Datuk Ahmad Maslan has become some sort of a local icon in the past few months. Ever since his cooking lessons on Twitter, he has been going from strength to strength. If you don’t know him, we hope the picture below rings a bell.
Recently we also realised that aside from the 3 jobs that he currently does, he may also be able to predict the future (or parts of it). After hearing his name pop up so often, we realised that Ahmad Maslan has made quite a number of predictions over the past few months. In what seems almost Nostradamus-esque, it seems that some of it has happened, some did not, while others have yet to come to pass.
Here are some predictions from the psychic that is Ahmad Maslan.
1. If Pakatan won more seats then bye-bye Sultans
“The Malay language will be lost, say goodbye to the Malay Sultans, the opposition DAP do not even respect the royal institution … they have never accepted royal titles even though they have been offered them.” – Datuk Ahmad Maslan, as quoted by The Malaysian Insider
This is one of his earlier predictions going all the way back to 2011 before GE13! Basically he said that if Pakatan won more seats and we ended up having a very close divide in parliament (like 112 seats to 110 seats), the above will happen.
Does that mean the Sultans have gone bye-bye? The Malay language has been lost? And DAP now has *gasp* Datuks and Datuk Seris among them??!!
Well, not quite. Not only is Bahasa Malaysia still the undisputed language of the country, DAP still refuses to accept titles (except for this one guy but in 2008, before his prediction), and the Sultans have actually gotten a lot more prominent.
VERDICT: FALSE. Next GE maybe?
2. Our falling Ringgit will not affect our economic growth…that much
“Our exports to foreign countries will be much cheaper and further expand our export sector. This will increase company profit, salary increase, bonuses, increased in manpower, increased tax for the government and number of factories will also increase.” – Datuk Ahmad Maslan, as quoted by The Malay Mail Online
He said this two times. The first in November 2013 on whether our Ringgit against the Singapore Dollar would affect economic growth, and the second (where quote above was taken from) in December 2014 about our Ringgit in general.
But what surprises us is that he did not try to predict how badly our Ringgit would decline this year. In fact, despite him predicting our exports would increase because our Ringgit dropped (because when our Ringgit is cheaper, other countries can buy more stuff from us), Financial Times reported that it didn’t.
But to be fair, we also cannot conclusively say that the REASON our economy is slowing down is because our Ringgit is falling. In fact, we discuss some possible reasons here.
VERDICT: Our economy is slowing and our Ringgit is falling. But because we can’t prove they affect each other, the verdict for this prediction may have to be left open….for now.
3. Fuel prices will drop in 2015
“According to the trend this week, RON95 will fall further, RON97 will fall further, and diesel may fall further from RM2.23 per litre at present.” – Datuk Ahmad Maslan, as quoted by Free Malaysia Today
Yeap, he said that. And he was pretty precise about it too. In December 2014, he predicted that petrol prices would drop by at least 30 sen per litre come 1st January 2015, and guess what? That’s exactly what happened!
Price of Ron95 and Ron97 dropped 35 sen to RM1.91 and RM2.11 per litre, while Diesel dropped 30 sen to RM1.93 per litre! But did he actually predict this without any help whatsoever? Probably not.
We found an article that talked about how Malaysia’s petrol prices are determined using a calculation system known as the Mean of Platts Singapore (MOPS). Using this calculation, the petrol prices for Malaysia are calculated on a month to month basis. And you know when was the system implemented? December 2014, the same month that Maslan made his prediction.
VERDICT: TRUE, but he probably had help, so this doesn’t count.
4. GST will make things cheaper
“Why don’t they (Pakatan Rakyat) want GST? Because when prices of goods and services fall, the opposition will not have any fodder to hit out at the Government.” – Datuk Ahmad Maslan, as quoted by The Malaysian Insider
A prediction from 2013, wayyy before GST was implemented. And he say when prices drop sumore, not if. While he may have been meaning to take a jibe at Pakatan, tis’ be a very bold prediction because around that time, we found 4 other parties (here, here, here, and here) that said prices will go up, including the Ministry of Finance itself (but to be fair MOF did say 1st year only).
So did his prediction come true? Let’s look at the present GST-existing day.
A month after GST came about, Ahmad Maslan once again reiterated that prices of certain items should have gone down, 295 items to be exact. And that may be true. Prices of things like cars did go down. But not so in the larger scale of things. This list of goods on the gomen customs website already lists more than 1751 things. And if the prices of only 295 items down, then the prices of 1456 items went up.
VERDICT: He really did say GST would make things cheaper. We’re gonna have to go with FALSE for this one.
5. PAS-BN combo will be good for non-Malays
“If PAS unites with Umno, it is not only the Malays who will benefit but also the non-Malays. The business community will profit from a majority that is at peace. When there are no longer any political conflicts, we will be able to concentrate on education, economy and nation building.” – Datuk Ahmad Maslan, as quoted by The Malaysian Insider
Another one of his 2011 predictions (he was on a roll that year!), the statement above was just a part of his speech saying that PAS and BN needed to work together. Will it benefit the non-Malays? Well, there is no formal cooperation between the two parties yet but let’s see if the signs point towards it.
Since Maslan’s prediction, PAS left Pakatan in the aftermath of the hudud controvery, straining ties with DAP and probably a lot of non-Muslims out there (and even non-Muslims in their party too!). At the same time, PAS’ President, Dato’ Seri Haji Abdul Hadi Awang, has been getting rather close to our PM.
But here’s the catch, PAS has made it clear to UMNO that if they want this relationship to work, they gotta support hudud too.
VERDICT: Maslan said that there will be no more political conflict if PAS and BN worked together so the country can focus on nation building. But if hudud remains in the picture, we don’t see how DAP or even MCA would stay quiet, and thus political conflict continue. Likely to be FALSE.
6. GST demonstrations will be powerless to stop GST!
“Demonstrations will not stop the (implementation of the) GST. Come April 1, GST will replace the SST (Sales and Services Tax).”- Datuk Ahmad Maslan, as quoted by The Star
He warned us, but we didn’t listen. We still tried. We still protested. But we found out the hard way. We slowly realised that…
On April 1st, 2015, Malaysians were hit by GST. Millions of people affected in one fell swoop. Our protests were worthless. Maslan was right this time.
7. The people won’t kena burden by gomen debt
“We are keeping up our payments every year, there is no problem and the people will not be burdened with the debt as the government is honouring its debts obligation through the annual budget.” – Datuk Ahmad Maslan, as quoted by The Malay Mail Online
Maslan said this back in January 2014 while also adding that the implementation of GST was not to reduce gomen debt. In fact, he says the same thing about GST in March 2015 while adding that the money from GST would go into a fund for the benefit of the people.
But while we may not burdened by our gomen’s debt, that doesn’t mean that we aren’t feeling some sort of burden. This is because Malaysians are having to pay a lot more for other things anyway to “bolster its fiscal position” (basically meaning strengthen our economy). Our recent Bajet 2016 announcement actually saw a lot of budget cuts and reduced subsidies, and articles like this suggest that we are definitely feeling some sort of burden.
“Three months after GST, our pockets are getting drier… how is this making things easier? But I guess we have no other way to go about it and have to just weather yet another storm.” – Retiree R. Subramaniam, as quoted by The Malay Mail Online
VERDICT: While we are being burdened in some sense, we aren’t being burdened by gomen debt per se, so Maslan’s prediction is TRUE by a technicality. #wellplayed
So how did a fortune teller end up in parliament?
Before that, let’s tally up the predictions we’ve looked at so far:
- 3 FALSE
- 3 TRUE
- 1 VERDICT OPEN
Among the TRUE predictions, we have one that doesn’t count because he had help (petrol price), one that is true out of technicality (gomen debt burden), and one that really shouldn’t be taken too seriously (GST demonstrations).
So even as a fortune teller, he’s not even accurate 50% of the time. How did he make it all the way to the upstairs of UMNO??? Heck, we even found 2 blog-ish websites (here and here) that state that after his university days, it took him only a year to land a job in the Prime Minister’s Office!
As it turns out, yes. The rise of Maslan could be credited very much to one very enduring trait: loyalty.
“Ahmad is not a popular figure with Malaysians. His many gaffes have provoked sneers, criticism and ridicule, but he has one thing that Najib prizes, and that is loyalty. Despite the brickbats, he continues to speak in defence of the GST, driving some people mad with exasperation.” – Scott Ng, in an article for Free Malaysia Today.
Ahmad Maslan himself has said that the survival of UMNO is dependent on UMNO members having these 4S’:
- Setia (loyalty)
- Sepakat (solidarity)
- Strategi (strategy, duh)
- Sungguh-sungguh (determination)
See the ‘loyalty’ in there? And in a party led by someone who values that particular trait over intelligence, it really isn’t difficult to see why Maslan is where he is today.