People’s money

The article I wrote 2 days ago about the 100 storey building announced in Budget 2011 was published in Malaysian Insider yesterday (Tallest does not mean the best) and attracted many comments. At the time i wrote it, it was not clear yet where the money would come from, but after i have posted it, it was clear that PNB would be the one building/funding it, and the PM has come out with a statement that he has nothing to do with the proposal.

Many people think that since it was not the government that will fund the project, then it would be not so bad.. I beg to differ.

PNB is owned by the government. PNB has said that they would fund the building from its accumulated profits and not funds under its management. But since PNB is government owned, whatever profits that PNB earns or accumulates belong to the government.

Government belongs to the people, since the government is elected by the people. Civil servants are just  employees to help elected people to carry out what was planned and what was legislated in the Parliament, which consists of people’s representatives. Managers in Government owned companies are likewise people’s employees, entrusted to manage properly people’s money.

So rightly, any profits of PNB ( and any other government-owned compaines) belongs to the people.

When these companies fail, like in the case of the former Bank Bumi, it was the government that came to the rescue by using Petronas money which again belongs to the people .

So for a project of 5 billions, even if it was not directly coming from the Treasury, it is still people’s money, the Rakyat’s money. For such a big project which will not lift us to a high income country, people do have a say in whether such project should go on or not.

It is like a big conglomerate. A big investment from one of its subsidiaries is still an investment of that conglomerate, and will affect the future prospect of that conglomerate.

So people of Malaysia have the right to say their piece, whether it is for  or against the project. We can disagree on whether such project should go on, but we must be prepared to defend the right of each of us to epress our opinion whether such a project should be allowed.. That is the right to the freedom of expression.


15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. clearwater
    Oct 21, 2010 @ 12:50:50

    PM says he has nothing to do with the 100 storey PNB building proposal yet it is in the Budget. If he did not agree, why is this urban stupidity included? Is he the PM cum FM or is he some peon hired to run the PM’s department which comes with a multi billion RM budget allocation.


  2. foo
    Oct 21, 2010 @ 12:52:32

    If it’s a private project and does not involve public money, why Najib needs to mentioned or announce in the recent Budget speech? Let say if AirAsia decided to buy 10 A380 airplanes in 2011,does the PM announce to the whole world in his Budget speech? Surely no because it private enterprise and no rakyat’s money involved. Obviously this 100 storey tower involved public funds despite PNB’s denial. Under heavy critricism from the rakyat, Najib try to back-off and wash his hands from responsiblities by denying it’s his idea. What a coward!.

    We should all join as his facebook friends and give our 2 sen worth to Mr. dumbass PM.


  3. Jong
    Oct 21, 2010 @ 17:14:21

    If there is no governmet involvement why the need to do an announcement within the Bajet 2010 Speech?

    And where did PNB get its money from, who are the share-holders? Comeon, Najib thinks we are fools eh?


  4. AgreeToDisagree
    Oct 21, 2010 @ 19:00:44

    The better run against MPs/Assemblymen who think they own the county. All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. Did you see my suggestions on how to destroy those who think they own the nation starting with dr.Evil? You are well networked enough to start the ball rolling, people will look to the experienced or the wealthy or those in the know to ensure that the people’s money will remain the people’s money. Hows that 3rd Force coming alone Dr.Hsu?


  5. disgusted
    Oct 21, 2010 @ 21:27:50

    Looks like it is an after thought or completely lack of transparency. Comments here are “Correct, Correct, Correct”.

    Why mentioned in Budget when it’s PNB project? Even if it is why PNB was not mentioned in Budget? Whichever way, there is no honesty in this governance. But PNB also denied?

    Confusion confused this government. We are all suckers after all.


  6. Li Li Fa
    Oct 21, 2010 @ 22:42:17

    Why can’t PNB be kind enough to gather round the abandoned , uncompleted, neglected projects and other ‘white elephants’ in and around KL, and help revive or complete them?

    Why can’t PNB be kind enough to invest in a proper transport system for the people?

    Why can’t PNB go for social investment of affordable medical facilities for the people?

    PNB serves the power that be or the wishes of the Rakyat?


  7. aca
    Oct 21, 2010 @ 23:23:36

    forget about the budget.

    your PM gave his strongest speech that makes me speechless. Rwanda and whatever cleansing? thank you, Gerakan.


  8. Hoyohoyo
    Oct 22, 2010 @ 10:55:01

    It’s not just about who’s funding the tower. Why does PM/FM include this project in his federal budget if it has nothing to do with the government? But more importantly, does KL need a tower like this?

    As a KL-ite, I say no. Why not spend more money in making pedestrian walkways covered with trees? Why not strengthen the public transport system, by integrating the various transport mode, and by making it compulsory for new housing areas to have public transport access? Why not put in some money to maintain the city’s heritage, many of which (hint: Pudu and Pudu Jail) are going to give way to developments and thus removing KL’s unique (and beautiful) historical identity? What about letting us KL-ites to elect our mayor since we don’t have a second vote for state assemblies?

    KL is governed directly under federal government (for mostly political reasons then). One would hope federal government could give a real good deal to KL people but instead we are paying much more for our daily needs, food and transports and whatnot, than our sisters and brothers from other parts of the country. With our pay being not much higher, and in fact stayed stagnant over the past 10 years, we are facing instead a deteriorating quality of life. We see our green space, even the trees along the roadside being slowly but surely taken away from us. We see our past identities giving ways to towers and concretes without soul. When bringing friends of any part of the world around KL, they will definitely comment about how congested the city is. We are often deemed arrogant/unfriendly to people from other states but do they know how harsh a KL-ite life is?

    And yet, our big government is trying to show us it has been giving KL most… Except that’s not what KL people want. We collectively voted out 6 BN candidates, and retained the 4 DAP candidates in the 2008 election. Of 11 parliament constituencies, only 1 of it was held by BN candidate. 62% of the voters rejected the federal government and yet we can do nothing when BN continues to destroy the city…


  9. CYC
    Oct 22, 2010 @ 14:36:35

    Facebook page on rejecting this silly tower has attracted 88,000 supporters so far despite being blocked by Gelakan supported govt agency. The number will surpass Gelakan memberships soon !


  10. Chabalang
    Oct 22, 2010 @ 17:23:20

    Deep inside, most well-educated/informed M’sians are well aware (i) who will benefit from such mega-projects and (ii) who will pay for them.

    If NEM, 10th M’sian Plan and ETP are all about mega projects, we are going the same way as Dr.M’s policies in the past 20 years, and the country will remain stagnated and middle-income as our neighbours pull away.

    Start with something meaningful such as improving the public transport (not need grand plans like afull-scale MRT) – for a start, get the KTM Kommuter working properly – just need more rolling stocks and better operations first.


  11. vsvsv
    Oct 25, 2010 @ 16:42:09

    The money spend on budget must first of all benefit to the people of malaysia and whatever spent must be productive and useful. In this case, what the white elephant can do to the poor people? It really defeat Umno’s ultimate purpose …helping the poor and MALAY NEP program. I think those indonesian, bangladesh and pakistan labourers will laugh all the way back to their hometown with their hard earned money by the time this project completed. Oh….and those CEOs related to this project will migrate to other counties. Poor malay. Thanks BN


  12. sosong
    Oct 26, 2010 @ 10:50:07

    If this is a fully private funded project, then it should be in budget!!
    Just like any other 20 or 30 storey commercial office building, these nvr appear in budget!!


  13. sosong
    Oct 26, 2010 @ 10:51:03

    sorry, it should NOT be in budget!!


  14. sosong
    Oct 26, 2010 @ 10:58:33

    How is RM40 billion MRT project? just DON’T see how it could cause so much??


  15. Dr Hsu
    Oct 26, 2010 @ 11:26:48

    kickbacks used to be 3-5% many many years ago. A few years ago, businessmen are telling me it is in the region of 20%. You and I can guess what it is like now..


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