Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Tropicana: United Malay Noh Omar (UMNO) finally woke up

It is not that we do not wish to continue on the PKNS issue, but we wanted to see how long before UMNO Selangor wake up from their lull to take up this issue.

When we wrote on the previous posting, it was March 31st. Tan Sri Khalid made the request for Tropicana to pay-up immediately on March 27. UMNO Liaison Chief, Dato Noh Omar only responded yesterday on April 7th, 11 days later.

It is not that we did not share the information. Immediately after the posting we alerted his boys and many other notable individuals. We even shared in our Whats App groups with other bloggers but we  commented to see how long UMNO Selangor will response and take up the issue.

That Dato Seri Prime Minister and UMNO President is indicative of the lackadaisical attitude of the UMNO leaders, particularly in Selangor.

Noh Omar may have taken interest to grab your attention for the next cabinet reshuffle that is being widely said. Do reconsider because he failed miserably in Kajang and it was reflective of the self defeating attitude prevailing in UMNO Selangor everywhere from top to bottom.

How to win back Selangor?

Returning back on the issue, none of the mainstream media or pro-government portal covered this Tropicana deal except The Star, which is more DAP than BN these days.

As far as Noh Omar's attempt, it is a half-hearted effort. If queried, he will say he has raised the issue but media did not gave coverage. His statement reached our Whats App groups but the there was a wrong figure used.

Only Free Malaysia Today gave coverage to Noh Omar:

‘Probe Selangor’s shady land deal’
Anisah Shukry | April 7, 2014

MACC should probe the Selangor government for selling 1,172 acres of land at half the market price, says Tanjong Karang MP.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Pakatan Rakyat-led Selangor government sold 1,172 acres of land to Tropicana Corp Berhad at half the market price last year, Selangor Umno deputy chief Noh Omar said today.

“The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) must investigate why the land was sold far below the market price at RM17 per sq ft,” Noh told a press conference at the Parliament lobby today.

Last year, the Selangor government had sold the land in Canal City, Kuala Langat, for RM1.3 billion, payable within 20 years, but then amended the offer on April 4 this year to RM844.3 million.

But Noh said Tropicana Corp Berhad had sold 308.72 acres of the land to Eco World Bhd at RM470.674 million or RM35 per sq ft.

“Selangor Umno is demanding an explanation from the state government as to why the land sold to Tropicana was not in line with the market price.

“In less than a year, the Canal City land was sold to Eco World at almost twice the original price,” said Noh.

He said Selangor Umno would lodge a report with the MACC this week on the land deal.

“Maybe the deal was made under the table? Maybe the state government used the money for the 13th general election? We leave all of this to MACC to investigate,” said the Tanjong Karang MP.

He said MACC must also investigate whether Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim’s administration abused its power when signing the agreement.

The Selangor government inked the deal on April 15 2013 through its subsidiary, Permodalan Negeri Selangor Bhd (PNSB), two days after the state assembly was dissolved and the caretaker government had taken over, said Noh.

Noh said under the state constitution, caretaker governments were not allowed to sign new contracts.

“How could they allow this deal to be inked by a caretaker government?” asked Noh.
Apart from the report, Noh Omar did raise the issue of undervalued transaction. In the sales of 363 acres of the land to Eco World, Tropicana doubled their money within one year. It only shows these was a con job from the offset by Khalid.

The land in question was originally part of the development of a flood mitigation project, but was discontinued when Selangor’s Department of Irrigation and Drainage had a coming from God to say it was unnecessary.

The cancellation was approved by the State Executive Council in 2010. So it is perfectly legalised. As though it was pre-planned, the land was approved for proposal in 2011.

Khalid's loyal or kow towing Board of Directors of PNSB, along with its committee, rubber stamped  Tropicana's bid for RM1.3bil.

It is mind boggling that UMNO Selangor failed to see the political opportunity from these deal immediately. It shows no one is doing any work to monitor and they are all literally "business as usual" while opposition is reinforcing themselves.

In fact, Malaysiakini's KiniBiz wrote something critical, below:
TigerTalk  |  APRIL 1, 2014 12:40 PM

The curious case of Khalid and Tropicana

Story by

The recent sale of 308 acres of land in Kuala Langat for RM470 million has put Selangor MB Khalid Ibrahim and property developer Tropicana on a collision course. Who will blink first?

Tiger is all for the carving out things, especially when it involves fresh bloody meat, chewy skin, juicy innards and dangling bones. Yummy. Tiger drools and gets misty eyed just thinking about it.

But Tiger is not the least bit amused by people who encroach on its lush natural habitat to carve out land in the name of mankind, progress and a quick buck.

It gets Tiger’s goat, it really does.

But what can Tiger do (wrings paws)? After all, James Brown sang “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” – not “It’s a Tiger’s Tiger’s Tiger’s World”. A certain golfer would beg to differ but even he has fallen from grace. He was probably listening to that other hit song from the Godfather of Soul – “Sex Machine.”

But Tiger digresses. Losing one’s land can indeed be a traumatic experience.  Resistance is futile. Accept or die.

So when news filtered recently that property developer Tropicana had carved out a piece of land in Kuala Langat that it had bought just about year ago and sold it to another developer Eco World for RM470 million and a cool RM170 million profit, Tiger thought it was par for the course.

Property developers buy and sell land for huge profits all the time – so what; big deal.

It turns out that Tiger was dead wrong because it is a rather big deal after all. Shortly after Tropicana’s sale to Eco World, no less an authority than Selangor Menteri Besar (MB) Khalid Ibrahim issued an ultimatum for Tropicana to pay the state government RM844 million for a transaction involving the same tract of land. Pronto.

Confused? Let Tiger try and simplify things for you, my loyal and royal rumble of readers.

Last April 2013, Selangor (under Khalid’s leadership) agreed to sell 1,172 acres of prime Kuala Langat land (formerly known as Canal City) to Tropicana (then called Dijaya) for a purchase consideration of RM1.3 billion.

The operative word here is “purchase consideration.”

Unlike a straightforward land for cash purchase, Selangor and Tropicana agreed upon a cash plus profit-sharing deal that encompasses “land purchase price of RM587 million, interest cost, share of gross development value (GDV) and profit entitlement from the development of the land” that all adds up to RM1.3 billion.

In other words, the deal was justified by using that much used and abused term “smart partnership.”

Basically, Selangor foregoes getting full lump sum value for state-owned land from Tropicana in return for a cut of the developer’s business.

In this case, Selangor is betting on Tropicana making super-duper good on developing a tract of land that is supposedly worth up to RM9 billion over 15-20 years of development.

Judging by Tropicana’s good track record, it would not have seemed like a bad idea, indeed a win-win situation for both parties – except for one jarring detail.

Selangor had agreed for Tropicana to pay in deferred payments over a period of twenty years, including twelve yearly instalments for the RM587 million land purchase price.

Cushy deal, but what gives? Arguably, Tropicana had acquired prime land for what many had claimed at the time was a fraction of market price. On top of that, Selangor is allowing Tropicana the luxury of staggering its payments over two decades.

Apart from being a generous provider of land bank and passive partner of Tropicana’s township development, it would look like the Selangor state could also be playing an inadvertent role of bridging financier to ease the burdens of Tropicana’s cash flow.

Which of course, as we all know, is not what state governments are supposed to do.

Fast-forward: barely one year after the Selangor-Tropicana land deal. Tropicana carves out a delicious 308 acres from its 1,172 acre Kuala Langat landbank and feeds it to a land hungry Eco World for RM470 million.

In industry parlance, it’s called monetising assets or unlocking the value of land.

In simpler terms, it’s called striking while the iron’s hot. Tropicana’s move to profit handsomely from flipping state land that the developer hasn’t even half-paid for has made the Selangor administration look rather foolish.

Cue Khalid’s imperious RM844 million ultimatum. The knives are out and they’re not just for carving anymore.

Official Selangor statement: “….we want to realise the full potential of the land at Net Present Value (NPV) amounting to a total of RM844 million instead of waiting 20 years for Tropicana to realise its potential valued at RM1.3 billion.”

Translation: You’re making me wait twenty [expletive] years to reap the fruits of your labour, while you’re blatantly making hay now? How can lah. I need to save face. Show me the money! Now.

Well, dear MB. Actually, can lah. You’re the one who approved the unequivocal sale and purchase agreement for Tropicana to stretch its payments to the Selangor state over two decades.

Tiger has taken a sideward and backwards glance at the agreement and finds no discernible terms or clauses in the sale and purchase contract that allows for the state to suddenly demand a lump sum payment.

Of course Tiger is no legal eagle, but was there really one to advise Khalid about the land sale to Tropicana? It clearly looks like the current agreement is heavily skewed towards Tropicana.

What if Tropicana’s suffers a sudden reversal of fortunes and goes bust during the twenty-year period? Selangor would then lose out on fully realising the RM1.3 billion deal.

Shouldn’t there have been an explicit and unconditional clause in favour of the Selangor state to demand lump sum payment under certain prevailing conditions?

Was this a mere oversight or intentional? And what is the justification for Khalid’s sudden demand of RM844 million from Tropicana?

Khalid might be flexing state government muscle just to intimidate Tropicana to the negotiating table without any real legal basis. In the long run, the developer would still want to be in the good books of the state government.

Tropicana still needs state permits and approvals for developments in Selangor and the Kuala Langat land is leasehold. It would also need to play ball with the state for future land bank acquisitions.

But surely some foresight and attention to detail in this deal by the Selangor government would have negated the need for all of this unnecessary roughness.

Tiger hears someone whisper “sweetheart deal gone sour” and wonders where the love is coming from.

As in most deals mixing business and politics, the devil is in the timing.

Critics had lambasted Khalid for rushing the Tropicana land deal through just before general elections last year. There were also some quarters that pointed to close ties between Khalid’s Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and Danny Tan, founder and group executive chairman of Tropicana as an influential factor in sealing the cozy Selangor-Tropicana land deal.

With Khalid’s managerial acumen, corporate experience and reputation for driving a hard bargain, something about the lopsided Tropicana deal just doesn’t sit right.

Or perhaps, it just highlights Khalid’s blind spots as a state administrator and his predilection for unilateral decision making, as has been demonstrated in several cases recently.

An official statement from Selangor says that it wants Tropicana “to expedite the full payment so that we can then channel the RM844 million funds to implement various other property development and social programmes for the benefit of the people of Selangor.”

If that were true, dear MB, Selangor should have insisted on a full payment of RM1.3 billion and the people of Selangor could have benefited instantly.

As it is, Khalid’s arguments for a RM844 million payment from Tropicana just seems strangely vindictive and don’t really hold water. Speaking of which…


Let tiger roar because UMNO Selangor will continue to sleep.

By right, UMNO Selangor need to revamp itself after it's GE13 failure. They should be getting new blood and get good people. The current crop of leaders are both uneducated or if they are, they do not seem to be and are dragging their feet.

As it is, some whistleblowers, who used to help and leak information to UMNO Selangor, are fed-up with their attitude. Some leaders were dumb enough not to protect the identity of their source and place them in trouble at their workplace.

From wanting to help UMNO, many are set on not to ever vote UMNO again.

Not only UMNO is slow, the bloggers and social media is also sleeping on this issue.

Perhaps, too few of the other "sekolah Melayu" bloggers could comprehend the significance of the issue. While some see it as too complex a business transaction to turn it into an issue. When it is complex, that is the opportunity to spin.

They can't be push these days. Of late, most of bloggers are demoralised by UMNO's "dulu kini dan selamanya" ungrateful attitude to ignore those who have helped them. They are feeling disgusted with their attitude to claim credit on their effort and feast on the bounty of victory.

Heard that the demoralising of bloggers are by design to weed out the bad elements but it is weeding out the good ones too.

Some leaders are too obsess in wanting to explore new technology and strategy but not realising that they should be building from existing strength than trying to build from something uproven and new. 

Up stairs at ibu pejabat, they do not seem to see any urgency in doing things. But fast to make a quick buck from the contract given ut to themselves for banners, posters and pamphlets.

Some are too distanced from the reality and happenings on the ground.

While they kaki bodeks and punahsihats are giving wrong pictures to the bosses in order they do not get upset and scritunise the party budget for themselves to devour.

By the way things are going on, GE14 looks inevitable.

But please ... don't wake someone enjoying their sleep. They are resting or getting ready to be laid to rest?


Anonymous said...

UMNO social media chief busy rubbing shoulders with the socialites and wak doyok la.. thats why the social media team is sleeping, big boss sibuk mixing with the tatler crowd.

and yes its true, there are many of us who are tired of their antics, im an umno supporter and umno youth member, but ...oh well..

Anonymous said...

I thought Khalid is a financial wizard. How come kena tipu Cina.

Annie said...

BN will never get back Selangor as long as the team there is led by someone such as Noh Omar. He is too obnoxious lah.

Meanwhile, things are not so hot in your home state Johor too. People are fed up with the excesses there. I'm included.

Anonymous said...

Yeah Noh Omar's leadership of UMNO Selangor is a real embarassment!

Can agree with you that the reason Nohh Omar made noises is to be noticed and to position himself for the Cabinet reshuffle...

UMNO Selangor leaders should be quarantined in the state until further notice. No need Federal ministerships to distract their work...

Anonymous said...

Kepala bu***la UMNO Selangor.....

maae said...

Geng maharaja lawak. Kata orang melayu, bangsa lain sudah sampai ke bulan, kita masih bermimpi lena...

1. Melayu selalu mengambil pukal pasal urusan melibatkan politik. Sebab ? Ada lagi jumlah pukal di belakang tabir untuk penuhkan kantong sendiri. Pembangkang lagi hebat 'outar' belit nya.

2. ' umno' yang ini leka dengan rentak tari yang berbeza. Secara tuntas tiada kertas kerja dan objektif terutama membenamkan pembangkang. Gagal mengambil kesempatan terluang, terutama di Kajang. Sentiasa kalah dan mengalah dengan retorik kosong pembangkang.

3. Kes tanah, masakan Khalid bengap sangat ! Mesti ada kes untuk SPRM. Cuma tindakan yang membezakan.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait for GE14 where BN's Northern Selangor Rice Belt will be obliterated...followed by Perak & Terengganu.

As far as Johor goes, might as well let Singapore's PAP contest at Iskandar Region.

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