The MCA Economic Congress has just ended.
Blogger AK47 Sakmongkol [read here] believe it was a success over Perkasa-led Kongres Ekonomi Bumiputera (KEB). Obviously, Malay liberal inclined Sak would see any public expression for openness, liberalisation, and laisse fairre economic policies as a success.
He refused to accept KEB's exposure of the glaring weakness in the assumptions of the New Economic Model (NEM) done by majority non Bumiputera and two foreigners comprised NEAC members. The Kongres Ekonomi Cina (KEC) supported the NEM and it's weak and unjustified assumptions.
Najib and Nazir deserve Ibrahim Ali's lashing. Najib seemed to go back on his words at Perkasa that NEM was a test when he seeked the Chinese to take a lead in the NEM.
Is Najib turning into a chameleon like Anwar changing colors to different audience and following the popular voices? That is not an act of a leader but a political monkey jumping from tree to tree unable to have a coherent position on issues.
Anwar lies. Leaders should not.
Nazir described the NEP as bastardised from it's origional objective of eradication of poverty to enriching few pockets. That is the issue of this posting. Is he qualified to talk in such manner?
Let's come back to the MCA Economic Congress which seemed more appropriate to be called Kongres Ekonomi Cina (KEC) for the consistency with the views with DAP and another heart of an opposition, Gerakan.
Much as most critic view KEB resolutions as suffering from 'business as usual' preservation of old NEP, KEC resolutions suffer from the same issue of impracticality. The Chinese can't deceive the Bumiputera majority to claim of being marginalised, thus seeking for more opening of opportunity.
Bumiputera equity ownership in Bursa stands at best at 20%. Excluding foreign ownership, Chinese equity ownership is estimated at almost 65%. Property ownership and the whole supply chain of retailing is dominated, if not monopolised, by Chinese.
The demand they made on the Prime Minister cannot avoid from being perceived as greedy and insensitive.
Other than Chairman of SP Setia, Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin, who said that Chinese business strive under NEP, every speakers and presenters seem to take a common planned line to criticise the NEP to seek for more openness, liberalisation and free market.
This include CIMB CEO and younger brother to the Prime Minister, Dato Nazir Tun Abdul Razak.
In a tone more direct, harsh and politically incorrect than his interview with Mingguan Malaysia few months back, Nazir decide not to allow the newspapers to tone down his views.
Without mincing his words, Nazir described NEP as having been bastardised i.e. deviating from its original purpose of social engineering experiment to eradicate poverty.
Nazir claim NEP appeared to enrich small pockets of people. He added, "But now it is so embedded in every thing that we do, in every part of the government, in every part of businesses that it become a problem."
What does he mean by "a problem"? Let's read cautiously Malaysiakini version of his speech below:
Nazir Tun Razak says NEP 'bastardised'Removed from reality
Malaysiakini, August 14th, 2010
In the harshest rebukes yet of the New Economic Policy (NEP) yet, CIMB group CEO Nazir Abdul Razak described the NEP as having been bastardised by deviating from its original purpose.
"I have strong opinions about how the NEP has been bastardised over the years," he said in a question-and-answer session after delivering a talk at the Chinese Economic Congress this afternoon.
Saying that it has come a long way from the social engineering experiment originally aimed at eradicating poverty, Nazir (right) said that the NEP has appeared to enrich small pockets of people.
“At that time, no one knew what the outcome would be. It was a social engineering experiment that no one had ever done before in any country. So they gave it 20 years. And they felt that after 1969 they had to give it a try.
“But now it is so embedded in every thing that we do, in every part of the government, in every part of businesses that it become a problem.
“And today, every time I mention the NEP, I get blasted,” Nazir said when fielding a question from the floor on his thoughts on the policy.
"What I don't understand is giving these people Approved Permits (AP).That should go.
"If you just want a small number of people to make money, might as well just give them money," said Nazir, was reported to be the highest-paid GLC CEO back in 2007, drawing in an income of RM9.35 million then.
Incidentally, the main architect of the New Economic Policy when it was drawn up in 1971 was Nazir's own father, the country's second prime minister Abdul Razak Hussein.
'Time to review NEP'
Boldly departing from the normal comfort zone, the banker also said that the affirmative action needs a relook.
“Now we need to address what kind of affirmative action we want to have. It is so infused in everything. But we will one day need to confront it one way or another,” said Nazir, who is the younger brother of current PM Najib Razak.
The NEP officially came to an end in 1990, but its traditions and policies still continue to this day. Najib had announced a New Economic Model back in March to reform and rebuild the Malaysian economy.
However, details still remain to be made public.
'Ignore extremist groups'
Speaking after delivering his luncheon address titled “Strength in Diversity, Beyond the Rhetoric”, Nazir also told the mainly Chinese participants to look beyond party calls advocating the rights of their own race.
Careful not to name names, he just advised the participants to “ignore them” when asked his stand on such groups.
“We have to accept that in a free and open society, we have to expect extremes. A few noisy people in the corner do not make up the majority or represent the majority.
“We as the majority have the strength to ignore them. Don't get too caught up with what others are saying, or what they are doing.
“Don't waste your time engaging with them,” he said.
Earlier, he also joked that he is a descendant of an immigrant family.
“I told Tan Siok Choo (grand-daughter of one of MCA's founding members Tan Cheng Lock) that her family came to this country earlier than my family,” he said in between chuckles.
Clearly, Nazir was speaking from the perspective and interest of a corporate man who wish to see an easier passage for his company or business's quest for profit, profit, nothing but profit. He does not differ with those that he claimed bastardised NEP because he wants NEP to be sent to the grave and prefers there is no affirmative at all.
Easy for him to say. Dia anak bangsawan.
Yayasan Noh ada untuk biaya dia sekolah di Cambridge. Yayasan sama tersedia ratusan juta dana politik untuk biaya anak cucu cicit masuk politik. Walaupun Tun Abdul Razak bukan orang senang, dia tidak susah. Ini lagi Nazir yang besar dalam keadaan abang-abang sudah berjaya.
Nazir is not concerned whether the high income will ever be attained by Sibu Iban working in sawmill monopolised by Chinese tycoons. These tycoons' business model is based on paying them at poverty level income of RM14 a day.
Najib or Nazir would neither have an inkling or appreciation of the difficulty to them for RM10 is the cost of one-way one hour boat ride from the rumah panjang to Sibu town.
He couldn't possibly appreciate that 5 sen rise in sugar or basic food or 78 sen rise in petrol makes live difficult for the poor. Frankly, this blogger doubt the brothers knows what the rakyat, or pariah the way Government insensitive treatment of us, had to undergo.
Off course, there is there is the slogan 1Malaysia: Rakyat didahulukan, Pencapian diutamakan. And there are the idiots at Pemandu determined that there is no more subsidy and everything will be according to Adam Smith's free market. (I will get back to them soon.) As politician, Najib only want the rakyat to believe they are given priority.
Both the brothers do not know the hell the poor Malays and Bumiputera have to go through to get out of poverty and to find a way out of their rut.
The difficulty it is to secure scholarships for their children to further education. And yet we motivate them to study hard and don't indulge in politics because education will lead them to a better future.
This is one problem with this country. Too much expectation is placed on people with myopic vision and with self interest, rather the interest of the common rakyat and nation, to provide input into economic policy. Members of the NEAC was a classic example.
The likes of Nazir is likely to believe that meritocrasy will push Bumiputera to work harder and succeed. Meritocrasy will set you free.
And, he is likely to believe that Malay must get out of their shell to see beyond the immediate frontier to not depend on their Bumiputeraness and attain competitiveness, global competitiveness.
Blue blood, guided and shielded
It doesn't matter if he is the son or/and the brother of the Prime Minister, this 'anak bangsawan' and Melayu liberal should stop talking cock.
Ibrahim Ali is right to say in his Sunday press conference, "Nazir is talking nonsense.
Nazir had subtly lashed at Perkasa by seeking all to ignore. Clearly, he was playing to the gallery to be, as described by Ibrahim, a "chinese hero."
This is an indication he is an 'anak bangsawan' far removed from the reality. He does not know Perkasa is popular at the ground and building into a major force.
Ibrahim Ali continued, "Even if he is a banker, he is new. And we have to ask how he got to where he is today. CIMB did not become successful because of him."
He is still restraining himself because Nazir's career path was never as banker.
Nazir took a similar career path as elder brother Nizam. He started out as a company dealer in a stockbroker. He did not slug out through the tough training as analyst or fund manager or credit analyst, but the easier path of matching deals left and right.
With his blue blood connections and peoples' love and respect for late Tun Abdul Razak, he expectedly did well and rose to become CIMB Securites CEO, after the company was taken over by CIMB.
Only then did he moved to Merchant Banking and rightly push the organisation strategically for fee based income. For all you know, the people at Ministry of Finance or Bank Negara had whispered to him of the impending industry restructuring.
Would he had rose to CEO if he had been Jailani bin Miskon from some Kampung Parit something in Batu Pahat, Johor? Jailani would not, because he is not blue blood and there is no one to guide and shield him.
Even as CEO of a bigger CIMB, with a commercial bank and all other financail services subsidiaries, certain circle cast doubt in his capability to pull of the job he is in now.
For instance, Government had to merge three major plantation companies into a gargantum mess, to generate fee based income to the estimated tune of at least RM300 million. It was a deal decribed as the fee justify the deal.
Now do you understand why he said NEP is a problem? That only means it was a hindrance for him to propose more funny corporate restructuring exercises.
If Nazir is really the new Malay capable of being competitive, just before CIMB goes bust from bad loans, he should leave to an MNC company. Market talk is CIMB has a major bad loan problem in the horizon.
The Malays would love to see this neo-liberal embracing Nazir make it without using his Bumiputera status and blue blood connections. See how he carries his Cambridege degree and "Investment Banking" resume to get another job.
Switching places with another Camridge trained failure at the top of Khazanah does not count. That's another talk making it's round too.
Sometimes these 'anak bangsawan' can talk cock but their views are seldom far from reality?
How does his brother's Nizam, Johari and Nazim fair? Would Nazir dare to claim they did not use their position and blue blood connection to seek for Government or Government related contracts and jobs?
Perhaps it best to limit it to just questions this blogger already has answers. The three are not subject of this issue.
That is another problem with NEP. The royals, blue blood and powerful are using the NEP program to help further enrich themselves than really giving the marhaen a chance.
It was abused by even those claiming abuse of NEP that denied the real Malay and Bumiputera from the real oppotunity. The real enriching benefit of NEPs were distributed among royalties, pembesar and bangsawan, and politicians at the expense of the truly deserving and sloughing Bumiputera.
The abuse by the royals, blue bloods and powerful are seldom done in co-hort with non Malays, particularly Chinese. Yet, the Chinese arer complaining. And these Special Bumiputera look patronisingly down on their fellow Bumiputera.
Nazir, for instance, rise using his Bumiputeraness and Malay blue blood connection but refuse to assist and guide other Bumiputera. The biggest complain against Nazir is he discriminate against his own breathen.
Perhaps out of his own inferiority complex, he look more highly at non-Malays in CIMB for the race rather than merit of the Malays.
This is because Nazir got it easy on a silver plater. He fits in this blog's derogatory description of a Melayu liberal. [Read here and here.]