Friday, March 28, 2008

Finance Minister II: Were You Lying?

During the election campaign period, despite turbulence in the global economy, particularly in the United States, despite economy all around the world - UK, EU, Singapore and Hong Kong - cutting growth forecasts, the Second Finance Minister, Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop insisted that the economy will grow at between 6% to 6.5% in 2008 as forecasted in the 2008 Budget announced by the Prime Minister in September last year.
The country's economy is projected to grow at between 6% and 6.5% this year, Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop said. He said the projection was based on the unexpected growth of 7.3% during the last quarter of 2007.
In less than a month after that, Nor Mohamed has done a total about turn.
...Nor Mohamed said the 6.5% growth target would be “difficult to achieve". I think the 6.5% level is difficult at present but around 6% or slightly lower is possible,” he added.
Doesn't this further demonstrate that the promises and declarations made by Barisan Nasional leaders cannot be trusted at all? While he was cocksure previously, now he even leaves room for growth rate below 6% with the disclaimer "slightly lower is possible". If even the second Finance Minister can provide misleading statistics to Malaysians, then certainly, there is every reason to be suspicious over all their "feel good" economic pronouncements.

This was clearly in response to the recently released Bank Negara projections on the Malaysian economy whereby the economy is only expected to grow between 5% - 6%.


ong said...

Hope DAP won't do the same thing like BN people. Always do some homework & research before promise to rakyat. It will downgrade your own reputasi if your just talk like making roti canai, turn here & there.

Anonymous said...

Imagine investors making investment decisions based on his first announcement only to get bummed out later.

2nd Finance Minister it seems. heh.

Anonymous said...

To me all these figures 6%, 6.5%. 7%. are just figures and do not mean a single thing.

Have you heard of massaging figures? (not those at pusat reflexology:)?

Can you trust those figures by BNM expecially for election purposes?

Anonymous said...

imho, even the 5 - 6% forecast by BNM seems unduly optimistic, given the subprime meltdown and impending global slowdown.

Your take on that?

ryansoh said...

Not going to get much out of this one I think, Mr. P. The future is difficult to predict, and economic growth estimates are revised all the time as new data is being released... even if it is less than a month.

Consider the change in economist views re: monetary policy in the US pre and post-Fed 75bps emergency rate cut.

Unless you are saying nothing has changed within such a short span of time? The central bank's report's not a bad basis for a change of view... would the Ministry have access to it before it's release?

In any case the voters can expect inflated election promises anyway, the difference is not enough to bang the drum about (if it were 6 vs 16% or even 12% however...)

notlogiclah said...

Normal la right? lol

btw Tony, you are very admirable and dont worry even when you got constant attacking such as shown by The star vids cause we support you!

Anonymous said...

Maybe they think the economic growth of the country is like shouting prices in Pasar Malam.

Just goes to show the amount of credibility and integrity this Yakcop have. To think that he used to be this nation's 2nd Finance Minister just sends clouds of doubt on how well the Malaysia Fort Knoxx is being managed right now.

Anonymous said...

Good for you Tony. Get ready all these questions and ask the Finance Minister #2 in Parliament. No point asking Finance Minister #1
Now, Econonmists and Bankers are saying that the latest Bank Negara projection of 5%-6% growth is not achievable and is merely another 'feel good spin' by the authorities.With petrol and toll prices incr being deferred, the Govt does not have enough money to construct those infrastructure projects for the Corridors. Also, some of the projects are in "Opposition" controlled states so some projects will have to be scale down and postponed. How to achieve 5%-6% growth?
Continue to pressure Finance Minister #2 and make sure they dont feed us with bullshit numbers. Also, ask him about the 2% inflation rate. Not sure if he believe in his own numbers or not.

Anonymous said...

Birds of the same feather flock together.I believe he and our PM are the same with inconsistent statements.Both are half-past six Ministers as what our former PM used to describe the cabinet.The rakyat are not fool anymore and the govt.can only fool us once but not always.

Anonymous said...

Politicians will be politicians - who is so naive as to believe anything they quote. As the proverb says '.. if I can have a grain of rice for every lie a politician tells, I will be fed for life'. I trust you to be a little different.

pua kang kang said...

Forget about whay they promised in this election,the one they promised in 2004 is still not fulfilled yet. It's call "public peace". Check out their 2004 manifesto.

Anonymous said...

Just as I don't believe the population statistics of 26% Chinese, 7 % Indians, nor the figures in the Election COmmissin's Register of Voters, you can count be in as disbelieving of Financial Minister II's pronouncement of his economic statistics from time to time.

Talk about credibility. Too much sacue for the goose already!

Winston Smith said...

Although PKR-DAP-PAS coalition doesn't pride itself to be a socialist front, some aspect of the coalition's economic policy does smell a bit socialist. Especial TS Khalid's current plan to collect a headcount tax from employer of foreign workers.

Now, I am not against social justice program per se, but it doesn't take a genius to figure out that most of the more advance socialist state like France and Germany are suffering from years of low economic growth and deter entrepreneurship.

Now, TS Khalid's program does sounds interesting but lack in details. Now, the end result is suppose to move our domestic workers up the value creation chain, however, the following questions should be raised

1) The RM9 per head tax, although is used to pay for workers retraining programs in Selangor, it will overnight make Selangor a little bit less competitive in terms of attracting investors and for small business to operate. The benefit of the program itself isn't likely to become apparent for at least 3-5 years down the road. How is the Selangor govt going to deal with the competitive issue?

2) If I operate a cleaning company in say KLIA, it would be easier for me to locate my office in Nilai to avoid such tax, when it comes to tender for the said cleaning contract I will surely have lower cost than others who locate their office in Selangor, assuming other things being equal.

3) For some small business who cannot pay large amount of money to retain local workers, they usually like to hire foreign workers because it is usually more predictable, most of them will work on a 2 year contracts vs say a local workers who would disappear for various reasons.

4) One essential agency to make this to work are in federal level, namely immigration and off course, who can forget the thug-like rela unit. How is Selangor going to ensure a level playing field for people who are law abiding and people are pay-off some federal agency and hire illegals and run-away maids ?

5) Many states had in the past had some sort of training program and are more or less haphazardly operated. How is the new selangor state govt going to be any different? And what of the existing various MLVK program and HRDF program that are already operating at the federal level? Selangor program has to somehow be different and more efficient and producing better workers from other programs.

6) Having a vocational program really isn't enough. Some sort of behavioral modifications is required in the program itself. One of the main reason companies like to hire foreign workers is, in certain type of work they are actually more efficient than the locals.

Anonymous said...

... if a leader doesn't understand the present, how is he gonna anticipate the future ?

Anonymous said...

This is what had been dished out to the rakyat for the past 26 years. Why do you think the rakyat gave them such a thrashing?

Make sure you don't gather experiences in deception, disguises, lies, corruption, expediency, arrogance and other political 'sins'!

Cube Monkey said...

I am not sure why we appoint a former currency speculator to become our Finance Minister II.
All the thing he said is so mediocore e.g like the appreciation of the ringgit do not affect the export of malaysia.
Nor Mat Yakcop, please go and ask those manufactures - how many have wind up their business due to this.

Anonymous said...

if the growth is appropriated only by certain groups then what is the purpose of these figures?? We seem to have robust economic growth every quarter or so but look at our wages, welfare etc? Don't see any improvement there!

Anonymous said...

maybe he wasn't talking about malaysia...haha.

well, BN sure has the experience running the country down the monsoon drain. Given the 50 years chance they had, it is on automatic mode at the moment.

Anonymous said...

economic Model change from time to time. The USD devalue can affect our export earning. Therefore such argument are useless in Parliment or any platform.

Use neddle to poke the right point, NOT the HAMMER!

If you look at Taiwan- Meng Chin Tang , as opposition, they came in power 8 years ago. Then Taiwan plunged into diasater for people. This month Mah-the GUO Ming Tang won.

As Opposition, many voters voted believing in something. As newly elected President Mah said he wakes up nightmare worrying the heavy responsibilty forthcoming.

I wonder all opposition feel the same.

Better all Opposition stop blaming and arguing. Put forward strategic policies, get to the ground and work with the mechinery -Stick and stubborn Govt. system-(rotten for 50 years). But Sultan said, you all cannot sack them...

In Taiwan, President Mah got 9000 appointment across the board. Changing less than 10 EXCO and expect the policies to be implemented, I find this A JOKE. at the end of the day, every opposition argue argue in the parliament, tell all the rotten stories of the past government, and review all the cheats, corrupted stories, NOTHING get done. few years later, people all suffer....and we all get sick, upset and what i see then that all of you could not see??

WHat is the vision? WHat can u change? what and how would you all do and show to your supporter like me?

Honey moon over, mike.

Please tell us in 100 days, 200 days, every 100days...

It is not easy to satisfy people whom are all struggle to earn a living, unlike MP all can live happily thereafther with their PENSION till death...

oh oh yeah..

Anonymous said...

is ok..nobody believes anything the BN government says anyway...

Anonymous said...

I think most of us on the streets are wondering what is the structure of the BR. If there is any digging of old skeletons from the closet, a separate team should be looking into it. While the MPs/SAs must do the more important work for the rakyat. Digging up old skeletons are not beneficial to the rakyat's daily need. Just for headlines.

Anonymous said...

I know it is part and parcel of a politician to make "comparison" of what their opponent say before and after. Since I voted for you, I guess I have the right to ask you to revert to your old self on commenting on what we PJU are suppose to do in facing the current situation of high oil/commodity prices, inflation, foreign labour, trouble in financial market in US and competition from emerging economy.

Anonymous said...


the answer for the inconsistent statements are the timing of the statements are made.

Pre-polling - good news (whether confirm or not)
Post-polling - the hornest truth

Lee Wee Tak

Anonymous said...

Why do we need Finance Minister 1 & 2? 2 signatories for the Bank Negara cheque book?

It would be interesting to know the average income of all the Ministers, average income of the CEOs, average income of the middle-class & then average income of the working class. We have only 25million people, how is the average income of Malaysians worked out by our gomen??? In Indonesia, there are over 70-80% population in the poverty line, i.e. over 140 Million population. Thus, the average is much greatly divided compared to Malaysia.

As Tun Dr.M cited an example: 1 man makes 1Million, while the other 99man don't make any. Taking a simple average, each man makes RM 10,000-. Sounds good but is it true???

hellthy correction said...

With the hats passed around during those ceramahs Im concerned that hence far no accounts have been made public. How many thousands if not millions have been raised remains a big mystery. Will our party ever disclose those figures collected or we just sweep everything under the rug for the time being? Please come Clean...another C for terminology.

Golf Afflicted said...

Umm... not sure how the above comment is related to this post, but as I've explained before, we announce the collections for each evening either on the evening itself, or the very next day.

These amounts are all declared to the party as well and deposited into the respective party branch accounts and subjected to the relevant scrutiny.

The donors have been generous in this elections, and we have raised from ceramahs, approximately RM190,000 during the campaign period. Our election expenses for all the candidates in PJU worked out to some RM130,000 or so. These sums must also be declared both to the party and the election commission.

The balance of which will be used to manage and run our respective service centres to service the constituency.


myop101 said...

Dear Tony,

I presume the spending limit per election rules are complied with hence the RM130K is a simple average you derived by dividing the total expenses incurred?

Anyway, the 6-6.5% GDP growth means little if our real inflation rate borders on 10%-20%. Our spending power per person is fast eroding while the prospect of recession is looming.

Afterall, which parent will not be worried about inability to put food on the table? Which borrower will not be worried about their inability to repay their loans? Which human being will not be worried about getting their basic necessities to survive?

I hope PR will get your act together and formulate policies to weather the coming global recession. Malaysia certainly need structural economic and political reforms to move forward.

Anonymous said...

Please forecast on economic growth for a country is a complicated task, and the results are always subject to change/adjustment. No economic/economtric model will give you the accurate figure. I wonder Angkatan Rakyat has such ability to give the right figure NOW. What is your Penang economic growth rate? Perak? Selangor? Kelantan and Kedah? [....and also down to DBPJ? MPAJ? Ipoh?....] Do you have any qualified personnel to do that? In the Parliament, Angkatan Rakyat is opposition, but in those states you are watched closely too.

To critise is much easier than to construct.

Anonymous said...

Forecasting the right figure is impossible, but, giving false statistics are possible, like what the second deputy finance minister did.

What a disgrace, even a finance student like me can tell that 6% is too high to reach. The subprime in US are not any fresh news, the US recession are predictable from a few months ago.

By the way, every developed nation in the world can forecast a close to real percentage of GDP growth. Why can't the same happens to us? Go think about it the guy above me.