Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 20. 1972
Corruption — Capitalism In Malaysia
Capitalism In Malaysia
As soon as the Razak clique were installed as puppet headmen by their British masters, they lost no time in seeking to enrich themselves and to foster the growth and development of the Malay bureaucrat capitalist class of which they are the representatives. In the last decade this clique have intensified these activities and implemented their reactionary policy of fattening the new Malay bureaucrat capitalist at the expense of the working people of Malaya, especially the Malay peasants.
Many "government-financed" and "government-sponsored" organisations have been set up. Chief among these are the Mara (Council Trust For Indigenous People), Fama (Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority), FLDA (Federal Land Development Authority ), FIDA (Federal Industrial Development Authority), Pernas (National Corporation Berhad), SEDCs (State Economic Development Corporations), UDA (Urban Development Authority), National Padi and Rice Authority, Bank Bumiputera, Bank Kerjasama (The Apex Bank), Lembaga Urusan Dan Tabong Haji (Pilgrims Management and Fund Board). Agricultural Bank of Malaysia, Perbadanan Kewangan Kebangsaan, Perbadanan Perniagaan Dan Perusahaan, MIDF (Malaysian Industrial Development Finance Berhad) Perbadanan Insurance, National Investment Company, Housing Trust, Genting Highlands Sdn. Bhd., etc. These organisations cover the fields of industry, commerce, agriculture, mining, banking, shipping, transport, insurance and tourism. Public funds are channelled to the Malay bureaucrat capitalists through these organisations in the form of loans and subsidies, which in practice mostly become outright gifts.
The Majlis Amanad Ra'ayat (Mara) or the Council of Trust for Indigenous People was established in November 1965. Its activities have belied its high-sounding name; it has nothing to do with the people except to rob them of their hard-earned money to enrich the bureaucrat capitalists. The Mara provides "the important fuction of assisting, guiding and encouraging..." the Malay bureaucrat capitalists "...in participating actively in various commercial and industrial undertakings.....Since its inception the Council has gradually expanded its activities in the financing of..." Malay bureaucrat capitalists'" ...enterprises, joint ventures and direct investments in industries and expanded its training programmes and advisory services provided to..." Malay bureaucrat capitalists [See annual Report, Bank of Negara Malaysia, 1971, p. 93). The basic object of Mara is to widen the particular of the Malay bureaucrat capitalists in the commercial and industrial development. (See Annual Report, Bank of Negara Malaysia, 1968, p. 59).
By the end of 1968, Mara distributed M$50 million to Malay bureaucrat capitalists; and M$29.9 million in 1969; M$31.8 million in 1970. In 1971, the amount was M$32.1 million, (See Annual Reports, Bank of Negara Malaysia, 1968-71.)
"Over the past three years, the Council had set up factories entirely financed from its resources or in joint ventures..." with local big capitalists and foreign monopoly capitalists, expecially American and Japanese. "These factories produce a wide range of manufactured and processed products including leather, tapioca, wood and textiles. By the end of 1971, a total of M$33.5 million had been invested in its own undertakings and M$9 million in joint ventures." (See Annual Report, Bank Negara Malaysia, 1971, p. 93).
During 1970, Mara operated 12 bus companies, of which 11 were joint ventures, and increased its number of buses by 47 to 627 at the end of 1970. It is note-worthy that by the end of 1970, the number of companies transferred by Mara to Malay bureaucrat capitalists through the sale of shares, was seven. During 1971, five bus companies with a total of 673 buses were operated on a joint venture basis. And the Council transferred its ownership of one bus company to Malay bureaucrat capitalists in Kepala Batas, Province Wellesley. (Annual Reports, Bank Negara Malaysia, 1970 (p.93), 1971 (p.93).
With the rapid growth of Malay bureaucrat capitalism, a large number of bureaucrat administrative staff or lackeys are needed to operate of manage the "government-financed" or "government-sponsored" organisations and other enterprises controlled by Malay bureaucrat capital. "In addition to providing technical and financial assistance to industrial and commercial enterprises, Mara undertakes an education and training programme designed to provide training opportunities for the indigenous people to enable them to participate more actively in commerce and industry. For this purpose, scholarships are provided at Malaysian and overseas centres for business and professional studies." (Annual Report, Bank Negara Malaysia, 1967, p. 58).
Table 1 indicates that "During 1967, Mara provided 322 scholarships, 206 were tor studies at institutions in Malaysia and the remaining 116 for overseas studies." (Annual Report, Bank Negara Malaysia. 1967, p. 58). The number of scholarships provided for business and professional studies during 1968 increased by 59 to 381, of which 212 were for courses at institutions in Malaysia and the remaining 169 overseas. (1968 Annual Report, p. 59). In 1969 a total of 186 scholarships was given, of which 65 were for courses at institutions in Malaysia and the remaining 121 for overseas studies. (1969 Annual Report, p. 70) In 1970, 360 scholarships were granted, including 30 for postgraduate studies and 248 for overseas studies, about twice the number given in 1969, Mara also granted 435 loans to students in 1970. (1970 Annual Report, p. 93). In 1971, 326 scholarships and 1,169 loans for higher studies, amounting to M$ 7.3 million, were provided by Mara. In the five years of the Second Malaysia Plan, it is envisaged that 6,650 people would be given professional training. (See 1971 Annual Report, BNM, p. 94) It should be also pointed out that those students who are offered loans from Mara immediately indebted to Mara as soon as they sign the agreements. The students will need to take years to repay the debts and turn into 'modern slaves' of the bureaucrat capitalists.
Colombo Plan Bias
It is also worthwhile to point out that Victoria University of Wellington and other New Zealand Universities or institutions higher studies have also played a significant and complimentary role in association with [unclear: Mala] bureaucrat capitalism in Malaysia by [unclear: 'manufacturing] more young Malay tools or lackeys for Malaysian [unclear: pu] regime. By 1971, there were approximately 60 [unclear: Mara] scholarship and loan holders in New Zealand ([unclear: represent] about ¼ of the total number of students for overseas studies under Mara scheme') in addition to 179 [unclear: Colo] bo Plan scholarship students from Malaysia. The [unclear: Malays] Mara-Colombo Plan scholarship students constitute about 1/3 of the total number of Colombo Plan students in New Zealand! The number of Malaysian [unclear: students] Colombo Plan scholarships in Wellington Region [unclear: totole] 63 in 1971 of which 27 Colombo Plan students [unclear: stude] at Victoria University of Wellington. Apart from [unclear: Colli] Plan students from Malaysia, the number of Mara [unclear: sa] larship and loan holders at Victoria University of [unclear: Well] ton was 11, adding with one each from Malaysian [unclear: Fad] Scholarship and Yayasan Tengku Abdul Rahman, etc. is said that by March, 1972 there are 34 Mara- [unclear: Colombo] Plan students at Victoria University of [unclear: Wellington] Among Mara scholarship and loan holders, almost [unclear: all] of them are doing B.C.A. courses which implies that Victoria is engaging in professional and business training of young future Malay bureaucrats is the rapid rise of Malay bureaucrat capitalism. When these group of government-financed students return home, they [unclear: immediatly] become the bureaucrats. Political, economic, social [unclear: an] educational tools and work for the interests of [unclear: Malay] bureaucrat capitalist and comprador capitalists who exploit ruthlessly the Malayan people particularly [unclear: the] Malay peasants. This may also imply that [unclear: Victoria] and other New Zealand universities are serving directly indirectly the interests of imperialism, neo-[unclear: colonia] fascism, racism and reactionary regimes in Southeast Asia. For example, VUW offers a professional and [unclear: bus] iness training ground for the Colombo Plan [unclear: scholarshi] students of Mara scholarship and loan students or the like sent by the puppet governments of South [unclear: Vietna] Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia (and [unclear: also] Taiwan). The New Zealand people and students must investigate and question further this bloody business and stop the New Zealand universities turning into [unclear: train] camps of the tools and lackeys of imperilalism, [unclear: neo-colo] ialism and fascism. Another alarming example is that [unclear: the] New Zealand Police Training Centre has arranged [unclear: exper] training courses with police dogs for high ranking [unclear: poilce] from Singapore in order to raise the standard of the [unclear: technique] of political suppression against the people [unclear: strugg]. The Mr. John's tactices are now becoming the latest [unclear: ki] expretise export to the developing countries under [unclear: the] pretext of "regional cooperation" or Colombo Plan [unclear: or] the like.
Criticism has also been levelled against Bank [unclear: Buimp] for operating like any ordinary private bank among [unclear: the] big capitalists when its function is supposed to be [unclear: to] the 'sons of the soil'. The Bank Kerjasama (the Cooperative Bank) instead of doing something to uplift the rural peasants, directly serve the interests of the feudal landlords. So also with Fama.page 9
The FLDA (Federal Land Development Authority), in one instance allotted 33,500 acres land to the Economic Board of Trengganu and the National Financial Construction Board, headed by the puppet Chief Minister of Trengganu, Ibrahim Fikri, for planting oil palm. This puppet is connected with the Insurance Copperative Society of Malaysia in this venture. He has received M$50 million from public funds for developing this scheme. It was this same Ibraham Fikri who had bluntly told the unemployed youths of Trengganu demanding land for cultivation that there was no land available for distribution to the people.
In short, none of the organisations set up ostensibly to improve the welfare and livelihood of the Malay masses has brought them any direct or indirect benefit. The policy and measures of Razak clique are entirely aimed advancing the selfish class interests of the rapacious Malay feudal landlords and bureacrat capitalists whom they represent and further impoverishing the broad masses of the Malay peasants and working people.
The Malay bureaucrat capitalist class, which controls the UMNO Party, has grown out of the Malay feudal landlords and bureaucrats who were formerly in the employ of the British colonial regime. They have, within the short space of a decade so, aquired much wealth and influence by defrauding and plundering the Malay masses. A few of them may be quoted typical example:
The New Rich — Bloodsuckers
Tan Sri Haji Mahammed Noah, father-in-law of Razak the Prime Minister of the puppet regime and also father-in-law of another two Cabinet Ministers, was a former President of the Dewan Negara or puppet Senate. His case is an outstanding example of nepotism and abuse of official position for personal gain which are rife among the puppet leaders. He is Chairman of the Johore Sugar Plantations & Industries Berhad, a joint enterprise between the UMNO—MCA bureaucrat-comprador capitalists and the Japanese-Taiwan big capitalists, with M$25 million capital and possessing a vast tract of land (20,680 acres) given to it by the puppet regime. He is concurrently Chairman of Langkawi Marble Co. Ltd., Deputy Chairman of several concerns including Malayan Flour Mills Ltd., United Malayan Banking Corporation and a Director of many firms including Esso Standard (M) Bhd., Selangor Dredging Ltd., Robinson & Co. (M) Ltd., Southeast Asia Housing Ltd., and First Life Assurance Ltd., He was also the first Chairman of Genting Highlands Sdn. Bhd. and recently he disguises as a Director of this biggest casino-hotel complex in Southeast Asia -- the miniature of the "Las Vegas" or "Monte Carlo" of Malaysia. Thus with the advice of Razak, a former Deputy Inspector General of Police known as Tan Sri Heji Hussain has been appointed as a new Chairman of this 15,000 acre Genting Highlands tourist complex -- "the world of dreams" for bureaucrat-comprador capitalist and and foreign monopoly capitalists. It goes without saying that he is also business agent for his son-in-law- the puppet Premier. (Straits Times, 30-1 72).
Ismail Abdul Rahman, the puppet Dupty Premier, Minister for Home Affairs andchairman of the Johre Alliance, formerly Affairs puppet Ambassdor to the U.S. and the UNO, UNO, is Chairman or Director of many concerns including the Malayan Banking Ltd., Guthries, Dunlop, Food Specialist (M) Bhd, the Cathay organisation, National Shipping Corporation etc. Most of them are companies owned or dominated by foregin monoploy capitalists.
Nik Ahmad Kamil, head of the UMNO in Kelantan, was formerly puppet Ambassador to the U.S. and the UNO and High Commission to the the United Kingdom. The first prominent puppet bureacrat to resign and go into business, he has become President of the National Chamber of "Malaysian" Manufacturers and a Director of the Asian Development Bank and a number of companies, including the Rothman Tobacco Co., Utusan Melayu Press etc.
Hussein Nordin, Ex-Secretary General of the UMNO, who has been puppet M.P since 1959, is head of the Tabong Haji (Pilgrims Management and Funds Board), a Director of the Utusan Melayu Press, a construct ion firm, a shipping firm and enterprises manufacturing cement and sugar.
Mohammed Yusof former Permanent Secretary to the puppet Ministry of Labour, has become a Director of more than 20 companies and Executive Secretary of the National Chamber of Malaysian Manufactures. He gave a special interview to the press to show off his newly-built 15-room palatial mansion, with a swimming pool attached, costing nearly a quarter of a million dollars. He owns more than five limousines. How could he have acquired his position and great wealth so soon after his retirement unless he resorted to the to the grossest from of corruption and manipulation of public funds and colluded most outrageously with foregin monopoly capitalists. This also applies to other bureaucrats who have become millionaires overnight.
Malay Masses Driven to Dire Poverty
As a sharp contrast to these bureaucrat capitalists, the Malay peasents have sunk further down in poverty. Unemployment and prostitution have been on the increase. What the puppet authorities have done is to aggravate these problems. According to the Annual Reports of Bank Negara Malaysia as shown from Table 2, out of M$1,433, the total amount of loans and advances lent by commercial banks to customers at the end of 1967, only M$129 million or less than 10% was lent to agricultural borrowers. By the end of 1968, the amount of loans and advances constituted only M$160 million (9.3%) out of the total M$1,760 million. In 1969 M$190 million, 1970, M$240 million and 1971, M$280 million representing merely 10% of the total amount of the loans and advances of commercial banks. It should be pointed out that all these agricultural borrowers were estate and big farm owners. The peasants got nothing. A feature article disclosed that funds totalling M$2,500 were spent by the Mara, "Government-sponsored" Cooperative Societies and other bodies supposed to be looking after the interests of the "sons of the soil." From these sources less than 1% went to agriculture (See Berita Harian, February 24. 1969). This article pointed out that the small peasants were left with no alternative but to go to the landlords, usurers, shopkeepers and pawnshops for loans at exorbitant rates of interest. It was reported by a magazine, "Dewan Masharakat" that the peasants in Kedah had to pay 85% interest in six months loans advanced to them.
According to the Annual Reports of Bank Negara Malaysia, allocations for agricultural and rural development from public development expenditure for the Five Year Plan periods of 1961-65, 1966-70 and 1971-75 were M$421.6 million, M$1,099 million and M$1,921 million respectively. As is common knowledge, the major portion of these vast sums of money has found its way into the ever-expanding pockets of the bureaucrat capitalists. This explains why the Malay bureaucrat capitalists are that immensely rich so quickly, while the conditions of life of the Malay rural masses, even on the admission of the puppets themselves, are daily worsening.
Ghafar Baba, head of the Mara, had to admit that 95% of the Muslims( i.e. the Malays) are living in poverty. It is well known that 80% of the rice growing peasants do not own the land own the land they till but work for landlords or become tenants paying very high rents. Their average income per month is less then $M50. Fisherman have even smaller incomes which average less than M$35.
Millions of dollars have been allocated for so-called social welfare and medical and health services (M$688 million in 1966-70, M$1,068 million in 1971-75). Yet malaria which is not an incurable or unpreventible disease, is practically epidemic in many states. 91% of the people of Kelantan suffer from it and corresponding figures for Trengganu, Kedah, Perak and Perils are 89%, 83% 71% and 71%. In all but one of these states, Malays form the majorrity of the population. The Razak clique have often boasted about their education programmes. In spite of their professed concern for the uplift of the Malay masses, for example, in 1968, 76,000 of the Malay children attending primary schools had to drop out at the end of their third or fourth grade because either the parents could not afford the expenses or the children had to help to earn a living. The drop-out rates in recent years increase alarmingly.
The Rise of the Peasants
Thus from their observations and their own bitter experience, the Malay peasants and working people have come to realist that all the insidious propaganda and Malay chauvinistic policy peddled by the Razak clique about "Bumiputeraism" or promotion of the interests of the "sons of the soil" or "Special Malay Privileges" and their oft-repeated promise of ensuring a monthly income of M$300 for every peasant are downright lies. These lies have systematically been spread to divert the Malay peasants and working people from the class struggle against the Malay expoliter classes.
The Malay peasants and working people are learing from their personal experience that the Razak clique, by be traying the country to British-U.S. imperialism and by ruthlessly oppressing and exploiting them, are enemies no less than the Lee Kuan Yew clique and the reactionary leaders of the MCA and the MIC.
It is not surprising at all that the number of Malay guerrillas in the jungle has risen rapidly and immensely in the last decade. This is of great significance to the revolution of the Malayan people in the 1970's. In fact, the Malays have a long history of active participation in the national liberation movement. The Razak clique always seek to fulfil the tactics of "divide-and-rule" by playing on the difference between three major nationalities which compose the people of Malaya - Malays, Chinese and Indians. The national liberation movement comprises all three nationalities and unites the representatives of them. This can also be proved from the documents in 1940's or 1950's. The official reports of British Intelligence Officers brought back by Malcolm MacDonald in May, 1949). The first 25 per cent of the guerrillas were Malays (Straits Times, 15.5.1949). The first person executed for the possession of arms was a Malay. Now, the leaflets dropped by "Malaysian"' planes are primarily printed in the Malay language. Recent reports in the Straits Times show that the Razak clique are very much shaken by the awakening of more Malay peasants who become genuine guerrilla fighters in the jungle.
The road of liberation for the Malay peasants and working people is the same as that for the workers, peasants and toiling people of other nationalities in Malaya, that is, by overthrowing their common class enemies irrespective of their nationalities. Therefore, they are determined to unite with their class brothers, the oppressed and exploited workers, peasants and toiling people of other nationalities in Malaya and to carry through to the end the revolutionary armed struggle to overthrow their class enemies, British-U.S. imperialism and the Razak-Lee Kuan Yew puppet clique.