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Sakmongkol ak 47

Wednesday 31 July 2013

The Boris Yeltsin to Najib's Glasnost

Readers may be interested to read an abridged version of an interview I had with The Malaysian Insider, here. I spoke freely about a number of issues. One of these includes the future of Malays and what Mahathir is doing to imperil the social structure in Malaysia by distorting the issues.
If I may expand. Najib will fail in his glasnost style of politics because he hasn’t got the ground troops in the support power structures. He has the institutions, the means which are given legislative muscle- but the people to implement his ideas are not there. His world is full of tenured sycophants. Tenured in the sense that as far as these people get bits and pieces of economic and business entitlements- they sing like canary of Najib. In order to make his ideas taking root, he needs the manpower with enough zeal, dedication, honesty and commitment to carry out the ideas. Sadly, he has a modicum of talent and even then, the talented ones like KJ, Nurjazlan are viewed with suspicion and envy. Najib has got two chances- slim and none.
Look at what happened to Gorbachev. Najib has old man Boris Yeltsin in the form of Dr Mahathir hovering around him. Old man Boris would very much like to put a Putin with enough aggression to control the politics. He is cultivating several- Muhyidin, Shafie Apdal, and eventually the son. Yes, Mukhriz is now been trained to take over.
The UMNO ground stands in opposition to Najib. What he has is, perception that is media created mostly that his policies are working. The UMNO ground isn’t buying his Glasnost style. They want assertiveness and power talk. This is where, the man who can walk on water- Dr Mahathir comes in.
What Dr Mahathir has done is to set the tone and the theme for the coming UMNO elections. His message: - In order to check and balance the emergence of an assertive Chinese community, the next batch of UMNO leaders must be the most Malay of Malays. They must be aggressive, strident and bellicose. In other words UMNO must be ultra-Malay and its leaders ultra-Malay leaders. Mahathir wants the perkasafication of UMNO which he sees as being emasculated under the weak leadership of Najib. Only Najib hasn’t seen this or if he knows about it, he has no capacity to counter Mahathir.
It’s vintage Mahathir laying down the terms of UMNO leadership. It’s actually and endorsement for those who can represent the truer Malay. If Muhyidin is too thick to catch Mahathir’s drift, it will be his loss.
The Mahathir-type UMNO leader immediately rules out PM Najib. For Najib is now seen to be too compromising. His 1Malaysia concept is subject to widespread ridicule overshadowed only by overwhelming routinized propaganda. His actions of spending and spending are regarded as useless by Mahathir. Incidentally, Najib’s spendthrift way reconfirms what I have been saying about Najib- that the only way he knows to sort our problems is the way he has always used in holding the Pekan people mentally captive- pay his way through. Najib’s solution in securing loyalty and support is by way of Pekanization of the Malay mind. Pekan-ization has now entered into UMNO’s political lexicon.
 Najib is seen to be giving in to demands from the Indian and Chinese communities. The fact that MCA is no longer part of the administration is not relevant because Najib believes his benevolence transcends MCA. With or without MCA, Najib believes he can serve Chinese interests simply by a politics of accommodation. MIC appears to have placed their fish trap in a strategic passage. It has gained at MCA’s folly and expense.  It has more Indian reps in the administration than in all previous governments.
Whether the Chinese want to share or go on their own is not the issue. The more pertinent issue is whether UMNO has leaders with sufficient assertiveness and fortitude to withstand the Chinese onslaught. They must come in to rescue UMNO. It is the UMNO Malay imperative to replace Najib now. For all Mahathir cares, a resurgent UMNO can work with DAP as long as UMNO is accepted as elder brother. But a stronger UMNO must emerge first and a stronger one does not need a Najib.
Dr Mahathir has written an article. It was titled The Chinese Dilemma. The Chinese it seems must decide whether to seize political power now that it has economic power. Dr Mahathir is also saying the Chinese are wrong in supporting DAP because unlike MCA, DAP does not want to share power.
The comparison is hardly correct. MCA does not share- it takes what it is allowed to chew. MCA is UMNO’s Pekingese loyal to UMNO and subservient.
MCA is a good boy because it is willing to share power by being the subordinate partner. Dr Mahathir ignores the fact that in Penang, the DAP shares power with its PR partners and in Selangor shares power with PKR and PAS. In Penang it shares power much in the same way as UMNO shares power in UMNO dominated states. And in Selangor DAP shares power much in the same way, MCA or Gerakan shares power in UMNO dominated states. The difference is, the power sharing is done on the basis of first among equals. With UMNO, the power sharing basis is a master-servant structure.
That is the real cause for the rejection of MCA. The Chinese by and large see MCA as an ineffective instrument to represent Chinese needs.
DAP cannot rule Malaysia without partnering up and know this; without having Malay leaders in the forefront. And ruling Malaysia as in doing it alone is not on its radar screen. The DAP’s attractiveness lies in the cause it champions- things that are dear to Chinese within the given Malaysian social environment; a good government, good governance, fair deal for Chinese etc. as for the rest, the Malays can have it except the Malays are now sophisticated enough in their thinking to value matters like good government, reduced corruption, absence of abuse of power, reject nepotism and cronyism-led economy etc.
That kind of Malay government can be accepted by all including DAP.


Monday 29 July 2013

Apa dia Dilema UMNO?

Nampaknya ramai pembaca tidak dapat membezakan antara sokongan kepada pimpinan UMNO dengan sokongan terhadap idea menjuarai kepentingan orang Melayu. Inilah masaalah pokok nya. Walhal, ianya dua perkara berbeza. Mempertahankan kepimpinan UMNO tidak sama dengan mempertahan idea menjuarai kepentingan orang Melayu. Idea atau konsep memperjuangkan kepentingan Melayu adalah hak semua orang Melayu. Dan idea itu bukan hak milik persendirian dan mutlak pimpinan dan ahli UMNO sahaja.ianya boleh disebut, suarakan dan dilaksanakan oleh semua orang Melayu.
Melayu UMNO tidaklah ada kelebihan daripada Melayu bukan-UMNO. Kebetulan mereka berada dalam UMNO yang mempunyai ahli seramai 3.4juta diseluruh negara. Mungkin ini yang memberi perasaan angkuh kepada ahli UMNO bahawa mereka sahaja yang berhak bercakap untuk kepentingan Melayu. Jika dalam PRU13 lalu, calun2 UMNO secara direct mendapat 3.4juta undi secara keseluruhan, ini baru sama dengan jumlah ahli nya. Ertinya, UMNO tidak mendapat sokongan dari rakyat yang melata. Dalam PRU lalu, jumlah orang Melayu yang keluar mengundi ialah 7.3 juta. Bermakna, kita boleh bercakap bagi pihak 3.9 juta Melayu yang tidak menyokong UMNO.
Mempertahankan pimpinan UMNO adalah kerja orang UMNO. Mempertahankan kepentingan orang Melayu adalah kerja SEMUA orang Melayu. Sementara orang UMNO boleh mempertahankan kepentingan orang Melayu kerana mereka Melayu, kerja dan tanggungawab itu, bukan hak mutlak mereka.
Sebaik sahaja kita faham perbezaan antara dua perkara ini, barulah kita akan faham bahawa berjuang dan bercakap mengenai hal2 yang penting bagi orang Melayu boleh dilakukan dari platform mana2 sahaja dan tidak semestinya UMNO. Jika ahli UMNO merasakan bahawa UMNO merupakan platform yang terbaik, saya tidak ada masaalah dengan pandangan tersebut. Saya hanya ada masaalah dengan pandangan bahawa hanya UMNO sahaja platform untuk menjuarai hal2 yang penting untuk orang Melayu. Fakta nya, UMNO mungkin boleh bercakap bagai 3.4 juta Melayu. Bagi pihak 3.9juta Melayu yang lain bagaimana?
Dalam artikel yang terdahulu, sasaran asas ialah ialah kepimpinan UMNO, bukan parti tersebut. Proposisi saya yang asas ialah kepimpinan yang lemah yang disokong oleh barisan pimpinan yang sepemikiran dengan pemimpin yang lemah, mencederakan kepentingan orang Melayu UMNO. Ini bermakna, Najib dan mereka yang sepemikiran dengan dia, tidak baik untuk orang Melayu UMNO. Mereka akan menyebab orang Melayu menolak UMNO.
Nampaknya ada dua pendekatan mengembalikan keutamaan dan kedahuluan Melayu dalam politik negara. Pertama, golongan yang merasakan kaedah nya ialah dengan meningkatkan right wingism dalam UMNO. Guna cara agresif. UMNO mesti memilih mereka yang lebih Melayu dari orang lain. Pendekatan ini dipelopori oleh the man who can walk on water- Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Itu tesis utama Dr Mahathir dalam artikel nya mengenai dilemma Cina. Dr Mahathir menyebutkan dilemma Cina ialah menimbangkan sama ada mahu mengambil alih kuasa politik dari orang Melayu setelah memiliki kuasa ekonomi.
Dengan sebutan tersebut, orang Melayu berdepan dengan isiu yang sudah dipermudahakan oleh Dr Mahathir- siapa yang berani dan lebih Melayu? Sesiapa yang mengkaji pemikiran Dr Mahathir mestilah sudah tahu- bahawa cara untuk memahami Dr Mahathir ialah mencari perkara yang tidak dizahirkan oleh Mahathir.  Dan dalam artikel Dilema Cina- perkara yang tidak disebut ialah- kebangkitan Cina mesti di periksa dan diimbangi oleh right wingism Melayu UMNO. Itu sahaja penyelesaian nya. Bukan cara lembik dan berkompromi sana sini seperti yang dilakukan oleh Najib.
Dengan melakukan demikian, Mahathir telah pun meletakkan terms of reference untuk pemilihan UMNO tahun ini. Mesej Mahathir ialah ahli UMNO mesti memilih tokoh UMNO yang kelihatan lebih Melayu dari yang lain. Artikel Mahathir sebetulnya suatu sindiran tajam terhadap kepimpinan Najib.
Siapa lebih Melayu dan pada masa yang sama menimbulkan rasa tenteram dikalangan orang Melayu? Jawab nya Muhyidin. Muhyidin lebih Melayu dari Najib. Maka Muhyidin secara tidak lansung telah mendapat perakuan dari Mahathir. Dan Muhyidin mempunyai sokongan dari Kelantan, Terennganu, Johor, Perak, Pulau Pinang, Kedah, dan Pahang. Dan mungkin secara keseluruhan. Najib pula dilihat sebagai pemimpin yang terhegeh hegeh meraih ehsan dari Cina dan India. Ini pendekatan yang berlawanan dengan pendekatan Mahathir. UMNO yang lemah dibawah pimpinan yang lemah akan memberi konsesi yang berlebihan kepada bangsa lain. Itu mesej Mahathir.
Mungkin orang Melayu masih tidak sedar perkara ini. Kemana Najib mahu bawak kita? Ekonomi kita ada lah contractor –driven. Projek besar semua nya dicadangkan oleh kontraktor dan pihak kerajaan memperakui nya. Apa yang kerajaan miliki ialah kuasa perakuan dan kuasa tersebut dieksploitasi oleh ahli politik dan pegawai tinggi kerajaan untuk mengayakan diri sahaja.
Agenda kerajaan dengan demikian tidak lain dan tidak bukan adalah agenda golongan peniaga yang mahu menghimpunkan kuasa ekonomi dan kekayaan dalam tangan mereka. Apa dia ETP jika tidak lain dan tidak bukan himpunan perancangan pihak swasta yang di perakui oleh kerajaan? Dan apa pula GTP- government transformation plan selain daripada menghimpunkan kuasa membuat keputusan dalam tangan oligarki pentadbiran?
Dilemma UMNO pula ialah menimbangkan sama ada mengekal atau menolak Najib yang dilihat sebagai pemimpin yang banyak berkompromi akan kepentingan Melayu. Dr Mahathir sudah pun memberi petunjuk dalam hal ini.


Saturday 27 July 2013

Orang Melayu jangan menaruh harapan yang tinggi kepada pimpinan UMNO

Saya menulis sebagai seorang pemerhati politik. Dan sebagai orang Melayu mengenai parti Melayu yang terbesar. Saya dapati berada dalam DAP memudahkan saya bercakap mengenai kepentingan orang Melayu yang tidak berani disuarakan oleh ahli UMNO. Jika Cina DAP tidak menyuarakan kepentingan Melayu, itu tidak jadi masaalah kepada saya selagi saya sendiri boleh melakukan nya. Apa yang diharap pada bangsa lain untuk menyuarakan kepentingan Melayu? Yang orang UMNO sibuk hendak paksa cina bercakap dan menjuarai Melayu mengapa?
Kita lah yang bertanggungjawab atas masa depan bangsa kita. Dan bila saya sebut ‘kita’ tidaklah bermakna , Melayu itu mesti Melayu dalam UMNO. Orang Melayu dalam PAS, PKR bahkan DAP pun berhak menyuarakan hal2 kepentingan bangsa Melayu.
Yang menyedihkan kita ialah pimpinan UMNO yang mengaku menjuarai bansga Melayu mengkhianati kepentingan bangsa mereka sendiri. Yang menyedihkan kita ialah pimpinan UMNO yang menggunaknan nama bangsa Melayu untuk kepentingan peribadi. Ini kita tak terima.
Najib sebagai pemimpin terrtingi UMNO memperlihatkan betapa lemah nya dia dalam menjaga kepentingan Melayu. Dalam masa pentadbiran PM yang dulu2- MIC hanya diperuntukkan satu kerusi menteri. Yang lain hanya layak jadi timbalan menteri. Sudah parti tersebut minority, tapi Najib memberi mereka tempat prominent dalam cabinet. Berapa orang India mesti dihadirkan dalam pentadbiran negara?
Mana ada wanita UMNO jadi menteri penuh? Najib meletakkan wanita dari Sarawak jadi Menteri Penuh yang tak tahu latar belakang di Semanjung. Apa sudah jadi dengan Najib?
Ada orang UMNO yang sanggup mendedahkan rasuah dikalangan pimpinan UMNO? Ada yang sanggup mendedahkan soal kemiskinan dikalangan orang Melayu? Ada orang UMNO berani mendedahkan keperitan hidup orang Melayu? Jika tak berani, ketepi- saya boleh buat demikian. Saya boleh bercakap dan bersuara untuk bangsa saya dimana orang UMNO bacul dan tak berani.
Dari segi perjuagan UMNO sudah banyak menyimpang. Pimpinan nya mementingkan diri sendiri. Asset orang Melayu seperti tanah, hartabenda, saham tidak dijaga malah dibaham oleh pimpinan UMNO. Saham RM54billion yang diperuntukkan dibawah DEB habis dijual oleh golongan elit Melayu untuk mengayakan diri mereka. Pimpinan UMNO tak pandai mengurus asset bagi pihak orang Melayu. Tanah reseb Melayu tinggal sebahagian kecil dari yang asal dan tidak di ganti. GLC banyak yang rugi walaupun dikendalikan oleh orang Melayu. GLC rugi tapi pimpinan GLC kaya raya.
PNB misalnya mahu membina menara dan bangunan yang tinggi menelan belanja berbilion Ringgit. Perlukah PNB kepada bangunan baru? kalau berbilion Ringgit itu diagihkan dalam bentuk dividend bukan kah itu lebih baik untuk orang Melayu?
Komitment dan dedikasi pada perlaksanaan dasar2 yang menguatkan orang Melayu tidak mengiringi deklarasi dan pengucapan. Pimpinan UMNO lebih mengutamakan jeritan dan pekikan slogan daripada memberi isian kepada pengucapan. Najib terutama nya, lebih menyerlah pada segi melaungkan itu dan ini, tapi laungan tersebut tidak berisi.
Menjelang Perhumpian Agung UMNO pada bulan Disember ini, pelbagai spekulasi telah dibuat. Adakah Najib akan dicabar?  Jawapan rengkas nya, ya dia akan dicabar. Pencabar nya ialah Muhyidin Yassin. Walaupin Muhyidin dilaourkan sebagai berasa letih untuk berlawan, dia tidak ada pilihan lain. Jika dia tidak mencabar, dia akan di pinggirkan sedikit demi sedikit. Bukan rahsia lagi, Najib membarisi tenaga2 untuk mengepung dan mengekang Muhyidin. Jika Muhyidin tidak berbuat sesuatu, masa depan nya akan gelap dan masa depan UMNO sebagai sumber pengharapan orang Melayu pun akan muram.
Ketika Pak Lah hanya memenangi 140 kerusi parlimen tapi undi popular nya 51%, Muhyidin mengepalai gerakan untu mengusir Pak lah. Akhirnya Pak Lah terpaksa berhenti jadi presiden UMNO dan PM. Menantu nya tinggal dalam kegelapan manakala pimpinan setara dengan KJ mendapat tempat dalam pentadbiran negara.
Jika Muhyidin tidak menggesa Najib berhenti, maka dia akan dilihat sebagai tidak konsisten. Ternayata Najib gagal dalam banyak hal. Twitter nya dan blog nya tidak akan dapat menyembunyikan kekosongan dalam diri Najib. Dia hanya lebih dari segi bentuk, tapi kurang dalam segi isi.
Dia gagal bila berjaya mendapat hanya 133 kerusi parlimen berbanding dengan Pak lah 140 kerusi. Undi popular dalam tangan Najib hanya 47% berbanding Pak Lah dengan undi popular 51%. Betul UMNO menang lebih banyak kerusi tapi kemenangan itu disebabkan gerrymandering. Kepadatan pengundi yang kurang dalam kawasan yang ditandingi oleh UMNO membenarkan Najib memenangi lebih banyak kerusi untuk UMNO. Bawah pimpinan Najib, parti MCA hanya menang 7 kerusi parlimen berbanding dengan dibawah Pak lah dimana MCA menang 15 kerusi.
Najib gagal mendapat 2/3 kerusi parlimen. Najib gagal menawan Selangor. Perak hanya menang tipis. Terengganu menang tipis juga. Buat pertama kali di Negeri Pahang, ada 12 ADUN pembangkang dalam dewan undangan negeri.
ETP, GTP nya lebih indah khabar dari rupa. Dari jauh kelihatan jelita, bila dekat mendukacitakan. Itu kita bincang dibahagian lain.


Friday 26 July 2013

Other's Bread is too salt: Gardenia vs Massimo( Part 3/3)

Where big business interests are locked in a tussle for market share, truth and justice are often sacrificed. While Gardenia’s competitors have publicly denied any complicity in it, anonymous, suspicious and sneaky supporters of big business interests have been busy exploiting racism and politics in an attempt to shift consumers away from Gardenia, to its competitors. Internet ghosts, and even Facebook campaigners, have been promoting the ‘Boycott Gardenia’ cry with grossly misinformed and misleading claims that for every loaf of Gardenia bread one buys, 16 cents goes to UMNO and Rosmah! Rosmah must now sell ‘roti’ to make a living. The mysterious authors of these vicious and racist email and other hate-attacks against Gardenia seem to be targeting the Chinese in particular, to alter their spending and eating habits in favour of competing brands.
Consumers must know that Gardenia is 70% owned by QAF Ltd. which is a  public listed company on the Singapore Stock Exchange. The remaining 30% shareholding was sold to BERNAS at a premium in 2001, in line with MITI’s conditions for granting Gardenia a manufacturing licence. This was long, long before Syed Mokhtar took control of BERNAS via Tradewinds in 2009 and Rosmah was anywhere within sight of Putrajaya! Understand this: Syed Mokhtar’s ownership of Gardenia was automatic upon his taking over of Bernas.
In view of its 30% shareholdings, Bernas has board of director’s representation in Gardenia. However, it has never interfered in Gardenia’s operations or management, nor ever forced it to buy flour from Syed Mokhtar-controlled companies. In fact, in over 25 years of production, Gardenia has not bought a single gram of flour from any flour mill owned by Bernas, Syed Mokhtar Bukhari or UMNO. Gardenia is still buying flour from Chinese owned millers, especially the Teh family of LUmut.
Gardenia has not bought any flour from Federal Flour Mills (FFM) owned by uncle Bob Kuok’s Group, for over 15 years. That was even before Syed Mokhtar got into the bread business. There was no truth in the vicious campaigns that suggested that UMNO or someone powerful suddenly instructed Gardenia to terminate business with FFM. This was a lie.
 The truth behind buying flour elsewhere is grounded more in terms of trade secrets.    Every bread company has its own secret flour formulations and ingredients for its range of products - white bread, wholemeal, bun, waffle etc. Gardenia decided to part ways with FFM shortly after 1998 when FFM took to also supplying the same formulated flour to Gardenia’s new competitor. FFM was outright unethical in wanting to sell the same formulated flour sold to Gardenia to others.
In response, Gardenia then shifted its orders to other flour millers as they felt there was a conflict of interest issue with FFM which could not be resolved.    Clearly, Gardenia’s move to turn to other local flour millers as far back as 1998 was a commercial and business decision, to protect its trade secrets. The question of race had no bearing whatsoever on its strategic directions then, or even now.
Racism in any form - overt, covert, subtle, must be condemned by right thinking Malaysians. This scurrilous attempt by a group of, obviously Malaysian Chinese to appeal to extreme chauvinism in commercial business matters is racism by any other name. This is most detestable and should be rejected outright!
But that is not all. Our government has been subsidising flour, oil and sugar for the last 50 years, to the tune of billions of ringgit every year. Guess whose businesses have been some of the happy beneficiaries of this taxpayer-funded largesse? Are we ready and willing to concede that the party that enjoys the most in terms of subsidies must therefore be more of a crony to UMNO than the others who do not enjoy the same?
Because FFM enjoys more subsidies that the rest of flour millers including than the Chinese owned miller who supplies to Gardenia, then FFM and Massimo is a better and deeper crony of UMNO. Currently, Gardenia's main formulated flour supplier is controlled by the Teh family from Perak, while it's other major supplier is owned by Indonesian and Australian parties. So, where do stories of Malaysian Chinese business interest being decimated come from? I suspect that race is being exploited to scare the Chinese in the same way that Mahathir, Ibrahim Ali and Perkasa employ it as a tactical weapon to keep the people apart. The Chinese have their own Ibrahim Alis, Zul Nordins and other fascists. 

Next: who gets the most from BN's Flour Subsidy? the Bigger Crony. 


Thursday 25 July 2013

Other's Bread is too Salt: Gardenia vs Massimo( Part 2 of 3).

Bread war.
When I wrote about the bread war between Gardenia and Massimo, there were a number of comments sent in, stating why they prefer one bread brand over the other. I have no quarrel over how a person spends his money on what bread the person wants. It’s his or her money and his or her personalised reasons.
I am however horrified at the instigation carried out to condemn one product by supporters of the rival product. I believe those who elect to consume one bread or the other must be aware of these. And these guerrilla attacks may not even be known to the personality in whose name the Massimo brand is fought for. The attacks might be the work of overzealous employees whose ethics in business are questionable and which were certainly uncharacteristic of the business ethics associated with the master. The actions of supporters with unquestioning minds make matters worse.
I have heard about business tactics that constitute  a war of competition waged in the interest of trade, but the viciousness of the lies and falsehoods spewed against Gardenia constitute none of that. .For instance consumers were shocked at the attempt to discredit and vilify Gardenia by a posting showing the picture of a dead rat/animal  together with gardenia bread. That was a clear attempt to show that the process of making bread by gardenia is unhygienic and even life threatening to consumers. This was an act done to cause injurious falsehood, trade libel and negligent misrepresentation.
The author of the falsehood later made a public and published apology for that trade libel. Not many people I supposed were aware of the retraction and apology. The damage and hurt was already inflicted. The first cut is always the deepest.
As consumers we must be aware and understand about actions taken to balance the need to protect one business against those who inflict economic harm and the wider need to allow effective, even aggressive, competition between them. But to cast the competition between gardenia and Massimo in terms of racial confrontation cannot be accepted as effective, aggressive business competition by right thinking citizens.
That was how the war between Massimo and gardenia was made out to be.  
Since 2011, the bread consuming public became participants to a race war fought through the common bread. Chinese internet readers were encouraged to reject Gardenia because the company is owned by Syed Mokhtar an UMNO Crony. Ownership of Gardenia became more bizarre when it was said to be owned by Rosmah Mansor who was also later reported to be the CEO. From there, Rosmah Mansor vanished from the scene because Gardenia’s new owner is Dr Mahathir. In other words, UMNO gallery of rogues were lined up to discredit Gardenia.
These attacks were meant to show that Gardenia is out there to elbow out uncle Bob Kuok who is considered the patron saint to Chinese business people. Put it simply, this is an attempt by the Malay government to squeeze out Chinese business interest gradually. In the case of Gardenia when it stopped buying flour from FFM (due entirely to commercial reasons), that was manipulated to make it looked like an attack on a legitimate Chinese business interest. If we don’t stop Gardenia, eventually all Chinese owned businesses will be taken over by UMNO crony companies.
The public forgets that Gardenia Bakeries (K.L.) Sdn. Bhd., producer of Gardenia is also a legitimate business. It has achieved its dominant position of a bread manufacturer and market leader through sheer hard work of its thousands of workers and distributors and fair competition. Since when is it a right for Massimo to defend its workers but the same right cannot be enjoyed by Gardenia? Gardenia has a legion of workers, distributors and support suppliers.
Perhaps because of that, it has attracted envy that turned into an insidious hate campaign. The campaign has gone to a ridiculous extent with someone publishing images of dead animals found in Gardenia bread as we mentioned above.
Some of the comments responding to my first article said, they eat Massimo because it is cheaper and tastier. About taste, that is a personal choice. About it being cheap, when I wrote about it, it was done in the most general terms. Since then, I have done a little research and found the following.
Bran & wheat germ
Wheat Germ
100% whole grain
 with sunflower seeds
100% wholemeal

It was clear then when commentators wrote about one bread being cheaper than the other, they were not comparing like for like. The attempts to mislead were pervasive. The truth of the matter is, Gardenia bread is cheaper in terms of value for money. For the same price, consumers get more.
And the wheat germ bread is still priced at the introductory price of RM2.50 since 2 years ago!. How is it possible for Massimo to maintain that price?
It can because not many people know that it enjoys unfair advantage in the cost of inputs. Massimo is 100% owned by FFM- Federal Flour Mill. FFM is enjoying the lion’s share of subsidies by the government. Haha- it now seems that the Italian Baker which produces the Massimo bread and is owned by FFM is more of a crony to the BN government. Its gets the lion’s share of subsidies and because of that, it can maintain the introductory price of its wheat germ bread at RM2.50!.
Now we know that FFM a flour miller is the 100% owner of The Italian baker which produces Massimo. It can run with the hare while hunting with the dogs. It gets subsides from the BN government, while Gardenia which is a bakery and does not own a flour mill does not get subsidies.
Syed Mokhtar who owns 30% of Gardenia may be an UMNO crony and enjoys benefits therefrom from other business interests but does not enjoy any subsidy benefits as does The Italian Baker. The Italian Baker is more of an UMNO crony than Syed Mokhtar in this instance.
The UMNO haters and the closet racists should reject Massimo then if hatred for UMNO was the basis for preferring Massimo over Gardenia.


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