A Much Friendlier PM

Najib has the Pan Borneo Highway go without toll al the way to Sabah – photo courtesy of Sabahkini

Today, the PAS Secretary-General Datuk Takiyudin Hassan said that the Najib Razak-led government is more open towards the party.

We have always wanted to attend federal programmes, but it was never allowed and we were never invited.  But now, they are more open to having PAS. Maybe that is the new approach,” he said.

Recently,  PAS President Haji Abdul Hadi Awang attended a federal government programme and was seen to be very close to Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek in a photograph that had set the tongue of his foes wagging.

Najib Razak is in Sabah again today, announcing more initiatives for the youth of Sabah at the launching of Gathering of Rising Entrepreneurs, Act Together (GREAT) 2017 at the Magellen Sutera Harbour Resort in Kota Kinabalu.

Najib said the Sabah government should also set up a centre for young entrepreneurs similar to that of Sarawak’s Borneo744 in Kuching.

If there is a suitable site, I wish to propose the setting-up of a Blue Ocean Entrepreneurs town, making it the second of its kind after Sarawak,” he said.

We must find ways to increase the participation of young people with education, skills, leadership skills and entrepreneurship,” he added.

In another development, Sabah’s Special Tasks Minister Datuk Teo Chee Kang said the state cabinet led by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman had a fruitful breakfast meeting with Najib.  Teo said that the state cabinet had put forward its claims for a review of the special federal monetary grants, mandatory every five years under Article 112D of the Federal Constitution.

Among the things on Sabah’s wishlist given to Najib is for Sabah to be given back the power to make laws and regulate the production and distribution of gas and electricity be delegated back to Sabah, a state power which was taken away during U-Turn Mahathir’s time in 1983.

Wasn’t Mahathir a Sabah-friendly PM?

According to Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan in 2016, Mahathir was the worst PM for Sabah.

He introduced ‘Project IC’ and told me not to ‘teach’ the people what they didn’t know (Sabah rights),” he said in his statement via Whatsapp to Borneo Post.

Jeffrey also pointed out in 2013 that it was vital that the federal government clean up the mess created by (former prime minister) Dr Mahathir Mohamad in Sabah which had put Sabah and its citizens at perpetual risk.

They made Sabah insecure by supporting Muslim rebellion in the Philippines and supplying them weapons, giving them refuge and training facilities in Sabah and, worst still, by deploying them as voters in Sabah through the ‘Project IC Mahathir’, despite knowing full well that the same group of people from the Philippines have unsettled claims over Sabah.”

Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Maximus Ongkili said Mahathir’s admission that he was a dictator during his 22-year reign as Malaysia’s prime minister “is a classic understatement of the century.”

Dr Maximus added this to his description of Mahathir: “He was a tyrant, bully and oppressor, especially towards Sabah political leaders.”

Living on borrowed time that God has given for him to repent, Mahathir still has his dreams unrealised.  The only person between him and achieving his dreams is Najib Razak.  Which is why the only thing that he has not done is to leave Islam to help DAP achieve its racist ideas.

Mahathir has licked all the gob he had spat out at the DAP since 1969.

Today, Mahathir again called upon the voters in Pekan to not vote for Najib Razak.

The residents and voters of Pekan have the opportunity to save the nation by causing the defeat of Datuk Seri Najib,” he said.

I don’t know what it is that he wants to save the nation from when all that he had achieved single-handedly was to further divide the nation and opress its people.

This is nothing new to Sabah’s Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan.

Once he makes up his mind he does not like a person, just like how he did not like me, he would go all out to dislodge that person.  He tried to do that with me,” Pairin said.

Mahathir once claimed that he had saved all his earnings (RM20,000 a month) as the Prime Minister and left the job with RM5 million in his savings.

In my opinion, his story that he had been saving is purely hogwash.

Najib is trying hard to give back as much as possible to the people of Sabah what Mahathir had taken away from them.  There was hardly any change in the state during Mahathir’s 22-year rule.

Perhaps this is, as PAS’s Takiyuddin had pointed out, the new approach by the Najib administration.  An approach where he listens and tries to help every quarter out.  Try asking for the same during Mahathir’s time.  His favourite song, “My Way” by Frank Sinatra says it all.

Dr Maximus also pointed out and referred to Mahathir’s claim that even though he was a dictator, no one went to the streets to demonstrate against him.

Says who (that no one protested against Dr Mahathir)? Many of us who questioned his policies and actions ended up being detained under the ISA. (Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri) Zahid Hamidi and I myself ended up 59 days in detention by Mahathir’s orders,” he said.

It is time for Sabahans to allow Najib to help them, and bury Mahathir for good.

Whine Even When Others Think You’re Lucky

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.

Money, Income and Prices of Malaysia (1966-89) from the book The Monetary and Banking Development of Singapore and Malaysia by Sheng-Yi Lee

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.

The Restoran Rakyat, near today’s Dataran Merdeka – Tun Razak’s way of helping the rakyat in KL to overcome inflation (courtesy of harithsidek.blogspot.com)

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.

The notorious BMW – BERNAMA Images/Paul Tan

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.

Graphs comparing Malaysia and the rest of the ASEAN-5 in terms of spending on transport as well as the WEF’s ranking for the ASEAN-5 transportation infrastructure (Financial Times)

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.

Sinking the Mamak’s Tongkang

mamaktongkang
Indian seamen being rescued from a sinking vessel. This has nothing to do with this article but it shows the desperation

Every time I read Mahathir’s postings on his blog, I would imagine him writing it himself and then pass it to probably his trusted aide, Sufi, to do some research and fill in the blanks before passing it back to him for the final touch before the article is posted at chedet.cc.  The URL used to be chedet.com if I am not mistaken but due to some dispute with the previous administrators the URL is now the current one. The administrators, while working for him, displayed their support for another contender for the Ketua Pemuda UMNO post instead of for Mahathir’s son, Mukhriz.  Anyhow, the contender they supported lost the race, and so did Mukhriz.  Mahathir was furious when he found out that they did not support his son and as the story goes, the two quit without ever disclosing the password for chedet.com.

I have never worked for Mahathir or for any other politician for that matter. I just write whatever I feel like writing. But I don’t have the same privilege that is someone to do the research for me. So when I read his latest post The 2017 Budget I felt disappointed that the research done was just as good as mine if not worse.

Mahathir wrote:

5. Why will the Government not have the money? It is because Government money is not used for good governance, for the development of the country and the well-being of the people.

This is like shooting blanks. The East Coast Highway began construction in 2001.  The project was first announced in 1994 for a new highway that would stretch from Karak to Kuala Terengganu but construction was delayed due to the Asian Financial Crisis. When construction commenced, the highway was shortened to only Kuantan as a lesson by Mahathir to the people of Terengganu whom had voted PAS instead in 1999.  You should remember what I wrote in a previous article on how vindictive Mahathir was towards the people of Kelantan and Terengganu for their support for PAS then.  So, Mahathir too never spent money for the well-being of the people.  Only his cronies prospered whenever projects are implemented.

The 11th Malaysia Plan has lined up many projects that would benefit the youth, the handicapped, the minorities and those who live in traditional villages.  Three pilot projects will be implemented for the youths under the 1Malaysia Youth City program in the Peninsular, Sabah and Sarawak.  For children between the age of 13 and 18 residing in welfare institutions they would be given the opportunity to undergo the Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET) to provide them with skill sets for them to face the world when they become independent.  A micro-credit scheme would be introduced to the Chinese community under the Chinese New Villages Special Loan Scheme program while a blueprint for the betterment of the Indian community will be prepared.

Six new hospitals will be built while three hospitals namely the Tawau, Kota Marudu and Miri Hospitals would be upgraded.  As it is, the Sri Aman Hospital would be completed as soon as possible. On top of that, 165 new Klinik 1Malaysia will be built nationwide to provide basic medical care for those in the rural areas.

Unlike under Mahathir, the Pan-Borneo highway that has begun construction will be toll free. Mahathir had had to make the people pay for the construction of highways despite claiming that the government had much more money under his administration and we in KL especially are still paying for the sins of Mahathir in the form of extended toll concessions to his cronies.  And for 22 years the people of Sabah and Sarawak had to endure endless ferry rides to get from one place to another while bridges have been and are being built under Najib’s administration despite not having any money as claimed by Mahathir. AND NO TOLL EITHER!

More Mass Rail Transit and proper extension of the Light Rail Transit to benefit the people in the Klang Valley have and are being constructed as compared to the time under Mahathir’s 22 years when the government seemingly had more money.  Double-tracking rail project, High-Speed Rail project and most recent was the announcement on the new East Coast Rail Link that would benefit the people of the very region Mahathir hated very much.

So where was your good governance or your concern for the well-being of the people back then?

Mahathir Wrote:

7. For this the Prime Minister has created sinecure jobs for a lot of loyalists. There are now nine Ministers, three Deputy Ministers in the Prime Minister’s Department.

8. There are now 51 divisions in the Prime Minister’s Department. The budget allocation for the Prime Minister’s Department has risen from RM5.2 billion in 2000 to RM20 billion in 2016, a four folds rise. It is 13 per cent of the 2016 budget of RM267 billion. It was less than four per cent between 2000 and 2008.

The Prime Minister’s Department is being run by the Chief Secretary to the Government. It now includes agencies that were not there during Mahathir’s time such as the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA/APMM) whose jurisdiction goes beyond the 12-nautical mile statutory limit of most of our Acts, enforces the EEZ but is not under the Ministry of Defence as it is not a military force. So who is to look after the development and the legislative requirements of the agency if not a Minister? The same goes for the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) which looks after the security of Sabah’s east coast from intrusion by foreign paramilitary units.  The Malaysian Islamic Development Department (JAKIM) also falls under the purview of the Prime Minister’s Department and that has to be headed by a Minister as given by the Act.  The Istana Negara, the Parliament, the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission, the Elections Commission, the Economic Planing Unit, they all come under the purview of the Prime Minister’s Department.  Not forgetting Mahathir’s own Secretariat Office for the Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad which did not exist prior to his resignation as the Prime Minister.  So is he complaining about the budget that the Prime Minister’s Department is giving his people so they can write lies and bite the hand that feeds them?  Maybe Mahathir’s cook needs to be pulled out. I don’t know what has the cook been feeding the old man that his mind has gone from that of a statesman to that of an estate’s man.

Mahathir Wrote:

10. Under BR1M, 7 million people got initially RM500 each. Now they are promised RM1,000. There will be more increases next year. 

11. At RM500 it will cost the Government RM3.5 billion. At RM1,000 it will cost RM7 billion.

12. Perhaps the very poor would benefit but for most of the recipients RM500 for a year is meaningless. The better thing to do is to give the really needy, the hard core poor sufficient monthly allowances to support their lives. For the rest create jobs and train them. But the Government is not encouraging job creation. Local industries are not supported. But imports are encouraged.

RM7 billion it would cost the government to give out BR1M.

BR1M would be chicken-feed for Mahathir. His cronies spend RM1,000 at Chawan in front of Bangsar Village or at the Bangsar Shopping Centre to feed his bloggers.

It may be a one-off thing but that means a staggering amount of RM7 billion gets circulated in the economy.  Being a layman my understanding of that would be that when there is more money in circulation, jobs are being created as people have more spending power. At RM500 or RM1,000 per person it may not seem much, but by having that extra money to spend encourages spending. Purchases will be made, demand is created, production needs to be increased, more business opportunities for new industrial players, and therefore more jobs are created.

It may not matter to Mahathir that it increases the disposable income of the lower income groups; it boosts consumer sentiments as it increases domestic consumption – the higher the amount of BR1M, the higher the domestic spending.  With subsidy cuts and spending more on BR1M Malaysia’s deficit has been reduced with a much larger chunk of the economic wealth going to those who need it the most.

And under the 11th Malaysia Plan the government is committed towards having 11,000 physically-challenged individuals to work for the government while in the five economic corridors in the Peninsular, Sabah and Sarawak alone 470,000 jobs will be created.

Mahathir Wrote:

19. The level of borrowings by the Government has reached record levels. Future generations will have to pay these loans.

20. All these will not show up in the budget. But the people will know as they struggle to make ends meet.

Singapore has a US$1.76 Trillion external debt with a Debt to GDP ratio of 106%.  Our debt stands at RM630.5 billion (US$150.6 billion) while our GDP is at RM1.157 Trillion (US$276 billion) making our Debt to GDP ration 54.5%.  If Singapore is not panicking then why should we?

In fact, if we compare the first seven years of Mahathir’s administration against Najib’s we can see that we should have gone bankrupt (in the words of Mahathir’s lackey Kadir Jasin) when our Debt to GDP ratio was well over 100% for two years in a row!

screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-17-04-44
Mahathir’s First Seven Years (1981-1987) with Hussein Onn’s Debt to GDP ratio in 1980 at 44% only

We could see that not only debt had increased during Mahathir’s first seven years, GDP also fluctuated and was at its highest point in 1987 yet debt was much higher!

Compare that to Najib’s first seven years and we can see

Screen Shot 2016-10-19 at 17.05.42.png
Najib’s First Seven Years despite the slump in oil prices in 2014 has seen an increase in GDP

As a matter of fact, the bad performance of Debt to GDP ratio during the 1986-1987 period under Mahathir was not the only time when the economy was in a critical situation going by Kadir Jasin’s definition, the country’s GDP was at negative 7% when Mahathir carried the country through the Asian Financial Crisis in 1998 – which was worse than when Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi ran the country during the Global Financial Crisis in 2008 which was at negative 1.5%!

So is Malaysia on the verge of bankruptcy?  “Although we were faced with the drastic fall in global crude oil prices in 2015/2016, which caused the government to lose more than RM30 billion in revenue, the country still recorded a positive economic growth which was 6% in 2014, 5% in 2015 and 4.1% in 2016 (6 months),” said Second Finance Minister Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani.

And despite losing that much revenue, the government could still finance its projects – thank you in large to the implementation of the GST which has allowed the government to have an alternative source of income and reduce the dependency on the the price of oil. To add the strawberry on top of that cake is that the inflation rate of 3.43% upon the implementation of the GST program has been reduced to less than 2% this year.


Perhaps Mahathir ought to fire whoever it was who helped research for that article of his.  Such a waste of allocation from the Prime Minister’s Department.  Seriously!

Oh! Why such a title for this posting?  Let me quote this rather amusing blog post:

Melayu Celup

Small in numbers, about 5% of the total Mamak population but rather loud and “glaring”. Though mostly from the 3rd Graded colony, they have graduated well and have an ability of a Chameleon (or think they can) with the Malays. Some examples of these low dignity Melayu Celups are Ahmad Rizal Naina Merican, Sheik Hussein Mydin and Zambry Kadir carrying the Mamak trade mark glaringly. But if they are lucky they will look like the controversial Sharifah Zobra or Mahathir Mohamed. Let me give you a secret, any names that ends with Naina, Kadir, Mydin, Merican, Pakir, Jabeen, Shaik, Mubarakh, Mohammad (no reference to the Prophet Mohamed S.A.W.) are downright, flat out, no doubt, true blue Mamak Tongkang or the immediate descendant’s.

I think the Mamak’s tongkang has just been sunk.