Tuesday, April 13, 2010

1Malaysia in Washington

Why would Malaysia promote its national unity in Washington?

I have always thought promoting 1Malaysia in our home ground is fine, even if it is called the Faces of 1Malaysia, although I would even argue that having to promote it means that we do not have it in the first place.

I fear the great monotony ravaging our nation. It seems that the only idea or concept that best describe our nation today is 1Malaysia - whether it is a wish, an idea or a reality. We have no way of distinguishing one from the other.

Somebody should be doing some real work if this country is going to go anywhere at all. It will be sad that the signal for a good economy is some stirring in the stock market.


Anonymous said...

These on-goings only reflect the sorry state of nationhood that we have as of it now.

Run out of idea! Lead by the nose-string! Think within the box cocoon)!

Be happy we r a easy-go-lucky people. The almighty will look after us - if not NOW then BEYOND the hereafter.

The US road show is just a personal ego. They just dont know, or dont want to know that there is NOTHING great about meeting the President at a public forum. If u r invited to the White House or a Presidential Retreat, then there r REALLY something to boost about!

Back home the sorry state of the e-procurement web site CLEARLY indicates how the country is been managed - lead by a nuts, who is eager to please the boss; manage by a system controller, who's understanding of web design is questionable; maintain by a freshy computer data programmer who dont cross-checks infos!

Thus the SHOW goes on & on, day after day, without single decent upgrade!

This country is going down the DRAIN faster than u say BN!

walla said...

When the working group of a population is small relative to its aging and the growing groups, investment income becomes paramount.

One may say sending the faces of 1Malaysia to the US to coincide with their cherry festival was an investment to promote inbound tourist income. But knowing how promotion campaigns have been run before by the administration of this country, there was probably no prior correlation of how noteworthy has been investment incomes generated from such promotion activities.

Like dropping the national car on the north pole, hosting the commonwealth games, sending an orthopedic doctor into space in exchange for buying fighter planes which are now proving over-costly to maintain, buying a marque sports car company for its suspension system to be fitted into a car whose other parts are sub-par ....the list goes on. There is no full-cycle costing and cost-benefit analysis because brains were not tested.

And even if such campaigns had yielded investment incomes, there should have been publicized justification for them. After all, the money came from the rakyat who might well have decided it could have been better used helping them directly. Especially so now that the rakyat have found out that twenty seven million ringgit and seventy seven million ringgit have been respectively spent on ladies' shoes and annual image-building fees after four hundred here and two thousand five hundred there for each screwdriver and car jack.

Given all these spectacular purchases after noting that the government itself has admitted it doesn't really know best, shouldn't it therefore invite the views of the rakyat before ploughing money it didn't earn into schemes dreamed up by politicians whose attention and other spans are no wider than their intelligence?

Especially during these complex times when governments are scampering to appear busy in order to avoid people drawing the general conclusion that they were the ones who had deliberately overlooked the signals that were around which had pointed to the financial mess that they are now trying to solve in order to avoid being labeled irrelevant?

Integrity is the 1Key. Without 1Key, trust is lost. And even if truth be spoken from the outset, it will not be believed until and unless proven not guilty. But if the justice system itself is an oxymoron, integrity, trust and belief will have no chance of taking shape. Furthermore, abetted by a chief who says one thing and his deputy who insists on saying another.

Such as 1Malaysia. Is it about inclusiveness enriched by diversity? So why the bellyaching about racial primacy? But because brains are in short supply, a fatal mistake is being made.

1Malaysia and NEM are siamese twins. They are joined by the same umbilical cord. Without the mood of 1Malaysia, NEM cannot work because it presupposes the private sector as engine of growth traveling along public sector strategic directions for a new level of nation-building.

If the private sector is aggravated by the same racial primacy as that which had caused the NEM to be formulated quickly, then obviously there will be less than fulsome enthusiasm by that sector for anything that will emanate from the other sector. In which case, members of the public sector will react, bringing everything down to the same status quo whose avoidance was the intent of both 1Malaysia and the NEM.

In fact, status quo is already maintained because no one in his or her right mind will not escape the conclusion that if a chief says one thing and his deputy says another, it is not the fault of the communications arm in the machinery. It is because they have already pre-decided to play the same game as was played year after year in the political economy that is the hallmark of this country.

walla said...


So, if it is a game that spectators and investors have constantly decried, what chance have 1Malaysia and NEM to succeed? Especially when the deputy publicly calls upon the other races to provide stakeholder inputs for the NEM and then ended his sentence by saying the process should not sacrifice the interest of his party and his race? Are the attributes political interest and race embedded in any business plan, cash-flow spreadsheet, bank reconciliation statement, balance sheet, quarterly report and annual review anywhere else in the world?


Coming back full circle, are there meatier issues than paying to sit four-eyed with the head of a country with a one point four trillion dollar debt just to tell him that this small country has finally managed to scrounge together an Act of parliament on strategic material trade which presumably will avoid another scomi centrifuge mishap?

Pulling one surefire meaty issue from the air:

"Competitiveness of Malaysia SMEs:

- SMEs in Malaysia believe they are low in competitiveness against their peers in the region, with an average of only 23% of respondents feeling they are more competitive and 38% to be at least on par;

- Seventy-five percent of respondents saw China as more competitive followed by South Korea and Taiwan at 69% and Hong Kong at 66%;

- When rated by peers in neighbouring countries, only 9% of SMEs in China viewed Malaysia SMEs as more competitive compared to 46% in Indonesia;

Problems encountered in financing business

- Eighty-six percent of Malaysian SMEs encountered problems in business financing;

- The main issues faced by Malaysian SMEs in financing their business are:

insufficient collateral; bureaucracy and red tape in processing applications;

unaccepted project proposals and the lack of institutions willing to lend to small businesses."

One would think the chief of a country would have found it more productive not to leave it to his underlings to sit down with or visit in person the local SMEs, apparently ninety percent of the backbone of this nation's industrial weight that is supposed to play a major role in the NEM, and find out why the same problems have come up year after year after year.....rather than fly all the way to talk to someone about nuclear non-proliferation, when this country doesn't even have a nuclear reactor to know what's really involved in geopolitical power balancing.

If our export of seafood to Europe has been destroyed because people fell asleep at their jobs to ensure compliance, what chance of success will we as a model islamic state which whups women have that can deliver world peace by persuading trigger-happy nuclear fingers not to play with their toys just because we have implicit recognition by the object of their scorn after a single four-eyed visit to boot? Perhaps we were thinking another fizzy drink plant will help us get closer to doubling our per capita income in ten years time, that is after discounting health-care and funeral costs from an epidemic in diabetes.

walla said...


Investors come when they see basics and fundamentals embedded in a nation's fabric. Ours are all torn and tattered by a continuous procession of saying and doing ridiculous things first, then scrambling to change the perception next, meanwhile judiciously avoiding the one thing that must be done - changing racial mindsets which crimp economic progress through ineffectual politically motivated policies that divide instead of unify. How does a society divided cooperate to build? A nobel prize in economics awaits the solver.

Surely, it is not hard to believe that investments from a country with a broken financial system, massive unemployment and ruinous debts will take a bit longer in coming. Just as there has been insignificant response to the service liberalization incentives, more time is needed. However, in our case, as the above survey gives an inkling, our industrial backbone is stymied. Time is not on our side.

Efficiency, free enterprise, subsidies and FTZs. Does anyone these days subscribe to the views of the Austrian school? How about Rothbard and Kirzner? How does one measure efficiency? Do we leave it to governments to adjudicate 'rights' and efficiencies? Or should the final arbiter be the market?

If we leave it to governments, do we need to pre-qualify them that they do not hide agendas that will not be in the long-term interest of the market in which they as constantly invite for investments as they as constantly enrich their own party members?

The problem with Malaysia is we want the cake and eat it. It is easy for governments to say tax those who are productive so as to equalize for the poor in order to reduce monopolism on racial grounds. Perhaps it is cronyism. Which means the processes were not free enterprise and open market but just plain kleptocracy. In the recent batch of pump-priming, it must have been doubly concentrated because we now learn all this talk about sixty seven billion ringgit of stimulus packages paid out was off the mark by fifty percent; half were used to rerate holdings.

Let's say racial connotations don't come into the picture because we have finally decided to go austrian for a change. The engine of growth is going to be stirred up. The economic pie is going to grow. And growing the economic pie is one of the two fundamental premises behind the affirmative policy for one now redubed affirmative action for all.

Free market/enterprise will springboard new efficiencies and generate real economic growth from capital infusion from more enthusiastic investors than fizzy drinks bottlers. The money, technology and market will grow local businesses which will percolate economic benefits to all races at those points where they can be entrusted to deliver based on their own capabilities, thereby indirectly creating the motivation to self-improve and knocking out cultivated dependencies on political antibiotics, reducing poverty and the need for social nets, in turn reducing subsidies, government debt, in turn growing reputational capital, and creating the first of many new virtuous cycles of renewal, reformation, even renaissance.

Because time is short, and we are losing the real global game, the catalyst to achieve real growth has to be a spark from doing something spectacular.

You go to the mecca of laissez faire, HongKong and probes the streetstall owner selling garments. He replies, nice to see, not good to eat. Sure, there is an income gap. But which is better? More growth with reducing gap, or less growth with growing gap?

Malaysia, your cosmopolitan hub, no whupping allowed, everything duty-free. The impacts, already denoted in an earlier post....

The SECOND link below should be kept under the pillow to help sharpen the perspective when thinking about the NEM...


I come here because i enjoy the insights.

ana said...

what are you guys talking about here? please be blessed to be in the peaceful country, you have no idea how lucky we are to be in this country. you have no idea even the people in the US are living like us! open up your mind, if you want this country to be better, then do something bout it! don't complain if you dont even do anything about it. why don't you grab the 1malaysia concept in your heart as it is clearly the best way to make our country better and to stay unity evnthough there are still some racists in the country. you want to let the negative issue conquer your mind? then you are no better either way. let go of the politics and embrace the society with 1 malaysia. peace my malaysian mates.