Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The green, green grass of Kuala Lumpur

Puchong, 24 Feb
Always thought the grass was greener on the other side. When I was in Monaco a few years back, I was sure Monte Carlo had the most number of rich in the whole wide world. Everybody seemed to be driving a Porche or Lambo or Ferrari. Last week I was in Gohtong, once the ignored brother of Genting, and lo! It was a bit like Monaco: there were more Lotus and Maserattis than Protons and MyVis!

Curious, I came across this slightly dated article on how Kuala Lumpur tops global rich list with 13, 800 millionaires in the Malay Mail Online. Ah, no wonder lah. 

An interesting bit from the Wealthinsight research group that came up with the findings was the fact that there was a 45.5 per cent hike in our new millonaires minted between 2009 and 2013. I suppose you can say that this all happened under Najib Razak's watch so if you have a problem with it, you know who to blame!

“Malaysian wealth grew at the remarkable rate of 59.6 per cent between 2009 and 2013 and is expected to increase by a further 28% to reach US$206 billion in 2018,” said the group which claims to have a detailed database on the rich and an international-based team of over 500 economists, analysts and researchers. 
WealthInsight analyst Tom Carlisle cited the well-performing Malaysian economy during the financial crisis as the reason for the 45.5 per cent hike in new millionaires minted during the 2009 to 2013 period to the total pool of 26,105.
"Since becoming an Islamic banking hub, Malaysia has seen a large surge in investment to its shores, increasing by 52.6 per cent since 2008 to US$11.6 billion. Malaysia has also seen a large increase in HNWIs acquiring their wealth in finance as well as in real estate and construction, increasing by 64.8 per cent, 57.2 per cent and 55.1 per cent respectively”, says Carlisle.

It would be interesting to find out the 2015 data on our high net worth individuals, which might include Opposition wonderboy Rafizi Ramli, who's proven to be quite a shrewd investor despite all the political make-beliefs (check out this FB h e r e; not exactly dedicated to Rafizi but it offers some samples).  

Did he really say he didn't pull out from TH
because that could have inspired a run?

Our millionaires aside, there have been some good news about the economy lately, which is not good news for some people who are bent on running this country down with their negativity. Fitch, often a bitch when it comes to ratings for developing economies like us, affirms Malaysia's currency ratings with stable long-term outlooks. 

Main issues facing the Malaysian economy, according to Fitch? Not the currency: "... the currency and reserves have stabilised since September 2015, despite a further decline in oil prices." Not exteral liquidity: ".. weakened but remains in line with “A” range peers' medians for coverage of current external payments and the liquidity ratio. It expects the current account to remain in modest surplus out to 2017." Not growth, either:  "... the economy was slowing, but growth remains stronger than in “A” peers. Fitch predicted real GDP growth of about 4% in 2016 and 2017, below the five-year average of 5%"

Politics and Governance. Yes, herein lies much of our problems:

"Malaysian politics and governance standards have come under the spotlight due to a range of domestic and international investigations into the state-owned investment company 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB)."

But even then, Fitch notes that "the political heat generated by these issues has not so far had a discernible impact on policy-making. "For example, the government has pressed ahead with controversial structural fiscal reforms, including a goods and services tax and reduction in fuel subsidies." 

In other words, kudos! Fitch is basically giving credit to the Najib Administration lah.

The EPF also got us some good news, especially to wage earners who turn 55 this year (ehem). Despite it being the second highest ever dividends announced by EPF, some folks are not pleased. One of them is the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (acting) president Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid, who called it "dissapointing"

Disappointing for MTUC or PKR? 

But then again, this Sani guy is not just representing MTUC, he represents the Opposition in his capacity as PKR Member of Parliament for Kuala Langat. Hence, Fitch's point on "Politics and Governance" ....

p.s. I thought we wanted to get rid of politicians in trade unions? 


  1. xnakdedak2:24 pm

    "An interesting bit from the Wealthinsight research group that came up with the findings was the fact that there was a 45.5 per cent hike in our new millonaires minted between 2009 and 2013. I suppose you can say that this all happened under Najib Razak's watch so if you have a problem with it, you know who to blame!"

    Millionaires are so yesterday.

    The myEG crony would have made 137 million in weeks had the Bangla registration scam gone through.

    Thank you Najib!

    Such a "wealth creator".


    Nothing beats becoming a billionaire in one transaction from an offshore account, however.

    Well done Najib!

  2. yo rockybrute

    eat your heart out

    your dedak supplier will go for holiday in bamboo river

  3. xnakdedak6:38 pm

    Denizens of real democracies would laugh out loud at the description of Muhyiddin’s till now polite remarks as “incessant outbursts”.

    In fact, for the past year of unfolding mega-scandal the DPM’s muted, almost timid-sounding tones have been letting Najib off the hook. It is an irony that only the old dictatorial warhorse himself, Dr M, has acted like a democrat, loudly voicing his concerns.

    Others in UMNO have been sacked, not even for speaking out, but only for showing insufficient enthusiasm for Najib.

    This is no longer a political party, it is a group of paid yes men, who have agreed to be run by one boss – they gave the job to the wrong man (or woman to be perhaps more precise) and now they are in a hell of a mess.


  4. This article is flawed/inaccurate. How can there be more millionaires in KL vs NEW York or Silicon Valley......common sense no?

  5. Dear Rocky,

    Read this for the greener pastures.

  6. xnakdedak10:14 am

    "Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said that the funds were part of a business deal. "It is a private Saudi citizen. I believe, and the funds went to an investment in Malaysia," he said last week. Claims that Najib had allegedly returned $620m to the royal family because the funds were not utilised could not be independently confirmed.

    News reports claim that a member of the royal family and an associate of the family, speaking on condition of anonymity, had said that the money had come from a Saudi prince and that it was not a donation as claimed earlier by the Malaysian authorities."

    So, the whole "donation" basis is now gone.

    Why isn't the prosecution proceeding?

  7. Capcha2:07 pm

    According to a Hurun Report last week, "Beijing has now surpassed New York City as the billionaire capital of the world, with 100 resident billionaires to the US city's 95" (Singapore Business Times, February 29, 2016).

    The 100 resident billionaires in Beijing would have more funds and assets than the 13,800 millionaires in KL. Don't you think so?