Posts Tagged ‘secession’

Johor could manage without Malaysia, but Malaysia without Johor would collapse

October 18, 2015

The corruption in the Malaysian body politic runs deep and is even getting to be too much for the Malay Royal families. The 1MDB scandal may be the last straw. The Royal families are very keen to distance themselves from the shenanigans which the Prime Minister is now enmeshed in. So much so that the spectre of secession has been raised.

BBCMalaysians are no strangers to money politics but the high-profile players and the amount of funds allegedly involved in the so-called “1MDB scandal” have gripped the nation.

It stems from Prime Minister Najib Razak’s strategic state fund called 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) set up in 2009 when he came into office. The fund is meant to turn Kuala Lumpur into a financial hub. It started to attract national attention when it missed payments for the $11bn (£7.1bn; €9.9bn) it owes to banks and bondholders.

Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has said the fund has taken on too much debt and lacks transparency. He has also criticised Mr Najib’s family’s “lavish” lifestyle, which has been regularly discussed in the local press.

Then the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported it had seen a paper trail that allegedly traces close to $700m from the troubled fund to Mr Najib’s personal bank accounts. Mr Najib is now facing calls to prove his assets are legal.

The Southern state of Johor with its proximity to Singapore is exposed daily to the differences between what Singapore has achieved and what Malaysia has not. So much so that the Crown Prince has now followed his younger brother’s warning shot from June this year to remind the politicians in Kuala Lumpur that if the accession agreements of 1948 are breached then Johor could well decide to secede from the federation.

the 13 states in the Federation of Malaysia

The States of Sarawak and Sabah would follow Johor’s lead and while actual secession is probably a long, long, way away, this is the first time in a long while that I can remember secession being used as a threat – and being taken with some semblance of seriousness. There is even analysis to show that Johor could well go it alone

Malaysia Chronicle: His Royal Highness the Tengku Mahkota of Johor has stated that if Putrajaya breaches the terms behind the Federation of Malaya, Johor as a state may be forced to secede.

His Royal Highness also took great pains to echo the feelings of misery felt by millions and declared that the Royal family was “not a part of this current mess”.

From an economic point of view, how would Johor fare if it were to go its own way? Would it be better off or worse off?

Firstly, if Johor were to become an independent nation, it would probably be a monarchy, governed like an Emirate, as opposed to a Constitutional Monarchy. Some argue that given the experience of countries the last 10 plus years, monarchy as a form of Government may actually hold better prospects than democracy for young democracies with weak law enforcement.

From an economic point of view, Johor would (be) really well positioned. It would probably have extensive rail and tunnel links with Singapore and the flow of goods between Johor and Singapore will be more like the flow of goods between England and France. There would probably be at least two to three high speed rail links into Johor from Singapore creating a megapolis, albeit between two different countries.

As an independent state, Johor will need its own central bank. This will enable financial intermediation and ensure greater economic progress. But it would probably need to be capitalised with a loan of about US $10 billion. From then on, the Johor as an independent country will be responsible for management of its own domestic and external trade. ……

…… Johor as an independent developed state could easily hold a population of 10 million ten years after independence, which means that its GDP is a staggering USD $400 billion; comparable to the entire GDP of Malaysia. …….

Malaysia without Johor would mean a country sharing a border with Negeri Sembilan, Malacca and Pahang. Some parts of this border cuts through virgin jungle and Johor would be required to protect its border, much the same way as the Malaysia – Thai border is protected.

But this would probably mean the demise of Malaysia as a country. Johor can survive without Malaysia, but can Malaysia survive without Johor? Malaysia will probably enter into a severe economic recession and end up as a failed state should Johor secede.

The Malaysian government is not amused, but the general disgust with government ministers and the ruling party is now quite high. Even Mahathir, the former Prime Minister, has seen it as necessary to criticise the present regime.

Interesting times and a possible Balkanisation of Malaysia.

Secession is in the air as 89% vote for the rebirth of the Venetian Republic

March 23, 2014

Secession is in the air.

The Most Serene Republic of Venice (Serenissima Repubblica di Venezia) lasted for over a thousand years from the late 7th century until 1797. It came into being as a secession of the region from the Byzantine Empire and lasted until Napoleon came along. In its heyday it controlled Crete and Cyprus and was a major – if not the paramount – centre for European trading and banking. 

Secession is in the blood of Venetians.

File:Flag of Most Serene Republic of Venice.svg

Flag of Venice with winged Lion of St. Mark

History of Venice:

The city of Venice originated as a collection of lagoon communities banded together for mutual defence from theLombards, Huns and other invading peoples as the power of the Western Roman Empire dwindled in northern Italy. At some point in the first decades of the 8th century, the people of the Byzantine province of Venice elected their first leaderUrsus (or Orso Ipato), who was confirmed by Constantinople and given the titles of hypatus and dux. He was the first historical Doge of Venice. …..

Between 1414 and 1423, some 10,000 slaves were sold in Venice, almost all of whom were “nubile” young women from the Balkans. In February 1489, the island of Cyprus, previously a crusader state (the Kingdom of Cyprus), was annexed to Venice.

And  now the people of Veneto want to secede again – this time from “the blood-thirsty beast of the Italian state”.

The Veneto Region

EU Observer:

A self-organised “referendum” over the independence of one of Italy’s wealthiest regions has resulted in an overwhelming victory for the separatist camp, but authorities in Rome have largely ignored the result, amid scepticism over the regularity of the informal, non-binding poll. 

Nevertheless, events in Veneto, the north-eastern region around Venice that is home to almost 5 million people, have attracted international attention, particularly from government-sponsored Russian media, keen to draw comparisons with the military-backed vote that sanctioned Moscow’s annexation of Crimea. 

Out of 3.8 million eligible voters, 2.3 million took part in Veneto’s independence “plebiscite,” organisers said Friday, after six days of voting through makeshift polling booths, via phone or the internet. The pro-secession camp was declared the winner with over 89 percent, against just under 11 percent for the unionists. 

“The Venetian Republic is born again,” the leader of the ‘yes’ camp, Gianluca Busato, exclaimed at a victory rally in Treviso, in front of a crowd of a few hundred supporters. …… Secessionists, who are not attached to any mainstream political party, see themselves as the heirs of the Most Serene Republic of Venice, the state that ruled the lagoon city and its surroundings for about 1,000 years, until it was routed by Napoleon in 1797. 

Their main argument for independence is economic. They calculate that Veneto subsidizes Italy’s inefficient central government and its poorer southern regions to the tune of €20 billion a year. They claim that an independent state – modeled on the likes of Catalonia or Scotland – would be far better off. “The right of self-determination that is triumphing in Veneto is the only way to free ourselves from the worst bureaucratic monster of the Western world. The blood-thirsty beast of the Italian state is hated by all of its subjects, everywhere,” Busato said. 

The 44-year-old software entrepreneur was elected as one of 10 “delegates” tasked with setting independence plans into motion. “The first objective is to keep all taxes in Veneto,” he said. “Veneto’s businesses and citizens no longer have to pay immoral and illegitimate taxes to the Italian state.”

File:Repubblica di Venezia.png

Republic of Venice territories in red c. 1500 CE

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