Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dato Seri Prime Minister, you just have to drop Omar Ong

Today the Malaysian public is talking about the rejection by the Board of Director of Petronas for the Board appointment of Omar Ong. It came out in Singapore's Straits Times yesterday.

Remember you heard about it first on Another Brick in the Wall here on May 18th, 2009. The reason quoted in ST first came out here on May 26th, 2009.

Subsequently, it is here that you heard of an impending appointment of former Minister, Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar for Chairmanship post.

This reminds me of the rejection of Khairy's request to be appointed Chief Operating Officer of Khazanah many years ago. Lucky thing it didn't happen. Pak Lah's legacy is already bad. One can't imagine how much worse thinsg could be if it had happened.

Before dwidling further, lets' read the Straits Times report in full below:

Najib’s bid to put aide on Petronas board hits snag

Directors say PM's nominee had defaulted on scholarship; Petronas Adviser says "not good idea."

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s bid to appoint his key aide as a director of Petronas is being resisted by the board and could put the Premier at odds with the national oil corporation's influential adviser, former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

According to senior government officials, the board of directors of Petroliam Nasional (Petronas) raised reservations over the proposal to appoint Omar Mustapha at its monthly meeting last month.

Omar is one of the premier's closest political confidants.

The reservations were made on the grounds that he had defaulted on his scholarship loan agreement with Petronas two decades ago.

Picture: Mr Omar worked briefly at Petronas, a tenure the oil firm

says was not enough to meet his scholarship obliogation

Najib, however, is determined to have Omar appointed as a director. He ordered the Petronas board to review its position over the appointment at a meeting this week, the government officials said.

Petronas officials have declined comment, and Omar could not be reached.

Dr Mahathir, who government officials said has been briefed about the situation, told The Straits Times yesterday that it was Najib's prerogative as Premier to “appoint a man who failed to honour his obligation to Petronas when he was given a scholarship by it”.

“Generally, I would say that it is not a good thing to appoint such a person,” he said in a written response.

Najib's office did not respond to requests for comments.

Petronas, Malaysia's only company on the Fortune 500 listing of the world's most profitable companies, is considered to be the country's most efficiently managed state-owned corporation.

Incorporated in August 1974, the corporation has firmly established itself as a global energy player over the last two decades. It currently operates in over 30 countries, and its overseas operations, including exports, account for more than 75 per cent of its revenue.

Many oil industry experts and bankers credit the oil company's phenomenal growth to the government's hands-off approach to the running of the oil corporation.

Omar, 38, has emerged as one of the closest political confidants of Najib and is often tapped for advice on economic and financial matters.

“A politician in Petronas may have other agenda which may or may not be in keeping with the national interest,” Dr Mahathir said in his comments to The Straits Times.

He added: “I think it is far better if no politician is allowed to interfere with commercial decisions which may not be good for the corporation.”

Positions on the board of Petronas and its subsidiary companies have traditionally been reserved for very senior civil servants and prominent private sector personalities.

Omar graduated from Oxford on a scholarship from Petronas in the mid-1990s and worked briefly with the national oil corporation and another government-linked corporation.

He then joined McKinsey & Co, where he worked for the international consulting company in London and Malaysia.

He left McKinsey in early 2002 to set up his own consultancy firm called Ethos with several close friends. Two years later, he was tapped by Najib, who was then the deputy prime minister, to become his special officer.

Government officials familiar with Omar's proposed appointment to the board of Petronas said that the national oil corporation takes a firm view against scholarship defaulters.

Omar did not complete the required number of years of service with the oil corporation or a related government agency as stipulated in his scholarship agreement
Dato Seri Najib should take not take this rejection personally but with pride, it auger well to revive confidence in the administration. It shows those assigneed as guardian of the nation's wealth are people of integrity, impecable character, and conviction. It bodes well for public confidence on the Government.

Omar may look to have an impressive resume but on further inspection, it is limited in depth and time. The problem with the Tingkat 4 boys was the same and without wisdom, the messed they have created is irreparable within Najib's first term. He and us have to certainly work hard to gain his second term.

Placing someone before due time is a disastrous decision. Paul Mason shall sell no wine before it's time. So does placing young untested wannabees at high places. If Omar is someone truly of great potential, he has to undergo the time honoured process to prove his mantle.

We can't afford to keep pushing untested young ones without experiacne and wisdom to the forefront. Allow me to quote few.

If we care to remember, what happened to Dato Rosman, a former CEO of Malaysia Airport berhad which was brought to the forefront by Tan Sri Nor Mohamad Yakcop and the late Tan Sri Basir Ismail?

After MAC, he joined Pernas Construction as CEO. What happen to Pernas Construction today? Without sufficient knowledge and experiance to guide his underlings, he was a CEO that merely assign and scold. Percon does not exist anymore and had went under. My childhood friend with 30 years in construction had the displeasure of worling under him.

Tan Sri Nor Mohamad Yakcop had the pleasure of plucking two young ones to the top of MRCB. Have they turned into wise and humble leaders with the compassion and respect of their army? I am not quite sure. Dato Abdul Rahman and Dato Shahril that used to together lead MRCB is described as a heartless and questioned of honesty.

Rahman is rumoured to takeover Tenaga Nasional Berhad CEO position from Cik Khalib. The disturbing words is he won't accept anything less than RM2 million a year with the pluses.

With Cik Khalib leaving TNB, words are he will be moving to Sime Darby to replace Zubir Mursyid. I am not too sure of the faith of Zubir. With practically "one-product company" TNB making a RM900 million loss, could CK manage a multi-business conglomorate Sime Darby, which is three diversified plantation giant all-in-one?

Is CK being groomed for Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar's Khazanah' top post? And, Azman for Petronas? At least, there is no more talk of Senator and MOF II Azman.

Picking on someone for the top post must not be based on merely personal preferences. He or she must be checked out thorougly and opinions of his peers, competitots and subordinates checked? How many peers and subordinates has Omar Ong accumulated in his career filled with many froggings of one place to another? What is his real core competency? Webmastering?

Thus, I beg of you, Dato Seri Prime Minister. You have to drop Omar Ong and he has to take the time honoured process. You have a wealth of other choices, if you care to ask the right network of people, sir.


Anonymous said...

Hmm..Voicey, I think its the PM's perrogative. There is pro and con to the choice.

On the pro side, its no longer a simple case of just drilling for oil and that. Its much more complex market right now especially in the wake of the extreme volatility in the oil market. Timing is everything and sound knowledge of complex financial derivatives is essential.

The second has to do with our over reliance on US oil companies for exploration, but that said, Omar Ongs appointment or rejection wont change that at all.

That said, I still cannot forgive Ethos duo for suggesting that "Blackstone delivers value" i.e. private equity is a good investment just before the world heads into a massive economic recession. Thats an elementary mistake, my dear Watson.

So I am a bit ambivalent here, but am bit perturbed at the KJ pinch.

ipv6 said...

oh well if he can confer the highest badge of honour of the land and appoint the brainless bodowie to our global player, and never fail to excluded those consort too, for a couple grunt's bakti when the old man toil the land, if you know what i mean.

If he can afford and allowing such appointee,then why can't now?if you say it's about taking care of him and his cows then i guess its the very same reason here too,minus different cattle I must say.

Pluss what make a much different between the southern scaredy-cat(the son of previous lion) whose resemble kodomo lion to the old saddo who put a bedouin(badawwn anyone) name to look arabic(red:religious) anyway?

Regarding the young bootlicker who's dubded so wise and knowledgeable and his so call ox-fod team,..well am not so call brriliant lik 'em but looking at the track record and, me not impress if not a plain stupid at times I must say.

Therefore, the man of hour can do what ever he want, he can cowtow to some portion of the society who's dont even speak proper bahasa yet got so many bombastic yet funny claim,and he can choose to listen to what ever he wish to,just like the foolish guy before him..but come the GE, he will pay the consequences just like his sorry predessesor.We do it before and there nothing to prevent us from doing so yet again if the same scenario put before ue yet again.

Mark my word!

So dance whatever ya like...but lemme remind you those who do not learn from history are bound to repeat it.Period

antubiul said...

sory mr voice, Najib is blundering, He has no absolute power. UMNO warload are all over him. He being offered the post of PM without a fight therefore he has to 'Berterima Kasih'. His decission and action has to take care of may warloard hearth and if they are hurt then he gone. If Najib is not a chicken the firt thing he shud have done is kick out the goons from his circle as early as possible not keep them arround. Those characters like KJ etc shud not be offered any post or task. Manik Murai election once KJ is involved UMNO will be demise and UMNO still havent learned from the doom date of PRU12! Omar Onq in the Rayyat eye is a questionalbe character so Najib should be wise.

vinnan said...

'Dato Seri Najib should take not take this rejection personally but with pride, it auger well to revive confidence in the administration.'

In Malaysia it is practically impossible to stop an appointee of the PM from being put into a crown corporation. Yet Najib has bombed spectacularly here. Petronas is Mahathir's turf and Najib can get in only if he offers Mahathir something but it seems Najib is not going to do so. MOOhidden has announced that the PPSMI has not worked as intended. Putting pressure on Mahathir? I think so. Ladies and gentlemen get ready for PM vs Mahathir Chapter 2. Now we know why Najib mati-mati mahu kerajaan perpaduan.

Anonymous said...

Wenger the KJ Wanker

You shd be concerned instead of perturbed that such intention of KJ exist. Didn't KJ tell you that?

It just shows you are out of the information loop.

askar melayu said...

A Voice

Don't lah be so against to anybody related to KJ. Same like Mukhriz should not be linked to TDM. Ok, you have good points but then who was Hassan Merican before he was plucked by the late Tan Sri Basir. A good chartered accountant but without any experience in oil & gas. Maybe Tan Sri Basir made a mistake on Dato Rosman but Hassan Merican?

May I suggest you dig something on Amir Azizan? How did he get to rise in PETRONAS? He was practically given AET, the company bought by MISC. Is he really that good or by virtue of being Tan Sri Azizan's son?


Very nice, bro .... We must keep the pressure on. Pak Lah rightly said on 1 dec 05, 2 companies represent Malaysia, one is petronas , another is MAS. They have screwed up MAS, dont let em screw up Petronas. Fix MAS , fix Malaysia. More will be revealed slowly n surely @

Anonymous said...

Let it be known that we, the mercenaries, are training our guns on the Corporate boys n the black midas ¥E@**##£ !!!Ex BERSIH SC.

Matt said...

how good is this Omar Ong???? If I am not mistaken he studied for PPE degree in Oxford ... I don't think this PPE degree is a sign of excellence ... any ITM graduates in Engineer or Sciences are always must better than any PPE grads ... even if the PPE comes from Oxford ... and I am puzzled why Petronas sponsored someone to study in PPE at the first place ... such a waste of resources

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