Thursday, 29 September 2016

[omg!! arul should initiate legal action if this is not true...] ... Arul Kanda caused the IPIC – 1MDB dispute

[omg!! arul should initiate legal action if this is not true...] ... Arul Kanda caused the IPIC – 1MDB dispute

Let us tell a simplified story on what Arul Kanda did with our money during his tenure as the little boss (President and Group Executive Director) of 1MDB. We call him ‘little boss’ because in reality, he is there just to follow orders and be the fall guy should something goes wrong. He was a product of Royal Military College; and all his life there, he was instructed to follow orders.
“Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full.”
Regardless if the directives were wrong or right, Arul Kanda proved to be the rodent that poked even more holes that finally sank a huge ship.
A lot of wrong things did happen during his watch.
Arul Kanda went in voluntarily into the 1MDB cesspool like an idiot who then claimed himself to be the saviour of this sovereign wealth debt fund. Too bad he went in after all the taxpayers’ money in it had been plundered by the very people who had appointed him.
Remember last year when IPIC came to the rescue and helped 1MDB pay its USD1 billion loan with Deustsche Bank?
Arul Kanda said the payment ‘is not a loan, not a bailout’.
Well Arul Kanda lied because PAC Report confirmed that it was indeed, a loan.
Why did you lie Arul Kanda? From now on, you must not be angry if random people call you a LIAR straight to your face because frankly speaking, you are one.
Okay where and how did this USD1 billion loan from IPIC come about?
It’s like this:
This is from PAC report itself
This is from PAC report itself
It all started in May 2014 when they had to get USD250 million loan to pay off Aabar Ltd (supposedly a subsidiary of IPIC) for the termination of option. At this point of time, the public have not yet known that Aabar Ltd was actually a fake company which does not have any relationship to either the real Aabar company nor with the flagship company – IPIC.
1MDB actually sent USD250 million (nearly RM1 billion) to some bogus company! The idiots at 1MDB at that time did not even bother to perform due diligence (statutory audit/checking with company secretaries/banks etc). Those fools’ defence was – “Oh, since the MD of IPIC himself said ‘please bank in into this company accounts’, then we just followed his instructions.”
Yes the owner of the fake Aabar were the MD of IPIC and its Chairman. But everybody and their cat knows that those two were in cahoots with the people behind 1MDB (guess who there are) to siphon off transfer our money into that fake company.
Lo and behold, our own auditor general could not ascertain the ownership of this fake Aabar and 1MDB officials could not even provide the relevant documents to support their justification for sending this money to a company not related to IPIC.
All this wrong doings were recorded in the PAC Hansard and Report.
Moving on, after the initial USD250 million debt obtained from Deutsche Bank were successfully transferred into the fake Aabar, they applied for a bigger loan in September 2014 from the same bank. A whopping USD975 million loan was asked!
What did they do with this money? They used it to pay off the loan (USD250 million) obtained just 5 months earlier and its balance (USD725 million) was used to pay off  the fake Aabar. Again, they gave the excuse that it was for the termination of option.
So they dug a hole, then covered the hole with another loan. That is the kind of business the macais in UMNO are defending.
Anyway at this point of time, the fake Aabar and the people associated with it has a cool USD975 million (nearly RM4 billion) in their pockets by year end 2014.
How could they obtained the loan twice? They used their misleading audited accounts of 2013 to show that its business would have no problem in paying off the loan. Plus they told Deutsche Bank that it has over USD1 billion in cash in BSI Bank, Singapore.
In February 2015, Arul Kanda The LIAR even lied in public saying that he has seen the cash statements. But by March, the lie crumbled. In Parliament, Najib said it was merely paper assets. By April, the bumbling Husni Hanadzlah said they were all in the form of units. Worthless, with unrecognised value in the banking world.
Deutsche Bank sensed that something is wrong and called out for an early settlement of the loan. 1MDB supposedly had one year to pay off the USD975 million (until August 2015) but news report saying that they had demanded for an early repayment surfaced in early May 2015.
If they do not pay within that few weeks, it will trigger a cross default.
So how did 1MDB pay off USD975 million to the bank? Remember, the loan money has been long gone into the pockets of the people behind the fake Aabar company. Therefore, we the rakyat has to pay off the USD975 million debt to Deutsche Bank.
Enter IPIC with their USD1 billion cash to the rescue.
Arul Kanda negotiated this loan deal. Back in Malaysia he told everyone that this is neither a loan nor a bail out. Maybe it’s just something only an idiot would say. But he and Husni Hanadzlah hid it behind the pretext off ‘Rationalisation Plan’. Remember that catchphrase?
1MDB made a lot of irrational decisions that it had to be rationalised by the lying Arul Kanda and the bumbling Husni Hanadzlah. It got worse. Money lost into the void, and 1MDB (that’s the rakyat) had to bear the burden.
In May 2015, Arul Kanda announced that the mounting debts will be cleared by the end of 2015. IPIC even issued a statement to the London Stock Exchange that they will forgive 1MDB of certain debts (remember, they thought they should get the option termination money). They will also pay off in cash USD1 billion so that 1MDB can pay off Deutsche Bank. 1MDB at that time had a lot of assets (land in Bandar Malaysia as well as EDRA ENERGY IPP).
In summary, based on the term sheet, this is what IPIC will do for 1MDB:
a) give USD1 billion cash
b) take over the ownership of USD3.5 billion bond 1MDB took out back in 2012 (IPIC was the guarantor for this loan)
c) in exchange for (b) above, 1MDB must give assets worth that amount by June 2016
d) IPIC will pay interests on the USD3.5 billion bond which is due in multiple stages in 2015 onwards
e) that USD1 billion cash must be paid back by 31st December 2015
IPIC thought that by June 2016, they will get billions worth of assets from 1MDB in exchange for all the money they had coughed up for 1MDB. But unfortunately, like a pack of deceiving crooks, 1MDB sold EDRA and Bandar Malaysia to the Chinese instead!
Not only they sold what was promised (our precious assets) to somebody else, Arul Kanda did not even bother to pay back the USD1 billion cash loan!
No wonder IPIC was livid.
Arul Kanda the incorrigible liar said it wasn’t a loan. But in actual fact, it was.
By April 2016, Arul Kanda (THE LIAR), with his stupefied face calmly said, “There is one crucial item on the term sheet, which is that 1MDB has to transfer the amount that IPIC paid, the cash plus the interests — US$1.15 billion — by Dec 31, 2015. Actually, we were in default since December.”
How can you people stomach this monster? He is getting paid huge sums of money on monthly basis using our tax money yet he is running around as if he is the Saviour. This idiotic former RMC student could not even negotiate properly. Not only we lost our assets to outsiders, we now have to contend with a dispute. Does he not know the word ‘accountability’? Does he have it?
Some idiots in Facebook said this is a friendly dispute. Yes, perhaps when they have basked under the tutelage of the Worst Asian Finance Minister of 2016, they see this failure to pay off debts as something nice and friendly.
Since 1MDB lied to them, IPIC initially decided not to pay the bond interests for the year 2016. 1MDB claimed that they will not pay it too because that it is just a matter of principles. At that point of time, the blatant shamelessness shone through the face of Najib and Arul Kanda.
Imagine, 1MDB raised USD3.5 billion loan and begged IPIC to be the guarantor of it. When 1MDB could not pay, they unashamedly let their guarantor to hang high and dry. What kind of principle is that?
Malaysia – the country who could not pay its debts and have no qualms to backstab its guarantor? Is that the principle?
Just like a whore who borrowed money to buy a car and her sugardaddy became the guarantor for the loan she made, IPIC was made to look bad because their ‘whore’ failed to settle the loan by itself.
Are you not ashamed of yourself?
IPIC had no choice as guarantor to pay off the interest payments and thus the dispute happens.
This is the fact of the matter. Who should pay off the USD3.5 billion bond in the end? IPIC demanded USD6.5 billion in total from 1MDB. Who should pay this? 1MDB has no more significant assets that they can sell to IPIC. They only have 40% of Bandar Malaysia, some land in Penang and TRX. It will not come to USD6.5 billion (RM26 billion) in value.
So who’s fault was it? Who in the right mind could give away billions of ringgit to the people in fake Aabar? Only the most crooked mind would do that.
One more thing. Tomorrow is the deadline for the audit for 2015. They had an extension till 30th September 2016 to present the 31st March 2015 audit. Their excuse for the extension was – they have to wait for the return of the seized documents. Well, PAC and Auditor General had concluded their investigations back in April 2016. What is the hold up?
1MDB has the track record of being serially late in submitting their audited accounts. Imagine, a multi billion dollar company could not even keep a proper set of accounts. Yet they had the audacity to start an IPO. Laughable! News flash, no investor will trust you if you keep on turning up late in class.
Furthermore, Deloitte had quit as the auditor for 1MDB so who is auditing them right now?
In fact, 1MDB must re-audit the 2013 and 2014 accounts too after Deloitte issued a statement saying that the public must not rely on their audited accounts anymore. Who will perform this re-audit and when will we know the extent of the damage done back in 2013 and 2014?
We remember some clueless people said that the audit report is like a bible. We must trust its veracity. But auditors are not perfect. They can be misled, lied to and deceived by the crooked bosses of any company. If you hear an accountant who says that 1MDB audited accounts had shown nothing wrong, then trust us, he is an idiot. He could be Arul Kanda in disguise.
Or perhaps Husni Hanadzlah needs to come clean and tell us why did he say (in June 2015) that 1MDB auditors were not sacked. The PAC Report had revealed otherwise, that KPMG and EY were indeed sacked.
We wrote an article back then saying that Husni had lied on national TV (some smart-aleck even wrote a long article trying to defend him), but until now Husni has not come clean on the wrongs he did to us the rakyat. Lying is wrong. Covering up is wrong. If you do not know Hell, you will know it sooner or later. A minister has a duty to tell the truth.
God gave you such small benefit in this world, and a little bit responsibility as an honest leader. But if you still could not manage to safeguard this duty, then you are worse than a greedy pig.
Unless of course you have no religion to fall back on.
Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full.
Gali lubang, tutup lubang. Rakyat juga yang kena bayar hutang.
source : jebatmustdie

[exposed and hot!! ...] ...MH17 ditembak jatuh oleh pemberontak dengan peluru berpandu dari Rusia, kata penyiasat

[exposed and hot!! ...] ...MH17 ditembak jatuh oleh pemberontak dengan peluru berpandu dari Rusia, kata penyiasat

Siasatan mendapati peluru berpandu Buk yang mengorbankan kesemua 298 penumpang telah ditembak dari dalam wilayah pemberontak

Tulisan asal oleh : 
Lizzie Dearden, Independent, 28 September 2016. 

Pemberontak bertanggungjawab menembak jatuh pesawat Malaysia Airlines MH17 di Ukraine dan membunuh kesemua 298 orang di atas kapal, menurut pendakwa antarabangsa.

Satu laporan oleh Pasukan Siasatan Bersama (JIT) yang diketuai Belanda berkata "tidak syak lagi" peluru berpandu yang menjatuhkan pesawat itu dibawa masuk dari Rusia dan dilancarkan dari wilayah yang dikuasai pemberontak, semasa konflik di timur Ukraine.

Wilbert Paulissen, Ketua Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah Belanda, memainkan perbualan telefon yang  dipintas sidang akhbar antara pejuang pemberontak yang membincangkan ketibaan sistem peluru berpandu Buk.

"Ia mungkin boleh disimpulkan bahawa MH17 telah ditembak jatuh oleh peluru berpandu 9M38 oleh Buk, yang dibawa masuk dari wilayah Persekutuan Rusia, dan selepas dilancarkan telah kemudiannya dikembalikan ke Persekutuan Rusia," tambahnya.

"Kesimpulannya adalah bahawa MH17 telah ditembak jatuh oleh peluru berpandu Buk yang dilancarkan dari tapak di sekitar 6km selatan dari perkampungan Snizhne."

Penyiasat menunjukkan tapak pelancaran di atas sebuah bukit di ladang barat dari Pervomaiskyi, dan berkata saksi telah mengambil gambar asap dan melaporkan terdengar bunyi tembakan peluru itu.

Mereka mengesan konvoi yang membawa Buk, yang pada asalnya terdapat empat peluru berpandu kesemuanya, dari sempadan Rusia melalui Donetsk, Torez, Snizhne dan seterusnya ke tapak pelancaran pada waktu sebelum MH17 dijatuhkan.

Pegawai berkata, senjata itu diiringi oleh pejuang pro-Rusia, dengan perjalanan itu direkodkan dalam beberapa video dan imej yang dirakam oleh orang ramai, sebelum kembali ke Rusia selepas pelancaran itu - dengan satu peluru berpandu hilang.

Apabila ditanya oleh wartawan, ahli JIT itu tidak mahu secara khusus menamakan militia atau puak yang bertanggungjawab untuk menembak peluru berpandu itu tetapi berkata, mereka sedang menyiasat beberapa individu dan juga rantaian perintah yang membawa kepada nahas itu.

Pendakwa memperincikan bukti 3,500 perbualan yang dipintas dan ujian letupan yang berskala besar, sambil menambah bahawa beberapa bukti telah ditahan kerana siasatan yang masih berterusan terhadap pelaku.

Siasatan itu bertujuan untuk mengenal pasti mereka yang mendalangi serangan ke atas pesawat penumpang itu ketika dalam penerbangan dari Amsterdam ke Kuala Lumpur pada 17 Julai 2014.
Lebih daripada 100 suspek yang berpotensi telah dikenal pasti tetapi tiada seorang yang dinamakan oleh pegawai, yang berkata, siasatan diteruskan, serta siasatan tentang apa yang berlaku kepada Buk selepas ia melintas kembali ke Rusia.

Silene Fredriksz, yang anaknya Bryce menaiki pesawat itu dengan teman wanitanya, Daisy, menjangka bahawa penyiasat akan mengesahkan syak wasangka yang telah lama dipegang bahawa kumpulan-kumpulan pro-Rusia adalah yang bertanggungjawab.

"Kami akan dapat menyimpulkan sama ada ia adalah Rusia atau Ukraine dan saya fikir kita hanya akan mendapat pengesahan mengenai apa yang kita sangkakan selama berbulan-bulan: yang mana ia adalah yang terlebih dahulu," katanya menjelang laporan itu dibuat.

"Ini adalah satu langkah yang penting. Sebagai sebuah keluarga kami tidak sabar. Kami mahu tahu apa yang berlaku, bagaimana ia berlaku dan mengapa. Kami mahu mereka yang bertanggungjawab dibawa ke muka pengadilan. "

Satu siasatan berasingan telah selesai dijalankan oleh Lembaga Keselamatan Belanda pada tahun lalu menyimpulkan bahawa pesawat itu dijatuhkan oleh kepala peledak yang ditembak oleh sistem Buk yang diletupkan dari jarak satu meter.

Ia melepaskan kira-kira 800  serpihan "bertenaga tinggi" ke dalam kokpit, yang membunuh tiga anak kapal di dalamnya serta-merta dan menyebabkan Boeing 777 itu pecah di udara.

Tidak lama selepas kehilangan MH17, satu artikel yang dikaitkan dengan pemimpin pemisah Igor Girkin, seorang tentera veteran Russian yang dikenali sebagai Strelkov, mendakwa pemberontak telah menembak jatuh sebuah pesawat pengangkutan tentera Ukraine.

Artikel yang dengan pantas dipadam pada rangkaian sosial Rusia VKontakte itu telah disertakan dengan video asap yang semakin meninggi dan berkata: "Kami memberi amaran kepada mereka - jangan terbang di langit kami."

Panggilan telefon yang dipintas antara pemberontak itu juga dimasukkan untuk menunjukkan penglibatan mereka, dengan rakaman yang didakwa bertarikh 18 Julai 2014 yang menunjukkan seorang lelaki berkata bahawa pelancar telah dibawa dari Rusia oleh kenalan dengan kod nama "the Librarian".

Rakaman yang disebarkan oleh Perkhidmatan Keselamatan Ukraine muncul untuk menunjukkan militan yang panik memberitahu yang seorang yang berkedudukan lebih tinggi: "Ia adalah 100 peratus pesawat penumpang ... terdapat barangan awam, barangan perubatan, tuala, tisu tandas."

Kumpulan pemisah sejak itu telah menafikan sebarang penglibatan dalam bencana itu, manakala pegawai-pegawai Rusia telah secara berterusan menolak dakwaan bahawa askar atau peralatan mereka telah dikerah ke Ukraine.

Dalam siasatannya sendiri, pengilang Buk Rusia Almaz Antey mendakwa peluru berpandu itu telah dilancarkan dari Zaroschenskoye dan bahawa tentera Ukraine telah ditempatkan di sana pada masa itu.

"Kami menyiasat perkara ini dan telah dapat membuktikan bahawa ini bukanlah lokasi pelancaran itu, dan lebih-lebih lagi bahawa ia telah dikawal oleh pemberontak pro-Rusia pada masa itu," kata Encik Paulissen.

Sebelum laporan itu dibuat pada hari Rabu, seorang jurucakap bagi Kremlin sekali lagi mendakwa data radar menunjukkan pemberontak tidak menembak peluru berpandu yang telah menjatuhkan MH17.

Dmitry Peskov berkata data yang diperolehi oleh tentera Rusia telah menjelaskan bahawa roket itu tidak ditembak dari wilayah pemberontak, tetapi dari tempat lain.

"Data radar yang diterima 'first-hand' telah mengenal pasti semua objek terbang yang mungkin telah dilancarkan atau di udara di atas wilayah yang dikuasai oleh pemberontak pada ketika itu," tambahnya.

"Jika terdapat sebuah roket, ia hanya mungkin telah dilancarkan dari kawasan yang berbeza. Anda tidak boleh pertikaikan perkara itu, ianya tidak boleh dibincangkan. "

JIT berkata ia hanya telah menerima separuh jawapan ke atas permintaannya untuk mendapatkan maklumat daripada pihak berkuasa Rusia dan belum lagi diberikan data radar utama yang disebut oleh pegawai-pegawai di Kremlin.

Pendakwa raya dari negara-negara dengan bilangan penumpang paling banyak dalam penerbangan itu - Belanda, Australia, Malaysia dan Belgium - dan Ukraine, JIT sebelum ini berkata ia akan "memastikan kebebasan siasatan".

Penyiasat telah memeriksa kesemua mayat, barang-barang peribadi dan bangkai pesawat Boeing 777, yang pecah di tengah udara dan menyebarkan serpihan sejauh beberapa batu.

JIT mempunyai tanggungjawab utama untuk membuktikan kes untuk pendakwaan selepas Majlis Keselamatan PBB gagal untuk menerima pakai resolusi yang akan menubuhkan sebuah tribunal antarabangsa untuk mendakwa mereka yang bertanggungjawab untuk menjatuhkan MH17 pada mesyuarat di bulan Julai 2015.

Perdana Menteri Malaysia, Najib Razak, berkata negara-negara yang terlibat akan bergerak pantas untuk mengambil tindakan berikutan penemuan pada hari Rabu itu.
"Kami kekal komited untuk membawa mereka yang bertanggungjawab ke muka pengadilan," katanya.

Kerajaan Ukraine telah terlibat dalam konflik dua setengah tahun lamanya dengan pemberontak pemisah yang mengawal wilayah di timur, termasuk kawasan di mana bangkai MH17 jatuh di sekitar Hrabove.

Pemberontakan bermula di timur berikutan penggulingan Presiden Viktor Yanukovych pada bulan Februari 2014.

Laporan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu baru-baru ini memberi amaran peningkatkan korban awam di timur Ukraine, di mana permusuhan antara kerajaan dan kumpulan pemberontak telah meningkat selaras dengan perhatian antarabangsa yang semakin berkurangan.

Di tengah-tengah kawasan yang padat dengan penduduk, orang awam telah dibunuh oleh tembakan, periuk api dan bom, serta bilangan yang tidak diketahui yang mati akibat kekurangan makanan, air, ubat-ubatan atau penjagaan kesihatan.

Monitor juga telah merakamkan laporan pencabulan hak asasi manusia termasuk penyeksaan, layanan buruk dan tahanan secara terasing, yang dilakukan dengan "akauntabiliti yang sangat terhad" dan kebimbangan mengenai perbicaraan yang adil.

Lebih daripada 9,600 orang setakat ini telah terbunuh dan 22,400 cedera dalam konflik itu setakat ini, dengan gencatan senjata yang dikuatkuasakan semula pada 1 September.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

[najib and his government never and will not learn....too bad]...Economic Crisis: Ignoring Lessons of the Past

[najib and his government never and will not learn....too bad]...Economic Crisis: Ignoring Lessons of the Past

A Kadir Jasin

PARDON me for this lengthy article but I feel that it is necessary to refresh our memory of the two major recessions that we had gone through in 1986 and 1997-98 respectively. It may also be helpful to students of economic, finance and politics.

[REMINDER: No anonymous comments will be published.  Please use Google Account, OpenID or Name/URL. Pseudonym is accepted. Be respectful. No swearing. Thank you.]

Although these crises were caused by different factors, the swift and decisive handling by the government had limited their effects on the country and its people.

The 1986 crisis was caused by the collapsed of commodities prices all at the same time. This is the curse of dependency on commodities. Demand and hence prices could fall suddenly, resulting in crisis.

On the other hand the 1997/98 recession was financial in nature. It was triggered mainly by the private sector borrowing heavily in the US dollars. When speculators attacked Asian currencies, many private sector companies became insolvent.

Many such corporations in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and South Korea did not have enough money to pay their debts when the exchange rate of domestic currencies tumbled. When governments went into the market defend their currencies, they lost the money. In the case of Thailand, it almost all its currency reserves were lost. Most of them ended up being rescued by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

In this first major recession, the government was aware of the problems faced by the people due to the collapse of commodities and took care of rubber tappers, smallholders and those working in the palm oil plantations. It took care of petty traders too. But more importantly it showed that the government was serious about helping those facing problems.

The Cabinet took a pay cut. Ministers’ allowances were also reduced. It was to show to the rakyat that ministers too were willing to sacrifice at the time when the people were facing a difficult time. The rakyat appreciated the gesture and they felt that the government was serious in trying to overcome the crisis.

It was this trust that made it easier for the government to implement its recovery plan. The Prime Minister then was Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Finance Minister was Tun Daim Zainuddin.

The government reduced development expenditure to match revenue and made it clear that from that point onward we would live within our means. This was an opportunity for the government to restructure the economy.

The civil service was bloated and revenue was used mainly to pay civil servants. The government froze new recruitment and, in the future, new employees would not get pension directly from the treasury. Instead, a pension fund would be established.

To reduce the number of civil servants and save government spending privatization was sped up. Tens of thousands opted to become employees of the privatized companies, generally with better salaries. The government saved on salaries and was no longer responsible for their operating and capital expenditures (opex and capex). This saved the government a lot of money.

The government decided that the country must not rely entirely on commodities and must shift to manufacturing and services. Laws were amended or relaxed to make it more attractive for foreign investors. The policy was so successful that it created jobs not only for Malaysians but also for foreigners.

The government then focused its attention to rebuilding and strengthening the financial sector. It cleaned up banks, insurance companies and deposit taking co-operatives. The number of financial institutions was reduced through mergers and acquisitions (M&A) to created larger companies that could better withstand future shocks.

The government’s clear direction and forceful implementation helped to restore the economy and boosted the confidence of the people. It was so successful that growth rate, measured by the Gross Domestic Product (DGP), was consistently above eight percent and this added to the income of the people.

In the case of the 1997/98 crises, the situation was different - there was no recession in the world economy and, as such, our exports continued to do well and brought in a lot of money for the country.

lt was the private sector that faced problems and our banks were badly affected  and had to be saved. The government formed Danamodal and Danaharta. The first was to save the banks and the second to buy up assets of troubled companies. The government also helped companies facing trouble.

To halt speculation against the ringgit, the government introduced what we called limited currency control, which was condemned by almost whole world. The exchanged rate of the ringgit was fixed at RM3.80 to a US dollar and the movement of capital in and out of the country was monitor. It created certainty for the business people.

The success in overcoming both crises was largely because people trusted the government. They were confident that the government knew what it took to save the country. They did not suffer too badly and only for a short time. The proof of their support was the Barisan Nasional won with two-third majority in both general elections held after the crises.

The Present Crisis

What immediately comes to mind is the question, what is government doing about it? Whatever the government is doing, the rakyat don’t feel that their hardship is being eased.

Instead, subsidies were reduced or abolished in order to make government finances look good. It that isn't bad enough for the people, rates and charges were raised and, to top it all, the goods and services tax (GST) was introduced.

Some ministers and deputy ministers thought that all the rakyat are uninformed and went on to make stupid statements that GST would reduce prices of goods and services.

This is the problem when the Prime Minister is also the Minister of Finance. Many in the Cabinet disagreed with the Finance Minister but had to agree and support the Prime Minister.

For sure the government is not honest with the people. Ministers, senior government civil servants and editors spin everything in the hope of fooling the people so much so that they sound like idiots.

Yes prices of commodities had fallen. But that had happened before, but the government was able to overcome the problem in a relatively short time. The people did not suffer a prolonged period of suffering.

To make it worse, there is the billion ringgit 1MDB scandal. Its debts as of the beginning of this year, according to PAC, had risen to RM50 billion. It has caused the government a huge trust deficit.

The government keeps saying that our growth is high and is better than most countries. No, it is not true. Our GDP growth is declining and is lower than most developing Asean countries. Even if there is growth, what good is it if the people do not feel its benefit?

The present government of (Datuk Seri I Mappadulung Daeng Mattimung Karaeng Sandrobone Sultan Abdul Jalil) Mohd Najib Abdul Razak and of Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi before that are obsessed with growth.

To be truthful, the present day so-called economic architects are pale in comparison to the likes of the late Tun Abdul Razak Hussein and Tun Tan Siew Sin, Tun Dr Mahathir, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and Daim.

As leaders, Mohd Najib and Abdullah are clueless about finance and economy. They relied on outsiders like (Tan Sri) Nor Mohamed Yackop, (Datuk Seri) Idris Jala and (Datuk Seri) Abdul Wahid Omar.

Not all of these people have good record of economic and business management yet were given so much power to manage and manipulate the economy. They were just too happy to deliver growth to their bosses without any consideration for cost and the long-term effects of their so-called consolidation and transformation.

They are best known for accumulating debt. Our external debt had increased to RM848.24 billion in the second quarter of 2016 from RM809.09 billion in the first quarter of 2016. This is mind boggling considering that external debt averaged only RM186.05 billion from 1990 to 2016, reaching an all time high of RM852.86 billion in the third quarter of 2015. External debt is reported by Bank Negara.

According to Bank Negara, as at the end on June 2016, total outstanding debt of the Federal Government amounted to RM655.7 billion or 53.4 per cent of the estimated 2016 GDP.

We can never be sure of the true situation. In recent months the government had resorted to juggling with the figures to show positive development. It recently moved about RM22 billion civil servants’ housing loans to a new statutory agency called the Public Sector Home Financing Board. The board immediately established an RM25-billion bond programme guaranteed by the Government. It’s the case of moving the debt from one pocket to another.

During 1986 recession, the government also froze civil servants’ increment. It made sure that everybody sacrificed. You can’t ask rakyat to sacrifice and yet civil servants are treated differently. The rakyat pay all kind of taxes to fund the government’s Opex. But under Mohd Najib, civil servants are given salary increases and special bonuses at the time when rest of the rakyat are suffering a high cost of living.

Civil service keeps bloating. In fact, under Abdullah and on the recommendation of Nor Mohamed, new agencies were created with overlapping functions outside the purview of the Public Services Department (PSD). Unknown to the public, Nor Mohamed was politically ambitious and had used these agencies to build his political base. He went on to contest the Tasek Gelugor parliamentary seat for the Barisan Nasional in the 2008 general election and won. But he was unpopular. He was rejected by his own division. He was involved in the failed Bank Negara forex operations in the 1980’s and is deeply involved in the management of 1MDB.

I have mentioned many a time that the fact that our household debt is among highest in the world. With growth tapering and unemployment rising, household debt is becoming less manageable. Many young Malaysians are today officially bankrupt.

The rakyat are more concerned with the bread and butter issues than economic statistics. It’s a double whammy when they have to pay GST on goods and services that have gone up in prices due to the GST.

GDP growth alone is not the measure of the state of the economy and the welfare of the people. There are other factors like fair distribution of wealth and sustainability that have to be taken into consideration.

If people are suffering and not happy because they can’t afford to pay for their daily needs, what good is the government’s growth figure?

And what good is the so-called good news that we have escaped the middle-income trap, when income gap is widening and the number of poor and indebted households is rising?

The Khazanah Poser

And would the authority be able to deny (or clarify) that some senior managers at government-owned companies (GLCs) like Khazanah are rumoured to be earning as much as RM250,000 a month and many are earning RM100,000. Even a retired university professor is rumoured to earn RM70,000 a month?
And what about children of a wealthy former minister, a private sector company chairman and even an expatriate being given or offered scholarships on the pretext of meritocracy?

No wonder children of the ordinary rakyat who excelled in International Baccalaureate studies at the Malay College Kuala kangsar and other institutions are unable to get funding despite being offered places by the best universities in the UK.

And no wonder too the people are angry.

Mohd Najib had gone to town asking for suggestions for his 2017 Budget. Normally budget dialogues are held in June or July in order to give sufficient time for officials to act on the feedback. But now he is asking for feedback in September and budget is in October. He can’t be serious. The most logical proposal is perhaps to ask him to step down as Finance Minister.

And what madness it is to ask Khazanah to spend RM650 million on a recreational park in Kuala Lumpur?

All these goes to show just how insensitive and wasteful the government is and how indifferent it is to the suffering of the rakyat.

The government does not have to force Khazanah to be a park developer and possibly wasting another RM650 million of taxpayers’ money. If it wants a park for the people, all that it has to do is to gazette Bukit Kiara as the Cabinet had agreed a long time ago.

Is this the government that listens to people and fulfills its promises as enshrines in its “Janji Ditepati” election?


Thursday, 22 September 2016

Cacian Kukuhkan Azam dan Iltizam Dr Mahathir

Cacian Kukuhkan Azam dan Iltizam Dr Mahathir

A Kadir Jasin

SAYA tidak pasti sama ada Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz bersungguh-sungguh atau berjenaka apabila dia berkata, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad akan diberikan apa saja yang diperlukannya untuk menjatuhkan Perdana Menteri.

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Kalau sebaliknya Menteri Pelancongan dan Kebudayaan itu mempersendakan Dr Mahathir sebagai percubaan menyeronokkan bosnya, (Datuk Seri I Mappadulung Daeng Mattimung Karaeng Sandrobone Sultan Abdul Jalil) Mohd Najib Abdul Razak, saya rasa dia silap besar.

Dr Mahathir pastinya tidak berjenaka apabila beliau berkata beliau sedang berusaha menjatuhkan Barisan Nasional (BN) pada pilihan raya umum (PRU) akan datang.

Beliau terpaksa berusaha menjatuhkan BN kerana parti gabungan itu enggan menyingkirkan Mohd Najib. Pada asalnya beliau tidak berhasrat menumbangkan BN. Beliau hanya mahu Mohd Najib berundur. Tetapi apabila BN, khususnya Umno, terus taat kepada Mohd Najib sebagai ketua parti dan Perdana Menteri, beliau mengubah matlamat kepada mengalahkan BN pada PRU akan datang.

Bagi Mohamed Nazri, kecualilah dia bebal kelas dedak, dia tentu tahu Dr Mahathir jarang berjenaka dalam hal-hal yang serius seperti kesejahteraan negara.

Berkenaan menghiburkan Mohd Najib pula, saya rasa amat sukar menyeronokkan beliau sekarang. Bayangkan, macam mana nak gembira kalau hendak ke Perhimpunan Agung Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu (UNGA) pun tak selesa - takut ditanya bukan-bukan oleh kor media PBB atau kena ejek penunjuk perasaan di seberang jalan di hadapan bangunan PBB. Lagi menggerunkan adalah kemungkinan dikunjungi agensi penyiasatan jenayah Amerika yang ingin berbual-bual dengan “Malaysian Official 1”.

Tak cukup dengan itu, anugerah UNESCO kepada isterinya, (Datin Paduka Seri Puan Puti Reno I Minasa Daeng Sunggu Karaeng Bonto Matene) Rosmah Mansor, berkaitan projek Permata Negara biayaan kerajaan dibatalkan pula oleh penganjur bersamanya "kerana laporan Wall Street Journal (WSJ) dan New York Times (NYT)". Satu dunia sudah tahu pendedahan sensasi dua akhbar itu mengenai skandal berbilion ringgit membabitkan duit 1MDB.

Ramai orang tahu betapa besarnya pengorbanan Mohd Najib demi isterinya. 
Kita pun tahu juga pasangan Mohd Najib-Rosmah amat menggemari pertemuan global berprofil tinggi serta peluang beristirahat serta membeli-belah di butik-butik berjenama tinggi.

Tapi tahun ini mereka sudah ketinggalan dua persidangan besar dalam diari antarabangsa, iaitu UNGA di New York dan Forum Ekonomi Dunia (WEF) di Davos, Switzerland Januari lalu.

Mohd Najib berucap di UNGA tahun lalu
Secara kebetulan kedua-dua buah negara yang menjadi tuan rumah persidangan yang disebutkan itu – Amerika Syarikat dan Swirzerland - adalah juga antara negara yang sedang menyiasat dan bertindak ke atas skandal 1MDB. Seperti diakui oleh Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri merangkap Pengarah Komunikasi Strategik BN, (Datuk), Abdul Rahman Dahlan, Mohd Najib adalah “Malaysian Official 1” (MO1) 1MDB.

Dr Mahathir Tak Lawak

Berkenaan Dr Mahathir, saya berasa saya boleh bercakap mengenai betapa sayang dan komitednya beliau kepada Umno.

Saya sangat yakin beliau pasti tidak meninggalkan Umno apatah lagi menentangnya kalau Mohd Najib mengundurkan diri atau disingkir.

Malangnya, seperti kita semua lihat, setiap hari yang berlalu Mohd Najib menjadi lebih kuat kerana dia serta konco-konconya bersedia menggunakan apa saja instrumen dan institusi negara untuk bergayut kepada kuasa.

Harapan kita hanyalah PRU. Itu pun kalau tidak disabotaj, dikhianati dan diselewengkan oleh instrumen dan institusi negara, khususnya Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) dan para penghasut pro-Umno/BN.

Sejak tahun 1946, ketika masih belasan tahun, Dr Mahathir komited dan sayangkan Umno. Tetapi hari ini komitmen beliau adalah mengalahkan Umno. Seperti sering beliau ungkapkan, latihan perubatan mengajar beliau tidak terlalu emosi dan lebih praktikal. Kalau beliau perlu memotong kaki pesakit demi menyelamatkan nyawanya, itulah yang akan beliau lakukan.

Jadi kalau orang seperti Mohamed Nazri berasa bahawa dengan mempersendakan Dr Mahathir, mereka boleh melemahkan semangat beliau, mereka silap besar.

Meminjam ungkapan yang dipakai oleh (Datuk Seri) Adnan Mansor baru-baru ini, saya yakin ramai orang, termasuk pemandu TEKSI, tahu punca dendam kesumat Mohamed Nazri terhadap Dr Mahathir dan mengapa dia teramat sayang kepada Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi dan Mohd Najib.

Mohd Nazri dan Mohd Najib sepatutnya sedar bahawa setiap cabaran dan sindiran yang mereka tujukan kepada Dr Mahathir mengukuhkan lagi iltizam beliau untuk berjuang. Perjuangan adalah sinonim dengan Dr Mahathir.

Mohamed Nazri (bersama Lim Guan Eng) patut kenal siapa Dr Mahathir
Macai, balaci dan kamjat mereka mungkin tidak tahu kerana usia mereka baru setahun jagung dan kail mereka panjang sejengkal.

Maaflah kalau saya kata, saya boleh bercakap sedikit sebanyak mengenai Dr Mahathir kerana saya mengenali beliau agak lama – 52 tahun. 

Dalam tempoh itu, ada ketika kita bersetuju untuk tidak bersetuju. Kita berbeza pendapat dan, dari sudut pandangan sesetengah orang, kita bergaduh. Suatu ketika, (Tan Sri) Sanusi Junid waktu menjadi Menteri Besar Kedah, beranggapan Dr Mahathir dan saya “bergaduh besar” sehingga dia membawa Dr Mahathir ke rumah ayah saya di Pendang, Kedah dan memberikan seekor lembu untuk dikorbankan. Bersetuju atau tidak, kita tetap berkawan. Itulah ikrar saya kepada beliau apabila saya meletakkan jawatan Ketua Pengarang Kumpulan NSTP pada tahun 2000.

Kami berpisah jalan, tetapi kami tetap bersama dalam perjuangan.

Beberapa hari sebelum melancarkan kempen "Selamatkan Malaysia"/Deklarasi Rakyat” pada 4 Mac lalu, beliau memanggil saya ke rumahnya di Seri Kembangan bersama bekas Peguam Negara, Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman, untuk berbincang mengenai “legality” perisytiharan  itu.

Selesai berbincang, Dr Mahathir membisikkan kepada saya bahawa beliau terpaksa meninggalkan Umno sebelum melancarkan deklarasi itu. Saya memberitahu beliau yang saya tidak terperanjat kerana saya sendiri telah meninggalkan Umno lebih setahun. Saya keluar Umno secara rasmi pada 29 Jun 2015.

Beliau nampak terkejut tetapi mungkin berasa lega kerana orang lain yang beliau kenal lama pun telah meninggalkan Umno secara rasmi.

Saya mengenali Dr Mahathir pada 1964 apabila beliau datang ke kampung saya untuk bertanding kali pertama mewakili Perikatan dalam pilihan raya umum tahun itu. Waktu itu saya berusia 16 tahun dan rumah saya adalah antara tempat persinggahan beliau kerana ayah saya cergas dalam Umno.

Bahaya Cabar Dr Mahathir

Kesilapan besar sesiapa pun yang berdepan dengan Dr Mahathir adalah mencabar kegigihan beliau dan mempersendakan rancangannya.

Buat masa ini, rancangan nombor satu beliau adalah menjatuhkan BN dalam PRU akan datang melalui kerjasama di kalangan parti-parti pembangkang.

Kalau beliau bukan seorang yang gigih, beliau sudah lama menyerah kalah, khususnya setelah bersara daripada jawatan Perdana Menteri pada 2003.

Pelbagai halangan, tembok dan ranjau didirikan untuk menghalang beliau daripada terus memainkan peranan sebagai mentor demi negara yang beliau cintai. 

Ahad lalu beliau menceritakan bagaimana beliau terpaksa menyewa pesawat eksekutif untuk terbang ke Alor Setar bagi menghadap Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong kerana kesuntukan masa.

Beberapa jam sebelum menghadap Yang di-Pertuan Agong di Istana Anak Bukit, Kedah, beliau merasmikan mesyuarat agung Perkim di Kuala Lumpur.

Kata beliau, kawan-kawan yang ketika beliau menjadi Perdana Menteri dulu berlumba-lumba meminjamkan pesawat peribadi mereka, telah menghilangkan diri. Mereka takut dilihat bersama beliau. 

Pada sebelah malamnya, Dr Mahathir bertolak ke London. Oleh kerana tidak ada pesawat peribadi untuk digunakan, beliau terbang dengan pesawat perdagangan.

Menurut kakitangan beliau, mereka mencadangkan beberapa syarikat penerbangan, tetapi Dr Mahathir bertegas mahu terbang dengan MAS.
Cintanya kepada negara mengatasi keselesaan diri. Bukanlah mudah bagi seorang yang berusia 92 tahun berkongsi pesawat raksasa (Airbus A380) dengan 500 penumpang lain untuk penerbangan 13 jam.
Perhubungan unik: Almarham Sultan Iskandar Johor bersama Dr Mahathir
Jadi kalau ada orang, tidak kira bangsa atau kedudukan – menteri, raja, temenggung, bendahara, syahbandar, blogger pelarian atau pemakan dedak - yang berasa mempersendakan beliau sebagai orang tua nyanyuk boleh mematahkan semangat beliau mereka silap besar.

Cacian dan jenaka murahan mereka mungkin membuatkan sesetengah orang ketawa berdekah-dekah, tetapi bagi Dr Mahathir ia umpama kuman yang menguatkan lagi daya tahan badannya. Azam dan iltizam beliau menjadi bertambah kukuh.

Itulah Dr Mahathir yang saya kenali dan dampingi sejak 52 tahun lalu. Beliau bukan insan yang gilakan sanjungan dan patah hati semata-mata kerana makian dan cacian. Hidup matinya berakar-umbikan perjuangan. 

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

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Economy: Enough of Selling Snake Oil

Economy: Enough of Selling Snake Oil

A Kadir Jasin

THERE is no need for me to mention any name, either to honour, dishonour or humour, the person involved in this particular issue. I am sure the person I have in mind is assisted by scores of officers to respond to people like me.

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Being alone, I cannot hope to win on word count. Also, unlike him I do not have big media to carry my message far and wide. But I shall persevere.

For the benefit of students of government, politics, economic and finance let me restate that it’s incorrect to compare our national debt with that of rich countries and say that ours is low.

This is a false comparison, unless of course the intention is to mislead the uninformed and feed more the dedak to the people.

Yes, Japanese government debt is very high – 229 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It’s the highest in the world. But Japan is a rich country and its economy is huge.

It is the third largest after the USA and China. Its nominal GDP is US$4.2 trillion. Ours is just over US$300 billion. The Japanese government debt amounts to US$10.6 trillion compared to ours at US$157.5 billion.

According to one pro-government blogger who uses a pseudonym, the govt debt was RM407.1 billion or 53.15% of the GDP in 2010. On March 17 last, in a parliamentary reply, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) disclosed that sovereign debt amounted to RM630.5 billion, which was at 54.5 per cent GDP. The government’s self-imposed limit is 55 per cent.Let’s remind ourselves that Mohd Najib is Finance Minister since 2008. (Watch here)

But Japan has more people to share the debt. It has nearly 200 million compered to 24 million that we have. Their GDP per capita, according to World Bank national data, was US$32,477 while ours is US$9,766 - three times more - in 2014.

And there isn’t an RM50-billion (US$12.5 billion) scandal in Japan. The worse scandal they ever had was the Lockheed Corporation kickback of US$1.8 million to Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka back in the 1970’s.

Even for that he was stripped of his post, arrested, tried and found guilty by two lower courts. He died of a heart attack before the trial could be finalised. Compared to the 1MDB scandal, the Tanaka-Lockheed scandal was chicken feed – dedak.

Other developed countries are also highly indebted partly because lenders are willing to lend them money to them at lower interest rates than when they lend to the developing countries. In the case of Japan, most of its borrowings were domestic.

We are Malaysians and we are talking about our country. For good or evil, this is where most of us are born, live and die. We have to desire to migrate to Japan, Greece, Indonesia, the Philippines or Vietnam.

What High Income?

During 1986 recession, the government cut ministers’ salaries and froze the salaries of civil servants. All were required to sacrifice. You can’t ask the ordinary rakyat to sacrifice when politicians and civil servants are treated favourably.

Under the rule of Prime Ministyer (Datuk Seri I Mappadulung Daeng Mattimung Karaeng Sandrobone Sultan Abdul Jalil) Mohd Najib Abdul Razak, civil servants are given salary increases and bonuses when rest of the rakyat suffer due to rising cost of living.

Not only that government debt is high – equivalent to almost 55 per cent of the GDP - the people too are badly indebted. Our household debt is among highest in the world.

According to the 2014 statistics of the Bank for International Settlements, at 68.9 per cent of the GDP, Malaysians were the 16th most indebted people in the world and the 2nd among developing countries. Thailand at 15th led the household indebtedness among developing countries. Japan at 66 per cent was immediately below us.

To show growth, the government kept borrowing and encouraged the people to do the same. Mohd Najib and his advisers believe that a high growth rate would help burnish his image.

In reality, most rakyat are not concerned with high GDP and good rating. They don’t understand and they don’t care. They are concerned about the bread and butter issues of daily existence – the rising cost living, unemployment, their children not getting Mara study loans and Khazanah scholarships being awarded to children of politicians and rich people.

They are angry that everything has gone up in prices and in the midst of all that Mohd Najib went ahead with the implementation of the good and services tax (GST). Now everybody has to pay tax and has less money to spend. And when they don’t spend, Mohd Najib has less GST to collect. It’s a vicious cycle.

The challenge is to break this cycle. Taking the money from everybody and redistributing it to some through 1Malaysia Peoples Assistance (BR1M) does not appear to improve the sustainability of the economy.

The better way is to let the hardworking people to keep their income and spend it the way the want. The government must go back to supervising and, where necessary, controlling the supply of goods and services and their prices. There appears to be no control whatsoever in the last few years apart from occasional “raids” on hawkers which are mostly photo opportunity for the media.

If growth were the measure of a country’s success, then Angola and Equatorial Guinea, where growth used to be 30 to 40 per cent, would be the most successful countries in the world. But their people are among the poorest.

Growth does not reflect the true state of a country’s economy these days. There are other factors that have to be taken into account. Distribution of wealth is more important. But our wealth distribution has been on the decline for the past decade and inequality is widening.

If people are suffering and are unhappy, their quality of life is falling and they can’t afford to pay for their daily needs, what good is the government’s growth statistics?

The government claims we have escaped the middle-income trap and on the way to becoming a high-income country by 2020.

What nonsense this is.

Would the people who are selling the high-income snake oil dare deny that our per capita GDP has in fact declined – from US$9,766 in 2014 to US$9,291 last year and US$8,821 so far this year?