Friday, November 03, 2006

UM equity report - resign, Mirzan Mahathir; speak up, Prof Shamsul!

The chart below from Malaysiakini explains why the Malaysian public has grave suspicion about the AAB government's motive and credibility:

malaysiakini chart

Now, the public wants PM AAB and his deputy Najib to honour their public undertaking to immediately reveal the government’s methodology that came up with the 18.9% bumiputera equity ownership. Unfortunately up to now, they are both still dragging their feet. They still have a second chance but the alternative would be to lose their entire credibility.

The Universiti Malaya (UM) research paper in 2002 - that's a blooming 4 years ago, which further indicates the government was in the know all along - had drawn
a similar conclusion to the Asian Strategic and Leadership Institute (Asli) report.

If we look at the UM paper's reported 33.7% at par value 10 years ago, and the current Asli's assertion of more than 45% at market value, I would dare say the Asli report had been far too conservative. As one anonymous visitor to my blog had claimed (defiantly or cheekily?), the equity could well be 60%, and indeed why not?

How to tackle this current UM revelation?

Well, for a start, perhaps Asli President Mirzan Mahathir should immediately resign for succumbing to political pressure in his disgraceful and premature (no, not ejaculation because he was cringing) retraction of the think-tank's report and worse, saying the methodology used in the report ‘was flawed’; he should also as his last presidential duty, in an act of common decency, invite former CPPS director Dr Lim Teck Ghee to resume the latter's directorship.

I don't suppose we would be able to get any comments from UKM Professor Shamsul Amri Baharuddin?

When Asli's report was first published, Malaysiakini published that the professor condemned the report. He was reported as saying:

“I am very sceptical about the study which has been carried out by a particular race. They (the race) usually have their own agendas.”

He averred the study did not contain accurate facts: “So I want to know who conducted the study? When was it done and which angle they (the researchers) were looking at? “What is the motive behind the study? Is the research for the public or for participants at a certain forum?”

However, Malaysiakini subsequently published the professor's denial that he had criticised Asli's report as not having accurate facts. He was reported as stating:

"When I was asked about my opinion of the report, my respond was brief and simple: 'I don’t know about the study, I haven’t read it and I have no opinion to offer regarding its content.' Therefore, I categorically deny that I said what I had purportedly said, including “the study did not contain accurate facts” and the rest of it."

I can't tell whether Malaysiakini had reported accurately or otherwise, but there' a world of blooming difference between what was reported by the news online and what the professor averred he had actually stated (read above)

However, based on the Grand Canyon-ish difference, I can certainly aver that it couldn't possibly be a case of misinterpretation - either the Malaysiakini reporter had fabricated the alleged professor's statements with a view towards sensationalism, or the ........ (you decide)

But I recall Malaysiakini asserting it 'stood by its report', a standard media statement meaning it's willing to be challenged, presumably even in court if need be.

In the closing statement of his denial the professor wrote: "Finally, I definitely would like to obtain a copy of the Asli report and offer my genuine comments if I am given the chance, but perhaps, it will not be in the distorted and sensational form that appears in the article."

He has all the time to do that but we haven't heard anything from him since. Perhaps he may care to now comment on the UM report?

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