Thursday, April 09, 2015
Malay massacre at Maybank (Part 1)
The Maybank building was designed by the architect Hijas Kasturi to emulate the kris, a weapon and more a symbol of power in Malay culture. It was symbolic for Maybank as the leading Bank of Malaysia and owned by Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB).
In a complex organsation structure, PNB is owned by Yayasan Bumiputera Berhad in which the Chairman is the President of UMNO and members of the Board of Trustees are UMNO leaders too. Amanah Saham Nasional Berhad (ASN) is a subsidiary of PNB which managed the Sekim ASN and ASB initiated by PNB.
This was all established under the NEP era to increase Malay and Bumiputera equity and assist the government in their role to increase Malay and Bumiputera particpation in the economy; employment, corporate ownership and entrepreneurship (via PUNB).
Maybank is one of the major flagship investment of PNB-ASN-ASB. It is expected that it continues their NEP role into the environment of open competition and merit. But, it would be most appalling should Maybank end up practising discrimination on Bumiputera.
There is a fine line between merit and discrimination. At the employment place, employees are seldom handicapped in their appreciation and understanding of employee rights and labour law.
If an employer or management above decide to discriminate, it would see to be done legally and according to proper procedure and due process. Racial discrimination by employers can happen but it would look legally right.
For employees to challenge in court, it would take years and the legal cost is burdensome. It is too risky to take on and more so when the employer could spend millions on legal fee to win at all cost.
Maybank has an IT Department which was established in 1975. Our memory of Maybank is in the 80s. It was a time Maybank openned its door for Bumiputera to enter banking.
Initially, the once called coffee shop bank was mostly filled by Chinese. It was owned by Tan Sri Khoo Teck Puat but a run on the bank saw government had to step in to revive confidence in the banking industry. Subsequently, Maybank was transfered to PNB as part of the ASN program.
Under PNB, the special path for Bumiputera was successfully done. However, the race composition remained reflective of Malaysian racial composition.
Since the new corporate culture with the emergence of Khazanah and the concept of GLC came into picture with emphasis on performance over social obligations, the NEP policy to create more Bumi in banking was put aside.
In Maybank, the increase in number of Chinese at top and middle management begin under the CEO-ship of Tan Sri Amir Sham Aziz. Come Dato Abdul Wahid Omar and Dato Farid Alias, the Chinese number grew to the point that they became the majority.
For now, the focus will be on the Malay massacre in the IT Department.
In IT companies like Oracle, IBM, HP etc, 80-90% of management is dominated by non Malays/Bumiputera. Even in GLCs like Petronas, CIMB, Bank Islam etc, Malays still did not get a place and 70-80% are still non Malays/Bumiputera.
In Maybank, that is the same trend and according to sources, Malay staff perceived that the Chinese dominated management of the IT Department had resorted to indiscriminately apply pressure, oppress, slander, sabotage, and not withstanding, threat of 24 hours dismissal to make the targetted staff resign or abusively justify non-renewal of contracts.
The Malays staff perceived the reasons or justification to do is no more than an excuse to rehire a non Malay.
This had started way back during the entry of foreigner Geoff Stecyk as exco member in Maybank top management in 2008. It has become more intensive under Christina Low Poei Mei in 2012.
Ever since more than 20 IT experts at levels of EVP, VP, AVP, and so on had to quit, transfered or "fired". The remaining Malay executives are under constant pressure and discriminatory practices. Ethnic cleansing is happening in a GLC established for NEP and under Malay CEO and Malay majority members of the Board of Directors.
The oppressed and dismissed Malay IT management and staff are the one that built Maybank IT Department to win many awards in the past. So was it a case of incompetents or orchestrated to look incompetent and failed to deliver?
To be continued.
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