US electoral democracy is failing, enter the China model? 21st century belongs to strivers


Authoritarian regimes and dictators around the world must feel vindicated by the just concluded presidential race in the United States, the one-time champion of liberal democracy that had the habit of exporting if not imposing its political system and the accompanying values to the rest of the world.

It is not so much the final outcome of last week’s race as the entire democratic process that is being questioned or scrutinized in and outside the US.

In the run-up to the Nov. 8 election, spectators of American politics were served with the tale of a contest between two candidates, both with problematic backgrounds and flawed characters.

More negative revelations about the candidates emerged as the election day neared to raise serious questions about their credibility and competency of whoever is elected to lead the world’s most powerful country.

The American media had rightly if not unkindly described this as an election where voters had to choose between the lesser of two evils.

When that choice fell on Donald Trump rather than Hillary Clinton, there was more indignation, both at the outcome as well as the electoral process.

What went wrong with the system, many people asked?

Is the American electoral system failing that we should question its effectiveness and efficiency in picking national leaders? Or are we seeing signs of fatigue in the system that has evolved in the last two centuries? To describe this as a systemic breakdown of the electoral process would probably go too far, and would give pretext for countries to conveniently discard or to forget liberal democracy.

Maybe it is worth recalling that just eight years ago, the same system gave America its first black president in Barack Obama, who was reelected in 2012. This year, the same system almost produced the first US woman president.

Still, the 2016 American presidential race, from the process to the final outcome, gives plenty of ammunition to those who doubt the ability of liberal democracy in producing great leaders.

The timing could not be worse, coming as the US superpower status is waning, through a combination of its own failing strengths and the rise of China challenging America’s supremacy.

Liberal democracy a la America had its strong appeals in recent history that it seemed to be the natural or only course for any nation to go. Theories were postulated about the first wave, second wave and third wave of democracy. There may not be a fourth wave, at least not until nations are convinced that this is really the best way to move forward.


Enter the China model
.

Because it is a system that has proven efficient and effective, and certainly delivered the economic goods, it is now being touted as the better option than liberal democracy for developing countries looking for the right kind of nation-building model, including in the way they pick their leaders.

One caveat about the China model, however: Forget freedom and basic rights, the fundamental tenets that underpin liberal democracy.

What matters is that the system brings economic growth and development and raises people’s prosperity. The suppression of some freedoms and rights — big or small is relative — is the price nations have to pay to ensure stability, a prerequisite to development.

Freedoms and basic rights can come later, if at all.

In The China Model — Political Meritocracy and the Limits of Democracy (2015, Princeton University Press), author Daniel A. Bell shows how China introduced a meritocratic system that has produced leaders the nation can be proud of.

The leaders that have come out of this system have consistently produced rapid growth rates that turned China from a large poor developing country to the second-largest economy in the world in these last two decades.

The system still ensures periodic changes of national guards to prevent China from becoming a dictatorship. It offers a degree of predictability to ensure stability, a factor sorely missing in liberal democracies. It is not a perfect system by any measure, but it is a model that has evolved in China out of the socialist system that the founding fathers of the People’s Republic of China launched in 1949.

But if countries are not comfortable with the costs to freedom and basic rights that the China model entails, they should probably take another look at the US democracy, and consider 2016 as an aberration rather than a system that is failing, a system that is suffering from fatigue and needing reforms.

Americans need to look at the role of the political parties and the way they produced presidential candidates. Surely a country of 320 million people deserved better choices than Trump and Clinton. How their track records and flawed characters got past the political screening system is simply baffling.

The US electoral system — including the primaries and the conventions — is simply too long and too expensive for any country to emulate. For that price, Americans should feel they are being shortchanged by the system.

This year’s voter turnout, estimated at 58 percent this year, is another reflection of the growing public apathy toward the electoral system or the candidates it produced.

The 2016 American presidential race saw the ugliest and most divisive campaigns ever seen that inevitably would leave behind a sour taste, even if Clinton gave a gallant concessionary speech.

The US election has become one big and long political show of selecting the most popular, but not necessarily the most capable candidate. One could compare it with American Idol, but even this reality TV show has been pulled out due to viewers’ fatigue.

If this is the picture of democracy, then many nations around the world would want none of it.

The US electoral system actually has built-in self-correcting mechanisms such as the two-term limits and the various institutional checks-and-balances to prevent the emergence of a despot.

The First Amendment, and the independent media, ensure that people will always have the right to speak up and to be heard, even if they have made the wrong choice.

But these may not be enough to restore the faith in liberal democracy in producing great leaders. This faith has further waned after the 2016 US presidential election. One could also throw in Brexit as another product of a democratic exercise in the Western world that has gone wrong.

In many countries, liberal democracy is no longer considered the best political system in selecting national leaders. It is not the only way forward. The China model has never been more attractive alternative in some countries, including Indonesia, still grappling with nation building.

America can help restore faith in liberal democracy by carrying out the necessary electoral reforms. It needs to show once again that democracy is the best political system in selecting leaders because it is based on the principles of respecting freedoms and basic human rights.

Yes, America can be great once again. But probably it would be asking too much from the new elected president.

By Endy Bayuni, Editor-in-chief of The Jakarta Post

Can China overtake US to lead the world?

Trump’s trade tempest

Discussions were running high on global governance among Western public opinion on the eve of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders meeting in Lima, Peru. Some Western media outlets hold the US is giving up its global leadership following Donald Trump’s election as US president on promises to abolish the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and withdraw from the Paris climate deal. They believe a rising superpower, China, will replace the US to lead the world.

Trump’s campaign remarks do reveal his intention to retract US global strategy. He seemingly wants to focus more energy and resources on reviving the US economy and social development. But as the US has been central to globalization, Trump is unlikely to take on the traditional isolationist road.

The West likes to use “leadership” to define the function of a major power. Admittedly, different countries have different powers and obligations due to varied national strength. The world after the Cold War was dominated by US leadership. Washington designed and maintained a string of systems, including the world trade system, the financial system, the Internet system, the security pattern and so on.

The US has invested much into maintaining this leadership and also gained considerable benefits. In the foreseeable future, it’s impossible for the US to abandon its global leadership.

The US sought supremacy over everything in the past few years. However, it didn’t have enough national strength to bolster this unrealistic goal. Trump appears to be redesigning the US leadership, withdrawing the country from fields in which he thinks resources are being wasted. China thus will gain some room to exert its influence, but is China ready?

China still cannot match the US in terms of comprehensive strength. It has no ability to lead the world in an overall way, plus, neither the world nor China is psychologically ready for it. It’s beyond imagination to think that China could replace the US to lead the world.

But as China is rapidly developing, bringing about changes to the global power structure, its participation in global governance will be a natural and gradual process, which Beijing cannot rush or escape.

If Washington withdraws from the Paris climate deal, China can stick to its commitment, yet it won’t be able to make up for the loss caused by the US. Or if the US takes on an anti-free trade path, the messy consequences will be beyond China’s ability to repair.

But on the other hand, the US, under the leadership of Trump, cannot rope in China’s neighboring countries to contain China or isolate China from the world trade system. Obama’s administration had worked to undermine China-initiated projects, such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the “One Belt and One Road” initiative, but to no avail.

So Sino-US cooperation is the only choice for future global governance. For a long time to come, the leadership of the US will be irreplaceable, meanwhile, China’s further rise is inevitable.

– Global Times

Commentary: 21st century belongs to strivers 

“The 21st century is the time for the Chinese,” said the CEO of a Chinese mobile phone company at the recent launch of a new product. The CEO remarked that Western bigwigs will finally be surpassed by Chinese strivers who are determined to change their lives through hard work.

He further explained that, although some companies in developed countries are leading the world in many aspects, their bureaucracy, laziness, arrogance and ego will hinder their development.

To some extent, all Chinese people in the past 100 years are strivers who have managed to change their own fates and the fate of their country through sheer diligence; this trend is vividly illustrated by the process of reform and opening-up. After keeping their noses to the grindstone despite hardships and difficulties, Chinese people have finally succeeded in ushering in a new era.

Those who have doubted China over the years were not aware of the strivers’ true personalities. The strivers desperately thirst for better lives. They are able to bear unbearable hardships and endure unendurable suffering. Such morale and pluck can never be defeated.

The struggle of a software company in Guangdong, which has grown from a small enterprise into an industry titan, offers an inspiring story. During a trip to Germany for an exhibition shortly after the company’s founding, both boss and employees slept on park benches in order to save money. More importantly, none of them complained about having to do so.

In 2009, China needed to build a large exhibition area, as the guest of honor of that year’s Frankfurt Book Fair. However, shortly before the opening of the event, construction was not yet complete because of German workers’ fixed schedule. Therefore, the Chinese exhibitor invited workers from China to complete the work, and that team was able to finish before the opening ceremony.

It is the effort, hard work and sweat of these strivers that have contributed to China’s current development. Their willingness to struggle came from a thirst to change their fate.

In recent years, many Chinese enterprises are expanding their business in Africa. Instead of spending money on entertainment, Chinese employees there save money to make phone calls to their families back home. This priority was not received well by some locals, who believe that one should enjoy life with one’s money. As a result, people cooked up stories that Chinese employees in Africa were prisoners sent by the Chinese government. Believing these rumors, some Western media outlets even slammed China for human rights violations. Finally, a media outlet from the U.K. discovered the truth. These Chinese workers are just the same as their Western counterparts: they love their families and hope to change their lives through hard work. They consider it their life purpose to improve the quality of life of their families, especially their children. The U.K. outlet ultimately concluded that the unyielding spirit of Chinese people is unrivalled, and they will certainly change the world.

Hard work pays. This is the basis for social function. Any society will collapse without such faith.

China is no longer the impoverished country it was 30 years ago. Even so, the enterprising spirit of its citizens has endured. The country needs to stay confident, especially during the “new normal” of slower economic growth. As long as its people have the faith to change fate through hard work, they should fear no difficulty.

One dare not say that the 21st century is destined to be the era of China, but it certainly belongs to the strivers who are determined to change their lives through work.

This article was edited and translated from 21世纪属于渴望奋斗改变命运的”泥腿子”

Source: People’s Daily

Related:

Hopefully death knell for TPP signals US is about to change tack

Related posts:

TPPA in danger of collapse after its biggest critic wins US presidency

Why we fail at corporate governance with corrupt officials?


 

Malaysia still suffers from corporate scandal after another, says Musa

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia is great at formulating legislation for corporate governance but lacks the ability to implement and enforce these, said former deputy prime minister Tun Musa Hitam (pic).

“As far as I can remember, Malaysia is the leading developing country that currently occupies the top half of the list in formulating legislation, rules and regulations for corporate governance.

“But when it comes to implementation and enforcement, we occupy the lower half of the list,” said Musa, who is also World Islamic Economic Forum chairman. Delivering his keynote address at the Women’s Institute of Management’s Conference on Integrity and Corporate Governance, Musa said that in the past, government and corporate leaders were required to attend a course on corporate governance.

“It is quite obvious that these efforts are to no avail and the programme seems to have been scrapped.

“After all our training, Malaysia still suffers one corporate scandal after another,” he said.

The country’s weakness in corporate governance lay in its inability to enforce the rules and was the major cause of its many scandals, he said.

Musa said that good governance extended to areas relating to corruption, abuse of power, accountability, application of corporate social responsibility (CSR), transparency and protecting shareholder interest.

“If you ensure transparency and accountability in decision making, apply CSR and care about shareholder interest, then you are practising good corporate governance,” he said.

Good corporate governance, Musa pointed out, could only happen if all the laws were implemented without fear or favour.

“This is most crucial for good corporate governance and it is up to the chairman and board of directors to administer this,” added Musa.

Another important ingredient was leadership with integrity, he said.

“Leadership by example produces good governance and in my experience, if this is practised, even the most influential person can be persuaded to act in the broader interest of the corporation and shareholders.” By Jo Timbuong The Star

Corporate governance – a shared responsibility

TUN Musa Hitam was spot on when he said at a conference on Monday that a company’s directors and managers were practising good corporate governance when they ensured transparency and accountability in decision making, applied corporate social responsibility, and cared about the shareholders’ interests.

These are indeed essential ingredients if we want our companies to be run well.

And Musa was right in pointing out that good corporate governance could only happen if the laws were implemented without fear or favour.

This matters because corporate governance thrives in an environment in which the rules are clear and robust, and the regulators are firm and consistent.

However, corporate governance is not just about complying with the letter of the law. It is also about directing and controlling a company through practices, structures and processes.

Many of these elements are voluntary; a thin line separates government oversight and the straightjacketing of business with an overkill of statutory prescriptions.

For example, most experts on corporate governance agree that the roles of chief executive officer and chairman of the board ought to be separated so as to avoid concentrating a lot of decision-making power in one person.

And yet, it is perfectly legal in Malaysia for an individual to wear these two hats at the same time. It is the same in some developed countries.

It remains a hot topic, but it is clear that most regulators continue to be reluctant to outlaw this practice of combining CEO and chairman duties.

The biggest challenge is to persuade company stewards to embrace the principles of corporate governance without being prodded by the authorities and their volumes of laws.

For this to happen, the directors and managers have to be convinced that good corporate governance adds significant value to their companies.

There are many studies that have concluded exactly that, but these findings mean little if there is still the perception that most people do not care about corporate governance.

Let us look at the listed companies, whose value is measured constantly in the stock exchange as investors buy and sell the companies’ shares.

On paper, a company with a poor track record in corporate governance would have trouble getting attention in the stock market.

And yet, we have frequently seen such companies at the centre of feeding frenzies sparked by speculation that the share prices will soar for whatever reason. This is not a great advertisement for corporate governance.

Nor is it encouraging that shareholder activism in Malaysia is limp. Many of those who own small amounts of shares in a company are often indifferent to how the company is performing, preferring instead to focus on the share price.

And when they do turn up at the shareholder meetings, it is seldom to engage with the board and management and to ask tough business questions.

The regulators and company stewards alone cannot push the corporate governance agenda.

Investors and other stakeholders too must show that they appreciate the fruits of good corporate governance, instead of complaining bitterly only after companies have collapsed and huge investments have gone down the drain. The Star Says

A-G: GLCs should adopt best practices

Praise and encouragement: Ambrin speaking during the WIM Conference on Integrity and Governance at the One World Hotel in Petaling Jaya.

“In theory, the country’s best practices could be easily adopted wholly or in part by most GLCs. But in reality this is not always the case as you can see from our audit findings with regard to the business performance and corporate governance of these GLCs.

“If guidelines are not being adhered to or given exemptions, it may severely compromise the governance and expose the companies to risk of fraud and corruption,” he said in a keynote address at the Women’s Institute of Management (WIM) conference on integrity and governance yesterday.

The 2015 Auditor-General Report (Series 2) was released two days ago, in which issues like poor management of the Cooking Oil Stabilisation Scheme and weaknesses in the management of medicinal supplies at health clinics nationwide were highlighted.

On the issue of GLCs that were not doing well, Ambrin said these companies were supposed to contribute to wealth creation for the government and act as a trustee to the public.

“Instead, they might become a burden, asking for bailouts and additional grants or to convert their loans to equity so they can continue to exist as a going concern, but to whose benefit really, one might ask,” he said.

The Auditor-General also observed that based on his audit experience, there were times where a GLC’s board of directors had been conveniently bypassed on major decisions.

He added that companies should have at least some, if not all, the best practices required to ensure integrity and good governance in their organisation.

“For example, I am very impressed with Khazanah, they have a high standard of governance and are very professional, so to me they are a model GLC.

“Of course we don’t expect smaller companies to have the full-scale best practices that they have, but at least have some elements like a standard operating procedure, internal audit committee, and a good board of directors,” he said.

Former Law Minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim said merely having policies for integrity and good governance in place were not enough.

“Malaysians need to talk about it and live it in order to move a step ahead,” said Zaid who was a panellist at the conference.

He said putting integrity into action may be challenging because of restrictive laws like the Official Secrets Act but that shouldn’t stop people from doing so.

Zaid said if Malaysians were committed to the principles of integrity and good governance, they needed to be courageous in their cause.

“You cannot defend integrity without courage but be prepared to pay a price for it. You might not get promoted, or get the title, or the contract you want but integrity needs to be cultivated, no matter the price,” he said.

Zaid also said the courage to fight for integrity must come from within and individuals cannot expect the higher-ups to lead the way.

“You must own it and start with yourself,” he said, adding that the more people embrace the idea of integrity, the higher the chance of creating a society driven by morals and truth.

–  By LOSHANA K SHAGAR and JO TIMBUONG The Star

Related:

1MDB global embezzlement and money-laundering scandal – more …

 

Related posts:

Bring corrupt culprits to court fast

MINISTER in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Paul Low recentlytold the Dewan Rakyat that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission…

 

Sabah’s watergate scandal unfolds, engineers nabbed, civil service back in vogue

Oct 15, 2016 Sabah’s watergate scandal unfolds, engineers nabbed, civil service back in vogue …. Civil service back in vogue – for the wrong reasons.

 

https://youtu.be/01stOYgM9x0 It was a record haul by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission – RM114mil seized from two top officer…
Jabatan Air Negeri Sabah – http://malaysianlogo.blogspot.my/2014/06/jabatan-air-negeri-sabah-sabah.html KOTA KINABALU: Everywhere in Sab…
  Jabatan Air Negeri – Customer Service How the millions were stolen? 1. Contracts broken down to small packages of RM100,000 ea…
  

Water Corruption | SSWM http://www.sswm.info/content/water-corruption The Star Says: A crisis of integrity and a lesson to be learnt …

It pays to learn from China


Malaysia can achieve high income nation through Belt and Road initiative, says minister

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/IjEEOkPW8Zc

MALACCA: Malaysia can learn from China which is skilled in attracting and profiting from the knowledge and skills of its human capital, said Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said China was creating an innovative economy and not just a high-income one driven by strong domestic consumption.

“China’s leadership is building on ambitious growth targets based on equality, efficiency and evaluation. We need to emulate this trait,” he said. Dr Wee was speaking at the opening ceremony of the 8th World Chinese Economic Summit (WCES)

WCES is organised by the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (Asli) with the aim of promoting global and regional dialogue on the emergence of China as the world’s largest economy and bringing together the global Chinese diaspora.

Dr Wee said that Malaysia, through its participation in China’s Belt and Road initiative, would be able to achieve its aim of becoming a high-income economy by 2020.

“China can appeal to a variety of demographics within Malaysia. By utilising the diversity and skills of the multi-ethnic Malaysian workforce, China can further capitalise on business ventures in the region.

“This can include leveraging on the country’s Mandarin-speaking citizens in order to effortlessly conduct business, or using Malaysia’s large Muslim population to expand investment into the Middle East,” Dr Wee said.

One of the projects that came into the picture as an effect of Belt and Road was the Melaka Gateway that attracted an investment of RM43bil from China.

China’s southern province of Guangdong, which has established a friendly state and province relationship with Malacca, has expressed its interest in investing RM8bil in an energy project in the state that will create between 5,000 and 20,000 jobs for the locals, Dr Wee said.

On e-commerce, which currently contri­butes 16% to the GDP, he said that only 55% of local consumers use the Internet for shopping.

The appointment of Chinese Internet billionaire Jack Ma of Alibaba Group as the Government’s digital economy adviser will help tap the vast potential of that market.

The e-commerce market (excluding e-services) in Malaysia for this year was expected to reach US$991.1mil (RM4.3bil) in revenue, while the global e-commerce industry was projected to surpass US$3.5 trillion (RM15.3 trillion) within the next five years, said Dr Wee.

Related posts:

Stop bitting the helping hand

Many of the negative responses over the deals with China seem to be politically motivated, stemming from ignorance and, in some cases, et…


The new China Syndrome: don’t tell Chinese balik Tongsan, Tongsan coming to Malaysia

That is what is sorely needed to improve MCA’s chances of winning back
the Chinese vote in the next general election, which is Najib’s ult…

Jack Ma advisor to Malaysian Govt on digital economy to start with e-FTZ

https://youtu.be/fb74uSG-7Ro China-Malaysia Promising relationship: Najib delivering his speech in Beijing. ‘A digital economy with e…

Keep China’s faith in us; Relationship with China is crucial, says expert

Malaysia-China ties to a new high

Malaysian PM Najib given official welcome at China’s Great Hall of the People https://youtu.be/v87tJF3uO7U   Prime Minister …

The new China Syndrome: don’t tell Chinese balik Tongsan, Tongsan coming to Malaysia


May the goodwill generated from the Middle Kingdom’s investments coming our way be infectious.

NO doubt about it – the love is back. MCA is basking in its renewed affection and appreciation as a useful partner to Barisan Nasional.

That was supremely obvious in Prime Minister and BN chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s glowing speech at MCA’s annual general assembly on Sunday.

In the three years since the devastating general election in 2013, MCA has worked hard at rebuilding itself and has regained some of its mojo.

And it showed at this year’s assembly, which was very different from the mood and tone of the AGM post-GE13, when the party was still smarting from the anger and disappointment of its coalition partner.

Najib, feeling terribly let down by the lack of Chinese support, had lashed out at the community, calling their massive support for the Opposition a “Chinese tsunami”.

Not only that, he defended a Ma­lay newspaper’s front-page head­line: Apa lagi Cina mahu? (What else do the Chinese want?).

That year at its annual general assembly, he pointedly told MCA, whose parliamentary seats had been reduced to a mere seven and state seats to 11, half of what it won in the 2008 general election, that it needed “political Viagra” to raise its flagging spirit.

It was indeed a horribly low point for MCA. There were calls for the party to leave BN, but the leadership soldiered on, refusing to give up a long-established partnership.

A year later, at the MCA AGM, Najib did not mince his words again when he urged the party delegates to stop fighting among themselves because he found the factions confusing and tiresome.

All that has changed. On Sunday, he declared that there was no more Team A or B, only Team MCA, in recognition of Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai’s leadership in bringing unity and transforming the party.

But there was another feel-good factor at work at the AGM: the afterglow from Najib’s successful visit to Beijing a week earlier.

The Chinese government really rolled out the red carpet for Najib and his delegation, which included Liow, MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong and other MCA leaders, during a six-day visit that netted investment deals amounting to RM144bil, covering bilateral trade, education, culture and defence.

Beijing’s warm relationship with Putrajaya and China’s position as Malaysia’s largest trading partner did not happen overnight.

China has always remembered Malaysia for being the first Asean country to establish diplomatic relations with it when communism was still seen as a threat to the region.

That was thanks to Najib’s father, second Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, who made that historic visit in 1974.

But it was the Malaysian Chinese community that went on to deepen and strengthen those ties. Again, this is something China remembers and is grateful for: Malaysian Chi­nese businessmen who invested in China in the late 1970s when Deng Xiaoping had just opened its doors to foreign investment.

Among them is the stellar tycoon Robert Kuok, said to wield great influence with the Chinese leadership, whose long-standing admiration for him culminated in CCTV, Chi­na’s state TV broadcaster, bestowing on him the China Econo­mic Per­son of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.

Among the stories told include how Kuok earned the Chinese government’s trust and affection after he, the renowned Sugar King, secretly helped China overcome a severe sugar shortage in the early 1970s.

Interestingly, when Chinese leaders visit Kuala Lumpur or Singapore, they invariably choose to stay at Kuok’s Shangri-La hotel and that includes former president Hu Jintao and his successor, Xi Jinping, which is surely a measure of their continuing esteem for Kuok.

While the magnitude of the new investment deals raised eyebrows, China’s getting involved in building and funding major infrastructure projects isn’t new. After all, it was a Chinese construction company, CHEC, and a cheap Chinese government loan that helped build the second Penang bridge.

Granted, people have the right to be cautious and demand to know the details of such deals, and that should be respected. But there is no doubt that China has come to the rescue of Malaysia at a time when our economy needed a huge boost.

More importantly, Najib’s administration knows the role MCA leaders played in helping seal the deals.

After all, many of the MoUs signed concerned the development of transport infrastructure like the East Coast Rail Link and ports, which are under Liow’s portfolio as Transport Minister.

As reported, Liow made frequent trips to Beijing for meetings and wooed the Chinese to invest in Port Klang. Not only that, he was always on hand to host visiting Chinese dignitaries, like his counterpart Yang Chuantang, and Prime Minister Li Keqiang.

All the hard work came to fruition with the huge investments and the affirmation of trusted friendship between the two nations.

As Najib said, he continued to look east, like former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Look East policy, because China was the world’s biggest economy. But frankly, there isn’t any other direction to look for big investment.

The realisation of China’s importance to Malaysia is fast taking root; so much so, the Red Shirts which, just a year ago tried to storm Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown, have stopped their outright anti-Chinese attacks after Ambassador Dr Huang Huikang made it clear that Beijing would not stand for “incidents which threaten the interests of the country, infringe upon the rights of its citizens in doing business, or disrupt the relationship between Malaysia and China”.

But now that Najib has warmed up again to MCA and the Chinese from China are all the rage, it would really, really be nice if that love and goodwill could be spread around to Malaysian Chinese who have long invested in this place they call home and helped build it into a modern, progressive, successful nation.

It is time to stop making the Chinese community the convenient whipping boy and the bogeyman to frighten the Malays for political expediency. And no more allowing groups and individuals to spew hate speech and dangle the threat of another May 13.

This type of divisive politics has gone so bad that Liow reiterated his call for a National Reconciliation Council to strengthen the two pillars of national unity and cultural diversity, which he said had come under attack.

That is what is sorely needed to improve MCA’s chances of winning back the Chinese vote in the next general election, which is Najib’s ultimate challenge to the party.

As the joke that is going around now: no point telling the Chinese to balik Tongsan (go back to China) because Tongsan is coming to Malaysia.

By June H.L. Wong, So Aunty, So What? The Star/Asian News Network

Aunty was determined not to write about Donald Trump but she must mention she was gobsmacked by his five-year-old granddaughter’s ability to speak Mandarin.
Related posts:

Stop bitting the helping hand

Many of the negative responses over the deals with China seem to be
politically motivated, stemming from ignorance and, in some cases, et…
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak (L) and China’s Premier Li
Keqiang at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing. – EPA
Malaysian PM Najib given official welcome at China’s Great Hall of the People https://youtu.be/v87tJF3uO7U   Prime Minister …

Xi, Trump discuss China-US cooperation


Working together ‘only correct choice’, Chinese leader tells president-elect

President Xi Jinping said on Monday that “there are a lot of things” China and the United States need to, and can, cooperate on, in a phone call congratulating Donald Trump on his US presidential election victory.

“Facts have proved that cooperation is the only correct choice for China and the United States,” Xi told Trump, noting that the past 37 years of diplomatic relations have brought concrete benefits to the people of the two countries, as well as facilitating global peace and stability.

Since China and the US now have important opportunities and great potential for cooperation, Xi said the two countries should better coordinate in promoting the economic development of both countries and the world, and expand exchanges in all fields to bring bilateral ties forward.

“During the call, the leaders established a clear sense of mutual respect for one another,” a statement from Trump’s presidential transition office said. “President-elect Trump stated that he believes the two leaders will have one of the strongest relationships for both countries moving forward.”

The two leaders also agreed to keep in close contact and meet at an early date.

Tao Wenzhao, a researcher of Sino-US relations at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said mutual interests between the US and China will not be subject to US political changes. Both US parties subscribe to developing relations with Beijing.

Tao said it will take time to see how Trump’s China policy develops after he takes office, though the new administration “will not necessarily resort to a trade war with China”, despite his statements during the campaign and pressure from many US politicians for greater containment of China.

Tao said that is “because he is a smart businessman, and a trade war surely impacts both sides”.

Fu Mengzi, a Sino-US relations researcher at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, said there should be a distinction between Trump’s statements during the campaign and his policies as president.

“He knows the importance of China-US relations. He will find some ‘China hands’ to draft his policies toward China,” he said.

At a daily news conference on Monday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said China has remained in close communication with the US side, including Trump’s team.

Geng also said that China expects to expand cooperation with the new US administration at all levels and in various fields, including infrastructure construction .

“The fundamentals of China-US relations will not change in the future, even though frictions may occur,” Fu said.

Tao said the Chinese government will continue to cooperate with the Obama administration, citing the 27th China-US Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade coming up in Washington, DC.

By Mo Jingxi | China Daily.
 Beijing ready to push forward China-U.S. ties on new starting point: FM

 China stands ready to further promote its relations withthe United States on the new starting point following the election ofDonald Trump as the next U.S. president, Chinese Foreign Minister WangYi said in Ankara on Sunday.

Related posts:.

Disruptive Donald J.Trump, US president-elect policies

US president-elect Donald Trump gives a speech during election night
at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York on Nov 8, 2016. PHOTO: AF…

KUALA LUMPUR: The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) faces
its biggest challenge with the election of its major critic Donald  Tru…

https://youtu.be/YKIOAMcTuWI NEW YORK, Nov. 9 — Republican candidate Donald Trump was projected by U.S. media to have won the 270 …

Stop bitting the helping hand


Many of the negative responses over the deals with China seem to be politically motivated, stemming from ignorance and, in some cases, ethnic prejudice against all things Chinese.

 

YOU can be angry with Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak but let’s not lose our objectivity. The Prime Minister brought in RM144bil worth of deals signed between Malaysia and China.

Many Asean countries are eyeing that kind of money from China but strangely, some Malaysians’ sense of rationality is becoming warped, even perverted, and they feel it is prudent to go into senseless name-calling and mindless smearing of China.

We have to be careful here – remarks like Malaysia indulging in yellow culture, selling our soul to China and comments which smacks of racism are surely not the way to treat a friendly superpower nation like China.

Those making such disparaging remarks are doing a disservice to Malaysia. It’s akin to throwing sand into our rice bowl.

Hate the PM as much as you want as this is how democracy works. But do some of us need to lash out with political rhetoric against China?

It is one thing to score points against our political rivals but surely, there must be a line drawn – let’s not bite the hand that is trying to help us at a time when Malaysia needs to secure more foreign investment to shore up our flagging revenue from oil and gas.

Many of the negative responses over these deals with China seem to be politically motivated, stemming from ignorance and, in some cases, ethnic prejudice against all things Chinese, whether it has to do with mainland China or Chinese Malaysians.

Let’s look at the numbers – foreign investors (including the US) are net sellers of stocks in Bursa Malaysia and have reportedly dumped RM948.1mil in stocks although some have said it is even more.

Malaysia can no longer depend on traditional foreign direct investments from the US and other Western countries.

The reality is that China invested as much as US$84bil (RM370bil) in 2012, establishing it as the world’s third largest outward investor after the US and Japan. China has aggressively eclipsed other nations.

The shift towards China, according to one study, is obvious as the republic emerged as Malaysia’s largest trading partner, enjoying a 13.8% share of Malaysian trade since 2012.

Malaysian firms (especially those owned and managed by Malaysians of Chinese descent) have also been actively investing in China since it liberalised its economy in 1979. Some of these firms played a crucial role in attracting mainland Chinese firms to invest in Malaysia, according to studies.

Everyone knows that China has the money. And Malaysia has an edge over other Asean countries because of the link between Chinese Malaysians and China that has given us an advantageous position, especially when China increasingly sees Singapore as a US ally.

There are some who are unhappy with China’s purchase of 1MDB’s energy assets in Edra Global Energy Bhd for RM9.83bil by the state-owned China General Nuclear Power Corp recently, suggesting that the republic was only helping Najib out in the 1MDB controversy.

But let’s look at other investments – even before the recent trip by the PM. China has put in a multi-billion ringgit purchase of a substantial equity stake in Bandar Malaysia via China Railway Construction Corporation.

China Railway Engineering Corporation has announced plans to set up its multi-billion regional headquarters in Bandar Malaysia, which will host the main terminal for the proposed KL-Singapore High Speed Rail project.

It has been reported that the Chinese government has started buying more Malaysian Government Securities (MGS) and this inflow of new money could possibly rise to RMB50bil (about RM30bil) in total or 8.5% of Malaysia’s total outstanding MGS as of early April.

Those who have been grumbling should answer if there’s any big money coming from the US, Australia or Britain.

And many of us are also wary about money coming in from the Saudis – some are alleging that they are exporting radical Islamic values to Malaysia. Do we need this?

Like it or not, China, apart from being Malaysia’s largest trading partner which takes up 19% of its exports, is presently one of the top five foreign investors in the country.

Investments from China in the manufacturing, construction, infrastructure and property sectors are at significant levels now.

According to official data, China’s investments in the manufacturing sector here from 2009 to 2015 totalled RM13.6bil, creating 24,786 jobs.

Malaysia also needs more Chinese tourists to visit our country and we hope to attract two million Chinese tourists by the end of the year. Our tourism industry has seen a growth of 23% in arrivals from China since the e-visa entry programme was introduced in March this year.

China is the third largest source of tourists for us after Singapore and Indonesia. Malaysia targets eight million Chinese tourists by 2020.

Only 10% of China’s population travelled out of their country and yet they have spent US$229bil (RM1tril) globally last year. They easily beat the number of many Western countries put together!

They spend more than other tourists and they travel in bigger numbers. We all know that in Western countries, Chinese-speaking shop assistants are specifically hired to engage with this segment of customers.

Malaysia is not on the radar of Chinese tourists but more young Chinese tourists have chosen to visit Sabah because of its beautiful sea and lush forests.

Chinese tourists spent US$215bil (RM948bil) abroad last year, 53% more than in 2014, according to a World Travel & Tourism Council report, a figure which is more than the annual economic output of Qatar. Chinese tourists are now spending way more than anyone else, including the Americans.

The number of Chinese tourists travelling globally has more than doubled to 120 million over the last five years, according to data from the China National Tourist Office and WTTC. That means one in every 10 international traveller now is from China.

Malaysia is missing out on this action, unfortunately. For a start, we can make travelling into Malaysia easier for them and having more direct flights will help.

Let’s give credit where credit is due. Najib has done well, from his recent trip to China.

It will even be better if our own Air Asia gets to fly into more Chinese cities as this will surely help boost Chinese tourist arrivals.

Let’s get real, all of us.

Certainly we have the right to express our concerns over the terms of some projects, and to seek clearer details, but let’s not drag in unnecessary elements which strain bilateral ties.

By Wong Chun Wai

Wong Chun Wai began his career as a journalist in Penang, and has served The Star for over 27 years in various capacities and roles. He is now the group’s managing director/chief executive officer and formerly the group chief editor.

On The Beat made its debut on Feb 23 1997 and Chun Wai has penned the column weekly without a break, except for the occasional press holiday when the paper was not published. In May 2011, a compilation of selected articles of On The Beat was published as a book and launched in conjunction with his 50th birthday. Chun Wai also comments on current issues in The Star.

Related:  Digital free trade zone makes much sense

 

 

Related posts:

Jack Ma advisor to Malaysian Govt on digital economy to start with e-FTZ

China-Malaysia Promising relationship: Najib delivering his speech in Beijing. ‘A digital economy with e…

Keep China’s faith in us; Relationship with China is crucial, says expert

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak (L) and China’s Premier Li

Keqiang at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing. – EPA

Malaysia-China ties to a new high

Malaysian PM Najib given official welcome at China’s Great Hall of the People https://youtu.be/v87tJF3uO7U   Prime Minister …

Philippine, Malaysia to cooperate on combating terror groups and pirates


Meeting of two leaders: Najib talking to Duterte during the Philippines President’s visit to the Perdana Putra building in Putrajaya. — Bernama

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/yyqsLvD7WsQ

Philippine, Malaysia to cooperate on combating terror groups

President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, is making
his first official visit to Malaysia. Talks between the two countries
focused on ways to combat threats from militant groups. Extremists from
the southern Philippines, especially Abu Sayyaf, have been responsible
for numerous incidents of piracy and kidnappings in waters between the
two countries.

Duterte gives Malaysia licence to enter waters to pursue pirates

The days of pirates escaping Malaysian authorities by fleeing across the border into Tawi-Tawi waters are over.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, in his inaugural visit to Malaysia, has given Malaysia the licence to enter his country’s waters in pursuit of not only kidnappers, but also militants who have been terrorising Sabah’s east coast.

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/dKaUuOzfoLA

Calling this a new development in Putrajaya-Manila ties, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the two leaders agreed on the need to stamp out the security risk which also affects Indonesia.

There were several kidnap-for-ransom cases this year alone, which saw 10 Malaysians whisked away by militant groups based in southern Philippines. Five are still being held captive.

“I appreciate Duterte’s understanding because this is a practical way for us to help each other. It’s a new development which has been agreed by (Indonesian President) Jokowi with Duterte, and now with me.

“We need to stamp out this crime as this is affecting the welfare and security of not only Sabahans but tourists who visit the state,” Najib said after a bilateral meeting with Duterte yesterday.

The Philippine President was here for a two-day visit, his first after assuming the presidency in June.

Defence ministers from Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia will be meeting in Vientiane on Nov 22 to discuss the standard operating procedure and the various legal aspect of this new development.

While authorities from Malaysia and Indonesia are allowed to enter its maritime borders, they have to inform the Philippine navy of their presence in the area.

“If you are in hot pursuit of the bad guys and we reach maritime boundaries, the bad guys will get away if you stop. So, President Duterte said we should continue the chase and he has given us the licence to do so. We are to inform the Philippine navy and they will assist us if they are nearby,” said Najib.

The Prime Minister said new orders would be issued to the security forces based along the Sabah east coast and that this latest development was a clear sign of the two countries’ commitment to eliminate kidnapping incidents.

“This new development will also help move relations between both countries forward.

“While we have been enjoying warm and cordial relations, we have yet to reach our full potential due to security and legal issues,” he added.

On Philippines’ claims over Sabah, Najib said that this was not an issue to be addressed immediately.

Philippines has a long standing claim to Sabah, which was once under the rule of the Sulu Sultanate.

The claim has caused snags in several matters such as the setting up of a BIMP-EAGA (Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area) regional office and a consular office in Kota Kinabalu.

Duterte expressed appreciation on Malaysia’s role in the peace process in southern Philippines, said Najib, adding that the Government has agreed to continue placing an international monitoring team there.

“With negotiations completed, there is no need for a facilitator to be placed there, but Duterte has asked for the monitoring team to remain,” he said.

Malaysia has been playing the role of facilitator in the Bangsamoro peace process negotiations and is leading the international monitoring team in the southern Philippines.

On the issue of illegal immigrants in Sabah, Najib said both countries agreed to send home in stages the 7,000 Philippine nationals currently in the state.

By MAZWIN NIK ANIS JOSEPH KAOS JR The Star Asia News Network

Related posts:

Job for new Philippine head: Stop the kidnapping of foreign citizens

 

Apr 29, 2016 Job for new Philippine head: Stop the kidnapping of foreign citizens … Even as the foreign governments were working to get their citizens …

Oct 19, 2016 Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte arrives in Beijing on October 18, 2016, beginning his state visit to China

Notorious Philippines’s Abu Sayyaf & Law-abusing tribunal on South China Sea

Oct 23, 2016 All Western media have noted that the US maneuver was conducted during
Philippine President Duterte’s state visit to China in which bilateral …
%d bloggers like this: