Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Malaysia's Mahathir Mohammad

I am not sure of the definition of developed country. But I think Malaysia is either a developed country or fast developing country. It ranks 63 out of 177 countries in the UN Human Development Index. Its ranking in the Per Capita Income Index is 56 out of 179 countries. It is one of the few Asian countries whose citizens have the privilege of visa free travel to UAE.

Most of the credit for Malaysia’s present economic status should go to its former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad.When he took over as Prime minister in 1981 it just had an aggro based economy .By the time he gave up power voluntarily in 2003, it had become a developed and economically diversified country.It is one of the favourite Asian countries for foreign investments.

Malaysia is a Muslim country and its is a democracy(may be a little flawed) where periodic elections are held.It has not had any Army coups like Turkey or Pakistan. Malaysia has not experienced any terrorists attacks on its soil against foreigners.

Malaysia is the only Muslim country which is democratic, moderate and economically developed. No other Muslim country passes these three tests.Should not the western leaders heap praise on Mahathir for this great achievement and showcase Malaysia as an example to other Muslim countries? Sadly it is not happening. Instead Bush/Blair & Co praise dictators like Musharaf.

What is the reason for this?Though Mahathir welcomed western investments he had been and is a fierce critic of western arrogance and duplicity.He was a critic of Iraq war and even held a mock war crimes tribunal in Malaysia. It is a pity even the UN(under the control of western powers) has not made use of this great man to foster democracy,stability and economic development among the Islamic world.

Mahathir,although retired,maintains a personal blog ( which he updates regularly.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Dubai Charities

There are many charities operating from Dubai and I am keen to contribute to some of them. I have come to know of their activities from the Dubai newspapers and the websites of the charities.

However I need some assurance that major proportion of my contribution (say 70%) is spent on the beneficiaries of the charities and not on fancy salaries to the staff or on publicity campaigns.The only way to know of this is, if they publish their annual audited accounts in the newspapers and in their websites. I have looked at the websites of many charities operating from Dubai. No one is publishing their accounts at least to my knowledge.

All the banks in the UAE publish their annual audited accounts in their websites and in the newspapers. In the same way quoted companies like Emaar and Etisalat publish their accounts. This helps the public to take an informed decision on whether to invest in those companies.

The charities may argue they do not have the finances to hire qualified accountants in order to prepare and get their accounts audited. I am sure many accountants,especially the Big4, would be prepared to do this work free if requested as part of their CSR.

If there is transparency in the Charities sector it will help them to generate more contribution to help the beneficiaries.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Thoughts from an Accountant in Dubai

I am a professionally qualified accountant and have been in Dubai for nearly two decades as an expat. I am witness to the amazing changes Dubai has undergone over the years.

The purpose of this blog is to share my thoughts on matters relating to accounts and business with people of similar interest in Dubai and the outside the world. Once a while I might digress and write on matters of general interest.

People of the world! ( Do I sound like Obama?) You could read my thoughts more often in the coming months.