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Sakmongkol ak 47

Friday 13 November 2009

The Parallel Economy: The Point


A few days back I wrote a short essay entitled the parallel economy. There was one comment I didn't publish which asked- what's your point?

I did not publish it not on account of reasons which I normally reserved for inane and idiotic outpouring of words masquerading as furthering the cause of UMNO( blog readers know these buggers!). I didn't because; I want to publish an extended reply on my part.

Finally I received a comment from a perceptive reader:-

Your point on the "parallel economy" is well taken though not many seemed have caught this.

the chinese have in fact been running a parallel economy for a long time since they have their institutions for funding etc. the bureacracy is tolerated and money is used to buy or smoothen the business processes and asset holdings. In the the Ali -Baba style of business practices under the old 30% Bumi equity suited them well and they exploited it to the full. So whats new? The tax payers money has also gone to fund Chinese development since the govt funds Chinese schools even though they do not need any funding, given their capacity to raise funds from their community.

The parallel economy is so well entrenched that it is one of the major "blocks" to nation building. the problem is exacerbated by the Govt's denial of this issue since the BN style of govt is along racial lines. the only way to resolve this matter is not allow political parties along racila lines and only allow political parties which have a national agenda and a national mix. How else to integrate?

13 November 2009 12:22

This is my point. We are operating at cross purposes and yet we are talking about 1Malaysia and all that jazz. We are talking about uplifting Malay economics and closing the wealth gap, yet we fail to learn the lessons from the parallel economy. De-regulation and challenging the mindset is the way to go.

My point is that because OF the parallel economy, the takeover of businesses owned by such corporate titans like Robert Kuok is a non issue for the Chinese at large. As long as they can carry on with their 2,3 or 4 nombor ekor, can still manufacture and sell pirated DVDs and the typical Ah Beng in the comical advert can still run, as long as people behind Shun Li can get to rent out its premises to UITM, Plaza Prima, Saville or Elken Convention centre can carry on- that's all right. The Malay political chieftains can take over these tips of the economic icebergs as long as they don't touch the fundamental parallel economy. That's where the survival of the Chinese lies.

By making loud noises about such takeovers, that will apply some restraining force on overzealous Malay bureaucrats. At the end of the day, the objective of protecting the parallel economy is achieved.

In the meantime, I am thinking how to refute the assumption that the parallel economy is a stumbling block to nation building and the commentator's belief that the way to resolve (blockages to nation building) is to disallow race based political parties.


walla 14 November 2009 at 13:08  

A: 'Maybe the parallel economy reflects the real economy of this country.'

B: 'It only happens because of some systemic anomaly. Blockage of free enterprise.'

A: 'What if this country had started with some other "race"?"

B: 'Then the same arguments will be plied but in reversed order.'

A: 'Like muslim bumiputras before non-muslim bumiputras before "other communities" as was stated in one of the PM's speeches?'

B: 'It would have been something else. But in free enterprise such things are meaningless because the market decides and the parallel economy we see is a reflection of market decisioning.'

A: 'But to get to the free enterprise, the producers must be equi-able?'

B: 'Only if there is cooperation and bonding with the others.'

A: 'Then 1Malaysia is alright?'

B: 'Only if the system is consistent in standards and practices.'

A: 'But the sequential order of focus mentioned above?'

B: 'Reflects it is not so.'

A: 'So how next?'

B: 'Policy makers should be honest and consistent. But most of all, brave and true to all.'

A: 'They excused they have to balance between opposing interests.'

B: 'Only because they never took the trouble to educate the people on the imperative to cooperate and bond.'

A: 'Starting with single stream then?'

B: 'It is bollocks so long as inconsistency prevails all the way down from the constitution to the judiciary process.'

A: 'Then how to proceed?'

B: 'Clean up one's own house first. Then the people will see for themselves. At this moment, neither is happening. Because trust is gone. The most important answer has not been given. Why change? The only answer available is to win votes. How can that show sincerity?'

A: 'Is that a final impasse?'

B: 'Even if not, it should be.'

A: 'A permanent two-party political system?'

B: 'That's finely balanced. It is the voters' response to all these years of zero checks-and-balance. Thirty two million for three years of supplying flowers to DBKL? Capitation grants to opposition-run states that are miniscule compared to their contribution to national coffers? Video-ed evidence ignored to shield political figures? Going through the motions on public service misappropriations? Few hundred millions a year to maintain the traffic light camera system? Closed minds on religious discourse? Top scholar failing year two medicine at edinburgh? Civil servants afraid to do the right things against politicians? Politicians afraid to do the right things against their party practices? Communities afraid to do the right things against their political chiefs? The list is long.'

A: 'Is there hope then?'

B: 'Face up to reality and do the right things and there is no need to hope. Destiny may be in the Hands of the Almighty but He will only release it if there is indication the heart is true, the mind is clear and the will is strong.'

A: 'There are reactions to all actions.'

B: 'Good leadership will align all in the same direction. Bad leadership only mucks around to play to the gallery to no avail.'

A: 'Is it too late?'

B: '80 percent yes, 20 percent no. And that's homicide of the national future.'

A: 'Still talking about race.'

B: 'So what? If you have toothache and the dentist is of another race, do you tell him to beat it when his one hand is holding a needle and the other a pair of pliers?'

A: 'Fear warps reality?'

B: 'Life is short. Live it correctly.'

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