Taiwan, Here I Come and I’m bringing RM25 Million

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Sep 11 2008
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The problem with the current stock market is obviously not about the company’s fundamental but because of the political excitement. It’s excited because should the current regime falls the next government, if it survives, will most probably introduce many policies consistent with the CAT (competency, accountability and transparency) to attract foreign investment. On paper it looks promising but the fact is the corruption and hanky-panky has reached the deepest root you could ever imagine. It would take more than political will to clean up the mess. It needs paradigm shifts to clean up the corrupted mentality and it will have no other choice but to go through a long and painful journey to cleanse the dirt.

Once an investor told me that as much as they were taken aback by how corrupted the country was under the previous Mahathir administration, they hate it more under the current Badawi’s administration. Sure, Mahathir’s 22-year in power has basically infected every component within the chain of government agencies but at least things get done. The joke was you should appreciate that the corruption was part of the standard procedure because you can be assured of the success factor rather than goes through the normal open tender. The country is still attractive as far as investment is concerned but the forever government’s “flip-flop” policies are driving investors away.

TaiwanToday, the government has scrapped plans to levy 30% windfall taxes on independent power producers’ profits which if left unattended will affect about RM10 billion of IPP-related bonds (Ouch! It’s hitting deputy PM Najib’s brother, Nazir Razak, so damn hard). Independent power producers (IPPs) will instead make a one-off payment to the government, bringing much-needed relieve since the mini crisis erupted. Could the rumors that each of the 50 MPs (member of parliament) sent to Taiwan (to learn and explore agricultural and industrial technology) was given RM500,000 as pocket money related to this latest U-turn? It can’t possibly be true although in reality these IPP tycoons are politically-linked and are cronies in one way or another.

Hmm, half a million of pocket money is definitely attractive, so much so that opposition leader Anwar has sent four of his party’s leaders to Taiwan to try out their lucks *grin*. I’m not sure if it was a good idea to send one-third of ruling government’s MPs to Taiwan in the first place because the country’s journalists are notorious for their “digging” skills. If they wish so they can even get a story on what brand and color of undergarments you’re wearing, together with the photos. So it’s a matter of time before things get discovered. It’s not everyday that you get 50 MPs land on Taiwan’s airport well-equipped with golf-sets so I would be puzzle if Taiwan’s journalists are not covering this strange expedition. It’s getting comical but it would spoil the fun if Anwar were to stop playing the game now. To be able to see Badawi’s daily confuse and speechless face would worth every penny spent.
Ah Mei Welcome 51 FrogsIn another surprising U-turn the Multimedia and Communications Commission (MCMC) has decided to reinstate access to the controversial Malaysia-Today news portal after instructed all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the country to block the site. No doubt it was a laughing stock because people are still able to access the site using different methods. RPK should thank MCMC for the free publicity because I’m sure his visitors and daily page-views should have doubled. Hey! What happened to the racist drama? As expected the actor (Ahmad Ismail) who played the villain of a racist politician whose job was to flame the fire of hatred has been let off the hook with a mere 3-year suspension. What? No ISA or Sedition Act on his neck? The curtain has comes down and the show is over so the next agenda is Taiwan. Boy! What a free tourism promotion for Taiwan.

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Dear FinanceTwitter,

As what you’ve commented, things are really chaotic right now…

Hopefully, the political situation will be clear by the end of the year and the government can start focusing on the economy and social welfare again.


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