GLC dominance disproves Dr M’s claim of non-Malay stranglehold, says DAP MP


by Joseph Sipalan
The Malay Mail Online
May 2, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, May 2 ― The economic dominance of government-linked corporations (GLCs) negates Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s assertion of a non-Malay monopoly over the country’s wealth, a DAP MP said yesterday.

Swatting aside Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed’s claims of Chinese dominion over the country’s wealth and Indian command of its professions to justify pro-Bumiputera affirmative action, Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong argued that GLCs masked the community’s true control on the economy.

“Look at most of the private hospitals, any of the big ones you can name. Take Subang Jaya Medical Centre, that is owned by Sime Darby,” he said, referring to the now renamed Sime Darby Medical Centre.

“Prince Court, which is the country’s most expensive hospital, is owned by Petronas. Pantai hospital and Gleneagles are owned by Kazanah through its subsidiaries.

Sime Darby and Petronas are both state-owned corporations while Khazanah Nasional is state asset manager; these and other GLC’s come under the control of the government headed by Malay nationalist party Umno.

A steadily growing force since the Mahathir administration, GLCs such as Khazanah Nasional, Sime Darby and DRB-Hicom have amassed overflowing war chests and built networks that far surpass that which smaller firms and start-ups can muster.

Putrajaya estimates that firms linked to it employ around 5 per cent of the national workforce, and hold 36 per cent market capitalisation of Bursa Malaysia and 54 per cent of the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (KLCI) respectively.

On Wednesday, Dr Mahathir defended pro-Bumiputera policies championed by the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, after US President Barack Obama said Malaysia will not prosper if minority groups continue to be marginalised, during his first visit to the Southeast Asian country over the weekend.

The country’s longest-serving prime minister said at a press conference that despite preferential treatment for the Bumiputera, the Chinese and Indian communities have had more than enough space to build their wealth and establish themselves in professional lines such as doctors and lawyers.

Liew said it was misleading for Dr Mahathir to claim that the non-Malays flourished under the BN’s affirmative action policy, arguing that even the majority of the Bumiputera themselves did not benefit.

GLCs were established as part of the Barisan Nasional (BN) government’s affirmative action policies for Bumiputera citizens under the New Economic Policy (NEP), but its effectiveness has been questioned even by those it is meant to help ― Bumiputera entrepreneurs.

The DAP lawmaker also stressed that the racial breakdown of the country’s wealthiest citizens is in no way a reflection of the living standards of ordinary Malaysians.

“I think the whole problem with Mahathir is he is reading it from a race and elite perspective. He looks at the top and think every group has a fair share, forgetting the people who are suffering at the bottom.

“Let’s admit it. Most Malays are poor, most Indians are poor, many Chinese are also poor. The people in Sabah and Sarawak could live a much better life if the system is not against them… the gap between the rich and poor is huge in Malaysia,” he said.

Liew said Dr Mahathir’s argument for race-based economic policies should be relegated to the past if Malaysians want to put an end to crony capitalism.

“The problem is that in the name of the Bumiputera, everyone else suffered. The majority of Bumiputera are not helped by the system, nor are they given a chance to succeed.

“Today we are in a situation where we should put forward a new argument, not a 1920s argument. Mahathir has been saying the same thing since 1947 when he started his column in the Straits Times in Singapore, but he has never helped the poor Malays.

“Whatever he says needs serious scrutiny,” Liew said, while calling for a non-racial discussion of economic inequality.

Malaysia’s Bumiputera majority enjoys privileges under a system of preferential treatment in jobs, housing and access to government funding.

Among others, these have been blamed for Malaysia’s chronic brain drain that has seen its non-Malay communities leaving the country, with southern neighbour Singapore the main beneficiary.

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  1. #1 by john on Friday, 2 May 2014 - 5:17 pm

    As usual, this Mamak Kutty is just trying to DIVERT ALL ATTENTION away from his own filthy RICH status from the ill-gotten wealth accumulated over the years, and now stashed away, secretly.

  2. #2 by Bigjoe on Friday, 2 May 2014 - 5:56 pm

    Citing who the richest are as a reflection of the entire race is outdated because its saying trickle-down economics works and all the data since Reagan era has disprove that. Increasing income gap shows who the rich are irrelevant to rest of the population.

    One more thing. Its quite clear Mahathir is over-practised in his lying because citing 250,000 people losing their jobs if Proton closes is saying everyone in the auto-industry and related works for Proton. The truth is only a few thousand would lose their jobs if Proton closes – AND that problem WILL ALWAYS BE THERE as long as Proton is around because Proton never was and never will be viable – ask any auto-expert/analyst.

  3. #3 by albertloh on Friday, 2 May 2014 - 6:06 pm

    It only took Obama three short days to see and say the most obvious that BN govenment failed or refused to see and address in decades.

    This Dim-sightedness is again re confirmed by MM who together with Perkasa and other extremists will eventually prescribe a total eclipse of UMNO before 2020 if not asked to shut up.

  4. #4 by yhsiew on Friday, 2 May 2014 - 6:58 pm

    #3 by albertloh:
    “BN govenment failed or refused to see and address in decades.”

    It is not that the BN government failed or refused to see and address. This is a strategy adopted by Umno to portray to the Malays that they are poor because the Chinese are holding most of the country’s wealth. If they (the Malays) do not want to be marginalized, they must vote for Umno, the only political party which can free them from economic marginalization. In other words, Umno is capitalizing on wealth distribution among races to garner support for the party.

  5. #5 by albertloh on Friday, 2 May 2014 - 7:13 pm

    Thank you yhsiew.

    But are the wealths truly and fairly distributed to deserving Bumis ?

    What Obama said should be interpreted to mean marginalization of disadvantaged including the poor Bumiputras in East Malaysia.

  6. #6 by pulama on Friday, 2 May 2014 - 7:44 pm

    The former PM is an ideologue of race-based economic policies.
    [“ideologue” = “someone who very strongly supports and is guided by the ideology of a particular group” — definition from Merriam Webster dictionary]

    ///There are no ideologues in a financial crisis, former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke once said. Clearly the same doesn’t hold true for political crises, as a comparison of Malaysia and South Korea very quickly reveals.///

    ///Tragedy has struck both nations in recent weeks, their travails played out in horrifying detail on the world’s television screens. Fairly or unfairly, . .viewed as tests of the governments in Putrajaya and Seoul, if not of Malaysian and South Korean societies. The grades so far? I’d give Korea an A-, Malaysia a D. . Both countries are democracies — Malaysia’s even older than South Korea’s. The key difference, though, is the relative openness of their political systems. . Unused to having to answer critics, Malaysia’s government has responded defensively. Korean officials, on the other hand, are reflecting, addressing the anger of citizens, and delving into what went wrong with the shipping industry’s regulatory checks and balances. That’s why Korea is likely to come out of this crisis stronger than ever, unlike Malaysia. ///

    ///The two nations responded similarly after the 1997 Asian financial crisis, too. Malaysia’s then-Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad sought to prove Bernanke’s axiom wrong, bizarrely blaming some shadowy Jewish cabal headed by George Soros for the ringgit’s plunge. Malaysia didn’t internalize what had gone wrong or look in the mirror. It didn’t admit it had been using capital inflows unproductively and that coddling state champions — including Malaysia Airlines — was killing competitiveness. Never did the ruling United Malays National Organization consider it might be part of the problem.///

    ///. .Malaysia, 55 days after Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 vanished? Nothing. No officials have quit. Prime Minister Najib Razak seems more defiant than contrite. The docile local news media has focused more on international criticism of Malaysia’s leaders rather than on any missteps by those leaders themselves.///

    from report “One Missing Jet, One Sunken Ferry, Two Responses”, by William Pesek, 1May 2014,
    http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-05-01/one-missing-jet-one-sunken-ferry-two-responses

  7. #7 by waterfrontcoolie on Friday, 2 May 2014 - 11:43 pm

    He is just trying to preserve what he had gathered for his family. His current pronouncement is just to keep people so busy that they have no time to take a hard look at those BILLIONS kept by the retired politicians!

  8. #8 by Noble House on Saturday, 3 May 2014 - 4:36 am

    When asked about US President, Barack Obama’s statement that Malaysia will not succeed as long as non-Muslims in this country continue to be marginalised, Tun Mahathir, had this to say, “In Malaysia, despite our policies, do you see the Chinese poor? The Indians are professionals, they are lawyers and doctors,” he told reporters.

    The Indians are lawyers and doctors (of which Mahathir himself is one, ironically speaking) are not because of the BN’s affirmative action policy, as are the Chinese who happened to be rich. Not all the Indians are professionals and Chinese richest in the country.

    The fact that you made your sons into billionaires does not mean all Malays are rich or as empowered as you do!

  9. #9 by narasimam on Saturday, 3 May 2014 - 6:32 am

    the good doctor is actually a prominent member from kerala. he is also a bumiputra which is a indian word. so there’s no running away from his ethnicity, hence the need to prove he’s more malay than malays to hold on to power; for his generations. whatever he says, take it with a pinch of salt. reminisces of a has-been dictator trying to hold on power.

  10. #10 by narasimam on Saturday, 3 May 2014 - 7:11 am

    ops cantas carried out against indians. why? indons/ banglas/ africans/ others exempted.? many indian deaths at police lockup. why? no one to question.

  11. #11 by undertaker888 on Saturday, 3 May 2014 - 7:29 am

    Obviously this guy never wander off from his castle or his office tower. I encountered many poor Chinese, Indians including Malays during my walk around town.

    When he said the Chinese and Indians, he meant ling liong sik and Samy vellu kind. His cronies.

  12. #12 by bangkoklane on Saturday, 3 May 2014 - 10:38 am

    UMNO = Gomen. GLC = ULC. So who are the super rich? PR must change that, especially PAS and PKR. They must convince bumiputras to vote for them so that the deserving and marginalised can also benefit.

  13. #13 by undertaker888 on Saturday, 3 May 2014 - 1:24 pm

    Maha-liar bogeyman for as long as live in order to fool the Malays. Chinese stranglehold the economy. He thinks people are stupid or what? One just need to look at one’s household to know who is in control.

    Rice. Bernas controlled.
    Electricity. TNB controlled.
    Water. Any Chinese control this?
    Petrol. Any Chinese in control?
    Transportation? Any Chinese in control?
    Automobile? Any Chinese in control?

    All these basic necessities are already in their control and this d1ck head said otherwise. I wish Anwar will become PM and persecute this super liar in a flash.

  14. #14 by boh-liao on Saturday, 3 May 2014 - 1:43 pm

    As expected, maha-liar MMK continues 2 twist facts n fart racial lies n more lies 2 channel wealth 2 himself, his family members n relatives, UmnoB/BN leaders n their cronies, while encouraging Malays/Bumi 2 hate non-Malays (his classic DIVIDE n RULE dirty trick)

  15. #15 by boh-liao on Saturday, 3 May 2014 - 1:49 pm

    As expected, maha-liar MMK continues 2 twist facts n f@Rt r@cial lies n more lies 2 channel wealth 2 himself, his family members n relatives, UmnoB/BN leaders n their cronies, while encouraging Malays/Bumi 2 h@te non-Malays (his cl@ssic DI-VIDE n RULE dirty trick)

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