Why Are Malaysians Poor While Malaysia Is Rich?
|May 2, 2014||Posted by Staff under Good Press|
A 2014 excerpt of MMO, Apr 4.
Veteran lawmaker Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said the country has fallen victim to the machinations of politicians habitually lining their own pockets and colluding with businessmen who were uncompetitive without preferential treatment.
Profits are made through outright corruption, poor regulation, and the transfer of public assets through privatisation at bargain prices.
The former finance minister, or Ku Li as he is popularly known, cited cases such as the RM2.5 billion bailout of Bank Bumiputera in 1985 plus an additional RM1 billion aid payout to the bank six years later, and also the RM2 billion rescue of Konsortium Perkapalan Berhad in 1997.
Tengku Razaleigh, author of “Rich Malaysia, Poor Malaysians”, said, “In all, more than a half trillion ringgit has been spent rent-seeking and patronage system. This amount could have been used more productively to fund a national pension programme for Malaysians.”
The outspoken Gua Musang MP added that this change must be supported by a revamped education system that puts a premium on logical and critical thinking over rote memorisation.
Ed. Notes: The title of his book is very similar to a refrain in America’s Appalachia, the nation’s poorest region, where people in one state say, “Why are we poor and West Virginia so rich?” The answer, as usual, is that the masses don’t get their fair share of the common wealth — the worth of Earth and of government-granted privileges — but the insiders capture that wealth for themselves. Nothing will change until people recognize that all the spending for land and resources is our common wealth and should be directed into our public treasuries to be disbursed as dividends — and a critical mass demands that this happen! Meanwhile, the corruption in places like Malaysia acts like a ravenous parasite that prevents the nation from growing a sizable middle class.