Bumiputera Malaysia

Bumiputera Malaysia

By a Malaysian for his country

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Malaysia Bodoh

The New Economic Policy (NEP)'s 30% bumiputera corporate equity, the figure that the Malaysian Government uses to justify handing over huge swathes of public companies to Malays but not to other races is absurd. It bases its figure on equity valued, not at market value, but at par value.

Many shares have a par value of RM1 but a market value of RM12 for example. And so the Government figure (18.9% is the most recent figure) is a
gross underestimate. A paper by a researcher at a local think-tank came up with a figure of 45% based on actual stock prices. All hell broke loose. The paper was withdrawn and the researcher resigned in protest. Part of the problem is that he is an ethnic Chinese.

"Malaysia boleh!" is Malaysia's national catch cry. It translates to "Malaysia can!" and Malaysia certainly can.

The KLCC development in central Kuala Lumpur is an example. It certainly wasn't that there was an office shortage in Kuala Lumpur — there wasn't. Malaysians had little to do with it. The money for the constructions came out of the ground and the engineering was contracted out to South Korean companies. They don't even run the shopping centre that's beneath them. That's handled by Australia's Westfield.

Earlier, the Government under the sleepy Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced that it would spend RM490 million on a sports complex near the London Olympics site so that Malaysian athletes can train there and "get used to cold weather". But the summer Olympics are held in the summer. So what is the complex's real purpose?

In 2007, a Malaysian astronaut will go into space aboard a Russian rocket — the first Malay in space. And the cost? RM95 million, to be footed by Malaysian taxpayers. Malaysia's first astronaut will do what no one in space has done before: play traditional Malay children's games without gravity, batik painting, making teh tarik and spin traditional Malay tops (gasing) in space.

A doctor and a dentist, chosen through stringent tests from thousands of qualified candidates. One of them will be Malaysia's glorified astronaut. How stupid he must be feeling to do batik painting and making teh tarik in space.

Bank bail outs, F1 racing track, Cyberjaya, Putrajaya, Southern Johor Economic Region (SJER) — Petronas has and will pay for them all. It's been an orgy of nonsense that Malaysia can ill afford. Why? Because Malaysia's oil will run out in about 19 years. As it is, Malaysia will become a net oil importer in 2011 — that's just 5 years away.

The Malaysian Government is more interested in self-made feel-good stunts like sending a Malaysian into space when Malaysia's inadequate schools could have done with the cash, and arguing about wealth distribution using transparently ridiculous statistics.

That's not Malaysia Boleh, that's Malaysia Bodoh (stupid).