M.Enkhsaikhan: There is nothing good in the Oyutolgoi agreement - News.MN

M.Enkhsaikhan: There is nothing good in the Oyutolgoi agreement



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Old News! Published on: 2010.03.30

M.Enkhsaikhan: There is nothing good in the Oyutolgoi agreement


A former Prime Minister, and founder of the National New Party,  M.Enkhsaikhan, answers questions on the current political scene.

The Mineral Council approved the feasibility study of Oyutolgoi last Thursday. Coinciding with this, there was information that a Rio Tinto official in China admitted to taking bribes. What message does this send to Mongolia?

is a country that fights with corruption and gives death sentence to culprits without hesitation. Do we have that sort of control over how international companies behave here? Can we be sure that foreigners did not give money under the table to Mongolian officials who have exalted corruption to a culture? Can it be that there have been no underhand deals in such a big project as Oyutolgoi? I saw the Deputy Director of the Mineral Council on TV. He talked more like a representative of Ivanhoe Mines and wore an expensive watch and a bracelet. I have no direct evidence but the clear impression I got was that money was talking.

Our Intelligence organization must prepare a study of how the terms of the agreement are likely to affect Mongolia’s future. It must identify any possible danger to national interest. Unfortunately, nothing like that is happening. Intelligence is directly under the Prime Minister who does not seem to see any need for this.

I believe there has been corruption in Oyutolgoi. Since the agreement is full of holes and there is no clearly visible big benefit to Mongolian, it is highly probable that our officials were bribed.

You have often criticized the terms of the agreement. As an economist and a former PM, what do you think is bad about it for Mongolia?

First, the agreement violates Mongolian laws and Parliament decisions. By signing it before approving the feasibility study was patently wrong. Second hand, the so-called advance payment is actually a loan with high interest. Third, Mongolia has to buy its 34 percent ownership with a loan. Fourth, Mongolian interests will suffer by yielding to the investors’ decision to mine only the best parts of the deposit.

There is a Mongolian saying that a man becomes wise after reaching 40. Minister D.Zorig has not reached that age. It is easy for foreigners to manipulate naïve young minds. S.Bayartsogt is rightly thought of as seeing only the good in everything. Minister L.Gansukh does not understand the complexities of the situation. These people are not bad but they are not capable of standing up to foreigners to protect national interests. And they were directed by S.Bayar who had too much personal interest in it to taske the right decision.

Is there actually nothing that was good?


Let’s look at it from the point of view of the investors?

We have surrendered all our powers of discernment to foreigners. For example, we talk about the borrowed concept of the “curse of wealth”. It is a theory prepared to make us understand that we should have foreigners dig out our natural resources in order to prevent the curse. There is also a theory of economic competency. Its meaning is “Let’s give the treasure to foreigners and be happy with just a little money”. There is also a theory about good governance. This aims to keep Mongolians busy blaming one another for “bad governance”.

But you also said that bad governance led to the bad agreement.

Bad governance means bad government and bad Ministers, with foreigners implementing projects. Mongolian politicians hold so many meetings that everybody thinks they are talking wisely. They don’t see through the policy. They don’t understand it. There are people who offer projects to Governments of countries with rich natural resources that would trap them in debt. The countries then have no option but to give their treasures to foreign companies. We all know about Dubai. The people are talking with great pride about the tallest building which was built there. In reality, that building will not produce anything. In return, the country is giving its oil. Dubai is in financial trouble. Nobody would have imagined that this oil rich country would have debt problems. Now, the country is selling the oil cheaply.

Another example: Three years ago, Ireland was announced as the third best developed country by the World Bank. Now it is burdened with debt.

Friedland was called “economy killer” years ago. Are you talking about him?

He really is the killer of economy. He is nicknamed as Toxic Bob in the west since he ran away after destroying nature in Latin America. Some countries don’t permit such people to even come near. In Mongolia, on the other hand, it is likely that even Osama Bin Laden would be welcomed.

Were you aware of such people when you were PM?

I was aware that foreigners did not mean well for Mongolia. But that does not mean we should close the doors on the world. What we need to do is to be able to defend our interest.

Why didn’t you talk about economy killers while the agreement was being made?

Talking is not important. What is important is “hearing”. People were talking about Toxic Bob a lot, but who actually listened to that? The bottom line is that we’ve signed an agreement that would leave the country in great debt.

In an interview, you said if N.Enkhbayar was still President, such a contract would not have been made. Why do you think this?

I knew very well what N.Enkhbayar’s opinion about Oyutolgoi project was. Even though we don’t have to agree on everything,he had a strong view  that Mongolia must have 51 percent ownership

Do you think that civil movements and political parties not in Parliament would be able to stop this contract supported by the President, the Government and the majority of MPs?

I believe the train that will lead Mongolia into the hands of foreigners will not move.

Your party has developed a new State Constitution.

Yes. We have thought about many issues seriously. There are even more ideas that we did not include in the draft constitution. For example, the achievements and everything that Chinggis Khaan did must be under the protection of the state. There were times twe did not even have the right to say Chinggis Khaan’s name. 

But, why must the State Constitution be changed for this?

The Constitution of 1992 is a product of part-socialism and part-liberalism. The outcome of this constitution after 20 years is the oligarchs’ governance. Mongolian State Constitution must be based on patriotism and nationalism. We need responsible, systematic and powerful governance. For this the Constitution must be changed.

Does the draft constitution propose a Presidential system?

What we are talking about is a Parliamentary country with strong president. This is a revolutionary concept of government.

It is time for us to stop these endless quarrels. We need a good policy, no matter who is making it or who is following it. Child Money was the best policy Mongolia made in 20 years. We developed it and implemented it. But we have been forced to abandon it.

What will happen after your revolution changes the government?

Most people say there is something wrong with today’s government and polity. These include people who just criticize and people who want to change it. There are people who fear the revolution among them too. This fear occurs because they cannot visualize what will happen afterwards. The draft State Constitution made by the NNP has a “revolutionary” intention. The party itself will be the ringleader to raise the number of people who have the courage to start the revolution. Number of people who understand that the officials have forgotten the country’s interest is increasing rapidly. The increasing false promises, official parties; the fact that people’s money is going into the pockets of officials under the name of reconstruction and tender; majority of the people living poorly -all these compound the condition to make the revolution.  We need a National Revolution, not a Bolshevik revolution. NNP’s priority is to make the people understand this.

How is your draft constitution different from the one being followed?

It is very important to make the people who call themselves intellectual understand the difference. Any government has three branches: legislative, executive and judicial. The 1992 State Constitution has five: law making – Parliament, law execution – Government, Court – High and other courts, President and Constitutional Court. But in reality, Parliament was given absolute power. The execution was divided between Government and the President. The judiciary was split between the High Court, other courts and the Constitutional Court. 

NNP proposes: highest political right – State Great Khuraldai, law making –State Baga Khuraldai, Executing – Government and President, Court – High Court and courts, Controlling – Auditory and Prosecutor, Government Service – Government service council. This will enable balanced, responsible, people centered governance.

It seems the draft which says illegally achieved properties must be confiscated is being criticized. There are people who say this is an act to go back to socialism. There are even people who say this is Chinese type politics. Liberalism seeks to protect the people’s rights and their property.

People need to read the draft before criticizing it. They should also read the books “Nationalism” and “National Revolution” which was published by our party. We will protect private property. But we demand that this property is acquired with one’s own labor. Those who fear this condition are the ones who are opposing it.

People feel the same problems would crop up after the revolution. They fear the same people would again come up.

State Constitution of responsible polity would change and develop people in the right way. Thus, it is not true that the same people would come up.

The people’s protest after 2008 election left five people dead and hundreds sentenced in prison. The defeated politicians are now lying in the same bed with the MPRP. The policemen who shot the people are now cleared of charges.

The officials must explain why the people got angry. The July 1 incidents had good things and bad things. But this day must not be used to scare the people and dull their courage.

Thank you. What would you like to tell our readers?

I want to give the call “Awaken, Rise up and Change! Follow the spirit of Nationalism to make a National Revolution!”

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