“Najibnomics”? Puh-leez!!

by Eyes Wide Open

Yesterday the Star proudly carried this story:


Case study on Najibnomics

KUALA LUMPUR: The Harvard Business School in Boston will undertake a case study on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s courageous and bold initiatives to tackle the financial crisis.

The case study, to be used as a subject in the core curriculum of the macro-economic module, will be a capstone on how crisis is transmitted internationally.

It will also discuss how a country that has sound fundamentals and good regulations could withstand an international crisis.

(If you can stomach it, read the rest of the nonsense here)


Wow…the Star really makes it sound like Najib saved the economy from disaster huh? So incredibly innovative and bold were the “Najibnomics” that we were lifted from despair and are now well on the way to attaining glorious wealth! All hail Najibnomics!! (Does anyone else think that this name really, really sounds like a character from the Asterix comics series? I can just imagine the Gaulish village having a totally clueless treasurer called Najibnomix!)

But wait a minute…what IS Najibnomics anyway?

Well, a Sept 12 Business Times report describes it as: ensuring greater transparency, speeding up the awarding of government infrastructure projects, and improving ties with Singapore to draw more foreign direct investment into Iskandar Malaysia.

And the article quotes independent market research house CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets as saying “The continued inflow in emerging markets, especially Asia, will benefit Malaysia as its premium valuation over Asia ex-Japan has collapsed.”

Glowing words indeed. But barely 2 weeks later it’s time for a REALITY CHECK!! Let’s look at some facts and figures shall we?

Read the articles here, here, and here regarding the UN’s latest World Investment Report.

The first is an Asia Times Online article entitled Capital outflows cloud Malaysian outlook. Excerpts: A bigger concern is falling foreign investment flows, as Malaysia lagged Southeast Asia competitors Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore in attracting new FDI in 2008.

In June, the so-called bumiputra equity requirement, where all companies by law must reserve 30% of their equity for ethnic Malays, was removed for newly listed companies. Yet the latest statistics show capital is leaving rather than entering the country.

The second article entitled “UN: Investment outflow from Malaysia up 26pc last year” is from Business Times Malaysia. Excerpts: MALAYSIA saw US$14.06 billion (US$1 = RM3.47) of investments flow out of the country last year, up 26 per cent from a year ago, according to a United Nations annual investment review.

At the same time, foreign direct investments (FDIs) into Malaysia fell 4 per cent to US$8.053 billion in 2008, said the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad)’s World Investment Report (WIR).

The third report is from Bernama, entitled “Malaysia’s FDI inflow and outflow sees little impact from economic crisis.” Excerpts: He said FDI outflow rose steadily over the last few years, reflecting an increase of 370 per cent, from 2005’s figure of US$2.972 billion.

“The sizeable increase in Malaysia’s investment overseas in 2008, as in previous years, is a reflection of the country’s more globalised and integrated position in the world economy,” Zainal Aznam said.

Trust the NEAC and the official government propaganda (oops, “news”) agency Bernama to spin Malaysia’s capital flight as a positive sign for the country!

But no amount of spin can disguise the hard facts and figures that prove that our economy is still in the pits while our neighbours are the ones really picking up!

So since “Najibnomics” has basically done nothing for our economy, what is so great about it that it deserves to be a case study in Harvard’s syllabus?

Ahh…but look a little closer at the Star’s report. It basically highlights 3 Najibnomics that would be included in the Harvard case study of Malaysia:

First: “…consolidating the banking, insurance and financial institutions following the 1998 currency crisis…”

B-b-but this was Mahathir and Daim Zainuddin’s rescue plan for that time, wasn’t it? Why is the Star so shamelessly crediting it to Najibnomics?!

Second: “Besides highlighting Najib’s bold economic reforms, the Harvard study would also focus on the various economic liberalisation moves…”

OK la, this belongs to Najib (at least partly). But what “bold economic reforms” are the Star referring to? The ONLY significant “economic reforms/various liberalisation moves” that Najib introduced was the removal of the 30% Bumiputra quota for CERTAIN sectors (and that was criticised even by Malays as mere window dressing because those sectors had hardly any Malay presence!).

Third: “Harvard will also bring to attention how the country positions itself on free trade agreements with other countries and how its economic zones are poised for further foreign direct investment attractions…”

How the country positions itself on FTAs was well established by Rafidah Aziz during Mahathir & Abdullah’s time. (In fact, it would be embarassing to dig deeper into this as then Harvard would know how Malaysia fudged on our automobile sector liberalisation pledges in order to protect Proton!)

And as for the economic zones, weren’t those Abdullah’s idea? By the way, aren’t they largely stillborn because Najibnomics has other priorities? I mean, none of Najibnomics’ RM80-odd billion stimulus packages were intended for Abdullah’s Corridors – how much more of a cold shoulder do you need to get the hint that nobody gives a shit?

But now these same Corridors are being hijacked as the brainchild of Najibnomics?

Ignore the grand phrases like “undertake a case study on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s courageous and bold initiatives to tackle the financial crisis.”

Careful reading of the article will put things into some proper perspective: The case study, to be used as a subject in the core curriculum of the macro-economic module…

So…the so-called “Najibnomics module” is not the main topic of study but is merely part of the curriculum!

And carefully reading of the rest of the article makes it clear that the Harvard case study is actually based on the MALAYSIAN economic model of the past 10 years, and it is probably an update of the original case study published in 2002 since the topics are similar.

If so, it has absolutely zilch to do with the myth of Najibnomics! But the way the Star writes it, it is as if the entire Harvard course revolves around studying the miracles of Najibnomics.

This is an absolutely outrageous piece of reporting for the shameless spins, bald-faced lies, blatant credit stealing and wanton hijacking of ideas!

I can’t make up my mind who is worse – the editor who spun this, or his political masters who wanted it spun this way!

9 Responses to ““Najibnomics”? Puh-leez!!”
  1. clearwater says:

    More often than not, the Star’s reporting makes one puke. Sometimes, it is so shamelessly slanted I believe the writer was lying inclined on his bed when writing the article. Blood flow constriction could account for some of the more stupid spin but not all of it. Must be other reasons as well. Cari makan?

  2. chong says:

    glamour ma.

    they should study 1 malaysia F1 and our astronuat program too. hey, we sent malaysians to outer space & we gotta get a locally made F1 team.

    shook nya.
    1 malaysia – rakyat terus disodomi, poketku terus diutamakan.

  3. Harvard should study the Star’s Bodeknomics.

  4. telur dua says:

    They are actually researching a script for a comedy film.

  5. telur dua says:

    Maybe I’ve been away in Mars for the past few years. What exactly did Najib do????

    • hartalmsm says:

      What did Najib do? He was gifted the PM-ship of a government ruled by political parties who own all the nation’s MSM

  6. peter teoh says:

    The local media are such masters at the spin . Each time I read the local MSM I get vertigo and feeling like puking.
    Its like an emperor without clothes. This was the fate of poor Badawi. The MSM spun such honorific stories about his achievement that he really began to believe in it. But finally reality got the better of him and he was kicked out.
    For Najibs own survival, it is in his best interests if he receives truthful feedback from the ground rather than listening to the local sycophant press. Better chance for survival.


    najibnomic aah, no lah najib comic .what the joke .joke of the year.

  8. K S Ong says:

    There were two instances which I wish we know what really transpired:

    1. The telephone call from US President Barack Obama; and

    2. the recent visit by US Secretary of State.

    Because in both cases, Najib was interviewed and he related to us on television what was said by either of them. I wonder how accurate were his statements of what they have said to him.

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