When I finally was able to read Matthias's article here, it was about the differences in statements between MoF II, BNM Governor, DG of EPU, and the PM on the state of the economy.
It figures. They were playing up an issue for a repeat of 2006. If the Johor Bridge cancellation broke the camel's back then, Najib's expressed willingness to build the third bridge instead of the planned bridge should have.
But I wonder why they did not play up Matthias article on the equally directionless Pakatan Rakyat state government two weeks earlier.
Will the camel eventually broke it's back? I only can say not this time. It's not because there is personal preference or pilih kasih for Najib over Abdullah. For the time being, I will shut my big mouth for fear of preceeding anything.
It could be a serious matter when different Government officials express different views and at times, conflicting views. It confuses the public and business community. When confused, they do nothing. Thats not good for the economy.
But such differences is not unusual at major financial centres abroad. To play it down, one could use the excuse that it is a new openness and liberal expression of economic view.
Matthias Chang's frustation with Najib is understandable. He has been blasting Tun Abdullah for a long period of time out of his concern on the direction and management of the local economy.
His concern came out of his strong conviction that the global economy is heading for a meltdown. Many was sceptical and critical of him then, but now they should be "eating their shorts".
Matthias had given much hope and expected Dato Seri Najib to take charge and immediately undertake drastic actions to address the economy. But, Najib couldn't seem to cut short the bureaucrasy in process.
And, Matthias's patience maybe failing him further when Najib appointed Tan Sri Amirsham Aziz as NEAC Chairman, a person he described as "do not inspire confidence when this banker was responsible for the acquisition of an Indonesian bank which turned out to be a multi-billion ringgit scandal!"
I agree totally.
Omar Ong, Syed Hamid and Amirsham is only the tip of the iceberg. The grapevine is buzzing with many upcoming new appointments of names that failed in their "assignment" and of questionable integrity and trustworthiness.
GLC under Amukh (Azman Mokhtar)'s leadership at Khazanah had in place KPIs. He has been promoting and presenting it at endless seminars of his GLC Transformation Plan and KPIs that he gained Najib's confidence to develop the Ministers' KPIs.
I do not wish to keep questioning loudly any more new appointments of the PM and DPM. The last I want is to be assigned the Cabinet's head hunter. But why are low KPIs renewed contracts and getting promotions? The last Najib would want to happen is for people and market to run amuck from lost in confidence.
However, Matthias is not one-sided in his criticism. In fact, that is similar with yours truly's stand. He questioned the Anwar-led Pakatan Rakyat's state governments, who he described as equally directionless in addressing up to the problems from the global economic meltdown.
This the opposition centered blogosphere conveniently failed to give him the attention. Matthias made those in his posting dated May 19th, 2009, which is 11 days before his much publicised posting today.
I share with him the issues raised. The article is reproduced below:
We Demand In No Uncertain Terms A Report Card From Leaders Of The Pakatan Rakyat - What Have You To Show To The Citizens of Kelantan, Kedah, Penang, Perak and Selangor After One Year In Power?
By Matthias Chang
Tuesday, 19 May 2009 14:25
We, at Future Fast-Forward have been very critical of the Barisan Nasional government and we make no apologies for our biting criticisms.
We do so because as the Federal Government, you set the standards by which others are judged. Should you fall below our legitimate expectations, it is inevitable that your failures will snowball and overwhelm the rest of the body politic.
This is an awesome responsibility.
You stepped on the plate and asked us to elect you to lead the nation, thereby asking us to put our faith in your leadership. The electorate has re-elected you to manage the country in accordance with the highest standards so that we may hold our heads high and be proud to be Malaysians.
However, we do not believe that our role is merely to criticise and not to demonstrate our appreciation when correct policies are being implemented.
We therefore applaud the Prime Minister and the leaders of the Barisan Nasional for heeding the sentiments of the rakyat in not falling into the trap of the political mischief-maker, Anwar Ibrahim by contesting the Penanti By-elections.
For too long, over a year after the General Elections in March 2008, we have witnessed gutter politics practiced by Anwar and his fascist band of bloggers and the incredible stupidity of the Barisan Nasional reacting to each and every provocation.
It is a welcome change of strategy that the Barisan Nasional has finally found the wisdom in rejecting the taunts and provocations of Anwar Ibrahim and his spin doctors.
For over a year, the focus was on the Barisan Nasional. They only have themselves to blame for being in the tight spot.
Pakatan Rakyat and Anwar Ibrahim got away with political murder and distracted the entire country from the urgent tasks at hand – to overcome the impact of the global financial crisis and lay a solid foundation to propel our country to achieve greater excellence in all fields of our national endeavour.
At long last, we can now focus on critical issues.
We have highlighted the various challenges in the financial and economic areas in numerous articles and we shall not repeat them here.
Every citizen who loves Malaysia must now make an objective analysis and evaluation of the two competing political forces – the Barisan Nasional and the Pakatan Rakyat.
Choice is important and before we make our choice, we must be level headed and examine every facet and angle of the policies and plans supposedly conceived and executed for the benefit of the rakyat by these political leaders.
If we make the wrong choice, we may plunge the country into chaos and at the minimum, ten to fifteen years of mediocrity, if not failure.
The Barisan Nasional has a report card of fifty years of governance.
In contrast, only PAS has some record of governance and then only in the state of Kelantan. DAP and Keadilan are novices and have yet to prove their mettle.
By all means, visit the blogs that are pro-opposition and that of their leaders, but please apply common sense when reading what they have to offer. They are all heavy on sound bites but what is most glaring:
is the total absence of coherent policies, practical measures and direction from the state governments which they are in control.
Notice also that these blogs do not tolerate any dissension from their perspective. They adopt a fascist mindset. Say anything contrary, and you will receive a heap of profanities. This is their standard operating procedure, one designed to intimidate and discourage rational debate.
Just pause and think and think hard.
If a man, whose only reputation is that of taking some photos allegedly of Dato Lingam and who had no prior experience in politics and or public administration, was recruited by Anwar’s PKR to contest in the General Elections, how can such a person contribute effectively to developing our country? The rest of Anwar’s political entourage is no better and does not inspire confidence.
Hence, Anwar’s diversionary tactics and distractions. Anwar is a master in manufacturing “political noise”, massive amount of noise to cover up his inadequacies and to prevent people from asking the right questions and focusing on critical issues.
We are now issuing a public challenge to Anwar and the leaders of the PR state governments.
Give us a report card on your achievements after one year in power!
Give us your blueprint for the states under your control, specifically your policies in ensuring the continued wellbeing of the rakyat suffering from the impact of the global financial tsunami.
Give us your strategies in making Malaysia the most dynamic country in ASEAN.
Give us specifics, not spin, in achieving a higher degree of national unity, as this is always a work-in-progress.
If Anwar, Hadi, and Lim Kit Siang fail to respond within 48 hours from the date hereof, as it is their duty to do so, they must be exposed for what they are – political charlatans.
Finally, Anwar, I dare you to debate with me in public on the above issues. Let this be a No Holds Barred debate.
The rules are simple.
We speak for half an hour.
We cross-examine each other without mercy for another half hour.
We let the rakyat decide the winner of the debate.
* Updated: 9:00 am 2/6/09