Monday, January 30, 2012
Hungry Ghost festival come early in Johor
A close friend advised us to keep the ghost story until after the election.
The problem is the election date is everybody's guess. Some say March, some claim to be May, and some predict in second term of the school holidays. Last but not least, there are those that believed it to be next year.
The way things are moving in Johor, it maybe a wee bit too late.
In the meanwhile, the RM60 billion Pengerang Petronas Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (Rapid) complex is due for commissioning by 2016, which is 4 years from now. There is not much time. The planning work is already on the way, including land acquisition.
About two weeks ago, CEO and President for Petronas, Datuk Shamsul Azhar Abbas had sent Executive Vice President of Downstream Business of Petronas Dagangan Bhd, Datuk Wan Zulkiflee Bin Wan Ariffin to Johor Baru.
There is likelihood that it has to do with discussion on the said project. Simply, because he brought along a member of the Board of Director of Petronas and his fellow MCOBA President, Tan Sri Megat Najmuddin. Otherwise, why the need to bring Megat Najmuddin?
After all, he was once a strong candidate for CEO of Petronas. He represents Petronas, the biggest company in Malaysia and a Government wholly owned company. There is a reason.
In our previous posting here, we've described the massive quick money scheme in flipping properties in Iskandar Malaysia and the Johor Central Business District revitalisatin plan in and out of public listed vehicles.
The Petronas Rapid project in Pengerang, will include a tripatrite gas power plant that can support a petrochemical industry there. Read Bigdogdotcom here.
The power generated by the power plant is to be sold Singapore. It will involve Malakoff, Petronas and Singapore's Keppel Group. Pengerang was chosen because of this purpose and it's deep waters can allow for very large crude carriers and ultra large crude carriers.
It complements plans for the RM5bil independent deep water petroleum terminal, which is to be the first of its kind in South-East Asia. Thus making Teluk Ramunia and Pengerang a true oil and gas hub with supporting and ancillary industries. This will generate about 20,000 jobs and develop this backwater of South Johor and southernmost tip of continental Asia.
There will be gas pipeline built from Pengerang to just short of Kota Tinggi before it turn southward towards Ulu Tiram into Tanjung Langsat and all the way to Johor Baru CBD.
Naturally, the Johor state government will be a joint-venture partner of the project and will provide the required land.
Mention state land and a project of this size, the beepers in the ghost mobile sounds it's alarm. The land for Rapid must be consolidated state land, large tract of private land, and probably even orang kampung land.
There will be the supporting and ancillary industries mushrooming along the gas pipeline. That needs land too!
The gas pipeline and the land it traversed on will be owned by Petronas but for the industries piping the energy from the gas pipeline need land to place their facility.
Could they secure the land? If they could secure, how?
Although we've just celebrated the Chinese New Year, the Hungry Ghost Festival that usually comes in the seventh lunar month came early this year, earlier than Chap Goh Meh.
Securing the land has suddenly become difficult unless one is ready to be approached by Vampires. These vampires are not the European type one see in Hollywood movies that ravages alone but of the Asian variety.
Asian vampires in Hong Kong movies comes in groups and is directed by a ruthless Ghost, in this case the Hungry Ghost. These Vampires are not so smart and idiotically move non-stop in small hops towards their victim. One of this hopping vampire is said to be one Ku Mohsin.
To get their proposal through, these companies must wet the beak of the Hungry Ghost. The problem is it does not just stop at getting percentage equity in the company or some up-front amount.
There are companies already about to commenced work in Pengerang to prepare for facilities like storage. Already it is heard that one oil and gas company, named Kaylog or something to that effect, was preyed on and paid up-front of S$10 million.
The proposer may face the prospect of having these Vampires at the instruction of Hungry Ghost or probably the Hungry Ghost himself determining the proposer's equity in their own business and have to pay for the Ghost or his proxy's equity portion.
The biggest nightmare to any businessman will be when the Ghost determine who are the business partners in their venture. The proposer with the expertise and capital may end up with as minority shareholders.
Wan Zul could have been sent to Johor Baru by Dato Shamsul to deal with these ghosts and vampires. He was asked to bring Megat Najmuddin, whose extraordinary network, personal touch and diplomacy transcend into the supernatural and come handy in "smoothening" discussion.
Perhaps, the trip has nothing to do with meeting Vampires and Hungry Ghost.
But, it does not mean these Vampires and Hungry Ghost do not exist. They have been pretty much at large for the past two years haunting and preying on the rakyat, businessmen, Government servants and politicians.
If this is the way business is run in Johor, foreign investors will get turned off by such sadistic feudel ways. There is no certainty in doing business and too much and exorbitant unstated cost. It could seriously stifle and hamper development of Johor. Such act is an economic threat to the prosperity of Johor.
If the common rakyat knows of such abuse and intimidation, there will not even be sands at the end of the rainbow. Like sands dropping in the hourglass, time may be running out on them.
* Edited 31/1 10:00 AM
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