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Friday, September 24, 2010


Gentlemen, welcome to 1AcronymMalaysia.

In case you are left puzzled by the title of this article, do not adjust your screen.

It simply is the combination of the various acronyms which our government has conjured in the past year or so in order to identify the various transformational methodology which will be relied on  to propel Malaysia into a high income nation by year 2020.

They are:

  • GTP - Government Transformation Programme
  • 10MP -  the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP)
  • ETP -  the Economic Transformation Programme
  • NKRA - the National Key Result Areas
  • NKEA -  the National Key Economic Areas
  • NEM -  the New Economic Model, and
  • SRI - the Strategic Reform Initiatives

Note: Susu1Malaysia is not included, just in case you are wonderBra...sorry, wondering.

Basically, the plan is to steroid-drive the Malaysian economy by inundating it with mega projects which are projected to increase  GNI per capita income from RM20,770 (US$6,700) to at least RM46,500 (US$15,000), meeting the World Bank’s high-income benchmark by 2020. By doing that, it is hoped that Malaysia would triple its Gross National Income (GNI) from RM660 billion (2009) to RM1.7 trillion in 2020.

To do that, Malaysia would need to sustain a 6% GNI growth between 2011 and 2020 and a total  funding of over RM1.4 trillion, much of it would apparently come from the private sector.

Following are the key sectors:

  • OIL AND GAS: It will see investments of RM218 billion over the next 10 years, starting with liquefied natural gas facilities in peninsular Malaysia by 2013. A 10-million tonne regional oil storage hub will be built in Johor state, next to Singapore, by 2015 to turn Malaysia-Singapore into an Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp type hub.
    By 2017, Malaysia will be the number one oil services hub in Asia and by 2020, there will be 5 gigawatts (GW) of hydro capacity, 1.25GW of solar and a nuclear plant.
  • PALM OIL: It will see investments worth RM124 billion by 2020. This will help boost fresh fruit bunch yields to 23 percent from 20.5 percent and there will be a move into oleochemicals and more downstream industry. This will be led by Sime Darby, IOI, Kuala Lumpur Kepong and state plantations agency Felda.
  • FINANCIAL SERVICES: This will see investments worth RM211 billion, mainly through leveraging Malaysia’s lead in Islamic finance to target markets like Turkey, Indonesia and Egypt.
  • KUALA LUMPUR: The city will see investments worth RM172 billion, mainly in the Kuala Lumpur Mass Transit which includes 141km of tunnels built in the largest infrastructure project in Malaysia.
  • TOURISM: It will see investments worth RM204 billion with plans to join up Kuala Lumpur’s shopping malls in an Singapore “Orchard Road” type development using walkways. There will be a “Malaysia Truly Asia” cultural centre to pull in the tourist dollar with “Broadway quality” traditional song and dance.
  • ELECTRICAL AND ELECTRONICS: It will see investments worth RM78 billion. Malaysia plans to become the world’s second largest solar panel maker by 2020 and to boost semiconductors, LEDs and industrial electronics.
  • AGRICULTURE requires RM22 billion in investment.
  • HEALTH will see RM23 billion of investments and will see a Kuala Lumpur suburb become a “health metropolis”.
  • RETAIL AND WHOLESALE will see investments of RM255 billion.
  • CREATIVE INDUSTRIES will add RM51 billion in investment.
  • EDUCATION will see RM20 billion in investment.
  • BUSINESS SERVICES will see RM41 billion invested.


I note however, that amidst the billions which are to be spent for electronics, transportation, financial centres and whatever, only 23 billions are to be spent for health services. And education will only see a 20 billion spending. Agriculture, the bedrock of our rural socio-economics scene in turn would only see 22 billion of  "investment".

Hell, even "creative industries" - the LimKokWing-naisation of the nation - would get 51 billion of investments, more than double the amount of each of the "neglected sectors."

That screams of major imbalances in our socio-economics engineering (or re-engineering) processes.

What ever happen to organic growth - as opposed to the turbo-charging or steroid-driven growth? Everybody knows, I presume, the negative impacts of steroid, no? Just look at Chris Benoit out-of-proportion body and the resultant murder-suicide of himself, his son and wife. Yes. That's the problem with steroid. As for turbo charging, suffice if I say that if a host of things are not upgraded in line with the turbo-charging needs, the engine would eventually explode.

Economically we have seen steroid-driven projects failing. Take Proton for example.

When Malaysia embarked on this ambitious project, it had absolutely no industrial culture. Malaysia, at that time, had not even learned to make a sewing machine. But Dr Mahathir thought he could pump up the industrialisation  of Malaysia by jumping into car manufacturing.

The result is for all to see. Mitsubishi, the technological partner, used Proton to dump it's 4 cylinder carburetor engine (the then outdated Magma engine) for the Saga when in fact every manufacturer was jumping for multi-valves fuel injection engines  during the time. That prompted Dr Mahathir to quip that the technological transfer was taking more time than expected.

Duties and taxes on non-national cars were increased so that Proton could survive. That continues till today. Had that been taken away, who would buy a Gen-2 or whatever as opposed to a Honda City, Toyota Vios or even a second hand BMW 3 series?

The same was done in the steel industry, by the introduction of Perwaja. Hundreds of millions of ringgits were spent and when the steel was finally rolled out, it was below acceptable quality. And the rest, as they say, is history. And history in Malaysia, is only good for the archives. Not to be analysed and learnt from.

The thing is, Malaysia had no, notable or at all, industrial culture. One cannot start a culture by simply cutting a pink ribbon to a large industrial factory or plant. The support industries must be there. The whole infrastructure must be there. The human resources must be there. The experience from being knocked down and learning the hard way must be there. The whole networking must be there.

Take the Sepang F1 circuit for example. I remember when it was first open, it was hoped that the circuit would be the catalyst for Malaysia to produce world-class drivers. 11 years on, where is our world class drivers?

One does not create world class drivers by having a world class circuit. Where is the racing culture in Malaysia, other than the rempit culture on the streets? The Sepang Circuit premier "local" race, namely, the Merdeka Endurance race, had managed to attract a 38 entries this year. In the meantime, smaller teams in the lower classes, which consists of Proton Satrias, Honda Civics and the likes, are pushed to a different race because they are simply not fit to race with the orang kaya teams.

This was done by forgetting that it was the smaller teams which drove the Merdeka Endurance race to success between 2003-2007.

Whenever Malaysia unveil an economic plan, scant regard is paid to the human factor. We only focus on the money factor and almost nothing else.

Among the 12 identified sectors, all, except for 2 or 3 sectors, are concentrated in the towns. Are there more towns than rural areas in Malaysia? Rural people are not entitled to earn US15000 per annum eh?

What about the human factor? None is projected for human development and human resource development other than the scant 20 billion provided for the education sector.

The Honourable Prime Minister has been loudly proclaiming that that Malaysia should be a fair and just society. What steps are being taken to achieve this goal?

What had happened to the promise to review the ISA for example? Why are we banning cartoon books? Why are we still whacking people carrying candles with batons? Why are the police still investigating frivolous police reports lodged against people who are trying to engage in healthy public dialogues on issues affecting the society? Why are the people being unnecessarily harassed for trying to be heard?

What is to be done about extremism? I know, we are supposed to fight it, according to the Hon. PM, but are we really fighting it? Well, kudos to the police for coming down hard on that moron Namewee. But what the heck has happened to the super duper investigations on Siti Inshah and the other headmaster in Kedah?

What about serious corruptions?

The pursuit of a fair and just society would remain fruitless without the infusion and continuous practice of equity, not only in the socio-economics,  but also the political, aspects of the society. Apart from that, democracy and independence from western colonisation would absolutely be worthless if no viable process is taken to fill them with emancipation of the people.

Emancipation comes with knowledge. And what knowledge will see the light of day if the society is blinkered and shielded away from the truth and prevented from a civil discourse of matters which affect the society at large?

Where are the NKRA-GTP-Whatchamacallit for all these?

The human factor. That's what is being overlooked, over and over again by us.

But I supposed, it is not important. Because it cannot be measured in numbers.


RicoRoyal3 said...

Same sentiments. In fact, when I read Najib's plans for ETP, I thought it was a replica of Mahathir's run of megaprojects.

And what's he thinking? The lowest expected investments for health care and education? These are the most basic areas to work on first! And not only that, a nuclear plant? I'm guessing he'll place it at a far off place in Sabah / Sarawak to generate electricity for the Peninsular, so that he can conjure additional projects to build power grids and underwater sea cables from Borneo to Peninsular to supply electricity. These cost billions, which result in people like J. Low getting fatter!

tupingera said...

The best commentary on the ETP that I've read....Thank you, Sir.

orang pakai merc, kita pun nak pakai merc...orang hantar anak pergi sekolah, kita tak mampu nak hantar anak pergi sekolah...duit dah habis bayar installment merc.


Diveman69 said...

Assallamu'alaikum as we are still in the month of Syawal may I would like to wish you Selamat Hari Raya. Now with regard to your statements I cannot help but fully agree with what you have stated. The country is currently being starved of a proper education system. Believe me when I say I am witness to young guys and gals supposedly in University who can't even string a proper sentence in simple English let alone try to prove a point. These young guys and gals are now Naval Officers!!!! We are always reminded at a young age to build a structure we need a strong foundation. Without a strong foundation nothing lasts. So if we don't stop the rot now we will be another Zimbabwe!!!

Anonymous said...

Art, I fear having to drive in KL when they start building the tunnels! Keerise! we'll have traffic jams of humongous proportions! As if its not bad enough these days with all the never ending korek here korek there everywhere. And what if they mistakenly tunnel through the foundations of buildings... don't laugh, bolehland is capable of making such mistakes.

Shouldn't Roti Jala think about reducing the no. of cars in KL by introducing something like the CBD in S'pore or better still, close down Proton before building the MRTs?

Anonymous said...

Looks like white elephants will once again roam Malaysia.

If the Malaysia that Najib and friends talk about is the Malaysia that I grew up and lived in for the past few decades , then I think these projects will not succeed. Can we expect that the same type of people that had failed us in the past will suddenly change? Najib is not that charming lah.

I was totally taken aback when all the media trumpet about is the 'greater KL' transit system. Isn't the people who will make or break this country? I thought that's pretty obvious.

It's not going to be a straw that will crush the camel it will be a white elephant.

kl loo

rob said...


i feel cold down my spine when i heard the news.

1. 92% of investment comes from private sector.

a. part (32%) from GLC which means probably EPF money again!
b. others (60%) from private sector
i) what happen if they don't come?
ii) what happen if they ask for one sided deal similar to PLUS including profit guarantee? which may result in bail-out later!

2. how are these champion companies chosen?

due to fast track we may not have time to perform the due diligence or maybe a crony company.
e.g. Berjaya for Education? where is their track record?

a RM 2 company with great concepts but little experience may get the call. do they get the call?

The USD 15K benchmark for income is totally strange.

there are lies, damned lies and statistics.

USD 0 + USD 30K will give an average of 15K

since outskirts, don't need USD 15K. Maybe 5. So we can manipulate the number again.

3. very little mention of conservation e.g. of electric, nor protecting the environment.

just a few points


Fi-sha said...

Hi Art

Those are what we get when we are being governed by Nip/Tuck-craze Gomen - steroid, silicon, botox and all are the order of their days making hays while they still can.

And you put it aptly Sir - they totally sideline the readily available tools to propel our nation to the likes of BRIC - human capital.

Wish you a wonder(bra)ful weekend Sir ;)

Anonymous said...


Hang tengok la Idris Jala main gitar.
Bunyi tak berapa tapi hentak kaki dengan golek kepala lembu jantan pun kalah.


Anonymous said...

Bunyi macam mabuk tuak tapi Idris syok sendiri


zulhardy said...

tak perlu lah rasanya kita menyerang Idris Jalsa secara peribadi kan? :)

Kris said...

Investments in education take too long to disburse hence emoluments take too long to be 'kicked' back. A mega project in hand today is worth twenty education projects in the bush anyday. That euphemism also applies to the minimal investment in agriculture btw.... and no puns there....

And just to reinforce your view there is no foundation or groundwork to support these initiatives, that it's just a means of flagrantly throwing money, take just the solar panel issue. We aim to be the worlds second largest produce of Solar Panels by 2020? Yet we have no intiatives or programs to support the use of Solar panels nationally. All over the world governments have instituted programs where if you install a solar panel system, costs will be subsidised by the government. The money goes direct to the individual and not some crony corporation. Then when your panels start generating electricity, you get to sell your excess back to the government at rates HIGHER then what you pay for if you are just consuming. The reasoning behind this is simple. A major cost to electricity supply is distribution. Sending the power from remote power stations to the end user is expensive. If you are generating electricity locally, TNB gets to mitigate it's costs. So we have NO programs here to support solar panel use but we intend to be the worlds second largest producer of solar panels..... No support or network...

@ Diveman 69, well said...

Anonymous said...

I have a simple solution.

When you are tired of the same damn thing that has been going on for the past 30 years or more, try the opposite.

In the next general election, vote for the opposition. And make sure those whom you can manipulate them vote for the opposition as well.

Those on the opposite side of the political fence might not be doing a better job than the current powers-that-be, but at least they will surely be reviewing all things related to the rakyat, such as the one-sided Syabas arrangement that was done pre-2008. And the truth might see daylight.

Brilliant no?

Ivan said...

Art, i thot i remember those days when Badarewi started a series of launching Coridors... with billions here and billions there and from north, south , east and west of the country... and what has happened now? Bunyi pun takde! So is this going to be just talk only? And all this, even before we go into details as what u have done!

Anonymous said...


Sambal muncha

Anonymous said...


I am retired. I have categorically advised my two children not to return to this Bodohland upon the completion of their studies abroad as I do not want them to be saddled with paying Najib's ETP debts for the rest of their lives and their children. If they have to pay taxes, they might as well pay their taxes to the government of their adopted country who will probably have more common sense to better utilize the tax money on the education and health systems of the citizens.

Najib's ETP is just another facade for the well connected BN elites to milk whatever is left of the the country's coffers. Only God can help us now.

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Salambangi said...

Dear Tarzan

I think your rantings are getting more moderate and no more sharp and lack in depth analyses. I hope age is not catching up on you.Or that you're getting more mellower. what has happened to that failed government experiment attitude in you -the rebellious nature : the rebel sometimes without a cause.

However, I'm bemused by the statement that 92% of the statement that 92% of the investment comes from the private sector. True but ultimately it is the government that pays from the taxes collected.

A private company would come up with a proposal that's worth "billions of ringgit" to build buildings that cost only 300 million ringgit.The company inflated the costs and the government approves the project with a lopsided contract top down.Ultimately the taxpayers pay the excesses. Please stop this madness.

The private initiative is just a facade to siphon off billions of ringgit of taxpayers' money.

Mind you I pay thousands of ringgit to the government via IRB every year without fail.

Jambu said...

I wonder that by 2020, is the World Bank's high income benchmark still at USD15k or will it have to adjust for world inflation and cost of funds. I think the best gauge is the purchasing power parity comparison against a neighbor who is an industrialized country with high income status aka Singapore. Otherwise, it is meaningless to set such lofty targets that when we actually get there.... others have already moved on to the next level.....

Parody of Bolehland said...

Nice analysis. The human factor is probably ignored because it is considered an overtly ISA-able issue as there will be arguments about privileges, rights and percentages. It's the human fellos who perpetuate such hindrance to doing anything else except and unless it adheres to that unquestionable rights and privileges article in the Constitution.
Perhaps they still feel like during ole sage Tun M's time, we depended on the foreigners, we will again depend on them to give them lifelong employment and upgrade their income instead than our local fellos who are waiting for handouts, privileges, bonuses and more schemes for cheap and free cash, no.
My income hasn't increase in the last decade. By 2020 someone magically 1Malaysia is able to increase mine, huh? The ETP is an Exercise Top Presumptuous that impressive powerpoints, gobbledygook acronyms and rhetoric in English will raise our income! Wonder if i live that long to have a high income!

Angelina Bong said...

very well said..wish i have stumbled upon your blog earlier.God bless.

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