Book Review – PKFZ: A Nation’s Trust Betrayed

(Also published on The Malaysian Insider and Selangor Times)

Which is the biggest financial scandal in Malaysian history, someone recently asked me. Without hesitation, I replied, Port Klang Free Zone or PKFZ. This scandal could potentially end up costing the Malaysian taxpayer RM12.5 billion according to the PWC position review report. In real terms, the financial losses associated with PKFZ may be slightly less than the BMF scandal (RM2.5b in 1983), the Maminco scandal (RM1.6b, 1980s) and Perwaja (RM10b in accumulated losses, 1990s) but none of these scandals can challenge PKFZ in terms of financial creativity and the number of high profile politicians involved.

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ETP: Part 6 — The ETP will make the rich even richer

(Also published on The Malaysian Insider)

The ETP will be bad for wage-earners. Workers’ share of national income under the ETP will be just 21 per cent compared to 28 per cent currently. Wage-earners’ losses will be corporate gains. The corporate share of ETP income will be 74 per cent, up from 67 per cent today. We fully support a vibrant corporate sector, but a healthy middle class is also crucial for sustainable high-income status. In developed economies, wages take about 50 per cent of national income.

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ETP: Part 5 — The ETP so far is just a handful of mega-projects

(Also published on The Malaysian Insider)

ETP: Part 5 — The ETP so far is just a handful of mega-projects
Dr. Ong Kian Ming & Teh Chi-Chang

Just two mega-projects and oil, gas and energy, really. Behind the apparently impressive RM176 billion of investments achieved in the ETP so far is a sobering picture. The MRT and Petronas’ RAPID mega-projects make up 55 per cent of total investments in Entry Point Projects (EPPs). Going by National Key Economic Area, 53 per cent of investments were in just one NKEA — Oil, Gas & Energy.

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