Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Will SC's interrogating goons dare harm "Mrs" Zarinah?

The exchanges at Securities Commission interrogation yesterday became more nasty despite report of denial in The Star yesterday. Apa pasal The Star baik sangat ni ... boycott and black them out la.

In his posting "Power Corrupts Zarinah", Rocky Bru described the harrasment by SC below:

The SC's investigation officers are running amok. Yesterday, at the end of a 3-hour session with BK Sidhu, the Star journalist, the attending IO named Arif demanded that Sidhu surrender her notes to him. Sidhu had been taking notes of the Q & A, perhaps out of habit or maybe to ensure against being misquoted. She refused to hand over her notes, of course. Arif then told the lawyer representing Sidhu and The Star, Mr Tharminder Singh, to sign a statement of the proceedings. Tharminder, I was told, refused to do so because he was there just as an observer. He had been told earlier to sit quietly in the Q & A room and not to offer any advice to Sidhu. He offered no advice to his client, whatsoever, even when Sidhu refused to give up her notes to Arif.

That was when the SC's officer issues a notice under this powerful Section 134 to Mr Singh, which would compel the lawyer to come back tomorrow (Thursday) to face the SC's "firing squad".

The Star wrote to SC yesterday advising it to withdraw the notice issued to Mr Singh, or face legal action.
That is how mean SC's young punk investigators are. It seems they are ready to abuse the SC Act according to their own interpretation without applying good judgement.

Don't they realised that they are hustling the messenger and not the culprit?

The rate they are flexing their power with such gangsterly behaviour may get Rocky's posting title misinterpreted. Some time back, Zarinah almost sue him. Never underestimate a woman's revenge.

Before SC flex their muscle again, let me substantiate his posting's title. In my earlier posting here, I had recalled past indiscretion by SC. I have taken the liberty to compile the profile of "Mrs" Zarinah, Dato Azizan Abdul Rahman and spot few questions on the "Mrs."

Did SC realised there are many conflict of interests? Did they spot any infringement and links in certain corporate transactions? If they had realised it, would they ever investigate Azizan? Would they dare throw the Section 134 SC Act 1993 at him?

"Mrs" Zarinah's Profile

Brief extracted from Apex Securities and edited with additional information:

Dato' Azizan Bin Abdul Rahman, DMSM started his career as a Shipping Executive at Harper Gilfillan (M) Sdn Bhd after graduating from University of Malaya in 1973 with a degree in Bachelor of Arts in International Relations.

In 1975, he joined Pernas MISC Shipping Agencies Sdn Bhd and first served as Branch Manager in the new Johor port. He served as Penang Branch Manager and Marketing Manager of Malaysian International Shipping Corporation (MISC) since 1980. In 1981, he was attached to Panocean Limited in London as their Chartering Manager.

YBhg. Datuk left MISC in 1982 and joined JF Apex Securities Berhad as Director and launched his career in stock broking industry. He was Director of Apex Securities Sdn Bhd from 1982 to 1985 and Apex Holding since 1990. He had served as CHiarman of Apex Holding.

At Apex, he was responsible in restructuring TSH Resources Bhd, to become a more institutional based broking firm and subsequently brought in Jardine Flemings Ltd. of Hong Kong as a Strategic Partner in it. He left JF Apex in 1995 to pursue his private business but remained as a Director of Apex Equity Holdings Berhad.
Other sources listed his Board and Committee Memberships as below:

  • YBhg Datuk Azizan bin Abdul Rahman joined MBF as a Director of MBF Corp. Bhd from September 5, 2000 till January 5, 2007. He served as a Managing Director of MBF Corp. Bhd (formerly, MBF Capital Berhad) from August 1, 2001 to December 1, 2003. He served as an Independent Non-Executive Chairman of MBF Corp. Bhd from March 8, 2006 to January 5, 2007. He served as a Non-Independent and Non-Executive Director of MBF Holdings Bhd since September 2, 2003 and its Executive Director from August 1, 2000 to September 2, 2003. He was Director of QBE-MBF Insurans Bhd (formerly known as QBE Insurance (Malaysia) Bhd) March 3, 2003.
  • He has been the Chairman of Eastern & Oriental Bhd since November 6, 2003.
  • He was the President of The Stockbrokers Association. He was the Chairman of the Association of Stockbroking Companies of Malaysia from 1994 to 1995. He was an active Member of the stockbrokers fraternity.
  • He has been the Non Executive Chairman of Ramunia Holdings Bhd since June 2009.
  • YBhg Datuk bin Abdul Rahman has been the Chairman of the Board of Gefung Holdings Bhd since December 1, 2006.
  • He has been the Chairman of Isyoda Corp. Bhd since April 18, 2007.
  • He served as Independent Non Executive Chairman of Ayer Hitam Tin Dredging Malaysia Bhd since October 17, 2005.
  • YBhg Datuk bin Abdul Rahman has been a Director of Gefung Holdings since September 28, 2006.
  • He has been an Independent Non Executive Director of Nagamas International Berhad since October 1, 2007.
  • He serves as a Director of Commerce Asset Ventures Sdn Bhd.
  • He serves as a Member of Training & Education Advisory Council at Islamic Banking and Finance Institute Malaysia Sdn. Bhd.
  • He served as an Executive Director of TSH Resources Bhd from September 3, 2001 to August 2005. He serves as an Independent Director of Mission Biofuels Sdn. Bhd., a subsidiary of TSH.
  • He served as a Director of Ekowood International Bhd from June 1, 2002 to August 31, 2005.
  • He served as an Independent Non Executive Director of Ayer Hitam Tin Dredging Malaysia Bhd since July 1, 2005.
  • Since 1995, he served on the Board of Tongkah Holdings Berhad.
  • He also served on Kedah State owed Bina Darulaman Berhad.
  • He serves as a Member of Investment Panel of Lembaga Tabung Haji. He also served as Dirrector of TH Plantations Berhad since June 1, 2005.
Zarinah's Profile

Before we raised the questionable issues, let's see the profile of our SC Chairperson, Tan Sri Zarinah Anwar from MASB website.

Tan Sri Zarinah Anwar is Chairman of the Securities Commission (SC), Malaysia, a post she assumed on 1 April 2006. She had served as Deputy Chief Executive of the SC and a member of the Commission since 1 December 2001.

She is Vice-Chairman of the Emerging Markets Committee of the International Organisations of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). She was Chairman of the ASEAN Capital Markets Forum, a grouping of chairmen of ASEAN securities regulators, from 2006-2008.

Currently, she chairs the Malaysian Venture Capital Development Council and the Capital Market Development Fund, and is a member of the Labuan Offshore Financial Services Authority (LOFSA), Malaysian International Islamic Financial Centre (MIFC). She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Institut Integriti Malaysia (IIM) and the Asian Institute of Finance Malaysia (AIF).

Tan Sri Zarinah started her career in the Government Legal and Judicial Service where she served in the courts as well as the Attorney-General's Chambers. Subsequently, she spent 22 years with Shell and was Deputy Chairman of Shell Malaysia prior to joining the SC.

She graduated with an LLB (Hons) from University Malaya.

  • How is it that Zarinah be appointed as SC Chairperson in 2006 when her husband was a stockbroker and remain as Director in Apex outfit since 1985?

  • Is there not conflict of interest with Zarinah as SC Chairperson and husbands as Directors of Public Listed Companies?

  • In Annual Report of Companies where Azizan is a Director, why is there no mention of his relationship with SC Chairperson? The company only provide this qualification:
"Datuk Azizan does not have any family relationship with any other Director and/or major shareholder of the Company and has no conflict of interest with the Company. He has had no convictions for offences within the past ten years."
  • In January 2009, Azizan and a partner took Isyoda private at 71 sen. Earlier on November 7th, Isyoda was 93.5 sen and 4 days latter it felled to 54 sen. Two months later it was taken private. Is SC not investigating the reason behind this price drop? Maybe for possible manipulation?

  • Isyoda's NTA per share was about RM1.20. At 71 sen, the Company is actually taken for cheap. Was SC involved in pricing the GO at 73 sen? Was there any "strange" waiver in this deal that helped the EGM to approve the sale for cheap?

  • The delisting exercise was fast. By May 2009, Isyoda was taken to court. Was there something shitty that was covered up by delisting? SC interrogating goons?

  • Azizan became Deputy Chairman of TSH Resources, a Company he restructured personally at Apex. TSH Resources owns 67 pct of Ekowood and Tabung Haji owns 7%. He was Director of Ekowood till August 2005. Dato Kalimullah was apponted Chairman from 2004 up till May 2010. Could this be the link that help Kalimullah with waivers and strange arrangements for "ikan bilis" ECM Libra to takeover of Avenue Capital.
This is still a prequel.

Can there be a "Chinese Wall" in bed between husband and wife? So, any bloggers wanting to make a name for yourself can dig up on this allegedly corrupt couple.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

SC lied ... Stop cooperating

Securities Commission (SC) made a press release to deny allegations by reporters, editors and NUJ.

It is a sheer lie.

Rocky described an ordeal Dalila Abu Bakar had to undergo yesterday. Taken from his blog below:
Dalila Abu Bakar told me the Securities Commission investigating officer wanted hto subject her to a body search. They wanted her handphone and refused to believe her when she said she had left it at home.

The IO brought into the room a lady officer by the name of Mastura, who is physically ok to pat down Big Dog, if necessary, of so I imagine. The body search was called off after Dalila told them to go on a make her day.

"I asked her what if I had my phone in my undies, and she said she will come and get it from me. That's when I lost it. I told her if she comes near me, I'll throw the chair at her".
My blood boils ...

I suggest that a press conference is organised and have all the investigated reporters reveal what happened.

They should all refuse en-bloc to cooperate in the investigation unless a lawyer and witness is present together for the interrogation.

If possible, have MPs from both side of the divide present together. Just thinking out loud in anger.

Read SC lies below:
Probe on reporters done professionally, says SC

The Star, Tuesday June 29, 2010

PETALING JAYA: The Securities Commission (SC) says it has been professional in handling the investigations of four business reporters in connection with the sale of shares in Kenmark Industrial Co (M) Bhd.

It said in a statement in response to a news report that quoted various sources, including the National Union of Journalists, about complaints on the manner in which the investigations were conducted by its officers.

“These are the rules and procedures prescribed by the law, which we abide by strictly. The statements from witnesses are taken by experienced officers and we have full faith that they have acted professionally throughout,” an SC spokesman said in the statement.

“Our effective enforcement of the securities laws depends to a large extent on the assistance and cooperation given by witnesses. Given the nature of the cases we handle, we have had to call in people from all walks of life, including members of the media.

“We are grateful that in most cases, the witnesses have been very helpful, cooperative and forthcoming, and this has led to the successful prosecution of many cases,” he said.

There were rules and procedures in law that they must comply with in recording a witness’ statement, he said, adding: “We conduct interviews only during office hours, unless witnesses request to have their statement recorded after-office hours or are willing to extend the statement recording session.”

He said where required, they had accommodated the wishes of the witnesses in terms of their schedule. “As a matter of practice, we break for lunch, although some witnesses prefer to proceed during lunch. In addition, we also allow cigarette and other comfort breaks.

“Where appropriate, witnesses are also offered the option of stopping and continuing the giving of their statements on another date. These are all documented. Witnesses are then provided the opportunity to read and review their statements, make changes and are required to sign the statement,” he said.
Why should The Star be so nice to publish their side of the story but not report the journalist side of the story?

Anyway, I am hearing something on SC Chairperson. Double dipping rupanya ...

Musa spending away while Sime Darby burn

This advertisement appeared in page 3 of The New Straits Times yesterday.

It is advertising Sime Darby's Lecture Series on July 6th featuring Jonathon Porrit, some Mat Salleh wiseguy coming to talk about sustainable development.

There is no doubt lectures like this is beneficial but that is not the issue at stake.

Such program sponsored and organised by a corporation is considered prestigous and good image building. For Sime Darby, it fit in nicely with their aristocratic blueblood mindset of a company peaking in its corporate lifecycle.

But that is if you can afford it.

Are they not worried by the recent RM1.3 billion loss?

Pardon the pun, but why the concern on sustainable development when Sime Darby may not be a sustainable company if the Board of Directors aren't aware of major cost overruns occuring in two years. Something is wrong with Tun Musa Hitam.

He should resign and I am quite aware Dr Mahathir is no more Prime Minister and neither do I with him to return.

Think about it.

This advertisement itself could cost some RM30,000. Then there is the cost of designing the advertisement. Say another RM10,000. What about the cost of flying this orang putih and pay his lecture fee to come an bull? RM40,000?

The cost of event - place, refreshment, security etc? It maybe held at Sime Darby Convention Centre but there is still cost. The least being opportunity cost. Assume all in RM30,000.

That is already RM110,000, easy.

Can the company afford such luxury now? Should it spend on such luxury when company is lost a humongous amount of money?

Promise land or ....

Did Musa ever thought what Joe Public and Ah Wong the stock punter will say?

What good is it for staff morale and trust on management with the glooming prospect of no pay rise, bonus, and at worst, retrenchment. Yet the company can spend on ego trip like this, which is nothing more than an opportunity for the rich and famous to miggle.

As an aristocratic minded company, we haven't scrutinised the Chairman's car, overseas trip, fee, allowances, perks, and private jets.

Why the need for private jet when Musa is not in an executive role and is in no need to rush his schedule?

Unless he is not over an old habit from his Ministerial days to do a Mile High Club, Musa should just fly commercial and save company money.

There is no room for such extravagant ego trip in Sime Darby. But this is the problem with putting an obsessive politicking politician at such a polition.

Musa wanted this position to abuse it's facility and satisfy his ego.

... burned to the ground

Prior to the merger, Musa was the Chairman of Guthrie. It seems he had heard about the planned merger early and wanted to be the Chairman of the Newco, Synergy Drive.

The first thing he did was to avoid competition from other people's lobbying for it. He pretended to be humble as to not want any more position and fake a resignation.

Tan Sri Ahmad Sarji is the Chairman for the original Sime Darby then. Since the vacancy at Guthrie was going to be temporary, Ahmad Sarji assumed the Chairmanship,. After all, PNB is the major shareholder in both Sime Darby and Guthrie.

This way everyone expect Ahmad Sarji would be Chairman of the Newco under which are the three major plantation companies. No one lobbied for it and this is when Musa quietly lobbied to sleepy Pak Lah and got it.

Do not trust Musa ever. As it is, he is going around trying to whisper blame on everyone else except himself.

It is heard that he blamed Dr Mahathir forced on Sime Darby to take up the Bakun project but in actuality Sime lobbied for the project.

Maybe it is fun to repeat what one of his close associate described of him in full unplug and uncensored. The hint is that associate has royal link. Off course, tehre is many.

"Musa ni, manalah dia tahu pasal berniaga. Dia ni tahu nak bergaya aje. Kalau pompuan, dia memang tahu."

And I wouldn't be surprise he is still not short of it even at this late age.

Yes yes ... that is a low blow and distastefully inappropriate.

But did Musa thought for a second that before wasting rakyat's money? That is a lower blow ... Ouch! That's me hurting too.

Does it take another TBH for SC to be sensible?

Securities Commision continued their gangsterly behaviour towards financial journalist on The Malaysian Reserve reporter, Dalila Abu Bakar yesterday.

According to Rocky Bru here, Dalila was requested to report to SC's office not once but twice - morning and 6 pm.

The SC intimidated Dalila by threatening to throw some Clause under some Act at her. That could land her in jail and a RM5 mil fine if she did not surrender her handphone and SIM card to them.

Editors, veteran jourmalists and NUJ are not keeping quiet and slammed SC for their indiscretion.

The manner SC is flexing their power, despite the outcry by journalist and bloggers, it is as if they are looking forward for a similar incident like the death of the late Teoh Beng Hock.

Newspapers and magazines shouldn't buckle to such threat and intimidation. They can retaliate to expose suspicious indiscretion and improprietary done by SC, particularly Chairperson, Tan Sri Zarinah Anwar.

Bukit Kiara beginning to stink to high heaven.


Securities Commission taken to task
Eight hours of questioning too long, editors and veteran journalists say

The Malay Mail, Monday, June 28th, 2010

PETALING JAYA: Editors and veteran journalists are lambasting the Securities Commision (SC) for using "interrogation" methods on three business reporters.

In the "interrogation" which lasted about eight hours, seasoned business reporter B.K. Sidhu was questioned on a report she wrote on June 17 on Kenmark Industrial Co (M) Bhd trading irregularities which involved the exit of its substantial shareholder Datuk Ishak Ismail.

Veteran journalist Datuk A. Kadir Jasin said it was excessive and the commission had no right, in fact it was inappropriate for the SC to mishandle the journalists.

He added that since journalists were now being questioned by the SC, it was only fair that the Press should closely monitor the activities of the SC.

"Since they monitor us, we monitor them. It is common to be called up by them but the journalists have to be treated with respect and fairness because they are only witnesses.

"If they want the details or help, they need to be nice. When an interview is being conducted by them, they cannot resort to any action that can be considered putting them (journalists) under any pressure," he said.

Meanwhile, NST managing editor Nuraina Samad said the eight-hour interrogation was too long.

"Define questioning. It shouldn't be that long as if they have violated something when they were just assisting the commission. I stand with all the editors on this matter," she said.

National Union of Journalists (NUJ) president Norila Mohd Daud said journalists lambasted the SC for the long hours of questioning.

"It is up to the journalists to assist or not, they are obligated yes, but questioning them for the whole eight hours is quite a torture. This is not a criminal case.

"Besides, the journalists are writing for the public. They should assist an investigation but they shouldn't be put in a situation where they are questioned for gruelling hours."

The Star group chief editor, Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai, told The Malay Mail that Sidhu would be visiting the commision tomorrow and would be accompanied by a lawyer, citing he "wants Sidhu to get the best legal advice".

Meanwhile, Kadir was all for the commission to haul up market manipulators, which he believes the commission had yet to prove its seriousness.

"This is the time for the media to expose what's going on in the SC," he said.

Last Wednesday, Sidhu was called up for questioning after reporting on the SC obtaining an ex-parte injunction to refrain Ishak of KFC fame from dealing with the RM10.2mil worth of proceeds he got from the sale of his shares in Kenmark.

Another journalist from Business Times, Azlan Abu Bakar, was called in the next day.

Malaysian Reserve journalist Dalila Abu Bakar was called this morning for questioning.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Ishak Ismail replied?

My posting on Kenmark yesterday here received a commentator claiming to be "Dato Ishak Ismail".

The presumed Ishak is one of the major shareholder of the troubled company, Kenmark. He was a corporate player seldom heard in the news back in the 90s, particularly during Anwar Ibrahim's stinct as Minister of Finance and associated with such entities as Idris, Aokam Perdana, KFC, etc.

The comment to correct mistake is much appreciated. But surely, it would have been more appropriate to be formal than addressing yours truly as "bro" because we do not have any casual relationship.

In the spirit of fairness, I respectfully reproduced his comment in full to give highlight to his reply below:

Dear Bro.

I read your articles and you need to make some correction.

You said I sold the Kenmark shares before EON bank seal the factory. This is not true. The shares was bought by my family trustee after EON bank have seal the factory.

Bro, You also accuse me of being Anwar financier and crony in the 90. This is very serious allegation. Yes I was close to Anwar in the 90 because i was appointed by him to be Permatang Pauh UMNO division secretary. Am I his crony. The answer is NO. Remember when Tun Mahathis revealed all the Anwar cronies, my name was not there.

My first corporate move in the 90 by acquiring the shares of Idris Hydrulic was with the help of Tun Daim. The money was given to me by Tan Sri Tajuddin.

Bro, as a Muslim I can swear that I never give any money to PKR or Anwar to fund his political struggle and I am still an UMNO member in Permatang Pauh.

The comment has no material importance to the issue of SC "harassment" on financial journalist to force them to do the unethical and unprofessional practise of revealing their source of information, but it will be taken in good faith.

And it is to respect his right to reply.

Read also The Star here.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Is SC coercing messengers of news to save culprit?

Dedicating James Taylor's "You've Got A Friend" to the affected journalists

The latest from Rocky Bru here reported business journalist being held up by Securities Commission for interrogation.

The grapevine from the strange looking building at Mont Kiara is saying the interrogation lasted as long as 8 hours. Yes, I repeat again. BK Siddhu of The Star or Azlan Abu Bakar of Business Times was interrogated for 8 hours!

They had been following and reporting the Kenmark debacle in their papers. Kenmark is a public listed furniture company which was reprimanded by Bursa for late submission of their quarterly report.

Then strangely, it's Taiwanese MD, John Hwang disappeared causing share prices to crash on May 31st. If the issue is about Directors' fiduciary duty liek Sime Darby (resign please Tun Musa Hitam), there is another twist to it.

Few major shareholders, namely Dato Ishak Ismail and Taiwanese Chen Wen-Ling was reported to have sold their shares in the open market and cease to be major shareholders. This happened before EON Bank sealed their Klang factory, thus turning Kenmark into a PN17 company.

Securities Commission (SC) obtained an exparte injunction on Ishak Ismail - a market rigger, and Anwar's financier and crony from the market go-go days of the nineties - from getting a hand on his share sales proceed.

By the look of it, it is clear who are the possible law offenders and suspects. But why is SC being hard on the messengers of news?

Isn't it strange?

They were never hard on many past offenders of Securities law and even held back investigation on few high profile cases.
There is the likelihood that they will not be hard on repeat offender, Ishak Ismail and the Taiwanese. Why the reporters?

More strange things.

Isn't it strange that DAP is not making as much noises as the death of the assistant to DAP Assemblymen, the late Teoh Beng Hock? PKR is quiet as a stutter cat since Ishak is a crony of Anwar.

PAS is as calm as a flame on a lit candle in a church. They are not too dumb to understand, I hope.

Neither are we hearing Mr Goblok-isation, Khairy raising any hue and cry over the inappropriate rough treatment of business journalist by Securities Commission on the "messengers" and not the culprit in the Kenmark debacle.

Ah ... here is another puzzling contract renewal by Najib. How my memory failed me.
This is not strange.

Isn't the SC Chairperson, Tan Sri Zarinah Anwar the person that was in cahoot and threatened by Khairy in the ECM Libra's rape of Avenue Capital?

Zarinah's family through her sister is a close family friend of Tun Abdullah. She wouldn't dare interrogate Khairy, with Tun Abdullah being the person who appointed her, would she?

Immediately after the Avenue Capital EGM that approved the takeover by ECM Libra, Zarinah covered them up by only mentioning Iris Corporation for committing impropriety in the papers the next day. Macam betul saja.

Zarinah's inconsistencies was not limited to just ECM Libra takeover of Avenue. Read Bigdog here. He's researched quite a few.

Financial journalism under Securities Act

Despite the mainstream newspapers "assisting" SC to cover their incompetence and impropriety under pretext of public relation, SC treated these business journalists badly and all MSM newspaper should boycott and blackout SC in protest.

There is no basis for SC to subject the journalist for such long and suspiciously abusive interrogation. They are merely reporting the event and are not suspected offenders.

Other than the licensed representative of licensed operating companies to trade and advise on securities, the Securities Industry Act (copy in my possession is the 1990 version) authorised financial journalists of licensed newspaper to write on securities including public listed companies.

It means financial journalist are not committing any illegal act under the SIA for reporting on a public listed company.

In the old Act of 1983, the authority (in this case Securities Commission) could request newspaper publishers for the name and address of financial journalist.

This can be understood to mean SC is empowered to investigate financial journalist for any offenses such as collaborating to rig market or insider trading in their reporting.

But this is merely reporting past event and no share recommendation is made, directly or indirectly?

Insidious SC

The murmurs amongst friends in journalism is that SC coerced the journalists to reveal their source of information on Ishak's share trading. This is highly improper because journalism ethics demand secrecy of their source.

It is very unfair because journalist will lose their integrity and reputation. Their sources will not trust to reveal information and leads. SC's action is as good as denying them of their rice bowl and trampling on free press.

It is also a great injustice because journalist have no option but to face the consequences for refusing to reveal their sources.

The puzzling issue here is: Why did SC resorted to coerce the journalist for information?

Unless there is an intention to divert attention or save the suspects and culprit, there is no reason to be hard on the journalists. After all, they are only third party source of information. SC can easily get the information from directly at the source.

Information on all shares traded is available in records in the Bursa's and stockbroking system. These days there are no more nominee companies fronting the identity of buyers and sellers. All have to be divulge. When Ishak used to have other person as front, his proxies could be detected.

Are the young pretend-to-know-all wannabees of the financial market, with their sophisticated equipments and more transparent security law, admitting to us ole timer that they can't investigate Ishak?

The suspicion again is SC wants to coverup the culprit. By going after journalist, they are scaring them from reporting the news. Any attention on the journalist being investigated will diver attention from investigation on the actual culprit.

Eh ... shame la Khairy the "Goblok"-isation generation!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Felda Bankrupt: Lawsuit just ain't enough

The perception that "Felda" bankrupt being perpetrated by Suara Keadilan in their June 22-29th 2010 issue is totally absurd and a lie.

Many felt Suara Keadilan and PKR officials deserve to be sued by "Felda" because it could affect their reputation and overseas ventures.

This blogger beg to differ on the action and felt it to be unnecessary. Furthermore, lawsuit just ain't enough.

Suara Keadilan could have describe it as cashflow situation for it is more believable. But what kind of cashflow situation?

The fact that cash position of "Felda" is reduced from RM4.08 billion to RM2.73 billion for 2009 doesn't tell anything about a tightening situation. Felda is a cash rich company with its huge cash reserve known to be floating in our money market.

Note the inverted commas used for Felda and other terms later. It will be explained later. In this case, it means almost Felda but not exactly Felda. Suffice to say, it is indicative of "Felda".

"Felda" cannot go bankrupt as the perception game being played by PKR. It has 340,000 hectare plantation and total asset rose from RM9.17 billion for 2004 to RM15.37 billion for 2009. There is no lawsuit or any judgement executed to adjudicate bankruptcy.

Perhaps some will argue that what about the liability side? Old blue chip Sime Darby can fail when untrained hands and robbers have a hand in the cookie jar. That is a possibility but all this talk of bankruptcy arise because Idris Jala couldn't shut his f**king mouth.

What is really needed upon "Felda" to improve their transparency and information dissemination. Felda could easily dispell such slander with preemptive public relation and media strategy. They have no problem to get media coverage thus, there is no need for the lawsuit.

For assurance, the simple logic that it has huge cash reserve and Banks are licking their kneecap to give them loans only shows they do not have high borrowing. Their six years average net profit from plantation is RM1.1 billion. There is no issue of them not meeting their financial commitment at all.

The rumour that Felda Global Venture was facing losses could be simply dispelled off based on reason that they were new investments and still awaiting to bear fruits. In Felda, they are used to waiting five years for oil palm tree to begin harvesting their fruit.

Having said that, do the officials at "Felda" understand what is Suara Keadilan doing?

Dato Ahmad Maslan explained it briefly in his press conference yesterday that PKR is targeting the safe BN stronghold seats at the Rancangan Felda. Other than some rancangan in Jerantut that was filled up by PAS members during Dato Asri's time at Kementerian Tanah dan Galian, most of Felda settlers are BN supporters.

That still doesn't mean the "Felda" officials understood what was happening. As far as PKR is concerned, they need to instill amongst Felda settlers some doubt in the management of Felda.

Imagine, if 1,000 copies of Suara Keadilan is bought and left at coffee shops for public to read. Assume 20 people read it or at least saw the headline, that means 20,000 people were made known that Felda is bankrupt.

This is still assuming they do not believe it.

All it takes are some grouses of Felda settlers over some administrative issues with management or bureaucrasy caused problems to prolong. Then some instigator will start to remind of this Felda Bankrup news on Suara Keadilan. It will then spread like wild fire and have a life of its own.

If the Felda officials attitude is to say, "jangan layan fitnah" and claim the moral ground that "people will know and appreciate them" because they are honest and capable, their situation can be described as good as mampus.

Allow me to correct something here. Common people are not concern to know what is happening in Felda.

Members of the public with concern for public issues are small in preportion. Majority of them tend to be critical. They have a tendency to seek for untold stories and so-called inside information because they believed mainstream newspapers are not free.

The Felda officials thinking that "the truth shall set them free, hellalujah" must be naive to think so. Once a negative perception sinks in, it is very difficult to change, even with facts and figure. Try to reverse the perception of that PAS demonstrator lying across the road with a Palestinian flag to hold up a car.

What more with our bureaucrat tendency to just go by a simple "nafi nafi" to dispell false allegations without giving convincing details?

Now, the explanation for the quote and unquote used earlier.

Take for instance, the "Felda" press conference by Dato Ahmad Maslan yesterday. He himself couldn't exactly answer with confidence a question by a blogger on whether the RM15.37 billion was total asset or net asset as in after netting liabilities or net as in revalued assets.

This is not to blame him because he is not financially trained. The two officials next to him shouldn't be keeping bisu like a pengantin but speak up and explained. They were saved because the blogger decide not to drill them further to avoid embarassment.

In these days, it is questions coming out from amateur reporter cum bloggers that stand out than the reporters in press conferences. Our reporters are so shy to ask questions. This is the product of KBSR and KBSM education system.

Then the issue of "Felda".

What is meant by "Felda" and all these numbers? There are many "Felda"s - Felda Corporation, Felda Holdings, Felda Proper and Koperasi Felda. Excluding the subsidiaries, there is also the new entity set up by Dato Mohd Bakke Salleh called Felda Global Ventures.

Where is FGV in the scheme of thing is confusingly explained by one official. Not because it was not understood, but because it does not made sense why it is placed above certain entities.

The usual attitude of Government officials when stuck and unable to explain, they go on their "we-know-better" excuse and body language. The question is not explained. One do not know if he does not know.

All these points to the need for Felda to be clear in explaining their position and not be too secretive. Being secretive these days, it only made one more mysterious and attracts more speculation.

Felda cannot afford not to take preemptive measures. Otherwise, they will fall to be come victims of irresponsible political perception game based on lies, misinformation and slander.

Will their lawsuit helps? By right, the lawsuits should shut the mouth of the other side from talking about the case. But that did not stopped Anwar and PKR from spreading lies about his sodomy case, did it?

Having known the answer, answer another one. How long before these lawsuit will reach the court and get judgement? I'll rephrase. How many years before bicara even begin?

You think it is smart move now? You think it is good to shut up?

Assuming, they can shut up the leaders of PKR and Suara Keadilan. Can they shut up bloggers, facebook, twitters and SMS? Can they shut up Joe Public? Can they can sue all of them?

Good luck. aggresively suing every other person also does not make Felda look good.

By then, many Rancangan Felda voters bought into the lies and end up voting Pakatan. If bicara only about to start, they could direct the Felda lawyers to withdraw the lawsuit. Because they could already be in Government.

The duped voters would only realised a bit too late. By then, just like what happened to Penang Malays today, they only realised they are now further racially discriminated and marginalised. They realised too late the danger of voting DAP out of anger.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Restless in Putrajaya?

For the past many years, particularly during the tenure of Tun Abdullah Badawi, it has become a practise to extend top civil servant's retirement.

What started as only for special cases during Tun Dr Mahathir's premiership, it has become almost a norm and abused by the pandai bodek ones to remain in the aspired position of power.

In Government service, where seniority matters more than merit, capable Government officers are denied opportunity to serve at the highest level. This practise of giving extension contracts has a demoralising effect on other Government servants on standby awaiting promotion.

It may have contributed to the lower quality pool of officers serving the Government due to pre-retirement resignations.

When our new Prime Minister, Dato Seri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak extended the contract of Tan Sri Sidek Hassan last year as Chief Secretary to the Government for a year to June 23rd, 2010, it created quite hue and cry.

But it didn't attract much attention. However, the recent extension again announcement has caused restlessness in Putrajaya.

Last year, there was accusation cooked up by opposition that Sidek was extended because he hailed from Kg Cherok Paloh, Pekan. No one bought the crony story.

It did not attract serious support since it is the PM's prerogative to choose his team member. It is believed that Najib needed time to choose his team, be at Cabinet and Government level.

However to-date, after more than a year, Najib seemed apprehensive about undertaking a major cabinet reshuffling to discard the non performers and those of questionable integrity.

It is more discouraging and demoralising to many quarters in Putrajaya now that Najib had announced another extension for Sidek by another year till June 23rd, 2011 in May 2010.

For many years, particularly during Tun Abdullah's tenure as PM, there has been much grouses among civil servants against the practise of extending retirement date with extension contracts.

By this extenstion, Najib may be seen by the Government servants as not listening. They are also rakyat that have learned to expect PM to listen to them.

The extenstion issue is believed by certain quarters as one reason certain segment of civil servants moved to vote opposition in protest in the last General Election of 2008.

Of late, there is an attitude amongst Government servant to refuse instructions and request from Ministers. There seemed to be a tacit agreement among them to refuse cooperation. Civil servant corruption is believed to be on the rise. This will be damaging to the process of governance, which in turn is bad for Barisan Nasional's image.

As Chairman of BN, he should be gravely concern with the rising trend of opposition sympathisers within the Government services. Where Goverment servants in Pakatan states are fed-up with Pakatan State Governments, BN is not able to hold its own fort.

To most Civil Servants, surely there must be other capable individual in Putrajaya other than Sidek. If meritocrasy is not the main criteria of selection, the least they would expect is non performers are not extended.

This is particularly so for Sidek, who in their opinion, carry a perception as non performer and is an insensitive administrator.

Sidek is viewed to have not performed his role in the implementation of the 9th Malaysia Plan. Government process was extremely slow and bureucratic. Rakyat did not benefited and it has affected economic growth.

He is seen as insensitive towards the rakyat on issue of paid parking in Putrajaya and the recent issue of "saman ekor."

Najib should seriously look and address these allegations against his Chief Secretary immediately. Otherwise, Putrajaya may embarassingly be represented by a Pakatan Member of Parliament in the next general election.

If it is possible to put Sidek's appointment on hold, he should explore the option.

However if it is not possible to reverse, since the extension has been graced by Agong, he should seriously consider stopping the practise of extending retirement date of top Government servants.

Appointing people into positions is respectfully the PM's sole prerogative, but voters do not expect any bad repurcussion from any of his appointment.

Taking the case of Sime Darby, appointing the wrong Chairman has caused the company too dearly. Tun Abdullah is responsiblke for that. But by continuing to keeping him there, it is no more his responsibility now.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Musa Hitam: Chartered private jet and RM1 million travel bill

When Zahid Md Arip of Perkasa described Musa as having "sindrom sayangkan kedudukan", there may be some pinch of truth.

Sime Darby was once not only a blue chip company but a blue blood company. It was an organisation that had evolved a corporate culture that is aristocratic and at an early bureucratic stage.

Chairmanship and Board membership came with fee and perks befitting of heavily titled retired top civil servants, politicians and corporate man.

It was also a place for Musa to maintain a lifestyle he yearns as someone almost making it as #1 man in the country.

In Sime Darby, the culture is such that no one offend each other or cross each other. It is in such an organisation that spending abuse is ever occuring and accountability is never practise.

Aging Company

Back during the time this blogger was doing his MBA, we were recommended to read Ichak Adzes's Corporate Lifecycle. It was about how and why corporations grow and die. There were mentioned some remedial actions recomended.

In our class discussion, we identified Sime Darby as an organisation that has passed its prime and were showing aging signs.

Unless the organisation get out of its aristocratic and bureaucratic tendencies, the organisation was dying. The CEO then was aristocrat, Tunku Ahmad Yahya of Kedah royal family and it was building bureucrasy only second to the Government.

After a bad foray into banking and finance, Sime was supposed to reorganise and reenergise itself into a "young" growing company. It never did so, but accelarated itself into a potential pathological death with a mega tri-merger.

Sime Darby was emulating the culture in Governmental organisation where form supercede functionality and organisational ritual is important.


Such organisation fits Tun Musa Hitam like a glove. It enables him to dream he is in a position he almost yearn but could not attain i.e. to be the #1 man.

At Sime Darby, Musa has been acting like the "Prime Minister" of an organisation and irregularly exercising his position as Chairman of Sime Darby.

According to Bigdogdotcom, Musa "is known to have ‘enjoyed’ himself lavishly in the position.

We quote from Bigdogdotcom: He has been known to have had Sime Darby chartered private jets for his use on company’s trips against using commercial flights. The urgency for him to arrive and leave the destination that it warrants for expensive hire of business jets since he is not an executive is still baffling.

Probably, some people think that he needed to travel in style now that Sime Darby is a RM 30 billion plus turnover MNC conglomerate and the largest plantations MNC in the world.

Sometime, these luxuries can be abused.

Recently, Musa demanded Sime Darby to charter and pay for the travel bills of Maldives President on business jet to attend the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) held in Kuala Lumpur.

President Mohamad Nasheed’s bills came to slightly over RM one million and it is thought that Tun Musa did this because the former is the latter’s personal friend.

This is highly irregular since the travel is deemed to be wrongful use of company’s expense and Sime Darby is just a sponsor and not an organiser of WIEF.


Sime Darby has just realised a major loss of RM1.3 billion from the irrecoverable losses incurred by Bakun, Qatar Project and Maersk Oil Qatar. Read Bigdogdotcom's February 2009 exposure here.

After a 13 hour marathon meeting on May 2010, none of the Board of Directors had the integrity to be accountable.

The original Sime Darby had cheated the public into believing the mega tri-merger would see an increase in shareholders value. But instead it is slowly becoming a facade to cover for worms already eating into the apple.

The original member of the pre-Synergy Drive Board of Directors should be responsible and if not liable for misleading the public.

Among the current BOD who were part of pre-Synergy Drive Sime Darby Bhd BOD, Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid, Tan Sri Ahmad Tajudin Ali and Dato’ Mohamad Sulaiman should resign or be ‘retired early’.

Former Chief Secretary to the Government and later became PNB Chairman Tun Ahmad Sarji has been in pre-Synergy Drive Sime Darby Bhd. BOD since the 1990s, is the most longest serving member.

Tan Sri Tajudin was part BOD of the pre-Synergy Drive Sime Darby since 2002. He gave the ‘thumbs up’ for Bakun.

Inside sources calimed he was also the BOD member who explored the energy business and spearhead the Qatar Project (QP) and Maersk Oil Qatar (BOQ) projects.

Tajuddin was a former BOD of Sime Darby Engineering, which undertook the much gloated QP and MOQ projects.

Dato’ Seri Mohamad Sulaiman was a veteran member of Sime Darby management. His last job was Managing Director of Consolidated Plantations Bhd and he was Managing Sime UEP Bhd. from 1985-90.

Mohamad was very familiar within the Sime Darby systems, reporting, controls and values and philosophy.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Wee demand Musa, Board and top management resignation in Parliament

Independent MP, Wee Choo Keong raised the issue of Sime Darby colossul financial loss in Parliament yesterday in his speech.

He expressed surprise at Tun Musa Hitam's claim of ignorance on the losses incurring since 2007 of their two projects in Qatar. The Board of Directors (BOD) seemed to be only aware of the losses when it reached nearly RM2 billion.

These clearly shows the Chairman and the BOD are either negligent or incompetent to carry out their role as the ultimate decision maker and to monitor the ongoing and performance of the Company and Management.

Also, Wee enlisted the names of the top management that should be facing the same suspension as Dato Zubir Mursyid.

Wee demanded to know whether the ROC, Bursa and SC had undertaken investigation into this affair. He demanded the resignation of Musa and the whole Board members.

In addition, Wee also expressed reservation with the selection of Felda CEO, Dato Mohd Bakke Salleh as new CEO of Sime Darby due to his losses incurred by Felda Global Venture.

Snippet of Wee's speech in Parliament yesterday below:

Datuk Yang Di Pertua

Skandal Sime Darby

Izinkan saya menyentuh tentang Sime Darby Berhad dan kerugiannya yang kini mencecah 2 billion ringgit.

Kerugian syarikat ini dalam dua projek di Qatar telah bermula pada tahun 2007, tetapi dalam kenyataan-kenyataan akhbar yang di buat oleh pihak syarikat sehingga ke tahun 2009, ianya di nafikan.

Ini bermakna Sime Darby bukan saja membohongi pemegang-pemegang sahamnya, malah ianya telah menipu Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia, Bursa Malaysia dan Suruhanjaya Sekuriti.

Di sini saya ingin bertanya YB Menteri Kewangan apakah tindakan telah diambil oleh Bursa Malaysia dan Suruhanjaya Sekuriti untuk menyiasat skandal Sime Darby.

Saya juga hairan bagaimana Pengerusi Sime Darby Tun Musa Hitam boleh membuat kenyataan bahawa Lembaga Pengarah nya tidak tahu menahu tentang kerugian yang dialami. Ini amat memalukan kerana Sime Darby adalah syarikat perladangan yang terbesar di dunia. Sepatutnya Sime Darby menjadi contoh kepada syarikat lain dalam tadbir urus atau Corporate Governance (dengan izin).

Ini bermakna Sime Darby Berhad mempunyai Lembaga Pengarah yang MATI PUCUK atau IMPOTENT (dengan izin). Ataupun Lembaga Pengarahnya masih tidur bersama dengan pentadbiran Tingkat 4.

Lembaga Pengarahnya hanya sedar tentang perkara tersebut apabila kerugian Sime Darby sudah mencecah hampir 2 billion ringgit, termasuk dalam projek Bakun. Ini amat memalukan bukan saja di Malaysia, malah di seluruh dunia, sebab Sime Darby mempunyai operasi di 20 negara.

Mengapa Sime Darby hanya mengambil tindakan terhadap Ketua Eksekutif Kumpulannya Datuk Seri Ahmad Zubir Murshid. Bagaimana pula dengan pegawai-pegawai pengurusan kanan yang lain yang turut terlibat dalam membuat keputusan tersebut?

Saya senaraikan nama-nama pegawai tertinggi yang sepatutnya juga menerima tindakan yang sama seperti Datuk Seri Zubir:
1. Datuk Sekhar Krishnan – Pegawai Kewangan Kumpulan Sime Darby semasa Sime Darby membuat keputusan untuk memulakan projek di Qatar;

2. Hisham Hamdan – Bekas Ketua Strategi dan Bisnes. Dia bertanggunjawab memastikan bahawa setiap projek adalah “viable” (dengan izin) sebelum membuat pelaburan.

3. Tong Poh Keow, yang dilantik Ketua Pegawai Kewangan Kumpulan pada Jun 24, 2008. Sebagai Ketua Pegawai kewangan, dia tidak membuat peruntukan atau “provisions” (dengan izin) untuk kerugian yang bakal dialami.

4. Nik Muhammad Hanafi Nik Abdullah yang pada masa itu merupakan Ketua Audit Dalaman Sime Darby. Dia telah gagal menegur Jabatan Akaun dan Kewangan kerana tidak membuat peruntukan atau “provision” untuk kerugian tersebut.

5. Foo Marn Hin – yang memegang jawatan Ketua Pengurusan Risiko apabila Sime Darby membuat keputusan untuk melabur di Qatar.

6. Abdul Rahim Ismail, yang pada masa itu memegang jawatan Ketua Pegawai Kewangan Division Tenaga dan Utiliti.
Kerugian yang dialami Sime Darby bukannya disebabkan oleh seorang individu. Ianya memerlukan peranan setiap individu yang saya sebutkan tadi.

Kerugian itu juga disebabkan oleh kegagalan Lembaga Pengarah memantau aktiviti syarikat.

Kerugian itu juga disebabkan oleh kegagalan Lembaga Pengarah memantau aktiviti syarikat. Gejala ini boleh diibaratkan seperti “harapkan pagar pagar makan padi!”

Saya juga amat hairan atas alas an apakah Dato Bakke pengarah Felda dilantik sebagai CEO Sime Darby sedangkan beliau pun ada terlibat dengan kerugian lebih kurang RM300 juta dalam pelaburan Felda in America Syarikat dan Suadi. Saya berharap Menteri Kewangan menyiasat perkara ini.

Dengan ini saya ingin mendesak Tun Musa Hitam dan keseluruhan Lembaga Pengarah Sime Darby meletakkan jawatan dengan serta merta.

His full speech is available on Rocky Bru 2 here.

Hoi Musa, tak tahu malukah? Resign lah!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Talent solution raise questions on integrity of NEAC member

The public today have an expectation on how the country is to move forward with new ways on how the economy is being planned and driven to meet the challenges of globalisation and current global financial crisis.

Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib is meeting that expectation with ambitious, if not courageous, new ideas. The New Economic Model and 10th Malaysia Plan is now being crafted and carved out of the reminiscence of Mahathir-nomics.

It set a high growth and an economic pace that warrants the expectation to be a developed nation by 2020 despite undergoing a five-and-a half year of socio-economic-political-cultural setback and ‘flip-flop’ policies of Tun Abdullah's slumbering tenure.

Despite such high expectation, the public too demand upon Government to practise a high level of transparency, professionalism and good governance.

This lead to a 'tale of shit on a tail being wagged'. The shit will hit the ceiling and dirtied the walls.

It is a case of 'double dipping', by a member of the highest economic planning body i.e. the National Economic Action Council (NEAC), namely one Datuk Dr. Hamzah Kassim, that will destroy every good effort made by the PM.

Hamzah is regarded as a leading human capital expert in the nation and highly spoken of by industry and amongst academics.

He sits in the NEAC having the specific interest in human capital that is being advised, formulated and planned for the Government as policies and implementation programs.

It is strongly believed that PM Najib’s recently announced plan for a ‘Talent Corporation’ in the 10th Malaysia Plan presentation to the Parliament two weeks ago was the brainchild of Hamzah.

Hamzah also sits on the board of Encorp Bhd and thought to have a close association to Dato’ Mohd. Effendi Nawawi, the former Minister in-charge of EPU.

This former ISIS researcher-turned-consultant is the Group CEO for local consultant Innovation Associates (IA). The IA Group was spinoff from Ernest & Young Cap Gemini when the Malaysian partners decided to start their own some eight years ago.

The group’s mainstay of business is consultancy, technology (which include ICT) and human capital management. They even have dedicated subsidiaries for these business activities.

Hamzah is the Group CEO of IA Group of Companies and plays a very active role in the business development of these subsidiaries.

The question arise is how could an NEAC member, who is planning and formulating the human capital for the Government and later become policies, blueprints and implementation programs, be awarded and is still pursuing Government contracts?

Hamzah and IA Group was awarded contracts and is now actively pursuing Government awarded business opportunities under Ministry of Human Resource, Ministry of Higher Education, Ministry of Education, NCIA, IRDA, ECER and Khazanah Holdings Bhd.

Recently, IA Group formed a joint venture with Felda Prodata Systems Sdn. Bhd. to develop ICT business opportunities.

IA Group is an IT player is believed to ride on Felda’s position being a GLC and PM Najib’s close affinity for the land reform agency that turned into a full fledged business entity.

Hamzah is also believed to be very close to Felda Group CEO Dato’ Mohd. Bakke Salleh, who has been announced as the upcoming Group CEO of Sime Darby Bhd.

Now that Bakke is the Group CEO for a Malaysian MNC with very large regional operations in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, the Philippines, Australia and some African states, Hamzah would naturally ‘ride’ on all the opportunities that will open to him and the IA Group.

Hamzah's integrity is at stake here. He is a Commissioner of the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC).

This raises more question. Could and most importantly, should an MACC commissioner, who is also member of the NEAC, canvass in direct and indirect business opportunities and contracts from Government and GLCs?

Probably, PM Najib should seriously look into the ‘talents’ that is being brought to advise the Government in official capacity.

It is unwise to have a ‘talent solution’ on personalities such as this but open his administration, policies and implementation to attacks and obviously position that is undefendable.

Najib should not be over reliance on official and advisors but establish his own back channel to do thorough background check and ensure the integrity of personalities filling up important places in Government and GLCS.

As it is, Najib's standard political answer to believe in the capability of Tan Sri Amirsham to fill the post of NEAC Chairman has proven him wrong.

He is believed to have selected Amirsham based on the recomendation of Tan Sri Nor Mohamd Yakcop. It was in the twilight of Amirsham's career and at a time his integrity is seriously being questioned for Maybank's overpriced purchase of Bank Indonesia Internasional (BII).

His questionable integrity has now translated into his wrongful appointment of NEAC members such as overly theoretical and ignorance of Malaysia Danny Quah, bias leaning against Malay Dato Nicholas Zachery, Melayu liberal Prof Norma, and Hamzah the 'double dipper'.

Najib's had again overrelied on Sime Darby officials' line of reasoning to select Dato Mohd Bakke Salleh as CEO without a thorough assessment of his performance at Felda, Bank Islam and Tabung Haji and understanding the organisational match.

All the candidate offered or so-called shortlisted by Sime Darby have the experiance to manage conglomorate organisation. Other than Sime Darby, there is too few in Malaysia. Managing such organisation requires unique skills.

There is no question that the prerogative to appoint also lies with the PM. However, he need to know that such oversight may prove disastrous and it is not impossible that the recent Sime Darby financial problem will lead to a bigger and more serious financial scandal in the future. It has happened elsewhere before and it had happened in the 'original' Sime Darby.

And, scandals are something Najib should avoid by miles, despite Merdeka Centre giving false ‘feel good’ vibes of 72% of Malaysians polled to have agreed with his plans for Malaysia.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Syndromatic Musa rely on Najib to defend Bakke's appointment

Tun Musa Hitam continued to come under fire from Perkasa, which was one of the earliest organisation to demand his and the full Board of Directors (BOD) resignation.

Mohd Zahid Md Arip, a member of the Perkasa high council, questioned the BOD appointment of Dato Mohd Bakke Salleh as CEO. During his tenure as CEO of Felda Global Venture (FGV), Zahid revealed he lost RM250 million investment in the US and Saudi Arabia. He viewed the appointment as hasty and questioned the selection criteria.

Tunku Aziz, former Group Director of Sime Darby and present Deputy Chairman of DAP, criticised Musa's logic for staying on and suggested Zubir "take the Board" to the cleaners. The prospect of taking the whole issue to court will not be good. It will reveal that Musa have been meddling in areas he knows nuts. Remember IJN?

After losing out in his bid for IJN, and Nilai LCCT, it is only his ego that is giving Musa that bold front face. Pressure is piling on Musa and no blog is seen to defend him.

In a clear reference to Musa's infamous word, "sindrom bisu", Zahid claimed Musa is beseiged with "sindrom sayangkan kedudukan".

It does neither his cause nor his ego any good to have the PM make statement to support him. In a matter of time, he will be down 0-3 and the whistle is blown. His lifelong reputation lost down the tube. Musa should have "jaga Sime Darby baik-baik", to pun another of Musa's famous quote.

Dato Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak said the BOD had selected from several names short listed by professional head hunter.

But with due respect sir, Syed Akbar revealed the other undisclosed names in his blog here. It is suspiciously a Sir Humphrey Appleby-like conjuring act for the BOD to have no other choice but to reject the rest and select Bakke. Only Bakke come close to managing a conglomorate organisation!

One wonder if it is Musa doing the head hunting himself. Do read your Pekan blogger's comment on Bakke's credential here.


Mohd Zahid Mat Arip statement for Perkasa as reported by Utusan Malaysia dated Jun 19th:

Pelantikan Mohd. Bakke dipersoal

KUALA LUMPUR 18 Jun – Ahli Dewan Tertinggi Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa Malaysia (Perkasa), Mohd. Zahid Md. Arip mempersoalkan pelantikan Datuk Mohd. Bakke Salleh sebagai Presiden dan Ketua Eksekutif Kumpulan (GCE) Sime Darby Berhad (Sime Darby) yang baru.

Beliau musykil pelantikan Mohd. Bakke yang didakwanya dibuat secara tergesa-gesa seolah-olah bertujuan untuk menutup kelemahan pihak yang bertanggungjawab menyebabkan kerugian konglomerat tersebut.

Apatah lagi, dakwanya, Mohd. Bakke pernah dikaitkan dengan kerugian pelaburan Felda Global Ventures (FGV) di Amerika Syarikat dan Arab Saudi yang dikatakan berjumlah hampir RM250 juta.

“Standard apa yang diguna pakai oleh Ahli Lembaga Pengarah Sime Darby dalam pemilihan Mohd. Bakke. Yang peliknya kenapa pelantikan ini dibuat secara tergopoh-gapah tanpa perlu menunggu keputusan forensik audit terlebih dahulu,” katanya dalam satu kenyataan kepada Utusan Malaysia di sini hari ini.

Beliau mengulas pelantikan Mohd. Bakke sebagai GCE Sime Darby bagi menggantikan Datuk Seri Ahmad Zubir Murshid yang kontraknya tidak disambung selepas diarahkan bercuti ekoran kerugian yang dialami konglomerat itu.

Dalam pada, Mohd. Zahid mendakwa Mohd. Bakke tidak layak untuk menjadi presiden dan GCE konglomerat itu kerana selain orang luar, beliau merupakan individu yang dikatakan bertanggungjawab kepada kerugian pelaburan FGV.

“Kenapa perlu lantik orang yang dikaitkan menyebabkan kerugian kepada FGV untuk memulihkan sebuah syarikat milik kerajaan (GLC) yang sedang mengalami kerugian besar. Apa pula kurangnya empat lagi calon yang disenarai pendek untuk jawatan ini.

“Malah saya difahamkan Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) juga sudah membuka kertas siasatan bagi menyiasat kerugian FGV. Jika benar maklumat ini, di mana nilai integriti dan ketelusan ahli lembaga pengarah Sime Darby,” katanya.

Mengenai keengganan Pengerusi Sime Darby, Tun Musa Hitam untuk tunduk kepada desakan supaya melepaskan jawatan di Sime Darby, Mohd. Zahid berkata, ia bukti jelas menunjukkan bekas Timbalan Perdana Menteri itu dilanda sindrom sayangkan kedudukan.

Katanya, disebabkan sindrom tersebut, kerugian Sime Darby akan menjadi satu lipatan sejarah serta simbol kegagalan terbaru Musa di dalam melaksanakan urus tadbir sesebuah GLC.

Pada 13 Mei lalu, Sime Darby mengumumkan kerugian lebih RM1.63 bilion dan serentak dengan itu Ahmad Zubir diarahkan bercuti.

Sementara itu, usaha Utusan Malaysia untuk mendapatkan komen Musa gagal kerana beliau sedang menghadiri mesyuarat di luar negara.


Tunku Aziz suggested Zubir to sue Sime Darby below:

SIME DARBY: A Conglomerate Gone Awry

By Tunku Abdul Aziz

There is a place for conglomerates in the business world. However, as with everything else, some are good, but mostly they invariably become unwieldy and difficult to manage effectively. Many come unstuck, leaving behind a trail of miserable examples of management failures, human greed and frailties. As always, there is a lot of cleaning up to do after the party is over. The sad truth is that we do not as yet have what it takes to run a complex business successfully, and a conglomerate is hellishly difficult to keep on a straight course because the temptation to wander off into the unfamiliar is often irresistible, and most conglomerates find themselves up a creek.

There have been many instances of major failures in the Sime stables. There was the case of the insurance business in the UK in the eighties, a member of Lloyds, which was in such a bad shape because of mismanagement that it had to be bundled with a very profitable money broking company into an attractive package and sold for a song. Sime Darby naturally had to be responsible for all the liabilities resulting from claims on policies transacted up to the time of the sale of the company. For the next several years after the sale of the company to the new owners, Sime Darby continued to send out to the UK enormous sums of money to cover the claims.

Then there was the Sime Bank debacle. Banking was a business in which it had no expertise and had to rely on the management that came along with the bank when it was acquired. The integrity of the many of the top executives running Sime Bank was questionable. What happened to the bank should have been a lesson to the board of Sime Darby about sticking to what it was good at. I well remember in Windsor, England, saying jocularly to Tunku Tan Sri Ahmad Yahaya, then Group Chief Executive, when he told me Sime Darby had acquired a bank that he would be better off getting a casino licence. Later he admitted that I was right.

I also recall the factory ship fiasco in the early eighties. The Sime Darby-owned vessel operating in the North Atlantic off the coast of Africa found itself in rough seas financially. Sime Darby decided to sack its two British employees claiming that they had got into this business with the approval of the board in Kuala Lumpur. This was patently untrue. The Brits would not be bullied into submission, and they sued Sime Darby and its Chairman, then Tun Tan Siew Sin, for wrongful dismissal, and won a very substantial sum of money in an out of court settlement. Zubir, the dismissed Group Chief Executive should not have allowed the board of Sime Darby to treat him so shabbily.

I personally believe that with a loss of this scale of magnitude, an honourable board would have resigned because obviously it has failed to discharge its fiduciary and other related responsibilities of stewardship. Zubir has been used as a scapegoat in the Anglo-Malaysian corporate tradition. If Sime Darby had been an American company, the chair would have accepted responsibility and resigned or been forced to go without ceremony. I find Musa’s logic for staying put, saying that he would resign if required to do so by the shareholders, disingenuous and self-serving to say the least. He must know he has failed as chairman, and based on the principle of collective responsibility, his board must exit with him. This is the honourable thing expected of a responsible board, and this is what I expect the much trumpeted Sime tagline, ‘Developing Sustainable Futures’ to be all about. My advice to Zubir is to consider taking Musa and his board to the cleaners. Sue them. We need in this country boards that are principled, and we can also do with a little honour and integrity in our business leadership.

Sime Darby in the meantime must take a good, hard look at itself to see if operating on the present model is sustainable. It is obvious that Sime Darby has become largely unwieldy, unmanageable, and unsustainable. It is showing all the signs of having become a conglomerate in the worst possible sense. The worst is not over yet.

(The writer is a former Group Director of Sime Darby, 1979-1985)


Prime Minister's statement to rescue bold front Musa below:

Mohd Bakke's Appoinment Not Hasty, Said Najib

KUALA LUMPUR, June 19 (Bernama) — Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the appointment of Datuk Mohd Bakke Salleh as the new president and chief executive of the Sime Darby Bhd group was not made hastily.

The Prime Minister said the selection had undergone an internal evaluation process as well as a third party evaluation.

He said that based on his experience and past record, Mohd Bakke was capable of turning Sime Darby around.

"So, I deny that it was made hastily and I hope everyone would give Mohd Bakke a chance to carry out his task because it is not easy to resolve the problems in Sime Darby,” he told reporters when asked about the allegation that the appointment was made hastily.

Earlier, Najib opened the 57th general meeting of the People”s Progressive Party (PPP) at the Putra World Trade Centre, here today.

Najib said the selection was done through the Sime Darby board of directors who had engaged the services of headhunters to ensure the desired professional requirement was met.

"There were several names short listed and the board of directors felt that his name was on top of the list to helm Sime Darby,” he said.

"We can”t allow the post to be vacant for too long. Otherwise, people will say the board of directors is not decisive, but if we fill it too early, they turn around and say it”s a hasty decision. Actually, it was not a hasty decision,” Najib said.

Mohd Bakke, 56, had served in several government-linked companies and investment companies previously.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Con-Sultan of Swing

You check out Guitar George he knows all the chords
Mind he's strictly rhythm he doesn't want to make it cry or sing
And an old guitar is all he can afford
When he gets up under the lights to play his thing
- Sultan of Swing, Dire Straits

This blog is one blog that have been questioning the over reliance on Con-Sultans during the time of Tun Abdullah's administration. The then Tingkat 4 was filled with business Con-Sultan given position and doing works totally unrelated to their background on policy, politics, communication etc.

It turns out their interest was to menyamun for themselves through projects and fees via consultants. Khazanah, GLCs, EPU and Government Departments was the lubuk for securing Con-Sultaning jobs.

Since Con-Sultaning jobs was easily secured using the cloud of Tingkat 4 PM Department, then evolve a procurement specialist Con-Sultaning firm like Ethos Consulting.

I would have thought with the end of Abdullah, such practices would have ended. But no ... it is still rampant.

How can one end it if Omar Ong and his partner in Ethos, Rohana and Minister like Tan Sri Nor Moahamd Yakcop is still very much at large with Dato Najib's blessing?

Ethos seems to be found in every other organisation telling companies, and government on how to go about to do things differently.

Seriously, let's think for a while.

Why must in almost every other major Con-Sultaning work, the name Ethos keep cropping up?

How much expertise and experiance would so-called wunderboy Omar Ong has to have his Con-Sultaning firm be the one doing every other thing? Is he so that terer that he knows everything?

For that matter, do Mckenzie & Co. and their strategic management model applicable to advise on education? Does it make sense for Boston Consulting Group's two variable matrix applicable to determine a country's bankruptcy? I would have thought a modified Altman's z score would have been nearer. Just showing off.

How many organisation/(s) has "supergenius" Omar Ong actually managed, spearheaded and delivered successfully? From his resume, he has none. Specific project perhaps.

By the look of things, what Ethos could be doing is merely as agent for multinational Con-Sultaning firms. The knowledge is not with him but with outside firms.

Outside firm like McKenzie hire local on a private basis. So, Ethos gets a cut from McKennzie and McKenzie pay relatively peanuts to the actual people doing the research legwork. A friend of Syed Akbar is a doctorate holder who is being paid peanuts for these bogus outside Con-Sultan to overcharge local Government Departments and Companies.

Imagine them writing inside the New Economic Model on the need to stop rent-seeking practices when these motherf***ers are a big rent seeker themselves under the guise of out-sourcing.

If one is familiar with Con-Sultans, one must know what one wants and be exact in the deliverables. Otherwise, their will recommend something theoretical and general that has no specifics to put together workable solutions.

That is where they will pau more money out of the clients for more plans after plans which is all academics. That is like taking your watch and telling you the time when all the while you can read your own watch.

The problem is so widespread now that our Government is spending billions on consulting fees. If this continues, Idris Jala could be right. We will go bankrupt by 2019 from paying consultants. He himself is paying consultants in the hundred of million.

If we can recall during Tun Abdullah times, Khazanah was said to be doing the GLC Transformation Plan. It used to be on the website but no more now. They had prepared something like 10 plans, manual and studies. All done by Con-Sultan.

Itulah ... head of Khazanah, Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar pun Binafikir Con-Sultan. Somesay he is a Con-Man Manager.

Just look at the performance of Khazanah companies. Their handicap companies is no more MAS, Proton and UEM. It has expandaed to Pos Malaysia and now SIme Darby. One member of Parliament told me that they had spend some RM400 million in the past five years.

I am not too sure if this include IRDA which has been spending berbeli-yon beli-yon, to emulate the late Tun Ghaffar, on consultant fees but still nothing delivered.

It is heard that there is an endless stream of work for Con-Sultans being dished out to the point the Con-Sultan reports, manual, plan and what say you can be stack up to reach the ceiling. Give time, it will can reach the top ceiling of two floor penthouse.

Most likely, the consultant fee paid is not included in Khazanah's RM400 million fee because there were consultants hired for all other corridors and is likely absorbed by the respective companies involved.

Speaking of companies, Ethos was entering GLCs and threatening as though it is PM's instruction.

One former PLC CEO, I personally know, was hustled but he refused. In his own words, the work they offered were things that could be done by the Financial Instiutution he was the MD of. Why should he let others do the work, he asked?

Recently, Syed Akbar wrote a posting here about this.

In the nutshell, he exposed Idris Jala and his Pemandu is milking the Government out of consulting fees in the hundred of million. Each of the NKRA lab (a con-sultan terminology) cost RM6-7 million. With 6 NKRA, it totals up to the high side of RM42 million. I am mentioning this because I met an attendee yesterday and he verified few things.

It seems there will be at least 19 other labs for GTP, NKEAs, KRAs, KPIs and fill free to make your own acronyoms. This will cost something like RM91 million and adds up to RM133 million.

It is not just about getting IP from McKenczie and BCG but a Public Relation firm, Ogilvy I think was paid to the tune of RM300-400,000 for the public event they had.

The use of consultant have reached the point where even our recently announced 10MP was prepared by external Con-Sultans instead of EPU.

Just look at the report. Go here to read the brief and one can spot immediately that this is not the Malaysia Plans we are used too.

It immediately comes off as an American University textbook or consultant report which is filled with unnecessary pictures for public relation value only but lacking facts and figures that our miserly paid Government servants used to provide.

It looks as though after preparing nine Malaysia Plans, the PM Department, EPU and MOF lost the ability to prepare the Malaysia Plan. One must understand that not many countries have a 5-year Economic Plan like Malaysia but yet some Con-Sultans seemed to know better at preparing 5-year plans.

I have a feeling the Con-sultans are involved in preparing all four pillars of Najib's administration - 1Malaysia; GTP; New Economic Models; and 10 Malaysia Plans.

It has no clear deliverables that can be understood and expected by the common people which is something that is never really understood by Con-Sultans. NEM had promised the 10 year rise in per capita income but do you think the people believe such deliverables?

All it had to tell are concepts and processes. Is there enough time for concepts and processes to deliver something to convince voters for the General Election to support Barisan Nasional?

The problem with relying with Con-Sultan is this. In today's world in what is described as knowledge economy, we should be building knowledge organisation.

Organisation is not only just focused towards delivering their goods and services but develop its own inherent capability by "building" within the organisation, knowledge and system of knowledge as derived from the operation, planning, management, problem solving, technical, etc.

To be able to develop such organisation, they must do things on their own. Sometimes we can learn from outside such as consultants but not to the point of over-relying on them. We should be determining the external knowledge that we want.

Better still, develop our own knowledge. Spend la on research. So our truly brilliant doctorate friend from an esteem foreign University doing live life without consistent income and being donkeyed by foreign Con-Sultans.

Believe me, having met many of those early successful planners during the NEP era, their common remark is, "Con-Sultan tak boleh pakai. Sendiri kena bikin. Go through the mill. Be meticulous. Find ways. You learn, and understand better. You are more effective."

Think about this.

By Khazanah, Government and EPU relying on Con-Sultans, how much intrinsic knowledge and value do such organisation have eventually? If they go to Seminar and Forums, do they really have credibility to talk? If any staff leave these organisations, are they of value to be hired?

My answer are all no.

YB Dato Mahfudz Omar of PAS can spot the recent 10MP was not done by EPU and he asked whether we still need EPU if we are to rely on Con-Sultans. Maybe it's time PAS rule the country since even not-so-smart Mahfudz is beginning to make sense.

* Updated 19/6 10:23 AM

My Say