Monday, March 15, 2010

REPO 150

As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on March 15, 2010 9:14 AM

1.I have been away in Argentina and have not been reading the papers or watching news on T.V. Back in London I picked up The Times newspaper and the front page reads, "Lords place themselves beyond the reach of the law."

2.It is about MPs and members of the House of Lords giving their main home addresses out of London in order to claim £174 per day allowance during Parliamentary sitting even though they actually live in London. Seems that some vagueness in the rules has placed the Lords beyond the reach of this rule.

3.Next, on an inside page, the headline reads "City's biggest names face legal action over Lehman's collapse." I am sure Malaysian papers would have reported this.

4.Lehman of course is the biggest bank in the world whose collapse started the 2008 financial crisis which we are still suffering from today.

5.This bank had been hiding the huge debts worth as much as 600 billion US dollars by an accounting trick. Debts of billions which were unpaid were reclassified through some accounting procedure called Repo 150 and they became assets of the banks.

6.And it went on for years until the amount became so huge that they cannot be hidden any more, Repo 150 notwithstanding.

7.As we all know Lehman Bros. was allowed to go bankrupt and other banks and industries went down with it. And so the great financial crisis of 2008 began.

8.Globalisation is about opening borders to those who have the means to do so. The big banks, industries, accounting firms and consultants firms are certainly the greatest beneficiarists of globalisation. But now we know that in many instances they collude with their rich and powerful clients to cover up wrongdoings. Their being internationally well known ensures that their reports are accepted by the directors of companies and banks and by the public.

9.I had often said that globalisation is inevitable but we, the developing countries should not accept globalisation as interpreted by the rich countries. We should seriously think again about the interpretations of globalisation. We should think again about open borders. We may be letting in some of the most unprincipalled professionals, some of whom are the most greedy international crooks into our country.

10. Of course this is only my opinion.

TIT FOR TAT

As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on March 13, 2010 3:00 AM

1. I heard from someone that a certain Muslim country has disallowed Swiss Airlines to fly there because a cross is on the tail of the aircraft. The Swiss flag has a white cross on a red background. This was to retaliate against Switzerland's ban on building minarets for mosques in that country. There are altogether four mosques in the whole of Switzerland.

2. Intolerance simply invites intolerance.

3. What next?

GENEVA MOTOR SHOW

As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on March 4, 2010 7:33 PM

1. For the first time Proton takes part in the prestigious motor show in Geneva. It is costly to exhibit there but I was gratified at the interest shown by the foreign and Malaysian journalists and motoring fans in the new Proton concept car - the EMAS (Eco-Mobility Advanced Solution).

2. Malaysians will not be able to buy it for a long time but even though the car was designed for the world market it would first appear on Malaysian roads.

3. It is a small car, designed by Italdesign Giugiaro and Proton designers and engineers in Turin. For a small car it is very spacious and has many innovative features. It can actually seat up to five adults and comes in three versions. There will be three more versions later.

4. The completed car which was the principal attraction has a hybrid engine. But ordinary Internal Combustion Engine can also be installed and would cost less than the hybrid. However, no price has been fixed yet.

5. Malaysian journalists present have already reported on the car. I am just adding for the visitors to my blog.

6. I may be wrong (and as usual many comments will tell me I am wrong) but I think the journalists and the hundreds of motorcar enthusiasts who visited the stand were impressed by the many unique features of the car.

7. If this car proves to be a success it may mark the true recovery of Proton.

PROTON'S PROGRESS

As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on March 2, 2010 4:39 PM

1. Since the appointment of Dato Nazmi Salleh as the chairman a lot of improvements have been shown by Proton. It is once again making money. More Proton cars are appearing on the streets, particularly the new Saga, the Persona and the Exora.

2. I was invited to see the new F1 car being developed by Dato Seri Tony Fernandes and Dato Kamaruddin Meranun at the facilities they had acquired in Norwich, England. I had promised to sit in and start the engine of this car if it could be built in the short time they had before the first F1 race in Bahrain in March. I was pleasantly surprised that by the time I arrived on February 22, not only could I sit in the racer and start the engine but the car itself had been undergoing trial races in Spain. They had brought back the car for me to sit in and start the engine. The next day they were to take the car back to Spain for further speed trials.

3. I was glad to see quite a number of Proton engineers working on the production and assembly of the car.

4. The British people were very excited that once again a Lotus car would be in the F1 race. The three drivers were optimistic. The two foreign drivers, Jarno Trulli and Hekki Kovalainen, were very experienced. Fairuz Fauzi our Malaysian driver was the first to test-drive the car in Spain. I hope he would get a chance to drive in the actual race. I wish them the best of luck.

5. My next stop was the Lotus factory where the Elise and Evora sports cars were being produced. Lotus had not done well and was losing money. But the new CEO, Dany Bahar has put new life into the management bringing in experienced people from well-known racing teams and sports car producers.

6. New sports cars were being designed and they looked as good as the Ferraris and the Aston Martins. I test drove a turbo-charged Proton Exora, an electric Tesla which Lotus was building for an American company and the Lotus Evora.

7. A lot of Proton engineers were working with Lotus engineers contributing to the development of Lotus cars.

8. The next day I flew to Turin, Italy to see the lubricant plant which had been bought by Petronas. It was again heartening to see Malaysians among the top executives of the company.

9. The final stop was the design firm of Giugiaro together with Proton which were designing a new small car and a redesigned Persona for Proton. Some 20 Malaysian designers and engineers were working on these projects together with the Italians.

10. It may be remembered that one of the objectives of going into the automotive industry was to develop Malaysia's engineering capability. Seeing all these Malaysians in the development of sophisticated automotive designing and engineering work seems to indicate that we have largely acquired engineering design, development and production to put us on the road to becoming a developed country.

11. Some people said that the price of cars in Malaysia is very high because the Government is protecting Proton. Actually the high price is due to the Government's attempt to discourage petrol guzzling big cars. Whether there is Proton or not Malaysians will pay a high price for their cars. Cheap cars will lead to even worse jams than now.

12. Most people started to own cars only after Proton cars were produced. Such was the increase in the usage of cars that in one 10-year period, Proton cars contributed 18 billion Ringgit towards Government revenue. Considering that the total Government investment was only RM480 million Ringgit in 1984-85, the returns on the investment must be considered very high. The people as a whole must benefit from Government expenditure of this large sum of money.

13. Besides, Proton supports about 300,000 workers, vendors and their families. It produces almost 200,000 cars yearly. If we import foreign cars at RM25,000 per car, the outflow of money would add up to approximately RM5,000,000,000 or five billion Ringgit. Even after deducting some component imports the amount saved in foreign exchange is huge.

14. At one stage there were rumours of an attempt to practically bankrupt Proton so as to sell it off cheaply. This was what happened to Agusta. Proton has assets which the buyers can develop profitably. But I am glad that these are just rumours and no one talks about it anymore. If a person looks at the whole picture he will appreciate that Proton is too valuable an asset to sell for RM4.

BLAIR THE LIAR

As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on February 21, 2010 8:02 PM

1. I am shocked. I am shocked that Malaysians have invited Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of Britain to speak in Malaysia. I am even more shocked and I am disgusted that the organisation, which is inviting this liar of a Prime Minister, is one concerned with being achievers. Presumably they are keen to learn about the achievements of Prime Minister Blair and to learn from him how to achieve.

2. Maybe they have not heard that this is the man, the Prime Minister of Britain who has been proven to be a liar, who had admitted that he lied about the capability of Iraq to launch a nuclear attack against Britain within 45 minutes. He lied about this absurdity because he wanted his Government, Parliament and the British people to support war against Iraq, to support his violent overthrow of a foreign Government he did not approve.

3. He lied that he had information that Saddam Hussein had an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Today the whole world knows that Iraq had no WMD (maybe those who are inviting him do not know about this. If they didn't know then they don't deserve to call their group as wanting to be achievers).

4. On the basis of these lies, he joined Bush in the war against Iraq, a war that has killed over 300,000 Iraqis, mostly non-combatants; which has destroyed the cities of Iraq with billions of dollars of losses, which has destroyed the city of Babylon and ancient artefacts in its museum, the birthplace of human civilisation.

5. Hundreds of British soldiers died for nothing. The shock and awe attacks have unleashed a fratricidal war between Iraqis where there was none before. It has largely been responsible for the "acts of terror" now facing the world.

6. Yet there is no end in sight. The coalition of the willing cannot even withdraw. More troops have been committed instead. But nothing has been achieved.

7. Blair has been subjected to a public enquiry. All he can say for himself is that he wanted to get rid of Saddam Hussein - to achieve a regime change even if Saddam had no WMD. Saddam has been hanged along with other members of his Government. Regime change has been accomplished. But it is illegal, it is against international laws for any country to violently force a change of government in another country. For this alone Blair is guilty. But to lie blatantly in order to achieve this regime change, to kill hundreds of thousands of women, children, the old and the infirmed along with a few soldiers is more than criminal. It is certainly something that Malaysians should not want to emulate or to achieve.

8. Are the Malaysian achievers hoping to learn from Blair about how he achieved his murder of a foreign country's leader to achieve a regime change, to lie as he did in order to achieve something, to care little for the lives of innocent people, to send his soldiers into battle for nothing? These are his achievements - shameful, cruel and totally uncivilised.

9. Malaysians must protest against this liar coming to Malaysia, much less to talk on his lying achievements. I pray to God that no Malaysian would harbour this idea of learning from the achievements of this unmitigated liar, Tony Blair, the lapdog of the arch-liar Bush and the self-appointed Deputy Sheriff Howard of Australia.

AUSTRALIA'S INDIANS

As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on February 20, 2010 3:15 PM

1. Mr Raj of Sydney, Australia finds my expose of the treatment of Indian students by Australians unpalatable.

2. He says "that doesn't mean you can lash out at someone before looking at your own country." Precisely - the Australians should not be condemning Malaysian practices before looking at Australia itself.

3. Malaysian discrimination had never involved genocide and seizing the land of the indigenous. Look at that and many more including the White Australia Policy of the recent past before lashing out at Malaysia.

THE AUSTRALIAN MPs

As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on February 19, 2010 9:10 AM

1. A perception seems to prevail in the so-called developed countries that the developing countries like Malaysia cannot possibly understand justice and the rule of law. Accordingly, from far off and without knowing enough about the cases involved, they are fond of passing judgement and demanding for extra democratic actions to be taken e.g. by the Government telling the court what to do.

2. The demand that the Government of Malaysia stop the trial of Anwar for sodomy is typical of the arrogance that suggests the White Australia Policy is still alive and kicking. The desire to be the Deputy Sheriff of East Asia is still there.

3. I have written elsewhere about the killing of Indian students. The Members of Parliament would do well to coach their people not to be violent racists.

4. They should also remind themselves of the genocide perpetrated against the aborigines, whose country it was, before they were casually shot to death to make way for White settlers.

5. There have been quite a number of Malaysians who had been convicted of sodomy. There was no outcry from Australia or anybody else. Do Australian MPs subscribe to inequality before the law wherein big shots should not be charged for breaking the law where small shots can be charged with impunity? Malaysia does not subscribe to people being unequal before the law.

6. I suspect (and of course I am always suspicious) that there is a desire for regime change on the part of the MPs. They want to install their own man as head of the Malaysian Government. Can I say that it is not democratic and illegal for a foreign country to install their own candidates to lead Governments in any country? Of course they can ignore such niceties.

7. Anwar can make his bid when his time comes but it is for the Malaysian people to decide if he is fit to form the Government of this country.

SOUND BITES - AUSTRALIA'S INDIAN STUDENTS

As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on February 18, 2010 6:00 PM

1. The Australians have been attacking Indian students. Barry Wain would consider this as isolated incidents, not typical of Australians at all. He would certainly not put the blame on Mr Kevin Ruud, the Prime Minister.

2. But supposing this happens in Malaysia, then of course the Prime Minister must have been responsible.

MALAYSIAKINI...

As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on February 15, 2010 9:40 AM

1. I can understand Malaysiakini not wanting to be labelled as anti-Semitic but I don't think it is necessary to omit certain words which give a totally different interpretation of what I said in my speech at the General Conference for the support of Al-Quds.

2. What I said was "Jews had always been a problem in European countries".

3. You omitted "in European countries" thus implying that what I said was not just the Europeans but Jews were a problem for everyone including the Muslims.

4. I would like to point out that in the past when Europeans confined (the Jews) to ghettos, and periodically massacred (them), they used to seek refuge in Muslim countries (of North Africa and the Ottoman empire). They couldn't have gone there if Muslim countries were less hospitable than the Europeans. Even today Jews live in Muslim countries including in Iran. It was only after the United States welcome the Jews that they ceased to migrate to Muslim countries.

5. For the hospitality of the Muslim countries they were repaid by the Zionist by seizing Palestine to create the State of Israel. Not content with seizing Arab land they went on to expel the largely Muslim Palestinian.

6. All that I say here can be verified by the history books of Europe. If Muslims are antagonistic towards the Jews today, it is because of the way the Jews repaid them for their hospitality.

M.V. AGUSTA AGAIN

As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on February 9, 2010 2:07 PM

1. Robb Report - the magazine for the rich and famous reported in its February 2010 edition the following under "Front Runners";

"A new MV Agusta that lives high off the hog... Since acquiring MV Agusta for more than US$100 million in 2008, Harley-Davidson has helped revitalise the 65-year-old Italian brand. The new 2010 MV Agusta (www.mvagustausa.com) which debuted in November...."

2. People might just remember that Proton sold its share of MV Agusta for one Euro (RM4) to some unknown Italian who subsequently sold a part of the company to Harley-Davidson for the sum stated above (more than 100 million US Dollars equal to at present exchange rate more than RM340 million Ringgit).

3. We may also remember that the remaining part of MV Agusta was sold to BMW for about the same price i.e. more than 340 million Ringgit.

4. So we sold for RM4 something that the buyer, the mysterious Italians sold for more than RM680 million.

5. We may also know that Proton bought a part of MV Agusta for approximtely RM560 milion Ringgit.

6. The previous management of Proton claimed that it had saved millions of Ringgit by selling its share for RM4.

7. I am still trying to figure this out. Maybe those who read this blog might be able to enlighten me.

8. I am designated as adviser to Proton but during the period of the previous management, it was the management who advised me that the sale had been carried out. Obviously the duty of the advisor was to be advised and not to advise.

SCIENCE AND ISLAM

As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on February 8, 2010 9:56 AM

1. A commentator asked "if the Islamic Empire (there never was an Islamic empire in the sense of the other Empires - only an Islamic community - the Ummah) was so good in science before why are the Orgainisation of Islamic Conference countries lagging behind in science and technology?".

2. I had explained why before but i think I should repeat.

3. The early Muslims accepted the message of Allah in the Qur'an enjoining upon Muslims to read (Iqraq). The verse (the first to be received by the Prophet - an illiterate man) did not specify, much less limit what Muslims should read.

4. There were no books on Islam at that time but there were many books on the Hebrew and the Christian religions. There were also many books or tracts on Greek science and philosophy as well as Indian mathematics.

5. The early Muslims read and eventually translated all the writings of the Greeks, the Indians and others. Obviously they had to learn these languages first. Then they followed up by doing their own research.

6. And so the early Muslims were learned in the subjects pioneered by these other races and this added to the body of knowledge they had acquired.

7. The Europeans on the other hand were wallowing in the superstitions of the Dark Ages despite having embraced Christianity. The superior civilisation of the Muslims overwhelmed the Europeans so that Spain, Portugal, Sicily, Greece and much of Eastern Europe fell under Muslim rule.

8. But around the 15th Century of the Christian era, fatwas were made by Muslim Ulamas that "Iqraq" or read was intended for reading and studying religion only. From then on the Muslim scientists, physicians, mathematicians etc stopped their study of these subjects in order to study religion exclusively.

9. On the other hand the Europeans noticing the greatness of the Muslim civilisation decided to acquire the knowledge of the Muslims in the different subjects, including those of the Greeks. To do this Christian priests learnt Arabic and were thus able to gain access to the great libraries of Cordoba, Baghdad and elsewhere. They translated the work of the Muslim scholars and scientists into Latin and then into the other European languages.

10. If we care to read the history of the Muslims and the Europeans we would notice that from around the 15th Century of the Christian era when the Muslims rejected what they regarded as non-religious knowledge, the Muslim civilisation began to regress.

11. The Europeans, after acquiring the knowledge of the Muslims started to emerge from the Dark Ages and to build the civilisation that we see today.

12. Unfortunately Muslim historians seem not to have noticed the significance of the fatwas of the 15th Century A.D. Even today Muslims seem unwilling to connect this decline of their civilisation with the neglect of non-religious knowledge. But European historians admit that their emergence from the Dark Ages, their Renaissance, coincided with their study of the Islamic civilisation and its origins.

Followers