Malaysia in the dumps

October 22, 2016

Malaysia in the dumps on account of Najib’s racist politics and bad economics

by Greg Lopez

Image result for Najib's Bad Economics

Malaysia has been governed by the same ruling coalition (Barisan Nasional) since independence in 1957. This coalition provided capable leadership to address the four cross-cutting issues that enabled high and sustainable growth. But the Najib Razak administration appears not only to be faltering in managing these challenges but is actively undermining these achievements to remain in power.–Greg Lopez

Malaysia’s leadership troubles could provide a valuable lesson for other middle-income countries on the importance of effective leadership to sustain long term growth. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has denied allegations of corruption made by The Wall Street Journal. But can a leader and his administration that has been rejected by the electorate drive long term growth?

Image result for Najib the crook

In May 2008, the United Nations Commission on Growth and Development issued a report that attempted to distil the strategies and policies that produced sustained high growth in developing countries. It is clear from the report that politics and leadership are key to successful development. In particular, there are four cross-cutting issues that good leadership delivered: promoting national unity; building high quality institutions; choosing innovative and localised policies; and creating political consensus for long-run policy implementation.

Malaysia is among 13 nations (Botswana, Brazil, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malta, Oman, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand) that the report identified as having sustained growth rates of above 7 per cent for 25 years or more. These 13 countries had five strikingly similar characteristics: they fully exploited global economic opportunities; they maintained macroeconomic stability; they mustered high rates of savings and investment; they let markets allocate resources; and they had committed, credible, capable governments.

Malaysia has been governed by the same ruling coalition since independence in 1957. This coalition provided capable leadership to address the four cross-cutting issues that enabled high and sustainable growth. But the Najib Razak administration appears not only to be faltering in managing these challenges but is actively undermining these achievements to remain in power.

Image result for Najib the crook

The Wharton educated Playboy

At the 13th Malaysian general elections, the Barisan Nasional coalition only managed to secure 47.4 per cent of the popular vote while the opposition coalition secured 50.9 per cent. This is the first time that the ruling coalition has lost the support of the majority of Malaysians. Najib took a presidential approach to the election and committed to spending an estimated US$17.6 billion of targeted development pledges and 1 Malaysia Programs. So it was a shock when the majority of Malaysians opted for a ragtag coalition that included an Islamist party and a socialist party led by a discredited leader.

Image result for Zunar on Rosmah's Greed

Malaysia’s Rosie Mansor, not Rosie O’donnell

Malaysia’s Najib’s popularity had been on a downward trend, from a high of 72 per cent in May 2010 to below 50 per cent in January 2015. But the series of damaging allegations has not only damaged his reputation irrevocably, it has also cemented a negative perception of the government. The majority of Malaysians no longer look favourably upon their government and its institutions. The most recent survey — polled in October 2015 after Najib admitted receiving a US$700 million ‘donation’ into his private bank account — found that 4 out 5 Malaysians were unhappy with the current government.

More damaging perhaps is the fact that only 31 per cent of Malays — the bedrock of support for the United Malays’ National Organisation (UMNO), the dominant party in the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition — were happy with the government’s current performance. The fall among Malays is drastic. It stood at 52 per cent in January 2015 and had never gone below 50 per cent since the independent pollster Merdeka Centre began tracking this data in February 2012. More Malaysians are also of the opinion that the country is heading in the wrong direction. Significantly, this change in sentiment began in the beginning of 2014, several months after the 13th general elections.

In response, Najib has taken several measures to protect his leadership position. These measures have further undermined Malaysia’s national unity, institutions and policy process.

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Najib and Hadi–Malaysia’s Political Laurel and Hardy

Despite the rhetoric of being the leader of all Malaysians, Najib has actively pursued a ‘Malay and Islamic’ supremacy strategy. And he has cosied up with UMNO’s mortal enemy, the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party. The rise of fundamentalist Islam — as in the rest of the world — is a threat in Malaysia. But Najib has sought to bolster his credentials by appealing to conservative Muslims. This has empowered and emboldened the conservative Islamic elements within Malaysia.

Policy making and implementation have been insulated from public scrutiny since the government of long-serving former prime minister Mahathir Mohamed. But under Najib it has even been insulated from scrutiny by the cabinet, let alone the parliament. All major decisions are made by the prime minister and implemented through a hybrid organisation within the Prime Minister’s Department.

Despite Najib’s active pursuit of policies that are detrimental to Malaysian foundations, his economic track record appears to be sound. Malaysia could become a high income country by 2020. Yet Malaysians remain unimpressed by Najib Razak.

Institutions are not built in a day and the impact of Najib’s measures on Malaysia’s longer term growth prospects remain to be seen. For now, other countries caught in the middle-income trap should closely observe the developments in Malaysia.

Greg Lopez is a lecturer with Murdoch University Executive Education Centre, Western Australia. His research interests are in the interaction between states, societies and markets in the ASEAN region.


10 thoughts on “Malaysia in the dumps

  1. Yesterday’s Badget was a Joke. Serious.
    Jibros is getting from worse to worst. A rotting. lying pomegranate.
    Undoubtedly the dregs of a pit latrine as a PM+FM.
    Anyone else with a shred of decency and conscience would have slit his scrotal sacs and exsanguinate..

    There is no money, despite ‘donations’, cash is king motto and all that whoring-philandering. Just look at the current account balance and tell me how is it possible to reduce the national deficit?

    Dedaking is all he has left.., but there are smarter folk out there (and even here) that can go into the details.

    He has copied wholesale what Octo had done (including Sodomee 2), but hasn’t got 5% of the smarts, the foreskin to keep things under control nor realize that times had changed. His money-laundering and rip-off proxies, unlike Octo’s are totally inept morons – not that i countenance wholesale corruption, leakages or cronyism.

    The imbeciles who are keeping him afloat are just as bad, desperately bailing the sinking perahu with their tongues and tails.

    Now why is this rotten fruit of his parents groin avoiding London, NY etc nowadays, but loafing in Berlin? Izzit because of embarrassment by hostile journos or law enforcement, which a serial hypocrite like him shouldn’t feel or be terrified of?

    Or is in Bangkok now (which is understandable, for the King’s funeral) – but also the fact that it is an Offshore Financial Center. Or that he’s gonna offer more of our sovereign land/projects to Slavering Taikor in Beijing soon for kickbacks to save his precious scrotal jewels? Or that he’s gonna Buenos Aires to out compete Octo – who had probably ridden himself of Pampas land the size of Johor?

    Only the camels can come home, while the deer and antelope prance away.

  2. Mahathir created the racist and religo-discriminating system that Najib now prodigally driving the nation to inevitable destruction. Mahathir created it out of ignorance, impatience and deep pathological hate. Najib does it out of greed, irresponsibility and stupidity.

    The Malays risks defining themselves with these characteristic. These are not the basis of nation and society that is sustainable. It’s the reason why we are unimpressed with whatever Najib does. Najib, UMNO and Hadi’s PAS has no real modern clue – just like the likes of Jamal Yunos and Red Shirt. But deep down in our gut, we all do. Just some of us, lack the confidence to believe it which is what they are exploiting.

  3. The real budget of 1Malaysia = initial budget plus the supplementary budget later in the year.

    But then there are the off-budget big ticket items too ………

  4. Agreed that greed is too prevalent. The is no more check and balance.

    Exodus of talent began years ago and if that that is left unchecked, an even worser exodus situation will be accelerated.

    Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

  5. “Anyone else with a shred of decency and conscience would have slit his scrotal sacs and exsanguinate.”. CLF
    I think its already done by Big Momma and now kept in a pickle jar. ha ha

    There’ still lot’s more mega projects that can be hived off to Taikor Xi. SR was correct about ECRL and to make it look legit they shaved off RM5 bil. But what they lose on the straight they gain on the curve. Maybe the Pan Borneo Hiway may be a likely candidate. Perhaps the HSR line since ERL already bought the new coaches from CCRC.

    Returning to the era of Bunga Mas?

  6. ECRL OM?

    We would all agree that it must be done sooner rather than later. But the strange part was altho’ the CCRC project completion estimates was between RM 30-33 B, it ballooned to 55-60 B after it went through EPU and SPAD, with a whole lot of sweeteners thrown in. Even MOT was scratching their receding hairlines.., since there was not much land acquisition to be done; tract alignment/replacement, control signaling and electrification were substantial but not prohibitive. So SR was probably right.

    As for the HSR, Singapore is quietly throwing a spanner into EPU’s grand theft and larceny. The Japs (thru JICA) ain’t easy meat either, but their interest rates and methodology are much more transparent.

    Not so much as returning Bunga Mas, my friend – more like Jual Badan..

    That’s why folks like us gotta invest in a R&D-Innovation-High Skills Hub someplace, after receiving 60% of the actual grant from PMO.., ya? Other 40% goes to preserving scrotal jewels, reptilian growth hormone and botox in a cryogenic flask.

  7. Malaysia is seen today as a failed state. Corruption is rampant. Race and religion issues being forced down the throats on daily basis. Malays getting lesser and lesser educated and more reliant on govt handouts. Islam being brought onto political stage where it doesn’t have it’s place. When Jibby employ brainless monkey like Jamal to intimidate Bershih participants it goes to show how desperate he is to hold onto power. Make no illusions, Jibby is more than eager to leave the throne but demand a safe passage. This cannot be given, he must be made answerable for his crimes. As long as he stay in power he can delay facing court and prison. Hence all these monkeying going on. End word, all malaysians are suffering and will continue to suffer as long as Jibby and his cronies are not locked into cages.

  8. If Malay Muslim UMNO had embraced and had worked on improving on our religious and racial diversity, corruption, from day one, Malaysia would not be in this mess we are in now, today.

    Any idiot can see that.

    They, UMNO’s 3.6 million elitist Malay Muslims are in power, have the manpower, they have the tools and the government assets to do that, instead they decided to be egoistical with the power that they have, discarded even Qur’anic guidance and think only of the non-existent superiority of their race and their religion to the exclusion of all others including other Malay Muslims too.

    Orang Melayu ada Islam, Qur’an, Hadiths, Sunnahs for guidance, as guidance. The Chinese and others in cosmopolitan Malaysia don’t. What’s the difference then? When, even the Qur’an, Hadiths and Sunnahs are useless to these Malay Muslims in power.

    Even with the ‘Penerapan Nilai Nilai Islam Dalam Pentabiran”, in 1985 till today, with JAKIM given RMBillions towards that end, which propelled Malaysia in the opposite direction, into a highly corrupt, thieving civil service from the top down, ketidak teleusan, kleptocracy, race baiting, Islam used and abused, society rotting every second, and the icing on the cake is the Malay Muslim Prime Minster, the President himself of the largest Muslim political party in the world, a corrupter himself, could not handle Malaysia the Islamic way, committing zulm. The Muslim fish always rots from the head.

    Sad to say and fact of the matter is, all of them are Malays.

    It will end in the manner the Muslim caliphates ended, with familial posturings, back stabbings, murder, debauchery and civil war. Helloooo…it’s starting to happen already.

    Malaysia negara Islam. Tak malu ke? Tak sedarkah, apa yang di tonjolkan kepada generasi muda dan yang akan datang? Kepada bukan Islam? Kepada dunia?

    Face it, it’s a totally Malay Muslim style of governance. Melayu Baru.

    You now want to work on unity. UMNO’s Muslim brothers, the brothers in flowing jubah’s, of screaming ‘kafirs!’ and ‘kafir harbi!’ hears them.

    Too late, much too late. The damage’s done.

    That said, it is not an exaggeration if Malaysia is hailed as the beacon of hope for the Muslim world, my pet monkey’s foot!!

  9. Normally thieves get caught after reports are made against them and investigations carried out but those thieves (in the Malaysian government) don’t because they all enjoy immunity and our Police Force are working as their protector instead of upholding the law and act against those criminals!

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