Pete Teo Profile picture
May 25, 2018 14 tweets 3 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
1. Dear financial journalists. If you’ve been here a while and know the difference between crispy chicken rendang and its proper form, my apologies - please skip this thread. For those who sit in offices in Spore, HK, Beijing or London panic googling M’sia, please read on...
2. The events that led up to and since #GE14 have few parallels in history. A kleptocracy was peacefully voted out of power against all odds. Msians overcame electoral fraud, restricted media, abuse of power, murders, etc to get here. It isn’t possible without fortitude.
3. So this is the first thing to understand, i.e., Msians are angry and motivated. An 82% voter turnout on a weekday shows this. We’ve been outraged and are now motivated by the opportunity to rebuild. We understand the historic importance of this moment for our children.
4. The govt we voted in this time are equally determined. These are no ordinary politicians like those you’re likely used to. Most have devoted their lives to reform. Many have been persecuted and jailed. Some are supremely educated and skilled. All have a point to prove.
5. This coming together of a country determined to reform and a govt equally motivated to lead that reform is a powerful force. Naturally, there will be mistakes and debates along the way. But to neglect the current zeitgeist in what you write wld be extremely crap journalism.
6. For instance, a certain Mr Zukherjee of Bloomberg @business wrote rather condescendingly that the new Finance Minister ought to be “tactful” when revealing the financial mess that 1MDB has bequeathed us for fear of spooking hot money. This is rubbish of the highest degree.
7. Leaving aside the nonsense that hot money should take precedence over administrative transparency, it completely ignores the zeitgeist of the country - i.e. the need and willingness of Msians to know the truth and if required make sacrifices to set their country right again
8. I personally find this insulting and lazy. It is a point of view borne out of a bubbled existence that sees the stock market as more important than real lives and communities. It typifies the tail-wag-dog logic of the mega-greedy that facilitated 1MDB in the first place.
9. The truth is - notwithstanding Mr Zukherjee’s delicate sensibilities - we frankly don’t care about the short term fluctuations of the stock market. We worry about corruption, education, power abusive, communal relations - issues pivotal to the long term health of our home.
10. So, if we inadvertently put a dent in your bank book in the course of correcting decades of administrative mismanagement, that’s just too bad. It’s not as if you’d shed a tear if this country went down the drain, as she almost did under the old corruptly compliant regime.
11. I am not saying we don’t need your help. We do. For M’sia to thrive we need foreign investments. But we are not stupid enough to confuse hot money with real investments that provide jobs, training, income and equitable wealth creation. With respect, neither should you.
12. So please in your writings write in context of our attempt at rebirth. You might look at it as a spring clean, after which we might offer investors and speculators a destination not defined by corruption, abuse and mismanagement. It’d be a win-win situation, believe me.
13. In the interim, should you lose a few bob betting in a fluctuating stock market, put it down to bad timing or misfortunate or stupidity. Try not to blame our newfound administrative transparency. It’s a good thing. Our lives are more important than your index points. Truly.
* Mr. Mukherjee, of course. Apologies for the typo. *

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More from @PeteTeo

Jun 9, 2018
1. Lots of people suffer from depression. I used to suffer from it. Although it last descended on me decades ago, I still feel it in the back of my head, seeping out in the shadows of my work. It’s not an easy thing to understand, but I can try to tell you a little more...
2. The overriding mental condition of someone in a severe depressed state is one of utter futility. Nothing is worth it. Nothing has meaning. There is no point in anything. You may escape for a moment, but the dark mist is all around. Until it decides to lift, nothing matters.
3. It isn’t the same as sadness. It isn’t being fearful. It’s the darkest, loneliest nothing. When it’s especially bad, there is no hope. That’s when you think of ending it. Everyone who’s been in that place has thought of suicide. Everyone. Some take action. Most pull back.
Read 11 tweets
May 15, 2018
1. Much has been made about trusting Tun M, given his record in civil liberties and institutional degradation during his first 22 years as PM. This need for vigilance is understandable and logical. However, I am optimistic. Let me tell you why...
2. In 2015, I went with @jsadiq to see Tun talk at the FCC. He was as usual a compelling and composed speaker. But I noted a chink in his armour when he admitted that he has failed despite his long reign in power. At that moment, his voice broke. I had an idea.
3. The next day I made some calls and proposed to his office that I wanted to shoot an interview with him. Negotiations and meetings took place, the end of which I had permission for a 3 hour interview in Tokyo. I put together a team in Tokyo and we did the shoot.
Read 15 tweets
May 12, 2018
In my years of approaching celebs for pro bono work, the most frustrating were from the Mandarin Pop scene. Many pulled out on shoot days due to cold feet. Those were days when non-MCA sanctioned projects were considered subversive, ie up till days ago.
This sort of gutlessness used to frustrate me and I lost friendships because of it. So I look on at the current “celeb positional reset” with no small amount of bemusement. Yet it is easy to forget that ppl were genuinely scared, not just spineless.
For instance, an NTV7 news editor was put on “cold storage” because he devised and approved a screening of “Undilah” that bypassed censorship. He eventually left and now works for @jsadiq at the Insight. He is one of the unsung heroes in our story.
Read 11 tweets
May 11, 2018
1. Dear UMNO. U have come to look upon my colleagues and I as thorns. Yet, in the spirit of new Malaysia, allow me to discuss how amateurish you have been. Let’s use this video as an example:
2. In an age of media saturation, ppl are suspicious of advertising. So u should not come across like a shampoo ad. Yet note that @Khairykj and @NajibRazak wore liveried colour and logo. They look like salesmen. It undercuts trust. It’s a terrible start.
3. Filming politicians is difficult because few have genuine camera presence. Here, @NajibRazak looked fake and @Khairykj insincere. They aren’t pro actors so one should not blame them. The director should have anticipated and taken the following steps...
Read 13 tweets

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