Thursday, May 25, 2017

The elephant

I want to talk about animals, starting off specifically with the elephant and the cow. For this post I'll write on the elephant.

In fact I am referring to the white elephant. The term 'white elephant' came from Thailand and Burma (Myanmar). Tradition or cultural belief prohibited the working of white elephants which are considered scared.

Then, only kings could maintain white elephants but might gift such sacred animals to courtiers. When that was done, say, to a courtier, he could either consider that as a blessing or a curse, or both, the former because it was a rare royal gift and a tremendous honour, the latter because the animal was very expensive to maintain but due to its sacredness and royal source could not be worked (used fro labour).

Wikipedia informs us that in modern British English, the term 'white elephant' often refers to a publicly funded project that is extremely expensive yet fails to deliver on its function and/or becomes very expensive to maintain.

In Malaysia we have a number of 'white elephants', owned by the former Emperor of Malaysia. Today we manage to get rid of one of them, namely, the Proton car, instead of continuing to pour in billions as we did for years.

The Proton was one of the grandiose wet dreams of one dictator who selfishly protected the car at tremendous cost, to the extent the Proton car was built and sold in a protective environment which made its market viability non-competitive.

And it wasn't as if it was designed and built by Malaysians from scratch, being a clone of a Japanese car. Plagued by poor engineering, it suffered from faults yet was protected better than the marginalised Indian Malaysians.

'Nuff said, and we hope the new foreign partner to ownership of Proton will inject new technology and production quality to this 'white elephant'.

The only adverse point the new foreign partner to the Malaysian Proton has is its approval by the Najib Administration. Had it been Volvo or Mercedes or BMW which was approved by Najib, it would have suffered derogatory remarks as well.


  1. Ehh...kawan, when u write something, do u just eject it from yr underpants?

    Or has proper research been done?

    Especially, with a causality backs with a rigid frame of reference?

    Proton is a white elephant bcoz it is allowed to be!

    It was one of the mamak's dream to accelerate Malaysia's industrialisation capabilities to match those of developed nations using the nation's oil money.

    For the saga of Proton, the contribution of johorean-turned-singgie cinapek, Rin kei mei MUST be mentioned. Saddly this page of Proton history has been totally erased from the record!

    In 1979, mamak (then the Deputy Prime Minister) mooted the idea of establishing an automotive assembling and manufacturing industry in bolihland. It was in May 7, 1983 that Proton was officially incorporated when mamak was heading as the pm.

    With the help of Rin, mamak sourced to manufacture Proton largely as badge engineered vehicles from Mitsubishi Motors between 1985 and the early 2000s.

    In March 2004, Mitsubishi ended its alliance with Proton. The Malaysian government believed that Mitsubishi wasn't transferring technology fast enough to Proton. After that Proton looked for another partner. Mitsubishi continued to provide production parts and components to Proton.

    Proton has a chequered history mainly due to the unceasing hard-nosed supports of mamak. But the ketuanan freaks he outsourced the Proton management to failed him completely!

    The personnel put in place to manage the company misused these ultra privileges that leaded to Proton's inability to grow up & to stand on its own as a competing enterprise in an open market.

    If Proton had good management, it was devastated by the infested virus of the ketuanan freaks. Eventually good & able people either left or joined in for the kills, leading to the demise of the effort & lost of money.

    This is a same old story of trying to bootstrapping the economy of the Melayu.

    Mamak's grandiose ideas of modernization via BIG investments into heavy engineering has a logical foundation.

    Every industralised economies have gone through this process. There r tries&errors, but through perseverance, determination & hardwork, many achieve the economic goal.

    White elephantine project is determined by the people put in place to manage the project.

    However, in bolihland, especially those grandiose engineering projects associated with the aim of uplifting the Melayu, many fall flat with red inks all over the ledgers.

    The concluded pitfall is ALL of them r tainted with the ketuanan virus that eventually finished them all.

    The ketuanan virus:

    1) prevents other able personnel (not from that bangsa) to provide visionary management inputs.

    Many wet-in-the-ear young ciku Melayu r fast-tracked to senior position over many well-deserved Nons.

    2) cultivates siege-mentality & ego to highten the role of (in)ability of the Melayu throughout the company.

    Ketuanan attitude also prevent them to learn from the Nons about business acumen. Many just fall for the easy way - delegation to 3rd rated representatives as there is no 1st rated who would want to work under them.

    3) keeps asking for business protection as a monopoly in an open market. Thus leading to inability to think out of the box for business ventures.

    4) opens channels for abang-adikism to share the loots within the company via unscrupulous means.

    So mamak's white elephant is not all his doing.

    If Proton is OPEN with a visionary CEO liken to Hassan Merican of Petronas, then perhaps it won't turned into a white elephant. But, then the force of ketuanan is strong & Hassan, like many able M'sians, is now serving the RedDot!

    Thus, don't ONLY blame mamak for Proton. Proton right from the beginning is already a 阿斗!

  2. Being righteous, KT always writes from one angle - without considering or giving due regards to the other. Anything she likes is right. Anything she doesn't is wrong. That is KT. So take her with a pinch of salt. As the Malay says, "dengar boleh, caya jangan"

  3. Who cares which company takeover Proton. What we need is the removal of import duties on motor vehicles.