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Sakmongkol ak 47

Thursday, 12 March 2009

An Afternoon with Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah- final part.

You know Tengku, the unemployment figures are worrisome. Singapore is sending back 200,000 of our workers. Here you have maybe 100,000 or more. Our government don't even have the figures. Then you have to be mindful also of the new entrants into the job market- College and university graduates and those with courses not marketable immediately. You can have an explosive situation in hand. These people have got to live.

What raises the ire of the public is the deception our leaders poured on us. Tell us the bare facts. Because when our leaders sell us an alternative reality, they are only undermining its own credibility. Even more serious, leaders only raise the suspicion that they have no ideas for coping with it. Policymakers in Singapore appear far more alarmed than our own. They didn't mind going public announcing that Singapore is undergoing technical recession. What do we do here? We do the foot shuffle. We beat around the bush.

I know TRH has said this:-

Economic plans should be transparent and discussed openly so that the public and the business community can respond to them. The US stimulus package was debated heavily before it was passed. The world knows what the US, UK, China, Singapore, Australia and South Korea will do in response to this crisis, but not what Malaysia or North Korea will do. We need greater clarity, and quick, transparent decision making. There is no need to politicize growth estimates or to time stimulus announcements as if they were political goodies. This is a rescue we are talking about, and our future is at stake.


We haven't been doing enough to increase our productive capacity. I would regard as steps increasing our productive capacity those measures to allow retraining, acquiring value adding skills, new knowledge, way of organising things etc.

I agree when you said Tengku, that maybe we are deluding ourselves as to our productive capacity. Our illusion that we have increased our productivity and working incomes has been masked by an influx of cheap labour. So when these people became economic actors and we are able to export, we think we are productive. So like you have said, cheap labour has become another crutch for us.

The government must exhibit a very standard of professionalism and efficiency. When economics resources are scarce, when we don't have sufficient resources, things will depend of how efficient we are. What do I mean by that?

Look for instance at how the organizational capability of government to learn and re-organize is set up to deal with fast changing economic landscapes. How can the government for instance qualify itself to deal with economic crises for instance? They have not scored well for example when it comes to acknowledging the impending economic crisis. You earn credibility when you project a quality of trust. When people trust you, you earn that credibility. Like you have said, the government's credibility was damaged when it did not tell the public the truth.

The government must restore confidence in the rakyat by showing they know what to do. Your slowness to implement counter measures is not going to convince people that you know what you are doing. If you tie up what you want to do according to political timetables and political expediency, people will catch you out.

I am in full agreement when TRH wrote:-

Government now needs to be smarter, tougher and more responsive than before to engage on equal footing with business. We need leadership to change the operating model of the civil service from last century's centralized planning approach, driven by budgetary plans, to a model of government as facilitator, aggregator and convener of business. Government that targets economic outcomes rather than accounting quotas. We need to demand as much talent and organizational ability in our public service as the private sector does of its own people. Today the quality government is a core component of national competitiveness. However there is nothing strange about the expectation that the civil service should be a high performing organization led by an intellectual elite. It is how the Malayan Civil Service Real confidence is hope based on an apprehension of the truth. It is social capital and trust in society and its future. It is inspired by leaders willing to take us through an unflinching evaluation of where we are today to a vision of what we are capable of tomorrow. It means owning our own story and banking on it.used to operate. Many of us remember it.

I asked TRH on the areas where the government can profitably spend. I said I read in his article mention about how in the 1930's, the Americans built their national highway system and the Germans built the Autobahn. So maybe spending on infrastructure remains an attractive avenue to support economic growth? I once heard you talked about constructing a new highway linking Gua Musang to KL. To me that would integrate rural economy with mainstream economy. Do you still believe in that?


I agree with you spending on items with the largest multiplier effects. Infrastructure is one of them. But you must also be mindful of the more significant concept of the long term multiplier. That is nothing less than the improved capacity of the entire system. For that you need to dispense with the business as usual ad hoc pork barrel expenditures. You do public investment projects. But our action must be guided by a vision, designed around a strategy and governed with integrity.

And you mentioned something on housing Tengku....

I don't mean the present housing system like we have at the moment, SPNB and all that. Do something like what Singapore does. Look at how the HDB does its job. People will always need housing and so start a program to bring home ownership to the whole country.

But the mere mention of taking the cue from Singapore raises morbid xenophobia Tengku...I said.

You follow and take lessons from what is good. If it's good and effective why not? It's always for the greater good.

Yes, I remembered you said, of all the national projects we could undertake, few could have such a large social as well as an economic multiplier effect as housing.

Indeed in one of his articles TRH wrote:-

Housing builds powerful social capital and gives substance to citizenship. A national housing project allows us to design entire communities and townships with their transportation, communications, educational and recreational infrastructure with a strong set of standards and social objectives. It lets us plan the housing stock to cater to the lifecycle of home ownership, with a good mix of options for different localities and life-cycle requirements. It is a way to grow racial harmony, build integrated schools, and help the poor without creating a crutch. Let's commit ourselves to having each and every Malaysian family own their own home. This vision is a radical challenge to the nation to do better. It will require extraordinary improvements in our ability to design, construct and finance housing projects. It will require the setting up of a statutory board to oversee housing development, administration and management. As land governed by the State powers, the States will have to implement these projects. This will require, and hopefully force, improved coordination between the Federal and State governments, especially now that we might no longer expect that the same party is in power in both places.

I thought our conversation had ended. I rose to shake his hands and this time, mindful that his advisor had kissed his hands, I did too. Like the gentleman of the Old School of Malay etiquette, TRH quickly withdrew his hands.

Then, he continued sitting down.

It's basically the question of sound leadership. I hope the leaders do their first important function which is to lead.

Tengku, for all our efforts to discuss, to debate and to deliberate on these issues, I still hold to the feeling- that come this UMNO general assembly, UMNO's leadership will be determined in the toilets of PWTC. You know, that's where the ample liquidity is. And the only kind of leadership that comes out from there is a stinking one.

TRH managed a controlled laughter...I like that comparison.


Dhahran Sea,  12 March 2009 at 01:11  

Salam Tok Sak,
Thanks a lot for your brilliant initiatives of getting food for thought from TRH & TDZ. Semoga Allah selamatkan rakyat Malaysia dari tsunami ekonomi yang sedang melanda, amin!

flyer168 12 March 2009 at 06:23  

Salam Tok Sak,

Thank you for the update & acknowledging Ku Li's message....

- I say Yes, the way our Leaders are handling this very “Complex Global Financial Meltdown” issue….
What is new in this Bolehland & our Blur, Blur DPM/Finance Minister....

- If He can just “Swallow his False Pride, be Honest & Sincere” to acknowledge & admit....

- the “Whole Nation and the World” will be with us to HELP out!

- PRESENTLY our UMNO/BN Leaders "DO NOT EVEN Cross Talk" amongst themselves....

- Just HOW can they change their PARADIGM to ASK, LISTEN, ACKNOWLEDGE, REPENT, LEARN from the best Brains & Best Practices & Best TIME Proven SUCCESSFUL SOLUTION models....

- With the HUGE Resources OUTSIDE of their "Solution" Bankrupt Jaguh Kampung within UMNO/BN....

- We only have to “Look, Acknowledge, Ask and Learn” from our neighbour down South

- their TESTED, TRIED and PROVEN solutions which have “ENDURED THE TEST OF TIME”


- Even their SEVERAL Decade old Successful Cost Effective 2 - 3 year National Service Model for the FUTURE NEEDS of the nation, with no “Surplus to Needs”

- After graduation from their Military, Police, etc Bootcamps

- They are Ready for the nation's “Battlefront” duty ANYTIME!

- Our Southern neighbour adopts the best criteria Brains, Politicians, Implementers, etc with Academic, Professional,

- With Long and Proven Track performance of “Excellence”, who are “Accredited and Remunerated” very well (from a few hundred thousand to more than a Million Singapore Dollars per annum) with “Structured Job Specs” in this 21st century context...

-....and they DELIVER!

- Sometimes Foreigners (Asian first, then others) are taken for a short contract period to “Groom” the Local “Best” personnel.

- Every National/State Project - DELIBERATION/Decision/ Implementation for the Nation, State and its People are “COST EFFECTIVE” and “NOT SURPLUS TO ACTUAL NEEDS”!

- As such no squabbles & disputes...

- Right person for the job at hand!

- Integrity and Accountability

- Either “deliver or else you are out”.

- With such a Policy in place...

- Their Senior Political Leaders, Politicians, Generals, CEOs, etc do not even have to be seen....

- but everything runs the way it should for the nation and its rakyat’s “Guaranteed Basic Needs”.

- In this Bolehland it is the reverse!

- They are the “True Leaders” involved in the “Bigger Vision” for the Nation’s International Political, Security, Economic, R & D, Manufacturing, etc Policy and Standing...

- The DBS, MAS and Termasek together have financial “Reserves” of more than 600 Billion Singapore Dollars.

- For a small nation, they HAD acknowledged, deliberated, identified and mobilized an “INTELLIGENT, STRUCTURED and DYNAMIC” contingency financial plan IN EARLY 2009, to mitigate this financial meltdown

- Ensuring a "MEANINGFUL Package" is ADDRESSED for its CITIZENS to CREATE a POSITIVE "CASH FLOW" & not for Corporate & Institutional "RESCUE & BAILOUTS"....

- to ONLY WET their "Huge Gaping APPETITE" with no Capital & Cash flow at the Userend "CITIZEN'S" strata.

- They have an initial package of 20.5 Billion Singapore Dollars and they are “Rock Solid” with their cash reserves of 600 Million Sing!

- Versus our Bolehland's 1st Stimulus package of RM7.0 Billion & now RM60 Billion Stimulus Package .....

- I say this - TOO LITTLE TOO LATE Mr DPM/Finance Minister...

- Kindergarten Jaguh Kampong Economics & Finance Planning

- RM 67 Billion for a country our size with its Deficits, Bail outs, etc with ??? Reserves???

- Vs Singapore with its initial package of 20.5 Billion Singapore Dollars and they are “Rock Solid” with their cash reserves of 600 Million Sing!

- Almost 30 times Reserve Stimulus packages available! )

- Anyone in Singapore involved in “Graft, Corruption, etc” would rather “Self-Destruct” than have to face the Senior PM and their peers.

- With the Global Financial Meltdown, NO Country or Government can understand & appreciate the "Actual Impact" to the "Nation" & its "People" until they get hit "Hard" like "Iceland."

– and Malaysia could join the many, many more to come!



- A "New Government is now in place" to "Salvage" the nation!

-Whilst the G20 Presidents, PMs, FMs, Governments are strategising & synergising their positions on the GLOBAL FINANCIAL "Chess Board"....

- there is still no "Intelligent, Structured Contingency" plan nor Quantums" in place in this Bolehland...

- The UMNO/BN Leaders are still in “Denial” even at this 11th hour of our nation’s "Double Whammy, Political & Financial Tsunami” at our doorsteps....

Our PM & Finance Minister/PM wannabe & their “Political Mecenaries” are still...

"Quarreling with PR & Anak Bangsa Malaysia with their Law of the Jungle & Gutter Politics Jaguh Kampong ala KINDERGARTEN style & still playing with MARBLES" when all the other nation's Presidents, PMs & FMs are playing "CHESS."

This Bolehland has a “Long” way to go with their “Blatant Denials” & “Childish Charades” even at this eleventh hour, to be able to catch up!

We the "Rayaat" have to be "Proactive" and it is a matter of "What can I do for myself & my family NOW" rather than...

- "Ayooo...will the gomen help me....

- How to live with no job, no money lor ?....

- Very SOON it is “Every Man for Himself” when it happens!

- So consider “Repositioning” yourself and family financially, professionally (career/job), etc, fasten your “Seatbelts” tight, to safely ride this Tsunami!

- May God bless and protect this nation and its rakyat.

flyer168 12 March 2009 at 06:39  

Salam Tok Sak,

Malaysia badly needs "Role Model" established Leaders & Politicians of HONOUR with Calibre, Maturity & Tolerance without Fear or Favour & NOT Political OPPORTUNISTS – on BOTH sides of the Political Divide.

Further this nation Desperately needs Intelligent, Time Proven Pragmatic Successful modelled, Financial & Politiical "SOLUTIONS" NOW on BOTH sides of the Political Divide, to MITIGATE the IMPENDING Political & Financial fallout.

May I share this with you & your readers....

Economic Crisis = USA Riots

Posted on Tuesday, March 10th, 2009 at 10:37 am , Filed under Economy, News, Politics, Real News . Follow post comments through the RSS 2.0 feed. Click here to comment, or trackback.

“The riot be the rhyme of the unheard!”

Citizens of the US… Brace for IMPACT!

As the global economy continues its downward spiral, rioting due to this Wall Street led meltdown is spreading through the globe like wildfire.

The list of countries experiencing civil unrest is growing by the day, to name some recent hotspots: Bolivia, Bosnia, Brazil, Britain, Bulgaria, Cameroon, China, Egypt, France, Greece, Germany, Haiti, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Ivory Coast, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Russia, Senegal, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine and Yemen.

In an article titled “A Planet at the Brink: Will Economic Brushfires Prove Too Virulent to Contain?”

Michael T. Klare explains:

“As people lose confidence in the ability of markets and governments to solve the global crisis, they are likely to erupt into violent protests or to assault others they deem responsible for their plight, including government officials, plant managers, landlords, immigrants, and ethnic minorities. (The list could, in the future, prove long and unnerving.)

If the present economic disaster turns into what President Obama has referred to as a ‘lost decade,’ the result could be a global landscape filled with economically-fueled upheavals.”

A UK Guardian news report ran with the headline: “Governments Across Europe Tremble as Angry People Take to the Streets.”

Once stable countries have seen millions of their citizens revolt

- taking to the streets,

disrupting public services, blocking roadways, participating in nationwide strikes, seizing shopping malls and engaging in many other forms of civil disobedience - as entire governments have fallen.

Government offices, public facilities, businesses, homes and cars have been vandalized, looted and burnt to the ground.

Death tolls and crime rates due to this crisis are reaching epidemic levels.

However, here in the US, we haven’t seen much unrest yet. With the election of Obama we have had a brief reprieve, as HOPE momentarily shined across the USA.

The US presidential election and the rise of Obama came just in time. (Could you imagine what might have happened under another year of Bush-Cheney rule?)

The hope-filled Obama is the perfect figurehead casting the perfect illusion. The Obama illusion is one of a new day, one of hope and better times ahead.
As positive an impact as Obama might have on governmental policy and national confidence, we can only escape reality for so long.

In the words of Chris Hedges:

“It is only a matter of time. And not much time.

When things start to go sour, when Barack Obama is exposed as a mortal waving a sword at a tidal wave, the United States could plunge into a long period of precarious social instability......”

walla 12 March 2009 at 09:05  

"But our action must be guided by a vision, designed around a strategy and governed with integrity."
(Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah 2009)

He said it all, Datuk.

GreenBug 12 March 2009 at 16:31  

Many years from today, most Malaysians will shed tears regretting they have side-stepped YAM Tengku Razaleigh as their PM. By then, it will be too late.

YAM Ku Li was qualified on all counts to be the PM since 1988 but lost because of the corrupted voting system within UMNO and now the "minimum nominations" rule.

For all this, we will all live in regret. And this is what we leave behind for our children and their children... sad!

Anonymous,  13 March 2009 at 09:35  

Can somebody tell me what happened in 1988? I was too young to remember...

Anonymous,  13 March 2009 at 19:54  

Imagine, the man got only one nomination, from his own division.

I fear a dictatorship of the other kind, of the corrupt fellows.

No doubt there has been occasions in the past where delegates' voting did not accurately reflect the divisional nominations, but, for all other divisons to have nominated only Najib ...

It may be the fear you may be the odd few divisions not nominating Najib but what does that tell about the mentality of the divisions?

Almost unanimous show of support for Najib. Is he really that good? Is that the consideration? Is there not another candidate worth considering. Is TRH that bad? Why aren't there at least a handful of other divisions nominating him?

Even Tengku A Rahman had Sulaiman Palestin contesting him. Look what the idea of minimum number of nominations have led to. No contest. The whole country has to accept the sole nominee as leader. Teruk la.

Ibnu Zaim,  13 March 2009 at 23:31  

TRH we are still loving you.. But what can we do?.. Let our anak cucu judge later what have you done to our country... That the politic, everything unexpected... Nasib mu Malaysia...

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