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Newsletter and Others

REFSA Quarterly Aug 2012-The ETP Issue

Dear reader,

“If you think you’re too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a closed room with a mosquito.”

This African nugget of wisdom has been the driving force behind REFSA.

In January this year, our modest independent research institute of just 3 permanent staff took up the task of evaluating the “ambitious” plan created by the extremely well-endowed government agency PEMANDU to take Malaysia to high-income nation status by 2020 – the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).

It began as an exercise in digesting the voluminous tomes underlying the ETP with a view to analysing and explaining its goals and achievements in plain language for the benefit of ordinary Malaysians. This unfolded into startling exposés over a span of 7 months. The velvety presentations by PEMANDU obscured dodgy data, questionable practices and, worst of all, blatant lies. This powerful agency within the prime minister’s department claimed “100%” credit for the construction of a multi-billion ringgit wafer fab plant that was never built!

Our work compelled PEMANDU to respond, culminating in an admission to errors resulting in a massive 45% slashing of the incremental gross national income (GNI) promised. This throws into doubt the very foundations of the ETP itself. Were projects with grossly-exaggerated forecasts chosen over more honest and realistic proposals?

The August 2012 issue of REFSA Quarterly, which we dub “The ETP Issue”, is a one-stop reference point for REFSA’s work on the ETP, as well as our exchanges with PEMANDU. Click here for an overview of the perception manipulation and deception promulgated by this high-powered unit in its attempts to puff-up the feeble foundations of the Economic Transformation Programme.

Foong Li Mei, Editor

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Note: The ETP Issue was published before the conclusion of Dissecting the ETP Annual Report series, hence Part 5 to 7 of the series were not included. For a complete collection of our analysis on the ETP, please visit here.

Our little REFSA mosquito survives on RM20,000 per month, whereas PEMANDU has spent the equivalent of RM150,000 per working DAY for a whole year (RM36 million in all) on just one consultant (McKinsey) alone. And they couldn’t even get their basic data right! If you think we’ve been doing a good job trying to get PEMANDU to drive straight, do help us tilt the playing field back a little (we’re a long way from leveling it!). Click here to learn about our Matching Donations Campaign.

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