Saturday, October 14, 2006

PM ABDULLAH-CNN TALK ASIA Replies MAHATHIR's ALLEGATIONS in Bloomberg Interview; NO Political Suicide in ABORTING Dr M Projects; PROTON DOOMED if...

After 3 weeks of Ramandan fasting, Mahathir is renewing his criticism of PM Abdullah government in an interview he gave at Putra Jaya with Bloomberg..
In the interview, Dr Mahathir, 81, said that Datuk Seri Abdullah should increase spending on technology-related economic activities rather than concentrating on agriculture or signing trade accords with countries like Japan.
Dr Mahathir also expressed doubts his so-called Vision 2020 could be achieved and called on Abdullah to raise spending on technology complaining of neglect of MSC (Multi Media Super corridor).'
Dr Mahathir also warned that national car maker Proton will collapse unless it finds an international partner, and criticized a free trade pact between Japan and Malaysia to eliminate tariffs.
'If you import a car, how many container loads of vegetables are you going to export to Japan?' Dr Mahathir said. 'We're not good at that.'
Dr Mahathir’s final parting shot said. 'I don't want to enter politics.'
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PM Dismisses "Political Suicide" By Reversing Dr M's Decisions;
October 14, 2006 18:09 PM
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 14 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has dismissed the notion that he may be committing "political suicide" by reversing some of the decisions made by his predecessor Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and be seen as rolling back on everything the latter had put in place.
Admitting that Dr Mahathir is still being held in the highest regard by many people after 22 years leading the country, the prime minister said he too commanded majority support. "No, no, no, I don't think it's a political suicide. He has been saying a lot of things; I've decided to keep quiet and to go on doing what I want to do.
"And the people want me to do what I want to do.

Hosted by
Anjali Rao in the "Talk Asia"

And I have and I still command majority support today
," he said in an interview with Anjali Rao in the "Talk Asia" (Note: Full transcript not available yet) programme aired by Cable News Network (CNN) Saturday.

Abdullah also pointed out that not everybody appreciated it when Dr Mahathir began his criticism. He, however, said despite his silence, he did not ignore Dr Mahathir's criticisms and have made necessary adjustments if the criticisms were relevant."
And some I can't accept," he said when asked by Anjali if he ignored Dr Mahathir's criticism of him. The prime minister also dismissed a suggestion that he was rolling back everything Dr Mahathir had put in place by calling off some mega projects namely a new bridge linking Malaysia and Singapore. "Not everything he put in place. No. Vision 2020, his biggest achievement, that's my target too. That we share, I share the vision. I have developed what I call a national mission. The mission is very big in order to achieve that vision," he said.
Abdullah said he believed there were other things the Government could do to develop this country. "We are very practical about our approach and the bridge has nothing to do with the life and death of Malaysia," he said. To a question whether Malaysia could have achieved such a major success if Dr Mahathir did not rule the way he did, Abdullah said as the prime minister for 22 years, Dr Mahathir had achieved considerable success for the country."We are proud of his achievements. That's a fact," he said.
On Singapore founding father Lee Kuan Yew's remark on Sept 15 that Malaysian Chinese are being "systematically marginalised", Abdullah reiterated that it was a groundless allegation.
"Yes, it's groundless. And it is an issue that can cause unhappiness to many people. Why? Some may even regard it as tantamount to interfering with what we are doing. "The Chinese in Malaysia are doing well. They are better off than the indigenous people, than the Malays," he said. He said the Malaysian Chinese achieved what they have today because the Government provided them opportunities to be successful.
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Mahathir Says Abdullah Is Endangering Malaysian Economic Growth
By Angus Whitley and Haslinda Amin
Oct. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, three years in office this month, is jeopardizing economic growth and confidence in his administration is waning, said former leader Mahathir Mohamad.
Abdullah should increase spending on technology rather than boosting agricultural production or signing questionable trade accords, Mahathir, 80, said in an interview. The medical doctor, who led the nation for 22 years until 2003, said he's being sidelined in the media and in Malaysia's ruling party.
``I don't see any new projects coming in which would boost the economy,'' the former premier said in his office in Putrajaya, south of the capital, Kuala Lumpur. ``The last few years, I don't see any change for the better. It is affecting the nation and the growth of the country. It is not personal.''
Mahathir, who transformed Malaysia from a tin and rubber exporter into an industrialized manufacturer, is unable to stay out of politics. He's extending a feud that started after Abdullah reversed high-profile investment decisions made under Mahathir in favor of plowing funds into education and health care.
``The fundamental problem with Dr. M. is he feels that what he has done has a right to be continued perpetually,'' said Abdul Razak Baginda, executive director of the Malaysian Strategic Research Centre. ``That's a fallacy for any leader. The current prime minister has a different philosophy. He's concerned with a more balanced development.''
Azhar Osman, Abdullah's press secretary, said by phone that the prime minister wouldn't respond to any comments made by Mahathir in the Oct. 9 interview.
Vision 2020
In 1991, Mahathir laid out a 30-year plan known as Vision 2020 that aimed to win Malaysia developed-nation status by that date. He accelerated growth by wooing foreign manufacturers, created a technology hub in Cyberjaya, south of Kuala Lumpur, and championed the cause of ethnic Malays. He assured them easier access to housing, education and jobs.
Abdullah announced in March that he plans to increase public development spending 18 percent to 200 billion ringgit ($54 billion) from 2006 to 2010 compared with the previous five years. He allocated a fifth of total spending to education and training, and plans to raise palm-oil output 31 percent by 2010. Asked if he was optimistic of meeting Vision 2020's objective, Mahathir said, ``right now, I am not.'' He declined to say whether he regretted picking Abdullah as leader.
`Within Reach'
Deputy Finance Minister II Awang Adek Hussin said in an interview today the goal of becoming a developed nation by 2020 ``is still within reach,'' and that the government is committed to achieving the target.
The economy of Thailand, Malaysia's northerly neighbor, may expand 4.6 percent in 2006, the country's central bank has said.
The former premier said the government prevents his views appearing in local newspapers, while the movements of members of the ruling United Malays National Organization are engineered to avoid coinciding with those of the former prime minister.
``He doesn't allow me to even meet party members,'' Mahathir said. ``He says he's my friend. On the other hand, he muzzles me.''
Mahathir was defeated in a September ballot to select speakers for the November meeting of UMNO, as the party is called. Members were bribed to vote against him, he said.
Government Failures
Mahathir in June said the government's failures included scrapping construction of a bridge to Singapore. In December 2003, less than two months after Abdullah assumed power, he postponed a $3.8 billion rail project. The following month, he scrapped plans to sell 60 percent of the government-owned company managing the Bakun hydroelectric dam project in Sarawak.
``The current government is making an honest and brave effort to put Malaysia on the right track,'' said Manu Bhaskaran, a Singapore-based partner at economic research company Centennial Group. ``It takes a long time before good policies result in a stronger economy, so we need to be patient.''
Taking Risks
Mahathir in the interview urged Abdullah to raise spending on technology, saying the search for tenants at his brainchild, the Multimedia Super Corridor at Cyberjaya, had been neglected. ``It's not being sufficiently promoted,'' he said. ``There are a lot of companies which would like to come.''
The government must be willing to lose money on some information technology investments in return for the chance to profit from a few successful bets, Mahathir said.
``If out of 10 or 20 projects you succeed in one, that is a good result, Mahathir said. ``Unfortunately, we are not really able to understand that we have to take risks.''
Mahathir also criticized an agreement between Japan and Malaysia to eliminate tariffs on $27 billion of goods within 10 years. The accord, which came into force in July, cut duty on products ranging from clothes to agriculture. Malaysia imports Japanese goods and Japan takes Malaysian fruit and vegetables. ``If you import a car, how many container loads of vegetables are you going to export to Japan?'' Mahathir said. ``We're not good at that.''
Mahathir has a history of verbal volleys. On Oct. 16, 2003, in a speech to the Organization of Islamic Conference, he provoked outrage when he said Jews ``rule the world by proxy.'' In 1997, Mahathir called investor George Soros a ``moron.'' Soros described Mahathir as a ``menace to his own country.''
Attacks on the administration don't signal a desire to return to power. Mahathir ruled out following former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, who now holds the position of Minister Mentor in the city-state's cabinet.
``I would never do it,'' Mahathir said in the interview. ``I don't want to enter politics.''

Mahathir spends three days a week as honorary president of the Perdana Leadership Foundation, formed in 2003 to promote the ideas of Malaysia's previous prime ministers. He spends two days a week as an adviser to national oil company Petroliam Nasional Bhd. at the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur.
Last Updated: October 11, 2006 18:50 EDT

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Proton Will Collapse Without a Foreign Partner, Mahathir Says
By Soraya Permatasari and Haslinda Amin
Oct. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Proton Holdings Bhd., Malaysia's biggest carmaker, will collapse unless it finds an international partner such as Volkswagen AG, said former premier Mahathir Mohamad, who set up the company more than two decades ago.
``At the rate it is going, it's not going to last long,'' said Mahathir, 80, who became an adviser to the Shah Alam, Malaysia-based automaker after stepping down as prime minister in 2003. ``Proton is reporting losses all the time, and they still have a lot of cars which they cannot sell.''
Proton has been losing market share to overseas rivals including Toyota Motor Corp., and needs to gain new technology and designs to compete. Volkswagen ended talks with the Malaysian carmaker in January because the two sides couldn't agree on issues including control of thep company.
``The government may need to offer a
bigger stake or give up management control
,'' said Raymond Tang, who manages $1.7 billion as chief investment officer of CIMB-Principal Asset Management Bhd. in Kuala Lumpur. Those are ``the main points which they failed to agree on in previous talks,'' said Tang, who doesn't own the company'shares.
Proton's Chairman Mohammed Azlan Hashim and Managing Director Zainal Abidin Syed Mohd Tahir weren't immediately available for comment, the company's head of corporate communications, Faridah Idris, said by telephone today.
Proton, which produces eight car designs under its brand and two types of Lotus sports cars, has been seeking a foreign partner since Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and Mitsubishi Corp. ended more than two decades of investment in the company in January 2005.
Proton and state-owned investment agency Khazanah Nasional Bhd., which owns 43 percent of the automaker, are studying whether a foreign investor could revive its fortunes, Malaysia's Second Finance Minister Nor Mohamed Yakcop said Sept. 5.
Selling a majority stake isn't ``absolutely necessary,'' Mahathir said in the interview. Volkswagen, based in Wolfsburg, Germany, didn't want control of the company, he said.
``I still think Volkswagen is willing'' to talk, he said. ``Despite my initial intervention,'' Proton ``seems to be not keen at all to have anything to do with Volkswagen.''
Proton is also in talks to make cars with China's Jinhua Youngman Automobile Group Co. and Chery Automobile Co., as well as India's Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. Those companies may be allowed to buy a minority stake in the company in return for helping it expand in the world's two most populous nations, Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak said on June 19.
``We were working with Volkswagen and we had nearly completed'' the negotiations, Mahathir said. ``We would be manufacturing Volkswagen cars here and also using Volkswagen technology here. But the new management wants to work with China and India, thinking that they can enter these markets. I don't think they are going to get very far.''
Tariff Protection

The Malaysian carmaker's competitiveness has been eroded by the government's new auto policy, introduced in March, which made it cheaper to import cars into Malaysia, Mahathir said. The government cut import taxes to 5 percent from 15 percent.
``Proton cannot survive'' without protection, he said. ``When you go to Korea you don't see foreign cars. It's the same in Japan. They have ways and means of ensuring that foreign cars do not compete with their cars in their country.''
The company's share of Malaysia's car market fell to 40 percent last year from as much as two-thirds during the 1980s.
Malaysia, aiming to become a regional hub for car manufacturers such as Toyota and Isuzu Motors Ltd., offers incentives and tax breaks for overseas carmakers to assemble their products in the country.
Honda, Toyota
Proton's loss widened to 58.6 million ringgit ($16 million) in the first quarter ended June 30, from 12.4 million ringgit a year earlier as a lack of new models damped sales, the company said in August. Revenue fell 31 percent to 1.42 billion ringgit.
``Proton needs a strong partner,'' said CIMB-Principal Asset's Tang. ``The best partners could be something like Honda or Toyota. Those companies are very good at what they do but they may want to be able to institute changes.''
Proton last month signed an initial agreement with PSA Peugeot Citroen to study the possibility of developing new models together. The agreement is Proton's third this year with an overseas carmaker for possible joint product development.
``If you merely make an arrangement in order to get the platforms from some company, that is not a transfer of technology,'' Mahathir said, referring to the Peugeot accord. If ``that's what they intend to do now, that's not going to do any good for Proton.''

New Models

Proton is also developing a new model using Mitsubishi Motors' components and technology, which it plans to start selling early next year. The Malaysian carmaker, which last year posted its lowest profit since 1991, aims to introduce six models, including its first multi-purpose vehicle, this year through 2008 to reverse slumping sales.

Auto sales in Malaysia are set to decline for the first time in three years as falling prices of used cars, stricter lending rules, higher interest rates and an increase in fuel prices curb demand, the Malaysian Automotive Association said in July.
The reduction in import taxes earlier this year pushed down prices of new and used cars.
``The problem is the government insisted that the price of cars should be lowered, which is fine for the buying party but what they didn't realize is that they lowered the price so much that they lost money,'' Mahathir said. ``Proton certainly lost a lot of money.''
Last Updated: October 11, 2006 21:29 EDT

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UPDATE: Oct 14 06

Meanwhile the Government today has thrown a “life line” to Proton by having a special allocation of RM79.5 to purchase 2000 patrol cars for the police

Extract from Bernama, Oct 13 2006; 22:49 PM

An elaborate ceremony was conducted by Proton Edar Sdn Bhd in the handing over ceremony

On the delivery of the Proton Waja patrol cars, Musa said 500 patrol cars were handed over by Proton Edar today while another 1,500 would be delivered by the end of the year.Musa added that of the 500 patrol cars, 300 would be deployed in the Klang Valley while the others would be distributed elsewhere. "For me, this is a target that can be achieved," he told reporters at a handing-over ceremony of police patrol cars by Proton Edar Sdn Bhd here Friday.

And here are the Proton Waja Cars for the Police to patrol in. Was there any discount in such a big order?

The patrol cars were bought through the RM79.5 million special allocation provided by the government and will be distributed to all police contingents in the States and districts. With the additional 2,000 patrol cars, the police now has a fleet of 3,939 patrol cars in all.

Dr Mahathir will have another say in

Now read on in the latest post, Oct 17 06

Upon his return from performing the umrah, Abdullah warns all quarters (Malays & Non-Malays) to refrain from CAUSING Trouble; And Information Minister Datuk Zainuddin Maidin ATTACKED Gerakan Dr Lim Keng Yaik for Insinuations & Accusations on Transparency, fanning the flame and making it worse (with the little help from Kuan Yew). Advice from Tun MUSA HITAM; Stop PUBLIC Debate

GoTo TOP (Main Page)

MORE PICS-77 Year Old DIRTY OLD MAN Jailed 12 Years. What a SHAME Raping Neighbor’s 8 –year Old Daughter in Tampin on Sunday Oct 8 in a Rubber Stall

Tan hancuffed and escorted by Policemen arriving in Session Court

A 77 year old man was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment by the Kuala Pilah Session Court on Friday after he pleaded guilty to raping his neighbor’s 8 year old daughter last Sunday.

A closed up view of the face of a neighbour being a rapist

Tan Mong An, 77 committed the crime between 5.30 to 6.30 pm at a rubber stall in Kg Gemichi Lama, Tampin. Tan was said to give the victim RM20 after raping her.

After sentencing and leaving court, heads down in shame of it all for doing such a nasty thing on a little girl

He was arrested on Oct 9 after the victim’s mother lodged a police report.

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Sexuality & Old Age

It was morally wrong for this man to cruelly force himself on a defenseless young girl to satisfy his urge or lust. He may be old for his age but his desires are still intact. The spirit is willing and so is his body.

It was most unfortunate, he could not controlled himself. He was in a dilemma, without access to any internet porn site and no prostitute around in his sleepy hollow, he gave in to a moment of weakness and suffered the consequence for his crime. 12 years jail with 1/3 remission, he will be out at 85 years if he can live up to that age.

Excessive sexual behavior obviously will be considered depraved by those most afraid of their sensual natures. Such rigid group will believe that youth is innocent and will deny sexual experience as having any place in childhood.

But for young adults if you believe sex is GOOD but old age is BAD, then you will find it impossible to consider exuberant sexuality as a portion of an older person's experience. Trust yourself for greater self-understanding and you will need not project repressed tendencies upon others

As humans we are all animals, if not what are we, vegetables? We are here our spirit joined itself with flesh, and in flesh, to experience a world of incredible richness. You are here to use, enjoy, and express yourself through the body with sex.

In the dream state the child and the old man or woman can exits simultaneously and the individual is made quite aware of the full range of creature hood at all ages.

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Friday, October 13, 2006


There are still quite a few Malays who are enlightened enough to see through the follies of this obsession with the equity percentage, but most are in the silent minority. Datuk Shahrir is one of them and is an exception who is brave enough to stick his neck out and make some meaningful and useful comments on this controversy which can be hurtful to those on the receiving ends. He further suggested that a more meaningful emphasis should be on the excessive “leakages” that are more insidious for its continuation .

When will the bred of more such Malays be reborn at this time simply to help them understand? They are forcing the issue, and forcing the crisis, for there still have time to change their ways.
The Malay race must learn the value of the individual man and its dependence upon other races and species and to comprehend its existence in the whole framework in physical reality. However, they faced two main problems and both involve the sacredness of the individual, and the individual's relationship with others and with all physically oriented consciousness.
The continuation of the NEP is just turning the clock back again for their future progress. Over a generation, the UMNO youth’s parents had their NEP fruits given to them on a silver platter and now youths are demanding the same clutches to prop them up. It is about time they learn the hard way to create some wealth for the Nation and not sponged upon it.

UMNO youth and in particular the Malays must first change their system of beliefs.
They have to change their ways of seeking help from others in avoiding responsibilities and in so doing deny their own abilities for self-understanding and growth. When will the breed of UMNO politicians be born, conscientious and honest, and made every effort for businessmen to invest not only to earn a reasonable return, but to achieve good things in life for the rakyat.

Why must they want to gain their fortunes by political pull, by having government grant those favors and franchises at the expense of their fellow-men? Why all these short cuts and get rich quick mentality to get all the attending materials comfort.
But because you have free will you also have the responsibility and the gift, the joy and the necessity, of working with your beliefs and of choosing your personal reality as you desire.
And this of course, would include creating experiences that most of us might label as negative the failures, the hurt and hard struggle to achieve your success. But as you each move individually through the dimensions of your own consciousness, you will understand that all seeming opposites are other faces of the one supreme drive toward creativity.
How can we have any semblance of democracy and fair play when every time there is an intellectual discourse over race based issues, it would be termed as “sensitive and seditious” and itimidation and threats are the only responses to silence the debate? Are we are returning to the politics of intimidation?
Do not disavow the experience of feelings you consider negative and try only to 'affirm' what you think of as positive emotions. By not permitting yourselves the dimensions of your creature hood and by pretending not to feel what you feel, you deny the integrity of your own experience

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Sort yourselves out, Shahrir tells parties in Asli fallout

13 Oct 2006 ;Shamini Darshni; N ST

KUALA LUMPUR: The two bodies at loggerheads over the actual amount of Bumiputera equity ownership should sit together and explain how they reached their respective conclusions.
"The statistics have to be accurate so the government policies and strategies will also be the right ones," said Member of Parliament for Johor Baru Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad. Shahrir was commenting on the controversy following the initial statement by Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (Asli) that Bumiputera equity ownership stood at 45 per cent. But on Tuesday, Asli president Mirzan Mahathir said the study was based on flawed assumptions and calculations and added that its conclusions couldn’t be "vigorously justified".
His comments came in the midst of a heated debate between the government and politicians on one side and Asli on the other. The Economic Planning Unit had said that its more exhaustive study showed that Bumiputera corporate entity ownership was at 18.9 per cent, which fell short of the 30 per cent government target.
"They should have sorted themselves out a long time ago instead of getting into a public debate and getting everybody upset," Shahrir said. He said the statistics must be credible as they were used as a basis to form government policies.
He said that if the centre’s figure of 45 per cent had included government-linked companies, then it was a matter of definition. What concerned the Malays, he said, and the current leadership, were "leakages" that had been occurring since 1990.
"Everyone has seen that there were parties who were beneficiaries of government policies, strategies and decisions in the name of the new National Economic Policy. Yet, at the end of the day, the beneficiaries could not hold on to their gains." The concern should be on how to prevent the leakages now that the NEP was back in the picture. To do this, the statistical information had to be accurate, he said.
"Everybody was upset with the leakages, Malay or non-Malay. We cannot go through another period of continuing to give opportunities to the Malays and seeing these opportunities wasted again." Shahrir said that the present focus should be on reducing the leakages and openly tendering government contracts while cutting down on direct negotiations to ensure competition for a more effective economic system.

"If we miss the point and talk about whose statistics are correct, we may miss the whole thing," he said. Asked whether he thought it was right for the director of the Centre for Public Policy Studies Dr Lim Teck Ghee to quit his post, Shahrir replied: "If he feels very strongly about it, he should quit but why must he quit at the end of the month? If it’s a matter of principle, then you quit immediately, like me. But he may have his reasons."
Asli’s stalwart economist had announced on Wednesday that he was quitting as he could not accept the backdown by Mirzan. Shahrir said that while people should stand by their decisions and take responsibility for their opinions, he did not think that Lim’s decision to quit would resolve the situation.
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Mirzan: No one put pressure on Asli to back down

13 Oct 2006; NST

On Tuesday, the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (Asli) distanced itself from findings of its think tank that Bumiputera equity ownership in public-listed companies may be as much as 45 per cent. Dr Lim Teck Ghee, the head of the think tank, resigned in protest. But so many questions remain unanswered over this episode. V. VASUDEVAN speaks to Asli president Mirzan Mahathir on the controversial findings.

Mirzan says the study was flawed

Q: When was this report commissioned? What was the idea behind it?
A: It was the first project for the Centre for Public Policy Studies which aimed to provide recommendations for the Ninth Malaysia Plan. It was submitted in February. It was never meant to be a public document.
Q: Are you convinced that the study is flawed?

A: Absolutely. Categorically, I am convinced. I was away when all this blew up. When I came back, some people wanted to see me regarding corporate equity distribution.
So, I spent two days reading it. I doubt it would stand scrutiny so we decided if we are wrong, we are wrong, we have to admit it.
Q: Why did it take so long for you to realise that the study was flawed? From March until now, that is quite some time.
A: I must admit I was given a copy, but I did not go through it in detail. It slipped past me. If I had, I would have queried it. Dr Lim Teck Ghee (Centre director) was convinced it was correct and it was submitted.
When it was brought to my attention, I did not want to rush to make a judgment.
I had to read it and determine if it had any merit. I have to look at the interests of Asli, for Asli has been around for a long time.
Q: Is it not strange that no one in Asli found the findings disputable, even before it became public knowledge?

A: Yes, I know. I don’t know how widely it was circulated within Asli.
Q: Were you pressured into questioning the findings of the study?
A: Nobody called me up and said ‘Look, you have to back down’. We just felt that we had to look after the interests of Asli.
I spoke to my colleagues and said we had to come up with something. So I worked on it. I read the report, did an assessment and made the decision.
Q: Where did the report go wrong?

A: I feel some of the statements in the report were not substantiated. There was no flow in the report. A good report would present data that is relevant, and it would have logic. From there, you can come up with conclusions. They followed except that it was not as logical as it should be. For example, if you say that government-linked companies are considered Bumiputera companies, there should be justification. This is a 20-page report. There is no reference as to why a GLC should be considered a Bumiputera company.
Q: Will Asli conduct this type of study again?
A: Our theme or motto is to try and create a better society. We should not shy away from doing research where the outcome would be useful even in areas which are sensitive.
Q: Has this episode damaged Asli’s reputation?
A: What can you do? Damage is damage. The only thing is to limit it and try to come back. To do that, you have to do a better job, basically.
When you are down, it does not mean you are out. You have to work hard to come back. That’s what we have to do.
We have to look at changes that need to be made to ensure we have a proper process.
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Najib Hopes No One Will Dispute Official Data On Equity Ownership; October 12, 2006 17:16 PM
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 12 (Bernama) -- Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Thursday he hoped that no one will dispute the government's official data on the equity ownership of bumiputera and non-bumiputera.
He said the government stood by the accuracy of the official data. "We hope this will be accepted and not disputed by anyone," he told reporters after the presentation of Aidilfitri goodies from contributors to the Malaysian Armed Forces at the Defence Ministry here.
"We have explained in public statements about the basis of the calculation made by the EPU (Economic Planning Unit) all this while and all quarters concerned had understood the methodology used by the EPU.
"We do not want something done that causes discord. Possibly, at the beginning, such discord could be seen as intellectual discourse but if it touches on sensitive issues, it could hurt the feelings of certain races and could be regarded as sedition even though that was not the intention."
He was commenting on a controversial study by the Centre for Public Policy Studies (CPPS) of think-tank Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (Asli) which concluded that bumiputera equity ownership could be as high as 45 per cent, more than double the government's official figure of 18.9 per cent.

Asli president Mirzan Mahathir has issued a public apology over the CPPS report and also retracted it, saying the study was based on flawed assumptions and calculations and its conclusion could not be "vigorously justified".
Following the retraction, CPPS director Dr Lim Teck Ghee announced he would resign end of this month to take responsibility for the report's fallout, but he said he stood by the findings and disagreed with Mirzan's statement.
Najib said the government hoped everyone would adopt a responsible attitude on this issue because of its "big implications". "It would have been better to just submit the (study's) findings to the government instead of making them public," he added.


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Transparency International; Bribe Payers Index (BPI) 2006 ; Analysis Report

Released on Wednesday 4 October 2006

The BPI 2006 ; Methodology
The BPI is a ranking of 30 of the leading exporting countries according to the propensity of firms with headquarters within their borders to bribe when operating abroad. It is based on the responses of 11,232 business executives from companies in 125 countries to two questions about the business practices of foreign firms operating in their country, as part of the World Economic Forum’s Executive Opinion Survey 2006.
To assess the international supply-side of bribery, executives are asked about the propensity of foreign firms that do the most business in their country to pay bribes or to make undocumented extra payments. The survey is anonymous.

The questions on which the BPI is based first ask respondents to identify the country of origin of foreign-owned companies doing the most business in their country. Respondents are then asked:
In your experience, to what extent do firms from the countries you have selected make undocumented extra payments or bribes?

Respondents are asked to answer on a scale of 1 (bribes are common) to 7 (bribes never occur). In calculating the BPI, the answers are converted to a score between 0 and 10, and the ranking reflects the average score.
The 30 economies ranked in the BPI are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzer land, Taiwan, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States.
These countries are among the leading international or regional exporting countries, whose combined global exports represented 82 percent of the world total in 2005.

The Bribe Payers Index (BPI) RANKINGS for 30 Exporting countries

Note: There is a CLOSE CORRELATION between this index (BPI)and the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) also issued (2006 values Not yet released) by Transparency international.
The full 12 page PDF (
BPI) analysis is available from here

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In global trade, wheels greased by greasing palms
A bribery index ranks India as the worst offender among leading exporters.
By Saurabh Joshi and Mark Sappenfield

NEW DELHI – Surely the report was meant to shock, to agitate, and even to anger Indians. Yet, in the face of news that an international watchdog group has just labeled his country home to the world's biggest bribers, Sonal Sinha struggles even to feign interest.
"It doesn't surprise me," says the Delhi lawyer as he walks to work. This is the country where the last foreign minister was sacked for being implicated in the Iraqi Oil-For-Food scandal. Police raids of government officials' homes routinely find mattresses full of rupees. One Madras (Chennai) businessman laments that he has to pay multiple bribes just to get his clothes to market.

From a British bureaucracy that excelled at self-enrichment and utter obfuscation, India has wrought a business culture that too often idolizes these qualities, say critics. As India collides with the comparatively higher standards of the Western world, it is beginning an effort to reform. But the resigned reactions of Mr. Sinha and others here to Wednesday's report indicate how far reformers still have to go.
Corruption needs to be tackled "at least for the sake of reputation," says S.K. Agarwal of the
India office of Transparency International (TI).
His group released its annual Bribe Payers Index this week. It found that Indian companies were more likely to give bribes while conducting business abroad than were companies from any of the world's other top 30 exporters, according to a survey of 11,000 businesspeople in 125 countries.

Switzerland was given the highest grade by the global anticorruption group, although it had among the lowest percentages of international trade for 2005, at just 1.2 percent. The US tied for the ninth most honest broker along with Belgium.
Keeping India company as countries where bribery is a nagging problem, according to the TI list, are China, Russia, and Turkey, who, respectively, placed above India.
In response to
India's worst-of status, one garment exporter snorts, "It's common knowledge that people have to pay up just to get an export order from abroad," he says, asking that his name not be used to avoid retribution from government officials.
And that is just the finish line. The exporter says he had to run a gamut of bribes before that: "First, the customs people want a cut for every consignment exported."
For the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), that sort of attitude is disappointing. The organization suggests that Indian companies are not the worst bribers, and it questions the findings, noting that they are based purely on the perceptions of businessmen in various countries.

"Most of the Indian companies conducting business abroad are also very respected," says Vivek Bharati of FICCI.
Yet Mr. Sinha, the Delhi lawyer, has a different take: "Even if reputation suffers, one needs to get the contract - after which it hardly matters how you get it."
Besides, he adds, bribery doesn't get far if there are no takers. If an Indian company acts unethically while trying to get an oil contract in
Nigeria, for example, then let Nigeria deal with it. "A new law in India for this specific purpose would prejudice Indian business dealings," he says.
There is growing sentiment in
India, however, that India must take some action, even if it would be forcing its companies to play by rules that companies from other countries can ignore. A law would not only clarify a murky area of ethics but also help India in its expanding relations with the West.
India is a signatory to the UN convention on corruption, it has yet to ratify it," says Dr. Agarwal of Transparency International, adding that India should make a law similar to America's Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

Reformers are combating entrenched practices and a long history. In a different Transparency International survey,
India ranked No. 88 of 158 countries in terms of its own citizens' perceptions of the pervasiveness of corruption in the country. Moreover, proving corruption in a court of law has proven near impossible.
Prosecutors find it difficult to compile evidence supporting a corruption charge, says Reshmi Mitra, an activist at the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative. The system of government that
India inherited from the British was inherently bureaucratic, and it jealously guarded any information about government dealings. The result is that most information is considered a privilege that the government will bestow upon those it favors, says Ms. Mitra.
"This is a mentality that has been there for a long time," she adds.
Heralding some progress for Indian transparency, activists have succeeded in getting a new Right to Information law on the books. But officials and the public are still unsure about how to handle it.
"This is an excellent start," she says. "You cannot expect what has been there for 50 years to change in a minute....
India is still at a nascent stage when it comes to tackling corruption."

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