Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Malaysia lives under a state of emergency

Rommel's parting shots. In June, Thierry Rommel defied diplomatic convention with his harsh criticism the New Economic Policy. For that the EU envoy to Malaysia was given a severe dressing down by DPM Najib Razak and later told the Press that hadn't meant to meddle in Malaysia's domestic issues.
Yesterday was his last day as the EU envoy to Malaysia.

Some things he said about this country:
"Today, Malaysia still lives under (a state of) emergency."
"It's not a secret that elections are not fair."
"The NEP allows the government to award state contracts to Malay businesses without clear, competitive tender procedures ... and it fosters corruption."

Read the entire Rommel's interview here. Reuters said the diplomat agreed to the interview on condition that his comments be published after his departure later yesterday. I wonder if all Belgians are as cautious as Rommel.


  1. Anonymous5:57 am

    Quote by Thierry Rommel

    "It's not a secret that elections are not fair," he said, noting complaints from electoral reform group Bersih, organiser of Saturday's protest, that election campaigns were too short and that the media was biased toward government campaigning.

    "There's a significant part of the population that feels their voice is not really heard because of the way elections are managed," he added. "They feel locked out."


    Well, Mr. Rommel,

    Firstly ~ welcome to Malaysia. VMY07. For VMY-07 you dont have to rush for your visa bcoz you can do your Visa at KLIA ... it is called VOA.

    If you fail to get one... just hang around with the Bangla boys at the car park area.

    Some fat ass bloke with fat neck-tie will rescue you and feed you nasi lemak.

    Secondly ~ what do you aspect from UMNO-BN Regime? Its in their blood, its in their veins, its part of UMNO-BN DNA. That is how their mind work.

    Admit it you Bozos. Mr McGoo Lolah is leading us god knows where! Don`t talk about 2057 , the V2020 can`t tell the diference of development.

    Just take any blood samples, sperm, tissue, hair, saliva, nails, armpit hair, nostrill hair, ear waxs from these UMNO-BN Regime homo-sapiens for DNA analysis ~ 99.99999% ( I can circumsized again to bet ) to tell you that it is almost identical behaviour.

    Project shall be awarded to the `chosen one` of UMNO-BN Regime.

    The fear of own shadow. Time to change. Change for the better. Change is constant.

    UMNO-BN Regime can distort or spin the news, but they can`t distort peoples mind. ! Not us urban folks who can get access to internet.

    Regime of Change - ROC.

    PS : Kasih pun boleh di tukar ganti. Berubah. Isteri pun boleh tukar. Ini kan pula parti.

  2. Anonymous6:08 am

    You can bet your last dollar another round of Rommel bashing will be unleashed. Leading the way will of course be the sychopantic political parties and press. Be that as it may, Rommel is expressing something which we Malaysians are aware of for a long time. Long live Rommel. Seig Heil.

  3. Anonymous8:58 am

    That dude is telling the truth. I am Malaysian Chinese. I am not against NEP; I am against corruption. The elite Malays are sucking dry fundings meant for rakyats living in abject poverty. That's why some Malays are still poor, and they are blaming the Chinese!

  4. Rommel is a brave guy!

    See the difference folks between how a foreign diplomat talks and how our chimps in the government talk?

    Zam(the missing link) barely even spoke English when speaking to Al Jazeera. He pulled a Lingam by repeating his words multiple times.

  5. Anonymous9:31 am

    So what is new? He called a spade a spade.

  6. I say...Rommel..."we Malaysian..we no need no white man with Western double standard of justice and enslaving "free trade" agreements and islamophobic laws to tell we what we to do...we know wat we need and must do, white man...after we clean own backyards...then we Chiefs come smoke peace pipe"...or have teh tarik by our mode street cafes ala mamak...

  7. Anonymous9:59 am

    Urgent Memo

    To : ZAM
    the minister misinformation,

    Re : Rommel comment

    Please counter these comment by Rommel & this time make sure don't make a fool of yourself in front of everybody. Take your time.....

  8. This morning's BBC on Astro (somewhere bet 6.30am and 7am), it was reported that the FTA with EU and USA was held up due to the existence of NEP (or was it bumiputra) policies.

  9. This morning on BBC Asia today, it was reported that EU and USA FTA with Malaysia is being held back because of Malaysia's bumpiputra policies.

  10. Anonymous10:22 am

    The data below is from the 3rd Malaysia Plan:

    Malays population make 53.2% of population (1970)

    In 1973, Malays and other indigenous vis a vis Chinese (in bracket)make up this profession:

    Engineers 13.5% (69.9%)
    Doctors 7.6% (49.5%)
    Accountants 17.9% (72.1%)

    By position, Managers 13.0% (81.5%)

    By monthly income (1970):

    Malay constitute 84.5% of the RM10-99 income bracket, and 60.8% of the RM100-199.

    Chinese constitute 55.7% (RM400-699), 61.4% (RM700-1499), 62.1% (RM1500-2999) and 52% (RM3,000 above).

    Malay constitute of 73.8% of total poor household (below income bracket)

    In 1970, percentage of Malay in terteriary education is 49.7% (of which 25% of Malays are only in diploma and pre-U).

    In 1970, Malay and Malay interrest constitute 2.4% of share capital in limited company. Other Malaysian 34.3 and foreign 64.3%.

    The above statistics has slightly improve since then. The NEP policy was not to rob from non Malays but to transfer the wealth of foreigners and by economic growth.

    Imagine without NEP, and meritocrasy and free market economy is applied. Any chance Malay will get any better?

    Poverty will continue to be a vicious multigenerational cycle. Wonder how may of us seen poverty and experiance the life of poverty? Without NEP, what chance of Malays to go to tertiary education, good occupation, own homes, have a chance to business, etc.

    BAck then, the economy was a colonial economy which happens everywhere to discriminate the native and develop immigrants supportign economy. Unfair and suppressive rules and market practises. Wonder whether the men in yellow were concerned with the state of its citizens since Pangkor 1786 (?)(mind you non Malays are not citizens prior to independence). With such monopoly, it is by designed for jobs, business opportunity etc to be contained within them. British policy were meant to discriminate agst Malays and its marine and trading culture diminished into rural agrarian hinterlands.

    On the education front, when historian R.O. Winstedt arrived to Malaya to take charge of the education, he realised that Malays get education up to STandard 4. He said that is too high a level. Yes, anyone thinking its preposterous to end education at age of 10, that happened. Meanwhile, we have anglo chinese schools, anglo tamil schools, missionary schools, etc for the non Malays. WHilst MCKK is 100 odd years old, these schools today are perhaps 200 years old, I can't be precise now.

    Rommel (or should be bestowed the title John Mallot The Second) was not around then to see such poverty amongst the Malays. He was not around when these numbers get expressed into a series of racial riot (with help of LKY) that culminated into 13 May 1969. He may have not read history to know that poverty stricken Malays were forced to accept non Malays as citizen by the British (words of TAR expressed to a senior politician in a closed door session) and carry the British burden.

    Article 153 and its policy NEP is but the realigning of injustice on the son of soil.

    YEs, NEP may have not delivered in full and it has weakness has delivery and perhaps moral hazard (banking term for no way to fail attitude) issues.

    It is not NEP that is the problem! Its purpose is not the problem. WHat crap poor Malay probelm is because of NEP,as a new spin of argument are being used these days?

    Will removing NEP and changing the policy be able to do a policy that serve to:

    1. Eradicate poverty irrespective of race

    2. Restructure society so as to reduce the disparity and segregation within society due to racial identification of education, job, wealth, living areas, schools, social, language, etc.

    3. Achieve racial unity

    Can someone to offer a policy that will certainly help to achieve these two objectives? That senior politician actually challenged anyone to show any such policy.

    Much talked of policies for meritocrasy, free market and other "so-called bright ideas of the same genre" will only serve the capitalistic class desire for economy for economy sake.

    It will not serve the socio-political objctives and will deepened differences amongst races.

    Perhasp allow me to requote a challenge a senior politicians/pseudo statesmen made in a closed door session, show me the policy!!! Rather than quarrel and argue till the cows come home, whats the alternative? Please don't give me a liasse fairre (or totally free market policy!

  11. Anonymous10:39 am

    its no state secrets...

    that nep was bull-dozed thru by razak & subsequently enforced by his successors to ensure umno perpetual existence to benefits the future generations of these malay elites...

    while the rest of the majority malays are forced to survived by picking up crumbs.

    and when others starts picking up these left-over tit bits...

    then these elites will keep brainwashing the majority malay that its the others who are the culprits for their current predicaments.

    10eleven shows that the majority malays understand this scenario... and they want a free & untainted election to put in place a fair & responsible government...

    a government by the ppl & for the ppl.

  12. Anonymous10:46 am

    aiyoo, even matssallehs know of the dirt and all that is swept under the carpets in the govt.. malu malu..


  13. Anonymous10:48 am

    after what happened to altantuya, can u blame the guy for being cautious. he didn't want his comments to be "blown" out of proportion.

  14. Anonymous11:16 am

    isn't it all true..

  15. Anonymous1:11 pm

    IGP has no idea of any street demo
    today borneo post.Is BERSIH planning anything in Sarawak???

  16. Actually agree with brunt council...only don't agree wth the few helping themselves in the name of the NEP...

  17. Anonymous1:54 pm

    Because the 'truth' hurts. But of course there is no truth in Rommel's 'truth', they will say. Why? Because it hurts.

  18. Since this is discussing statements made by a foreign diplomat about political corruption here, let's give an example not many will be aware of:

    Some years back there was a project since abandoned. It was in the state of Johor. It was a big project and the foreigners were told they needed to do something to make it go through. They had to pass over some suitcases. Those suitcases contained the one thing everyone in the world will instantly recognize. Because it was an extraordinary deal, there was to be no documentation; the guy who took delivery of those suitcases, well, he's in the supreme council today. And the foreigners who lost their pants, well, they're back home and not ever coming again. So do we think Rommel should have just kept his remarks to himself or his Afrika Korps?

    That's just one small example. You want some more? i thought not. You want to say something, like why not pass to the ACA what is known? My answer is simple - which policy does the ACA use: whistleblower or whistleblown? Not strong enough? ok try another, which policy has ever been applied in this country that nails a member of the supreme council for corruption?

    And that's just the top level; what about down the lines? say to that of the Miti officer who saw the foreign project was so full of potential he used the NEP to try and crowbar free equity in the company?

    So we now read about income disparities all the way back to the 3rd malaysia plan. Good, why not go all the way back to the social contract and ask if its architect saw all the way forward to today, would he have torn his draft to pieces for failing to see that the later generations of all the pendatangs would not be able to see themselves different from the malays in much the same way the malays think they're not pendatangs compared to the ibans?

    Not acceptable? Ok, let's blame the brits for the shit they leave behind everywhere, from the middle east to India to the division of Borneo, to this social contract crap. But can anyone realistically say time stands still so that the original situation can be used ad infinitum and ad nauseum to justify the continued stripping of this nation's assets at a speed faster than Rose Chan doing her act?

    The NEP looks fine on paper but as with everything else, its objectives have been hijacked by Umno diehards. Why else did the top guy of the MCA at that time bang the table right in front of Razak, if you want to draw historical events to juice up the story?

    What is the situation today that we can see with our own eyes from all those years of abuse of power and arrogance? Billions gone. Do we have all the time in the world to count them, or to list them out? Would doing so bring all the money back to the rakyat? Rakyat teargassed and batoned, threat of may-13 and the ISA revived, the keris unsheathed without the slightest consideration for others.
    Local universities gone down the THES ranking; now the blame is on funds; how much relative-value funds did they get in the sixties? They would have gone further down if the jiatong ranking has been used.

    It's all about people. You may have policies but you need good people who will not brook corruption either by money or power in order to say that "let's be fair to everyone by not playing the zero-sum game against others just because our race has a problem that in the end requires EVERYONE's implicit support to solve."

    No policy can ever succeed if it is run on the engine of injustice. Doing the zero-sum decapitation on education wasn't enough. They have to do it on religion too.

    The pat world of the past is gone. Today it is barbarians at the gate but Rommels' panzer divisions have gone and they're not coming back. Heave a sigh of relief? Pray rationalize your sentiment with the newest clarion call to reduce foreign workers and increase value-adds. How? Where's the technology and the expertise and the capital to come from? Some will add where's the foreign markets that we will now have to start competiting for, at least twenty years too late. No foreign investor will bring in those things, including their corporate training programs to change the very mindset that is the main obstruction to our national transformation until and unless we get everything right for them. After all, they have cherry pickings elsewhere, so why bother with ingrates in a land where six-year olds can get raped and killed with complete abandon.

    The main question today and everywhere is this:

    'what's your value to my business?'

    Try and answer that question without bringing in how much oil we still have. If in six months' time the oil price drops by half, we will be in serious trouble, as we already are with inflation the new threat to our society today.

    No value, no possibility of catching up and still want to talk big about the past and the future. Try again.

    Now the alternative policy. First, change the damn mindset - don't harp or harken to the past. Think there's no social contract to colour the assumptions that have to be made. Second, no dreaming about the present situation. Measure it directly against the better ones. Try that stupid dickhead neighbor south, and don't try to inject their malays being blarh-blarh worse off - economically they're very much better off; brains-wise and potential-wise too, if nationalism be suspended for one realistic minute.

    So far can do up to here, or not?

    Thirdly, find a national model that works. If it's Hong Kong, the freest laisser faire state in the world, then find out dispassionately what makes it work and tick, and whether those measures can be adopted here. Don't start the journey by bootstrapping oneself by assuming that having laisser faire immediately disadvantages the malays for all times. Maybe in the beginning, such as in Sg, but later? See for yourself with eyes wide open (so much for kidman).

    Fourthly, do a self-reality check. Ask which umno chief has brains and qualifications to tackle the bull by the horns. Find one whose bottom won't be gored in the process. Strip him of his hot air and see if he still can float. Puncture his arrogance by asking him would any multinational employ him as the ceo in one of the developed states, and see how his eyes shift in trying to answer you. Then wake up to the situation facing all of us by letting such a pack of jokers run this country.

    Fifthly, think about two-tracked system for running this country. Go back to basics. This country has to be run, rebuilt some will say, to meet the competition headon today, some will say three decades ago.

    Five-point one, we already have a big problem with the present leadership. Which among them will tomorrow stand at the lectern and tell the malays to produce less, have smaller families, so that their subsidies can go a longer way, say in terms of more money for tuition for their offsprings? Eugenics is a dirty word. So's famine. You want to be realistic - try that. Incidentally i am aware this is the first time ever this is brought up. Seeing how that family died because they could only use candles despite having two households, the tongue is already dry.

    Five-point two: don't bellyache about glocal. Put it into action. If knowledge is what the world wants, and knowledge is delivered in english, use it comprehensively. If BM is what the hoi-polloi want, and BM is only used in some places, use it in those places only. If some malay students cannot use english and want only BM, then they go to malay schools and malay universities.

    Five-point three: by the same argument, anything in the government and private sectors; you go in and up based exactly on your ability and performance, regardless of your race, your religion, your creed. Don't expect to use an agenda to feed you more than than what you do. Don't even say that unless you're given a chance, you won't go up. Go to where you can do what you can do, and let there be policies to make sure everyone who's shown capability and initiative go up and get better deals, whether employment or business.

    Five-points two and three will change society as we know it completely. Can it be done? Who will do it? Why rock this leaking boat now?

    The question is not these. The question is if you don't it, will we still have a real country down the road. If you don't do it now, you will get exactly what you're seeing today (or missing out today compared to others) multiplied by ten tomorrow.

    People will tighten their sarungs and jump up to say: but that will increase the gap and cause division.

    The answer is: any difference now, even with the policy?

    When the economy builds up in a market reflecting global forces, then the government will have more funds (even with lower tax rates) to do more things. They can add more ASN schemes, and set the conditions to benefit the poor of ALL races, not just the malay race. They can even invest in new companies and industries, foreign as well as local, and invite the Rommels of the world to promote them, who then will see Malaysia in a new light, enlightened, progressive, fair and visionary. Those new companies will employ whomsoever qualify and able. Better to have the malay hold a lower position in a better paying company than to hold a higher position in a company eveready for PN4. Think about that-lah. He has mouths to feed not for today's world of shiny beemers, but for the next two-three hundred years.

    Never try to invite suggestions by presetting conditions of what the solutions shouldn't be. It's a waste of time.

    As for the host Rocky, forgive me if i hurt any of your feelings. I am ready to meet my Maker so just accept it as that - my view of this horrid situation ALL of us are in; probably too rabid. Sorry.

    By the way, that Iskandar project - is it in the state of Johor? too?

  19. This monkey conveniently forgets that the NEP also awards contracts to many Chinese tycoons who line up to collectively rape the nation.

  20. Anonymous4:49 pm

    I may have lots of things that I don't agree with the current Administration BUT I DO NOT NEED THIERRY ROMMEL!! Go on and get the heck out of here!Don't even think we Malaysians can't handle things our way. The last thing we need is an excuse for those in power to say that we (those who don't agree) are stooges for the whites. GO HOME ROMMEL. I DON'T NEED YOUR 2sen!!

  21. Anonymous5:55 pm

    The NEP was based on the premise that the have-nots needed help to catch up with the haves. Nobody can argue with that. It was a good policy - on paper at least. It has produced a vibrant Bumi middle class. And it has produced countless heart specialists (believe me, Malay heart specialists can hold their own against anyone), engineers, doctors, journalists, administrators. But sadly, the NEP began to be hijacked by Umno. it became a bargaining chip for them to keep a tight hold on the Malaysian polity. It has become an instrument to curb dissent, hand out largesse and stay in power. The original objectives are now buried in a cesspit of greed, corruption and more greed.

  22. Anonymous1:44 am


    tipping my hat!

    hometruths, plainly written, from an unblinkered malaysian.

    a keeper for me, your comments.

  23. Anonymous3:09 am

    Great, smashing discourse!

    Just to add a little bit more here:

    The next time the NEP fails again, there will be no more salvation as the world would have passed us by. The policy has not worked as it should have been. But, to continue regardless without even consulting all the stakeholders concerned, would be suicidal. Discussions and discourses, as demonstrated in this blog, should have been allowed in other public venues so as to enable fellow compatriots to make contribution/inputs and arrive at a workable solution to steer the nation to a greater height. But, alas, the blinds up there sitting in the cushy chairs just refuse to see! When the boat sinks, we all sink together! Figures and numbers are just that, figures and numbers!

    You do not like what you hear and that's what is holding you back! Affirmative action does not work for the American Blacks, what make you think it will work miraculously in this country? It's time to put the thinking cap on and involves all the stakeholders in this nation to help one another. If you fail, we will fail. For whatever's sake, when are you going to learn!

  24. Anonymous11:26 am

    nobody would question NEP goal of eradicating poverty...BUT i can't get pass the reasoning that because there is low percentage of professionals among the Malay community, meritocracy is thrown out the window.
    i am not saying don't help the Malays, what about all these full boarding schools to provide(presumably) the best environment to excel academia. there are disadvantaged non bumis too in Malaysia, what hope do they have if the already tilted tables are further tilted against them.
    the elite irrespective of race don't need the government's help by that i mean the rich can send their children wherever they want no sweat, no need of scholarship and quota places in education.
    As for Rommel what he says is right, NEP cause a lot of corruption and cronies, BUT it happens else where too heard of Blackwater the mercenary army in Iraq making billions, a lot of it unaccounted, currently under investigation in USA.
    as for how chinese towkay getting so much from NEP, hey these are the CRONIES, if u are not a crony u get nothing irrespective of race. GET IT!!!
    NEP is vehicle they use to funnel everything to themselves.
    Recently in UMNO GA, it was mentioned that NEP needs to continue because the riches man in Malaysia is a non Malay, this doesn't make sense. To me,it matters not who the richest man in Malaysia is, the Vincent Tans, the YTL yeohs, Lim Goh Tongs, the Ananda Krishnas don't sent me or you a check every year. all i want is that our limited resources are used with accountability and transparency. is that too much to ask for?
    sorry for the ranting... hmm need to sleep.... maybe i get to live happily in DREAMLand like some of our ministers..

  25. Anonymous10:54 am

    Rommel is a frustrated person. He failed in his mission to sell his country here, especially Belgium - a sleepy country in Europe.

    What else can you expect from this frustrated person like him?

    In another scenario, in case all his demands were obliged by Malaysia, then he would certainly sing a different tune. Typical Mat Saleh, he still want to behave like the old Tuan!

    Rommel, either you adapt yourself to local scenario or get out!

  26. Anonymous10:58 pm

    aiya if NEP isnt fair come to singapore lor. I have 7 malaysians in my class already lol

  27. Anonymous11:24 pm

    1. Rommel's opinion was published after he was off the duty. So, he is expressing with his Human Rights and not as Envoy's.

    2. He can speak as a Belgian from a much smaller country or a much bigger continent than Malaysia.

    3. He had chosen not to speak with the Shade from behind of him - the EU. He speaks as a MAN and no more an Envoy!

    4. This is not his first time to emphasis Human Rights and the draw- back of Malaysian Government towards Development when one of his EU duties was to help the Development of Human Rights. (See Local Speeches & Article by EU officials.)

    Wonder will Najib complain to EU or why no complain when Rommel was with EU!!

    1. You should thank Rommel to save your risking the face to complain him to EU!
    2. Or, you will be rebutted by EU!
    3. But, you also being saved to be rebutted by Rommel as he is away. May be he is aware of ISA!!
    4. Envoy are usually very tolerant to unfairness. So he had kept them in the throat for 4 and a half years. So, he had done his part as an Envoy!
    5. As a European, he is exceptionally tolerant when compared with Malaysian when 10-20years are not uncommon! So, he spoke as European finally!!

    Wisdoms should not differ between a Westerner or an Asian if both cares to learn what wisdoms are!!

    Quality of life need rich to go
    Human Rights only a heart to go!!