This is another gem of a write-up from Sakmongkol.
I really enjoy reading his blog as he presents many lucid views. He allows free debate on his comments section and rarely interferes in the discussions, although he is quick to dispatch those who offer nothing more than insults as a rebuttal to his points.
Although his views are sound, it seems they are not shared by the UMNO majority. Or if they were, those that think like him don't dare to stand up and be counted. For openly sticking his neck out to articulate his views which often runs contrary to the entrenched UMNO mindset - he gets my full respect.
More than anyone else, he has proven to me that decent, intelligent people still exist in UMNO. Unfortunately, they seem to be in the tiniest minority, the majority seem to be the corrupt, aspiring corrupt and the spineless followers tagging along in the hopes of getting a few crumbs from the big boys.
Here are some excerpts from his piece. You can read the full article here.
...I am trying to discover answers on how to jack up our economy. Why Terengganu and Kelantan? Terengganu is a perfect example on how to apply excess revenues while Kelantan serves as an example on how to optimise whatever money one has. Both states are predominantly Malay, so they can provide useful control-room test results which could be used as generalisations.
Each time I never ceased to be amazed by the energy, drive and vigour of the common people. Thus, if a state remains poor and backward, its condition cannot be explained away by the lack of trying by the common people. Perhaps like Ludwig von Mises said, the fault lies with the leadership elite.
...Terengganu then should become one of the richest states in the country. The task of lawmakers in the state is to how to apply the money so that it can further stimulate the economy.
The task is also to avoid the Arab disease (a contextual variation of the Dutch Disease) gorging themselves with giddy spending that do not add to the productive capacity of the state or enhance the capability of its citizens. The number of poor, illiterates and disenfranchised remain large in Arab countries.
....It seems to me, it would have been better to distribute the outlay for building such mosques to the local population. That would certainly place cash in their hands- money to spend and do business. That would be an immediate way to stimulate demand.
The energy and drive of the common people are clearly evident. Kemaman used to be a sleepy hollow during the days when I was schooling in Kuantan. Kuala Kemaman was selected by Ungku Aziz to produce his seminal work of poverty. It is now a thriving town where trading and business are brisk. People do all sorts of work. They want application. Save for the very old and sickly and the drug addicts, people want to work. People want to do business. They want to earn a living. That should immediately discredit the accepted explanation that Malays just want a free ride. The free riders are the elite who hide behind the questionable Bumiputera policies. Once again, I say, it's the bumi who are left behind, while the puteras surge ahead.
...Where has been the concrete application of its oil money? In KT you can of course see the ostentatious symbol such as monsoon cup facilities, a few good hotels; beautiful mosques have sprung like mushrooms even in small villages. You can gaze in awe at the crystal mosque and the floating mosques and whatever. Undoubtedly these facilities are enjoyed and used by people in Terengganu and from elsewhere.
...The Other Terengganu has something akin to Harrington's Other America. It can also be a tale of squalor- many lived in squalor, beaten down houses. You can even see these houses weaved in between glossy buildings and facilities.
Perhaps now, we can look at concrete steps to get out from the unNEP policies to policies that actually empower the masses economically. They will be looking at a National Economic Policy that will not be sabotaged by the little and big Napoleons and the cawangan gauleiters. Give resources to those who actually operate the economy.