Let others come knocking at our door

This is from MalaysianInsider today:

KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today he disagrees with the Najib administration for spending a whopping RM76 million to arrange a meeting between the prime minister and US President Barack Obama earlier this week.

I understand the need of our leader to meet up with US president, but to spend 76 million just to lobby for a meeting is such a waste of money.

What can the meeting achieve? Can we be assured of more investment from US? (That actually depends more on our policies and growth than kissing Obama’s hands) or are we buying more weapons from the States?

If the answer is no, then I really do not know what the 45 minutes meeting can achieve, apart from a PR exercise aiming at telling people that only a selected few leaders get to meet up with Obama, and Najib is one of them.

I doubt whether Hu Jin Dao of China spent any money to lobby for a meeting; most probably Obama himself is seeking a meeting with Hu. I doubt too whether Singapore ‘s former PM Lee KY needed any lobby group to meet up with US presidents; more likely, the presidents themselves wanted to meet up with Lee to pick his brain and hear from Lee firsthand how he viewed global issues including Asians ones.

I doubt whether our PM needs to spend this kind of money if he has firmly established himself as a statesman of stature, like the Minister Mentor.

It is not easy to get 76 millions. How many schools or hospitals can we build with that? How many poor can we help? How many buses can we buy to relieve the traffic congestion?

I view this spending as utterly wasteful and too excessive, but this is not the first nor will it be the last time our government is wasting money on such things.

We should instead improve our economic standing and our competitiveness; if we are among the nations with the highest growth rates, I am sure instead of we seeking meetings with others, others will come knocking at our door.

*This article was published as a letter to editor in Malaysiakini (click here)

22 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. klm
    Apr 16, 2010 @ 14:43:36

    Not only did Malaysia paid to kiss Obama’s hand, Malaysia is sucking up to US. It is a disgrace to pay to get be a “friend” of the US.. It should be the other way round. It used to be that US paid to get other countries to be its “friend”. I wonder why this should happen in the case of Malaysia.

    Further, Why is Malaysia abandoning the non-alignment policy? Why did it turn off the tap on Iran? What is Malaysia’s stand in the OIC? Is Malaysia going to be America’s puppet in the OIC.

    With Malaysia no more non-align, what is Malaysia’s relationship with China? Will it take a pro American stand? How will China reacts to Malaysia.

    There are many implications as a result of this paid meeting. Where is Malaysia heading?

    Like

  2. Richard Loh
    Apr 16, 2010 @ 14:43:57

    Same thought as you Dr. Hsu.

    Open Letter To President Obama – #2

    I do not expect the white house to respond or even to read it but to express why the need to spend such an enormous amount of money just to meet with the president.

    Like

  3. Dr Hsu
    Apr 16, 2010 @ 14:53:41

    Richard,
    I am sure a lot of people think like us. I have also read your first letter some time back in the breaking news of MI. Well done! and keep it up.

    I think the mindsets of certain BN leaders have alot to do with this sort of things, and of course with spendings, you also get to have leakages which can be beneficial..:)

    Like

  4. klm
    Apr 16, 2010 @ 15:03:42

    Richard. Well Done.

    Like

  5. DRAGON TAI
    Apr 16, 2010 @ 15:24:18

    KETTLE CALLING THE POT BLACK.
    OTHER THAN NAJIB WHO ELSE PAY TO MEET UP WITH AN US PRESIDENT ???

    Like

  6. Shan
    Apr 16, 2010 @ 15:58:24

    Old horse also get mad with APCO issue!

    Dr M: Don’t put APCO bill on my tab

    KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today he disagrees with the Najib administration for spending a whopping RM76 million to arrange a meeting between the prime minister and US President Barack Obama earlier this week.

    http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/index.php/malaysia/60162

    Like

  7. Trackback: Let others come knocking at our door | Dump Blog
  8. ong
    Apr 17, 2010 @ 06:59:36

    Why Najib needs to pay agent RM76 million to meet Obama?

    During the 60s I was a student overseas. When I told people I was from Malaysia, many responded with questions such as: “Which part of Singapore is Malaysia located?” & “Is Lee Kuan Yew still your Prime Minister?” Maybe today people have the perception that Malaysia is in Africa. Without an PR agent, Obama may not be sure which part of Africa Najib is from.

    Question: What’s the difference between Najib spending RM76 million tax payers’ money on PR services & Mahathir giving RM7.6 billion to family & cronies?

    Answer: 76 million is 1% of 7.6 billion.

    Like

  9. MKO
    Apr 17, 2010 @ 10:37:13

    Er..dear Dr Mahathir, didn’t you ( read tax payers )too pay a sum of money to get to pay homage to the then US president George Bush ?
    Though what was paid did not amount to RM 76 mil.

    Like

  10. sm-kl
    Apr 17, 2010 @ 11:33:49

    Dear Ong,

    Your comment on Najib and Dr. M are right.

    Whether they waste 1% or 100% of the Rakyat money both of the are equally EVIL .

    Like

  11. Lai Kee Kong
    Apr 17, 2010 @ 14:14:26

    Let’s not be sceptics with using a PR firm to establish contact with America. It is not unusual nor unprofitable in the long run to have good relationships with America. In the 90s, palm oil was saved from being labelled an undesirable oil by effective lobbying. Not too long ago, Malaysia’s tv industry was almost wipe out when we were accused of dumping cheap tvs on American market. A factory in Pasir closed down and thousands lost their job just because they were too efficient in producing cheap tvs. All this could have averted if we had an effective management of the relationship with US. Some may think US is the devil in disguise but the fact of matter is, we are a trading nation and we need to build bridges more than ever to survive in this world.

    Like

  12. klm
    Apr 17, 2010 @ 16:08:01

    I can agree with Lai Kee Kong that Malaysia have good relationship with America. But I do not agree that we pay to a commercial PR company to help.
    The way that lobbyists work in Washington is they bribe govt officials and political parties official to put things on the agenda. This is illegal and is disgusting.

    I ask you. Do Singapore have to pay for its relationship with the US.

    Like

  13. Dr Hsu
    Apr 17, 2010 @ 16:35:29

    klm
    I agree with what you say. I doubt whether Korean President need to pay to see obama.

    Like

  14. A Single Vote
    Apr 17, 2010 @ 20:54:41

    My little niece waited for 2 hours at the F1 circuit to meet Michael Schumacher. She was rewarded with his autograph and had some pictures taken with her idol. How ecstatic she was.

    We were all sent copies of those pictures and they were all immediately posted on facebook. She was the envy of all but thank God she had more dignity than some who go around claiming how close they have got to those they have some pictures taken with.

    She said she just couldn’t tell people she knew Schumi well but one can tell she would have liked to from the look on her face in the pictures but I am proud of the dignity of that nineteen year old.

    Like

  15. aca
    Apr 17, 2010 @ 23:15:28

    dr,

    ask the Minister of KPI whether it is well spent or not.

    assured you he will duck left and duck right on this question.

    he cant even confirm whether he is chinese or malaysian first.he has toe the line set by the Deputy Speaker. what is he, the Minister of KPI.

    Like

  16. klm
    Apr 18, 2010 @ 13:17:39

    Here is my take on why Najib is so keen to butter the American and willing to pay the 80 million ringgit to APCO. He is even willing to turn off the tap on Iran. And not only that, he scolded Iran. The whole thing is about Anwar. He is doing all this to undercut Anwar from his American support. The theory is that if he throw enough money in Washington, he can buy support to counter Anwar in Washington.

    All the better relationship with US is just domestic politics.

    Like

  17. Nick
    Apr 18, 2010 @ 20:37:16

    Najis has to pay because he has such a stinking reputation and is a nobody. Obama’s handlers must have used the opportunity to squeeze us dry. Obama will be visiting Indonesia, I think in June this year and then onto Australia. He will never ever set foot on our country because our leaders are all tainted and we have nothing that America wants. I saw Channel News Asia a few days ago and there was a Spore delegation that had serious meetings with Obama’s admin and Timothy Geithner. Spore is a small dot with a BIG PRESENCE because their leaders views are much sought after in the first world. Only the charasmatic Anwar has a chance of ever being invited and I hope one day to see the red carpet laid out for him in Washington.

    Like

  18. klm
    Apr 19, 2010 @ 11:32:46

    The morality level of Malaysia is going lower with teh award of a datukship to that DAP frog Hee. I dont what the illegal Perak state govt is doing. But the result is that a low moral people is rewarded for doing the despicable thing. It is telling future generation of Malaysians that honour and loyalty is not important. This is corrupting the very soul of the nation. We are a nation of dishonour.

    Like

  19. Lai Kee Kong
    Apr 19, 2010 @ 12:29:47

    Whether we like it or not, that is how things work in US. Any decisions by the congress or the president can have a great impact on our lives. Imagine the impact of our palm oil being derogatorily labeled as tropical fats in the supermarkets in US. As it is, palm oil is already sold at a discount to comparable oils because of the image problem. Effective lobbying save jobs and preserve the economy.

    We assume other countries do not lobby for their interest in DC. I think we are too naive in this presumption. All nations with national self interest will do whatever it takes to protect their interest, including hiring a lobbyist in DC.

    Like

  20. Li Li Fa
    Apr 20, 2010 @ 00:46:00

    In such trying economic times like this, can our nation afford such exorbitant public relations rendezvous with DC? This clearly highlights the spend-first priority of the BN now as compared to the frugal Alliance then.

    Is Indonesia on the greasy path to allure the US President to come visiting in June this year? It would be good to learn from them what public relations strategy they adopt. At least, I think, they do not burn a hole in their country’s financial pocket when President Obama comes visiting to walk down memory lane.

    *************************************
    Why is the sum so high?
    Why are the smiles so bright?
    Why did Dr.M turn blue?
    Eversince, I met you.

    Like

  21. sosong
    Apr 21, 2010 @ 21:31:52

    Why BN leaders badmouth USA many many times, then, waste big money trying to repair the relationship?? Puzzled?

    Like

  22. atila
    May 23, 2010 @ 06:15:07

    Dr Hsu

    too late now to tell anything to Najib’s adminstration, i m sorry to must repeat this,
    he is executing the final stages of nwo.

    Like

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