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MGG: Does only Bumi contractors not complete projects on time?
By M.G.G. Pillai
5/1/2002 3:13 pm Sat
The Prime Minister, Dato' Seri Mahathir Mohamed, is sure
Malaysia's bumiputra contractors are mollycoddled and do not
complete the projects they get. Like Malaysia's Islamic state,
it is not official policy to correct it, and like Malaysia's
former deputy prime minister's fate, it is to humiliate them.
Yes, when rules are bent backwards to hand projects to bumiputras
-- to all and intents and purposes, Malays; the others do not
count -- it is not the government's intention to make them
complete, but to sub-let them to their favourite Chinese
contractors, who does it to theirs, and down the line.
It is a sophisticated officially-recognised version of the
old and much-despised Ali Baba system, where Ali, the Malay, has
the licence, and Baba, the Chinese, who does the work. The New
Economic Policy gave the Malay a sense of belonging and being but
it also set in place a system of disincentives to hobble the
Malay from competition. No one questioned it at the time for
that would have been treason under Malaysian laws.
So, one must question this sudden attack on bumiputras for
failing. For this system was for the narrow, unsustainable
political aim to retain Malay support. That came a cropper in
1987 when UMNO was declared illegal. A new UMNO rose from its
ashes, but as many opposed it under a man who remains the
unspoken challenger of Dr Mahathir. It hardened in 1998 when
Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim was sacked and jailed as a deliberate
warning against any who dares challenge him now or in the future.
It backfired. And the Malay young is hostile as ever to UMNO.
So, these attacks on Malays expecting handouts is UMNO preparing
itself to explain why the Malays are put on notice.
The arrogant Malay business man and technocrat, invariable
inclined to UMNO, is UMNO's creation. He is unsufferable,
arrogant, and presumes the world owes him a living. The
companies he run likewise. Tan Sri Halim Sa'ad of the
debt-ridden Renong and UEM groups, and Tan Sri Tajuddin Ramli of
the TRI group would have been forgotten Malay accountants today
if UMNO had not made them the failed business men they are. The
Prime Minister did not find out recently. His sons are in this
elite failed crowd as the bumiputra entrepreneurs outside his
office patiently to beg for contracts to keep themselves afloat.
This is the political fallout from a necessary policy that
lost its way for which Dr Mahathir is as responsible as any. He
attacks it now for a different purpose. He wants to bring in
Chinese business men, who he believes would deliver with more
panache and efficiency. Yet, what was to be the largest
engineering project, the RM13 billion Bakun hydroelectric dam,
was given to a property company, Ekran Bhd, controlled by a
Chinese crony, Tan Sri Ting Pek Khiing; they made a mess of it.
He and Ekran are let off the hook, given RM800 million for
failing, now gets a major engineering project for the Sepanga Bay
for several hundred million ringgit. Why?
Tan Sri Vincent Tan, another crony, failed in his bid to
privatise sewage, failed to build the Linear City, and the
monorail, which should have been ready for the 1998 Commonwealth
Games but still is not. His share in each was between RM1.5 and
RM2 billion. Now he is to get another privatisation handout
worth RM2 billion or thereabouts. Another is the YTL group,
laughing all the way to the bank with its independent power
projects, excused for not completing projects given in exchange
for valuable land in Bukit Bintang, and poised for even more
contracts. And it failed disastrously to deliver the electric
rail link from the KL Sentral to the Kuala Lumpur International
Airport in time for its opening; as KL Sentral was not.
The government highlights shortcomings and shortfalls in
Education to attack bumiputra contractors. One is the smart
schools project. The wife of an UMNO vice president and cabinet
minister had the contract. As expected it failed. No action was
taken against the man or his wife. Why? Now it is the bumiputra
building contractor. And told schools in future should be
prefabricated. There is no link between the failure and the new
method. But we are assured there is. Logic is not a strong
point of government policy. Besides, this is the Bolehland's
clue that some Chinese business man is to benefit. And confirmed
when Dr Mahathir turns up at the YTL Group's New Year Party at
the Ritz Carlton (owner: YTL).
Yes, YTL controls the only company which can provide the
prefabricated material to build the schools. Was an evaluation
done? No. But it is important, in the government's view, that
bumiputra contractors must be humiliated. The Berita Harian, in
a commentary about the issue attacked the bumiputra contractors
for betraying the government's trust. Besides, if you damn the
bumiputra contractors for the losses they incur, it is easier to
hand the project to a Chinese company.
So, the begging question: is this an involved way of
telling the Chinese community that the National Front's success
in the next general election is its hands. The Malays cannot be
trusted, what with they taking to the streets, joining PAS and
Muslim terrorist groups. It is necessary for UMNO to provide a
climate in which any Malay opposing it is a religious fanatic or
a terrorist who must be harshly treated. But if a foreign
terrorist, as Mr Nur Misuari invariably is in the current
Washington-defined meaning of the term, he is treated well as
Malaysia wriggles out of being harsh to a man it has always
backed. The latest police arrests under the Internal Security of
alleged terrorist supports -- linked to the French Moroccan
terrorist now on trial in the United States -- rests my case.
Malaysia arrests alleged allies of '20th hijacker' Moussaoui
By Andrew Buncombe
05 January 2002
Thirteen men with alleged links to Zacarias Moussaoui, the man
accused of being the "20th hijacker" in the attacks of 11 September,
have been arrested in Malaysia.
The suspects were arrested for unspecified activities, which the
police claimed were a "threat to national security".
Norian Mai, the inspector general of police, said his officers were
now investigating links between the men and Mr Moussaoui, who
visited Malaysia twice in 2000. "We are still investigating whether
there was a link between [Mr Moussaoui] and any of the
personalities we have arrested," he said.
Mr Moussaoui, a French citizen of Moroccan descent, appeared in
an American court this week, charged in relation to the events of 11
September. Prosecutors claimed he was due to have been part of a
hijacking team involved in the attacks on New York and Washington
but was prevented from doing so because he had already been
arrested after arousing suspicion.
The Malaysian police chief said the 13 suspects belonged to a wing
of a group that the authorities call Kumpulan Militan Malaysia
(KMM), believed to have links to Osama bin Laden's al-Qa'ida
organisation. "They were arrested because they are believed to be
carrying out activities which are a threat to national security,
including holding secret meetings for the setting up of the Daulah
Islamiah [Islamic government]," he said.
Police have previously said that the KMM is in contact with
like-minded groups in neighbouring Indonesia and the Philippines
that aim to create Islamic states. "There are plans to form the Daulah
Islamiah covering this country, Indonesia and southern Philippines,
the majority of whose people are Muslims, according to their own
perception," Mr Norian added.
He said that documents containing training schedules and studies of
international militant movements, such as those operating in the
southern Philippines, Chechnya, Afghanistan and Ambon in
Indonesia, had been found during the swoop.
Police were already holding 25 other members of the KMM, arrested since August. They are being held under Malaysia's Internal Security Act, which allows detention for up to two years without trial.