Dr M, before you look East, you should have looked after your backside first! Part #2


Dear Tuan IkwanZ,

Without any malice to you, please allow me to defend my statements on which you have commented in my article Dr M, before you look East, you should have looked after your backside first!

Yes, if you were PM in the 80s and if you had sweet old buddy like Singaporean Rin who probably showed up with Japanese businessman Kumei, I have no doubt whatsoever that you would have done precisely like Mahathir. I don’t know if you are a businessman, but Mahathir never was, apart from selling pisang goreng and nasi lemak during his school-going days (so he claimed, to augment his pocket money). So when a Chinaman and a Japanese Sōgō shōsha man came to “advise” him on advancing his “Look East” policy, Mahathir naturally took that as Gospel truth, could not go wrong.

The only time Mahathir tried his hand on big time business (before he became a PM) was when he was Minister of Trade and Industry (MCA Datuk Lew Sip Hon as his deputy). Ill-advised by con-master Marc Rich, Mahathir tried to corner the tin market on the LME (London Metal Exchange). While he got his fingers badly burned, Malaysia lost something like a hefty RM800 million when the American GSA released physical tin stock and the tin price collapsed.

Mahathir thought he had learned his lesson not to trust any Westerner the like of Marc Rich (a Jew). So with Rin and Kumei, he regained self confidence especially then as PM, the Lord of all he surveyed. If his buddies told him Mitsubishi, then it was Mitsubishi, nothing else. That was how the choice of techno partner was made for our national car, never through a process of due diligence and evaluation of all possible qualified candidates.

However, I must agree with you that Mitsubishi is a huge conglomerate with interests in Oil & Gas, Heavy Industries, Banking, etc, and Mahathir’s visit to all these works must have greatly impressed him. But for the automobile industry, Toyota leads in sales volume and technology (Lexus is hard to beat) and Honda in design (the Pininfarina of the East).

About a decade ago, Mitsubishi along with Nissan Motors almost collapsed financially. Had it not been for the strength and financial backing of Big Brother diversified Mitsubishi Group, it would have succumbed to a same fate like Nissan which was taken over by Renault of France.

Applying the Malaysian analogy, Sime Bank disappeared, but Sime Darby is still going strong. So now, Tuan IkhwanZ, I hope you will agree with me just sedikit sahaja that Mitsubishi was a wrong choice while our other ASEAN member, Thailand got their acts right, Toyota and Honda. If Mahathir had chosen Toyota, today Proton does not need to scout the world for a partner; Volkswagen would come a-begging to us.

Now, Tuan IkhwanZ, let us take a slow boat to China. First, I must clear with you that I do not indulge in racial bias and religious sentiments. We have to recognize facts for what they are, devoid of racial and religious paintwork. 

You said, “China back then (in the 80s + 90s) was nothing; it was when China was granted WTO membership in 2001 that the country started flourishing. So prior to that, which country would you want to focus on for trade? Certainly not China.”

These were your words, but unfortunately, factually wrong again. A little man by the name of Deng Xiao Peng who was not even the President or Prime Minister of Communist China, was the person who pulled the strings of the Chinese Government and drew open “The Bamboo Curtain” to the world in the 2nd half of decade 1970s. The Sleeping Dragon then awakened, and started to move at great leaps forward. The first western company to invest in China was Swiss lift manufacturer, Schindler. Today Schindler’s lift and elevators are seen all over China, Hong Kong and Asia, and exported back to Europe. Volkswagen would have been insolvent had it not for their new market in China. Nowadays FDIs poured into China, with success upon success of all who branched into China. While writing this piece, I just saw on CNN that China’s 1st unmanned spaceship has docked with its own space station today, one more up for China.

The WTO had no choice, but to hand the membership status to China on a silver plate in 2001. At any rate, the WTO membership and the US “most favored nation” status are nothing more than political apparatus to strangle countries whose ideology is not in line with theirs. The “most favored nation” crap was a joke if you ask me.

And finally, Tuan IkhwanZ, without being racial, let me tell you that all the Chinese around the world without exception, are by nature, capitalists. They adopted and welcomed the Communist system because the Nationalist Chinese Government was corrupted beyond repair, so they looked to Karl Marx and Lenin for change. Even today, Communist membership within China account for less than 10% of the population (80 million members only).

Therefore, it boils down to one simple characteristic of the Chinese race. Everywhere you go, you’ll find Chinese only interested in business, trade and money which give them survival. Politics is least in their mind; to the Chinese any body can rule over them but that body must allow them free and fair business opportunities. They only join the voice of descent if Government policies affect their business adversely. Those in good stead like Francis Yeoh, Tan Kay Hock, Vincent Tan, Lee Kim Yew, etc., etc don’t make noise, for reasons you should know. 

Can we do something here in Malaysia for the ethnic Chinese Malaysians?

By now, you may be wondering what ethnic race I belong to. I am not telling, but I suggest you refer to the legendary tale of “Singapura Dilanggar Todak”, that may give you a clue.