Mahathir wants UMNO to return Daim’s and Vincent Tan’s money

Raggie Jessy Rithaudeen

I live on a beggar’s bread. Politically speaking, that is. For the past four years or so, I’ve only had enough to feed myself and entertain some of my contacts. Yet, I’ve been sticking my neck out for the Malay-Muslims, hoping that the race unites towards the betterment of society. And here you have PPBM’s vice-president, Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Rahman, telling delegates at the party’s annual assembly that he needs fat-paying government contracts to serve the people.

And he calls himself a saviour.

People like Abdul Rashid claim to represent a new ‘breed’ of politicians who are not about money but about the people. If indeed they’re about the people, they would understand, that the more jobs they offer private firms, the more tasks these firms can handle through the expansion of business capacities. Some may even end up benefiting from foreign projects as they get recognised by companies abroad. The overall expansion would translate into more job opportunities for manufacturers, supplies, sub-contractors and smaller contracting firms.

In the long run, you would find more and more people having better paying jobs and better lifestyles. All of this adds to government revenue as more and more individuals and entities pay tax. Also, the more money people have, the more of it they tend to spend. This would add to the demand for products and services and create a need for further industrial expansion. So you see, as long as the government keeps the wheel of opportunity moving, everyone is content and happy.

Problems arise when the government allocates projects to leaders of political parties. These leaders end up being beholden to the dictates of certain politicians and limit opportunity to cronies of these politicians. The more the cronies make, the more they contribute to the politicians’ war chests and less towards business expansion. This results in a dependency loop that keeps cronies hooked to government projects and helps political parties become ridiculously rich.

That, in essence, is what crony-capitalism is all about. The concept was first introduced by Tun Dr Mahathir two years after the 1982 general election concluded. Right after he ‘chased’ Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak out of the Ministry of Finance (MoF), he began working behind the scenes with Tun Daim Zainuddin to trigger Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah’s departure from the ministry. He then contrived multiple business schemes together with Daim and awarded projects to the closest of his friends. These friends ended up pumping billions upon billions of ringgits into UMNO’s war chests over a span of some eighteen or so years.

These billions were billions that could have gone into the expansion of companies and industries. That would have helped government generate more revenue as those billions snowballed into trillions over the years. Instead, not only did Mahathir keep government business limited to his circles, he handed overly priced projects to members of his own family. While that did help keep him in power, he deprived thousands upon thousands of Malaysians of opportunity and a better livelihood.

Is that what Abdul Rashid wants?

Is he going to rob government of revenue all over again by doing exactly what Mahathir did? PPBM is nothing but a carbon copy of the UMNO Mahathir created in 1988. The only reason he wants UMNO Members of Parliament (MPs) to join PPBM is because he wants to sink UMNO so bad, its acting president would agree to transfer all its assets to PPBM by saying yes to a merger. Once that happens, Mahathir will have access to assets he helped purchase using money that once belonged to Daim, Tan Sri Ananda Krishnan, Tan Sri Vincent Tan and Tan Sri Francis Yeah.


Do you now see what Mahathir is after?

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