With Mahathir, Nor Mohamed Yakcop gamble away Malaysia’s foreign reserves

 related article http://suarakeadilanmalaysia.wordpress.com/2012/02/01/zero-accountabletan-sri-nor-mohamed-yakcop-must-realise-his-duty-to-the-nation-not-to-his-politica Smiles were flowing freely at the GTDB party. Global Trust Deficit Bank, the world’s fastest growing bank, had decided to celebrate its India success by inviting high-profile guests to its no-holds-barred bash in the national capital. The usual suspects–politicians, bureaucrats, socialites, business tycoons, film stars and cricketers–were in attendance, but the real star of the evening was the Indian, who constituted the bank’s biggest investor class. related article http://suarakeadilanmalaysia.wordpress.com/2012/01/29/the-sting-mahatir-the-ghostbuster-when-you-buy-a-haunted-airasia-tonyyou-get-t

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has admitted receiving donations amounting between RM2,000 and RM3,000 on an annual basis from Federal Territories and Urban Well Being Minister, Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin. Anbalagan was responding to allegations made by

Raja Petra Kamarudin on his Malaysia Today website today. I

related article http://suarakeadilanmalaysia.wordpress.com/2012/02/03/minister-raja-datuk-nong-chik-is-fuel-that-will-triger-the-subprime-meltdown-in-malaysia/

n an article entitled, “The Raja Nong Chik saga”, Raja Petra alleged that the minister gave NUJ RM2,000 to play up the NFC issue against the interest of Shahrizat, who is also the Wanita Umno chief. Raja Petra also published a CIMB bank receipt as proof of payment to NUJ. This, according to Raja Petra, was done so that Shahrizat would not be fielded as a candidate in the Lembah Pantai parliamentary constituency in the 13th general election. If someone who knows you mildly, can play you like a musical instrument, eliciting the responses they want, that is your biggest Achilles’ heelIf ego can erode brotherly ties between the world’s richest siblings, ruin careers and relationships, wipe away fortunes and futures, it surely is a greater force than most of us give it credit for!Come to think of it, ego is one of the two deadliest traps you could fall into — at work, or even in your relationships. The second of course is emotion. The two forces within that could conspire to ruin you with very little help from external enemies. The enemies within.Ego that blinds you to all else but a perceived slight. And emotion that blinds you to the outcome of your resultant outburst. Ego that makes an entire clan believe their honour has been hurt by a young couple’s romantic liaison. And emotion that makes them kill their own child and the lover.From the Gita to Osho to Buddhist teachings to modern Western analysis of the constructed nature of self, all religions and philosophies have attempted to define ego. Yet, ego remains almost as abused a word as “sexy”! “He has a huge ego;” “Don’t let ego ruin your relationship,” “Ego comes in the way of success” are oft-heard phrases. And yet, how many understand what the word means?Here are a few definitions. Ego is “a pseudo reflection of the soul” (Lord Krishna in The Gita); “a false sense of the self,” (Master Sheng yen, one of the world’s most respected Buddhist masters); “an emotionally charged image of self” (Otto Kernberg, pioneering psychologist); “A false centre. The reflection of what others think” (Osho).So then should one rid oneself of all ego and emotion as religious texts prescribe? Well, so long as you wish to live in the world and not take off to the mountains in a loin skin carrying a kavandal, the better deal surely is to learn to handle ego and emotion rather than give them up!You can either make ego and emotions your strength or your greatest weakness by allowing someone else to handle them to their advantage. If someone who knows you mildly can play you like a musical instrument, eliciting the emotions and responses they want from you, that is your biggest Achilles’ heel. If your enemy knows what most angers you and so makes you lose control, undoubtedly he will be tempted to use his power over you.In our everyday lives, we are bound to be faced with situations that hurt our ego or incite emotions. A hurt ego almost always responds emotionally. The emotion may be one of sadness, anger, revenge or aggression. Give in to it and you have walked into a trap; to walk away is to transcend on to another plane and feel thrilled with your will power and control over yourself.People take a catlike delight in playing with those trapped by their emotions. As Deepak Chopra says, managing others begins with managing yourself first. “Business leaders who don’t know themselves too well and cannot get a grip on their emotions and ego, fail miserably.”The top performing companies are usually those whose CEOs’ names you wouldn’t know. They have none of the ego and arrogance associated with a CEO. That’s because “these people were not into themselves; their goal was not adulation or power, but to create a great company.” Their companies would do well even after they leave. Which is more than can be said for Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric. But can certainly be said for Infosys’ Narayanmurthy!

The aim should be to develop a high level of emotional intelligence, which enables you to think through your emotions intelligently. And to use your emotions to help you think more intelligently. It is important to stay in touch with who you are as a human being, because that is who you will be in every sphere of life, be it work or relationships.To that end, ego or an awareness of self is important. Who you think you are is an integral part of who you become.

Nischint Chintamoney, CEO of GTDB’s India operations whose record was booming from year to year, was beaming from ear to ear. He was already being tipped for the Banker of the Year award, and was holding forth on his string of successes in recent years. Excerpts from his press conference: Q: What is the size of your Indian business? A: We have nearly 500 million small investors–almost the entire Indian adult population–who are driving our business. In fact, we are the only bank in the world to have an entire country listed on its customer database. Q: Weren’t you close to becoming bankrupt some years ago? A: Not many remember, or know, that until a few years ago we were known as Global Trust Bank or GTB. We were based in New York and traded in trust. Business was fairly good, with people investing in our various products–SGT (Standard Gold Trust), SITIP (Systematically Invested Trust In Politicians), ETF (Economic Trust Fund) and suchlike. But things changed around 2009. As the Americans’ trust in President Obama evaporated and the economic crisis spread across the globe, our business was hit hard. Customers started withdrawing gold, dollars and presidential trust heavily from our bank. It was a do-or-die situation for us. Q: So how did you cope? What measures did you take? A: Our turnaround has become a case study in B-schools. We changed our DNA–from trading in trust to banking on anti-trust. The key to our stupendous success lies in the fact that we realized the changing nature of our clientele and adapted ourselves to it. That’s when we held a board meeting and decided to rename ourselves as Global Trust Deficit Bank. That single decision, to go from being GTB to GTDB, pole-vaulted us to the No. 1 position among all public unlimited banks. It’s around the same time that we decided to launch in India. Q: What do you attribute your success here to? A: Indians are generally trusting, but the climate of distrust that has permeated every aspect of Indian society in recent years has given a tremendous boost to our business. It’s sad, but we are happy… Q: Could you elaborate? A: Take your politicians for example. When the UPA government returned to power a second time in 2009, trust was running high. Indians actually believed that they had voted wisely. But look at the mess the government has been in since. 2G, CWG, Adarsh and a host of other issues have forced voters to rush to our branches and put their money where their trust is not. Ditto for other parties. No one trusts any party or leader anymore. All right-thinking Indians feel that each party has its own agenda, its own interests at heart, be it at the national level or the state, civic or zilla parishad level. That’s why our NTIP (No Trust In Politicians) product is such a bestseller. Q: But you said your subscriber base is pan-Indian? A: True, we are not limited to the political spectrum. We have managed to attract other Indians with specific products–PWC (Post-World Cup) Blues for those who have decided not to bank on their cricket heroes; ISNOMORE for those who have withdrawn faith in India Shining; ROB-O-COP for people fed up with corrupt police officers. We have also recently launched high-interest lock-in debentures like NTICP (No Trust In Consumer Protection), Biz Fizz (for companies that promise investors heaven, but doom them to hell), MbPT (Mumbai Builders’ Poor Trust) and KFA (Kite-Flying Aviators). In personal banking, we have the CS (Cheating Spouse) and GGF (Greedy Girl Friend) bond-breakers. In fact, we also have custom-made family packages for those that disbelieve each other (NOLINKIN, or no love among relatives), etc, etc. Q: Whew! So there are no clouds on the horizon? A: Honestly, there are a few niggles. The ongoing assembly elections have given our rival trust banks a chance to recover their clients. Many voters are withdrawing from GTDB and re-investing their interest in Pure Trust bonds. Also, cricketing fortunes are fickle, down one season, up another. Already, IPL-5 is threatening to give our bank a run for its money. Q: What do you see as the biggest threat to your business? A: The new generation of Indian youth is more trusting, less cynical than the elder ones. It believes in itself, and in its ability change things. This generation is the biggest threat to our long-term survival. Q: What are your future plans? A: You have to remember that we deal in a commodity called anti-trust. All deposits with us earn notional interest. As your national value of trust goes up, the notional value of your trust deficit banked with us goes down. In that scenario, we will have to resort to a shock option and re-engineer ourselves to being a simple trust bank, at least in India. Q: Do you see that happening anytime soon? A: As the world’s biggest trust deficit bank, our policy is clear: Trust No One, Nothing Is Permanent. He was also involved in a currency speculation scandal in the early 1990s, where Bank Negara lost up to RM30 billion.[2] He was the Special Economic Adviser to former Prime Minister of MalaysiaTun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. Former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad gambled away Malaysia’s foreign reserves in 1992-1993. COMMENT Former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is an ambitious man who believes in the theory of mega economics. He believed and still believes that by adopting a mega-based economic model, Malaysia not only could become a developed country by 2020 but would also become a strong nation at par with the Western powers economically and politically. Hence, he was prepared to go international and take on the Western powers.One of the fields that he was keen on was the global foreign exchange (forex) market where there is big money. In fact Bank Negara, during the Mahathir administration, was involved in covert global speculative activities as early as in the 1980s possibly to test the waters.Throughout the period (1990 to 1992), Britain’s economy was in recession where national output began to slide and unemployment rose. Domestic demand fell including demand for imports. In 1992, the exchange rate of the British pound sterling was fixed under the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM). Unlike the Asian economic crisis of 1997-1998 where their (Asian) currencies were weak or vulnerable, in the case of the British Pound, despite the economic slump, the currency still commanded a comparatively strong exchange rate. Greedy politician However, pressure was mounting from many quarters for Britain to float its currency in line with the current (at the time) market situation.Many quarters wanted Britain to adjust the value of the pound accordingly because the European countries believed the pound was overvalued. Britain’s forex market appeared to be the focus of many speculators who wanted to profit from the market instability.Speculators would make or lose in a “free-for-all” market situation. A very greedy politician would think this opportunity was too good to be missed.Mahathir, the then prime minister of Malaysia-cum-mega speculator, ordered Bank Negara to speculate on the British pound sterling. George Soros, the global forex player, was also speculating on the same currency but for different reasons.But both shared a common desire. They went for the kill. The battleground was the London foreign exchange market. Both believed that they were going to make money from the British.One believed he could make fast and big money, the other wanted to profit from the expected fall of the pound. Smart Soros The one that believed the Pound would appreciate took billions of US currency from Bank Negara foreign reserves fund (actual figure unknown). The “wiser” speculator who believed the British Pound would fall was not using his own funds. He borrowed from British banks to the tune of 10 billon pounds and changed the money to German Mark. The moment of truth came when on Sept 16, 1992, Britian left the ERM.Unable to stand the economic and market pressure on its overvalued Pound, Britian, instead of floating the pound, officially devalued its currency causing the pound to fall. It was not what the European countries and Mahathir had expected. Luckily for Mahathir the currency did not crash. The British government had a two-pronged strategy – firstly to devalue the Pound to stimulate the economy through cheaper and hence higher exports and more costly imports thereby reducing imports in order to regulate the country’s general economic fundamentals. Secondly after the devaluation, the sterling was automatically floated to regulate the market fundamentals. Had Britain directly floated the pound, the erratic rise and fall would disrupt Britain’s plan to stimulate the economy although it may have helped the pound to appreciate which speculator Mahathir had expected. Bank Negara losses never revealed Consequently Soros, who took the loan from the British banks, repaid it in Pounds which was then cheaper and pocketed the difference of more than US$1 billion. While the Malaysian gambler, Mahathir, lost about US$4 billion. Later in 1993, Bank Negara again lost another US$2.2 billion in speculative activities.Malaysia’s total loss by this time stood at US$6.2 billion equivalent to RM15.5 billion (based on the exchange rate as at Sept 1992. US$1=RM2.5). However, the actual figure for Bank Negara losses were never revealed.Instead, the central bank, when put under scrutiny for its dubious activities, gave conflicting and confusing data to make it difficult for the opposition to get to the bottom of the mess. Bank Negara had abused the foreign reserves which were meant to finance imports, stabilise the ringgit and pay off foreign debts.The British government made the right decision.The devaluation made the pound cheaper thereby stimulating exports and made imports expensive. Mahathir gambled away nation’s money The fall based on devaluation is different from a fall by floating.The former is an economic adjustment to regulate the macro-economic fundamentals such as national output, employment, among others, while the latter is a market adjustment to regulate market forces such as the exchange rate of a local currency vis-a-vis foreign currencies and the share prices in the stock market . Hence, once the nation’s currency has been devalued, it can be floated without the possibility of a currency crash because the effect of devaluation has already stabilised the country’s general economic fundamentals. Mega gambler Mahathir had committed a serious crime by secretly compelling Bank Negara to use its scarce foreign reserves for unethical and unauthorised purposes. What was more serious was that he had gambled away the nation’s hard-earned money worth billions of ringgit in high-risk global speculative activities. He should be held accountable for this squandering.Malaysia did not have the expertise in global forex speculation the likes of global forex player Soros. What should Malaysians do to this mega crook who always denies any wrongdoing? Bank Negara, in this case, was in cahoots with Mahathir. Mahathir must pay Bank Negara is supposed to be the regulator of the financial market, not player/speculator. It can use its own foreign reserves to go into the forex market in Malaysia in order to regulate and stabilise the ringgit, but it should not speculate in forex markets. As such, its action was unethical. Foreign reserves of a country is a crucial item to service imports, regulate the country’s currency value and to pay off foreign debts. The Bank Negara governor at that time was Jaffar Hussein and the head of the forex trading unit was Nor Mohamed Yakcop. Both resigned after the speculation fiasco. The golden rule is if any Malaysian wants to bet in any foreign exchange market he should use his own funds, not that of the nation.Mahathir must be held accountable for his action.

Yang Berhormat Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop
As Finance Minister II of Malaysia, Nor Mohamed Yakcop has met with prominent financial personalities such as George Soros
Minister in Prime Minister Department Economic Planning Unit
Assumed office 10 April 2009
Member of the Malaysian Parliament for Tasek GelugorPenang
Assumed office 8 March 2008
Preceded by Mohd Shariff Omar
Malaysian Minister of Finance II
In office 2004 – 9 April 2009
Preceded by post created
Succeeded by Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah
Personal details
Born Penang Penang
Political party United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) part of Barisan Nasional
Spouse(s) Fawziah Begum Abu Bakar
Occupation Economist
Religion Islam

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