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Final Call?

July 14, 2008

Many are loathed to read anything that has anything to do with Matthias Chang, let alone visit his site.

This is not an attempt, on my part, to hoodwink anyone except to pass on an ‘urgent message’ as it were. Heck, i didn’t even ask Matthias’ permission to re-post his article here (which i find it odd to do as it is already published on the internet) with full attribution to him as the author.

Anyway here goes, verbatim

Future Fast Forward, Sunday, 13 July 2008 05:26

The Hardball Reality

No one reading this article is going to like it. It might very well provoke anger and frustration. So be it! I offer no apologies.

The ugly truth is hard to swallow and whether you, the reader is willing to accept the prognosis below is irrelevant as the events will play out in due course. This is a given.

I am going to discuss two things: (i) Badawi’s recent theatrics about the next prime minister and (ii) more importantly, the financial hell hole we are plunging into, especially the Bumiputeras.

Badawi’s Succession Theatrics

There have been many scenarios concerning the future outcome of the “Badawi Succession Theatrics” and each one of them reflects, one way or another, the deep-seated fear or subjective fantasies of the UMNO power brokers as opposed to the reality that is fast unfolding.

One scenario received through my mobile phone: post-December 2008, Badawi will pile on the sex scandal pressures on Najib to such an extent that he becomes a radioactive waste and will be a welcomed reject. Khaled Nordin will then replace Najib as Deputy President and Deputy Prime Minister. The Prince in waiting, Khairy Jamaluddin will be anointed as UMNO Youth Chief, after an internal coup. This could even happen in the UMNO elections in December. In middle or late 2009, Khaled Nordin will give way to Khairy as Deputy President, after Khairy’s cronies have usurped all the key positions in UMNO and the government. By 2011, Badawi then makes way for Khairy to fulfil his lust for power!

Another scenario is that Najib is in fact preparing for a massive nomination for President from the grassroots to outflank Badawi’s theatrics, and that Najib’s sycophancy as displayed at Dewan Merdeka, Putra World Trade Centre, on being “definitely and officially” anointed as the future Prime Minister was merely Najib’s shadow play (wayang kulit).

Then there is the Anwar Ibrahim factor and his patented theatrics to cover up his criminal past.

There are others. I will not dwell on them because all are irrelevant.

These three contenders are all baggage and very soon will be rejected by the masses, specifically the Malay masses for their treachery and betrayal. They have put their quest for personal power above all else, even at the expense of national security and national survival! Read on and be the judge.

Plunging Into The Hell Hole

Malaysia and Malaysians are plunging to the hell hole at Mach 3 speed and UMNO, the backbone of the Barisan Nasional could not be bothered. They are all consumed with the power grab and control of the nation’s money making machine. Pakatan Rakyat is irrelevant at this stage for reasons which I will explain later.

As stated earlier, how the Badawi Succession Theatrics play out will be irrelevant because of the financial mess created by the Badawi regime which has been aggravated further by the global financial tsunami. The Badawi regime cannot blame everything on external factors, as had the regime heeded all the warning signs of the financial tsunami since December 2006 and had taken adequate measures in anticipation of the crisis, Malaysia would have been able to get out of the hell hole and even survive.

The situation is getting worse with each passing day. And Badawi has not only thrown us into the hell hole, but he has also closed and locked the lid!

(i) The Parallel Economies

There are essentially two economies in Malaysia – the Bumiputera and the Non-Bumiputera economies. This is the stark reality and accusing me of racism etc. will not change this reality.

In fact, I dare say that I support the policies that gave rise to this state of affairs as at the then historical juncture (post 1969) when this policy was decided and implemented the country had no choice but to opt for this solution. I believe that the majority of the Non-Bumiputera community accepted the reality. The alternative was social chaos, bloodshed and eventually a failed state. No one came up with a better idea or policy than the NEP, NDP and the NVP! If there was one, I have not heard of it nor saw one in print.

Lim Kit Siang, Karpal Singh and the likes of Ambiga moaned and groaned but offered nothing in substance. There were a few economists in University Malaya, groomed in LSE and brainwashed by the Washington establishment who uttered the usual economic mantras and were duly rewarded with some plum overseas assignments, but could not deliver any meaningful research papers.

So arm-chair critics should just shut up!

One of the greatest contributions of Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad was to recognize this political reality which he had inherited and through sheer perseverance and determination forged a mechanism to maintain the fine and delicate balance between the two economies until such time when Malaysia would mature and the two economies merged as one. We had uninterrupted peace, harmony and economic success for 22 years during his administration.

But all these successes have now been undermined by the Badawi regime. Besides his rhetoric about Islam Hadhari, peace and harmony, Badawi has fostered a system and mechanism to perpetuate his family’s and cronies’ hold on the levers of the nation’s money-making machine at the expense of all else!

Badawi and Khairy even had the audacity to attempt at dismantling Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s success and legacies.

(ii) The Bumiputera Economy

The Bumiputera economy, the outcome of the NEP is heavily government reliant via the various government agencies and government-linked companies (GLCs). There have been many successes and the Bumiputera community should be very proud of the several “economic crown jewels” e.g. Petronas, Proton, MISC, Putrajaya etc. Without this policy, Malaysia could not have achieved full employment and expanded the economic cake. This policy provided the social safety net at a time when the country was experiencing painful adjustments.

We had no nation building textbooks and there is no such thing as a “textbook for social engineering and economic development” that fits each and every country. What was required of our leaders was the innovative and pragmatic application and adaptation of general principles to the concrete and specific conditions in Malaysia – e.g. the GLCs were the chosen route to expedite the Bumiputera community to face the challenges of the private sector competitive advantages.

By all measures, we did very well.

(iii) The Weak Link

The weak link (the inverted pyramid structure) was the reliance on Petronas as the main engine to drive the Bumiputera economy. Again, the government of the day had no choice.

It was well and good when Petronas had abundance of oil and gas to export and the US economy was a net creditor (with a huge current account surplus). And with each oil price hike, monies poured into the national coffers. There was a surge in the Malay middle class, but they got complacent and were pampered.

But today, we are faced with a different scenario.

The US is the largest debtor country in the world and its current account deficit (in the US$ trillions) cannot be balanced at any time in the near future (i.e. 20 years minimum). The dollar is now toilet paper. Tan Sri Hassan Merican, Chairman and President of Petronas has warned that very soon (between 2010 to 2012) we will be net importer of oil. There is no Plan B for the Bumiputeras and their future generations when the oil tap runs dry. In the short term, there will be very painful adjustments and disillusionment. This is also a given.

(iv) Impact of the US$ Toilet Paper

Most of our exports are paid in US$ toilet papers – crude, palm oil, electronics etc., and Malaysia is at a huge disadvantage.

Let me explain to those who have no experience of selling goods overseas and getting paid in US$.

When a Malaysian exporter gets paid in US$, the company does not get physical dollars, like when one exchanges ringgit for US$ with the Money-Changer at the shopping mall or at the local bank.

The foreign importer’s bank transmits “digital money” – these are mere digits in the computer to the computer of your local bank holding the dollar account. So when the company wants ringgit, it will have to exchange the “digital dollars” for ringgit. This is done by the local bank via Bank Negara, our central bank. At any one time, Bank Negara either prints extra ringgit to exchange for the digital US$ or creates “credit digits” in the account of your local bank. When the exchange rate is RM3.8 to 1 US$, Bank Negara must create “new ringgit” to facilitate the exchange. As a result, there will be more ringgits in our economy and this is the principal cause for our domestic inflation!

This is also how Bank Negara accumulates our country’s foreign (dollar) reserves which I believe stands at approximately US$128 billion.

What this means is that the so-called mighty US is buying goods from all over the world for free. The US pays for its imports by creating digits in the computer as payment for the imports. When we say that the US is in a current account deficit, it means that the US is buying more than what it sells. To overcome the shortfall in revenue from its declining exports, the US Federal Reserve creates money out of thin air, by creating “digits” in their computers (i.e. digital money). It is a global fraudulent scam, but the US has been getting away with it for so many years, because it is a big bully and the US demands that countries must accept its “digits” or else face the threat of an invasion.

(v) When Dollar Goes Into Free Fall

When the dollar goes into a free fall, as it assuredly will, the value of our dollar reserves plunges. We may have US$128 billion worth of “digits” but they will not buy US$128 billion worth of anything.

The money from Petronas’s exports will be close to worthless. The money machine that has been supporting the Bumiputera economy will grind to a halt. This is the nightmare scenario which UMNO leaders are totally oblivious, except for a few former leaders.

UMNO is clueless and when the crisis finally sinks in, they will be perceived as irresponsible and traitors to the Malay community. They have all the instruments of power and authority but have done nothing, absolutely nothing since the Badawi take-over but to enrich themselves and prolong the ponzi scheme.

But the day of reckoning is fast approaching. And that is why I don’t give two hoots whether Badawi remains in power, or that Najib or Anwar becomes the substitute. They are all “Manchurian Candidates” brainwashed and incapable of providing the leadership that will rescue the Malay community from destitution.

(vi) Malay Political Power

One of Mao Tse-Tung’s famous dictum is “political power grows out of the barrel of a gun.” The reality in Malaysia is that the Malay community controls the gun, as the overwhelming majority in the military and police force are Malays.

But there is another truism – one cannot survive on just air and water. Political power alone is meaningless if the community ends up as a basket case, as evident in many African states.

UMNO prides itself as the backbone of the ruling coalition and claims an almost inherent right to power and governance, as a result of 50 years of continuous power. And despite having control of the two triggers of offensive power, they still feel insecure and threatened.

If at all anybody should feel insecure, it should be the minorities.

Why this state of affairs and state of mind?

If this is the state of mind of the Bumiputera community, what more when the country is deep in the hell hole. There will be blood on the streets because UMNO and the Malay community have failed to provide effective leadership and the policies for adjustments.

It is of no consolation when the final calamity descends on us, for the people to hunt down the leaders responsible for the fiasco and lynch them from telegraph poles not unlike when the fascist leaders of the Mussolini regime were taken to task!

(vii) Self-Inflicted Death

No force, whether domestic or foreign can rob and take away a community’s achievements and self-respect. It took a Trojan horse to destroy and defeat the great army of Troy.

So the Bumiputera community should not blame others, foreign or domestic when the catastrophe visits them in the near future for want of leadership. The Bumiputera community has been warned time and time again but it has chosen to ignore reality and indulge in power grabs and political blood letting.

There is still time yet, but only weeks to prevent this catastrophe.

There is only one leader who has all the credentials to lead the Bumiputera community away from the edge of the precipice.

I shall not name that leader. For if the Malays cannot identify who should be that leader, when it is so obvious to the Non-Bumiputeras, the Malays do not deserve such a leader.

They should be left to their own fate. It must surely be God’s will.

But I pray and hope that enlightenment will come soon to my Malay brothers and sisters. They deserve nothing but the best.

God willing!

Matthias Chang

From → Malaysia Upclose

  1. tehsin permalink


    Lebih kurang my “WE IS KAPUT” piece…but Matthias’definitely more intellectual…hahahahaha…mine is crude and to the point….heh heh…

    Btw, who is the leader he is talking about? Mahathir?

    – The message is the same. While you have put it in laywoman’s language, Matthias has put it in layman’s language. Nobody wins, nobody loses. Final score: win-win. Ngam.

    As to whom he is referring to, you should know. My ethnicity has lost it for me as pointed out by MC. hehehe –

  2. Matthias has wrote a lot of very sensible articles, like this one. He’s unapologetic about his thinking too, which is right. We can’t be nice, and expect people to change. Don’t happen that way. Some people don’t get it. They think being all polite and nice will be enough to change people.

    Anyway, I’m sort of lost on who the leader is too. But definitely not the top two in UMNO at the moment, that’s for sure! :)

    – Your guess is as good as mine, su. But i think i know whom MC is alluding to. No prize for getting it right, too. –

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