Friday, October 03, 2008

If Pak Lah is Leaving, Why is a ‘Level Four Boys’ Still in Command?

Omar Ong (in picture) during his Fellowship stinct
at the Eisenhower Foundation last year, 2007

It seems now at the juncture of Pak Lah's political demise, the ‘Level Four Boys’ already got their hands into his successor.

Recently, when Pak Lah announced the mini Cabinet reshuffle, DPM Dato’ Seri Najib was given the highly strategic and sensitive but powerful Finance portfolio. However, it seems the job was given with the ‘Level Four Boys’ tentacles attached to it and with great power to help DPM Najib decide.

Omar Ong, the Managing Director of Ethos and Company, came back instantly when DPM Najib was announced.

He was seen in several meetings involving Ministry of Finance and his capacity as Managing Director of Ethos Consulting is but a mere disguise. Words are he will be appointed as Political Secretary to the Minister of Finance.

Omar Ong was DPM Najib’s Special Function Officer when the latter was appointed Deputy Prime Minister four and half years ago, leaving his highly lucrative job as a partner to Dr Liew Boon-Horng. Omar was the strategist in DPM Najib’s office.

Then, the most horrid tragedy struck. Dr. Liew died in a freak accident when his BMW was crushed by a fallen concrete slab in Plaza Damas which instanteously brought Omar back into the Ethos and Co chair.
Many close to DPM Najib expressed relief when Omar left.

For DPM Najib, it was god-sent. He has since been baraged with negative complains and feedbacks on Omar from his supporters and sympathisers within the corporate world and political grassroot. Omar's manouveour in-cohoot with Khairy documented in Raja Petra's Khairy Chronicle was verifiable by many. Why the change of heart?

History of Destruction

The Philosophy, Politics and Economics graduate from St. Hugh’s College in Oxford started his career as Special Assistant to Multimedia Development Corporation. Then, he opted for the highly paid job in McKinsey Consulting. He teamed up with Dr. Liew and Ethos and Company was born.

The first high profile job they did was to study and revamp the Civil Service, where the cream of the crops amongst Malaysians were brought in. It was modelled after the Singaporean Civil Service and this exercise was commissioned when Pak Lah was still the Deputy Prime Minister.

After the untimely demise of Dr. Liew, Omar came back to Ethos and Company, but not without the pot of of gold. Ethos was instrumental in the National Automotive Policy, which saw the slow but structured death of Proton, in favour of the 'openess and liberalisation' of the Malaysian car industry.

Then Ethos and Company was the main blueprint architect of the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER). Of course the Sabah Development Corridor and Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy plans were crafted by them as well.

'Level Four Boys' Link

Main players of 'Level Four Boys' - Khairy
and Zaki Zahid, Youth Chief for UMNO Putrajaya Division

Omar Ong is very much someone who fits into the 'Level Four Boys' criterion. He was in the same JPA British Top University program with Pak Lah's Chief Policy Officer Dato' Zaki Zahid, Media Co-ordinator Dato' Kamal Khalid and Iskandar Malaysia Chief Strategist Nasser Ismail.

Munir Aziz, the high profile partner of Wong and Partner, an associate legal firm of Baker Mackenzie International is the best of buddy.

Omar Ong, together with Kamal Khalid received training from the Eisenhower Foundation. He was sent for his 'fellowship' late last year.

Like any American Political Foundations, it usually potrays itself as seeking for an ideal and playing the role to initiate discussion, seeking solution to problems, preparing policy papers, and lobbying for it's noble cause. But it is essentially a front for political group with an agenda, national and global agenda.

The Eisenhower Foundation is no different. It potrays itself as pursuing the ideals of late President Eisenhower, championing The Truly Disadvatage and at one time, promoting American patriotism, but yet it is involved in formulating policies in Economics, Middle East, Foreign and National Policy, and Communication.

Co-incidently, it is the same year Omar was selected the Young Global Leader at the Davos World Economic Forum in Davos 2007.

Why Took Him?

What is worrisome is why DPM Najib agreed for Omar to be brought back into the main driving seat behind the ultimate corridor of power? And, at the point of Pak Lah's empire is systematically crumbling to pieces?

The recent developments within UMNO where the Supreme Council is pushing for the 'Power Transition Plan' be brought prematurely ahead is an opportunity many saw as the 'Level Four Boys' destruction. And now this.

Isn't DPM Najib aware the consequences and danger of getting strategic advice from someone with questionable loyalty like Omar Ong?


Ariff Sabri said...

great informational piece. who's who at level 4.

amoker said...

The tendency of business is to look at management 'Consultants' as those who come out with grand plans, takes loads of money and leave with no accountability.

Anonymous said...

Having some young brainy guys for new input is actually not a bad idea but should include some matured and elderly personnels to control, to screened through every details before forwarded for decision making.

God is always fair, if one is good at numbers they are horrible on human values, they only see things in numbers, people as unit and nation as total amount. To run a nation using info from some soulless adviser would be drastic, as we can see now.

To include immediate family members in the team that can easily affect or sway decision is a definite no-no. One must always look at oneself, the strong point as well as weak, if one knows that decision making is one's weak point, try to seek opinion from people who know not from people of no threats and trust. Pretending to know makes one looks more stupid, exposing oneself to exploiters and manipulators.

To suppress the Rakyat for one own faulty moves and decisions would only bring more adverse effect like in neighboring countries. Jailing people on flimsy excuses without trial for speaking up against some uncleared issues or 'speculation' would only create more people talking and more talks from people.

The greed of Suharto's family members, cronies and jailing of dissidents hugely contribute to his downfall. Our grand old man saw, knew what will soon be coming to him, resigned, appointed a what he see as a 'milder' or 'cleaner' version and hopefully use as his proxy but boy was in for a surprise!

If one has bestowed a premiership, one should follow through his clean up and revamped the administration, gain the mandate. With a group of sparkling clean cabinet and proper administration do you think the Rakyat will be listening to the grand old man or some 'rumours mongers'.

Instead doing what was expected, one allows family members, cronies and supporters to dip their hand in the cookies jar and expose oneself to all kind of insinuations, true or not one reputation is already at stake.

Think back, from the day 1, one took office till now, the kind of tribulations one received was it one own doing or is still blaming it on others.

Apanama said...

This is the problem with Najib... he is so accamodating. Datuk Seri! If you continue in such a mode then in no time your supporters would jump another with a 'Captain with Guts'.

Temuljin said...

We've been through two differing styles of administration of government and god willing a third is coming in.
I pray that the third would be wise enough to seek consultation with the likes of Tun Mahathir so he can share his thoughts of the kind of power that can be vested to such 'idealistic brilliant minds'whom the current administration have and had given free rein to almost destroy the fabric of society in this nation.
My simple mind wants only these issues below addressed immediately before moving forward:

1.DAMAGE CONTROL- assess the extend of damage and seek measures to stop them.
2.RECONCILIATION-Stop pointing fingers at all those who have in one way or the other contributed to the damage and bring all strategic partners to one same page and devise the road map to distribute the task to reconcile society.If possible share it with the nation so we can all understand the mission and contribute to the HEALING process.
3.STOP THE ECONOMIC ROT-The current Global economic disaster is at our doorstep and we can no longer wait to see the extent of damage it might,will and have done to us before we act to remedy it. Measures to Prevent it from escalation in Malaysia have to be implemented NOW. It may hurt or even shrink our own economy for a while but DO we must as we have been there before to know how painful.

Anonymous said...

I dont see ANY problem with Omar. Please can you show us any better candidate for the post?

This man is AWESOME! His abilities are internationally justified.

You should be proud at him, and at the same time, we should be proud at Malaysia for producing great people like him. Unlike some people who like to bring down others.

Nothing can be achieved without hard work and sacrifice. For that, I think he deserves it.

Unknown said...

Politics in Malaysia is such a amuzing place that someone with the name of "Omar Ong" ... an 'in-between' creature ... actually thrives !!

Like the Mamaks, Chinese Muslims aren't to be trusted at all.

That "Omar Ong" isn't an exception.

Semut Api said...

bodoh la depa semua ni.... semua mamat-mamat ni spion besar singapore la.. awatla bangang sangat tak screen? negara aku terjual la ni... hang tengok la depa invest banyak banyak kat iskandar tu, lepas tu instigate oang melayu mengamuk kat semua kilang kilang depa di situ... lepas tu intervene dengan supprt US... mati la hng semua...

Anonymous said...

"Having some young brainy guys for new input is actually not a bad idea but should include some"

"This man is AWESOME! His abilities are internationally justified"

-racist?, Paklah bersalah, diorang ni baik?

korang yg kutuk2 paklah kena kutuk this Omar too. ini lah penjahanam negara yg sebenar. Paklah yg lembik ditipu..

Najib.. pecat mereka..walau

Revolusi Melayu said...

K.J was a street boy's,
Not from a or "bangsawan umno".
I think is better man from mukriz..
He now what people from grassroot need coz he from that part!

Whos mukriz????? becaming a another dictactor???
K.J was brave young man fight for right....

Anonymous said...

Bro Pink Floyd:

India Islam dan China Islam punyai kiblat yang sama macam Melayu Islam juga. Satu hari tetap solat 5 kali juga

Old Fart said...

If all these guys are so brilliant, how come they could not strategise a better performance than what BN got for GE2008?

If they all are so brilliant, why could they not advise against contesting the Permatang Pauh by-election? Not participating and handing over the seat to Anwar could have got for Badawi the tenure that he sought. Now, nothing!!

Of oourse if these guys are about economics and thebusiness of government rather than winning elections then there too they have not exactly been doing all that well, have they?

Anonymous said...

According to Chinese mythology.the ONg clan is believed to be made in heaven;thats why they come back to earth to reap their previous life good karma of overwhelming prosperity;food for thought;thats why all the ongs are fully loaded with *cash*LOL

Anonymous said...

It was the serious - and ultimately fatal - failings of the current 5th Floor occupant i.e. Pak Lah, that created the 4th Floor conundrum. Every PM will have his own “4th Floor” given the complexities of modern day governance. But tragically, Pak Lah was never in control of his young advisers. Don’t blame the troops when the general himself is often clueless. Najib, in contrast, is fully in command of his lieutenants. There is not a shred of evidence to suggest otherwise.

Let us not forget the late Tun Razak too had his own "4th Floor" - Abdullah Ahmad, Khalil Akasah, Abdullah Majid, Wahab Majid, all capable men in their 30s. In UMNO, he had the young turks - Mahathir, Musa, Ku Li. In the civil service, he had dedicated public servants like Raja Mohar, Zain Azraai, Thong Yaw Hong. Surrounded by these hand-picked men of calibre, Tun Razak harnessed their energies and talents but left no doubt as to who was in charge. Najib will do the same and consult broadly. To equate him to Pak Lah would be an insult to his lineage, intellect and experience.

In contrast, Tun Mahathir was so brilliant he had no need for a 4th Floor - or Cabinet for that matter. Instead, he used a coterie of modern day svengalis who could do no wrong. Till this day, it is Tun's unyielding world view and supreme confidence in his own abilities, that is both his strength and weakness.

So before we cry wolf, let's stop momentarily and reflect on history's many lessons.

Anonymous said...

small correction,omar ong was a petronas sponsored student .....joined the corporation for a while and left for mdc.....

Zukri Valenteno said...

Bro Din...

If you need to know, Omar Ong is the son of Haji Mustapha Ong. Does the name sounds familiar to you?

By right Omar should not be Omar Ong but Omar bin Mustapha Ong but perhaps he wants to maintain the family's surname.

These Ongs should sound familiar to you because the senior Ong was implicated in Anwar Ibrahim's Sodomy I trial many years ago, then as a govt operative in New York.

Prior to New York, Ong senior used to be Minister of Information Mohamed Rahmat's private secretary.

Fast forward, Haji Mustapha Ong is a frequent commentor in A.Kadir Jasin's The Scribe blog. Please mark this name...

Most of his comments were against the administration of Abdullah Haji Ahmad, better known as the PM. This is what I do not understand, why in heaven's name senior's attituide towards the PM defers from that of the junior?

Ada wayang ka??

Salam Aidilfitri...

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:33 am

there is a diffrence between razak era and dogol era.

in early 70s, the number of educated malays in this country can be counted by the fingers in ones limb.

we were not short of fighter and determined ones but we were short of brainpower and experianced.

the young had to be relied upon to be the 'mechanics' and be trained for the future. that was the greatness of tun razak in guiding them.

the young trained by tun razak never deviated from the struggle. they built this country in the mold of malaysia. a malasyian solution to problesm uniquely malaysian!

how do explain for these tingkat 4 boys coming with textbooks theories and mgmt consultant templates solution claimed as solution for all problems? dia orang ni malas berfikir.

how do you justify these young boys becoming greedy, corrupt and power hungry at an early age when they are still supposed to be appretice?

how do explain for hiring these boys when we are not short of really trained and experianced malaysian?

how could we entrust these boys devoid - of any soul and love for this tanahair - and easily duped - into the illusion of free market, globalisation and meritocrasy perpetrated by neocolonialist and tehir agents - be given such big responsibility ?

lose them najib. lose them. lose the whole generation. start w a fresh new generation.

otherwise we will lose you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the insider's information.I thought OMAR ONG IS THE GRANDSON OF TUN OMAR ONG YORK LIN, THE FORMER MALAYSIAN AMBASSador IN WDC.


I ALSO HAPPEN TO HAVE A SON NAMED OMAR BIN MUSTAPHA ONG!!WILL DNA PROVES THAT this ethos guy OMAR CONNECTED TO ME? gREATIF nAJIB REALLY TRUSTS HIM, COS THERE ARE ACTUALLY VERY FEW MALAYS WILL DID PPE LIKE THE LATE ZAIN ASRAI.never mind if omar is a patriotic malaysian, surely he will take the nation to greater height if Najib plays his cards well.Hopefully, we shall have a truly Malay PM and not the mixed vege and nasi campur type.najib ok Bugis N Malay and plse give Najib a chance lah.I think we can also help Najib to sort out Datin Rosmah's petty issues if we think that the future first lady will give any problems to Najib. PM belongs to all Malaysiansand not just the Melayu campur just like the tasty nasi kandar>>>

Apolitical Lawyer said...

The world has evolved and so must Malaysia. The presence of a team of advisors to any leader let alone the PM of any nation is necessary. However, the PM must be held accountable for all decisions and actions taken or implemented.

I do not see any harm in there being a group of possibly clever individuals providing advise to any leader. The way international relationships and global business is conducted today demands it!

The crux of the matter is the integrity of these individuals or team. And yet, i worry (as I presume most Malaysian do. At this point of time, it would not be fair for any individual to be judgemental to Najib. The “Tingkat 4 Boys” are the product of a weak and waivering leadership, if you can call it a "leadership". It is most convient to blame the Tingkat 4 Boys for the short comings of the PM as perceived, but things are the way they are because of the PM! Lets call a spade a spade.

Honestly, I am not sure I would not be doing the very same things the Tingkat 4 Boys are alleged to have done if i was in their position. The same applies to the very famous “Son-in- Law”. If i was having a congugal relationship with a particular “Daughter” i might be doing the same. These guys are oppertunists of the highest order. Sadly, the PM has allowed and condoned things to carry on.

Somehow, i feel that such a situation will not happen, atleast, in my opinion, it will not happen with Najib. There are many other more influencial individuals who have Najib’s ears. Only time will tell.

In so far as a particular muslim convert chinese male and his supposed impending appointment as the Political Secretary to the Minister of Finance, for the record, all such appointments are made by the PM or individuals close to the PM. This is not withstanding the personal preference of the Finance Minister. It has happened in Malaysian history. Remember the appointment of Kamaruddin Jaafar as the political secretary of the then DPM, the late Tun Ghafar Baba.

Personally, i dont not think that the PM nor the individuals who surround him will cave in so easily. Every last and desprate measure will be made and attempted to remain in power. This not wothstanding the “agreed transition of power”!

Anonymous said...

The so-called "level four boys" only can rule temporary. At the end of the day, the universal laws rule the world. If you are not fair, cheat, shortchange the Rakyat, you'll back to square one. Let's see what's ending for all these people.

Anonymous said...

K.J was a street boy's,
Not from a or "bangsawan umno".
I think is better man from mukriz..
He now what people from grassroot need coz he from that part!

Whos mukriz????? becaming a another dictactor???
K.J was brave young man fight for right....

No wonder he acts like a gangster each time when he talks!

Anonymous said...

Omar, though only 38, is an extremely brilliant young man. He reminds of Aexander the Great who conquered the then known world at age 36. Look at the impact of his 1Malaysia concept. He has captivated the Malaysians minds already. Certainly a bigger feat then Alexander.


Anonymous said...

how many time i do not do what i want to do but do what i dont want to do

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