Friday, January 29, 2016

Penang shows the Way for a CLEAN govt.

Penang shows us M’sia can be next S’pore
By Eddie Hoo
This is not about race or religion. The ensuing debate over this article would probably still be venomous and filled with diatribes that have blinded and prevented us from achieving our true potential as a cohesive nation.

Let’s be objective. Singapore was our poor cousins when we split in 1965. From an economic backwater with zero natural resources, this tiny nation has grown to be the third richest in the world with gross domestic product (GDP) per capita of US$84,821 (RM369,086) in 2015.

Malaysia’s GDP per capita in 2015 is US$25,833 (RM112,462), putting our country at 45th in the list of richest countries in the world, above Thailand at No. 80 and Indonesia at No. 103.

For the full list, go to this 
Singapore’s solid economic framework and large current surplus are sustaining an economy that is battling high household debt. It is affected by a fragile global economy. These two factors along with high leverage and falling oil prices are giving Malaysia a dim economic outlook currently.

The island nation’s GDP grew at 6.8 per cent in the past 40 years. It averaged 4.84 per cent from 2007 until 2015, reaching an all time high of 36.40 per cent in the first quarter of 2010 and a record low of -13 per cent in the third quarter of 2010.

Why can Singapore punch above its weight? It may not be as squeaky clean as it portrays itself to be. However, what it doesn’t have are crippling financial scandals such as 1MDB, Perwaja Steel, Mamico, Bank Bumi and the forex debacle.

Malaysia’s GDP annual growth rate averaged 4.77 per cent from 2000 until 2015, reaching an all time high of 10.30 per cent in the first quarter of 2010 and a record low of -6.20 per cent in the first quarter of 2009.

Penang’s figures taken in isolation show a five-year growth of 5.96 per cent, which is higher than the national average for the same period. One of the recognitions the state won is being named the eighth most liveable city in Asia by ECA International for two consecutive years (2011 and 2012). It  was also listed in The Guardian as the world’s top 10 cities to visit.

When the state fell to the opposition in 2008, all eyes were on the state government, scrutinising its every move to see if it could do better than the previous Gerakan-led government. Seven years later, it was proven that we Malaysians really “boleh”. What was missing was just the political will to do the right things.

“It would surprise you to learn that this industry grew from basically nothing in 2008 to a RM1.2 billion industry seven years later,” Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has said about fish farming in the state.

“Much as I would love to claim credit, this amazing transformation was done without spending a single penny but merely dependant on reinventing government. The previous government benefitted its cronies with one or two chosen individuals being given thousands of hectares of sea, which they then sub-let to genuine operators under the classic rentier system. This is described by some as predatory capitalism. We stopped this crony capitalistic practice.”
The political structure of the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition is entrenched in money politics. Even Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has publicly moaned the errant ways of Umno, saying the term “money politics” once used to describe vote buying for party positions.

Now, the whole party is about money, projects and contracts, said the former Umno president. He added that under its current leadership, the party was filled with rent-seeking leaders loyal only to money.

“The ones who receive posts receive money,” Mahathir said in a video interview with blogger Din Turtle in April 2015.

We know what ails our system. Yet, we choose to believe in race rhetoric and have the wool pulled over our eyes with religious issues.
Penang shows the dirty, greedy politicians the RIGHT Way to Rule a State and Country. Time for Umno/BN govt to go, also  Malaysians should try to get BACK the BILLIONS looted by them. 

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