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Feb 23, 2008

What keeps tourists and investors away ?


International Trade Minister Rafidah Aziz she said that the Opposition is of no consequence because wherever she goes on trade junkets, the question of the Opposition and its activities are never raised by potential investors. But what is keeping tourists and potential investors away then? Our correspondent Anti-Lies provides the real reasons.

I really believe Rafidah when she said that the Opposition is of no consequence because wherever she goes on trade junkets, the question of the Opposition and its activities are never raised by potential investors.

What keeps tourists and investors away is bad governance. The absence of the rule of law is obvious. Only an authoritarian regime will resort to rule by law, which is patent to all.

The absence of an independent judiciary, the brokering of appointments of judges, and the fixing of cases and fixing judges will scare off potential investors. Requests by potential investors to have their litigation decided, if the need arises, in courts outside the country represent a severe indictment on our justice system.

A very bureaucratic, inefficient and corrupt civil service will drive away investors. Remember the case of IT giant Infosys trying to establish business in Malaysia. They gave up and went elsewhere.

Adhering to the NEP requirement of 30 per cent equity participation and employment for bumiputras will be a severe turn-off for potential investors. No wonder Malaysia ranks sixth among ten countries in the region. Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam are above us in terms of FDI.

The lack of respect for the Constitution and the rule of law by the government and the judiciary will drive away potential investors. The Minister for Law, Nazri, shamelessly stated that the separation of powers of the Judiciary, the Legislature and the Executive, as contained in the Constitution, is a luxury that cannot be implemented in Malaysia. This is a confirmation of how the government malfunctions.

Corruption at all levels of the civil service and the government is a reality and little moves unless the right palms are greased.

A frighteningly high crime rate — murders, kidnaps, rape cases, robberies, and snatch thefts — will be seen as a threat to life and limb. The hijacking of container lorries transporting micro-chips will frighten any potential investor.

Power and water outages in industrial estates and free trade zones cause tremendous financial losses and these will definitely not attract investors.

The absence of a free and independent print and electronic media will keep investors away. A controlled and emasculated press will hardly inspire business people to come here as intelligent journalism will be absent and investigative reporting non-existent.

Fleecing tourists at every turn will keep them away. Taxis refusing to use the meter and hotels charging RM14 for a can of imported beer that costs RM1.30 in Langkawi will drive tourists to other attractive and less exploitative resorts.

The ubiquitous jaga kereta, who are really extortionists, will discourage tourists from coming to Malaysia. A British couple who paid RM20 in a single day asked, “Is your country so lawless that I have to pay someone to look after my car when I park it along a street?” He further commented that if the police cannot get rid of these extortionists, who operate boldly in broad daylight and under bright street lights at night, no wonder they cannot stamp out criminals who are sophisticated and operate stealthily.

Last but not least, government ministers appearing on CNN, BBC or Aljazeera make complete fools of themselves. Zam, screaming like a madman, was a true buffoon. The performance of Nazri and Khairy was sheer buffoonery. They were an embarrassment and disgraced the country. To the outside world it would appear that real nerds were running the country.

Please Barisan do not blame peaceful marchers, unarmed and peaceful protesters and candlelight vigil keepers for driving away tourists and investors in whose participatory democracies these are normal and valuable events.

So Barisan search your soul and you will find the answer.


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