RE: The Star article page 20, 02 May 2018
01 May 2018
If Opposition wins:
1. ECRL, TRX, Country Garden and all the China projects will be halted and Malaysia will be sidelined from OBOR. China will buy more palm oil from Indonesia rather than Malaysia, Kara Isthmus, a 30 km canal funded by China to link South China Sea and Gulf of Thailand at the neck of the peninsula will be accelerated and beefed up. A super port hub will be built so that ships do not have to pass through Port Klang. Malaysia’s Palm Oil industry problems after boycotted by EU will be compounded by China’s boycott. Our Port industry especially West Port and Port Tanjung Pelepas will decline and many Malaysians will lose their job. Shipping, logistics and even manufacturing will decline as Malaysia , strategically positioned between the East and West Sea lane via the Straits of Malacca will lose its significance. It will become cheaper for factories to relocate to Thailand . Industry 4.0 will also take a bad hit , not to mention the DFTZ.
2. GST will be abolished and government will lose a huge income stream. With Petronas not as formidable as the 80s and 90s and when the first decade of 2000, Government will have to find alternative sources. Privatization will be increased to sell more assets to ‘friendly parties’ via cheap loans guaranteed by Government . National debt will go up like in the 80s and 90s. Remember the debt to GDP ratio back then?
3. Tolls will be abolished by government buying back these assets like Tony Pua said. Without oil money and China; and Middle East not as strong as before due to oil prices decline and they have been focusing on their own super projects like Dubai, Qatar and Bahrain, now Saudi Arabia is also modernizing , Malaysia has nowhere to go except borrowing money from say USA at the same time privatizing other assets. Without GST, Government employees will also be retrenched to work with corporates who are already overburdened with high labour costs and moved overseas especially the Chinese tycoon. So privatization to cronies to hire these government servants will only make sense. Crony capitalism will return where indirect taxes in other forms like in the 80s and 90s will return . Think about it with oil subsidy in the 80s and 90s petrol pump price was 3-4 times the price of Brent crude oil. Now without subsidy only 1.3 times. If opposition wins , they will gloss over taxes and call it subsidy to hoodwink the rakyat.
4. BRIM will also be abolished and the B40 ppl will be encouraged to work hard and be thankful to newly privatized companies . However to be globally competitive these privatized companies will have to keep cost low and our high income nation dreams will be destroyed. Foreign workers will return like the 80s and 90s to compete with locals and industry 4.0 modernization where the whole world will be going through but will not happen in Malaysia. NEP will come back stronger. Prior to NEP in 1974 our GDP per capita was only behind Japan and Spore in the whole of Asia. In 2003 our GDP per capita also became lower than Korea, Taiwan and HongKong. If opposition takes over , by 2023 we will be behind Thailand , Vietnam and Indonesia . This is because as China evolve and their manufacturing costs is only 20% cheaper than US, China-friendly countries will inherit their low-cost economy and remember , Malaysia will not be one of them.
5. All said, privatization and crony capitalism will return only that this time, there’s little oil money to bail out mistakes. The only way is to fake subsidies funded by the rakyat. Rakyat will suffer and will still clap their hands. Happiness index will be the key KPI whereby in some countries, where the poorest people in the world are also the happiest. — end.