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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Capacity building, industrial production drivers of economic growth



Another mega project is in the offing. This time it’s the RM26 billion Tun Razak Exchange, the name given to the Kuala Lumpur Islamic Financial District. It’s another monstrosity so liked by the BN to show to the people, how the country develops.  This district or TRX will rival Dubai as a financial center or Zurich or Singapore.  Will it evolve into Dubai 2?

Who are the people advising the PM? Are they the eventual beneficiaries of building contracts to that project?

This is madness on the part of the government. It develops the country by way of construction of buildings, theme parks, malls etc. what do these do firstly? They soak up existing wealth not create now one. The economy develops by capacity built lah tuan, dato , tan sri, boss PM. Not on building shopping malls. Where are the talent and entrepreneurial skills that drive these centers?

This TRX is a service industry. Service industry depends and relies on the quality of talent. The construction industry does indeed contribute its share in economic growth through backward and forward linkages. It enables too the redistribution of income among actors in the construction industry.  The problem arises when over reliance on the construction industry is taken as the final solution for economic growth. It may lead to the construction bubble.

The real solid foundation for further economic growth however lies in capacity building- industrial production and enhancements of human capabilities.

This TRX with a GDV of RM26 billion is massive. Let me just share my initial concerns about this project. There is now over 6 million square feet of office space in the Klang Valley. This TRX will bring forth how much more office space?  Move everyone there Mr PM. These people who must be close to one another must have come out from caves- they haven’t heard about e mails and other powerful tools of communication.  Maybank moves there. CIMB moves there. Let’s face it- this is another project earmarked for some cronies. We know who are behind 1MDB.

In addition to the existing 6 million square feet, there are more than 5 million square feet of office space that’s coming on line. So what will TRX be? Another brick and mortar white elephant suffering the same fate like what my colleague Tony Pua said - a 28.3-hectare development that would suffer the same fate as other mega projects, such as the Bio-Valley, E-Village and Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC), many of which have uncertain economic futures.

I thought Dr Mahathir was the only person obsessed with phallic symbols. Najib must have contracted the same disease.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak said this TRX is going to bring in RM26 billion in gross development revenue. You can talk like that to impress villagers and simple folks, but we all can read him like an open book.  This is another of form of legalized plunder.

What vision does he carry? I said this and many people remotely related to him said all kinds of nasty things to me. No problem.

But let’s see. When he took over the premiership from Rip Van Winkle, he `stole’ 1MDB- which was supposed to the fund specifically created to receive the wang ehsan royalty for Terengganu from PETRONAS.  Then something happened to the fund when Low Theik Jho whispered sweet nothings to Mrs. PM and the fund transformed into 1MDB. Maybe Jho Low said, I know the secret of becoming slim like Paris Hilton Maam!

What did 1MDB then do? Like its patron who `stole’ from Pak Lah, 1MDB `stole’ 300 acres Sungai Besi airbase belonging to MIndef.  What will Sungei Besi airbase become? It will be developed into high end property development with a number of homes affordable by 1st time house-owners as decorative pieces. And the minister of MINDEF, who once saidgive him some humanity when a colleague got sacked because of gross misbehavior, played dumb and deaf. His ass got buggered and he kept quiet!

What’s happening then? Najib builds the forms but not the substance. All hardware no software. Isn’t that scary? A country cannot sustain economic growth without the software part. Will the KLIFD be powered on by 500,000 SPM class workers?

This KLIFD aka TRX has been described as the legacy of Tun Razak. Tun Razak died in 1976.  This project is aptly described as far as the dying part is concerned. This project can kill off so many people. Our local banks for example as more than 100 world class financial institutions will make their home here. After the financial crisis, I thought the philosophy was to restrict the number of banks and stop entry of foreign banks lest they bring along the scourge of currency trading. Mahathir wanted to de-rouge the economy. Today, if the rouges come under the costume of Islam, they are welcome.

The construction of more office space will kill off property players- our GLCs such as UEM, MRCB, SP Setia and also Naza TTDI who has got some massive development along Jalan Tun Razak. Even Daim will be affected as he has 1 million square feet of office space under construction and another 1 million on the drawing board.  What about Felda’s menara Wawasan? PNB’s taller than Twin Towers offices in the sky?

The country under UMNO is going to the dogs. UMNO has led the government to become an irresponsible government driven by the overwhelming desire to enrich a few.

Posted by sakmongkol AK47

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