Friday, July 30, 2010

1. The Government has announced the intention to make Malaysia a high income country. I assume this means people will receive high wages, salaries and profits.

2. But if wages and salaries are to be increased by the private sector, the cost of doing business would have to increase as well. To cover this increase, prices of products must be increased. This will mean that the consumers will have to pay higher prices for whatever they purchase. There would be, by definition, inflation.

3. The increase in prices of goods and services should cover the higher wages and salaries and the profit margins from the business. But this will not be all. The cost of transport, fuel and raw materials would all increase as these businesses will also experience increased overhead costs as they too will have to increase wages etc. So the increase in product prices must also cover these costs.

4. Generally the cost of living would increase as prices increase. The rise in income may not increase the purchasing power of the wage earners. Higher incomes would not mean anything then. We know of many countries where people get higher incomes in terms of currency units but are extremely poor.

5. If there is to be an increase in income, it must be carefully managed so that it would result in increases of purchasing power and not just more money.

6. This can happen because the added cost of doing business may trigger unreasonable increases of prices for raw materials, goods (products) or services. For example a 10% increase in wages and salaries should not result in an increase of 10% in the prices of goods and services. This is because wages and salaries do not constitute the total cost of production.

7. Their contribution to cost of production varies. This has to be determined by careful scrutiny of all the cost of production including material cost, power cost, transportation, advertisement and promotion costs etc. If it is found that wages and salaries at all levels make up 20% of the cost of production, then a 10% increase in wages should contribute only 2% to the cost.

8. Similarly the increases in the other costs i.e. power, material, transport etc may increase by a much smaller percentage according to their percentage contribution to the cost. Assuming that together they contribute 50% of the cost, but the increase in their prices is 5%, i.e. 5% of 50% = 2½ %, the total increase in cost inclusive of wages and salaries should be 4½ %, or say 5%.

9. Thus the increase in wages by 10% will not increase overall cost by 10% but will only increase by 5%, after including increases of other costs.

10. The margin of profit varies. For wholesale and fast moving items the margin can be as low as 2%, while for some slow-moving luxury goods the margin may be as high as 300%. Assuming that the cost of production increases by 5% for a 10% increase in wages and salaries, there can be justification for only a 5% – 6% increase in price of products and service for those with low profit margins. For high profit margins there should be no increase in price at all.

11. The wage earners with a 10% increase in income should therefore have a 5% increase in purchasing power only; not 10%. In other words their increase in income would make them only slightly richer. Still with increase in purchasing power they would be able to contribute more to businesses. Eventually the Government would earn more by way of taxes to pay for the increases in wages and salaries in the Government service. Generally economic activity would be enhanced and there would be growth as the salary bill in Malaysia runs into hundreds of billions every year.

12. The above are some of the ways for preventing unfair cost increases when wages and salaries are raised. But there are also many other ways of reducing costs so that the cost of goods and services to the consumer is not increased much as a result of increasing incomes.

13. In manufacturing, a careful study of cost can result in ideas on cost cutting. The Japanese “Just In Time” manufacturing process is a good example. In this system the parts and components are produced just in time for them to go into the assembly of the final products. This eliminates the cost of storage and holding costs.

14. Automation and robotics are costly but they can work 24 hours a day and would reduce the cost of the three shifts of work by workers in one day. In ship-building, whole sections of the ship can be produced separately and then assembled. A lot of time can be saved this way. And time means money.

15. The classic case of reducing cost was invented by Henry Ford – namely mass production on assembly lines. Economies of scale can also contribute to lowering costs. We see the progress in retailing goods. The single specialised shops have given way to the supermarkets. Now the supermarkets are being replaced by the giant wholesale hypermarkets. These help increase volume and lower purchasing costs. Self-service also help to reduce costs in restaurants and supermarkets.

16. Various electronic devices can help in reducing costs. Because of additional capital needed for these devices, they contribute much when the volume is big.

17. Incomes can also be increased by better education and training. It is said that the Korean worker is three times more productive than the Malaysian worker. This is not just due to education and training but more because of work ethics. Obviously when a worker is more productive he should be paid higher wages.

18. Most manufacturing activities add higher value to basic material. Generally exporting raw material gives less return than exporting manufactured products. But other costs have to be taken into consideration.

19. The Malaysian strategy on industrialisation is also not conducive to reducing costs. Japan and Korea acquire foreign technologies and set up their own companies to produce their own products.

20. Malaysia adopted a different strategy. To create jobs for a large number of the unemployed, foreign investors were invited to set up labour intensive industries. Naturally wages were very low. Increased profits for the foreign owned industries did not necessarily result in increased income for Malaysian workers.

21. Over the years Malaysians had acquired the skills in manufacturing and the capital to invest. Today there are a lot of successful Malaysian companies. Should the Government help these Malaysian industries to grow they can become world class players. This means better income for the Malaysian entrepreneurs and better wages for the Malaysian workers.

22. We must not follow the route taken by the developed countries of the West to achieve high income. In the days when technology was exclusive to the European countries and North America increases in wages were largely due to the demands of the workers. To cover the increased cost of production prices were raised quite indiscriminately. This was sustainable when the Europeans were the only producer of manufactured goods.

23. But then the countries of East Asia, began to produce almost all the products of the West at lower cost. The workers of the West continued to demand for continuous increases in their wages. Very soon the high prices for their products caused them to lose the market.

24. Malaysia must never take this route in order to achieve high incomes. Instead it should study the other ways of increasing incomes which will not lead to inflation and loss of purchasing power.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

1. When I wrote about the free market, I was not thinking of wanting to make money from the United States. It is good if we can but without the US market Malaysian palm oil is doing extremely well.

2. I just wanted to show the hypocrisy of America. We do not go around the world preaching free market, so if we are not so free as alleged, we are not being hypocritical. I had always been sceptical of ideas coming from the rich. They are all self-serving.

3. They preach and fiercely demand that all Governments stop regulating their trade. Yet they are the ones most guilty of protecting their trade.

4. In fact the US has gone beyond that. Trade is to them a political instrument for the promotion of their agenda for the world. By applying sanctions in trade they will try to force countries to submit to their policies. If a country does not support their sanction they have means of squeezing companies or banks from that country.

5. Sanctions is denial of free trade in totality and in Iraq before the 2003 invasion it caused the deaths of 500,000 children. That is how far the abuse of free trade is indulged in by the US. But they talk all the time that trade must be free. If this is not hypocrisy, then what is hypocrisy?

6. Incidentally they talk much about democracy i.e. the freedom to choose one’s own Government. But they have no hesitation about warring and killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis in order to force them to accept democracy. Is this the free choice as advocated by democracy?

7. Is there democracy in the United Nations where one country can negate the will of 190 other member countries? Yet this same country talks so much about democracy and the good that democracy will bring. Practise first, then talk.

8. In my time I had often enough said that Malaysia was not and did not aspire to be a liberal democracy. And when we did things which did not seem to be in keeping with liberal democracy it is because we did not promise to be a liberal democracy.


9. Some have asked me to comment on our education policy. While we have concentrated on making education available to almost everyone, the quality of education is obviously in need of improving.

10. It is not having examination which is wrong. It is the kind of examination we conduct which is wrong. We need to study the kind of examination and improve it rather than simply abolishing examinations.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

1. A long time ago when I was Prime Minister I met President Bush the father, at Boston University where he was conferring degrees for graduates. I met him in a side room and I told him of the unfair anti-palm oil campaign by America, blaming it for heart diseases.

2. We later submitted palm oil samples for three American chemical laboratories to examine the cholesterol contents. Their findings proved that although palm oil had more cholesterol than rival soya bean oil, the main edible oil in America, cooking reduced palm oil cholesterol but increased the cholesterol in soya bean oil.

3. The campaign against palm oil stopped but Americans still refused to use palm oil for cooking to this day. It was a case of non-tariff barrier. But that is the way America deals with competitions.

4. When the Vietnamese exported catfish to America, American catfish producers got their Government to declare that Vietnamese catfish is not catfish. The catfish farmers in Vietnam lost their business.

5. Malaysia-made rubber gloves were banned in the United States because out of the hundreds of millions used, one person had allergic reaction.

6. Foreign aircraft manufacturers wishing to export to the United States have to use American components and do part of the finishing in America. It is the same with the automobile. The Japanese and the Koreans have to put up plants in the United States and employ American workers in order to remain in the United States market.

7. Despite all these conditions Toyota’s share of the world auto market grew. Then news came that Toyota was on the verge of becoming the No 1 automotive manufacturer in the world, displacing General Motors of the United States.

8. American’s pride was hurt. Soon something was found to fail in the hybrid Toyota “Prius”. Apparently one American user from tens of thousands was hurt because the brakes failed.

9. The news about the Prius failure hit the headlines in the American controlled world media. Toyota was forced to recall tens of thousands of the Prius model. The losses were enormous.

10. In order to put Toyota in its proper place the head of Toyota Corporation was summoned to Washington to face a congressional enquiry.

11. Toyota’s position as a possible biggest automobile manufacturer in the world has been eroded. But while American auto manufacturers have to be put under Chapter II, i.e. as bankrupts, Toyota is still showing profits. In time Toyota will become the biggest automobile company in the world, the faults with the Prius notwithstanding.

12. There really is no free market. If tariff and other barriers fail to stop imports, the application of sanctions against countries, whatever may be the reason is also another form of non-tariff barrier. Free trade simply does not exist.

13. Truly hypocrisy prevails in the markets and in international trade. The greatest hypocrites are the very people who conceive and promote the idea of tariff free world trade.

Monday, July 26, 2010

1. Sejak kecil lagi saya diajar tentang perbezaan antara sunat dan wajib dalam Islam.

2. Yang sunat saya diberitahu jika dibuat berpahala tetapi tidak dibuat tidak berdosa. Sebaliknya yang wajib perlu dibuat jika tidak akan berdosa.

3. Sudah tentu awal-awal lagi saya diberitahu sembahyang lima waktu itu wajib. Tetapi kelonggaran diberi jika tidak sihat, jika dalam perjalanan, dalam kecemasan.

4. Jika tidak dapat berdiri boleh duduk semasa sembahyang, dalam perjalanan boleh jamak. Demikian juga dengan ibadat puasa, mengeluar zakat dan mengerja haji.

5. Islam tidak membebankan penganutnya. Oleh itu banyaklah amalan yang sunat, yang jika dilakukan mendapat pahala tetapi tidak berdosa jika tidak dilakukan.

6. Ramai orang Islam yang tidak puas hati dengan kelonggaran-kelonggaran yang diberi oleh Allah Subhanahuwata’ala Mereka lebih suka jika yang wajib ditambah dan yang sunat diwajibkan.

7. Ada yang sampai memaksa yang sunat dilakukan dan jika tidak, tidak Islam atau kurang Islam. Tidak ada kelonggaran yang dibenarkan.

8. Walaupun ini mungkin tidak jadi masalah kepada yang sudah Islam, tetapi ada orang bukan Islam yang takut memeluk agama Islam kerana “wajib” disunatkan.

9. Tetapi ada yang begitu keras mewajibkan “sunat” sehingga sanggup tidak menerima yang tidak mahu disunat memeluk agama Islam. Ketakutan ini lebih terdapat dikalangan wanita bukan Islam. Dipercayai wanita yang Islam pun ramai yang tidak disunatkan kerana ini adalah perkara yang tidak diwajibkan. Tetapi pihak tertentu berkeras berkenaan “sunat” bagi wanita yang memeluk agama Islam.

10. Kenapakah kita begitu tidak puas hati dengan kelonggaran yang diberi oleh Allah s.w.t. sehingga menolak hukum yang telah ditentukan oleh-Nya. Sesungguhnya banyaklah hukum Allah yang dialihkan terutama berkenaan fardhu kifayah supaya yang wajib menjadi sunat dan yang sunat diwajibkan.

Friday, July 23, 2010


1. Americans seem incapable or more likely unable to accept the real reason why they are hated by Muslims.

2. After 9/11 Bush was reported to have said, “I don’t know why they (the Muslims) hate us”.

3. Later on answering his own question, Bush declared that “they hate our democracy. They hate our freedom”.

4. Since then more and more reasons have been suggested as to why Muslim individuals are prepared to tie explosives to their bodies and blow themselves up in order to kill Americans.

5. Books have also been written about Islam and Muslims to explain their hatred of the Americans and the West. Much of the blame is placed on the teachings of Islam, in particular that which is concerned with jihad or holy war and martyrdom.

6. There have also been attempts to exonerate Islam and to attribute the violence against the West to the wrong interpretations of Islam by people with vested interest.

7. But the Americans almost invariably refuse to acknowledge that it was their seizure or their backing of the seizure of Palestinian land and their subsequent support of Israeli violence and oppression of the Palestinians which has caused the Muslims to hate the Americans. Each time the Palestinian tried to regain their land, the Americans would ensure that they fail by giving massive support for Israel. It is well-known that they provide financial support to sustain the state of Israel. Every time the Israelis set up settlements and build walls to break up Palestinian families, the US would back it. Israeli intransigence, Israel’s disregard and breaches of international laws, disregard for normal human behaviour America would staunchly back Israel. To the Americans, Israel can do no wrong.

8. All these happened before the attack against the New York World Trade Centre. After that came the “shock and awe” invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq with the loss of life of hundreds of thousands of these people and the total destruction of their cities and countries.

9. Since the invasions the Americans have remained in occupation of these two countries, where American soldiers continue to kill civilians with impunity. Many innocent people have been detained and tortured. Muslim countries which are friendly towards the United States are not spared.

10. The so-called “war on terror” is clearly a war against Muslims. It is enough for a person to have a Muslim or a Muslim sounding name for him to be ill-treated and sometimes detained without trial for years.

11. Only Muslim countries have been attacked or are threatened to be attacked. Non-Muslim countries building nuclear weapons may be threatened but no real action would be taken.

12. So why do they, the Muslims, hate Americans? Is it because they hate democracy and freedom? Only the most stupid can suggest this. They hate Americans and Europeans generally because they aided and abetted in the seizure of Palestine, in the unquestioning support for Israel’s oppression and brutalities, in Israel’s settlements on Palestinian land, and all the other crimes committed by Israel.

13. They hate the Americans because without American support for Israel they, the Palestinians, could have regained their land. As it is they are not even allowed to call their land Palestine. They are just the Palestinian Authority.

14. When they are unable to withstand the oppression and the killing of their people and they hit back their action is not reported as retaliation against Israel’s action. Instead when the Israelis hit with overwhelming force, killing hundreds and thousands as happened in Gaza, they were described as Israeli retaliation against the primitive Hamas rockets which did very little damage.

15. Americans should not kid themselves that they are hated for their democracy and freedom. They are not. They are not hated even for religious differences. They are hated because they join the Israelis in all their brutalities, in their illegal occupation of Palestinian land, in the protection they afford Israel intransigence against the rest of the world. And now of course in their terror attacks against the innocent peoples of Afghanistan, Iraq and other Muslim countries.

16. It is important that the Americans know and admit the true reasons for the hatred against them. It is important because until they do they will not be able to come up with any solution to the present costly war. This war can go on forever because future generations of Palestinians, of Muslims, will never forget the injustice inflicted on them by Americans.

Monday, July 19, 2010

1. When we appointed an International Advisory Panel of prominent IT personalities from around the world, we gave a guarantee that Malaysia would not censor the Internet.

2. We thought at that time that even if we wanted to, we couldn’t. The technology was not available for us to do this. And so Malaysiakini and other sites flourished.

3. Now that I have retired I feel glad that we made the decision not to censor. I have benefited much from the blogs as have very many bloggers. There may be a few who have abused this blogging privilege but by and large it has served the public well. The mainstream media in Malaysia need no censoring as they censor themselves. So the blogs can report what really happens. It can be the alternative source of news. And there is a need for this other source for the mainstream media will always be guarding their behind.

4. I had always assumed that the Western press is free. Certainly they have never been in any way constrained when writing about the third world including Malaysia.

5. Now, I know better. Robert Fisk, one of the great Western journalists has revealed that when writing about their own countries and about the West in general they adhere to official sources and use clich├ęs which masked the truth. They too indulge in self-censoring. I recommend that everyone interested in the so-called freedom of the press should read his book – The Age of The Warrior.

6. Press freedom is supposed to be an essential part of the practice of Western Democracy. The assumption is that with press freedom truth will prevail. But the freedom is also about telling lies, about promoting evil agendas, demonizing individuals, twisting facts, hounding people to death and all other kinds of evil.

7. The Internet has now given not just journalists but given just about anyone the same capacities to tell the truth, to lie and twist facts and do all the good and evil things. There is no censoring the Internet.

8. But I am concerned about the dissemination of pornographic material. I am concerned because there can be no doubt that sex related crimes are more common today due to the easily excitable young having access to filthy pornographic material. Sexual immorality among youths is more common today than ever before.

9. Something has to be done to the Internet’s promotion of immorality. The world community should agree that the promotion of pornography via the Internet should be stopped. Failing this Malaysia should censor all pornographic material on the Internet, guarantees notwithstanding.

10. It is possible to do this now and it should be done. It will not be 100% successful but it will prevent easy access at least. Moral decay should not be allowed to be promoted. Certainly moral decay should not be speeded up via the Internet.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

UPDATE Thursday July 15, 2010 ** It has been brought to my attention by Khazanah Nasional Managing Director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar that Khazanah Nasional does not own any shares in Sime Darby Berhad and that reports of its intention to buy into Aman Resorts remains speculative **

1. Fresh from losing three billion ringgit via its majority owned firm Sime Darby, I hear that Khazanah is buying or going to buy “Aman Resorts”.

2. These are six star resorts in Bali, Phuket and other exotic places. I don’t know how profitable they are but I do know that hotels and resorts are not easy to manage, even less easy to make profits. It is the management companies which make the profits because profitable or not they get their cut of the takings.

3. I am sure Khazanah is well aware of this. Perhaps it is also aware that its investments in fishing had failed. The boats, the nets and other fishing paraphernalia are now dumped in the Langkawi Boustead boatyard. I am told they are for sale.

4. It was a great fishing venture. Special nets were supposed to be used to catch young tuna fish in the Indian Ocean. The fish would not be landed but would instead be dragged while still in the net to Langkawi. There they would be fed and grown until big enough to harvest.

5. It was as innovative a way to catch fish as any and a multimillion Ringgit industry was forecast. I don’t know how much Khazanah invested in this failed venture.

6. Well, as I said, the whole investment had ended with the hardware and boats dumped in Langkawi. It did not involve billions, but it must involve maybe a hundred million plus. It is peanuts by comparison to the kind of money handled by Khazanah. We should regard it as a failed experiment. Research cost money. There is no guarantee of results. But it would be interesting to know how Khazanah came upon this idea, what were the fees, who bought the boats and fishing tackle and at what price.

7. Experience is a good teacher. Has this experience taught anyone anything.

Friday, July 9, 2010

1. British papers headlined “Blair’s battle with law chief over Iraq“. Tony Blair was told the Iraq war was illegal by Attorney-General (Lord Goldsmith) the day before he (Blair) gave George Bush the go-ahead for invasion.

2. Blair’s fury at the repeated warnings from Lord Goldsmith was laid bare as secret memos were published by the Chilcot Inquiry on the British involvement in the Iraq war after the memos were declassified by the Government.

3. On the memo by Lord Goldsmith, the Attorney-General, Blair scribbled, “I just don’t understand this”. The memo was published in British newspapers.

4. When Bush said on January 31st 2003, that bombing (of Iraq) would begin in mid-March, David Manning, the PM’s chief foreign policy adviser recorded Blair’s reaction; “The Prime Minister said he was solidly behind the President”.

5. It is not surprising therefore that the US has “honoured” Blair with a medal and GBP 67,000.

6. The award according to David Eisner of the National Constitution Centre of America is because “Tony Blair has significantly furthered the expansion of freedom, self governance, equality and peaceful co-existence”. It is the height of hypocrisy.

7. Malaysian Achievers should be happy that they are not alone in their admiration of Tony Blair. But anti-war campaigners reacted furiously and Andrew Burgin of the Stop the War Coalition said, “This is unbelievable. It is a reward for supporting Bush in the war against Iraq”.

8. “It is the deaths of a million people in Iraq that Blair should be remembered for”.

9. True to his ilk, Blair supported Israel’s attack and killings of aid workers of the humanitarian flotilla to Gaza. Blair considers Israel’s attack and piracy in international waters as constituting a right to defend itself.

10. When Blair the war criminal came here to speak for RM1 million (GBP200,000) he was treated as a Government guest and given VIP treatment.

11. Personally I don’t care for any special treatment for me when I travel abroad. But at Heathrow, London, I was treated as a terrorist. I had to take off my shoes, belt and coat and was body searched for weapons by British security before I was allowed to go through.

12. I was reminded of the Hindi film, starring Shah Rukh Khan entitled, “My name is Khan”, in which Khan tried to meet the President of the United States to tell him, “Mr President, my name is Khan. I am not a terrorist”.

13. I felt like shouting should I meet Mr Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, “Mr Prime Minister, my name is Mahathir. I am the former Prime Minister of Malaysia. I am not a terrorist”.

14. But of course I will not do it. I will continue to be treated as a terrorist in the United Kingdom while Mr Moneybags war criminal Tony Blair will be given full VVIP treatment by the Malaysian Government when he visits Malaysia, a former British colony.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

1. Akhirnya sampai juga saya ke Tatarstan, negeri orang Tartar yang pada satu masa dahulu hampir tawan Moscow. Sekarang Tatarstan adalah sebuah negeri autonomi dalam Persekutuan Rusia. Seperti juga dengan negeri-negeri Melayu yang dilindungi oleh British dahulu, Rusia menguasai perkara-perkara hubungan luar dah pertahanan. Bezanya Tatarstan telah ditawan oleh Rusia semasa Czar Ivan the Terrible dalam abad ke-16.

2. Orang Tartar telah terima Islam pada abad ke-9 Masehi, iaitu 200 tahun selepas Nabi wafat.

3. Ivan the Terrible, Czar Rusia telah musnahkan semua masjid dan cuba mengembang agama Kristian Orthodox. Tetapi Catherine the Great telah benarkan Islam dianuti oleh rakyat Rusia yang Islam. Kemudian di zaman Komunis agama tidak dibenarkan sama sekali dan selama 70 tahun orang Tatarstan dilahirkan tanpa agama, dan tidak Islam.

4. Kemudian pada tahun 1990-an orang Russia dibenar beragama semula. Kata bekas Presiden Tatarstan semasa saya makan tengahari bersama beliau, Tatarstan yang hanya tinggal tiga bangunan masjid, tiba-tiba memperlihatkan 1,200 masjid dibangunkan. Seperkara yang menarik ialah masjid-masjid baru ini didirikan dengan duit rakyat, tanpa bantuan pemerintah.

5. Ibukota Tatarstan ialah Kazan, sebuah bandar dengan penduduk seramai lebih satu juta. Bandar ini cantik dengan bangunan-bangunan lama yang berbentuk arkitek Eropah kurun ke-19 hingga ke-20. Ia terletak di tebing Sungai Volgayang ditempat-tempat tertentu lebarnya 42-kilometer.

6. Saya melawat limbungan kapal yang hampir siap membina dua buah frigatuntuk Vietnam. Limbungan juga boleh keluarkan bot feri dengan kelajuan 70km sejam.

7. Helikopter seperti yang dibeli oleh Malaysia juga dikeluarkan oleh “Kazan Helicopters“. Berpuluh-puluh sedang dikeluarkan kerana jualan masih laris walaupun ekonomi dunia merosot. Bahagian dalam helikopter VVIP amatlah cantik, dihias dengan panel kayu dan siap dengan bilik air.

8. Walaupun Kazan Helicopters gagal memenangi tender Malaysia baru-baru ini, saya berpendapat jenis MI-17 yang telah di naik taraf amat sesuai untuk Bomba dan pengangkutan. Ia boleh memuat 36 askar berpakaian lengkap dan bersenjata. Dalam beberapa pertandingan antarabangsa MI-17 telah menang aabila semua askar dapat keluar dalam 14 saat.

9. Saya percaya kita boleh kuasai teknologi helikopter melalui Kazan Helicopters. Ini lebih bermakna daripada hanya menjadi pengguna.

10. Tatarstan boleh memberi banyak peluang bagi peniaga, pengusaha serta para akademik Malaysia. Sesuatu yang menarik ialah Lee Kwan Yew telah tiga kali ke Tatarstan sedangkan pemimpin Kerajaan Malaysia termasuk saya sendiri tidak pernah ke Tatarstan.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

1. The Government has been urging Malaysians to do research and development and to be innovative. The response may not be overwhelming but quite a number have tried. They usually find no one to finance them in the development of their original and innovative ideas. And many gave up.

2. Others scrape some money to pay for their research and many lost the few Ringgits that they have not because their ideas are bad but because they do not have enough money to complete their research and development.

3. But a few succeeded and came up with functional products. But will they really work? They need to test out on a reasonable scale. For this they need more money. But no one would put up money on something that is uncertain.

4. People with money have been successful doing something else. Though they could afford to allocate the money for the final tests, they are comfortable making money with what they are doing.

5. Others just could not understand the technology. If it is an improvement on their products they would not like to see a competing product.

6. For a thousand reasons nobody wants to put money into inventions and innovations.

7. Finally when the product is proven nobody in Malaysia would buy something invented by Malaysians in Malaysia.

8. Frustrated they come to see me, to demonstrate their products. While some are of doubtful value, many are really good products and should be worth investing in or buying. They can be quite unique Malaysian inventions, can help make Malaysia known for its innovativeness and inventive capacity.

9. If investors would help finance their development and production Malaysian inventors and Malaysia would gain a name for inventiveness and innovative skill.

10. Some of these people have gone abroad with their product samples. But invariably they would be asked if Malaysia is using them. When they shake their heads, that was the end of the presentation. But some Malaysians actually succeed in foreign countries even when they can sell none in Malaysia.

11. Some suggest that the Government should in whatever way possible extend help. Maybe this can be an answer. Maybe Government can finance the final phase of the research and test of concepts. Maybe the Government might buy for its own use.

12. But it is very doubtful that the officers manning the Government agencies would want to buy anything untried produced by Malaysians. Even if the product proves to be workable and even cheaper than what the Government is presently using, there would be a great reluctance to terminate the present suppliers, even after the contract is finished.

13. The products I have identified which have real potential include a security system for video discs, additives for fuel products, conversion of waste to oil, conversion of padi husks to charcoal, uses of oil palm waste, electronic information systems etc. If we want to see Malaysian original products reach the market, Government officers must not look for returns on investments but must accept that in research, development and innovations, the risks are very high. But even if one in ten make the grade, in the long run it will pay. Government must be prepared to lose money if it expects Malaysians to go seriously into research and development.

14. The Government, the civil servants, the business community need to change their mindsets if Malaysia is serious about research and development.

Friday, July 2, 2010

1. I first met Tun Omar Ong Yoke Lin when I was the President of the Kedah Anti-Tuberculosis Association. He was distributing Government funds for various charitable organisations. He was at that time a Minister in Tunku’s Government. It was 1962. The little ceremony was held at his official residence.

2. Ong Yoke Lin was one of the leaders of the Kuala Lumpur branch of the MCA. Together with Tun H.S. Lee, he met Dato Yahya Abdul Razak the leader of UMNO Kuala Lumpur and they agreed that their parties would co-operate in the 1952 Kuala Lumpur Municipal Elections. They would not compete against each other but would support each other against the Independence of Malaya Party of Dato Onn, the Labour Party and a few Indian independents.

3. The UMNO/MCA co-operation in the Municipal Elections was a resounding success. It was this which led the Tunku to set up the Alliance Party, consisting of UMNO and MCA for the whole country. Later it was joined by the MIC for the 1955 elections.

4. Tun Omar went on to serve in the Tunku’s Cabinet and later became Ambassador to Washington. There I met him again when I was Malaysia’s delegate to the UN General Assembly in 1965.

5. Tun Omar is a humble person and mix easily with the young leaders of the Alliance. He embraced Islam and then married Toh Puan Aishah Ong, by whom he had two boys and a girl.

6. He retired gracefully from politics and went back into business where he did very well. Often I would meet him and his two sons at the National Mosque for Friday prayers.

7. Tun Omar was a fine man. He was always proper and polite. He never had a bad word for anyone. He and Toh Puan Aishah truly made a fine couple.

8. The country has lost a good leader and a true Malaysian. He was one of those architects of our country, one who made possible the close co-operation between MCA and UMNO, between Chinese and Malays. He contributed much to the principles under which the Alliance was formed.

9. I will always miss his greetings at the mosque on Friday. I and Hasmah will miss him.

10. My condolences to Toh Puan Aishah and to all Tun Omar’s children and grandchildren.

11. May he rest in peace. May Allah bless him. Innalillahi’wainnaillahirraji’un.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

1. Saya gembira kerana majority orang Melayu sepakat untuk menolak judi bagi orang yang bukan Islam. Samada mereka dari parti lawan atau parti Kerajaan, mereka bersetuju judi itu haram bagi bukan Islam juga.

2. Mereka juga sepakat mengutuk keganasan dan ketidak berperikemanusiaan Israel terhadap Gaza dan Palestine.

3. Malangnya, berkenaan dengan kepentingan masa depan Melayu mereka tidak sepakat.

4. Bagi mereka pada zaman akan datang majoriti Melayu tak mungkin dikurangkan. Kita sekarang 60%. Kita akan terus 60 peratus selama-lamanya. Mungkin peratusan akan naik.

5. Tetapi masa depan macam-macam boleh jadi. Hanya yang diperlukan ialah membuka pintu imigresen untuk peratusan berubah. Di zaman British iaitu sebelum 1930 peratusan Melayu kurang daripada kaum lain. Tidak ada jaminan yang Kerajaan Malaysia yang akan datang mengekalkan dasar imigresen selama-lamanya. Melihat gelagat pemimpin Melayu yang begitu sekali gila untuk jadi Perdana Menteri sehingga sanggup buat dan janji apa sahaja, melihat betapa mudahnya pemimpin jenis perasuah mendapat kemenangan, melihat akan betapa murahnya membeli undi, apakah tidak mungkin pintu imigresen dibuka oleh pemimpin yang mendapat tempat kerana rasuah.

6. Jika Melayu sudah berdaya saing apabila banjir ini berlaku tidak mengapa. Tetapi saya khuatir majoriti mereka yang belum berdayasaing akan jadi buruh kasar dan pemandu kereta.

7. Tak apa lah. Buruk sangatkah menjadi buruh kasar dan pemandu kereta?

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