“I see pitchforks”, what does Najib see?

August 19, 2014 at 3:25 pm 66 comments

Yesterday the Tun set off a mini earthquake. He blogged in Che Det (‘Menegur‘):

“Malangnya sehingga kini tidak ternampak apa-apa perubahan dari segi dasar atau pendekatan walaupun saya cuba menyampaikan pendapat saya, (yang juga pendapat ramai yang datang bertemu saya) secara langsung kepada Dato Seri Najib.”

Orang Kaya Indera Shahbandar Najib Razak is insulated from the masses by his con-sultants, his Pemandu and his TalentCorp swarms..


Note that the poll above taken last December attracted 770 respondents.

A total of 577 readers said “Yes” they agree that Pemandu be dissolved while another 193 voted “Ya”, Pemandu should be dissolved. The decaying TalentCorpse should have long ago been buried too.

(My poll, by the way, follows the infamous Henry Ford dictum about his Model T-Ford 1920s motor car, “You can have any colour as long as it’s black.”)


The con sultans rule

Dr Mahathir does not agree with the BR1M payments which he believes is the giving of fish, and not supplying the fishing rod or fishing net.

This year, Br1M is given to 5.9 million eligible households (see Sinar Harian report). That’s a lot of low-income Malaysian families.

Najib’s populist policies, such as BR1M which are the brainchild of his con-sultants, merely serve to paper over the cracks of poverty.

BELOW: Where The J-Star‘s allegiance lies


J-Star despises Najib Razak; is he aware?

Former Information Minister Zainuddin Maidin had blogged on 1 July 2014:

“Maklumat sah yang saya dapat pada malam keputusan piliharaya 2013, seorang pengarang wanitanya yang berjawatan tinggi telahpun bersiap sedia untuk merayakan kejatuhan kerajaan BN bersama comrade dalam jabatan pengarangnya tetapi apabila BN kembali berkuasa, dia masuk ke bilek dalam wajah muram dan malu.”

Former J-Star group editor June Wong penned in her newspaper column (14 Aug 2013) that she refuses to support a government that keeps Malaysians “stupid and poor in order to control them and making them dependent forever”.

The MCA media will shamelessly butter Najib in the front and happily toast him in the back.

rumah usang BN

Does Najib ever depart from the VVIP table?

J-Star CEO Wong Chun Wai boasted that he was dining with Najib during a Buka Puasa function held at Angkasapuri recently on July 18.

At the same function were a number of Malay bloggers, some whom had travelled from outstation to attend the event, seated at the back tables set up under the canopy.

Why didn’t the PM make his way to the back and chat awhile with the many pro-establishment Malay bloggers instead of lending his ears to the EvangeliSTAR backstabber given the honour of the VVIP table?

Why don’t the PM try to feel the pulse of the rakyat marhaen and put his ear to the ground?

BELOW: Ah Jib Gor will never regain Chinese support


Najib dikelilingi Datuk-Datuk selalu

Dr M in his bombshell yesterday hinted to Najib that the latter should not be as foolish as the emperor who wears no clothes (a Hans Christian Andersen cautionary tale) due to an over-reliance on his scheming courtiers.

In Najib’s case, The J-Star ranks among the ramai Dato-Dato yang mengerumuni PM yang “mendakwa dia adalah seorang raja (King Canute) yang amat berkuasa ke atas segala-galanya”.

Note: The example above (of the MCA media mogul as a scheming courtier) is mine while the words within quote marks are borrowed from the Tun’s teguran.

MCA president Liow Tiong Lai whispers in Najib's ear

MCA president Liow Tiong Lai whispers in Najib’s ear

BN safe deposit is the kampung and interior votes

But Najib prefers to entertain the Jerusubang “moderates” and TalentCorp.

Pakatan likes to mock BN supporters as the stupid and the poor whereas they (oppo) have got the educated, urban support … konon.

The thing to remember is this. The BN vote bank in the peninsula are the low income Malays and Indians.

Dr M has cautioned, “pendapat kaum dan parti yang kuat menyokong untuk menyelamatkan kedudukan Kerajaan tidak diberi layanan yang saksama“.

It does not help that Najib’s frenemies have succeeded somewhat in portraying Rosmah as Marie Antoinette. When the poor are so desperate that they have nothing to lose, they will storm the Bastille.

tale of two cities

And what do I see in our future now? I see pitchforks

Memo: From Nick Hanauer
To: My Fellow Zillionaires


I knew that as soon as the Internet became fast and trustworthy enough—and that time wasn’t far off—people were going to shop online like crazy. Goodbye, Caldor. And Filene’s. And Borders. And on and on.

Realizing that, seeing over the horizon a little faster than the next guy, was the strategic part of my success. The lucky part was that I had two friends, both immensely talented, who also saw a lot of potential in the web. One was a guy you’ve probably never heard of named Jeff Tauber, and the other was a fellow named Jeff Bezos.

I was so excited by the potential of the web that I told both Jeffs that I wanted to invest in whatever they launched, big time. It just happened that the second Jeff—Bezos—called me back first to take up my investment offer. So I helped underwrite his tiny start-up bookseller.

The other Jeff started a web department store called Cybershop, but at a time when trust in Internet sales was still low, it was too early for his high-end online idea; people just weren’t yet ready to buy expensive goods without personally checking them out (unlike a basic commodity like books, which don’t vary in quality—Bezos’ great insight). Cybershop didn’t make it, just another dot-com bust. Amazon did somewhat better. Now I own a very large yacht.

angry mob

But let’s speak frankly to each other. I’m not the smartest guy you’ve ever met, or the hardest-working. I was a mediocre student. I’m not technical at all—I can’t write a word of code. What sets me apart, I think, is a tolerance for risk and an intuition about what will happen in the future. Seeing where things are headed is the essence of entrepreneurship. And what do I see in our future now?

I see pitchforks.

At the same time that people like you and me are thriving beyond the dreams of any plutocrats in history, the rest of the country—the 99.99 percent—is lagging far behind. The divide between the haves and have-nots is getting worse really, really fast.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine

Entry filed under: CLUELESS. Tags: , , , , , .

Reason they are so very repulsive Why is Dr M doing what he is doing?

66 Comments Add your own

  • 1. jentayu  |  August 19, 2014 at 4:55 pm

    having consultants especially in highly technical areas is okey as it ease the decision making on government side. but having consultant inside the government dictating what they government should and should not is a stupid move such as the pemandu.

    do we need an 80k a month salary per person just to do power point presentation? are the government servants nowadays so pathetic in the eye of the government of the day to even prepare simple presentation?

    the problem with pemandu is it is full with money minded people to make business. anything that can make money they will shove it to the respective ministries in the expense of the current laws and security issues. when shit happens, they will put the blame to that ministry.

    I’ve heard lot of complaints from government servants of pemandu arrogant and dictating method to get what they want. and when they get what they want, they will put it in a nice presentation slides whereas it is still a half baked solution.

    • 2. IT Shiess  |  August 19, 2014 at 6:07 pm

      Perhaps I should apply for a job with PEMANDU on RM80,000 per month. However, I’ll have to do a course in PowerPoint first, since I’ve never created a PowerPoint presentation or any other kind of graphics presentation.

      BTW. I like those advertisements by the Singapore Armed Forces in MRT carriages asking young people whether they would rather be an enlisted land, sea or air warrior with the SAF or a PowerPoint warrior in some corporate job.

      Whilst doing his national service, my Singapore cousin enlisted in the SAF naval division in the late 1960s and served seven years, during which time he learned to maintain and repair marine diesel engines which led to a rewarding career when he returned to civilian life and to a comfortable life in retirement today.

      Anyway, I wonder how many of those highly PowerPoint-savvy corporate warriors know how to use an electronic calculator (not Wikipedia) to work out the maximum permissible file size allowed by the FAT32 files system, which by default is used on most removal media such as USB sticks and USB hard disks.

    • 4. ED  |  August 19, 2014 at 8:09 pm

      jentayu. I was paid only RM 7,000 per month plus an Alfa Romeo for 9 years to restructure the biggest bankurptcy scandal in the 1970s. I made millions of ringgits for the Consortium headed by MIDF. At the end the bankers behaved as though nothing happened at paid me nothing. And Malaysia’s finest restructuring exercised without a single sen was suppressed ! I did not complain. I did not explain. I am a Malaysian !

      Through my concept of 1972, I delivered Sime Darby to the Malays as THEIR FIRST BIG CORPORATION EVER in 1976 for only RM 23 Millions. My vision was to do what TEMASEK is doing now. In 1982, I suggested SIME DARBY SHOULD INVEST IN PORT FACILITIES IN CHINA. Instead Sime Darby put up a small palm oil refinery in Port Said, Egypt. By the 1990s, all the Chinese port facililties were in the hands of KLK, IOI and Kuok. In gratitude, I was asked to resign after 18 years as a non-executive director. THEREAFTER, SIME DARBY DID A LOT OF FUNNY BUYING AND SELLING AND WENT BANKRUPT TWICE BIG TIME IN 1996, RM 1.2 BILLIONS AND 2010 RM 2.3 BILLIONS. For 18 years service I was paid RM 540,000 or RM 30,000 per year. I am a Malaysian. I did not complain. I did not explain.

      NOWADAYS THE GLCs CEOs are paid the World’s highest like Singapore. These Civil Servants have no accountability, no ownership or foundership and CONTROL THE KHAZANAH EMPIRE.- RM 2 Millions to RM10 Millions a year. Where got meaning ?


      • 5. jentayu  |  August 20, 2014 at 8:59 am

        I’m not defending these civil servants that is corrupted and no accountability. i agree when you said, we suffered much from poor decision making, even compared to corruption. it’s high time our younglings are taught the importance of decision making and be accountable for it.

        sadly, in Malaysia the culture is to taichi and pointing finger to others to blame. this has been planted as a psyche and is supported by the majority of people who voted for a coalition of taichis parties which only know to shift the blame on umno even when it comes to their own wrongdoings.

      • 6. Ibni Ismail  |  August 20, 2014 at 4:58 pm


        I’m sure we met before especially when you mention about Sime Darby.. They never trust their own people. Our ideas are not as good as their foreigner’s consultant. Shame on them..

    • 7. Ibni Ismail  |  August 20, 2014 at 5:05 pm

      Having consultant means PM Najib didn’t have confident in government servant.. Most of the time, I’m also worry about their performance..

      and yet, PM Najib still will give them a bonus.. every year..

  • 8. MCA.8481  |  August 19, 2014 at 5:53 pm

    deja vu ! if PR honchos suddenly “defend” ah jib, it means ah jib should quit there & then

  • 9. calvinsankaran  |  August 19, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    I am not very familiar with Pemandu and what they are doing. But did come across some of their work and their people and purely based on my personal experience, they seemed to be dedicated and hardworking folks. Some of the things they do is really impressive and many people don’t see the result directly because these are at strategic level.

    Personally I think we need Pemandu or a body as such for strategic direction and also monitor implementation.

    These days almost all govts use consultants (the top-tier ones) extensively. Though not many admit to it. Those who are familiar with the consulting business can detect proposals by consultants a mile away for there is a big difference between their work and public servants.

    However, I don’t know in detail what’s going on in Pemandu. They do seems like spending a lot of money and using a lot of consultants. Whether there is mismanagement of funds or abuse of power in hiring consultants unneccessarily I do not know.

    But my position is a body like Pemandu is important and at least folks that I have met are hardworking and smart people.

    • 10. Helen Ang  |  August 19, 2014 at 6:02 pm

      Do pls point to some of the Pemandu’s work.

      As I recall, a high profile case was the young Malay female clubber who was tasked with monitoring the KPI of the police.

      • 11. Helen Ang  |  August 19, 2014 at 6:04 pm

        I believe they are also responsible for the Education Blueprint to year 2025 – nice power point and book binding – but the not being implemented.

        • 12. Helen Ang  |  August 19, 2014 at 6:07 pm

          I believe the responsibility should be returned to the EPU which has been doing our 5-year Malaysia Plans since 1957 until DS Najib came along with his Transformasi Programme.

          • 13. jentayu  |  August 19, 2014 at 6:41 pm

            exactly. the job that they do is redundant with what EPU have done for years. note that EPU is also extended to state government (Unit Perancang Ekonomi Negeri), so their analysis carries a bigger picture than what pemandu did.

            pemandu only holds the stats and datas on federal level which is more to syok sendiri. they dont have that dictating and bossy attitude with state government like they did to fed ministries since not all under BN rule and state doesn’t want to layan internal consultant like pemandu.

            plus they don’t have any bargaining chip like grants or monetary benefit. but the most glaring part is the way they manipulate the data to sugar coat as if the situation is not harmful.

            for example for jenayah ragut they break it down to ragut persendirian, ragut berkumpulan, ragut dengan kenderaan, ragut this, ragut that and etc. of course the number per the breakdown will look small even though they are of a same crime, snatch theft.

            • 14. Helen Ang  |  August 19, 2014 at 6:46 pm

              re: “for example for jenayah ragut they break it down to ragut persendirian, ragut berkumpulan, ragut dengan kenderaan, ragut this, ragut that and etc. of course the number per the breakdown will look small even though they are of a same crime, snatch theft.”

              Good grief. That’s so bloody sneaky.

              Is it their modus operandi, to massage data?

          • 15. calvinsankaran  |  August 19, 2014 at 7:07 pm

            As I know EPU’s role is more to economic and financial aspects. I don’t think they have the experts on other areas.

            • 16. Helen Ang  |  August 19, 2014 at 7:08 pm

              Pemandu’s main brief is the ETP.

              And GTP.

            • 17. jentayu  |  August 19, 2014 at 7:28 pm

              Nope. They have various sector such as energy, agriculture, natural resource etc. Do browse their website for more info. As far as i know even ministries must have their go ahead when it comes to economic development programmes from epu.

              • 18. Helen Ang  |  August 19, 2014 at 7:38 pm

                Pemandu is plain interference by upstarts who think that with their sleek Power Points they are better than the civil service.

                • 19. IT Shiess  |  August 20, 2014 at 5:09 am

                  That’s what the EPU people resent.

                  Also, an academic in UM tells me that the emphasis on KPIs has forced his fellow academics to pay more attention to publishing papers to meet their KPI, which has resulted in them paying less attention to their students.

                  Also, how does one measure quality of research work by KPIs?

                  Idris Jala is a business graduate but WTF does he know about science and engineering?

        • 20. Helen Ang  |  August 19, 2014 at 6:10 pm


          but the CONTENTS not being implemented.

        • 21. calvinsankaran  |  August 19, 2014 at 7:10 pm

          Helen – in the business world today, PowerPoint is the lingua franca. There is never a meeting that I attended did not include a PP presentation. That’s the reality. Many senior people do nothing but PP all day. In fact some of them rose to their positions based not on their performance but their PP skills.

          • 22. IT Shiess  |  August 20, 2014 at 7:30 pm

            I must make a self-criticism here.

            I have fallen into the trap of hating the tool rather than how the tool is used by ignorant and ill-informed humans, and thus have been barking up the wrong tree by mocking and riduculing presentation graphics such as PowerPoint instead of the incompetent, brainless fools in suits and ties who use them to make presentations before audiences.

            I am guilty for having forgotten what a friend and old schoolmate who is either a computer scientist or electronics engineer, who runs his own IT successful IT business – informed me over a year ago that there are proper and improper ways to create and perform presentation graphics such as PowerPoint presentations.

            I can’t remember the details right now but if I recall right, presentation graphics should never be over cluttered and they should serve as illustrations to support the presenter’s speech, talk or whatever, and not to be substitutes for a talk or speech.

            The problem with most presenters these days is that they tend towards the latter approach, with poorly thought out and planned presentations.

            • 23. calvinsankaran  |  August 20, 2014 at 11:35 pm

              The problem these days is that at least at the top mgmt level, one’s performance is often confused with his/her skills in PowerPoint. I know some people are so skilled in PP but useless in their work but still get promoted.

              PP itself just a tool and it can be helpful to enhance one’s presentation. But in most cases, this is not the case. There are some CEOs who have banned PP from their companies totally.

              • 24. IT Shiess  |  August 21, 2014 at 1:17 am

                “There are some CEOs who have banned PP from their companies totally.”

                I’m glad to hear this. High time.

                The problem is that top management can confuse presentation graphic skills with actual performance.

                “I know some people are so skilled in PP but useless in their work but still get promoted.”

                This is how Malaysia will become a “developed nation based upon a knwowledge-based economy (based upon presentation graphics skills that is) and a
                ‘high-income economy’ (where a plate of nasi lemak costs RM10).

                Now you understand why I am so sceptical of this hype over the ETP.

      • 25. calvinsankaran  |  August 19, 2014 at 7:04 pm

        I have attended some of their briefings and also met with some senior folks in relation to investment and strategic planning. They shared some of the things they are doing and I was impressed.

        I can talk about some of their work which affects the general public.

        – They have done great work on the transportation for example. The setting up of SPAD, transport masterplan, the new MRT/LRT lines planning, improvement of taxis/buses, etc
        – New areas for investments. Their work on identifying petrochemical industry (oil storage, development of O & G industry,etc)
        – KPIs & targets for all govt departments (so the ministers cannot BS their way any more)
        – Strategic roadmap for various sectors
        – Monitoring of key / strategic projects
        – Etc.

        I can also give specific example where I was impressed by the ew way of working by govt instead of the old public sector way of taking months and years to make decisions. There was a big issue among one industry segment where there was dispute among the various stakeholders. They wanted the govt to act but the problem was that some wanted protection while others wanted liberalization.

        This problem was going on for years since Tun’s days. The problem was becoming serious and the stakeholders brought up to the Minister and Pemandu. The solution was to get a consultant to do an independent study and make a recommendation to the govt on the course of action. This way the govt can make the right decision for all parties without any political or other considerations.

        While some of my foreign counterparts were convinced that the govt will go for protection, they were surprised when the govt accepted the proposal for a phased removal of protection and the local company was told to buck up and stop whinning.

        My company don’t deal with govt much but this episode was an eye opener for many of us. The professionalism and the manner the issue managed was impressive. I think at least for my company, the top mgmt has a very positive impression of Najib and ETP.

        We also had a few meetings with other senior folks on potential investments and also to know about the Iskandar developments. Those guys who attended the meetings did a great job and the work they have done was impressive enough to make my top mgmt to plan to move most of Singapore operations to JB.

        • 26. Helen Ang  |  August 19, 2014 at 7:26 pm

          re: KPI

          Below is Pemandu’s KPI on the Tourism Ministry, which Pemandu deems “will be an outstanding success”.

          Do we need highly paid consultants to tell us what is written below? And the truth of the matter is that Visit Malaysia Year 2014 is not creating much of a ripple.



        • 27. Helen Ang  |  August 19, 2014 at 7:37 pm

          Below is the Pemandu scorecard for the Tourism Minister.

          I do not see what high level expertise Pemandu is bringing to the equation. You can read the KPI ratings yourself with regard to what Pemandu has declared as a “Success Story”.

          Comparing tourist arrivals in 1975 with 2013, and giving themselves a huge pat on the back is plain silly. In 1975, we were exporting rubber (I’m giving this example to illustrate the gulf of 38 – 39 years between then and now).

          Of course tourist arrivals would have increased. There are the cheap AirAsia flights today.



          • 28. calvinsankaran  |  August 19, 2014 at 10:29 pm

            As I said I do not follow what they do in details and just sharing what I have came across based on my dealings with them.

            The role of Pemandu is similar to what private sector calls as Performance Mgmt / Project Mgmt Office. Usually those big MNCs have such units to coordinate various activities that around the company by providing visibility as well as track,monitor and report.

            So Pemandu’s role is to define the KPIs and they are not responsible to get the result. It is the job of respective minister to hit their respective target. The job of Pemandu is to define the KPIs, monitor & report them. Of course it is obvious that some ministers are fudging the numbers and the blame should go to them, not Pemandu. Though if I am Najib’s position, I would order Pemandu to question these KPI results. But in the public sector politicians do not like to be questioned by non political administrators.

            Other key role of Pemandu is to come up with strategic road maps. I think they have done well in this regards and I have seen some of their work.

            EPU on the other hand, are very good in doing financial and economic analysis. For example, for the KL Singapore HSR, it is the job of EPU to do the analysis on the cost/benefits & feasibility. Pemandu will not. But Pemandu might have been involved in coming up with the ideas of such initiatives or evaluate this project from a strategic perspective.

            I think the real benefits of Pemandu will be felt over medium and long term. I think Najib’s greatest contribution is his economic management and many businessmen (local and foreign) have high regards for his in this respect. While his abilities as a politician is questionable, certainly he has done well in economics and Pemandu is one of the success story.

            • 29. Helen Ang  |  August 19, 2014 at 10:36 pm

              re: “in the public sector politicians do not like to be questioned by non political administrators”

              Neither do the senior civil servants like to be made to kowtow to these hotshot consultants.

              At the operational level, Pemandu is the inadvertent cause of bureaucratic roadblocks because the bottomline with setting KPIs is that the young consultants are telling the ministers and his ministry people what they must do on their jobs.

              Pemandu is one of Najib’s policies that is undermining his own government.

              • 30. MCA.8481  |  August 20, 2014 at 8:42 am

                we are talking abt cost n benefit of paying the consultants incl. pemandus, kelindan etc Are we getting the most of the billions ah jib spent?

                Say for tourism nkea, what new ideas they bring to the table? the visit m’sia year promo has been there since 1980s. have u heard of this agency called ICU (implementation & coordination unit) under JPM ? ICU is decades old & its job scope is similar to that of pemandul.

                spent billions on cons. but econ growth so so only & u fared worst than pak lah in pru !

        • 31. Helen Ang  |  August 19, 2014 at 7:44 pm

          re: “Strategic roadmap for various sectors”

          When they “liberalize” and do away with protection, it might be good for certain elite beneficiaries but not good for the general public.

          And I do take Pemandu with a pinch of salt. I remember a couple of years ago, Idris Jala direly warning us that Malaysia would soon be bankrupt.

          I admit I’ve not been following the details but I do believe the Iskandar developments have got the Tun very worried, and this could have been one of the catalysts for his withdrawing support for the Najib administration.

          • 32. calvinsankaran  |  August 19, 2014 at 10:37 pm

            I can speak from my own experiance here in the example I gave above. In it, there was a clash between protectionism and liberalization. So the decision was to grant the local manufacturer some breathing space but there was a clear road map for liberalization.

            In this case, clearly protectionism was not in the interests of people as they need to pay more. However the protection is to enable the local manufacturers to catch up. But such protections cannot be forever. So the govt made the right decision in my opinion.

            I think the recent comments by Tun is due to his unhappiness over a few issues. I think Najib’s refusal to keep protecting Proton and give them Rm3 Billion (I think) pissed him off. While Tun’s emotional attachment to Proton is understandable, we also need to be careful in balancing protecting and pushing Proton. I think Proton could have been a world class manufacturer had they have been pushed harder at the initial stages. It is going to be impossible for Proton to survive alone unless they merge with a foreign automaker. But it seems like Tun is refusing. In this regards I disagree with Tun.

            • 33. Helen Ang  |  August 19, 2014 at 10:41 pm

              re: “Najib’s refusal to keep protecting Proton and give them Rm3 Billion (I think) pissed him off.”

              The RM3 billion figure is a lie and J-Star hatchet job. I wonder if Proton sued Starbiz.

              If you’ll check the publication the next day after the story came out, you’ll find that the paper published a small correction / retraction.

            • 34. IT Shiess  |  August 20, 2014 at 4:33 am

              Without some protectionism many of our SMEs will not be able to grow and thrive. Even the United States practiced protectionism especially when its industry was growing to protect it against cheaper imports from Britain.

              Without some protectionism, we may have a branch of foreign banks in each neighbourhood but our local banks will suffer.

              Foreign banks have the global financial, management and technical might of their multinational network behind them which local banks fine hard to match.

              Proton is a sensitive issue amongst many Malaysians because it has not been able to thrive on its own after all these years which is understandable, especially since the tariff barriers drive car prices up across the board, including of Proton, Perodua and other national cars.

              In this case, besides problems of management, is the issue of local automotive engineering expertise, the high costs of technological development andthe high costs of creating enough sales and marketing and after sales service centres especially in export markets, in the face of long established multinational automotive giants in an industry which is consolidating.

              We tend to compare Proton to companies like Hyundai but note one thing – Hyundai is a conglomerate involved in many industry sectors from which the group can draw upon for financial survival until Hyundai’s automotive branches are profitable but does Proton have that advantage?

              Thus in the particular case or Proton, perhaps it’s time to admit that it’s an attempt which did not work out after all these years and perhaps revert to the previous situation where we have foreign auto manufacturers and require them to use as much local content as possible from local upstream suppliers.

              Likewise, many of India’s IT companies are parts of much large conglomerates and so are companies like Samsung Electronics which is part of of a huge, multifacted conglomerate, which is into producing earthmovers, military vehicles such as tanks and so on.

              Quite frankly, despite government efforts to develop a local IT industry, I don’t really see much sustained success in export or local markets for most local MSC status startup companies.

              Unlike in the Silicon Valley, startup MSC companies don’t have access to the many R&D facilities in universities, the large numbers of competent IT manpower, the many sources of angel funding and venture capital which enable dthe likes of Google, Facebook, Twitter and so forth to grow to the global giants they are today.

              Heck! Even iProperty.com is still losing money.


              A theory I have which is not hardly mentioned in industry development discourse is that Japan, South Korea and Taiwan could well have benefitted from the Cold War between the West and the Communist countries, since the West was especially generous with technology transfer, technical assistance, financial aid, entry to Western markets of their products and so on to keep these countries, which were on the front line of the Cold War within the Western sphere. No other country in the Asia Pacific, including Singapore, Australia or New Zealand have developed any significant industry of their own which competes with US and Western European products, and that I believe is because the West has not been all that generous with them, which were not on the front line of the Cold War, and likewise for other countries in the Asia Pacific, which at best, perform the low-tech assembly work for Western multinationals thanks to our cheap labour.

              So if our domestic industries are to grow and survive, we must still maintains ome degree of protectionism. Otherwise sure, we can have lots of foreign branded consumer goods at very affordable prices but we won’t have much of a production industry to speak about, except to be industrial or cyber coolies for Western, Japanese and South Korean multinationals.

              • 35. Survivor  |  August 20, 2014 at 10:20 am

                Re Unlike in the Silicon Valley, startup MSC companies don’t have access to the many R&D facilities in universities, the large numbers of competent IT manpower, the many sources of angel funding and venture capital which enable dthe likes of Google, Facebook, Twitter and so forth to grow to the global giants they are today.

                Our universities are not renowned for their research work. They do indeed conduct research but most, if not all of them are repetitive work. My junior, who did her Master’s in a local public university, and she’s now in Singapore working for a biotech firm, told me that the whole research enterprise of public university is crooked. The grants are spent mostly on buying equipment they already have. Year in year out this repeats itself. Why are grants being spent on buying new equipment that which we already have ? This makes no sense. And the pay for researchers is, how shall I say, despairing. RM1800 per month.

                Angel and venture capital funding is there but most, if not all the people behind such funding are people from the banking sector or those who made their money from construction and property. You have to wonder. Do they know what angel and venture funding is ? They throw money and they expect the entrepreneurs to produce results in a relatively short period of them. They think the tech sector grows on trees. Is it any wonder why our tech scene is such a tragedy ?

                Re A theory I have which is not hardly mentioned in industry development discourse is that Japan, South Korea and Taiwan could well have benefited from the Cold War between the West and the Communist countries, since the West was especially generous with technology transfer, technical assistance, financial aid, entry to Western markets of their products and so on to keep these countries, which were on the front line of the Cold War within the Western sphere.

                I concur. China in her earliest years of reform also benefited from tech transfer from western countries and still does.

                Re No other country in the Asia Pacific, including Singapore, Australia or New Zealand have developed any significant industry of their own which competes with US and Western European products, and that I believe is because the West has not been all that generous with them, which were not on the front line of the Cold War, and likewise for other countries in the Asia Pacific, which at best, perform the low-tech assembly work for Western multinationals thanks to our cheap labor.

                Singapore did benefit from collaboration with western countries. Their shipbuilding industry is highly developed. It is not that the west was not generous with them, just that from a strategic point of view, somehow I think, and I believe some may agree with me, that the west i.e America in particular, have a not so favorable view of these 3 countries. Southeast Asia is essentially a basket case. Thailand, Indonesia they are there just to provide the raw materials and nothing else, although their cheap labor is very attractive, for the most part, they are not going to develop economically or technologically.

                Re So if our domestic industries are to grow and survive, we must still maintain some degree of protectionism. Otherwise sure, we can have lots of foreign branded consumer goods at very affordable prices but we won’t have much of a production industry to speak about, except to be industrial or cyber coolies for Western, Japanese and South Korean multinationals.

                Initially protectionism is required but only up to a point. What Japan did, and this was followed by Korea and Taiwan, and now China, they made a tradeoff with the west. You want our markets, give us your technology. This is most visible in the case of China. And the results have been spectacular for these countries. Malaysia never really demanded tech transfer and we’ve missed the opportunity to do so. We had our chances back in the 1970s when we started to develop our electrical and electronics industry in Penang. Now, i think, its too late for us to demand tech transfer from foreign countries.

    • 36. IT Shiess  |  August 19, 2014 at 6:30 pm

      Hi Calvin,

      PEMANDU was established to plan, develop, drive and direct Malaysia’s Economic Transformation Programme to make Malaysia a developed, “high income nation” with a gross national income per capita of US$15,000 (RM48,000) per annum (average income I presume) by the year 2020.


      You can download and read the while ETP handbook over here.

      The key difference with PEMANDU and the ETP is that they seem to have involved more of the private sector in developing strategies for economic advancement, than the EPU used to do

      Its website claims tthat it has helped to enable many development projects but of what real economic benefit, I don’t really experience it and neither do people whom I know.

      Also, given the REAL inflation rate (estimated to be from 5 to 6% in the Klang Valley), what will be the real purchasing power of RM48,000 per annum (RM4,000 per month) in 2020?

      I have blogged on this issue though did not factor in the effects of inflation.


      • 37. calvinsankaran  |  August 19, 2014 at 7:14 pm

        It Sheiss. I have explained my experience with them above. I do see their value and understand the rationale for theire existance. Whether it justifies their huge budget and manpower is another matter.

        • 38. jentayu  |  August 19, 2014 at 7:54 pm

          Your view are most welcome. It is not a problem to have consultant to consolidate and coordinate various agencies. But imo, it is a problem when a consultant is empowered inside the government.

          Take for instance the formation of SPAD and transport masterplan, i believe it is not their sole victory since it has been coined during tun abdullah’s premiership. And i believe i still have the first transport masterplan way back in 2008 if not mistaken. This was way before najib came to power and pemandu is formed.

          Point is, pemandu try to take credit whereas all the dirty and tedious work was done by government servants. They only tempek2 and combine it in a nice presentation slides.

          Another problem is how pemandu love to make unilateral decision without consulting or informing the relevant ministry. For instance the rationalisation of oil subsidy was not informed to kpdnkk. The consumer ministry was left in the dark in this issue.

          Running a government is not the same as running a company. One of the basic thing ever practised by government agencies throughout is that whenever you make a statement, you are responsible of the outcome ie giving explanation and defending your stance.

          But this does not apply to pemandu and the gang. Instead kpdnkk was left with the burden to explain. Have you ever seen idris jala answering to the parliament?

          • 39. Helen Ang  |  August 19, 2014 at 8:06 pm

            re: “Point is, pemandu try to take credit whereas all the dirty and tedious work was done by government servants. They only tempek2 and combine it in a nice presentation slides.”

            That’s what I heard about the Education Blueprint. I believe that any claim of Pemandu’s expertise in the education sector is dubious. It’s the teachers and the Education Ministry officials who know better.

            • 40. calvinsankaran  |  August 19, 2014 at 11:07 pm

              That sounds like a typical CONsultant at work.. hahaha!

        • 41. IT Shiess  |  August 20, 2014 at 3:46 am

          The ETP has its merit on paper but do we see the results in terms of higher disposable income, better services and so forth amongst people we know?

          Many of my friends speak about rising cost of things.

          You are right about the huge budget and manpower costs.

  • 42. Dandy  |  August 19, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    I see PM wielding his Sedition Act on all the Mahathirists, Mamaks and right wingers soon. He is definitely strong enough unlike Tun Abdullah Badawi who was cowed by the Mamak King to his wishes.

    Najib seems to be the only Melayu pendekar left after so many since the time of Tunku were pijak and kena sembelih. Masa Mamak King rule for 23 years, everyone Royalty, Judiciary, Govt, Police, Army, GLCs, NGOs and civil bodies all were silenced under ISA. Not true ka? Billions of the country’s monies were used for his projects and to cronies and till today you see majority Melayu depending on BR1M to survive. That, also he wants to take away. Isn’t that his way of saying “Go eat cakes”. Again, Not true ka?”

    As a Bugis Bangsawan who is definitely Melayu of high pedigree compared to the TPM who is only a Javanese pseodo Malay, will he forego his Agama, Bangsa dan Negara, and be coweed again by the Mamak King to build his dynasti and Kalinga Empire in Semenanjong Tanah Melayu or Malaya as what the world calls it?. It’s time to flex his muscle and get rid of all these Hindu warriors disguised as Malays and behaving as Gunting Dalam Lipatan.

    If not enough firepower to squash the Hindu warriors, maybe the next best is make a pact with Anwar PR, wherby “I scratch your back, and you scratch mine”..Anwar will be happy enough to be TPM and see Mamak sent to jail with a Black eye.

    So, PM now is the time to show your Bugis forefathers traits of great warriors and wave your Keris and bathe it with blood. Make sure you get the right target cos your previous illusions of enemies are now your saviours.

    Ain’t that frightening? It sure scares the Hell out of me if I am still a Mahathirists.

    • 43. Urb  |  August 19, 2014 at 7:49 pm

      Mamak,Javanese pseudo malay,mamak king, bugis bangsawan, kalinga empire, hindu warrior, mahathirist…all those mumbo jumbo race-religion based words that you used, are you trying to compensate your puny intellect by trying to break down the Malay race into something that no one else but Cina DAP cares about but at the same time trying to sound intelligent?

      Please, we can see it miles away. Good job trying to be inconspicuous.

  • 44. Lousy.Engineer  |  August 19, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    “I see pitchforks”

    I coincidentally read about Mr Hanauer’s writing a month ago about income inequality, which seems like a raging debate nowadays.

    Recently, a newly released book which analyze income inequalities throughout the centuries, has shot up in NYT bestseller list, is now considered a seminal work by some economist like Paul Krugman. The book was written by a French economist Thomas Picketty.

    • 45. calvinsankaran  |  August 19, 2014 at 10:49 pm

      Heard about the Piketty book and intend to read it – I like and agree with its central thesis which completely opposed to the Anglo Saxon economists who worship Capitalism.

      • 46. IT Shiess  |  August 20, 2014 at 4:59 am

        The reason why I oppose PEMANDU is precisely because it’s policies proposed contain much of this neo-liberal Anglo-Saxon capitalist thinking.

    • 47. IT Shiess  |  August 20, 2014 at 4:41 am

      This video on You Tube about the riots in Ferguson shows police with the kind of military vehicles and weapons you’d expect to see in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. The U.S. government is certainly gearing up for civil unrest big time, which makes what our FRU have look like toys.

    • 50. Survivor  |  August 20, 2014 at 10:34 am

      Income inequality is nothing new. 300 years ago, landowners owned most of the wealth. Then came the Industrial Revolution and those who owned factories owned the wealth.

      Now in the information Age, those who possess information possess the wealth. Picketty missed the whole point by saying that wealth is inherited, what he specifically termed as inherited capital. That’s not true for the most part.

      Inequality exists and will continue to exist because those who are doing badly are the people who continue to believe that income is generated from labor. What will generate wealth, income is leverage and leverage is something you can borrow if you do not have it.

      The people who got fabulously rich from the Internet, the people behind Amazon, Ebay, YouTube, they simply leveraged on the growth of information to create the wealth.

  • 51. forrestcat  |  August 19, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    I disagree BR1M is a bad idea.

    Its a good idea. It is a direct cash transfer to the poor rather than the blanket subsidy for fuel that benefit the second class citizens who drive imported and foreign cars..

    • 52. calvinsankaran  |  August 19, 2014 at 10:44 pm

      I agree. But I would further suggest that BR1M should be further refined so that those Pakatoons who mock this as bribery are excluded. It should benefit the poor (urban and rural) who really value the aid.

      • 53. IT Shiess  |  August 20, 2014 at 4:44 am

        Was I wrong to think you were a neo-liberal by your support for PEMANDU and your preference for market liberalisation?

        • 54. calvinsankaran  |  August 20, 2014 at 9:25 am

          Nope I am not a supporter of Anglo Saxon style market economy or free market capitalism. But I do think there has to be a balance and the state plays an important role in ensuring the right balance. Too much protection is as bad as unfettered free market.

          In the example I gave, the local manufacturers were ripping off the country by getting undeserved support at the expense of rakyat.

          The whole point of protection is not to make some people rich but to nuture national champions and develop capabilities in the local companies. While some companies understand their roles, others just use protection to rip off the country without ever becoming competitive globally or even regionally.

          It is good to study Taiwan, Japan and Korea on how the developed world class companies. In Malaysia too protection helped to develop the banking, telecom, airline, gaming, Oil and Gas, etc industries into regional and global class level.

          But at the same time, we also produced some useless businessmen who use nationalistic arguments to enrich themselves.

          • 55. IT Shiess  |  August 21, 2014 at 1:30 am

            “But at the same time, we also produced some useless businessmen who use nationalistic arguments to enrich themselves.”

            That’s true too but at the end of the day, we should weight up whether protectionism helps more good producers than lousy ones.

      • 56. jentayu  |  August 20, 2014 at 9:10 am

        pakatoons are hypocrites or munafik. they say its bribery but when it come to their turn, they will justify it by calling it’s the rakyat’s money. so i’m eligible and have the right to it. suddenly the fatwa is change to halalkan it.

        then what about giveout from Selangor state government like program jom shopping that gives rm100 to selangorian to shop? isn’t it bribery?

      • 57. Survivor  |  August 20, 2014 at 10:43 am

        The government should abolish BR1M. I m not saying that it is a bad idea. It is because the idea is vulnerable to abuse. You can refined it but it will still be open to abuse.

        The government should lower taxes instead, specifically on personal income tax. Those earning less than RM5000 should be exempt from paying taxes. That way, they have more to spend.

        I m not advocating that people should spend, consume recklessly. I m advocating that the government should lower taxes so that people can actually see that through lowering the tax rate, their income is actually rising, in purchasing power terms, and the anger that they have will actually subside a little bit. This is a much better option in my opinion.

  • 58. Lousy.Engineer  |  August 19, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    “But Najib prefers to entertain the Jerusubang “moderates” and TalentCorp.”

    Few days back, over the course of few days , not sure if anyone noticing that the Star newspaper was publishing full gray pages with quotes that espouses the importance of being moderates and also featured full portraits of Philip Goligai, Niki Cheong, Marina Mahathir, Azmi Sharom, Anas Zubedy, Shad Saleem Faruqi, Zainah Anwar et al.

    • 59. Helen Ang  |  August 19, 2014 at 10:19 pm

      How representative of the Malays are Marina, Zainah, Azmi Sharom, Karim Raslan, Razali Ismail and Anas Zubedy?

      • 60. calvinsankaran  |  August 19, 2014 at 10:42 pm

        Marina, Zainah & Azmi are all Pakatan machais. Only Anas can be considered as impartial. For these folks moderates are who oppose UMNO.

  • 61. Jade Emperor  |  August 19, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    A king may surround himself with opinion-makers but he still has to discriminate between the good counsel from the less good ones, and differentiate them from the bad suggestions. The people will place their hope in his wisdom but they also suffer from his follies.

  • 62. kuman  |  August 19, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    Helen, will all this comments and DR M ‘tegur’ you think Najib will be bothered or disturbed? He will still joy sticking as usual,

    Anyway he still the best for the PM job, no one else, can you name one? Anwar? Azizah? Lim Kit SIang or Guan Eng? Zahid? Hisham? Shafie? Hadi? Sabu? Khalid Samad?

    Muhiyidin already says he not in the mood.

  • 65. Mulan  |  August 21, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    My Tokong’s wonder Merz is in the news again.

    “Pemandu kenderaan tersebut memandu dengan begitu pantas dan tidak peduli untuk berhenti dan melihat apa yang berlaku selepas kedua-dua kenderaan bergesel.

    Baca apa ditulis oleh mangsa yang bernama Jenny Lim. Tekaan saya adalah bahawa kenderaan berkenaan dipandu oleh seseorang yang tidak mahu dirinya dikenali”

    • 66. Helen Ang  |  August 21, 2014 at 2:01 pm

      It’s okay lah. Once Jenny Lim finds out who the S300L belongs to, she won’t want to wash her own car (the part where her car touched the Merc) because she will be so thrilled at the divine contact.


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