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The Shit Has Hit The South East Asian Fan

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

As you know, through 2011 I've been extremely vocal about conditions in Asia, particularly Malaysia. At times I have been challenged or insulted that I'm being too grim, or defacing a country.

 

However, I would like to round off this month by providing some evidence, notably from Australian political and industry heavyweights who are simply, shocked as to how bad things are in Malaysia.

 

Overall, all this information is important, because like I've been saying (no point me saying "told you so", because the evidence is all there) that simply selling your soul to China and Asia is no solution at all.

 

Free Trade? One (Australian) Mining Firm Begs To Differ

http://www.slideshare.net/Lynas_Malaysia/free-trade-one-mining-firm-begs-to-differ-the-australian-22-may-13041033

post #2 of 10
Thread Starter 

Here's some highlights from the article.

 

Note that Lynas has approx USD $300 million in CASH, let alone other financing. It is on the ASX 100, kind of like the S&P500 (in this case "S&P100")

 

In other words, it's not just some random white bloke on holiday in Kuala Lumpur that got ripped off buying a fake watch.

 

 

"For those tempted to view [Malaysia] as a business nirvana, Nick Curtis has a cautionary tale..."

 

"The Sydney-based executive chairman of Lynas has spent $700 million and seven years building and getting approvals..."

 

"It's a 30-40 year commitment to the country... We have gained the permissions, spent the money, and are now wondering where the goal posts really are, because they've moved".

 

"FTAs [Free Trade Agreements] are only as good as governments' willingness in these countries to play by their own rules, to operate according to their own laws."

 

 

Any educated Malaysian reading this would know this is simply par for the course:

 

1.

Arbirtrary decisions about government projects, approvals, funding.

 

2.

Widespread, ingrained corruption. Obviously Nick didn't buy the right officials, or didn't buy enough officials. I have a family friend who is the friend of the Malaysian Prime Minister, all Nick has to do is spend a few months with him and this thing will be sorted. Of course, it's a bit too late now because the project has become a political minefield so the corrupt business-political oligarchy is going to wash their hands clean of this.

 

3.

No transparency of laws or processes.

 

4.

Disregard for international procedures.

 

It's all fun and games until as a citizen of your own country you realise that your future and livelyhood in general (in this case in Malaysia) has been utterly wiped away. Sure, you have electricity, Internet and cars, but the mental and physical stresses (similar to what is seen in "increasingly wealthy" China) negate "progress" in a developing country.

post #3 of 10

Go to the Philippines and see what corruption is about. Each and every day it happens here.
 

post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

1. Arbirtrary decisions about government projects, approvals, funding.

 

2. Widespread, ingrained corruption.

 

3. No transparency of laws or processes.

 

4. Disregard for international procedures.

 

Wow. It almost sounds like you're talking about the United States.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

 

Wow. It almost sounds like you're talking about the United States.

 

Yes, ironically so-called  "development" and "industrialisation" is not the panacea as some believe it to be. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by marvfox View Post

Go to the Philippines and see what corruption is about. Each and every day it happens here.
 

 

Yeah, Philippines is worse than Malaysia, sadly. But Malaysia is worse than Singapore, and that is the benchmark I use for comparing Malaysia because Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Penang all started off on equal footing as post-WW2 "Malaya" (yes Malaya existed before that but I consider post-WW2 as the real test of development post British independence). 

post #6 of 10

Is there a region of the world where the shit is not hitting the fan?

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

Is there a region of the world where the shit is not hitting the fan?

 

Honestly, in Australia it's mostly just piss hitting the fan at this stage, since the governing party is hanging by a thread. It has a minority in parliament, but is able to pass legislation because of the support of independent members of parliament.

 

Other than that, since the rest of the world likes to buy stuff we dig up from the ground here, and because of good ol' aussie stubbornness, it is thankfully a reasonably functioning country. What can I say, I love this bloody country. Holland is my mistress, Australia my wife, Malaysia my evil stepmother.

post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

Is there a region of the world where the shit is not hitting the fan?

 

Honestly, in Australia it's mostly just piss hitting the fan at this stage, since the governing party is hanging by a thread. It has a minority in parliament, but is able to pass legislation because of the support of independent members of parliament.

 

Other than that, since the rest of the world likes to buy stuff we dig up from the ground here, and because of good ol' aussie stubbornness, it is thankfully a reasonably functioning country. What can I say, I love this bloody country. Holland is my mistress, Australia my wife, Malaysia my evil stepmother.


Australia is largely on my "happy list" along with Canada. They are both run reasonably well. However I wonder about the ability of any of these economies to not be swallowed by the problems next to them. Canada is clearly next to and largely trades with the U.S. People bring up many of the Norse countries and they basically function as energy and specialized exporters for much of Europe but we all know where Europe is going. There are upper limits to what any country or person can withstand when they have too many bad neighbors or when mob reasoning becomes the rule.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post


Australia is largely on my "happy list" along with Canada. They are both run reasonably well. However I wonder about the ability of any of these economies to not be swallowed by the problems next to them. Canada is clearly next to and largely trades with the U.S. People bring up many of the Norse countries and they basically function as energy and specialized exporters for much of Europe but we all know where Europe is going. There are upper limits to what any country or person can withstand when they have too many bad neighbors or when mob reasoning becomes the rule.

 

These are definitely the risks facing Australia, Canada and Scandinavia, basically the only developed countries left with a reasonably balanced standard of living. However, here's the crux of the matter for Canada and Australia: 

 

Peak Oil. Peak Gas. Peak Coal. As the rest of the world gradually implodes, China will exert a dominance only the US has seen in recent times. Just like the US commanded the energy, finances and goods of the world, so too will China (it is arguably already on equal footing with the US now). 

 

Particularly, energy. Energy that is only owned by very few countries now that peak oil has come. 

 

In terms of Canada, it will have to service the US as oil goes dry relative to consumption. Australia will have to service itself, but mainly China in terms of energy and minerals to support China's dominance in 2020-2050.

 

Yes, there are risks in Asia getting greedy and messing with Australia, or the US getting desperate and messing with Canada... intentionally or unintentionally.

 

But peak oil has come, and peak natural gas and peak coal around now through 2020.

 

That leaves Canada and Australia in the best possible situation because of controlling the energy and mineral wealth of most of the developed world. Luckily the countries have been administered relatively alright. Population and border control* have been reasonable, because of Canada's isolation (the US bearing the brunt of Central and South America) and Australia's remoteness.

 

Let's just say that if Canada and Australia screw this situation up and not make the best (not most) of the next 20 years, it would be truly a squandered opportunity.

 

Maybe someone can share what the feeling is in Canada, but in Australia the sentiment is very strongly now, "Gee, the rest of the world is messed up, let's make sure it doesn't happen here". 

 

*Of course Australia's never ending unresolved asylum seeker issue needs to be sorted out. But in terms of air arrivals, control is pretty tight. Residency Visas ("Green Cards") have recently undergone a massive, massive cull to make sure anyone that intends to live in Australia had better get their ass here and stay.


Edited by nvidia2008 - 6/3/12 at 1:02am
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

At the very, very worst case I can live and work in New Zealand, in about 1.5 years (I'd be able to travel freely between New Zealand and Australia as a "green card holder" (permanent resident) of both countries).

 

Of course, I hope to fight tooth and nail to stay in Australia as far as possible.

 

New Zealand is the "escape hatch".

 

But also, the time has come in my life where I draw a line in the sand and decide what country I want to be part of.


Edited by nvidia2008 - 6/3/12 at 1:28am
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