MAS dan AirAsia

Pelbagai pendapat diberikan mengenai urusniaga antara Khazanah dan AirAsia yang menyaksikan pemilik AirAsia bukan sahaja memegang 20.5% saham MAS, malah turut berada di dalam Lembaga Pengarah MAS.

Saya lihat rata-rata penganalisa pasaran menyambut baik urusniaga itu, atas dasar sinergi perniagaan yang akan membawa kebaikan kepada kedua-dua pihak. Antara yang sebut ialah peluang untuk menyelamatkan ratusan juta kos MRO dan rasionalisasi laluan yang akan memaksimakan keuntungan.

Saya tertarik dengan pandangan mengenai sinergi ini. Urusniaga yang mengakibatkan satu pihak mengambilalih pegangan yang besar dan mengawal operasi pihak yang satu lagi bukanlah perkara yang baru. Ada yang menyebutnya sebagai “white knights”, ada yang menyifatkannya “hostile takeover” bergantung siapa yang mengambilalih.

Namun urusniaga MAS-AirAsia ini lebih pelik.

Pertamanya, AirAsia adalah pesaing utama MAS. Pandangan bahawa satu kerjasama akan menguntungkan kedua-dua pihak adalah kurang munasabah, kerana secara akalnya pemilik AirAsia sudah tentu mengutamakan kepentingan AirAsia mengatasi MAS. Maka, keputusan yang dibuat bagi pihak MAS oleh si tuan punya AirAsia secara akalnya lebih cenderong untuk memberi keuntungan jangka panjang kepada AirAsia.

Sebab itu konsep tatakelola korporat (“corporate governance”) ini bukan satu konsep yang hanya perlu ditulis atas kertas, tetapi wajar dipertimbangkan pelaksanaan praktikalnya. Amatlah sukar untuk seorang pemimpin korporat yang bermusuhan dengan pesaingnya selama ini untuk berlaku adil dan saling bertukar peranan, kerana kebiasaanya keputusan beliau akan cenderong untuk memberi keutamaan kepada syarikat miliknya. Keadaannya makin berbahaya sekarang apabila beliau ada peluang untul mempengaruhi keputusan besar MAS yang akan menguntungkan AirAsia bagi jangka masa panjang. MAS rugi, AirAsia untung. Jangka masa panjang, MAS mungkin rebah dan terus hilang, AirAsia mengambil tempatnya.

Itu belum lagi pertimbangan bahawa urusniaga ini ditentang pekerja MAS dan akan melemahkan semangat dan jatidiri profesional mereka.

Saya tinggalkan persoalan-persoalan ini untuk pembaca buat penyelidikan lanjut. Kalau ada masa, Insya Allah saya akan tulis lebih lebar.

Prestasi Ekonomi Mutakhir Menjadi Petanda Kegagalan Dasar Ekonomi Najib

Angka-angka ekonomi terkini yang baru diumumkan membayangkan ekonomi negara akan terus malap; selain dari kerugian ratusan bilion ringgit yang dialami pelabur di Bursa Kuala Lumpur sejak Jumaat lalu.

Keputusan agensi pelaburan dan penganalisa pasaran memotong unjuran pertumbuhan ekonomi negara di bawah paras 5% bagi tahun 2011 menjadi tanda-tanda bahawa dasar dan inisiatif ekonomi yang menjadi tonggak pentadbiran Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak (seperti Program Transformasi Ekonomi, Rancangan Malaysia Kesepuluh dan Model Ekonomi Baru) telah gagal sejak dari awal-awal lagi.

Jika prestasi ekonomi terus malap seperti yang diunjurkan, Program Transformasi Ekonomi akan gagal sebelum memasuki tahun kedua kerana ia mensasarkan pertumbuhan ekonomi 6% setahun untuk mencapai sasaran Pendapatan Kasar Kebangsaan (GNI) per kapita sebanyak RM48,000 menjelang 2020 yang diwar-warkan. Pertumbuhan ekonomi tahunan di bawah angka 5% setahun bermakna Program Transformasi Ekonomi telah gagal menarik minat pelabur walhal kerajaan menumpukan sepenuh tenaga, fokus dan jentera kerajaan untuk mempromosikannya. Jika ia gagal menarik perhatian dalam tahun pertama dan di kemuncak promosinya, bayangkan keadaannya 2-3 tahun akan datang.

Prospek yang malap ini akan diburukkan lagi dengan keadaan tidak menentu yang dialami Amerika Syarikat dan negara-negara Eropah. Pakar ekonomi dunia sependapat bahawa krisis hutang di Eropah akan mengheret 3 ekonomi terbesarnya iaitu Itali, Perancis dan Jerman ke kancah kekalutan ekonomi seperti yang dialami oleh negara-negara Eropah lain. Jika ini berlaku, prestasi ekonomi Malaysia akan turut terkesan dan memburukkan lagi angka pertumbuhan ekonomi tahun-tahun akan datang.

Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak juga perlu menerima hakikat bahawa pentadbiran beliau telah gagal mencapai sasaran pelaburan swasta yang ditetapkannya sendiri dan diumumkan sebagai strategi utama beliau menghidupkan kembali pertumbuhan ekonomi Malaysia. Sebelum ini, PEMANDU dengan gah mengumumkan bahawa 92% daripada dana untuk melaksanakan projek-projek di bawah Program Transformasi Ekonomi bernilai ratusan bilion ringgit akan dibiayai swasta.

Namun, sumber dana untuk membiayai projek-projek utama yang diumumkan masih diselubungi rahsia. Setakat ini, 77% daripada 10 projek terbesar yang diumumkan di bawah Program Transformasi Ekonomi akan dilaksanakan dan dibiayai oleh syarikat berkaitan kerajaan (GLC).

Analisis 10 projek terbesar seperti berikut akan membuktikan bahawa pentadbiran sekarang masih menggunakan kaedah pergantungan kepada wang rakyat untuk mewujudkan peluang ekonomi, tetapi kini ia disalurkan melalui GLC:

PROJEK TERBESAR ETP PELABURAN DIUMUMKAN

(RM BILLION)

GLC/BUKAN GLC
Pembangunan kompleks loji penapisan dan petrokimia (RAPID) di Johor 60.0 GLC (PETRONAS)
MRT (kos pelaburan tidak termasuk kos tanah dan koc/kenderaan) 36.6 GLC

(sebuah syarikat khas ditubuhkan)

Pembangunan minyak dan gas di lapangan Tapis dan lapangan Teluk (dijadualkan bermula 2013) 10.0 GLC

(PETRONAS & ExxonMobil, pelaburan semula kekayaan minyak negara)

Pembangunan Karambunai Integrated Resort City 9.6 Bukan GLC
Program Transformasi Kedai Runcit (TUKAR) untuk membangunkan kedai-kedai runcit 5.43 Tidak diketahui
Program pelaburan baru Shell Malaysia (menaiktaraf dan membina loji baru termasuk membabitkan kompleks Shell Middle Distillates, kompleks Port Dickson dan pembangunan lapangan Gumusut) 5.1 GLC

(PETRONAS & Shell, pelaburan semula kekayaan minyak negara)

Pembangunan terminal petroleum laut dalam di Johor 5.1 Dialog Group

(syarikat swasta dengan pegangan saham yang besar oleh badan berkaitan kerajaan)

3 loji penjanaan elektrik yang baru, 2 loji penjanaan hidro-elektrik, 1 loji penjanaan elektrik arang batu dan pelaburan dalam infrastruktur transmisi 4.0 GLC

(TNB)

Pembangunan kompleks petroleum dan lojistik di Tanjong Agas, Pekan, Pahang 3.0 GLC

(di bawah Koridor Ekonomi Pantai Timur)

Pembangunan MINES Wellness City 3.0 Bukan GLC

Setakat ini, 10 projek terbesar di bawah Program Transformasi Ekonomi menelan pelaburan RM142 bilion, iaitu 82% daripada keseluruhan pelaburan projek-projek yang telah diumumkan berjumlah RM173 bilion. Hakikatnya, 77% daripada 10 projek terbesar di bawah pelan ekonomi Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak sebenarnya menggunakan dana awam melalui GLC dan membuktikan bahawa sasaran 92% pembiayaan swasta itu tidak lebih dari angka-angka untuk kempen politik yang sudah tentu tidak akan dicapai.

Prestasi 3 penanda aras ekonomi yang paling utama (iaitu kekalutan di Bursa Kuala Lumpur, unjuran pertumbuhan yang semakin rendah saban hari dan kegagalan menarik pembiayaan swasta bagi projek-projek utama di bawah Program Transformasi Ekonomi) sudah cukup untuk membayangkan kegagalan dasar dan inisiatif ekonomi Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Malangnya, prospek ekonomi murung yang menyelubungi Malaysia adalah berlainan sama sekali dengan prestasi ekonomi Indonesia. Pertumbuhan ekonomi Indonesia terus meningkat pada kadar 6.5% suku yang lepas dan dijangka mencecah 7% tahun depan. Pada masa rakyat Malaysia bergelumang dengan kadar inflasi tertinggi dalam tempoh 2 tahun, Indonesia pula mencatatkan kadar inflasi terendah dalam tempoh 14 bulan yang lalu. Sementara kadar kenaikan gaji hanya menokok pada angka 2.6% sahaja bagi pekerja Malaysia sepanjang sedekad yang lalu, pekerja di Indonesia menikmati kadar kenaikan gaji tahunan 10% sejak tahun 2006.

Sudah tentu ada perbezaan yang nyata dari segi pendekatan ekonomi sehingga mengakibatkan prestasi yang berlainan seperti ini. Pemerintah Indonesia mengalu-alukan reformasi dan keterbukaan sejak tahun 1998 lagi, berbeza dengan Barisan Nasional yang mencari seribu satu alasan untuk memadamkan api reformasi yang dituntut rakyat sehingga mengorbankan prestasi ekonomi negara.

Baiknya keadaan ini tidak akan berterusan kerana lebih ramai rakyat boleh menilai sendiri bahawa reformasi ekonomi hanya boleh berlaku seiringan dengan reformasi politik, selaras dengan pendekatan ekonomi yang diperjuangkan Pakatan Rakyat.

RAFIZI RAMLI

PENGARAH STRATEGI

PARTI KEADILAN RAKYAT

10 OGOS 2011

Economic Indicators Point To A Meltdown Of Najib’s Economic Policies

The latest national economic indicators may have a deeper impact on Malaysia besides the obvious economic loss felt especially the billions of ringgit wiped out from Bursa Kuala Lumpur in the past one week.

In particular, the downgrading of economic growth forecast recently announced by local research houses and analysts may spell an early doom to the grand economic master plan and targets unveiled by Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak’s administration through the Economic Transformation Programmes (ETP), the 10th Malaysian Plan and the New Economic Model.

If Malaysia’s economic growth continues to slide as expected, the ETP would have failed even before it takes off because the ambitious plan requires a steady 6% growth annually to reach the GNI per capita target of USD15,000 (or RM48,000) by 2020. A less than 5% growth for 2011 means ETP has failed to excite the market at the time when the full government focus, resources and machineries were directed to promote it; let alone when all the euphoria wears off 2-3 years down the line.

The impact of the economic uncertainties in the USA and Euro-zone countries may add severity to the Malaysian economic prospect; especially when the debt crisis in Euro-zone will begin to pull the third (Italy), second (France) and largest (Germany) economies in Europe into the economic mess. Should the current trend in the Euro-zone continue, there is a possibility that there will be further downgrades of economic growth in the near future.

Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak’s administration has also failed to meet its own private investment growth target that is a centre-piece of his strategy to rejuvenate growth in Malaysia. PEMANDU/ETP has boldly claimed that 92% of the hundreds of billions worth of investments will be funded by the private sector to reverse a decade’s worth of dependent on pump priming using public coffers.

Unfortunately, the source of funding of flagship ETP projects is still shrouded in mystery. Of the top 10 ETP projects announced (or expected to take off) in between October 2010 and June 2011, 77% of these projects will be carried out by GLCs.

The following analysis of the top 10 ETP projects will heighten the sense of economic dejavu as essentially the present administration still employs the same approach of pump priming using public money – though it is now being channelled through the GLCs:

FLAGSHIP ETP PROJECT INVESTMENT ANNOUNCED (RM BILLIONS) GLC/NON-GLC
Refinery and Petrochemicals Integrated Development (RAPID) 60.0 GLC (PETRONAS)
MRT (investment without rolling stocks and land acquisition) 36.6 GLC

(special purpose vehicle set up)

Oil and gas development at Tapis field (enhanced oil recovery) and Teluk field development (due to start in 2013) 10.0 GLC

(PETRONAS & ExxonMobil, reinvestment of profits from hydrocarbon resources)

Development of Karambunai Integrated Resort City 9.6 Non-GLC
Small Retailer Transformation Program (TUKAR) to modernise sundry shops 5.43 Unknown
Shell Malaysia’s expansion program (upgrade of refinery/new builts including Shell Middle Distillates, Port Dickson complex and Gumusut deepwater development) 5.1 GLC

(PETRONAS & Shell, reinvestment of profits from hydrocarbon resources)

Development of deepwater petroleum terminal in Johor 5.1 Dialog Group

(private group with large shareholding by GLICs)

3 new power plants, 2 hydro power plants, 1 coal plant and investment in transmission infrastructure 4.0 GLC

(TNB)

Development of Tanjong Agas Oil & Agas and Logistic Industrial Park in Pekan, Pahang 3.0 GLC

(under East Coast Economic Region)

Development of MINES Wellness City 3.0 Non-GLC

The total investments announced for the top 10 ETP projects are RM142 billion that makes 82% of the total ETP projects announced so far (total investments of RM173 billion).  The fact that 77% of the top 10 ETP projects will be carried out by GLCs or firms with large GLIC shareholdings is a proof that the 92% private investment target set out in ETP is nothing more than a public relations number with no indication that it will ever be achieved.

The 3 national economic indicators – the turmoil at Bursa Kuala Lumpur, the growth forecast that looks dimmer as we move closer to the end of the year and the failure of ETP flagship projects to hit the private investment target set out by Dato’ Seri Najib – point to a meltdown of his administration’s economic policies and initiatives.

Malaysia’s economic predicament is the complete opposite of the tremendous growth enjoyed by Indonesia. Indonesian economy continues to register a 6.5% growth in the last quarter and expected to grow further at 7% next year. While Malaysia’s inflation hit a two-year high in the last quarter, Indonesia’s inflation recorded a 14-month low for the same period. Stagnated wages that grow only at a snail pace of 2.6% over the last decade for Malaysian workforce is contrasted by the double digit annual rise in wages in Indonesia since 2006.

Clearly there is a fundamental difference between Malaysian and Indonesian economies that leads to this divergence.

While Indonesia embraced political, economic and social reforms since 1998, the Barisan Nasional government balked at any attempt to spearhead political and social reforms at the detriment of the economy. Therefore, it is a matter of time before the rakyat subscribes to Pakatan Rakyat’s principle that there cannot be an economic reform without a commitment for political reforms.

RAFIZI RAMLI

DIRECTOR OF STRATEGIES

PARTI KEADILAN RAKYAT

10 AUGUST 2011

 

Affordable Housing: A Radical Approach to a Critical Problem

I bought my first property almost a decade ago; shortly after being confirmed in my position at work. Like most people my age at the time, the tendency was to buy a property as soon as you can afford it. The conventional wisdom was to set aside a sum for property even when you were still staying with your parents because while cars and other assets depreciate over time, property investments could only go up.

My choice for the first property was not wise at all. I would like to think that it was luck (or the lack of it) rather than uninformed decision; because I shared a common ground with thousands others who have to struggle each month to fork out a mortgage instalment for a housing project already classified as an “abandoned project”.

Abandoned housing projects that can cause havoc to thousands of households are a unique Malaysian problem. We have lived with this problem for a few decades without any substantial change to the way housing development is carried out in Malaysia. The laws are stacked against the buyers and there are loopholes that are often manipulated at the expense of the buyers.

The problems in the way housing development is carried out will be magnified significantly from this point onwards; as affordable public housing is poised to become a national issue for a few years to come. Various reports have been published recently that point to a possibility that a generation of Malaysians will be left out of the housing market completely as the prices have gone beyond their reach.

A good case to illustrate is my 26-year old staff who came for a quick financial advice last week. He told me that he wanted to buy a landed property around Shah Alam or Subang Jaya so that he could be close to his work place and family. I asked him how much he could afford to pay the monthly mortgage – he said “around RM1,000-ish”.

A monthly mortgage of about RM1,000 to RM1,500 per month is the maximum amount that most young graduates can afford nowadays as their monthly net pay is at most RM2,500. Most of them will have to fork out a big portion to pay car instalment and monthly fuel – which means most young graduates can only afford a property priced around RM150,000.

I was blunt enough to tell my staff that he would not be able to purchase a landed property worth RM150,000 in Subang Jaya or Shah Alam. His best bet is a flat slightly out of the way; even then there are not many newly built flats within that price range that can offer quality accommodation to a young family.

His dilemma is shared by thousands of others across Malaysia, especially those working in Lembah Klang, Penang, Johor Bharu and other big cities.

The Federal Government’s response to this is to introduce the “My First Home Scheme” which offers a 100% financing for qualified young people to buy their first property. The more significant impact of the scheme is the Federal Government’s acknowledgement of the housing crisis faced by the young families rather than an immediate remedy to the crisis.

The root cause of the problem is the lack of affordable quality homes for young families; not the financing. In fact, the availability of 100% financing did little to alleviate the financial stress each young family has to face each month because they have to carry the same mortgage due to the high property prices.

I feel there has to be a radical change in the way we look at housing developments in order to ensure each family can have access to a property that matches its requirement and financial standing. In the past, the responsibility for housing has been largely left to the private sector. Over the years, the rakyat has been at the mercy of the so-called “market prices” which had led to the present predicament faced by a substantial portion of the public.

Malaysia was never keen on large-scale involvement in public housing, unlike Singapore or the European countries (after the 2nd World War). Even the government’s Syarikat Perumahan Negara Berhad (SPNB) behaves as if it is a private developer and in fact (in many instances) competes with private developers.

Contrast this with other governments which benchmark their performance against the requirement to provide affordable and suitable housing for the public.

Singapore’s Housing Development Board over the years have become one of the most successful developers and master planners in the world, with the powerful mandate to even subsidise heavily property prices for the lowest income group to ensure that they too have access to a decent accommodation.

In some European countries, the government spent massively to build large public housing projects and council homes to cater for lower income families. Some of these families do not even have to own the properties – they continually rent them from the authorities at a rate they can afford; until such time they can “graduate” from the housing scheme.

All these concepts are alien to Malaysians because historically we have never embarked on large-scale public housing projects. We have built the tallest Twin Tower in the world; but not world-class public housing. We can be credited for ingenuity for some of our economic policies; but our housing development laws and policies remain archaic.

Thus, this is the challenge for the policy makers and planners at the corridors of power. The public expects a radical solution to the housing crisis facing an increasingly larger segment of our society.

This kind of radical solution can only come from a complete departure from the present housing policy frameworks and dictates of the industry. This involves a new commitment that the government will play an active role in providing decent accommodation to those from lower income group while it restructures the housing industry.

Finally, I will say this at the risk of being seen as partisan – a minor tweak to allow for 100% financing without any effort to alter the skewed supply of affordable housing to the young families does not pass the test of being radical to many people!

Published in The Edge (daily version) on Monday 9 August 2011. The published article may have been edited and differ slightly from this version.

Waaaa So Lama Tak Update!

It feels like ages since I even remember about the blog. Actually I think about it all the time, I just couldn’t discipline myself to allocate at least half an hour a week to blog.

I blame it on Twitter as whatever thoughts you have you can share instantly with others. The magic of Twitter means you interact closer with you peers and in more real time.

Anyhow, I hope I can be more disciplined to at least write a few thoughts on current issues, especially on issues relating to economic hardship faced by the people.

A discourse on whether or not we can lower down fuel price is an important debate that has not been brought to the mainstream of the society. This is one area which I hope I can contribute through this blog and I hope to engage readers out there.

(ps: Actually am testing whether blogging through iPhone is manageable, quite good 🙂 )

Ahli Parlimen Pandan dan Naib Presiden/Setiausaha Agung Parti Keadilan Rakyat || Member of Parliament for Pandan, Vice President/Secretary General of Justice Party