• A big fat F for Fail (Part 2): The ETP has failed ordinary Malaysians

    This is a statement by not-for-profit research institute REFSA (Research for Social Advancement) released on Thursday, 21 March 2013. 

    (Read Part 1 here)

    The perception manipulation and deception surrounding the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) masks much more than the mediocre economic growth and dodgy math that we spotlighted yesterday. Today, we draw attention to 3 points:

    1. The ETP experienced a spectacular reversal in investments in 2012 in its second full year. Committed investments slumped 82% from RM179.2b in 2011 to RM32.1b in 2012;
    2. Not only did investments shrink, they were also of lower quality. Each ringgit of committed investments in 2012 is expected to generate less national income and create jobs that pay lower than the investments committed in 2011;
    3. The sharp contradiction between the fact that over 20 million Malaysians, nearly 70%, of our population, are poor enough to qualify for the BR1M welfare handouts even while PEMANDU trumpets we are on-track to high-income status.

    If PEMANDU and the ETP were truly about transforming our nation for the better, there must be far more emphasis on improving education, skills and the social and business environment. They must also have the political will to combat grand corruption rather than just clear red tape and increase competition by dismantling monopolies which are controlled by political cronies.

    Finally they must be honest and transparent about their achievements rather than resort to manipulating statistics in order to deceive the public. Only then can we take real steps towards a future where all Malaysians can have the dignity of decent jobs, housing and security.

    ETP Failed: Committed investments collapsed in 2012

    ETP Failed: Committed investments collapsed in 2012

    The ETP experienced a spectacular reversal in its second full year of existence in 2012. The value of committed investments in 2012, their Gross National Income (GNI) impact and the number of jobs created collapsed compared to the previous year.

    • Committed investments slumped 82% from RM179.2b in 2011 to RM32.1b in 2012;
    • These investments were also less income accretive. The Gross National Income (GNI) impact of the committed 2012 investments plunged 95% from RM129.5b in 2011 to a mere RM6.6b in 2012;
    • Reflecting the low value-added nature of these investments, the number of jobs expected to be created fell too but by a smaller 70% from 313,741 in 2011 to 94,702 in 2012.

    In simple terms, each Ringgit of committed investments in 2012 is expected to generate less GNI and create jobs that pay lower than the investments committed in 2011. The GNI for each job created by the 2012 committed investments is 83% lower at RM69,692 GNI per job in 2012 compared to RM412,761 in 2011. In terms of capital intensity, the investments per job fell 41% from RM571,172 in 2011 to RM338,958 in 2012.

    Table 1: Committed Investments, GNI Impact in 2020 and number of jobs created from Entry Point Projects collapsed in 2012

    2011

    2012

    Total

    Change

    %Change

    Investments

    RM179.2b

    RM32.1b

    RM211.3b

    -147.1

    -82%

    GNI in 2020

    RM129.5b

    RM6.6b

    RM136.1b

    -122.9

    -95%

    Jobs

    313,741

    94,702

    408,443

    -219,039

    -70%

    Source: Exhibit E, 2012 ETP Annual Report 

    ETP failed: What happened to the shovel-ready projects?

    Repeating the experience of 2011, the 2012 ETP Annual Report also avoided stating the amount of actual investments compared to committed investments. In our earlier critiques, we called out PEMANDU [1]  for failing to declare in its 2011 ETP Annual Report that actual investments in 2011 was only RM12.9b. This is  a mere 7% of the committed RM179b [2].

    The 2012 ETP Annual Report is no different. It leaves us all in the dark as to how much of the committed investments from the 2011 as well as 2012 have been actually invested. Any reasonable Malaysian would expect to see a large amount of actual investments in 2012 from the RM179b committed by 2011 Entry Point Projects (EPPs). They have had a whole year or more to be rolled out, and would have had the help of PEMANDU cutting red tape and fast tracking processes.

    The 2012 ETP Annual Report also fails to state the breakdown of investments between the public (government) and private sector. This information is important as a major target of the ETP is to have the private sector contribute 92% of the investment necessary to drive the ETP.

    The miserable investment, GNI impact and job figures for 2012 coupled with the absence of disclosure on the amount of actual investments and the public-private breakdown suggests the following logical conclusions:

    1. That many of the announced EPPs, especially those in 2011, have failed to take off;
    2. That the private sector is not driving the EPPs as originally envisioned; and
    3. That the private sector is losing confidence and interest in the ETP.

    The 2012 ETP Annual Report attempts to skirt the issue by saying that many of the EPPs were front-loaded [3]. However, even on that basis, the RM211.3b of total investments for 2011 and 2012 is nearly RM30b short of the RM240b for two years originally targeted by the ETP [4].

    Further evidence of the failure of 2011 EPPs to take off is the fact that the 2012 ETP Annual Report could only highlight the completion of a RM4.9m new restaurant for the RM9.6b Karambunai Integrated Resort City. The absence of any news on the RM3 billion Tanjong Agas Oil & Gas and Logistics Industrial Park in Pahang also points to the possibility that this massive EPP has grounded to a halt. Incidentally, these are two projects which we highlighted as ‘dodgy’ EPPs as far back as February 2012 [5].

    ETP Failed: More Malaysians qualify for BR1M payments than before

    Ironically, it is another so-called ‘achievement’ of PEMANDU which strips bare the total failure of the ETP in terms of sustainably raising the incomes of those at the bottom of the economic ladder. When launching the ETP, PEMANDU said, “A key focus will be on ensuring that substantial improvements are made for people with the lowest household incomes. [6]”

    Sadly, PEMANDU’s approach has been mega contracts for the big boys, while placating poor Malaysians with crumbs that momentarily lift their incomes. The number of Malaysians eligible for welfare has been steadily increasing under PEMANDU’s tenure. It was originally estimated that only 3.4m households comprising 53% of total households in Malaysia earned less than the RM3,000 per month threshold for entitlement to the RM500 Bantuan Rakyat 1 Malaysia (BR1M) handout [7]. But ultimately, approximately 4.2 million applications were approved which resulted in RM2.1b being paid instead of the originally anticipated RM1.8b. Under the latest BR1M 2.0, which also includes individuals earning less than RM2000 per month, a total of 6.1m applications have been approved [8].

    If GNI per capita has indeed soared 48.8% in two years as PEMANDU claims, why has the number of Malaysians who are eligible for welfare handouts increased rather than decreased? Over 20 million Malaysians, or nearly 70% of our population are on welfare while PEMANDU trumpets projects and investments under the ETP.

    ETP Failed: To Transform Malaysia

    The ETP Annual Reports and publicity focusing on investments, projects and US$ income proves our view that the ETP is only there to help the ‘big boys’ who can lobby PEMANDU to fast track their projects rather than measures that help ordinary Malaysians sustainably improve their livelihoods [9].

    If PEMANDU and the ETP were truly about transforming our nation for the better, there must be far more emphasis on improving education, skills and the social and business environment. They must also have the political will to combat grand corruption rather than just clear red tape and increase competition by dismantling monopolies which are controlled by political cronies. Finally they must be honest and transparent about their achievements rather than resort to manipulating statistics in order to deceive the public. Only then can we take real steps towards a future where all Malaysians can have the dignity of decent jobs, housing and security.

    Teh Chi-Chang, CFA
    Executive Director

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming BSc (LSE), MPhil (Cantab), PhD (Duke)
    Visiting Contributor


    [1] The acronym that the Performance Management and Delivery Unit within the prime minister’s department is better known by. PEMANDU is the government agency that created and is now steering the ETP.

    [2] Covered in Part 3 of our series Dissecting the ETP Annual Report: It was only RM12.9 billion of ACTUAL investment. Available at www.refsa.org.

    [3] Pg.10, 2012 ETP Annual Report

    [4] The ETP calls for investments of RM120 billion per year. Pg.20 of ETP – A Roadmap for Malaysia Report.

    [5] Covered in our Focus Paper A Critique of the ETP (Part 3(iii)) – Doubtful EPPs; doubtful achievements and due diligence. Available at www.refsa.org

    [6] Pg. 60 of the ‘ETP – A Roadmap for Malaysia’ report

    [7] pg 35, 2012 Budget speech by Finance Minister and Prime Minister Dato Sri Najib Razak.

    [8] http://www.nst.com.my/latest/5-3-million-br1m-2-0-vouchers-claimed-1.237738

    [9] Covered in our Focus Paper A Critique of the ETP (Part 3(i)) –  PEMANDU strengthens the ‘know-who’ cancer  and also in Part 5 of our series Dissecting the ETP Annual Report, The EPPs do not seem to be creating high-income jobs. Available at www.refsa.org

    This article was published as a statement by REFSA.

  • A big fat F for Fail: The ETP has failed to meet its targets

    This is a statement by not-for-profit research institute REFSA (Research for Social Advancement) released on Wednesday, 20 March 2013.

    ————-

    PEMANDU perception manipulation

    We are dismayed to find perception manipulation and deception still surrounds the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP). The mainstream media today is full of praise and claims of excellent performance and transformation. This is exactly the opposite of the true picture. Today, REFSA draws attention to 3 points:

    1. Real national income growth has been pedestrian at under 5% per year, well below the 6% targeted by the ETP. PEMANDU is manipulating perception by trumpeting nominal GNI (Gross National Income) numbers, which include inflation, and in US$, which are irrelevant to the vast majority of Malaysians;
    2. PEMANDU still cannot get its basic math and data right. It said (nominal) GNI per capita hit US$9,970 in 2012, but also said it was RM30,809 and the exchange rate was RM3.058:US$1. However, at that exchange rate, RM30,809 is equivalent to US$10,075. It is shocking that this high-powered unit cannot even get the basics correct;
    3. Based on Department of Statistics data, nominal GNI per capita grew an average of just 7.4% per year from 2009 to 2012, which is less than the 8.2% per year average growth rate registered from 2001 to 2010. PEMANDU and the ETP came into force in 2010. In short, the ETP and PEMANDU have failed to increase our GNI per capita above its long term growth trajectory.

    Failed: Reaching the target to grow national income by 6% per year

    “Propelling Malaysia towards becoming a high-income developed nation” as promised by the ETP requires Gross National Income (GNI) to grow by 6% per year. PEMANDU [1] gave much prominence to this 6% per year growth target in its “A Roadmap for Malaysia” report that launched the ETP with much fanfare in 2010 [2].

    However, the just published 2012 Annual Report of the ETP makes not a single reference to the fact that the ETP failed to meet this crucial 6% per year growth target last year. The fact is, real GNI grew by a pedestrian 4.3% in 2012 [3], well below PEMANDU’s aspirations and even lower than the 4.9% recorded in 2011.

    Whatever happened to the 6% growth target trumpeted by the ETP on its launch? 

    6percent growth promise

    Source:  Executive Summary, Economic Transformation Program – A Roadmap for Malaysia, 2010 (page 5).

    More perception manipulation and deception from PEMANDU

    Rather than address the core issues impeding growth, PEMANDU continues to practise perception manipulation and deception in its efforts to hoodwink Malaysians into believing it has reached or exceeded its targets.

    Firstly, its 2012 ETP Annual Report quoted real GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth rates, which at 5.1% and 5.6% in 2011 and 2012 [4], were higher than GNI growth and presented a slightly better picture of the sad situation.

    Secondly, when discussing GNI, PEMANDU used nominal numbers (which include inflation) and US$ instead of Ringgit. The 2012 ETP Annual Report states The country’s GNI per capita has risen from US$6,700 in 2009 to US$9,970* in 2012. This represents a 48.8 per cent surge in just a two-year period. Based on current projections and barring unforeseen circumstances, this gives Malaysia the potential to achieve a GNI per capita of US$15,000 earlier than the 2020 target. [5]

    As pointed out in our Focus Papers critiquing the ETP, quoting nominal numbers including inflation can be misleading [6]. Inflation does not make us any richer. If our incomes go up by 15%, and so do the cost of the things we buy, we are not any richer, because the extra income is spent on paying more expensive prices for the goods and services that we use.

    We also pointed out that a weakening US$ will not directly help most Malaysians. Say your household income is RM3,000 per month (in line with about 70% of Malaysian households). At RM3:US$1, that is equivalent to US$1,000. Say the US$ weakens to RM2.50:US$. You still earn RM3,000 per month, but that’s now worth US$1,200, which PEMANDU can then claim is an impressive 20% increase. But you live here and spend here. Your teh tarik still costs RM1.50, your coffee shop lunch RM5 …. The US$ increase is certainly helpful if you are visiting the United States, but on a RM3,000 household income, that is an unlikely possibility. Rich Malaysians who travel overseas extensively would certainly benefit from a weaker US$, but not the vast majority of Malaysians [7].

    PEMANDU still cannot even get its basic Math right [8]

    Let’s go back to the part saying GNI per capita had ‘risen from US$6700 in 2009 to US$9970 in 2012’ and that ‘this represents a 48.8 percent surge in just a two year period’. Not only is 2009 to 2012 a 3 year period rather than a 2 year period, the calculations for GNI per cap in 2012 are also misleading. Exhibit B footnotes GNI per capita in 2012 at RM30,809 and an exchange rate of RM3.058 to US$1. This translates into a GNI per capita of US$10,075 rather than US$9,970.

    So what are the correct numbers? Until the high-powered and highly-paid staff and consultants at PEMANDU can get their basic math right, let’s start from first principles and use data from the Department of Statistics. The latest set of GNI figures from the Department of Statistics (which PEMANDU surely has access to as well), shows GNI per capita at RM24,879 for 2009 and RM30,809 for 2012. This works out to a mere 23.8% GNI per capita growth from 2009 to 2012, less than half the 48.8% figure cited in the Annual Report!

    On average, this works out to a 7.4% per year growth in nominal GNI per capita for the three years from 2009 to 2012 which is less than the 8.2% per year average growth rate registered from 2001 to 2010 [9]. GNI per capita has been below the long-term trajectory after PEMANDU and the ETP came into force in 2010. In other words, the ETP and PEMANDU have had no impact in increasing our GNI per capita above its long term growth trajectory!

    Tomorrow, we shall reveal the massive plunges in investments and job creation.

    Teh Chi-Chang, CFA
    Executive Director

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming BSc (LSE), MPhil (Cantab), PhD (Duke)
    Visiting Contributor


    Sources: 

    [1] The acronym that the Performance Management and Delivery Unit within the prime minister’s department is better known by. PEMANDU is the government agency that created and is now steering the ETP.

    [2] This 6% target was very prominently highlighted at the very start of the Executive Summary on page 5 of the Economic Transformation Program – A Roadmap for Malaysia publication.

    [3] Fourth Quarter National Accounts, pg. iv  Available at www.statistics.gov.my/portal/download_Akaun/files/quartely_national/2012/SUKU_KEEMPAT/KDNK_Q412.pdf

    [4] Exhibit A, pg.6, ETP Annual Report 2012

    [5] Pg.8, 2012 ETP Annual Report

    [6] For a simple explanation of the important difference between Nominal and Real growth please read our Focus Paper A Critique of the ETP (Part 2) – We won’t really be twice as rich in 2020.  Available at www.refsa.org.

    [7] Covered in Part 1 of our series Dissecting the ETP Annual Report: Grade A+ for Obfuscation. Available at www.refsa.org.

    [8] The dodgy math and data underpinning the ETP is covered in our Focus Paper A Critique of the ETP (Part 2) – We won’t really be twice as rich in 2020 and also in Part 4 of our series Dissecting the ETP Annual Report, 45% of GNI and 20% of Jobs Disappeared in Recalibration. Available at www.refsa.org

    [9] Derived from data published in Bank Negara’s Monthly Statistical Bulletins. 2010 nominal GNI per capita was RM26,175. 2001 was RM12,859. 8.2% is the compound average growth rate (CAGR) calculated.

    This article was published by REFSA.

  • Over 60,000 potentially dubious voters in the electoral roll based on dubious old IC numbers highlighted in the Sabah RCI

    (To see Dr. Ong’s presentation on this issue, click here.)

    Joint Media Statement by Sabah DAP Chairman and Sri Tanjong ADUN Jimmy Wong, Sabah DAP Secretary Dr Edwin Bosi, Sabah DAP Publicity Secretary Chan Foong Hin and DAP Election Strategist Dr. Ong Kian Ming on the Sabah RCI

    Thus far, the proceedings of the Sabah RCI has unveiled shocking evidence of a systematic effort by the National Registration Department, with the cooperation of the Election Commission, to give out blue identity cards to immigrants whose status as Malaysian citizens were questionable, for the expressed purpose of registering them as voters and increasing the percentage of Muslim voters in order to gain an electorate advantage for the Barisan Nasional (BN) especially in marginal seats, in the lead up to the 1994 Sabah state elections.

    But up to this point, the proceedings of the RCI have not dealt with item C contained in its terms of reference, which requires that the Sabah RCI do this: “To enquire whether the immigrants in Sabah who hold blue identification cards, temporary identification receipts (blue) or citizenship which is not in accordance with the law have been registered in the electoral roll”[1]

    To address this gap, the Malaysian Electoral Roll Analysis Project (MERAP) has started an investigation to examine the impact of the issuance of ICs to immigrants on the electoral roll. Our initial findings have revealed equally shocking and disturbing information.

    Ruslan bin Alias, an assistant head in the IC division of Sabah / Sarawak in the National Registration Department, revealed a list containing 130,459 ‘problematic‘ old IC numbers where their records with the NRD was either incomplete or where these cards had already been cancelled (Exhibit P9 of the Sabah RCI) .[2] These old ICs numbers were divided into lists P1 (51,300 old IC numbers), P2 (62,550 old IC numbers) and P3 (16,699 old IC numbers) (Appendix 1 below). Old IC numbers in lists P1 and P2 have been identified as ICs without proper or having incomplete information in the NRD. Not all of the ICs in lists P1 and P2 have been cancelled. Old IC numbers in list P3 have already been cancelled and thus are not in use anymore.

    According to Ruslan, whose unit is in charge of investigating the problematic ICs in P1 and P2, only 8,553 ICs in these lists have been investigated. Of these 8,553, 4,851 (or 57%) were rejected as legitimate ICs. This means that 105,927 old ICs in lists P1 and P2 have not been investigated.

    MERAP did a search of the old IC numbers given in lists P1 and P2 using the Q1 2012 electoral roll, and we found that 60,653 (53% out of 113,850 voters in lists P1 and P2) with these problematic IC numbers were on the electoral roll. We also found 20 old IC numbers given in list P3. These voters are not evenly distributed across the state. 8 out of the top 10 parliamentary constituencies featuring these voters can be found on the east coast of Sabah (Appendix 2 and 3). 66% or 39,750 voters out of the 60,673 problematic ICs can be found in these 8 parliament seats on the east coast of Sabah.

    In addition, we also found 29 instances of old IC duplications from lists P1 and P2. These voters are still on the electoral roll at the time of writing (even though the old IC numbers of some of these voters do not appear in the SPR website) (Appendix 4).

    MERAP also found that the 20 voters with old ICs from list P3 that were on the electoral roll in Q1 2012 were deleted in Q4 2012 because they were ‘wrongly registered’ / ‘silap pendaftaran’ (Appendix 5). How did these voters manage to stay on the electoral roll up until Q4 2012 when these ICs were supposed to have been cancelled in 1996? Who was responsible for registering these voters with cancelled ICs? According to the data collected previously by MERAP, all these voters were registered after 1996 when these ICs were supposed to have been cancelled.

    Even if these are the only problematic voters currently on the electoral roll, they would constitute 6.3% of the Q3 2012 electoral roll. In 7 parliament seats, they would constitute more than 10% of the total electorate including P191 Kalabakan (16.3%), P188 Silam (15.2%) and P190 Tawau (14.4%)(Appendix 6). As a result of the addition of voters with problematic ICs (and perhaps others which have not been identified), the character of many of these seats have been altered significantly.

    In light of the large number of voters with problematic ICs that are still in Sabah’s electoral roll, we call on the NRD and the EC to immediately conduct a comprehensive exercise to identify ICs that were wrongly given out and to take out these voters from the electoral roll before the 13th general election. The failure to do so would mean that the EC is allowing the 13th general election to go on with a seriously compromised electoral roll, especially in the state of Sabah. This would affect the legitimacy of the election results especially in the areas with the largest number of people with problematic ICs who are registered as voters.

    Sabah DAP also calls all Sabahans working or living overseas, including those in Peninsular Malaysia, to come back to Malaysia to vote during GE13. As such, Sabah DAP is launching a “Save Sabah, Save Malaysia” campaign. The larger the number of genuine voters, the greater the chances of diluting the impact of dubious voters.

    The recent Sulu invasions in the Lahad Datu and Semporna areas have shown the serious impact resulting from Project IC. The hot spot conflict areas are all located in the east coast of Sabah and it cannot be coincidental that these are areas which have a high number of dubious voters. There is no exact figure of how many Sulus there are in Sabah as many of them register themselves as Bajaus in the census. We are deeply concerned that the conditions have been created for a “Reverse Takeover” which have been caused by the high number of immigrants that have made us strangers in our homeland.

    Sabah DAP Chairman and Sri Tanjong ADUN Jimmy Wong

    Sabah DAP Secretary Dr Edwin Bosi

    Sabah DAP Publicity Secretary Chan Foong Hin

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming Election Strategist, DAP & Director of the Malaysian Electoral Roll Analysis Project (MERAP)

    ——–

    Appendix 1: Exhibit P9 from the Sabah RCI: P1, P2 and P3 List of Problematic ICs

    Appendix 2: Distribution of 60,673 voters by parliamentary seat from Lists P1 and P2

    Appendix 3: Geographic distribution of 60,673 voters by parliamentary seat from Lists P1 and P2

    Appendix 4: 29 Duplicate old ICs from Lists P1 and P2

    Appendix 5: 20 names with old ICs from List P3 that were deleted in Q4 2012

    Appendix 6: Problematic ICs as % of Voters by Parliament Seat, Sabah

    >10% of total voters

    [2] Pg.19 of the Notes from the Proceedings dated 16th of January 2013 lists these ICs as ‘pengeluaran yang bermasalah’

    This press statement was published by DAP Malaysia.

  • Najib’s fictional economic figures come from Idris Jala’s fictional economic figures

    Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, DAP Election Strategist, in Kuala Lumpur on 14th March, 2013

    Yesterday, March 13, 2013, Bernama[1] quoted Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak as saying the following: “We have been able to buck the external global economic trend. In the last quarter, we achieved 6.4 percent growth, which indicates the resilience of the national economy… When we talk about benefits to the people from 2009 to 2011, our Gross National Income (GNI) per capita has grown from US$6,670 to US$9,970, roughly about 49 percent. There is no country in the world that has achieved this kind of result.[2]

    Where did our Prime Minister / Finance Minister get these figures from? I suspect that it’s from none other than Idris Jala, the CEO of PEMANDU.

    Here, (http://idrisjala.my/davos-takeaways/), after a trip to Davos in 2012, Idris wrote:

    1.      In just two years, we increased our GNI per capita by 45% from US$6,700 in December 2009 to US$9,700 in December 2011, a rare feat in today’s world.

    But Idris’ figures were wrong to begin with. He understated the 2009 GNI figure and overstated the 2011 GNI figure to exaggerate the overall GNI growth. To give an exaggerated analogy to illustrate this point, it’s as if the 2009 figure was actually 5 while the 2011 was actually 9, but Idris changed the 2009 figure to 4 and the 2011 to 10. Suddenly, the growth rate suddenly increased from 80% to 150%!!!

    One should actually look at the increase in GNI in Ringgit terms in order to have a more accurate picture of how much GNI per capita has increased. If we use GNI in US$ terms, it would be influenced by changes in the exchange rate that reflects little of whether Malaysians have gotten better off or not. If the Ringgit strengthens by 10% against the dollar, it doesn’t mean that Malaysians have experienced a 10% increase in their income (except for those who travel overseas often for shopping and such).

    According to the latest Bank Negara Monthly Statistical Bulletin (Table 3.3.1a, January 2013 MSB which can be downloaded here  http://www.bnm.gov.my/files/publication/msb/2013/1/xls/3.3.1a.xls), Malaysia’s nominal GNI per capita (or GNI per capita in current prices) was RM23,850 in 2009 and RM29,094 in 2011 respectively. (Screenshot in Appendix 1 below)

    This means that GNI per capita increased by RM5,244 from 2009 to 2011, an increase of only 22.0%, which is less than half of the 45% quoted by Idris Jala and definitely nowhere near the 49% increase which Najib was reported to have said during his TV interview a few days ago.

    Let’s say we want to compare the US$ increase in GNI per capita using the Bank Negara MSB figures, just for argument’s sake. According to the BNM statistics (Jan 2013 MSB exchange rate data which can be downloaded here (http://www.bnm.gov.my/files/publication/msb/2013/1/xls/2.6.xls), the exchange rate was RM3.4245 / US$1 in 2009 and RM3.117 / US$1 in 2011 representing a 10% appreciation of the RM against the US$. Even with the appreciation in the RM / US$ exchange rate, Malaysia’s GNI per capita in US$ increased by only 34% from US$6964 to US$9334. (See Table 1 below)

    Table 1: Comparison of 2009 and 2011 GNI per capita using various sources

    GNI per capita (RM)(According to Bank Negara) RM / US$ Exchange Rate GNI per capita (US$)(Using BNM statistics) Idris Jala’s figures (US$) Najib’s figures (US$)
    2009 23850 RM3.4245/US$1 6964 6700 6670
    2011 29094 RM3.117/US$1 9334 9700 9970
    % Increase 22%   34% 45% 49%

     

    What we have here is PEMANDU’s CEO Idris Jala misrepresenting the GNI figures in US$ in 2009 and 2011 to show a ‘fantastic’ growth rate from 2009 to 2011 and our Finance Minister and Prime Minister, Najib Tun Razak further exaggerating Idris Jala’s figures to show an even more ‘fantastic’ world record breaking result.

    With two of our esteemed ministers who are in charge of the economy trying to misrepresent basic economic figures, it is no wonder that the public is sceptical about the supposed benefits that the Economic Transformation Program (ETP) has brought to the people.

    In light of the Bank Negara statistics shown here, PM Najib should clarify the origin of the figures quoted in his TV interview and to apologize for misrepresenting the facts and figures.

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming
    Election Strategist
    Democratic Action Party

    Appendix 1: Screenshot of Idris Jala’s post in Davos

    Appendix 2: Screenshot of BNM Monthly Statistical Bulletin January 2013

    Table 3.3.1a Gross National Income (GNI) by Expenditure Components in Constant (2000=100) and Current Prices


    [2] The Malay Mail also has this quote.

    This press statement was published by DAP Malaysia and also as an article by Malaysiakini.

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