Saturday, July 24, 2010

BN: Reducing the Trust Deficit

Annoying as it is to all BN leaders and supporters, there can be no end to revisiting the Twelfth General Elections of March 8, 2008. The reasons are obvious. There was a material change of voting trends.

There are probably ten million four hundred and fifty-eight thousand four hundred and forty-four reasons to explain what happened.

Since I have neither the time nor the inclination I shall just choose one reason.

It's what I choose to call, "the trust deficit".

It is saying enough to say that unless you were preparing all the spices to make the greatest curry powder mix north of Kenyir Lake between the years 2003 to 2009, you should know the various hotchpot of issues and eruptions that dominated the imagination of the Malaysian electorate.

I prefer to take a quantum leap to the present and, the future.

The mission objective should be to cast BN and its components not as a dominant titan but, as a humble service provider assisting Pak Abu, Madam Tan and Mr Raju, our run-of-the-mill, garden variety Malaysian voter, our "mom and pops" — who used to support the dacing.

That is the way for BN to regain the trust of its traditional vote bank.

Trust is what drives voter sentiment and support.

It is what voters are looking for and what they share with one another.

Not long ago, trust and reputation were the domain of the BN.

Nowadays, a surfeit of spending huge sums to maintain "share of voice"—marketing speak for outspending rivals to drive political brand loyalty—and endlessly reminding voters of the "unique selling proposition" of BN rings hollow.

There is a disconnect.

That approach doesn't work so well now—and not just because rising costs and prices, job insecurity, religious attrition, cultural marginalisation and a widespread sense of alienation have made traditional BN voters disinclined to part with their vote.

The days of Malaysian voters passively absorbing a TV commercial—or, the evening news- or, the morning headlines-or, for that matter, a banner ad fluttering forlornly on a streetlamp—are over.

Even before the Twelfth General Elections, political parties with trust issues had failed to realise that they couldn't keep talking past the problem with slick television, radio and print media exposure.

Now, it would appear that they are still in denial mode.

The one takeaway that any would-be BN political leader should get from this post- if I may be so audacious to say -is, to stop dishing out the same drivel and start trying to build credibility by telling Malaysians at large how well-managed BN is (the implicit message being that BN is better run than the other guys).

Most Malaysian voters are honest-to-goodness small business owners or employees.

They have strong opinions about how political parties are led.

They will trust a political party they believe is run really well.

It's really easy for voters to check and verify a political party's true behaviour to find out if a political party's actions match its words.

But, a word of caution.

Trust-related campaigns only work if there is a message that people want to believe in.

You cannot spin a Malaysian voter base that doesn't want to be spun.


walla said...

If we can't even trust the spin by insecticide companies, how can we trust the spin by governments? Nothing finishes off the new 1mosquitoes of this country. Certainly not the insecticides on the market. Gamma radiation, maybe, but not their products; these days the new hybrid mozzies just inhale them like whiffs of fresh air and make u-turns to grin at you after planting their venom, even on where bones are. With the explanation for the unearthly hour of this comment out of the way....

We consider this country. It is at a crossroads again. It has been at a crossroads for so long we have to explain why it's alright to have crosses on jerseys of soccer teams whose players don't even know where we are. Do soccer jerseys all have to be green in color? Won't that confuse even Paul the octopus?

Since our country remains at the crossroad all of which signs point to form over substance, we should thus remain alert to what our governments are saying.

Take the spin on 1Malaysia for instance. Finally we have a definition. It is equal right and opportunity for all from the solstice to the equinox to improve themselves so that social justice can be achieved.

The venom must be taking effect right now because the first puzzling thing is why must one have a right to improve oneself? Are we the only country in the world where a principle has to be enunciated which upon its enunciation implies we have not been having a right to improve ourselves?

And then there's the word 'equal'. The right to improve yourself is now equal. Which means all the while before the principle, the government has made it unequal for you to improve yourselves. Some have been made more equal than others to improve themselves. Which implies the government has been controlling your past self-improvements.

Helfe, kameraden. The venom has entered the glial cells.

walla said...


And then there's the word 'opportunity'. Now we will have equal opportunity to improve ourselves. Which implies there hasn't been any equal opportunity to improve ourselves in the past. Which sounds like a tacit admission the government had been doing some suppression business to make sure some did not get to improve themselves.

Definitely, the venom has gone into the medulla oblongata.

One would think a government anywhere is to provide and protect for all members of a country to improve themselves.

Therefore the operative word is really 'equal'. With the charge of inequality thus expunged but remembered forever, we may now all look forward to equality of government care and support. If that is what is meant. Intended, even.

But already there is a kink in the fabric of the new space. A new hump on the road. A pothole after the hump.

Why did the administration of a school or its local federal centre suddenly out of the blue interpret a circular in such a way as to deregister long-established faith-based student societies of all faiths except one? It can't be that their soccer jerseys bear certain symbolisms that would perplex even a professor langdon.

In which case how can the people trust certain political parties if the civil service of the government under their mandate can do things at its whims and fancies and would have gotten away with them if the people had remained quiet and since they didn't, the same has had to resort to the excuse of a misinterpretation of the circular, that coming from those who are in charge of education one of whose skills to be developed is apparently reading?

So, how can the people expect to have equal right and opportunity to improve themselves if they have to be alert all the time to such socially unequal and unjust measures taken by government representatives from bottom excused to top on even a simple matter as learning about good values in school and society?

Which comes back to trust-deficit. If the present federal government has chalked up a five hundred billion debt amidst almost non-existent investment inflows, a growing investment exodus and an erratic public expenditure schema, it will need more than spin, spiel and mojo to close the trust-deficit.

It will also need things for a thrust-deficit. Things like t'ali, perhaps?

de minimis said...

Bro walla

My commiseration on your forced insomnia. But for the insomnia we would have been deprived of your wise invective.

You have, once again, embellished another poor blogpost. Thanks are in order.

Orang kampung said...

Denial syndrome that's seriously affecting BN is one thing but to incessently lambasting past leaders for the present turmoils is another. In fact the latter has become the common thought pattern of a number of bloggers.

New leaders emerge(elected) and entrusted or expected to correct the past and propel the country to a greater height. If he fails to do so he is just as good any scavenger roaming the back street aimlessly.

Some quarters are talking about how TDM tolerated corruption and even protected those involved in this heinous crime. No less are those who accused TDM practising cronyism, responsible for the mammoth wastage of public fund, being megalomaniac and other misdeeds that had destroyed the nation.

If indeed these issues are genuine, as new leaders who have succeeded him after he left in 2003, what have you done it?

If you say that they're so embedded or entrenched and nothing can be done, sad to say you're simply lamenting and does not at all reflect the aura,charisma,innovativeness, effectiveness and the efficiency and of a leader helming the country - a leader who earlier has been given the trust,the mandate, the responsibility and the confidence. In short you have failed and let the populace down.

If you're too cautious, too calculative or even too afraid of its political repercussions ergo your political survival then it is simply unjustified to continue heaping the blame on past leaders.

So my dear bloggers, do a rethinking and reappraisal on TDM.

granddaddy said...

Orang Kampong said: So my dear bloggers, do a rethinking and reappraisal on TDM.

Yes! Once we get rid of UMNO.


hxl said...

Monday, July 26, 2010
Re-jigging the mark-to-market rule
I don't really want to say, "I told you so" on the mark-to-market rule being impracticable and unhelpful, but....

As may would be aware, on 1st January 2010, Malaysia, in line with the entire world, adopted the mark-to-market rule, also known as FRS139.

Just to recap on FRS139 as extracted from this article:

Derivatives (e.g. foreign exchange contracts, options) and many financial assets such as investments in shares and debt securities are now required to be stated at fair value. The standard also introduces complex hedge accounting and impairment rules.

But, what's happening now?

The IASB is, however, currently undertaking a comprehensive review of financial instruments accounting and aims to replace IAS39 with a new financial instruments standard referred to as IFRS9 Financial Instruments.

The IFRS9 project is partly driven by requests for reform from the Group of 20 and other constituents. The IFRS9 project is divided into three main phases: classification and measurement, impairment, and hedge accounting.

The IASB aims to complete all phases by the second quarter of 2011. To date, the classification and measurement phase has been completed and draft proposals arising from the impairment phase have been issued.

Under the classification and measurement phase, the four categories for financial assets under IAS39 (namely held to maturity, loans and receivables, fair value through profit or loss, and available for sale) are replaced by just two categories i.e. amortised cost and fair value.

An entity’s “business model” condition is introduced to determine the appropriate classification for financial assets. If an entity’s business model’s objective is to hold assets to collect the contractual cashflows, then the financial assets are measured at amortised cost.

This change is intended to make it easier for entities to measure their financial assets (particularly quoted debt securities) at amortised cost rather than fair value. Hence, unlike previously, an entity does not have to hold all debt securities to maturity to qualify for amortised cost measurement.

Other key changes

There are also key changes in the accounting for investments in equity investments (shares).

Equity investments are generally measured at fair value and gains/losses on fair value changes are recognised in profit or loss. However, an entity may elect to present the fair value changes to other comprehensive income (OCI) instead. The election is irrevocable and can be made on an individual share-by-share basis.
Well, it's just an agonizing waste of time and resources.

This is the downside to having capital markets that keep inventing ways to create false wealth that has nothing to do with the brick-and-mortar real world of the real economy where people generate actual goods and services and receive a fair wage and return.

They call the invented wealth "derivatives", i.e. imaginary financial products that are derived from actual equity and financial instruments. That, if you trouble yourself to take a reality check, is all about creating illusions.

And, the greatest economic minds in the Western world are still puzzling over how to pick up the pieces when these illusory products are proven to be just that ... illusions that go "PUFF!!!" into thin air at the first sign of trouble.

How do you measure the value of that?