A picture of the original Holland House. It was bombed during the WWII and suffered major damage with just the ground floor surviving. The restored East Wing currently houses a youth hostel, with the Belvedere restaurant occupying the former summer ball room. Holland House was occupied by Cromwell's army during the English civil war.
The posting about a Cabinet Minister buying a £8.5 million home in the Holland Park, London area is getting some attention.
Dato Kadir Jasin left a comment in this blog. Reporters are seeking for clues through my friends. I'm beseiged with calls and SMS. Given time, it will spread like wild fire.
Who could that Minister be?
Already, there are few guesses. Popular amongst this blog's comentator is Tan Sri Nor Mohamad Yakcop.
One commentator on Rocky Bru's claimed to know it to be Zahid Hamidi. One chap gave a critical comment but left an address: 111, Woodsford Square, Holland Park. What does that mean?
Two years back, this blog wrote at length of Khaled Nordin. TRC Synergy is building this house here now.
I am neither affirming nor denying. The only clue I am willing to release now is that it is an UMNO Minister.
Because I would rather talk about Sime Darby. So, watch this space.
Blog Jejak Pujangga tipped off of a Sime Darby Board member meeting today to be followed by an annnouncement. Will it mean members of the Board of Directors that is collectively responsible together with Dato Zubir Mursyid will resign?
Asyraff doesn't think so. The rich, powerful and influential will get away.
The London home near Holland Park and like other homes abroad owned by some politicians and "businessmen" is representative of the endemic problem of corruption and incompetence pervading Malaysia today.
One reason this continued to happen is because when something bad or wrong happens, no heads roll.
There is no one taking responsibility for any failure. This is particularly so when it involved big names and known people.
There were more than 2,000 complains of money politics in the last UMNO party election. No one was summoned for corruption.
The Supreme Council seemed to hide the problem by instituting new measures. What about those 2,000 complains, which a substantial member their right to be elecetd and have a fair election? Are we to believe none will stick?
It means no head, big or small fish, will roll. It is too politically expensive.
Because what is happening at the fish head, one find the same problem in the bodies of civil servant and GLC.
Of late, it is heard that the civil servant have fought back against the power abuses of politicians and Ministers. They seemed to have en-bloc agree to defy Ministers' orders and instruction. Unfortunately, instead of stemming corruptions, the widespread happening is the top civil servants are the ones collecting commissions.
In one Ministry, the KSU canceled contracts approved by Minister and the ones that underwent due process till they agree to "share their work" together.
It is a matter of time that the commission, particularly those involving foreign suppliers and contractors is collected abroad, find their way into some London property as temporary save haven from MACC.
It will not be surprise if someone made money from Sime Darby to buy a London home.
By right, the Sime Darby Board must be accountable. Sime Darby lost RM1.3 billion and dubbed as the biggest scandal in Malaysian corporate history.
When the tri-merger was proposed, many views expressed was against it. The bloggers were against it.
There were many playing smart alec justified it as the deal will lead to a bigger outfit and with size, one can do magic. They argued their case well and it sounded rational but too bad, they were just theoretical, rhetorical and ill informed.
Only today do the so-called Investment Bankers in Kuala Lumpur realised that it was case of "fee justify the deal" and not the other way around. It is believed CIMB collected at least RM300 million in fee.
Issues about three plantation companies with different corporate culture, business strategies and areas of strength was of no relevance. It never dawn on them that there is no individual or group in Malaysia with the ability to merge three plantation giants already making their mark on their own.
They undertook an expensive merger just by selling the concept that big is good. Words and terms like Cargill, synergy, economy of scale and largest plantation company in the world were thrown in without pondering the intrinsic issues.
It was suckers like the current Chairman of Sime Darby, Tun Musa Hitam who believed it was a good proposal. It may never have occurred to him that as Chairman and Director, he is bound by Duty of Care:
1. Directors’ duty of care – standard is reasonable person given the individual director’s knowledge and experience.He was then Chairman of Guthrie, thanks to Tun Abdullah Badawi. By supporting the proposal, he stands a chance to be the Chairman of a bigger entity and enjoy the perks and lifestyle he knows well he can be accustomed to.
2. Director not bound to give his full time to the job; must only attend meetings when reasonably able to do so.
3. Director is justified in relying on documents prepared by/advice of others in absence of grounds for suspicion.
Musa was never given a "real" corporate appointment before simply because "Musa mana tahu pasal berniaga", as one former Musa associate told this blogger. He has neither the competence nor EQ of business, let alone corporate business.
He was placed at a top position not for his competence but incompetence. But Musa the fox will not get hurt. He will not fall.
Musa said he is willing to resign if he is responsible for the losses. Typical political statement of Musa. Thrown aside are the collective responsibility, duty of care, carrying out their fudiciary duties, and monitoring role of members of the Board of Directors.
This blog did warn about Musa here early last year. Read extract:
Tun Musa Hitam should be aware of it. He is not taking it falling down. Someone will get the blame but not Musa. His inability to identify between a haox and truly genuine talents is increasingly obvious but he will not be in question.Musa fumbled not only on the tri-merger but also Iskandar Malaysia. He supported it and made the call for NEP to be removed from the region. It is sucking billions but not producing any results. CEO come and go to take in millions in compensations.
It seems Musa had brought in help from Segamat. Dato Ahmad Pardas, believed to be related to Musa through his wife, has retired as CEO of UEM World and was told would join Sime Darby as the new Deputy CEO. Ahmad Pardas is no Deputy CEO material, he is CEO material. Is Zubir and his hired man, Hisham Hamdan getting their head on the chopping block soon?
If there is any head to be chopped, it will not be Musa's head. Someone else will get the blame but not Musa. That's what you get with a snaky and racoon politician as Chairman. Its always politics and never serious about business.
Incompetence is allowed to prolong.
Since we are mentioning names, Zubir Mursyid did not undertake his investment decisions alone. As in any corporate set-up, there must be a team or individual providing him support or advice. He shouldn't be the single person to be asked to leave.
In that same posting here, this blog mentioned a name.
Hisham HamdanBigdog has further insight here
Hisham's background was obtained from Sime Darby's website here, as follows:Hisham HamdanInterestingly, Hisham got on-board around the time Abdullah & family are beginning to get comfortable in Putrajaya in 2006. It was about the time talks of the abuse of authority and arrogant prancing of Kamaluddin and Khairy was making its round.
Executive Vice President, Group Strategy and Business
En. Hisham was appointed the Head of Strategic Planning of Sime Darby Group in October 2004. En Hisham was previously an Investment Banker with Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein (DrKW) handling Corporate Finance & Origination for the past five years. Prior to DrKW, he worked as an Equity Research Analyst in various investment banks in Kuala Lumpur - Dresdner Kleinwort Benson, Santander Research, Peregrine and Swiss Bank Corp/PB Securities. He had also worked in Malakoff's corporate finance department in 1999. Upon obtaining two separate Bachelors Degrees in Chemical Engineering and Industrial Management from Purdue University, Encik Hisham worked as a process engineer in Arvin Industries, an automotive part supplier, in Columbus, Indiana, USA from 1990 to 1992.
My source said he is close with Kamaluddin and Tingkat 4. However, there is no addtional information to substantiate other than the fact that being within the same age group and in the corporate consulting/investment banking circle, they is the likelihood that they know each other.
In Sime Darby, Hisham is the M&A man; the man in charge of Merger & Acquisition. Widely known within Sime Darby as a workaholic, he works from early morning till midnight and even do his lunch in.
In June 23rd, 2006, Hisham's name appeared in a Malaysian Business article amidst talk of Sime Darby and Guthrie merging. Off course, the CEOs were giving standard answers of denials, unaware, etc.
Subsequently on November 8th, 2006, Hisham appearerd in a press conference after Sime Darby's AGM with boss, Datuk Ahmad Zubir Murshid and Sime Darby chief financial officer Sekhar Krishnan. Sime Darby boasted its got piles of cash and is on an acquisition drive. That supposedly is Hisham's cup of tea.
They claimed to have piled a RM3 billion war chest and just added RM700 milliuon from the sale of a Singapore Company. Zubir was boasting of all the grandplan of Sime Darby doing this and that. He claimed Sime engineering has got something like RM2.4 billion order book.
Could it be Hisham had a role in originating this monstrous tri-merger of 'original' Sime Darby-Guthrie-Golden Hope?
Are we going to see names go through the court for negligence and mismanagement? Maybe no, it seems Zubir had signed an indemnity. Can it hold in court?
The latest heard from the Board of Director of Sime Darby meeting is that the Board will not resign.
They will announce a new CEO and it is to be Dato Mohd Bakke Salleh.
He is the current Chairman of Bank Islam and Group Managing Director of Felda Holdings Berhad. Let us pray that as a Bank Islam Chairman, he is both trustworthy and competent. Coming from Felda, he must be close to the heartbeat of the Prime Minister.
His resume is available here.