It was one of those images that became part of the mass blog protest against NST.
The image is put up as a friendly reminder that many of us from that era of blogging are aware that, although Kalimullah may have left NST, he has his annointed ones deep within NST to carry out his anti-national liberal agenda.
The bad spirit of Kalimullah reared its ugly head in NST's treatment of last Saturday's Kongres Ekonomi Bumiputera.
The Congress had politely rejected the proposed New Economic Model (NEM) by the National Economic Advisory Council (NEAC).
In his closing speech, Najib received it well and gave assurance that the interest of the Bumiputera is always in his "hati kecik." Some quarters would have wanted PM to "rasa besar hati". To Najib, it was part and parcel of his consultative style of administration.
But NST gave only a single second or third page coverage of the Congress. It was only on Najib's closing speech. However, come Monday, Syed Nadzri came with a tongue lashing column to describe the Congress as fake (worded "under the guise of championing the deprived").
Such vitriolic remark by the NST Editor only shows this MCKK old boy has a parrot understanding of economics. He regurgitate what is fed to him by officials.
If he had actually attended, he would have learnt a thing or two about the serious weakness of NEM and it will help to correct and strengthen the model. He would realised that those attending the morning session were serious, educated, decorated and reknown lots.
And, he would also gauge that the timid and polite Malays have come to the point of not shying away from expressing their anger and displeasure.
Syed Nadzri may have expressed similar view with this blogger on the resolutions he commented, but he was doing a selective prosecution meant to ridicule the Congress.
If he had bothered to properly study the documents and materials of the Congress, he would have withdrawn his remarks about the Congress being anti-competition and seeking "a business as usual" attitude.
The Congress has it's historical significance. The first one in 1965 headed by Tun Abdul Razak led to the formation of Bank Bumiputera.
The second Congress in 1973 headed by Tengku Tan Sri Razaleigh Hamzah led to the formation of a host institutions like Petronas, Pernas, UDA, etc. dedicated to help the plight of the Bumiputera.
What did NEAC or Syed Nazri expect the Congress to discuss? Obviously it has to be the interest of the Malay and Bumiputera.
The third Congress headed by Dato Ibrahim Ali, the Perkasa President, chose to discuss the NEM to understand its far reaching implication towards the Malay.
The NEAC send an unprepared representative, Prof Dato Norma Mansor, who instead of presenting the NEM within the perspective of the Congress, was rambling aimlessly. She did not give justice to the NEM and deserved to be heavily critised.
Those in the know of her life's liberal inclination were venting out their frustation at liberal inclined membership of the NEAC. They knew the original unreleased NEM had NO plans for Bumiputera at all.
The Prime Minister can be partly to blame for he had instructed the NEAC members - which comprise mostly non Bumiputera and liberals as its Malay members - to seek ways to fit Malaysia to the global economy instead of looking at the economy as a whole.
He allowed the raw unplugged version of NEM, which is not ready for release for public consultation.
If it not for the pre-release pressure from Perkasa, the NEM would have been a document with only two words of Bumiputera in it and no affirmative action. That is unconstitutional and in contravention with Article 153.
Just like Syed Nadzri's Monday column, the NEM report was riddled to the hilt with unfair and unjustified stereotype criticism of NEP that one usually hear at a Dr Lim Teck Ghee forum.
Even that, the announced version only mentioned of Bumiputera agenda as affimative action to be fair, transparent and market friendly but is laden with policies that is counter productive to assist Bumiputera. And, this is contrary to the PM's public remark that NEM is an extension of previous policies, including NEP.
This is known to most of the well informed participants and Prof Norma could not hoodwinked anyone even if she had a beautiful eyelid.
Now, if Najib could be so gentleman enough to accept the Congress decision, why is Syed Nadzri being so nasty?
One immediate possibility is that he is trying to bodek the battered PM and hope to score some browny points.
Maybe it is not and that is how he actually believe. So, the second and more possible reason is that the Congress triggered NST's hidden animosity toward any Malay agenda (term used during Pak Lah era to hoodwinked the Malay into believing he had an agenda for the Bumiputera but in reality he went the opposite).
That had always been Kalimullah's crying call. Syed Nadzri and few others were around and collaborators, willingly or reluctantly.
The third possibility lies in Syed Nadzri's expressed disgust at the accusation made by Ibrahim Ali's speech echoing the voices from the floor that Malay liberals are traitors of the community.
Whether Syed Nadzri hated what he heard, it is of no consequence. The Malay liberals and their viewpoint WERE and REMAIN a threat to Malay interest.
These group of Malays are students of neo-colonialistic gurus. They are proponents of globalisation, liberalisation and unbridled openness. The mostly young ciku Malay liberals naively believe that competition will bring about many rag to riches story for the Malays.
The Malay liberals were instrument of Pak Lah's nepotistic leadership. At the end, just like Pak Lah, they end up equally tainted as self-servingly corrupt, non deliverable, and devoid with any sense of struggle for agama, bangsa and negara in their heart.
NST was then the spearheading vehicle of these Malay liberals and their cohorts to bulldoze and brainwash their liberal agenda on the public. Remnants of them are still inside. Some were at the peripheral but later joined NST. And, some showed their true color upon given high position.
This blogger realised that NST has taken a different editorial direction. At the same time, they begin to distance themselves from giving coverage to Malay NGOs they deemed as unprogressive or more sincere description, not thinking like them, particularly Perkasa.
That's fine. It's their call. NST is a commercial enterprise and privately owned. They have their readers to take care. Unfortunately it does not end there.
NST gave a token coverage of Perkasa's first Annual General Meeting. They downplayed the numbers of attendee. (We counted the seats put in the halls la).
But when Pemuda Gerakan criticised and gave a racist labelling of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for his opening speech, NST gave them wider coverage. That serve their purpose to give Perkasa a negative image. Subsequently, it inspires new Porn King MCA President and Youth Chief join the bandwagon.
If NST is not giving coverage to Perkasa, then it is only fair game that they not give coverage to critics of Perkasa. In the case of the Congress, it is unfair of NST to not give fair coverage but write a biased Dr Lim Teck Ghee-style criticism in its column.
Moreover, how analytical can one be to be so obsessed with promoting competition without an inkling of discussion on social justice, leveling the playing field, and fair distribution of national wealth?
Can Syed Nadzri gauge the wet dream of raising average per capita income of US$7,000 to US$15,000 in 10 years means an annual compounded increment of 8.8%? Even he can't increase his reporters and editor annual increment by that much.
It's doubtful he could offer a solution to the pathetic poverty level income of RM13 a day paid by the politically powerful timber tycoons to the Sibu Ibans along Sungai Rejang at the sawmills.
Thus, don't be angry if this blogger had described Syed Nadzri's understanding of economics as that of a parrot.
Socio-economic injustice and unfair distribution of national wealth ought to have sparked the emotions of every red blooded Melayus, whose motherland is Tanah Melayu and Nusantara, where Malaysia is located.
Why are you not, Syed Nadzri?
NEM and the Malay dilemma
by Syed Nadzri
New Straits Times
June 1st, 2010
THE worst fears about making Malaysia's adventurous New Economic Model happen are coming true. And this has a lot to do with people who, under the guise of championing the deprived, are actually clamouring for "business as usual".
More than that, they are doing a lot of scare-mongering, which creates a new danger level altogether, and may end up doing much disservice to the Malays by turning it into a community that cannot compete.
The signs were clear at the Bumiputera economic congress organised and attended by Malay non-governmental organisations in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday.
They wanted the strategies of the New Economic Policy continued and for the Bumiputera economic standing to be strengthened. Which would be absolutely fine if we look at the total spirit and philosophy of the NEP when it was first introduced -- to eradicate poverty irrespective of race and to restructure society to address the economic imbalance between Bumiputeras and non-Bumiputeras.
But it has been 40 years since the NEP and there still are serious flaws surrounding it that everyone must be honest enough to admit. Do we frankly believe that stretching it by another 10 years would make a difference?
Times have changed and there are new challenges, requiring new approaches for Malaysians to be strong enough to compete against the rest of the world or risk being left behind.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, in anticipation, has rightly tasked the National Economic Action Council to come up with the NEM strategies.
And herein lies the dilemma. The NEM is being formulated to put Malaysia in a good position economically, to have good talent on demand, to attract sound investments and to be a high-income nation, whereas the geopolitical demands espoused at Saturday's congress seemed to promote the old ways of doing things.
The congress came out with a string of resolutions, most of them in direct conflict with the proposed NEM drafted by the NEAC. Among them:
- opposing the liberalisation of the economic sectors;
- denying that the affirmative action policies of the NEP had caused the national economy to be less vibrant, saying that terms like "rent-seekers" and "patronage" businessmen blamed on the NEP were uncalled for;
- declaring that the proposals in the NEM were in conflict with the social contract and the Federal Constitution pertaining to the privileges and special position of the Malays;
- asserting that the NEM proposals overly emphasised process rather than outcome;
- demanding that Article 153 of the Federal Constitution with regard to the special position of the Malays and other Bumiputeras be a primary consideration in the drafting of the NEM;
- demanding that the equitable sharing of the nation's economic cake be done according to race -- 67 per cent Bumiputera and 33 per cent non-Bumiputera;
- seeking assurances that the NEM strategies would enhance Bumiputera participation, ownership and equity in business in all strategic sectors;
- ensuring that the affirmative and distributive action for Bumiputeras under the NEP is continued (based on needs, open and merit-based); and
On the face of it, all this sounds very reasonable. Politically correct in some ways. Perfect on paper. But it must be remembered the resolutions are only as good as they get. Common sense and not emotion or pure sentiment must prevail.
- stating that government intervention is needed to implement and oversee the NEM strategies for the private sector to drive the economy.
The NEP, it has to be admitted, had too many flaws in its implementation that could not be addressed even far beyond the 20-year lifespan it was supposed to have had.
The NEM is designed not only to address these flaws but also to carry Malaysia's challenge into the next decade. Its strategies are seen as vital in the rebuilding of the Malaysian economy. It aims to take Malaysia into the high-income country bracket in 10 years, with per capita income rising to US$15,000 (RM49,500) from US$7,000 (RM23,100).
It means getting Malaysia out of the middle-income trap, and it means the main battleground is out there; the competitors being other nations, not from within. Going on the racial offensive and fighting for the Malay cause is good for the soul sometimes -- but only if it goes beyond shouting slogans, and only if it really makes the community better.
The question is, can the community be better through a continued system of less-than-perfect affirmative action? Can affirmative action actually create a competitive awareness among Bumiputeras in the long run? Or will it end up as a false sense of security?
There he goes repeating the same argument based on competition which does not add any more strength to his argument.
Many national leaders, including the prime minister, have acknowledged that for Malaysia to achieve high-income status, a conducive business climate has to be created and the private sector has to play a big role in this.
It was most unfortunate that some of the congress participants labelled the Malay members of the NEAC responsible for drafting the NEM as "liberal Malays who have betrayed the community".
Honestly, who is betraying the community more -- the NEAC, or those who want the Malays to be forever uncompetitive laggards?
Note: NST pick on this blog on October 9th, 2008
* Edited 5/6 6:00 am