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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Coping with inevitable Evil created by Government


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Joe Fernandez

The latest statistics available from a variety of sources on the National Debt Burden of Malaysia make very disturbing reading. The people should keep cash. This is no time for investments. Cash is King.

The Government continues to take solace in the fact that the vast majority of the people in the kampungs remain blissfully unaware and apparently continues to root for it under the tainted electoral system.

Government borrowings, if used prudently as in the case of Singapore, is the key to the health of the financial system and the economy when coupled with foreign direct investment.

Government borrowings by themselves, no matter how much, poses little systemic risk if most of it is sourced domestically as in the case of the US, the Government has the ability to repay and it (borrowings) is for prudent purposes.

Otherwise, it will spook the economy no end.

Foreign lenders and share market investors can cause a run on the currency as in 1997 during the Asian Financial Currency Crisis when Malaysia suffered, so we are told, from the contagion effect.

Unfortunately, in Malaysia's case, we are headed for bankruptcy as an inevitability if the Barisan Nasional (BN) continues to remain in power for much longer.

Ironically, the BN is saying that the Opposition will bankrupt the economy if it comes to power, indeed a belated acknowledgement of the fact that we have already reached the point of no return on the issue. There's no way that the Opposition, on its own, can bankrupt the economy in five years.

The private sector is biting their nails and foreign investors are getting more jittery by the day.

Things, they have decided, will get a whole lot worse before they become any better, if at all.

They are tightening their purse strings and some like Tony Fernandes of Air Asia and Ananda Krishnan of Maxis have already voted with their feet after taking their businesses private. Tony F is placing his new hopes on untapped potential in Indonesia and India.

In Ananda's case he re-listed locally not so long ago, amidst a scandal in India, but before long he will pull the same stunt of going private in Malaysia only to flee overseas with his cash for richer pickings. He can probably sell only to someone who can put their hands in the National Cookie Jar to pay him if he can't find anyone with deep pockets and a kamikaze mindset.

Vincent Tan of Berjaya Group, emulating Ananda, wants to dispose half his assets for the right price, ostensibly to hand them over to certain charities. Selling in this market? Soon, Khazanah and other GLCs will probably be beating a path to his door with our money to pick up his assets at overpriced sums.

Who's he kidding? Tan knows that Cash is King. He wants to be ready for the pickings when it comes.

Syed Mokhtar al-Bukhary, a known Mahathir Mohamad nominee and crony, wants to buy Malaysia Airlines after picking up the considerable assets of Proton, selling a worthless car, at a song. This is the same stunt pulled by Tajuddin Ramli on the tax payer. History is repeating itself. How many times is Malaysia Airlines going to be sold, declared bankrupt and bailed out? They should change the script and let it go to the wall like Bank Bumiputra which became a giant Ponzi Scheme to survive for a time after it insisted on lending only to people who had no intention of paying back the huge sums they borrowed.

Much of Government borrowings have been clearly siphoned off by the ruling elite to feather their own nests overseas or to save them and their cronies from financial ruin after embarking on hare-brained schemes.

It seems that the Government, like a gold digger looking for the non-existent precious yellow metal in the wrong place, cannot dig itself out of the financial and budgetry hole it finds itself in.

We will only know the full extent of our financial and economic malaise when the ruling party falls from grace as in Greece.

Under these circumstances, much of the analysis by well-meaning do-gooders who themselves profit, directly or indirectly, from our financial follies are worse than useless.

Who will remember their upbeat newspaper headlines written by ang pow journalists when we become yet another failed state?

Malaysia is not too big to fail.

It's too small to succeed especially when headed unfortunately at the same time by a band of self-serving scoundrels for more than half a century.

It's up to the people to decide when they should act.

We should be running scared, to borrow a phrase which Lee Kuan Yew used to constantly remind Singaporeans in the early years after the island republic was expelled from Malaysia in 1965.

Even so, the system myopically created by the ruling People's Action Party (PAP) in Singapore carries with it the seeds of its own destruction.

The PAP can no longer remain in power and the labour-intensive economy can no longer function without opening the floodgates to foreign immigrants. The PAP needs foreign votes as much as the economy needs foreign labour. It's not talking so much about the Brightest and the Best from around the world leading the way for all in the island republic.

The people in Singapore, low birth rate or no lo birth rate, will no longer stand for the continuing influx of foreign labour which can only be as before at their expense.

This means the economy, as it's constructed, will fail and the PAP will fall from power one way or another to allow for a new Government to restructure the economy to be free of foreign labour. Call it karma for criminally exploiting the labour force, especially Malaysians and foreigners, for so long.

Switzerland, the richest country in the world and with no foreign labour, points the way for the Singapore of the future.

No people want their Government to continue to create jobs for foreigners when they themselves have numerous needs unmet.

In Singapore, the PAP Government lives in fear of the people.

In Malaya, at least one thing is sure. The people are against indefinite BN rule.

If they are convinced that the BN cannot be dethroned by the electoral and democratic process, they will take to the streets either for an Interim All-Party Government which will clean up the electoral rolls for free and fair elections; or create a Revolution as in Egypt where Mubarak used to win every presidential election.

Revolution in Malaya will be the liberation of Sabah and Sarawak from Malaysia.

Malaysia has become weak and is getting weaker by the day as evident in the fact that we are unable to act, and act decisively, when a rag tag bunch from the Philippines seizes our territory in Lahad Datu, Sabah.

The Lahad Datu intruders know that the BN Government cannot ensure the security of Sabah which is now at the mercy of the wolves in the region.

We are fast becoming a laughing stock in the region with our two submarines in Sabah and yet the BN Government continues to keep up pretences instead of biting the bullet and taking the bull by the horns. We will all know what is going to happen in Sabah when the two submarines are scuttled or flee for dear life to Malaya.

Prime Minister Mohd Najib Abdul Razak is going beserk as his voice gets squeakier by the day in a betrayal of his deepest fears and misgivings. He convinces no one and no wonder his popularity continues to fall, 61 per cent now compared with the 74 per cent enjoyed by his ill-fated predecessor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in 2008.

Mahathir, the Architect of All Evil in Malaysia, is trying to convince the people that any Government head by the Opposition will be (as) corrupt and that nepotism, cronyism and collusion will (also) be the order of the day.

So, is he suggesting that we keep BN as the lesser of two evils?

So-called social scientist Dr Chandra Muzzafar, another Malayalee, thinks that corruption will not end with a change of Government.

In short, he seems to be shamelessly suggesting like Mahathir that it's better to keep the BN warts and all.

Where are his principles?

Since when did he sell his soul from a future reincarnation as well to the devil (Mahathir)?

Between Najib, Mahathir and Chandra, the future of the BN is being prophesised.

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