The best candidate for Minister of Finance (Senator pun ok lah)

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Let’s focus on something more positive than the Nga Kor Ming video, and that is Rafizi Ramli.

Actually there are so much positives to focus on this campaign – the brave decision of Lim Kit Siang to retire the rocket, the support and solidarity between Liew Chin Tong and Tun Daim, the Tsunami Rakyat, Tun Mahathir’s relentless fight, Syed Saddiq, the people on the ground who helped create a social media momentum, Tan Sri Muhiyiddin’s charm with the local people,… to many to number right now.

But if there is something every diehard PH fan has to admit is that we all tune in to listen to Rafizi Ramli’s latest video and ceramah.

Okay we admit it, we are big fans of Rafizi!  Sue us, ha ha!

Just to give a bit of heads up – if Pakatan Harapan wins on Wednesday, there will be some reaction from the financial markets. The Rembau Times has already talked to ‘big time bankers’ in the international scene and as of last week, the investment community is still banking on a Barisan Nasional victory.

If we look at the leadership of Pakatan Harapan, there is only one person who is a qualified Chartered Accountant who will command the respect of the investment community, and that is Rafizi Ramli.

He is the brains behind all the calculations that went into this election. He worked his socks off during this campaign eventhough he is resigned to having to face a jail sentence.

There are 2 things Pakatan Harapan needs to do when they win the Federal Government, which by all indications seems very likely. The first thing, I can only tell the incoming PM and the Cabinet, but the second thing is to request a pardon from the Yang DiPertuan Agong for Rafizi Ramli.

This is because the financial community, which includes international investment banks and most importantly the Rating Agencies are going to go bonkers with a Pakatan Harapan victory.  This has been told to The Rembau Times by international bankers who deal with the top level of corporate Malaysia and with the Government.

In order to stem a run on the currency – there needs to be a strong candidate as Minister of Finance.  When we listen to him speak, we recognize immediately that this man is a ‘financial man’.  He has done his homework and even included things like stress tests – things which all financial people love to hear. He built Invoke into a 40,000 strong volunteer group. What a man!

According to Rafizi, Dato Seri Hishammuddin will fall in Sembrong and Tan Sri Shahrir will fall in Johor Bahru.  Rafizi also mentioned something we had mentioned as early on in Feb 2018 in our peice “Pakatan Harapan set for decisive victory in Peninsula Malaysia.

BN losing its overwhelming Malay base advantage over its closest challenger

Pakatan Harapan has a big advantage in terms of a solid Chinese support, which is estimated at 85%. It also crucially gains a strong advantage in terms of “Others” support – namely the Thais and Orang Asli, also at 85% due to Dr Mahathir’s influence in the North. In terms of Indian support, the great emphasis shown by the Prime Minister to the community should see BN-UMNO win this segment by 15 percentage points.

However the issue facing BN-UMNO is the misunderstanding of the ‘Malay Tsunami’.
For the last 2 elections, the Malays had voted solidly for Barisan Nasional, with support near 70% and more importantly at least 40 percentage points wider than their closest rival. As Tan Sri Muhiyiddin had correctly pointed out when he was the chair of the Barisan Nasional election machinery, it does not take a big swing to change the election result. This is because of the solid Non-Malay support for the Opposition, BN-UMNO needs to maintain a very wide margin of victory over its closet rival. It needs the Malay vote to be solidly in one direction. In marketing science terminology, BN simply cannot afford the Malay vote to get fragmented. They must at all times pit the outcome as one vs one, rather that one of several outcomes.

To give you an understanding of this, BN-UMNO- UMNO will need to maintain at least a 30
percentage point margin over Pakatan Harapan to win Peninsula Malaysia and thus form a Federal Government with East Malaysia MPs support. With this, BN-UMNO wins about 87 seats in Peninsula Malaysia and could just about form a 2/3 majority Government.

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Things goes seriously downhill once the Malay advantage margin for BN over Pakatan Harapan falls to 20 percentage points or lower. Under this scenario, BN could win only 70 seats in Peninsular Malaysia and Pakatan Harapan will have 97 seats. In this scenario, it is bad news for the Prime Minister. The election result would have spooked may in UMNO and they would ditch the PM in the blink of the eye and probably form a comprise government with Zahid Hamidi, Dr Mahathir, Tan Sri Muhiyiddin in the frame. This will be done most likely in the name of national unity and may see Najib be allowed a graceful exit but bad news for a lot of the other 1MDB conspirators.

But if UMNO’s Malay advantage margin sinks to less than 15% over Pakatan Harapan then it is game over BN-UMNO. Under this scenario, BN may end up as a glorified PAS, getting about 40% of Malay support but not enough to win many mixed seats. Under this scenario, Pakatan Harapan runs away with a strong victory in Peninsular Malaysia and may actually be able to form a 2/3 majority Government with PBB-Sarawak

Pakatan Harapan set for decisive victory in Peninsula Malaysia

We also like Rafizi because he used to be ‘an oily man’, a senior executive in Petronas. The Rembau Times has strong views about oil. In fact, some of our editors helped to create presentation shared with international bankers on how the oil markets work. This included stuff like the entire oil supply chain, upstream, midstream and downstream. We talked about exotic financial derivatives such as Dated Brent CFDs that help traders hedge the differential between Dated Brent and Brent. We even gave examples of parameters to consider when lending to refiners, the impact of Chinese refiners – a whole lot of stuff. Our current view on oil is bullish, but we feel Naptha, petrochemical and product spreads will be constrained as China hits a 1 billion mtpa refining capacity.

So while we are pissed with Nga Kor Ming, lets take heart that we have this great man who has sacrificed so much to help Pakatan Harapan. People like him are few and far between – kudos to you, Sdr Rafizi Ramli.

When we win on Wednesday, the first order of business is to make this guy chair on the Transition Government Committee.

Go, go Rafizi!

 

1 COMMENT

  1. Dear Editor,
    I would be hard-pressed to think of any name to be our next Finmin other than Rafizi. Especially given the reality of the Malays having reservations with a senior cabinet post being taken up by a chinese (otherwise, other candidates will be Tony Pua or OKM).

    Yours,
    ABf

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