Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A politically unpredictable Malaysia?

2 nights ago, I had the opportunity to have dinner in KL with a very successful Chinese businessman. Although this Chinese businessman has varied interest in this country, he operates more from London where he’s also very active in the property and tourism industry. This gentleman tells me that in his travel throughout the world, Malaysia is often labeled as a politically and economically stable country and is also cited as one of the positive point about our country.

Unfortunately, after the 308 election, people’s perception of Malaysia has changed and that it has been regarded as politically unpredictable with possibility of becoming unstable. I told him that Malaysians are so used to a government in power with overwhelming majority in the Parliament and in state except of Kelantan, the rest under BN.

After 308 election, the political landscape has changed completely. The sheer number of PR members in the Parliament forces a lot of the MPs to perform in Parliament in order to be noticed. To aggravate matter, Anwar’s constant reminder that BN’s MPs will jump ship, causing the collapse of BN government. The BN government is used to a 2/3 majority in the Parliament and suddenly finds itself unprepared to cope with a more boisterous and aggressive opposition. Some of the BN leaders still behave as if it is business as usual. For a lot of PR members, they feel that their role is to oppose by highlighting shortcomings of the government of the day without concrete or viable proposals. A good example is the increase in fuel price. No PR leaders have stepped forward to propose a viable alternative other than to oppose and condemn. The accusation of sodomy against Anwar, Anwar seeking refuge in Turkish embassy adds more fireworks to a charged situation. The fuel hike and increase in tariff have also driven a lot of people and businessmen into despair. All of us were suddenly confronted with the increase in price in almost every item of our daily lives. There is an air of uncertainty and these do not augurs well for the nation. So I told my friend that I’m not surprised that on the radar screen of foreign investors, we are politically regarded as uncertain although still stable. Let’s hope PR and the government in power will channel their energy and brain to address national issues rather than wasting time and resources in the business of politicking.


CP Waterman said...

No one will dispute the fact that the world around is facing fuel price hike and everyone will accept a gradual increment over a period of time to allow household income to catch up hopefully through increase in productivity.

But for an oil producing country like Malaysia to SUDDENLY announce a hefty 41% petrol price hike is pure economic suicide.Its absolutely beyond the comprehansion of any fair minded person. It only sends a powerful signal,whether ture or false that this action is done just to divert people's attention from some other important issues like the C4 & Lingam cases.

It is exactly this kind of thoughtless policy implementation that makes the nation UNSTABLE, UNPREDICTABLE and a dangerous place for foreign investments.

Don't point fingers at the oppositions,its the BN Federal government that started this stupid "CHAOS".

People said...

hi bro,

After watching how Liow Tiong Lai and Wee Kah Siong condemn u on the issue of Ong Ka Ting, I felt pity on u. They still prefer to carry Ong Ka Ting ball although he had decided to step down.
Like what I ever advice u, get you and your son to cross over to PR inorder to stay relavant in Malaysia Politic.
Malaysian will salute you forever!
After you step down from the party post and minister, those your MCA gangs who use to carry your ball now treat you like shit!

Prachai said...

Only two kinds of countries can be "politically stable":

1. A mature democracy
2. A totalitarian government

We don't bloody live our lives to please "foreign investment", so we don't want (2). But we are still far away from (1). The struggle is now on to be closer to (1), and I see this happening already. For too long we have been near (2). It is time to move!

CP Waterman said...

Liow: Umno dragged MCA down in polls-
Now you have a brave man from MCA putting the election blame squarely on UMNO for their headless insenstivity to the other races.
Who will now stand up and tell the same UMNO about their senseless, stupid economic policy on a SUDDEN 41% petrol price hike that is now causing "havoc" in the country???

NEIL said...

Ya,most successful businessman are not locally grown.Here in malaysia the it's very hard to rise up without any connection.You must be well connected to be able to withstand any outside influence or pressure.As a result corruption comes in.So in other words most of the businesses in malaysia are 'artificially' healthy or alive.That's why local businessman don't have the guts to internationalize their businesses.

KIMHO8 said...

Orang kaya mesti takutlah!

Kita orang miskin dah biasa ditindas, tak ada masalah punya!

Hong Seng said...

We need a new leader in this country. a leader must be able to listen to what the grassroots wants and take care of the overall majority of the public.Hope we will have one soon.

kiddokit said...

You are not giving any credit to the PR govt -- not one bit. That's not gentlemanly of you, Dr. Chua.

Who says PR has no alternative to counter the rising fuel prices? They have given their version of why Petronas' profits can be better used to alleviate the country's suffering. It is only BN sympathisers like you and your ilk who have conveniently chosen not to listen nor give PR's proposal a chance.

Who says PR hasn't been governing? It is their prerogative to reviews past policies and make better ones -- which they have done. Naturally in the course of reviewing, PR would dig up skeletons. To cover their asses (from Anwar??), BN chose to divert attention by accusing PR on going on a witch-hunt (but we know PR ain't doing that, don't we?)

So, Dr. Chua, what say you? Be a better statesman than Dr. Mahathir. Give credit where it is due and brick-bats where it ain't.

On the other point of yours that this country is no more an epitome of stable governance since BN lost 2/3...well, that's the price any nation would pay for catharsis of sorts. Purging this country of the BN disease takes time and in the process, mayhem. I take all this stoically because I know that at the end of it and BN is gone, it bodes well for my daughter and her friends and everyone else's future.

For you to only harp on the fact this mayhem is not conducive for business-making opportunities, then you are not thinking of the country -- only that riches to beget equals continued BN hegemony.

Out with BN!

Anonymous said...

It is actually very predictale:

1. Najib will be the next PM but he will lose the next election.

2. UMNO will have to partner with DAP to govern again, a true reformer who does not afraid of losing his job will take over from Najib. It is the beginning of a 1-term PM rotation system.

3. The 10th PM will ba a Chinese Malaysian so to put the system in order.

dranony said...

We should be honest enough to admit that while much economic good had come about under Barisan Nasional administration, many excesses and corrupt practices had also occurred.
For the sake of the rakyat, these need to be seriously addressed, instead of carrying on as though there is no need to change.
When our oil reserves run out, we're destined for trouble, at the rate at which our funds have been abused.

The rakyat is placing a lot of hope in Pakatan Rakyat, that many of these excesses can be curbed, and that funds saved from plunder and abuse, can be channeled for the good of the poorer segments of malaysian society, instead of benefitting the elite and richer echelons.

If "unpredictability" means likelihood of a correction of past abuses, is it really so bad?
In the minds of the poor rakyat, such "unpredictability" brings hope of a better government.
Of course, to businesses and businessmen already resigned to suffer corruption and economic leakages, such "unpredictability" means "better the Devil we know, than the Deep-Blue-Sea which we don't."

pharmacyproduct2u said...

It's not hard to predict, u will see Pak Lah still remain as PM, but Najib's political career is going to be 'paralyzed'.

tualang3 said...

Dr Chua,

Don't expect things to be the same all the time. That is the wonder of existence. It is how you handle today's issue that matters. If taken lightly, then don't expect a happy tomorrow. As a veteran in politics and government, I think you know best the mentality of Malaysians. I have been in a meeting with you twice, representing an organisation. I don't remember we make any eye contact on those two ocassions. This is because you think you are the know how and you talk to yourself. Yang lain semuanya tak pandai..I have also been in an political meeting. The Ketua is a Menteri. He thinks he knows all. He talks and never give chance to the members.Now he is no more the Menteri. Since then he never set foot to the meeting anymore. Ini lah Malaysian, bila jadi boss, cepat lupa.

NEIL said...

Dr,Tell us honestly if you are still going for the MCA top post.You can't just stand in the middle without giving a clue which way you are going.Make your stand.If you are a MCA man say so.For a politician your stand must be clear and decisive so you can attract solid support.If there is an air of uncertainty then your support will waver.

Onekampung said...

Stating a stand? This is politics lah! Dr will only state a stand after all the divisional elections and see how many divisions support him. if Dr declares his intenton now, and in the end, only few divisions support him, then malu also.

But as a true politician, you should clearly state your stand, otherwise your supporters will be confused and not knowing what you want to do. Dr, what do you think?

Now that Ong Ka Ting has decided not to seek re-election, why not make your position clear? What are you worried or afraid for? If you are keeping quiet, your chance will simply slip away, and once gone, there will be no return.

Be a true politician.

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