Malaysiakini Yoursay

Yoursay: The demonisation of Robert Kuok

Yoursay  |  Published:  |  Modified:

YOURSAY | PM, Kuok is a bigger success in business than you are in government.

Najib: Gov't gave Robert Kuok key to become sugar king

Trueglitter: This clearly serves to confirm the dire desperation of PM Najib Razak, who is now sadly in panic mode, acknowledging the fact that his political enemies are now at his very door attempting to tear him to pieces.

It would be deemed highly inappropriate and a mark of cowardice for Najib to seek out the highly renowned and intensely humble entrepreneur, Robert Kuok, to be his scapegoat when the avalanche of political support from all quarters are gathering momentum at the approach of impending GE14.

Malaysians, in particular, have always earnestly admired the low-keyed philanthropist for his many deeds of generosity, both to organisations and political parties across the varied spectrum of the wide divides in the past.

The demonisation of Kuok by an opportunistic Najib is deemed both mischievous and wielding a double-edged sword.

Kubang: Kuok was a visionary and a patriot who saw a market in providing affordable staples such as rice, sugar, flour, cooking oil, etc, and stepped up to the plate to fulfil those needs at a time when many British/Western companies were planning to carry out economic colonialism of our then newly independent country.

His companies invested in and brought new manufacturing capabilities to the country, provided employment to thousands and raised the standard of living.

Unfortunately, after more than 50 years, Umno has conveniently forgotten his contributions. Instead, they’re seeking to dismantle his legacy.

Res Ipsa: Indeed, Mr PM, your argument is very shallow. Next, assuming the Genting Group goes against the government of the day, are you or your successors going to allege that the key was given to Lim Goh Tong to develop that primary jungle on a hill to build the conglomerate it has become today?

Don’t all of you even spare a moment to think the amount of blood, toil and sweat that has been sacrificed by these entrepreneurs to becoming leading employers and tax paymasters, which benefited the country?

They have brought much global fame to Malaysia and just because someone chooses to publicly air their grievances, instead of taking the allegations head-on, they are told to shut up with emotional blackmail or whatever you call them.

Turvy: Yes, highly revealing, this gibberish. Like the falling sarong revealing the emptiness in the skull.

Government is an abstraction whose only role is to prosper the people and the nation, the last also an abstraction. Politicians, political parties, ministers and prime ministers in their individual capacities are not the government. Nothing is owed to the persons in political parties, etc, who are already duty-bound to govern.

These persons are already paid for their services out of the national treasury. Those same services cannot be the consideration for any new promise or establish any gratitude. The people are free to decide who is to govern them, whether or not they have prospered.

Gerard Lourdesamy: So the system is corrupt and based on patronage? Is that something the government should be proud of?

In a market economy the government's role should be nothing more than regulatory but in Malaysia the involvement of the state is endemic to the point that there is no level-playing field in the economy and it has become uncompetitive due to manipulation by the state and ruling party.

Why should business leaders continue to support such a system now that kleptocracy has been added to the toxic mix?

I am Sabahan: If having entrepreneurial drive, hardworking, being industrious and disciplined and is still not enough to achieve success without having to get help from the government, it shows the problem the average progressive Malaysians are facing: you won't get anywhere no matter how hard you work if you do not have the "connection".

Vijay47: Before delving into your latest edition of ‘Economics & Entrepreneurship - Cause, Effect, and Gratitude’, Najib, maybe you could share your thoughts on three crucial issues – ‘The Abduction of Pastor Raymond’, ‘A Child Hounded to Suicide’, and ‘The Federal Court & Forced Conversion’.

These affect us deeply, being security, protection, and faith, yet you had nothing to comment. Is mammon your only concern?

Coming to Kuok, you claim that you gave him the key to sugar riches. Why? What was his unique qualification? Having giving him that magic wand, what else did you render that led him to being a phenomenal success requiring eternal servitude to you?

Perhaps you hold that making it good in Malaysia is attributable to you and Umno. Since you have this Midas touch, we would imagine that you would have extended it to the Malays Umno says it cares for, yet none have attained Kuok's glory, most are abject failures.

Obviously, Kuok is a bigger success in business than you are in government.

David Dass: Capitalism will produce people like Kuok and Bill Gates. And there are those who are opposed to capitalism and to the accumulation of what some may consider obscene levels of wealth.

But if one accepts that private enterprise is the best way to build and sustain an economy then one must accept the role of people like Kuok and Gates.

There are no barriers to business and all are free to set up their own businesses. Some succeed and many fail. The ratio of successful start-ups to failed start-ups is something like 2 to 8! So for every 10 new businesses only two succeed. Some studies say it is only 1 out of 10.

We should also remember that businesses supply us with the goods and services we need, and if there is healthy competition, at the most competitive prices.

If one reads Kuok's biography one can see how he slowly and systematically built up his business. Of course, he needed and obtained government support. But not everyone with government support succeeds.

Quigonbond: What Najib is saying is smarts and hard work is not enough. You have to pay tribute and lick up the government’s boots. They own you. It’s like telling Bill Gates that the then US government gave him the keys to be successful.

One word comes to mind. Conceit. Kuok has already diagnosed the illness back then. Umno ministers are easily ‘red-eyed’ at others’ success. So they make themselves unnaturally important and impart the example that shortcuts are the best way forward.

They’ve had it easy for so long they’ve totally lost their will to work hard and with humility.

Kneazle: Yes, one needed a license to run a sugar mill and the government of the day provided it. This has nothing to do with BN policy. No one knew how to run a sugar mill at that time.

Even with ‘tongkat’ and crutches to bumiputeras, many failed; and that's a fact Umno find hard to swallow.


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