The honeymoon is over and the reality is about to kick in. Malaysia is still in deep shit after 61 years under previous corrupt Barisan Nasional (BN) government. And thanks to ex-premier Najib Razak, the country has accumulated RM1 trillion of debts. That debt holes, unfortunately, needs to be filled by none other than 33-million ordinary Joes and Janes.
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said yesterday the government may have to devise new taxes and sell land and other “valuable assets” to pare down its debt. He said at the “Malaysia: A New Dawn Investors’ Conference” – “I don’t think new taxes are something that is welcomed by the people. But we may have to devise new taxes to pay our debts.”
Can you see the problems created when ignorant and illiterate voters blindly support a corrupt and incompetent government such as the previous BN government? Scumbags such as Mr. Najib had sold national assets and treasure to foreigners to bailout his 1MDB scandal. Now that he has been overthrown, the new government needs to – again – sell assets to pay the national debts.
Sure, Mahathir administration will probably sell assets such as land to locals – not foreigners – for housing development projects. But local businessmen and tycoon can only buy so much. They are no match to international big boys with deep pocket such as the state-owned corporations from China. That was why Najib had gone to China to raise money in the first place.
Mahathir has admitted that on top of selling land, the government “may have to sell valuable assets to pay the debt”. In order to get attractive pricing above what the local corporations are willing to pay, the government may have little choice but to sell such strategic assets to foreigners just to pay the massive debts accumulated by Najib and his band of thieves.
However, there’s another unpopular way to raise money to pay national debts – new taxes. Reading between the lines, Mahathir has probably made up his mind to introduce new taxes. Such taxes could be soda tax, inheritance tax, carbon tax, capital gains tax, property tax and whatnot. One way of another, people will pay the taxes. And people are going to be furiously mad.
Why should the new government take the easy way out by burdening and slaughtering the people with new taxes when all avenues have not been exhausted? Yes, there’s actually another “turbo method” to replenish national coffers that Mahathir administration hasn’t considered for political reason. It is a page out of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s playbook.
And yes, that express method is to confiscate all the assets and wealth accumulated by the previous corrupt BN government. Launched last November, the Saudi crown prince’s anti-corruption crackdown so far has netted the kingdom a whopping US$35 billion (£26.6 billion; RM145 billion), split between 40% cash and 60% assets. But that was just the tip of the iceberg.
Reported by the Wall Street Journal, the Saudi government’s mission was to confiscate cash and other assets worth as much as US$800 billion (£600 billion; RM3.3 trillion) in a massive crackdown on corruption and money laundering among the kingdom’s elites, including Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. As many as 1,700 bank accounts were frozen during the operation.
A settlement with billionaire investor Prince Alwaleed had generated an estimated 400 billion riyal (US$106.65 billion; £81 billion; RM443 billion). As of today, eight people detained in Saudi Arabia’s anti-corruption campaign remain in custody. In comparison, none has been detained in Mahathir’s so-called anti-corruption in regards to the infamous 1MDB scandal.
Najib Razak and Rosmah Mansor, the biggest crooks in the scandal were granted bails and allowed to live luxuriously at home while their daughter Nooryana Najwa Najib continues her pampered life in the U.S. and Mohd Nazifuddin had flown to Taiwan for fine wining and dining with Taiwanese actress Celia Chang (July 5th).
As Najib’s partner-in-crime, Jho Low (fullname: Low Taek Jho), continues burning billions of dollars stolen from 1MDB funds, other corrupt BN politicians walk away scot free. The simple fact that UMNO President Zahid Hamidi and his wife had no trouble swiping their credit cards to the tune of RM800,000 was already a red flag that they had spent beyond their legitimate income.
Two years ago, Mr. Zahid courted controversial when his plan to import 1.5 million Bangladesh workers into the country was exposed. Using his brother Abdul Hakim Hamidi as his proxy, each cheap labour would be charged RM3,000 each – potentially generating a cool revenue of RM4.5 billion for the Hamidi family. Has he been properly investigated and his assets frozen or seized?
Haris Onn Hussein, the brother of former Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein Onn has a 20.16% stake in Ekovest, a company awarded the contract to build the Setiawangsa-Pantai Expressway (SPE) at a cost of RM3.738 billion with a concession period with the Government for 53½ years. Why Mahathir allows the Hussein family to milk the cash cow for half a century?
Even an idiot UMNO warlord such as Tajuddin Abdul Rahman – nicknamed “Six Million Dollar Man” – is still a free and wealthy man today. His company, Detik Utuh Sdn Bhd, was involved in a fishy contract building Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Tapah campus in Perak in 2013. Why he is still allowed to milk RM1.3 billion from a 23-year concession to maintain the campus.
MCA Deputy President Wee Ka Siong, despite being mocked and laughed off as “Cry Baby Wee”, became an instant billionaire through his pet project – the RM12 billion PKFZ scandal – first hatched in 2001. Together with Bintulu Mafia Chief Tiong King Sing, both corrupt politicians had been looting and plundering taxpayers’ money in the scandal but still walk around as if nothing had happened.
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Nazri Aziz, another UMNO warlord, became super rich by selling thousands of taxi permits. The gangster was also a buddy of Michael Chia Thien Foh, the errand boy who did all the money laundering activities for former Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman. In fact, Mr. Nazri was so rich that he had publicly admitted that his son didn’t need to be paid while working due to his massive wealth.
Heck, there are hundreds of billions of ringgit that Mahathir can seize from the 191 corrupt UMNO warlords and 191 corrupt MCA warlords alone. Even at a conservative RM500 million to be confiscated from each of those warlords through an anti-corruption crackdown, the government can obtain RM200 billion to replenish national coffers, and reduce the RM1 trillion debts by 20%.
Last year, Nazri had joined fellow UMNO colleague Hishammuddin Hussein who separately called for an investigation into Mahathir’s wealth, and that of the old man’s family members. So, why is Mahathir holding back from investigating and confiscating all the ill-gotten money from the UMNO thieves? People are watching with astonishment his pussyfooting on his old corrupt UMNO colleagues.
The prime minister whined and bitched that the country’s debt mess had turned Malaysia from an Asian tiger into a small kitten. But this small kitten still suffers from a high cost of living and uncertainties. Mahathir should not introduce new painful taxes, but instead slaughter the fat corrupt BN pigs and return the stolen money to feed the kitten so that it can become a tiger again.
To hell with the rule of law. Between paying more taxes and torturing corrupt BN crooks for the return of money plundered, the choice isn’t hard for the ordinary people on the street. Mahathir wants Malaysians to brace for new taxes which involve some necessary sacrifice and pain. Why must the ordinary folks continue to suffer but not the BN crooks?