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Sakmongkol ak 47

Friday 10 August 2012

The Glorious One's Flawed Economics

Since we are deluged with One this and One that, we shall now call Najib as the Glorious One. My friend Aspan Alias has conferred the title Sahibus Samahah on him for other reasons. lets talk about his economics. 
What actually is the central idea behind ETP? It’s the idea as old as the prevailing thinking during Aristotle’s time. Which is, you can control your  charges to the extent the voice of the herald could reach. What this means in modern economic terms is, it’s almost impossible to coordinate economic activities from a central command. You have to leave it to the market.
But Najib doesn’t understand this- he thinks that coordination of man’s activities isn’t possible without an ordering mind. In the minds of Najib’s advisers, the coordination of economic activities is not possible without a central directing body. Because that kind of arrangement allows them to play commissars to Najib’s Czar.They get to play the little Napoleons.
Hence Pemandu. Pemandu is essentially the representation of central command economics, an arrangement more at home in a communist economy or a fascist economy. Take your pick. Maybe we don’t see nationalization of the means of production, but we are certainly staring at an ever increasing rate of government intervention into the economy and of course, a refined method of central economic planning.
The minister becomes a businessman and a contractor and sometimes a currency trader. Their involvement creates havoc to the market economy.
Despite his public pronouncements of a market economy, Najib is a fascist at heart. His is a political philosophy, that exalts race above all else, stands for a centralized autocratic government headed preferably by a leader with dictatorial tendencies under whose rule, there is  severe economic and social regimentation  and forcible suppression of opposition.
The attacks on Anwar Ibrahim appear to have lost steam because people are already indifferent about whose backside Anwar rams and further attacks on Anwar will only serve to make people conscious of UMNO leaders’ own moral depravities. Because people know that if you don’t butt- ram people, you are not UMNO. You are not corrupt, you are not UMNO. So, the attention is now directed to DAP. Support for the DAP is forbidden. Is that an edict driven by political expediencies and an overriding desire by religious scholars to keep their positions so that they can avoid telling the inconvenient truth?
I am not at all concerned about how DAP looks as Islam- if they are prejudiced against Islam, that’s because they are NOT Muslims. Have we forgotten that? do we see DAP members renouncing democratic means to change the government and bearing arms to overthrow the government?
Don’t get sidetracked and blindsided by this recent UMNO strategy. The main issues are still corruption, social divisiveness, economic mismanagement, bad governance, low quality leadership. These are more important problems instead of trying to stir up our emotions about how DAP or for that matter, non-Malay political parties look at Islam. Malays should not attribute their own frailties and fragilities to the grand design of others.
Let’s get back to Najib’s glorious ETP. I got a call from a prominent Pekan politician lamenting Najib’s penchant for various acronyms which are not understood by the Pekan people. Deeds are more important to Pekan people than the spoken word.
Deeds like Najib’s proclivity to showy welfarism. Pekan people are getting wary of Najib’s uncle-Toming inclinations. His immediate decision to offer RM 100k to the burnt house of a former Alleycats singer demonstrates his desperate attempt to woo Indian votes. Unless of course Malaysian Indians can easily forget the pugnacious call to hang a Malaysian Indian as a result of this RM 100,000 gift from the Glorious One.
Back to the Glorious One’s economic ideas. To understand the idea behind ETP, one must step back; detach himself from the theatrics the proponents of the ETP do. The central idea behind ETP, is the erroneous belief that the myriad of economic activities can be coordinated centrally such as by Pemandu.  Collectivism and centralization masked behind the catchphrase of market economy.
The success of ETP will be limited to the main protagonists of the idea- the big firms selected to present that business plans which will benefit people like themselves. I have always maintained that the ETP is nothing but a glorified collection of business plans of selected market payers, repackaged as a national economic plan.
You can only coordinate the movement of a few players. That explains why the number of firms invited to participate is a manageable number. The originators of ETP know this. The ETP is just an EXCUSE for the government to reward it business cronies. It’s never and idea how to transform the whole economy. It never was. Najib has been deceiving us all this while.


bruno,  10 August 2012 at 06:19  

Dato,as a politician at the age of his early twenties,Najib is not as shrewd a politician as his handlers would like people to think.He is out of touch of what the people expects and wants him to do,although he is always mingling with the people.

His get to meet the people sessions are maybe for a show only.What Najib's people wants is publicity of him getting his pictures on tv and the newspaper meeting the people.As what Najib and his people know is not to have solutions to problems.All they know is to throw money here and there and hope for a miracle that everything is fine and the votes will go to them.

These people have been living in a different world with their illgotten wealth.After five decades of independence,and the vast natural resources of the country,there are still illiterate people around.Especially the people of Sarawak and Sabah.Proverty levels there are the highest in the country.

All the Umnoputras knows are corruption and cronism,and it is killing the competiveness of the workforce and economy.No wonder the FDI's are down.Big gomen contracts are awarded to cronies.Who wants to invest in a country if one can only able to tender for less profitable and unprofitable projects,while all the profitable white elephants go to cronies.

Anonymous,  10 August 2012 at 08:23  

Malaysia's version of "Voodoo economics"

Phua Kai Lit

Anonymous,  10 August 2012 at 09:00  

"The minister becomes a businessman and a contractor and sometimes a currency trader."

If I made add.......,a money-launderer, a liar, inside trader, manipulator, religious bigot, and snake oil peddler.

Anonymous,  10 August 2012 at 09:03  

There is only so much Najib can buy support. Smiling and laughing on TV, giving away goodies is momentary for the receiver. He forgets when the money dissipates the next day.
Najib is both Jackal and Hyde.
He is a dangerous man. Beware.

Anonymous,  10 August 2012 at 11:58  

Najib juga nak menipu askar dan polis dan juga pesara pesara dengan memberi kad discount pembelian barang dengan beberapa "participating group" or kedai yang salah satu nya Mydin-bangang punya Pm cakap aje la nak bagi bisnes kad pada kroni untuk buat kad discount tu! Alahai Najib... kalau dia jujur dengan anggota ATM dan polis dan juga yang telah bersara dia hanya perlu menyatakan supaya kad pengenalan diri anggota keselematan ini yang berbeza dari IC awam di beri beberapa faedah tak payah nak buat kad lain yang mememerlukan kos... najib, najib samada najib clueless or Zahid Hamidi opps... silap Dr Zahid Hamidi kelentong PM ngok Malaysia. kepala orang UMNO ni tak ada lain nak cari peluang buat duit je walaupun pekena duit rakyat.
Sorry la Tok dalam bulan Ramadhan ni mengutuk sebab da tak tahan tengok PM menipu disana sini dan kesana kemari.

Anonymous,  10 August 2012 at 13:05  

The PM that I see in him, just plain and ordinary.

First, sloganeering as his predecessors which failed miserably as voters already seen all the fakes

Second, selling salivas with all economic teories without substance, also didnt work

Now, dishing money and more money to voters at the expense of the future generations. May get few extra voters.

What has changed to the better? nothing, corruption getting worst...

So what is good about the present government?

Sabah Sifu 10 August 2012 at 13:12  

Dear Dato’ it is apt to call Najib as the glorious one and he is trying very hard to outperform and out shine all the other Malaysian leaders of the past. Najib wants to leave a mark in Malaysia’s history; unfortunately he fell short to all of these past leaders combined. Centralization has always been the hallmark of managing the Nation in Malaysia. In order to provide for the people in Malaya, something or somewhere has to give-in for the sake of Nation building. Sabah and Sarawak unfortunately received the brunt end of policies from the center. When the wealth of Malaya was depleting fast, it was Sabah and Sarawak which bail Malaya again and again – at its expense. Nation building focusses on Malaya while Sabah and Sarawak languish in poverty – this is the product of Central Economic Planning.
ETP is just changing the decision making process from legacy agencies like ICU, EPU and MOF to PEMANDU. Malaya will never want to change the modus operandi even when the whole nation is going to collapse into oblivion. Holding onto power is just too sweet to let go. PEMANDU therefore is NOT a product of a refined method of Centralized Economic Planning; it is the final nail that will shut BN/UMNO in its coffin forever.
There must be a major paradigm shift in the mind-set of the leaders and people in Malaya. There must be a shift from Central Command to Decentralization and Devolution of powers. Malaysia is greater than the sum of all its parts, the stronger its parts the strength of the nation will multiply many folds. The stronger the states such as Sabah the stronger will Malaysia are as a Nation. By giving more power to Sabah and Sarawak does not mean that we shall walk the independent route, far from it. We understand that true strength can only be attained by a team NOT individually.

OneMalaysian,  10 August 2012 at 13:12  

Dear Sakmongkol

“ … but we are certainly staring at an ever increasing rate of government intervention into the economy and of course, a refined method of central economic planning.”

I cast my mind back to 30 March 2010 when the New Economic Model was launch to great acclaim and fanfare. Here, at long last, is the blue print for economic success to be driven by a liberal and committed PM. How wrong could I be.

Within one year Najib had stopped referring to it, while his underlings on the extreme right continually undermined the policy. For those who care to open the book, they will find such encouraging but now meaningless phrases like “empowering the private sector” or “making Malaysia more competitive and investor friendly”. Those phases held out the hope that Malaysia (or rather Najib and his economic planners thought) could double per capita income by 2020. That aim is nothing but a pipe dream. Najib is a weak-minded dreamer, always fascinated with economic ideas (better if produced by expensive foreign economists) that have no grounding in reality.

Look at this government behemoth called 1MDB. Just last week Najib announced that 1MDB will develop the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) on 70 acres of land in the centre of KL for a Gross Development Value of RM26 billion, and in the process create another 6 million square feet of commercial space. Last year 1MDB announced that it would redevelop the old Sungei Besi Air Force Base (196 acres) into Bandar Malaysia, a mixture of commercial and residential space. And before that it said it would develop 500 acres of land in Sungei Buloh (former RRIM land) for a GDV of RM100 billion.

In all these ventures, 1MDB is partnering with the Qatar Investment Authority. What has the Arabs got that we haven’t? Building expertise? Capital? Don’t we have enough of those?

And today we read that 1MDB is planning to buy over Genting Sanyen Power (power stations) for about RM3.5 billion to add to their earlier purchase of power stations from Tanjong Energy, an Ananda Krishna company.

How does all these acquisitions and projects square with the aim of “empowering the private sector”? The government is in fact actively competing with the private sector, the real engine of economic growth. It is crowding out the private sector. It is creating more commercial space that the City of KL can take. It is confusing and frightening private developers and investors. It is working hard to depress property prices – one consequence of central planning.

Has Najib forgotten what he said and promised? Or are economic blue prints like the NEM just expensive little mental exercises in futility? If anything, all this shows a shallow PM whose words you cannot trust.

Victor Ong 10 August 2012 at 15:17  

Please check this link at because you were mentioned in this particular blogpost

Anonymous,  10 August 2012 at 18:38  


The TRX was a project that was called KLIFD that was mooted a few years back. Its original location was to be centred around the KLIA land owned by MAHB. Some Malay Dato was flogging around this project to every Ah Kow, Ah Beng and Ah Lian in Malaysia. It was a very grand plan and vision but nobody was gullible enough then. Until now. Malaysia already have TDM's private bank/ playground called LABUAN. So this was redundant. evne NOW, it is still redundant. Its just like MSC or Iskandar or whatever Corridor projects created, its just a simple land/real estate deal to benefit cronies.

On a larger note. We now have a PM/FM combo that is absolutely brainless AND greedy. He is centralising all power for his own personal financial benefit. DUH.... Notice all FDI's approved have been basic low skilled, highly polluted sunset industries that even China is shutting down. These industries can afford to give away the 30% Bumi stake as a business cost. LYNAS, VALE, etc, etc. All high value factories have and are moving out of Malaysia quietly, except Penang.

This only shows that Najib as a PM/FM is the absolute LAZIEST minister ever, in Malaysia, who ask friends/buddies for their business plans to collate into his FM's budget, pay exorbitant fees to outsourced consultants who treat Malaysia like the US economy and plaster HIS face on whatever advertising real estate he/his team can possibly buy. With govt money. If it is true that Najib's face is on all BN election POS materials, then UMNO/BN are the actual idiots to allow this to happen.

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