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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Politics of Saving the Country.



The previous article written in Malay was an augmented version of the original article written by the bloggerDonplaypuks. I want readers to know, I have permission from Donplaypuks to adapt his articles at any point in time.  Some facts in a discipline of which I am not trained in, I refer to the master and use those facts freely as basis for my own analysis.

In a P Ramlee film, I first heard the expression – narn bohti narn, kui bohti kui. Orang bukan orang, hantu bukan hantu. It gave me a good laugh. Over the years, the expression has become surreal- fiction merges into factual.

We can only describe the umno leadership who have committed various wrongs to the country, as an indefinable being, orang kah, hantu kah?  But judging from the deeds they do, they are more suited to be called devils. Only thehantus do dastardly things. Like grand partying while people suffer. Buying another executive plane having others justifying it as a measure to increase safety and security.

 Well, fly commercial then. There is safety in numbers.

The indefinable beings now are occupying a new stage. It is stage where the big ghost fights the small ghost. The big ghost is Mahathir and the small ghost is Najib. The big ghost will eat the small ghost eventually.

Dr Mahathir is only in the early stages. He has asked Najib to resign. Najib, he says cannot manage the finances of the country. This was shown by his handling of the 1MDB issue, his profligate spending, his idea of BR1Ming his way through people’s hearts and minds.

Where to find money to settle the debts? The government will need RM2 billion a year to pay for the interests. The revenues from the IPPs it owns as a result of its buying spree cannot pay the interests. If you can’t pay from operational earnings, you are technically insolvent. 
Dr Mahathir is warning us all- the government will force GLCs such as Tabung Haji, Khazanah, Petronas, KWAP, KWSP and many others to help buy 1MDB energy IPO offers at premium prices. 

Dr Mahathir said in his trademark sarcasm- YTL makes RM800 million profits a year and part of the profits are used to pay Dr Mahathir. Ah so, we now know DR Mahathir gave a good deal to YTL.

According to Dr Mahathir, the value of the assets of 1MDB cannot support the debt and liabilities.

 Dr Mahathir claims that the assets are overpriced when paying out and under-priced when buying in. Najib overpays when buying IPPs like Genting Sanyen, Ananda’s Tanjung energy and Jimmah Power. These vendors made money even though their IPPs are nearing end of contract life.

So why pay at exorbitant price? The answer is because some people made money on the deals. Unlike what Dr Mahathir said in his speech, we must apa2.....we cant treat as  tidak apa.

People want to know whether the overpriced amount went to some people. If so who?

But when it comes to buying assets belonging to the government, Najib buys at very low price. The land at Tun Razak exchange which costs RM5000-7000 psf was bought as RM60psf. That’s 83 to over 100 times the price. The land at Sungai Besi airport valued at current market price of RM2000-2500 psf was bought at RM90 psf.

You can see a pattern here. Overpay when buying from cronies and fleecing the people when buying from itself. We can’t trust a government that deals like a shyster here.

Even though this point was not mentioned, many of us know how the game is played. Generous overpricing means some people are sharing the inflated price. Gross under-pricing means some people deciding on the matter made a lot of money.

It has become a universally accepted notion that business projects have their costs UMNOnised. Which means always inflate price by at least 30% and distribute among thieves.

Najib is also a profligate spender. Najib abuses power. Najib is interested in concentration of power and how power can serve his interests and not the people’s interest.

And it was reported, all is cool on the PM’s front. Meanwhile Najib makes don’t know without a problem in the world. He doesn’t care about GST. The effects on GST in raising the overall price level is ignored. Everywhere people are complaining and yet the government goes on insisting that GST is good.

It may eventually be good in the sense that it is a more effective tax collection mechanism. But people will ask, whether a government with a bad track record at managing our financial affairs will exercise discipline over or finances. Or with more money, will they fund more projects for cronies and create a thousand other 1MDBs?

I have seen a video of the PM and his wife dancing with other guests. Possibly they were dancing at the wedding reception of the century, rumoured to cost the people an obscene USD200 million.  The PM of course loves dancing at private functions. That is his private business. He wants to dance howsoever he likes, it’s no skin off our nose. From the video, we can see the PM can still do hot moves. He can still gedik2.

But what can we deduce from the conduct of the PM on the dance floor? This is a conduct of a person who doesn’t care what others think. If they want to ferry 200 people on a private jet or two private jets, including bringing cultural dancers, what can the people do? Rosmah Mansor could well play the Marie Antoinette fiction of saying, let Mahathir and other eat cake. We can do what we like because we are the big bosses of the country?

They just want to see what the people can do to stop them.

So it’s a challenge we must take up. We shall show to Najib that he can also be punished for the deceit and low class leadership he has displayed thus far.

The dancing and prancing PM showed that we must not be delusional into thinking- just because Dr Mahathir whom I have said, being a person who can walk on political waters say so. Najib will not retire. He will not go voluntarily. His conduct on the floor is the conduct of a person saying, the world be dammed.

At one point in time, Mahathir will have no choice but to deliver the eventual coup de grace. Dr Mahathir will eventually do so.

It is also futile to think that Najib detractors can pull off a no confidence vote on the PM. The motion would have to be submitted to the speaker and the speaker will give time to the Najib forces to mount a counter attack. Now we all know the UMNO MPs have skeletons n the cupboards, debts to pay, income tax owed, and cases here and there. These will be brought up most conveniently, forcing the detractors to toe the line.

Now suppose there is person who in the thinking of the majority of MPs will uphold the values of democracy, rule of law, good governance, committed to place the country on the foundations of fiscal decency, put things generally right, carry out just social policies, reform the judiciary, weed out corruption and the corrupted, help out the poor, MPs must decide on their conscience and cultivate and support such a person. .

A certain number of MPs now on the BN side need only cross over and seek out such a leader. The BN government is simply defeated if they don’t have the number of MPs on their side. Just do it for the sake of the nation.

That means while we hear and heed  Dr Mahathir but we need not agree to his solution. As I have said in the earlier article, we need not replace Najib with the best from the league of the worse. Extraordinary times require extraordinary conduct and resolve. Think outside the box. Reject the conventional way.

The UMNO people if they wish to save their party must adopt a revolutionary way to find this new leader. They need to know they can’t govern the country in the way and manner it has been done in the past. It can no longer hold power by constructing a barrier of isolationist and exclusivist concepts of race, religion and Monarchy.

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