Why Iskandar Development Region will fail

Why Iskandar Development Region will fail
by Richard Teo

The response from the foreign investors to the Iskandar development Region is quite evident. After few months from its launching, the Iskandar Development Region has received lukewarm response from the foreign investors.

This prompted Tun Musa Hitam, a member of the Iskandar Development region Authority(IRDA)advisory Council to say unequivocally that ‘it was time to give up the New Economic Policy (NEP) for the success of the Iskandar development Region(IDR).’

On 22nd March 2007, our P.M declared that six sectors would not have to have Bumiputra equity participation.

For 50 years our malay political masters have deemed fit to cling to the NEP policy and now without much persuation they have willingly relinquish that condition for the Iskandar development Region. Why?

The simple reason is that Malaysia has missed the boat. Most of the FDI’s that we are targeting have taken flight to China’s economic region of Shenzan, Hangchou and to India’s Mumbai and Bangalore region.

Of late whatever FDI left have gone to Vietnam. So who are we trying to attract to the IDR? In order to answer this question let us examine the profile of the investors in Malaysia.

For the last ten years, the main investors in Malaysia have been the U.S and Singapore. Both their investments in Malaysia constitute almost 50% of all investments in the country.
Therefore based on historical statistics it would be safe to assume that this would be the same category of investors targeted.

But would Singaporeans be keen to invest in the Iskandar development Region? Obviously not. Why would they want to invest in a country that seem to treat their presence with utter disdain and contempt?

The scenic bridge, the sand issue, the use of Malaysian air space and a host of other minor irritants have seen relationship between the two countries at their lowest level.

No matter what the incentives offered by the Malaysian counterparts, the Singapore govt is defintely not going to take the bait. Further, a successful Iskandar Development project would be at the expense of Singapore’s own development. So logically it would be in Singapore’s interest for the IDR to fail.

As for the Americans, would they want to pour their Investment dollars in the Iskander development region? Definitely not, especially when their President was recently charged under the war crimes tribunal held in Kuala Lumpur and presumably under the patronage of the govt.

By our own volition, our govt have foolishly offended the two most likely investors in the country and any amount of incentives or cajoling would unlikely to have any positive impact. Without the participation of these two major investors the Iskandar Development Region is destined to fail.

  1. #1 by oct on Saturday, 24 March 2007 - 8:38 am

    Our goverrnment seems too often to shoot themselves in the foot. When they don’t need you, they condemn you. When they need you, they will put whatever carrots in front of you. When there is no competition in the early 70s and 80s, investors come to us but when other countries are bending the rules to attract them, we are still sticking to our restrictions. Similarly would you want to put your savings in a Bank that gives you restrictions and poor governance or would you put your money in one that allows you freedom to withdraw and have good governance? Like you said Msia has missed the boat. Our competitors have already reached their goal and Bolehland is just starting to warm up and run. It is a liitle bit late and too far.

  2. #2 by kafkalee on Saturday, 24 March 2007 - 8:45 am

    uncle lim, i thought this article isn’t convincing enough with very weak arguments, particularly on reason why US will not invest in Malaysia.
    Let’s hope Iskandar Development Region not another white elephant like MSC.:)

  3. #3 by 4th_wife on Saturday, 24 March 2007 - 8:59 am

    You expect to provide 1 – 2 million low skill worker and believe it will make another successful Shenzen? Dream on UMNO Zealots, lets enjoy kampong life for the next 100 years. The writer is correct, you have missed the boat.

  4. #4 by lakshy on Saturday, 24 March 2007 - 9:22 am

    The following is taken from pg 155-156 of Syed Akbar Ali’s “Malaysia and the Club of Doom”. I quote:-

    After reading, researching and also observing myself the repeated failure of Muslims throughout history, until now and also going into the future I have come to realize that this failure is simply because they ignore the simple, pure and unadulterated teachings of the Quran. Contrary to what the Western media says about the Quran and contrary to the fanatics hoisting aloft the Quran in their battle cries, the Quran has led me in the exact opposite direction from the fanatics. All the wrong things that they do in the name of religion – I just cannot find them anywhere in the Quran.

    Every verse in the Quran should be made a pearl of wisdom for the Muslims which will easily make them successful in this life and the next. Here is just a simple example. The Quran says,

    “O you who believe! When it is said to you, Make room in (your) assemblies, then make ample room. Allah will give you room. And when it is said: Rise up, then rise up. Allah will exalt those of you who believe, and those who are given knowledge, in high degrees: and Allah is Aware of what you do” – Surah 58:11

    This is a simple verse from the Quran. No need for rocket science here to understand the meaning of this verse. It is also social etiquette. If you are in a crowded place, make room for everyone. Meaning everyone deserves a space to park himself. If you are in a country and you have a place to park yourself, then make sure everyone else has a place too. Be fair and make a space for everyone. Do not take things all for yourself and deny others their spot. This applies to all human beings.

    But the reality is the Islamic countries are the furthest from implementing this simple injunction even among Muslims. At the macro level, denial of public rights, denial of personal freedom, consumer rights made non-existent by Government granted monopolies, economic opportunities controlled through restrictive licensing and other such wonderfully oppressive ideas are the hallmark of the Islamic countries.


    So now then where does it say in Islam that the Malays or Muslims should have 30% Bumi equity and preferential treatment? Is this Islam Hadhari? If we don’t follow the Quran, can we claim to be an Islamic nation? If you go by the Quran, Islam does not allow preferential treatment for a group of people, any group of people.

    If we claim we are an Islamic Nation, as our ruling party is very proud to do, the Americans will shy away, as on top of everything else there could be khalwat raids done on them at anytime.

  5. #5 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 24 March 2007 - 9:43 am

    Don’t talk of foreign investors, even our own Malaysian entrepreneurs are irked with corruption red tape and bureaucracy here.

    For one thing giving “incentives” like 10-year tax holidays and exemption from FIC requirement of 30 per cent bumi equity holding or management composition for companies approved by the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) is no big deal – it is already subsisting for MSC’s companies – and therefore represents no significant paradigm shift in the affirmative policies of NEP prevailing nation wide that have made the business and cultural milieu difficult to operate.

    I sense these limited incentives are even inconsistent with the spirit and letter of Tun Musa Hitam’s call from the deliberations of the advisory council for IRDA.

    What’s the point of having these incentives, when foreign investors have to put up with, for example delays in the Excise and Customs departments at the ports, the bureaucracy of having to apply to multiple departments for any license or work permit, where work force does not possess proficiency in English nor the ethos of hard work and strenuous exertion and where government’s policies can change every now and then depending on expedience rather than principle?

    The obstacle is the cultural milieu and political framework and t6heir premises : insofar as these do not change in larger business firmament of the country, giving a few exemptions from NEP in terms of equity and management composition, and 10 year tax holiday within limited, designated and restricted enclaves (not even the whole of Johore) constitute no incentive, in my opinion and will not make IRDA fare better than MSC or Offshore Labuan or other ambitious government projects.

    The other intangible aspect is also leadership – and perception of firmness and dependability of it that counts in foreign investors’ calculations.

    Though investors don’t like corruption, they sometimes tolerate it if they know who exactly they could pay and get things done circumventing bureaucratic delays. But when it is pervasive with many napoleons distributed here and there and at every level to jam and hassle, then it becomes impossible to do business because one either does not know who to pay or has to pay everyone and at every level!

    Some of you may not believe it but even the top leader and minister wanting to get things done expeditiously sometimes may (whether they admit it or not) have to “pay” to get the bureaucracy (say for example the land office) to get things done. Otherwise these little napoleons will come out with all kinds of excuses why the forms submitted are not filled up properly, how the file got lost whilst it is on transit from one department to another etc.

  6. #6 by Jefus on Saturday, 24 March 2007 - 10:26 am

    Lets look at the FDI investors’ point of view, US companies, have been known to invest in China and Russia when they sense there is profit to be made/realised. They do their homework. Right now, (even local investors) do not see any possibilities, and with higher risks. They are not here to do us any favors.

    Temasek have invested in Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia even in politically incorrect investments, which they later retracted. If there’s money to be made, a savvy investor will be there.

    Unless we look attractive, they will not come. Plain and simple. They are not interested in local politics unless it stands in their way from their profit potential.

    This is what our government must understand.

  7. #7 by kowtim on Saturday, 24 March 2007 - 10:38 am

    I thought YB Dato Effendi Norwawi is bringing in Disneyland to IDR. I wonder whether Porky will be allowed in.Who said that the Americans are not coming? Don’t worry lah, we still provide everything world class and Vietnam is still 30 years behind. After all we are going to have more than 20 million tourists for Visit Malaysia Year 2007 but I don’t seem to see them around. Malaysia Boleh.

  8. #8 by ling on Saturday, 24 March 2007 - 10:59 am

    A total revamp of the government policy and the change of attitude of its people especially those in the government service if not the IRDA will not be successful so its the internal players like me and you. I have been saying many time that the 30% equity should long be abolished. They is always a chance if what is not right been corrected. Those who cannot contribute replace with those irrespective of race and colour and I bet you see result. Its better to wake up late than been dead. Find the wrong and made concrete corrective action and preventive measure. We in the local arena want business to pick up in the whole nation not only at selective state and place. The whole nation delivery system is upside down especially the nation power supply an important department. Buck up now before its really too late. Its better to be late than not be able to reach our destination of a developed nation in 2020. Treat all its citizen with equal right and all investors as equally important and the nation will sure to shine. We are fortunate to have all the rich natural resouces but a group of bad implementors with lousy organisation.

  9. #9 by azk on Saturday, 24 March 2007 - 11:07 am

    Disneyland in Msia? Dream on..

    You can’t have bikini dances… you cant jump on stage… you cant have miniskirts parades….

    And you have to give 30% to ….

  10. #10 by azk on Saturday, 24 March 2007 - 11:13 am

    If only you care to check how many puppet directors private companies have to hire just to please the government. Why would I need to fork out tens of thousands every month to pay the salary of someone who doesn’t contribute anything to my company?

    Mahathir started this. Badawi only continue, but with focus on his family..

  11. #11 by azk on Saturday, 24 March 2007 - 11:18 am

    A looter will always remain a looter.

    Rob from the capable and competent… give to the lazy and greedy.

    That’s out Malaysia, truly Asia.

  12. #12 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 24 March 2007 - 11:28 am

    Now the members of advisory council for the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) have a combination of political business credentials – besides Tun Musa Hitam, Tan Sri Samsudin Osman, Malaysian sugar king Robert Kuok Hock Nien, Tan Sri Kishu Tirathai and Datuk Panglima Andrew Sheng.

    The Council is clear in articulating what everyone already knows – the NEP bumiputra programme puts investors off. Musa said contract awards “will have to be on merit. The Malays will have to face competition.”

    If the winding down of the NEP bumiputra programme is positive for the IRDA, then it is likewise positive for the whole country. Why develop IDR’s potential to be a first-class global hub for business, living and leisure when one can do so for the whole country? Why attract foreign investment to IRDA and Johore only when one can by such winding down attract foreign investment as well as buoy up local investment for the whole country?

    The usual argument will be the political costs : UMNO cannot afford a backlash from constituency not ready to be weaned from the privileges and affirmative policies cast in stone.

    But when they can ever be ready?

    We need a bold Malay leadership to what is right. When the country prospers every one will prosper especially the more equal UMNO elites and the dominant majority community.

    Selective exemptions from NEP bumiputra policies for designated foreign companies within IRDA will not work and attract foreign investments when the whole country, bureaucracies and system are choking under the blanket of such a system, debilitating and unfriendly to business and investment (except political crony business), not to mention divisive of Malaysians.

    If they have more foresight and political will, they should take another approach and use IRDA and the rationale given by Musa as a political exit route to commence the first tentative steps towards the dismantling of such a pernicious policy.

  13. #13 by Kingkong on Saturday, 24 March 2007 - 11:35 am

    The crime rate in JB is so high that it appears to be a lawless cowboy town. Surely the investors and their executives are human and expect a decent environment to live in order to carry out the business.

    IRDA will be in lowest priority for consideration. We have to face competitors like China, India and Vietnam in the globalization environment. We missed the boat for sure and we are going to miss more if we do not purge away the NEP parasites.

  14. #14 by democrate on Saturday, 24 March 2007 - 12:00 pm

    20 years ago our brainless MB of Johor had claimed that Pasir Gudang Port and the Senai Airport will be as busy as the PSA and Changi Airport of Singapore. Today some one from Johor Umno is trying to say again the coming Iskandar New township will be more advance than Singapore and Shenzen of China.
    Hi brother, Lets talk about our airport, its no more an international as there is not even an international flight at all and if the service of the Pasir Gudang Port is so good, there should not hv a long queue of trucks at the causeway everyday. Remember ,Singapore and Shenzen too hv their own 20 years plan ok? Don’t you think it is so stupid to compare where other people has already 20 years ahead of us and we hv been fighting for economic quota and enjoying corruption. Lets tell you that do not expect the White Americans to wait for the Red Indians. The bumiputras must 4get about the NEP if they want a successful Bandar Iskandar otherwise it will be another dream.

  15. #15 by k1980 on Saturday, 24 March 2007 - 12:22 pm

    List of world’s 25 largest ports–none of them in malaysia darul boleh Dream on, pak blah. Khairy will wake you up for dinner
    1 Singapore
    2 Shanghai
    3 Rotterdam
    4 Ningbo
    5 Hong Kong
    6 Busan
    7 Guangzhou
    8 Tianjin
    9 South Louisiana
    10 Houston
    11 Nagoya
    12 Chiba
    13 Gwangyang
    14 Qingdao
    15 Ulsan
    16 Kaohsiung
    17 Antwerp
    18 Qinhuangdao
    19 Dalian
    20 New York/New Jersey
    21 Shenzhen
    22 Yokohama
    23 Hamburg
    24 Incheon
    25 Port Hedland Australia

  16. #16 by smeagroo on Saturday, 24 March 2007 - 12:22 pm

    And the exemption is only for Iskandar project? So isnt AAB trying to show that his pet project WILL NOT fail at the expense of other projects?

    Looking at white elephants why not start with a new E-village suggested by our minister? Have they forgotten of the white gajah years ago mooted by tdm?

  17. #17 by kowtim on Saturday, 24 March 2007 - 12:23 pm

    “The bumiputras must 4get about the NEP if they want a successful Bandar Iskandar otherwise it will be another dream.”

    I think it is good to keep on dreaming otherwise they will start thinking of something even more ridiculous and absurd. Senai Airport is giving Changi a run for the money with Mr and Mrs Ghani leading Johor.

  18. #18 by dawsheng on Saturday, 24 March 2007 - 12:40 pm

    Khazanah IDR proposal is detached from reality. How can the state capital is in such a terrible mess? There is no streets in JB that one can walk to enjoy the scenery and smell fresh air with ease, you will be sure to find defects, rubbish and one kind of smell that will turned you off. Ghani Othman, the MB can’t even manage a city well, and you expect him to run a development plan on a global scale?

    I have dealt with foreign investors that is abandoning their investment in JB because they simply cannot believe that no progress has been made in 10 years. This is what they told me, “Our chairman felt that even putting in one more cent in the project will be too much, we rather put our money in Hong Kong and Shanghai where our ROI can be achieved in short term”, The Director further commented, “I have never seen a city that is so dysfunctional, and the investment climate in your country is so unstable where rules and regulations changes as the government leader wish, our interests are not protected”

    We already have so many failed project in JB and many investors got burned badly caused of it, with JB in a terrible mess, I am quite ashame to ask any investors, foreign and local to look at the city as an investment destination.

  19. #19 by ling on Saturday, 24 March 2007 - 2:20 pm

    The whole administration is in a mess. Corruption is getting bad to worse. The delivery system in almost all department is down the drain. No investor would like to invest to face with so many red tape. Just look south our neighbour is many years ahead of us and are planing ahead. In the north our neighbour is also ahead of us with political unstable but business climate is still favouable. East our muslim neighbour is improving right to our door step just because its people is hard working. West we have neighbour chasing us right to our neck because they have hard working population. All this nation is giving us a very competitive egde and if we still sleep on in no time I sleep in a hut, many sleep on road side and many many more will sure go down the drain to the klang river onward to the ocean.

  20. #20 by hasilox on Saturday, 24 March 2007 - 2:24 pm

    Investors always weigh between risks and returns. The risk of being screwed by nonsensical policies is always very high in bolehland.

    In the past, the returns outweighed the risks as better alternatives were rare. Nowadays, attractions are everywhere; china, india, vietnam, etc. What better deal bolehland has got to offer?

    Wooing back investors will be much more difficult as saying puts it, once bitten twice shy. And, rebuilding what we have destroyed – credibility and ability to compete – is no easy task.

    Still, we have to pick it up from somewhere. Lets hope not all are proven idiots all the time.

  21. #21 by k1980 on Saturday, 24 March 2007 - 2:27 pm

    From http://malaysia-today.net/blog2006/letters.php?itemid=3329

    From 1971 till 2006 ==> 18.6% only in 36 years
    From 2007 till 2010 ==> 11.4% to make up the 30% in 3 years?
    Then how many more years to be allocated to make the target of 70%? Who the hell are you kidding, mr pm? The actual figures are:

    From 1971 till 2006 ==> 45% in 36 years
    From 2007 till 2010 ==> -15% to make up the 30% in 3 years

  22. #22 by firstMalaysian on Saturday, 24 March 2007 - 3:38 pm

    Discriminatory policies like NEP will continue to slow down economic progress and make us less competitive. This little window for IDR is a desperate move to correct what is counter productive in the first place. This is an open acknowledgement by the policy makers that NEP is going to slow down the progress for the nation. It is punitive for all and at worse, it is bringing income disparity between the rich and the poor within the Malay community and between the UMNOputras and non-UMNOputras.
    What we need today is a pragmatic national policy to eradicate poverty irrespective of ethnic origin and move on with the Malaysian Agenda for National Building and Growth so that every Malaysian will find a place in the sun in this land and every Malaysian will have a dream for this land and realising the dream for a better Malaysia. This starts with the leadership and all the MPs. Those in power who play with the ‘fire’ of racial politics should be removed. This is the most difficult task after 50 yrs of divide and rule policies.
    The pre-merdeka’ generation is slowing passing away…those who remain have this critical task to right what is wrong. Otherwise, that generation will have to answer to generations to come of the errors made for the sake of self interest and political gain and at the expense of our future generation to build a greater Malaysia.

  23. #23 by sean on Saturday, 24 March 2007 - 5:33 pm

    In order to save face for the government that IDR will be a success..they will need to do one thing….just this one thing in order to atract thunderous investors.All the govt need to do is to announce
    that Singaporean can come in and out of Johor and elsewhere without needing a passport at all.They MUST welcome Singaporean and allow them to treat Johor as if it is also a part of Singapore for the next 100yrs or more.IDR will be a jointly manage and govern by Singaporean and Malaysian authority.Since “pemudah” have been launched…….both government should sit down and treat it as an urgent matter..ie:join govt.That way………IDR will definately be a major success overnight with news from all over the planet highligthing IDR day in day out AND INDIRECTLY investors will be flooding in like nobody business.

  24. #24 by azk on Saturday, 24 March 2007 - 6:27 pm

    Billions of tax payers’ money will be wasted away…

  25. #25 by grace on Saturday, 24 March 2007 - 7:49 pm

    Now I see, they are willing to sacrifice their priciples for a fistful of dollars.
    Why not extend the relaxation to the whole country so that all others will enjoy!

    Foreign investors are also wary of our uncertain policies. Today, like this, the next day sudah tukar!
    No consistent in our policy. Many were bitten by this sudden change and I believe they will not take the bait.

    Assuming they came in droves to invest in Johore. Suddenly some UMNO fellas sensed that BUMI interests were under represented, may raised an uproar in the assembly. Overnight policy will change!!!

  26. #26 by democrate on Saturday, 24 March 2007 - 8:16 pm

    Todays infor from the Chinese press saying that the open policy for the Bandar Iskandar Development must be explained to UMNO members . Ayu !! who the bloody hell are those Umno men crook like the krismudin, the robbers from the NEP, KJ or those extremists gila shouting during the last Umno assembly? They are the bundle of rubbish in the country and if they talk too much just order the trucks from Majilis Perbandaran to collect and burn off.

  27. #27 by sheriff singh on Saturday, 24 March 2007 - 9:35 pm

    Langkawi is basically a failure. Multimedia Super Corridor another failure. Labuan Offshore center, another big failure. Putra Jaya a big white gajah.

    We have super big dreams but our returns have been very, very dismal.

    IDR? Send all our illegals there and legitimise them. No passport required.

  28. #28 by sheriff singh on Saturday, 24 March 2007 - 10:33 pm

    From Bloomberg

    “The Federal Government forced this onto the Johor State Government’s throat the South Johor Economic Region (SJER) grand masterplan. The project is about tapping into the Singaporean economic powerhouse growth, strength, expertise (which is cordially now labeled as “human capital”) and of course, capital abilities. The plan is to create a Free Access Zone (FAZ).

    SJER is about the Federal Government taking over many State Government’s power on matters like land and local government. Khazanah will play a major role as the prime developer and co-coordinator in wooing investments and participate in property development projects that will be launched. A target of RM 140 billion worth of properties and investments are targeted for the next 15 years. The State Government will play the role of co-coordinator in the Iskandar Development Region Authority.

    Once the 2,200 sq. km. area all over South Johor zoned as FAZ, the movement of people and products from Singapore, will be seamless. It means that no documentation and/or inspection required. Singaporean investors now freely own properties, indiscriminately within IDR.”

    So basically trying to please Singapore and to tap this powerhouse. Will Singaporeans cooperate and be accomodating after we bullied them over and over again and called them names? Will they come? Should they?

    Shenzhen and Hong Kong are both China. If IDR makes it easy for Singaporeans to come over, will we be surrendering our sovereignty to them? Sovereignty was a big issue over sand and the crooked bridge barely a year ago. It appears it is now not. Why are we so accomodating now? Will we give up more? Will IDR merge with Singapore?

    It would appear that the central government has considerable control over IDR. Will IDR become a federal territory soon? Can we shift the Administrative Capital there as it is more central?

    Musa’s call for the NEP to be given up to make IDR a success has got alot of Malay ‘nationalists’ hopping mad. It has touch alot of raw nerves and sensitivities. Maybe cause deep divisions within and without UMNO and against the administration of Pak Lah generally.

    The Opposition should take advantage of the potential split and dissatisfaction to make inroads at the coming GE. Many may opt for Keadilan and PAS. Can be a turning point.

  29. #29 by smeagroo on Sunday, 25 March 2007 - 12:01 am

    WAnt Johor to rise from the ashes? Sell them to Singapore.

  30. #30 by Tai Lo Chin on Sunday, 25 March 2007 - 12:04 am

    “Musa’s call for the NEP to be given up to make IDR a success has got alot of Malay ‘nationalists’ hopping mad..Maybe cause deep divisions within and without UMNO and against the administration of Pak Lah generally…The Opposition should take advantage of the potential split and dissatisfaction to make inroads at the coming GE. Many may opt for Keadilan and PAS. Can be a turning point” – sheriff singh .

    I think not. Opposition should not take advantage over this particular issue. Musa’s call to give up the NEP for the good of investments and South Johor Economic Region (SJER) grand masterplan is for the good of the nation. Keadilan’s de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim is on record to be against NEP’s continuance. PAS’s manifesto also is not supportive of NEP. They should not use the call by Musa (that they support) to use it against their opponent UMNO. This will show the Opposition parties to be opportunist and not principled.

  31. #31 by slashed on Sunday, 25 March 2007 - 12:20 am

    How does one hope to attract foreign investors when one cannot even keep its own pool of talent?

    The Gov with one hand pushes its best out, and with the other attempts to draw in foreigners; How stupid is that? Without a firm talent base, the world would never look to Malaysia for investment. When policies break fundamental rules of efficiency, of resource allocation – how would the capitalists respond?

    When will the Government learn that tangible resources are not longer the driving force of our economy? The stock of human capital should have been here, but it isn’t. The talent required to manage the economy should be here, but they are off managing foreign interests because at least they feel wanted there. E.g. How many of you would know that our very own Mr Danny Quah is the Head of the Department of Economics in the UK’s London School of Economics? *Sigh

  32. #32 by smeagroo on Sunday, 25 March 2007 - 1:34 am

    With SJER there be a influx of expatriates to our shores. Yea, VMY will be a success. HURRY HURRY!

  33. #33 by grace on Sunday, 25 March 2007 - 8:44 am

    Slash writes:”How many of you would know that our very own Mr Danny Quah is the Head of the Department of Economics in the UK’s London School of Economics? *Sigh”

    There are many Danny Quahs all over the world holding very high position.

    But sad to say that those Danny Quahs would not even make it to be headmasters in Malaysia !

    Maybe our system demands higher qualifications or capabilities of the likes of Danny Quah.
    This is the very reason that our economy is “second to none” in this region!!!

  34. #34 by 4th_wife on Sunday, 25 March 2007 - 9:00 am

    Never ever believe in any dream lead by Nationalist from one single race, this country had failed and now it is rotting.

  35. #35 by trashed on Sunday, 25 March 2007 - 10:12 am


    Thanks to Slash for pointing out that a Malaysian is now the Head of Economics at the prestigous London School of Economics.

    He probably would be just an Assistant Professor in UM or UKM or any of the local Unis if he were back in Malaysia.

    We need to nurture and retain our intellectual capital.

  36. #36 by bennylohstocks on Sunday, 25 March 2007 - 11:46 am

    …sitting on the board-Mr Mishmasher.

  37. #37 by bennylohstocks on Sunday, 25 March 2007 - 11:50 am

    (wrong linkson earlier posts)
    …sitting on board- Mr. Mishmasher

  38. #38 by pwcheng on Sunday, 25 March 2007 - 12:54 pm

    And how many of you know that Dr Eric Tan, a Malaysian is the Chancellor of the University of Curtin in W. Australia.
    We can tell the whole world all this but what do the care. Political interests over rides everything and if they are not prepared to change IDR will become Iskandar Dead Region. Remember the Safari Zoo in Johor in the eighties. It goes bust even before even it can fully take off.
    Hopefully the exemption of the IDR from the NEP policy will definitely help, albeit a little bit too late but it is better late than never and most importantly of all they mustl not change the policy midway as had been done too often that has given the country a bad image so much so foreigners are afraid and skeptical to invest here.
    With this brave, good and positive changes of policies and most without too much political interferences and unreasonable demands which might arise later, there is every hope that it can be successful. This will also pave the way for them to see that the benefits far outweigh the losses if they do away with the NEP.

  39. #39 by Jong on Sunday, 25 March 2007 - 2:37 pm

    Nicely put. Thank you.

  40. #40 by Joshua on Sunday, 25 March 2007 - 4:36 pm

    The fact that 10,000 stray dogs were shot in 2006 do frighten a lot of
    people. This figure was given in the Johore Assembly (see below). Many investors are dogs/pet friendly.
    Dogs whether stray or otherwise are not meant to be shot. PERIOD.
    There is also a hidden agenda.

    10,000 stray dogs killed in Johor last year – Monday March 19, 2007
    JOHOR BARU: Almost 10,000 stray dogs were killed last year in the state with the Housing and Local Government Committee promising to continue a systematic eradication of stray dogs.
    Committee Chairman Datuk Halimah Sadique said that the exact number of stray dogs roaming the state could not be determined as population surveys were only conducted on food-animals.
    “We are also not able to provide details on the total number of unlicensed dogs kept as pets,” she said.
    Providing the breakdown of the figures, she said that out of the 9,940 dogs destroyed, the local authorities had killed 8,947 animals while the Veterinary Services Department (VSD) had shot 993.
    In her written reply at the assembly, Halimah explained that the local authorities and the VSD were the two agencies responsible for the licensing of pet dogs and shooting of stray dogs.
    She was responding to a question by Layang Layang State Assemblyman Onn Mohd Yassin who queried what the state government was doing to overcome the problems brought on by stray dogs.
    According to Halimah, some 5,722 dogs were licensed in the whole state last year with the local authorities responsible for licensing some 4,297 dogs while the VSD provided licenses for the remaining 1,425 dogs.
    She also said that there was a critical shortage of dog shooters in the state, as only five shooters remained out of the 10 positions available under the VSD.
    “We need to hire more dog shooters as three of them retired, one is unable to carry out his duties because of a medical condition and another has been suspended from work on a court order,” she said.
    She added that the local authorities did not have a single dog shooter of its own, but relied on shooters under the VSD whenever it conducted its operations.

  41. #41 by democrate on Sunday, 25 March 2007 - 5:19 pm

    Do u believe that a young girl from Sabah Chinese Independent School who had just score a 17 A1 in the latest SPM result but her name has been deleted from the 100 best students list. Is it just bcos she is not a Malay or is it just bcos she is from a Chinese Independent School nobody knows. Not even the puppet MCA GERAKAN and anyone. This is a racial discrimination in Malaysia that hurt the non bumi and just imagine if this score is obtained by a Malay, it will surely publicised on the headline, remember a girl from Ulu Tiram with 13A BUT failed to qualified to enter into one of the best UK’S Universities bcos she had failed the ENGLISH PAPERS.
    [ How far is it being true let us find out ok]

  42. #42 by azk on Sunday, 25 March 2007 - 5:52 pm

    MCA and Gerakan are the shame of the Chinese. They claim to be representing Chinese, but their agenda is so outdated. How long can you survive on the racist card?

    You guys just simply don’t get it. You are nothing more than some ass licking dogs bringing down the country~

  43. #43 by slashed on Sunday, 25 March 2007 - 8:04 pm

    To: Trashed and Grace

    From my econs friends here in the LSE, I ve even heard that he was up for a Nobel Prize recently (although he did not get it in the end but being nominated is one heck of an achievement!). If that is true, then it’s a bigger pity eh.

  44. #44 by poo on Sunday, 25 March 2007 - 8:24 pm

    I hope Bodowi going to implement some other big project in other place also, so the NEP will be a goner!

  45. #45 by hermes on Monday, 26 March 2007 - 1:19 am

    As a foreigner I will not invest im Malayssia. This is because the Malaysia has no regard to the sanctity of contract. Malaysia has on record shifted the goal posts many times and have not protected the minority shareholders of listed companies.

    During the financial problems of 1997 the Malaysian government broke every contract and shifted every goal post in the financial market. Other affected countries did not. They not only survived but are now posting healthy growth rated.

    Once bitten twice shy. The are many other places which hold true to their promises and are better places for investment.

    This is also quite clear from the actions recently taken by non malay business people who are seeking exit routes for their investments.

  46. #46 by ihavesomethingtosay on Monday, 26 March 2007 - 4:40 am

    “azk Says:

    March 24th, 2007 at 6:27 pm
    Billions of tax payers’ money will be wasted away…”

    Billions upon Bilions of taxpayers’ money will be eaten…………..


  47. #47 by ihavesomethingtosay on Monday, 26 March 2007 - 4:41 am

    Hi AZK

    does MCA stands for “Malaysian Canine Association”?

    :) just a thought.

  48. #48 by Maddresearch on Monday, 26 March 2007 - 8:23 am

    The only hope for non bumiputera on positive racial discrimination policy (in business) in Malaysia to be ended, is to ensure that the newly luanched Iskandar development Region to be successful where bumiputera businessmen are actively participating in this region and this will prompt more openness from the UMNO controlled government.

    If this happens, then UMNO is able to explain to its members, as advised by Tun Musa Hitam, who is a member of the Iskandar Development region Authority(IRDA)advisory Council said that ‘it is the right time to give up the New Economic Policy (NEP) for the success of the Iskandar development Region(IDR)’ and to the non bumiputera business community is it is a success for the whole nation

    Also, interestly when government announced this (IDR) policy there was a “BUT the investors must contribution the Social Development Fund” to Bumiputera? The public would like to know what is the definition of the “Social Development fund” or is this another term for NEP just like NDP or its equivalent? This is going to create a very suspicious mind for our potential investors when there is a string attached.

  49. #49 by Maddresearch on Monday, 26 March 2007 - 8:32 am

    We would like give our reply to azk’s messege posted on March 25th, 2007 at 5:52 pm, you are simply barking at the wrong tree, as long as UMNO is representing the malays, other racial parties will blossom in Malaysia. Gerakan is an good example which they claimed to represent all races in Malaysia but will close shop if they actual do that.

  50. #50 by Bigjoe on Monday, 26 March 2007 - 1:50 pm

    The say success is relative but to our UMNO-gove, failure is relative. So long as UMNO/BNputras don’t have to lose money or power, than its never a failure.

    So, they will built, this, that etc. and call it a success no matter what the metrics are.

    This is what I am wondering. When the did this IDR thingy, did they thought it through or was it mostly a political ploy to avoid criticism especially from within?

    Seriously, just take a piece of land and make a few incentive and they will come?

    Over the years I have met investment promotion professionals from different countries and those from some countries are very sharp and professional with well-thought out strategy. Malaysian one sounds more like lets just make a name and just make things up as we go….

  51. #51 by HJ Angus on Monday, 26 March 2007 - 6:39 pm

    If you look at the way the IDR was announced it bears some resemblance to the way NS was implemented and we can see how that program has been doing.

    But IDR can be useful as the springboard for more initiatives to make Malaysia more attractive to FDIs and also enable us to finally emerge as a progressive nation.

    But there is some bitter medicine to be swallowed before we can progress.


  52. #52 by rosicky on Tuesday, 27 March 2007 - 12:09 am

    Voices of JB native!!!

    I have been native of JB of 28 years. I have been living here since I was 2 years old.

    I dislike Singaporeans. As all JB folks can testify – they are arrogant, pompous, whining and look down on Malaysian, Bangladesh and China foreign workers. Even though we are the driving force of their economy.

    But like most Malaysian we have no choice but to brace ourselves and work in sg. we get paid 20% less for the same job than a singaporean. We have to do twice as much work. We have to look at their sorry face, hear their complaints and be insulted by them.

    So why do we still work 10-12 hours a day and spend 4-5 hours of travelling to work & back?

    Beacause In Malaysia :
    Most companies struggles to stay afloat (unless you are well connected to high ranking BN people).
    Workers have to settle for meagre pay.
    Poor Malays and Indians resort to crime.
    The Chinese will become the victims of these crime and scapegoat of UMNO.

    The root cause for such sorry state of events is a terribly corrupted bolehland.

    The problem goes beyond the mere 30% of Bumi equity of NEP. 30% equity is just the tip of our corrupted icebergs.

    With most of the engineering projects in Malaysia. The non-bumi contractor who actually supplies the labour and materials, received only 25% of the project cost.

    75% of the money goes into the pocket of a minority group of Malay scumbags who are lazy and greedy. After spending all of the money on obscene luxury, they come back and asked for more.

    Some dire questions need to be answered for the soory state of affairs. Where has all the money gone? Who are the ones took it? How much did they took? We only know of the selected few biggots who threaten to slit non-malays throat on natonal TV.

    If the government continues with such unaccountable practices, our economy will sink even further into delusion and confusion.

    Our businesses can never prosper and be competitive in such an environment. It seems that we cannot even instill confidence in Malaysians. How do we expect to convince foreign investors.

    At my current company (sg), there is at least some transparency. I know how much the companies charges our customer and have a good estimate of how the money is being used in business operations.

    I know the projects profit and able to gage my contributions. I know how much I am worth. I dare to demand what I deserved.

    Despite the anti-foreigner sentiments among local singaporeans, the sg goverment has reiterated many times that they need to welcome foreign talents for their country growth.

    So it seems funny that, I feel more meritocracy privilege in a foreign
    country……… than in my home country Malaysia

  53. #53 by trashed on Tuesday, 27 March 2007 - 4:53 am

    To Slashed

    I hope Danny Quah will someday be awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics. Then we will see the expected “wayang”.

    You read it here first !!!

  54. #54 by 4th_wife on Tuesday, 27 March 2007 - 6:49 am

    I think Penang sure will die liao because if someone have to invest in Malaysia to process coconunt milk for example, choose IRD to enjoy 100% ownership and free access to hire foreign worker.

  55. #55 by Joshua on Tuesday, 27 March 2007 - 8:49 am

    IN Johore

    Tuesday March 27, 2007

    Carjack victim in coma dies of internal bleeding

    Lee: She was attacked by the Iskandar gang
    JOHOR BARU: A 22-year-old woman who slipped into a coma after being dragged behind her car by a group of carjackers last week died yesterday.

    The victim, Lee Hui Ling, died at the Sultanah Aminah Hospital at 8.15am.

    The cause of death was internal bleeding in the head due to an injury sustained during the robbery last Monday.


  56. #56 by lakshy on Tuesday, 27 March 2007 - 2:51 pm

    Guys, read TDM’s Malay Dilemma….pg 31

    Merdeka brought power and wealth to the new Malay elite. the trials and tribulations of the war and immedite post-war years were over. Politics was found to be the panacea. It provided a short-cut to everything. …..It brought about laws and policies that placed some Malays in a position to acquire great wealth, or at least a good livelihood without trying too hard. It made life in the kampongs more comfortable and less isolated fromthe towns. In other words, politics created for the Malays a soft environment which removed all challenge to their survival and progress.

    …..We can expect that the new environment will not be good for the Malays. They will become softer and less able to overcome difficulties on their own. because of this, political power might ultimately prove their complete downfall.


    Looks like TDM knew this way back when, but did not do much during his time in power to do anything.

    Perhaps someone shouold get TDM to do a follow up to the Malay Dilemma! He can also comment on what he did wrong and what should be done differently going forward.

    And yes, when he said he failed the Malays in the UMNO GA where he broe down and cried publicly….I immediately agreed with him…. He has failed the Malays!

  57. #57 by DiaperHead on Wednesday, 28 March 2007 - 12:05 am

    Has Mahathir written a new updated version of the “Malay Dilemma”??
    The last time I read was when it was still banned – and that is very different. It explains the dilemma facing the Malays rather than explain away their dilemma.

  58. #58 by Not spoon fed on Wednesday, 28 March 2007 - 11:12 pm

    Not long ago, a Malay politician also said loudly that Johore does not need Singapore’s participation in the LRT because Malaysia already boleh/capable in this field.

    Like those LRT services in KL, Malaysia is already capable in the LRT sector.

    If you happen to have taken MRT and LRT in SIngapore, you would know the big differences between Singapore and Malaysia in this sector.

    If you compare LRT in Singapore to Malaysia’s, you would see big differences

    Again, the Malay politician has actually offended Singapore. Hope I am wrong.

  59. #59 by Not spoon fed on Wednesday, 28 March 2007 - 11:20 pm

    Everyone knows that Mahathir is good in talking.

    During his 2 decades of ruling Malaysia, mega projects were his favour. Also, his look east policy went no where when Japanese Mishubishi left and refused to transfer technology to Proton.

    His mega projects like Twin Towers, KLIA, Sepang Formula 1, Proton, etc. are not distributing and creating wealth to normal rural folks.

    It is actually not the mega projects that turnaround the Malay’s dilemma. I am sure non Malay know this well.

    Mahathir fails to turnaround the Malay’s dilemma. He made many acted like price and pricess (like those at Police force, government offices, local councils, etc.).

  60. #60 by lakshy on Thursday, 29 March 2007 - 5:50 am

    You guys should read TDM’s book. It lets you know of his thoughts back in 1970. To condense one part of what he says, basically, non-malays should not be given equal rights with the malays.

    This was written by him in 1970, and I think many do think this way still!

  61. #61 by democrate on Thursday, 29 March 2007 - 12:17 pm

    That is what i meant for political weapon. That is the book that make him regain his power after he was fired by Tunku. Anyway his faith will b similar to President Suharto. i stiil put a blame on his book that resulted the 1969 riots.

  62. #62 by DuckHunter on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 7:26 pm

    OK, understand all the frustrations with the current government. Please make sure to exercise your important vote for the upcoming election rationally, intelligently, and wisely. You can make the difference!!!

  63. #63 by Boneka on Sunday, 13 May 2007 - 12:09 am

    I would like to agree with duckhunter, but vote for whom? We dont have a choice for an altenative None of the opposition parties can form a government on their own. Expecting them to form an alliance is like a myth, even if they try, voters will know it will not be workable. Proof me wrong -DAP & KEADILAN, with of course PAS out of it. Please send a strong signal to us.

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