Sunday, November 22, 2015

So Did Obama Confront Najib?

source: the star online Sunday November 22, 2015

US President Barack Obama declined to comment on controversies raging in Malaysia.

"I don't comment about investigations happening back in the United States and I certainly will not comment on investigations taking place in a country where I am visiting," said Obama during a press conference at the Ritz-Carlton here

However Obama said he did raise the importance of transparency, accountability and the importance of good governance with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, as he does with other world leaders,.

He also said that he emphasized the importance of civil society and a free press during discussions with Najib.

Read the The Star's original article here

To those Malaysians who were hoping that Obama could "save" them - there's such a thing called protocol. Even Tun Dr Mahathir and Anwar Ibrahim's foreign press and media allies have not been successful thus far.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Budget Rocket Backfires

If you're curious to know what Unker Lim is feeling like 
after his budget rocket backfired, play this:

Friday, November 13, 2015

Just yesterday, my big bike lovin' buddy Patrick messaged me, saying he was supposed to ride to either Kuantan or Sungei Lembing, but had succumbed to laziness and not got out of bed.. Along with his wife and daughter, I am also glad that he did not get up early and go for his ride as there was a landslide and he could have possibly been injured or worse, even trapped under the mud and debris.

Which brings me to the point of today's post. Patrick had messaged me and included an image of the "Karak highway landslide" saying he was grateful to be alive and spared of this awful tragedy.

I agreed with him and duly posted our exchange, including the image on my facebook, page, praying for the safety of our highway workers, JKR personnel, firefighters, police, paramedics, volunteers, and all who were helping.  

As is the nature of today's interconnected global community, within minutes I received a heads up from a fb friend that the earthquake image I had posted was actually from an incident in Taiwan. Another friend did some investigative digging and concluded that the image was from  a landslide in Taiwan on April 25, 2010.          

Of course I posted a hasty correction on my fb with links to the correct images and credited my friends who had taken the trouble to update/inform me.  

If you are so inclined you can follow this story at

Moral of the story? Yes indeed shit happens but there is special breed of spineless protozoa paid to create "situations" where things look a lot worse and bleak than they really are. I will leave the identities of their paymasters to my readers good judgement. 

In an interesting and related development, here's what Moody's investors service has to day about this: 

"Moody’s Investor Service has rated Malaysia’s political risk in affecting the country’s creditworthiness as very low despite the 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) controversy.

The rating agency also expected Barisan Nasional (BN) to remain in government until at least the next elections and said an Umno-led government, regardless of who is prime minister, should ensure stability in economic policy based on the five-year 11th Malaysia Plan released earlier this year.
You can read the original article at Malaysiarticle/moodys-malaysia-very-low-political-risk-despite-1mdb#sthash.zikcO0ca.dpuf

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

When A Picture Speaks A Thousand Words...

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Daphne Iking - Budget 2016 - Episode 1 - Do we really understand it?

Daphne was chatting with some friends about the Budget 2016 tabled recently and she was surprised that most of them (including some financial dudes and entrepreneurs) either had not read about it or it did not interest them. Most of them thought the Budget was just about the GST and BR1M. 

This led her to ask the man on the street what he felt about the Budget and how many actually understood it or knew what it was about.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

“When you’re pregnant, you’ve got no choice but to deliver” - Dato Seri Idris Jala

Speaking to a packed auditorium on the first day of the Global Transformation Forum 2015 #gtf2015 held at KLCCC, PEMANDU CEO Dato Seri Idris Jala was his usual “shoot straight from the hip but temper it with humor” self.

Amongst the many “Jalaisms” being bounced around on social media during his talk, this one in particular stood out as a favorite: “When you’re pregnant, you’ve got no choice but to deliver”.

That saying quoted above succinctly sums up Datuk Seri Idris Jala’s trademark delivery of stories about Malaysia’s transformation journey, the accompanying complex facts and figures peppered with deadpan humor.
Take for example the story he shared about a senior Singaporean minister who expressed surprise at the level of public transparency over the results of Malaysia’s transformation programmes.

The Singaporean exclaimed: ‘Wah Idris, you put all this info out in the public domain, ah?’,” “‘Annual report on what you didn’t achieve, you also put in public domain. Wah, transparency until that level. You know Idris, there’s a fine balance between transparency, nudity and pornography’.

But, explained Jala, to him it is very important that his programs transparent. It makes us accountable. It forces us to deliver he explained to claps from the delegates.

Another interesting anecdote he shared was when he newly transferred from Shell UK to head the turnaround of Malaysia Airlines (MAS). During his first management meeting at MAS, when he announced that MAS would return to profitability within a year, a Dutch executive told him point blank that this would not be possible, and wagered RM100 on it.

Today that RM100 note along with a written note of appreciation by the Dutchman hangs proudly framed in MAS’ Hq.
Jala also said that in the transformation programmes that were published annually, the scores for the various ministers’ performance based on their key performance indicators (KPIs) were listed for all to see.

Jala exuded confidence that Malaysia would be able to achieve high-income status by 2020, pointing out that the gap towards reaching that goal had been steadily closing over the past five years.

He said that before the government initiated the ETP, growth rate of private sector investment was 5.5 per cent. This has meteorically risen past the ETP, growing by 2.5 times. The annual growth is 13.6 per cent over past five years.

The ETP and GTP were launched in 2010 by the Najib administration to boost the economy and to improve government efficiency in a bid to turn Malaysia into a developed nation by 2020.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Syabas! Malaysia advances To 18th Spot in The Global Competitiveness Report 2015-2016

Malaysia has advanced two spots to 18th place out of 140 economies, consolidating its position among the world's top 20 most competitive economies, its highest ranking since 2005.
The Global Competitiveness Report 2015-2016, unveiled by the World Economic Forum (WEF) today, ranked Malaysia in 18th spot with a score of 5.23 from the 20th place out of 144 countries last year.
Malaysia also remains the highest ranked among developing Asian countries.
International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed said the improvement in the ranking was a welcome news in the context of the challenging global environment.
"This ranking is also an endorsement of the progress we have made in enhancing efficiency and competitiveness through the Government Transformation Programme and the Economic Transformation Programme," Mustapa said.

He said backed by sound fundamentals, Malaysia was well on track to continue its progress towards high-income developed status in the next five years as the country closed the gap with gross national income per capita of US$10,660 (RM47,522 at current rate) last year.
According to the report, Malaysia is the most competitive economy among 20 economies in the transition stage from an efficient-driven to innovation-driven economy.
With an enhanced competitive performance, Malaysia continues to be ahead of economies such as Belgium, Luxembourg, Australia, France, Austria, Ireland, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea.
Switzerland ranked first for the seventh consecutive year in the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) 2015-2016, followed by Singapore, the US, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, Hong Kong, Finland, Sweden, the UK, Norway and Denmark.
The WEF further asserted that gains in Malaysia's macroeconomic stability (ranked 35th, up nine notches) were mainly the result of a reduced budget deficit of 3.7 percent of gross domestic product, the lowest in six years.
Improvements in most of the 12 pillars
Mustapa said the report indicated that Malaysia's competitiveness were based on goods market efficiency and financial market development pillars, in which Malaysia was ranked in the top 10 at sixth and ninth positions, respectively.
"Malaysia improves in most of the 12 pillars, with gains in macroeconomic stability, higher education and training (36th, up 10 places) and, most notably, technology readiness (47th, up 13 places)," he added.
Among contributing factors to the significant improvements, with more than 10 places, are mobile broadband subscriptions (ranked 48th, up 45 places), net primary education enrollment (41st, up 19 places) and government budget balance (85th, up 17 places).
Amid the positive assessment, the GCI also points to specific areas for improvement, including low participation rate of women in the workforce.
Mustapa said renewed efforts would be undertaken to boost productivity in a focused and targeted manner with clear outcomes at the national, industry and enterprise level during the 11th Malaysia Plan.
He said this was in line with the WEF's emphasis on higher productivity to address sluggish growth.
Mustapa said Malaysia's strong foundation of public-private partnership would help ensure the nation maintained its growth momentum to become one of the top investment and trade destinations in Asia.
"The private sector will continuously step up efforts to invest in technology, pursue productivity, and nurture innovation and talent," he added.
Source: Bernama