MUST READ / Najib Razak / Socio-economy

Final lap of the NEM and the liberals’ paradox

As Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak’s approval level is getting higher and higher, my voice of highlighting a couple of weaknesses in the government might be getting smaller and smaller.

But worry not. I shall persevere. Hopefully, it is not a case of ‘syok sendiri‘.

The PM will announce the 10th Malaysia Plan and the New Economic Model (“NEM”) in Parliament tomorrow. I assume, for the case of the NEM, it will be the finalised version of the first draft proposed by the National Economic Advisory Council (“NEAC”) a couple of months ago.

One of the area which I am worried is the subsidy rationalisation initiatives planned by the government. You can read it here.

I want to highlight a portion of the linked article:

Question 6. Why are we not protecting the poor and the low income in this Subsidy Rationalisation proposal?

For every subsidy reduction proposal, the lab has recommended mitigation measures to protect the rakyat, particularly the poor.

For example, in the case of increases in the electricity tariff, the mitigation measures are as follows. For those whose electricity consumption is less than 100 kWh per month, the Government will continue with the current practice of giving it free of charge. For those who consume between 101-200 kwH per month, the existing tariff apply (no change). Based on our statistics, these two categories constitute 56% of all consumers.

In the case of fuel price increase, the mitigation measures include cash rebate of RM126 per year for car owner less than 1,000cc and RM54 per year for owner of motorbikes less than 250cc. Car and bike capacity is used as a proxy to determine the low income and the poor category.

In the case of flour, sugar and cooking oil & LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) cooking gas, the mitigation measure will include a cash rebate of RM20 per person per year. For a family of five, they will receive RM100 cash per year.

In other words, the solution of cutting subsidy is to give the people some money. A one time pay off actually.

This is similar to our former prime minister’s plan to lift the burden of the people when the fuel price was increased to RM2.70 per litre back in 2008. He gave each one of us RM625. But did this help alleviate the overall inflation and the strain in the lifestyle of ordinary men?

No it did not. In fact, RM625 for a family will be gone within 2 weeks and the prices of food and other necessities will still be high while their income remain stagnant.

Bear in mind, any increase in fuel prices will inadvertently increase the prices of other products. Even the price of teh tarik will increase.

I do not understand how this current government could not learn from the past mistakes. Giving RM126 to a car owner  will not alleviate his cashflow in the middle to long term.

And now, prices of sugar, cooking oil and flour will be increased due to the impending cuts in subsidy. What do these people get in return? RM20. Prices of food will go up 20%, and yet, the people will get RM20 per year. There is no immediate changes in their income and yet their expenditure will be higher.

Who do you think this people will vote?

People with income under RM3,000 will not be happy as the government will take away their livelihood without thinking about a proper safety net.

Government is penalising the people in the present hoping for these same group of people to get benefits in the far future. The benefits?

USD15,000 per capita income in 2020.

Does Najib think he will still be around in the next 2 general elections for that to happen?

I don’t even see the step by step action plans in the NEM for that to happen. The NEM document is still a vague document. Will these people really get the benefits in 10 years time?

What is important to identify is the misappropriation of subsidies. Some people are talking about it. For instance, Air Asia gets exemption over their income tax. Astro has laws that enables them to reap maximum profits from this monopolistic business.

These cases have not taken into account. But when it comes to penalising the people, the government is the first to react. Now, they plan to increase the medical fee in government hospitals and clinics from RM1 to RM3.

Question 7. We should not remove subsidy on Education, Health and Agriculture.

The lab agrees. Education is indeed an investment on Human Capital. We will continue to spend to provide subsidies on education such as scholarships, text book assistance, food, etc. However, we will remove wastages and abuse – we abolish the subsidised fee for foreign students.

For Health, we will continue to provide subsidies but with nominal outpatient fee of RM3, which incidentally is one of the lowest outpatient fee in the world. For Agriculture & Fisheries, we continue the subsidies but we will improve implementation so that the subsidies will receive to target audience

The savings from this is not much (just a few millions), but the political backlash from this will be huge. In other words, RM2 pun nak berkira ke? Imagine how much money can be earned by the government if Air Asia has to pay their income taxes; just like MAS.

It is sad that the government is punishing the common people now and yet at the same time, continue giving the rich avenues to get richer. What are the avenues for the common people to get richer now? Care to share?

Cut subsidy, cut spending, save this, save that.

Behind our backs, pour more money to the select few.

But when it comes to the ordinary rakyat, you share the burden.

Ubah gaya hidup.

Yeah right.

I also want to alert the government whether the NEM has taken into account any worse case scenarios that might happen within this next 10 years or so. Have they tested the resilience of our economy?

What if there is an oil crisis in 2012? What will the government do? Pump more subsidy? Give more rebates? All this require money. Will this dent the 6.5% yearly target of our GDP growth?

What if there is an acute food shortage in 2016? Is there a simulation model of our economy in food crisis mode yet? What are the action plans to be taken if there is an occurrence of food shortage? Give RM50 instead of RM20?

Malaysia needs a steady growth of 6.5% annually in order to be a high income, fully developed nation by 2020. Any crisis along the way will be a hindrance to this aim.

Malaysia needs action plans in order to compensate any setback in the GDP growth.

If not, when 2020 comes, and we still have not achieved USD15,000 per capita, we will curse the government of 2010 for making our lives difficult from 2010 onwards.

Okay now, we go to the other annoying news.

The story about “liberal Malays” criticising MPM and Perkasa. Firstly, what is a liberal Malay?

Since I cannot really fathom the real meaning of it, I shall look at its complete opposite. And what is the opposite of liberal?

Conservative? Traditional? Conservative might be the better word.

Let’s see who are the conservative Malays.

I reckon the conservative Malays are the rural folks; they have deep affiliation towards Islam and very traditional in their outlook towards the Malay culture.

Some of them do not know what spaghetti is. Most of them never tasted foie gras before. They may have some idea on what a fiscal deficit budget is. But most of them do not give two cents worth on what it is all about. Their immediate concern in between eating sambal belacan is how to look after their family with the monthly income they have and how well they prepare themselves for the hereafter.

Their lives are inextricably woven with how and what the government gives them in terms of social welfare and subsidies. This is mooted.

Now come along a group of Malays announcing themselves as liberal in their views of the world surrounding them. Nothing wrong with this ‘worldly’ views. In fact, some of their viewpoints might be the same as mine.

But which group do you think is bigger? The liberal Malays or the conservative Malays? I am guessing the latter group.

Hence, when these liberal Malays give their views without being cognisant about the plight of the other group of Malays, I think they are doing a disservice to their entire race.

The liberal Malays want the government to stop corruption in order to plug the wastage in our national budget.

They forget that the biggest culprit in corruption are they themselves – the liberal Malays.

Do you think the ones that caused all the multi-billion losses and scandals are the Pak Haji living in Kampung Bota Kanan in Perak? The Makcik Zainab selling nasi lemak in Gambang, Pahang? The underpaid postmen? The soldiers manning our borders?

The conservative Malays plowing their lives over a meagre income of RM1,000 – RM3,000 a month?


The ones that are guilty of multi million corruption are those who graduated from ivy league universities. Those who talk in condescending English while addressing the lesser mortals. Those who sit in BOD meetings of huge GLCs.  Those who run the upper stratum of a particular political party. Those who chided the conservative Malays for being dependent on subsidies while at the same time immerse themselves in multi million direct negos with the government. These are the people who have no qualms in telling the government to stop giving subsidies to ALL MALAYSIANS because there is so much wastage in the country. These liberal Malays, together with their liberal non-Malay friends, had been looting this country dry and now cried foul over the apparent abuse in the system.

This is the case of wanting the government to stop something they or their brethren are guilty of. And now they condemning those who are fighting for the conservative Malays. The liberal Malays are guilty of so many scandals and corruption it is therefore hypocritical and not to mention rude, for them to stop the government from continue giving help to those who are in need of assistance.

Liberal Malays urged the government to abolish subsidies because they are ashamed to have subsidy mentality.

They can afford to have this sentiment because the absence of subsidies for fuel, sugar etc will have no effect on them. But, the abolishment of subsidies will severely impact the non-liberals; the average malay getting less than RM3,000 a month. As I mentioned above regarding the rebates and the social safety net, no viable and concrete action plans were devised to really look into this matter.

It is a fortunate thing that a body such as MPM has the gumption to stand against the PM and tell him to relook at the NEM.

I myself do not mind government lessen the amount of subsidies given (as opposed to immediate abolishment). But the solutions proposed for the ones that will be affected the most must be more logical and realistic than the ones suggested above.

Yes, we all want to progress to become a world player. But we do not want anyone to lag behind and be forgotten. Especially the kingmakers in this country. The Malays.

Not the liberal Malays.


26 thoughts on “Final lap of the NEM and the liberals’ paradox

  1. Yes we the conservative Malays are the king makers in this country, sambal belacan and all.

    Dato Nik Aziz, if only you were sincere, the conservative Malays are all yours.



  2. Tuan,

    Subsidi kepada rakyat nak di tarik. Subsidi kepada Tony Fernandez dan Ananda Krishnan buat tak tau aje. Ini kah dia pejuang bangsa dan agama? Kalau bercakap masa perhimpunan agung UMNO bukan main lagi berdegar-degar tapi hakikatnya?

    I am neither a conservative or a liberal malay. I am just another malay trying to make ends meet, trying to raise my children dengan mencari rezeki yang halal. Bukannya rent seekers or kaki rasuah.

    One thing for sure I am damn fed up with the malay leaders in UMNO/BN yang ada sekarang ni.


  3. This is among the best articles that I’ve read from you, JMD. Well done.

    Your voice is certainly not getting smaller and not “syiok sendiri”. In fact, I think it’s getting bigger because an increasing many others are also feeling the same as you do over the affairs of state run by the Najib Government. I myself seriously doubt if he is going to be around in 10 years, even 5 years time unless he changes course.

    Perksa, the 76 Malay NGOs and the Melayu Bangkit Rally in Trengganu are going to swell in support if the finalised NEM hardly contains elements of the NEP. The “conservative” Malays are the majority. While they don’t eat chunks of beef steaks, they do expect small pieces of beef to go with their rice from time to time.

    Many Malays in the kampongs who do not own patches of rubber or oil palm land, do not even earn RM1,000 per month. The rural and urban poor, many of whom are Malays, simply cannot afford higher education for their children. Without scholarships and loans, their children will never get a chance for a better status in life and for uplifting the miserable situation their families have been in all along.

    The so-called “liberal” Malays are not bothered by this. Najib may not have a clue about the real hardships and despondency of such people for he, unlike his District Officer father, has never familiarised himself with kampong life, and the kampongs he walks about to is Kampong Bahru and Kampong Kerinchi in Kuala Lumpur.

    I support fully what you said about the pseudo-liberal and neo-intellectual Malays. They are pseudo and neo when their “world view” no longer includes their origins, protecting and promoting the rights and interests of their own kind. They forget the fact that nations are made up of individuals and groups and that, in protecting national interest, people protect their group interests as well. No doubt national interest reigns supreme. But those corrupt,
    power greedy and votes-driven fellows have a skewed and demented view of that. God should punish them.


    • True. Main thing about pseudo and liberal Malays lack, is that they always forget their root.

      Obama is an American no. 1. But did he forget his root?

      JMD, terrific article.

      JMD : Thank you for the comment.


  4. Melayu liberal maksudnya Melayu yang terlalu banyak makan najis haram Barat. Najis seperti falsafah Barat, hiburan, dan konsep seperti demokrasi, hak bersuara, hak kebebasan, hak kesaksamaan. Golongan inilah yang akan memusnahkan negara kita. Golongan inilah sudah menjangkiti minda belia dan anak muda kita, sudah puas aku melihatnya di keluarga saudaraku, rakanku, dan sekitar bandaraya-bandaraya besar yang ku pergi. Tak percaya? Sila pandu lalu Jalan Bukit Bintang malam Jumaat atau Sabtu.

    Demi kesaksamaan kononnya nilai sejagat mereka rela mengugurkan hak mereka sebagai Tuan Tanah di bumi ini. Lihatlah AS dimana kaum putih memberi muka kepada nigger pada 1960an. Sekarang kaum negro ini yang melakukan majoriti jenayah sudah ada Presiden di rumah putih.

    Semua ini berlaku akibat penghantaran belia Melayu ke luar negara atas tanggungan kerajaan dan pembukaan Internet. Minda mereka dipenuhi dengan ilmu, tetapi juga diracuni fikiran asing. Lebih baik kita tutupkan semua sempadan fizikal dan elektronik kita. Biarkan papa dan jahil, asalkan kekal tuan di tanah ini. Katak yang beraja dibawah tempurung itu tak pernah berasa sedih.


    • Pocong:

      Apa saudara maksudkan sebenarnya – biar anak melayu mundur dan kembali ke zaman jahiliyah daripada berhadapan dengan kenyataan bumi ini sedang berubah?

      Semata² kerana kita asal nya melayu gagal memantau anak cucu cicit kita dari i.e pengunaan internet, percakapan nabi palsu seperti Ayah Pin & Al-Arqam?

      Biar kita Beraja dibawah tempurung asalkan kita dapat mengecapi dan memaksa anak cucu cicit sengsara diatas tidak kerelaan kita untuk menerima Ilmu yang teluh dan Ikhlas? adakah itu maksud saudara pocong?

      Amat cetek dan cacat cela kamu pocong – orang seperti kamu lah yang mengelirukan kaum melayu itu sendiri diatas sifat kamu dan pemikiran yang pendek memporak peranda sesetengah kaum itu.

      Ptuiiihh ..! Nyah kamu Pocong.

      Disebab kamu terliur dan tidak dapat memantau anak melayu berkeliaran dijalan bukit bintang pada malam minggu atau sabtu kamu salah kan i.e. anasir barat? budaya kuning? demokrasi?

      Apa Peranan Kamu sebenar berkata sedemikian?

      Ptuiiihh ..! Laknat kamu Pocong.

      Ini bukan masa untuk bertekak dan bertikam lidah diatas siapa liberal atau tidak – walhal kecacatan kamu sendiri kamu gagal dan rela menuding jari kepada kaum yang lain? bukan kan Orang Melayu itu sendiri meludah kepada kaum nya sendiri?

      Bodoh Kamu Pocong.

      Bila Kamu makan Nasi sesuap atas masakan Isteri Kamu atau Mak Kamu – Kamu marah lah mak kamu kerana mengandungkan kamu.


      • nampaknya kau terlupa pepatah Melayu ini:

        Biar mati anak, jangan mati adat

        Apa gunanyaada generasi muda yang dipenuhi ilmu dan ideloji duniawi yang berlandaskan barat tetapi terlupa adat, agama, dan budaya sebagai Melayu?

        Lebih baik jika kebanyakan umat “dibiar jahil” tetapi dibimbing dan dipimpin oleh golongan elit yang berpengetahuan dalam ekonomi, sains, politik tetapi dilatih untuk patuh kepada bangsa, agama, dan negara.

        Lihatlah Korea Utara. % besar rakyat mungkin papa dan kurang pendidikan. Tetapi ia dipimpin ketua-ketua dan jeneral yang pintar dan patriotik sehingga digeruni Korea Selatan yang dikatakan lebih maju.


        • @ pocong

          “Biar mati anak, jangan mati adat” – tapi kalau anak dah mati, siapa nak jadi penyambung adat? takkan nak harapkan hantu pocong yg bodoh tu kot?

          dasar kita di sini bukanlah mengejar atau mempertahankan satu bidang dengan mengorbankan bidang lain yang sama pentingnya. akhirat itu penting tapi jangan sesekali ketepikan dunia kerana dunia ibarat kebun dan akhirat itulah tuaiannya.

          kita mahu generasi yang maju, berpengetahuan dan berkebolehan dan pada masa yang sama tidak sekali-kali membuang akar umbinya sebagai Melayu Islam.

          kalau begitu pindah sajalah kamu ke Korea Utara sana, selepas satu tahun ceritakan kepada kami di sini bagaimana “indahnya” hidup di sana. Korea Selatan sebenarnya tidak bimbang dengan Korea Utara, takkan sesama bangsa sendiri nak berperang lagi. cuma Washington dan Beijing yang menjadi penyibuk.


  5. after reading your writings i would assume that some liberal malays would read this. i would also assume somebody from the PM’s office would stumble upon your writings and at least try to put forward your writings to PM.
    Sadly enough, mentality of malay liberals (wherever you are chicken shit) they would read it and assume this is total bullshit. put the cursor at the “x” of the browser and happily move away to some others.
    sadly though, all the pakciks and makciks cannot read your writings and still at their stalls or ladang kelapa sawit working their assess of to ensure a good living for their families.
    anyways, thanks JMD for a good article. maybe somedays when i become a minister (he he he he), maybe then i would try to at least put forward your writings. “put forward” mmmm..


  6. is bakri musa also considered the malay liberals? din merican?

    JMD : I think even if you are liberal in your views, you must have ‘jiwa Melayu’ or ‘semangat Melayu’. Then it is still good. Thank you.


    • However liberal one may be, one must respect and live by the Constitution of the country and Article 153 spells out the Special Position of the Malays from which the NEP and NEM (just announced 30% Bumi corporate equity target retained) are derived.

      One may speak for equality, freedom etc but one is not liberal if one disagrees with NEP and NEM. The concept of equality in Malaysia must take into account Article 153. It’s written in the constitution, for goodness sake.

      From what I read of Bakri Musa’s writing nearly a year ago, I think he spoke for Article 153; although he criticised NEP implementation, he accepted the concept. I ceased reading the man after realising that he had run away from directly contributing to this country by permanently residing abroad, whatever the reason(s) may be.

      JMD : Thank you for the comment Isa.


  7. Pocong,
    Eloklah hang sorang terus jadi katak di bawah tempurung. Hahaha…Tapi itulah realiti. Yang perlu ialah cara mengatasinya bukan menghalangnya.


  8. JMD,

    Totally bored with DSNTR. Syiok sendiri…along with his gang of Malay Liberals. The Malay conservatives are not blind nor deaf. They choose to be mute or dumb coz they rather wait for the appropriate time nak pangkah or they dont want to kena “pancung”. They are everwhere. It is the Malay liberals that is blind to this fact.

    Those who are on the ground at the grass roots levels know the sentiments….The time will come when it is not possible to buy off votes coz you know why? The price will be too high when compared to truth and justice.

    Its the final countdown till the next GE….

    Keturunan Jebat


    • I agree that the past “flip flopping, auto-piloting and sleepy” government contributed a lot to the situation we are in. I refer to the increasing number of people who claim or believe themselves to be liberal.

      That Government allowed almost free rein for the chauvinistic, racist, ultra kiasu people to raise all sorts of issues, including those which are considered seditious. Discussing the Special Position of the Malays under Article 153 is not allowed because it is protected under the Sedition Act. The former Prime Minister himself enterntained snide remarks, joined the laughter at cynicisms about “Tongkat” and himself used the word “Tongkat” in some of his statements. Instead of repeating the justifications for the NEP which have been put out time and again.


  9. 1-Subsidy: Many equate what ever said from the administration must be Najib. The sports betting licence, the subsidies and the rest. The figures on total of subsidies given out by the Ministry of Finance and Idris Jala is miles and miles apart. From what is written in the press education is not a subsidy item in the MOF definition, perhaps it is a social obligation. Petrol subsidy is not in the governments cash flow statement, rather a loss of potential profit to Petronas.

    2-The lab do not represent what the government want rather only a feed back, just like a result of any experiment. I am sure the government will look at the participants of the lab, to ensure that there is a proper representation of the rakyat.

    3-Malay liberal perhaps come from Islam liberal which come from American Muslims Moderate Islam in the Bush administration. Thus their implications.


  10. U have voiced out my inner concerned…thanks. I strongly do not see any benefits out of this NEM…some smart ass wants to show off their brains to PM…

    Btw…those behind this NEM have never gone down to understand the poverty – miskin bandar.

    I hv attended few talks by the rep of MTEN…they are so ignorant about the grass root problems. And govt officers who attended this forums say nothing but stupidly agreed to this…without even thinking about the future of their kids.

    What are they thinking when they come up with these suggestion?????


  11. Comrade Jebat,

    As a Malay living in Malaysia I don’t have a problem with Indians, Chinese, Punjabis, Ibans or Kadazans etc cari makan successfully on this Allah gifted prosperous land simply because true Malaysian Indians don’t send their money back to India & the true Malaysian Chinese don’t bother much to do so either.

    My main cause of concern however are the foreigners (esp illegals who has always managed to corrupt their way thru) who are basically running the economic show which by sight would seem as petty tradings but collectively, by the volume, can be guranteed to mount up to a VERY BIG chunk of our rightful portion of the economy.

    Is our beloved head of politician aware of this or just avoiding to discuss it in parliament? This in fact should be a better topic to discuss in Umno’s perhimpunan instead of taking the ancient keris and point it up into the air and discussing the GUIDED, CENSORED & SELECTED RHETORIC “usuls” to be clapped upon.

    Royal Professor Ungku Aziz was right about asking to reconsider abolishing the “subsidized mentality scheme” way back in the 80’s to enable the Malays to learn the art of “true survival in one’s own homeland” but politicians (the usual kind) were the first to be against it. The game plan is that Malays have every right to be given ‘free fish’ right into their mouth because this is their “blood-spilled” land (not realising that at the same time other ethnic races are learning how to catch their own fish – even in the dry season). So decades later today, when the resources run out, politicians are naturally worried because the children of those spoon-fed Malays back then are today asking back intelligently, “Why haven’t you taught our fathers, the art of fishing instead?”

    Back to our economic issue – How much is actually the daily, weekly, monthly & annual LEAK done to our economy by these tax free unofficial crony-free “foreign investors”? The leak, which started to get into Indonesia decades ago should have been controlled & monitored but instead now is alowed to get into Bangladesh, Myanmar, Kampuchea etc. & even as far up the mountains into Nepal!

    Can Bank Negara really reveal the frightening figures to the Malaysian public? And here we are, the rakyats, who have to listen to the pledges made by our minisiters saying that we have to sacrifice & subsidies has to be revoked because we don’t have enough money to ‘play around’ with?

    It is so pathetic to imagine that the race with the Ketuanan rights are overtly worried about the economic advancements of our other fellow Malaysian ethnic races while the real problem is “not actually there but somewhere else”.

    Isn’t it ironic that the family members are busy fighting in the living room while thieves are busy looting their whole house and allowed to escape through the back door?


    • You don’t sound Malay complaining about “foreigners (esp illegals who has always managed to corrupt their way thru)”. Are they really “basically running the economic show which by sight would seem as petty tradings but collectively, by the volume, can be guranteed to mount up to a VERY BIG chunk of our rightful portion of the economy”? Not much, my friend, though we cannot codone it if their presence here is illegal.

      You sound non-Malay when using the Chinese phrases like “given free lunch” and “given ‘free fish’ right into their mouth” and “the race with the Ketuanan rights”. Hope you have heard about Article 153 on the Special Position of the Malays – which was in exchange for the citizenship of the non-Malays – and the fact that the Malays had less than 2% wealth and 5% places in the various professions (doctors, engineers etc) at the time of the racial riots of 1969.


  12. I am a chinese and now in my 50s. When we were looking for jobs in the 702, advertisements have statements like “Bumiputras only” or “Bumiputras preferred”. We had 2 malay friends in our class and they were both given scholarships to study overseas. Some of us were not so lucky to be given a place in the local universities eventhough we qualified and we know that there was a racial quota in local university intake. We know that all these were due to the implementation of the NEP.

    I was fortuntate to have attended a talk in the 70s by Chandra Muzaffar who told us the need for the NEP but the problem was its implementation.

    So, with little help from the government, we move on with our lives through challenges and obstacles and 30 years later, most of us have been successful in our careers. With what we went through, we plan the future of our children to ensure that they have a better chance of being successful and not to have to go through challenges and obstacles that we went through.

    Sadly, it is the politicians who keep comparing our successes (through our own blood, sweat and tears) and it is as if we do not deserve to be have progressed. Sad that after more than 50 years as an independent nation, after every election it is the politicians who analyse the voting trend based on racial lines.

    I am happy that my 2 malay friends had the opportunities 30 years ago and that they are successful Malaysians and the same with my other friends.


    • Wow, how time have change, now we have Mandarin only, Chinese only advertisement on the paper, even for selling underwear. As far as logic goes, in Malaysia, the only Mandarin only speaker requirement should only and only go to Mandarin teachers because if you can’t speak national language, what are you? where do you live all this time? under the rock?


Astound us with your intelligence!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s