Friday, October 06, 2006

Lagging Or Not Lagging

PM: Bumiputeras still lagging - New Straits Times, 6th Oct 2006

  • Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the methodology used by Asli in counting government-linked companies (GLCs) as Bumiputera companies was wrong and could even lead to anger."They adopted an approach based on a survey involving only 1,000 companies listed on Bursa Malaysia, unlike the Economic Planning Unit (EPU), which involved 600,000 Malaysian companies (in its survey) and used government documents.
  • Zainal Aznam also said the Asli study considered government- linked companies as predominantly Bumiputera, while the government removed GLCs from its figures
  • A third flaw was Asli’s use of market capitalisation while the government used the par value, or nominal value, and the number of units of shares a person held.

I am not financial analyst nor economist. Hopefully someone can put up a good comparison, explains the difference between the calculation methods and at the same time identifies the correct analysis. For a layman like me, my understanding is that EPU is having a bigger sample size while at the same time, GLCs were excluded. Assuming all GLCs are predminantly Bumiputeras' is wrong by ASLI, but government either did not explain how many of it actually own by Bumiputera? Maybe it is true as what ASLI has pointed out, some of the information is just not accessible. These complex calculation always left me hanging.

What is real stake of bumis in KL market? - The Straits Times, 7th Oct 2006

  • Asli estimated that bumiputeras own 70 per cent of the shares in GLCs, which make up a third of the market value of the stock exchange. They include utility companies such as Tenaga Nasional and Telekom Malaysia, and Malaysia's biggest bank, Maybank. Asli also did its sums using the market values of the shares, rather than the par or nominal values, for the simple reason that it is market value that actually denotes the value of a company.
  • But Datuk Seri Abdullah disagreed. He said the Economic Planning Unit's method was more accurate because it surveyed the 600,000 companies registered in Malaysia, excluding GLCs, and did its calculations using the par value of the shares. He said it was not right to include the GLCs.'The revenues reaped by GLCs will be handed over to the government to be saved in funds for use by the people and the country,' he said.

Right or wrong to include GLC? It simply depends on your objectives. Anyway, ASLI is willing to let the government examines their book, how about our least-transparent government, are you doing the same too?

More flak for study saying bumiputeras have 45% stake - The Straits Times, 9th October 2006

  • In a Mingguan Malaysia report, published yesterday, Tan Sri Muhyiddin said the research challenges the government's authority. He described it as irresponsible and urged the government to be strict if Asli fails to retract the research. 'The research is rubbish and cannot be used. As a Malay, I feel angry and I think it has ulterior motives,' he said. 'The research might have certain agendas aimed at sparking off a polemic, especially among those who think the research is true. That group will surely accuse the government of releasing false information.'
  • - O2's comment: The phrase "challenging the government's authority", make it sounds like we are living in the dictators era and it is an equally irresponsible statement. By the way, "as a Chinese, I feel angry and I think you also have ulterior motives". If the government did nothing wrong, why should they worry about accusation? Show us the data, we just want transparency!
  • Economist professor Dr Ismail Md Salleh said the report was inaccurate because different measurements were used.
  • - O2's comment: It might be government's report that is inaccurate because different measurements were used, right? This is why ASLI, as an NGO is willing to let you examine their method. Why shoot them down in an open discussion? Aren't we a democratic nation?
  • Deputy Finance Minister Awang Adek Hussin said they could be unhappy with the renewed NEP and the target of 30 per cent bumiputera equity ownership. He noted that the government figures were accepted by international economists, and warned that if Asli's report was accepted, it could retard the government's effort to distribute the nation's wealth based on race equality.
  • - O2's comment: Yes, we are unhappy not because of the 30 percent bumiputera equity ownership. We are sad because we have tried to co-operate and help the Bumis achieving better life though the "Never Ending Policy" but the outcome is the rich one are getting richer and poor one remains. We should all feel unhappy about it, regardless of race and ethnic since it never really benefits any of us, with the widening of income gap.
  • The Malaysian Malay Entrepreneurs and Merchants Association has asked Asli to be more sensitive towards bumiputera issues. The association's president, Datuk Moehamad Izat Emir, told Mingguan Malaysia that Asli should focus on matters which require their involvement rather than intervene in the bumiputera status in the country
  • - O2's comment: ASLI is an NGO, they have the right to involve in any activities if there is a need to. If they only involve in matters assign by the government, they should re-brand themselves as GO. Please get the definition clear before you voice your opinion.

I saw this piece of news in The Straits Times and would like to have my personal opinion on this issue, just like the way our politicians have commented without needing much facts to support their point. I guess nobody can blame me for doing the same, right? Unless we are practicing double standards, are we?

Link: Backing down, finally, Malaysians should not question, A chess game, LKY is sorry, what about UMNO?, More statistics, anyone?, Bumiputera Equity at 45%, 43 more to go, A marginalisation?, Migration issue, Contradiction: Let the voice of people be heard, Customer is always right, Something to think about, Misleading? By who?


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