Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The one about Ong Ka Ting, Alibaba, UMNO, PKFZ and the NEP.

In response to Ong Ka Ting's call for true JVs between bumis and non-bumis (ie. those that share both risks and rewards, as opposed to the current AliBaba ones where Ali gets his reward and Baba bears the risks), here's what some Malay politicians (read UMNO) had to say.

Jangan tunduk - Tuntutan tender terbuka MCA bercanggah dengan DEB
Oleh AZMAN IBRAHIM - Utusan Malaysia (reproduced by Malaysia-Today)

Ahli- ahli politik Melayu hari ini menggesa kerajaan tidak tunduk kepada tuntutan MCA supaya tender projek-projek kerajaan dibuat secara terbuka kerana permintaan itu bertentangan dengan semangat Dasar Ekonomi Baru (DEB).

"bukan bumiputera tidak boleh mempersoalkan hak dan kelebihan yang diperoleh oleh mana-mana syarikat bumiputera selama ini."

"Apa salahnya syarikat bumiputera dapat tender daripada kerajaan?"
Essentially, they are saying NO WAY, the status quo should be maintained ie. all govt contracts go to bumi companies. (Btw, here's the latest circular from the Malaysian Treasury directing government agencies to appoint only bumiputera consultant firms registered with the Finance Ministry for development projects under RM30 million -ref Malaysiakini).

Point 1: Apa salahnya? [What's the problem?]

WHAT'S the problem? Well... where do I start?... Generally, spoon-feeding does not encourage learning and growth. Give the man a fish, teach the man to fish... blah, blah, blah (see: Paying The Price for Freebies).

Specifically, many of the current bumi companies enjoying govt contracts are a bunch of crooks and it is costing us (the tax payer) good money, a helluva lot of it in fact, to keep this bad policy in place.
Govt's hand forced in bailout
R. Nadeswaran and Terence Fernandez - Sun2Surf

PORT KLANG (Aug 20, 2007): The government has to bail out the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) because the Transport Ministry had given undertakings it was not authorised to do so. The ministry issued "letters of support" which were used by the turnkey contractor - Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd (KDSB) - to raise bonds and get an AAA rating from the Malaysia Rating Corporation Bhd.

The four letters were issued between 2003 and 2006 for the issuance of bonds for the RM4.6 billion cost of the project. Ministry sources argue that they merely "supported" the applications but bankers contacted by theSun said that in effect, they were letters of guarantee which only the Treasury can issue.

This is because the letters from the ministry committed the government to ensure that at all times, the Port Klang Authority (PKA) will fulfil all its financial obligations to KDSB.

"So, the government was left with little choice but to salvage the situation," said an industry source.
Read more about the PKFZ bailout here: PKFZ bailout: The CRONYNOMIC / EKORNOMIC rationale
Ahli Parlimen Johor Bahru, Datuk Shahrir Samad berkata, walaupun syarikat-syarikat bumiputera diberi kelebihan mendapatkan tender-tender kerajaan, namun syarikat-syarikat bukan bumiputera tidak terkecuali memperoleh faedah daripada sistem tender itu.

Beliau berkata, kontraktor bumiputera tetap memerlukan kerjasama syarikat-syarikat bukan bumiputera, khususnya syarikat-syarikat milik ahli perniagaan Cina, bagi mendapatkan bahan-bahan binaan dan peralatan-peralatan teknikal.

“Inilah yang dikatakan perkongsian dan ia harus diterima oleh semua rakyat sebagai sesuatu yang positif.

“Apa yang kita amalkan selama ini mewujudkan rangkaian nilai yang dapat membantu meningkatkan ekonomi negara dan dirasai oleh semua peringkat masyarakat,” katanya kepada Utusan Malaysia ketika dihubungi di sini.
Point 2: SUBCONTRACTING. It's not only building materials and technical equipment that the bumi companies are outsourcing to the Chinese ones. In many cases, it's also labour and management services.

If you've ever studied any economics, that about sums up all you need for any sort of economic activity.

So, in essence, what are the bumi companies doing? Apart from securing the govt contract, farming it out and keeping a large percentage of the contract's value?

NOTHING! Absolutely nothing.

Why the heck do you think 'over-priced and over-funded' govt buildings, bridges, computer labs that leak, fall apart, crack and breakdown etc... keep getting built in Malaysia? Over and over again, day in day out?... Because a large art of the price / funding goes towards purchasing large amounts of absolutely NOTHING!

What the subcontractors are left with... are margins so thin that it's virtually impossible to buy the quality of materials and workmanship that the original price / funding was supposed to pay for.

And you call that "perkongsian" [partnership] or "rangkaian nilai" [value chain] something that "harus diterima oleh semua rakyat sebagai sesuatu yang positif" [needs to be accepted by all Malaysians as something positive]?

POSITIVE? All those buildings leaking, falling apart, bridges cracking, billion ringgit bailouts... POSITIVE?

Helloooo! Earth calling planet NEP. Earth calling planet NEP. If there are any intelligent lifeforms, please respond!

And before anyone starts getting pissy-faced, and accuses me of being anti-Malay or anti-social contract while wringing their panties in a tight little knot, let me finish.

Point 3: Who is the NEP benefitting? Is it you, me, the man on the street, the average bumi breadwinner, the impoverished?

Remember the bumi company named Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd (KDSB), from the PKFZ report above?

Here's an excellent expose available at Malaysians Unplugged Uncensored. It gives us a real example of who truly benefits from the NEP. I've read it and I totally understand why UMNO politicians fight tooth and nail to retain the NEP in its current form. What I DON'T understand is WHY the average bumi salaryman trying to earn a decent, halal living - does the same??? Read: Lesson 101: How to Justify Racial Discrimination.
The UMNO and UMNO Youth Connection

Kuala Dimensi's current chairman is UMNO treasurer Datuk Azim Zabidi. The company acquired the land for the project in the 1990s for RM96 million, or roughly RM3 per sq ft. Kuala Dimensi bought the land from Pulau Lumut Development Cooperative Bhd (PLDCB).

Present PLDCB chairperson Abdul Rahman Palil is a Selangor executive councillor and Sementa state assembly person. He is the Kapar UMNO division head. When the Port Klang Authority (PKA) proposed to buy the land from Kuala Dimensi, PKA was advised to forcibly purchase the land under the country's Land Acquisition Act, which meant that the property would have been valued at around RM10 per sq ft.

But PKA IGNORED the advice from the government's Chief Legal Adviser and proceeded to buy the land from Kuala Dimensi in 2002 on a commercial basis, for RM1 billion, or roughly RM25 per sq ft.

The legal firm, Rashid Asari & Co, drafted the March 2004 land development agreement between PKA and Kuala Dimensi. The lawyer engaged to draft the agreement works for 'the other side,' ie the lawyer also works for Kuala Dimensi.

Abdul Rashid Asari who heads the legal firm also happens to be the vice-chief of the Kapar Umno division. PKA appointed Rashid Asari & Co, the firm that was, and remains today, on Kuala Dimensi's legal panel. Among Rashid's fellow Excos in the Kapar UMNO division is its permanent chairman Onn Ismail.

PKA also decided to award the now cash-flushed Kuala Dimensi SOLE rights to develop the free-trade zone.

Wijaya Baru Global Bhd (WBGB) was the the property developer and investment firm behind the sale and development of PKFZ. Faizal Abdullah is the the deputy-Chief Executive officer of Wijaya Baru Global Bhd (WBGB). He is also Onn Ismail's son in law and the Kapar UMNO division's Youth Chief.

Read here for more on UMNO and UMNO Youth's Connection in this scandalous affair.
If you still think the NEP as it stands now, is a good idea... then you and me... we've got ourselves a problem.


Anonymous said...

Now with the internet, we can see what really has been going on. Thanks for all the info.


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