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Sakmongkol ak 47

Friday 24 September 2010

The rise of Najibnomics-1

Let me qualify what I want to write first. In person, Dato Seri Najib is an exceedingly decent fellow. I will readily admit that as a person, he is someone whom we can turn to for help. He has all the refined mannerisms, testimony of course of a good upbringing. I don't think people can dispute these. But I am not going to make an article about love fest. We can go on and on singing praises if we choose to.
That aside, I shall be failing in my duty as a citizen, if I don't offer criticisms on matters related to him in his capacity as leader of this country. His leadership, his economic ideas, his politics. I want to tell readers it's not easy to balance personal feelings and the demands of intellectual integrity. I was a division committee member of the Pekan UMNO division, his information chief during the wilderness years( 2004-2008), a state assemblyman from his area( 2004-2008).
Therefore I have chosen to write, as the late Professor Paul Samuelson said, from the heart, sans malice.
Nothing excites anyone currently than the ETP. Economic Transformation Plan. So I shall write on this.
I shall refrain from going into details of the ETP- Economic Transformation Program. Some people say it's a smorgasbord. I have used that term before and so this time I used a local flavor- the term rojak. 
There is actually a better term to describe our present euphoria over the business plans. Its Najibnomics.
What does the Najibnomics ETP contain? It has 131 entry point projects( ouch) and 60 business opportunities that will be casted into our country's economic mainstream. The objective is to propel our economy to a high income economy.
The blogger Outsyed The box has carried out a detailed dissection of the ETP. There appears to be a sense of dejection in his narration. Just like him, Malaysians in general are mere spectators. Because the entity in the driver's seat, aptly named Pemandu said that seven of the EPPs worth US$37 billion have named serious investors while 12 EPPs worth US$10 billion are at the MoU stage.
What that means, my friends, all are spoken for. So what the ETP essentially is a business plan by the elite for the elite. It's an economic plan from the elite, by the elite, for the elite. These are the core elements of Najibnomics. The same business elite are still getting the bigger slices.
Why has it turned into this? Because, basically, the age of government knows best, far from being diminished is fortified further. When we start from the premise that we know best, we micromanage everything, all the time believing we are furthering the cause of economic freedom and the celebration of the voluntary cooperation of economic actors.
I am going to argue, that is the blatant volte face from our earlier declaration that the age of the government knows best is over. That was pure rhetoric and a heap of BS. This ETP in its present form is just the embodiment of enlarged government and collectivist tendencies. Except now, the deceit is more subtle.
The promotion of collectivism is combined with the declaration and profession of individualist values. Hence very early on, on this basis, the 6th PM was able to solemnly declare, the age of government knows best is over. Many of us climaxed on hearing that because we thought it was a revolutionary idea that is going to herald the rise of freedom in the widest sense of the word. In economics, it suggested liberalisation and downsizing of government.
The ETP is the personification of the every notion of the age of government knows best. In actuality, the people don't know, are not aware and left as gawking spectators exclaiming the ooohs and aahhs. Not sure whether those sounds are sounds of sexual bemoaning.
The ETP as the public face of Najibnomics unveiled recently , was just that- allowing the people to see what has been done. It's all done, even if the PM were to later say, these are all at the lab stage- nothing finalised yet. We have paid large sums of money to get these business plans out, making it ridiculous to term them as being preliminary plans.
Indeed, the notion of big government which the PM appeared initially to be against, is on the rise, not decline. But the language is more artful.
We hear little of central planning. Instead we hear more of concern about the urban crisis solvable it is said by expanded government programs. Hence the Klang giver or whatever river, will become the river of life. The millions of people will be provided housing under the direction and inducement of the government.
We hear more people turning green- suddenly championing the causes of climate and ecology. The environmental catastrophe it is said, produced by rapacious businessmen who must be forced to discharged or persuaded to carry out CSR. The only compliant rapacious business people it seems are already identified and known and they were on parade during the open day.
What is missing so far? The initial idea of ushering in an age of less and smaller government can only happen within an individualistic society. This can be achieved only in a liberal order in which the government activity is limited primarily to establishing the framework within which individuals are free to pursue their own objectives.
So when Nazir Tun Razak and others said its time for government to take a back seat, it means just that. But I fear, his and other's voices are whispers from the fringes. The central politburo boys are taking over.



OneMalaysian,  24 September 2010 at 10:40  

Dear Sakmongkol

"It's an economic plan from the elite, by the elite, for the elite".

In short, it's business as usual.

Red Alfa 24 September 2010 at 11:04  

Salam Dato'

AlhamdulilLah, many like you are seeing through the smoke and mirrors, the dog & pony show and we trust that you will continue screaming out as you see through their schemings.

There are going to be many of what you say are Proton, Perwaja disasters in the making! If we look more critically at the EPPs - MRT, Sungei Buloh, Sungei Besi, and we will find Malaysia Incorporated reinvented and refined! TDM their progenitor should be jealous green!

Because of the Non-Disclosure Agreement specifically enforceable by the Official Secrets Act, the 500 or so Lab Members see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil ....

As the ETP will unfold we will find that the greed of THOSE few will be unmatched for generations!

Anonymous,  24 September 2010 at 11:42  

Just why dont we forget about trying to spend more money (as sure as the sun will set tomorrow... most would fail anyway) trying to be a high income nation (for a while), why dont we just concentrate one step at a time.

Spend the money directly on the people - the farmers, the development of natural resources we have etc instead of mega projects undertaken by a few big companies?

If only greed for commissions can be checked.

Spending money on poor farmers ... no money to be made. Building roads, railroads ...lots of money to be made ..just quote it three times higher. So easy. That is why the Works Ministry is a super Ministry.... coveted for years by all.

Syiok for a while when money starts pouring out of our EPF savings to be spent today on infrastructures that needs many times more to maintain.

In the end, where is money going to come from? SEnd workers overseas like Philippines and Indonesia.

We fools can't even master a niche market to make money and want to boast empty promises. We know it is going to fail before it starts. Since when these guys have good viable ideas? Not as far as I know since tDM took over.


Anonymous,  24 September 2010 at 12:46  

I really wonder whats the PEMANDU projection for a business as usual scenario i.e w/out the ETP.?

The ETP should only be the cream on top of the bread & butter..and should not encompass the total gains.

For instance...increasing Palmoil Extraction rates,deepwater oil,enhancing tourism channels etc are essentially operational improvements.Govt only need to provide certain incentives (or penalties) to make it happen.

On energy..whether its gas terminal or nuclear are policy/economic issues that even w/out Pemandu it will happen.

So,in a nutshell all Pemandu is doing right now is using an national economic policy tp "play god" and endorse some big ticket projects such as Econature,Hispeed Trains,MRT & of cos the Greater KL.

Its insidious marketting..and hopefully the PM will see thru the haze.

Next step..those voicing disagreement to the ETP will be branded as traitors cos the ETP was thought out by the people ( @at the labs) and endorsed by the rakyat (@ the Townhalls)..

But what about debating this at the Parliament.

tupingera 24 September 2010 at 13:00  

I don't give a hoot about the ETP,EPP, far as I'm concerned, it's just another red herring to distract the rakyat from the ongoing looting and different from the corridors mooted by abdullah badawi and 2020 mooted by mahathir.

Anonymous,  24 September 2010 at 13:04  

bila mahathir cakap NEM, GTP, ETP ni mengarut... semua orang maki dia..

mahathir dah cakap dah... private sector mmg tak boleh dibiarkan berleluasa tanpa supervision dari kerajaan.

bila biar private sector jadi pemacu, itu yang jadi benda mengarut macam ni... nak bina 150 tall skyscrapers dalam masa 9 tahun?

Untuk apa???? yg dapat duit kontrak berbilion bilion tu YTL, SP Setia, Naza TTDI jugak nanti.

Pak cik kat Ulu Tembeling dapat increase dia punya per capita income ka macam tu? NEP pun dah takdak lagi...

biasiswa anak dia yang dapat 7A dah dibagi pada orang cina yg dapat 8A. Anak dia terpaksa continue jadik mcm bapak dia. Kerja tangkap ikan kat Sg Pahang.

income gap bertambah besar nanti..

Anonymous,  24 September 2010 at 14:26  


Let me ask a question that seems to have been lost among this euphoria of Jala bashing (ouch, sorry not Jala bashing, najibnomics bashing) .

Looking at the current industrial strength of the country, if not these few named local companies, (mind u some of them have proven records, less those u-known-whos), then who?

Foreign MNCS? Just like during mamak's reign with some front-man crony companies taking part of the profit, for just been a front man?

The fact of the matter is THEY r the only home growths that can do the job IFF govt interference is minimum & tender operational procedures r transparent.

Do u think all these 'connected' parties really like to do 'connected' business?

Given a CHANCE, they would also like to compete like what they did in oversea now. Yes?

Anonymous,  24 September 2010 at 15:06  

Ini problem budak Arts class nak pergi labs..

In Science lab kita first of all kena buat control case i.e the base case,placebo...then baru experiment..buat iterations,titrations..then plot graphs to get optimals.

Nih budak Arts punya lab semua dia bantai..brp mols acid dia masuk to neutralise dia dah tak kira.At the end kita semua kena neuter.Padan muka..

But why kita kena gamble the country in LABS...kalau salah buat semua jadi frankenstein.Lebih baik kita use proven techniques..keep it simple & sweet.After all our corporates n FDI can assess projects and make their own call.

Govt's role is to be transparent,efficient and be fair to all the rakyat.

Now,we're subsidising Coke & McD yet blaming rakyat.

Kita bagi subsidy to manufacturers for them to make profits by selling cheap goods overseas.Orang England makan biskut made by subsodised flour,sugar ...apa benefit rakyat dapat?Employment..brp orang per dollar subsidy?Tax..mcm2 incentive kita bagi..ITA,Pioneer etc..

So,lets do the basic restructuring dulu please.

Jangan bodoh2 nak follow om puteh buat greater london,dubai,mrt..and most of all don't see S'pore as the pot of the gold at the end of the rainbow..nak buat hispeed train pun..make sure orang Perlis or KB boleh ke KL in 3 hours by train.

And next time you all gian nak masuk lab..make sure the lead Minister is a scientist.Ini IJ suruh dia explain oil hedge d MAS dulu n clear his repo.

Sad right?>

Anonymous,  24 September 2010 at 16:07  

anon 24 September 2010 13:04,

budak melayu 7A tak dapat biasiswa?

masa i kat uni dulu budak melayu spm gred 2 atau 3 pun dapat biasiswa..kalau tidak paling kurang dapat masuk uitm..

Anonymous,  24 September 2010 at 17:25  

But what about the vast employment opportunities available for the rakyat from these projects?

There is money going to everyone as wages, and in turn the demand for consumer goods will increase.

Yet another employment opportunity for the rakyat in the consumer goods demand aspect.

Its a win-win situation, except the rich and crony teams get richer faster.


umar,  24 September 2010 at 18:42  

Pahang State Government Jv with Telekom to install High Speed Broadband all over pahang, that project was into billions. Rural folks are competing with neighbours in fixing broadband streamyx in their homes in Felda kampongs! I witnessed this during my balik kampong for raya.
I asked the boys of their favourite sites. They are all playing games with new found Jalur lebar.

So states governments are into business again after decades of losing State economic Companies and State Amanah Sahams.
I don't see the government playing the role of regulators instead of dabling into billion dollar initiatives.

Anonymous,  24 September 2010 at 19:53  

Economic plan by the elite for the elite.Rakyat didahulukan.
But then aper kita boleh buat? dato sak yang UMNO member pun takleh buat aper, inikan rakyat biasa yang lain seperti saya.
Kita tepuk tangan lah bagi elite -elite yang berjaya.
What a bloody sad re-run of a story.

Anonymous,  24 September 2010 at 22:06  

Pak Lah dengan corridornya . Najib dengan 'alphabet soup'nya. Hasilnya nanti sama aje. Puluhan ribu graduan menganggur akan terus jadi anggur masam. Penentunya ialah PRU13. Kalau BN menang lagi, kita berkawanlah dgn Philippines dan Myanmar. Graduan kita pergilah kenegara lain cari kerja yang boleh. Drebar bas ke, main muzik, maid dsb.
Kepada anon 16:07.
Ramai melayu dengan 4, 5 A SPM tak jadi ape2. Masa u masuk U dulu tu, zaman dulu dulu dulu..tak.

Hakiman,  25 September 2010 at 00:14  

"So when Nazir Tun Razak and others said its time for government to take a back seat, it means just that."- Dato Sak

Utterly impossible, and it will never happens for as long as UMNO rules the roost.


a) Still plenty of those UMNO "hangers-on" who have been supporting the UMNO warlords with their sweat and blood all these years and they are in the queue to be instant millionnaires via close tenders and "on-your lap" contracts. They will revolt against the UMNO leadership.

b)There are still many UMNO cronies in the private sector who have not yet fully made it. They still are yet to make their second million as inheritance for their children and families

c)UMNO business cronies still need Govt umbrella protection against their illegal use of taxpayers funds to enrich themselves and their families.

d) There are still illegal money yet to be washed.

So, there is NO way the UMNO warlord and those UMNO-lovers would allow Najib to let Govt take a back seat.

If that happens, you will see cows jumping over the moon.

Its all wishful thinking and daydreaming. Good topic only for chatting and blogging

flyer168 25 September 2010 at 04:54  


Just to share this...

As Syed had said in his Blog...

"I dont know who gives the Government this type of advise. Mind boggling."

Confessions of an Economic Hitman -

"Economic hitmen (EHMs) are highly paid professionals who cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars.

They funnel money from the World Bank, U.S. Agency for International Development, and other foreign “aid” organizations into the coffers of huge corporations and the pockets of a few wealthy families who control the planet's natural resources.

Their tools include fraudulent financial reports, rigged elections, payoffs, extortion, sex, and murder. They play a game as old as empire, but one that has taken on new and terrifying dimensions during this time of globalization..." Unquote.

How about joining the dots...\

Putrajaya renews controversial APCO contract
By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal July 06, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR, July 6 - The Najib administration has renewed its contract with APCO Worldwide for another year...

It is understood that APCO has hired "more local consultants" for the new contract, which sources in the Prime Minister's Department say is not as lucrative as the whopping RM76.8 million paid for the first year from July
15, 2009 to June 4, 2010 in exchange for its public relations services to boost Malaysia's image internationally..." Unquote.

Also to share this...

How Big Tobacco Helped Create "the Junkman" | Center for Media and Democracy -

"...The purpose of TASSC, as described in a memo from APCO's Tom Hockaday and Neal Cohen, was to "link the tobacco issue with other more 'politically correct' products"- in other words, to make the case that efforts to regulate tobacco were based on the same "junk science" as efforts to regulate food additives, automobile emissions and other industrial products that had not yet achieved tobacco's pariah status..." Unquote.

"Increasingly today, one can find examples of junk science that compromise the integrity of the field of science and, at the same time, create a scare environment where unnecessary regulations on industry in general, and on the consumer products industry in particular, are rammed through without respect to rhyme, reason, effect or cause" - Michael A. Miles, former CEO of the Philip Morris tobacco company.

You be the judge.


Anonymous,  25 September 2010 at 11:31  

The EPP are largely Privare Sector funded..govt only puts up 8%..

However ,for MRT & High Speed Rail govt will have to fund.But,its a great investment considering the returns on land devt,air rights,connectivity etc etc blah blah blah..

And by 2020 population of Greater KL is 10 mil including 500,000 of those geniuses currently working overseas coming home to help boost our economy.

And we need to connect to S'pore.S'pore is our lifeblood..we need S'pore for we need S'pore for KL>>so whats the beef on the puny investments on trains n MRT when the pot of gold beckons?

Its great way to start the day..

Anonymous,  25 September 2010 at 15:13  

The ETP invites private participation but it hasn't detailed how they will be invited.

Yet analysts are already naming the companies whose stocks they think will be jelling.

Therefore no one can fault the rakyat for thinking the deals are already wired in which case the consultation they were asked to provide seems more a catchy drawing tactic serving only to reinforce their suspicion it is all dejavu again in the free-flow cronyism rendered by past Umno administrations. Is it any wonder then that the trust deficit has yawned further?

What has happened to the idea of competitive open proposals? Are politicians so prescient to know there won't be more comprehensive and cost-effective proposals from other parties not even identified for the objectives in mind?

Furthermore, majority private participation doesn't mean the government will be sheltered from having to sponsor or provide guarantees to bankers funding the private sector players in which case the rakyat cannot be faulted for worrying that their provident funds will be used again to shore up the share prices of the players involved or the government of the future will be legally obligated to bail out projects if times change dramatically and the new concessionaires default with the government as project beneficiary left holding the baby of social responsibility.

People still remember how during the Asian crisis shares not in hand were collateralized for loans already burnt. As a corollary, people still rankle over what Umno had done with shares of MAS and other listed GLCs.

If fortunes can change for even a superpower like the US, how unlikely won't it for a minimart like ours, especially when our economy is founded on trade and especially when Umno's administration is known for not reading the fine prints of legal documents, whether by omission or commission?

These are matters which add a historical perspective to powdered powerpoints. Don't they?

The burning platform seems to be income distribution. The basic premise now is that the rich will get even richer while the poor will be consumed by the CPI. After all high income also means high price.

In what way can the majority of the rakyat play meaningful roles in the ETP projects when they only have basic education and can't possibly demand higher incomes? If the projects deliver to them higher wages for their basic services, then it must be at the expense of wage-based national productivity. We are talking about a ten-year period. If people have been soothed to snooze for fifty years, they cannot suddenly wake up to marvelous, world-class, high-value output in ten, can they?

Which means the economy will become lumpier in that ten, starting tomorrow, for none of the projects which are basically infrastructure and real estate building will require any level of innovativeness that underpins future relevance of our national industries, including the agro-based sector, if you will, and that's because we don't do research.

Otherwise one of the UM heads wouldn't have had to write a letter to the media lamenting exactly that as the reason for why UM has been lopped off the THES ranking again, as measured by the ISI database of cited publications its staff cannot produce.

Anonymous,  25 September 2010 at 15:14  


Meanwhile as all this is dawning even deeper into our scrambled psyches, we see the same political maneuverings being unfurled before the long-suffering rakyat.

Hello there, the rakyat have been fed enough shit they will be declared unfit for cremation on grounds of environmental pollution.

What is the present government going to do to upgrade the SMEs without thinking first the ones which are dynamic happen to be Chinese-owned?

When will it tell chauvinists to wake up to reality that:

(a) the government doesn't have any more money to win votes by doing monoracial charity,

(b) the government can no longer distort one clause of the constitution to ballast a race when there are other clauses of the same constitution which tellingly scorch the government's unfair hand in policy implementation inasmuch framing;

(c) the country has suffered irreparable damage to its reputation and relevance by advancing affirmative instruments which deplete communal brains and national gains for the political expedient of personal accounts and public votes, and

(d) the race to be helped up ends up expecting to be helped up all the time from one generation to the next and at the expense of others who do honest work and make salutary sacrifices?

The old simple honest way of cause leading to effect, merit leading to achievement, hard work leading to good results ... all have been blown.

The only way the gordian knot can be cut to get through all this mess is to understand the prime motive force in the coming years. It is investments. Without that, the economy will go into the twilight.

And investors will not come if they see sleighted handiwork in dispensations and reward. That explains our financial predicaments today, starting with the precipitous drop in FDIs, something which one former PM now hastens to decry when during his time he lost no time to start a look-east policy.

All of this explains why the ETP and all have had to be crafted. For want of brighter ideas. Which however doesn't erase the trust deficit. All the more because it is built on memories of past bad governance.

Now, here's a telegram from Shanghai. Apparently, the Malaysian Pavilion there is a shambles. There's a queue alright but that's because visitors saw other queues being long and joined ours. Only to come out after five minutes:

(a) shaking their heads at the insipid exhibits;

(b) asking whether NYY is your country's PM because there are two big posters of her;

(c) asking why the coconuts from Malaysia are green and tasteless in contrast to that from Thailand;

(d) wondering why two Ogawa massage chairs are placed there, where a visitor has already fallen asleep and snoozing away in one, probably as a Malaysian exhibit;

(e) tersely asking if leaking roofs are such a perennial problem in Malaysia that she must show it in Shanghai; the Pavilion costs over thirty million for a shoddy work of five, and then it leaks from the roof which explains the pail;

(f) asking why the mannequins wearing Ming garb have western features;

(g) asking why Malaysia is giving out mooncakes like shipping coal to Newcastle;

(h) and wondering for the earth of their bewilderment what IS the theme of the Malaysia Pavilion, when the Singapore Pavilion next door showed their theme is how to grow a fishing village into a metropolis and the importance of water to their lives.

And they were comparing the Malaysia Pavilion poorly to those from IndoChina.

What a frigging shame. And we want to talk about high-income trillion ringgit economy?

We can't even run an international pavilion. If anything, ours there right now is emblematic of all that this country has duly misshapened by bad policies and superfluous administration. The DPM can even right in your face show how two-timing are the standards of Umno.

Fat hope, folks.

Anonymous,  25 September 2010 at 18:04  

Auta Auta Auta

Correct Correct Correct

Najib purely ♥ his acronym, better yet Malaysians ♥ to get feed with all of this jargon from the elite to the "Ummah"

Suruh Register Voters semua "malas"

Thanks Madhater for leaving this legacy to all of us.

I shall wait till the day Madhater & Brahi Ali hold hands and walk on water with each respectively some fancy Keris on their belt.

- Ikan Tongkol -

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