as much attention as other states because the money that is made here can be used to fund roads and bridges elsewhere.

Lee lays out how more than any other state, Penang has become a primary component in the engine of Malaysia’s economy.

Its sprawling industrial zones house the regional centres for international giants such as Intel, AMD and Motorola.

Two-thirds of medical tourism revenue goes to Penang and it contributes 10 per cent of the nation’s GDP.

Penang’s industrial base is expected to expand further when the 26-km second Penang bridge links Batu Kawan south of Butterworth to Batu Maung on the island. This will encourage heavy industries to set up shop in those areas, says Lee.

But in its drive to quickly move up the value chain by concentrating more on high tech industries and research, Lee says Penang is constrained by the Federal government.

And this leads him to propose a controversial idea that has been raised in the debate of how to fairly distribute funds and manage development between the Federal government and other revenue-rich but remote states such as Terengganu and Sabah.

InvestPenang executive committee chairman Lee Kah Choon believes the Federal government should reinvest in Penang. — Pictures by Choo Choy May

Q: Could you briefly introduce us to investPenang?

A: InvestPenang is a company to facilitate investment in Penang. We started only in manufacturing but when I took over we expanded to include all businesses — education, services, (the) medical industry, tourism and property development.

We are currently attracting multinational companies to set up their regional offices here as we want to develop Penang into an international city. We want to attract the best foreign talent and get them to bring their families so we have to look at all aspects such as the best schools and best health care.

Q: How is Penang doing economically?

A: Penang is a place where you should put your money in. A business-minded person would put his money in Penang so that he can get a better return. That’s why the Federal government should put more attention in Penang. The one ringgit that you put here... the returns are higher than if you have put that money in Iskandar (Iskandar Development Region, Johor) or Pahang.

I’m not saying that other states should not get development. All I’m saying is that Penang should not be neglected but this does not mean it needs all the money. It’s more fine tuning and to provide an environment for investment so that you can get money to develop other areas.

Q: But if Penang, as you have pointed out, is so developed why does it need Federal government help?

A: If you have several engines of growth in Malaysia then you need to take care of them. Let’s say you have four engines and Penang is one of them. You should pay attention to all four. I’m not saying pay attention to one and ignore the others. Don’t neglect any of the four and don’t put the money in the fuselage or somewhere else that doesn’t provide movement.

Q: But does this engine need more funds because it seems to be roaring on its own?

A: Of course when it comes to money there’s never too much of it. What I’m saying is that the money should be put in the right place.

We might not need roads but maybe an LRT line from the airport to the tourist belt. I need money to lift the infrastructure to the next level, in order for us to compete with other cities to attract investment to Penang which goes to Malaysia. Which can then be used to fund roads in Kuantan.

I might not necessarily need that much money. But if you give me a good transport system where if I stand at a bus stop, the bus arrives in five minutes then it’s good enough.

So I’m not just talking about money. I’m talking about attention and the willingness to do things honestly and sincerely.

Because at the end of the day, if Penang succeeds all the income, corporate tax and income goes to the Federal government. If you have a gem but you don’t use it, its a waste.

Q: Is this lack of attention an obstacle to going up that high value chain?

A: There is still a lot of room for improvement and sometimes due to political considerations things are not done the way that they should be done.

A simple example is the heritage city. When I was in Parliament (he was a former parliamentary secretary for the Health ministry), Pak Lah (former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) said the government would give RM50 million for Penang and Malacca but when we checked with the Federal government there was no money. Then they said that the money is there, RM20 million to Penang and RM30 million to Malacca. Then they said it was through Khazanah (Federal government investment arm Khazanah Nasional Berhad). Two questions come to mind.

What criteria are they using to determine these amounts? Is it size? Penang is bigger, so why 20/30? Next question, why are you not giving the money to the state or an organisation under it? We have a World Heritage Office that oversees the heritage site.

Penang has the potential to be a money spinner for the rest of the country. — Pictures by Choo Choy May

Q: So you have not seen one sen of this RM20 million?

A: No. The Federal government says “we are not going to give to you.” It’s going to be parked at Khazanah.

We haven’t seen one sen of the RM20 million. Right now, it’s parked at Khazanah. Since when did Khazanah go into heritage? (It was reported in December 2009 that Khazanah is launching a small grants scheme for stakeholders in the Georgetown heritage site. The scheme will be managed by subsidiary Think City Sdn Bhd.)

Why is Iskandar given special treatment as far as tax is concerned?

So what iI’m trying to say is that when you plan you must get the biggest bang for your buck.

You can put one million in Penang and you can get one million to use for development somewhere else. That should be the logic. We should capitalise on Penang and look at it as part of national development.

A lot of people say if you develop Penang, only the people of Penang will benefit, which is not true. If Penang prospers, it prospers the surrounding areas, like Kedah, Perlis, Northern Perak. As Penang develops, it supplies logistics to other areas such as Kulim Industrial Park (in Kedah). It would not be able to take off or maintain without Penang.

So when you do planning at the central government you have to look at all these considerations in order to develop Malaysia.

In the heat of political differences these things have been overlooked.

Q: Having been in the Federal government and now on the opposite side, does it give you insight into how to overcome these obstacles?

A: The obstacles are the same, whether you are on this side or that side. Even under the same governments, historically, we would get small development grants, just about three per cent (of the national total).

They say we are already developed so you don’t need it. It sounds logical but it’s not. Since you have a big house, your maintenance is also high.

When you are in the same government also it doesn’t mean you do something, it moves. Even if you go up to prime minister level, do you think everything moves? It won’t. I’ve seen it myself.

Q: Talking about moving up the value chain, is Penang moving towards that?

A: We try but we are being pulled down by Malaysia. Penang has the brand but we are being pulled down by Malaysia.

Q: So you’re saying that Penang could attract the best brains just like Singapore, just like Hong Kong, but it can’t because of Malaysia?

A: Because of central policy. It’s very simple. As far as Penang is concerned we are a centre of excellence. Intel, for instance, came here four years after they were founded and they are here until today. Over a period of time we have built up a talent pool of managers and technicians. When they want to open a plant in China they bring people from Penang. Penang is different from KL and even the rest of Malaysia.

Penang is also very international whether you are talking about trading, manufacturing.

But all these talented people are leaving Malaysia. It is not because of Penang, but because of Malaysia. It is a multi-prong brain drain.

Malaysians are being sucked out by Singapore, Australia, United Kingdom and the United States. In the future, may be China and India. So that’s one side, people here are leaving.

Then we are unable to attract people to return unlike Taiwan, China and India. And I think it’s because we don’t have the heart and passion to bring them back.

More than any other state, Penang has become the primary component in the engine of Malaysia’s economy. — Pictures by Choo Choy May

Q: Even with all these (government) programmes to recruit the best brains and invite overseas Malaysians back?

A: That’s just talk only. When they come back, there are 1,001 things to frustrate them. There’s so much bureaucracy. A simple example, your SPM (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia) must have Bahasa Malaysia. They also find it hard to carry out their trade.

You have to keep in mind that these people are already making tons of money overseas and they are already established. To decide to come back is already an issue and when you come back, there are so many fences for you to clear, so what is the attraction?

Then there are the scholarships; you give 2,000 out but there are no follow-ups. When these graduates come back, do they have proper jobs? They are being given out without human resource projections. For example, you send 500 people out because in five years you want to develop bio-technology, so that when they come back they will have these jobs. Does the government do that?

Penang has the place but there are no people to stay and staff these positions.

So the system is Federal. So how can Penang move up the value chain? How can the country move up the value chain?

Penang has the foundation. We are short-handed when it comes to the high-end technical posts. But because of the policy we can’t retain them we can’t attract them. We have the positions but the people for them are working overseas.

So is Malaysia not pulling Penang down?

Q: Because these policies are not decided with Penang in mind.

A: So that’s why I say that de-centralisation is the way forward.

The more you make, the more you must reinvest. But if you have a Federal government that does not make policies with this in mind, then Penang suffers and central government suffers long term. Worse still, they take the money from you and snub you. Like Terengganu and Sabah at one time.

When we joined the federation we joined to prosper together. When you take all our money you must plan to use the money wisely and give back to the people.

That’s why I feel that de-centralisation in the sense of more say and a fairer distribution of income is the way forward. The money should come back to the state because the state knows what it needs.

Penang is pulling more than its weight when it comes to contributing towards Malaysia. But you have to reinvest, you can’t expect the goose that lays the golden egg to lay eggs without feeding it.

I agree with the Federalism philosophy where you use the rich to help the poor. But in order to create the wealth to help the poor, you have to reinvest into your profit centre.

We have to have more say in how funds are used, in terms of development how they carry projects in these states.

We have been chasing something else and something we don’t know and neglecting what we already have.