On Sunday I blogged on Bumi's Equity is already 45%, in which I posted that the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (Asli) estimated Malay equity should currently be 45% based on September 2005 Bursa Malaysia figures.
Asli explained that in its study titled 'Corporate Equity Distribution: Past Trends and Future Policy'.
I also noted that the director of Asli, Dr Lim Teck Ghee, complained of the difficulties of obtaining government methodology in declaring that Malay equity was only 19%.
He said: “Our study was established based on the best available information and informed opinion. The government does not make data available easily (to the public).”
Lim had hoped the government would exercise more transparency and publicise the methodology used by the government in providing its own figures.
I doubt it would, for the purpose of perpetuating the bull that bumiputera equity hasn’t reached 30% yet.
Today Malaysiakini reported that Prof Shamsul Amri Baharuddin, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) political science lecturer and director of its Institute of Malay World and Civilisation, expressed his scepticism at Asli’s study.
And his reason for averring that the study did not contain accurate facts?
He said: “I am very sceptical about the study which has been carried out by a particular race. They (the race) usually have their own agendas.”
“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 of a certain form?”
Great stuff, this professor based his scepticism on the basis of race. He wants to know the “motive” of the (presumably) particular race, or participants of a “certain form”.
Prof Shamsul didn’t query about Asli’s methodology but instead the race of the data analysts. He can’t question the data because Asli had already declared them to be the September 2005 Bursa Malaysia figures.
I would have imagine a professor demanding to know the methodology, verify it or re-check the data, but instead he questioned the “motives” of the researchers because they were of a “particular race”.
Prof Shamsul was the man who gave AAB’s SIL, Khairy Jamaluddin, a generous spin down in Australia when the professor was interviewed by ABC radio. He responded to presenter Sen Lam’s queries, as follows:
SHAMSUL: Khairy was talking to a group of UMNO youth and people around the different divisions in the country, telling them UMNO has to be strong, that if you are not strong, you would be taken advantage of, by other parties in the BN (Barisan Nasional coalition) because this is a competition. He didn't mention anything about any particular party there. But the MCA representative from Kajang, if I'm not mistaken, raised the issue at the MCA meeting, and said that this is an insult to MCA and other parties in BN.
[well, f**k it, Khairy said “the Chinese community” and on top of that, “I don’t have to apologise when I speak in defence of my religion and race”!]
LAM: Do you see though, why the MCA might have cause to feel upset, having loyally supported UMNO for the best of the past fifty years?
SHAMSUL: I wouldn't say the words of a speaker or representative from one small place called Kajang represents the whole of MCA. But it was a voice no doubt. So I believe this is not MCA's position, but this is an idea from the floor, so to speak.
[“…the words of a speaker or representative from one small place called Kajang …” and "... not MCA's position ..." - if the professor wasn’t ‘spinning’, please tell me what was it? Even Lim Keng Yaik called the SIL a 'low standard opportunist']
LAM: Khairy, apart from being UMNO Youth's deputy chief, also happens to be the son-in-law of the prime minister. And there have been murmurs that he is the "power behind the throne," that he has an inordinately huge amount of influence over his father-in-law, the prime minister. What do you make of these rumours?
SHAMSUL: I don't know how much a father-in-law, or a son-in-law can influence a father-in-law in Malay society, but it is a different context and I also believe that (former Indonesian President) Suharto's children had been powerful, I don't know whether we want to see Abdullah Badawi in that light, in the same way we analyze Suharto. Or there is really something. He (Khairy) was once a speech-writer for Abdullah Badawi, no doubt. Nobody wants to talk about Mahathir's son now, and how he is involved in all sorts of business. And (dy pm) Najib's brothers who are involved in big businesses. So I would like to talk about kinship in politics, likely circumstances and beyond the prime minister actually, in Malaysia.
[best distraction away from Khairy and AAB would of course be to bring in Suharto, Mahathir and even Najib and their family - I am surprised he didn't mention Ehud Olmert or George Bush]
Sad, isn’t it, that a university professor rejects a fairly startling finding of a study with important political ramifications for Malaysia, purely on the basis of the race of the researchers, without even challenging the research methodology or accuracy of the data.
I've added his interview with ABC about Khairy’s infamous insult to put the entire tragedy into context.