Sunday, November 18, 2012

BN’s only strategy in economics


Mohd Ariff Sabri Aziz

November 18, 2012
The Felda Global Venture issue and democracy under Umno have many similarities, says a former Umno Pahang assemblyman.
COMMENT
What has the Felda Global Venture (FGV) issue got to do with the state of democracy in the country under Umno?
The FGV listing simply illustrates that special interest groups in this country determine our democracy instead of the wishes of the majority.
The listing of FGV has more to do with the agenda of the moneyed class than the agenda of the no-money settler class.
Settlers and employees got 200.6 million of the 2188.9 million shares to be sold.
The people representing the majority and overriding interest are the settlers and the employees. There are 112,635 settlers and 3835 employees.
They represent directly the interest of Felda people. They are the majority on whose backs and on whose name, this listing was supposed to be done for and benefits meant.
My questions to the Felda people is this: Why get only 200.6 million out of the 2.188 billion shares offered? Why own the same from the 3.6482 billion of the enlarged share capital?
That’s only 5.5% of the interest in Felda.
What Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and the government are doing to you is just cosmetics.
Because you are 116,470 strong, you are bribed with RM15,000, RM380 duit raya, 810 shares worth RM3685 at listing and your sons’ and daughters’ PTPTN are being paid by the government using money that belongs to YOU.
Najib will do anything to keep you corralled and addicted to the cocaine of handouts.
Who are the “people”?
The same is happening to the state of democracy under Umno.
This country’s future is being determined by special interest groups who are self-selected and thrive on a single chosen issue.
When the FGV shares rose up to near RM6 per unit, everyone said that was a testament of the confidence people have with FGV.
But who are these “people” exactly?
The “people” – a nebulous and hazy term which could be infused with whatever meaning one wishes – refers to the various state governments that were asked to buy the shares and the various government-linked companies (GLCs) that Najib directed to buy FGV’s stocks.
More important, these “people” are really the moneyed and special interest groups.
And of course, Najib alone represents the “people” and naturally he wasn’t shy to pat his own back. He must now be an accomplished contortionist.
Now that the share price has gone down tremendously, everyone who previously jumped up and down, are saying that it is a normal course in share trading.
Going down is part of the normal course, but going up is taken to mean much more?
Our take is this – going by the logic of the majority of us with only weak school certificates – the reduction in price, must be testament to lack of confidence.
FGV’s poor record
If the trending is more downwards than upwards, then lack of confidence is the stronger force.
We are not confident FGV will take settlers new heights nor are we confident Najib, Umno and BN can take our country to new heights.
Najib’s only strategy in economics is to give out money, here, there and everywhere.
Right from the beginning, the listing of FGVH and the choice of the vehicle for listing of Felda’s business interest was questionable.
For a start, there weren’t any settlers’ representative on its board.
FGV does business mostly overseas. Its business record was far from good or sufficiently good enough to inspire confidence that it can bring Felda to new heights.
It incurred continuous losses in its business most of the time and only made spectacular rebound on the profits nearing the listing date.
Most of its profits came from the portion it owns in Felda Holdings which is anchored in its brick and mortar business- planting of palm oil trees and selling CPO to the world.
It wasn’t doing anything bordering on rocket science that seems to be preferred by FGV.
The writer is a former Umno state assemblyman but has now joined DAP. He is a FMT columnist.
~ Free Malaysia Today

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