— Gomen Man
The Malaysian Insider
Feb 07, 2012

FEB 7 — Sorrylah, Mr Ong Kian Ming and REFSA. You are not the first ones to find big, big holes in PEMANDU’s ETP or, as you rightly pointed out, the alphabet soup.

I salute you because you have done what most Malaysians don’t do — sit down and actually go through the stacks of jargon and consultant talk the government throws at us.

But the first people who figured out Idris Jala and his salesmen were the people at Bank Negara and the Economic Planning Unit.

Our central bankers are privately calling the ETP and EPP a wish list of projects, and rubbish any claims that it is transformational in nature. They know more than most that it will take a proper eco-system to propel Malaysia to a high-income economy.

Giving Kenneth Eswaran a few plums projects or a former senior judge a toll concession or helping Chua Ma Yu with the St Regis hotel job or YTL the redevelopment of Majestic Hotel is just an extension of Malaysia Inc.

But consultants are paid big bucks so that they come up with high sounding financial modelling systems. And this is what the consultant paid by PEMANDU did: they threw best-case scenarios into their financial model and came out with best case or should I say too-good-to-be-true numbers.

Even EPU and government officials who have sat through PEMANDU briefings have rolled their eyes at the numbers and assumptions used. One of them even remarked that sometimes it is a case of putting rubbish figures into a system which then spews out rubbish numbers.

But I don’t blame Idris because the prime minister likes big numbers and grand-sounding projects. So the more billions and trillions the better.

People in government love presentations, consultant speak, projections, etc, etc. Idris impressed the political masters when he was brought in from Shell to Malaysia Airlines.

Did those numbers and talk of transformation at MAS finally bear fruit? I think we have all heard of the MAS-AirAsia share swap and the government’s justification that the national carrier was doomed if the AirAsia was not followed through.

Basically, Idris performed Band Aid on MAS but was unable to do any transformational stuff.

It is the same with PEMANDU. Projects will flow, the connected businessmen will get sweeter-than-ever deals to kickstart their projects and privatisation of the Mahathir era will continue unabated.

But what about those projections of 390k jobs and blah blah. So what? Are you going to sue PEMANDU, the consultants or the government?

Go back and check lah on all the rosy figures projected for the corridors, whether any has materialised.

Anyway, kudos to Ong Kian Ming and REFSA but take a number lah. Even in government, they are sceptical about PEMANDU’s figures.

  1. #1 by dagen wanna "ABU" on Tuesday, 7 February 2012 - 2:02 pm

    390,000 jobs to be created. I bet 80% will be labourer vacancies fit for indons and banglas. So job, yes, if created will make indons and banglas happy. Since dr mamak’s era until now we are still stuck in the low cost/cheap labour economy. Oh yes, I forgot. Dr mamak had great plans to lift the country into high technology and into knowledge-based economy and also to produce steel and heavy industries and car manufacturing etc etc. Tell you wat. It is now quite clear that every single one of them had failed (more or less)! The knowledge based economy objective is the most laughable. We are now further than ever from that knowledge-based economy. The brains we used to have had left the country (to the delight of umno). Now we are actually have an indon/bangla-based economy. Instead of cultivating and growing our own patent rights we have blind umno idiots fighting tooth and nail, protecting their rambutan trees and related rights.

  2. #2 by tak tahan on Tuesday, 7 February 2012 - 11:32 pm


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