The ultimate aphrodisiac

DAP and PKR have been together for 20 years. They are now both members of the PH alliance. 

It’s just like two friends in partnership of a business. Now the partnership is seeking a CEO to run the company. 

Conventional wisdom will have the two partners talking to each other and to other partners for this all important post. No one partner should suddenly demand publicly that a certain person of their choice must be the nominee. If they do that, it’s against conventional wisdom as well as the morality of being friends. 

This is exactly what is happening when DAP publicly issued an ultimatum to one of its partners in PH ( PKR) to come to a decision on whether they accept DrM as the choice of the next PM. 

Why can’t they do so privately? Why can’t they phone to discuss or request a meet up in person or call a virtual meeting via zoom to talk over the issue? 

Why must they  issue an ultimatum? Are they in such an hurry to want to go back to their old ministerial positions, with all the trappings of power ? 

They have forgotten that the very person who made them lose their powerful positions is the same man they are proposing as the new PM nominee. They have forgotten that this is the very person that made them renege on their election promises ( as written in their manifesto) and made them perceived as a lap dog of this very person.

They have forgotten that the  reason for the collapse of PH government was because this very person tried but failed to form a ‘unity’ government that would have given him full power to dictate terms to others.

Perhaps the best to describe this situation is the quote from Henry Kissinger “ power is the ultimate aphrodisiac’. Once tasted, they always crave for it, even throwing away principles, friendship and loyalty.

It’s about discipline, Stupid!

There was a cardiologist jogging in the park. Yes jogging won’t get you infected. Parks are also safe places if it is not crowded.

But MCO ( movement control order in Malaysia) is about discipline. Beating the virus is about discipline. Without discipline others will follow suit and the parks would then be like carnival places. It will then defeat the purpose of asking people to observe social distancing  

Laws must be observed in the fight against this virus and all those whether you are high up in society or just an ordinary folk, please obey rules. It’s about discipline; it’s about the intelligentsia setting an example.

I would like to suggest those who flout the Movement Control Order be given community service at Covid 19 wards and clinics. 

Since they are so brave and since they think they won’t get the virus, put them there to help as cleaners, attendants etc.

 

 

Dark Horse ?

Come 2nd March, don’t be surprised if both UMNO-PAS and Bersatu propose Muhydeen of I-am-Malay-first fame to be PM. 

DrM has said he won’t work with UMNO. But in Johore he let Bersatu Johore work with umno. So at federal level, he can allow Muhydeen to be PM… muhydeen then can team up with UMNO and DrM will still be the ‘honourable’ one that refuses to work with ‘crooks’.

The catch is Muhydeen is only No. 2 in Bersatu, now that DrM has gone back to head it (he never in fact left the party ; he did step down as chairman for a few days but he remains a member). 

If that is so, chances are he will be pulling string behind. Better still Muhydeen appoints DrM as mentor minister in charge of finance and home affairs  ; then he will still be the one……..

The sad reality facing us

 

At this juncture , calling a fresh election may be bad for the reforms that we all look forward to. 

For one thing, BN-PAS has a high chance to win and that’s what Zahid/Najib faction is hoping and that’s the reasons of why someone keeps delaying court proceedings. In the last election, Harapan won only 48% of popular votes. It will be difficult to repeat this given that PAS and UMNO are allies now. 

Nonetheless,   a fresh election is looking more and more likely, given that both sides do not command absolute majority. 

A minority government in Malaysia won’t work because it will be toppled easily, given the greeds of the Malaysian political goons. It will bring the whole economy to a halt; no one in the right frame of minds would expand their businesses or invest in new ventures. 

Unity government is equally bad. 

It gives DrM too much personal powers like in a presidential system but without the checks and balances of such a system. 

Anwar may have to promise a deputy premier post to GPS. But given the bad history between GPS and DAP, GPS may think it’s more advantages for them to go into a fresh poll; they are more likely to win more seats in Sarawak in a fresh poll ( and they might call a state election together). 

Everyone is looking at their own interest. No one is looking at the rakyat’s woes. 

That’s the sad reality facing we Malaysians.

Killing 4 ( or more) birds with a stone

 

Dr M will be the biggest winner if everything goes according to plan. 

He is human and must be fed up of being pressed all the time to fix a date to pass the baton to AI. 

Despite what he openly said, I think he doesn’t really trust his old nemesis. That’s why he tacitly allowed AA to stage the coup and didn’t overrule the decision by Bersatu to quit Harapan ( the decision to quit is unanimous, meaning all his ‘kakis’ including his own son the no. 3 in Bersatu agreed to it). He just let it happened because he was fed up with PH n the constant pressure on him to fix a date to step down. 

He didn’t really want to team up with UMNO or Pas knowing that they would not be able to form a majority if he didn’t go over. 

This creates a situation where both Harapan and UMNO-Pas alliance cannot rule with a majority, unless they get the support of GPS which probably is looking at DrM for a clue; they want to be on the side of DrM to be sure.  

So with both sides unable to form a stable government , the way is open for DrM to 

1. Form a unity government ( vs a partisan govt), picking only those he trusts 

2. To rule without having to be reminded that he needs to pass the baton to Anwar

3. To further his Malay agenda instead of fulfilling the promises made in PH’s manifesto 

4. To get 2/3 majority on occasions that he may need it, because all in the Parliament will be friendly parties towards him ( Jib will probably be an exception) 

That’s killing 4 birds ( or maybe more) with a stone. 

That’s vintage DrM and whether you like him or not, you have to agree that he is the shrewdest and cleverest of them all.

AI’s own folly

By the end of today, two things may happen:

1. Dr M forms a new government with a new coalition, or

2. Parliament is dissolved and a new election may be called.

One thing is certain:  either way Pakatan Harapan is fractured. After less than 2 years and with less than a sterling record of governing, the coalition has finally given way. Some may view the breakup as betrayal or treachery but politics is about reality and power; politics is also an art of the possibles, so the person who outsmarts and outmaneuvers others will be the winner.

The whole strategy employed right from the start was Machiavellian but we can’t deny that it is brilliant and well executed. The master stroke was right after 509, when DrM split the Finance ministry and appointed Azmin as Minister of economic affairs.

That appointment didn’t go well with many power brokers in PKR , thinking that AA would be too powerful and threatening to Anwar’s plan to become the next PM. So those around Anwar must have influenced him to try to ‘kill’ Azmin off politically, by sending Rafizi to challenge him for the PKR deputy president’s position. That unsuccessful challenge was the last straw, and relationship between AI and AA was never the same again. I see DrM ‘s appointment of Azmin to the economic portfolio as a trap, to which Anwar fell into and there began the beginning of the end of Anwar’s dream of succeeding DrM.

Then working behind the scene, DrM met with leaders of the various opposition parties and through power brokers like Hisham and a bitterly ‘resentful’ AA, an alliance of sort was hammered out, slowly but surely, until they are sure of getting the support of more than half the MPs. In his characteristic nonchalantly style, DrM evaded all questions about succession issue, employing smoke screen brilliantly to hide this formation of a new alliance.

Anwar, on the other hand, instead of trying to pursue a path of reconciliation with AA  and faction, forgot the golden rule in military strategy advocated by Sun Tsu ‘Know yourself and know your enemy, and you will never be defeated’. Instead, during the PKR Congress in December 2019 a veiled attack was launched against Azmin’s faction, which had seemingly been ready to seek reconciliation at that time by attending the Congress and that must be the last straw that broke the camel’s back (Read my article written at that time: classic case of winning the battle and losing the war ).

Then probably without realizing that DrM has already helmed an alliance with more than enough number to form a new government, PKR and DAP went ahead and tried to force DrM to announce a date of passing the baton to Anwar. That must have displeased the PM, who announced in the press conference afterwards that it is him that will decide when to pass over the baton, citing that there would be no deadline nor any fixed time frame to do so. He then wasted no time to start the ball rolling to form a new coalition.

Now we will either have another  general election or a new coalition headed by DrM again but with new ( or rather old) partners.

The decision is the prerogative of our King. Either way, Pakatan Harapan may be doomed .

Classic case of winning the battle but losing the war!

FreeMalaysiatoday has a write up

“Anwar secures party, but analysts see his PM hopes dented”

 

I agree with the analysis. AI won the battle by tricking AA into attending the Congress by giving an impression that there would be no personal attack.

But at the Congress, an unsuspecting AA was ‘ambushed’ by AI whose story about a traitor was perceived to be an attack on AA. After that, delegates after delegates followed and attacked AA and his group of supporters who staged a walkout and never returned to the Congress

But the win comes at a huge cost and dashes any hope of reconciliation.

Many of us were relieved when news reports last week indicated a possibility of reconciliation between the two factions . It would have brought stability to our country and most Malaysians were in fact looking forward to a ‘detente’ between these two factions. We were worried that the fight between these two has affected the PM succession issue. But Alas, what a disappointment for most of us .

At the Congress, AI wins the battle but may have lost the war for becoming PM.

Without AA’s  faction, it will be an uphill task for him to have the number to be PM. And even if he succeeds to become PM, his govt will lack stability.

To me , it is  not very clever of him to humiliate a fellow party leader whose support is crucial for him to become the Top. As in many cases before ( 916, Kajang move just to name a few) , this move is only for short term gain for self but no long term benefits for the rakyat and the country

How to run the country when he can’t even put his own house in order?

With the PM succession issue full of uncertainty, foreign funds are leaving and our share market is doing very badly. Even the bluest of the blue chips like public bank has seen its share prices dropping so much. Whatever lights there were at the end of the tunnel have long been gone.

No wonder the by election of Tg Piai was such a one sided debacle!

The ‘good’ doctor is the winner

(This article was originally written in Chinese  but I will translate it here as well. )

DrM is not the loser, contrary to the views of many analysts

RPK reported that 30 MPs from UMNO attended Azmin’s dinner . This is crucial  .

if push comes to shove, DrM will easily bring BN on board ( Apart from Najib and Zahid , both being charged in court now) and will have enough number to remain as PM

So the irony is, despite both MCA and PH grassroots worked so hard for their respective beliefs to help their respective candidate to win, in the end, the alignment of the respective party does not follow its beliefs but rather it follows the self interest of the party leaders.

So if that is the case, it’s sad for the voters that no matter which side the voter voted, the same person will  still be the PM, until one day he voluntarily steps down !

 

老马并不是输家!而是两方通吃的大赢家!

RPK报道,有30位巫统MP 出席Azmin 的晚宴。

如果逼宫太急,老马会拉拢BN归队(那吉和茶希除外),他将还是首相!而不是AI。 

好笑的是,MCA 和 PH 的基层干部,以为各为其信仰,拼命的去拉票。 到头来,党的走向,并非为了主义和信仰,而是为了上头的利益。

更残酷的是,马来西亚的选民,不论你选哪一边,最后当首相的,还是同一个人,至到他不想做为止!

You get what you deserve!

My dear Doctor,

When u sell an item to a potential buyer and promise that item will have this or that function, and when the potential buyer finally buys the item, goes home and finds that none of the functions work, the fury of being cheated is what the people in Malaysia feel now.

To add salt to wound, you try to justify the cheating by saying that you never expect the potential buyer to buy the item. That’s totally unacceptable.

You promise so many things in your manifesto and then do not implement them because you say you never expect to be the government, what sort of people you think we are? Fools?

Then the rocket! It’s not enough to be just ministers, no matter how good you maybe! People elected you to defend their interests but instead you become so quiet and meek!

Tanjung Piai by election is a clarion call. You get what you deserve!

We are now smoking 24/7

Like it or not, All of us in the Klang Valley are smokers now!

Most of us are afraid of inhaling smoke from cigarette smokers. But exposure to cigarette smoke is usually transient and lasts a couple of minutes mostly. In the case of people smoking next to us, we can quickly move away from the smokers to avoid further inhalation of smoke.

While Cigarette smokes come from burning of dried tobacco leaves, the present haze is actually smokes from burning of leaves (both wet and dry) and trees and organic materials of forests around us. The inhalation has been continuous and ongoing for more than 2 weeks.

Staying inside does not totally prevent a person from inhaling these particles, unless you either use an air cleaner with an air filter that can filter particles as small as PM2.5 or wear a N95 mask. This is because Indoor air is constantly at exchange with outdoor air and in the case of prolonged occurrence of haze ( like what we are facing now), outside PM2.5 and PM5 particles would have permeated indoor air after the initial hours.

So we are like smoking nonstop 24 hrs a day, 7 days a week these past 2 weeks. Imagine how much pollutants we have inhaled! 

We are totally helpless but we can petition our government to send strong protest to Indonesia. We can also make laws to penalize those Malaysian companies that are adopting slash-and-burn practices in Indonesia to clear lands there. 

The immediate side effects are our lungs , heart and immune system will be affected. Then there are skin and eye problems arising from the pollutants. The longer term side effects will be a rise in cancer cases, especially lung cancer.

The only  sensible things we can actually do now is to wear a N95 mask outdoor and use an air cleaner indoor. Avoid doing strenuous exercises which may increase sucking in more of these pollutants. 

Well, we can choose our friends, we can’t choose our neighbors. That’s our misfortune really!

Khat learning and the ‘option’

Both LGE and Teo Nie Ching have indicated that the teaching of khat in Std 4 next year is optional. 

The minister said it’s up to the teacher. So the option is not with the parents or the students. The  option is with the teacher and probably the headmaster, who are both civil servants and have to obey directives even when such directives may just be through a phone call. 

So is it still optional?

Please stop hookwinking the people.  

选择权不是在家长或学生。选择权是在老师校长的手中。而他们是公务员,只能服从上头的指示。

这样的选择权还是选择权吗?

The issue is institutional reform

The issue is not whether Latheefa is good or not. The issue is not whether the prime minister has the prerogative to appoint.

The issue here is that PH and PM have promised institutional reform.

The most important institutional reform as I see it is to decentralize the power of the PM’s office so that power does not concentrate on one person and just one person alone. PM is just the First among equals, in the Westminster parliamentary system. It’s not presidential. Even in US presidential system, all important appointments may be made by the president, but they have to go through the vetting processes of Congress. So there is a check and balance in place.

If All powers are to be concentrated in just one person , in our case the Prime Minister, what happened during Najib’s watch will happen again. The pm will be so powerful that he can do anything to pilfer the national coffer, he can sack anyone anytime like in 2015. There will not be any checks and balances anymore

So to let one person and one person alone to make all the important appointments, without even going through the cabinet, is inviting trouble and going back to the old days where we have seen the failure of our institutions to exert a check and balance on the pilferage of 1mdb funds.

The priority is institutional reforms as promised in the manifesto in the last GE. There must be a change in law to allow all important appointments to go through parliamentary select committee. In the mean time, even when the new laws are not ready yet, the spirits of institutional reform must be adhered to, and pm must be seen to be pursuing a path of reform instead of going back to the old days.

The future of Malaysia to remain as a true democracy hinges on this.

Who wins in a trade war?

 

On the surface, in a trade war the importing country will have more to gain than the exporting country. So we may assume that US has more to gain than China since USA imports far more goods from China than the other way round.

So if USA were to impose 25% tariff on all Chinese imports , China cannot reciprocate on the same amount of goods that it imports from USA, simply because it imports far less than its exports to US.

But if you delve deeper, it’s not so simplistic .
Many of the USA imports from China are essential and intermediate goods for its own farms and industries. Car parts, electronic components etc are just some of the intermediate goods that USA imports. To keep manufacturing , US industries have no choice but to keep importing, despite the 25% tariff. The end results: consumers and industries in USA are paying for the tariff and that is leading to inflationary pressure on its economy.

It’s not so easy just to source from other countries like Vietnam or even japan or S Korea. Vietnam simply has not reached the technological level to produce goods as sophisticated as those from China. Japan n Korea are too expensive, even with the 25% tariff taken into consideration. It will take several years for Vietnam to be able to replace goods manufactured in China and by then, Trump would no longer be around.

So a full scale trade war hurts USA equally if not more even though China exports more than it imports from USA, at least in the short term of two to three years.

The danger in a trade war is that often it leads to military conflict. A war between China and USA will be catastrophic for the whole world.

shadow sparring?

In my opinion, in his haste to get back to Parliament, contradicting his earlier stand that he would take it easy while waiting for his turn, Anwar  has created certain uncertainties which can destabilize the new PH government. 

As a Parliamentarian, he will be in position to seek and form alliances with UMNO and east Malaysian politicians and introduce a vote of no confidence in Parliament  IF DrM does not see eye to eye with him for whatever reasons. Even though formation of this form of unholy alliance with UMNO and associated is remote, it will be hanging like a sword of Damocles over PH, thus destabilizing the new government. 

The new government needs support, given that many of the new ministers are very inexperienced and still need time to settle in. 

If he is sincere to see institutional reforms being carried out, he should not be in a hurry to get back to Parliament. He should keep to his earlier promise. The best support to the new government is to wait for his turn, play less politics and persuade Rafizi to drop the bid for deputy president of PKR.

While he is busy trying to get back to parliament, big names in UMNO are abandoning the big brother. Perhaps DrM’s associates think like yours truly, and thus trying to weaken UMNO  so that the sword of Damocles can be rendered useless. 

I see all these as shadow sparring of the two.

Say no to a divisive survey

politics has to be realistic especially in Malaysia’s setting

I am against participating in the online survey about UEC. I don’t know who started it but the survey is potentially divisive and not good at the moment.

For the record, I am all for the recognisation of UEC. I think Chinese independent schools provide an extra option for Malaysians and education should be about letting people choose the best option for the academic development of their children.

I think because PH won the election, the expectation is very high among the various groups that voted for them.

But politics has to be realistic especially in Malaysia’s setting.

just because one third of Malays voted for PH doesn’t necessarily mean that they want to change the core system of the country. Many of them voted because of gst and the rise in the cost of living, more than anything else. This is especially true for the urban Malays.

But even some urban Malays will feel threatened if the govt is perceived to concede to the wishes of the Chinese community in everything. ( note I use the word ‘perceived’which is not the same as the truth- but politics is about perception). Once the support of this group is gone, the Chinese will be back to square one or even worse. It will only encourage the teaming up of all Malay parties.

UEC is now recognized all over the world. Chinese independent schools graduates have more than enough opportunity to further their education or seek employment.

If UEC recognition comes at the expense of altering the nature of independent Chinese schools, then its best to leave things as it is. More importantly, use this issue to bargain for the setting up of more Chinese schools n independent Chinese schools.
The Chinese schools are bursting at the seams as it is.

Mindsets can only be changed gradually. To change mindsets, we should adopt blue ocean strategy. Get the govt to build more Chinese schools and Chinese independent schools. Encourage more non Chinese to study by waiving fees etc. Once this group becomes sizable , it would change the mindsets of the more conservative Malays.

Better late than never

Gerakan has finally made the decision to quit BN.

Since 2006, I have been advocating that the party move out of BN as I have foreseen any association with the racist and corrupt culture of UMNO will drag Gerakan down.

It’s good though a bit late for the party to quit BN now.

Politics should be about the welfare of the people and the country, not about individuals. The world would be a much better place if more politicians can subscribe to this principle.

Perhaps it’s time to revisit my press statement in 2011, when I decided to resign from the party:

Press Statement by Dr Hsu Dar Ren (08-03-2011)

It is with a heavy heart that I am announcing my resignation from all my positions in Parti Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia, including that of Central Committee member, FT state liaison committee member, division chairman, branch chairman and ordinary membership.

Parti Gerakan is a party with good ideology to establish a fair and equitable society in Malaysia . It too has many conscientious members who subscribe to this ideology.

Unfortunately, within the framework of BN, where the hegemonic race politics of UMNO predominates, it is impossible for Gerakan to realize this ideal.

In fact, as a result of more than 5 decades of race based politics, the country has drifted so much apart that racial polarization has never been as bad as now . Despite the many decades of trying to work from within, Gerakan is now further and further away from realising its ideals.

Three years after the 308 General election, I sense that apart from rhetoric, there is little change in policies gearing towards uniting the people and providing a fairer and more equal footing for all. I feel that it is now futile for me to try to fight within the system anymore.

I have no intention of joining any other political parties, but I will continue to voice out through writing and blogging on the importance of building a fair and equitable society.

Two tigers cannot share the same mountain.

 

We don’t need to have a PM inside the government and another guy acting as one outside the government

In the past few general elections, I have been advocating change and have been very supportive of the then opposition alliance , held together by the De facto leader.  In my blog posts then, I had said many times that without him, there would not be a Pakatan to oppose BN.

I am also very impressed that he can forget about the past and join hand with his former nemesis DrM to  fight the previous kleptocratic government. In fact, this must be one of his wisest decisions ever made, since without the charismatic and indefatigable DrM, PH would not be able to win, let alone winning so convincingly.  Without DrM’s adroit maneuvering on the night of the election, I don’t think the change of government could have proceeded so smoothly. I also believe that had PH be helmed by any other person, UMNO would not have given up so easily and those in charge would not have given up without resorting to other ‘tricks’, so to speak.

But after Dr M was sworn in, many happenings have led me wonder whether the old wayang kulit master of the 90s  is back. There are many instances to let me think so, and to list some here:

1. On the second day of forming the new government, Rafizi was quoted to question why DrM bulldozed the cabinet appointments. The word ‘bulldozing’ makes the new PM look like a dictator. Is Rafizi just a proxy or is he voicing out in his own personal capacity?

If his intention is to make Dr M look bad, it has the opposite effect. The general consensus is that it made Rafizi  look bad.

Even if we need the freedom of criticizing government, why do it at such an early stage when The whole nation was still in an euphoric mood. There is also the so called internal channel which he could have utilized, given his position as a senior leader of PKR.

Then again  towards the end of May, the same Rafizi was reported to say that Dr M was not the main factor for PH to win GE 14, citing a survey. Why he needed to say this when the general consensus was that without Dr M, PH would not have won nor formed the government? It really gives an impression that someone is trying  to belittle Dr M, and if so, why? Is it because if they can show that Dr M is not the deciding factor, then PKR with its largest number of elected MPs in PH would have the biggest say in deciding cabinet appointments  as well as those in the PH administered state governments.

2.  Dr M’s appointment of Azmin as the minister in charge of economic affairs, despite the fact that Azmin was already sworn in as Selangor MB on presumably PKR’s recommendation to the Sultan. I wonder whether there was any discussion on this? Or is there some truth to the suggestions on social media that Dr M is using  Azmin to balance the influence of the de facto leader? I am curious too whether azmin’s appointment as MB was discussed by the top echelon of PH?

3. Then the appointment of the new MB of Selangor. It was earlier reported that Dr Idris was one of the names nominated as MB , but it was Amirudin who was sworn in as the new MB. It should be a non matter but for the fact that Dr Idris claimed in a PC that Amirudin was not the one endorsed by PH. Dr Idris was also the name announced by Dr Wan Azizah a few days ago. What happened during the last few days? Note that now both DSAI and wife said they supported Amirudin; what else can they say if they want to portray to the public that ‘ all is well and under control’ . As a person who was in politics before, I believe that this incident shows that there are really strong undercurrents beneath the surface calm in PKR.

4. DSAI has been acting as if he is  a senior member of the administration (at least that is the impression I get) by holding meetings and saying so many things to the press  since his pardon.  Just yesterday, it was reported that he urged the Finance minister not to publicly expose the scandals of the previous administration because he claimed that it can affect investor sentiments.

Its strange that he needed to publicly say this. He has been advocating a new Malaysia with transparency. This type of exposure is transparency and will also act as a deterrent. Furthermore, why can’t he call the Finance minister and give the advice over phone? Both have been cooperating since the days of Pakatan Rakyat. Why the need to do this publicly? It gives a perception that the PM in waiting is reprimanding a senior minister publicly. At the very least, it gives an impression of him trying to belittle the FM. The finance minister has now publicly replied that he was asked to do so by Dr M, the present PM. One wonders why are there no channels of communication among the PM and PM in waiting, especially when the wife of the latter sits in the cabinet as the second in command.

In my humble opinion, I think the De facto leader should try to adopt a lower profile, because that was the impression many of us had when he indicated upon his release that he is going to take a rest, go overseas for awhile before considering a return to parliament.

I hope he truly learns his lessons and be more patient. Let Dr M and his chosen team have a free rein to tackle the difficult tasks they are facing,  without interruption or so called advice from PM in waiting.  If he really wants to give advice, do it via PH leadership council, or better still, through his wife who is the DPM.. he could also meet up with Dr M to give his input, since he has allegedly forgiven DrM.

We don’t need to have a PM inside the government and another guy acting as one outside the government.

Remember the Chinese proverb: there cannot be two tigers sharing the same mountain.

 

Boomerang

It is now more than one month after PH, against all odds and predictions, won the 14th GE. PH members and the many of the voters are still in euphoric mood. Many are still in disbelief.  The latter includes the former ruling coaltion which has been in power for 61 years.  They were the only ruling party Malaysians had ever known.

Within a short period of a month, the 14 member coalition is now down to only 4. That is how cruel politics is; no one likes to be on the losing side, especially a side that is now deemed to be so corrupt that any association with it would invoke scorn from the rakyat.

Now in the unfamiliar role of playing opposition, many in the  BN component parties   are now voicing out vocally against what they perceive to be ‘mistakes’ or ‘excesses’ of the new government, only to find that whatever criticism they made against the new government invariably comes back to haunt them.  They either dont realize or are too forgetful that they had made bigger mistakes before, and the excesses of their past masters were astronomical, not to mention the billions of taxpayers’ money siphoned away.

My advice to these minions is to hold their tongues at the moment, wait for at least a few months.. let the new administration settle down andgive them time to learn the ropes.  Actually in the past one month, they have brought back confidence and most importantly ‘ hope’ to a country where no one can deny that corruption was so rampant that if left unchecked, would have brought the country to a point of no return.

 

 

Can the west’s Democracy survive China’s rise in dominance

A very good read. In fact, as the West continues its decline, many people are starting to question whether democracy in the western forms is the best syste.

From the economist:

For long the West has thought that history is on its side, that the global future would and should be in its own image. With the end of the cold war and the implosion of the Soviet Union, this conviction became stronger than ever. The future was Western; nothing else was imaginable. Of course, already, well before the end of the cold war, in 1978 to be exact, China had started its epic modernisation such that, in the annals of history, 1978 will surely prove to be a far more significant year than 1989. During China’s rise, hubris continued to shape the West’s perception and understanding of China. As the latter modernised it would become increasingly Western, it was supposed: Deng’s reforms marked the beginning of the privatisation and marketisation of the Chinese economy—its political system would in time become Western, otherwise China would inevitably fail.

“We should not expect or require China to be Western.”

China’s political system did not turn Western. The state continues to be a very powerful force in the country’s economy. China remains very distinctive from the West—and has gone from strength to strength in the process. China never had the long-predicted economic crisis that so many Westerners forecast, nor the great political revolt that was destined to deliver Western-style democracy. Instead economic crisis and political crisis befell the West. The Western financial crisis in 2007-08 was the worst since the early 1930s. By 2015-16 its political consequences were upending Western politics, sounding the death-knell of neo-liberalism, undermining the governing elites and weakening governing institutions.

The West—both the United States and the European Union—is, in historical terms, in precipitous decline. The developing world, led by China and India, now accounts for just under 60% of global GDP, compared with around 33% in the mid-1970s. The great story of the post-war era has been the rise of the developing world, representing around 85% of humanity, and the decline of the old developed world, accounting for around 15% of humanity. The developing world has learnt much from the West but it is not, and will not be, Western. China is the classic case in point. It is not even mainly a nation-state. It is, first and foremost, a civilisation-state, a concept that the West has not begun to try and understand. The relationship between state and society is profoundly different from that in the West, and so is its tradition of governance. It was never expansionist in the manner of western Europe and America. China has a very different culture and history to that of the West. We should not expect it or require it to be Western.

“Do not expect the Chinese to behave in the same aggressive military fashion that Europe did in its days of imperial pomp, or as America still does.”

The rise of Europe transformed the world. The rise of America did the same, though enjoying strong lines of continuity with Europe. China will likewise transform the world, but probably on a much greater scale than either Europe or America, mainly because it is that much larger. To think otherwise is both unrealistic and ahistorical. Western hegemony has left a huge imprint on the world, but it was never destined to last for ever. Hegemons are never eternal. To expect China to become a Western-style country in an American-shaped world was always an illusion. But nor should we expect China to delete that world and replace it with something entirely different.

to read more, go to:

https://www.economist.com/open-future/2018/06/14/can-the-wests-democracy-survive-chinas-rise-to-dominance

 

Simply too expensive!

A lot of people, especially those associated with BN, are unhappy about scrapping of the HSR project.

Thank about this:

Even if we can afford the HSR, how about the maintenance n operating costs?how about the affordability of the tickets?

Not all China’s HSR routes are making money. My recent trip to China the airfare from Shanghai to tunxi ( huangshan) is cheaper than my HSR tickets from huangshan to Hangzhou ( first class tickets).

If the cost is 110 billions, and assuming 100% financing , interest alone will be 3 -4 billions a year. How pricey will be the tickets?
Let’s assume the interest to be 3.65 billions for ease of calculation. Interest alone will be 10 millions a day. Add the operating costs. The tickets will be quite pricey. If you want to factor in the principal amount of 110 billions, the tickets will be so pricey that people may not be able to afford.

Assuming each trip can take 500 people. And assuming that there will be 20 trips a day. There will be 10000 tickets for sale. Again for the ease of calculation ( all tickets same price), each ticket needs 1000 Ringgits to just cover the interest payment.

If you price the ticket price lower,then the country will hv to subsidize the tickets. When we already have so high debts, can we afford to subsidize?

The actual ticket cost will be much more complicated n I reiterate that this calculation is simplified to show how expensive it will be to operate. Even if we increase passenger load to 50000 a day, it will still be expensive.

Note that the above calculation does not factor in the principal payment of 110 billions.
If we want to recover this cost over 20 years, we have to add 5.5 billions to the 3.65 billions interest above. That will be 9.15 billions a year. Add onto that the operating and maintenance cost.

You all can continue the simplified calculation to show how much we need to price the tickets.

For the moment, the priority is to reduce the debt level to a lower level.

Just like in a household. When your borrowings are so much that most of your pay go to pay for the interest of the borrowings, you should just try to pay as much as you can to reduce the principal borrowings.

So you have to cancel the luxury car your wife ordered , even if you have to let them forfeit the down payment.

That’s is called financial prudence.

Previous Older Entries