Malaysia’s problems more than 1MDB and its leaders – Philip George


…it is more, and goes wider than what is expressed here. Malaysia is not excluded from the strangleholds of the cabal. The locals are blind and never will see the big picture. By design the local problems are simply a distraction, a circus show to keep the Malaysians distracted from the more important world control issues.

…Malaysians need to acknowledge the presence of a Rothschild’s central bank here which is fully cloaked and disguised as BANK NEGARA (National Bank). Remove this pesky money leech and Malaysia will start to breathe

The Malaysian Insider

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Corporations are complex and though they may seem messy at times, the malleability and flexibility of the corporate structure is close to the heart of capitalism. Usually, the bigger the corporation the more complex is its corporate structure. What follow is an entanglement of companies, in a structure understood by few, linked in various different way to maximise the effective gains of the “corporation” in the name of capitalism and the free market.

The objective of the profit maximising firm is to try capture all the value and to externalise the costs. The problem of capitalism is the profit maximizing mentality of the firm; by only seeking to maximise utility for one stakeholder (the firm) in society, the rest of the stakeholders are marginalised.

The source of this mentality needs to be changed, when we continue to believe we can only maximise our individual gains by externalising the social costs, we allow individual benefits to take precedence over the social good; hence, although the individual is functioning at an optimal level, society will be functioning at a sub-optimal level because it produces negative externalities and social losses.

This complexity is only compounded when a strategic business unit (SBU) is owned by the government, and inadvertently funded by the public. In such a case, the need for transparency and accountability is heightened.

Therefore, true transparency and accountability requires more than just good governance and corporate or “feel-better” social responsibility because the fault of 1Malaysia Development Berhad’s (1MDB) joint venture is not only in the factors inhibiting its transparency and accountability, but also in the system itself. The faults in the system are proliferated by the recent display with 1MDB, it has shown us that the system has fictitious governance and an alarmingly lack of transparency.

The standard solutions such as laissez-faire and the self-correcting invisible hand, and regulating or socializing industries and markets are not sustainable long-term solutions. Instead of viewing gains as a trade-off between private and social benefits, we must seek an alternative that results in a “win-win” situation for everyone.

By internalizing the interest of society such as the interests of employees, the environment, civil societies, etc., with the objectives of the firm, the decision-making structure incorporates all the needs and costs of society thereby causing a paradigm shift in power, ownership, and control. The enhanced version of capitalism in the 21st century has relied on good state-corporate relationships. However, the interest of society has been marginalised.

When the interest of the state and its official, and the firm are being met but not the interest of the people, democracy and capitalism have failed. The state will become a failed state. However, if civil society (e.g. employees, scholars, lawyers, NGOs, civil servants) is included in the discussion, the state-corporate relationship will evolve into a culturalist society, where there is a state-corporate-society relationship and society will be functioning at an optimal level.

Who is better than society itself to determine the needs and costs to them. When a government becomes so disconnected from its society, it becomes hard to know the needs of society. Our dear Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has gone shopping for all the support he can get from his party and corporate counterparts; although he may be doing what he can to clear his name in the state and corporate level, he has left a nasty stain on the Rakyat, and it will be shown in due time.

Khoo Kay Peng, a political analyst, said, “Mr Najib does not need the demonstration of support if he feels that his position is secure… He has to be very careful, especially with the silent majority and grassroots, as Dr Mahathir’s influence is still great.” Likewise, former information minister Tan Sri Zainuddin Maidin warned, “Najib is now overconfident that he will maintain his leadership until his time is u ; riding on the support of the division leaders and Supreme Council members, even though Dr Mahathir has withdrawn his support.”

While the current form of capitalism in Malaysia is confrontational, late, and reactive. A shift to culturalism brings with it the promise of a better tomorrow. Culturalism serves the best interest of all the stakeholders in society and expands the ownership structure by allowing finer decision making at all levels of society than can be offered with regulation.

At the same time, it does not get rid of the capitalist work ethic and self-interest incentives. Malaysia is handicapped by a government and corporate officials who are rent-seeking and self-serving. The government, with the help of the police, are limiting the incentives for the people to become active participants in Malaysian politics.

Under such circumstance, we are blanketed with threats, even though they go against our civil rights; consequently, these threats have the ability to let fear take charge and mystify the incentives of participation.

Unfortunately, we will only realise the incentives and see the true value if we choose to actively participate. – April 28, 2015.

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Malaysia – Ringgit under pressure over #1MDB debt


The Malaysian Insider

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The ringgit dropped 0.6% to 3.6435 a dollar today after news that strategic investor 1Malaysia Development Bhd may require a RM3 billion cash injection from the government. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 23, 2015.

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The ringgit is under pressure today on concerns that strategic investor 1MDB will need a bailout to service its RM42 billion debt.

1Malaysia Development Bhd may require a RM3 billion cash injection as income from its power assets is insufficient to service borrowings, according to a report today in The Edge Financial Daily.

1MDB said last week it will break up its assets and refrain from taking on new investments.

“Sentiment towards the ringgit is unlikely to change until we get clarity over the financial position of 1MDB,” Bloomberg quoted Khoon Goh, a strategist at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group in Singapore, as saying.

“There is concern that a government bailout would be required.”

The ringgit dropped 0.6% to 3.6435 a dollar as of 9.32am in Kuala Lumpur and earlier fell to 3.6460, the lowest level since April 2009, according to prices from local banks compiled by Bloomberg.

The local financial markets were shut on February 19 and 20 for the Lunar New Year break.

1MDB’s financial position has become “a source of uncertainty” and the company’s borrowings were weighing on Malaysia’s sovereign rating outlook, Fitch Ratings said in a January 21 statement.

Fitch rates Malaysia A-, the fourth-lowest investment grade.

Government bonds have also retreated. The yield on 10-year notes climbed one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 3.89%, Bloomberg data show. – The Edge Financial Daily, February 23, 2015.

Related:

BAILOUT

Malaysia’s 1MDB says to rely on finance ministry for debt refinancing if needed

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 23): Malaysian state fund 1MDB said on Monday that the refinancing of its debt will involve the finance ministry “as relevant and as required” after media reported that the government may inject up to 3 billion ringgit ($823 million) into the fund.

The Edge Financial Daily said that the finance ministry – which owns 1MDB – may have to inject cash as the fund’s income from its power assets is insufficient to service its debt .

Continue reading…

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Malaysia – Come clean on economic prospects, veteran newsman tells Putrajaya


The Malaysian Insider

Kadir Jasin

Former group editor-in-chief of the New Straits Times Press (NSTP) Datuk A. Kadir Jasin said the government should rationally and openly share economic data with the public. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, December 5, 2014.

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Putrajaya must come clean on the fact that the country’s economy is on a downtrend instead of creating the false impression that everything is well, said Datuk A. Kadir Jasin.

The former group editor-in-chief of the New Straits Times Press (NSTP) said the government should rationally and openly share economic data with the public instead of being evasive.

“Don’t wait till the people are angry. Be forthright with them. Don’t for a minute think that they are ignorant, stupid or unaware,” wrote Kadir in a posting on his blog The Scribe A Kadir Jasin today.

He said the public was now aware of how the economy worked after feeling the effects of inflation due to fuel subsidy cuts and shrinking incomes after a drop in oil palm and rubber prices.

They are also expecting prices to go up when the Goods and Services Tax (GST) comes into force next year, Kadir said.

He said the public was also aware that the ringgit’s shrinking value would adversely affect the economy.

“Is it not better to admit to the present realities and be honest with them now?

“It is better to make them less happy now by telling them the truth instead of making them angry when economic hardship hits them,” Kadir said.

Kadir said many market forecasts have indicated that the country will probably go through challenging times next year as economies in Europe and Australia are set to contract and China’s growth is expected to dampen.

On December 1, the ringgit’s value charted the largest drop in a single day to RM3.342 to US$1. This was the steepest fall since the 1997-87 Asian Financial Crisis.

According to a December 3 report in The Star, only two of the five primary sectors of the economy grew in the third financial quarter (July-September) of this year: the automotive (18.2%) and banking (1.6%) sectors.

However, the services, commodities and oil and gas sectors charted a 58.5%, 37.7% and 29.3% drop respectively.

The services sector contributes 50% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

Yesterday, The Star also ran an analysis on the ringgit’s value, stating that its value had dropped compared to many of the currencies of Malaysia’s trading partners.

The ringgit fell 5.61% compared to the US dollar, 5.58% to the Hong Kong dollar, 3.93% to the Thai Baht, 2.93% to the Indian rupee, 2.44% to the Taiwanese dollar and 0.95% to the Singaporean dollar.

The ringgit, however, went up 9.4% compared to the Japanese yen, 5.91% to the euro, 4.32% to the Australian dollar, 2.31% to the British pound and 0.73% to the Indonesia rupiah.

The Star also wrote that sluggish exports would cause Malaysia to experience twin deficits in its current and trading accounts. This was said by AllianceDBS chief economist Manokaran Mottain.

“Whether or not we will experience an economic crisis next year is one thing. This is something that is being forecasted by the federal opposition,” Kadir wrote.

He also cast doubt on recent statements by government ministers, finance chiefs and economists who appeared unworried about Malaysia’s economic prospects.

Kadir said it was confusing when Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz said that it was good if the ringgit’s value was high and also good if it dropped.

He also quoted Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah who was confident that the government would be able to meet the 2014 Budget deficit target of 3.5% of GDP, even if the price of oil continued to fall.

The same sentiment was shared by CIMB chief executive officer Tengku Zafrul Aziz who said Malaysia’s economic fundamentals were strong, while Malaysian Institute of Economic Research head Dr Zakariah Abdul Rashid gave a “mixed forecast” for the economy.

“The question is can we believe that our economic fundamentals are strong when the prices for our primary commodities and the value of our ringgit fall?

“Shares prices and trading volume on the Malaysian Bourse are also going down. There are more public listed companies that are in the red compared to those who are positive.

“The majority can be said to be seeing reduced profits,” Kadir wrote. – December 5, 2014.

Related

Putrajaya claims reduced poverty but UN report shows more poor Malaysians

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Malaysia – Ridiculous to stop non-Muslims from using ‘Allah’, says Muslim Brotherhood leader


The Malaysian Insider

Malaysia has just won a seat in the UN Security Council, and to think the bigger role it will play internationally does not reflect very well with what is growling at home.

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Kuwait’s Muslim Brotherhood leader Dr Tareq Suwaidan says there are many examples in Islamic history which shows that non-Muslims are not prohibited from using the word ‘Allah’. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Nazir Sufari, October 19, 2014.

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Prohibiting non-Muslims from using the word “Allah” is ridiculous, says Kuwait’s Muslim Brotherhood leader Dr Tareq Suwaidan.

He said this was because there was no law or ruling within the Islamic realm which prevented the use of the word by non-Muslims.

“I have been following this development in Malaysia, this use of the word ‘Allah’… there is no law in Islam that says so,” he told a forum organised by PAS international committee last night.

He noted that there were many instances in Islamic history where non-Muslims had been encouraged to use the Arabic word “Allah”.

“Do not be confused, this is just wrong, I have hundreds. No, thousands of proof on this,” he said, in front of a crowd of 100.

His comment came after an Indonesian scholar Dr Ulil Abshar Abdalla waded into the “Allah” controversy, saying Muslims who believed the word was exclusive to Islam were “confused”.

Ulil, who was denied entry into Malaysia this month for allegedly opposing its Islamic stand, said Muslims did not have a monopoly of the word “Allah” as it was a general term to refer to God.

“The term ‘Allah’ comes from two words which are ‘Al’ ‘and ‘Ilah’ which means God.

“If we mention the word ‘Allah’, it is translated as God. The people of Mecca also used the word ‘Allah’ before Islam came,” he had said.

Tareq and Ulil’s view of the “Allah” controversy echoes that of Muslim scholars and clerics, both locally and worldwide, who have criticised the ban of the use of the word among non-Muslims here.

Even the United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion and belief, Heiner Bielefeldt, had said that many Muslims were of the view that the court ruling undermined the credibility of Islam, in a reference to the Federal Court decision that the word “Allah” could not be used in the Catholic publication, Herald, on grounds it was not an integral part of Christianity.

Earlier this month, evangelical denomination Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB) obtained leave from the Court of Appeal to seek a declaration that the word “Allah” could be used in Christian publications.

A three-man Court of Appeal bench, chaired by Datuk Rohana Yusof, said the Federal Court held that the September 14 finding that “Allah was not an integral part of Christianity” was a mere passing remark.

Among the groups which have defended “Allah” as exclusive to Muslims are Malay rights group Perkasa and Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma).

The “Allah” row started in 2008 when the Home Ministry threatened to revoke the Herald’s newspaper permit, prompting the Catholic Church to sue the government for violating its constitutional rights. – October 19, 2014.

 

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McDonald’s Malaysia denies funding Zionists in Israel?


The Malaysian Insider

“There is no truth in the claims to the contrary,” ?? .. boy oh boy, either the Malaysian franchise is ignorant and stupid or lying through its teeth..how about this

According to the Chicago Jewish Community Online (website of the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago), McDonalds Corporation whose global headquarters is based just outside Chicago is a major corporate partner of the Jewish United Fund and Jewish Federation(2002). read more and more

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McDonald’s Malaysia today denied channelling revenue from sales, profits or franchise fee from its restaurants to support any form of political campaigns, violence or oppression.

“There is no truth in the claims to the contrary,” a statement issued by the fast food chain from the US on its website.

The statement was issued following postings on websites in the country saying that the top management of the company in the US was headed by Jack Greenberg, who allegedly is a Jew, and that the company was funding the Zionists in Israel.

The issue cropped up following the Israeli attack on Gaza since last Friday, which had so far killed more than 80 Palestinians.

Greenberg is no longer the chief executive officer of McDonald’s Corporation in the US, and he left the organisation more than 10 years ago, said McDonalds Malaysia.

“One of our core values is that we conduct business in an ethical manner and we adhere to these principles,” it added.

It said that in Malaysia, the company felt proud to be part of a community that offered opportunities for local franchisees, employment to more than 12,000 Malaysians, and supported programmes to help the less fortunate people. – Bernama, July 11, 2014.

Related

US watchdog ties McDonald’s to franchisees
World’s largest restaurant group is told it shares responsibility for working conditions at franchisees’ restaurants, a decision it plans to contest

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MALAYSIA – Soup kitchen mess


The Malaysian Insider

When the good life makes a minister poorer of empathy

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Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor has drawn flak for ordering soup kitchens in Kuala Lumpur to cease operations. – The Malaysian Insider pic, July 4, 2014.

Spare a thought for Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor (pic). He lives in a different stratosphere than 99% of Malaysians.

 

Have you seen his palatial home in the tony neighbourhood of Bukit Tunku, just a short distance away from the Prime Minister’s private residence? If you are one of the thousands of motorists travelling along Jalan Duta daily, you would have seen his house.

In his world of plenty, he and his family members want for nothing. The best food. The best accommodation. The best clothes. The best cars. The best air travel. The best holiday destinations. Domestic helpers. Drivers. Bodyguards. Gardeners.

This is his nice, comfortable, sterilised bubble.

He has little clue about the daily hardship of Malaysians; whether it is the clerk at the Treasury with a hand-to-mouth existence or the marginalised on the streets in Kuala Lumpur who often have to forego a hot meal.

When he talks about reaching out to Malaysians and being one with them, what he really is referring to are his exertions with Umno members.

When he talks about empathy (in the very rare occasion when he does talk about empathy) it is with regard to his party members. Not about ordinary Malaysians.

Because his world is his nice bubble.

So, Malaysians should not have been surprised that the Federal Territories Minister asked soup kitchens in the city to shut up shop, and spoke about the homeless and indigent in our society as if they pieces of litter.

He has since fallen back on the chosen defence of the Umno minister (“I was misquoted”). This is a really puzzling defence given that Tengku Adnan is now asking non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to help the government provide solutions on handling the vexing issue of the homeless in Kuala Lumpur.

We can only imagine that the good minister must have realised his great folly after his initial statement unleased a gush of criticism.

So now, he is backtracking in the only way he knows how: to pretend he was misunderstood.

But he wasn’t misunderstood. We understand him perfectly.

Like many ministers, big shot Umno politicians, he lives in a different world than most Malaysians; in a world surrounded by an excess of everything.

The most important thing missing in this world is EMPATHY – sadly that is what every elected representative and minister must have. Pity that some have no space for that in their palatial mansions or their own hearts. – July 5, 2014.

Related

Datuk Seri Najib Razak today took to Twitter to express the government’s concern over the homeless and the poor, in an attempt at damage control following the public outcry over the ban on soup kitchens in Kuala Lumpur.

“But I am going ahead. We will not stop feeding the homeless. Let them (take action). It is more than just feeding them (the homeless),” said Munirah.

“We are helping to share with people who are struggling to make ends meet, who cannot afford to eat regularly. Is that wrong?”

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#MH370 families launch fund to reward whistleblowers in new effort to find plane


The Malaysian Insider

…this is by far the most positive and proactive move to find the truth to this incident. I fully support it…

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Despite the official conclusion that there are no survivors and that flight MH370 has crashed, affected family members have refused to give up on the search for the missing plane, three months after it disappeared on March 8. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, June 8, 2014.

The families of passengers of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has launched a campaign to raise US$5 million (RM16.3 million) via crowdsourcing to reward whistleblowers for information on the location of the plane, which has been missing for three months today.

In a statement, the families announced the fund raiser would be launched on http://www.indiegogo.com.

“This mystery is unprecedented in aviation history, and we need to work as a collective community with one goal of finding the truth, the plane and the passengers,” said Ethan Hunt, the project leader.

The affected families said part of the funds would be used on investigation services to follow up on leads.

“The reward will be paid to the person or firm who provides the information which leads to the recovery of MH370 and all aboard,” the statement said.

All leads will be handled with confidentiality through a secure website that will be launched on June 15, it added.

It said credible leads will be pursued and validated by a professional investigation firm licensed to operate in multiple countries.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared with 239 people on board on March 8.

It triggered the biggest search operation in aviation history covering the Malacca Strait, South China Sea and Indian Ocean.

With no progress in locating the aircraft, accusations were levelled at the search authorities by some of the affected families.

There were also suggestions that the search was in the wrong place, and that valuable time was wasted.

Hunt expressed confidence of locating the plane.

“Utilising the immense potential of the crowd we believe we can achieve our primary goal of recovering the flight where other methods have failed in the past.

“We are convinced that somewhere, someone knows something, and we hope this reward will entice him or her to come forward,” he added.

Ghislain Wattrelos, whose wife Laurence and their two teenage children, Hadrian and Amber, were on board the aircraft, said he believed the disappearance of the plane could not have been an accident.

“How could this happen? In this age of constant connection and pervasive surveillance, a giant jumbo jet has been allowed to just disappear.

“My family deserves to be found.”

Sarah Bajc, partner of Philip Wood, who was to join her in Beijing before the couple’s move to Kuala Lumpur, has worked tirelessly to find the truth since the flight disappeared.

She believed that without a new tactic, the truth, and the plane, will never be found.

Bajc said the failure of the search to turn up any sign of the aircraft was due to “intentional misdirection by one or more individuals”.

“It is time we took a look at this mystery with a fresh set of eyes.

“Lives are important. So is truth. Personal loss is hard to bear, but to live in fear is intolerable,” said Bajc.

“If we can know what happened and do so collectively by all means in our hands, we help ourselves and we serve others,” said K.S. Narendran, an Indian management consultant whose wife Chandrika Sharma was the missing flight.

“I want to find my wife, and I want to know the truth. Without the truth, families cannot move on with their lives. We need closure. The world needs closure.

“Since the disappearance of MH370, a dark cloud has hung over the safety of air travel,” he said.

Pralhad Shirseth, whose wife, Kranti, was on her way to visit him in North Korea, where he was working for an NGO, said until MH370 was found and the reason for its disappearance known, the families would have to put up with conspiracy theories, false leads, books and movies on the saga.

“We need to find the truth and ensure this never happens again,” he said.

Another affected family member, Peter Weeks, whose brother Paul was on his way to Mongolia for work, said: “Someone somewhere knows the truth, they could be your neighbour, work colleague, brother, sister, mother or father.

“No matter who they are, we need their help to solve this mystery, make the skies safe for everyone and return the passengers and crew to their families.” – June 8, 2014.

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The campaign is an initiative of family members from the US, Australia, New Zealand, France and India, and does not involve relatives of passengers from China or Malaysia, whose citizens formed the majority of passengers on the flight.

USA Today quoted Bajc as saying the relatives received permission from Indiegogo to raise funds for a reward, when it had previously denied them permission.

“Granted, US$2 million in investigation services won’t go very far,” Bajc said.

“They’ve already spent US$100 million and they’ve gotten nothing. But we’re not going to approach it with boats in the ocean, we’re going to approach it with human intelligence.”

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