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Sakmongkol ak 47

Thursday 11 March 2010

The perils of neoNEP

This will perhaps be the last article on the perils of the neo NEP. After this, I will be writing on some aspects of the NEM especially on its faith and reliance on the zombie economics of trickle down.

The facts about Malay economics are there for everyone to see. Housing, business premises, employment, corporate equity, income disparities etc. I am not going to repeat. These are facts. How do we explain these? We have theories. Theories explain the facts. My theory is we have employed the wrong economic strategy.

We have bastardised the market system, usurp the allocative powers of the market, appointed ourselves as the Omnipotent Comptroller to decide and determine who gets what and how much. We are asked to support the system that has resulted in:-

ytl gets the best IPP,ERL that everyone has to pay for (regardless if u take a cab?),numerous direct nego job..Ananda got 3Digits,Maxis,Astro,IPP..n did a nice flipover deal on KLCC..Genting..well speaks for itself but also an IPP Vincent got Sports toto,Bt Tagar...n many nice land deals as side dishes Sunway..gets some direct nego jobs,Silk..n lots of support in 98? biggest direct nego job in the WORLD..and a string of them b4,LDP, nego jobs in nego jobs for DPM house..n nice land deals (EPF,PKNS...) negoing all the way in negos too esp when times were hard in 2000s...
Then u hv the mother of all scandals PKFZ..AirAsia..for all the good things they hv achieved..hv got lots of govt assistance too..Well>> the Gamuda direct Negos is worth more than all the so called Class F direct awards cumulative over the years.I think Govt have always been very fair to the rich n well connected...only prob is the Malay connected and GLCs supply chain network is not as focussed to their own race as the Gamudas,IJM,YTL etc..We are too insignificant anyway.

Melayu apa ada? SUKOM 1998? LRT what the fu*k is LRT? LERT? pergi KLIA pon bayar RM 80 naik taxi " no haggling, strictly on meter" alternative lain ada ka? Bus AIR-ASIA? yeah right, RM 10 service for every half an hour, depa pusing satu SALAK SOUTH sebab elak TOLL whats wrong with the other Highways?

Not going to the roundtable forum DOES NOT disqualify anyone from talking about this issue as if we who sit behind our laptops are not capable of empathizing with the oppressed and duped masses?

Oh not too forget that Brohim-Ali super-pissed with YTL sebab TNB subcontract/ outsource energy is it? Looking back mostly at other comments semua ni Anggur-Masam, Marah tak berbaloi, cakap duduk belakang computer/laptop lah ini lah,

awat tak pergi forum tadak hak nak cakap banyak etc tak tau perasan orang Kampong lah, tapi bukan orang kampong gak yang suka jual tanah nak dapat profit instant?


We have this lurking suspicion about the efficacy of the market system. We recognize that some economic actors are not sufficiently ready to respond favorably to market stimuli. They must be helped. We acknowledge this by tweaking the market system. We supported some form of market intervention. In 1970 we had the NEP which was largely responsible for those things I quoted above.

What do we get when disagreeing with the economic ideas of the neo NEPs?

One sees the same lack of openness and intellectual rigor in the arrogance, stonewalling, name-calling, and apparently deliberate obfuscation that have characterized the response of some of the commentators in response to the legitimate questions that have been raised by laymen like us.  We are often ridiculed for asking and raising honest questions.

I too have a term for these people who refused to see through the lopsided achievements of the NEP. These are the "NEP Deniers" who we can regard as the unbalanced and ignorant few who refused to accept that the abuses of the NEP far outweigh the plusses of the NEP. The relative successes in education, in general improvement of welfare, in modest raise in per capita income are eagerly pointed out as resounding successes of the NEP. These are quickly used to conceal the far bigger benefits obtained by the Malay elites.


So some people deny NEP has created lopsided results. Pointing out to the general advancement made by Malays at large which are miniscule compared to the value of direct benefits enjoyed by the Malay elites is a masterful employment of legerdemain. Those who question the achievements of NEP or even the NEP itself are quickly dubbed as 'shallow'.


But wait, there's more.

What the neoNEPs are doing is engaging in the following: Conspiracy Theories, personal attacks and so forth.

First, they attribute every challenge to the neoNEP to dark ulterior motives and often point to an underlying conspiracy. Conspiracy with the Chinese, the Americans, whoever. To hear them tell it, you would think that a wicked cabal made up of Malay liberals are trying to discredit these hard-working warriors for truth. The hard working warriors are of course the PERKOSA PERKASA people, the MPM- most notably Ibrahim Ali who worked hard to secure an audience with HRH Sultan of Selangor, secured the implicit support of UMNO who dutifully sent Mukhriz Mahathir.

Finally, there is the use -- the argumentum ad hominem (personal attack). Those who disagree with neo NEPs are urban people, detached from reality, not nationalistic enough and so forth. The psychological term for attributing one's own trickery and failings onto others is "Projection."  Those who disagree with Perkasa, are projected as being not Malay enough.

One bothering thought though is, if NEM that is going to be carried out by the PM contradicts the NEP, then where will that place PM Najib on the scale of Malayness?




walla 11 March 2010 at 11:29  


A: 'When i listen and read what the neoNEPs are saying, i am reminded of one phrase which shows what really goes on in their minds and hearts.'

B: 'And what's that?'

A: 'It goes like this: "there's one born every minute."

B: 'You mean PT Barnum's observation about "suckers"?'

A: 'Yes, these neoNEPs must be assuming it doesn't matter which year it is they say what they say because they think it will always be relevant - to strike fear into the simple hearts and minds of the malays. Because they think there will always be new generations of malays coming onboard who can be made receptive to their propaganda. That's their method. Repeat the same broken record until the same grating noise draws attention and thus the same old innocent credibility with the new generations of malays even if the older ones have seen through and suffered from the results of those policies.'

B: 'But notice that in their haste to do that, their supporters already show their hand. One complaint was that those who criticize the neoNEPs should instead have attended that meeting instead of writing in blogs. Let's say that takes place. Do you think the speaker won't try to deflect like what he had done on tv? Whereas if the debate is written out on a blog such as this, there is no deflection because everyone anywhere in the world at anytime can read and analyse carefully for themselves every word that is written, no?'

A:'I agree completely. Blogs are like chessboards. And as the German grandmaster Emmanuel Lasker had once said, "lies and hypocrisy do not survive for long on a chessboard".'

B: (one eyebrow rises)'Say, i am impressed, Sofea. You know your chess (cough).'

A: (pretends to look cross), 'Dearest Tun, there's another thing they use to argue. They say if others can also have their say, why not them? And then they use that thrust as the sole and only justification of what they say. Now that's a psychological trick because what they are saying was what has been said before to previous generations of malays, the majority of whom are now suffering from having believed it, yes? And we know this is so because that's why it is being debated even by malays, no?'

B: 'Haha. Beautiful, dear Sofea. They are dragging malays who want to come up in life back into the cesspool of racialism, that's what i think, and they are doing it despite knowing what it has resulted in before. Divisiveness, mistrust, acrimony, separation, anger, hatred. These are not good emotions to have, as Muslims will be quick to admit, no? Because when someone carries such negativity, how can he do positive things with others in the same ecosystem, and if he doesn't do positive things with others, how can all come up together in a world which has unshackled itself from such negative chains that blocks minds and closes hearts?'

A: 'The neoNEPs are also saying it's who one knows which can help the malays come up.'

walla 11 March 2010 at 11:30  


All these things are what can be done right now. No need to wait for tomorrow or the next masterplan. They can grow to help malays come up. Of course it is good to be engaged in everything, whether boardroom or shopfloor workshop, but that needs real skill which takes time to culture. Culture is more than race and religion and language if one chooses to see it.

Otherwise what happens is given, tried, fails, loses confidence, grabs, runs, restarts elsewhere, repeats cycle. End result is fail, country loses, you know the rest.

Last nite, Apdal was interviewed; talking about rural development. Ninety percent of what said was on organizational problems. Huh? Why are there organizational problems? Is it wrong people gatekeeping? Then do what's done anywhere in the world. Rehabilitate them. The other problem was like say for Sabah and Sarawak he talked about how many million kilometers of cable are needed to bring electricity to the rurals. If this is impossible now or too costly, what about local model of mini-substations with a smaller radius of cabling for pockets of activity where the populations are dense enough in the rurals to start mini-industries and thus mini-towns? Will the costing be achievable then? If yes, why not done by now? You need just electricity, water and some transport access to get initialized on anything somewhere. So if those things can be like small networks in local places, then can start mini-towns and mini-but localized industries. Then the poor rurals will have profitable things to do and you can redesign the organization to make sure they do the marketable and operational things properly, and get paid honestly. And while this is going on, think how to enable them to connect to the world...remote communication. It's better to have one satellite devoted for the two states use than try to lay millions of kilometers of fiber optics, isn't it? When at riverbank and crocodile has surfaced from water, no point trying to look for cable to make call; should just beam up to satellite and call for helicopter with stun grenade (cough)."

walla 11 March 2010 at 11:30  


Those are just examples on an already tired morning. They are examples of what i think Malays have present niche potential. That's what i am highlighting here - present.niche.potential.

If we look at all the past projects, plans and implementations, they are without focus. The govt just throws a chunk of money into everything based on the assumption that since malays are to 'catch up', they must immediately catch up in everything at the same time. But in reality, to really do well in anything at say corporate level, you need education because that's the world requirement and the corporate here has to interact with the corporates up and elsewhere. Otherwise how to do real business?

So focus and niche first if we are looking at how to help the masses quickly. Find what malays are already having good potential in and develop those areas until they can grow and then become activity hubs..

Take another example. The home herb industry. You get this and that local herb and it is used for cosmetics and health and et cetera. But the packing is so ancient. Because the manufacturer is only thinking about the local folks. Pack as tho you are making it for the manhattan or ginza market even if it’s landing point is Jakarta or Dubai. Everything, from the texture and absorbability of the cream, to the wordings, naming and branding, has to be carefully cultured into a visually arresting product that can stand on its own in a foreign place.

Do it high-standard and right first time so that the additional benefit is to educate and pull up the masses to demand quality later from the same jenama. Everything. Even people can be jenama.

Why is this important? The SOP of malays is "don't care". That's why.

And then the local crafts industry. You have tops and kites and pottery and woodcarvings. The colours are dull. Pottery on brown background with edgy black cut lines are grating on the eyes. Craft is about culture which is about harmony which is about smoothness with hidden beauty. Try actualizing those points and you can see where improvements can be made.

walla 11 March 2010 at 11:30  


Once things like these in place, the final two parts are to develop the skills of the acting cast and to market properly. The acting skills just need on-site improvement, now so stereotyped like Hannibal Lecter in a face mask; how the cast is portrayed on celluloid can also be improved; false eyelashes, for example, are so thick each can sink a submarine on its own. The marketing has to be done professionally, right down to the name and opening of the film where the names are introduced. Now they still look like you know those black and white tarzan movies they show on mobile vans before byelections.

Why all this? The market is not the ten to twelve million here in Malaysia but the four hundred million over there in Indonesia, and when dubbed, the one hundred million in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and so on...You just need to analyze the global movie audience and reorganize the local filming industry - project consolidation, for example, can pool resources, even contracted cast. And if selling overseas, even get their cast to joint-venture so that their own local elements get embedded in our local movie as a marketing attractor. There is no need to promote local anything when doing a movie meant for world audiences. What you want are ringing cash registers and receipts to continue to the next bigger hits.

Better one movie which trailblazes and mega-hits than one hundred which barely pay back because they underestimate the costings or because of politics.

That's one. Next, batik. The haute couture market of Paris, Milan, London and New York are about billions of dollars of business. If Jimmy Choo can be the most sought after brand for shoes by that market, why can local batik set fashion alight as well? The thing is the design is still very localized and the fabric has to go beyond cotton. You need something that can shine but is not silk, feels nice on skin but holds well and the colours don't run. There has to be a strong continental first eyeball impact and the design should blend with european models which are fair-skinned. Techniques are involved. Some research can be done. It's something to think about. It's important because when you see a young malay boy free-hand draws symmetrical pictures from his memory and those designs are repeated across the cloth without variation, there's some talent there but it remains untapped. I notice things where it matters.

Next, local artists. If you look at what they draw and paint, it's again photographic art in final effect. They should explode into impressionism and then pull that back to reality. This is the opposite to present method of drawing reality and then trying to extend into impressionism. So, if we can have a few of these, then any Malaysian-sponsored function overseas, like you know trade exhibitions, food fests, whatever, these paintings can be canvassed and shown prominently at the entrance where people register for the events. They can even be displayed near counters where foreigners have to go to get visa's or what not to come here. Better they out there and people with money can buy than they back here and sitting in living room of artist waiting for the next local art afficiniado.

walla 11 March 2010 at 11:30  


B: 'But they have conveniently omitted adding that those whom one must know in order to come up are people like them, the champions of race, the defenders of status quo, and the heroes of the old protectorate, no?'

A: 'I think our malays need to open up, not enclose themselves within walls. They need to embrace change, be more in-with-the-world, more engaged to a new relationship with other malaysians and just get on with improving themselves.'

B: 'But they must do all these at the same time. If say they don't engage more with the others while trying to embrace change, they will be too slow in learning new ways to look at old things and may fall back again into the waiting arms of racists. That's what i have been trying to say. Develop a healthier mindset that is more open, less fearful, more positive about adopting what works, more industrious and focused and strong-willed about improving oneself. Right now it's like just waiting for the helicopter to drop the next bag of goodies from the sky at some camp. Is that what they want, tokenism from cronies who are selling them the same fakes as those sold to their parents before? If those are not fakes, why are their parents suffering so much that they are suffering in turn? Try to answer that.'

A: (sighs)'This is all so sad and depressing. Is there anything positive we can do, dear Tun?'

B: 'Correction, dear lady. It should be 'dearest'. Ok, our dear walla has written something and left it with me. Her handwriting is so neat! But i think she must have been tired this morning. Probably after the housework and all that. So i just leave all of it here below. Maybe you can add to it to see what can be done to help our malays more. Of course, one must add help all malaysians in need consistent with helping the right and proper national directions.'

A: 'Ok, where is it?'

B: 'Here:

"The trailer for V3 samseng jalanan, a malay movie that's going to be released soon, shows a fresh departure from past action sequences which have been rather rigid and artificial. In this new movie, they use wires to flip a rider from a bike.

What can be considered next is for Finas and film investors to pool a fund to pay for a HK special effects guy to come conduct a series of practical workshops for malay film directors and technical crew and show them exactly how to invent and sustain smooth action sequences. At the end of the workshops they should each do a mock segment on their own in forty eight hours before the guy leaves to show they have learned exactly how to go to the next level.

If the action sequencing ability is at a very high level, then local malay directors can tackle the other things - embed a higher concentration of computer special effects, and get really good story-lines. The computer part then can be farmed to local companies which do animations, giving them a commercial opening. The story-line part can be improved; it is progressing but still slow; now it is semi-rigid and stereotyped; there's seldom twist, surprise etc. which is what grips the audience. If we look at the hollywood movies that's been coming out, there are some basic themes (avatar, star wars) which sell big; something to do with society and yet with technology, excitement and action, human condition, individualism, etc. Many of the story scripts come from books so the locals can read those books and use their ideas not to copy but as triggers in brainstorming sessions and not for local audience but for a global more universal audience. That way the idea behind the movie that carries the selling message can move the local script to a higher level. You see, the gameplan should be to educate the local audience to want quality, and then use that want which is mental or taste progress as the fulcrum to push the industry to do better.

Anonymous,  11 March 2010 at 12:04  


Great piece of arguements. Hope our people can see with their eyes opened. The amount of help given to the Malays much less than what others have gotten through this rotten system...

Let us do stop this rots further..

Anonymous,  11 March 2010 at 13:14  

Wow Bro……….

What a saying, from the tininess of a purse to the mountain of wealth congregated you most probably left one intermediary – the beautiful bank – CIMB for that matter crouching like pondan tiger through Big Brother influence. Yet the Malay merely ho…ha…with their saliva drippings like the commodore sliding between the empty sand.
OOooo…..weeee……riding on friends we may no longer have buffaloes but we become buffaloes.

Richard Cranium 11 March 2010 at 14:00  

Fuyoh, Dato, your engrand very potentful. Using Charles Ester's legerdemain.

I had to scurry off looking for a dictionary.

But, seriously, well-said. When people cannot raise their game to your level, they tend to be bellicose in their remarks. Has been, and will be Umno's standard operating procedure.

Are You Gonna Go My Way,  11 March 2010 at 14:12  


Let put it this way. Im all for meritocracy....but can we start small rather than total meritocracy.

If there is an allocation for example 40% quota for contract to be given to bumiputra...can we bumiputra fight for it fair and square...where i can fight those tan sri, dato, raja, tengku...because i have the best price and capable of doing the job.

The other 60% let all malaysian fight for it whichever way they can.


Anonymous,  11 March 2010 at 15:26 you have made your points in your now what do you hope for? your readers to make enough noise so that will make changes? your readers to post comments so you can feel good? a bit syok sendiri lah dato..

why dont you be more proactive and write to the sure if you bark hard enough someone somewhere will listen to you..its all about barking up the right tree..

as you say, malaysian economic model have a problem, and you have seen past problems and you anticipate future problems...either you become part of the problem or you become part of the solution..

if one is to knock many doors really hard, someone will listen to you..dont lah just because 10 people didnt listen to your advise, you say people dont want to listen to you..

its annoying that people like you, who can analyse, someone who can foretell, become part of the problem and not part of the solution..

i read your profile, you say that you were a former ADUN..what did you do for your constituent? with your knowledge what did you do?

Anonymous,  11 March 2010 at 16:47  

1970 - economic pie 20 billion
30% bumi = 5 billion
70% non bumi = 15 billion (assuming 50:50 for C:I = 7.5 billion each)

2000 - economic pie 200 billion
30% bumi = 60 billion
70% non bumi = 140 billion
(assuming 50:50 for C:I = 70 billion each)

Anonymous,  11 March 2010 at 17:14  

you must have done something right, you are attracting more and more amno cybertrooper

Unknown 11 March 2010 at 17:31  


Anon Says;

"its annoying that people like you, who can analyse, someone who can foretell, become part of the problem and not part of the solution.."

How So? I'm sure Dato Sak isn't the only person with such qualities... But I'm also sure that such people are ignored by the politicians whose only wish is to pursue their own self gratifying agenda.

So...Don't get Annoyed at people who wants to change things...Get angry at those self gratifying leaders ...

Anonymous,  11 March 2010 at 19:31  

to walla... why is your malay a common noun? Malay is a proper noun!

As I see It,  11 March 2010 at 20:09  

You said NEP ... usurp the allocative powers of the market.

I doubt NEM with its claim of meritocrasy-led policies will be any better with such wide income disparities. Gini coefficient you said?

Sorry to say, your liberal view of thinsg will only impoverish the Bumiputera more with your theoretical ideals.

At the end of the day, be done with economist with their endless ceterus peribus-es.

It is the economic managers of the country that is really critical. Their skill and integrity is what really matters. Honesty and integrity beats the lorries of theories.

Wonder whether this comment will get published.

A blogger posted a rating saying you come second as blogger who only publish views that is pro themselves and shower you with adulation.

Hmm ... very PKR and KJ.

Anonymous,  11 March 2010 at 20:22  

U think Genuine Malay Contractors can't do the RM 12.4 billion direct nego Ipoh-Pdg Besar double tracking job that was awarded to MMC-Gamuda JV and AliBabaed to Gamuda?At that price..its an easy job.Its like turning a PAR 3 to PAR 5 and going for a bogey.

Problem is Genuine Malay Contractors not given a chance to meet the big guns cos they're too busy and hands on working at site so can't hobnob at posh gatherings,golf clubs...and can't afford the overseas flite tickets.

So..meritocracy is fine..brutal competitiveness (as YTL says) is good...but can we start all over again?

YTL pls refund all the profits you got out of the IPP/ERL/KT Hospital..

Gamuda pls do so with all the money you got out of DIRECT NEGO jobs and concessions..SMART,LDP,KESAS,Kuantan Bridge...

and so on and so on.

People who lives in glass houses must wear sarong lo.

I have no complaints about you guys getting rich cos ur smart enough to ride the golden goose..but pls pls pls do not use that to benchmark the superiority of ur ppl.

The system stinks and its not cos of NEP

walla 11 March 2010 at 20:45  

to anon 19.31

because i am pre-merdeka, so reminded by to me by our first PM.

Anonymous,  11 March 2010 at 20:46  

All those guys who have "made it" after being given all the special opportunities/support/preferential treatment/contracts/concessions/land deals/APs etc etc..>>we do not begrudge ur good fortune.BUT we do want you to tell the world that the SYSTEM is bad and we should CLOSE,CLOSE,CLOSE...i.e do not allow anymore entrants to ur exclusive club.Even Mr Nizar..its great wat u hv done with CIMB;but m sure many other Malays could also hv done the same (but with less reward) lets not gloat,bask in ur own achievements and NOW tell the world NEP is baaaaddd.

Be constructive...put back a little of wat u got (thru ur cleverness in capitalising on the NEP..regardless if ur Bumi or not)...train people up..teach them..invest with them...(regardless of race,religion etc).You got ur breaks ,don't deny others just so that u have less competition up there i.e share the loot with ur circle of friends only.We still have a long way to go...

NEP is not the reason for the ills of our economy...and promoting abolishment of NEP just to keep ur little club intact with less competition is not the best for M'sia.

or 1M'sia.

Quiet despair,  11 March 2010 at 21:27  

We dont have to crack our heads predicting what the NeoNEP will be like.
Let's bet it's gonna be the same with some fine tuning, rehash of the things that worked and things that don't.
Introduce some elements to depict the IMalaysia slogan.
Tada , voila our NeoNP..
Please remember who introduced the Ist Malaysia plan and the NEP.
Sure Najib will not deviate from the prime obejctive of his father's policy.
That will mean wiping off his legacy to us.
Dont you guys noticed that he's retracing the father's footsteps like going places and doing things which his father did.
And he revered his dad so much. He will always say in his speeches: "Yang dipelopori oleh ayahanda saya."

Fi-sha 11 March 2010 at 22:07  


Dear Dato'

Those Tier-1/2 corporates you mentioned deserve to be called names especially YTL that publicly appears to many as a responsible corporate (that cause hardships and heartaches to many marginalised people in Sentul area) but I always have high regards of Datuk Krishnan Tan and IJM. The Putrajaya deals and some others are basically their role as 'white knight'.

Historically, these corporates have started long long time ago, that allow them to be where they are now, coupled to brilliant (in both good and bad ways), prudent and perhaps, kiasu management team. Too bad, they are bloody good compared to many syok-sendiri malay companies.

For the past 2 decades, I believe many malay companies have grabbed enough contracts. Too bad, politicians come and go, thus explains platonic, inconsistent distribution of wealth to malay contractors.

Based on track record, almost all defective projects like MRRII and Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium, to name a few, are contracted to bumi companies,and being supervised by mostly malay PWD personnel.

Yes, thats the price of politicking. Too much talking and not enough working!

As always Dato' Sak, the policies are good but the people that 'policing' them aren't.

"A good heart is better than all the heads in the world" ~ Edward George Earle Bulwer-Lytton

Do we not have one good malay heart up there Dato'?

Ariff Sabri 11 March 2010 at 22:41  

as i see it.

no you dont see it. i published comments that are disagreeable to me if they are in terms of ideas. i dont publish childish tantrums and name callings.pls look at the comments. no, they dont have to puji. just argue it out. but not if you start with some maki hamun and denigrations .
in any case that blogger you mentioned doesnt require my endorsement for him to be known. write his own version, lets debate like gentlemen.
i am afraid, despite yr pen name, you will never see and get it.

Anonymous,  12 March 2010 at 05:36  

Here is Ibrahim ALi with the trousers around his foot felating himself alflagrance in Public, View his kemaluan as samy put it, Here is a chinaman's buttlicker sitting on the board of the same haram vincent tan company as a director, IBRAHIM ALI YOU ARE A FRAUD, LU punya kemaluan semua sudah nampak. He has done more damage with his Perkosa, next time Ali if you live in glass house don't throw stones at your neighbour.

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