Thursday, October 15, 2009

SOUND BITES - THE U.S DOLLAR

As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on October 15, 2009 4:04 PM

1. When I wrote on the need to change trading currency from the US Dollar to some other currency I was accused of being anti-West.

2. Since then there have been many articles on the need to use other currencies for trading and even for other purposes e.g. reserve currency.

3. Today the headline in the Star's foreign news reads, "US Dollar reaches breaking point - central banks flushed with record reserves are increasingly favouring the Euro and Yen" (read article here).

4. If I had been critical of the West, it was always for good reasons. They invented a lot of ways of making money for their rich investors without producing any goods or services or creating any jobs. Because of their subprime loans, hedge funds and derivatives, currency trading, etc. etc. they had undermined the real economy. Their bubble has now burst, spilling over the rest of the world. And Malaysia has been affected by their crisis for no good reason.

5. When in 1997 we asked the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to stop currency trading, they laughed at us. Now they know that people whose knowledge of finance can be written on the back of a postage stamp are not so ignorant after all.

6. And when so many people urge that other currencies than the US Dollar be used for trade and reserves, they cannot all be anti-West. In fact these views are coming from the West.

7. Labelling ideas as anti-this and anti-that will get us nowhere. Call a spade a spade. Only then can you find solutions to problems.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

SOUND BITES - WAJAH PEMIMPIN

As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on October 14, 2009 4:51 PM

1. Di zaman pemerintahan Tun Abdullah Badawi seluruh negara disalut dengan sepanduk dan papan tanda besar yang menunjuk wajah Perdana Menteri bersama Menteri-Menteri tertentu, Menteri-Menteri Besar dan Ketua Menteri.

2. Seorang Menteri pelancongan mempamerkan sepanduk dan papan tanda yang mempunyai gambarnya bersama Perdana Menteri diseluruh negara seolah-olah pelancong akan tertarik melawat Malaysia untuk melihat sepanduk berkenaan.

3. Setelah Dato Seri Najib menjadi Perdana Menteri semua sepanduk dan iklan yang lama telah diturunkan.

4. Saya harap amalan seperti ini tidak diadakan lagi. Jauh daripada mereka yang menaikkan gambar mereka menjadi popular, rakyat sebenarnya jelak dan bosan melihat sepanduk-sepanduk ini mencemarkan kecantikan alam.

5. Saya akan ditegur bahawa di masa saya dulu ada juga sepanduk seperti ini yang dinaikkan oleh Menteri Besar tetapi tidak oleh Menteri Kabinet. Saya akui saya tidak ambil tindakan yang tegas menghentikan amalan ini. Tetapi tidak semua Menteri Besar yang mencuba tunjuk betapa dekatnya mereka dengan Perdana Menteri melalui cara ini.

6. Saya harap Barisan Nasional tidak memulakan semula amalan ini. Ia hanya akan menimbul kebencian kepada mereka.

SOUND BITES - BAGAN PINANG

As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on October 13, 2009 2:31 PM

1. Saya gembira kerana saya salah dalam masalah calon bagi pilihanraya kecil Dewan Undangan Negeri Bagan Pinang. Saya percaya Barisan Nasional akan menang walau siapa pun jadi calon, tetapi mungkin kemenangan yang tidak sebaik 2008. Tetapi kemenangan yang diperolehi oleh Isa (bukan ISA) amatlah mengkagumkan.

2. Tetapi saya berpendapat ada baiknya jika kajian yang mendalam dibuat berkenaan dengan sebab-sebab kemenangan yang luar biasa ini tercapai.

3. Jangan pula ada yang mendakwa walaupun mereka jelas terlibat dengan rasuah, tidak salah jika dicalonkan, bahkan jika mereka dilantik menjadi Menteri Kewangan.

MALAYSIAN INDUSTRIES

As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on October 6, 2009 2:11 PM

1. I feel sorry for Malaysian manufacturers. They find it difficult and sometimes impossible to market their products in the country because somehow Malaysians, including the Government and its agencies cannot believe that Malaysian products are as good, if not better than imported goods.

2. When Malaysian products cannot be sold at home, it becomes almost impossible to convince foreign buyers to buy them. The question that foreigners often ask is whether Malaysians especially the Government have bought them.

3. Despite this failure to market Malaysian products locally, some have still managed to be marketed abroad. And some have been very successful.

4. These Malaysians are not asking for protection or even favours. All they want is to be properly evaluated against foreign competitors when they make bids. But somehow they seem to fail always.

5. There are excuses of course. The foreign suppliers have been supplying for years and years. They just cannot be dropped.

6. Even when the products have been well accepted abroad, the Government and its agencies cannot be convinced.

7. The Government wants to be transparent. Perhaps if awards of contracts are published just as offers of contracts are, then the public and the local businessmen would know who gets what, how many times and for how long. The contract process should also be made known. If contracts are to be for five years then we should know why contracts are given for longer periods.

8. Then Malaysians would know why they have been failing all these while. They would then be able to take necessary steps to become competitive. In fact other foreign suppliers too can take corrective action.

9. At the moment we can read the advertisements on new projects up for tender. But who wins the tender is not publicised.

10. An open Government keen to be transparent should do this. That it was never done before is no reason it cannot be done now. Previously no one promised to be transparent. But now we all hear about transparency.

11. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is not coming in as much as before. We cannot compete with China or Vietnam, not even with Thailand and Indonesia. While we should continue to promote FDI, we should also help the local investors. We should remember that their earnings stay in the country, much more than the earnings of foreign owned industries.

12. If we help them our industries can become world players. At the moment we do not have our Sony or Hitachi or Samsung or Hyundai. We have the technical capacities for truly Malaysian products and companies to be as well-known as those of Japan and Korea.

13. We merely need a little boost from Malaysians, particularly from the Government and its numerous agencies and companies.

14. I hesitate to write this article because I fear that those in charge would make life even more difficult for Malaysian companies, presuming that they had complained to me.

15. But what I say here is public knowledge. We should really be helping ourselves.

Monday, October 5, 2009

HUKUM ALLAH

As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on October 2, 2009 12:12 PM

1. Apabila sesuatu dilakukan dengan nama Islam, ramai yang cepat berkata ia adalah hukum Allah yang perlu kita lakukan. Kita jarang bertanya samada sesuatu itu benar-benar hukum Allah.

2. Saya tertarik dengan rencana bekas mufti Perlis (baca disini) berkenaan dengan kononnya Islam melarang gosok gigi di bulan puasa. Kononnya mulut yang bau busuk kerana berpuasa sebenarnya harum seperti bau kasturi. Ini diulangi berkali-kali dalam televisyen.

3. Benarkah pendapat ini adalah hukum Allah?

4. Sebenarnya hukum ini tidak terdapat dalam Al-Quran. Mungkin ada hadith yang menyarankan bahawa ini adalah ajaran Islam (yang diwajibkan). Tetapi kita tahu banyak hadith yang diterima oleh sesetengah daripada orang Islam adalah lemah atau bukan hadith yang sebenarnya.

5. Sebab itu kita dapati banyak perbezaan daripada segi kepercayaan dan amalan oleh orang Islam di negara-negara Islam. Ada negara Islam di mana purdah atau hijab diwajibkan walaupun oleh perempuan yang sudah tua. Al-Quran tidak mewajibkan wanita tutup muka dan tangan. Bolehkah kita kata amalan pakaian purdah ini adalah hukum Allah?

6. Larangan bagi wanita bersekolah untuk menuntut ilmu juga tidak terdapat dalam Al-Quran atau hadith sahih.

7. Membunuh wanita kerana memalukan keluarga juga tidak ada. Tetapi di beberapa buah negara Islam dilapor berkenaan dengan wanita dibunuh oleh bapa atau abangnya kerana perbuatan tertentu. Islamkah ini? Hukum Allah kah ini?

8. Dalam melaksanakan hukum Islam, Al-Quran menyebut tentang hukuman yang setimpal. Demikian mata dibalas dengan mata, telinga dengan telinga dan seterusnya jiwa dengan jiwa. Dalam pada itu Al-Quran menyebut sesiapa yang melepaskan hak membalasnya, maka itu menjadi penebus dosanya.

9. Sesungguhnya Allah s.w.t. menyukai orang yang bertimbangrasa dalam mengena atau melaksana hukum. Yang diutamakan dalam Al-Quran ialah apabila menghukum, hukumlah dengan adil. Terdapat 43 ayat yang menyebut tentang pentingnya hukuman yang adil. Beberapa ayat lagi menegah perbuatan yang zalim.

10. Seperti yang kita semua maklum, alim ulama memahami dan membuat tafsiran berpandu kepada isi kandungan Al-Quran dan hadith dan kitab tulisan ulama silam. Oleh kerana alim ulama bukan rasul kefahaman dan tafsiran mereka tidaklah selalunya sama antara satu dengan yang lain. Demikianlah kelainan antara pendapat dan kefahaman mereka sehingga berlaku perpecahan dan permusuhan dikalangan orang Islam dan rusuhan serta bunuh-membunuh antara mereka.

11. Soalnya apakah mungkin semua alim ulama benar-benar berpegang kepada hukum Allah apabila memberi pendapat atau membuat fatwa? Jika ya, kenapakah ajaran mereka tidak sama dan begitu bertentangan antara sesama mereka?

12. Atau apakah ada diantara mereka yang secara sengaja atau tidak sengaja, telah membuat tafsiran yang salah berkenaan apa yang dikatakan hukum-hukum Allah. Kerap ternampak mereka seolah-olah tidak puas hati dengan kesederhanaan dan kelonggaran yang terdapat dalam Islam.

13. Oleh kerana ada kemungkinan salah tafsiran berlaku janganlah kita terlalu cepat berkata bahawa hukum yang ditentukan oleh alim ulama adalah hukum Allah dan dengan itu kita tidak boleh mempersoalkannya dan kita akan berdosa jika kita abaikannya.

14. Oleh itu sebelum menghukum atau menjalankan hukuman tidak bolehkah kita bertanya dahulu adilkah hukuman yang dikenakan? Dan benarkah hukuman yang dikenakan adalah hukum Allah?

15. Kita juga harus diberitahu dari mana puncanya hukuman yang dijatuhkan, sebelum kita terima hukuman berkenaan adalah hukum Allah.

16. Dan janganlah kita lupa bahawa Allah suka kepada mereka yang bertimbangrasa dan tidak keterlaluan dalam melaksanakan hukum.

17. Juga harus kita jaga kebaikan nama Islam dan tidak melakukan sesuatu yang akan mencemarkannya.

18. Kita disuruh berdakwah dan mengembangkan agama Islam. Kita sendiri berbahagia kerana menganut agama Islam disebabkan pedagang Islam dari negara Arab dan India telah menunjuk kebaikan dan keadilan dalam Islam. Jika kita melakukan sesuatu yang sebenarnya bukan dari ajaran Islam dan ini menyebabkan orang lain menjauhkan diri dari Islam, apakah kita mematuhi tugas berdakwah yang diwajibkan keatas kita semua?

Wallahua'alam.

OPEN HOUSES

As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on September 29, 2009 5:15 PM

1. I don't know whether we should copyright open houses but they are certainly a Malaysian invention.

2. I was gratified to see everyone, Malays, Chinese and Indians congregating at open houses during Hari Raya. They all seem to get along fine with each other. The Malays, Chinese, Indians, Sabahans and Sarawakians all seem to behave like true Malaysians, greeting the Malays with "Selamat Hari Raya" and being thanked by the Malays. Even little Chinese and Indian children were taught by their parents to shake hands and try to say Selamat Hari Raya.

3. It makes we wonder whether the country would not be better off if we don't have politicians. Of course I am one. But it does seem that it is the politicians who keep on stoking the fires of racism. Left to themselves the people would accept the way of life that has kept Malaysia almost conflict free all these years.

4. Malaysia has different schools for different races. They also live in racial ghettoes, speaking their own languages and promoting their own cultures. Few have friends not from their language groups. They really never get a chance to truly mix with each other. We are truly different from Thailand or Indonesia or the Philippines or indeed any other country in the world.

5. But the religious or racial festivals are celebrated together. We had four days to be together for the Raya. And the open houses would continue for at least one month, giving us a chance to forget racial politics and be just Malaysians. Even leaders of the opposition parties went to the Prime Minister's residence.

6. Maybe we should have continuous festivals throughout the year. Then we would come together the whole year long to celebrate and get to know each other. Maybe then we would be able to create a bangsa Malaysia.

7. Selamat hari Raya, Kong Hee Fatt Choy, Happy Deepavali and Merry Christmas to everyone.

ISA

As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on September 28, 2009 5:41 PM

1. There is much talk today regarding the Internal Security Act. Having released people and having detained people under the ISA, I think I know something about this act and its application.

2. Firstly one must remember that it is a preventive law, that is it is to be applied before a crime is committed. The law cannot be applied after the crime is committed. For this there are other laws.

3. Secondly it can be applied only in certain specific cases, as for example when there is a threat to the security of the country.

4. A possible armed uprising or possibility of civil violence would constitute a threat to the security of the country.

5. However it had been used in the past to incarcerate political opponents, as when Aziz Ishak was detained.

6. At this point visitors to this blog are likely to say I did the same. I admit I did detain people under the ISA in the 1987 Ops Lalang. But it was not because they were members of the opposition. The police had informed me that there was likely to be racial clashes over the issue of Chinese education and the intention of some UMNO members to hold a million strong demonstration in K.L.

7. The people detained were not only members of the opposition but included UMNO members. As soon as the threat passed the detainees were all released. The issue was not political opposition to the Government but the threat to national security.

8. I don't expect this explanation would be accepted by my detractors. But that is normal. Detractors would never admit to being wrong.

9. On the ISA, it seems odd that some who were detained under the ISA supports this preventive laws. I am sure they don't support abuses of the law though.

9. When the so-called war on terror was launched by Bush and Blair, they did not hesistate to detain so-called suspects without even being sanctioned by any law. They were so critical about our ISA before but not only did they detain thousands of the so-called suspects, they actually tortured the detainees when they felt threats to their security. I will not talk about their invading Iraq and Afghanistan and the killings of thousands of innocent people.

10. The so-called protagonists of human rights were clearly critical when others resort to preventive detention. When they felt threatened they not only detain people but they did this without any law which provides for such act.

11. Just because our critics are hypocrites does not mean that we should retain the ISA. But there is a need for preventive detention in Malaysia simply because without this threat racist extremists would undermine the stability of this country. That extreme racialism can lead to violence is not something we can take lightly. We must value our stability because it has made it possible for this country to develop much faster than other countries.

12. Can the ISA be replaced by a court hearing. In Malaysia courts take a long time to pass judgement; months or even years. By then the violence would have taken place, i.e. the court action would have failed to achieve the prevention that the law is meant for.

13. Still there is need to review the ISA. I don't think it should be done away with but there must be a clear cut provision as to when it could be used. We cannot have people being detained for three days and then released because the detention was for the detainee's safety.

14. Perhaps the period should be shortened to one year and the six monthly review be carried out by properly qualified individuals who have the country's interest heart besides a desire to maintain human rights.

THE EAST ASIA ECONOMIC COMMUNITY

As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on September 27, 2009 12:46 PM

1. I am glad to read the report that the new Prime Minister of Japan, Yukio Hatoyama intends to pursue the proposal for an East Asian Economic Community.

2. I had always felt that the countries of East Asia should speak with one voice when negotiating with the European Union and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). If we don't then the Europeans and the Americans would dominate such negotiations. Obviously they would want to favour themselves to our detriment.

3. This is not about hating the West as someone suggested when I drew attention to a UN Agency proposal to have a special currency to replace the US Dollar for the purpose of trade settlements and reserves. It is simply because unlike other countries the US Dollar is not backed by anything.

4. They used to hold huge quantities of gold in Fort Knox to support their dollar. Today they have neither gold nor foreign exchange reserve to back their dollar. As a result the dollar value has been fluctuating. The only thing that is holding it up is the demand for it for trade payments. Other than that the dollar is nothing but just printed paper.

5. The US has twin deficits and no savings . Where then did the United States get the three trillion dollars to bail out the banks, industrial corporations and insurance companies? The obvious answer is that it got it from thin air. Just print the money.

6. Why is it that the US can print money to bail out companies while others may not do so? Malaysia did not print money when we bailed out our companies. The money came from revenues collected by the Government and loans raised by it.

7. It is not about hating people. It is about not condoning abuses of the monetary system that the proposal is made not to use the US Dollar.

8. Now the Chinese have come out with the same idea about a special currency to replace the dollar. If we think of the huge sums of dollars held by the Chinese, this suggestion would cause them to lose a lot of money. But they must have realised that the money they are holding is pretty useless.

Followers