Saturday, December 12, 2009

Is Malaysia an "Oil Cursed Country"?

In a stinging speech at the Young Corporate Malaysians Summit today Former finance minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah described Malaysia as an “oil cursed” country.

“When I started Petronas in 1974, I did not realise I would see the day when I would wish we had not uncovered this bounty,” lamented Razaleigh.

“The oil that was meant to spur our transition to a more humane, educated society has instead become a narcotic that provides economic quick fixes and hollow symbols such as the Petronas Towers.”

He said the original intention of Malaysia's “modest quantity of oil reserves” was to help the country make the leap from an economy based on commodities and low-cost assembly to a more diverse economy based on high income jobs.

“We saw our oil reserves as an unearned bounty that would provide the money for modernisation and technology.”

However, the billions of ringgit earned from oil exports over the past three decades have been squandered by the government.

“Our oil receipts, instead of being applied in the manner we planned upon the formation of Petronas, that is, according to its original developmental purpose, became a fund for the whims and fancy of whoever ran the country, without any accountability,” he said.

Razaleigh argued that Malaysia's oil wealth has been squandered and used “to bail out failing companies, buy arms, build grandiose cities amidst cleared palm oil estates”.

“Instead of helping eradicate poverty in the poorest states, our oil wealth came to be channeled into our political and politically-linked class,” he added.

“Instead of being the patrimony of all Malaysians, and for our children, it is used as a giant slush fund that has propped up authoritarian rule, eroded constitutional democracy and corrupted our entire political and business elite.”

Petronas has contributed 40 percent of the national budget over the years but such a great reliance on oil income is getting untenable.

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SOURCE: MALAYSIAKINI.COM and Tengku Razaleigh: 'Our oil wealth squandered'

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67 comments:

Jefus said...

Mahathir squandered RM100 bil, says new book

the ghosts are rising slowly one by one,...

moo_t said...

After colonisation enemy gone, the biggest enemy of the country are their own.

After independent, post-colonisation feudalism take over. 1969, it is the nationalism, tabu and ketuanan. 80's when oil become the country resources, still the nationalism, industrialism,pro-exploitation took over.

Karl Popper are always right here. In his book "The Open Society and Its Enemies", he say the main substance of democracy are cultures. If the country can't defeat the weakness of the culture, it will lead to disaster.

Razaleigh has no idea about the real problem. It is more than just the Dutch Disease.

Anonymous said...

and that man, who initiated cronyism, is still the advisor for the national oil company. whats next Mahatir? your sons still need more Petronas help after the resuce of the shipping company? How about more contracts for Kenchana?

Anonymous said...

very scary indeed. malaysians especially the natives should consider leaping to other countries for better future survival. malaysia is becoming the next afghanistan, pakistan, somalia at its worst, if the present leadership style remains.

schools should introduce sailing boat crafting subjects to teach kids to sail away from future economic disaster in homecountry to better safe land, like Maldives, Madagascar, Timor Timor, or Samoa.

very scary indeed... and the satans running the nation are living longer than the norms, wonder why....?

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very scary indeed. malaysians especially the natives should consider leaping to other countries for better future survival. malaysia is becoming the next afghanistan, pakistan, somalia at its worst, if the present leadership style remains.

schools should introduce sailing boat crafting subjects to teach kids to sail away from future economic disaster in homecountry to better safe land, like Maldives, Madagascar, Timor Timor, or Samoa.

very scary indeed... and the satans running the nation are living longer than the norms, wonder why....?

samson said...

Can Ku Li do any better? He also prospered under Mahathiu's regime or UMNO's governance..

It's easy to make comments when you are on the other side of the fence. Will anyone who is clever in making comments and speeches able to run the country better after thtey have won? PRakyat are still finding their foothold after fighting for so long..will giving them more time help?

Anonymous said...

Tengku Razaleigh as the last gentleman from Umno should just quit Umno and join PR, he just does not fit into a party full of crooks and thieves.

Non-partisan said...

"When I started Petronas in 1974...". What a proud man he is.Cant't blame him,though,for a man whose dream to become the country's PM remains a dream.

And he is the country's best PM we never had. Can't blame too blogger Sakmongkol and only a one-term ADUN for having made this statement.

And I'm certain they will completely disagree that, inter alia, it is due to TDM's stature and influence that Petronas is able to venture for oil exploration beyond Malaysian waters.

And dear maverick, I love your beautiful jokes more than anything else. With all the going-ons in the country I often suffer from indigestion.

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