Archive for January 24th, 2011

Explain why Malaysia topped the world in per capita illicit capital outflows, losing RM888 billion as a result of corruption and misgovernance, instead of campaign of lies and falsehoods in Tenang by-election

UMNO and MCA leaders should be explaining why Malaysia topped the world in per capita illicit capital outflows, losing RM888 billion in nine years from 2000 – 2008 as a result of corruption and misgovernance, instead of disseminating lies and falsehoods in the Tenang by-election in Johore.

It is five days since the Washington-based financial watchdog, Global Financial Integrity (GFI), reported that Malaysia is among the countries which registered the highest illicit financial outflows over a period of nine years in the last decade.

The five countries with the highest illicit financial outlays between 2000 and 2008 were:

1. China $2.18 trillion
2. Russia $427 billion
3. Mexico $416 billion
4. Saudi Arabia $302 billion
5. Malaysia $291 billion.

Capital outflows from Malaysia more than tripled from US$22.2 billion in 2000 to US$68.2 billion in 2008, totaling US$291 billion (or RM888 billion) in nine years between 2000 and 2008. Read the rest of this entry »


Can Malaysia graduate?

East Asia Forum
January 19th, 2011
Author: Hal Hill, ANU

Malaysia is one of the developing world’s great success stories. Few countries outside of East Asia can match its development record. Since its independence over 53 years ago per capita incomes have risen more than eight-fold, and absolute poverty has been all but eliminated.

But it currently faces three key, interrelated challenges, some generic to upper middle income developing countries, others specific to Malaysia itself.

The first, how to graduate to the rich-country club, has been clearly articulated by the country’s Prime Minister, Tun Najib: ‘We are now at a critical juncture, either to remain trapped in a middle-income group or advance to a high-income economy … We now have to shift to a new economic model based on innovation, creativity and high value added activities.’

The second, shared by some of its Southeast Asian neighbours, is the country’s slower development trajectory since the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s. Even before the current global financial crisis, which it has navigated quite successfully, economic growth in the 2000’s was about two percentage points below that of the decade 1986-96.

Particularly worrisome is the slump in investment, which has been stuck at little more than 20 per cent of GDP since the late 1990s. This is 10-15 percentage points of GDP lower than the country’s historic ratio. With savings remaining buoyant, the country’s external position has been transformed dramatically. In 2002, the country had net liabilities equivalent to 35 per cent of GDP. By 2008, this had been transformed to net assets of 20 per cent of GDP. Put simply, Malaysians have been finding overseas investment increasingly attractive, while foreigners have been less attracted to Malaysia.

The third challenge relates to the development of high-quality institutions to underpin a modern market economy in a country that has experienced continuous one-party rule for over half a century. Malaysia’s ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) is in fact the world’s longest-serving governing party currently in power among all ‘quasi democracies’. Not surprisingly, elements of UMNO exhibit the problems of complacence and arrogance that one expects from entrenched one-party dominance. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia in the Era of Globalization #50

By M. Bakri Musa

Chapter Six: Malaysia: Assets and Liabilities

The Barnacles of Special Privileges

Malaysia’s affirmative action programs can be viewed in one of two ways. One, they were designed to ameliorate the deteriorating socioeconomic status of Bumiputras; and two, they are part and parcel of the inherent rights of Bumiputras consequent to their being the indigenous people of the country. With the first, the primary objective is to enhance Bumiputras’ competitiveness so they could compete effectively not only with non-Bumiputras but also the rest of the world. The program’s effectiveness could thus be objectively evaluated by this ready criterion.

The second premise views these privileges as essentially being part of our heritage. It is a right. There is nothing to assess; the program would be permanent. Whether such privileges are boon or bane depends on how they are administered and on the recipients. Native American Indians have many privileges not afforded to ordinary Americans (sovereignty of their reservations, free education, tax free status, etc.), but they still remain far behind. They have become essentially wards of the state; their initiative and industry sucked dry out of them.
Read the rest of this entry »