“One million gets you nothing nowadays”

This is reported in the NST today:

She said since Todt, who was appointed last month, was serving and promoting the country on a voluntary basis, it was only fair that the government covered his expenses.

“Just because he is volunteering his services, you cannot expect him to pay out of his own pocket.

“This budget is not for his personal use, it is for the expenses incurred when he meets top people from television and the media.

“Besides, RM1 million in Europe gets you nothing nowadays,” she said at the Parliament lobby.

The ‘she’ refered to is a minister in charge of Tourism.

Before I go further, I would want to stress that Jean Todt, as a foreigner married who is a good freind of  a Malaysian Michelle Yeoh, must be commended for his good intention in volunteering his service to promote Malaysia, and I am sure being a super rich guy, he would never ask to be reimbursed for his expenses in promoting Malaysia.

It was also laudable for the Ministry to propose to reimburse him on his expenses, too.

What I cannot understand is the need to utter this phrase: “Rm 1 million in Europe gets you nothing nowadays”.

And because of that, and being the cynic I am, I wish to say that for most of us, 1 million is a big big sum, and certainly it can still buy a lot in Europe. Even in Europe, not many people earn a million RM a year (more than 200,000 euros)

I cannot help but to think of the time of the French Revolution.

This is from one of my old writings in 2008:

In 1789, during the French Revolution, when the people of France were living in economic and political malaise and a mob of hungry people marched to the Palace of Versailles, the Queen of Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, asked a courtier that if the mob had no bread to eat, why didn’t they ‘eat cake’? So much out of touch was she as she had lived a lifestyle of excesses while the people were dying of hunger.


One million is by any count  not a small sum. Of course if you have been dealing with millions and millions  of govenrment budget ( which is funded with people’s money – in case she forgets), one million may seem small.

This is the common problem with many of the people holding high position. It is precisely because of this attidude that a lot of wastages occurred , since to them all these wastages may seem small and ‘kacang putih’ stuff.

Having said all these, if Jean and Michelle can do well to promote the country and bring lot of tourists to Malaysia, we should certainly reimburse all their expenses.

I would stress again that this article is not about Jean and Michelle , but about the mentality of the power-that-be that decides public funds.


45 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. klm
    Jun 25, 2009 @ 13:51:47

    Oh. You mean the lady doctor from Raub with a big mouth and small brain. That I agree with you.

    She brought Michelle Yeoh and her boyfriend (married ??) to her low level.

    I think the 1M rm budget would be spent by some fat cats in that ministry using Jean Todt as an excuse.


  2. pilocarpine
    Jun 25, 2009 @ 13:52:17

    similarly, in Msia, a minister in charge of Tourism is nothing, to the global community, especially with this kind of state of mind.


  3. Kenny Gan
    Jun 25, 2009 @ 14:04:40

    Agree with klm. I doubt Jean Todt will be interested in the paperwork and the bureaucracy to claim RM1 million over 2 years.

    I don’t know how much he makes as boss of Ferrari but Michael Schumacher made about US$100 million a year.

    So this RM1 million could be someone using his name to take out some dough.


  4. Laic
    Jun 25, 2009 @ 14:22:06

    I do agree that our politicians need to be more sensitive to the reality in the country. There are still a lot of people earning less than one dinner of the rich in a month!


  5. Chabalang
    Jun 25, 2009 @ 14:57:28

    She probably meant RM1,000,000 is nothing or PEANUTS to her. How many M’sian can save RM1,000,000 after slogging through his/her whole lifetime – 10% or less? It simply reflects how out of touch are M’sian ministers with the M’sian general public.


  6. tom
    Jun 25, 2009 @ 15:01:42

    Firstly, Todt and Yeoh are NOT married! One million is chicken feed to her. With the billions in taxpayers money plundered over the years, what’s a million to her? Somebody please explain to that moron lady that 1 million can provide food and shelter to many under privileged people in her constituency.


  7. klm
    Jun 25, 2009 @ 15:24:07

    Remember the news not so long ago about the MCA President planning to submit new names for the cabinet. She was one of those scheduled to be dropped. When given the ultimatum, she quickly dropped her support for CSL and embraced the new MCA President’s direction. And she showed hugh enthusiasms for something she was fighting against.

    When it was her position at stake, she dropped her principles. That is the kind of person we are talking here.


  8. clearwater
    Jun 25, 2009 @ 15:27:08

    Lucky Jean Todt, he gets to live in Malaysia under MM2H program because he has the money to qualify even though he and Michelle Yeoh are only engaged, not yet wed. Many Malaysian women who married foreign men found to their subsequent dismay their husbands can only stay temporarily in Malaysia under a social visit pass due to gender bias in immigration rules. A work permit is another insurmountable matter.The pain and aggravation of such rules applied on the couple need to be experienced to be believed. If your daughter marries a foreigner, make sure he has enough money to qualify under MM2H program and has independent means if they intend to live in Malaysia.

    Truly, RM1 million is not that much in European terms and we know how lavish celebrities can be in maintaining their lifestyle. The sum is not excessive but the Minister’s comment is somewhat insensitive. It can be offensive to many poor Malaysians struggling to get by. It is unbecoming of someone in high office to downplay a ‘RM1 million in Europe as getting nothing nowadays’ when snatch thieves can cause someone’s death for RM100 or less.


  9. Dr Hsu
    Jun 25, 2009 @ 15:27:19

    thanks for the info. I thought they are married but i take your words and have amended the part above .



  10. Dr Hsu
    Jun 25, 2009 @ 15:32:51

    That is exactly the point I am making.

    SHe could have said that ‘one million is a lot of money but it will be worth since I am sure that Jean would be able to bring in many millions more”.

    Politicians tend to become insensitive and arrogant after holding positins for some time. There should be KPI for how they carry themselves in manner and their speech.


  11. frank
    Jun 25, 2009 @ 15:38:35

    Of course one million means peanut to this well to do lady as it isn’t even enough to buy for her elephant finger a diamond ring! Like the 1st lady of the ex-President of Taiwan, so to speak!

    One million if to divide by RM1K, 1000 new intakes to the universities will have the parents laughed all the way sending their children to the registration counter free from the burden of lacking the 1K which probably is a loan from the loan shack! You know, parents nowadays can even pawn their houses or even risk their lives to borrow from loan shacks, to do anything just to make sure no matter how poor they are, they will not poor the education of their beloved children at the expense of their future!

    But one million is scanty to the European and the fat lady minister!

    Instead of answering the public in a transparent manner, she found fit to behave like a virago and as arrogant as his umno master, only to prove her low class and nonprofessional character grossly unfit to be a Tourism Minister! She is an insult to the many struggling rakyat they are living below the poverty line too, with regard to her behaviour!


  12. tuahjebat
    Jun 25, 2009 @ 15:45:06

    1 Million??? Try working as an honest RM $ 4,000 employee and times that by 12 months and 27 years. Then minus the income tax and other taxes levied on the already heavy burden person. You dum dum lady!


  13. looes74
    Jun 25, 2009 @ 15:54:35

    I have been thinking. if I ever got a chance of meeting with this Toad, I mean Todt, I would made a cynical & sarcastic remark.
    Such a person with high society background. It would be insulting to be offered 1 million. Well, Todt should pay 1 million to Malaysian government.


  14. ong
    Jun 25, 2009 @ 16:02:30

    I seldom agree with Ng Yen Yen but this time I positively and definitely agree with her that nowadays RM1 million is nothing. RM1 million is actually less than 0.01% of RM12 billion. To making it easier for some of you to understand, the miserable 2% FD interest on RM12 billion will get you RM240 million a year, or RM4.6 million a week. Every 2 days the interest income is more than RM1 million.

    To those of you who think Ng Yen Yen is out of touch with the earning capacity of common Malaysians, she, on the other hand, is most likely thinking that you poor pathetic souls are the ones who are out of touch with what BN leaders and their cronies are making. So please do not waste her time by talking to her on something as minuscule as RM1 million.


  15. Dr Hsu
    Jun 25, 2009 @ 16:13:31

    Wow! That was a good one..Every 2 days the interest income at the miserable rate of 2% is more than RM 1 million.

    I like that, 😀


  16. oghekapung
    Jun 25, 2009 @ 16:48:22

    Comrades! Definitely yes that RM1m is nothing to them. That’s why the commission on purchases run into millions and millions ,RM530m for scorpene and don’t how many millions for Sukhoi. See the ISTANA’S of our ministers and Menteri Besars(Except from the Barisan Rakyat). How much they cost? Millions. One million? Chicken feed to them. Recently the daughter of one of the ex-minister got payment into personal acct in a bank for RM28m. I donot hear that she ‘s working anywhere but in this land some are so fortunate that you donot have to work to be rich. So what is RM1m for these people. Laut dalam licenses are with them,AP’s with them. After they work so hard untk rakyat dan negara tercinta for 50 years their descendants can live with this duit haram for the next maybe 7 generations. This duit haram has been accumulated from grandfather,father and now they are at the helm. That’s why we see that somewhat a dynasty is in the making in our beloved BolehLand. Actually sometimes it’s not fair to blame them. They and their nenek moyang are smart and the rakyat are stupid. The wealth is there for all of you to plunder it. If you don’t do it just too bad. They in the ruling party has killed everything so that nobody can stop them. But if the Pakatan takeover and “They happen to be not “corrupted” then we’ll see how many generations can their ill-gotten wealth lasts.


  17. clearwater
    Jun 25, 2009 @ 16:49:53

    Ahh… Dr Hsu, this is the problem when our leaky system is unable to hold people in power to be accountable for their words, deeds and actions. When there is little check and balance, it is so easy to divide up the gravy among cronies ; each his own sized bowl and none shall bother the other for all are in it together. Arrogance from a Cabinet Minister is but a minor symptom of a government out of touch with its people.


    Jun 25, 2009 @ 16:54:51

    She must be also milking the government coffers like how all BN ministers do especially the big thieves through the big, big, mega projects like PKZ, CROOKED BRIDGE, TOLLS, PRIVATIZATIONS, ETC ETC . Another member of the conmen leaders of Malaysia.


    Jun 25, 2009 @ 16:59:53



    Jun 25, 2009 @ 17:02:37



  21. Fi-sha
    Jun 25, 2009 @ 17:30:16

    Dear Dr Hsu

    I hope you are doing well.

    If this tourism minister, the one who had helmed the Kem. Pembangunan Wanita, Masyarakat & Keluarga, a medical doctor and a mother on top of being a malaysian, would utter such disgustingly irresponsible remarks, what can we expect from other ministers that have more ublic funds at their disposal?

    What a disgrace to a malaysian woman…


  22. sapu
    Jun 25, 2009 @ 17:50:30

    God help us when we have ministers making such statement. If you cannot apologise, at least keep your mouth shut rather than make a silly statement that infuriates the public like me who are trying to earn a living and saying RM 1 million gets you nothing…shit


  23. gasper rune
    Jun 25, 2009 @ 17:58:36

    Correction: Marie Antoinette never said “…let them eat cakes!”. The phrase was just a ‘garnish’ to the dire indifference of the French aristocrats to the plight of the common folk…


  24. Kongkor
    Jun 25, 2009 @ 19:28:46

    Of course 1 million is nothing when they have billions to splurge.

    What an insult to all tax paying Malaysians.


  25. Atila
    Jun 25, 2009 @ 20:40:07

    why rm1mil? why not rob the whole msia?

    rakyat has not enough..


  26. Disgusted
    Jun 25, 2009 @ 21:01:30

    As MP for Raub, it was rumored she helped a gold mining company setting up a “carbon-in-leach” plant located at Bukit Koman in Raub.

    It is believed the company belong to an ex-MCA secretary general’s family. For her alleged help, the family donated RM500,000 to UTAR for a student loan fund in 2007.

    The villagers are crying foul and moaning that the plant is using some 1,500 kg toxic cyanide daily for processing or extracting gold from the ore. Ng Yen Yen also attended the ground breaking with Pahang MB in 2007 which it is believed Yen Yen help the company getting the necessary approval from the State Mineral and Geoscience department of Pahang.

    At a forum held recently at the Chinese Assembly Hall a few days ago this week, many Kg Koman villagers (about 100) were seen crying and emotional when the chairman of the Action Committee against Cyanide use, spoke about their problems. The villagers who had travelled all the way from Raub had in the morning presented a memo to Pakatan leaders in Parliament. As expected deputy minister in PM’s dept announced and brushed aside the villagers’ predicament saying there is no evidence of cyanide poisoning at the village, water and air.

    The villagers should use the river water, boil it and make tea for these idiots, like Yen Yen and the BN leader T Murugiah. See if they will die over a month drinking the water. It’s the best test!


  27. sam
    Jun 25, 2009 @ 21:52:44

    This minister is nothing more than a voice box. To her rm1 million is nothing. sure after you have stolen from the rakyaat. Surely you don’t appreciate the figure. why don’t you donate to the poor in malaysia from your pocket if you think this sum is small. They all the same these theives from bn be it mca mic or umno they have lost touch with the poor. Theres only one solution kick them out in GE 13


  28. klm
    Jun 25, 2009 @ 21:55:58

    Do you know there was story recently about a province in China. Factories, owned by provincial officials, were spewing poisonous gas. This caused high death rate amongst the population. It was reported that the people are now up in arms to kill the provincial official. The reason being that they will die if the do nothing. They will die if they kill the officials. Either way they will die. So they want to kill the provincial officials.

    One day, Malaysia may be like that. When our officials conspire to kill the people in return for wealth. People may turn desperate.


  29. cilipadi
    Jun 25, 2009 @ 23:16:17


    I told you. These peoples are just like a deck of smelly tainted dirty cards.

    Why you guys not stop paying t_x_s from now on? As a non-Malaysian, I have other options.

    siapa makan cili, dia rasa pedas


  30. My2cen
    Jun 26, 2009 @ 02:08:55

    She shall be known as the one million dollar woman from now on… heard from sources Down Under that’s her asking price for introduction to do business in Malaysia …


  31. Donkephant
    Jun 26, 2009 @ 07:27:04

    For the record, Marie Antoinette uttered no such words. It’s been proven that the phrase was published in a book more than 20 years before Antoinette’s birth.


  32. klm
    Jun 26, 2009 @ 08:46:22

    Marie Antoninette did not uttered those words.It did no mattered. But those words encapsulated the idea of how out of touch she was with the people of France.She was guillotined for betraying the people of France. Hurrah!

    As for that woman from Raub. The stinking grubby that woman. I hope she will have the same fate.
    Traitor of Raub and Malaysia.


  33. Liew Chee Meng
    Jun 26, 2009 @ 09:26:51

    My two cents on this.

    I was in Europe last year and happened to catch an advertisement on German TV. I think it was paid for by Ministry of Tourism. It was an advertisement on Malaysia and ran for quite a bit (can’t remember exactly but probably 5 times as long as a normal advertisement on our local tv). It was really very well done compared with what I had seen on local tv, and I felt proud that we had such an advertisement on German TV.

    I would guess that the cost of producing and running this ad would run into millions of Euros. Easily. And I think it is worth it. As a Malaysian and cynical one at that, I am impressed , what more a European. It would have introduced our country to those looking for a holiday in an exotic part of the world.

    So what is one million ringgit? If Jean Todt is serious about promoting Malaysia, his efforts (considering who he is ) should worth at least tens of millions Euro.

    Having said that, the minister used an unfortunate choice of speaking. But she is right.


  34. Jerusalem-X
    Jun 26, 2009 @ 10:43:20

    Hmm. Of course a million is small potatoes to our MPs bro.

    I’m still stuck wondering how an Aussie PR like her can be a MP in Malaysia. Hello Najib?

    Did the people who voted for her like it that their MP has a back up plan to split to Oz if things got bad for her in Malaysia.

    Her credibility is zero. Integrity less than that.

    She should be sacked and deported.


  35. klm
    Jun 26, 2009 @ 12:03:32

    The issue is not the 1M RM for Jean Todt. The issue is the callous and unfeeling way she said it. It underlined the lost of of touch with the people suffering in this country. It reflected on the way Ministers waste away money of the taxpayers, very often with no sense of accountability.

    That is what we are angry about.

    That woman should be stomped into dust.


  36. klm
    Jun 26, 2009 @ 15:24:53

    Something struck me during lunch. Malaysia is not the playground of the rich. In other words, the target market that is represented by Jean Todt is not the one that Malaysia is targeting. Malaysia is going for mass tourists market.

    There seem to be a mismatch in marketing strategy here. Paying for TV advertisement in Germany will work for this market. Paying Jean Todt 1M RM will have no impact on this market. Unless, you use Jean Todt as a model, but then he is too ugly.

    Something do not add up.


  37. A true Malaysian
    Jun 26, 2009 @ 17:18:55

    Another arrogant example of BN politicians.

    He said Sim had jumped the gun by issuing the statement which opposed Barisan Nasional “rejects” using PKR as a bait to bargain for political survival.
    “He was still playing marbles when I joined politics. Now that he is an assemblyman, he should just concentrate on his constituency.”

    He above is referred to HCG, read here to know what’s transpired,


    Is there any good material amongst BN politicians?


  38. 过路客
    Jun 26, 2009 @ 17:25:54

    Dear Dr.

    It is time you write some thing like

    1. How to earn 1 million Ringgit Malaysia from nothing?

    2. How much can 1 million Ringgit Malaysia gets you in malaysia!

    I have been working for the pass 25 years but I am still nowhere near that elusive RM1M.

    And to me RM1M can gets me most of my dreams.
    Not nothinglah!



  39. Kenny Gan
    Jun 26, 2009 @ 17:28:15

    Sorry, shameless plug on my latest article in Suara Keadilan

    The Politics of Sodomy: Will Justice be Mangled Again?

    “To convict an innocent man of false charges, there must be four parties acting in concert, three of them in the criminal justice system. They are the Police to fabricate evidence, the Attorney-General to frame the charge and the Judiciary to convict the accused irrespective of whether he can put up a creditable defense.

    However in a democracy, even these three powerful institutions acting in concert are not enough. To this must be added a fourth institution – the press, also aptly referred to as the ‘Fourth Estate’.”

    Read more at Suara Keadilan


  40. klm
    Jun 26, 2009 @ 20:31:39

    Malaysiakini :

    Ex-Ferrari boss Jean Todt has expressed “distress” over Azmin Ali’s allegation that the Tourism Ministry is purportedly spending a million ringgit on him to promote Malaysia in his capacity of “tourism ambassador”.

    I think he got it wrong. A question was asked and the minister confirmed that the budget was 1M for him. So what is wrong in asking the question. Does it mean MP cannot ask question.

    I think Art Harun is right in saying this Todt is a second hand Malaysian.

    Shame on him.


  41. klm
    Jun 26, 2009 @ 20:37:43

    Suspended Gerakan vice-president Huan Cheng Guan today claimed that party president Dr Koh Tsu Koon had failed to keep his promise to keep the suspension only for six months.

    Why is this Huan guy so stupid to believe KTK?

    (1) KTK is a politician – how can you believe in one of this creature
    (2) KTK is a weak character – how can he even dare confront any issue

    Goodness. Gerakan people never learn.


  42. 过路客
    Jun 27, 2009 @ 00:29:27


    wrong! it should be,

    Goodness, Gerakan are full of ppl like HCG, KTK,
    LKY etc etc



  43. Trackback: Top Posts « WordPress.com
  44. Dr Hsu
    Jun 27, 2009 @ 12:36:37

    This post was one of the top posts in wordpress.com that day from among the few million wordpress blogs.

    This shows that many people are curious to learn about the topic, not only among Malaysians, but prople all over the world.

    Incidentally, I have about 90 posts which were listed as top posts so far. ( To check, go to wordpress.com , achive section, and type url of this blog in the search button, and you got the list.)

    The number of hits for this post alone on that day is: 4797 hits, which made it one of the top ten posts of this blog.

    This is not about the million, but about the arrogance and out-of-touch-ness of the so called VVIPs…I shall write a post on why these people become arrogant.


  45. Trackback: When are they so out of touch and arrogant? « Dr Hsu’s Forum

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