Najib as “Father of Transformation’?

PM Najib prides himself as the ‘Father of Transformation’ or ‘Bapa Transformasi’ because of the spate of transformation initiatives which he has launched since taking over as Prime Minister in 2009.

He has certainly transformed the Malaysian lexicon by introducing an alphabet soup of acronyms such as the ETP, GTP, NKRA, NKEA, SRI, NEM, BR1M and KR1M, just to name a few.

The expensive consultants who conceived of these terms have certainly benefitted from these transformation initiatives. But the positive impact on the man on the street is far less apparent.

While the Prime Minister still sounds positive about his transformation initiatives, his budget tells us a different story.

The budgetary allocations for ETP and GTP related initiatives have decreased for the past two years, from a high of RM15.5b in 2011 to RM8.3b in 2013, a reduction of 46.5%. The allocation for the 6 NKRAs under the GTP has decreased by 47%, from RM9.5b in 2011 to RM5.0b in 2013. The allocation for the 12 NKEAs under the ETP has decreased by 45%, from RM6b in 2011 to RM3.3b in 2013.

The decrease in the allocation for the GTP raises three important questions. Firstly, have the desired KPIs in the NKRAs been achieved? Secondly, even with the decrease in the budgetary allocations, have the funds been properly allocated?

Thirdly, is the decrease in funding for the GTP a sign that PM Najib is slowly but surely abandoning the GTP in favor of direct cash handouts in order to buy votes in the run up to the next general election?

The answer to the first question is an obvious NO.

According to the GTP Annual Report 2012, the 2012 targets were much more aggressive compared to the 2011 targets. For example, the length of roads to be built was increased from 905km in 2011 to 1350 in 2012, an increase of 49%. The number of houses to be connected with clean water and a regular electricity supply was increased from 58087 and 26822 in 2011 to 201192 and 39442 respectively in 2012, an increase of 246% and 47% respectively.

This is supposed to be achieved with a lower budgetary allocation. Presumably the targets for 2013 would also be higher. And yet, this has to be achieved with a lower budgetary allocation.

The funding under the development expenditure for the Rural Basic Infrastructure (RBI) NKRA was decreased from RM6.4b in 2011 to RM5.1b in 2012 and will be further decreased in this 2013 budget to RM3.2b. In other words, funding for RBI has been cut in half since 2011 even though the KPIs for this NKRA have increased significantly since 2011.

One only hopes that PEMANDU will not be asked to ‘massage’ the KPI data for RBI in future years in the same manner to how the KPIs for crime reduction seem to have been ‘massaged’.

The second question involves the allocation of resources between and within the various NKRAs.

Let’s take a look at budgetary allocation for the Crime NKRA, one of the highest profile NKRAs under the GTP. According to the budget estimates from 2011 to 2013, the allocation for NKRA Crime specific initiatives was reduced from RM351m in 2011 to RM239.8m in 2012 and then increased to RM322.3m in 2013.

What was interesting about the increase in allocation from 2012 to 2013 is that most of this went to the NKRA initiative to ‘Increase Safety Perception index’, which is equivalent to the ‘Reduce Fear of Crime’ NKRA initiative in the 2012 and 2011 budget estimates. The increase in this allocation is a whopping RM103m!

While some of this increased allocation would involve policing initiatives such as the expansion of the ‘Omnipresence’ and the ‘Whiten’ Black Spots programs, it is likely that a significant portion would be channeled towards public relations exercises including organizing a ‘Crime Awareness Day’, conducting independent surveys and beefing up the PDRM Communications Unit.

In other words, instead of allocating more resources to reducing crime such as Street Crime (which only gets Rm26.4m of the NKRA Crime budget), much of this additional resources will be used for PR instead.

Hence, not only has the funding for most of the NKRAs been cut, what is left also seems to be in danger of being misallocated for empty publicity measures.

The reduction in the allocation for the GTP and the ETP is an indication that PM Najib is getting desperate and is abandoning his transformation initiatives in favor of buying votes with direct handouts.

An additional symptom of favoring short term handouts to longer term structural changes is the fact that development expenditure will be decreased from RM49.8b in 2012 to RM49.7b. Our development expenditure has decreased from 24% of the total budget to less than 20% of total expenditure in the latest budget. This is very concerning since having a healthy development expenditure is necessary to lay the foundations of future growth in our country.

PM’s commitment to the ETP also shows signs of flagging. The budgetary allocation for the ETP was a whopping RM6b in 2011. If this figure is to be believed, this would mean that government investment in the ETP was 47% of the total actualized investment of RM12.9b under the ETP in 2011, a much larger figure than the 8% target government investment target set by PEMANDU.

This figure has been reduced by almost half, to RM3.3b in 2013. If this reduction is because the private sector has stepped in to fill the investment targets of the ETP, then this would not be a problem.

But the reduction in the budgetary allocation for the ETP has come at a time when the committed investments for the ETP have also decreased. For 2012, announced investments for the ETP stand at only RM16b or about 16% of the RM167b of committed investments announced in 2011.

As private sector doubts continue to rise with regard to the economic viability of the ETP, the PM seems also to have realized this and has cut the budgetary allocation to the ETP, hoping that this quiet bailing out would escape public attention.

The only allocation which has increased is that allocated to the Strategic Reform Initiatives (SRIs). Sadly, the amount allocated for structural reforms via the SRIs is only a measly RM154m in 2013 from an equally measly RM121.5m in 2012.

The SRIs, which were originally devised in the New Economic Model (NEM) under the National Economic Advisory Council (NEAC), seems to have been left behind and ignored after being appended to the ETP. Of the 51 SRIs which were identified in the NEM, 14 were housed in existing ‘natural homes’ as part of either an NKEA or NKRA. The remaining 37 were clustered into 6 rebranded SRIs.

However, many of the specific SRIs have not been implemented and the small amount of funding allocated to the SRIs in Budget 2013 is a reflection of this. For example, the SRI to ‘Set Up a Central Oversight Authority’ to re-examine the ‘Government’s Role in Business’ has not been implemented. The SRI to ‘Introduce Unemployment Insurance’ to set up a Labor Safety Net as part of the ‘Human Capital Development’ cluster has also been ignored. Similarly, the SRI to ‘revive the national development planning committee (NDPC) as the Premier Body for Policy Development, Coordination and Consultation’ under the ‘Public Service Delivery’ cluster has also been ignored.

The failure of the various transformation schemes can best be seen in Malaysia’s fall in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report from 21 in 2011 to 25 in 2012.

Malaysia’s ranking fell by 4 places as a result of being overtaken by Korea, Luxembourg, New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates. At the same time, Malaysia’s score fell slightly, from 5.08 in 2011 to 5.06 in 2012.

This was reflected in the fact that out of the 148 indicators used by the WEF to compile this ranking, Malaysia experienced in fall in its ranking in 77 indicators compared to a rise in its ranking in only 48 indicators with its ranking in the remaining 23 indicators remaining unchanged.

These indicators cover initiatives under the GTP such as corruption as well as the ETP such as broadband access and the SRIs such as public finance reforms. It is another indicator to show that after the initial excitement over the GTP and the ETP, these efforts have fizzled out.

Public skepticism in Malaysia over these transformation initiatives are reflected in international rankings and surveys.

(Speech 3 on the 2013 Budget on Thursday, October 4, 2012)

  1. #1 by monsterball on Thursday, 4 October 2012 - 5:33 pm

    Now we know why Najib dare not show himself at Parliament for Anwar’s rebuttal speech.
    Najib sure is the Father of Transformation….transforming Malaysia from bad to worst and trying his best to transform Malaysians to be Patriots and Traitors.
    He is transforming Malaysians to agree or disagree.
    He is not uniting Malaysians at all.
    His “1Malaysia” “People First” are pure nonsense.

  2. #2 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Thursday, 4 October 2012 - 5:38 pm

    It’s funny how things get lost so easily under UMNO’s watch:
    1) Money sinks with Scorpene submarine.
    2) Money swims with BNM forex casino
    3) Jet engines
    4) Latest: SPM exam papers

    So much for UMNO’s transformasi – transforming the nation’s wealth into palm grease.

  3. #3 by sheriff singh on Thursday, 4 October 2012 - 6:02 pm

    Father of Alphabet Soup.
    Father of Tokkok.
    Father of Mumbo-Jumbo.

    Take your pick.

  4. #4 by monsterball on Thursday, 4 October 2012 - 6:06 pm

    Actually… makes it easier for voters to decide….especially to the young first time voters.
    So easy for voters to decide.
    Just look at Malacca CM spending RM600,000 on his son’s wedding.
    Don’t forget cowherd stole RM250 million.
    RM12.4 billion PKFZ case on….not settled yet and if all think Ling Liong Sik can do it all by himself…you are NUTS!!
    The most important is none other that Scorpene and Atlantuya’s murder..immigration record…all vanish into think air.
    Best joke of all….Najib goes to the mosque and declare he is innocent…case close on him….he is all truthful.

  5. #5 by sheriff singh on Thursday, 4 October 2012 - 6:08 pm

    Whilst other countries go up the scale, any scale, !Malaysia generally goes down. It must say something about where our country’s leaders are taking us.

    Latest THE Listing of the World’s Top 400 Universities just released show NONE of Malaysia’s universities made this list. Maybe they all boycott this survey, maybe they all just sunk to new lows under BN.

    Singapore’s two Universities NUS and NTU are now in the top 100. What did they do right? What did we do wrong ?

  6. #6 by monsterball on Thursday, 4 October 2012 - 6:14 pm

    Govt spend millions and built a hotel in Malacca call “Mutiara” and bragged it will be better than Shangarila…decades ago.
    Go to Kelbang Besar and visit that hotel.
    I think…give you free to stay…you will not want.
    And all these are forgotten.
    Soon hundreds of millions will be spent again…to bring it back alive.

  7. #7 by monsterball on Thursday, 4 October 2012 - 6:21 pm

    The Govt spend millions to build retainer walls at Riverside for tourists in Malacca.
    Walls are cracking now.
    Each and every project….including KLCC…. PutraJaya cracks are found.
    They want huge “commission” and so contractors build with inferior products.
    Worst of all….they know next to nothing about tensile strength.
    All they care are millions into their pocket….buy bangalows…Merz or BMW…live like multi millionaires…with no sweat…to get millions.

  8. #8 by sheriff singh on Thursday, 4 October 2012 - 6:27 pm

    Our earlier PMs have been called ‘Bapa’ this and Bapa that.

    The current one is more of a ‘Bapok’.

  9. #9 by monsterball on Thursday, 4 October 2012 - 6:27 pm

    And so….Najib said…it’s time to give Malaysians some money back.
    They stole more than RM120 billion and counting…under umno B …these 35 years.
    Give back some to Malaysians means all umno B crooks stop stealing for awhile and take some money …all belonging to Malaysians and give to Malaysians.
    It is using OUR MONEY to buy votes indirectly.
    For that….Najib thinks he is very smart.

  10. #10 by monsterball on Thursday, 4 October 2012 - 6:42 pm

    This “1Malaysia” hypocrite has forgotten his promise to crack down corruptions.
    He has infact encouraging corruptions..openly…with no fear.
    I love hearing him said…”When I make a promise, I never break it.” at Rajeng Park.
    He has broken all his promises earning the label…flip flopper PM…liar….numerous occasions.
    To me….it is strange he does not know vast majority Malaysians do not trust him…and yet he told his Ministers be concern how Malaysians are judging the Govt.
    I bet you…no one cares about his advises or command in the cabinet.
    They are 100% united behind him….how to win 13th GE….and avoid being investigated for corruptions.
    Being an Opposition after 13th GE is not an option.
    Winning 13th GE is a must.
    He is Santa Clause months ahead Christmas and long after Christmas….till April next year.

  11. #11 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Thursday, 4 October 2012 - 7:33 pm

    Najib says: “Leaders must set example in fighting corruption.”

    hello, is that Najib speaking again? is that the ‘bapa transformasi something funny?’

    hello, najib, can u please say a better joke next time around? This one, nobody is laughing.

    smile, scorpene.

  12. #12 by yhsiew on Thursday, 4 October 2012 - 9:44 pm

    Father of Chameleon Politics?

  13. #13 by dagen wanna "ABU" on Thursday, 4 October 2012 - 9:56 pm

    Oh yeah? He transformed into megatron, the big bad decepticon from planet cyberton.

  14. #14 by Bigjoe on Thursday, 4 October 2012 - 10:23 pm

    The crux of the problem really is Najib is mediocre intellectually but yet he see otherwise even relishing to pretend so which always reveals his intellectual ineptness.

    Take for example today speech on corruption – he excuses corruption in govt by blaming other segments of societies and postulating called “the unbridled and ruthless pursuit of extraordinary profit” a form of corruption”.

    When it comes to corruption, its always the govt that must lead the way because ONLY THE GOVT MAKES & ENFORCE THE LAW – the basic system that governs our society. NOT only that even if leaders of other segments of society can play a role, they are at best complementary and can NEVER exceed the role even when it comes to social or even spiritual.

    Najib is a hack at real thinking. The mediocrity is unfortunately expected but the ridiculous self-delusion that he is not is what is astounding. How can such a person truly understand the complexity of ‘transformation’ of a society, originally somewhat challenged, but further perverted by his own party for several decades?

  15. #15 by rockdaboat on Thursday, 4 October 2012 - 11:31 pm

    Father of transformation indeed!

    Transform the ruling party of Malaysia from BN to Pakatan!

  16. #16 by Jeffrey on Friday, 5 October 2012 - 2:21 am

    Per #15 by Bigjoe & Malaysian Insider (Lee Wei Lian)’s report of 4th Oct, PM said that social norms and values play a critical role in corruption, that did not only involve the government but also the private sector and that this makes “the behaviour of all those in positions of leadership be it in politics government business civil society education and the home especially important in instiling the right values and basics of ethical conduct ”. This is truly a “transformational” statement that have not been heard from any earlier Malaysian political leader. It can be construed or misconstrued as the Govt’s leaders diffusing or pushing responsibility to tackle this social cancer to leaders of business civil society education and the home! Sure, corruption arises at the intersection of culture, the market, and the state and “self gain at other expense” is even learnt from the home and in this sense is culturally embedded. However to emphasize this obvious fact is to flash the cultural sensitivity card which comes dangerously close to making a self absolving statement to diffuse responsibility of the state and its leader to play the leading role to change the cultural attitudes.

  17. #17 by Jeffrey on Friday, 5 October 2012 - 2:24 am

    After all, it is the state that has coercive legal enforcement powers and it is those elected to positions of power to first, by example of dealings and character, to abjure corruption and avert be seen to be tainted by it and to be seen steadfastly without selective or knee jerked behaviour enforce the laws against corruption without fear or favour, no matter how embedded corruption is in culture. The responsibility to tackle corruption is first and foremost on the shoulders of those in top of political hierarchy elected to fight this problem rather than apologise for it by broadening that responsibility downwards to be shared by all other leaders of every other sector from business to home, as if to suggest its everyone’s problem so don’t leave it to politicians/govt or expect too much from them if or when other leaders in business home or other context don’t do their part to “instill a natural abhorrence to corruption into the conscience of society”.

  18. #18 by Jeffrey on Friday, 5 October 2012 - 2:32 am

    You & I as ordinary citizens or a scholar of sociology can say this obvious fact – that corruption is an inevitable result of social norms and culture deeply embedded and self-reinforcing or interacting between players from ordinary citizens, businessmen bureaucrats and politicians. But for a top political leader to say it – isn’t it opened to interpretation of diminished if not self absolving responsibility to take a lead role to fight this social cancer?

  19. #19 by boh-liao on Friday, 5 October 2012 - 2:38 am

    He is Bapa KSKS (not Bapa Kit Siang2, lol) but Bapa KiaSiKiaSu or Bapa BB (4 Bluff Bluff)
    Dare not DEBATE with AI or FACE AI, so boh hood 1, LOL

    Dat RM600,000 wedding 4 130,000 guests, really aah? How can 1 lah? Less than RM5 per guest? What!? Less than 1 plate of one-ton mee?
    So so cheap meh? Boh bin lor, jatuh muka, jatuh maruah, man!
    Sure no 1 or more ZERO (0) missing?

  20. #20 by boh-liao on Friday, 5 October 2012 - 6:50 am

    What kind of transformation?
    None of our univ got ranked in d Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings, while NUS n NTU jumped UP 11 n 83 places respectively

    Over here, we hv news of Universiti Tun Hussein Onn deputy V-C who claimed trial 2 corruption charge
    Following d leaders n culture of UmnoB/BN mah, what’s new?

  21. #21 by Bunch of Suckers on Friday, 5 October 2012 - 7:51 am

    That sucker can be father of transformation? Pigs can fly and fart like humans!!

  22. #22 by yhsiew on Friday, 5 October 2012 - 8:20 am

    With national debt nearing to 55% of GDP, Najib has no choice but to put a brake on his transformation initiatives.

  23. #23 by drngsc on Friday, 5 October 2012 - 8:50 am

    May I add one more acronym to Najib’s many titles.
    Najib – ATO for ALL TALK ONLY.
    He is very very good at sloganising. Very poor on delivery of promises.

    We must change the tenant at Putrajaya. The time is coming soon. GE 13 is around the corner. First to GE 13, then to Putrajaya.

    Change we must. Change we can. Change we will.

  24. #24 by dagen wanna "ABU" on Friday, 5 October 2012 - 8:51 am

    Our universities are completely out of the world ranking chart. Ni dia kerja bapak transformasi yg sebenar!

  25. #25 by dagen wanna "ABU" on Friday, 5 October 2012 - 10:23 am

    Dear Dr ngsc, are u sure jib is v good at sloganeering? He is stupid. He could not coin any by himself. He has to get someone to do it. And know wot? That means paying someone for the job of coining slogans. That’s our money, btw. If at all he is good at anything, it must be spending our money!


  26. #26 by Bigjoe on Friday, 5 October 2012 - 10:47 am

    Simply put, for what Ali Rustam respond of ‘spiteful and jealous’ of PR attack on his abuse of power and corruption of his son’s wedding, if UMNO do anything else other than end the career of Ali Rustam, they are beyond hope of ‘transformation’..

  27. #27 by Cinapek on Friday, 5 October 2012 - 4:38 pm

    ‘Bapa Transformasi’ ? You got to be kidding!! I think “bapa Scorpene”, “uncle NFC”, “spouse Birkin”, “Father Xmas Ampang MRT”, seems more appropriate.

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