Friday, April 22, 2011

VICTORY IN SARAWAK 2

As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on April 22, 2011 8:00 AM

1. Every time I mention DAP's racism, the hackneyed rebuttal is that UMNO is a racial party, more than DAP.

2. UMNO, MCA and MIC are racial parties but they contest elections not under their own party names but as the Alliance or BN coalition. As a member of a multi-racial coalition they cannot promote only Malay, Chinese or Indian interests. They have coalesced into one political entity and their struggle is for all the races in that entity. The race based parties working together in the interest of members of all races lose their racial character.

3. The DAP, like the PAP, claims to be multi-racial but everyone knows the overwhelming majority of their members, supporters and their leaders are Chinese. And their struggle is principally against anything Malay and for what they claim to be Chinese rights. Their disguise that they are for Malaysians is exactly that - it is a disguise. No one is taken in by their claim to be multiracial.

4. The slogan Malaysian Malaysia clearly reflects that in their minds Malaysia is presently not for all races, that it is for Malays only. That the Alliance and the BN have representation from all races is ignored. That the parties share power in the Government is also ignored. That for 50 years the coalition has brought prosperity to all races, with the Chinese getting the biggest share because of their skills and ability is deliberately disregarded.

5. Before independence, the races were deeply divided. They were antagonistic towards each other. Because of this they formed race-based parties. Multi-racial parties just could not get the support of all races. Invariably they would be dominated and supported by one race or another. In elections they all lost.

6. But Tunku Abdul Rahman, the President of UMNO, together with Tan Siew Sin and V. T. Sambanthan decided that the races could cooperate more effectively if they form a coalition of racial parties. In a coalition the identities of the races would be retained and they can ensure that their interest and concerns would be heard and given serious consideration by the other racial parties. They felt more secure even if they made up a minority. In fact they were given equal representation in the High Council of the Coalition.

7. Assured that none would be side-lined, the race-based parties were willing to work together. There can be no doubt that this formula has resulted in Malaysia avoiding the kind of racial violence that are seen in other multi-racial or multi-religious countries. With the ensuing stability, Malaysia was able to develop and prosper. Can anyone deny that?

8. Only the blind and the bigoted would fail to see the success of the coalition of racial parties and the power-sharing Governments that they form in Malaysia. In fact the opposition parties have realised this and are trying to form a coalition. But so far they can only co-operate during elections. They now don't contest against each other. But each party is still racist, concerned only with its own race once the election is over.

9. Maybe one day everyone will forget their racial origins and regard themselves only as Malaysians. But that day has not arrived yet. Until then only the BN coalition can represent all the races in Malaysia.

Monday, April 18, 2011

VICTORY IN SARAWAK

As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on April 18, 2011 12:44 PM

1. I would like to congratulate Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, the chairman of Barisan Nasional in Sarawak for the victory achieved by the party in the recent election.

2. Dato Seri Najib and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin also deserves to be congratulated. The two were on the ground campaigning almost throughout the whole campaign period. They worked very hard and they had good supporting staff from the Peninsular as well as Sarawak.

3. I congratulate the DAP for bringing its racist politics to Sarawak. Before this all races co-operated well with each other for the good of Sarawak. Now we see clearly that the Chinese community in Sarawak has rejected multi-racialism.

4. Perhaps the SUPP are at fault but others in the BN also committed many wrong things. But the rejection is almost entirely by the Chinese community.

5. They have become infected by the virus of Chinese racism that is the guiding principle of the DAP. In the past DAP was almost totally rejected in Sarawak.

6. The DAP will talk about Malaysian Malaysia i.e. Malaysia for all Malaysians. But its appeal had always been to the racialist sentiments of the Chinese. Those Chinese who reject the DAP seem to be considered as non-Chinese by the DAP.

7. Malaysia faces a grave danger of being divided by two parties - one Malay dominated by default and the other Chinese by choice. This will not be good for Malaysia. But this is what the DAP is striving for. A two-party system based on race will not contribute to stability much less national unity.

8. The presence of a few Malays in the DAP is just window dressing. It is the same as in Singapore where the PAP Government side lined their Malay supporters completely. The Malays make up 15 per cent of the island's population but their share of political power and wealth of this very prosperous nation is about one per cent. Of course Singapore is ruled by Singaporeans. The same would happen in Malaysia should the DAP rule this country. It would be ostensibly Malaysian.

9. I will be called a racist for pointing this out. For more than half a century the races in Malaysia had worked together to build the nation. The world saw stable BN Governments with power and wealth being shared by all races quite fairly. None of the races got everything that they considered they were entitled to - not the Malays, nor the Chinese, nor Indians, nor Ibans, Kadazans etc. All had to give up something. That is the essence of sharing.

10. Now the DAP has destroyed this power and wealth-sharing formula by separating the Chinese from the rest.

11. Soon we will be holding the 13th General Election. I pray and hope that the Sarawak pattern is not repeated in this beloved country. Let us all think carefully whether we want to split up this country or we are prepared to sacrifice something of our own in order to maintain the stability and growth through the BN coalition.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

POLITICAL LITIGATION

As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on April 11, 2011 2:06 PM

1. We hear a lot about litigation these days. Everyone is suing everyone else for hundreds of millions of Ringgit for alleged libel. Almost all the litigants are politicians. The courts' time is taken up with these cases. Some go on for years as the litigants appeal to higher and higher courts.

2. We hardly ever hear any of these litigations ending with the courts awarding the sum claimed by the complainants. In most cased the complainant would lose the case and ordered to pay cost.

3. The public usually do not have a high regard for these litigants. The disparaging utterances against them would not damage their reputation at all. Maybe justice demands that the whole legal process be gone through and a judgment be made by a court and the appeals be heard. But on the other hand, in some instances in order not to waste the time of the courts, the case may be curtly dismissed, and appeals disallowed. One wonders why there is this extreme disparity in the treatment of these cases.

4. Although the defendant may feel sure that he will not be ordered to cough up the hundred millions of Ringgit or failing that be made a bankrupt, nevertheless there is still the odd possibility that he may lose the case and be bankrupted. And so for the years of trials and appeals he would be mentally stressed. Of course he would be impoverished also as he has to pay lawyers to defend him. Additionally he loses his freedom of speech with regards to the matters before the courts.

5. For all his sufferings he would if found not guilty be awarded cost (minimal and not actual). By comparison to the hundreds of millions he was sued for, the cost awarded him would be a minute amount. And he has to part with it to pay his lawyers. For the defendant, he gains nothing but will certainly lose something. Yet in the eyes of the public the libel charges were obviously frivolous and a waste of the time of the courts.

6. There is something unfair in this even though it may be regarded as just. You are threatened with being made a bankrupt if you lose but when the complainant loses, he has to pay a minute fraction of the amount he was suing for.

7. With this prospect people can sue with impunity. There is nothing to lose and much to gain. And if you are a politician you get a bonus by effectively shutting up the mouth of your opponent for years and years.

Friday, April 8, 2011

GLOBALISATION

As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on April 6, 2011 2:10 PM

1. The concept of globalisation; of a world without borders; of unrestricted movements of capital, goods and investments across borders was promoted during the late 80's and early 90's when the world economy seemed set to grow forever.

2. The growth would be even greater if the poor but resource-rich countries would abolish the restriction on the movement of foreign capital to exploit opportunities presented by them. In addition to the opportunities there was cheap labour to help reduce cost.

3. The poor countries would also gain from globalisation as foreign capital invested in the extraction of raw material and simple components manufacturing would create jobs and increase the income of the people and the revenues collected by Government. Globalisation would seem to benefit everyone, the rich foreign investors and traders and people in poor countries.

4. Despite the seemingly win-win promise of globalisation, negotiation in Doha, Qatar and other places have not yielded agreements. The poor countries seem to be suspicious or unconvinced of the benefit of globalisation to them.

5. Unable to make progress the rich countries proposed bilateral free trade agreements between selected countries. The first agreement on bilateral free trade was between a highly developed country and a country which had already been practicing free trade. This agreement was lauded as a successful example of the benefits of free trade for both countries. Every country should therefore adopt free trade through bilateral agreements.

6. On closer examination it was discovered that the junior partner was not going to lose anything since it has always been a free-port and was not going to lose import duties which it did not have. Nevertheless many developing countries were persuaded that bilateral free trade agreements were good for them.

7. These agreements could possibly be less likely to result in exploitation of the poor by the rich partner. But it is still very likely that the absence of import duty would leave local products of newly industrialising countries incapable of competing against imports from the more powerful trading partner. And the Governments would lose revenue from import tax.

8. If most countries have these free-trade agreements with each other then effectively the globalisation of the world in terms of free-trade would have been achieved.

9. The G-7 (later G-8) was set up by the rich countries to enable them, among other things to manage the world economic practices so as not be detrimental to their own growth. But in 2008 the whole of their banking system collapsed. This was followed by the onset of the most severe financial crisis in the history of the world. Such is the crisis that the G-8 felt it was necessary to include other countries in the management of the world's economy. Thus was the G-20 created. The powerful but troubled economic powers merely invited countries of their own choice to be members of the G-20.

10. One of the first things agreed to by the G-20 was not to protect their economies. But everyone of them reneged on their undertakings. Yet they keep on preaching free market and globalisation to the world.

11. Malaysia seems to be unaware of what is happening. It is still pushing on religiously with dismantling its trade related taxes inspite of the failures of the Qatar rounds of negotiations on globalisation. Malaysia has entered into several bilateral free trade agreements and is proposing to go into more of such.

12. Perhaps the officials have done a thorough study of the benefits of tree trade in terms of revenue, exports and the effect on Malaysian companies competing against imports.

13. Many Malaysians support easy access of foreign goods into the Malaysian market. They can buy more foreign made cars for example. But they must know that Malaysian cars find entering foreign markets extremely difficult. It is not just the price that is unattractive but in many instances condition and regulations effectively become trade barriers.

14. Yet we are planning on removing or reducing taxes on imported cars. Obviously Government revenue from imports would be greatly reduced if we do this. Additionally there will be a great deal of money flowing out of the country to pay for the imports and much less flowing in.

15. Importing cars into the country must erode sales of locally produced cars. The profitability of local automotive companies will also be affected. Not only will the producers of cars lose their sales volume and profits but the vendors, the dealers and the agencies will also lose their sources of income. There will losses of jobs in the automotive industry including among the vendors, dealers and agents.

16. It is important to study thoroughly the benefits and the losses to the national economy which will result from tax-free agreements and globalisation. Figures such as the GDP and per capita income will be very misleading. It is far better to rely on the value of exports and imports, the reduction or increase in Government revenue, the profitability or losses by local companies and industries resulting from loss of competitiveness in the local market against possible gains from exports, jobs created and other figures which are more indicative of the true results of changes of economic policies such as globalisation and free trade agreements.

17. Only if the figures are positive should we enter into negotiations for free-trade or for globalisation. It is important to remember that when Malaysia agreed to AFTA (Asean Free Trade Agreement) in which 40% local content would qualify as national product and should be tax exempt into ASEAN countries, non-Asean car makers from Japan, Korea and Europe shifted their production to ASEAN countries so as to gain national status after including 40% local contents.

18. Malaysian national cars have 90% local contents which increase production cost. They don't have economies of scale. As a result our exports cannot compete with those foreign brands produced in ASEAN countries with 40% local content.

19. We have made many mistakes in negotiating agreements with other countries and in drawing up foreign contracts. The costs have been very high. I hope our negotiators will bear this in mind and not allow anxiety to be compliant to the so-called universal practices promoted by globalisation and free trade to affect our better judgement.

Monday, April 4, 2011

PROTECTIONISM

As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on March 31, 2011 9:35 AM

1. Recently someone complained that Malaysians have to pay high prices for cars because the Government is protecting Proton.

2. Actually the high price for imported cars was fixed before Proton to reduce gas-guzzling cars from being imported. Thus cars with big engines are taxed (import duty) by 300%. Other cars are also heavily taxed to reduce import of petrol.

3. When Proton was introduced the price fixed was lower due to lower tax being charged. The buyers profited from the lower price so that those who could not buy a car before could now buy a Proton car.

4. Still the tax on Proton yielded 18 billion Ringgit in government revenue over a 10-year period. This is simply because more people bought Protons who before could not afford to own a car. The rapid growth in the ownership of cars is due to the cheapness of the Proton.

5. Today Proton's share of the market is less than 30%. A lot of foreign cars are being imported because Malaysians are richer now. Despite Mercedes and BMW costing three times more in Malaysia than in Europe, Malaysia is one of the best markets for these huge luxury cars. They buy these cars because they just like them and do not mind the high price. It has nothing to do with protecting Proton.

6. Is the Government doing something that other Governments are not doing? I list below the measures taken by other countries to protect their economy.

7. Singapore : Buyers have to pay a high price for a certificate to import cars.

8. In America US$74 billion in Government funds were used to bail out automotive companies. (Without this bailout General Motors would close down. Americans would have to buy foreign-made cars).

9. France: Government doled out billions to automakers to keep the automotive industries alive.

10. Spain : Interest free loans were made available by the Government to support local industries.

11. UK : Millions of pounds were given to businesses and banks to prevent them from closing down. Still all British car companies have closed down.

12. Germany : Financial incentives were given to scrap older cars so that people can buy new cars.

13. Italy : Subsidies are given for purchase of "green scooter".

14. Russia : Direct subsidies are given to auto companies and tariffs imposed on used cars to protect industry.

15. China, South Korea : Policies and subsidies are used to protect local automakers.

16. Russia, India and Turkey use import tariffs to protect local industries.

17. China, India, Russia, Vietnam, Ecuador, Argentina, Brazil all have tariff barriers. The United States imposed 35% tariff on China-made tyres.

18. The G20 resolved against protectionism but all of them provide protection in various forms for their businesses, contracts and products.

19. So, is it wrong for Malaysia to protect local industries? Actually our protection is minimal.

20. We believe in competition but we are up against countries which protect their industries against foreign products. In Europe standards are raised every year to keep foreign cars out of their markets. The cars and other products we import are cheap because of subsidies and protection by their countries.

21. In America, if there is a slight defect in the product, selling the product in the US market would be stopped. Because one person got rashes from wearing gloves made of Malaysian rubber, all Malaysian gloves were banned.

22. Millions of Toyota's hybrid cars were recalled because one car had defective brakes.

23. We can close down Proton and buy only foreign-made cars. Roughly 50,000 people would be thrown out of work. Their families would be deprived of a bread-winner. Many other industries including component suppliers, transport companies etc will suffer. Economic growth would be effected.

24. If we think that without the need to protect Proton, foreign cars would be cheaper, we are wrong. Without the tax on foreign cars and on Proton cars, Government revenue would be smaller. There would be little money to finance infrastructure, universities, scholarships etc. Generally standards of living could decline. So the Government will have to continue with high taxes for imported cars. It is not Proton which is causing foreign cars to sell at high prices.

UNIVERSITY TOWNS

As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on March 28, 2011 8:00 AM

1. I had often wondered why university towns like Cambridge and Oxford do not develop in Malaysia after we build universities in places far from the towns.

2. After much study and thinking things over I have concluded that it is because universities, particularly Government universities, build all the shops within the campus and probably operate them as well. The residences for the students and staff are all built by the University.

3. Developers find no opportunity for developing the surrounding land through building shops and residences for staff and students. There will only be university campuses and no university towns.

4. Universities can be catalysts for new growth areas. That was how Cambridge and Oxford towns were founded. With clever planning these university towns can be very attractive and can attract visitors, especially relatives of the students coming to visit them.

5. Maybe those in charge of university funding and development should think about this.

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