The first rail line was opened in 1885 running between Port Weld and Taiping. The line to the east coast running between Gemas and Tumpat was only completed in 1931, by passing major towns such as Kuantan, Kuala Terengganu and Kota Bharu.
For decades after that there was no real growth in terms of communications in the east coast.
As a punishment to the people of the east coast for not voting in the Barisan Nasional, aid to Kelantan was curbed and was changed into the form of ‘Wang Ihsan‘ in 1990, and the East Coast Highway terminated near Kuantan because Barisan Nasional was ousted by the people of Terengganu in 1999.
Najib Razak changed all that.
Phase 3 of the East Coast Highway which will terminate at Kota Bharu will commence during the 11th Malaysian Plan (2016-2020), as well as the East Coast Rail Link, a new rail link cutting through green fields.
The first phase will see the Klang Valley connected to Kuantan, Kuala Terengganu in the second phase and Kota Bharu and Wakaf Bharu in the third and final phase.
Announcing at the handover ceremony of the Ganchong Water Treatment Plant, he said that the GDP of the state of Pahang would increase by 1.5 percent when the ECRL comes online.
The Opposition as usual is opposed to anything that is good for the people if it comes from the government.
PAN’s Mujahid Yusof Rawa, for instance, questioned how it will benefit the local economy – and you do not need to be a member of Parliament let alone a rocket scientist to figure out the answer.
The ECRL will act as a land bridge for goods coming from the west coast going to especially Shenzen in China through Kuantan port, and similarly goods from the east coast get sent to the Middle East and India through Port Klang.
This land bridge would also allow goods from the eastern part of the globe be sent to the western part through these two ports without having to circumnavigate the Singapore strait.
This cuts down the over-reliance on the Strait of Malacca. Today, more than 80 percent of China’s energy needs pass through that narrow waterway.
So if you imagine it takes just four hours for goods to be transported by a lorry from Kota Bharu to Port Klang using the ECRL as compared to seven hours using the Gua Musang way or nine hours via the East Coast highway, you would be able to imagine the kind of economic growth the east coast states would stand to benefit from the ECRL.
No longer would SME or heavy industries have to be centred in the Klang Valley where the costs of land and living are far higher compared to in Kelantan and Terengganu. More jobs would be created and the luxury gap lessened tremendously.
The time for goods to be transported from Shenzen to Port Klang would be 30 hours lesser than having to sail them around Singapore.
“Cost issues aside, this new network will create new alternative routes to boost trade for Asean, with Malaysia as the base; and why this has to be taken seriously is because the Chinese have a direct interest in the (Kuantan) port and the rail link,” said Mr G. Durairaj, managing director of maritime and logistics consultancy PortsWorld.
Already Kuantan port is home to several petrochemical companies such as the BASF-PETRONAS Chemicals.
The port has also attracted RM8.9 billion worrh of investments including a RM3.5 billion steel facility.
The integrated steel mill will occupy a 287ha site – half the size of Singapore’s Sentosa island – and have an annual production of 3.5 million tonnes.
Imagine the size of investments that the ECRL could bring into the east coast states. Would you now question the benefits the ECRL would bring?
Every day you could read online how Malaysia is going bankrupt and how ordinary Malaysian are suffering because they pay in USD for their roti canai banjir and GST for zero-rated household items.
A proof that Malaysians are suffering financially is that car sales have gone up.
According to the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA), car sales in March 2017 jumped by 26.5% compared to February. That is a whopping 11,262 units more!
That is also a 10% increase compared to March 2016 – 53,717 units compared to 48,788 last year.
Almost 141,000 cars were sold in the first quarter of 2017. That is almost 10,000 units more than the corresponding period in 2016.
Of course, Najib Razak has failed to turn the economy around. Things were far more affordable back then and the USD was at RM2.50 compared to what it is now.
The following table will show how cars were far more affordable during U-Turn Mahathir’s time.
Just before Mahathir became the Prime Minister, only 97,262 vehicles were registered. 19 years into his premiership registration was at 343,173.
The population of Malaysia then was 23.42 million. Therefore the ratio was one vehicle to every 68 Malaysians.
When Najib Razak took over in 2009, the population was 27.79 million. The number of registered vehicles for that year was at 536,905. The ratio was one vehicle for every 52 Malaysians.
Najib Razak has been running the economy down since then. In 2015, six years into his premiership, the numner of vehicles sold and registered for that year was 666,674. The population was at 30.33 million.
Therefore the ratio of vehicles to population was 1:45.
What does this say? Only one thing.
Malaysians are getting poorer because they can afford to spend and buy more cars.
Long before most netizens and majority of the current workforce were born, DAP’s Emperor Lim Kit Siang complained on 1st September 1977 about the lack of public transport and increase in fares by now-defunct well-known bus company, Sri Jaya. Four days later, he called for the resignation of both Ganie Gilong of Sabah who was the Transport Minister, and Dr Goh Cheng Teik who was the Deputy Transport Minister to resign.
Political and monetary instabilities as a result of the international monetary crises in the early 1970s and the oil crisis in late 1973 contributed to the worldwide recession, stagflation and very slow recovery. Consumer Price Index (1967 = 100) jumped by 10.5 percent in 1973 and 17.4 percent the following year. In 1977 it was down to 4.7 percent, the lowest since 1973, and the CPI figure never went down further until 1984.
It was a time when Malaysians could hardly afford anything. In order to assist the rakyat, Tun Abdul Razak set up the Restoran Rakyat in August 1973. It was where a nasi lemak breakfast would cost only 20 sen and a simple lunch of rice, fish curry and vegetables would cost only 80 sen. Of course, 20 sen those days is like RM2.00 of today but any balanced meal today that costs less than RM10.00 per plate is greatly welcomed.
Also introduced by Tun Razak was the BMW – Bas Mini Wilayah, in September 1975. The fare to any destination was 40 sen then and was only increased to 50 sen in 1991 and 60 sen two years later. The BMW services were discontinued in July 1998 when it was replaced by Intrakota and subsequently RapidKL in 2005.
Today, as a result of a great foresight by the current government, land public transport and infrastructure have improved in leaps and bounds. According to a research report published on the 4th April 2017 by the Financial Times, Malaysia’s transport users get the best deals in ASEAN.
The graph shows that Malaysian commuters spend about USD12 per day on commuting as opposed to Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines where commuting could cost up to USD20 per day, the only exception being Thailand where it could get to USD15 per day.
Malaysia is also ranked in the Top 20 from 138 nations in terms of transportation infrastructure, according to the World Economic Forum.
Malaysian spending on transportation rose to 0.7 percent of the GDP in 2016 compared to 2015, and the Financial Times research report attributes this to Prime Minister Najib Razak who continues to make infrastructure a key priority.
While the completion of the MRT SBK (Sungai Buloh-Kajang) Line 1 targetted for July 2017 and the construction of the MRT SSP (Sungai Buloh-Putrajaya) Line 2 and LRT 3 now taking place, urban and suburban dwellers in the Klang Valley can expect a much economical and more integrated mode of getting around, while feeder services such as the ETS, KTM Komuter, and the soon-to-be-expected HSR and double-tracking projects will allow growth in other areas and allow for cross-country commuting to and from work.
Projects like the ECRL and the Pan-Borneo highway will provide for the growth and availability of jobs not only in the urban areas but also in greenfields as well as pockets of rural towns where meaningful economic activities have thus far eluded.
With a projected population of 32.5 million by 2030, elaborate and efficient land public transport systems must be in place to ensure efficient mobility within and between spatial conurbations across Malaysia while the introduced National Land Public Transport Master Plan (NLPTMP) will ensure continual improvements and additions are made to the land public transport systems.
Malaysians should be thankful that plans have been made to improve transportation infrastructure instead of constantly complaining.
Ada saja yang mengeluh mengenai harga barang serta nilai Ringgit yang tidak seperti zaman Tok Kadok. Tidak kurang juga yang membandingkan bagaimana harga rokok pada zaman Mahathir Mohamad adalah jauh lebih murah dari zaman Najib Razak.
Benar. Harga rokok Dunhill 20 sekotak kini mencecah RM17.00. Namun ianya bukan disebabkan kelemahan matawang tetapi diakibatkan oleh kenaikan cukai ke atas rokok.
Kita ambil tahun 1993, iaitu zaman pemerintahan Mahathir Mohamad. Harga Big Mac pada masa itu ialah RM3.35 manakala harga minyak RON92 (semasa itu minyak RON95 masih belum wujud di Malaysia) berharga RM1.06 seliter.
Pendapatan median bulanan setiap keluarga di Malaysia pada tahun 1993 ialah RM1,077 manakala bagi Bumiputera ianya adalah RM887.
Ini bermakna sekiranya kesemua pendapatan tersebut digunakan untuk membeli Big Mac maka setiap keluarga mampu membeli sebanyak 321 Big Mac manakala bagi sebuah keluarga Bumiputera hanya termampu sebanyak 265 Big Mac.
Untuk pembelian minyak RON92 pula setiap keluarga di Malaysia boleh membeli sebanyak 1,016 liter manakala keluarga Bumiputera boleh membeli 837 liter.
16 tahun kemudian apabila pentadbiran Najib Razak mengambil alih pucuk pimpinan pendapatan median bulanan setiap keluarga di Malaysia meningkat kepada RM2,830 dan RM2,531 bagi keluarga Bumiputera.
Harga Big Mac telah meningkat kepada RM6.80 (kenaikan sebanyak RM3.45 berbanding tahun 1993) manakala minyak RON95 setelah RON92 tidak lagi dijual di Malaysia berharga RM1.80 seliter (kenaikan sebanyak 74 sen).
Ini menjadikan kemampuan bulanan setiap keluarga pada tahun 2009 membeli Big Mac meningkat kepada 416 biji manakala keluarga Bumiputera membeli 372 biji Big Mac. Peningkatan berbanding tahun 1993 ialah sebanyak 95 biji Big Mac (peningkatan 29.45 peratus) manakala bagi keluarga Bumiputera pula ialah sebanyak 107 biji Big Mac (peningkatan 40.6 peratus).
Untuk pembelian minyak RON95 pula, kemampuan bulanan setiap keluarga pada tahun 2009 membeli minyak RON95 meningkat kepada 1,572 liter manakala keluarga Bumiputera membeli 1,406 liter. Peningkatan berbanding tahun 1993 ialah sebanyak 556 liter (peningkatan 54.74 peratus) manakala bagi keluarga Bumiputera pula ialah sebanyak 569 liter (peningkatan 68.04 peratus).
Ini bermakna taraf hidup bagi setiap keluarga di Malaysia telah meningkat walaupun harga barangan juga meningkat berbanding pada zaman pentadbiran Mahathir Mohamad. Bagi keluarga Bumiputera pula, walaupun pendapatan mereka masih di bawah purata pendapatan setiap keluarga di Malaysia, kualiti hidup mereka meningkat dengan mendadak melebihi dari peningkatan purata keluarga di Malaysia pada tahun 2009 berbanding 1993.
Lima tahun kemudian, iaitu pada tahun 2014, pendapatan bulanan setiap keluarga di Malaysia adalah RM4,585 (kenaikan RM1,755 atau RM351 setahun) dan RM4,214 (kenaikan RM1,683 atau RM336 setahun) bagi keluarga Bumiputera.
Manakala harga Big Mac dan RON95 pula berada pada paras RM7.60 sebiji dan RM2.30 seliter (iaitu sama dengan harga minyak pada bulan Februari 2017).
Kemampuan untuk membeli Big Mac sebulan bagi setiap keluarga di Malaysia telah meningkat kepada 603 biji (peningkatan 44.96 peratus) manakala bagi keluarga Bumiputera pula sebanyak 554 biji (peningkatan 48.97 peratus). Peningkatan bagi kemampuan keluarga Bumiputera sekali lagi mengatasi peningkatan setiap keluarga di Malaysia.
Bagi RON95 pula, kemampuan pembelian bulanan bagi setiap keluarga di Malaysia telah meningkat kepada 1,993 liter (peningkatan 26.79 peratus) manakala bagi keluarga Bumiputera pula sebanyak 1,832 liter (peningkatan 30.30 peratus). Peningkatan bagi kemampuan keluarga Bumiputera sekali lagi mengatasi peningkatan setiap keluarga di Malaysia.
Itu tahun 2014. Bagaimana pula dengan dakwaan bahawa kadar inflasi membuatkan rakyat Malaysia kini tidak mampu untuk membeli makanan?
Perbandingan di atas menunjukkan kenaikan harga Big Mac di antara tahun 2009 hingga 2017 menunjukkan kenaikan harga Big Mac Malaysia adalah kedua terendah berbanding negara lain. Kalau kita lihat restoran-restoran terutamanya yang mahal seperti Serai di Empire Subang masih penuh pada waktu makan tengahari tidak mengira hari hinggakan barisan yang beratur menunggu tempat duduk begitu panjang setiap hari.
Begitu juga di Facebook dan Instagram kita dapat melihat betapa ramai rakyat Malaysia yang mampu bercuti sama ada di dalam mahupun luar negara. Ini berlaku mahupun dakwaan bahawa rakyat Malaysia tertekan akibat kekurangan wang dan Ringgit tidak laku di luar negara.
Semasa saya menunaikan ibadah Umrah setiap tahun dari tahun 1998 hingga musim Haji 2001, setiap pengendali pakej hanya memenuhi satu buah bas setiap penerbangan. Yang pergi secara puratanya berumur 45 tahun ke atas. Jarang ada yang berumur kurang dari 30 tahun.
Apabila saya kembali ke Mekah pada tahun 2014, ia menjadi tiga buah bas setiap pengendali pakej bagi setiap penerbangan dan lebih ramai pasangan muda turut serta. Baru-baru ini ia telah meningkat kepada empat buah bas setiap pengendali pakej setiap penerbangan dan begitu ramai pasangan muda yang membawa anak-anak kecil, atau pergi beribadah bersama seluruh keluarga. Bukan sahaja mereka yang menjalankan perniagaan atau kerja dengan syarikat swasta, malah guru-guru peringkat bawahan juga mampu pergi anak-beranak.
Anda boleh membaca dengan lebih lanjut lagi mengenai jumlah kerusi penerbangan yang diperlukan untuk jemaah Umrah dari Malaysia setiap hari DI SINI.
Perangkaan tidak pernah berbohong. Tidak seperti puak Pakatan yang suka menabur fitnah mencanangkan bagaimana harga barang naik di bawah kerajaan Barisan Nasional. Tidak pula mereka menceritakan bagaimana kualiti dan taraf hidup juga telah naik melebihi kenaikan harga barangan.
Untuk perbandingan, janji untuk menghapuskan tol di negeri Selangor masih tinggal janji.
Janji untuk menghapuskan tol di Sungai Nyior, Pulau Pinang masih tinggal janji.
Malah kerajaan Pulau Pinang DAP sejak 2008 telah menaikkan harga lesen, kadar parkir, lesen perniagaan (begitu juga di Selangor) dan menaikkan kadar tarif air di Pulau Pinang sebanyak EMPAT kali.
Tidak cukup dengan itu, di Selangor anda dikehendaki membayar 20 sen untuk setiap beg plastik yang anda perlukan semasa membeli barang.
Dulu anda mendapat beg plastik secara percuma sekiranya anda membeli barangan berharga, sebagai contoh, RM10. Ini bermakna kos pembelian beg plastik oleh peniaga telah difaktorkan ke dalam kos penjualan barangan. Dicampur dengan GST anda membayar RM10.60.
Kini anda dikenakan RM10 + 20 sen menjadikan RM10.20 dan apabila dikenakan GST anda perlu membayar RM10.81! Anda membayar sebanya dua kali untuk satu beg plastik dan peniaga membuat keuntungan atas angin sebanyak 21 sen bagi setiap beg plastik.
Ada yang mengatakan bahawa polisi membayar untuk beg plastik ini bagus kerana kutipan akan diserahkan kepada kerajaan negeri untuk tujuan memerangi pencemaran. Apa kata Azmin Ali?
Ada pula yang kata kutipan akan disalurkan ke badan-badan amal dan bukan kerajaan. Apa pula kata Exco Selangor Elizabeth Wong?
Rafizi yang menjanjikan penurunan harga barangan akan berlaku dengan penurunan harga minyak juga masih belum tunaikan janji walhal minyak pernah turun dari RM2.70 seliter pada zaman Pak Lah kepada RM1.60 seliter pada awal tahun 2016. Namun hingga kini tidak nampak penurunan harga barangan.
Apabila disoal di dalam group WhatsApp, beliau hanya menjawab bahawa itu bukan masalah beliau.
Seingat anda, pernahkah ibubapa anda menyebut bagaimana barangan langsung tidak mahal? Dan sekiranya anda masih mahu membuat perbandingan di antara zaman Mahathir Mohamad dan zaman Najib Razak dan rindukan zaman Mahathir Mohamad, kenapa anda tidak mahu rindukan zaman pentadbiran penasihat British dan Kapitan Yap Ah Shak?
The word means hem or a fold on a piece of cloth or paper. A Malay synonym would be ‘lipatan.’ To Lipat or to Kelepet would colloquially mean ‘to pillage.’
Malaysia Airlines has always been a favourite airline of mine. The national flag carrier is THE symbol of Malaysia’s global reach. However, the airline which roots can be traced back to 71 years ago has been suffering badly from an especially bad episode of mismanagement dating back from 1994.
Disguised under the New Economic Policy that was supposed to assist the Bumiputeras to be economically stronger, U-Turn Mahathir and financial henchman Daim Zainuddin selected several cronies to helm public-listed companies. They include Amin Shah Omar Shah (who screwed up the Kedah-class NGPV programme) and Tajuddin Ramli (TR) who stripped Malaysia Airlines of its edge and finances.
Malaysia Airlines was okay for about two years before crashing in 1997 with a net loss of RM259.85 million (RM426.15 million in today’s terms) from a net profit the year before of RM333.01 million (RM546.14 million in today’s terms).
Like the collosal losses of real money the nation had to absorb through the BMF as well as the BNM Forex scandals, U-Turn Mahathir and Daim saw it fit for Malaysia Airlines, or rather their crony Tajuddin Ramli, be bailed-out using, again, the rakyat’s money.
The Malaysian Airlines System (MAS) police report on January 9 and the police investigations into alleged million-ringgit management irregularities at the MAS cargo division during the tenure of former MAS executive chairman and key shareholder Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli is a most welcome departure from the invariable past practice of government and corporate cover-ups, especially in government-owned or controlled companies, making Malaysia notorious as a country teeming with “heinous crimes without criminals” – starting with the infamous Bumiputra Malaysia Finance (BMF) scandal in the eighties.
It has been reported that the alleged management irregularities centred on business arrangements between MAS and a Germany-based cargo handler controlled by Tajudin Ramli and focussed on contracts between MAS and ACL Advanced Cargo Logistic GmbH, a 60%-owned unit of Naluri Bhd., a listed Malaysian company in which Tajudin is the largest shareholder. ACL operates a cargo facility in Hahn, Germany, that MAS in 1999 contracted to use as its global cargo hub.
The management irregularities being investigated by the police can only be the tip of an iceberg as MAS has chalked up colossal debts of RM9.2 billion and accumulated losses of R2.5 billion, requiring repeated billion-ringgit bailouts at the public taxpayers’ expense – and the Malaysian public are entitled to demand a full accountability as to how the national airline could end up as such a sick company, a national embarrassment and a burden on public coffers.
It was reported that the management irregularities in the cargo division were discovered in an audit ordered by the government after taking control of MAS early last year following the scandalous RM1.79 billion buyback bailout of Tajudin’s 29.09 per cent stake at RM8 a share when the market price was only RM3.68.
This raises the question as to why an audit was not conducted before the government’s buyback bailout of Tajudin’s MAS stake – which would have a very important bearing on the proper price of the government buyout.
I am sure Uncle Ah Siang has not forgotten this episode too when he became pally with U-Turn Mahathir recently. Surely the interest of the rakyat is paramount to the God of DAP.
Or is it still?
On March 21 last year, the then Finance Minister, Tun Daim Zainuddin, gave a long and most unsatisfactory reply in Parliament during question time to justify the buy-back bailout of Tajudin’s MAS stake which took place under his watch, but he failed to address or answer the two most important questions, viz:
Why no independent professional valuation was ever done when the government agreed to pay Tajudin’s Naluri Bhd for the MAS stake at RM8 per share representing a premium of RM4.32 or 117 per cent over the closing market price at RM3.68 per share when the deal was signed on 20th December 2000; and
Why rules for the bail-out of companies established by the National Economic Action Council in the “National Economic Recovery Plan” was violated and Tajudin was not only spared from having to “take his appropriate hair-cuts” but was given a bonanza at taxpayers’ expense to reward for his mismanagement of MAS by being given 117% premium for the MAS shares over the market price, transforming it into a personal rescue for Tajudin instead of a public rescue for MAS.
The current police investigations into management irregularities in MASkargo Sdn. Bhd. have again brought to the fore the questions concerning prudence, propriety, responsibility, integrity, accountability and transparency of the decision to use RM1.79 billion public funds for the buy-back bailout of Tajudin’s MAS stake.
Last month, the government announced a RM6.1 billion MAS restructuring exercise involving assets sale to enable the national carrier to retire some of its debts and provide RM820 million as working capital, which is just a creative way for a second round of government bailout for the national airline.
Malaysia Airlines, Perwaja, Renong as well as other companies steered towards oblivion by their cronies had to be bailed out using the rakyat’s coffers, and not one person has ever been charged in a court of law for the breach of trust they committed. This included Amin Shah Omar Shah who, prior to being given the contract to build our Navy’s vessels, had never built a single fishing boat!
Kit Siang the self-proclaimed rakyat’s champion as recent as 2012 stated in the DAP’s mouthpiece Roketkinithat Mahathir cannot pretend to be ignorant of the MAS scandal.
But Mahathir should similarly give full co-operation to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Nepotism, particularly as to whether there is any nepotism in the government, through Petronas, using hundreds of millions of ringgit of public funds to bail out Mirzan Mahathir’s Konsortium Perkapalan Bhd.
Just recently, a copy of a directive from the Ministry of Finance to Telekom Malaysia regarding a direct negotiation contract award totalling RM214.2 million to Mukhriz Mahathir’s OPCOM made its rounds on the Internet:
A blog post by a Sup Torpedo wrote about this back in 2006:
Mahathir’s criticism of Scomi is justified. It has proved that Scomi does not garner very much government work and now that’s all open to scrutiny. Unlike a company called Opcom Sdn. Bhd. who had a direct nego approved by the Finance Ministry way back in 2003 when Mahathir was both Prime Minister and Finance Minister. The amount of the tender by Telekom Malaysia Berhad was two hundred and fourteen MILLION ringgit. The Ministry of Finance approved it, no doubt with the blessing of the then Finance Minister and Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.
Hey! What’s new? If you look at the above letter, it was dated on the 7th October 2003. The old fart stepped down as the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister on the 31st October 2003.
It was an eleventh-hour effort to enrich his kin – a true nepotistic egoist dictator who was afraid that money made during his 22-year dictatorship would not be enough to cover his grave.
Even in 2006, during the peak of the old fart’s attacks on his successor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, observers such as Sup Torpedo could see that it was little about putting the interest of the rakyat ahead as compared to securing money for the Thousand-year Reich of his:
Don’t miss the wood for the trees. This fight that Mahathir got going on with Pak Lah is not about doing the right thing. It is at best about putting his old crony’s rice bowl firmly where the padi fields grow. At the very worst of motives might be the will to further advance Mukhriz’s political career and provide continuity to the old ways.
Again, what is new now? Virtually nothing, except for one little glaring fact: WHY IS UNCLE KIT SIANG SELLING HIS SOUL AND PUTTING HIS PERSONAL POLITICAL INTERESTS AHEAD OF THE RAKYAT’S BY MAKING A U-TURN ON HIS ATTACKS ON MAHATHIR?
A simple answer would be that he is nothing but the stinking, arrogant cow-dung for brain hypocrite he has always been. Power is what he seeks for power ensures riches, just like his charged-for-corruption son.
And what of the rakyat then?
As the saying goes: “The meek shall inherit shit.”
Yes. The year was 1994 when Lim Kit Siang found it ultra-important to publish a book on the Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) foreign exchange scandal that caused the loss of RM30 billion (estimated to be at RM49 billion in today’s terms).
The book is called, as you would have guessed, ‘The Bank Negara RM30 Billion Forex Losses Scandal‘.
The BNM forex scandal losses in 1991 made international headlines at the time, forcing the resignation of BNM’s governor Jaffar Hussein.
Again I should thank Kit Siang for writing all this, making it easier for me to see what he had written on the issues he raised in the past.
In 2004, Kit Siang called upon Nor Mohamed Yackop who then was sworn in as a Senator to become Finance Minister II to issue a White Paper on the matter.
“Up to now, the government has failed to “come clean” on the colossal Bank Negara forex losses as a result of speculation in the international currency markets from 1992-1994, with the losses cited as ranging from RM10 billion to RM30 billion. In Parliament in 1994, I had given reasons as to why the Bank Negara’s forex losses as a result of its forex speculation operations could have amounted to as high as RM30 billion, which had not been seriously rebutted by any top government leader or Bank Negara official,” he wrote on his blog limkitsiang.com.
In April 1991, a Reuter news agency report from London described Bank Negara as “a dominant force on the foreign exchange scene for some years” and it was accused by some forex operators as “a market bully”.
The 1991 Reuter report states:
“Over the past two years it has stepped up its trading volume, and this year it has started dealing in what dealer described as ‘really massive amounts’…
“Typically, Bank Negara operates in US$50 million lots, compared with the market norm of US$5 million or US$10 million and deals with maybe six major banks in Europe and six in New York, dealers said.
“One trader said the only dealers rivaling Bank Negara would be the Japanese funds. But while these funds enter the market no more than once or twice a year, Bank Negara is coming in and doing yards (billions) of dollars a day.
“”Its recent technique has been to hit major banks for US50 million each, then his them 10 minutes later, dealers said.
“Then it changes centre, and does it all over again.”
The April 1994 issue of Malaysian Business – one of the publications in the New Straits Times stable – reported that Bank Negara’s maximum exposure in the foreign exchange markets reached as high as RM270 billion – three times the country’s GDP and more than five times the country’s foreign reserves at the time!
Kit Siang added that some Government leaders were wise after the event, and one of them was none other than Daim Zainuddin, under whose first tenure as Finance Minister from 1984-1991 the Bank Negara’s unorthodox forex speculation started, who said on April 4, 1994 that while those responsible for the huge forex losses of Bank Negara had accounted for their mistakes by resigning, central banks should never “play with fire” with such forex speculation.
It was Kit Siang who pointed out the irony.
In 1995, a book on international high finance, ‘The Vandal’s Crown‘ by Gregory J. Millman on Page 229 had this to say about the Bank Negara forex scandal:
“Using all the resources a central bank commands – privileged information, unlimited credit, regulatory power, and more – Malaysia’s Bank Negara became the most feared trader in the currency markets. By trading for profit, Bank Negara committed apostasy against the creed of central banking. Instead of working to ensure global financial stability, Bank Negara repeatedly shoved huge sums of money into the most vulnerable market situations in order to destabilize exchange rates for its own profit” (p.226)
“(Bank) Negara operated behind a thick veil of secrecy. The bank seldom spoke publicly about its controversial trading activities. Yet it was increasingly clear to foreign exchange traders that Bank Negara’s operations in the foreign exchange markets went far beyond simple self-defense. It became the most awesome currency trader in the world.” (p. 227)
“(Bank) Negara’s market manipulation was so egregrious that one American central banker said, ‘If they tried this on any organized exchange in the world, they’d go to jail.’ However, in the unregulated international currency markets, there were neither police nor jailers. The only rule was the rough justice of the vandals, and it was this rule that eventually brought (Bank) Negara down.
“In 1992, (Bank) Negara took on a large pound sterling position, apparently expecting Britain to maintain the discipline required by the European Exchange Rate Mechanism. It was a bad economic and political judgement. (Bank) Negara lost approximately $3.6 billion when Britain withdrew from the ERM, letting sterling collapse. The next year, (Bank) Negara lost an additional $2.2 billion. By 1994, Bank Negara was technically insolvent and had to be bailed out by an infusion of fresh money from Malaysia’s finance ministry.”
Recently, Abdul Murad Khalid who was the Assistant Governor of BNM who resigned in 1999 revealed that the forex losses were in actual US Dollars and not in Malaysian Ringgit.
“There was no control… The most important thing is that there was no investigation at all,” Murad was quoted as saying by NST.
Asked if the then Prime Minister knew about the losses, he replied: “I’m sure the governor briefed them.”
Kit Siang’s silence on this issue is indeed deafening. The so-called champion of the rakyat now has his balls as wrinkled as his face is. And all to achieve his personal political ambition.
In 1993, Anwar Ibrahim who was then the Finance Minister responded on behalf of his then-master, U-Turn Mahathir, to Kit Siang’s query on some “rumours about BNM losing money gambling forex“.
Anwar said that the rumour was not true at all.
When confronted, again by Kit Siang, a year later, Anwar said “the amount is not huge.”
The above engagements can be found in the Parliament Hansard.
After Murad’s revelation we know now that the amount is actually colossal.
We also know that U-Turn Mahathir as well as Daim Zainuddin were very much in the know of the losses.
And we know that Lim Kit Siang is just another opportunist snake manipulating the issue to gain support from the rakyat but now bats no eyelid to work hand-in-hand with his sworn enemy so he could come into power.
I am pretty sure he feels pleased looking at himself in the mirror every morning knowing he had blatantly lied to the people.
Semalam, ketua songlap negara menyatakan bahawa pengambilan BR1M adalah merupakan suatu perbuatan rasuah dan adalah salah di sisi undang-undang.
Umum tahu walaupun pemberian BR1M itu bukankah suatu jumlah yang besar buat setiap individu namun sedikit-sebanyak ianya membantu menampung perbelanjaan terutamanya bagi golongan berpendapatan rendah.
Sebelum ini, subsidi yang dikeluarkan okeh kerajaan dinikmati oleh setiap rakyat Malaysia tanpa mengira kemampuan dan adalah merupakan suatu sistem yang kurang adil.
Setelah banyak subsidi dihapuskan, simpanan yang diperolehi kerajaan diberi kepada golongan sasar dalam bentuk BR1M dan lain-lain kemudahan.
Syarikat-syarikat besar yang selama ini mengelak dari pembayaran cukai pendapatan dengan cara mengaburi jumlah jualan kini tidak dapat lari dengan adanya GST. Kutipan GST juga membantu kerajaan mengalihkan punca pendapatan yang terlalu bergantung kepada industri minyak dan gas.
BR1M yang berjumlah RM5.3 bilion telah membantu seramai 7.4 juta orang dari golongan sasar. Jumlah tersebut juga telah membantu pacuan ekonomi melalui suntikan aliran tunai yang dibelanjakan oleh penerima BR1M.
Tidak hairanlah apabila kerajaan Arab Saudi baru-baru ini mengumumkan bantuan kewangan a la BR1M kepada golongan sasar di negara tersebut bagi membantu memacu ekonomi negara tersebut.
Arab Saudi juga telah mengambil langkah yang sama seperti Malaysia dengan menghapuskan subsidi dan memoerkenalkan skim bantuan kewangan bagi golongan berpendapatan rendah dan sederhana.
Adakah ini bermakna kerajaan Arab Saudi juga mengamalkan pemberian rasuah? Sudah tentu kenyataan ketua songlap negara itu menghina bukan sahaja kerajaan kedua-dua negara malah menghina golongan yang amat memerlukan bantuan tersebut.