Chronic rent-seeking due to corrupted NEP, says Ku Li

by Joseph Sipalan
Malay Mail Online
4 April 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, April 4 — “Haywire” implementation of the New Economic Policy (NEP) was the cause of the rampant cronyism and rent-seeking now ailing Malaysia, said veteran lawmaker Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.

The former finance minister said the practice of patronage in implementing the policy had undermined the “just and noble” philosophy that underpinned the social engineering programme that was mooted in the aftermath of the May 13, 1969 racial riots.

“The entrenchment of rent-seeking and patronage system into the fabric of Malaysian life begs the question: How did this come to pass?” he said in his keynote address at the launch of the book “Rich Malaysia, Poor Malaysians” last night.

“Much as this sounds like a blame game and much as this is distasteful to swallow, the answer lies in the New Economic Policy; or rather, the NEP that had gone wrong in its implementation,” he added.

Tengku Razaleigh, or Ku Li as he is popularly known, said the country has fallen victim to the machinations of politicians habitually lining their own pockets and colluding with businessmen who were uncompetitive without preferential treatment.

He said such political connections have been a major obstacle to promoting healthy and fair, open competition in business, paving the way for profits to be made through outright corruption, poor regulation and the transfer of public assets through privatisation exercises at bargain prices.

He was especially critical of the Barisan Nasional federal government for treating national oil firm Petronas as its personal “piggy bank”, drawing some RM529 billion in dividends, taxes, petroleum proceeds and export duties over more than three decades.

He cited cases such as the RM2.5 billion bailout of Bank Bumiputera in 1985 plus an additional RM1 billion aid payout to the bank six years later, and also the RM2 billion rescue of Konsortium Perkapalan Berhad in 1997.

“The national oil company was also made to underwrite the construction of the Twin Towers in the heart of the KL golden triangle for RM6 billion and the building of the extravagant Putrajaya for RM22 billion.

“In all, more than a half trillion ringgit has been spent. This amount could have been used more productively to fund a national pension programme for Malaysians as has been done by a certain Scandinavian country,” he said, in an apparent reference to Sweden, which is renowned for its extensive public welfare programme.

While acknowledging that the problem lies with corrupt politicians and their business associates working hand-in-glove to perpetuate their power and wealth, Tengku Razaleigh stressed that the solution must come from the public.

The outspoken Gua Musang MP added that this change must also be supported by a revamped education system that puts a premium on logical and critical thinking over rote memorisation just to make the grade.

“I say pressure must be brought to bear and it must be made known that we will not tolerate any more politics that is less than ethical.

“We must clearly and loudly make it known that politics must be practised with a high level of integrity. No, politics is not dirty but its practitioners, more often than not, are,” he said.

  1. #1 by boh-liao on Friday, 4 April 2014 - 8:47 am

    Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, based on Norway’s oil n gas income, has grown so much that it makes every Norwegian citizen a “theoretical” millionaire
    Here, only some well-connected individuals became multi-billionhair (secret well protected by OSA, ISA, n whatsoever A)

  2. #2 by Justice Ipsofacto on Friday, 4 April 2014 - 9:23 am

    So the problem lies in the corrupted NEP.


    Do we want to know that? In fact that observation is as good as useless.

    Come on kuli. Be more forthright. Who corrupted the NEP.

    Tell us.

    Then again dont we all know the answer already?

    Yeah dont we all?

  3. #3 by waterfrontcoolie on Friday, 4 April 2014 - 11:13 am

    Yb, TR; the fact is so obvious; hence those who benefited now will NEVER want to have any changes especially in national education policy which we all know and it is also proven that it is a Total Failure! And what we should be all worried, TR; is that a good portion of educated Malays seem not bothered! This proves how engrained their mind-set on this issue. They seem to forget that the world today will wait for no one; unless you want to spin off this planet. We have MH370 as an example and now the repeat of kidnapping at a location which recently was invaded by terrorists or ……..?????????? All we have is the slogan repeated time and again by the Super EGO, just to mislead the gullible Malaysians; many of whom have definitely cannot differentiate shadows from reality. No doubt after50 plus years of power, UMNO cannot just disappear from the scene; it depends on those rational leaders like you and Abdulah of Pahang to find the path not to save the Party but the NATION! If you don’t then all these speeches and lectures will be nothing!

  4. #4 by mickeytiger2006 on Friday, 4 April 2014 - 5:50 pm

    Tengku, no point saying that the whole system is corrupted….. better change the govt by joining the opposition or better still take over Anwar if he goes to jail! Take actions no point just talking!

  5. #5 by boh-liao on Saturday, 5 April 2014 - 5:46 am

    CAN TRH honestly admit dat he DID NOT benefit at all fr rent-seeking through corrupted NEP

  6. #6 by boh-liao on Saturday, 5 April 2014 - 1:35 pm

    Frankly lots of rakyat R SICK of TRH, a no principle invertebrate which crawled back 2 d corrupt, racist Perkosa-UmnoB/BN n now pretending 2 b a SAINT
    His hands r equally, if not more, stained like all evil n corrupt Perkosa-UmnoB/BN kaki
    Pls lah, sudah lah, cukup lah, just b quiet n get ready 2 face your creator

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