Should Khalid Ibrahim a successful chief minister be an economist?

Mahathir denies trying to topple Najib

The debate over Najib’s leadership reignited this week when several Umno veterans, including former economic adviser Tun Daim Zainuddin, criticised Najib’s administration at closed-door meetings.

These criticisms had sparked discussions in cyber space and speculations that work is underway to push Najib out.”People are saying Najib is a weak leader said Zahidi, who is the Padang Besar MP and Umno chief, thinks Najib should no longer confuse Umno members with slogans, which he said did not reflect in actions.

He said party members expected the leadership to also listen to the views and opinions of politicians, not just a few of his advisers on matters affecting the people.

“Umno members and MPs are against the hike in electricity tariffs but the prime minister agreed,” said Zahidi, referring to the electricity tariffs that are in force beginning this month.

Several BN MPs were very vocal against the hike during a briefing by Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB). While most complained of difficulty to explain the hikes, an MP had asked whether Tenaga could go bankrupt while another asked whether parts of the country would not get electricity supply if tariffs are not increased..The debate over Najib’s leadership reignited this week when several Umno veterans, including former economic adviser Tun Daim Zainuddin, criticised Najib’s administration at closed-door meetings.

These criticisms had sparked discussions in cyber space and speculations that work is underway to push Najib out.Mukhriz Mahathir better hog the headlines while your evil old man is still alive. Your back stabbing Umno colleagues will fill your back with knives the day your old man turns stiff and cold.

Instead of hitting out at the organisers of the controversial kangkung flash mob, Kedah Menteri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir praised the opposition for its creativity with regard to the peddling of false perceptions.

Instead of hitting out at the organisers of the controversial kangkung flash mob, Kedah Menteri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir praised the opposition for its creativity with regard to the peddling of false perceptions. the scenes playing out from Kedah  are rather unbelievable. Yes, the ways of Najib have come as a major disappointment to those who believed in their cause.have lost respect as quickly as they gained it and they are well and truly on a self-destruction mode. Every time they do something, they are setting their own tails on fire and reaffirming a jaded voter’s viewpoint that a precious vote has indeed been wasted. And wonder of wonders, the turn around has happened all so quickly. said Kedah Menteri Besar.

Call it inexperience, immaturity, over enthusiasm, fizzled logic, whatever, but this is certainly not the way those in governance ought to be behaving. Mukhriz Mahathir  in one clean strike have shown Najib is incapable of governance, he is incapable of handling responsibility, and they are incapable of working even as a team for that matter. If their antics in Putra Jaya are really to catapult themselves into  scene, then it is most shameful.Najibl has not proven in any way he is a reformer or a revolutionist, instead he has amply proven that he is an inciter and a propagandist and much to everyone’s utter dismay.Veteran Umno politician Tan Sri Zainuddin Maidin said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak could restore his power and influence if he makes his former boss, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, his mentor, the way Singapore statesman Lee Kuan Yew did for his successors.

The former information minister said Najib should emulate Dr Mahathir’s firmness in handling economic, religious and inter-racial issues.

“Najib can lead but he needs moral support from Dr Mahathir to strengthen his position.Sitting back and watching Najib go on a self-destruction mode are so-called seasoned politicians belonging to other parties, they probably wear a smirk on their faces and are singing in chorus “I told you so”. This is certainly not what the common man thought he would have to listen to and oh, so quickly. The intellectuals who joined the  Najib bandwagon are probably rubbing their eyes in absolute a state of utter confusion about its next move. If they are going to do anything about it sooner rather than later is yet to be seen.  have been given an opportunity of a lifetime, instead they have squandered it. And if they have purposely and not purposefully squandered their opportunity, they have cheated their supporters, they have cheated their voters readmore

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is determined to realise his dream of becoming a government leader but his only realistic target is to be Selangor menteri besar, his nemesis Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pic) said today.The de facto Parti Keadilan Rakyat leader’s aim is to take over Putrajaya, Dr Mahathir told Bernama Radio24 in a special interview.“He wants to show off his ability and prowess, and at the same, it will be a boost to his ambition to become Malaysia’s prime minister,” he said.The former prime minister, however, added that it was pertinent to note what would happen if Anwar ever realised his dream of becoming the nation’s prime minister
As controversy rages on over what appears to be a ‘coup’ to oust him, Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim doesn’t appear to be rattled. Instead, Abdul Khalid said that although he would prefer to complete two terms as MB, whether or not he leaves the post before that will be up to him to decide.He explained that if he decides he has done enough as Selangor MB, then he will not fight any push for him to resign.
Communists believed that the great and good politburo, motivated entirely by the public interest and not profit, would run the economy better than the chaos, irrationality and imperfections of the capitalist market. Yet the market, with all its flaws and irrationality, proved infinitely more efficient.
Fama holds that this is true of financial markets too. This is compatible with Shiller’s analysis. Markets can be both irrational and efficient.

Neither Najib, NGOs nor the politicians seem to care. A profusion of new rules and regulations are constantly churned out without any cost-benefit exercise to judge the impact on competitiveness

.Are stock markets irrational, driven by greed and fear, subject to euphoria and panic? Or are they highly efficient indicators of intrinsic value? Both, says the Nobel Prize Comittee for Economics, with no sense of contradiction.


Johari: ‘I am a turnaround specialist

Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani anak jati Kuala Lumpur dilahirkan dan dibesarkan di kawasan setinggan Kampung Pandan pada 6hb Mac 1964. Mendapat pendidikan awal di Sekolah Rendah Kampung Pandan dan seterusnya melanjutkan pelajaran di peringkat menengah di Sekolah Aminuddin Baki, Kampung Pandan. Meneruskan pengajian peringkat Diploma dalam jurusan Perakaunan di Institut Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam dan kemudian melanjutkan pelajaran dalam jurusan yang sama di United Kingdom dan berjaya memperoleh “Fellow Chartered Association of Certified Accountants”.

Boards, executives and compensation consultants hold an almost fanatical attachment to the expectations market because they believe that the job of management should be to maximize the long-term value of the firm and the current stock price is considered the best proxy for that long-term value. Hence, boards and executives assume that if they increase the stock price of the firm today, they have contributed to the maximization of long-term value. That thinking has led to the tying of compensation to stock price through grants of stock options and restricted stock, which in turn has led to the shift in focus of executives away from building real companies and toward the manipulation of investor expectations.

KUALA LUMPUR: CI Holdings Bhd group managing director Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani said CI Holdings Bhd’s next acquisition target is one where management is weak and has limited abilities to raise funds. Size does not matter, and the acquisition target could even be a small company.

“I am a turnaround specialist. I turn companies around and bring them to the next level. It is not about the sector.

“I like companies with weak management, meaning that the existing management cannot convince bankers that they can grow.

“Secondly, these companies have a limited capacity to raise cash because of the background of the shareholder of whatever reason. And thirdly, this company finds it hard to attract talent,” Johari toldStarBiz after the company’s EGM.

Johari said he had a few proposals on his table and was in the process of evaluating them.

He was, however, adamant that the only two sectors he would not be touching were the oil and gas and property sectors.

When CI Holdings first bought Permanis in 2004, it only had 15,000 outlets nationwide and was a fledgling bottling company. At the point of its sale to Asahi Group Holdings last year, Permanis had a reach of 40,000 outlets and was Malaysia’s second largest soft-drink maker by sales volume. CI acquired Permanis in 2004 for RM72mil, and sold it to Asahi Group Holdings for RM820mil.

“When we first bought into Permanis, it was already a saturated market with many competitors.

“I revamped the business model and increased the number of outlets carrying our products.

“We did lots of promotional activites and strengthened our research and development to introduce more drinks.

“We put in the right people at every level. You need to pay people very well if you want the right results,” said Johari.

The solution is for the parties themselves to introspect and see what is good for our democracy and stop violating or misinterpreting it for their vested interests. Making it statutory is surely not the solution. Imagine every time the code is violated and it lands up in courts where it languishes for a long time. This would mean the violator would happily enjoy everything, including a win perhaps, even as all wait for the court to deliver its verdict. The point, therefore, is how can making it statutory help anyone except those who want to weaken the body.

There have also been arguments that the code is anti-development. This too is a specious argument. Elections are conducted towards the end of the elected term of any government. The code comes into effect only during the 2-3 month period at that time. Are we trying to say that no development work takes place for 95 per cent of the term and all of it would have happened during the last three months that the EC is trying to stop? This is absurd. For, the truth is that the code has NO impact on ongoing schemes and also on schemes that have a uniform impact on all parties. To top it all, since the EC gets inundated with requests if this or that  is clear of the code or not, there apparently is even a direction from the EC to the cabinet secretary that there are set norms and as long as they are followed, it doesn’t even need to be brought to its notice. The only thing that the code bars are promises that have the potential to induce voters. Since there has to be a level playing field, how can anyone have a disagreement with that?

But no, the government, in the garb of making the EC stronger, wants to defang the body that is credited with conducting among the best elections in the world. Although one top honcho after the other of the government denied yesterday that there was any move to weaken the body and that making the code statutory was ‘not being discussed’, it stood exposed when media got hold of the agenda for today’s (February 22, 2012) Group of Ministers meeting where one of the points for discussion says: The chairman was also of the view that ‘Code of Conduct’ was one of the biggest excuses to stall development projects, and thus agreed with the request of the law minister to flag this issue and its inclusion in the agenda papers. It was also suggested that the Legislative Department may also look into the aspects where executive instructions of the Election Commission of India were required to be given statutory shape. Accordingly, Secretary, Legislative Department has been requested to make a presentation before the GoM on the progress made in the matter

As discussed earlier, this argument is completely bogus, and even seems motivated since it comes from the nation’s law minister, who, all know by now, has an axe to grind against the EC. But there are learned, and wise, members in the GoM. I am sure they can see through this. Also, as I said in a previous post, even the common man is now seeing through this. The common man also notices those who pretend to be the nation’s well-wishers but are actually working to undermine the very bodies that strengthen our democracy. In their own interest these ‘top honchos’ should realise their folly and back off!

Want to help out in the new campaign office? Email

As campaigning in the Uttar Pradesh assembly election peaks, the electorate of India’s most powerful civic body – the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) – fired a warning shot across the bow of all political parties last week. The Congress-NCP alliance received a sharp rebuff while the Shiv Sena-BJP was denied an absolute majority. The message: govern or go.

When parliament reconvenes for the Budget session next month, no further time should be lost in finalising governance legislation that cuts a clean swathe across electoral, judicial, police and political reforms. The parties that obstruct the creation of this new architecture of good governance could lose further ground in both state assembly and general elections.

A comprehensive grid of governance should have five integrated pivots: the Election Commission (EC); the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG); the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI); the National Judicial Commission (NJC); and the Lokpal. Two of the five – the EC and CAG – are already constitutional bodies but need more teeth. One – the NJC – is only a proposal but forms a key part of our new integrated governance grid. The fourth – the CBI, set up under the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946 – requires reformist attention. And the last – the Lokpal – is in need of urgent resuscitation.

Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi announced recently that the EC plans to introduce three new regulations. First, debarring candidates facing serious criminal charges from contesting elections by amending the Representation of the People Act, 1951. Second, auditing the accounts of all registered political parties on a concurrent basis through CAG and other third-party auditors to check the use of black money both during and after elections. Third, ensuring transparent inner-party democracy by making annual elections mandatory for office bearers at all levels and imposing tenure limits on political party presidents to loosen the feudal grip of family control.

The second pivot in our governance grid is CAG. Under a strong leader like Vinod Rai, the institution, set up under Article 123 of the Constitution in 1950, has played a crucial role in uncovering a raft of recent scams. CAG’s remit goes beyond financial audit. Its mandate includes a “performance” audit of financial transactions: scrutinizing ministries, government departments, states and PSUs but without impinging on the executive prerogative of policy-making. CAG, along with the rest of our governance architecture, would play a key role in providing checks and balances to the other parts of the grid, including the Lokpal.

The third pivot is the CBI. In a seven-directive order delivered in September 2006, the Supreme Court laid down a comprehensive structure for police autonomy. As the central investigative force set up under the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946, the CBI’s autonomy should follow as a natural corollary to the 2006 Supreme Court order. That order has not yet been complied with by either the Centre or the states and a contempt petition against non-compliance is pending before the Supreme Court. Would an independent CBI be an all-powerful, unaccountable force as critics of its autonomy claim? No. An independent CBI would be accountable to both the Lokpal bench – which would exercise superintendence, including, crucially, over investigation, administration and finance — and a special 20-member parliamentary committee.

That brings us to the fourth pivot of our governance grid – the Lokpal. The government’s Lokpal bill is weak; the Jan Lokpal draft is top-heavy. Building a strong but accountable 9-member Lokpal bench needs a new integrated approach when parliament reconvenes for the Budget session in March. The Lokpal bench selection panel should be free of both government and opposition representation. It should ideally comprise five independent institutional heads: the Chief Election Commissioner, the CBI director, the Chief Justice of India, the CAG and the chairman of the new National Judicial Commission (NJC). The Lokpal must have superintendence over an independent CBI’s investigative wing dealing with corruption cases of public servants. Since the CBI director would be one of the five institutional heads on the Lokpal selection panel, this arrangement would provide an effective element of counter-checks and balances within the overall governance grid.

The Lokpal bench would be further accountable in five ways. First, through an internal complaints redressal authority; second, via an annual performance and financial audit by CAG; third, through a Lokpal appellate bench; fourth, from overall jurisdiction of the Lokpal bench by the High Courts and the Supreme Court; and fifth, through a special parliamentary committee.

The parliamentary committee could comprise 20 MPs. Of these, eight (40%) would be nominated by the coalition government and 12 MPs (60%) by opposition parties – irrespective of the relative parliamentary strengths of the treasury and opposition benches. This mechanism is devised to ensure that the special parliamentary committee is not subservient to the government of the day and exercises bipartisan superintendence over both the Lokpal bench and the CBI.

The fifth and final pivot – the NJC – legislated under a revamped Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, would complete the new governance architecture. The chairman of the NJC would exercise judicial oversight on the Lokpal by serving on the five-member Lokpal selection panel. The NJC would have an uncompromising mandate to deal with corruption in the higher judiciary and thus close the circle of inter-institutional checks and balances.


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