By Hussein Hamid

It would seem that Malaysia is once again, in the words of our Prime Minister Najib, raising its “profile on the world stage” by having it’s own team in Formula One next year. The first thought that hit me was this – if BMW has decided to wind down its Formula One Team after just four seasons in order to focus the resources that had been expended on the company’s F1 program to the “development of new drive technologies and projects in the field of sustainability” why oh why must this fool rush in where angels fear to tread?

Here are the other headlines news that is relevant to this issue – relevant because it only serves to complicate matters and again confirm that the usual suspects are involved – Politics, ‘big business’ well known personalities and taking money from the Rakyat:

“This is where the cars will be designed, manufactured and tested. It will be ‘Made-in-Malaysia, by Malaysians’ and of course, the pit-stops will be run by Malaysians,” he said. Najib.

The company behind the team is a partnership between the Malaysian Government and a consortium of Malaysian entrepreneurs.

The FIA has announced that a 13th slot has been awarded to the Malaysian-backed Lotus F1 Team. The BMW entry remains undecided, which means that Lotus will have to build its cars in England.

The team will almost certainly be buying the Sauber operation in Hinwil and it is anticipated that the engines will be Ferraris.

It will be announced later today that the Malaysian government will be funding a Formula 1 team in 2010 and that the entry has been granted.

It is believed that the team will be funded by the automobile company Proton and will probably be called Team Lotus and be backed by Petronas money.

“Our F1 team will also have technical experts from outside Malaysia to ensure that we are ready to compete on the world’s most prestigious racing stage.”

Nicolas Todt, the son of FIA Presidential candidate Jean Todt, who is a partner in ART Grand Prix, the GP2 team that won the title last weekend with Nico Hulkenberg. Todt has the ambition to run an F1 but only in the right circumstances. His father in well connected in Malaysia thanks to his partner Michelle Yeoh.

The company behind the team is a partnership between the Malaysian Government and a consortium of Malaysian entrepreneurs. The team will initially be based at the RTN facility in Norfolk. RTN was built by Toyota for its initial Formula One programme and then used by Bentley for its successful Le Mans programme.

The team’s future design, R&D, manufacturing and technical centre will be purpose built at Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit.

The team’s technical director will be Mike Gascoyne. The team has agreed an engine supply deal with Cosworth and a wide variety of technical partnerships.

The usual suspects were paraded. Funded by Proton and backed by Petronas money. Funded by the Government!

Is this going to be another MV Augusta situation? Has not Proton learned a lesson from its disastrous Euro 70 million ‘investment’ in MV Agusta then under administration which was explained to us layman as being Protons mother of all business coup to enable Proton to “tap into MV Agusta group’s styling ability; technical expertise and well-developed distribution network” as Proton then CEO Tengku Mahleel was quoted as saying in June 2004.

Less then a year later Proton sold their 59% stake in MV Agusta for One Euro and yet a year later Harley Davidson Inc bought MV Agusta for US109million.

Logic tells me that if BMW lasted four years in Formula One – how long will we last? I say WE because if Proton and Petronas money are involved then it is OUR money –and we should have a say in whether we should go into Formula One or not. The other “investor” has all made their money off the Rakyat in those few short years that they have been in “business”.

It is no great secret that Formula 1 is a sport for the rich and money is the only master of the game. Dollars are counted in the hundreds of millions. Do we need the distraction of Formula One seeing the state our country is in? Why not use whatever money Proton has now to give us a better and cheaper car that more Malaysians can afford to buy? Why not use Petronas money for Malaysian. The people of Kelantan could use some money now. There are enough poor in Malaysia that would have need of the money that Petronas will spend on Formula One. But as usual our Government will not allow the loss of hundreds of our millions of Ringgit to get in the way of raising THEIR profile on the world stage.

  1. #1 by HJ Angus on Friday, 18 September 2009 - 7:14 am

    This project has all the makings of another PKFZ – taxpayers’ monies will be squandered at the speed of Formula1!
    It shows the usual MO – all the nice hype about what can be achieved but within 2 years, all that will be left will be an expensive circuit for those rich boys who play with remote control cars.
    F1 is now tainted with the Renault scandal – maybe Malaysia is going to show them a few things about mega-scandals?

  2. #2 by undertaker888 on Friday, 18 September 2009 - 8:00 am

    Mahathir was harping that the F1 investment will bring 100 fold ROI. The F1 will make Malaysia known to the world he said. It was estimated it will cost to the tune of RM1 billion a year of our money…sadly, again. All endorsed by “businessmen” and gomen.

    I am not sure what are these crooks are thinking nowadays. Make Malaysia known to the world my foot! We already done this without spending a single sen. Eg…caning of Kartika.PKFZ scandal. Al..ya C4 bits and pieces. You know what I mean. Penans rape.

    Here we go again bolehland

  3. #3 by k1980 on Friday, 18 September 2009 - 8:04 am

    //“This is where the cars will be designed, manufactured and tested. It will be ‘Made-in-Malaysia, by Malaysians’ //

    Hey Jib, the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scam is also ‘Made-in-Malaysia, by Malaysians’. And the Altan murder was also ‘Made-in-Malaysia, by Malaysians’.

  4. #4 by limkamput on Friday, 18 September 2009 - 8:34 am

    Dear BN leaders, F1 will not save you. Neither will sending another Malaysian to space. Use the money to build LRT quickly in all major towns and cities may.

    If the Government’s or GLCs’ money is involved, we need full disclosure on the rationale, the justifications and the net benefits of indulging in such a project. Please don’t create another PKFZ. Please BN leaders, don’t live in illusionary grandeur. Wake up, we do not have first world infrastructure, neither do we have first world mentality. Look at congestions, the clogged stench drains, the filth, the garbage, the flood, the landslide, poor housing, horrible water and air quality, the lack of amenities in schools, the half baked teachers and lecturers, the crimes (yes it is not street crimes only), and the incompetency and corruption everywhere. How can we be so blind? Even Jaswant Ball in his perpetual grandeur splendour can see it.

  5. #5 by Bigjoe on Friday, 18 September 2009 - 8:34 am

    This is nothing more than a political drug. Why all the pretense? Why don’t just legalise opium and be done with it??? Keep the people drugged and dreamy so they don’t protest and demand accountability and justice..

  6. #6 by Voter on Friday, 18 September 2009 - 8:38 am

    i like watch F1. as F1 fan. i only interested the top 5 team and the rest i not wanted to know the team detailing. or the team cars always race in last 15 and above position i totally not want to see them. i have no confident 1malaysia team will race in top 10 position.
    anyhow. if government think join F1 team will make malaysia more popular in the world ? its totally wrong. 1st of all we got A1 which represent country. F1 more on constructor and driver and technology. nothing much to do with country as my personal view.
    lastime singapore not even have tallest building in the world and no F1 circuit. but singapore is much more popular than malaysia. why ? because they really done alot to make their country image best through good governance system, country clean, crime rate lower, corruption rank lower.
    what about malaysia ? we got tallest building, F1 circuit. but the foreign tourist getting lesser and lesser.

  7. #7 by K S Ong on Friday, 18 September 2009 - 9:10 am

    Some people are by nature, entrepreneurs, while some are managers. Managers who are good at managing a company may not be good entrepreneurs because spending their own money is a totally different feeling.

    BN politicians are known to be good at creating mega deals of the ‘win-win’ types but at the expense of the public. “Gaya mesti ada, mutu tak tentu lah”.

    If Tajuddin’s investment in MAS had to be bailed out at the original price, then those who agreed to this venture will be looked after, in case their businesses failed.

  8. #8 by taiking on Friday, 18 September 2009 - 9:12 am

    Well big boys need big toys. Dont they? Who are we little fellas to complain. They have graduated into the super league. For them the big boys, where commission payment for securing a single transaction goes into hundreds of million and awarded projects weigh billions and billions in ringgit, even ferraris are no adrenalin pumps. No Sir.

    But really. Here those idiots have decided to set some subjective aims in their justification of that really stupid, needless and costly (therefore wasteful) idea. Promoting malaysia it seems. Putting malaysia on the world map. Phark them. I say. Phark the whole thing. Achievement of subjective aims are hard if not impossible to measure. So no one can really say at the end of the day that the project has failed like pkfz, like the collapsed stadium roof, like hicom, like perwaja, like proton, like macc (at one time pronounced a success), and so many more. So will we see more mega projects with subjective aims in future like say 20billion for beautifying the country in the eyes of the world and another 20billion for painting all umno gobermen buildings with a some uniquely mixed white paint (well mixed by malaysians in malaysia).


  9. #9 by Thinking Two on Friday, 18 September 2009 - 9:22 am

    100 times benefit to Mamat Tail only.
    Toyota also withdraw from F1.
    BN go and collect other people’s shit leave behind.
    BN bought a Bank from Indonesia.
    All mother of scandals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. #10 by boh-liao on Friday, 18 September 2009 - 9:32 am

    A leopard cannot change its spots
    Umnoputras n cronies love shallow form, style, n new projects
    Instant shallow forms to intoxicate the tribe
    Twin towers, F1 circuit, can-or-not space tourist
    Malays boleh
    New projects – aah, bagus
    More guaranteed $$$ in the pockets
    Vrrooooom, vrroooooom
    means more room for fast cars, fast women, fast buck, fast ?uck
    Hopefully, no more C4 incidents
    While Umnoputras ?uck around with F1
    Countless Sabahans and Sarawakians are struggling with less than desired access to basic amenities and healthcare facilities
    No road, no water, no electricity, no food, no nothing
    And some got raped
    Welcome to the ?ucking F1 world of Umnoputras

  11. #11 by Joshua on Friday, 18 September 2009 - 9:33 am

    FI is for some people to syiok, syiok, with Selfish Hideous Illegal Trap – and more of S.Hit.

    The masses go in jams and wasting resources as public transport is like tortiose.

    Rabbit our the bag as Be eNd wants to end in style – high speeed to be the opposition or simply banned in Malaysian politics for the profligacy of RM30 trillions.

    What do you expect from illegal leaders for decades esp 22 years at the national helm.

    pw: Morris borne

  12. #12 by Joshua on Friday, 18 September 2009 - 9:34 am

    Rabbit our the bag should be Rabbit out of the bag

  13. #13 by mendela on Friday, 18 September 2009 - 9:39 am

    Toyota annual revenue is at least 25% more than Malaysian GNP!

    Toyota is the world biggest and most profitable car maker.

    Toyota finds it NOT worth while to stay on in FI circuit and is considering to pull out.

    How can Malaysia affort such extravagance?

  14. #14 by No-Money-Politics on Friday, 18 September 2009 - 9:49 am

    WTF. I don’t see which part of the F1 is going to bring money back to Malaysia. People know that Proton is a shitty car and I don’t see the technology from F1 cars translating to better Protons. Does Petronas really need advertising? The world does not care that Malaysia is dumping hundred of millions of US dollars (not ringgit) on a F1 team. Let’s start with not having bad publicity first -examples such as caning of beer drinking Muslims, sodomy case of Anwar. Only after we get rid of these nonsense can we present ourselves in a good light.

  15. #15 by oct on Friday, 18 September 2009 - 10:16 am

    Malaysia still has lots of priority projects that can benefits the rakyat and yet the Govt said they don’t have fund. The 1Malaysia F1 project was not even in our national budget and all of a sudden the Govt has all the fund to support it. It seems that money grows on trees by the Malaysian Govt. It is not implementing projects that will benefit the rakyat but syiok sendiri saja. Soon there will be a list of ministers and cronies traveling round the world with the F1 group at the Rakyat expenses. We, the rakyat, are the suckers again to fund the high and mighty riches. So many have to suffer for the sake of the few who only know how to milk the national coffers dry.

  16. #16 by dawsheng on Friday, 18 September 2009 - 10:20 am

    Vrroooom….vrrooom… there goes our money!

  17. #17 by Godfather on Friday, 18 September 2009 - 10:42 am

    We have far-sighted people as our leaders. They are so far-sighted that they can see the benefits of F1 when so many car manufacturers like BMW and Honda can’t see.

    Our leaders are so far-sighted especially in providing employment to those “expats” who have the technical expertise but who are currently out of a job. Our leaders believe in technology transfer, so the expats will run the show – but don’t worry, 10 years from now, UMNOputras will run the show.

  18. #18 by sheriff singh on Friday, 18 September 2009 - 11:12 am

    I hear there will be a Mat Cemerlang race as the opener organised by UMNO Youth. Then there will be a special Made-in-Malaysia car specialty race.

    F1, Mat Rempits race, do we need all these?

    Brrrooom, brooooom. Sweep them all away.

  19. #19 by Godfather on Friday, 18 September 2009 - 11:23 am

    “The company behind the team is a partnership between the Malaysian Government and a consortium of Malaysian entrepreneurs.”

    I absolutely love this Bolehland description. What it effectively means is that some connected UMNOputras have entered into a partnership with the Malaysian government where the government funds everything, takes all the risks and the losses, while the UMNOputras take all the upside.

    Formula One in Bolehland means a failsafe formula – government takes all the risks and the private sector (UMNO) takes all the gains.

  20. #20 by newchief on Friday, 18 September 2009 - 11:48 am

    another scheme by najib to swindle away malaysia money which could have been made to good use like fuel and food subsidies which in turn will lower the daily rise of cost.

    just like rm kapoosh and gone to some individual personal bank account in pk scandle and the ever ‘good’ national training scheme, we always find ourselves (especially the middle and lower class waged-earners) that at the end of the day, we are penniless though we had been very prudent in our spendings.

    i’m afraid with malaysia made f1, najib and his stooges will show the world HOW BAD THEY ARE when they are always at the last in any races!!! they will make us feel embarrass instead.

    hopefully one thing for sure….is that alex yoong not to be involved because he knows how to talk and comment but as a f1 driver, i think i can be better :)

    one thing i worry. with f1 , pk scandal and national training on-going, in case pk really become the next government, they will inherit a BIG BIG JUNK OF DEBTS incurred by bn and that the treasury department has 00 rm !!!! what to do then .

  21. #21 by limkamput on Friday, 18 September 2009 - 11:52 am

    Sigh, another moral hazard problem, no difference from PKFZ. I don’t believe our national leaders are that stupid. I think they are too smart for their own good. It is a mean to siphon money legally from the national coffer. We should protest strongly. We want to see the whole process: who initiated this project, who recommended it, who put it altogether, who supported it, who approved it, and who will be running it. From there you can see the various vested interest groups at work. It is that simple.

  22. #22 by undertaker888 on Friday, 18 September 2009 - 12:47 pm

    If Taiwan can convict their president on corruption charges, I hope one day we are able to do so with all these pariah goons.

    Mr Lim KS, we will leave this honor to you when PR took over the govt in the next election. For every ringgit they took make sure we take back 10 fold from their sons and daughters even though they are gone.

    It seems like all the takeovers, buyouts and mega projects by the govt or govt related agencies suffer “losses”. Augusta, Indonesian banks, MAS , toll highways, …all failures or losses. How much are we going to loose on this F1? By the time we are done, PKFZ will be peanuts by comparison.

    Enough is enough from these vampires. It is time to bring out the wooden stake.

  23. #23 by k1980 on Friday, 18 September 2009 - 1:01 pm

    I shudder at the thought of the failed-abortions being put in charge of managing the country’s economy

  24. #24 by OrangRojak on Friday, 18 September 2009 - 1:18 pm

    could have been made to good use like fuel and food subsidies
    Where got such low class country? This is subsidies: Mercedes subsidy, mansion subsidy, first world capital city apartment subsidy, exotic foreign ‘professional wife’ subsidy. The list appears to be endless.

  25. #25 by drago2008 on Friday, 18 September 2009 - 1:59 pm

    Another rip-off in the making. And the poor rakyat suffers in the end. F1 has already gained notoriety with shady dealings. The country could use the money for more useful purpose.

    Putting Malaysia on the world map is just a lame excuse. Malaysia is well known for all the wrong things already.

  26. #26 by roger lim on Friday, 18 September 2009 - 2:51 pm

    That settles it. Guys, I don’t wan’t to keep quite while they dump more of our money down the drain…. I mean down into their pockets. Money for our poor and money for our future generations. Is anybody organising something to make a loud noise on this? Count me in.

  27. #27 by Cinapek on Friday, 18 September 2009 - 3:33 pm

    The Chinese has a saying. ” Using other people’s backsides as your face”

    We are only fooling ourselves that we can compete in F1 on our own. Proton is nothing more than a fifth rate car assembler using other people’s expertise. If Lotus is successful, it would not be sold to Proton. Only suckers like Proton will jump into buy failures like Lotus and MV Agusta. Just like the Mat Salleh laughing all the way to the bank when they suckered Proton into Lotus and MV Agusta, they are now sharpening their knives for this F1 sojourn by Malaysia. Worse still, this is done with Malaysian help who sees it as an opportunity to dig their grubby hands into the taxpayers money again.

    If Honda, BMW and Toyota have either quit F1 or contemplating to do so, who is Proton to think they can succeed? And with bought expertise too. Force India your role model? If any Malaysian wants to do it with their own money I don’t give a shit but if taxpayers money are involved, I am sure there are much better places we can spend them to benefit the rakyat.

  28. #28 by Justitia on Friday, 18 September 2009 - 4:32 pm

    This is another one of those things where our govt. uses the lower half of the body as a substitute for thinking. Why are we rushing in when BMW and Honda are quietly exiting as the cost/benefit analysis is not favourable? BMW must be very pleased to find a sucker to take over. Prestige, my foot! What has Petronas or Malaysia gained in all these years of involvement in F1? Seems like we have found another sinkhole for the Rakyat’s money. Can’t our govt. be good stewards of the Rakyat’s money? This is another of Najib’s wet dreams (and the Rakyat’s nightmare) when he goes around masterbating with the Rakyat’s money.

    Vrroooom.. vroooom. Boooom.. Boooom. Gloooom … glooom. Dooom.. Dooom. Dumb.. Dumb.

  29. #29 by Bobster on Friday, 18 September 2009 - 5:38 pm

    RM1.4 billion per annum, 3-4 yrs time (pls correct if calculation less accurate) rakyat will get to travel free on North South expressway.

    RM1.4 billion per annum, KL folks who contributed the highest GDP to the country will get MRTs in a couple of yrs. No more massive jam in KL.

    RM1.4 billion per annum, every rakyat Malaysia sponsors ~RM51 to the 1FattyMama Team.

    Najib boleh!

    100 folds return? Tun is saying RM140 billion return per annum for a new team which would probably be lucky enough if can complete the race?! Nobody both to look at teams that finish 6th onwards.

    Tun boleh too!

  30. #30 by chinkimwah on Friday, 18 September 2009 - 6:09 pm

    The great Malaysian fool Najis is again WASTING our nation’s resources in a venture that will cost RM1 BILLION a year to run which do NOT benefit the Rakyat at all. Why don’t distribute RM1 BILLION to the Rakyat and we will boost the domestic consumption of Malaysia. Instead the F1 venture will again drain our precious Rakyat’s money to somebody else’s POCKET!!! Please Protest this venture in Parliament

  31. #31 by Joshua on Friday, 18 September 2009 - 9:30 pm

    Obsession with 1 in 1Malaysia, 1Najib, 1people, 1BN, and 1 in F1 or Formula1.

    In 1Malaysia it is the cart before the horse – stagnant.

    in F1 it is the Vrooom on the sepang track to clear off Be eNd.

    Equation is
    Is 1Malaysia or 1M = F1 or Formula1 for the panacea of the despressed and rotten nation under illegal leaders for the world to see? No way!

    It is definitely a 1deception for the 1head gone awry to fill up 1pocket only.

    pw: waxy Jr

  32. #32 by tanjong8 on Friday, 18 September 2009 - 9:36 pm

    With this Malaysia F1 team which involves billions of ringgit, we can expect to see another scandal coming up.

    Don’t we ?

  33. #33 by tanjong8 on Friday, 18 September 2009 - 9:38 pm

    No one will benefit except the Umno warlords.

  34. #34 by Taxidriver on Saturday, 19 September 2009 - 1:06 am

    I think there is only one way to check the corruption culture in Malaysia. Introduce the hudud law. Pas, you get 1 vote from me.

  35. #35 by Taxidriver on Saturday, 19 September 2009 - 1:16 am

    Bobster #

    “Tun boleh too!”

    Dia tentu boleh. Dia cif akitek rasuah.

  36. #36 by Joshua on Saturday, 19 September 2009 - 3:32 am

    Taxi driver wrote : “Introduce the hudud law.”

    Is hudud law really about dealing with corruption at large?

    I think hudud law only deal with thiefs and their misdeeds but who is going to prove them in massive corruption when we have a rotten system sort of under some dominant religions (active and silent are all sedition???). Remember the ‘brotherhood’ of the birds of the same feathers’.

    What does Islam say about corruption legallly?

    The fact is that Malaysia has illegal governments not elelcted by the ballot boxes which has been rigged for 35 years – it is all proven – and illegal governments and illegal people in majority would be Be eNd for the nation.

    Have IGGG now.

    pw: engulfed 0-0

  37. #37 by Taxidriver on Saturday, 19 September 2009 - 12:31 pm

    Joshua # 34 ( above )

    I almost forgot that UMNOputras govern our country with two sets of laws – one unto themselves and the other applies to those who are not their kind. From your comment I realise that even hudud law is not the answer to stop UMNOputras corrupt practices. Guess the one and only way is to keep focus on rakyats freedom struggle to boot UMNO Baru/BN out in the 13th GE?

    Wahai! Bangkitlah rakyat Malaysia. Tumbangkan Kerajaan Korup Demi Masa Depan Anak-Cucu Kita.

  38. #38 by ktteokt on Saturday, 19 September 2009 - 2:34 pm

    Yesterday, Hong Leong Bank in Taman Segar, Cheras was robbed with one security guard shot dead! These incidents are going to become more regular as life gets tougher in Malaysia. Why hasn’t the government realized this? People are practically forced into crime by social problems. Shouldn’t the government take steps to overcome all these? And what is the re-appointed IGP doing about it?

    This is the exact situation in the Sung Dynasty in China which gave rise to the famous 108 Heroes of the Water Margin! These 108 heroes were actually bandits and outcast who formed a gang against the government of the day. Does the Malaysian government wish to see such a thing happen right here in our dear old nation, Malaysia???

  39. #39 by Loh on Sunday, 20 September 2009 - 9:38 am

    ///Mahathir was harping that the F1 investment will bring 100 fold ROI. The F1 will make Malaysia known to the world he said. It was estimated it will cost to the tune of RM1 billion a year of our money…sadly, again. All endorsed by “businessmen” and gomen.//undertaker 888

    The ROI mentioned above might be based on the value of advertisement gained, at the rate of US$ 1 million for three minutes, in japan. So with RM 1 billion spent on F1, Malaysia gets 15 hours of free advertisement. But what has Malaysia got to sell with the 15 hours or more of advertisement? Would that add to additional earning of RM 1 billion in tourism trade? Najib might argue that it might make people outside forget about the crime rates in Malaysia.

  40. #40 by undertaker888 on Monday, 21 September 2009 - 11:25 am


    Why do we need to do advertisement in Japan for USD1million/3 minutes? I can say most of Japanese know where Malaysia is. I have the opportunity to work outside Malaysia. Most Japanese I talked to has no problem locating Malaysia.

    RM1 billion for 15 hours of advertisement time? Wow!! I am sweating now.

    For RM1 Billion, we might as well get Hollywood to make a movie here, starring Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Jet Li, Bill Clinton, etc. How about that for advertisement all over the world?

    When they say Proton and some entrepreneurs are involved, you might smell some rats already.

    Maybe in future, we may hear about Proton making extreme losses or hell, maybe even extreme profits. Yes, profits from our taxes money channelling thru F1.

  41. #41 by KM Tan on Thursday, 24 September 2009 - 10:33 am

    Just wondering if Chief and/or anyone knows if Alex has properly endorsed the winding up of his fan club. If not, where have all the monies expanded or accounted for?

    Physically in a F1 motor, I do not think he dares to. Behind the scence manupilating, he is still capable.

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