Sunday, November 05, 2006

Mat Sallehs are "Vultures"

While attention will certainly be focused on the Sultan of Johor's caustic remarks on the Causeway, I am more shocked by the xenophobic nature of his comments.
[The Sultan] said the building of the Causeway was to deliberately prevent ships from passing local waters, resulting in the development of Keppel Port in Singapore instead. “The Causeway has to be removed to allow ships to pass,” the Sultan said before launching the multi-billion [South Johor Economic Region (SJER)].

In his address the Ruler, who was clad in a T-shirt, said he would not “give face” (bagi muka) to the foreigners (Mat Sallehs) and urged the people not to hold them in high regard. He also reminded locals and their children to be wary of them as they were “vultures”.
More than RM17bil is expected to be initially pumped into the 2,217sq km project, which is 2.5 times the size of Singapore and 48 times that of Putrajaya. The Federal Government had committed RM4.3bil under the 9MP to kickstart work on security, infrastructure, drainage, river management and traffic improvement. On top of that, Government-linked agencies are reported to be making another RM3.4b worth of investments.

No project that size can succeed without foreign investment. Even the Menteri Besar of Johor has admitted as much.
The South Johor Economic Region (SJER) development plan is likely to attract RM60bil in foreign direct investments (FDI) within the next 10 years.
He even boasted that the development in South Johor may even outstrip Singapore's within a couple of years. “The multi-billion-ringgit South Johor Economic Region (SJER) project may even surpass Singapore’s development in the next six or seven years.”

How are we ever going to attract that sort of investment quantum if we tell our citizens to regard Mat Sallehs as "vultures"? As it is, there are plenty of concern that the only companies likely to benefit from SJER are really the construction companies.
...compared to the orderly [Singapore], from which it is separated only by a narrow waterway, the shabby state capital Johor Bharu has struggled to shrug off a reputation for crime and disorder. Scores of ugly concrete pillars bristle from the seabed alongside the failed JB Waterfront Lot 1 shopping complex, which was part of a [RM6.3 billion] planned mega-development but now lies empty.

The eyesore acts as a warning to investors that despite the big talk, other new projects in the state could suffer a similar fate.
Thankfully, with all due respect, the Sultan of my home state is only a constitutional monarch. Otherwise, his comments might have just spelt the death knell for Pak Lah's first mega-project to spur economic growth in Malaysia.

9 comments:

What A Lulu said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
What A Lulu said...

the "vultures" interviewed by the star seems to be clueless to what the sultan said.
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2006/11/5/nation/15929807&sec=nation

terlupa nak tanya, tp, you shifting opit to paramount-ah
in line with your plan to "help make our country a better place for all communities, and a country we can all be proud of"?

Tony P said...

why must be paramount? cannot new ofis ke? ;p

What A Lulu said...

shifting opit as in tukar opit as in new opit?
are you going to be part of the new feature in lulu's diet plan
?

Tony P said...

heh heh heh... lulu imagination very powerful yah? ;p

I not think so far one ;)

Anonymous said...

Except for being one big construction project like Putrajaya or Cyberjaya, the only significant idea of this project is the so called FAZ - free access zone. This FAZ to me is an idea NOT well thought out. Supposedly its not subject to immigration and customs which is then a haven for smuggling and other vices.

The idea of FAZ is actually not new, they were practised by colonialist and became enclaves of piracy and trade in Caribbean and elsewhere. Its legitimate idea of very undeveloped areas but to plunk it near even a minor urban area is seeking disaster.

Once all the problems of FAZ start to show, the will start checking passport and imposing customs.

Its typical of this PM, more promises than reality. This is just one big construction project. period.

However, one bright spark may be once the projects get started and they become white elephant, than they will actually start to be serious about linking Johor and Singapore - mainly in terms of rail services - MRT and KTM. That would save the project ultimately.

Trashed said...

Isn't the JB Waterfront project a white elephant already ?

Perhaps this WPI is a project to entice Singaporeans to plunk down money to buy real estate in Johor for the short term gain of someone, somewhere?

I have to remain skeptical - Putrajaya remains an architectural delight which doesn't have much functionality other than catering for the govt during office hours. After that, there is no reason even for the people who work there to be in Putrajaya. Poor maintenance ( a regular Malaysian malaise) has ruined the Wetlands and other areas. Cannot be "semuanya OK".

Back to Johor - the MB's recent statements on Bangsa Malaysia, inter alia, don't help to attract foreign investors. And make sure these foreigners (Mat Sallehs and non-white as well), bring their marriage certs too.

nUtZ` said...

D: another billions of ringgit down the drain. lets spend 1 billion ringgit more to clean up malaysia.. another billion to pay our civil servant more and another 2 billion to pay our police better and 300 million ringgit for our schools.

That (hopefully) would be a way better mega project than to rape the forest in the name of progress that will never see the light of day. :(

Anonymous said...

O, now this Sultan must have thought that he is the hero to his nation (strange enough, some do make him a hero) by making such silly remarks. Intead of calling his forefather TRAITORS and he spinned.. "well it was the mat sallehs' fault". It reminds me of a Chinese proverb "How could you force a cow to drink if it is not thirsty?".

Does this descendant that carries the royal blood *lol* ever have spine to admit how corrupt/greedy his ancestors are?? As greedy as the modern day UMNO?

I too am curious.