01 July, 2007

Don't Expect Special Treatment In IDR

clipped from www.bernama.com
June 30, 2007 13:10 PM
Don't Expect Special Treatment In IDR, Singaporean Investors Told
By Jackson Sawatan

SINGAPORE, June 30 (Bernama) -- Singapore companies intending to invest in the Iskandar Development Region (IDR) cannot expect privileged treatment from Malaysia just like the "generous treatment" accorded by China to investors from Hong Kong in Shenzhen province, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew said.

"Singapore cannot expect the same treatment from Malaysia," he said in a special interview with Berita Harian to mark the daily's 50th anniversary tomorrow.

"On one side Pas is trying to topple the prime minister but when Umno leaders, particularly from Johor, are also doing the same, Singaporean investors must seriously ask themselves when this attitude will change and whether they welcome us in IDR," he said.

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"Singapore cannot expect the same treatment from Malaysia," he said in a special interview with Berita Harian to mark the daily's 50th anniversary tomorrow.

"On one side Pas is trying to topple the prime minister but when Umno leaders, particularly from Johor, are also doing the same, Singaporean investors must seriously ask themselves when this attitude will change and whether they welcome us in IDR," he said.

UMNO leaders from Johor are trying to topple the prime minister ?

This is a very serious allegation. LKY is saying that Umno leaders, particularly from Johor, are trying to topple the Prime Minister. The PM is Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

This is a very serious allegation, indeed.( Rocky's Bru)

SINGAPORE faces the prospect of losing industries and jobs to Johor's new Iskandar Development Region, said Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew.

Still, Singapore supports the economic zone because from a broader perspective, Mr Lee sees both countries being better off when 'Malaysia benefits from Singapore's economic growth, and vice versa'.

The IDR is a 2,217 sq km zone that aims to make south Johor an economic dynamo. Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi has invited the Singapore Government and businessmen to invest in it.

However, when Singapore responded positively, 'strong dissenting voices claimed that we were out to exploit Malaysia and the bumiputeras', said Mr Lee.

It was a similar situation in Indonesia.

When a newly signed defence cooperation pact with Singapore came up for debate in Indonesia's House of Representatives, members 'accused Singapore of breaching the sovereignty of Indonesia by our SAF exercises in Indonesia', said Mr Lee.

MM Lee also cited the reaction of opposition Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) as typical.

He quoted at length from the June 12 issue of Harakah, the official newspaper of the PAS.

It wrote that Singapore had never yielded to any of Malaysia's demands.

'In fact, Singapore treats the water and its water catchment areas in Johor as its own resources and territory, as if Malaysia has no sovereignty over them.

'There is nothing to show that Malaysia has won in any of its bilateral dealings with Singapore.

'Thus when Singapore is so enthusiastic about the IDR and says it is willing to help Malaysia progress by participating in the IDR, Malaysia must be on its guard.

'We must find out what Singapore will stand to gain, that has made it so eager to participate.'

Accusing Singapore of needing land to support its growing strength and stability, the Harakah added: 'Singapore is offering to help its neighbours develop their territories in the same way that Sir Stamford Raffles developed Singapore - after buying it from Johor some 200 years ago - thus causing the loss of Johor's sovereignty and Malay land in Singapore.'

While the attack from PAS is not unexpected, Mr Lee said investors here need to take note when Umno leaders, especially from Johor, hit out in the same vein.

'Potential investors from Singapore must seriously ask themselves when these attitudes will change, and how welcome their investments will be,' he said.

He pointed out that the IDR project will put pressure on Singapore, just as Shenzhen did to Hong Kong.

But unlike Hong Kong, Singapore cannot expect Malaysia to be generous towards it.



Quoted from The Star "Kuan Yew: IDR will benefit us all"

Singapore will support the Iskandar Development Region (IDR) as both the island republic and Malaysia are bound to gain from the multi-billion ringgit project, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew said.

“From a wider perspective, we believe it is good for the two countries, with Malaysia savouring the spin-offs from Singapore’s economic growth, and similarly Singapore,” he said.

Internal politics and protests to Singaporeans investing in IDR are to exploit the issues and to erode support to Prime Minister’s Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s leadership and the cooperation in the development region, he added.

Singaporean companies intending to invest in the IDR cannot expect privileged treatment from Malaysia just like the “generous treatment” accorded by China to investors from Hong Kong in Shenzhen province.



Update - Hishammuddin Hits Out At LKY For Statement On WPI

Bernama- The statement by Singapore's Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew that Johor Umno did not welcome Singapore investors to the Iskandar Development Region (WPI) was based on his personal perception which was unfounded.

In fact, Umno Youth chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said Lee's perception of the Johor Umno leaders' stand on Singapore's investment in the special economic zone was also influenced by historical factors.

"To accuse that we (Johor Umno leaders) do not welcome (Singapore's investment in WPI), I feel is purely his personal perception and his (Lee's) perception is influenced by history," he told reporters here.

Hishammuddin believed that if the investment climate in the WPI was conducive and profitable, it would attract investors, including from Singapore, to the special economic zone no matter what the senior Lee said.

"The economic development in the WPI does not depend on the statement by an individual (Lee Kuan Yew). I don't know what was the basis of his statement," he said.

Abdul Ghani, who is also Johor Umno Liaison chairman, had stated several months ago that all investors, including from Singapore, were welcome to invest in the WPI.


Singapore's gain, Malaysia's loss ?, wrote Tony Pua (AsiaOne News May 03, 2007)

Malaysia is extremely well endowed with fertile land, large tracts of tin mines as well as some of the highest- quality petroleum reserves in the world.

Singapore, our neighbour down south, is however not as fortunate. To put it bluntly, it is a tiny island, 480 times smaller than us, completely unsuitable for commercial plantation and lacking any natural resources.

Even its population today of some four million, excluding migrant workers, is one-sixth of Malaysia's population.

If the size of an economy is dependent on the factors highlighted above, such as arable land and natural resources, Malaysia's economy should be many times the size of Singapore's.

However, reality paints a very different picture.

While Malaysia's economy of US$130 billion (S$199 billion) is still larger than Singapore's US$117 billion, the latter is only smaller by some 11 per cent. And if the rate of growth currently experienced in both countries persists for the next decade, then our tiny neighbour could soon boast a larger economy than Malaysia.

How is it possible for a country with a lack of resources and land mass to do so well? How did a country that was barely half our economic size in the early 1980s catch up within such a short period of time?.......read more here.


Quote from Malaysiakini : Iskandar: Not yet a Blue Ocean strategy by KJ John Apr 3, 07

How can we emulate and replicate our past successes when the world is changing faster? How can we do it when the world of tomorrow will not be the world of today? How will we do it in a more porous and dynamic world, wherein control of the key enabling factors is mostly outside of our jurisdiction? How can we do it responsibility and equitably given our multi-cultural framework of community development?

How can we still move towards a more liberal economic environment which is the demand of the new free trade environment? How can the government become more private-sector driven and less EPU-driven via ‘hand-outs of large projects’? How can we become more demand-driven as opposed to supply-driven in our macro-planning? How can the Khazanah and other government -linked companies - which define more than 30 percent of Bursa Malaysia’s value - become more attractive stocks for international private unity trust funds?

Read here.



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3 Comments:

Blogger J.T. said...

Hello Linken

So good to see you posting again. Hope all is well with you.

Interesting news you have here. I am drawn to Tony Pua's write-up of Malaysia's future. One particular paragraph - "If the size of an economy is dependent on the factors highlighted above, such as arable land and natural resources, Malaysia's economy should be many times the size of Singapore's."

It is unfortunate that in reality it is not true.

Isn't it about time Malaysia did something about it? I hope the emphasis on human capital will be implemented effectively - without red tape. There is hope yet.

July 02, 2007 2:13 AM  
Blogger Linken Lim said...

j.t.

I am fine, thanks.

Still in the midst of preparation to start my own business.

Rain or shine, life still has to go on, right ?

July 02, 2007 7:33 PM  
Blogger Dr Hsu Dar Ren said...

Good to see you back in the blogosphere again.

Hope everything is OK with you and congratulations for being your own boss.

July 04, 2007 4:41 PM  

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