Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Royal Spin by Brendan "Pariah"


Tengku Mukhriz ascended to the throne of Negeri Sembilan as the 11th Yam Tuan. Malaysia Insider (MI) put up a complimentary posting of Tengku Naquiyuddin yesterday with the usual spin and twisted fact. Did Singapore 'spy', Brendan Pereira backed the wrong horse for the throne and its face saving time?

In the selection of the Yam Tuan, people-elected Menteri Besar, Dato Mohd Hassan has no business to advise. He was believed to receive a tongue lashing for minding the affair of the Undangs.

Few months ago, MI reported an after nightclub skirmishes between the Tengku Nadzimuddin, son of Tengku Naqiyuddin's sister, Tengku Dara Naqiah and the Raja Muda of Johor, Tunku Ismail Ibrahim. The report was a veiled threat to blackmail the Johor Royal household to pay up or get shamed by a lawsuit. Interestingly, MI was lavishly using quotes from a Singapore Times report. Brendan or Kalimullah's hands assisting this royal blackmail is obvious.

Its interesting to read the manner MI run their article on Tengku Naqiyuddin. The disclosures looks as though in a matter of time, this low life journalist will ditch Tengku Naquiyuddin and his siblings.

As a Johorean, who used to live in Negeri Sembilan and appreciated the essence of Adat Pepatih, I am too happy that the rightful heir to the throne has finally returned to this former territory of the great Kerajaan Melayu Johor. But, I am not about to allow Brendan get away with this. This koling spin meister tak soda diri know nuts about the royal happenings and the true feeling of the Negeri Sembilan rakyat.

What is the interest of Brendan and his group of evil doers in taking side against the Johor Royal household, and backing Tengku Naquiyuddin for the throne?

The Malaysia Insider report reproduced below and commented:

String of bad news may have hurt Tunku Naquiyuddin’s chances at becoming Ruler

Malaysia Insider

DEC 29 — Suave, charming and debonair, Tunku Naquiyuddin Tuanku Ja'afar had been for years one of Malaysia's most well-known member of royalty, and was widely expected to succeed his father as the Ruler of Negri Sembilan.

Known for his charitable activities, he was also a keen sportsman and a top corporate figure popular with the public, making him an ideal candidate to be the Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negri Sembilan.

But perhaps the spate of bad publicity his family endured in recent times eventually hurt his chances as he was ultimately bypassed today when the four Undangs, or territorial chiefs, of the state instead chose his cousin Tunku Muhriz to ascend to the throne.

The four chiefs, who have the ultimate say in deciding who gets to become the state's Ruler, had deliberated over the candidates in the past 24 hours amid intense speculation.

This where MI is out of it's league to speak on royal matters. Ask any rakyat of Negeri Sembilan, they will tell you that the rightful heir to the throne should have been Tengku Mukhriz. Tengku Naqiyuddin was never supposed to succeed his father.

For 40 years, Tengku Mukhriz was denied his rightful place as the son of the late Yam Tuan, Tuanku Munawir.


Tuanku Munawir and Tuanku Ja'afar are sons of the first Yang Dipertuan Agong and Yam Tuan, Tuanku Abdul Rahman but of different mothers. Tuanku Munawir came from a royal mother, Tuanku Mahrum. While, Tuanku Jaafar came from the commoner's mother, Cik Maimunah with a serani blood from Melaka.

On the death of Tuanku Munawir in 1967, the Undang strangely replaced Tuanku Munawir with his brother, Tuanku Jaafar that does not fulfill the gahara criteria. Gahara means both parents of royal blood. The official reason was Tengku Mukhriz was deemed too young at the age of 18.

What is widely known by those within the Adat Pepatih traditional structure was that Tengku Mukhriz was denied due to oppositon by an Undang. It is believed that there were 'incentive' to reject Tengku Mukhriz.

Immediately upon ascension to the throne, Tuanku Ja'afar accorded his son, Tengku Naqiyuddin the title Tengku Laksamana. Tengku Mukhriz was accorded the title as Tuanku Besar Seri Menanti, a Negeri Sembilan version of Tengku Mahkota atau Raja Muda. Despite his royal title, Tengku Mukhriz was treated as an out-cast for 40 years. In the words of commentator Jang, he was refused any invitation for royal events and even shunned in private.

Brendan the true pariah of Malaysian journalism would have never had known this. He was talking on the obvious.

And the string of bad news in recent times surrounding the late Tuanku Ja'afar's family would not have escaped them.

In October, a grand-nephew of Tuanku Ja'afar was reportedly involved in a nightclub brawl with a member of the Johor royal family, in an incident which greatly embarrassed both royal households.
Brendan spinned version as reported in Straits Times Singapore and quoted in MI was far from the truth.

Bigdogdotcom, who had an insider take on it, described it as a case of "two men had a row in a night club. One walked away. Then the other chap pursuit the one who walked away, all the way to the hitel. Why? He wants trouble! Not good enough the gentleman between the two walked away rather than engage, the trouble actually caught up with him to his hotel.

Naturally, some people need to defend themselves. Hence someone was hurt. The Police were called in. No urine or blood sample was analysed.

In the morning, the mother of the beaten up guy wanted to get even. She asked the mediator for RM 10 million, for “settlement” Then it went up to RM 50 million. The final “asking” price was RM 100 million (negotiable, of course)!"

Tuanku Ja'afar also made the news for all the wrong reasons in the same month when he became the first ever member of royalty to be involved in a trial in the Special Court.

The Special Court, set up in the 1990s to hear cases involving royalty after royal immunity was removed by a constitutional amendment, ruled against Tuanku Ja'afar in a dispute with Standard Chartered Bank.

He was ordered to pay nearly US$1 million (RM3.6 million) to honour his commitment in a letter of credit over a business deal.
Although there are many, who remain sore with Dr Mahathir for establishing the royal court, it was necessary.

The rulers need to maintain a sense of honour, dignity, and integrity in their personal and official conduct to be accorded the respect and love of the people. As custodian and defender of the Islamic faith and the head of Malay traditions and heritage, they are expected to befits the role and responsibility bestowed upon them.

It was highly improper and disrespectful on the part of the press to publicise the late Yam Tuan's lost in court. Nevertheless, the late Majesty did not live up to his responsibility and integrity in private business conduct. This brought a loss of face on the royal title and it is incumbent on the late Majesty to secede the throne. Talk was his late Majesty was willing, but the Undang refused. It would set a wrong precedent for a reigning Yam Tuan to vacate the throne in his lifetime.

The extravagant lifestyle of the Negeri Sembilan royalty and crumbling business interest must have reached its toll. Antah Holdings - the family public listed 'commission agent' without any business operation but many joint-ventures - was taken over control by a different group and had since changed name. Its share value plummeted.

A manifestation of that desperation was heard.
In a speech last month, Tunku Naquiyuddin subsequently made a call for royal immunity to be restored.

He argued the restoration of immunity would enable the constitutional monarchy to play a more fitting role in the 21st century as guardians of the Federal Constitution.

His remarks did not get the support of the other Malay Rulers, perhaps because it had come so soon after his father's court case.

Last month, his brother Tunku Imran's business dealings also ended up dragging the family's name through the mud.

Tunku Imran resigned as director and chairman of the Petra group of companies, which are controlled by his long-time friend and business partner Datuk Vinod Sekhar.

The public falling-out with his partner came following a lawsuit filed in the United States against the group and Tunku Imran by Hollywood film star Bruce Willis over a 'green rubber' project.

Tunku Imran's parting shot to his old friend was that 'enough is enough”.

In the end, that may not have been enough for Tunku Naquiyuddin to succeed his father.
It was a case of too late for Tengku Naqiyuddin. He could not avoid the eventuality, not even with Anwar Ibrahim trying to capitalise.

The conduct of him and his siblings have long not been taken well by the rakyat of Negeri Sembilan. The ageless poor treatment on Tengku Mukhriz could no longer be tolerated. More of Tunku Imran problematic dealings will soon surface.

This time, an attempt made few years back to deny the present Undang of Luak Sungai Ujong his rightful place, came back to haunt them. This became the stumbling block that Brendan hoped his effort could help unclog.

The royal household then favoured other candidate and when the Lembaga members representing the Suku insisted on their choice, the elected Undang was refused an installation ceremony. It was the Federal Government, with the help of Dato Rais Yatim, that allocated budget and organised his installation at a Government facility hall.

It was said, there was a last ditch effort yesterday from some party to pressure the Undang to favour Tengku Naqiyuddin. The Undang meeting was conducted strangely at the Menteri Besar residence, instead of the Balai Undang of any Luak of Sungai Ujong, Jelebu, Johol and Rembau (the seniority order).

The Undang delayed their decision till the day of the burial yesterday and adamantly insist to carryout the wishes of the people. It is time to right the wrong of the past. The reception from the people at the burial ceremony was evidence of their disgust with the past.

Tengku Mukhriz, the rightful ruler returned to the throne. Justice had prevailed. And, Brendan will continue with his "pariah" journalism.

Sireh Pulang ke Ganggang. Daulat Tuanku!


* Factual correction 4:30 pm

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Monday, December 29, 2008

Gaza Massacre: Help for the Palestinian


An SMS came to me below:

En Abd Rahim, CEO of ORI Consulting in Kuala Lumpur spoke to Kassem Aina, Beirut, NISCVT. He's organising Humanitarian Aid eg milk, medicine DIRECTLY to Gaza. Contributions can be sent as "Donations for Children" to:

National Institute of Social Care & Vocational Training.
Account No. 0001 10584 5002
First National Bank
Immobilitia Building
Swift code FINKLBBE
Hamra Street
PO Box 113-5453
Beirut Lebanon.
The sender was a General Manager of a major Petronas subsidiary. To check on Ori Consulting, I am only aware of an organisaiton called ORi or Organisational Renewal Inc Sdn Bhd. One of its Principal, Puan Wan Ainun Radzi is a Palestinian children aid activist. Contact can be found on its website: http://www.ori-inc.com/

Do help.


Would Obama help?

The great change ... Mumbai? Now Gaza? He is not inaugerated yet.

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Its not Genetic Eliticism, but Feudalism. Let it not be Grassroot Rhetorics. (Revised Posting)

Bangsawan: A play or a feudel ruling class?

Dato Arif, in his blog AK47 Sokmongkol posted his view on the vicious circle of Malaysian politics (here and here) i.e. sons of former Prime Ministers assuming the Prime Ministership.

Arif is a former ADUN in Najib's Parliamentary and judging from his writing, he has been quite critical of Najib. His view of Hishamuddin is a common view amongst UMNO grassroots but Hishamuddin is likely to get through for the UMNO Vice President post. I am not sure if those political reason brought about his view and conclusion for he is smarter than that. He would have good intentions to initiate this discussion.

Based on his argument, Najib, Hishamuddin and Mukhriz does not deserve to hold high political offices and 'inherit' the Prime Ministership. The odd conclusion of his argument is that the choice for Ketua Pemuda should be left between Dr Khir Toyo and Khairy.

I can immediately spot two weakenss to his argument. Firstly, the sample size is statistically too small for a reasonable conclusion. Secondly, if we use the case study approach, the analysis would uncover the only common factor between Najib, Hishamuddin and Mukhriz is having a former Premier as father.

Arif has valid concerns, but the glass ceiling hindering progress of Malaysian politics should not be equated exclusively to "the vicious cycle of genetic elitism." There are many other explanatory variables and one plausible explaination to the problem of Malaysian and Malay politics and society is feudalism.

The feudel socio-political structure is as good as over and only remnant of the symbols and rituals remain. The nail in the coffin on the doyen of feudelism was knocked in by Dr Mahathir. This was the factor that endeared me to him. It always amuse me when he reminded in his speeches that our royals were happy to get allowance and Rolls Roycefrom the British, and resigned their role as "Chief Kadhi", when they obligingly signed the Malayan Union Agreement.

Arif's inferred conclusion pose a certain irony. The man, who consistently impressed that feudal mindset was one major cause for the Malay malice, would have his son denied the oppurtunity to be a leader. Simply by being son of a former PM, he is assumed to be part of perpetuating feudelism.

Is it a fair assessment on Mukhriz?

Malay Feudelism

As I see, the underlying problem beseiging Malay and Malaysian politics is the feudal culture and psyche. Recycling sons of leaders as leaders is a minor setback compared to the social, psychological, economic, and political problems perpetuated by feudalism. Hope the reader understand this for its too long to explain. Do read the late Prof. Syed Hussein Al Attas's classic work, Myth of the Lazy Native.

The British is seen practising a feudel hierarchial culture, but the Malay feudalism practise is worse. It perpetuate the culture and psyche of blind loyalty or in its current manifested form as the "saya sokong" chorus. For Malays, it is sacriligous to derhaka to his Lord and any difference of opinion is seen as that. Wrong is allowed to perpetuate for the sake of preserving the adat (though not the right meaning) of unquestionable loyalty - kesetian yang tidak berbelah.

The wastage from the pomp and pageantry of the court and the oppression of the serf in the Manor system is viewed as the negative side of European system. The practise of Malay feudalism is worse than European feudalism.
Malay feudalism has no economic relation. The tax imposed on peasants and merchant are done arbitrarily, thus killing incentive by local to pursue wealth and progress. Peasants are forced to fight for their warlords without any wages and no compensation paid in the event for death.

The British had a history of peasants' revolt in the Tyler's Rebellion 1381, the German had Deutscher Bauernkrieg in 1524/1525, and the great political upheaval in the French Revolution of 1789-99. There was never such experiance in Malay history. If there had been any, it is sheer court power play that is filled endless backstabbing drama. The rebels are usually linked to one royal or bangsawan faction. Even in facing up to European colonials, the freedom fighters are deemed as rebels and sabotaged and backstabbed by other royal and bangsawan faction. That was the history of Tok Janggut, Dato Naning, Si Bongkok, etc.

If one could lay their hand to read Abdullah Munsyi's Hikayat Abdullah Munsyi and Kisah Pelayaran Abdullah Munsyi, it is a brutal description of how feudelism had destroyed society. The elements still persist today and practise by the ruling elites.

Calling the Malay malas or indolence is a part of the perpetuation of the psychological suppression of the ruling elites (and colonial masters) on the masses for power in their pursuit of capitalism. Many great Malay leaders made that mistake in their call to inspire the Malays. Read the works of Dr Shaharuddin Maaraof, University of Singapore.

Thus, feudalism is more relevant as explanation than the matter of genes (or Jeanne?).

Khairy's No Commoner

Lets return back to Arif's inferred conclusion. By his argument to call for breaking the glass ceiling, shouldn't the choice for Ketua Pemuda be narrowed further to only Dr Khir?

Forget his current urban look. Dr Khir came from a humble agrarian Jawa-immigrant (but not pendatang) family - proletariat working class. He went to no International school, did not study in any blueblood University/(s), serve as dentist in Government hospital, and work his way to have his own private practise. In politics, he went up through the grassroot ladder. He didn't have a father-in-law to talk others to withdraw. (Yes, it was not just Hishamuddin, but Pak Lah made a request too!)

Khairy's life history is strongly associated with the bourgeois class. His late father was a former ambassador, studied in MCKK, and widely described in the diplomatic circle as very particular of decorum and choice of tie. Fine, he could be merely a feudel wannabee.

However, Khairy was born into the upper class life society. He was schooled and studied abroad in instituitions associated with the upper economic class and the bluebloods. His social circle are the upper class children. He barely could speak Malay on his return, just like many upper class Malay children have problems conversing in Malay.

There was nothing common budak Ghombau about him.

Khairy married the daughter of a simpleton politician and impressed him. Coincidently and conveniently, the politician with that humble socio-economic background, just like Dr Mahathir, rose to become a Prime Minister. I notice one of Arif's commentator described, being one of two PM's "sons", Khairy was able to impress his father-in-law and carried as much weight as being the PM's own son. Will that mean he is, by default, a PM's "son"?

This is just a fact and not because I am perceived in Khairy's own words as having an "ex-to grind" against him. [Khairy's may have forgotten words he uttered in Sarawak. It reached me and such threat made my struggle to save the alif, ba and ta more personal. By the way, Khairy lied in explaining his presence at IJN. Still wonder why tak ada cili tapi terasa pedas.]

Giving Mukhriz A Hearing

Now lets give Mukhriz a hearing. Unlike Najib and Hishamuddin who came from bangsawan family, Mukhriz came from commoner parents. Dr Mahathir as known widely has Indian blood through his schoolmaster father. Led a humble early life, and was even a shopkeeper at the Pekan Rabu in Alor Setar during the war. He still retain a lot of his common man touch. It will not surprise me if he choose to be buried in his kampung cemetary in Alor Setar when it is time to meet his maker.

When he was out of UMNO, many did not know that he had to struggle. I will not embarass the great man with details I am made known of. That was the growing years of his children. Mukhriz went to regular kindergarten and school in Alor Setar and Petaling Jaya like any rakyat. Mukhriz entered the prestigous MRSM for secondary education. There was nothing aristo about a boarding school under Majlis Amanah Rakyat. In fact, living condition in early MRSM was very spartan.

Before the critics come attacking about Mirzan going to English boarding school at a young age, let me pre-empt to explain he went there under a Government experimental program. This was around the time Dr Mahathir was struggling outside UMNO.

Mukhriz's tertiary education was at Sofia University, Tokyo and University of Boston, nothing blueblood about both school. He actually had to work part-time, like the common rakyat, to part pay his fee and living expenses. Mukhriz married a common girl from Kuala Pilah. He had to go through the mill in his career, working his way up from a Bank Office and slowly build his businesses.

When he finally listed Opcom, it was not even on the Main Board. Unknown to many, the then PM's son was cheated like a common rakyat along the way. In the past few years, he was systematically denied like a common rakyat by some insidious hands. Imagine a group of young 20 year olds acquiring instant optic cable manufacturing facility, operating licenses, and bulk of Telekom contracts. This is public knowledge within industry circle.

Having Dr Mahathir as a father did helped in opening doors, but it was no easy passage.

In politics for instance, Mukhriz had to work his way and face the sepak terajang levelled at him, more than what Najib and Hishamuddin had to endure. During the 2004 campaign, he lost to Zul Beras for Ketua Pemuda Bahagian Kubang Pasu. Negeri Sembilan MB, Dato Mohamad Hassan actually sabotage and disgrace him in a function.

Would that mean the choice is revised to proletariat Dr Khir and commoner Mukhriz? I would leave the conclusion to readers.

Beyond The Starting Gate

In my younger coming-of-age days in University, I actually explicitly told one son of a blueblood Tun that one son of a politician has no right to be a Wakil Rakyat. He is not a part of the rakyat's life and lead a life detached from the common Malaysian folks. Thus, he may not appretiate the grouses of the common people.

That was a mean statement, poor dude. None of his sibling made it in politics ... feudel Johor politics! Masin mulut or coincident?

This argument about genetic eliticism and feudalism has been a relentless and tiring pursuit for me. I read up, and observe this phenomenon for decades. Today, I have mature beyond the academic polemics and political rhetorics. In my final conclusion, one have to look at it within the context of time and place.

At the end of it all, it boils down to the person. Opening the door is one thing, but staying inside and maintaining relevence is totally a different ball of wax. Many sons and daughters of politicians and statesmen never made beyond the starting gate.

I agree with Arif that we should get out of this feudalism psyche and halt the perpetuation of hereditary succession. It unfair to deny the sons of former PMs their place in UMNO, while all the warlords family still reign in their respective enclave.

In a democrasy, it is left to the delegates to decide, as long as money is not the deciding factor. Leaders should be selected to fit the suitability of his ideas and presence with the situation of the time. The party election should not be seen as bertanding as though it is war and winning and losing is everything, BUT selecting the right person with the right character, attributes, and belief to meet the party's present objective.

The agenda for Pemuda UMNO within the context of the party's present objective should be GE13 and not about he is my friend and he helped me. The leader must be one able to rebuild the party humbled by the voters. If the voters could humbled its leaders, it is the voters heart and mind that needs to be satisfied.

The right leader must be one with the natural humility, brevity and independence to win their heart and mind. Having those with past arrogance, negative public perception, and unanswered mysteries are no-nos for the party now. Read too Kamalrulzaman Kamdias excellent posting on this here.

In the ideal political environment - free from feudel psyche, losing in a democratic election is not everything. What is not suitable now could be useful later? So, losers should not be perished to eternity. On that conciliatory note, perhaps Khairy should rethink his candidacy. Come back five years later, when he is more "Malay" than he is presently. A mature democrasy seldom have 40 year olds as Prime Minister.


* Edited 3 p.m. Revised earlier posting on 28/12/08 10 am. Just can resist expanding a favourite subject matter.

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Chua Soi Lek on IJN Privatisation & The Challenge of Malaysia Healthcare


Former Health Minister and current MCA Deputy President, Dato Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek wrote an article on his blog entitled IJN Dollars and Cents. Its reproduced below:

IJN is the nation’s premier cardiovascular disease treatment centre. As I’ve said before, it is one of those national institutions that have done much to improve the government’s public image. It projects the image of Malaysia Medical professionals that when given the right environment, they can be top class too.

Over the years, IJN has become the national referral centre for cardiovascular disease. It is often also a referral centre for private hospital since it is safer to have a heart disease that requires surgical intervention to be done by public institution rather than private institution with all the risks involved.

We must admit that IJN has done well despite all constraints. I’ve been given to understand that annually, IJN treated about 150, 000 patients of which 70% are government servants.

In short, it provides healthcare services to the poor and for those who can afford to pay; they pay at a more competitive rate.

Every year, the government spends about RM10 billion of healthcare services for this country. I am not even talking about government expenditure per year for development. What the government collects is just a paltry sum of RM200 million.

Healthcare services is heavily subsidized. I for one believed that in the long term, this is not a sustainable option and one of the options is to introduce Healthcare Financing Scheme, which I tried hard to push when I was the Minister but got boiled down by bureaucratic red tape.

Hence, it never sees the light of the day.

IJN is heavily subsidized by the government. About RM200million a year is paid by the government to IJN in order to provide affordable services to the poor and government servants. (My source differ on this figure but who are we to argue with a former MOH)

While this is not a small figure, the goodwill generated by the government to the rakyat is tremendous. Politically, the impact is huge and when compared to the National Health budget; it is only about 2.5%.

Now, we are confronted with what looks like a done deal that IJN is bought over by a GLC company.

I’ve said before and I will say it again, almost all privatized organizations are often not done the way that it should be done.

To ensure that the private sector’s bottom line is taken care of, Sime Darby’s acquisition of IJN stakes will not go down well with the rakyat unless the social responsibility of the government in affordable healthcare services is taken over by Sime Darby as its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

In other words, the government will continue to pay Sime Darby the sum they are paying now to IJN for the poor and government servant. Otherwise, the government will lose a lot of goodwill because the government of the day is seen to be more concern with dollar and cents than the welfare of rakyat.

Hence, it is important that Sime Darby continue to discharge the duty of the government for providing treatment to the poor and government servants despite after it has been privatized.

The Health Minister’s promise to regulate the fees sounds hollow since the private hospital’s fees are also regulated but we have heard of horror stories of exorbitant fees charged by private hospitals.

I had openly raised this when I was the Health Minister of the commercialization of healthcare and hence, its bottom line becomes crucial to private sector. Often, the poor patient is at the receiving end and the government’s regulations become a toothless tiger.

So, I hope that the government will reconsider its decision of privatizing IJN. If it so decides to proceed, please do not neglect the poor and government servants. We will lose a lot of goodwill and votes to BN if not done properly.
His Live Interview at Astro Awani Channel 501 on the IJN Privatisation and the Challenge of Malaysia Healthcare is here.

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Does IJN's has RM400 million reserve? Is someone having hard-on over it?


I am glad, very glad Government postphoned its decision for the offer from Sime Darby for a 51% takeover. It would be more glad if it had been aborted. One factor that made me uncomfortable with the takeover is that it is done by Sime Darby.

Are we sure Sime Darby has the right management and mental mobility to manage a well run and reputable healthcare institution like the National Heart Institute (IJN)? Their own Subang Jaya Medical Centre is not doing as well. After so many years it remains only a branch, while other later groups have proliferate all over the country. Complains is on the rise.

Sime Darby is a conglomorate, more now, to be serious and focus in proving its mettle in healthcare industry. But Sime Darby have some big plans at the border of Selangor and Negeri Sembilan.

That adds to the worry.

Sime Darby have never proven any success in its corporate mergers and takeover. The organisation shouldn't have gone smaller to be more agile but instead it went bigger. It inherited a blue blood attitude - lazy, stdgy, and bureaucratic red tapes. The organisation is accountant-run, thus the ability in building businesses is on the decline. That is partly for its preference for M&A as growth strategy.

I'm particularly worried on the fat that 51% control of IJN be given to Sime Darby. For Khazanah with 51% effective equity on Pantai, it is Parkways' 49% equity that is having management control. Thats an upcoming revelation. Alert Azman Mokhtar. Telor busuk nak pecah!

My revelation last Friday invited some enquiry on the numbers. The Edge article revealed IJN posted a revenue of RM287.3 million last year, up 11.7% from RM257.5 million in 2006. Its net profit was lower at RM13.6 million against RM22 million previously.

My source revealed to me that profit is some RM200 million and reserves RM400 million. However, Stocktube.blogspot concur the reserve figure of RM400.

Is that whats giving the Sime Darby Board of Directors hard-on in their pants? The Company will face a challenge rising to the stakeholders expectation, since the humongously gargantum of a tri-merger. See this link here of Sime Board members to guess whose having endless hard-ons. Hamsap ole buggers. If I am CEO Zubir Murshid, I'll be repeatedly knocking my knees to bring that damn thing down. Pity the wife.

I was also enquired about my source's claim that IJN received lots of donation. Upon double checking, its revealed further that IJN helped more than 80 patients this year (?). The bill comes in the tune of about RM2 million. Such is the nature of source. But didn't I seek to be corrected? My source still insist on most of those figure I had provided. We concur in that we are not comfortable with the new Chairman of IJN.

By the way, Chua Soi Lek had a hard-on too but he knows how to control it these days. He is concern and grouse is on the future of the healthcare services. Read his blog.

17-12-2008: Sime Darby eyes IJN

by Lim Shie-Lynn
The Edge

KUALA LUMPUR: Sime Darby Bhd has expressed interest in taking over the National Heart Institute, or Institut Jantung Negara (IJN), a move that has met with objections from the ministry of health, sources said.

It is learnt that the ministry of finance (MoF), which owns IJN, has submitted a proposal for the privatisation of the hospital to the cabinet. Health industry officials are not surprised by the MoF’s move as the ministry had sent out feelers to government-linked companies to gauge the interest in such an exercise.

Sources said that both Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and his deputy Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad do not agree to the proposed divestment.

“They do not agree to this sale unless there is a safety net for the poor and the underprivileged. Their needs have to be taken care of. And the time is not right,” said a source.

Sources said Sime Darby’s interest and the positive reception from the MoF do not in any way mean that a deal is certain.

“It’s a preliminary exploration. There is still a long way to go as there are a lot of things to be ironed out,” said one of the sources.

One of the concerns is whether IJN’s charges would increase should it be taken over by a private corporation.

Considering IJN is a quasi-government hospital, its fees are regulated by the government, offering first-class medical treatment at below market rate. Also, all government hospitals have referred their heart patients to IJN, providing it a steady stream of patients and income.

However, it is learnt that even if Sime Darby takes over the hospital, there would be conditions put in place to ensure that the charges are regulated and IJN does not lose sight of its social obligations.

“The government would still dictate the treatment price for patients. It would be business as usual for the heart centre,” the source said.

The conglomerate’s entry into the cardio centre is not necessarily a bad idea as IJN would be able to retain its team of doctors and specialists given that the centre would be backed by the cash-rich Sime Darby.

“Many of IJN’s doctors are leaving because the remuneration is not attractive enough. With Sime Darby in the picture, the doctors would be better paid and government hospitals would still be able to train their doctors there as well,” an industry source said.

According to IJN’s website, the heart centre has a staff strength of more than 1,000. There are 85 cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, paediatric cardiologists and anaesthe-tists. It also has close to 500 nurses.

To manage its growing operations, IJN has embarked on an expansion plan. It is building a new wing which is scheduled for completion next year.

The new wing would give it an additional 192 beds, four new operating theatre complexes, new intensive care units and coronary care units, dialysis centre, health screening centres, cafes and shops, according to the website.

A source said it was likely that Sime Darby would be allowed to set up a private wing in IJN.

IJN, which specialises in cardiovascular and thoracic cases, was part of the Kuala Lumpur Hospital. In 2005, it was placed under IJN Holdings Sdn Bhd, which is 99.99% owned by the Minister of Finance Inc.

Sime Darby’s interest in IJN ties in with plans to expand its healthcare business. Sime Darby Healthcare’s (SDH) supervisory committee chairman and Sime Darby board member Tan Sri Wan Zahid Noordin was quoted as saying the healthcare arm was geared up to grow its business, with the focus on specialist treatment and training.

The healthcare division contributed RM20 million in earnings for FY08. SDH runs a medical centre, a specialist centre and a nursing college.

According to filings made to the Companies Commission of Malaysia, IJN posted a revenue of RM287.3 million last year, up 11.7% from RM257.5 million in 2006. However, net profit was lower at RM13.6 million against RM22 million previously.

Since its establishment, IJN has earned a reputation as a leading centre for cardiac care in the region. It has treated well over a million patients, including former prime minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad.
Isn't Tan Sri Dr Wan Zahid an educationist? Or is his doctorate in physical education involves healthcare?

Sime plans mega project,12,000ha multi-themed scheme to kick off next year

BY WONG SAI WAN
The Star, Friday December 19, 2008

KUALA LUMPUR: SIME Darby Bhd will carry out a massive development project at the Negri Sembilan-Selangor border covering some 12,120ha, with the first launch expected next year.

The development will be based on five themes – health, education, sports, hi-tech and recreation – and will be located at its present Labu and Tanah Merah estates.

Each theme will be developed as an integrated city and the cities will be interconnected.

The first to be launched next year will be the Medical City, which will encompass training colleges, a medical centre of excellence, teaching hospitals and even housing units built for the elderly and infirm.

“We will even invite other medical companies, especially international ones, to set up their facilities in this city.

“We will also be building a nurses training centre to produce 15,000 nurses a year,” said Sime Darby president and chief executive Datuk Seri Ahmad Zubir Murshid.

He was speaking at a media briefing to announce that the Goverment had agreed in principle to Sime Darby’s proposal to buy up to 51% of IJN Sdn Bhd, which operates the national heart institute, Institut Jantung Negara.

Zubir said a second IJN would be built at the Labu Medical City which would also see four other “centres of excellence,” including one for cancer treatment. He said the five cities would be like “multiple Subang Jaya(s),” which was also developed by Sime Darby.

On the purchase of a majority stake in IJN, he explained that it made sense because the group’s healthcare division’s long term plan was to set up several centres of medical excellence.

However, he stressed that “it was not yet a done deal” as due diligence of IJN had yet to be done. He also denied that IJN made more money than Sime Darby’s medical services business.

“Last year IJN made RM20mil while (Sime Darby’s) SJMC made RM25mil. This is a marriage and not a takeover. The synergy from this win-win situation is tremendous,” Zubir said.

Aiyah ... build your own la, if you got that kind of money!

Now I am wondering, if the Chairman of Khazanah himself that is having a hard-on on IJN. I'll tell you why when I can find the news report.

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Macam mana jadi YB untuk Rembau tapi tak tahan podeh?


Orang Rembau katanya kuat makan pedas. Kuatnya mereka makan pedas hinggakan dalam daerah Rembau ada kawasan dipanggil Pedas. Kalau orang Negeri Sembilan, dia sebut Podeh. Kampung Kak Nuri, Setiausaha Pak Lah asalnya situ. Dalam orang Melayu, orang Rembau, dan orang Podeh biasa makan pedas, ada juga bidalan berkata, "Siapa makan cili, dia terasa pedas".

Semasa YB Rembau muncul di pesada politik negara, semua kedai kopi dan coffee house UMNO menceritakan mengenai seorang anak muda yang menuntut dirinya menjadi PM kerana dia belajar di Oxford. (Tak payah nak nafi-nafi, habis Radzi Sheikh Ahmad cerita semua orang.) Pencacai YB Rembau, SUKJ punya percaya hingga dia kata orang lain bodoh tak hargai Oxford. (Baca kenapa Piggy Singh terbahak-bahak di sini.)

Rasmi orang yang masa belajar di Oxford mesti ikut gaya macam oreng piuteh. Ada yang minum arak. Ada yang terikut tak makan pedas. Lama-lama tak tahan pedas. Sikit kena dah terasa pedas. Maka macam mana YB untuk Rembau boleh terasa pedas? Adakah dia tergigit cili atau dia memang tak tahan pedas? Yang hairannya, tak ada taruk cili pun.

Tegur dan terang?

YB Rembau menulis menegur Rocky Bru dalam blognya di sini berjodol "Rocky's Insinuation (Sindiran Rocky)" merujuk kepada tulisan mengenai intrg IJN berdasarkan tulisan Jurublog di sini. Dia menerangkan kehadhirannya di IJN dan menafikan dia terlibat di belakang tabir seperti yang dikatakan oleh jurublog lain (bukan jurublog ini!).

Tulisannya tidak berhenti di situ, tetapi macam-macam dia mengata balik mengenai jurublog ini. Mahu dia, kita tak rasa pedas. Tapi kita memang kuat makan pedas, tidak menangis pun.

Tulisan itu mungkin untuk kolumnya di New Straits Times (NST), Out of the Cage (Keluar dari Sangkar ... bukan jel), yang dikendali kroni YB Rembau. Satu Malaysia akan tahu. Ah .. cuma sebahagian dari paling ramai 100,000 pembeli akhbar NST hari ini, Sabtu.

YB Rembau menuduh jurublog ini mempunyai dendam atau dan sebagainya. Oleh yang demikian, apa sekali jawapan yang akan diberi kononnya tidak akan memuaskan hati jurublog ini. Tak boleh dilayanlah maksudnya.

Jawapan Pandai Mengelak

Pandai kerana sudah pasti jurublog ini akan tuntut pelbagai lagi jawapan pada soalan-soalan yang tidak dijawab. Jurublog ini ada lebih kurang tiga jilid soalan mengenai Merger ECM Libra-Avenue dalam blog ini yang YB Rembau tidak jawab.

Oleh kerana dia sudah kata siang-siang, orang yang berdendam macam jurublog ini tidak perlu dijawab, maka tidaklah akan dijawabnya. Kecewa kita.

Penerangan yang diguna YB Rembau hanya penafian dan bukan jawapan. Walau bagaimana pun, ia memadai untuk menutup mata perwakilan Pemuda UMNO yang kebanyakkan tak faham benda macam ni.

Kalau apa yang sudah tertulis mengenai ECM Libra dalam blog ini dirujuk kembali, terlalu banyak petunjuk dan kebetulan untuk menunjukkan banyak hanky panky, dari atas sampai ke bawah. Ini soalan yang Khairy patut jawab. Tapi dahulu Khairy hanya buat Bollywood dan menangis kerana hendak larikan diri dari menjawab.

Gambar menangis itu adalah yang dipaparkan pada tahun 2006. Bukan gambar Khairy tak tahan pedas. Oxford ...

Orang Jawa Panggil Tongong

Kalau dibuatnya Khairy hendak jawab, jawab sekali mengenai Mike Thompson. Jawapan yang penulis-penulis Khairy-trooper tulis tak berisi dan ditulis macam badut. Nobisha kata tak ada Umphhh. Kalau orang Jawa, mereka panggil tongong.

Namun begitu, jurublog hargai YB Rembau mahu berusaha nak jawab sendiri apa yang kononnya fitnah, tomahan dan kebenaran sekerat. Itu adalah lebih baik dari dihantar, jurublog intelek tiga suku, SUKJ dan jurublog takut bicara, Bro_Jinggo.

Sebagai ahlil politik, YB Rembau pasti suka berhujah dan berdebat. Seronok ... Bagi kami jurublog veteran dan orangnya pun hampir veteran, lemah menghadapi hujah 'budak hinggus' Khairy-trooper. Sudahlah dahulu cybertrooper Azalina diketawakan keluar pekan blogosphera.

Bayangkan SUKJ ini berhujah dalam nak belasah kenyataan Dr Mahathir tak bersetuju diswastakan IJN dengan menuduh dia mendalang pengswastaan IJN. Hujahnya pengswastaan Bernas. Padan dikatakan orang bodoh boleh diajar jadi pandai, tapi orang dungu dah tak ada harapan.

Budak ni memang nak cari pasal. Baca dahulu apa yang jurublog ini dah tulis sini. Tak tentu pasal kena cili balik.

Itu belum dihabiskan cerita lagi. Saja tahan dahulu. Butir semua lengkap dengan nama syarikat pura-pura yang konon nak bekal benih padi untuk NCER. Kamu juga yang malu.

Sudah ... kepedasan bibir kamu itu.

Berbalik Cerita IJN, Kenapa Terasa Pedas?

Dalam artikel jurublog ini, kita hanya bertanya kenapa YB Rembau menyibuk berada di IJN. Betulkan dia pergi berjumpa YB Dato Sabri? Sedutan dari tulisannya berikut:

The most recent of these insinuations was about my visit to the National Heart Institute (IJN). For the record, I was there to meet the Minister of Youth and Sports, YB Dato' Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. I was instructed by Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) President, KDYMM Sultan Ahmad Shah, to brief Dato' Sri Ismail about the state of national football, and the role that the government can play in improving standards of the game, beginning at grassroots level. It so happened that Dato' Sri Ismail had admitted himself into IJN for a check-up yet kept our appointment which resulted in me being spotted there. I also happened to visit Dato' Sri Ismail at the same time the Health Minister, YB Dato' Liow Tiong Lai, was making a working visit to IJN and the latter came up to visit Dato' Sri Ismail as a courtesy to a fellow Cabinet colleague.

But to respond specifically to the insinuation posted in the blog that has long had a personal axe to grind against me, I was not subsequently at the Health Minister's press conference since I was there to call on Dato' Sri Ismail. I left IJN after my meeting.
Kononnya dia persoal jurublog ini balik, berikut:

The blog also asks why Dato' Seri Shahrizat Jalil's husband was present for the Health Minister's press conference. I don't want to speak on his behalf but my guess is that Dato' Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail (Dato' Seri Shahrizat's husband) was present because he is Chairman of the Board of Directors of IJN. A simple search on IJN's website would confirm his position.
Kenapa YB Rembau tidak semak apa saya tulis, kerana saya tahu latarbelakang Pengerusi IJN dengan nama gelarannya sekali? YB Rembau tahukah gelarannya Salleh Budu kerana dia pernah buat kajian mengenai budu hingga melebih-lebih taksubnya terhadap benda alah tu? Ini taktik nak putarbelit.

Baca apa saya tulis berikut:

Khairy's presence in IJN today adds to the curiosity. If he was there to visit Ismail Sabri, why was he seen in serious conversation with IJN Chairman Dato Dr Mohammed Salleh Ismail, aka Salleh Budu, husband of Dato Shahrizat Jalil, and one Dr Mohd Ezani Md Taib, a Cardiothorasic Consultant Surgeon and Clinical Director of Heart and Lung Transplant, during the press conference given by the Minister of Health there today?
Kata-kata pengakhirnya menarik, kononnya:

As a public figure, I always understand that such speculative reporting is unavoidable, but the nature and scale of the accusations thrown at me suggest that certain individuals have a personal vendetta against me, and no amount of explanation on my part can halt this absurdity. I am neither expecting sympathy nor suggesting that I am flawless, only exposing the hypocrisy of these individuals who, in attempting to destroy my integrity shred every inch of what's left of theirs.
Dalam bab menuduh jurublog ini berdendam, itu kena jawab. Jurublog TIDAK DENDAM, tetapi jurublog TENTANG YB Rembau. Sebab kamu perosak dan penghancur UMNO. Kamu juga akan menggadaikan nasib dan mengkompromi kepentingan orang Melayu seperti yang berlaku dengan orang Melayu di Singapura.

Biar jurublog ini ulang, kamu adalah talibarut yang menjaga kepentingan Singapura dan British! Itu adalah cili Naga Jolokia dari India yang terpedas di dunia. Kena minum air banyak-banyak.

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Friday, December 19, 2008

IJN Doctors, I Salute You! Cabinet Defer, Musa Culprit?


IJN's doctors are committed to serve it in its current form and don't want privatisation to be seen as response to demand for better pay/STAR ... 19-Dec-2008 15:17:47
Heard Cabinet have shelved the idea. Awaiting confirmation ...

Update 4:00 pm

Cabinet has deferred making any decision on proposed takeover of IJN by Sime Darby pending further discussions, announcement to come later/STAR ... 19-Dec-2008 16:09:49
Whose bright idea was this originally? Akramsyah and one Anak Johor comentator believe its Tun Musa Hitam, Chairman of Sime Darby revenge on IJN founder. When will you quit and go away, Musa?

Update 8:00 pm:

The statement from IJN medical consultants taken from Sime Darby Watch blog below:

We read with concern the perceived perception that the medical staff of IJN are demanding higher pay and will leave IJN if these demands are not met.

We feel it is important that these negative perceptions are correctly put into context.

The institution was set up in 1992 as a corporate body directly under the purview of Ministry of Finance. Its board of Directors include representatives from Ministry of Health and MOF to ensure its direction and objectives of providing good quality and affordable medical care to Malaysians from all walks of life are adhered to.

In that respect, IJN has done and continue to do well, both in maintaining its moral as well as financial obligations. The institution has been self-sustaining since its inception (and has been able to pay year end bonuses annually without fail). For 2007and up to end Nov 2008, we have accumulated 285,764 number of outpatients, performed 15,084 cardiac catheterization interventions including angiograms and angioplasties, 6,094 heart and lung surgeries, 7 mechanical hearts and heart and lung transplants surgeries.

As true with any organization of our size, there will be people leaving the organization at various times in order to pursue different career paths. Over the last 7 years of operation, out of a total of 35 consultants, only 7 have left IJN to work either in local or overseas private centres. Therefore, our consultants' annual attrition rate is only 3%, and we have responded consistently over time to promote our home grown talents to fill up the voids accordingly. Currently, 75% of IJN consultants have been in their posts for more than 10 years.

All of us are salaried based on a different payscale than that of the MOH though not at par with the private centres. Periodic review of salary scale is usually undertaken, subject to approval from Ministry of Finance.

As proven from our consultants' attrition rate and longevity in serving this institution, it is logical to surmise that on the whole we are happy with the current scheme and proving it by remaining with IJN. Many of us have served than 10 years, excluding time spent within the MOH Hospitals prior to setting up of IJN.

Whilst we have yet to have a clear picture of the proposed privatization by Sime Darby, we would like to reiterate our commitment to serve IJN in its current form and want to stress that the proposed privatization of IJN must not be seen to be as a response to our demands for better pay. The medical personnel of IJN are not at all involved, directly or otherwise, in the negotiations for the said privatization.

Being responsible employees of IJN, we are not in the position to dictate the outcome of the privatization proposal from Sime Darby to the stakeholders of IJN. However, the perception that the privatization proposal is in response to demands for higher remunerations by its medical staff is misconceived and must be corrected accordingly to safeguard and preserve the trust placed upon us by our patients.

Signed,

1. Sharifah Suraya Syed Mohd Tahir
2. Suhaini Kadiman
3. Nor Azlina Abdul Jalil
4. Ariffin Marzuki Mokhtar
5. Thiru Kumar Namasivayam
6. Mohd Sharif Mohd Shaffie
7. Mohamed Hassan Mohamed Ariff
8. Azhari Rosman
9. Amin Ariff Nuruddin
10. Ahmad Khairddin Mohd Yusof
11. Aiza Aizan Abdul Rahim
12. Mohd Nasir Muda
13. Shaiful Azmi @ Jamauddin Yahaya
14. Balachandaran Kandasamy
15. Azlan Hussin
16. Razali Omar
17. Chew Soon Ping @ David Chew
18. Rosli Mohd Ali
19. Robaayah Zambahari
20. Mohd Azhari Yakub
21. Pau Khew Kong
22. Sivakumar Sivalingam
23. Abdul Rais Sanusi
24. Hew Chee Chin
25. Hamdan Leman
26. Alwi Mohamed Yunus

There are some names there that gave me a greater sense of personal pride.

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Najib Statement On IJN Doesn't Jive


Dato Seri Najib said Government has no objection to sell TDM's initiative, Institut Jantung Negara (IJN) as long as the need of the poor is taken care. He state that it is advantageous for IJN to stem human resource outflow from staff pinching and potential source of funding for expansion.

For comfort, President and Group CEO of Sime Darby Bhd, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zubir Murshid gave assurance that fee structure will not rise. He said the offer is at a premium of 16 times Price Earning (PE) ratio. Sime Darby still has to undertake due dilligence.

A corporate man giving verbal assurance? Until he put that on paper and release all the fine prints, that statement is as good as any lawyer's words. Its plain lie. By him merely citing usage of SJMC's operating theater by IJN, it does not indicate he has any clear plans for IJN.

Straits Times, Reme Ahmad has the two press report on their statements in his blog here. All those statements doesn't jive.

Khairy's presence in IJN today adds to the curiosity. If he was there to visit Ismail Sabri, why was he seen in serious conversation with IJN Chairman Dato Dr Mohammed Salleh Ismail, aka Salleh Budu, husband of Dato Shahrizat Jalil, and one Dr Mohd Ezani Md Taib, a Cardiothorasic Consultant Surgeon and Clinical Director of Heart and Lung Transplant, during the press conference given by the Minister of Health there today?

What is Najib not telling?

I had just got off the telephone with my insider. We were amazed and wondered where did this come from?

Why is Najib saying in a roundabout and less than enthusiastic manner about the sales? Instead of saying "no objection to sell", why not just announce affirmatively that Government has agreed to sell IJN to Sime Darby and so and so?

Najib's tacitly expressed rationale to sell and our understanding of the situation doesn't jive. Is this Abdullah forcing Najib or Sime Darby Adviser, Nazir advising Najib?

My insider told me that only less than 5 doctors and specialist had left. One left due to death in well publicised road accident at Karak last year. Another famous name that left for greener pasture was Tan Sri Dr Yahya who left for Damansara Specialist hospital but is still doing work at IJN. Remember Dr Mahathir last year?

The insider claimed that surgeons and specialists are well paid and the older established batch are quite happy with their work there. IJN doctors are known to be social and community activists. It seems, as I was told, the average estimated income is too staggering good to divulge but in conclusion, they are okay.

Why would Government wish to sell IJN when MoH had plans to build some 5 new cardiac centres in the country? They would need the support of IJN in terms of medical expertise training, personnel, management and operations.

In addition, I was informed that IJN is flush with about RM400 million cash reserves after netting for the RM250 million spent for new wing. The new wing provide for an additional 250 beds to its 150 beds.

IJN caters to 3,000 patienst a day and some 70% are from the low income. As a public institution that has been a centre of excellence, it has been receiving substantial donations to maintain its healthcare program for the people. Will a corporate takeover continue to encourage such donations?

With Sime Darby yet to do a due dilligence, how could they be so confident to maintain that fee structure?

It seemed, as told by my insider, IJN generated profits of about RM100 miiion annually on its paid-up capital of about RM200 millian.

Is Najib reluctant to sell and is trying to stall? Is this another of Omar Ong potentially failed and unimaginative advise, just like his failed Khazanah plans, Proton downsizing, and Airline rationalisation program?

Deciphering Corporate Bullshit

When Zubir promise fee structure will not change, the question to be asked is not whether it will not change but for how many years is the promise good for?

To pun this old joke against Indian, "Kalau jumpa ular, orang India dan orang korporat, bunuh siapa dulu? Jawabnya, bunuh orang korparat. Mereka kuat menipu dan takde moral standing."

Will it be possible to maintain fee structure with promises of higher pay for the personnel? What happens two years down the road and profitability is not sustainable? Perhasp, fee straucture is maintained, but quality of service is downgraded and accessibility to service is connivingly curtailed?

Will there be a guarantee buyback arrangement with prifit guarantee imposed? This clause is the one found in Khazanah-Parkway shareholders agreement for the Pantai Medical Centre. This is an upcoming expose from this blog.

One condition set for the takeover is for Sime Darby to present their business plan. Can Sime Darby, with single branch SJMC and its not even well run and profitable outfit, conceive a business plan? Can their plan be also better than the "medical tourism" idea planned by IJN?


Or was there leakage in information?

I am justified in my suspicion by the presence of Salleh "Budu" at IJN. He was the former autocratic CEO of Technology Park Malaysia.


Salleh was widely known to be undertaking ridiculously expensive and irrelevent research works like his Budu fascination, feeding chicken shit to fish (RM100 million spent), and growing chempedak tree on cemented earth. He is suspect for channeling Government research grant as kickback from contractors. Note their website here does not boost of any achievement.

Lets ponder the bullshit of Zubir 16 times PE offer. That is definately historical PE ratio. It sounds expensive but it hides the better value in usung forecasted Earning Per Share (EPS).

With the extra bed, the number of patients can double for 2009 and its PE ratio is effectively 6-7 times for 2009 earning. The subsequent years has not been taken into account. If cost of a major operation can takeup to say RM100,000 and the same operation could cost RM350,000 in the Middle East, thats a big hint of what is to come.

What about its NTA or Net Tangible Asset per share value? IJN has got 10 acres of prime land on its site in Jalan Tun Abdul Razak. There is also the Enterprise Value that could be considered. Its brand value, goodwill as an on-going concern, clientele base, and replacement cost.

Monitor progress of this Sime Darby bullshit on Sime Darby Watch blog. Infos exposed relied solely from deep throat.

Troubling

The troubling question on my mind now: Is the Finance Ministry on an asset sales to raise funds now? This suspicion has been probing my mind since the new supplementary budget presented by Najib had expressed intention to sell prime lands belonging to Lembaga Getah Malaysia.

Then, there is that claim by Tan Sri Nor Mohamad Yakcop that Petronas increase its revenue of RM100 million annually (after netting for subsidy) for every increase of US$1 rise per barrel in oil revenue.

Why is the oil reduction not up to expectation i.e. at least, back to the level before the recent 78 sen and 2006 30 sen increase? The latest is oil has fallen below US$40 per barrel. Didn't I say before Abdullah Badawi acted like a novice in facing up to the oil crisis fulfilling the criteria of last full theory?

My brewing suspicion is that the Government state of finance is in total disarray since an Economic faculty dropout cum Islamic Study graduate headed MoF. With dropout still at the helm of Khazanah, is this deal to pre-empt something brewing within Sime Darby?

I am aware that Sime Engineering lost tons in their Bakun deal. Sime Darby has a bad history in any merger or acquisition. Its mergers are usually followed by major loses. Remember Sime Bank which they end up selling later for a lost. I can still remember of a UK-based refrigerator manufacturing company.

Thus far, the presence of this new generation of claimed brainy young man into the political-economic scene with such brands as Tingkat 4, Binafikir, Ethos Consulting, etc. has been a string of failures and non deliverables.

Most of their work is generic and brought no new innovation to the ones the lesser predecessor had done. Using the example of Binafikir's WAU on MAS which is basically sell and leaseback, they are all merely rebranding past work! Omar Ong's Khazanah modelling is a copycat work on Singgapore's Temasek.

Omar Ong is already a busy body in Najib's office, hawking his name locally and abroad, denying his failure with excuses, and playing politics to conjure labels on his rivals, from Mahathirism to cousins. Are we to expect another major failure in the making?

Brace ourself!


* Updated 19/12/2008 10:30 am

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Prequel to Talks on the Ground

Read this article from Malaysia Insider. It is a prequel to this blog's next posting on rumours in UMNO on the leadership and election of party office bearer, "Talk on the Ground".

In UMNO, whats appeared hides a lot of actual behind-the-scene. And, rumours may actually be true.

So, is he going... or staying?

Malaysia Insider, 8th December 2008

DEC 8 — Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang says that Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should only step down as Prime Minister once he has fulfilled his slew of promises to Malaysians.

Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah says that Abdullah can stay on as Prime Minister even if he is no longer the Umno president.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says that there is every possibility that Abdullah will go back on his word and remain in the top job after party elections in March.

What's happening? What is driving this sudden examination and speculation of Abdullah's options? Is Abdullah reconsidering his retirement plans?


The short answer to the last question appears to be NO. Sources told The Malaysian Insider that Abdullah has already made plans for his post-Prime Minister days. He will shift out of Seri Perdana and move into a kampung-style house in Sungai Penchala, on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur. As for filling up his retirement days, he has told his friends that he would like to spend time strengthening ties between Malaysia and the Middle East.

His staff members are also looking ahead and counting the days. Some of them are scouting for employment while members of the security detail will return to the general pool. The consensus is that Abdullah is at peace with the decision to hand over power to Datuk Seri Najib Razak at the party annual assembly in March 2009.

"He seems much happier than he was in the last few months. The mess after the March elections really weighed him down, with calls for him to step down and the back-biting and political back-stabbing. Now he looks relaxed and healthier… I think he accepts that his time is up, '' said a senior Umno official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Will he change his mind? No, says his supporters and friends. They say that it is important for Abdullah to be remembered as a man of his word. Also, he does not have a clinical streak in him or the temperament to go against convention, all very necessary tools if he wants to hold onto to the premiership beyond March.

After he has ushered in the legislation for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Bill, the Judicial Appointments Commission and the special tribunal for enforcement agencies and widened the social security net to cover more than 100,000 households, he will step down. But this will not stop speculation by the cheerleaders from the sidelines or the doubters.

Pas president Abdul Hadi said that the Islamic party would like Abdullah to stay on as Prime Minister until his main tasks were fulfilled. He noted that the MCAC had not been tabled in Parliament while the other reforms which the Prime Minister promised Malaysians were only in infancy stage.

He also felt that Abdullah should overhaul the Election Commission which still was not credible in the eyes of many Malaysians. "He should only go after overcoming the weaknesses and shortcomings of this body which oversees elections, '' said the MP for Marang.

Not difficult to see why Hadi has suddenly become a fan of Abdullah's. He and other Opposition politicians know that there will be chaos in Umno and Barisan Nasional if Abdullah does not vacate his office in Putrajaya as planned. Pakatan Rakyat politicians sense that with the transition issue settled, Umno seems to have become a more settled political animal, a more dangerous foe. Nurturing the idea of Abdullah staying on as Prime Minister will certainly help knock the party off its stride and keep it unbalanced for some time to come.

Last week, Tengku Razaleigh said that there was nothing to stop Abdullah from staying on a PM, noting that he had received the mandate in March to stay on for five years more. "He commands the confidence of the majority of the MPs. And the Prime Minister is appointed by the King and not the Umno General Assembly,'' said the Kelantan prince and former Finance Minister.

As tempting as this idea is, it may not move Abdullah. The reason: he needs to be embraced and loved by his party. He never wants to be viewed as a usurper of the party's collective will. He did not contest the party elections and therefore will no longer have its mandate to rule. He may have the mandate from Malaysians but not the mandate from his party. That distinction is all important to him.

In a recent interview with The Sun, he was asked why he did not use the 90 per cent approval rating in 2004 to push through reforms. He said that having the support of Malaysians was one thing but precious to him was the endorsement of his party.

In the eyes of many party men including Abdullah, Najib, who was elected party president by the Umno divisions, has the mandate to lead the party and the country.

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Suruhanjaya Pelantikan Kehakiman: Kenapa Tergesa-Gesa?

Anarki dan huru hara legasi Pak Lah?

Bukan mahu tinggalkan legasi...? Pak Lah dilihat terlalu tergesa-gesa membentangkan Rang Undang-Undang Suruhanjaya Pelantikan Kehakiman.

Oleh Semut Besi
Malaysia-Instinct.com, Selasa, 16 December 2008

Inisiatif kerajaan untuk membentangkan Rang Undang-Undang Suruhanjaya Pelantikan Kehakiman 2008 patut dipuji kerana ia akan menelus dan mempertanggungjawabkan lagi proses pelantikan hakim-hakim mahkamah atasan (Mahkamah Persekutuan, Mahkamah Rayuan dan Mahkamah Tinggi).

Namun setelah membaca draf undang-undang yang telah dipaparkan di laman web Parlimen Malaysia, timbul beberapa persoalan yang relevan kepada pihak-pihak yang berkenaan mengenai draf undang-undang ini.

Pertama hakikat bahawa pembentukan Suruhanjaya Pelantikan Kehakiman dibuat melalui penggubalan Akta Parlimen biasa dan bukannya melalui pindaan kepada Perlembagaan Persekutuan terutamanya kepada perkara 122B dan 123 .

Ini kerana hakikat bahawa Perlembagaan Persekutuan adalah undang-undang tertinggi negara (Perkara 4 Fasal 1) dan ianya telah mempunyai peruntukan yang jelas tentang perlantikan hakim-hakim mahkamah atasan (Perkara 122B) dan kelayakan yang diperlukan bagi hakim-hakim mahkamah atasan berkenaan (123).

Perkara 4 Fasal 1 berbunyi "Perlembagaan ini adalah undang-undang utama Malaysia dan apa-apa undang-undang yang diluluskan selepas hari Merdeka dan yang berlawanan dengan Perlembagaan ini hendaklah terbatal setakat yang berlawanan itu".

Draf undang-undang Suruhanjaya Pelantikan Kehakiman yang dibentangkan berpotensi didapati ultra vires (melampaui Perlembagaan Persekutuan) kerana pertamanya ia mengekang budi bicara Perdana Menteri untuk menasihat Yang di-Pertuan Agong (YDPA) dan juga secara tidak langsung kuasa Yang di-Pertuan Agong bagi melantik hakim-hakim mahkamah atasan di bawah Perkara 122B Perlembagaan Persekutuan .

Mengikut Perkara 122B Perlembagaan Persekutuan hakim-hakim mahkamah atasan adalah dilantik oleh Yang di-Pertuan Agong bertindak mengikut nasihat Perdana Menteri setelah merundingi Majlis Raja-Raja.

Mengikut seksyen 21(1) fungsi suruhanjaya adalah ;

(a) Untuk memilih orang berkelayakan yang sesuai yang wajar dilantik sebagai hakim mahkamah atasan untuk pertimbangan Perdana Menteri.

(b) Untuk menerima permohonan daripada orang berkelayakan bagi pemilihan hakim-hakim ke mahkamah atasan;

(c) Untuk merumuskan dan melaksanakan mekanisme bagi pemilihan dan pelantikan hakim mahkamah atasan
Ini bertentangan dengan peruntukan Perkara 122B fasal 2 hingga 4 yang menerangkan prosedur sebelum Perdana Menteri dapat menasihati Yang di-Pertuan Agong mengenai pelantikan hakim-hakim mahkamah atasan, beliau perlu meminta fikiran Ketua Hakim Negara (bagi semua pelantikan), Presiden Mahkamah Rayuan (untuk pelantikan ke Mahkamah Rayuan), Hakim-Hakim Besar (untuk pelantikan ke mahkamah tinggi yang berkenaan dan Ketua-Ketua Menteri Sabah dan Sarawak (bagi jawatan Hakim Besar Sabah dan sarawak).

Walaupun ada pihak yang akan berhujah oleh kerana mengikut seksyen 5(1) keanggotaan suruhanjaya adalah terdiri dari Ketua Hakim Negara, Presiden Mahkamah Rayuan dan kedua-dua Hakim Besar sudah memenuhi semangat Fasal 2 hingga 4 Perkara 122B.

Namun pihak-pihak ini terkhilaf kerana seksyen 5(1) Draf Akta ini telah menambah 5 lagi individu yang akan terlibat di dalam proses menentukan calon-calon ini.

Disebabkan juga seksyen 24(5) memerlukan undi majoriti bagi menentukan senarai calon yang akan dipilih untuk dipanjangkan kepada Perdana Menteri, maka secara teorinya calon-calon yang pilihan empat penjawat jawatan utama kehakiman yang disebut melalui peruntukan fasal 2 hingga 4 Perlembagaan Persekutuan mungkin tidak akan berjaya diketengahkan kepada Perdana Menteri.

Mengikut seksyen 22 (2) (a) dan (b) draf undang undang ini pula, apabila permintaan dibuat maka suruhanjaya pelantikan hakim akan memilih tiga nama bagi mengisi kekosongan sesuatu jawatan di mahkamah tinggi dan dua nama bagi kekosongan untuk mahkamah atasan untuk diberikan kepada Perdana Menteri bagi menasihati Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Jika Perdana Menteri tidak berpuas hati dengan nama-nama calon bagi mahkamah atasan, beliau boleh meminta dua lagi nama daripada suruhanjaya manakala bagi calon Mahkamah Tinggi, Perdana Menteri tidak lagi berhak mendapat nama calon yang lain.

Tidak juga dinyatakan di dalam mana-mana seksyen di dalam draf undang-undang ini bahawa Perdana Menteri berhak menolak sebarang calon yang dikemukakan Suruhanjaya.

Ini akan menghadkan kuasa menasihati Perdana Menteri kerana beliau terikat memanjangkan nama calon yang dibekalkan oleh Suruhanjaya ini. Ia adalah pelunturan kuasa eksekutif yang besar.

Amerika Syarikat sebuah negara yang dianggap paling murni pemisahan kuasanya pun memberikan hak kepada Presiden (ketua cabang eksekutif) untuk mencalonkan hakim-hakim Persekutuan tanpa sekatan dengan nasihat dan kebenaran Senat (cabang legaslatif) (Artikel 2 Seksyen 2 Perlembagaan Amerika Syarikat) .

Juga adalah lebih elok Suruhanjaya ini dinamakan sebagai Suruhanjaya Penasihat mengenai Pelantikan Kehakiman Atasan atau Suruhanjaya Pencalonan Kehakiman daripada nama sekarang kerana di Malaysia yang melantik hakim adalah Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Menamakan Suruhanjaya ini sebagai Suruhanjaya Pelantikan Hakim mencerminkan kurangnya penghormataan/keprihatinan terhadap fungsi Perlembagaan Baginda.

Kedua dua Akta ini berpotensi bersifat ultra vires kerana walaupun kriteria pelantikan hakim-hakim mahkamah atasan telahpun dinyatakan dengan terang di bawah Perkara 123 Perlembagaan namun Akta ini melalui seksyen 23 (2)(3) dan (4) telah menggariskan lima lagi kriteria/syarat tambahan.

Apabila pemecatan hakim-hakim mahkamah atasan kerana pelanggaran kod etika kehakiman hendak dibolehkan, maka pindaan Perlembagaan yang memaktubkan kewujudan kod etika dan bolehnya pelanggaran kod etika menyebabkan tribunal penyiasatan bagi pemecatan dibentuk di bawah Perkara 125 Perlembagaan Persekutuan telah dimasukkan di bawah peruntukan 125 Perlembagaan.

Daripada mengambil risiko ada pihak-pihak yang mempunyai locus standi kemudian hari akan mencabar peruntukan akta ini dan risiko jika Mahkamah Persekutuan bersetuju dengan kes mereka dan mendapati Akta ini bersifat ultra vires setelah wang rakyat yang banyak dibelanjakan bagi menubuhkan Suruhanjaya ini, maka lebih eloklah pihak kerajaan menarik balik pembentangan rang undang-undang ini untuk kajian semula dengan secara teliti serta memulakan proses merundingi semua stakeholder secara lebih meluas.

Semut Besi - Lebih baik berhati-hati sekarang dari menyesal di kemudian hari.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sedikit Teguran Untuk YB Razali

Ingin saya merujuk kepada laporan berita dari Berita Harian hari ini bertarikh Disember 16hb, 2008 yang memberi ruang kepada pendapat YB Datuk Razali Ibrahim, MP dari Muar dan calun Naib Ketua Pemuda UMNO didengarkan awam.

Beliau merasakan perlu diadakan undang-undang supaya mengelakkan undang-undang rasuah disalahgunakan. Disamping itu, beliau menegur pihak akhbar yang telah membuat penilaian sebelum bil undang-undang itu dibahaskan di Parlimen.

Komen beliau perlu ditegur. Niat saya baik. Jangan sampai disalah anggap orang sebagai pembodek. Laporan tersebut dan teguran saya yang diselang selikan adalah berikut:


Berita Harian, Disember 16hb, 2008

Laporan tak berasas jejaskan kerajaan jalankan siasatan, bazir wang rakyat

Tindakan tegas perlu diambil terhadap mereka yang membuat laporan rasuah tidak berasas sehingga kerajaan menjalankan siasatan dan membazirkan wang rakyat.

Ahli Parlimen Barisan Nasional (BN) Muar, Datuk Razali Ibrahim, berkata hukuman perlu dikenakan supaya orang yang berkepentingan tidak mengambil kesempatan terhadap sikap keterbukaan kerajaan.

"Buat aduan tanpa rasa tanggungjawab boleh menimbulkan kos kepada kerajaan dan mereka ini perlu diberi hukuman tegas.

"Walaupun rasuah tidak boleh dibanteras 100 peratus, kita perlu sokong iltizam kerajaan ini dengan memberi maklumat tepat," katanya ketika membahaskan Rang Undang-undang Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia 2008, di Dewan Rakyat, di sini, semalam.

Dengan keadaan di mana rasuah sudah begitu merebak dan hampir menjadi budaya, sebarang was-was dan kekhuatiran seperti yang Razali telah luahkan sungguh tidak kena pada tempatnya. Tidakkah Razali merasakan kesannya semasa dalam proses mendapatkan pencalunan untuk bertanding jawatan Naib Ketua Pemuda UMNO?

Samada ia akan diambil kesempatan atau tidak dan samada ia membazirkan wang rakyat atau tidak, ia sudah tidak releven dan sesuai dengan keperluan menyegerakan pembenterasan rasuah dan menghadapi keadaan terkini dimana amalan rasuah sudah menular sekali dalam masyarakat.

Cadangan ini boleh menyebabkan rakyat takut untuk membuat laporan dan boleh membantutkan usaha untuk membenteras rasuah. Rakyat mungkin lihat dan tahu sesuatu perbuatan itu rasuah tetapi bukan keupayaan rakyat biasa untuk mengenalpasti keperluaan undang-undang dan mahkamah.

Peraturan yang ada pun seolah-olah "the burden of proof" diletakkan kepada pengadu. Ini bertentangan dengan fitrah peranan penguatkuasaan yang diletakan kepada pihak berkuasa.

Tentu tidak sesuai bagi pihak BPR mengharapkan orang ramai dan rakyat marhaen yang membina kes dan mengumpul bukti. Tanggungjawab ini adalah ruang kuasa dan keupayaan pihak polis, PBR, prosecutor dan lain-lain.

Sepatutnya, rakyat patut dibantu dan digalakkan untuk melapurkan sebarang perbuatan yang disyaki mempunyai elemen rasuah oleh, bukan sahaja kerajaan, tetapi yang melibatkan sektor swasta yang lebih besar peranan ekonomi.

Malahan sepatutnya perlu diadakan suatu perlindungan identiti kepada pihak-pihak yang melaporkan.

Keadaan yang sudah tenat ini tidak boleh lagi dilambat-lambat dan ditangguh-tangguh dengan hujah politik dan alasan mengelak. Sudah sepatutnya satu pertambahan peruntukkan yang berlipatganda dan benar-benar disalurkan kepada pihak polis dan BPR untuk memastikan mereka boleh lebih efektif dalam menjalankan tugas.

Kerugian yang berlaku disebabkan rasuah bukan sahaja melibatkan wang ringgit tetapi sudah melibatkan nyawa dan harta sekiranya pertistiwa berulangkali di Bukit antarabansga menjadi contoh.

Apalah sangat wang ringgit yang konon terbazir akibat kegagalan penyiasatan satu-satu kes? Wang yang hilang kepada rasuah dan pertambahan kos kepada perniagaan akibat rasuah jauh melebihi kononnya pembaziran yang ditanggung oleh BPR. Sebarang percubaan untuk membenteras rasuah, walaupun tidak berjaya, adalah usaha baik dan patut dilakukan.
Sementara itu, beliau membidas laporan sebuah akhbar berbahasa Inggeris tempatan yang menurutnya menyiarkan laporan kurang tepat mengenai Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) 2008.

Katanya, laporan eksklusif dengan tokoh terkenal bidang undang-undang itu yang mendakwa fungsi suruhanjaya yang baru ditubuhkan itu tidak sama dengan Badan Pencegah Rasuah (BPR), boleh mengelirukan rakyat.

Razali kesal kenyataan itu dikeluarkan sebelum rang undang-undang suruhanjaya itu dibahaskan di Parlimen.

"Laporan itu keluar sebelum suruhanjaya ini dibahaskan. Perkara ini menimbulkan persepsi tidak tepat dan rasa kecewa serta kesal di kalangan Ahli Parlimen yang belum diberi peluang untuk membahaskannya.

"Benda yang tidak betul disebut dalam surat khabar oleh seorang tokoh yang sangat dihormati, bagaimana penerimaan rakyat?

"Oleh itu, saya harap kerajaan dapat berbuat sesuatu terhadap perkara ini," katanya.

Berkenaan suratkhabar mendahului Parlimen, apa besar sangat isu ini?

Sebagai ahli Parlimen kerajaan, adalah tanggungjawab Razali untuk memberi penjelasan dan membetulkan yang tidak benar samada dari pembangkang atau media. Usah Razali risau sangat mengenai pendapat yang salah, air akan menemui parasnya yang sepatut.

Lakukan saja tugas dan usah risaukan apa rakyat akan bincang. Rakyat akan sentiasa bersuara dan mempunyai pendapat.

Jangan lupa peranan Razali sebagai penyampai suara-suara rakyat dan bukan untuk menutup suara rakyat. Tentu Razali tidak mahu rakyat yang ditutup suara akan berhenti memberi kamu landasan untuk terus bersuara untuk mereka.

Beringatlah, mereka yang pilih kamu.

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Grumbling over Telephone Ettiquette


I received few calls on my handphone last Saturday and the repeated poor telephone ettiquete really had me pissed.

One caller believed to be from one company open the conversation by seeking to verifying my identity. Instead of a professional introduction to identify themselves, the first line uttered was are you so-and-so. Isn't it rather stupid to call on a personal handphone and impress on personal verification as the first line of conversation?

My usual response in the face of such improper telephone ettiquette was to request, "Identify yourself first, please?" Sometimes I would say, "Could you be quite professional to properly introduce yourself?". If they are still degil, I pull one on them to say, I left my handphone and will inform when I come to pick up my phone.

This particularly lady caller ignored my request and stick with their company's prepared script to adamantly insist to know who they are calling without identifying themselves.

I've had other such calls earlier and wasn't in the mood to be diplomatic. It was not her lucky day.

"If you don't know telephone ettiquette, don't use the phone. Call me back when you have learned.!" I hanged up on her. By the way, hanging up on calls is an equally improper telephone ettiquete.

She must be an equal stubborn person and refused to call back. Perhaps she could be some Datin or Secretary of a Dato, thus for the refusal to call back. The heck whoever it was. There is no multimillion dollar contract or job to look forward these days anyway.

I was in an offensive mood.

In an earlier call, a claimed representative of my credit card company called and request my NRIC number for their verification before revealing the intention of their call.

I refused. How do I know the caller was a true representative of my credit card company? My NRIC number is confidential.

Secondly, shouldn't it be onus on the caller to know who they are calling, express the reason for their call, and it is only proper manner not impose on the person one is calling such inconvenience.

Then, there are old friends whose numbers are removed from my handphone to allow for other more regular in communication. They would call after years being outside your radar and at one time refused to return your call, to assume I know who they are.

When you asked who is calling, they would grumble over why I didn't keep their number?

I used to be diplomatic but now I would tell em, I have only two space left in my handphone and the choices between saving the handphone numbers of Dr Mahathir or my regularly calling neighbour or yours.

Geez ... These days Malaysians are in sure need to understand telephone ettiquette. As someone who used to professionally spent many many long hours on the telephone daily, I should know.

Read on for few pointers.

Calling Out

The following is from www.eSSORMENT.com:

Making telephone calls:

Think about what time it is, when placing a call. You would not want to call when there is the possibility that person may be asleep. For example on a work morning before 7:00 a.m. would not be a good time. After 9:00 to 10:00 p.m. in the evening is not a good time, and remember to avoid calls around the usual period most people will be eating. Courtesy is expected when using the telephone just as if you are talking in person.

Give your name when the telephone is answered, before asking for the person you are requesting.

Dialing too quickly, or in inadequate lighting may be the cause of dialing a "wrong number," never just hang-up. Express your apology, letting them know you have dialed a wrong number. To avoid disturbing another person unnecessarily dial carefully and make sure you can see the dial pad.

When speaking, think of the way you sound. Make sure you enunciate you words clearly and precisely. It is embarrassing to be asked to repeat what you are saying. Your voice reflects your courtesy, since that person on the other end of the line cannot see your facial expressions your "tone of voice" will need to express this.

Basic Good Manners, Telephone Tips:

* Let the telephone ring a reasonable length of time. It is frustrating to just get to the telephone and hear a dial tone.
* If you dial a number that is wrong, apologize, promptly and hang-up.
* Calling a business at or very near closing time is to say the least un-thoughtful. When it is time to go home, after a long day, do not delay them.
* State your name when placing a call. The game of "guess who this is" may not play very well to a busy friend.
* When speaking to anyone who is working and time is of the essence, make your call informative and short.
*Dial carefully and in proper lighting to avoid calling a wrong number and in-conveniencing others.

Receiving Calls

The Malaysian JobsDB.com website gave "Eight Essential Telephone Etiquette Tips" below:

Even in these days where we communication mainly by e-mail or SMS, the first contact a customer has with your company is often through the good old telephone.

Make sure it's not the last with these eight simple etiquette tips.

1. Answer the phone within 3 rings.
Answer on the first ring if possible. If you don't answer fast enough, your caller may hang up in disgust and call your competitor.

2. Calm down before you answer the phone.
This is particularly important if you're having a heated discussion with a colleague or dealing with looming deadlines. Take a deep breath to regain your composure before you pick up the phone.

3. When you answer the phone, begin with a greeting.
(Hello/Good morning/Good afternoon) followed by your company name and then identify yourself. E.g. "Good morning, Widgets Inc. Mary Lee speaking."

Starting with "Good morning" or "Hello" starts your conversation on a cordial note, and allows the caller to hear your company name and your name clearly.

4. Smile when you speak on the phone.
This may seem odd when the caller can't see you, but it really does make a difference in your tone of voice and your attitude.

5. If you need to transfer a call, tell the caller who you are transferring them to before putting them on hold.
Tell the caller the name of the person to whom he or she will be transferred, or at least the name of the department. E.g. "I'll transfer you to Zahara / Sales." If possible, give them that other party's direct number before putting them on hold. Don't just say "Hold on please" and leave them to wonder what's going to happen. Also, accidents do happen and you might get cut off. When they call back they will be able to dial or ask for that other person directly.

6. Use the mute button wisely.
Most modern telephone systems have a mute button. Make sure you know how to use it. When you need to transfer a call or if you need to put the caller on hold to look up something, make sure to push that mute button; don't just put your hand over the mouthpiece. You never know what might happen that you won't want a caller to overhear.

7. Don't keep them on hold forever.
Never keep a caller on hold for longer than 20 seconds. Even if you haven't found the answer for them, check every 15 seconds or so to make sure they're still on the line – and to let them know that you're still on the line. Nothing turns off a potential customer faster than thinking that they've been forgotten.

8. Hang up last.
When winding up a call, make sure the caller hangs up before you hang up. He or she may think of something to ask at the last moment, and you don't want to risk leaving them talking to a dial tone!


... so people, please begin any conversation with self-introduction, whether you are the caller or receiver.

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