7 Feb 2006

Singapore warned: drop Shin takeover

[Image from themediaslut]
SHARE SALE FURORE: Singapore warned: drop Shin takeover
Published on February 07, 2006

Critics demand island state ‘must cancel’ deal as Thai anger at Temasek is threatening to boil over. Singapore was warned yesterday to stop Temasek’s purchase of Shin Corp otherwise it would face the wrath of the people of Thailand.

Leading critics and academics slammed Singapore for making no attempt to explain its intentions for Shin Corp nor reconciling with the Thai public over their fears of seeing a company that has security implications for the country being taken over by foreigners. They urged Tema-sek to pull out of the investment.

A seminar, “The Shin Corp Deal: International Dimensions” at Chulalongkorn University, urged Temasek to explain its reasons for buying Shin Corp, which has operations that relate to national security and strategic interests.

Professor Suchit Bunbongkarn, of the Institute of Security and International Studies, urged Tema-sek and Singapore to take into account public anger fuelled by an absence of business and political ethics in the deal.

“Businessmen and those in political power should have greater social responsibility. They have to raise the moral standards in their decisions,” Suchit said.

As the force of globalisation has brought business, politics and economics closer together, each factor could affect another. “We should be able to rely on ethics and morality, not legality alone,” said Suchit, a former judge of the Constitution Court.

Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is under fire for allowing Temasek to acquire a 49.6 per cent stake in Shin Corp, whose subsidiaries include Advanced Info Service (AIS), iTV and Shin Sat. The Singaporean firm bought the shares from the Shinawatra and Damapong families, who were not required to pay tax on the Bt73-billion deal.

Somkiat Tangkitvanich, research director at Thailand Development Research Institute, said his main concern was not the market being forced open, but that the deal involved broadcasting and satellite businesses that are deemed national assets. iTV and Shin Sat are national assets, which have political and security implications and should not be placed in foreign hands, he said.

The critics were also sceptical of Singapore’s intentions. Temasek said in its report to the Securities and Exchange Commission that it was interested in Shin Corp and AIS and considered the other subsidiaries such as Shin Sat, Thai AirAsia and iTV as “immaterial assets”. Thus, it would launch tender offers only for Shin Corp and AIS.

Democrat MP Korn Chatikavanij urged the company and the Singapore government to come out and make the issue clear. “So far, Singapore has kept silent.”

From the beginning, Temasek Holdings indicated it only wanted to buy AIS, a lucrative mobile business. But it had not said what it planned to do with the other subsidiaries. “They should come out and say what Singapore is going to do with Shin Satellite and iTV,” Korn said.

Thitinan Pongsudhirak, a political lecturer at Chulalongkorn University, said Singapore had unintentionally become involved in Thai domestic politics after buying a controlling stake in Shin Corp, even though profit and opportunism drove Temasek’s decision. Thitinan said Shin Corp’s business concessions were fraught with controversy and conflict-of-interest allegations right from the start.

Thitinan wondered whether Thailand could claim back frequencies on Shin Sat and iTV from Temasek. He was also worried about the potential for political violence if Thaksin did not step down soon or dissolve Parliament.

Kasit Bhiromya, a former Thai ambassador to Washington DC, urged the Singapore government to think about withdrawing the investment. He pointed out that Temasek is owned by the Singapore government so when it takes over a Thai company, it is not an ordinary corporate take-over. Moreover, some of the concessions were considered strategic industries. He said the deal might spark disagreement from the public, citing the recent US congress objection to the bid by China National Offshore Oil Corp to acquire Unocal, the US-based energy firm.

Suchit agreed with Kasit, saying Temasek and the Singapore government should pull out from the deal.

“People have not yet organised rallies against the Singapore government because they are still busy organising protests against the Thaksin government. But not for long. We may see people turn out against Singapore,” Korn warned.

Somkiat said the sale of Shin Corp had automatically liberalised the telecom sector. He said he was not concerned about market liberalisation, but it should only be done after the regulatory framework to safeguard public and consumer interests was put in place.

Korn promised the Democrats would launch a no-confidence motion against specific ministers in the Thaksin Cabinet. He said the Democrats could not find enough votes for a no-confidence motion against Thaksin, even though some factions in the ruling Thai Rak Thai Party might join the Democrat’s move to question Thaksin’s legitimacy.

Korn predicted conflict of interest would remain a problematic issue for Thaksin, although his family earlier said the sale of Shin Corp would negate this and enable Thaksin to continue his political career without criticism.

Wichit Chaitrong

The Nation


human book said...

List of racial discriminations in Malaysia, practiced by government as well as government agencies. This list is an open secret. Best verified by government itself because it got the statistics.

This list is not in the order of importance, that means the first one on the list is not the most important and the last one on the list does not mean least important.

This list is a common knowledge to a lot of Malaysians, especially those non-malays (Chinese, Ibans, Kadazans, Orang Asli, Tamils, etc) who were being racially discriminated.

Figures in this list are estimates only and please take it as a guide only. Government of Malaysia has the most correct figures. Is government of Malaysia too ashamed to publish their racist acts by publishing racial statistics?

This list cover a period of about 48 years since independence (1957).

List of racial discriminations (Malaysia):

(1) Out of all the 5 major banks, only one bank is multi-racial, the rest are controlled by malays

(2) 99% of Petronas directors are malays

(3) 3% of Petronas employees are Chinese

(4) 99% of 2000 Petronas gasoline stations are owned by malays

(5) 100% all contractors working under Petronas projects must be bumis status

(6) 0% of non-malay staffs is legally required in malay companies. But there must be 30% malay staffs in Chinese companies.

(7) 5% of all new intake for government police, nurses, army, is non-malays.

(8) 2% is the present Chinese staff in Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF), drop from 40% in 1960

(9) 2% is the percentage of non-malay government servants in Putrajaya. But malays make up 98%

(10) 7% is the percentage of Chinese government servants in the whole government (in 2004), drop from 30% in 1960

(11) 95% of government contracts are given to malays

(12) 100% all business licensees are controlled by malay government e.g. Taxi permits, Approved permits, etc

(13) 80% of the Chinese rice millers in Kedah had to be sold to malay controlled Bernas in 1980s. Otherwise, life is make difficult for Chinese rice millers

(14) 100 big companies set up, owned and managed by Chinese Malaysians were taken over by government, and later managed by malays since 1970s e.g. UTC, UMBC, MISC, etc

(15) At least 10 Chinese owned bus companies (throughout Malaysia, throughout 40 years) had to be sold to MARA or other malay transport companies due to rejection by malay authority to Chinese application for bus routes and rejection for their application for new buses

(16) 2 Chinese taxi drivers were barred from driving in Johor Larkin bus station. There are about 30 taxi drivers and 3 are Chinese in October 2004. Spoiling taxi club properties was the reason given

(17) 0 non-malays are allowed to get shop lots in the new Muar bus station (November 2004)

(18) 8000 billions ringgit is the total amount the government channeled to malay pockets through ASB, ASN, MARA, privatisation of government agencies, Tabung Haji etc, through NEP over 34 years period

(19) 48 Chinese primary schools closed down since 1968 - 2000

(20) 144 Indian primary schools closed down since 1968 - 2000

(21) 2637 malay primary schools built since 1968 - 2000

(22) 2.5% is government budget for Chinese primary schools. Indian schools got only 1%, malay schools got 96.5%

(23) While a Chinese parent with RM1000 salary (monthly) cannot get school-text-book-loan, a malay parent with RM2000 salary is eligible

(24) 10 all public universities vice chancellors are malays

(25) 5% - the government universities lecturers of non-malay origins had been reduced from about 70% in 1965 to only 5% in 2004

(26) Only 5% is given to non-malays for government scholarships over 40 years

(27) 0 Chinese or Indians were sent to Japan and Korea under "Look East Policy"

(28) 128 STPM Chinese top students could not get into the course that they aspired i.e. Medicine (in 2004)

(29) 10% place for non-bumi students for MARA science schools beginning from year 2003, but only 7% are filled. Before that it was 100% malays

(30) 50 cases whereby Chinese and Indian Malaysians, are beaten up in the National Service program in 2003

(31) 25% is Malaysian Chinese population in 2004, drop from 45% in 1957

(32) 7% is the present Malaysian Indians population (2004), a drop from 12% in 1957

(33) 2 millions Chinese Malaysians had emigrated to overseas since 40 years ago

(34) 0.5 million Indian Malaysians had emigrated to overseas

(35) 3 millions Indonesians had migrated into Malaysia and became Malaysian citizens with bumis status.

(36) 600000 are the Chinese and Indian Malaysians with red IC and were rejected repeatedly when applying for citizenship for 40 years. Perhaps 60% of them had already passed away due to old age. This shows racism of how easily Indonesians got their citizenships compare with the Chinese and Indians

(37) 5% - 15% discount for a malay to buy a house, regardless whether the malay is rich or poor

(38) 2% is what Chinese new villages get compare with 98% of what malay villages got for rural development budget

(39) 50 road names (at least) had been changed from Chinese names to other names

(40) 1 Dewan Gan Boon Leong (in Malacca) was altered to other name (e.g. Dewan Serbaguna or sort) when it was being officially used for a few days. Government try to shun Chinese names. This racism happened in around year 2000 or sort

(41) 0 temples/churches were built for each housing estate. But every housing estate got at least one mosque/surau built

(42) 3000 mosques/surau were built in all housing estates throughout Malaysia since 1970. No temples, no churches are required to be built in housing estates

(43) 1 Catholic church in Shah Alam took 20 years to apply to be constructed. But told by malay authority that it must look like a factory and not look like a church. Still not yet approved in 2004

(44) 1 publishing of Bible in Iban language banned (in 2002)

(45) 0 of the government TV stations (RTM1, RTM2, TV3) are directors of non-malay origins

(46) 30 government produced TV dramas and films always showed that the bad guys had Chinese face, and the good guys had malay face. You can check it out since 1970s. Recent years, this tendency becomes less

(47) 10 times, at least, malays (especially Umno) had threatened to massacre the Chinese Malaysians using May 13 since 1969

(48) 20 constituencies won by DAP would not get funds from the government to develop. Or these Chinese majority constituencies would be the last to be developed

(49) 100 constituencies (parliaments and states) had been racistly re-delineated so Chinese voters were diluted that Chinese candidates, particularly DAP candidates lost in election since 1970s

(50) Only 3 out of 12 human rights items are ratified by Malaysia government since 1960

(51) 0 - elimination of all forms of racial discrimination (UN Human Rights) is not ratified by Malaysia government since 1960s

(52) 20 reported cases whereby malay ambulance attendances treated Chinese patients inhumanely, and malay government hospital staffs purposely delay attending to Chinese patients in 2003. Unreported cases may be 200

(53) 50 cases each year whereby Chinese, especially Chinese youths being beaten up by malay youths in public places. We may check at police reports provided the police took the report, otherwise there will be no record

(54) 20 cases every year whereby Chinese drivers who accidentally knocked down malays were seriously assaulted or killed by malays

(55) 12% is what ASB/ASN got per annum while banks fixed deposit is only about 3.5% per annum

There are hundreds more racial discriminations in Malaysia to add to this list of "colossal" racism. It is hope that the victims of racism will write in to expose racism.

Malaysia government should publish statistics showing how much malays had benefited from the "special rights" of malays and at the same time tell the statistics of how much other minority races are being discriminated.

Hence, the responsibility lies in the Malaysia government itself to publish unadulterated statistics of racial discrimination.

If the Malaysia government hides the statistics above, then there must be some evil doings, immoral doings, shameful doings and sinful doings, like the Nazi, going on onto the non-malays of Malaysia.

Civilized nation, unlike evil Nazi, must publish statistics to show its treatment on its minority races. This is what Malaysia must publish……….

We are asking for the publication of the statistics showing how "implementation of special rights of malays" had inflicted colossal racial discrimination onto non-malays.

antipathy said...

the malaysians enjoy this inequality.