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Sakmongkol ak 47

Sunday, 29 June 2014

PM Najib and the creation of a Plutocratic Oligarchy.

Did PM Najib ask UDA to choose Ecoworld over others? Now that is the most important question to unravelling the mystery of his New Economic Model. If he did, then this is what the NEM means- affirming the hold of the select few on the economic pie. The people have been duped into giving up their stake-holdership in the economy on the excuse; the wealth creating process is better suited to be carried out by the anointed few.
The people should rise and demand that wealth creating assets be placed directly in their hands. By people I mean the many more, who, if unrestrained  can also create wealth.  They should rise up and kick out this government which is slowly turning into a plutocratic oligarchy. (the few politicians and the wealthiest people).
The NEM is nothing more than the old practice of selecting and choosing who gets to win. Except, the picked ones are the same ones over and over again. SP Setia over and over again, Syed Mokhktar- Vincent Tans, YTLs- are all serial rapists of our economy. The NEM is just another name for crony capitalism.
Giving projects to the same pack of people seems to be addictive. That is what Najib means and more importantly understands, what market driven affirmative action is. It is a system of affirming the role played by the select few and the invisible hand that chooses them. Hence plutocratic oligarchy.
Bukit Bintang City Centre- Pudu Jail Land.
We have yet to see the details of the new business model. Perhaps it is the brainchild of the PM. Perhaps it is the brainchild of the new UDA chairman, Johari Abdu Ghani who told the UDA board of Directors, the decision as to who are going to develop BBCC, as a fait acompli.  He is reported to have said, that it is a directive from the PM. 
By the way, Johari Abdul Ghani is the person who said he does not need Chinese support. It now seems that promise was just empty brinkmanship. What he meant really was , he does not want the support of the Jinjang Joes, the Jalan Kelang Lama types. He sees no contradiction rubbing shoulders with the likes of Liew Kee Sin, Vincent Tan, Francis Teoh, and more. 
In the Everbright Model- UDA brings in Everbright International as turnkey contractor and divides the property on a 30:70 basis. Everbright comes in with the money and constructs the property and divides them with UDA with the provision that the properties meant for UDA are built first. There are no risks involved as the land which belongs to UDA cannot be charged to 3rd parties.
Under the Ecoworld Model we don’t know. UDA’s 40% is in terms of shares in the JV or in the form of properties constructed?  Does UDA need to come up with 40% of the funding? What is EPF’s role in this- is it performing the role of bankrolling the project and thus is given 20% share? How is Ecoworld chosen when it did not participate in the tender exercise carried out by UDA in September 2013? Why was the tender cancelled and suddenly we have the announcement that Ecoworld is the partner to develop the Pudu Jail Land.
Instead of being the landowner, UDA thinks it is better to have a smaller share- 40%. Give 40% to Ecoworld and 20% to EPF.
Here is the perplexing issue. Last time there were strong objections on plans by UDA to do a JV with a China GLC. It’s Chinese for God sake screamed the Malay-first-groups-  and the Bumiputeras are not called to propose the development.
Last time, during Nurjazlan’s time, UDA was in control of the whole development. It was the land owner and it called in a developer to develop the land. In return it got money upfront which was badly needed since UDA had no money. UDA did not have to come out with any capital- its capital is ownership of the land. In addition it got a number of units. Basically it’s the same when a land owner invites a developer to develop the land. The land owner gets some money upfront and a certain number of units.
So why should UDA depart from this model? What is so special about Ecoworld other than being Najib’s latest favourite developer? Why should it now partner with a pendatang( since all Chinese are pendatangs according to UMNO friendly ISMA and Perkasa). Liew Kee Sin is a Chinese and therefore a pendatang.  The Malay-first groups do not find anything disturbing now that UDA’s partner is a home grown Chinese?
So Najib himself is cavorting with a pendatang and down in the plains the UMNO hillbillies and yobos are shouting themselves coarse deriding the pendatangs. Here comes the boss and he passes instructions to UDA chairman Johari- give it to Ecoworld.
What then is the contribution of Ecoworld? The famed expertise of Lee as an accomplished property man? And what does UDA do- secure only 40% equity by giving up land?  Is UDA’s 40% better than whatever it got had it gone through with the JV with China’s Everbright? Does it get any money upfront? If it doesn’t than the makcik in Jaya Gading- an urban village in Najib’s constituency of Pekan- is smarter. As land owner she gets money and some units. 25%. Ad she has the option to convert some units into much needed cash at any time.
I want to see the Malay-first groups examine the details of the JV. Many of the strict requirements in the earlier aborted JV with China’s Everbright are gone. Where are the interest of bumiputera contracting firms participating in the JV? The requirement to build affordable residential units are said to be removed. Ecoworld is given a free hand to develop the property into the kind Liew Kee Sin is famous for- upscale and million Ringgit property. Malays can only salivate and contain their anger and envy.
Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin who controls Ecoworld will again be reaping huge financial gains after being affirmed as Najib’s private project delivery partner. Already he has been given projects such as redeveloping the land belonging to RRI , land in Cyberjaya and now the land over Pudu Jail.
The question is how has Ecworld been given this project when it dd not participate in the tender in September 2013? Where are the GLCs representing Malay interests side-lined in the opportunity to develop such a strategic piece of land?
These are the questions we want answered:
Why was the tender of September 2013 cancelled? The tender document itself cost RM25,000 and tenderers have to deposit RM1 million as earnest money. As I have said earlier, there was also a provision that companies shortlisted will be required to put up RM10 million as additional earnest money. Who instructed the tender to be aborted? What are the criteria used in selecting Ecowold? Why has Ecoworld been selected in such an opaque process? Why hasn’t other GLCs been considered as potential JV partner?
The most damning question is, has the PM and Finance Minister given the directive to Johari Abdul Ghani to select Ecoworld over others? Ecoworld is owned by Liew Kee Sin, Eddie Leong and the Bumi face- Rashid Manaf.
Now where is the walking stick wielding Tajudiin Rahman who beats his chest in parliament declaring pompously- ini UMNO, ini UMNO lah!. So UMNOlah the Bukit Bintang City Centre.


Anonymous,  29 June 2014 at 10:43  

Dear Datuk Sak

This may also do

"Plutocratic, multi-racial,rent-seeker oligarchy"

Phua Kai Lit

Anonymous,  29 June 2014 at 13:14  

Dato, you hit the nail squarely on its head! Your phrase "all serial rapists of our economy" says it all.
The NEM is just another name for crony capitalism.
Hi, where's Paul Low and his transparency talk?

Anonymous,  29 June 2014 at 15:53  

What we have today is a bunch of filthy rich and corrupted Malays who are cheating the ordinary Malays with their lies that the Chinese are dangerous and they will have to depend on UMNO for protection. But, on the sly,they make sure that every single brick in their mansions are laid by skilled Chinese workmen. Their cars,computers, refrigerators, pipes and TVs are bought and repaired by Chinese.They look to Chinese owned supermarkets and kedai runchit for their daily needs. They depend on the Chinese to give them free shares and make them directors.
Meanwhile, the ordinary "kais magi makan pagi'Malays work as security guards, garbage collectors, grass cutters, couriers service errand boys,KFC, Pizza Hut, Mc Donald service personnel, and owners of illegal roadside warongs, etc. Hidup Melayu yang kena tipu!!

Anonymous,  29 June 2014 at 19:26  


Oligarchy in Malaysia consists of wealthy individuals and unmeritorious groups with political influence and/or economic power who construct public policies primarily to benefit themselves financially whether through direct subsidies to their agricultural estates (for examples, FGVH and Rimbunan Hijau) or business firms (YTL, NAZA, the Petra Group and Ananda Krishnan conglomerates), lucrative government contracts (UEM-Sunrise, Gamuda), and protectionist measures (as Sapura-Kencana in the oil and gas sector) while displaying no concern for the marginalized Malaysian.

Wikipedia defines oligarchy as a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with a small number of people. These people could be distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, education, corporate, or military control. Such states are often controlled by a few prominent families who typically pass their influence from one generation to the next, but inheritance is not a necessary condition for the application of this term.

According to chedet, democracy has to depend on oligarchy to rescue it from the capitalist abuses.

What actually happens is that a strategy is “formed” aimed at finding acceptance with a “focused” group of individuals and that this plan be better than the rival’s.

Pakatan had tried to win the federal government, but its plans were wide off the mark.

The structure of democracy is being subjected to forces that may well change it completely over time.

Today the democratic process – at least in Malaysia – is not representing the “people’s” will.
Democracy process today is about control and power.

Crony capitalism simply means the close relationships between businesses and political power-holders where any enterprise success is dependent upon favoritism by the ruling state in the form of tax breaks (like the Independent Power Producers: Genting Sanyen, Ananda’s Powertek, and where more than ’70% of YTL Corporation’s profit come from the power plants’), governement grants (to MMC Gamuda KVMRT (PDP) Sdn. Bhd. in the Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit project, and the Kidex Highway to the wife of former Chief Justice/UMNO legal adviser Tun Zaki Azmi) and other favourable incentives like the property gain tax so that the RM40bn spent on the Battersea Power Station is led by Sime Darby Bhd and the Employees Provident Fund in league with the SP Setia Sdn. Bhd. oligarch.

Dato, according to Tax Justice Network, RM893bn was siphoned into tax havens abroad during 1970-2010 – a sum more than triple that of Malaysia’s national debt total of RM257bn in 2011.

Capitalism in Malaysia has reproduced itself – regenerated since the 2010′s NEM – as an ethnocratic oligarchy intending to keep the exploited working class from rising up and overthrowing a system designed to exploit and alienate them through institutional processes via racial differentiation, religious definition, the controlled legal system, and a manipulative civil administration, an inequality access in the educational system all working hand in hand with unjust laws that assume the brutality of totalitarianism.

Anonymous,  30 June 2014 at 08:39  

This is how a corrupt regime works. Large projects are confined to a select few who can keep their secrets among themselves and who are generous with dishing out "ang pows". In the private sector, if a project is likely to overshoot its original cost, alarm bells would have rung immediately and detailed investigations carried out. But projects handled by the government through "negotiated" price which are already well above market price subsequently will go through numerous adjustments until they are bloated out of proportion. We all know it well. The moment a project is given out by "negotiated price" we all know very well that huge under table commission is factored in.

Anonymous,  30 June 2014 at 09:52  


Sumpitan Emas,  30 June 2014 at 23:01  

“Once a political system has been corrupted right from the VERY top leaders to the LOWEST rungs of the bureaucracy, the problem is VERY complicated. The cleansing and disinfecting has to start from top and go downwards in a thorough and systematic. It is a LONG and laborious process that can be carried out only by a VERY strong group of leaders WITH strength and moral authority derived from UNQUESTIONED integrity.” (1993)

“Corruption eats into ANY system, regardless of the philosophy or ideology of the founding father, of the government, or the location of a country. Even the Communist Party of China and Communist Party of Vietnam, although fired by high ideals, and determined to clean out corruption and decadence of existing regimes, have become RIDDLED with corruption after a FEW decades in power. When they abandoned their Marxist ideology and central planning, liberalised their economy to encourage the free market, the PERCENTAGE, the GREASE, the KICKBACK, BAKSHEESH returned in GREAT force.” (2005)

“It is a constant fight to keep the house clean. As long as the CORE leadership is clean, any back sliding can be brought under control and the house cleaned up. What the PAP government CANNOT ensure is that IF it loses an election, a non-PAP government WILL remain honest. Therefore we have INSTALLED constitutional safeguards to MEET such an eventuality. We amended the Constitution to have the President POPULARLY elected not by Parliament but by the WHOLE electorate and [he] has a VETO power on the spending of the country’s reserves by the Cabinet. The President now ALSO has the power to OVERRULE any Prime Minister who STOPS or HOLDS UP an investigation for corruption against ANY of his Ministers or senior officials or himself.” (2005) [from ON CORRUPTION, pg 62-63; “The Wit & Wisdom of Lee Kuan Yew”; ISBN 978-981-4385-28-2 (2013)]

We have witnessed the very vocal arguments against our Sultans taking an active part in business. I have a simple suggestion to make here, a sort of middle path for our politicians and royalty to move on, forwards, without rancour or suspicion, an honourable and dignified compromise set by our history and culture.

Along the same line as the power vested in the President of Singapore by the Constitution, let us also amend our Constitution to grant similar powers to His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and his eight other brother Rulers to have the power of oversight of public money spent or to be spent – this should prove beyond any doubt that we are capable of putting in place a system of financial probity equal to that of Singapore’s. This power of oversight will include ALL expenditures by the Defence Ministry irrespective of costs, and other expenditures costing a billion ringgit or more, in the initial implementing phase. His Majesty can have at least two other brother Rulers (to be appointed on rotation basis) to assist him, with the Auditor-General as Adviser. Money should also be set aside to allow the Auditor-General to appoint independent outside auditors, again on rotation basis, to monitor each project expenditure and to make regular reports to the Royal Council and the Prime Minister’s Office.

As a first step towards a ‘clean-hands’ approach, even before the amendments are made, all military contracts must be negotiated directly by both the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Finance with the foreign party; the Auditor-General’s Office must also play an integral role throughout the negotiation process. NO profit should accrue to a private company.

We cannot in good conscience keep out the royals from doing business if we keep on showing off to the royals the winners of the jackpot draws are always the same guys.

Time permitting, I will say something why the plutocratic rent-seeking oligarchy are having a carnival at the local Bourse as well.

Nothing surprises Malaysians anymore.

Anonymous,  1 July 2014 at 03:06  

So your buddy Nurjazlan missed out getting millions of commision from the China deal right? how much he promised you? couple of millions? or couple of thousands only? thats how much you are worth!!

Anonymous,  1 July 2014 at 08:50  

Ano 03:06

Anon 30 June 09:52 dah balas sebelum you buka mulut ... species BANGSAT. Tak manis.

How much was Tun Razak worth in his time - he too missed out millions - by choice, my friend. Would Najib dare ask the same question? His worth is incalculable even though there are elements still around trying to pin him down with May 13.

Sumpitan Emas,  1 July 2014 at 23:14  

I should have said that someone would be commenting on the performance of the plutocratic oligarchy in the local Bourse. Well, here it is, excerpts from a well-researched article in the latest edition of FOCUS, issue 082(28Jun-4Jul), entitled, “Leaders on governance and transparency” by Dinesh Immanuel:

[“Access to information and corporate dealings is of paramount importance to investors. Timely information can make or break an investment position…good corporate governance also proposes that listed companies discloses as much information as possible to the public, especially shareholders.

‘Transparency MUST be part of the culture of the company,’ Rita Benoy Bushon, Minority Shareholder Watchdog Group (MSWG) chief executive tells FocusM … We have used Bursa Malaysia Bhd’s annual report as a bench mark … Bursa Malaysia…deserves a pat on the back for leading the way and setting an example. If Bursa had been on the list, it would have surpassed Telecom Malaysia Bhd (TM) and topped our list with an overall score of 95 points.

Our list of 30 blue chips is topped by two telcos. TM, scoring and impressive 91 points; and DIGI in second place, with 86 points. The last on our list — SapuraKencana Petroleum Bhd — scored only 38 points, 53 points below TM.

In fact, GLCs account for eight of the top 10 stocks. This is not surprising since GLCs make up 14 of the 30 component stocks.

While our list evaluates just a small portion of the bigger universe of some 920 Bursa-listed companies, the results of this assessment of these elite of the stock market indicate the generally LAX attitude of some directors to corporate governance, disclosure and transparency. As these are listed companies, it is in fact the board’s responsibility to ensure FULL disclosure and transparency as they owe this to their shareholders

Disclosure transcends financial reporting and even covers website quality. Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd (HLFB)…had one of the lowest scores for its website quality … It appears HLFB is NOT even trying to disseminate timely information.

TM’s board, led by chairman Datuk Seri Dr Halim Shafie, tops our list for many reasons... it is one of only FIVE companies on our list to disclose the minutes of their AGMs. This important and transparent practice is sadly NOT adopted by most Malaysian listed corporations.

This is perplexing as in Thailand, by comparison, almost ALL listed companies make public the minutes of their AGMs, as STANDARD practice. In fact, Thailand had been commended by the World Bank for its good corporate governance.

As a GLC, TM does very well revealing key corporate information. As standard practice, the telco publishes its key performance indicators in advance and is transparent about disclosing them to shareholders and the public. Most other GLCs appear to HIDE their KPIs…

Sumpitan Emas,  1 July 2014 at 23:15  

…TM’s sister company Axiata Group Bhd does NOT fare well in terms of transparency, coming 12th on our list…While Axiata publishes the minutes of its AGM on its website, unlike TM it does NOT disclose the exact remuneration of each director as is done by all but two of the top 19 companies on our list.

Among Petronas’ group of listed companies, only Petronas Gas made it into the top 10.

Still, Petronas companies fared better than others on the list. Datuk Hamzah Bakar chairs the board of SapuraKencana Petroleum, the worst scorer on the list… While disclosing the remuneration of its directors, SapuraKencana is one of 12 companies on our list which FAILED to give precise remuneration figures for each of its directors.

Following Bursa’s sterling example, Malayan Banking Bhd, Sime Darby Bhd and British American Tobacco (M) Bhd (BAT) also scored top marks in our assessment for the quality of their CHAIRMEN’s statements.

The Chairman’s statement is one of the main means of communication for a company to its stakeholders…although occupying 13th position on our list, Public Bank Bhd allocates nearly 70 pages of its annual report to its chairman’s statement. This is extraordinary, as most companies, on average, allocate 3-5 pages to it.

In stark contrast to the likes of Bursa and BAT, Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd has one of the POOREST-QUALITY chairman’s and CEO’s statements of the companies on our list, with little substance. Astro’s chairman’s and CEO’s statements FAIL to give any details of the company’s financial performance, risks and prospects.

The average turnaround time for the release of annual reports … is 106 days…Bursa Malaysia stands out for having released its 2013 annual report just 58 days after its financial year-end … followed by Public Bank which released its annual report in 65 days, and Maybank , in 73 days.

We also assessed the quality of websites, details of directors’ profiles and …directors’ photographs…YTL Corporation Bhd, 27th on our list…Hong Leong Bank Bhd and Hong Leong Financial Group Bhd don’t publish photographs of their directors in their annual report.

These companies are also among those with poor-quality websites which provide limited investor relations information. This is unfortunate as YTL Group and Hong Leong Group are led by well-known tycoons. Tan Sri Francis Yeoh leads YTL while Tan Sri Quek Leng Chan leads Hong Leong.

Only six companies on our list have signed the transparency pledge…The six companies are TM, Maybank, Sime Darby, BAT, Tenaga Nasional Bhd and Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd.”]

Only to Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd, do I need to say, “SYABAS!”

Needless to say, to appreciate fully, the whole article by Dinesh Immanuel should be read.

Where relevant, upper case emphases are mine.

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