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Sakmongkol ak 47

Thursday, 4 June 2015

The UMNO Turf War and the 11th Malaysia Plan.

I want to write something about the 11MP. But before that, a few comments about the consuming issue of the moment- the infighting of UMNO. Its a turf war.

Come Friday, don’t expect any revolutionary revelations from Najib. The session is all scripted already, the questions known and answers rehearsed. The answers may have been readied for Najib to read out loud.

It’s just a forum to give Najib a chance to give answers prepared by his PR people on issues raised by DR Mahathir. Ask for admission, and his people will say, the venue is full already- with Najib’s pliant ready to hallelujah people.

Dr Mahathir has already said he is prepared to debate openly with Najib. So, we ask Najib please accept the challenge from a 90 year old man. He will not because as Najib says he doesn’t like to quarrel- and I believe and know he is not a quarrelsome type. He only likes to hit you from behind like what he is doing to Dr Mahathir at the moment. DR Mahathir prefers a frontal assault.

Dr Mahathir’s solution has 2 parts. I agree with first part which is the removal of Najib as PM. He is a menace to the country. We can write many things about Najib until we are blue in the face, the arteries in our necks are visible and until the cows come home to the condominium at 1 Menerung.

I disagree with the second part- because DR Mahathir confines his choice of successor to the leadership hierarchy in UMNO. Extraordinary times require outside of the box thinking. This entails freeing oneself from conventional thinking that UMNO’s top leader must come from within the hierarchy.  

Muhyidin is part of the ship that is running aground. So why should he be allowed to become ship’s captain when he is moulded from the same cloth? Pick someone who is not part of the ship that has run aground. My choice is Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.

Those who linked Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah to the BMF scandal in the 1980’s , think again. BBM was not under the Finance Minister at that time. It was under the charge of the PM’s office and direct supervision of BBMB fell under DR Mahathir. And please read the history of the BMF- all the papers that linked Tengku Razaleigh to the BMF scandal were sued for defamation by Tengku Razaleigh and Tengku Razaleigh won each and every one of the suits. Pick him as the PM.

But only if he is willing to be unpopular. He has to forge a new politics that gets rid of race based, religious based political parties. He must recognise that Gerakan and MCA are no longer spokesmen for the Chinese community. He must reset the politics of the country.

He must reset all the institutions that support our democracy- the election process, the judiciary, our parliament.  He must get rid of corruption.

He must be willing to restructure UMNO to make it relevant to the future. Most of all, he must change the mind-set of the Malays. Which means what? Which means the drivng forces that sustain the relevance of the Malay struggle are not his race, his religion or his Kings. The results in the by elections of Permatang Pauh dan Rompin showed these issues were no longer as important as before and that no party can buy its way to victory. 

Now let’s talk about the 11th Malaysia Plan.

The Plan contains an acknowledgement and acceptance of a very important underlying theme- that our country is unequal. Between the top 20% and the rest expressed in terms of disparities in income and wealth, between town and country, between cities.

There is an inverse relation between inequality and opportunity; the higher the inequality, the lower the opportunities. There is a simple explanation for this. The people who create the inequalities will ensure they remain so. The people who produce the inequality and are beneficiaries of the inequality will write in terms in any plan to make sure status quo remain the same.

The Plan. The Plan! It’s a guideline that maps out where we want to go from where we are now. The devil is in the details which are not in the Plan. So, we should not over-hyped the Plan as though it’s a be all end all solution.

The economic Plan is only good if it places wealth creating resources directly in the hands of the economic agent. The economic agent may be the individual farmer, a single mother, an association of fellow individuals engaged directly in an economic or business undertaking but never an intermediary agent doing things on behalf of others. If our target are the poor people then place wealth creating resources in their hands directly. Not in the hands of intermediaries.

If our target is to make cities and towns competitive, place the management of the city and towns directly in the hands of city councils and elected councillors. Hold local council elections.

We want to make farmers rich, but we place wealth creating resources in the hands of intermediaries- the pertubuhan peladang kawasan for example. The intermediaries will make sure they get to get the first and larger bite of the cherry and then let the half bitten cherry be shared among the many.

The highlight of these organisations at any given time, is the election of office bearers- who gets to be pengerusi pertubuhan peladang, who gets to be chosen as NAFAS etc. these organisations then get grants, facilities, assets etc. which they allocate among themselves first and then decide who gets them. As long as one gets to pick winners and play favourites according to subjective perceptions, the Plan will fail.

There is nothing new about the 11MP although PM Najib would want us to believe it is. Many of the measures to achieve the objectives of the Plan are repackaged ones from Plans of the past.

What is new for example in the plan to raise the income and wealth of the poor, the transformation of the rural sector and the fortification of the so called Malay economy?

Take the plan for the Malay economy. The solution in the 11MP seems to be the creation of a small selected of chosen ones to become rich as fast as possible. In simpler terms, the Malay economy is all about the creation a small elite of rent seekers.

The creation of rent seekers widens the inequality of the top 20% and the rest.

The Plan as a whole embodies the mentality of trickle-down economics. Create a coterie of super rich people, community, and clique and hope that these people, later, after enriching themselves first, will have the philanthropic urges to share with the bottom feeders.  They don’t. They help themselves first.

Consider this argument. Since Independence, all our Kings were, are and will always be Malays. The MBs save for Penang are all Malays. The state secretaries, the district officers, the directors of departments, the CPOs and the OCPDs, the penghulus, the JKKKs, the KSUs, the Chief Secretary, the IGPs are all Malays. In other words, every leader at every level who can make decisions are all Malays.

So how come the economic position of Malays at the lower rung of the social ladder has not improved much?

The simple and brutally frank answer is, these people help themselves first and then only consider helping out others. If by placing wealth creating resources directly in the hands of these top 20% inductees has helped them become rich and powerful, why is the same principle NOT applied to the rest? See what placing wealth creating resources directly in their hands can do for the rest.

PM Najib presented the 11MP to parliament. He did it in his usual style- talking down to others, ringed the speech with sarcasm at those who will disbelieve the Plan, veiling his attacks on Dr Mahathir and the opposition with mocking condescension.

For those who think that Najib was so fluid in his presentation the other day, please know there were two Teleprompters in front of him. He was just reading what his speechwriters and media minders wrote.

The 11th Malaysia Plan is the Business Plan produced by Putrajaya to develop Malaysia for the next 5 years. It contains the desire to implement a set of ideas on how to prop up the economy. I say desire because articulation is only half the story; more important is the implementation.

And what do readers think is the underlying idea behind coming up with the Plan? The planning to help the poor is done by the people aspiring to arrive in the top 20%. The plan must necessarily therefore speaks and articulates the interests of the top 20%. This is a Plan of the top 20%, by the top 20% and for the top 20%.

Would we expect therefore that the interests of the not in the top 20% be really looked after other than giving the cursory treatment disguised in good graphics and verbal obfuscation?  The 11MP is the glossiest of the Malaysia Plans to be ever produced. I am afraid the dazzle and razzle hide more than they reveal honestly.

The Plan will cost taxpayers another RM260 billion. That money will be raised by loans and or bond issues. But the results will be the same- the government will pay the private sector. This will lead to concentration of income in the hands of the political and business elites. It will defeat the purpose of inclusiveness which the Plan says it wants to achieve.

I must give credit to the people who worked up the ideas in the Plan in recognising the most important issue in our economy- which is the issue of inequality. Unfortunately, the BN government in trying to mislead the people that they care for the bottom 40% by showing the care for them on paper, fails to explain the other more important aspect- how do the top 20% get to become rich?

Why was the Plan silent on this?

Otherwise, all the government has done is just to make a show of their concern for those at the bottom and making them feel good but in the end, without unlocking the mysteries on how the top 20% got rich, will only lead to ensuring the bottom 40% remain as they are- the bottom feeders.

Then the paid holy men will descend on the poor bottom feeders exhorting them to be thankful for the abundance that God has given them, through the agency of the government of course, and that if they show pliant and submissive gratitude, there will more coming to them. And part of showing gratitude is of course to continue supporting the government acting as THE agent to deliver God’s bounty on them.

Don’t we see where this argument leads to? To the preservation of the power of the business and political elite and to the preservation of inequality.

If we don’t explain issues like rent seeking, corruption, abuse of power, regulatory capture and seeking the removal of these, I am afraid, the 11MP will make sure the rich becomes richer, the poor becoming poorer.


Anonymous,  4 June 2015 at 12:43  

Is TRH going to be a brave Malaysian patriot and "man of the hour" and act like Boris Yeltsin (in the dying days of the Soviet Union in the 1990s) ??

Discussion of Yeltin by a Swedish expert on the Soviet Union :

Phua Kai Lit

Anonymous,  4 June 2015 at 13:10  


GEORGE CHOO,  4 June 2015 at 16:39  

Sak,I agree with u and I can vouch for KU LI.The reason I can vouch for Ku LI is that at that time I was a young boy working for BanK Bumi(BBMB)external auditor HANAFIAH RASLAN MOHAMAD (HRM).As u know BMF is a subsidiary of BBMB.

If you ask me who causes this BMF scandal.The answer is CORRUPTION BY the BBMB TOP MANAGENMENT and A FEW top UMNO Official.People like Lorraine Osman and Rais Seniman at the top of BBMB management.
With the help of my audit partner HASSAN MERICAN,Petronas chairman THe late Tan Sri Bashir Ismail and Petronas MD The late Tan sri Azizan was able to rescue BBMB.

Even though I vouch for Ku LI,I do not support him as I feel he is A PENAKUT.I feel very disappointed that he did not make a stand on the najib leadership and the 1MDB
scandal.At this stage of his age,he have nothing to lose by making a stand.This is due to the fact Umno will not put him as PM even if Najib is gone.

Last night I was at forum at MPAJ auditorium until midnight,I ask Rafizi how much UMNO and Najib curi from EXIM bank and his answer is RM 600 MIILION and another 2 billion from Perwira AFFIN bank.

The common denominator for all this country problem is UMNO and I totally agree with u we do not follow the footstep of Mahathir who only want Umno to run Malaysia.

At a forum at Civic center PJ,Zaid Ibrahim disagree with me that we should let Najib
carry on as PM until the next GE because he belief that a wrong should be punished and Najib must go.

I hope PAS Hadi will join UMNO so that come the next GE we TENDANG KELUAR UMNO DARI PUTRAJAYA and we PENCENKAN HADI.

leman 4 June 2015 at 22:32  

Salute you George Choo....maybe i was about your age or you might be 5 years my senior.

Its really tough being an "auditor" since we are prity to most of the wrongdoings and sometime to the point endangering our "lives"

Firestone 4 June 2015 at 23:59  

Dato Sak, London is nostalgic to me... I remember the early days when I have no money left in my pocket and there are a few more days before my parents send me some basic expense money... I would go to a Hongkie-owned Chinese restaurant and eat a big plate of fried rice for 1 pound from my daily wages at the local eating places.... of course the children of UMNOputras still eat at Malaysia Hall having Satay Kajang and drinking tea and a Banana Split as dessert...

But I stop going back to London... because nowadays all I see are filthy rich UMNOputras sipping their lattes and puffing their Davidoff cigars and all dressed in expensive garb.... and I know most of these people....

These people are senior government servants, senior managers at GLCs and they bring their whole family there - with 2-3 maids tagging along...

It is so sad to see such scene.... because I know all these people.... at least 90% of them are spending on stolen money from corrupt practices....

That is why I don't go to London anymore because it makes me sick.... seeing all the corrupted people congregate and spend ill-gotten wealth while the country is going to the dogs!

Anonymous,  5 June 2015 at 07:26  

Dear Firestone

Yes, and they are buying up expensive property in
London, Los Angeles, Melbourne etc too.

Truly we have become a sub-Saharan Africa-type kleptocracy.

It all began with the Doctor and his destruction of the
political institutions and rule of law in Malaysia.
His Vision 2020 is becoming Nightmare 2020 for
concerned and patriotic Malaysians like us.

Phua Kai Lit

Anonymous,  5 June 2015 at 11:05  

I also do not agree with Ku Li as the immediate successor, even though being Kelantanese myself. On second thought, any idiot will do for the time being instead of Jibby. (not to say that Ku Li is an idiot)

Anonymous,  5 June 2015 at 12:42  

KU LI did not bankrupt the BBMB (Bank Bagi Bankrupt Melayu, as it was fondly known those sued for non-payment of their loans). But as you know, there was a murder involved when the BBMB branch (or subsidiary) "lost" million in HK. Its audit officer sent from KL was found floating face down in Hong Kong harbour.

Here we had that Mongolian lady killed and blown up with C4 (under "orders" it is alleged now - from someone high up). So how much money was involved that led to the murder? It must be quite a substantial sum.

Now we are concerned with another very large sum involved in our sovereign fund - is it missing or is there a good explanation? I think we all know the answer. I wonder who will get the chop?

One good thing for all to see was Mahathir being denied his constitutional right to speak by our local mata-mata. Mahathir never understood that we give rights to others so we may have them as well. He had a habit of stopping people from saying anything he did not want to hear. Good lesson. But we know that this not a lesson that UMNO can learn.

Anonymous,  5 June 2015 at 18:29  


Anonymous,  5 June 2015 at 18:34  

The Bugis hulubalang who is scared stiff of his wife is a pengecut after all.Hiding behind his two legged Hound of the Peacehill for protection against the Warrior of Kerala.

The 5 June 2015 at 19:55  

/// Muhyidin is part of the ship that is running aground. So why should he be allowed to become ship’s captain when he is moulded from the same cloth? Pick someone who is not part of the ship that has run aground. My choice is Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah. ///

Why KuLi? He's also cut from the same cloth - he's still an UMNO member. Why not someone outside of UMNO? Why not some capable Indian or Chinese?

Anonymous,  5 June 2015 at 20:37  

Najib blinked!

flyer168 6 June 2015 at 10:02  

Correct version...

"The UMNO Turf War and the 11th Malaysia Plan."

"...his is a Plan of the top 20%, by the top 20% and for the top 20%."


Great article & spot on.

"Life is a dream for the wise, a game for the fool, a comedy for the rich, a tragedy for the poor." - Sholom Aleichem

"Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking.

There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions.

Nothing pains some people more than having to think. - Martin Luther King, Jr

“Politicians are the same all over.

They promise to build bridges even when there are no rivers” - Nikita Khrushchev (First secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, 1894-1971)

“If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand” - Milton Friedman

"Well organized criminal group we call Mafia, the best organized Mafia, we call the Government. "


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