Saturday, February 19, 2011

Greedy Tony

Didn’t I say Tony Fernandes is a money-grubbing opportunist? In the New Straits Times today, it was revealed that Team Lotus (formerly known as 1Malaysia Racing Team or 1MRT) last year had demanded between £22 million and £37 million as settlement (p 12). As Proton Group managing director Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohd Tahir said “1MRT cannot demand for us to compensate them for a problem which (they) got (themselves) into”. He explained that “(They) entered into a relationship with Team Lotus Ventures with full prior knowledge that Group Lotus is already in a long standing legal dispute with Team Lotus Ventures”. He further emphasized, “Proton and Group Lotus cannot be made liable for 1MRT’s commercial misadventure”. So we will just have to wait for the court hearing.

China has overtaken Japan as the world’s second largest economy with gross GDP of $5.88 trillion (RM18 trilllion) in 2010 – as compared to Japan’s $5.47 trillion (RM16.7trillion). China’s fast rise at an average annual growth rate of 10% over the last twenty years means that if the country continues to maintain this expansionary momentum, it can even dethrone the United States in ten years.

Despite this achievement, Chinese leaders want the country to slow down and to take another look at the bigger goal of economic transformation. The Chinese Commerce Ministry has stressed that China is still far from being the world’s second strongest economic powerhouse as its per capita GDP for 2010 – at about $4,000 (RM12,190) – ranks it only No. 93 in the world. The more important goal is to become a high-income nation.

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