Sunday, August 30, 2015
Saturday, August 29, 2015
Here is a broad summary:
Why the sell-off
· While China’s growth story and plunging commodity prices may have been at the back of investors’ minds, China surprised markets in early August when it moved to devalue its yuan.
· This fed fears that China was slowing faster than expected and triggered a vicious cycle of capital outflows.
· The capital flight put downward pressure on emerging market (EM) currencies, resulting in weaker import demand and growth and spurring further outflows.
· Investors are now worried that the global economy could plunge into a recession, as EM accounts for about half of global GDP.
· This fear has caused equities to be sold off, led by EM and Asia and spreading to developed markets like the U.S., Europe and Japan.
Posted by Datuk Naim Mohamad at 10:42 PM
Thursday, July 9, 2015
Sunday, June 21, 2015
Posted by Datuk Naim Mohamad at 3:52 PM
Monday, May 11, 2015
EXCESSES: The unresolved BMF scandal looms large even while some seek answers to the 1MDB puzzle In researching my subject I came across an article that I wrote for the Australian Journal of Public Administration in December 1999, titled “Malaysia Incorporated: Ethics on Trial”, as well as a paper that I delivered to the International Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, London on March 19-20, 2001 titled “Has Reform Revived the Miracle?” I struck some historical nugget of information about Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s outrageously questionable ventures that many may have forgotten. I believe it is important for our youth to know something about the Dr Mahathir years. For example, the country’s oldest English language broadsheet, the New Straits Times, felt constrained to editorialise on Sept 23, 1978, no doubt more in sorrow than in anger, “there was once a time when a Malaysian could indulge in a little smile of condescension when stories of corruption in developing countries, other countries of course, were entirely justified: virtually every aspect of administration was clean, abuse of power unheard of, departmental morale was high, public confidence was vibrant. For whatever reason, the present conditions have called forth a litany of exhortation against corruption”. The nostalgic “there was once a time” was a pointed reference to the administration of the first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, to whom service before self was an important personal creed. Soon after Dr Mahathir took over the reins of government, a horrendous financial scandal engulfed Bank Bumiputra Berhad, incorporated in 1978 as the vehicle to launch the Malays into business. Touted as the “flagship” of the New Economic Policy, by 1988 it had assets worth more than US$15 billion (RM54 billion). Moving aggressively into overseas ventures, lending recklessly to politically well-connected companies and individuals, many of them possessed neither the capacity nor the intention of repaying the loans. The bank shifted large sums of money to its wholly-owned subsidiary, Bumiputra Malaysia Finance Limited (BMF), which in turn lent in total close to US$1 billion to a Hong Kong $2 company called Plessey Investment Limited and another, Carrian Investment Limited. George Tan, the man behind Carrian, within months of the BMF money going through the books, ran his company into the ground. Billions disappeared into thin air. In Malaysia a committee of inquiry was set up, headed by Datuk Ahmad Nordin, the fearless auditor general whose report stopped just short of naming senior members of government who had profited from the loan disbursements. Nordin recommended that criminal proceedings be instituted against those involved. No such action took place in Malaysia. In Hong Kong, criminal action was taken under the law against the crooks as soon as the scandal broke. Scapegoats or, to use the modern expression, fall guys were quickly identified and “persuaded” to fall on their swords. One of them was Lorrain Osman, the then chairman of BMF, who went into exile in England. In Malaysia, Dr Mahathir’s studied indifference served to reinforce suspicions of high-level complicity. The most damning indictment was the claim made by a Hong Kong lawyer that BMF and its parent, Bank Bumiputra Malaysia Berhad, accepted an arrangement based on incestuous relations between senior politicians and bank officers and that his client simply carried out orders (Clad 1989:53). This, as to be expected, was never proven in Malaysia. I have highlighted just one incident that I was prepared to treat in a spirit of charity as an aberration. A few years ago, before he died, I met Lorrain in the company of my old friend, Datuk Yunus Rais, in London and over a meal asked Lorrain who was behind the Carrian affair? He asked me whether I thought that he alone could have made the decision to move billions of US dollars without instructions from “high above”? I had the answer I had been after all those years. In a more open and accountable society, the wrongdoers would not only have been dragged through the courts, but the government, too, would have been brought down. We need to find all the answers to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) financial conundrum, and the prime minister has done the right thing by getting the auditor general to investigate the operations of the company. Before we deliver a guilty verdict, let us exhaust all investigations and other avenues before we call anyone to account. We will, in our current climate of openness, get a lot faster to the bottom of 1MDB’s shortcomings, if indeed there are problems, than we got out of the investigations into financial and other excesses during the lost ethical years when Dr Mahathir was prime minister. (In the writing of this article, I have used information from the works of Gale, B; Clad; Jomo, K.S.; Hussein, S.A.; and the ‘New Straits Times’ Sept 23, 1978. I am indebted to them all.) The writer is a director of International Institute of Public Ethics and board member of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.
Read More : http://www.nst.com.my/node/82921
Posted by Datuk Naim Mohamad at 11:33 AM
Friday, April 24, 2015
In an old fable by Aesop, a hungry fox noticed a bunch of juicy grapes hanging from a vine. After several failed attempts to reach the grapes, the fox gave up and insisted that he didn't want them anyway because they were probably sour.
Nowadays when somebody expresses sour grapes, it means that they put down something simply because they can't have it.
Merriam-Webster - unfair criticism that comes from someone who is disappointed about not getting something.
The phrase is often used incorrectly as another way to express bitterness or resentment.
My friend once told me that in his country there was a powerful politician who ruled the country for many years, more than two decades. He introduced the heavy industry policy which is not a success story. Others are successful but the company that he is now the Chairman of the Board is not doing so well. He complains of other companies that is in the same activity that is doing very well serving the people including holders of approved permits. He is very bitter and full of resentment.
My friend’s friend told me that he grooms one young dynamic activist into his party and his government. This guy looks religious, brings Islamic values it seems. But did not practice what he preached. Trust him to look after education portfolio and screwed up. Trusted him to look after the economy and nearly sold out the country. The Bursa plummeted and plunges to diminishing values. He allowed this guy to climb the ladders of power and until his own position was at stake, he had to uproot the seed he planted, he is still bitter and full of resentment.
Another friend told me that he got a close friend who in good times do business and in bad times receives salary from the government and look after money. There are a lot of private tied business going on. Lucrative projects gone into private hands. Utility services palmed out to friends. National assets becomes privately owned. And some are stripped. The majority suffered in the hands of the few. When these is being reversed, where the people comes first instead of the few. When a special purpose government vehicle bought over these activities to benefit the people in the long run, he is very bitter and full of resentment.
A colleague told me that once he had a friend who he appointed as the Secretary General of his party. During that guy’s tenure, he allowed his party to be deregistered and forms a new party. This is actually the result of wanting to maintain political influence when a majority of the party members are against him. There is an occasion when he offered himself to be voted as a delegate to the General Assembly but was not chosen by the division. And blaming others for his debacle. He is still bitter and full of resentment about it.
Another friend told me that people die of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), his political career and government dominance ended because of AIDS. Nobody asks him to resign, that country is heading the Non Aligned Movement and also chairing the Organization of Islamic Conference, a powerful and influential period. But GOD almighty is great, he is not GOD. In no particular reference to Ai or D or S. the power succumbs to the acquired immune deficiency syndrome. And he is still bitter and full of resentment.
Another friend told me that because of all these bitterness and resentment, he is deaf to logic, blind to political realities and not so dumb to be criticizing and criticizing and criticizing his predecessors and successors. Sour Grapes.
Posted by Datuk Naim Mohamad at 7:29 AM
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
TAHUKAH anda? pada zaman pentadbiran bekas Perdana Menteri Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, ada lapan individu pernah mendesak beliau meletakkan jawatan sekitar tahun 1987, kira-kira enam tahun selepas beliau menjadi Perdana Menteri.
Pada ketika itu pun, Dr Mahathir tidak mempedulikan desakan tersebut dan terus menjadi Perdana Menteri selama 22 tahun sebelum meletakkan jawatan pada 2003.
Terdapat lapan individu yang pernah mendesak beliau meletakkan jawatan sebagai Perdana Menteri yang pernah diperkatakan iaitu Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, Bekas Timbalan Perdana Menteri Tun Musa Hitam, Bekas Perdana Menteri Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim dan Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar.
Baki mereka yang mahu Dr Mahathir meletakkan jawatan ialah Bekas Menteri Penerangan Tan Sri Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir dan Datuk Seri Shahrir Abdul Samad dan bekas Menteri Perusahaan Awam Datuk Abdul Manan Othman.
Kebanyakan daripada individu itu merupakan anggota awal Parti Semangat 46 dipimpin Tengku Razaleigh. Parti itu ditubuhkan selepas Dr Mahathir enggan meletakkan jawatan biarpun didesak.
Daripada beberapa laman blog, ada mengatakan bahawa Dr Mahathir merupakan Perdana Menteri yang paling banyak menerima desakan untuk melepaskan jawatan.
Tetapi beliau berkata “Saya tidak pernah didesak letak jawatan sepanjang jadi Perdana Menteri,” kenyataan yang dipetik The Edge baru-baru ini.
Antara kejadian yang menyebabkan timbul desakan itu ialah peristiwa Memali, pemilihan Presiden UMNO 1987, pengharaman UMNO pada 1988, kerugian Bank Negara, kes Perwaja Steel dan isu berkaitan pemecatan Bekas Timbalan Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Beliau juga pernah didesak letak jawatan kerana skandal pembelian 88 buah pesawat pejuang jenis Skyhawk pada awal 80-an.
Ia menjadi satu kontroversi kerana dari 88 buah yang dibeli, hanya separuh sahaja boleh digunakan itupun dengan pelbagai masalah teknikal sehingga dikatakan ramai juruterban Tentera Udara Diraja Malaysia (TUDM) hilang atau terbunuh dalam nahas.
Sebenarnya, ia merupakan sesuatu yang biasa bagi seseorang Perdana Menteri itu didesak meletakkan jawatan tetapi adakah desakan itu sesuai atau tidak untuk disuarakan.
Dr Mahathir pada ketika itu tidak langsung mengendahkan desakan itu dan terus kekal sebagai Perdana Menteri jadi tidak ada salahnya Perdana Menteri kini Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak untuk mentadbir negara secara tersendiri dan terus kekal.
Tambahan lagi, Najib memperolehi sokongan demi sokongan dari para pemimpin parti komponen Barisan Nasional (BN) dan juga sokongan dari sayap parti dalam UMNO di belakang beliau.
Ia bagi menunjukkan kepimpinan Najib disokong oleh mereka biarpun dikritik secara bertalu-talu oleh Dr Mahathir melalui media, blog dan video ke atas kepimpinan beliau.
Posted by Datuk Naim Mohamad at 3:01 PM
Friday, April 10, 2015
TV3 interviewed me tonight. Here are some key points I wanted to make:
ON THE PASSING OF TAN SRI JAMALUDDIN JARJIS AND DATO’ AZLIN ALIAS
I had the privilege of working with both of these fine public servants and I can tell you that their contribution to the government, to UMNO, and to our country was immeasurable.
They were committed to a strong and prosperous Malaysia, a regional powerhouse that serves as an example for other countries. Whilst we have made significant progress towards this, there is still work to be done.
Within their loss, I am more determined than ever to lead our country towards realising this goal. That is what they would have wanted.
CRITICISM FROM TUN MAHATHIR
I respect Tun Mahathir as I respect every other citizen of this country. It is the rakyat’s right to ask questions of me, to question my performance as Prime Minister, and the performance of the Government I lead.
However, at the end of the day, we are a democracy. I was elected by my party, and by the people of this country, to lead them. As such, I am answerable only to the people – not to any one individual. And if at the next general election, the people want change, they will let us know through the ballot box.
I understand that there is some concern around the introduction of the GST. However, for the long term good of the economy, it is important that we broaden our tax base.
As Prime Minister, it is my responsibility to make the right decisions for all Malaysians, even if it can seem difficult at the time. I believe the introduction of the GST is an important reform that will help us build a stronger, more sustainable and transparent economy.
I have been made aware that some unscrupulous businesses, both big and small, are trying to take advantage of the introduction of GST to increase prices above the 6% rate. This is completely unacceptable.
I have instructed the relevant ministry to step up their enforcement efforts to ensure that any increases introduced by shopkeepers and business owners are in line with the 6% GST rate, and that any abuses of this system which negatively harm the consumer are brought to a halt.
STATE OF ECONOMY
Despite criticism from certain quarters, which damages investor confidence and harms our economy, our economy continues to develop fast and our economic fundamentals remain strong.
However, no country is isolated from global events, and we have already had a taste of the challenges with the falling oil price affecting everything from the ringgit to rubber.
Our economy’s growth and success did not come out of thin air. It came because we made the right decisions for Malaysia. I have always maintained that in politics you have to make the right decisions, not just the easy and populist ones.
At the start of the year, 1MDB came under new leadership, and a strategic review of the business was carried out.
Following its completion, a decision was made to restructure the business, and this process is currently underway.
However, it is important to remember that 1MDB’s assets are greater than its liabilities. So, in very simplistic terms, if 1MDB were to be wound down tomorrow, the company would still have some assets and money left even after paying off all its debt.
At the same time, I recognise that there are a number of questions swirling around 1MDB. Some of these questions are valid, but there are others that appear to be directed at the company solely with the intention of creating controversy.
That is precisely why I have instructed the Auditor General to undertake a comprehensive audit of the company and independently verify its accounts. This report will then be passed on to the Public Accounts Committee, which as you know is a fully bipartisan body for scrutiny.
This should ensure that the process is open and transparent, and all questions that have been asked of the company should be sufficiently and independently answered. Now, we must let the process run its due course.
However, there are certain elements who continue to repeat the same old allegations about 1MDB, more often than not without full knowledge of 1MDB’s affairs.
The people behind these attacks know that they have the potential to damage investor confidence in the country, which in turn would have a negative impact on the economy, but continue to do this. That is irresponsible and putting politics before the national interest.
NEXT GENERAL ELECTION
The result of the next general election will be decided by the people.
What we know is that, as long as BN and UMNO remain united, we will win the election. And that is certainly the case as leaders from Sarawak and Sabah, from the Peninsula, from many different parties in BN have made clear in recent days.
The only way we would lose the election is if there is internal sabotage and bickering, but I am confident that the party would not tolerate any acts of betrayal within it, and will stay united.
You have to bear in mind that circumstances change. From time to time, we need to re-evaluate things, and leaders can change their mind when it comes to doing what is best for the rakyat.
In order to realize our goal of building a stable, peaceful and harmonious state, the Sedition Act has been maintained.
The Sedition Act is not just for Muslims; it is for the protection of all Malaysians. It is aimed at preventing any person who promotes feelings of hostility between persons or groups on the grounds of religion - whether the religion attacked is Christianity, Hinduism, Islam or any of the other faiths Malaysia is proud to be home to.
We will not and cannot stand for the incitement of racial or inter-ethnic conflict. We have come too far to harm the progress that we have made. And that is why the government decided to keep the Sedition Act and amend it to make it a better and more suitable law.
NEW ANTI-TERROR LAWS
I have no greater priority than the safety and security of Malaysians. I take the threat of terrorism very seriously. The new anti-terror laws will help us address the threat that radical and extreme ideologies pose to Malaysia and how we are to stop it.
Contrary to what some are suggesting, these laws will not be used against critics of the government; rather, they will be an extra tool for dealing with the militant threat that all countries face.
We will do whatever necessary to prevent this sort of extremist ideology, which opposes Islamic teachings, democratic practices and humanitarian values.
Posted by Datuk Naim Mohamad at 4:26 AM
Posted by Datuk Naim Mohamad at 3:58 AM