Anwar Ibrahim / Socio-economy / Tun Dr Mahathir

What if he was successful in becoming our PM back then?

The Case of Malaysia
by Alexandra Perebikovsky

Technically, Malaysia gained its independence from the British Empire in 1957. Since then however, the British intention has been to continue using the nation as its very own playground for its free trade chaos and looting operations. In 1997 Lyndon LaRouche stated, “free trade, practiced against the nations of Southeast Asia, is simply a new form of colonialism, whose fruit is mass murder. In that sense, there is no difference, in effect on people, between free trade and Nazism.”

Up until the mid 90’s currency crisis, Malaysia was a staunch follower of globalization, albeit taking significant steps toward development in the years following their independence. Since the British deployment of George Soros into Southeast Asia to loot the currencies of these nations, Malaysia has changed its view. In the mid-1990’s, Lyndon LaRouche forecast that the so-called “Tigers” of Southeast Asia, after years of globalization, hot money flows, and destructive speculative activity would suffer the same fate as Mexico after 1995—utter collapse. Indeed, in the months leading up to July 1997, Soros worked tirelessly to carry out London’s currency warfare, with the intent to collapse the Southeast Asian economies. The Tiger economies had succumbed to the flood of hot money in the 1990’s, which created bubble economies based on inflated stock values and financial services. The government “guarantees” on foreign investments, imposed by the western speculators, ultimately bankrupted the Southeast Asian national economies.

Soros financed a large portion of this hot money. He began his attack on the Thai and Malaysian currencies in February of 1997 “with a zeal I haven’t seen since the successful assault on several European currencies around three years ago” according to one analyst. Through speculation in futures markets, Soros’ Quantum Fund leveraged $1.2 trillion. He took short positions against the Thai baht, the Philippine peso, the Indonesian rupiah, and the Malaysian ringgit, sending these currencies falling by 40-70%, collapsing stock markets, and wiping out currency reserves.

The breaking point was in July of 1997 when the Thai baht was forced to float, with greater than 20% devaluation, after the government had unsuccessfully spent over $15 billion trying to defend the currency. The IMF austerity conditions imposed on these nations following the collapse drove their economies back 15-20 years in their potential for development and their standard of living.

On September 20, 1997, Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Bin Mohammed stood before the IMF and defiantly spoke out against the looting policies of the British Empire:

“We in Malaysia laughed at the suggestion that our country would follow the fate of Mexico.. . . But now we know better. We know why it was suggested that Malaysia would go the way of Mexico. We know now that even as Mexico’s economic crash was manipulated and made to crash, the economies of other developing countries, too, can be suddenly manipulated and forced to bow to the great fund managers who have now come to be the people to decide who should prosper and who shouldn’t.”

Prior to the attack on the Southeast Asian markets, Mahathir had been an outspoken follower of globalization. However, following the British Empire’s organized takedown of the Malaysian economy, the fantasy of “free trade” was broken. Reflecting the proposals of economist Lyndon LaRouche, Dr. Mahathir launched his own attack against speculator George Soros, calling him a “moron”.

EIR’s special report “The true story of Soros the Golem; A profile of mega speculator George Soros,” circulated widely in Malaysia’s leading circles. London, surprised by Mahathir’s sudden backlash, unleashed a string of slanders, including an article published in the Asian Wall Street Journal on September 19, 1997, titled: “Malaysia’s Mahathir Finds Strange Source for Soros Campaign; Asian Country’s Media Tap U.S. Conspiracy theorist Lyndon LaRouche, Jr”.

In an attempt to destroy any influence or connection Malaysia had to LaRouche, London deployed Soros once more to clean up the mess. Soros was given a chance to defend himself against Prime Minister Mahathir’s accusations and attempted to deny the charges — he was not successful:

Ted Koppel: “You’re talking here about the Malaysian Prime Minister.”

George Soros: “That’s right.”

Ted Koppel: “And he, I mean his charge is that you, in effect, systematically set out to destroy Malaysia’s currency.”

George Soros: “And that is absolute nonsense. Now, you know, what more can I say? It’s just absolutely no foundation at all.”

Ted Koppel: “Because—I mean put it in easily understandable terms. I mean if you could have profited by destroying Malaysia’s currency, would you have shrunk from that?”

George Soros: “Not necessarily, because that would have been an unintended consequence of my action. And it’s not my job as a participant to calculate the consequences. This is what a market is. That’s the nature of a market. So I’m a participant in the market.”

Ted Koppel: “Apolitical, amoral?”

George Soros: “That’s exactly right.”

The Backlash

In September 1998, Dr. Mahathir shocked the world by declaring sovereign currency controls on the Malaysian ringgit, pegging their currency to a fixed exchange rate against the dollar, and thereby effectively ending the speculators ability to loot the country through currency speculation.

Soros, and the entire western financial oligarchy, went berserk, claiming that Dr. Mahathir’s actions against IMF orthodoxy would bring damnation down upon his country. In fact, as was later obvious to all, his defense of the nation’s sovereignty saved the population from the devastation suffered by every other nation that had been subjected to Soros’ butcher knife. Following Malaysia’s break with globalization, London launched an even nastier operation to create an internal crisis in Malaysia. Anwar Ibrahim was the deputy prime minister and chosen heir to Mahathir; he became the target to carry out the Empire’s brutal operation.

Anwar was later kicked out of his post as deputy prime minister because he “lacked the moral standards required” to lead the nation. Financed by Soros and his cronies through the Open Society Foundation, Anwar proceeded to launch a campaign to bring down the government of Malaysia. He portrayed himself as a freedom fighter and champion of free market society, denouncing the new government’s protectionist economic policies and accused them of carrying out a conspiracy to destroy him.

Meanwhile, Soros’ Human Rights and Open Society organizations played their part in labeling Mahathir as the “last of the old-line Asian authoritarians” and showed Anwar as the “reformer” trying to free the people of Malaysia. The western media, including the Wall Street Journal, continued to fuel the turmoil in Malaysia, saying:

“The sacking Wednesday night of Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim signaled the end of a battle for the soul of an important nation. . . . At home and abroad, Mr. Anwar had come to symbolize the democratic aspirations and open-mindedness of a new generation, more at ease in the world and less burdened with the pain of old sleights and frustrations than the man he was expected to succeed.”

Even Soros buddy, Al Gore, threw his weight behind the speculators. On November 13, 1998, President Clinton had been invited to speak at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum, hosted by Malaysia. Due to the severity of the Iraq crisis, Clinton was forced to stay back and dispatched Al Gore in his place. The resulting catastrophe occurred on November 16 when Gore delivered a speech to the APEC business advisory council where he called for “short term” recovery by allowing “free markets to work their magic” and, though not naming him, endorsed Anwar Ibrahim over Mahathir to lead the nation.

Sprinkling salt in the wound, Gore echoed Anwar’s cries for a new government:

“People will accept sacrifice in a democracy, not only because they have had a role in choosing it, but because they rightly believe they are likely to benefit from it. . . . The message this year from Indonesia is unmistakable: People are willing to take responsibility for their future—if they have the power to determine that future. . . .

Democracy confers a stamp of legitimacy that reforms must have in order to be effective. And so, among nations suffering economic crises, we continue to hear calls for democracy and reform in many languages—’people’s power, ‘doi moi, ‘reformasi. We hear them today—right here, right now —among the brave people of Malaysia.”

With the Malaysian government incensed and the Malaysian people riled up, Gore promptly left the venue. A few days later, then foreign minister Abdullah Badawi, sent the US a heated letter of protest, warning that the United States would be held accountable for inciting instability.

Malaysia Today

The escapades of Soros, Gore, and other London cronies in Malaysia can only be seen in one light —the British Empire’s continued aims at destabilization in Southeast Asia. Today, Abdullah Badawi has taken over the post of prime minister and Anwar, with one hand permanently glued to Soros’ gluttonous money bags, is still running operations aimed at destabilizing the government, including his intended buy-off of parliamentarians in the opposition party, the United Malays Political Organization. The fate of Malaysia remains to be seen. However, in the context of the current global financial collapse, its future lies in the implementation of Lyndon H. LaRouche’s four powers agreement and in the destruction of the British Empire and its crony, George Soros.


JMD : I hope the title that I put for this post will summarise my opinion on the article above.

Thank you to Ikhwan for the link above. For further readings, please do not hesitate to click the links below:

1) Malaysia : The Tragedy That Did Not Happen

2) There’s Something About Anwar Alright

3) Oh My God Is This PM Stupid

28 thoughts on “What if he was successful in becoming our PM back then?

  1. I agree with Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop – We owe Dr. Mahathir much gratitude for what he has done for Malaysia over the last 22 years. Sadly, many people seems to forget that or as you said before JMD – many wasn’t there when the crisis took place back in 1997. I can still see harsh criticism thrown at the great man but none can provide better solution to what Tun had done for the country. How ironic it is – after many years, I think we need Tun now more than ever. [Sigh]

    One thing i don’t understand JMD, why Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, having worked with Tun previously in turning the country economy from the 97-98 crisis has not been trusted as The First Finance Minister? Also, I read from Matthias Chang’s blog that there are indications in 2006 that we might heading to financial crisis once more. I’m surprise that Tan Sri had failed to address Pak Lah on this issue or there are something else that you might know JMD and want to share with us?

    Thank you JMD & Ikhwan.

    JMD : Pak Lah and his family would like to dip in the Treasury coffers to quench their thirst for wealth. Tan Sri Nor has no political power base anyway which could at least be a leverage on any bad decisions put forward by Pak Lah’s advisers. Hence, Tan Sri Nor is being relegated as a paper pusher only under Pak Lah’s regime. His advice is seldom sought.

    Thank you.


  2. What your take on Najib as the Finance Minister and possibly the new PM early next month? As I stated in my blog, I don’t think he is the right man, especially when we are still in the crisis. No disrespect to Najib but for me his quality is still unknown. It is better to pass to a wiser head like Ku Li first, before Najib take over 3 or 4 years later.

    Btw, JMD, once again thank you for coming up with another great article, (although this one wasn’t actually yours 🙂 ). Maybe, one day you can compile it into a book like Tun. I’ll be the first to buy it. 🙂

    JMD : Honestly, I would think Najib will slightly be a better Finance Minister than Pak Lah. Because he is hardworking and more open to advice. On the other hand, his advisers may be as destructive as Pak Lah’s own 4th Floor boys. So, unless he has the backbone to be more influential in the direction and policy making process within the MOF, he will become more or less like Pak Lah. I do believe he does not have the business acumen and the tenacity of TDM or Ku Li in running the finances of the country. He needs help.

    Actually, I really think I am not the right person to answer about Najib. Perhaps Mr Sakmongkol can help you with your questions as he had worked with him in one way or another 🙂


  3. The source of this article….Sounds like erm, an attack on Soros.
    Really Anwar was so useful to the West.
    Hmmmmm, Anwar is very buddy with the West.

    JMD : Yes Jed. The article in its entirety was an attack on Soros. I only took the relevant part which details his involvement in Malaysia. It’s really a wonder that Soros do not have any empathy when his legions of currency traders decided to raid a country’s currency market. Very unemotional indeed. Apolitical amoral. What a way to say you couldn’t care less about other people!


  4. JMD,

    One thought in mind, had Anwar been made as successor to Dr Mahathir back in 1998 through smooth power transition, he would have been buried later with allegation of sexual misconducted, and the accusation would come from DAP and PAS, since Karpal and Mat Sabu were the ones who initially made public announcement.

    Had this happened, Anwar would now be in hiding himself in Timbuktu.

    JMD : Ironic isn’t it?


  5. Despite the article presented, I don’t think they’ll change their stand in supporting Anwar. That includes some academicians (I think you know who they are). It seems that some people are blinded about what Anwar did in 1997-1998 as the finance minister then. What kinda magic – I wonder – he deploys to get ‘even the devil to follow him’?


  6. dear jmd,
    your forceful and persuasive arguments will have the unintended effect of prolonging the stay of the umno wrecking crew. i hope not. this is a dangerous article. haha. congrats bro on a very powerful piece. i hope it will not start a prairie fire that benefits those who overstayed.
    with kind regards/sakmongkol

    JMD : Dear sir, my first and foremost passion is still to see Pak Lah steps down as Prime Minister. It is not him that we are condemning. It’s his policy and weak leadership which gave birth to a hoard of arrogant advisers and their stupid mistakes.

    The reason I highlighted the article and post it in this blog is merely to reflect back on what had happened during the currency crisis from an outsider’s point of view.

    Not all westerners view the crisis as 100% the fault of Asian leaders back then. Although their views are in the minority. We should never discount their substance.


  7. Dulu lagi dah tau perangai traitorousnya. Namun hairan mengapa beliau ramai penyokong. Penat saya fikirkan. Kalau di China atau di USA traitor macam ni lama dah lenyap dari bumi mereka kan……


  8. Interestingly, little mention is made of the fact that Dr.M later shook hands, and denied Soros’s involvement in the 97 crisis.

    (JMD : Please refer to Lekiu’s comments below)

    If Mahathir wants another round of attack articles on Anwar, he should enlist folks like Dr. Michel Chossudovsky as hatchet men. He writes interesting articles and has participated in the Blame The West First Forum… whoops… I mean Perdana Global Peace Forum.

    Just some advice in realpolitik.

    JMD : Do you think Mahathir had a hand in the production this article? Please read the pdf file (link provided in the beginning) in its entirety. It is not about attacking Anwar. It’s attacking Soros. Too bad the ‘darling of the west’ is implicated as well.


  9. Bro JMD,
    your ability to come up with piece after piece of exceptional stuff be it a reproduction or your own is baffling. Kudos bro. It’s endearing to know that there is somebody like you out there. No more RPKs bro. No more.

    JMD : Thank you so much for the kind remarks. Will try to do my best.


  10. Anwar’s association with Soros raises eyebrow. Sometime after Anwar’s release from prison, Anwar joined institutions such as International Crisis Group, Georgetown University and John Hopkins University. The aforementioned institutions are all linked with Soros.

    Once Anwar was asked during an interview about his preceived relationship with Soros and he got on the defensive and said that Mahathir met Soros sometime back in KL.

    I suppose one has to inform Anwar that meeting an enemy is one thing, sleeping in the same bed and getting money from the enemy is another thing altogether.

    By the way, the author contributed his work for Economic Intelligence Review. An outfit owned by La Rouche. Although the author made valid points, pity his work is taken with a pinch of salt due to his association with La Rouche. La Rouche constant denoument of the West and unimpeded capitalism has caused him to be ridiculed by the main stream media of the West.

    Reminds me of a time when Mahathir was at the receiving end of criticism from the West.

    To quote from the work of Tom Clancy, Anwar represent a “Clear And Present Danger” to the security of Malaysia.

    JMD : Not to mention when people criticised Tun for meeting and shaking hands with Bush. You are right, meeting an enemy and sleeping in the same bed is a different thing altogether. Most of the detractors do not even know why Tun had met Bush in that instance.


  11. what the mass doesn’t realized that if ever Anwar became PM, we would go back to stone age in IT terms and JMD, your columns would never existed. But your title should be very good for a movie sequel like “Back to the Future: Anwar the PM part I, II and III”.
    Anwar would go all the way using ISA and blocked everything (your blog included, i guess) in order to stay as PM if he ever became one.
    Another fishy thing is , do you remember his slogan ” Today’s PM and tomorrow oil price will come down”? Unless he has some friends in oil speculator’s department, he already knew that the recent hike in oil’s price is just a fag…


  12. A. If Malaysia was still under British administration, we may have been prosperous like Hong Kong today. Independence back in 1957 was a deal breaker.

    B. Like it or not, the general public and the majority of global leaders love and respect Anwar. That’s vital for the nation’s growth and trade. 70% of the general public have now expressed their support for the new coalition called ‘Pakatan Rakyat’ because they want to see a new form of change NOT in the form of leadership but in the form of a new coalition.

    C. Race based politics is outdated, unless of course we’re under an authoritarian regime. History has shown that democracy will always prevail in the end with or without foreign help. Leaders, citizens and migrants will tell you first hand stories that Race / Religion and Politics mixed together is extremely dangerous for society and nation building.

    D. Anwar may not be the most perfect candidate to be Malaysia’s PM but he certainly is the most suitable one now.

    E. Mahathir should be respected and lauded for putting Malaysia on the global map even if he wasn’t the most perfect PM.

    F. If a new PM is to be elected, he / she should be respected and loved by all races in Malaysia. He / she is generally preferred to speak good English, is ARTICULATE, ambitious, is one who is full of charisma, has leadership qualities and is visionary like Mahathir and more importantly has the ability to attract or work with other countries where bilateral trade is concerned.

    G. A PM cannot be tainted with scandals nor championing causes of a single race but instead is one that speaks for all races in Malaysia. Who in the BN camp has? The only intelligent ones who can see will think of Shahrir Samad and Rais Yatim.

    H. Embracing globalization is crucial for Malaysia to move forward as brain drain has risen sharply here in our own backyard. In the last 2 years, the number of citizens migrating out of Malaysia has quadrupled. The number of citizens who have studied abroad and not returned to Malaysia has tripled. Numbers can be gotten from the Dept of Immigration and Immigration Agencies throughout Malaysia.

    I. We should condemn the ISA just like the rest of the world condemns Guantanamo Bay. We are not hypocrites.

    J. Neutrality of this blog (JMD) is vital to maintain and garner readership. Biased and unsubstantiated reporting can lead this blog to be blogrolled under the ‘UMNO Cybertroopers’ category.

    JMD : I really hope I can be one of the amazing Umno cybertroopers one day. I really do. Think about all the money I will receive! 🙂 If that is not possible, I will sell my soul and be inducted as Pakatan Rakyat cybertroopers like RPK, Din Merican, Zorro Unmasked, Susan Loone or even Haris Ibrahim.


  13. JMD,

    Interestingly I would like to add that soon after the implementation of currency controls the western media had lebeled TunMM as anti-semitic thru some of his critism of George Soros. Taken out of context as usual.

    Wikipedia check on Lyndon Hermyle LaRouche, Jr. attaches the same allegation.

    What are your views of the Jewish factor in this context?


    JMD : I would stand by Tun’s speech in 2003 that Jews (or at least their powerful Jewish lobbyists and bankers) control the world by proxy. Which is true in certain aspects if we look at the US foreign policies.


  14. Interesting article. At this moment, our country needs to have something for the next financial turmoil ( which may occur sooner or later).
    But at the moment, our country’s saga is more like Bollywood meets Dynasty and Dallas. So the drama…


  15. Hi JMD,

    Wow, a blast from the past…
    It seems very fashionable now to rubbish Dr Mahathir. How easily we forget.
    The man was battling on all front- domestic politics, international currency crisis. And he put out all the fires. I shudder to think if it was a lesser man.

    A year or two ago, Dr M met with Soros? What was it about? I can only hazily recall (it’s my age) . A hail-fellow-well-met session?

    JMD : Please click here :


  16. Hi JMD hows ur w/end…

    A blast from the past….perhaps i can share some tots on this issue…

    Currency trading is predominantly speculative with only 5% of daily turnover of 3 trillion being “international trade’ based..the rest are just bankers, hedge fund,etc…Singapore is the 3rd largest forex (FX) market in the world….

    FX positions are typically reported by the local traders (Commercial Banks) to the respective central banks and in Malaysia in particular we have the Form P and Form R for all trades exceeding 50,000 MYR equivalent… simple disclosure of why one need to buy or sell USD against MYR……in this counter parties to the trades will provide basic info ……hedge funds typically trades on leverage with trading lines provided by the counterparty banks hence the names that would appear in our (BNM) disclosure would never ever be hedgefunds..So to point the finger against hedge funds n namely soros would be just a wild guess without any credible facts….and to link him to the british empire….this is the same guy who raided the Pound out of the EMU band n made a cool USD 1 Billion out of it….

    I was trading currencies circa 96-98 , ..from Feb 97 up till June 97 our Ringgit was actually appreciating with a target to go around 2.45 to a dollar….the yen was also appreciating from 145 to 110 yen against USD….this was the trigger point, the Thais are known to have a Huge exposure to cheap Yen borrowing and all of sudden their obligation to the yen loans increased significantly…….everybody took the bet, including all our local banks, but we were small players as BNM put an Open Position Limit (How much open exposure one can take against another currency) of up to MYR 50 Million per insititutions….regionally everybody was on the same bandwagon….imagine this a daily position limit to a 25 year old trader operating out of singapore is around USD 50 to 100 Million…and the salary is directly linked to how much money u can make…It was such a simple bet ..just BUY nothing to think about anymore( or if the hedge funds buys ..double that just ride the trend), the fundamentals does not support the trend anymore…….So everybody went from one currency to another testing historical resistance on a daily basis from July 97…lets see at what level the Central bankers start to throw their hard earned reserves….anyway all of us knew exactly how much bullets(reserve) they have to start with….BNM went in around 2.5250 for 3 days which was a phycological barrier to the market then….i think we lost around 3 to 4 billion defending that level……direct impact immediately was a squeeze in the Interbank Money Market (MYR Based) sending Overnight Interest rate to 50% from 5%…….

    Interbank money market is the lifeblood of the financial system once participants loses confidence and stop lending the whole system can breakdown in a few weeks….Foreign banks (I’d rather not name them) cut all credit lines to the Local Banks this systematically compounded the liquidity effect and created a 3 tier lending system (Good Local Bank Vs Foreign banks, Foreign Vs Foreign, Local Vs Local)..the Central Banks stepped in daily for months to correct the imbalances, a number of local banks were technically insolvent borrowing from the lender of last resort on a daily basis to meet its obligations….if i can divert a bit to a case in Hong Kong years before 97, HSBC was facing a run.. all retail depositors were literally taking money out from its branches n putting them into Standard Chartered next door….guess what the folks in SCB did …they pass the money back thru the backdoor to HSBC to ensure that they have enough money to maintain confidence…..that spirit clearly did not exist in 1997 in KL ….all foreign institutions technically stop having any further exposure to local counterparts…..and the local retail depositors (typical herd mentality) began withdrawing the money from local banks n started queing in foreign banks…they literally had to take a number to deposit money……

    Now back to the FX market, our daily turnover then was around 250- 300 Million USD prior to the attack(This is so small compared to the size of financial institutions who were betting against us) …..throughout July 97 to Sept 98 volumes dwindled…markets was so thin….daily bid n offer spreads widen significantly it wasnt to hard to move the market by 1000 basis point…if u wanted to…A number of agents of intervention were roped in namely petronas n MLNG, Maybank, Bank Bumi….some were selling dollars daily ..n some were lending on behalf on BNM into the market……

    Starting from April 98 the policy makers began studying how the market operates from a total view perspective….look at where the leakages are….and put a plug to it….as u all know by now the key measures were – Fix Ringgit, Stop all Offshore Trading of MYR, Stop CLOB…….but the high interest rate n liquidity shortage was too much to handle for our local corporates who borrowed purely with real estate collateral to finance more real estate development…..n some were sneaky enough to slip past proper credit check to provide “inflated speculative shares” as collateral……..hence the creation of Danaharta to relieve the banks of the NPL’s (and this was after BNM reclassified NPL from 6 months to 3 months)…Danamodal to pump in more capital into banks………

    Overall i think we did really well with some help from Foreign Consultants/Advisors, carefully crafting tactical countermeasures to restore confidence n provide stability to the market… what cost i may ask…..

    After the counter measures were in…. BNM systematically flooded the market with more ringgit by reducing the Statutory Reserve requirement from 12.4% to 4% this money used to be placed in BNM earning 0% is now out into the system… local currency interest rate plummeted and BNM technically had to borrow back the money to ensure a positive real interest rate environment…(i’d rather not do the computations like lekiu said a thankless effort…but simple congak congak can come up to the tune of billions….)..this was the environment of cheap money which we have been experiencing since 98…n the boom in the bond markets…

    One thing we all must remember and also monitor is that the actions taken to prevent a crisis should not raise the odds of creating more problems in the future……… In particular, the problem of moral hazard is a significant concern. If market participants begin to rely too much on regulators and central bankers to manage possible future crises, they may act in a way that has the effect of raising the risk of a financial crisis. For example, they may fail to engage in adequate due diligence when extending credit to other market participants or to maintain adequate capital for the risks they undertake….. And they might come to believe that the government possesses more tools and resources than are actually available to shield them from the consequences of poor risk management……as we all sit and watch CNN or CNBC we are seeing all of this happening today in America….bailouts in the hundreds of billions…..

    Anyway folks what ever the measures…..normally rich people benefits most we the tax payers are left with the bill for generations to come…..

    back to your main topic JMD….Anwar was a stooge then …n now…he would have swallowed IMF prescription wholesale n would have triggered a massive contraction……alhamdullilah Tun Mahathir had the balls to go against conventional thinking….year after even IMF analyst agreed that opening up markets n free flow of capital is risky if the depth of the local capital market is relatively poor….nowadays IMF is a non-entity in the eyes of the world…

    Sorry to digress a bit…..remember “I speak no english” mat taib who was caught with foreign currency in australia in 97……he should be considered as one of the local currency speculators…what exactly did our Govt do to him?…..

    JMD : Thank you for this revelation concerning the ‘on the ground’ happenings of currency trading back then. Really appreciate it.


  17. hi jeb,

    this is a bit OT, but would like to draw your attention and that of your readers to a very comprehensive and excellent explanation of what is really meant by “government bailout” by blogger Quick Draw Botak in the comment box of blogger AKJ, The Scribe.

    from the incessant accusations we hear about how dr mahathir bailed out his cronies in the 90s, it is obvious many have no understading of what really transpired in a government bailout, but in typical too-mentally-lazy-to-enquire fashion, are quite happy to parrot those who cannot find enough dirt to pin on dr mahathir due to their animus.

    [aside: i always make it a point to read Quick Draw’s astute and enlightening comments wherever i find them. like you and sakmongkol, he/she is another person who seems to write with real knowledge, reason and reflection. you’ll see that in his blog too:]

    here is the QDB’s comment, c&p:

    Blogger Quick Draw Botak said…

    Sdr. Sawit Futures Traders, Sdr. A Kadir Jasin & para pengomen lain,

    Semasa krisis 1997/98, bailout bukan bermaksud kerajaan “memberi duit kepada syarikat” atau “membayar hutang bagi pihak syarikat”.

    Fundametally the restructuring allowed failed companies to “rescheduled their outstanding loans” to suit their prevailing cash flows. It allows companies to “buy time” to allowed asset values to recover from their depressed values.

    One of the “mistkes” by companies then was to use short terms funds for long term projects. In other words there was a mismatch between source and uses of funds.

    During that period, the government “interfered” in the normal process of loan recovery in events of defaults by either:
    (1) buying over the loans (NPL) that are backed by assets at discounted price through Danaharta;
    (2) use of moral-suasion on banks to refrain from taking legal action and encourged mediated restrucuting through Corporate Debt Restructuring Committee (CDRC was under BNM); and
    (3) recapitalising of banks through Danamodal using instruments that would/could be redeem by existing shareholders etc.

    I do not remember the government pumping in “cash per se” to rescue companies and/or banks without some form of “collateral” to safegurd the government’s position. In other words most (if not all) loans from government to private sector were secured and, if I am not mistaken, have been repaid. I, no longer, have access to these information after year 2000 so I cannot confirm about this particular fact.

    The accusation of bailouts were because people like Halim Saad (Renong, UE & TIME), Tajuddin Ramli (TRI), Salleh Sulong (DRB) (to name a few) were not made bankrupt and were basically scott-free. These people were viewed as close to Dr. M directly or indirecty through Daim Zainuddin. I shall not commet whether they were as it was out of my job scope to know or judge them then.

    Nonetheless the government basically “save” these companies and banks without unnecessarily taxing the rakyat. It was just matter of time for the government to recover “their investments” once these companies/banks were on better footing.

    Disclaimer – Jika saya tersilap dalam apa-apa fakta, I apologise. Kesilapkan bukan disengajakan dan tulisan/komen diatas dilakukan melalui ingatan semata-mata tanpa merujuk kepada nota-nota rujukan pun.


    4:35 PM

    JMD : Thank you Mekyam. That goes to show that people often acquired ‘herd mentality’ on things that they do not understand. In the absence of balanced argument and correct dissemination of information, a lie will become the truth.


  18. @Joe BMD

    A. This is a direct insult to this nation at its very foundation. If you’re ever a Malaysian, I call on you to renounce your citizenship and apply for British citizenship. Also you forget the fact that Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Taipei are all going to sink Hong Kong in just a matter of years, just like how Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia can sink Singapore if the countries are on the right path – hence that’s why such instabilities has been created!

    B. Please get your facts right, just because Anwar “Barang Naik” is supported by the West and the Zionist, it does never mean the majority of the world leaders are (or more accurately, have to be) behind him. To say that 70% of Malaysian public support Anwar just on the basis of the the recent Permatang Pauh by-election is day-dreaming, if not pretty dumb, sorry to say. Why didn’t Anwar contest in Kulim constituency in accordance to his early plan? Or, Anwar already knew that his only support base is Permatang Pauh?

    C. That’s your distorted understanding of democracy. If you asked the Malays to renounce their race-based UMNO, will you ever equally call upon the non-Malays to renounce their race-based MCA, Gerakan, DAP and MIC? And the fact that PKR is not really multi-racial either.

    D. Anwar is both far from perfect and far from being suitable. He perpertrated corruption and cronysm at the very first place, brought down the economy by implementing pro-IMF measures (until Mahathir took charge on 1st Sept 1998), and has been implicated in sodomy and abuse of power.

    E. That piece was nothing but just to (unsuccessfully) neutralise your B and D, wasn’t it?

    F. Explain what did you axactly mean by “respected and loved by all races”. Respect and love for wrong reasons won’t do.

    G. MCA, Gerakan and DAP have been championing the cause of the Chinese yet no one make such an issue out of it. What’s wrong for an UMNO politician to champion the cause of the Malays as the most vital part and parcel of the nation?

    H. Embracing globalization in what term and what way? If we have to sell away everything we have just for that sake, it’s NOT “embracing globalization”. It’s re-colonization. You can’t just squarely blame the government for the brain drain (and lately, it’s the Malays who have been gradually leading in the statistics), it also got something to do with the country’s private sector that has been controlled by you-know-who. And to debunk your last piece in F, during the decades, Malaysia has been tremendously progressing in global trade its own way without the need for any such bilateral trade agreement that will only restrict our independence. Think of it.

    I. Only the hypocrites will equate ISA and Guantanamo, sorry to say.

    J. Have a look on your own neutrality before you ever talk on the neutrality of this blog. This is the most “vital” and most “crucial” of all. And you sound just like Anwar’s cypertrooper. Nah, that’s hypocrite.

    JMD : Thank you for commenting Nazrul.


  19. reading from this blog almost every day makes my mind refresh enough from the fatigue of puase. it gets more informative and arguably making more sense to the public in general. thank you JMD for publishing this article. adds more useful knowledge regarding economy crisis back then. and also Mekyam, for provide better insight of company bail-out. undoubtedly, the “commentators” and frequent visitors of this blog are rational thinker. lets keep it that way. maybe someday we could finally sent the message right to PakLah to step aside from the throne and give it a way to someone more capable in running our Malaysia.


  20. BrightEyes (12:02:18) :

    Interestingly, little mention is made of the fact that Dr.M later shook hands, and denied Soros’s involvement in the 97 crisis.

    (JMD : Please refer to Lekiu’s comments below)

    Granted. But how about Tun’s admission that Soros’s innocent to the happening of Crisis’97?

    Which stand you are taking? Just curious..

    JMD : A paragraph in an article peaked my interest –

    ‘Thus, Soros finally got a chance to state his innocence before his once-arch-enemy. I am not sure if the former prime minister had absolved him of the blame, since Dr Mahathir said while he accepted Soros’ explanation, the issue of forgiveness did not arise. It was time to move on.’

    I doubt Dr Mahathir had forgiven Soros on the act of degerating the Asean currency. Even his interview with Ted Koppel had showed that his act of profitting from trading Asean currency is not deemed guilty by him. It does not matter what it does to a nation. To him, in his own words –

    ‘Not necessarily, because that (destroying Malaysian currency) would have been an unintended consequence of my action. And it’s not my job as a participant to calculate the consequences.’

    To me, Tun just wanted to settle the matter and move on since he is no longer the Prime Minister.


  21. i agree with you nazrul and torres, i think something wrong with joe BMD head or he gets the share from the anwar conspiracy with US. joe, i think you should apply the british citizenship. Malaysia doesn’t need such lousy person like you. you are most welcome to go out from malaysia.


  22. it’s an eye opening reading this blog. i hope gov will be more brave about telling the truth about certain people. so noboby influenced by nonsenses anymore!


  23. tahnyer si joe Buduh Must Die ittew..penat2 tok nenek nak dapat independence..ko suke dok bawah british..tak besyukor langsong..mesti ko celebrate 4th of july or 5th of november..wanker..


  24. @Joe BMD (Beruk Must Die)

    Quoting your last comment:
    You should apply to work in a museum. You’d fit right in.

    Yes, I’m looking for a museum that would display your carcass so I can help take care of it. But unfortunately the Museum and Antiquities Department won’t accept me to work for them as a professional curator because the only qualifications I have are BEng and MSc in Electronics Engineering.

    I think your carcass will fit right in a museum since you’re against the country’s independence. That carcass of yours is best hanged upside-down, i.e. after burned alive.

    I know you’re severely hurt by my previous comment debunking your points, but if you can’t stand the heat, get the hell out of the kitchen.

    JMD : Now, now people. Be nice… hari baik bulan baik, mari kita berdamai… Kita lihat peralihan kuasa di parlimen esok dari BN ke PR. Kalau Pakatan Rakyat pandai, 14 hari lepas, mereka sudah hantar surat notis ke tuan speaker parlimen untuk meluluskan usul undi tidak percaya. Terima kasih.


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