Thursday, May 03, 2007

Iskandar Development Region: Reality or Hype?

I was in Johor Bahru yesterday, accompanying my boss who was visiting branch members in the south of the country. At the request of some members, I was asked to speak at the meeting. I was certainly less than prepared, especially when I had to deliver the same speech interspersed in Mandarin and Malay. Goodness, it must have been the first speech I've delivered in Malay since my 'A' Levels some 17 years ago!

Being an economic advisor to my boss, and speaking at the "centre" of one of the most-hyped economic projects by Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's administration, it was destined that I had to talk about the Iskandar Development Region (IDR). So, does it deserve the hype?

I spoke of IDR's potential and the topic of human capital as a critical factor in its success, outlining some of the examples highlighted in my previous post on human capital. (Wah, interestingly, the Straits Times Singapore published the entire article today as well - giving it a new title "Singapre's gain, Malaysia's loss". I hadn't expected that).

I have also done some research for my boss, with the key findings outlined below (fairly long!).

Iskandar Development Region (IDR): Reality or Hype?

It is commendable effort by the Malaysian Government to establish the Iskandar Development Region (IDR), which promises great potential for the region. Given Johor's strategic location in the Indonesia-Malaysia-Singapore growth triangle, the proposed development region - an area encompassing 2,217 square kilometres, which is three times the size of Singapore – appears long overdue.

The proposal to create a “Shenzhen” for Malaysia looks good on paper. The city of Shenzhen, next to Hong Kong, offers a glimpse of the vast amounts of investment dollars that could flow into the IDR if it lives up to its potential. The Shenzhen special economic zone (SEZ) of China is 2,020 sq km, slightly smaller than the IDR, and it managed to attract over US$30 billion in the past two decades, helping create GDP of nearly 493 billion renminbi (S$97 billion) in 2005. Shenzhen was declared China's first SEZ in 1980, and the central government ensured the province was governed by special policies. Flexible measures aimed at securing foreign investment involved incentives and relaxed rules on international trade.

It became China's fastest growing city for nearly three decades and, from 2001 to 2005, saw an economic expansion that averaged 16 per cent.

However, it will be overly simplistic to assume guaranteed success purely from a Blueprint created by Atkins, UK's leading town planning consultant and a strategic comparison with Shenzhen. The success of IDR depends critically on several factors, which at this point of time, leaves much to be desired.
1. Foreign Investment

Most importantly, IDR's success is critically dependent on foreign investment, or a projected RM382 billion over the next 20 years. This amount is more than the entire RM245 billion foreign direct investment (FDI) the whole country received over the past 20 years.

Just as Hong Kong became Shenzhen's largest source of investment, the success of IDR will be equally dependent on investment from Singapore. However, Singapore's investment in Johor has dropped to an alarming level. In the first eight months of 2006, Singaporean investment in the state stood at only RM208.9 million.

This is only a mere 11 percent of the total investment from Singapore in 2005, according to statistics given by the Johor State Investment Centre (JSIC). Last year, the Singaporean investment stood at RM1.9 billion.

And it is not just the investment from across the Causeway that has gone down. The FDI into the state too has hit a stumbling block. Until August in 2006, FDI to the state stood at RM2.4 billion - just 44 percent of the total amount which flooded in last year.

Even in 2005, when Johor received record FDI at RM5.9 billion, this amount is a far cry from an average of RM19.1 billion required to make IDR a success.

2. Crime & Safety

JSIC senior manager Mohamed Basir Mohamed Sali when interviewed by Malaysiakini at the end of last year said that "Singaporeans think Johor is not a safe state, but actually this issue was played up by the media in both countries... Yes, we have some security problems, but they do not involve the whole state, they are limited in certain areas, Johor is still as safe as candy."

The continued denial of the existence of one of the most serious problems facing the country at this point of time does not bode well for the economic success of the IDR. The crime index in the country released by the Royal Police Force has worsened from 156,315 cases in 2003 to 226,836 cases in 2006 – a sharp rise of 45.1% in the past three years when the police force had set the target of reducing the crime index by five per cent each year.

In the past three years, violent crime had skyrocketed by 85.8 per cent from 22,790 cases in 2003 to 42,343 cases in 2006, with rape cases registering the highest increase of 65.5 per cent – reaching an average of 6.7 women raped daily in 2006 compared to an average of four women raped daily in 2003. In 2003, an average of 1.5 persons were murdered daily; but in 2006, this has increased to an average of 1.65 persons murdered daily.

On 10th April, a six-month pregnant woman lost her baby after she was attacked by four robbers in the toilet of a petrol station in Jalan Tebrau. Just last week, a 21-year-old clerk was robbed and brutally stabbed to death as her father slept in another room at their double-storey house in Taman Skudai Baru. And just 2 days ago, a 14-year-old girl who befriended a stranger at a telephone booth was raped by him in Tanjung Langsat.

Hence it is unsurprising that both investors and tourists, particularly from Singapore has been dissuaded or at best, lukewarm towards investing and spending their dollars in Johor. Letters in the Singapore Straits Times for example, as recently as 4th April, have called Johor Bahru as a “cowboy town”.

3. A Mega-Property Development Project?

Many sceptics who fear the plan could degenerate into just another exercise in grandiose real estate development. At this point of time, the entire project appears focused almost entirely on real estate development. The recent abolishment of the real property gains tax points was directed at increased property purchase and transactions for land in the IDR.

One of the leading developers in IDR, UMNO-linked UEM Land's plans this time around are nothing if not grand. Besides a theme park, edu-city and medical hub - all three Khazanah-owned and driven - UEM Land's main developments include a logistics cluster, an international destination resort with an eco-based theme park, state administrative centre and a waterfront project at Puteri Harbour.

Mr Talhar, who is also group chairman of CH Williams, Talhar & Wong, cautioned against too much emphasis on property. “Real estate accommodates meaningful economic activities. Economic activities have to come first. Land per se doesn't produce economic activities,” he rightfully argued.

The Government must learn from the lack of success at Cyberjaya, which was a special economic zone dedicated to high-technology related activities such as software development. Similarly, we must learn from the total failures of BioValley and E-Village which were dedicated to biotechnology and multimedia content creation respectively. Despite having investment millions in these projects, their emphasis on construction and property development without a properly thought out strategies for the actual projects have resulted in their failures.

Otherwise, some of the IDR plans for another dedicated ICT-hub, theme park and medical hub might just end up as ghost towns.

4. Government Policy Consistency

The decision by Malaysia's Foreign Investment Committee (FIC) to deny the sale of a building to Singapore's Great Eastern is only an example of policy inconsistency and the lack of transparency. Great Eastern had proposed to acquire Wisma Denmark from bumiputera businessman Ibrahim Mohamed for RM150 million and believed it had the deal in the bag. But after months of waiting for FIC approval, the parties were finally informed the proposed acquisition was rejected, with no reasons given.

In Johor for example, the existing massive property glut is a result of state policy requiring at least 40 per cent of all development projects be sold to bumiputeras, and the subsequent stamping of those titles as such.

Hence unless the state gives its approval, a bumiputera wanting to dispose of his property can only sell it to a fellow bumiputera, and these secondary titles and conditions have depressed market demand. The question then is whether the continuation of such a policy will result in more project failures within the IDR.

5. Unequal Treatment of Foreign vs Local Investors

While the Government has recently trumpeted its move to remove the 30% bumiputera quota requirement for investments in the IDR, closer scrutiny leaves much to be desired. The proposed waiver of the NEP's 30% equity requirement would only involve investments in two specified areas in the IDR, encompassing a small area of 1,780 hectares and with the caveat that foreign investors there must have business dealings outside the country.

This means that such a policy is not applicable to local investors, and by definition, local non-bumiputera investors. The policy is perplexing because domestic investments can bring equal amounts of economic returns and contributions to the region and country when compared with foreign investors. Hence the discriminatory policies practiced by the Government clearly marginalises local non-bumiputera businessmen.
The 5 five points highlighted above are not the only challenges and issues facing our government's plan to make IDR a success. However, they clearly demonstrate the uphill battle which the government face and the lack of political will which is necessary to make the project a success. Barisan Nasional NEP-guided government has been obsessed with the hardware of development – property, heavy industry, mega-infrastructure projects, ports, bridges and airports - but neglected the human software needed to compete in a modern global economy. And to quote the man-on-the-street, “a part-liberalized, part-restricted IDR is unlikely to bridge that yawning gap”.

Key Sources:

64 comments:

Nibble-nippler said...

Wah! Tony Pua...ur so hot nowadays!
You sure becomes nest prime minister of Malaysia

Anonymous said...

Hi Tony, another piece of good work. Another point I would like to add is 'who is really task to drive this project.' Khazana is incharged of the development Pak Lah and MB of Johor Abdul Ghani is the Co-Chairman of the Project. If indeed Singapore is one of their targeted investor, I have yet to seen any party come across the causeway to a least do a road show or hold a seminar on the IDR Project. Everyone here only reading all the comments in the news. That's really funny. I remember few years back Rafidah came across for a talk and close to thousand businessman attended the event. For IDR to be success, we need a good salesman too, yet the salesman hasn't come knocking at their customers door!

CK

ST said...

Tony, well said, it truly reflected the current situation, as Singapore capitalized on the situation on M'sia Chinese. I reckon on the facts being presented, and as a S'pore PR, with my linkage to Malaysia, what else can I said, there is not wrong for anyone of us to find a place, where we can earn a living.

When we were just out from University, like others, we were unpolished, lost, and there was a place where we found job, moved up in our ladder of success, being recognized, and we found it to be our home, and some decided to be Singaporean. Not many of us know what we wanted, or it is childish or too idealistic to pursue your heart, without being pragmatic, back then.

I honestly thought that I'm doing ok after 20 years in Singapore, received my tertiary education here, jobs had not been a problem, found my sweet heart, and more on with life.

Deep in our root, we wanted Malaysia to do well. There is no replacement for a place when we lived many years, with our relatives, siblings, love there, and for me, I stayed in Muar till 21 years.

I followed the TV series, documented by CCTV on "The Erection of Great Power(Country)", and Holand has achieved the "great nation status" back in 1600s, by trading etc, with just 1.5 millions populations.
Are numbers really matter? With the growth we seen at Singapore, and political system, and education system, can Singapore achieved the success as Holand in 1600s? It may not be far, but we can only feel and see with our own eyes, that this nation will progress faster than its neighbour.

My honest feeling is that why we compare, of Singapore and Malaysia, why not working together? Like Germany and France, both countries moved ahead after 2nd world war, despite their difference, and past baggage, and today, the success of EU has to credit to the 2 great nations which come together, back in 1964, as documented in the TV Series.

Tony, I would highly recommend you to watch the CCTV Series, maybe, we can't be a great power/nation by living together, but we certainly would not far behind.

Learning from the success of great nations in the past, can only be something great, if we absorbed the lessons learn in their success, and falls.

Well, I can write on, finaly, I hope to read more from your blog, Cheers!

It has been a very impressive article, congratulations!


ST, Singapore

Anonymous said...

Hey Tony,

You've got only less than a year to master your Malay Language. If not how are you going to join the debate in parliament? You need to speak for us!!

Daily Nibbler said...

I find your analysis of IDR to the point and honest. IDR reminds me of MSC when it first started. Not that I am against IDR or any development project of that scale but I think the government has to do more to attract foreign investments. For starters, reduce crime drastically. Secondly, be more consistent in formulating and implementing policies. Its back tracking on free access zone is a case in point. Next, I guess, be firm in doing away with 30% bumiputra quota which expectedly is facing lots of resistance. Fourth, curb the speculation on the land prices. Fifth, human capital development and retention. Sixth...the list goes on.

What will move is the government spendings on infrastructure - the hardware. Sounds familiar, isn't it?

Trashed said...

Has anyone made a comparison of the Multimedia Super Corridor's results vs its original (or amended) goals since it was launched ?

Would be interesting to juxtapose this as the "potential" of the MSC was touted to be vast 10 years ago. Did the MSC deliver ? The answer to that question may give us an insight to IDR's fate.

Anonymous said...

hey tony, next time i suggest you should announce your schedule in your blog esp where will you be at a specific time for any talk.

would have loved to attend your talks since im at JB! nevertheless, i do hope maybe next time i will get the chance to see you. all the best!

Tony P said...

Hi Anon 9.52am

I usually do announce where I go before hand (although sometimes a little late). However, this time round, it really was a impromptu thingie as I wasn't scheduled to speak. ;)

In addition, it was a sort of closed meeting for DAP members and my boss in the south.

So next time ;)

Tony

Anonymous said...

Of course the IDR is more hype than real. What Malaysian Mega project is not, even the ones that don't fail.

First of all, the model comparison is even wrong. IDR-Singapore is not like Shenzen-HK. Shenzen was one of the first FEZ with unlimited supply of cheap migrant labour and access to talent from the best universities of China. Also, HK is not Singapore, entreprenurially, night and day.

The closest comparison model is more like New York-New Jersey. Its not quite the same as the big US market is not what Malaysia has. But model wise, it could be closest.

Its why integration of public transport, finance, telecoms, legal and other service standards have to be harmonized for it to be pulled off.

zewt said...

Hi Tony,

Having spent 4 months in Shenzhen before, I dread the possibility of IDR turning into SZ. Of cos, whether it will successfully turn into one is another issue altogether. But if it does succeed, IDR will be one of the most polluted places in Malaysia, akin to SZ. That's what i think at least. I am more of an environmental person.

As for crime and safety, part of parcel of development.

Anonymous said...

It also appear in Singapore Business Times on 2 May 2007.

http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/sub/storyprintfriendly/0,4582,232648-1178135940,00.html?

Business Times - 02 May 2007

How to land economic success

It has less to do with fertile plantations and rich mineral resources, and more to do with investing in human capital

By TONY PUA

AS AN economics enthusiast, I've often been asked: 'What determines the size of an economy?'

Is it dependent on rubber and high oil palm prices? Or the size of our oil and gas resources? Or instead, is it dependent on land area and population?

Malaysia is extremely well endowed with fertile land, large tracts of tin mines as well as some of the highest quality petroleum reserves in the world. Singapore, our neighbour down south, however, is not as fortunate.

To put it bluntly, it is a tiny island, 480 times smaller than us, completely unsuitable for commercial plantation and lacking any natural resources. Even its population today of some four million, excluding migrant workers, is one-sixth of Malaysia's population.

If the size of an economy is dependent on the factors highlighted above, such as arable land and natural resources, Malaysia's economy should be many times the size of Singapore's. However, reality paints a very different picture.

While Malaysia's economy of US$130 billion is still larger than Singapore's US$117 billion, the latter is only smaller by some 11 per cent. And if the rate of growth currently experienced in both countries persists for the next decade, then our tiny neighbour could soon boast a larger economy than Malaysia.

How is it even possible for a country with a sheer lack of resources and land mass to do so well? How did a country that was barely half our economic size in the early 1980s catch up within such a short period of time?

Through a simple exercise of elimination, it all boils down to a simple single factor - human capital.

Singapore's near compulsive obsession with human capital, both in terms of enhancing its local citizenry as well as attracting the best foreign talent, has probably resulted in the highest concentration of top brains per square foot in the region, if not the world.

Every year, for example, Singapore provides financial incentives in the guise of the Asean Scholarship to hundreds of Malaysian students at all levels - post-UPSR, post-PMR, post-SPM and post-STPM - to study in some of the best schools on the island.

I was a fortunate beneficiary of such a scholarship after completing my primary school education in Batu Pahat. Unlike me, however, and unfortunately for Malaysia, most of my peers have chosen to work or even settle permanently in the island nation.

My best friend in primary school, who received the same scholarship after Form Three, went on to pursue his degree at Oxford University on a Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) scholarship. He now works for them, one of the largest shipping companies in the world, as an expatriate country manager in Vietnam.

Another fellow scholar graduated from London School of Economics (LSE) on a scholarship from Singapore Airlines (SIA). Most impressively, at the young age of 36, he has been appointed the chief executive officer of SIA's subsidiary airline, SilkAir, as of March this year.

And when I had my Chinese New Year reunion with my home town classmates this year, I was heartbroken to hear that one of them, who is an academic with one of Singapore's institutions of higher learning, had just renounced his Malaysian citizenship to become a Singaporean.

These are not my only examples, and you can be assured that I do not have a monopoly on talented friends. A local senior law lecturer recently commented that the Universiti Malaya (UM) law faculty was depleted of quality academics because Malaysians make up some 40 per cent of law lecturers at the National University of Singapore.

While Malaysia Airlines (MAS) struggled over the past decade with cumulative losses in excess of RM1 billion (S$444.5 million), SIA, which split from MAS in 1972, shone brightly as one of the most profitable airlines in the world. Ironically, it was an outstanding Malaysian and a former academic with UM, Cheong Choong Kong, who led SIA to an unbroken 31-year record of profitability through turbulent economic times before his retirement in 2003.

Hence, when Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi rolled out the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP) with an emphasis on human capital, I was pleased to a certain extent. The 9MP had an entire chapter dealing with human capital.

The human capital policy thrusts called for the creation of 'universities of international standing and ensuring that tertiary institutions meet the needs of employers' and 'nurturing an innovative society with strong science and technology capabilities and the ability to acquire and apply knowledge', among other things.

However, as part of the thrust, there was only a cursory mention of a National Brain Gain Programme to be spearheaded by a focal point at the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry.

There was no discussion on the issue of attracting and retaining local and foreign talents, a critical element in developing Malaysia's human capital. It is extremely important for the government to recognise the fact that the development of human capital in Malaysia is intrinsically and inexplicably linked to the issue of brain gain and reversing brain drain.

An effective human capital development policy is not just limited to building more schools and universities, or hiring more teachers and lecturers.

Singapore, for example, has only half our ratio of universities to the population. Yet, two out of their three universities are recognised as among the Top 50 in the world.

The government must give thorough consideration to the all-important qualitative element of uncompromising search for the best-qualified educators and an education policy which rewards academic rigour, critical thinking and analytical intelligence.

Without such a policy structure and ingrained culture in place, it is unsurprising that many young and particularly talented Malaysians will seek out the 'borderless' global academic environment in which their potential can be fully harnessed.

Concurrently, the country's education policy must be complemented with an equally competitive economic environment which provides these talents with fair and equal opportunities to grow in their careers, contribute economically and be compensated accordingly - in order to retain these talents.

Our competitors' ability to attract young Malaysians, provide undisputed world-class quality education and offer a conducive economic environment has clearly resulted in our loss.

It is hard to imagine that my friends, who have done extremely well for themselves overseas, would have had the same opportunities in equivalent entities in Malaysia.

The government must be commended for highlighting the importance of human capital in the economic growth and development of the country. However, if the government is serious about raising the quality of human capital, much more needs to be done to create a holistic and integrated plan that will honestly appraise and critically examine the quality of Malaysia's educational institutions.

We must also identify the underlying factors, perceived or otherwise, of the lack of equal opportunities and glass ceilings as well as limited career advancement based on merit in many of our 'commercial' organisations.

Should our ample pool of potential talent be fully harnessed, attracted and retained, coupled with our rich and God-given natural resources, then surely we can stay well ahead of our competitors, eliminate poverty sooner and become a truly developed nation by 2020.

Tony Pua, who has a degree in Philosophy, Politics & Economics from Oxford University, is the economic adviser to the Democratic Action Party's secretary-general

This commentary first appeared in New Sunday Times on April 29

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.

dan said...

@ Anonymous above: Why in the world did you copy-and-paste the whole article in the comments??

It's already available as a link in the previous post.

toffeeman said...

Actually in my view the Iskandar project is just a farce. As I read in the newspapers, Maybank recently send letters their legal counsels that they now need to have more than 50% Bumiputra partnership before they can get work from the bank. If the government allows a GLC like Maybank to have such a discrimatory policy, I can't see how Iskandar project can be successful

Anonymous said...

I strongly believe that the IDR will eventually become an international ridicule again (after the doomed BioVally and MSC). This is not surprising at all given the extremely poor leadership of Pak Lah and his corrupt cabinet. It's been almost 4 yrs since he became our PM, and yet we see the corruption and transparency worsening day by day. Crimes rates are increasing sharply and living costs are making many maginalized people suffering more. Press media is tighly controlled to crete the fake 'feel good' factor. The cunning UMNO government is only good in putting up fake shows for their self-glorification and cheat stupid voters. The mechanism imposed is meant to generate more wealth for their own sake. They will never wake up from their sweet dream and learn humblely from Singapore. If no serious effort is devoted to truly develop human capital, Johor Bahru will forever be a paradise of crimes. UMNO is totally hopeless and discriminative. The only solution is to change the government by voting the opposition in the coming General Election!

Anonymous said...

There is a very famous saying in Chinese, which is "Hu Tou She Wei" meaning "Starting with tiger's head, ending with snake's tail". This saying is best use to describe the BN goverment. What's even worse is that now the project is led by a sleeply half-past-six Pak Lah with poor knowledge and vision due to his lack of interest in reading. In view of this, a better saying to describe IDR is "Starting with snake's tail, ending with snake's shit"...

Anonymous said...

My boss once told me. When making a business decision put personal emotions aside. That is the problem with the UMNOputras. So long as they cannot swallow their pride and accept Singapore as a sovereign country, and not as an adek, they can forget about attractng investors from Singapore. I recall the initial launch of the IDR they never refer to it as like Shenzhen to HK.

Anonymous said...

Multimedia Super Corridor 'was' a big project during Dr M's era which 'evporated' without any trace left.
Hope IDR does not have the same fate!

Anonymous said...

Ghani is the most useless MB. Everything he touches failed miserably and then blame Singapore including the flood. He already has a bogeyman so failure is OK for him

Anonymous said...

Pak Lah is the most useless PM, who always protects his family members and friends even when they are involved in blatant corruption. His actions and thoughts are controlled entirely by his cunning racist son-in-law Khairy. The whole UMNO cabinet is a worm can with no transparency and accountability. I can't wait to vote BN out in the next general election. Wake up all Malaysians!! Join me to vote BN out for a better future! Let Tony Pua be our Finance Minister!

Anonymous said...

IDR will certainly be another internatinal joke, especially for the Singaporeans. I can't believe that the IDR will achieve any success under the dirty and discriminative policies of BN, and the extremely slow or no action of the useless Pak Lah.

devilmaster said...

hi tony,

pls dont call Guan Eng as your boss lah. Guan Eng is a nice guy. I think he treats you more as a friend than a ma chai.

coolooc said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

After reading Mr.coolooc's extremely long and interesing comment, I am convinced that he can be a political analyst to DAP....you are so great in exposing the ugly facets of UMNO!! I totally agree with what you said - vote BN out and be a smart and responsible citizen! Well done man!! Cool.........!!

Trashed said...

The recent corporate news that AK wants to take Maxis private and VT wants to take Nexnews private is interesting.

2 prominent (non-Malay) businessmen are buying up their own companies at current record Bursa highs.

Is there a justifiable business rationale for this or am I reading too much into this move ?

Anonymous said...

Stop creating another international joke here, we are already too ashamed to call ourselves Malaysians.
50 years is ENOUGH
Vote For A Change
Vote For Any Opposition
Give Them A Chance To Change For A Better Malaysia
Remember BN is A Useless Grouping Of Self Serving, Corrupt, Dictator, Power Crazy, Racist, Kris waving, etc, etc type of party.

Anonymous said...

Vote For Any Opposition?

I'm sceptical about this idea, will it work? Let's say one of the opposition wins. I wonder want impacts it would have on the economics of the country. What more do people care more than their bow of rice?

Dear Mr Tony Pua, care to write an article on this - the economical impacts of such an event? Will your article convince the normal public to place an X on the correct box?

Anonymous said...

Tony

Excellent Article.

Tuan Melayu said...

Another "Malaysian" who is so proud to announce not to have spoken in Malay for 17 years. Do we need this type of 'Malaysian'?

Melayu Raya said...

Tony pua to be finance minister? learn to speak Malay first, and then apologise to the Malays for the wrong turn by your grandfathers to want the Malayan Union. One more thing we want singapore back.

Anonymous said...

Tuan Melayu and Melayu Raya above are 'orang bodoh' and corrupted personnel....hopeless scam of the society...malaysia are so 'underveloped and corrupt' becauase of you and your mentality!

Tuan Melayu said...

Very difficult to get in your blog, well dont just listen what you want to hear- talk about democracy and civil society , another bullshit typical of opposition. Your audienvce are equally paranoid - those that disagree are labelled bodoh, corrupt etc etc. It is clear it is a reflection of their poor breed. I dont know why the Malays are tolerating these type of people in this beloved country of mine. I am not a politician so I dont have to be a hypocrite and just speak my mind.

Anonymous said...

agree with tuan melayu on this. He has every right to gve his views as we do. we should not be stupid just because thers hav different viewpoint. after all 50 ears ago even the english politician agree to ive speial rigs to malays there must be a justification.sinc it is wrtten in constitution we mus respct it. But we can always seek to change it as it is not cast in stone.the change agent cannot e any plitical parties or even person like tony pua because they are naturay biased they are not even seen to serve cross section of public . in e case of ton he even leave his career ecause he will no be fair ormaybe ewas asked to leave because he has racist motive.so the prson must e odrinary person like tuan melayu

Melayu Raya said...

I may disagree or not even accept tony pua's views but at least he is open minded and willing to debate on issues however sensitive. There was another dap supporter blog under 'being unreasonable' who already pretend to be like a govt to censor the views os anyone that differs from his grand scheme. Differing views are simply labelled as racist. When you cant accept a dialogue there will no progress

Anonymous said...

Tuan Melayu and Melayu Raya are definitely UITM graduates.....

Tuan Melayu said...

A wrong guess, But thanks for honouring me as one

Melayu Raya said...

Yike, how can this chap make such a wild guess,houdini is alive and well. No I am not from any local university, but I can write on this issue as a common Malaysian.

Anonymous said...

im with melayu raya and tuan melayu on this one. everybody has their own rights to voice their opinion and should not be labelled as being stupid or paranoid.

i think what tony has done (and what an opposition should do) is to dig up dirt to highlight to the government. it is important in any democratic government. check and balance.

btw, i hope both you guys do not take to heart the racist sentiment written by some racist out there. its just that our society is really fragmented than ever before and its either we learn to accept ppl as they are or we choose the easier way out,.... violence and hate.

cause you know, it takes courage to be gentle and kind...

Melayu Raya said...

Goodness there's a bit of hope still that diffferent point of view s are also allowed in this blog. This anonymous is also apologetic over the racist remarks hurled on me! I would not want to think that this is mere mca dap strategy i.e "good guy bad guy" approach.I almost thought that I am in enemy territory sort of coming to jinjang alone. Not that I am fearful or I wouldn't bother to reach out. Good luck

Anonymous said...

haha, no good guy bad guy here mate. just trying to be rational out here. some are more ruled by emotions than others.

the issue of unity has given me a few sleepless nights and to be honest, i do not think it will get any better in the near future.

but the way i see it, the only way i can do something about it is not to respond in the same racist manner the way ppl are racist to me. while i cannot choose the way ppl treat me, i can at least choose the way i treat ppl.

Anonymous said...

" Goodness, it must have been the first speech I've delivered in Malay since my 'A' Levels some 17 years ago! "

Why is that?

Anonymous said...

Tony, it is not a sin for not knowing Malay language well. This language are useless in other parts of ther world. Most important is your sharing is well written in English where it is understand throughout the world.

BN is always a follower and never a leader. Those people follow them are neither blind or handicap.

- Malaysian

Tony P said...

Wow, there seems to be quite some focus on what I thought was a fairly innocuous comment I made on the fact that it was my first Malay 'speech' in a long time.

Just to clarify (which I had initially thought unnecessary), while I'll hesitate to say that I'm extremely fluent, I do speak and write the language pretty well, and use it very very regularly in daily conversations in Malaysia.

But yes, a 'formal speech'? No, it's the first time in a long time. The large private commercial sector in Malaysia uses English as the lingua franca for presentations.

;) Tony

Anonymous said...

Fair comment Tony. But clear enough your bloggers are proud if you can't and won't speak the Malay language.

Anonymous said...

Bahasa Melayu has no value at all outside this country and Indonesia. A sicere heart to serve the country but without able to speak this crap language perfectly is better than those people like "Tuan Melayu" and "Melayu Raya", who can speak perfect Malay but always have the mindset of getting handouts from the government forever. You are a burden to our country!! Why not ask the stupid Pak Lah to give you a money-printing machine?! Wake up to the real world and work hard to compete with all races if you have the guts!!

Melayu Raya said...

To kick-off I'll buy a boat to ship you back to your motherland

Anonymous said...

Melayu Raya said...

"Tony pua to be finance minister? learn to speak Malay first, and then apologise to the Malays for the wrong turn by your grandfathers to want the Malayan Union. One more thing we want singapore back."

Why should Tony Pua apologize? As for Singapore, it was your UMNO ultra leadership that demanded Singapore to be booted out of Malaysia. Take your issue with them, not in this blog.

"To kick-off I'll buy a boat to ship you back to your motherland"

Buy yourself a boat too and return the land to the Orang Asli.

Also, the chinese community pays 80% of the taxes in Bolehland, who's gonna sustain the leeches like you and your kind when there's no chinese around to do that?

Melayu Raya said...

Hi anon Tony can speak for himself, not you. Umno has nothiong to do with me so I want to get it right this ime, sngapore is mine. The boat issue dont be offended I just want to give anon the once in a lifetime trip. Not to worry with airasia fares I have been travelling around the malay archipelago. Ps they also dont like your kind. And the tax we dont want your money just leave.

Tony P said...

Hey guys,

Cool it. Let's focus on the subject matter. ;)

Tony

Melayu Raya said...

Ok Tony be cool, just tell yr fella dont be crude

Anonymous said...

No worries Tony.

I'm looking to your next ceramah.

Sad to see that Malaysia still has the likes of wannabe politicians touting boat policies.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the IDR initiative, I can't see anyone else showing more than a token interest apart from some lip service from the likes of Temasek and other Singapore GLCs.

I predict massive failure.

Melayu Raya said...

Yup, very sad, knowing that you are not indispensiblae after all

Melayu Raya said...

I agree on this one, IDR has minimal value to Malaysia

Anonymous said...

Wrong on this count.

Actually, the sadness is that such boat loving neanderthals still exist in Malaysia.

Anonymous said...

Yup, the neanderthal influence goes on and is everywhere - a western heritage

Melayu Raya said...

See you like western civilisation so much, good luck.

Anonymous said...

I disagree. It is only in Bolehland where such like-minded throwbacks in the evolutionary cycle fluorish and accuse others of being "pendatangs" and other such gibberish.

Anyway, the IDR has a goal in mind but has no clear action plans on how it is to be achieved. And any successful person will tell you that a goal without action is merely a wish without the Blue Fairy to grant you one.

Anonymous said...

A pendatang is a pendatang. In neanderthal speak is called immigrant.
Ps . not interested in IDR - no pendatang is going to bullshit me

Melayu Raya said...

Yup, pendatang is immigrant in english . That's a fact agreed by neanderthals. Say no to IDR, the goal doesn't benefit me .

Anonymous said...

Neanderthals such as the two bocor MCPs? Sure.

Tony P said...

Oiy guys,

Cukup-lah. Don't have to snipe at each other any further by trying to get the last word.

Everyone has had their say, so let the readers decide for themselves on the merits of your arguments.

Having the last word is often over-rated ;)

Tony

Melayu Raya said...

Agree with you Tony, its getting petty, I shall not dwell on this any further with these anons

Simon Wee said...

IDR--MUCH HYPE TO ATTRACT SINGAPORE INVESTORS UNNECESSARY

If the Iskandar Development Region in Johor is meant for Singapore Investors, then I think the amount of publicity and promotional effort and money going into it will be a waste. There isn’t any need to hype the attractiveness of Johor as an investment haven for Singaporean because traditionally Johor had been an immediate lure to Singapore investors. In the 60s and 70s any successful SME business in Singapore would have a branch in Johor Bahru without publicity and promotion. Then the on-and-off policy shifts that followed forced many Singaporean investors to sell their factories, law offices and accountancy firms cheaply to Malaysians while they packed and went back.

One thing about Singaporean investors is that they never blame their own government for their misjudgment in their investment decision. Be it their condo in JB looted to the brick walls, or losses from their CPF investments in stocks and shares, or the failed ventures in ostrich farming, they took it in their stride as bad investment decisions.

But now we are hearing that a special ministerial committee between Malaysia and Singapore will be formed to oversee the Iskandar Development Region (IDR). What this means is that should there be vagaries in Malaysian policies as what happened before, then the Singapore government would be involved for getting their people’s fingers burnt. It would mean that Singaporean would clamour for their government’s intervention. If the Malaysian side then talk like they did in the “bocor” issue, then the Singapore Government would be forced to act. With so many issues still outstanding between the two countries especially the life-giving waters, Singapore would be tempted to make the “Mersing Line” a reality. (There is a discerning sign that Malaysia would be willing to sell sand to Singapore to make it grow bigger and not to look north for expansion).

Let’s forget the “big talk” and the spending of “big money” for Iskandar Development Region. Just be consistent with our policies and do more than just talk. Deeds speak louder the words.

Simon Wee

Anonymous said...

Melayu Raya said...
"...One more thing we want singapore back."

Who is "we" ? And why want Singapore back (in Malaysia) when she was kicked out so long ago?

Leo.