Malay economic empowerment as promised by Umno is, for most Malays, fool’s gold!

By CT Ali

Dec 05, 2013

Malay economic empowerment as promised by Umno is, for most Malays, fool’s gold!


What is happening in Malaysia today is the economic empowerment of a small number of well-connected Malays who have become insanely wealthy through the use of state and federal power to acquire business opportunities from the government, from other people and through the acquisition of assets other people created.

The biggest beneficiaries of crony-capitalism.

The biggest beneficiaries of crony-capitalism.

All these economic activities have been fully funded by banks and financial institutions under the control of the Umno-led Barisan Nasional government.

These people are well entrenched in the economic and political hierarchies – positions critical to the financial well being of their corporations where the size of their debts to these financial institutions are of no consequence.

The largest of these corporate empires belongs to Syed Mokhtar AlBukhary- 8th richest Malaysian according to Forbes – with a debt of RM34 billion to match.

Syed Mokhtar AlBukhary- 8th richest Malaysian according to Forbes – with a debt of RM34 billion to match !

Syed Mokhtar AlBukhary- 8th richest Malaysian according to Forbes – with a debt of RM34 billion to match !

All this has been done at the cost of impoverishing the entire country. For now the Umno-led BN can hold it together but only just but not indefinitely. When the Umno-empowered economy fails, our country fails. Have no doubt about that!

Tell me which foreign investor would wish to invest in Malaysia once they know Umno as we know Umno?

Who would keep shelling out massive “rent seeking” outlay to politicians and their nominees just so they can trade “on a level playing field?”

What savvy business operatives would continue to pursue business opportunities with strings attached and without incentives?

I have sat in a corporate boardroom where the business of the day consists of earnest discussions between the board of directors of the company and the ‘Umno representative/chairman’ of the company.

The matter discussed? When can a meeting be arranged by the chairman for the company CEO to meet with relevant ministers or the prime minister to discuss the projects they can ‘negotiate’ in the coming months. Or which tender have been earmarked by Umno for the said company?

At RM20,000 a month plus expenses, the chairman has to earn his keep. He has been drawing his chairman’s fee for eight months without any return in sight – surely a worry for any corporation no matter its size.

Corruption and incompetence

The intent of the chairman (as he had quietly informed me at lunch) was that once the meeting was over, he would call for his driver and his company-provided Mercedes Benz and adjourn to a 5-Star hotel to meet with sahabats that walk the corridors of power in Putrajaya.

There they will discuss the coming weekend golfing trip to Jakarta and whether their preferred female caddy would be on duty that weekend.

If not, other arrangements must be made to make their time in Jakarta pleasant and conducive to discuss business opportunities each of them have in their portfolio.

Discussions in Jakarta are preferred to avoid the prying eyes of the locals in KL – so they say.

While some corporations willingly jump into bed with these Malay Mr-Fix-It, the Chinese are far more adept at bypassing or evading the economic empowerment of the Malays if it requires their participation.

Contrary to popular lore, it is the Chinese who are sought after by these Malays “to do business” and not the other way around.

Every changing of the guard within Umno sees the same Chinese corporate figures playing musical chairs with the incoming power that be. And always the Chinese are ahead in the matter of “value for money” invested in these Malays who have nothing to sell but their links to Umno.

The Chinese never allows greed (a human trait that abounds amongst many Umno Malays) to get in the way of a good business deal.

However hard it is becoming to logically defend the economic empowerment of any race, Umno persists in pushing for the continued economic empowerment of the Malays – the Umno Malays that is.

As for political power, Umno is using race to hold on to power. The beneficiaries of Umno’s policy in the BN government are Umno Malays and yet what Umno have promised the Malays are achievable if only corruption and incompetence did not get in the way.

Economic empowerment of the Malays is used as a vehicle to drive corruption and incompetence to the level required.

Corruption and incompetence are entrenched. One feed off the other. We are now experiencing the consequence of decades of corruption and incompetence and if any nation can be said to have a death wish – Malaysia has one.

How can any nation survive?

Competent companies without “meaningful” Malay participation are denied work. These participation comes at a minimum premium of 20% of the contract costs – a costs that the people have to bear.

“Other costs” are factored in after the award of the contract. If variation orders are unable to allow the main contractors to recoup their outlay, then invariably these contracts are not completed on time and within budget or simply abandoned.

This happens everyday in projects after projects, contracts after contracts and in every conceivable “business opportunities” that these opportunistic politicians can dream of.

Fool’s gold

Put simply the situation our nation is now in is untenable. The money from Petronas that contributes over 40% of our nations income continues to be the privy of our prime minster – the chief protagonist of this so called economic empowerment of the Umno Malays.

What this prime minister of ours will do with the money is his prerogative. People use their prerogative to do good, unfortunately our prime minister is not that way inclined.

All other financial authorities and institutions from the banks, Tabung Haji, Economic Planning Unit, Khazanah Nasional Berhad, Employees Provident Fund and Permodalan Nasional Berhad are already compromised for Umno has no qualms in directing them to “assist” in the efforts of Umno to economically empower Malays in Umno.

Soon such distractions as race and religion can no longer be depended upon to rally the Malays against the non-existent threats from the Christians and the Chinese.

Soon there will be no more money for subsidies, no more money to prop up an unsustainable economy and critically for Umno, no more money for money politics.

We hope for the Malays to see that the economic empowerment promised to them by Umno is just fool’s gold.

For the others they already know that there will be no remarkable economic recovery as promised by Najib.

No social change or progress as envisaged in 1Malaysia. No long term vision, no innovative strategies and policies to transform Malaysia into a high-income nation. Only doom and gloom awaits.

CT Ali is a reformist who believes in Pakatan Rakyat’s ideologies. He is a FMT columnist.

29 thoughts on “Malay economic empowerment as promised by Umno is, for most Malays, fool’s gold!

  1. Why is Sri Perdana owned by Syed Mokhtar and leased back to the government? For that matter, most of Putrajaya buildings are owned by UMNO.

  2. Yes !
    It is All Pyrites and Pirates, Covered Up by UmnoBaruPutera Elites ,
    In the Name of Malay Economic Empowerment.

    Most Disabling and Self-Denying, Largely For the Malays and the Country .

    CT Ali has Spoken.

    So, the Rest is Up to the Malays, Themselves,
    to Speak Up and Act Against the Falsehood of Misplaced Empowerment of
    NOT only the Malays, but the Whole Nation….
    …and Make a Critical Difference.

    Malaysians , Minus the Umno Baru Elitists , Are Fully Supportive.

  3. Uncle Din
    If it is in Thailand , Indonesia or other any Third World countries things like this cannot simply go on and on. The people will just resort to some kind of armed or violent protest. But I before long Malaysia might ended with that if these people are pushed to the wall.

  4. If KJ wants non bumi companies to be subjected to the same rules as government and GLCs then he must be prepared also to extend the same privileged status them.

  5. I don’t see how the Malays are going to wake up to this whole charade of improving the whole lot of Malays. Not for another 50 years. They are still in their sleep believing that so long as UMNO is in power, their lives are going to get better.

  6. Bangla,
    Nah! Raja Petra says that Malaysian are EXTREMELY TOLERANT ones. Be prepared to be under the rule of the Mamak son, Mukriz forever & ever. Amen

  7. The real question is how is this year different than what happened in past UMNO GA? Actually not much – its more of the same direction they have been doing for decades – yes its more extremist and blatant, but they have pushed the boundaries every year.

    BUT it means that there is no “change”, no “transformation” which we have always known.

    Only real difference is that Najib is unprecedentedly fake and phoney – to everyone – including to UMNO. He is playing his poor version of “slick willy” and the ones that his lapping it all up most are UMNO i..e, UMNO is drinking most of the cool-aid they make for everyone meaning they have to keep stealing more to pay for it.

  8. Nothing will change… just looking at how the UMNO delegates cheer and clap today at the General Assembly when their President told them that BN actually won the popular votes, tells me nothing will change, coz they still eat out from the president’s hands… the way they cheer when their president show them the video attacking Anwar Ibrahim… sickening and sad… is there hope at all, Din?

  9. Aiyo, pacing ikan pun tak tahu..
    What’s the use of ‘Empowerment’ when all it means is Robbery, Carpetbagging, Rent-Seeking and sheer Cretinism. That’s besides the sheer obesity and harlotry. Look at the size of their women wings – or shall i say, Blimps?

    But this moron is truly representative of their inability to ‘think’. Their realpolitik is akin to ‘Bodoh sampai dumbass’ – asinus asinum fricat! Or better still, Asinus ad lyram.

  10. What is this newly minted word ” False gold ” by CT Ali, is it emas-tulin or emas tiruan ( real gold or imitation gold ) about this Empowerment of Malay economic agenda ? Big word ‘ empowerment ‘ , peanuts in terms of real achievement , don’t fool yourselves, b’coz Bumis generally love artificialities merely to feel good. Why ?
    Fooling everybody, getting Mega-things on the Right, and ‘passing ‘ them on the Left, to Mega-contractors and Vendors, satisfied to reap that ten percent under-counter, and have easy life ever-after…..ORANG KAYA BARU, strutting about like Peacocks, in lands across the seas…..nearby. That’s how Cronyism works in high places. And that peanuts 10% too, by Inflating the Contract value, and the big-time Contractors load twice the value of their own Profits, such that the overloading is almost 30% without no one realising it.
    Wow ‘ Memperkasa-kan…..’ , dengan memperbodoh kan, dan di-perbodoh kan….. ( Is that why he says ” Fools Gold ” ? )

  11. I recently bumped into one of prominent Umno guys who has been sidelined by Najib & Gang. He said he can now see the light at the end of the tunnel but not sure what light it is. Oncoming train or a flash light ?? But certainly not the kind of light he is hoping for. Even among Umno members they feel and sense the helplessness at the sheer lack of will to do anything good other than to the very few of their own species. We just need to cause them to implode by the will of the people.

  12. ‘..newly minted word ” False gold ” ‘ Abnizar

    Fool’s gold is Iron Pyrite -FeS2 laa.., buddy. Didn’t i tell you to study your chemistry properly? Like that, how to discuss Quantum Mechanics with you? Much less, the concept of The Ineffable.. (I stay in Selangor, okay?)

    Since i brought up this, might as well share with you guys what i really think of UMNOb – it’s neither alive or dead. Also known as Schrodinger’s Cat (go you-tube it), a thought experiment. For all we know, UMNOb flunkies do not exhibit any brain wave function. This ‘wave function’ is a property of all matter and is described mathematically as Schrodinger’s Equation.

    Really, a sad bunch of morons with the the properties of Fool’s Gold. It’s the Rakyats’ gold that we should worry about. UMNOb ‘works’ on the premise that they inherited Gold from their ancestors (whoever they were) by religion and rights. Actually all they inherited came from a sperm and egg. Peasants like us, should be more forward looking. We should believe that this Nation is held in trust and stewardship by us for future generations.

    Faham, Paham.., ke tak?

  13. Chicos y chicas,
    I hope that just as CLF has said, we must be forward looking. Otherwise, we would end up with what Don Mclean has sung about

  14. Sure,

    it is a Common Mineral Ore that Has Deceived Most, the Malays , Including the UmnoBaruputera Elitists, Whose Empowerment Value Can Never Stand up to an Acid Test.

    You Don’t Need a Politician Mineralogist or Chemist to Verify that its Value Will Disintegrate Literally into Farting Gas with Bits of Iron as Residue.

    CL Ali Has Understood Well the False Value Behind the Foolish Economy Empowerment.
    The Message is Clear .
    Wake Up ,The Malays and Malaysia !

  15. RIP (former) President Mandela of the Republic of South Africa.

    A real role model for the children of Malaysia (and not Mahathir and his UMNO Baru types). He helped South Africa to change from a racist Apartheid society with relatively little bloodshed and violence. Truly a great man.

  16. @kilau, thank you for your elucidations, you certainly are a ‘ Scientist ‘, a metallurgist if I may say, and I then understand how fake things can ‘appear’ to be genuine – like human qualities of pretensions, or in simple word a Chameleon….?
    CLF, it may be a good idea if we can somehow ‘ meet ‘ , but there’s lethargy on my part due to growing ineptitude. Yeah….but esoteric things fascinate me plenty, Exoteric stuffs are mundane, I guess tiredness overcomes the aging man…..
    It’ll be a pleasure to meet ‘mystics’ like your self, ‘conclusions’ may be same or similar, but ‘meanderings’ over hills and valleys will be a tedious job, before we finally meet at the ‘ hill-top’……

  17. /// Foo December 5, 2013 at 1:16 pm
    Sad but true but is there light at the end of the tunnel? ///

    Yes. But it is that of an on-coming train.

  18. @ kilau, I am tempted again by your ” False Value behind the Foolish Empowerment ” of Bumi’s economic agenda. Mesti lah gembling tenaga empat kerat dan bekerja Keras, saperti kaum Cina, dan bukan secara ambil dari kanan dan beri kepada orang lain di-sabelah kiri……demekiian itu, pihak Bumiputra sentiasa berkehendak-kan ‘ Short cuts in life ‘ , easy way out , sahingga bila boleh Ber-Transformasi ? ?
    Hon PM is sending out the wrong Message so that Bumis become more & more complacent when he says : Kaum Bumiputra dan Melayu mesti lah berpaut kepada UMNO untok masa hadapan mereka. So, everyone of them in mad rush to Gravitate to that ‘ centre’ , jostle and hope for FREE handouts – that ” Psychology ” is real bad for the Malays, not good.

    Just consider this : In Metro Harian, a Bumi Land-owner ” JUTAWAN HIDUP DALAM KEMISKINAN ” , a piece of Property worth RM15 Million, and he stays in ‘ poverty “, what a Contradiction, pathetic. The Paradox is in the Malay mindset, bukan kerana Kemiskinan harta, tetapi Kemiskinan dalam jiwa dan sanubari Sendiri – that is ” poverty ” , poverty of our own mind.

    Hendak Transformasi, tranformasi bagaimana….? ? Please lah….there’s NO short-cuts in life, its all hard work and Industry, and the Chinese quality of Resilience…….
    Berpaut sana sini, di-manja2 kan sahingga Terlena – TOLONG PAUT PADA DIRI SENDIRI, ( Ya, Party, tegoh kan Party lain implikasi nya )

  19. Kindly allow me to correct myself slightly, and re-word it this way : ” Well, it may be a well-intentioned Message by Hon’ PM, but he is sending out the wrong ‘signal’ to the Malay masses……”

  20. Empowerment what ? Just like Bung Mokhtar, left with batang and angan-angan only. But still okay lah, got many corridors to walk along though all kosong. It will be good if Ah Jib Gor can organise a trip for all these 1Melayu umnoputras to visit Kim Jung Un to learn a little tricks to con the Melayu forever.

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