Hornbill Unleashed

April 5, 2014

Patronage, cronyism must end to remove rent seekers, says Ku Li

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah at the launch of the book ‘Rich Malaysia, Poor Malaysians’ in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. The Umno lawmaker says Malaysians must start demanding that politics be practised with a high level of integrity. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Nazir Sufari, April 4, 2014.V. ANBALAGAN

Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah at the launch of the book ‘Rich Malaysia, Poor Malaysians’ in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. The Umno lawmaker says Malaysians must start demanding that politics be practised with a high level of integrity.

Malaysians must have the will to stop political patronage and cronyism in order to cut off the rent seekers, former finance minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said last night.

However, there would be difficulties in doing that, the Umno veteran lawmaker said of the issues that had been at the centre of criticism in Malaysia the past two decades.

He said political leaders were loath to upset the apple cart and disturb their cosy symbiosis with rent-seeking cronies.

“More often than not, these are the people whom they rely upon for political funds in their effort to latch on to power,” the Kelantan prince said  in his speech at the launch of a book, “Rich Malaysia, Poor Malaysians”, at the Sultan Sulaiman Club in Kuala Lumpur last night.

The book, authored by Anas Alam Faizli, is a collection of essays reflecting his thoughts on energy, economy and education in Malaysia.

The Gua Musang MP, popularly known as Ku Li, said pressure must be brought to bear and it must be made known that “we will not tolerate any more policies that are less than ethical”.

“We must clearly and loudly make it known that politics must be practised with a high level of integrity. Politics is not dirty but its practitioners, more often than not, are,” he added.

Citing the case of Petronas, Ku Li said the national oil company, which was set up 40 years ago, had become banker of sorts to the government.

“The truth is that there had been consistent political interference and this had affected Petronas even though it is a professionally well-run corporation.”

Tengku Razaleigh said there was a blurring of lines demarcating the party in power and government, and by extension, the party supremo and the head of government.

He said cynics would contend that it was done on purpose to facilitate the development of the politics of patronage which led to the growth of crony capitalism.

“This state of affairs is brought by the collusion of politicians, who habitually lined their pockets and the business people, who have come to be known as cronies, who are not competitive without favours,” he said.

The Umno lawmaker said the cosy relationship and unholy alliance brought into focus the activity described by economists as rent seeking.

Ku Li said rent seekers have never had it so good since the mid-1980s.

“For the man in the street, the wish is for rent-seeking practice to be stopped as it would lead to cartels and monopolies.

“Rent seeking also takes the easy and lazy way in the conduct of business where the tendency is to grab a bigger slice of the pie rather than making the pie bigger. The customers suffer in the end.”


  1. In Malaysia, it is not how qualified you are, it is who you know and who you are related with that matters. This is the main and the only valid reason why Malaysia has got the most corrupted clowns in the top positions that makes Malaysia the most laughable and comical in the eyes of foreigners.

    Comment by Suresh — April 6, 2014 @ 1:59 PM | Reply

  2. Talking is easy…….. but when pressed for … why still supporting UMNO and its policy … you were still with them.. We know you know more than we know about Petronas and the Petroleum Agreement, but revealing all will only hurt you personally. So what game are you trying to play? You are no better than Zaid… not wanted by both sides of the divide (politically).

    Zaid losing the plot — You losing your marble.

    Shame shame shame!!!!

    Comment by Just concerned — April 6, 2014 @ 11:54 AM | Reply

  3. Only now, you start to realize and speak out about this issue. Isn’t it a bit too late after much damages had been done by mamakuty and his cronies? Much water had flowed under the bridge and much wealth plundered by all these greedy leaders’ families and cronies. The only way we can redeem all the stolen wealth is to change a government which is daring enough to freeze and consificate all the illgotten wealth of all the greedy, corrupt leaders.

    Comment by Sharpshooter — April 5, 2014 @ 8:42 PM | Reply

  4. It’s best that Ku Li should walk the talk instead of making sweet statements for all this while. Being part of the most corrupt party doesn’t help much as a majority of malaysians wants CHANGE. Umno is suffering from uncurable malignant disease that malaysians should boot out from Putrajaya in the GE14. We’ve no other choice if we want a better Malaysia. Let us give PAKATAN a chance rather than suffering for over 50 years of the known devil’s rule. ABU..ABU..ABU..

    Comment by Justice Lover — April 5, 2014 @ 7:20 PM | Reply

  5. Cronies companies inserted themselves into the machineries of the government to stifle free markets.produce low quality goods/services at inflated prices. When taking in business contracts without competitions at inflated prices is amounting to thefts. It turns races into laziness surviving on rent seeking and does not want to accomplish anything eventually led to to destructive mindsets.

    Comment by loyarburok — April 5, 2014 @ 1:18 PM | Reply

  6. Ku Li, you were the former finance minister and Petronas chairperson, you were in a position of power to stop the rot, alas you did zilch.
    Now, after spending a whopping half a trillion ringgit, you see it fit to talk and whine about the welfare of pensioners and the poor. Indeed, you too have committed a grave sin as you worked in cahoots with Umno, the plunderers.

    Comment by Suresh — April 5, 2014 @ 11:51 AM | Reply

  7. PETRONAS has a deep wound and the Umno cronies are feeding on the blood, sucking it dry!

    Comment by Alberto — April 5, 2014 @ 11:00 AM | Reply

  8. Perkasa is one of the reasons they continue to enrich themselves despite the fact that, not isma, not jais and not MACC, but religion said it is wrong.

    They have to keep on doing that and be the indefinite rent seekers to stay ahead and be able to keep their Ketuanan crown well into oblivion….

    Comment by brian — April 5, 2014 @ 10:57 AM | Reply

  9. The man can only talk. He should ask himself why he’s still so loyal to a party which is so corrupt that in his own estimate, more than half a trillion ringgits has been sucked out of Petronas by Mahathir and his band of thieves from Umno. And part of that was right under his nose when Kuli was Chairman of Petronas. He should repent and expose those who stole from us. What’s the point of making statements every now and then? For cheap publicity? The rest of us are powerless whereas he has inside knowledge to ensure justice for the rest of us. If he’s not going to do anything, he should just shut up and retire from politics entirely. In monetary term, every Malaysian is poor by thousands upon thousands of ringgits. BR1M is just peanuts compared to what Umno/BN has stolen from us. Malaysian by virtue of our resources should be richer than tiny Singapore if we had not been robbed by Umno and their cronies.

    Comment by apai — April 5, 2014 @ 9:28 AM | Reply

    • I recalled during the argument over kloeb shares in 1998, & kacang lupa kulit was accussing sunny pulau di selatan of laundering/speculating ringgit. a week later sunny island paper came up with FULL page advertisement with tis hypocrate name right on the TOP, it was indeed fun to slap that kacang lupa kulit at that point of time.

      Comment by tiuniamah — April 5, 2014 @ 10:16 AM | Reply

    • Ku Li is a man of talk and no action.
      Each time he talk against Umno, he gets more contracts to shut his mouth?

      Comment by Alberto — April 5, 2014 @ 11:01 AM | Reply

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