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Monday, July 26, 2010

FDI Plunge: It's a conspiracy!

Just as we were jumping in unison, de-corking our halal champagne while wearing our national football team jersey - as opposed to a Manchester United jersey - to celebrate a visit by Robert De Niro to our Wonderland, someone decided to spoil the party.

Before going into that, I would like to ask the guy who said that Manchester United jersey should not be worn because it's crest depicts the devil. My question is this. When have you seen the devil to know that the depiction on Man U jersey is that of the devil himself (for that matter, is the devil a "he"?).

For all we know, the rooster on Tottenham Hotspur's jersey is the real devil! That explains why Spur's fans still support the club. LOL!!

Anyway, I digress.

Oh, by the way, Robert De Niro was in town. Of course, for the BC generation like me - BC for "before computer" if you hadn't known - De Niro is da man. The Google generation however would very much prefer Robert Downey Jr.

Who else could have done that "you talkin' to me" stuff other than De Niro. Remember guys?

"You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? Then who the hell else are you talkin' to? You talkin' to me? Well I'm the only one here. Who the fuck do you think you're talking to?"

I digress again.

Anyway, here goes with the real story. Malaysians who follow the economic progress of this country were jolted with the published numbers relating to our foreign direct investments last week.

According to the World Investment Report 2010 unveiled on 23rd July, our  FDI plunged 81 percent from US$7.32 billion (RM23.47 billion*) in 2008 to just US$1.38 billion (RM4.43 billion) last year. (*Calculated based on exchange rate of US$1 = RM3.20650). (as reported by MalaysiaKini).

And to add salt to the already gaping wound, our capital outflow for the same period was RM25.77 billion! That means we have a negative capital flow.

As comparison, in 2008, we had RM23.47 billion inflow compared to RM48.06 billion outflow.

What is happening?

There are two aspects to this report. Firstly, foreign investors seem to shun Malaysia. There is something with this country which they do not like. Or which is making them decide NOT to invest here. Don't ask me what. I do not know.

Hmmm...wait. May be they don't like our system. May be we are too corrupt. But the again, they are investing in Indonesia. Even the Philippines drew more FDI than us. Surely these two countries are more corrupt than our country. So, corruption is not it then.

So what is it? How about policies? Or transparency? Or diversification of our economy and economic activities? Or shall we be a little bit nicer to them, no? And less Keris waving in public too, no? 

Well, it is for the Government to find out and for me to know. And they had better do it quickly.

The second aspect to the report is that Malaysians do not seem to want to invest in Malaysia either! Ouch!

I am sure from the 23 billion odd outflow, Petronas, Sime Darby and probably even Khazanah are among the major contributors. I could understand why Petronas has to dump money abroad. That is because there is no more oil wells in Malaysia, I suppose.

Felda apparently has invested quite a hefty sum in the US of A. Sime Darby also has sizeable investments abroad.

Perhaps these national companies should now reconsider their business strategy, no?

But hold on.

In a report by the Star on December 19, 2009, Deputy Minister Mukhriz was reported as saying "that the country is on course to hit the RM20bil target in foreign direct investments (FDI) this year".

The report further said:

"Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir said the national economic climate was positive as a total of RM12.6bil in FDI had been received between January and September.

“The FDI figure is encouraging as we must take into consideration that Malaysia is no longer the main country for foreign investors, given new competitors nearby like Vietnam.

“We are confident of reaching our FDI target for this year,” he said, adding that the ministry was awaiting the fourth quarter report.

Speaking to pressmen after launching a forum with Universiti Teknologi Malaysia students here Saturday, Mukhriz said the country was still an attractive destination for foreign investments especially in the electrical and electronic as well as chemical industries.

“The Government is focusing on attracting FDI from industries that are capital intensive and high in technology."

On 14th January 2010, the NST reported as follows:

"On 2009's FDI performance Mukhriz said the number was well over that of the RM20 billion official target set under the Third Industrial Masterplan but way below the RM62 8 billion achieved in 2008.

FDIs from January to October 2009 stood at RM13 9 billion Mukhriz expects 2010 to be better in terms of FDIs.

" I am optimistic and have a good feeling about this year. We'll see some improvements barring any events (epidemic, crisis or war.)"

So it appears that as far as the Government was concerned (as at January this year at least), Malaysia's FDI was "well over RM20 billion." How come the World Investment Report 2010 says our FDI was only 4.43 billion?

I tell you what.

The United Nations' World Investment Report 2010 is just another conspiracy to put Malaysia in a bad light! It must be all the Jews in the United Nations.

Hmm.....wait. We also have a Jewish spy among us.

Yes. Anwar Ibrahim seems to have been at it, yet again.

Malaysians, please unite against this travesty of misinformation. Don't trust them foreigners. They are evil. They are just...just like the devil.

Avoid them like you do a Manchester United jersey.


Kris said...

Brilliantly funny yet painfully obvious satire as usual my friend...

So we are being lied to by the conspirators, and it appears they are homegrown...

Tecky said...

er, sorry to be pedantic, but is UNCTAD's methodology the same as our gahmen's?

Maybe UNCTAD uses actual invested figures while the gahmen uses 'approved' figures, and we know there's a biiiiiig gap between them!

Nonetheless, you've raised some good points. We'll wait for the usual indignant denials ;)

Thanks for the heads up, Kris!

ygbenor said...

Yes indeed funny and sarcastic. The reality still remains, we have to address this cancerous blatant mis use of funds, no FDIs and some idiots that have seen devils. We have to do fast before GE13.

Anonymous said...

Will it happen ? If BN lost the next GE, all those foreign investments made then, now and in the next 1/2 year by the GLC, Petronas will be written off. Including our EPF have increase overseas investments. Did they ? So if you take over, you are taking over an empty national coffer or worse negative coffer. And you will take decades like Phillipine to get back our $. Am I paranoid ?

shinwee said...

I have said this before. This country is fast becoming a 4th world banana republic. What do you expect if this country is run by a bunch of racists who threatens and discriminates its own citizens!

More and more non-malay citizens who are rich and educated will head for the exit. Those who remain will start to be less inclined to invest and expand locally.

Globalisation is starting to hit us hard and these politicians are still asking for more and more wealth for themselves and their race instead of doing their part to help this country.

romsam said...

Dr Mahathir is the worst thing that has happened to this country. He continues to spew venom. Why? All he cares about is himself, his family, his relatives, his friends and his cronies.

It doesn't require a PhD to analyze the reasons why many malays are still poor for the new economy in spite of the NEP and all we hear - the true reason for the failure of the malays are MAHATHIR MAHATHIR MAHATHIR……….and nothing else.

Mahathir biggest achievements are not the white elephant KLIA, the robber highways, the meaningless Twin Towers, ghost town Putrajaya, failed MSC, sweat shop factories run with foreign labour, etc.

His true achievements are the destruction of good governance, law and order, quality education, religious brotherhood, peace and harmony.

tupingera said...

IT IS A CONSPIRACY....the mat sallehs are jealous because a Malaysian is bonking Paris Hilton.

MALAYSIA BOLEHHHH!!! (with a little help from tongkat ali)

cool man said...

I have suggested in the past that Chinese Malaysians should just gather their wealth and leave Malaysia and let malays them become backwards.

Singapore is desperately looking for skilled foreign workers due to dwindling birthrates. Many Indians are working over there. Seriously Chinese Malaysians should look into moving to Singapore.

I am sure China can make good use of the wealth of Chinese Malaysians. Is there any policy the China government have enacted to encourage overseas Chinese to come back and make China their home once again?

That will teach the Malaysians a lesson. Their economy will crumble and will put them back 50 years.

fargowin said...

The truth hurts.

The Chinese or the yellow race is what brings progress. Just look at Asia……….is enough.

Whether they do it internationally or locally they will survive.

We can distinctly see the lowering of Malaysia standards of living as the percentage of Chinese in this country goes down.

In the 70s we were tops with 40 over percent of Chinese and today with only 25 percent we are far behind Singapore, Hong Kong and Korea.

Main reason is the number of such Chinese migrating to these countries - the best ones and rich ones.

Next ten years as the percentage goes even lower, we would be nearing Indonesia or Philippines.

Meanwhile enjoy your stay and the good time.

On the whole as the Chinese spreads out throughout the world, the average standards of these will have much higher standards of living over others.

honyang said...

I am a Malaysian Chinese living in Hong Kong for the past 15 years. I am a professional and am completely integrated socially.

Looking at my HK born sons, I am glad they never have to contend with the petty racism of Malaysia. Life is too short for that. No need to worry about government jobs or lack of career progress or scholarships because of their race. They will fail or succeed on their own merits. That is a very liberating thought for a father. I have no great fortune to leave them, but I have given them a chance in a society they can call their own.

I have taught them to respect other peoples and races. And to stand up for their own rights. They should be proud of their Chinese root and not be chauvinistic.

As for Malaysia? Well, they don't know too much about it. It won't be an important country for them. Economically it is too tiny to figure much on the big picture. Several major cities in China already have living standards that exceed Malaysia. Guangdong province alone has a GDP several times that of Malaysia. And it is still growing fast.

I wish Malaysia well for the sake of my relatives still there, but I glad I am not there. Migrate if you can. The West is good and stable but China has opportunities too. Integration is so easy that within one generation - it is as if our ancestors have never gone away! Fast forward the all that years of civil war, cultural revolution and famine.

If you cannot emigrate, grumble freely and hope for better days.

nick said...

Dear Art,

It would seem that the flow (inward and outward) of our FDI is directly proportional to the amount or some people see it as the thinning rate of the hair of the Dep minister in questioned. I'd say, the more he scratches his head "thinking"??? on how to attract FDI, he loses more hair than he can grow which in turn reflect (not sure if the pun is accidental or intentional) the state of our FDI. Maybe he could wear a toupee like Mr Semi Value??? Or does he wants to be Zedane and head butt everyone who disputes his glowing (pun again?)FDI figures?


Kongkor said...

Thanks to those who voted for UMNO/BN. Satu lagi project dari kerajaan Barisan Nasional!

San said...

Little did I know the life changing experience I was to face when I took up the opportunity to be trained in Germany back in 1972 after my A level.

On completion, I spent three years working in Singapore saving enough for a one-way ticket to UK for further studies. Graduated in 1979 with a degree in mechanical engineering and employed by ITT (International Telegraph and Telephone) in London, I was sponsored to continue a part-time master degree in computer science.

By mid-1980s, I was awarded a grant in robotic research at Imperial College. And further studies concluded an MA in e-business.

Having worked and lived in UK for 25 years, it was time to look back on my root in Malaysia. Initial programme by Malaysia government to lure back expertise did not impress me.

By this time I was married with two kids studying in better schools in UK than I can imagine possible in Malaysia. Fortunately I had the hindsight not to uproot my family back to Malaysia.

I understood the affirmative action to uplift the malays during my time. It was understandable and accepted by my generation in return for the right as citizens in Malaysia. In my eyes Umno had breached the contract with the non-malays.

Being born in Malaysia before 1957 and in the spirit of independence, my returning to help build a better Malaysia has been a mistake. I will not go into details here.

A short note should suffice for now. My trying to contribute to society by way of investment and helping the local students in predominantly poorer malay district was repeatedly delayed and later rejected for no reason at all or flimsy and it took me three years.

Contrast this with my experience of setting up and running a company in UK and Singapore in less than a month.

For those who are thinking of coming back to Malaysia I would advise them to think again. The only thing that attract me back to Malaysia in the first place was my connection to my parents who were in Malaysia and too frail to travel. Once they are gone, I have no more reasons to return.

For those who think I have sold my heritage by taking up British citizenship should know that there are no official policies to discriminate minorities in UK.

In fact minorities are often supported, as in the case of my kids Chinese language class, are provided free by the local government. We are judged by my abilities not on color of our skin or our beliefs.

Meanwhile my entire family has taken up British citizenship. I may have lost my right as Malaysian citizen but not the right to visit or stay in Malaysia (silver hair and second home program). My kids will never miss Malaysia (you can’t miss what you did not have) and will look forward for a brighter future.

For those who are staying back to fight for their birthright as equal citizens in Malaysia, you have my support and admiration. I apologise for not being able to be with you for now and I hope you understand my decision. But I will in my own way contribute from afar to help in other ways.

To the Malaysia government, I quote, “You cannot build courage and character by taking away a man’s initiative and independence.” – Lincoln

Tpg2Sg said...

This is the story fr my Japanese MNC customer in Johor. This Japanese facotry is producing mobilephone for US market. Few years back, their mobilephone cargo worth few million RM was hijacked while on the way to port for export. It was never found again.

Few months after the incident, Msia’s Trade Minister aka AP queen visited Johor, the Japaneses MD brought up this incident but the minister reply was; my customer should consider hire armed security gaurd with gun to escort the cargo.

What a joke!

telur dua said...

What does the bald Deputy Minstrel know? He will just read from a piece of paper prepared by some inept civil servant.

Now, who would want to invest in such a country?

fairplay said...

Hilarious and De Niro is perhaps around to give some 'Godfather' tips on cementing.....but most do not grasp the crucial point of your article; that from press reports of Star and NST,the FDI attained from 1st.nine months of 2009 was already well over 10 billion and this is supposedly from the guy that's in the know.....so what is this

Is the FDI figure of over 10 billion fabricated or perhaps the Dep.Minister wanted to give Malaysians a feel good feeling for 2010 by exaggerating the figure and depend on "Malaysia Boleh" to somehow achieve the figure.The Dep. Minister should now be asked to explained why his figure differed so much less.

*P* said...

barisan nasional have done so much damage, sown so much distrust and spread so much hatred, the only way out of this mess is for everyone to loudly shout "talk to my butt" when asked to give them our vote. sarawak, it's time to show us the way.

Anonymous said...

you are fun,funny and real. but i aint laughing. i hate the govt of this country

Anonymous said...

You have a way of saying true things with an equal weight of humor. But at the end of the day, reality seeps in - an its not humorous at all.
For me, the PTD group is running the country ... and they everything except anything that is good, knowledgeable, humble etc etc. Snobbish stupid sorrow + all asses lot.

Rabbit said...

ART have you been watching Alice in Wonderland a bit too much? You sound like the mad hatter, in a good way of course!

KK said...

Mahathir is the number one culprit for the current sad state of affairs in Malaysia !
During his premiership, he systematically dismantled the check and balance built into the system by our forefathers.
Judiciary had been the biggest casualty since the removal of Tun Salleh Abbas.
He too enriched his cronies and family members through his "piratisation" projects and plundering the state coffer.

Mahathir is indeed a curse upon Malaysia.

Captain Obvious said...

I agree with Nick, err no I mean, Art.

Surely it is a plot, to destabilise our great motherland. Firstly, they will cripple our grand schemed economy which they did and this will land us in an urgent need for stimulation course of action. In view of that, the IMF (some say it is mafia), will presents themselves as our saviour BUT be very careful as the saying goes by, beware of Greeks bearing gifts..... Say, what would it say for Greeks borrowing vast amount?????


Anonymous said...

Dude. On behalf of Harris Ibrahim, Prof. Azmi Shahrom, Shebby and the lot, Tottenham's crest is a rooster. Another word for a rooster is a cock. A cock is a game bird. We're no devil. We're men who walk with a strut. A cock strut, 2 b exact. So, there.

poh said...

Dear Art,

Tun M. has done a disservice to his own people, the malays. I now understand why he wants the continuation of NEP: to help his own son. The damage to other malays is collateral but very telling.

I enjoy reading your article because of the way you put things. I wonder whether the guys post BC would understand what you write.

Anonymous said...


Aiyah, Muckhriz was either misquoted by the Star or he suffered from the selective amnesia just like his father. Whatever it is, he is too thick skinned (like father like son) to admit he know nuts about economics nor trade.

Anyways if you have a bundle of cash, why would you want to invest in Malaysia when the rent seeking and crutches dependent parasites like Ibrahim Ali and gang are forever up in arms or kerises wanting 67% of your hard earned blood, sweat and tears efforts without doing anything except to further threaten you with extinction. I know for a fact that may local business people are moving their factories and funds out of Malaysia.

Perhaps our government can encourage the middle eastern countries to invest in Malaysia to produce JAKIM/JAIS approved islamic style football jerseys. Now that's FDI for the country.

Anonymous said...


Tpg2Sg said...

Kaisuland(SG) must kowtow to Bolehland(M'sia) again because if Kaisuland FDI drop, it GDP sure 'gostan' to negative.

Bolehlnad's FDI drop 81% still can achieve 6% GDP growth. Bolehland have Petronas with deep pocket so nothing to worry lah!

teo siew chin said...

Robert De Niro is a FDI, no? ^_^

Desperado said...

FDI information that the government people have given is also quite dodgy.

Anonymous said...

The government of the day is openly and blatantly bleeding the country dry with decency to hide their greed and disregard for law and humanity. Heck! I wouldn't invest a single sen with this kind of government in place.

Anonymous said...

Haha. Humorous article. May I add to the jest...The Honorable Deputy Minister must be scratching his head. " How come like this la?". "After all only last week when I was sitting down with my boss and my Dad, we were talking about at least 10b amongst my party colleagues own pockets being transferred from Switzerland, Labuan and Singapore into the country for various investments for business and politics. Uncle D himself brought back a few bil this year....Aiya, I dont understand where UNCTAD get all their figures from...The Rakyat damn ungrateful la...Next time maybe, we'll just use the money to buy Man Utd or something and change their club logo!!!"

Anonymous said...

One swallow does not make a summer...................................................

Anonymous said...

Dear Art

I don't know howlah...? First, when I read your article, its to be very funny. Somehow later ahh... become painful leh........... Why! why like that. I don't like leh.......LOL

I think I am going crazy?


Anonymous said...

There's this idiot called Calvin Sankaran who wrote to the Sun today saying that the UNCTAD figures are wrong, but MIDA is correct!
Hahaha, no wonder the government can continue to hoodwink a lot of people.

Anonymous said...

What's wrong in being a Spurs fan?!!

Anonymous said...

I came across your blog while surfing for Article 153. You gave an interesting insight (though I wont personally agree with it).
But one thing which I felt while browsing your articles-I feel sad and distress to think a guy like you claiming tht you are a malay who does not support any notion says such negative things about this country.
Im an Indian. But I feel sorry for you. You cant see the beauty of your own race. You are not upholding what your great politicians during the merdeka time fought so hard for. You dont even believe in Article 153?
I understand you want the guv to change. Many wrong things are going on. But in my humble opinion,the opposition will let your race rot. The opposition wont lift a finger to help your race. And if you are a true malay, maybe then you will realize what 153 actually stands for.

art harun said...

Dear Anon of 30 July 2010 15:52,

Thank you for visiting my blog, reading my writings and taking the trouble to comment. I appreciate that.

I am however perturbed that you think I "don't see the beauty of my own race."

I think you have greatly misunderstood my writings. And I sincerely hope that you are not twisting what I have written.

I attack certain values which I abhor and those values happen to be within the Malay race. I am not attacking the Malay as a race! I hope you have the ability to differentiate the two.

Could you point out which part of my writing in my entire blog where I have attacked the Malays as a race? (Or for that matter any other race.) I promise I would amend such part to reflect my true intention.

The same with Malaysia as a country. I have never attacked Malaysia as a country. It is what which represents the values of Malaysia or what has become of us as Malaysians which I attack. Show me where I have said that Malaysia is bad as a country please.

The opposition will make my race rot? Excuse me. How do you know that? You could see the future do you?

On the contrary, do you see what the government have done to your own race (since you said you are an Indian)? Or you don't want to see?

I see beyond race. Race is in fact not important to me. But that doesn't mean I forsake my own race.

Please do not come here and twist whatever I have written. You don't even know me.

And where is it that I have said I don't believe in article 153? Please show me and I will stop writing about article 153 forever.

I have written so many articles about article 153 and to the best of my recollection NOT ONCE I HAVE STATED THAT I AM AGAINST ARTICLE 153.

Show me otherwise.

I have stated my positions about what I believe to be the true and accurate interpretation of article 153 to the best of my knowledge and ability. That is all.

If you disagree with me, feel free to engage me.

If you don't understand what I have written, feel free to ask.

But please do not twist my words and state that I have done things which I have actually never done!

That is a shameful act!

And please do not come here and tell me if I were a true Malay I should do this and that.

I am a true Malay and it is in my blood. I don't have to follow your thinking to prove that I am a true Malay.

I am a Malay just as much as you are an Indian.

Shamsul Yunos said...

Is the Ling Liong Sik case another conspiracy?

Anwar says Ling Liong Sik is not a big enough fish for MACC: Who does Anwar want MACC to go after? read all about it HERE

art harun said...

Encik Shamsul,

Thanks for visiting this blog and also for the link.

Excellent satire you have there. Enjoyed reading it.

While we are on the topic of conspiracy, I can't help but to wonder whether the alleged "affair" between the most well known star witness in the most well known sodomy case in recent time and the soon to be (if not already) most well known DPP is also a conspiracy hatched to throw the AG chambers into disrepute and to give advantage to the most well known sodomy accused. :)

As for the charges against Tun Ling, I wouldn't know whether it is a conspiracy of any sort. I welcome the charges against him if indeed there were evidence of cheating or fraudulent act.

I would also welcome charges against each and every perpetrator of crime in respect of the PKFZ scandal and in fact for every other scandal in this blessed country of ours.

I must however state that after reading the charges as reported by the media (I must confess that I have not read the actual charges which were read out in Court against Tun Ling), I could spot at least one flaw in the charges, if not two.

Dato' RR Sethu is a senior lawyer (far senior to me). I have crossed sword with him in at least 2 trials (including the famous Metramac case in the high court) and I can state as a fact that the good Dato' is a very very diligent lawyer who would not miss a speck of dust in his case.

He would of course spot the same flaw which I detected even while the charges were read out in court and I am sure he would exploit it to the best interest of his client, the good Tun.

God helps the AG and his team.

Thank you again for visiting my humble blog.


Anonymous said...

To Honyang :

And you can call yourself a Malaysian?
Msia may not be all mighty and tough economically, but for many of us, and (optimistically) for many great years to come, this is our home. I will make sure i do my parts. Perhaps it wont be enough,not enough to change anything, but i hope it will be enough fr others to keep on doing what is right and push for a better country.

Going back to your motherland is an option for you, but not for everyone, and certainly not for me.

pinsysu said...

not sure if mukhriz is window-dressing or window-undressing ... if u know the gomen's policy of moderating graduates' results to increase % of passes u'll understand how mukhriz got his nos. kakakakaka!!

The said...

Assuming Mukhriz is not lying and padding up the numbers to look good (and that is a big IF), there are several reasons for the discrepancies.

1) As someone pointed out, the UNCTAD figures are for actual implemented investments, whereas the Dy Minister's figures are for approved investment proposals.

2) Not all approved projects are implement - so there's plenty of leakages here.

3) Not all implemented projects are implemented in full.

4) Some projects are of long gestation and duration. Say a RM1 billion project spread over 10 years will show an invested amount of only RM100 million in the first year (assuming straight line).

5) Some potential investors got cold feet and decide not to invest. This could be due to the New Economic Model morphing back to the old economic robbery. Or the Never Ending Policy. Or the funny court cases convincing these investors how independent and honourable the courts are.

And the list goes on...