We seldom agree with what Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz had been saying for the past 10 years but what she said yesterday was spot on..
1MDB did not contribute to economy, says Rafidah
State-owned investment firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) has not contributed to the country’s economic growth despite its “billions”, former minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz said in a New Year’s message that included a reminder to Putrajaya to facilitate business instead of getting involved in it.
The former international trade and industry minister in a Facebook post yesterday said the government should not be involved in business but instead facilitate private sector growth.
“Now is the time for serious focus on economic governance… and sanity in the political and social spheres.
“The government should be facilitating business… not to be involved in business. The private sector should be assisted to continue as the key drivers of the economy.
“1MDB, for all the billions, has no input into the economic growth of the country. Every effort must be made to bring back confidence and trust in economic and social governance,” she wrote.
Rafidah also used the phrase “cash is king”, employed by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in his criticism of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for preferring to dole out cash through the BR1M programme instead of directly addressing economic problems.
Rafidah said a culture in which “cash is king” should not be allowed to take root as it would only result in “greed, dishonesty, corruption, disregard for rule of law, bribery and corruption”.
She urged the government to focus on managing the economy instead of unproductive politicking, petty nitpicking and divisive behaviour.
“Attempts to bring out the so-called ‘feel good factor’ no longer sit well with many people,” she said.
Rafidah said during her time in government, issues were not whitewashed or taken lightly although the measures implemented were not necessarily popular, such as during the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis.
She said no consultants were appointed then but serious problems were addressed on a daily basis by a group of public sector individuals in touch with private sector groups.
On the still unresolved 1MDB issue and RM2.6 billion political donation, Rafidah said it would continue to be a hot topic within and without Malaysia and would exacerbate the domestic economic situation.
She added that the erosion of confidence and public trust, overzealous control of dissent and differences in opinion, lack of coherence and credibility in government communication with the public pointed to broken parts in the system.
“These need to be addressed and repaired expeditiously.”
The only way to repair this is to change the current leader who had created this problem. But of course there are some characters who will counter Rafidah Aziz by saying that 1MDB had contributed a lot to Malaysians; probably by using the loan money they have gotten and sponsor some people to go to Mecca and perform their Haj.
This would be the limit of their intelligence in defending a lost cause. When something is indefensible, people who are still desperately trying to defend it will sound retarded.
It is also surprising that some people are still trying to whitewash 1MDB’s financial scandal by misdirecting the public’s attention towards the selling of Malaysian strategic assets it once owned as a success.
Perhaps they forgot that none other than the Prime Minister himself had declared that 1MDB’s business model is too idealistic and thus, a failure. The loss of billions in national assets to the hands of foreigners is unforgivable in some parts of the world.
But not Malaysia. Over here, the mainstream media would bend over and kiss the feet of those foreign buyers just because these buyers could help 1MDB pay off the billions of debt money they have loaned needlessly.
Back to what Rafidah Aziz had said, we can conclude that 1MDB is indeed a useless company. Not only it is a useless company, it is also a harmful one. 1MDB had impacted Malaysians via:
b) Malaysians, through 1MDB had wastefully made to owe billions to buy assets which in the period of just a couple of years, they lost the ownership of these assets. These investments can now be considered as being squandered by 1MDB
c) Malaysians, through 1MDB had wastefully used the debt money to buy the IPPs at above market value (RM18 billion)
e) strategic power assets in the country are now being owned and controlled by foreigners
f) precious tracts of land meant for bumiputra development were sold for cheap by the Government to 1MDB, causing the Government to lose money and yet 1MDB sold the land to a third party at market value; of which the money will not return into the national coffers, but will be used to pay off debts. Malaysians lose twice in this stupid move. (Najib Razak and his pet CEO did say the sale of their strategic assets will reduce the RM42 billion debts)
g) RM950 million which could have been used to pay compensation to highway operators (as what had been traditionally done) so that there won’t be any toll hikes, were used to bail out 1MDB as standby credit instead
If 1MDB had not been established, Malaysians may have experienced:
a) when the IPP concessionaire ends, these IPPs can be bought by TNB at a much lower price
b) a Malaysian company did not have to owe an astronomical figure of RM42 billion just to buy the assets which they had to re-sell in order to pay that RM42 billion loan
c) Malaysian owned IPPs and Kuala Lumpur’s crown jewels do not have to fall in the hands of foreigners
d) ministers and Najib Razak’s sycophants won’t sound that stupid everytime they talk in order to defend 1MDB
e) Malaysians do not have to suffer the humiliation in having a cowardly, deceitful and clueless leadership.
Welcome to 2016; where Malaysians are ushering yet another year of absurdity and monkey business by the government.
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