Honesty Beats ‘Tact’–Sarawak Report


May 25, 2018

Honesty Beats ‘Tact’–Sarawak Report

http://www.sarawakreport.org/talkback/honesty-beats-tact/

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New Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng would do well to remember he is no longer an opposition politician, as while his vocal tell-all approach on the 1MDB scandal certainly wins points for honesty, it is having the opposite effect on investors…

Instead, the writer said it only risked leaving investors with an “uncertain fiscal outlook”.

“Investors are uneasy about things getting out of hand. Already, foreigners have sold out on the nation’s stocks for 13 consecutive days.

“For Lim to declare in his first press conference that government debt has exceeded one trillion ringgit ($251 billion) because of a sly public bailout of 1MDB gets him full marks for honesty, but not for tact.

Mukherjee’s opinion also ran in line with that of Najib, who warned his successor that revealing the nation’s debt level at RM1 trillion without providing adequate details would only alarm the credit rating agencies and investors’ confidence.

Meanwhile, Arul Kanda today said he is mulling legal action against Lim, as the former felt the claims made against him by Lim were unfair and did not accurately represent his answers to the ministry.

Our comment

To suggest that it is better for the Finance Minister to continue to lie ‘tactfully’, in order to gull investors is preposterous.

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Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng is off to a good start by being honest about Malaysia’s Finances

The run on stocks came after investors realised they had put money into Malaysia based on lies by the previous Prime Minister cum Finance Minister and an administration that failed to stand up to his autocratic power.  Some have been panicking to hear that Malaysia’s economic position is not the rosy picture that Najib had deceitfully pretended it was.

More fool them. Wiser investors had already seen through the blatant dishonesty, which was the reason why the ringgit plunged in 2015 after the 1MDB scandal. The recent partial recovery owed to currency manipulation and false assurances by Najib.

What sort of foundation is deceit towards building future prosperity and why should this new government continue with the cover-ups and thereby inherit the blame for Najib’s excesses?

 

As the new Finance Minister and his team set proper standards of openess and honest management in Malaysia, confidence and investors should soon come back.  Thanks to Najib’s legacy the transition may be tough in the immediate future, but the smart money ought to return soon enough.

The fundamentals for the future are being laid to bring long-term confidence back to Malaysia and that has to start with a frank assessment, followed by steps to ensure efficient and transparent governance (see, for example, the minister’s home state of Penang).  That is what investors like to deal with, not lies.

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Adei, Thamby Arul, it is time for  you and your Board colleagues to own up to the truth–1MDB is a financial mess. The burden is Malaysia’s. It is quite known in civil society that you were engaged by Najib Razak to lie on his behalf.

 

As for Arul Kanda, nothing would amuse Malaysians more than to see him attempt to sue the Finance Minister for suggesting he has been telling lies.

8 thoughts on “Honesty Beats ‘Tact’–Sarawak Report

  1. Sarawak Report had done a magnificent job at investigative journalism and our thanks to Claire. Now, please let our Government do their job their way, without fear or favor.

  2. There little doubt that Treasury was breathing fumes.
    As i said, it’s fine whacking up the previous Establishment, black n blue – even to the extent of asphyxiating them. And heads must roll..!!

    But one thing’s for sure – we are in deep shit. It’s okay to yodel about the One Trillion plus debt – but the motives and timing are important. It is possible that the Cabinet has given the gangsta Fin-Min the go ahead. It is good to rebut KleptoMo1 and his Dedakias and Keldai. It is after all a political vendetta versus business expediency.
    Hang the business friendliness! Deal with them later – okay?

    While many are hysterically walloping Mr Andy Mukheerjee of Bloomberg’s article on the need for Honesty vs ‘Tack’ (perhaps not the best word to use here), he is right about perceptions in business. But there are many other external reasons for our economic decline, ya?

    So where and what are the solutions? That’s what minuscule businessmen, not mere academic economist would like to know – stat..!

    Expect a very bumpy ride as foreign investors cabut at an accelerated rate, the ringgit wobbles and the rating agencies downgrade our credit ratings. Shouldn’t be a problem since we have a Tokong in charge, while Diam2 Daim works his ‘magic’? Perhaps even that Raja Bomoh might help.

    We are in the cusp of a temporary(?) fiscal nightmare, as the withdrawal of GST and delayed introduction of the archaic SST, while maintaining subsidized fuel is gonna make long term recovery painful and arduous. But i’m sure that since the ‘termites’ have been eradicated, leaving only the Queen intact.., MoF will do the needful?

    But as Someone wisely said: “No Pain, No Gain” ala Jane Fonda’esque. So i’ll just add in “Feel the Burn!”:

    • I begin to wonder if this doggie is related to that Kaytee Mock in Australia. Kaytee’s military uncle izzit?

      Ooooi…..doggie, come clean lei. Time to hantam that stupid dog

  3. Quote :- “Instead, the writer said it only risked leaving investors with an “uncertain fiscal outlook”

    You mean business as usual?

    Malaysia is not going Bankrupt tomorrow or even the day after.

    It is time to bite the bullet, and serious investors will appreciate an overtly honest government and not a “tactfully dishonest” one.

    • Wah.., so insightful ya?
      F. Nietzsche pula cakap:
      “All things are subject to interpretation, whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of Power and not Truth.”
      So Power precedes Truth?

    • Not when it comes to insurance policies..
      ‘To declare or not to declare?!’
      Who, in all ‘honesty,’ can tolerate bare faced, sometimes brutal truth?
      Very few, methinks. Ask your spouse..?
      As the eternal Pontius Pilate’s question: “Quid est veritas?”

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