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Kuala Lumpur
Monday, September 28, 2020

Mahathir: Everything is under control and was fine until you came along

This is my response to Tun Mahathir’s blog post today. His points are in Bold.

1. Wednesday’s (November 4, 2015) paper reports that we are not facing a financial crisis and we are not going to go into financial crisis.

2. Eight prominent people including the PM tell us everything is fine.

3. Now if everything is fine why is there a need to arrest people for sabotaging the banking and financial system of the country? If they sabotage surely the banking and finance of Malaysia would not be fine. They would be dysfunctional.

The persons you must be referring to is probably your loyalist selfie-fan, Khairuddin Abu Hassan (who was the publisher of the famed 50 dalil mengapa Anwar tak boleh jadi PM, which was used to kick out Anwar) and your ex-political secretary Mr Matthias “I challenge you to hunger strike until death” Chang.
Now, these two individuals went around the world filing reports with foreign governments every other week or so. Before they were arrested by Police, they had visited and filed reports in Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Switzerland, UK and France. They had already filed a report with the USA embassy here and was on the way to the USA before they were stopped.
If the truth was really what they seek, I think filing with Hong Kong and Switzerland is enough already. No need to file in the entire world. Every time they visit another country and do this, they create negative news for the country which then hurts our country’s reputation and our real economy. I am sure you are aware of this.
Now, Khairuddin had admitted on his own FaceBook posts that the had given documents to these foreign governments.
My question to you is this:
1) If these documents are real, are these official secrets confidential government documents. And if it is indeed classified genuine documents, where did they get these documents from?
And do you think there is nothing wrong in passing confidential secret government documents to foreign activities?
2) If these documents are fake, do you there is nothing wrong in passing fake documents to foreign activities to defame Malaysia and our Prime Minister?
Whether you choose answer 1 or 2, do you think this is sabotage to our government?
What is your answer?
Also, your logic that the banking system have not been sabotaged means there is no reason to arrest people attempting to sabotage is quite perplexing.
Should we then release those recently arrested ISIS activists who planned to bomb Kuala Lumpur just because Kuala Lumpur have not actually been bombed yet/

4. But is it true that everything is hunky-dory; everything is fine. It can’t be! The banks and the financial system may be fine, but there are other indicators to show that the economy is not fine.

5. The Ringgit is down by 1 Ringgit to 4.3 to 1 USD. That’s a big drop in value and is bound to affect import business or loans in USD.

I don’t get why you are mocking the govt that the Ringgit has fallen against the USD and is now at USD1 to RM4.30 when many other countries currency did equally as poorly or more poorly compared to Malaysia – for example, Russia, Brazil, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Norway etc.

This is mostly a function of low commodity prices and the market is still viewing Malaysia as a commodity-dependent economy.
As powerful as the Prime Minister of Malaysia is, I doubt he would be able to control world oil prices or restore China’s growth momentum.
If truly the currency matters so much to you, Tun M. All Najib has to do is to do a Mahathir and peg the Ringgit at RM3.80.
If you can do this, why can’t Najib?
Habis cerita. End of story. That is the easiest thing to do.

However, it is good to see that the govt has resisted this easy way out (unlike some people) and preserve free capital flows which better reflects prevailing market conditions.

Pegging the Ringgit is the wrong way to go and will cause more harm than good.

And why are you so concerned about the import business? I though you hated it when import cars are cheap and compete with Proton?
Expensive imports just means that there is opportunity for Malaysia to rely more on local goods instead of imported goods and reduce outflows to other countries.
As for loans in USD, Malaysia have learned from your mistakes. Now, 97% of our government loans is now in Ringgit Malaysia and we no longer dare expose ourselves to foreign loans – unlike during your time.

6. The stock market is down with big loss in market capitalisation. Again this would not be good for the economy.

Today, the stock market is at 1685.7 points. It is still more than double the 800 points it was at when Najib became PM in 2009.
The stock market did not plunge 70% in a short time to 200 or so points in the year 1998, Even then, the Prime Minister at that time also did not resign.

7. The economic growth is lagging behind those of Indonesia and the Philippines. This is not normal. We use to leave them far behind us.

Surely Tun Mahathir understands that each country’s growth depends on which stage of development that they are in.

Indonesia and Philippines has been struggling for the past decades and are now only reaping the benefits from some stability.
Because they came from a much lower base than Malaysia, their current growth is slightly higher too.
Malaysia’s current economic growth at 4.5-5% is not too shabby too.
During your time, Malaysia also used to lag Singapore’s growth. But since Singapore’s economy has matured, we are leaving them behind in terms of growth rate too.
Singapore’s last quarter had GDP growth of 0.1% only.

8. Everyone complains of increase in cost of living – toll rates up, rice prices up, GST, cost of production and services, transport, wages for servants, unemployment of graduates etc. etc are all high, reducing purchasing power of everyone.

9. There is a loss of confidence in the Government precipitated by the 1MDB scandal, the inability to service debts, disappearance of money, cash in the private a/c of PM, its subsequent disappearance, inability to explain 100 million USD, 2016 budget of monetary gifts, shrinking national resources, questionable use of EPF and KWAP funds, poor FDI etc.

10. So all cannot be well. Who is responsible? Cannot be some nonentity!! Must be the people who manage the economy, manage the country, the people with power and influence whose words and deeds can affect the economy.

11. In many countries, leaders resign when they fail; when their policies fail, when their cures fail. They also resign when some catastrophe assails their country e.g Australia and Romania. Of course they resign when they do badly in elections.

In many countries, leaders who have resigned, stay resigned and does not try to topple each of his successors just because the successors refused to listen to him and creating all sorts of political instability.

12. But not in Malaysia. Find other reasons. Find scapegoats. Blame the climate or whatever.

Flashback 1998. The Prime Minsiter at that time did not hold himself accountable and did not resign.
The economy is collapsing.  The GDP fell a staggering 7.4%.
The construction sector contracted 23.5%, manufacturing shrunk 9% and the agriculture sector 5.9% that year.
Inflation doubled to 5.3% from 2.7% the previous year.
Your currency slumped almost 50% from RM2.50 to RM4.84 against the USD..
Bank interest rates went up to as high as 18%. Repossesion of cars was at a record high. No one was buying cars – even the repossesed cars and the car dealers themselves were closing down.
The stock market fell 75% to below 270 points, Dozens of listed companies -including your crony companies Renong, UEM, Taiping Consolidated – and tens of thousands of ordinary business were on the verge of banktuptcy or already closed shop.
And you had to create Danaharta to bail them out.
In fact, you had to use Petronas money to bail out your son’s company – a massive conflict of interest that you did not even bother to defend.
The banks can no longer loan money or extend further credit – starving companies of funds and forcing them to close down.
In fact, the banks themselves were in trouble and became insolvent.
And you had to create Danamodal to bail them out.
Forex reserves were just RM20b and could only finance 2.7 times our improts – a level that is below international standard.
Govt was almost bankrupt with Debt to GDP surging past 100%. Ministers and top civil servants had to take a 10% paycut.
You publicly asked Singapore for help in loaning money only to be told “Sorry”.
You just sacked your Deputy President and Deputy Prime Minister and also arrested your UMNO Youth head along with dozens of others under ISA.
UMNO was split – with many calling you a liability to the party and will cause BN to lose the next General Elections.
Hundreds and thousands joined multiple street rallies demanding your resignation.
The USA deputy president publicly praised the protesters and called them the “brave people of Malaysia” who have demanded democracy.
Queen Elizabeth II, arrived and presided over the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games. In the stands, protesters held up a huge sign to you reading, ”Thanks for the great moments.”
At one point, demonstrators ran after the Queen’s motorcade as it passed them on the streets and she waved from the window.
Wan Azizah said ”I feel very sad because Dr. Mahathir is a great leader, but now he has become a political desperado who is willing to suppress his own people just to keep power.”
That was the year 1998.
Did you resign then?
No, you didn’t.
You stayed on as a responsible PM and party president to fix what you can to the best of your ability.
You did not run then and neither should you deny another PM from him carrying out his responsibility now too.
The 1998 problemsas just a few countries. Now, our economy is much stronger and the problems are worldwide in nature. The currencies of Russia, Norway, Denmark, Turkey, New Zealand, Australia and a host of others have fallen about the same or worse then Malaysia’s Ringgit.
Let PM Najib handle this challenge without distractions and disturbances.
If you can’t help or not willing to, don’t make it worse.

13. Poor Malaysia. No honour. No accountability. No pride. Just self-preservation.

Perwaja loss of more than RM10 billion, BMF scandals,  dodgy toll concessions, RM30 billion Forex trading losses, etc..
None of these had special Auditor General audits. Neither were there Special Task Force teams to investigate them. Nor were there PAC inquiries into them.
Remember PKFZ?
Someone said in court “I don’t remember”
That’s accountability
tun-m-never sued
And no one sued ex-Wall Street Journal journalist Barry Wain who wrote the 2009 book that you squandered RM100 billion at least.
Talk about pride.
It’s too late to sue Barry Wain now as he has sadly passed away two years ago.

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