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National Economic Action Council : Azmin Ali & Lim Guan Eng Is Not Performing At Ministry of Economic & Finance – We Are Still Screwed Economically & Financially

Azmin is turning out to be a non performer at the Ministry of Economic Affairs. And to some degree Guan Eng as well. If both Azmin and Guan Eng can handle their job, there will not be a need for this NEAC. EIGHT months is long enough to see that they are not doing their job.

Yet another NEAC has been set up. I have to say that this is getting to be tiring.

The first question that pops up is what happened to all the research, feedback and recommendations by the earlier Eminent Persons Group? They had 100 Days to do their job. The Eminent Persons collected all their thoughts and submitted their findings and recommendations.

Obviously the report by the Eminent Persons has not been accepted. That is why there is now yet another NEAC. So what has happened to all that work by the earlier Eminent Persons?

But some of the new NEAC members are the same as the older Eminent Persons. Are they going to bring in their same recommendations as before (that was not accepted) or are they going to make a whole set of new recommendations?

So now, how many days will this new NEAC have to do their job ? Another 100 days? FIVE years?

Anyway lets have a look at this council.

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 11 — government formed council comprising ministers and business leaders to
tackle the economy and arrest the rising cost of living

(OSTB : Is this council for real or is it just to pull the wool over peoples’ eyes?

So as NOT to waste time, can the new NEAC straight away tell us the list of sacred cows – lembu suci – in the economy that cannot be touched.

For sure, there must be a long list of untouchable lembu sucis or sacred cows.

For example the 3rd national car, the banking oligopoly, the uncompetitive and super inefficient banking and financial system, the various government granted monopolies in power generation, distribution, rice distribution, postal services, Puspakom monopoly, the PLUS monopoly on toll roads, digital broadcasting services monopoly, the Metrology monopoly, the GLC stranglehold on many sectors of the economy, and on and on and on.

If all these monopolies and oligopolies are NOT GOING to be unwound, if these lembu suci or sacred cows cannot be touched, then can the NEAC just pack up and go home. Please go home now. Do not waste our time. You are just wasting our time.

If the tolls cannot be abolished or even reduced FIVE LOUSY SENs, if the duties and taxes on motorcars and vehicles CANNOT be reduced by even ONE LOUSY RINGGIT – then please just pack up and go home.

Buang masa, buang api, buang air con sahaja.

Folks, lets keep a close eye on this new NEAC.  I get the feeling that not much is going to happen.

Lets make a bet. Lets give them SIX months. If I am right you tell me about your fake university degree. If I am right, I will have my tea as usual.)

Prime Minister’s Office said the Economic Action Council’s main objective was to  stimulate economic growth and
to improve equal distribution of wealth, as well as  to look at issues related to the cost of living,  human resource,
poverty, and  home ownership.

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(OSTB : I think this one line alone can derail this entire NEAC : to improve equal distribution of wealth.

This statement is already highly, very extremely wrong. Equal distribution of wealth sounds too communist, or ‘communist collective’ type of thinking.

(To digress, you mean the fellow who went to MRSM (all expenses paid by you and me), then went overseas to study (again all expenses paid by you and me) then came home, worked a few years in a GLC, then dropped out of life, now lives off his wive’s, wives’ or family’s income will still get an equal distribution of wealth compared to me who did not get an all expenses paid vacation or a paid for education, who worked through university, who has worked almost everyday for the past 36 years until today and tomorrow as well ? Is this what is meant by equal distribution of wealth? That is so damned unfair.)

Dear Tun Dr Mahathir, I believe you may have communists on board. Or at the least ‘central planning type’ socialists. Both communism and socialism were founded and promoted by the Jews, those nasty people.

But may I suggest a better choice of words ?

Try this : to improve wealth distribution.
Or try this : to narrow extreme wealth disparities.

council formed to respond to people’s concerns about problems they face, particularly the economy,” said Prime Minister’s Office

(OSTB : So this is just more confirmation from the PM’s Office that the Cabinet does not know how to handle their job.)

Economic Action Council will be headed by PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
It comprises Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng
International Trade and Industry Minister Darell Leiking and
Works Minister Baru Bian
also includes PM’s economic adviser Muhammed Abdul Khalid
Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz
PNB chairman Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz
Council of Eminent Persons member Professor Jomo Kwame Sundaram
Public Bank MD Tan Sri Tay Ah Lek
MARA chairman Hasnita Hashim
Bursa Malaysia chairman Datuk Shireen Ann Zaharah Muhiudeen
Asean Business Advisory Council chairman Mohd Munir Abdul Majid
Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association CEO Datuk Paul Selvaraj
lawyer Bah Tony @ Amani William Hunt Abdullah
Institut MASA director Nizam Mahshar

OK lets look at some of these names.

Azmin is turning out to be a non performer at the Ministry of Economic Affairs. And to some degree Guan Eng as well. If both Azmin and Guan Eng can handle their job, there will not be a need for this NEAC. EIGHT months is long enough to see that they are not doing their job.

The first Council of Eminent Persons (that lasted 100 days) and now this second round of yet another NEAC is proof enough that these folks are falling down.

My prediction – they will continue to fall down.

Baru Bian, Darrel Leiking – serupa lah. Nice guys. My regards.
But the Cabinet is no place for play play. We must get serious.

Dr Muhammad Abdul Khalid – Mat, dengar apa Mamu cakap. Hari tu Dr M kata dia tak faham apa economists dok kata. So keep it simple bro. Mat, here is some ‘street level’ macro economics for your attention. Until 2PM on working days there are shops that are not yet open for business or permanently closed in Jalan Tun Sambanthan and Jalan Masjid India. This is bad bro. Very, very bad. It is equivalent to depa lupa azan Zohor and azan Maghrib at Masjidil Haram. Meaning an unthinkable event.

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Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz – please focus on deregulation and liberalisation. If we do not deregulate and liberalise the economy our kids will be eating grass.

Already now they are back to tanam jagung in the kampong.
Dont believe me? Here is proof.
Just the other day a young economist pointed out that :

in 1999, commodities made up 22% of Malaysia’s exports
19 years later in 2018, commodities accounted for around 33% of exports.

We are becoming a tanam jagung di kampong, Third World economy.

Here is something more scary.
Between 1999 and 2019 our currency has dropped significantly.
On top of that prices of commodities have also dropped significantly.
That is a double whammy.

Despite this double whammy, commodities have increased to 33% of our total exports. We are now a tanam jagung economy.

Commodity exports have less value added than manufactured products. That is also why the Ringgit is dropping.
Dear Tun Dr Mahathir, our Ringgit crashing has absolutely nothing to do with the US or Donald Trump’s policies.
That cannot be the case because how do you explain the Thai baht being steadier against the US Dollar and appreciating against our Ringgit?

If US policy is the culprit then it should affect all their trading partners – including the Thai Baht. It has not.

It is the Malaysian Ringgit that is crashing, even against the Thai Baht.

Zeti Aziz – ex Bank Negara governor. Well what can I say – these were the folks who were in important positions when the Malaysian economy, our banking system etc began sliding downwards. They could not do much then. Are we supposed to believe that Zeti has suddenly sprouted wonderwoman capabilities now? Zeti is not a banker. Folks, Central Bankers are not bankers. And in Malaysia they are usually textbook economists, turned civil servants turned bank regulators. They are NOT bankers.

Zeti will not know how to handle a low cost housing loan application from a 28 year old Indian boy, who had a wife, a two year old child, owns and drives a yellow ‘bas sekolah’ van and had absolutely no documentation, no salary slips, no income tax receipts but only his bank statements to vouch for his creditworthiness. But the whole family came to the bank to give him support for the housing loan, including an uncle with a regular job who was ready to be a guarantor. In the 4Cs of credit, the boy’s Character got an A. The loan was approved and it was also paid on time. Itu cerita lama.

Using today’s ‘credit scoring’ method that boy will never qualify for a loan.
Hence the Ah Long industry.

Zeti will also not know how much working capital (overdraft) a five star hotel would or should need. RM500,000? RM2 million? RM5 million? There is always an average. Bankers will know this. Central bankers will not.

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Tan Sri Tay Ah Lek, the MD of Public Bank. This is the biggest joke. Banking in Malaysia is an oligopoly. There are SIX mega local banks. Public Bank is one of them. Banking must be liberalised. (Correction : Banking does need strict and precise regulation – to safeguard the public and to promote competition). But banking must be liberalised.

The banking oligopoly has resulted in Public Bank being the most profitable bank in Malaysia. Public Bank profits from you and me.

So folks, do you really think Tan Sri Tay Ah Lek the MD of Public Bank will advise the NEAC, ‘Mr Chairman we must liberalise our banking sector and allow for more players in banking to promote more competition and efficiency in the banking industry. This way Public Bank’s profit may also be reduced and Public Bank’s pre-eminent position may also be threatened.’

Folks, do you think Tan Sri Tay Ah Lek is going to give any such advice to the NEAC? The short answer is NO.

These folks are billionaires – because banking licenses are highly restricted.
Banking is an oligopoly.
That is how they became rich.
They did not become billionaires by looking out for your welfare too much.
And this guy now sits on the NEAC.

Serupa juga macam Mamak Drakula jaga tabung darah dulu.
Sudah lupa kah – mamak super bodoh itu?

I think we are still screwed.

Dr Hasnita Hashim the Chairman of MARA is on the NEAC. What for? MARA was and is still screwed up. It will still be screwed up. My advice is before Hasnita can give advice to the NEAC why not she turn MARA around first?

And why is the non executive Chairman of the Bursa Malays (the Stock Exchange) on the NEAC? Obviously to look out for the welfare of the listed corporations. The big boys again.

OK lah fine we need more listed companies. Public listing is good. But who will speak up for the ordinary man in the street? Who will speak up for you and me?

That 28 year old Indian boy had his low cost housing loan processed by me (and got it approved) – a long time ago in 1988. Today, I can bet that same type of 28 year old Indian boy will NOT get the same loan approved. Thats why we have Hindraf.

Who is going to look out for the ordinary guy on the street?

Finally Munir Majid has been appointed to the NEAC.
This was the Chairman of MAS through its most turbulent years.

The BN government got kicked out after 63 years partly because these were the same people helping to run the government. The same people.

In GDP growth we are now FAR FAR behind Bangladesh (7.8%), India (7%), Philippines (7+%), Indonesia (6%??) or Vietnam (about 7%). Under the watch of these same folks.

Now these same folks are advising the government again?
There are 32 million other people in Malaysia.
Is this the best that we can do?

Source : Syed Akhbar Ali

 

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Henry Hew

    February 13, 2019 at 21:19

    It would be nice to see your proposal for a better NEAC.
    I enjoyed reading your views. I appreciate the telling substance very much.
    Thank you.

  2. Muthu Krishnan Veeresamy

    February 13, 2019 at 22:19

    Your brief comments on those big wigs are amusing and you hit the nail right where it hurts . NEAC is a recycle of the just concluded CEP with added so called professionals into the list. As you mentioned very bluntly it makes no sense when other countries economies are rising to a better position than ours all making good progress from 6 to 7% of their GDP wheteas our is declining. You are dead right if these two professionals in economy Azmin Ali and Lim Gian Eng have executed their job well, we dont need to have NEAC. As the Managing Director of IMF Christine Lagarde has set the alarm ringing recently stating that a sudden economic downturn is to hit the financial world. She advised respective governments to take heed and and be prepared to face it.

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