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Showing posts with label Barisan National. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Barisan National. Show all posts



Much ado about nothing...

I rushed out of office at 1145am yesterday to Bangsar Village 2 for a lunch appointment at the 'Delicious'. Azlan (not his real name), had already arrived for our 12noon appointment. I had to circle Bangsar a few times but could not get a parking. The recent increase in petrol price did not deter or reduced the traffic congestion. For the first 2 weeks pursuant to the petrol price announcement, there was an ease in the trafficcongestion but now it is almost back to normal. I seldom allow my car to be parked by the car jockey knowing for sure, through past experiences how irresponsible the jockey can be.

I did not want Azlan to wait and unwillingly left my car to the jockey and rushed into the restaurant to see him seated in his elegant banker dressing. He was having his appetizer when I arrived. Azlan, is a banker for more than half his life. He helped me during the last recession. We met today to update each other after more than a year of ‘minding own business’. We both had been busy with work and there is so much to talk especially on current state of our country’s affair.

I greeted Azlan and immediately ordered my favourite Spaghetti Aglio algio and Azlan had the salmon. We lit a cigarette while waiting for our food and poised our first topic of conversation. “What is becoming of Malaysia?”, said the veteran Banker. We have the most prominent ex-banker Tan Sri Amirsham being made a Senator to advice the Prime Minister and the biggest tycoon banker Datuk Nazir Tun Razak supposedly advicing his brother the Deputy Prime Minister but our country is being driven straight into a depression. With 2 of Malaysia best banker advising the No 1 and No 2, we should have the necessary brain to steer us out of the current economic condition.

And so we think….. in the last recession, the currency turmoil further dampens the country's economic downturn but the fix-capital control policy steered us out of the recession instead of Anwar’s conventional fiscal policy instrument, the interest rate. Most of the commodity, petrol and essential items prices had been adjusted to market condition. Our currency, determined by the market forces are also affected but the only fiscal instrument that has not been adjusted or regulated accordingly is the interest rate.

My own cousin, Arman (not his real name) who is a Manager at an establish car distributor said that ALL the management staff had returned the company car (that was extended to them as management perk) in return for a cash allowance. The Managers, with a Volvo as their company car, are only given RM500 as petrol allowance which was barely enough before the petrol price increase. Now, the petrol usage had burst the fix petrol allowance unless they use a smaller car instead of the Volvo. My colleague said, his RM350 monthly grocery shopping at tesco now cost him RM500 for the same items. There is also the electiricty and water rates that had been revised upwards on the same disposable income. The Central Bank Governor's remark that inflation is only 6% is just a grandmother bedtime story.

“I expect the interest rate to go up very soon unless we have an extreme measure to counter the conventional fiscal instrument”, I said to Azlan revealing the hidden agenda of the lunch appointment. I need to know what the banker think of the economy to prepare my company for future planning. Hiding behind his gold spectacle, Azlan smiled and revealed that the interest rate will go up on the 24 July 2008!!! The first phase! The interest rate will continue to increase throughout the year, said Azlan holding his cutleries whilst the waiter served his salmon. Azlan added that all the neighbouring countries had revised their interest rate upwards.

In the 1998 recession, the interest rate was revised upward too, in phases before the whole loan portfolios were frozen. Can we expect similar instances soon? I stared my spaghetti without any appetite. We should expect the worse but hope and pray for the best.

At the moment, it is not only Malaysia economy that is being affected. The whole world is also struggling with the shortages in commodity and the petrol price increase. But none of the world issues were publicised and exposed by our media. It is also possible that the espionage by Abdullah Badawi or Najib were purposely done to distract the attention away from the real problem especially our poorly managed economy. It is hard to digest the government can be so incompetent especially with Tan Sri Amirsham and Datuk Nazir Tun Razak behind the scene. But without a far sighted Prime Minister, even with the whole Harvard, Oxford and Cambridge University deans, lecturers or graduates teamed together as a think tank, the government will not be able to implement any good policies. It is also possible, Anwar Ibrahim escalating the domestic issues over and above worldwide problem to portray Barisan Nasional being so weak for him to capitalise and profiteer.

Obviously, the Prime Minister has the most qualified advisors over and above the oxford graduate SIL especially with the proven successful banker such Tan Sri Amirsham as a senator and tycoon Datuk Nazir Razak being the brother to the Deputy Prime Minister. With the best advisors behind the Prime Minister, the lack of positive implementation in favourable policies can only be caused by the one and only….. the PM himself.

The majority of the innocent civilian who favourably voted for Barisan National will have to digest and swallow the unfavorable policies like how i had to swallow my favourite spaghetti and had to finished it even without any appetite. We have to survive one way or the other. The best way forward is to be prepared for the worst in anticipation of political instability, high inflation and depression.

The famous Anus and LIWAT

I have to admit that learning is a lifetime process. I learn new language and new terms daily. Whilst I would understand LIWAT is sodomy in Malay languange, L.I.W.A.T. is also an abbreviation for Liberation of International Working Group for Anwar in Turkey. Recently I also learn that the opposition abbreviation P.K.R. also stands for Parti Khinzir Raksasa.

Whilst the allegation of Anwar Ibrahim’s liking for young men are of national interest (considering sodomy is an offense by Malaysia law) can he really be the alternative to Abdullah Badawi as the Prime Minister of Malaysia?

The people had conveyed their dissatisfaction on Abdullah Badawi government by depriving Barisan National of not only from a landslide victory but also from its 2/3 majority in the last general election but all the component party executives seems to be fully supporting Abdullah. Can Abdullah given a chance, drive Malaysia to achieve the Barisan National Vision 2020 and stabilise the economy from the drastic increase in fuel price and the price of essential items?

Since all Barisan National component party rallied behind Abdullah and agreeing to whatever and everything that Abdullah or the 4th floor boys submit, what will happen to Malaysia if Tun Dr Mahathir stop issuing statements?

Given the failure in the people’s move to awake our Prime Minister from sleep in the last general election and the failure in Tun Dr Mahathir endless call for Abdullah to step down, Anwar Ibrahim became an important instrument in the public’s effort to ‘humble-lise’ BN.

Tun Dr Mahathir had brought us out from both the late 80s and the 1998 recessions which Anwar Ibrahim failed when he was the Deputy Prime Minister cum Finance Minister in the last recession. Anwar almost sold Malaysia to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and most businesses were almost bankrupted when he increased the interest rate for his political gain in the last recession which was reversed by Tun Dr Mahathir when Tun resumed the post of Finance Minister when Anwar was sacked.

What has the public benefitted from Abdullah’s government? The current infrastructure developments were all of Mahathirism. There is currently no such thing as Abdullah’ism except for the Islam Badawii.. eh.. hadhari.. which even I do not understand. Now, even the islam Hadhari concept had disappeared from the public. What is perceived and felt under Abdullah’ism is the toll price increase (for highway that was completed even before the construction material prices increased), the petrol price increase, electricity bill increase and all other essential items price increases. What is also pronounced under Abdullah’ism is the announcement of the National Automotive Policy (NAP) by only his special officer. Certainly a policy of national interest should be announced by at least a cabinet minister or the Prime Minister himself raising doubt on Abdullah’s credibility or Abdullah’s trust in his Ministers. This again proves the significant of the 4th floor compared to other cabinet Ministers. Typical of Abdullah, once the announcement went sour, his deputy Najib Razak was appointed Chairman of the automotive policy and typical of Najib to accept and become a yes man. As a consequence of the NAP, majority of the public were not able to sell and dispose of their car due to the revision in the used car prices or risk having to pay the bank extra payment to settle the balance car loan. Many used car dealers were bankrupted holding stocks of cars that now fetches below their cost price and new car dealers sales plummeted as buyer were not able to trade in their cars (to buy a new car), to say the least.

Businessmen had to absorb all the increase in operating cost without much assistant from the government. Abdullah’s indecisiveness in the future of Proton too raises further doubt on his long term vision and his commitment to BN’s vision 2020. The vision 2020 is a BN’s future direction which Abdullah as the Chairman of BN should see through its success. Without the vision 2020, there is no other long term vision of Barisan National. Proton and the automotive sector contribute significantly to the national GDP growth and a constant annual GDP growth of at least 8% is imperative to ensure the Vision 2020 is realised. Where is Malaysia future direction now and it is doubtful Abdullah is able to drive Malaysia with his indecisiveness. It is even doubtful that the 9th Malaysia plan can even materialise fully.

Previously, with the mega-projects under Tun Dr Mahathir government (or at least those that was not scrapped), we could at least see our money spend on tangible outlook that benefited the public rather than under Abdullah’s 'corridors' that was launched and awarded as a carrot for the last general election cum the year end UMNO assembly but nothing has started whilst our country's money are depleting, petrol subsidy reduced and the public's disposable income are deteriorating.

It is also a fact that our crime rate had multi fold since Abdullah took the premiership. These are issues that affected our daily life and however positive the statistics that the government portrayed are all immaterial as we felt the negativity in our daily life when we refuel our petrol, shop for groceries, replace our existing car and walk down the street fearing the mat rempik, thugs and snatch thieves.

What can Anwar & his PKR offer that BN cannot? An opportunist by nature, whatever weaknesses in BN is Anwar’s marketing strategy but what is Anwar’s long term vision? True and it is also a known fact that Anwar and PKR long term vision is to make Anwar Ibrahim as the new Prime Minister but that is Anwar & PKR vision, mission and objective! How can Anwar becoming the Prime Minister benefits the public? What about Malaysia’s long term plan and strategy that is probably better than the 9th Malaysia Plan and better than the Vision 2020?

There is no future plan and direction with Anwar and PKR but we do need Anwar to ‘humble-lise’ BN. But Anwar is only important as an opposition and NOT as a government. There is no glory felt in Abdullah’s government given his indecisiveness in everything and if Abdullah resign, Najib will be the next Prime Minister. A man whom half his life was spend as a cabinet minister and never took a stand or so we see. What and how can Najib drives Malaysia further being a yes man all his life in cabinet… if he ever become the Prime Minister! I am speculating that Abdullah is strategising the removal of Najib by planting a reverse psychology that suggested Najib was involved in framing Anwar with the sodomy charges (over and above the Altantuya tragedy to discredit him). When Anwar accused the government of conspiring with Saiful to lodge a police report against him, Abdullah was quick to deny his involvement but went on to say that he did not think Najib had anything to do with it too, indirectly suggesting that Najib is in fact was the culprit for the alleged conspiracy. Najib had to deny, when neither Anwar nor anybody had ever accused Najib.. except indirectly by Abdullah whom triggered with the drop of hint. Najib's denial became a headline frontpage news in all medias (hence government-own media). Wan Azizah (Anwar’s wife) then met with Abdullah for assurance on Anwar' safety further suggested a conspiracy at the highest level. Having announced Najib as his successor, Abdullah and his 4th floor boys had to orchestrate other means to remove Najib and take the highlight away from the public on the Malaysia poorly managed country and economy. It is believed (Abdullah's greatest fear) that Najib is repeating and adopting Anwar previous strategy in removing Tun Ghaffar as the Deputy PM. Even before the election, Anwar’s boys were able to gather enough nomination that left Ghafar Baba with no other choice but to concede defeat. A season politician and always fronting a ‘Yes man’, Najib should be able to gather enough nominations for the President’s post this incoming branch and division meetings in July. This make Najib as Abdullah’s greatest threat after Anwar.

Given the long term Vision 2020 of BN, there is no doubt we need BN as the government but what we needed more now is a strategist and a driver for Barisan National and Malaysia as how Matthias Chang viewed Tun Dr. Mahathir as the Prime Minister. Tun was the sun and the Cabinet was the moon. The moon’s glow is the reflected shine of the sun. Hence, the ministers were perceived to have been effective. Sadly, today, we are experiencing a total eclipse! There is no shine coming from the Prime Minister, Abdullah Badawi and as such how can we expect any reflected glow in the Cabinet? ... and the glory of Malaysia.

Good luck to us Malaysian…
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