— Sakmongkol AK47
The Malaysian Insider
Aug 10, 2012
AUG 10 — Since we are deluged with One this and One that, we shall now call Najib the Glorious One. My friend Aspan Alias has conferred the title Sahibus Samahah on him for other reasons. Let’s talk about his economics.
What actually is the central idea behind the ETP? The idea is as old as the prevailing thinking during Aristotle’s time. Which is you can control your charges to the extent the voice of the herald can reach. What this means in modern economic terms is it’s almost impossible to co-ordinate economic activities from a central command. You have to leave it to the market.
But Najib doesn’t understand this; he thinks that co-ordination of man’s activities isn’t possible without an ordering mind. In the minds of Najib’s advisers, the co-ordination of economic activities is not possible without a central directing body. Because that kind of arrangement allows them to play commissars to Najib’s Czar. They get to play the little Napoleons.
Hence PEMANDU. PEMANDU is essentially the representation of central command economics, an arrangement more at home in a communist economy or a fascist economy. Take your pick. Maybe we don’t see nationalisation of the means of production, but we are certainly staring at an ever increasing rate of government intervention in the economy and, of course, a refined method of central economic planning.
The minister becomes a businessman and a contractor and sometimes a currency trader. Their involvement creates havoc to the market economy.
Despite his public pronouncements of a market economy, Najib is a fascist at heart. His is a political philosophy that exalts race above all else, stands for a centralised autocratic government headed preferably by a leader with dictatorial tendencies under whose rule there is severe economic and social regimentation and forcible suppression of opposition.
The attacks on Anwar Ibrahim appear to have lost steam because people are already indifferent and further attacks on Anwar will only serve to make people conscious of Umno leaders’ own moral depravities. Because people know that if you don’t butt- ram people, you are not Umno. You are not corrupt, you are not Umno. So, the attention is now directed to the DAP. Support for the DAP is forbidden. Is that an edict driven by political expediencies and an overriding desire by religious scholars to keep their positions so that they can avoid telling the inconvenient truth?
I am not at all concerned about how the DAP looks at Islam; if they are prejudiced against Islam, that’s because they are NOT Muslims. Have we forgotten that? Do we see DAP members renouncing democratic means to change the government and bearing arms to overthrow the government?
Don’t get sidetracked and blindsided by this recent Umno strategy. The main issues are still corruption, social divisiveness, economic mismanagement, bad governance, low-quality leadership. These are more important problems instead of trying to stir up our emotions about how the DAP or, for that matter, non-Malay political parties look at Islam. Malays should not attribute their own frailties and fragilities to the grand design of others.
Let’s get back to Najib’s glorious ETP. I got a call from a prominent Pekan politician lamenting Najib’s penchant for various acronyms which are not understood by the Pekan people. Deeds are more important to Pekan people than the spoken word.
Deeds like Najib’s proclivity to showy welfarism. Pekan people are getting wary of Najib’s Uncle-Toming inclinations. His immediate decision to offer RM100k to the family of a former Alleycats singer whose house caught fire demonstrates his desperate attempt to woo Indian votes. Unless of course Malaysian Indians can easily forget the pugnacious call to hang a Malaysian Indian as a result of this RM100,000 gift from the Glorious One.
Back to the Glorious One’s economic ideas. To understand the idea behind the ETP, one must step back; detach himself from the theatrics of the proponents of the ETP. The central idea behind the ETP is the erroneous belief that the myriad of economic activities can be co-ordinated centrally such as by PEMANDU. Collectivism and centralisation masked behind the catchphrase of market economy.
The success of the ETP will be limited to the main protagonists of the idea — the big firms selected to present that business plans which will benefit people like themselves. I have always maintained that the ETP is nothing but a glorified collection of business plans of selected market players repackaged as a national economic plan.
You can only co-ordinate the movement of a few players. That explains why the number of firms invited to participate is a manageable number. The originators of the ETP know this. The ETP is just an EXCUSE for the government to reward it business cronies. It was never an idea to transform the whole economy. It never was. Najib has been deceiving us all this while. — sakmongkol.blogspot.com
* Sakmongkol AK47 is the nom de plume of Datuk Mohd Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz. He was Pulau Manis assemblyman (2004-2008).