Tuesday, February 11, 2014

PKNS: Intrigues of street-ruled government (Part 1)

The recent sacking of 30 PKNS Holding staff is being interpreted differently by different groups for various reasons. To correct that, it actually only involved 19 Managers and executive staff.

Upon hearing from an old pier inside PKNS from our Bangsar partying days, who is outside our common circle with former GM, Dato Othman Omar, the problem is indeed more complex than the popular perception formed from the news reports.

With PKR  at the helm, there is so much intrigues. On reflection, one can only expect such from a street-rule government. Despite his lack of experience and expertise in public administration, even corporate personality like Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim ended up behaving like vengeful street hoodlums.

Great rhetoric, and lofty ideals but unrealistic dreams. PKNS is indication of their ignorance and incompetence in governance.

Unfair Dismissal

To tell the PKNS story till the current sacking of professionals brought in will take long and require several parts. However, it is better to start from the humanitarian angle. Hopefully something can get done immediately.

Azmin’s latest statement said that  it is victimisation of staff for political vengeance. Obviously, his intention is to whack at Tan Sri Khalid. The statement below:

PKNS sacking of contract employees illegal and inhumane

The sudden sacking of 30 employees of PKNS Holdings Sdn Bhd (PHSB) under the orders of Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim is not only a violation of employment laws but is grossly inhumane.

It is completely against the principles espoused by the Pakatan Rakyat government of Selangor that all employees must be treated with dignity and compassion. While the sudden dismissal is harsh and will cause great financial loss to the employees, a severance pay of two months' salary only adds insult to injury.

I call upon the powers concerned to immediately revoke the dismissal letters and apologise to the people of Selangor for such an inconsiderate and high-handed action. In the interest of justice and good governance, Tan Sri Abdul Khalid must stop using the PKNS as a personal weapon against his perceived political rivals.

Mohamed Azmin Ali
Deputy President
Azmin statement reinforced the impression that the sacked staff are Azmin Ali’s boys, in which it is not entirely true. 

There was also statement made by Member of Parliament for Ulu Langat and Deputy President of NTUC, Abdullah Sani.

Abdullah claimed the dismissal by PKNS tantamount to unfair dismissal and took a whack at Khalid. He gave his commitment that he fight for them. BNBBC made a report here.

His statement was so spirited. Watch the video below:

New GM

Continuing from the comment of one of the sacked Senior Manager, this aspect of the PKNS issue should be understood from history.

It should start in 2008 when BN government fell in Selangor and was replaced by a coalition of PAS, PKR and DAP with PKR offered the Menteri Besar post.

The then General Manager retired and he was replaced by the next in line Chinese Accountant. It became a public uproar.

How come a “Malay” organisation established under an Act of Parliament meant to play both social and economic role for the lower income majority be under the leadership of a Chinese?

The shock reality from a state government with strong DAP influence was too much for the Malay majority. Khalid and PKR have no problem but had to bow under the pressure from Malay NGO and UMNO to adjust. It is too early to be "liberal".

Khalid covered up by telling the press that she is only Acting GM and he is still looking for a GM.

A new GM will be rigorously selected professionally from the private sector and introduced the position of CEO to wipe out his footprints. The Chinese accountant was redesigned as CFO. Talk is she was financially compensated with contracts through the husband.

Khalid shared his dream of wanting to turn PKNS from a sleepy government organisation into a more efficient, profitable and practising proper governance organisation like a profit oriented corporation.

After several interviews and the HR consultant recommendation from the short-listed three names, then Othman Omar was hired from the construction sector.

It was professionally picked and luckily they did not spot that he was an UMNO member but pragmatic contractor wanting to cari makan. The consultant that picked out Othman was an ANSARA crony and actually removed his UMNO membership information.

Despite his limited experience in development, Othman  expressed the ambition to turn PKNS into a RM20 billion worth development in hand.

Our insider who seen it and done it saw it as the beginning of a bigger problem to come.  Trying to transform a “government” organisation into a “corporate” like entity within a short time and pumping volume of business is bound to bring in “people” related problems.

Technical man like Othman are pragmatic and used to solving engineering problems. He thinks solving human problem is easier than his engineering issues.

Hiring professionals

With the current staff, it is impossible to turn them around to understand the way of corporate business and more so the ambitious KPI and expectaation of Khalid. 

The way to do it is to form a separate company, PKNS Holding to hire the new management team at market rate and transfer them to PKNS.

Off course, their salary is far higher than the government scale staff of PKNS and they response from government staff when they are pushed and shove around by these hired comtractialised professionals are that they will resent these people taking over their position.

There was no cooperation and they ignore instruction. Their attitude is "You are the one with the big salary so do it yourself!"

Since they do not understand the way of the corporate sector, they could not understand the need to hire capable  outside consultants or professional service from certain company at high consultancy or fee. They rather pay peanut and get monkey.

Naturally when this commotion in PKNS happened, the staff played the predictable game of disclosing the contractualised Managers and executive salaries. The above is found on pro-PKR blog Anak Omak here.

The total is annual salary is slightly more than RM2 million. Where did Khalid claim they are too costly for PKNS Holdings to be paid at RM7 million or another report reported as RM8 million salary bill a year?

When compared to PKNS's annual salary and staff expenses of RM75 million, is that expensive? If it is not, the total PKNS expenses is RM150 million.

It shows Khalid have lost his corporate sensibility and arguing as shallow politicians or simplistic argument street demonstrators.

Our PKR supporting cousin would usually just brush off when presented with facts that he doesn't know and unable to answer, then raised some debatable issues and linked it to UMNO.

Conveniently, when it is also disputed and told as a seperate issue, he gets increasingly upset and say only you are right. Susah bercakap dengan orang bodoh... and irrational.

The staff game is naturally to defuse public sympathy to the sacked Managers and executives. In the past, there were pissed as hell with Khalid. So they got even with the outsiders. It sounds irrational jealousy but they are not to blame.

The organisational structure as proposed by Othman was not thought through from a human and public administration aspect. However, Khalid nodded, so does various members of committee and members of the Board of Director of PKNS which include Teresa Kok and Azmin.

Off course they should be unhappy. They have been around to build the organisation but a new so-called rakyat champion government came in and put them aside. Unfortunately, the PKNS Holding staff gets the brunt of their dissatisfaction.  


Khalid is the Chairman but he is as good as Executive Chairman of PKNS. All matters must get his clearance before being presented to any Committee and Board. Otherwise, he will embarassingly scrutinised the proposal and ensure it gets thrown out.

This is Khalid's management style at PNB. So does the bearded one.

His egoistic ways and back stabbing office politics was infamous. It is the same office politics applied to Azmin which even a politician cannot take him on.

But that is for another part.

The interesting part is the above disclosed pay list was  revealed in  Angkatan Pemuda Keadilan blog or website. Most PKR blogger like Anak Omak are AMK people and pro-Azmin. Why then did they try to expose these contractualised staff deemed as Azmin's boys?

Only those who know would know but our PKNS insider said it is not entirely true.

The majority of them are non partisan and came in as professionals. Do not be surprise there are UMNO members who view it as professional work in the same manner there are PAS members in Proton and PKR member is Petronas.

Could it be that easy for Azmin to get his boys in when Khalid is always blocking Azmin from getting his way that he would be careful at allowing Azmin placed his boys all over PKNS?

It seems some UMNO members and pro-UMNO bloggers felt it is not for UMNO to take up the issue because it is like championing Azmin's boys who are already kenyang.

Sadly, that is myopic thinking. The PKNS issue is indicative of a chaotic administration filled with vengence, back stabbing and intrigues. It shows poor governance but well hidden from the public using their great ability to communicate, debate and propaganda.

UMNO should raise that and champion them. Help them saman PKNS. Screw the allegation that they are Azmin's boys. Heard from the other blogs that only Muaz Omar, the PR Manager is Azmin man. The rest could be just young executive inclined towards PKR... sympathiser.

What is wrong for UMNO to champion victims of PR bad governance, irrespective who they are? The orang kampung only see 20 profesyenal Melayu being sacked.

To help the rakyat, one has to help also non-UMNO members. Even PAS supporters and members voted UMNO candidates in Kedah during the general election. Bersih is also against Anwar for the Kajang "bi-election".

Please la... UMNO should get out of their tempurong mindset.

Azmin and Abdullah Sani may be defending the PKNS Holding Managers and Execuitive but It is crap acting. On one hand, it is PKR government and politicians victimising agency staff. Then on the other hand, the PKR politicians also defending them.

One can call it democrasy but it is also street-rule government of anarchy without discipline and order.

Now, Abdullah Sani is an Anwar man. Not Azmin or Khalid but strictly Anwar.

If he had been other's, he would have not run for Hulu Langat after he threw his wife with only the clothing she had on before Hari Raya. All for being smitten to a young Serikandi PKR. How heartless can he be?

Anwar has already turn non-commital. He is not politically threatened thus unwilling to make his Kajang "bi-election" Election Director upset. According to The Unspinners here, Anwar pissed on the sacked and salaryless PKNS Holding Managers and executives.

Hmmm ... can one expect Abdullah to be still spirited to save the PKNS staff?

Part 2


Loo Tee Poo said...

Being politicians, all those so-called leaders that have come forward to help those terminated are more likely to use the opportunity to make themselves look like champions but in the end will only be blowers of hot air, i.e. no action, talk only.

Grand Marquis said...

In regard to the issue, this writing is also worth a read


otai said...


Did you know that lepas grad fron UM khalid ibrahim @ sahak gagap pernah kerja as reporter at utusan before pergi australia to do his mba.... Go and check with Zam..

Loo Tee Poo said...

Having read Grand Marquis link, looks like the whole issue actually boils down to the former GM who was removed from power. Looks like he had grand ideas and must be such a smooth talker such that he can convince the Chairman who is known to be a spendthrift. But in reality he couldnt achieve his dream nor meet his KPI given by MB. This is really contrary to what we have read in Malaysian Business magazine and other trade publications which painted PKNS in gold over the past few years. Today we know its a charade and that the gold is fools gold. This guy's PR is excellent. He could have been a good politician for PR. I think he had good ideas but he didnt know how to manage or execute it. Maybe he was so gungho that he didnt want to listen to the advice of the very people he hired. Thus he made a mockery of everything. In the end I guess the MB found out the truth but not before the whole thing became a wild mess. It's too late now but something had to be done. It's tragic. People become casualties. Some see it as politically linked. Some see it as a commercial decision. Others dont give a hoot. Whatever it is, there's a price to pay. Here the contract staff paid. As for the former GM, looks like his image is tarnished. If I am his new employer, with all this baggage, I would retract my offer. All this mess is because of him. It started the day he joined the organization. I dont want my company to suffer because of him. This makes a good case study.

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