Not many hours left before we welcome yet another new year and bid farewell to the year 2007. The holiday mood should have started since the middle of Dec 2007 when most of you are clearing your annual leaves and probably will see your colleagues again in 2008. Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange is set to do some last minute window-dressing on Monday, being the last trading day in the calendar 2007. FinanceTwitter would like to publish the result from the poll “What do you think of Malaysia Astronaut project?” before the curtain comes down.
I bet you, being tipical Malaysian, would have forgotten the above issue as in synonym with what the former premier Mahathir said – Malaysian has short memory. Anyhow, here’s a summary to refresh your memory. On 10th Oct 2007, Malaysia became the first country in Asean (can you take that Singapore?) to send an “Angkasawan” to space on board the Russian Soyuz TMA-11 spacecraft. What caused the controversy was how the plan was bundled within a billion-dollar deal for Malaysia to buy 18 Russian-made Sukhoi 30-MKM jet fighters.
There’re people who applauded the mission as well as people who criticized it. For those who still think there’s actually free lunch attached with the billion-dollar arm deal, you must have been staying under the coconut shell for God knows how long. The fact that USD30 million can be used to build lots of school, send many capable students to further their studies, help tons of families affected by the recent flood or even to help very poor families who couldn’t send any of their kids to primary school simply shows how the government chose to “brag” about the trip being the first step by Malaysia to prove its capability in the field of aerospace.
Anyway, let’s take a look at how the readers of FinanceTwitter have voted. Here’s the result:
- 36.7% of readers voted “It’s a waste of $30 million”
- 32.4% of readers voted “It’s a cover-up of over-paid $1 billion jet-fighters deal”
- 21.5% of readers voted the astronaut was “Just a Space Tourist, not Astronaut”
- 5.9% of readers voted “The selection process was not fair”
- 1.9% of readers voted “Others”
- 1.6% of readers voted they’re proud of the project
There’re 5 votes who voted for “Others”, so let’s see what were their opinions, shall we?
- one reader said fortunately the government didn’t proceed with the shameful idea of sending roti canai or teh tarik to the space.
- one reader mentioned the project was truly a leader’s visionary quality
- one reader said it was a load of bull cooked up by BN (ruling government) to project a false sense of Malay Supremacy.
- another reader still couldn’t figure out how Malaysia is gonna benefit from the project
- one reader thought it was “idiotic”
So there you are; the result of the previous poll and the other feedback from the readers. But if you think the project has ended you better think again. The government has committed to send the second angkasawan to the space by end of 2010 as it would be cruel to leave the other guy high and dry after all the training. That’s not all. Miraculously Malaysia’s Science, Innovation and Technology Minister Jamaluddin Jarjis said in early Nov 2007 that it was “a freaking good idea” to buy the whole Russian Soyuz TMA-11 Space Rocket. Assuming the sending of the second angakasawan will costs another $30 million and the space rocket costs $100 million, you’re looking at $130 million being taken out from the nation’s coffer – that’s your money dude.
And be prepared to see the space rocket being painted “Made in Malaysia” in due course should the decision to purchase it approved. Meanwhile I’ve started another poll concerning hikes. Every Tom, Dick and Dog knows hike(s) is imminent under current Abdullah Badawi’s administration. If not for the general election of which he needs to push the feel-good factors out to public, the government would have announced multiple hikes by now. So in 2008 what hikes do you think is the most disastrous, at least to you? You can choose “Others” and enter your opinion. So, vote and have fun – it’s on the right side of this blog. Happy New Year to all FinanceTwitter’s readers!!!
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