Paper Castles In The Air


The young indulge in building castles in the air whereas the rich and famous build paper castles! Recently, Sarawak Report carried an article HERE which said that “Chief Minister Taib Mahmud and PM Najib Razak have been trumpeting their economic policies in the light of plaudits given by an outfit called the Oxford Business Group.”

According to Oxford Business Group’s (OBG) regional editor, Paulius Kucinas (at this link), Sarawak remained an attractive destination for capital investments as it rode on the structural rise for commodities worldwide. At the launch of The Report: Sarawak 2011, he said that it provides in-depth detail on Sarawak’ current economic outlook and what the future holds for the state.

The official Oxford Business Group site states that the report for Malaysia can be purchased at the cost of 130 pounds for the printed edition or 104 pounds for the digital edition which are available as soon as payment clears while print copies are shipped within 24 hours on business days. To receive the Economic Updates for the report, go to ‘My Subscriptions’.

One puzzling fact though – Cost of the report  for Sarawak is 104 pounds but it is not stated as to whether it is the printed edition or the digital one.

For the report on Malaysia, one can opt to purchase individual chapters on Country Profile, Politics, Economy and Banking. For more information about the launching of the report in West Malaysia, check out THIS LINK.

I am not going to raise issues which have been comprehensively covered by Sarawak Report HERE (a must read for everyone!).

1. Why is the publication and writing of such reports given to overseas publishing houses? Surely our economy does not need more outflow of money for work that can be done by local publishing houses and writers!

2. Presumably, it must be quite expensive to have commissioned such reports. If indeed the intention is to give prospective investors more opportunities to discover more about Malaysia, surely a local publication would have ensured cheaper publications with better and more up-to-date data.

3. Working on the assumption that they wanted better quality writing for the reports to elevate their status, consider the following sentence taken from HERE and draw your own conclusions about the quality of writing. Do take note of the parts I highlighted in bold font and underscored:

Endowed with prodigious natural resources, including rubber, palm oil and oil and gas, Malaysia has expanded into manufacturing, services and tourism, and is seeking to move further up the value chain in industrial production.

So are they paying for quality writing? You be the judge!

The introduction to the report on Sarawak was written more stylishly. Check HERE. Excerpt:

Sarawak shares the island of Borneo with the Malaysian state of Sabah, the sultanate of Brunei Darussalam, and the Indonesian provinces of Kalimantan. Its 2.4m people are considered the most diverse of all Malaysian states, with a mix of indigenous Christian Ibans, Chinese, Muslim Malays, and many other ethnic and religious groups. The state’s chief minister, Abdul Taib Mahmud, of the National Front party retained his hold on power by winning re-election in 2011, despite a strong showing by the opposition Democratic Action Party. Sarawak’s economic growth has long depended on the three key pillars of oil and gas, crude palm oil, and timber exports. A host of new sectors are set to receive a boost, however, under the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE), which aims to develop the state’s central region. SCORE will exploit Sarawak’s 20,000 MW of hydroelectric potential, using this power to develop industries in metallurgy, aquaculture, food processing, information technology, and downstream palm oil and timber products.

4. Perhaps the authorities concerned can respond to the following excerpts taken from Sarawak Report:

The London HQ advertised on the company’s website is in fact an office rental centre, where rooms can be let on demand. We were informed that the Oxford Business Group no longer has office space in the building, although “they sometimes still come in and out” .
However, the Editorial Director of these reports is none other than a former Editor of the UK’s most ridiculed porn rag, the Daily Sport, which closed earlier this year.

Did they check out the background of the company to see if they are legit set-ups or dodgy shady outfits?