Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Talk to the World for Good of the Country

A Kadir Jasin

PREAMBLE: Views expressed herein are entirely mine. I am writing in my personal capacity as a blogger. It has nothing to do with whatever position I may hold.

Investors want to know more about Malaysia Baru
LAST Tuesday and Wednesday I was in Singapore with Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister, Dr Muhammed Abdul Khalid, to talk to fund managers, analysts and journalists.

We attended Forum Asia 2019 organised by the Japanese financial house, Nomura Holdings Incorporated, and a dialogue session organised by the international rating agency S&P Global or Standard and Poor’s.

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Dr Muhammed spoke on the economy and I spoke on general issues including politics.

We have done so much since Pakatan Harapan won the May 9, 2018 General Elections yet it appeared to me that so little is known by the international investors.

We need more such sessions preferably attended by ministers and senior politicians. PH politicians should more willing to face domestic and international audiences.

It’s unreasonable to leave everything to the Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Ministers in charge of the economy, finance and trade in particular must be both “jaguh kampong” (village champions) and “jaguh dunia” (global champions).

Particiants at the S&P Global seminar
If they have been doing this, please quicken the tempo and if they haven't yet, please start.

Based on the questions and comments during and after the discussions, I have the feeling that investors, fund managers, analysts and journalists not only understood our situation better but were convinced that we are doing the right things.

We have many good stories to tell and should not be embarrassed to tell them.

It appeared to me that they were less worried about Dr Mahathir’s leadership of the country. In fact they were encouraged by his adaptation to the new political environment.

But they are concerned about leadership transition and the race and religious card being played by the Umno and Pas.

In addressing the leadership and transition issues, I said Dr Mahathir’s current tenure is different from the last one. He was last the Prime Minister from 1981 to 2003.

Not only that he is leading a different coalition, he is also being governed by a set of new governance, transparency and accountability regimes.

I sense that the level of confidence in his administration is high but the recurring concern is the transition of power to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

I told them that while the PH election promises were not cast in stone, the transition from Dr Mahathir to Anwar was clearly stated and was the linchpin in the pre-election agreement that led to the Dr Mahathir leading the PH into battle and, thereon, to victory.

I told them that they should be encouraged by Anwar’s recent statements that he wasn’t in a hurry and that Dr Mahathir would continue to play a major role thereafter.

Investors need to be assured of the leadership transition
As for fears that there would be U-turns in policies when the new Prime Minister comes in, I assured them that it is unlikely because Anwar himself is actively involved in putting them in place in his capacity as a member of the PH Presidential Council and through his regular consultations with the PM.

Also, having been a witness to Dr Mahathir-Anwar political collaboration and confrontation since 1982 – when Anwar joined Umno - I don’t think the Prime Minister-in-waiting would repeat the miscalculations of the past.

Sidelining or killing Dr Mahathir’s legacies had been a costly proposition for his two previous successors – Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Abdul Razak.

As for concerns about Umno and Pas playing the racial and religious cards, I said they would continue with it because they are weak in other areas. Both parties are tainted by corruption and secret political funding.

I told them that race, ethnicity, religion and geography will continue to be important in Malaysian politics. We will continue to embrace and celebrate our diversity.

Race and religion are not the cause for alarm but racism and religious extremism are, and the PH Government will act tough on people spreading racial and religious hatred.

They also raised the issue of the lack of communication. Here, I strongly recommend that ministers be more visible, brave and be willing to participate in investment briefings and conferences at the global level.

I am annoyed by the reluctance of some key ministers to engage with local and international businessmen, investors and fund managers.

I think after a year, they should have gathered sufficient knowledge, experience and courage to be able to engage with the key stakeholders at home and abroad, and leave the day-to-day running of the ministries to the civil servants.



raj raman said...

Since Pak Kadir speaking and writing on your own capacity,why not Pak Kadir published the non performing Minister by names?

You did that openly https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2018/12/21/kadir-jasin-adds-to-growing-calls-for-waytha-to-go/.

rajraman666.Selamat Hari Raya to all Malaysian except to some Indian Christian when sometimes i wish Happy Deepavali they quicky say i am Christian.Who care you are Christian.Its just a friendly wish.I wish so many Malay Selamat Hari Raya and they wish back.

Soap box investor said...

Maybe should engage Rafidah as head of speaker to raise interest from investor. Bring along the minister, official and local partner so they can learn how she engage with investor. Leave the funny politician at home as they are more of the jaguh kampung depan org kampung one way communication type and not willing to learn. This has happen in umno and BN before during najib and pak lah time. Enuf said.

TUN perak said...

Dato TOLONG jd PENTERJEMAH B.I untk mnteri PERTAHANAN kite..

Buat malu jerrrr "father n mother"

Dato mmg ssuai..B.I pon "power"..

"Ke laut" ler B.I MENtri prthnan kite..


Marcus Osborne said...

Sir, I always find your articles insightful and informative and your ability to reflect honestly is refreshing. After living and working in Malaysia for 30 years. I believe Malaysia is, in many ways a victim of its own success in that with so many years of high growth, and with demand of an increasingly well off nation outstripping supply, businesses and the country haven't needed to learn to sell. But now, as the global economy slows and international companies look to Malaysia to sell their products because their own markets are saturated and Malaysia is increasingly expensive manufacturing base, compared to regional competitors the country is in danger of being left behind. At the same time, with changes to the education system and the governments significant business interests over the past generation or so, there isn't the talent to market businesses or the country. Politicians don't seem to have the knowledge to be seen as authorities on their sector. Thirdly, in this brutally competitive world, Malaysians tend not to be aggressive enough or arrogant enough to promote themselves. Fourthly, changes in communications and how consumers consume government messages has changed and of course, Malaysians are more intelligent and less likely to believe what the government tells them - I remember when I first came here, many people I met, even in the cities thought the government gave out their own money, not the tax payers. Moving forward, Malaysian business owners must invest more efficiently in building brands based on relationships rather than simply trading based on price. They must also invest more in communications driven by strategies not ad hoc tactics. Failure to do so will result in many lost opportunities. However there seems to be systematic inertia across the country. And as you say, they prefer to let the PM do their work. This is of course unsustainable.

wansee c said...

All this while, people have been skeptical about this particular 'somebody-in-waiting' who has self-claimed been going around various countries to convince foreign investors to plough money into Malaysia. He was said to have voluntarily done it at his own capacity and expenses. If that so, why do the international investors still faintly know much about the prospects of investing in our country? Did he really do what he has claimed in promoting the investments from oversea? Or was it yet another his infamous usual way of ostentatious oratory to fool people, the tactics of tooting his own horn and leaving no stone unturned in order to succeed Tun, someday in the future? Shit.

On the other hand, why only ministers in charge of the economy, trade and finance are supposed to get involved? What about Tun's deputy? Didn't she too have made as many oversea trips as Tun? So what exactly she did during those official visits? Merely touring around the world and get her passport stamped for remembrance as being the 1st woman DPM? What a waste of people's hard earned money just to fulfill her history making dream while raking in zero number of investment under her belt? It is sickening to have a perfectly useless, hopeless and helpless stooge who stands in the way by occupying the #2 powerful seat for doing nothing worthy to our beloved nation. Thus, for the sake of the people, pls step down to make way for more competent leader to take over. By the way, she has warmed up the seat more than enough.

Not forgetting, wishing Tun M and Tok Kadir: Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Maaf Zahir dan Batin.

Right, Latheefa said...

the appointment of Latheefa as the new head of MACC was and is an excellent and wise choice of Tun.
He made the right call and is receiving a huge amount of support from the rakyat.
Without fear or favour. Part of the PH manifesto.

Worthy persons said...

People like Rafidah, Tun Daim and others have sufficient oomph to wow the foreign investors.
They should be provided the resources, forums, etc. to talk and engage with foreign investors and govts.
Tun Daim has an official position, eg. Chairman of the Council of Eminent Persons.

So can our PM Tun Mahathir appoint Rafidah as our roving ambassador likewise with the authority to reach out and engage outside?

Meanwhile, hope Tun Mahathir will rope in our former CJ Richard Malanjum and the former head of MACC Shukri to Khazanah, Judiciary Select Committee and other watchdog boards/agencies. They performed excellently in serving the nation. Don't lose their services.
These are persons of talent, integrity, professionalism, and can contribute much more to the growth of Malaysia.

Aku said...

Kadiag, السلام عليكم (assalaa/ mu/‘alaikum) salam ke ataih hampa.
Aku teringat cerita Nabi Musa a.s. bawak diri tak salah aku ke Madyan kumudian
di ambik bekerja dan seteruihnya jadi menantu pada Syu’aib a.s. macam dlm suroh Qosas (ayat 23),
yg aku kopipeh ni :
قَالَتْ إِحْدَاهُمَا يَا أَبَتِ اسْتَأْجِرْهُ ۖ إِنَّ خَيْرَ مَنِ اسْتَأْجَرْتَ الْقَوِيُّ الْأَمِينُ
Salah seorang dari kedua wanita (anak2 Syu’aib)
itu berkata: "Ya bapakku ambillah ia sebagai orang yang bekerja (pada kita),
karena sesungguhnya orang yang paling baik yang kamu ambil untuk bekerja (pada kita)
ialah orang yang kuat lagi dapat dipercaya". (dari tafsirq.com, dgn sikit suntingan).
Jadi hampa yg rapat dgn pejabat PM yg beperanan sebagai pejabat ‘central casting’ pon
betanggung jawab pasai lantik menteri2 dan penjawat yg tak kuat kerja (kurang berkomunikasi) dan kurang ‘integriti’.
Munkin sebab kena layan banyak pihak dlm Pakatan harapan, kebebasan hampa agak terhad
untuk pilih calon2 yg tebaik. Macam lantikkan kepala SPRM yg baru, baru2 ni, banyak sunggoh yg nak komen,
paih tu sorat habag macam yg dikatakan hak milik MCA tu mulalah mengancum sana sini.
Pada kawan2 sebelah sini, dgn rendah hati, aku mohon sobag dan bagi ruang sikit kad PM.
Maghap no.

panglimo potaseh said...

Tok Kadir

Tok ni ada pantun raya untuk Helang dan Pipit ..pantun ini tak de kena mengena dengan manusia.

Helang Terbang Tinggi.
Pipit Terbang Rendah.
Helang Pupus Mati.
Pipit Makin Cambah.

Tun, full speed ahead said...

it's laughable all those voices in dissent, the latest frivolous move by the Wangsa Maju MP Tan Yee Kew who took to the media to say she signed an online petition calling Latheefa to resign. Who cares what Yee Kew does? She has something to hide?

And against this backdrop, has these people forgotten that the PM has the sole authority to appoint the MACC head ?
The stupid brouhaha proves beyond a shadow of doubt what Tun feared, that too much going backwards and forwards would be a waste of time and would lead nowhere, each one would have their preferred candidate, in fact leads to failure to appoint anyone.

It also proves that Tun Mahathir was correct in going ahead with his choice.
Tun was also forthright and did not hide behind anyone when he said it was his decision after taking into account the opinions of people he sought.

And has anyone realised that this new found freedom to speak up is because of the PH govt's gift to the people? Freedom of speech.
In the previous regime, did anyone dare to speak up?
To the dissenters, do not abuse your priviliges.

And to Tun, go ahead with your work for the country and rakyat. We will follow you.

Nevertheless members of the PH govt must toe the line once a decision is made.
Don't waste breath and time, instead ask what have you done for your own constituency?
How many times have you visited your district, listened to your voters, and explained the govt's moves to improve the economy and improve the livelihood of the people.

john doe said...

Spot On bro.

raj raman said...

Ini lah orang Melayu Asli.
Tak payah minta maaf loh.

rajraman666.Helang,Baju Kuning dan sekarang kain warna hitam termasuk belanga baju kepunyaan budak kecil.Pipit ramai tapi Helang akan pupus tanpa pipit.Yang tinggal pipit UMNO dapat special treatment kerana perlukan pipit UMNO untuk makanan Helang.

About Me

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I was born in 1947 in Kedah. I came from a rice farming family. I have been a journalist since 1969. I am the Editor-in-Chief of magazine publishing company, Berita Publishing Sdn Bhd. I was Group Editor NST Sdn Bhd and Group Editor-in-Chief of NSTP Bhd between 1988 and 2000. I write fortnightly column “Other Thots” in the Malaysian Business magazine, Kunta Kinte Original in Berita Harian and A Kadir Jasin Bercerita in Dewan Masyarakat. Books: Biar Putih Tulang (1998), Other Thots – Opinions & Observations 1992-2001 (2001), The Wings of an Eagle (2003), Mencari Dugalia Huso (2006), Damned That Thots (2006), Blogger (2006), PRU 2008-Rakyat Sahut Cabaran (2008), Komedi & Tragedi-Latest in Contemporary Malaysian Politics (2009) and Membangun Bangsa dengan Pena (2009).