Stop beating around the bush and Call a Spade a Spade

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Jul 20 2008
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There’re many ways to skin a cat and in the case of ambitious Anwar Ibrahim, the de-facto opposition leader whose chance of becoming the next Prime Minister is now or never, his marketing plan to topple the ruling government of half a century was inviting troubles. The ruling government might be out of creative ideas but instead of doing nothing it was worth a try to reuse the decade-old sodomy conspiracy against Anwar though obviously they can’t have his eyes blackened and his half-cracked body beaten again. No doubt the whole idea was a cheap conspiracy from the start – at least that was the perception of the public.

However the paranoid ruling government couldn’t just let Anwar off the hook without having some fun. It’s been such a long time since the police attracted the global intention and what better way to show its muscle than to mobilize a contingent of ten police cars inclusive of about 20 balaclava-clad masked commandos (UTK) to arrest Anwar. But the game didn’t stop there and Anwar claimed he was stripped naked and had his private parts examined and even measured – front and back. Hospital Kuala Lumpur director Dr Zaininah Mohd Zain denied the PKR leader was asked to strip. Regardless whether the ruling government hated Anwar so much that they even wanted to know if Anwar’s little brother was superior than theirs’; the country’s economy is obviously stripped naked in the eyes of foreign investors.

For the first half a year since end of 2007 till now foreign investors has been dumping the local stocks. For example companies such as Bursa Malaysia Berhad (KLSE: BURSA, stock-code 1818) and MRCB saw their stocks’ holdings by foreign investors reduced by 10 percent within the period. Many more stocks are waiting to be dumped and if any more ruling government comes out to give false statement that foreign investors are still attracted to the country’s so-called fundamentals, throw your stinking slippers at them. They’re just a bunch of irresponsible and incapable leaders who are out to deceive the market and to cheat small-time retail investors of their hard-earned money. They do not take full responsibility of their own actions the same way the Bursa Malaysia’s CEO Yusli Yusoff (or the board?) passed the blame on his team-mate, the CIO Yew Kim Keong.

Even so, the rumor is circulating that Yew has been made the “scapegoat” and that the powers-that-be had directed a deliberate halt to prevent a heavy selldown in the market that day. CIO Yew might be the closest person in the hierarchy to get the “axe” and he had personally taken responsibility for the technical failure but didn’t CEO Yusli also claim responsible for the embarrassing incident? Let’s see if Bursa’s vendor, Hewlett-Packard (M) Sdn Bhd, will be asked to bear the damages in whatever forms for not being able to deliver the SLA (service level agreement) based on the RTO (recovery time objective) and RPO (recovery point objective) agreed upon.

And talk about responsibility, it’s high time for the government to call a spade a spade and nothing else. Former twice Finance Minister Daim Zainuddin was equally frustrated and concerned on how the country’s economy is being managed, not that he cares since he had ventured out of the country long time ago. Daim might not crazy about political powers, though I’m sure he won’t complains if he were to be offered the Finance Minister position again, but to have him mentioned that the economy is sick should raise your eyebrows. The 70-year-old Daim’s favorite collections might be money and women but he knows and acknowledged the current 4 – 5 percent inflation figures released by the government is flawed as the actual prices of daily items have appreciated by no less than two-digits increment.

The infamous former Finance Minister once tried to own banks in Malaysia but luck seemed to be not at his side mainly due to political reason. Daim took control of Malaysian French Bank as early as 1982 from its owner when the French government nationalized all French banks but Malaysian laws did not allow foreign owned banks to operate in the country. Daim later sold tha bank to Multi-Purpose Holdings Berhad in 1984. He later acquired UMBC (United Malayan Banking Corporation), the country’s third largest bank but had to sell it when he accepted the position as Finance Minister. When he was called by former premier Mahathir to help solve the country’s financial problem during the 1997-1998 Asia-Crisis and appointed as Finance Minister for the second time, Daim was forced to sell his controlling stake in Hock Hua Bank in 1999.

Since his resignation as Finance Minister in 2001 (for the second time) Daim has quietly acquired Swiss-based ICB (International Commercial Bank Group) Financial Group as part of his ambition to become a banker, finally. His ICB made huge profits and headlines when it partnered Singapore’s Temasek Holdings in a Sorak Financial Holdings Pte Ltd consortium to acquire Indonesian bank PT Bank Internasional Indonesia (BII) (JAK: BNII) only to sell it to Malayan Banking Berhad (KLSE: MAYBANK, stock-code 1155) for a whopping $2.7 billion – 5-fold profit.

Daim Zainuddin doesn’t think U.S. subprime problems could turn for the better anytime soon and with U.S. national debt breaching US$10 trillion, we could revisit the 1929 depression if the wrong button is pressed. So, if you were to ask me what to do in such a bearish stock market I can only subscribe to the decades-old strategy – keep lots of cash, lots of them for the next Crazy-Sales!

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Stock Tube,

You think the Bursa still has got a long way to go before it bottoms out?

Just wondering how much lower it’ll go? Hope it won’t be like during 1997-1998…


I’d loved to ask the highly educated Hospital Director how she can get Anwar to be examined WITHOUT having him “stripped”. Must be another “pencil” doktor doing the physical exam. on the patient.

hello avatar … i’m afraid so … it might just go down below the 1,000 level 🙂


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