Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Best wishes to Khairy

Time for talk to end and instead to walk the talk

Our eyes must have deceived us.

We thought we read in the frontpage of NST yesterday that Khairy Jamaluddin was speculated as the new CEO of PUNB. Yes ... new CEO.

And we are not sure what date the NST paper we read yesterday at the nearby warong for lunch.

You see we neither buy newspaper nor read the paper form newspaper. One reason is our source of news is online. Another is sometimes today's newspaper's news is our last week's news.

If it is not our eyes, then it could be the Minang dishes with its heavy santan. When will these Minang folks ever learn balanced meal of carbohydrate, protein and vegetables.

Back to the real world of news, online and TV that is.

Khairy to be appointed PUNB chairman

Business Times
February 28th, 2012

AT THE HELM: Umno Youth chief to take up post at government-linked entity soon, says source

Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin will be appointed as the new chairman of the Perbadanan Usahawan Nasional Bhd (PUNB), an entity entrusted to develop Bumiputera entrepreneurs in strategic and high potential businesses.

Although it is not immediately known when the Rembau Member of arliament will begin his tenure at PUNB, a source told Business Times it is expected to be soon.

Khairy is expected to take over from Tan Sri Mohd Abu Bakar Mohd Noor who has held the position since 1998.

A source at PUNB could not confirm the appointment, only saying that there was no such news so far.

PUNB provides a range of loans for prospective Bumiputera businessmen under various schemes such as Pemborong Prosper, Prosper Runcit and Prosper Siswazah and also networking platforms for its borrowers.

Established in July 1991 under the Malaysian Companies Act 1965, PUNB’s business operations are focussed on providing integrated entrepreneur development packages to assist Bumiputera entrepreneurs in retail andsmall and medium enterprise (SME) sectors.

These development packages are designed to help Bumiputera entrepreneurs develop business acumen, maintain a profitable venture and shape their enterprise, par excellence.

Business Times understands that Mohd Abu Bakar is well into his 80s. His previous posts include chairman of the Oriental Bank Bhd from 1997 to 1999 and chairman of the Board of Penerbangan Malaysia Bhd from 2002-2010.

Mohd Abu Bakar is PUNB’s second chairman. It is unsure how long Khairy’s term will be as the job tenure is indefinite, said another source.

This is expected to be Khairy’s first appointment to a government-related entity since winning a parliamentary seat at the general elections in 2008.

Although the youth chief position often comes with a ministerial post, Khairy was not appointed to any government post after winning the parliamentary seat.

Since then, there has been many rumours of Khairy’s appointment in various government-linked companies but nothing materialised.

Khairy, who was in his constituency in Rembau yesterday, did not return calls to comment on this latest development.
Business Times ha ...? Could this be Rashid Yusof trying to resurrect Khairy from the dead?

Jahaber at The Malaysian Insiders seems to be working-in-concert too. Careful of the MGO guys. E&O remember?

We could still criticise and demand Khairy to be denied from being given a position in Government.

The reasons could be from his sordid past in "the kitchen cabinet at home" or his questionable political and business dealings. Or it could be his failure to lead UMNO Youth into a force to be reckoned with. Or the dangerous ideology he adhered to from some MI6 or MI5 brainwashing during his Oxford days?

Or maybe it is time to bury the hatchet since he complimented Tun Dr Mahathir in his debate against Rafizi Ramli in London and move on?

One apology from Dato Kalimullah "Masya Allah" to Mahathir and legal suits between him and Matthias Chang and Dato Ahiruddin "Rocky" Attan could be settled off court. Why not Khairy?

That will be for others to speculate but we are not talking. It is not because today is the 29th of Febraury of a leap year.

As far as this appointment, perhaps it is time to allow Khairy a chance. The Ketua Pemuda of UMNO can't be left post-less for too long. Kesian dia ... Chairman Persatuan Nelayan pun dia tidak diberikan.

The people and his fans will have the opportunity to judge his claimed ability.

PUNB is an entrepreneurial development agency under PNB to cater for the smaller entrepreneurs of retailers and wholesalers and their networking.

Certainly having someone of Khairy's degree and pedigree would certainly help the Bumiputera cause. As an UMNO Youth leader, the plight of the Melayus and Bumiputeras remain deep in his heart despite his joint hands effort with MCA Youth leader Dato Dr Wee to clash against Perkasa.

Was it DAP Aspan who told us that Khairy said he is a nationalist?

Khairy has had many years of experiance in journalism, fund management, investment banking and business that could certainly auger well to help those retailers and wholesalers make that quantum leap forward.

Surely Khairy understand better the new world that demands upon the Malays to ready themselves in an environment to be more competitive, more responsive, lesser Government intervention in business, hostile towards trade barriers, and market as the ultimate determinant.

All should be fine as long as Khairy does not demand for entrepreneurs a special place in the world.

It could be a daunting task but he can always rely on his former Youth exco member and present Deputy Minister for MITI, Dato Mukhriz Mahathir for guidance, assistance and pointers.

Entrepreneurship only happens to comes under his jurisdiction.

Nevertheless, a man of Khairy's intellect and academic understanding is sorely needed.

Too distanced from reality of business and entrepreneurship

Recently, we attended a talk by Teraju CEO, Husni Salleh, who happens to be our super junior in school. We must express our disappointment to what his proposed plans to develop the Malay entrepreneurs.

Bearing in mind that Teraju seems to be an after thought after the much complain by Perkasa, Majlis NGO Melayu and other NGOs of PEMANDU and it's Bumiputera deficient agenda.

Here is a disciplined studious chap who does not even detour his concentration from his study or job in hand with student activism or any form of activism or cause except perhaps as corporate paid member of a Golf Club.

How much can he appreciate and understand the socio-economic agenda with political implications to develop the Melayu?

His career as stock analysts, then moved into venture capitalist has always been as a corporate man managing resources.

Yet, he tried to share with entrepreneurs and businessman in the crowd about getting annual audit and tax return, and KPIs and ratios as indicators of success. How laughably entertaining

He was howling at the top of his voice the obvious that the Malays have not reach this and that level. With that kind castle in the air thinking, he can only advocate the Malays should be this and that as strategy.

How arrogant and distanced is he from the real world of business and entrepreneurship where it is more managing of insufficient and unaccessible resources over the world of only managing something with resources available that he is accustomed to?

Surely Khairy has more humility than that.

At the end of it, the Teraju CEO is saying Malay must do and achieve more and meet his overzealous expectation but yet he has not much resources and new ideas to offer but nicely written graph of the obvious.

The video that they thought were a fine socio-economic analysis of the malaise of the Malay were full of cliche and stereotype that only create negative perception of genuine Malay businessmen and help worsen the prejudice against Malays.

All he can think off to say are repeats of past effort and things that have been done before with the only difference they claimed, it is centrally coordinated and monitored.

Big deal! Are their claim true?
Only entreprenuers understand entreprenurship, not Analyst type like Amokh, not Accountant Book keepers like Danny Yusof, not Venture Fund Managers like Husni and lastly Civil Servants.
Teachers and educationist understand education and people in the food service understand food industry.

But the prevailing problems that compounding itself in Malaysia are that those who taught they graduate from University and all who eats think they understand education and food industry.

Ready everybody as Amokh, Tony F and Zarinah talks of education in the education review panel. Three characters of questionable cometency or/and integrity imputing what values to education?

It takes one entrepreneur to know their psyche, how they operate, how their mind works, how they strive and how they solve problems.

Unlike our racial and clannish oriented Chamber of Commerces, that is how Chambers of Commerce works abroad.

They are usually a group of business people wanting to promote business in their geographical area or community by assisting and developing other SMEs and entrepreneurs which in turn, their presence help to benefit the community and them as well.

As long as Khairy could resist the temptation to use PUNB into a political vehicle as was done by Khaled Nordin at KPUN and Zahid Hamidi at BSN, he could make a meaningful presence.

Best wishes to Khairy and we will always be there to "see him through".

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Star's suffering from intentional Amnesia?

It was only in August that The Star was warned for their insensitivity to publish review of pork spare ribs ed pork andin their Ramadhan Delight special promotion insertion in their August 10 issue.

Many felt they got away to easy with a mere apology which were not sufficiently noticed, for an insensitive act.

Despite widespread ignorance by the races in Malaysia of each others' custom and taboo, even school children are aware that pork and liquor are taboo to Muslims and considered unclean.

After the much publicity to Muslim's sensitivity to the use of Allah by non Muslims, common sense should tell us that it can only be expected that Muslims would find it offensive for the name Allah to be written on a nude women's body.

The aurat, especially of the Muslimah, is sacriligious in Islam to be exposed. The Muslims men as well. Let alone to have the Muslim's God's name on a naked non-Muslim woman body!

The fact that these similar act of insensitivity is being repeated by The Star within the span of six months is baffling.

How could an established mainstream newspaper with multiracial and multi-religious staff that is expected to have better understanding of the different customs and taboos be committing such a mistake again?

It can only be intentional amnesia.

One possibility is that The Star may have intentionally intended to create a controversy to promote an upcoming Erykah Badu concert in Kuala Lumpur. Strangely, the Erykah Badu concert posters do not have the words Allah but The Star did the extra mile to put the offensive words.

In the controversial Ramadhan Delight insertion in August last year, The Star gave a review of Morganfield's pork spare ribs

They seem to intentionally forget the February 2006 and March 2010 incidents in which Malaysian Muslims demonstrated against New Strait's Times for publishing the offensive Danish Non Sequiter cartoons of Prophet Muhammad in their report and Swedish embassy for another offensive cartoon of prophet Muhammad by Lars Vilk in the Swedish press.

It should be more offensive to demean Allah's name in such manner.

What actually got into The Star's Editor, Wong Sai Wan's head?

Certainly hope it is not an act to show of force because of late, there have been an unrealistic sensitivity by Chinese to flex their new found political muscle. Isn't it too soon to behave so?

An example is the white ang pow episode with Perkasa which was not raised by the event attendee but by political parties for political mileage.

There is also the KFC I-City incident in which DAP highlighted the Malay staff as spewing racial insult but lied to say the Chinese customers were not racially abusive. They were in fact looking for trouble by returning back to the scene with video cameras.

(New addition) In last week's Lynas demonstration, Lim Guan Eng displayed his arrogance towards UMNO.

The manner he passed his remarks is similar to the KFC I-City incident and how certain Chinese excessive criticisim towards inefficient civil servants.

In case my fellow Chinese countryman do not realised it or failed to understand the Malay psyche, the Malays read the incidence at KFC I-City, excessive criticism towards civil servants and Lim Guan Eng snide remarks towards UMNO as representative of Chinese prejudices towards Malay.

This blogger hate to say it and have no intention to play the racial threat but this was how the sentiment and temperament before May 13, 1969 as described by many elders.

To many Malays, they are beginning to realise that the Chinese are flexing their racial muscle. "Cina tengah besar kepala," as many having been heard to say.

They see unfairness in certain segment of the Chinese attempt to boycott products of Malay owned companies like Gardenia in order to promote Robert Kuok's interest.

Sad to say but it is the Chinese newspapers including MCA-owned The Star that have been fueling the racial sentiments.

Gawd ... shouldn't The Star be more responsible as the newspaper mouthpiece of a member in the ruling party Barisan Nasional coalition to not unnecessarily slant things racially and add more fuel to the already tense political rivalry?

It is so DAP!

The Star's Editor in Chief, Dato Wong Choon Wai, and Editor, Wong Sai Wan made an apology in Facebook. Sorry that it is not good enough this time.

It is not that many do not realised that The Star is filled with DAP sympathisers and MCA politicians are like lallang in handling The Star. All it takes is to see the frontpages of Sarawak version of The Star during the Sarawak state general election.

For this latest act of insensitivity. the Minister for Home Affairs should not just warn but act on The Star.

By the way, a Saudi newspaper reported that Kurt Westergaard, the cartoonist responsible for the blasphemous cartoons that first appeared in Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, died in a fire accident.

That's divine retribution.

So have a safe life Choon Wai and Sai Wan.


Latest from the Press:

Erykah Badu concert cancelled

News Straits Times Press
February 28th, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR: A concert featuring American songstress Erykah Badu scheduled to be held in the city tomorrow night has been cancelled for allegedly violating Central Agency for the Application for Filming and Performance by Foreign Artistes (Puspal) guidelines.

Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim, in a statement published by his Tumblr account, cited that the performer had touched religious sensitivities and failed to meet Malaysian cultural values standards, as well as guidelines set by Puspal.

He said a photograph showing a tatoo of the word Allah in Arabic on the artiste's bare body was an insult to Islam and regarded as a serious offence.

"This has raised objections from the community which can threaten national security and have a negative impact on the government's image," he added.

Rais said a Puspal meeting today decided to stop the concert based on the views of its members, especially the Home Ministry, Islamic Development Department (Jakim) and Royal Malaysia Police.

"With the graphic exhibition of "Allah" on the body of the singer, it is sufficient to warrant irrefutable religious controversies from among Muslims who disdain such practice. The committee's decision to disallow the entertainer to perform publicly is in our view justified.

"To proceed with such public performance would only attract bigger and more cascading difficulties the likes of which we cannot afford to have under the present circumstances. Symbolism of Allah and Prophet Muhammad in the realm of exhibitive entertainment is not in the order Muslims'acceptance," said Rais.

Yesterday, local daily The Star published the singer's photograph in its entertainment section which showed her face and part of her body which boasted various tatoos including two on the word Allah in Arabic.

The Star has been called up by the Home Ministry to provide an explanation on the published picture, and is required to respond to a show cause letter within a week.

The newspaper has made an apology in its mainstream publication and news portal in regards to the photograph. -- BERNAMA
Top 3 editors hauled up

News Straits Times Press
February 28th, 2012

Muslims outraged over picture of American singer's tattoo in daily

KUALA LUMPUR: THE Home Ministry has called up the chief news editor, managing editor and senior editor of the English daily, The Star, to explain the use of a picture of American singer Erykah Badu bearing tattoos of the Arabic word for Allah.

Deputy Minister Datuk Lee Chee Leong said the ministry would be issuing a show-cause letter to demand a written explanation from the publication within a week.

"Further action will be taken based on the explanation given," he said in a statement yesterday.

Muslim groups yesterday called for action to be taken against the paper while Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Senator Datuk Dr Mashitah Ibrahim said tattoos of Islamic religious scripture were considered an insult to Muslims.

"While Americans and non-Muslims view tattoos as an art form, the name of Allah should never be used that way," she said yesterday.

The offending picture, published in the Star2 entertainment section of the paper yesterday, accompanied a lengthy profile of the American star ahead of her performance here tomorrow.

Read more here

Erykah Badu fans ... you'll can blame it on The Star.

Have a good day! Hehehe ...

Up-dated: 29/2/2012 8:00 AM

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Najib answer opposition's 'fitnah' on Thaipusam and Haj

Prime Minister Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak answered slanders hurled personally at him in the Social Media for visiting Batu Caves during Thaipusam and in his recent performance of Haj.

In his luncheon speech at the National Gathering of Ulama, Learned and Cyber Writers 2012 today at the Putra World Trade Centre, Najib said he welcomed the reminder from the Mufti of Perak, Tan Sri Harussani.

Najib told the audience that he had personally met and explained Harussani of his visit to Batu Caves during the Thaipusam festival. He said the Mufti of Perak was satisfied and described his action as not syirik.

He also took the opportunity to explain the slander that the Kaabah was cordoned off from pilgrims to make way for him and his entourage to perform tawaf (circumbulation).

Najib was at the gathering to officiate the closing of the gathering the event.

The unique gathering organised by Friends for Nation Building Club (Kelab Sahabat Bina Negara) and MyKMU portal had gathered ulama, learned and cyber writers for a three day conference.

Najib described such gathering as necessary in the face of challenges that called upon us to be united, determined and cooperate to preserve the stability and prosperity of the nation.

It is important today for information to reach the targeted audience accurately, without being deviated from it's true meaning and intention due to politics. He reiterate that it is a responsibility on all of us to ensure any misleading false information corrected.

Najib said the attitude to remain silent and reluctant to react and act should not be the hallmark of ulama, learned and writers. For them to work together is a jihad (struggle) that can be formidable.

Politics is an inseparable part of the jihad stressed in Islam. Politics is the "the art and science of governing. The arabic word "siasah" was derived from the meaning "to lead, to guide, to conduct, to direct."

Najib quoted a Quranic verse that touches on the creation of khalifah on earth.

He calls for the struggle to spread truth and syariat Islam through more writings, as well as oral means, to achieve unity of the ummah and heighten the stature of Islam in the eyes of non believers.

On that realisation, the role of ulama, learned and writers is important to the Government. They need to be aware and concerned of current development and changes in Government policies for majority of population's well beings.

They have to be with Government to filter information and dispel wild allegations and slanders.

Najib spoke of the challenges faced in the information revolution, particularly in the disinformation in the social media such as Facebook, Twitters, Blogs and You Tube.

Information are generated and distributed in real time. That allows for untrue, confusing and slanderous information to be spread fast in viral fashion. The mushrooming of political blogs cannot be stopped and it will remain part of the process of democratisation.

Without censorship, slander spread fast. Lies is repeated till many is lead to accept it as true. He is not spared.

Najib told the audience of the accusation that he has compromised his aqeedah for visting Batu caves during the recent Thaipusam celebration.

Najib said he had met and explained to Harussani that he was merely in the hall and did not enter their religious ceremonial areas.

He took the opportunity to visit Batu Caves during the Thaipusam festival to explain his socio-economic program specific for the Indian communities.

Najib assure the audience he is well aware of his duty as a Muslim to preserve his aqeedah (faith).

He told the audience of allegation in the Social Media being spread for purpose to incite hatred by the public of his Haj pilgrimage.

Can it be possible for Masjidil Haram to be so spacious during Haj season?

The rumours spread was that pilgrims were prevented to perform the tawaf (circumbulation) to make way for Najib and his entourage.

Where is the ample space!

Such rumours was ridiculous because it is unthinkable to cordon the Kaabah and prevent pilgrims from entering the Masjidil Haram during packed Haj season to give Najib exclusivity to performing tawaf.

He explained that he was merely provided the usual security provided by the Saudi Arabian police to head of states and that service was not solicited.

Is this a religious ritual?

In his speech, Najib expressed surprise that a leader could support pluralism but claim to struggle for Islam.

He was more alarmed that a leader could give more priority to protect the security of Zionist state of Israel than to support the struggle of the oppressed Palestinian.

Anwar had supported and endorsed the "two state solution" as proposed by a Zionist supported neo-con think tank, ICG and adopted at the Oslo Accord of 1993. In fact, the stance of PKR's partner in Pakatan Rakyat, DAP stance, as stated by Dr Tan Seng Giaw, was only limited is to endorsed the territories before the 1967 war.

Najib expressed Government's concern with the issues facing Muslim. Sensitive issues related to religion like involving apostacy, use of the name of Allah, and deviationist teachings need to be handled with care and wisdom.

He seek for support from the participants to help spread beneficial programs undertaken by Government and help make the Government's transformation plan a success to make Malaysia an exemplary and respectable Islamic nation.

Najib went on to inform he audience of Government's effort to assist in heightening the stature of Islam. Among others are the various increases in allowances for Imams and KAFA teachers, assistance to Islamic schools and support for the welfare of single mothers.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Audience with Tuanku expose more ghosts

Dato Rocky, Bigdog and us had an informal audience with Tuanku Sultan Ibrahim Ismail Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar, the Sultan of Johor last Monday on Maulidur Rasul holiday.

Rocky came from Singapore who was there visiting his sickly old friend in hospital. Bigdog and ourself came from Kuala Lumpur.

Throughout the trip, the two Johoreans, Big Dog and ourself were nervous after getting a friend's call. He was in the audience when Tuanku made a royal proclamation in the morning to turn Muar into Johor's royal town. He said Tuanku mentioned not to believe untrue rumours of himself in the blogs.

Now what did we write? We were sure we didn't inadvertently accused Tuanku in our postings. But one can never know if Tuanku had misunderstood it to refer to him. Was Tuanku offended with the coded words of Ghost of Johor?

By 4:30 PM, we reached Istana Muar, as commonly called. It is in Muar town situated near Government offices and next to the Muar river. It does not have a palatial character, more like a large bungalow with 60s retro architecture.

We were immediately whisked upstairs. Tuanku was at the dining table as though he was waiting for us.

The dining room had a majestic view of the Muar river and the second Masjid of Muar on the other side of the river as backdrop. The table were already set with plates and silverwares. There were two grills at the verandah.

Our imagination ran wild as we wonder what are those grills for?

Tuanku was casually dressed in light blue short sleeve shirt and blue jeans. Rocky was in his usual casual self. It made the us, the two Johorean felt overdressed with our black coats on. Just in case it was a formal affair, we even had our songkok and ties ready in the car.

After the initial introduction and pleasantries, Rocky told Tuanku how surprised he was with the simplicity of the Muar palace. Tuanku replied he loves being in Muar and to watch the flowing Muar river.

That could explain why he was the Sultan that finally proclaim Muar as royal capital of Johor. In our conversation, Tuanku shared his big plans for Muar.

As we got into the reason for our presence that day, we apologised to Tuanku and asked did we wrote anything wrong. He gestured to show he was not concerned with who wrote what or to hear our explanation of our postings. He didn't call us to be reprimanded.

Tuanku wanted to, as he said, "I just want you to know what really happened."

That was comforting to know his Majesty was willing to "mencemar duli" to engage us bloggers. It was also an honour to be seen in Tuanku's eye as Johoreans concerned for the well being of our home state.

As for Rocky, he can always call Johor his home state. Singaporean Malay tend to look at the Sultan of Johor as their own. As a Masjid Tanah born, he is not far off also for the Johor Sultanate begin a year after Melaka Sultanate ended, explained Tuanku.

Throughout our 5 hours marathon conversation that ended near 10 pm, we covered a wide range of subjects on the current issues and happenings in Johor.

We got a lot of insights into many happenings in Johor. Unfortunately, not all can be told here. They call it client confidentiality. Some are private. And, it is also about being selective.

One thing was obviously noticeable throughout our conversation. Tuanku was conversant in the economic and business development of the state as well as the corporate game. Honestly Tuanku knows what he is taking about and more.

We took a break for Tuanku to grill the meat he had marinated himself for our bar-b-que dinner. He marinated a lot of meat but he could not join us for dinner. He is currently on a strict vegetarian and exercise regime.

Since my father's days in the Johor civil services, we knew of Johor Sultans' hereditary hate for wastage of food in any event at Istana. Tuanku had his ADC, District Officer, and members of his entourage to join us.

It was a relief to finally know what the grill was for.

Despite running the risk of Tuanku's displeasure, we saw the engagement as an opportunity to hear out Tuanku's perspective as ruler and someone selfishly concerned for Johor.

Throughout our audience with Tuanku, he was frank and as we described, brutally honest. Tuanku was so straight forward and open that there seem no attempt to withheld information or side step any issue. It was no holds barred all the way.

We were quite sure that Tuanku had read himself all our recent blog postings on Johor because Tuanku touched on all the issues we raised.

Upon hearing out Tuanku's side of the story, we realised we had our hits and misses.

And, there were areas we "agree to disagree." For instance, Tuanku mentioned he doesn't care what others say on some appointments in Johor Corp, because he insist he wish to see certain things in order and get new blood.

Tuanku knows well the parameter of his authority under the state enactment on the Johor Corporation and expressed his unhappiness with certain area of governance. He specifically express that he wants to get things done properly and in order.

Throughout his days as Tengku Mahkota, Tuanku had been closely monitoring the state and reading the reports. Tuanku had a strong grasp of administrative matters of the state and grassroot issue of the rakyat.

Every year, Tuanku will lead his Kembara Mahkota Johor visits to every corner of the state to meet and touch base with the rakyat. The event this year will be in March, said Tuanku.

One concern Tuanku saw was that the state coffer was not benefiting from the development brought by the Federal Government and investment that flow into the state. Tuanku was not comfortable with privatisation of Johor based assets into what he deemed as private hands.

In Bigdog's posting of the audience here, Tuanku expressed his wish to see that Johor state benefit from any investment and development via equity and dividend after certain number of years.

Tuanku expect the state to be custodian and it's agencies or SLCs to benefits from projects in the state. The state should not be expected to give away land without any benefit in the medium and long run.

Tuanku would like to see Johor benefit from the spillover of progress and development in Singapore.

This is all part of Tuanku's plan to be more participative in the tri-partite arrangement involving the Sultan, politicians and civil service in the administration of the state. Tuanku is quite conversant in his constitutional rights as ruler.

Early in the conversation, this blogger managed to sneek the question, "Who is the ghost of Johor?" to Tuanku.

"Lim Kang Hoo lah," he answered with a cheeky smile as if to kid with our coverage of Dato Lim Kang Hoo in our blog postings.

Tuanku did explained that Kang Hoo came to Johor from Sabah and was not getting anything. Finally, he came in to helped bailout Gani's RM200 million problem of Kumpulan Parasarana Rakyat Johor.

Like we said, Tuanku was brutally honest.

Tuanku did not hide the fact that Kang Hoo is his business partner. However, Tuanku made known that he had personally opposed and rejected some of Kang Hoo's applications to the local authority, including the height limit to Danga Bay development.

Another displeasure of Tuanku's that he shared with us were of those selling his name to secure business or projects or favours. There had been many including family members and friends.

But, that evening Tuanku shared with us the exploits of one fugitive lawyer that seriously smeared his good name and made wild allegations on private royal family matters. Tuanku also told of how he had taken a cut from what was wholly due to a doctor present that night.

Could the lawyer be the ghost of Johor?

Tuanku was quite upset with the allegations made on him including the rumour that he is a 30% man. The 30%, Tuanku explained, is for the state.

Tuanku said, he had always pay for what is due and sometimes gone beyond what is fair. He hoped we could tell his side of the story.

We expressed to Tuanku that many other rumours on Tuanku is making it's round and it is important that Tuanku be cautious and judicious in his business dealing. The perception need to be managed so that the rakyat do not have a false impression.

Tuanku felt that only certain level of the people would be making such allegations on him.

Tuanku acknowledged that he is involved in many businesses in Johor and he stress the point that he only invest his money in the Johor economy to benefit the state.

To be fair to Tuanku, the Johor Sultanate is very self sufficient. It is already rich and had Hong Kong Bank established a Bank 110 years ago to service for the royal family's private banking needs.

Tuanku made known that like his predecessors, the family's main business has always been in plantations, particularly oil palm.

Tuanku was considerate of the rakyat in his business dealings. For instance, Tuanku told of winning all four open tenders for petrol stations in a certain area near a University.

His company only took up two. Even one of the two petrol station was donated to a University together with some money to construct the petrol station.

Many in Johor Baru knew of the late Sultan's generosity to donate 27 acres land in the city to relocate flat dwellers near the CIQ and new planned bridge.

Tuanku personally attend to help relocate to a new prime place for stalls displaced by infrastructure development.

Tuanku had bought four pieces of old Government bungalow land in the Tanjung area of Muar for RM10 million, which is signficantly more than the market.

On the matter of Dialog, Tuanku own up to being paid S$10 million and subtly corrected us. The land had been a concession he had for many years long before the Petronas Rapid idea was formed.

So we got the wrong ghost there. That was one of our misses.

Since Tuanku mentioned his displeasure of seeing Johor land being made for corporate shuffling, we asked his view concerning Iskandar. Expectedly, Tuanku was not pleased with the whole idea but accepted the fact that it is agreed already by his late father, Almarhum Tuanku Sutan Iskandar.

In the like of these two Utusan Malaysia's letters from concerned subjects of Johor here and here, with regard to Khazanah management of Medini project in the Iskandar region, which while it was answered here, still left much suspicion remain (read Outsyed the Box here), we hope for Tuanku's concern.

When it comes to Khazanah's investment, particularly those involving Johor and with Singapore, it falls on the feet of Khazanah's Ganen Savarananthan.

Ganen could well be one ghost of Johor yielding such powers to bypass local authorities and politicians. For he is the one that brings Singapore in the development planning of Iskandar and by passing Johor's own UPEN.

Question should be posed to Ganen as to why should Keppel Group be offered a 40% stake in the IPP to produce power to Singapore on Johor land and yet Johor gets none?

Ampun Tuanku. The Iskandar Malaysia which is not to your liking was the brainchild of Zaki together with Dato Dr Vincent Lim (now with ISIS) of the infamous Tingkat 4 of Pak Lah's Prime Minister's Depatment.

Ganen is also considered as part of Tingkat 4.

Zaki should be closely monitored and checked in his role at Johor Corp as to not to compromise the interest of Johor again!

He is capable of being a ghost of Johor and guardian of Singapore's interest. And he attracts suspicion and spoils confidence on entity he is attached with.

Another puzzling development is Kang Hoo, Tuanku's own business partner which is not Johorean.

How could he be allowed to control Tebrau Teguh by using a company he control to buy the shares of the custodian, the state of Johor's SLC, Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor in which state lands had been injected?

Read in Bigdog's A precursor of ‘Seri Flipping-jaya’.

In line with Tuanku's new aspirations for Johor, we trust Tuanku is aware of all these and would take up these matters accordingly with the concerned parties for the sake of Johor.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Whitney Houston dies at 48

Feb 12, 2012
Fox News

LOS ANGELES – Whitney Houston, who reigned as pop music's queen until her majestic voice and regal image were ravaged by drug use, erratic behavior and a tumultuous marriage to singer Bobby Brown, has died. She was 48.

Publicist Kristen Foster said Saturday that the singer had died, but the cause and the location of her death were unknown.

At her peak, Houston the golden girl of the music industry. From the middle 1980s to the late 1990s, she was one of the world's best-selling artists. She wowed audiences with effortless, powerful, and peerless vocals that were rooted in the black church but made palatable to the masses with a pop sheen.

Her success carried her beyond music to movies, where she starred in hits like "The Bodyguard" and "Waiting to Exhale."

She had the he perfect voice, and the perfect image: a gorgeous singer who had sex appeal but was never overtly sexual, who maintained perfect poise.

She influenced a generation of younger singers, from Christina Aguilera to Mariah Carey, who when she first came out sounded so much like Houston that many thought it was Houston.

But by the end of her career, Houston became a stunning cautionary tale of the toll of drug use. Her album sales plummeted and the hits stopped coming; her once serene image was shattered by a wild demeanor and bizarre public appearances. She confessed to abusing cocaine, marijuana and pills, and her once pristine voice became raspy and hoarse, unable to hit the high notes as she had during her prime.

"The biggest devil is me. I'm either my best friend or my worst enemy," Houston told ABC's Diane Sawyer in an infamous 2002 interview with then-husband Brown by her side.

It was a tragic fall for a superstar who was one of the top-selling artists in pop music history, with more than 55 million records sold in the United States alone.

She seemed to be born into greatness. She was the daughter of gospel singer Cissy Houston, the cousin of 1960s pop diva Dionne Warwick and the goddaughter of Aretha Franklin.

Houston first started singing in the church as a child. In her teens, she sang backup for Chaka Khan, Jermaine Jackson and others, in addition to modeling. It was around that time when music mogul Clive Davis first heard Houston perform.

"The time that I first saw her singing in her mother's act in a club ... it was such a stunning impact," Davis told "Good Morning America."

"To hear this young girl breathe such fire into this song. I mean, it really sent the proverbial tingles up my spine," he added.

Before long, the rest of the country would feel it, too. Houston made her album debut in 1985 with "Whitney Houston," which sold millions and spawned hit after hit. "Saving All My Love for You" brought her her first Grammy, for best female pop vocal.

"How Will I Know," "You Give Good Love" and "The Greatest Love of All" also became hit singles.

Another multiplatinum album, "Whitney," came out in 1987 and included hits like "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" and "I Wanna Dance With Somebody."

The New York Times wrote that Houston "possesses one of her generation's most powerful gospel-trained voices, but she eschews many of the churchier mannerisms of her forerunners. She uses ornamental gospel phrasing only sparingly, and instead of projecting an earthy, tearful vulnerability, communicates cool self-assurance and strength, building pop ballads to majestic, sustained peaks of intensity."

Her decision not to follow the more soulful inflections of singers like Franklin drew criticism by some who saw her as playing down her black roots to go pop and reach white audiences. The criticism would become a constant refrain through much of her career. She was even booed during the "Soul Train Awards" in 1989.

"Sometimes it gets down to that, you know?" she told Katie Couric in 1996. "You're not black enough for them. I don't know. You're not R&B enough. You're very pop. The white audience has taken you away from them."

Some saw her 1992 marriage to former New Edition member and soul crooner Bobby Brown as an attempt to refute those critics. It seemed to be an odd union; she was seen as pop's pure princess while he had a bad-boy image, and already had children of his own. (The couple had a daughter, Bobbi Kristina, in 1993.) Over the years, he would be arrested several times, on charges ranging from DUI to failure to pay child support.

But Houston said their true personalities were not as far apart as people may have believed.

"When you love, you love. I mean, do you stop loving somebody because you have different images? You know, Bobby and I basically come from the same place," she told Rolling Stone in 1993. "You see somebody, and you deal with their image, that's their image. It's part of them, it's not the whole picture. I am not always in a sequined gown. I am nobody's angel. I can get down and dirty. I can get raunchy."

It would take several years, however, for the public to see that side of Houston. Her moving 1991 rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner" at the Super Bowl, amid the first Gulf War, set a new standard and once again reaffirmed her as America's sweetheart.

In 1992, she became a star in the acting world with "The Bodyguard." Despite mixed reviews, the story of a singer (Houston) guarded by a former Secret Service agent (Kevin Costner) was an international success.

It also gave her perhaps her most memorable hit: a searing, stunning rendition of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You," which sat atop the charts for weeks. It was Grammy's record of the year and best female pop vocal, and the "Bodyguard" soundtrack was named album of the year.

She returned to the big screen in 1995-96 with "Waiting to Exhale" and "The Preacher's Wife." Both spawned soundtrack albums, and another hit studio album, "My Love Is Your Love," in 1998, brought her a Grammy for best female R&B vocal for the cut "It's Not Right But It's Okay."

But during these career and personal highs, Houston was using drugs. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2010, she said by the time "The Preacher's Wife" was released, "(doing drugs) was an everyday thing. ... I would do my work, but after I did my work, for a whole year or two, it was every day. ... I wasn't happy by that point in time. I was losing myself."

In the interview, Houston blamed her rocky marriage to Brown, which included a charge of domestic abuse against Brown in 1993. They divorced in 2007.

Houston would go to rehab twice before she would declare herself drug-free to Winfrey in 2010. But in the interim, there were missed concert dates, a stop at an airport due to drugs, and public meltdowns.

She was so startlingly thin during a 2001 Michael Jackson tribute concert that rumors spread she had died the next day. Her crude behavior and jittery appearance on Brown's reality show,

"Being Bobby Brown," was an example of her sad decline. Her Sawyer interview, where she declared "crack is whack," was often parodied. She dropped out of the spotlight for a few years.

Houston staged what seemed to be a successful comeback with the 2009 album "I Look To You." The album debuted on the top of the charts, and would eventually go platinum.

Things soon fell apart. A concert to promote the album on "Good Morning America" went awry as Houston's voice sounded ragged and off-key. She blamed an interview with Winfrey for straining her voice.

A world tour launched overseas, however, only confirmed suspicions that Houston had lost her treasured gift, as she failed to hit notes and left many fans unimpressed; some walked out.

Canceled concert dates raised speculation that she may have been abusing drugs, but she denied those claims and said she was in great shape, blaming illness for cancellations.

Friday, February 10, 2012

NFC is Pak Lah's legacy issue!

Ever since the NFC issue broke out sometime in November while we were performing the Haj, we have decided to refrain from commenting about it because we will be biasly negative.

Frankly, we have a poor impression of Dato Salleh Mohd Noor aka Salleh Budu as the people calling themselves Sahabat would refer him. We happen to have knowledge of some of his working and dealing at Taman Teknologi Malaysia.

He was known to abuse R&D fund. Some years back, we were involved to channel information from inside TTM to MOSTI to get his application for more R&D funds under MOSTI rejected.

While browsing on The Malaysian Insider (TMI)'s report on NFCorp here, we notice NFCorp chief executive Wan Shahinur Izmir making certain remarks that could implicate former Minister of Finance and Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Did TMI, a news portal linked to Dato Kalimullah "Masya Allah", which usually would defend and cover-up Tun Abdullah, Khairy and all from the liberal faction of UMNO, miss this?

Now we are talking.

The extract of Izmir's remarks from the TMI report are as below:
The son of senior Umno minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil said in a media statement today that the funds awarded to the company had been put into a special account and that NFCorp had been given a free hand to manage its business so long as it repaid the two per cent interest in full.

“The issue of NFC managing its loan monies amounting to RM250 million is the company’s responsibility to administer and utilise... NFC retains the prerogative to invest the funds in the best interests of the company,” Izmir said.

It is not a grant or free money but a repayable loan,” he stressed.

He added, “The loan agreement does not stipulate any expressed prohibitions on investments.
The question arise here is why did the then Minister of Finance gave a soft loan of RM250 million with such an easy and flexible term as to allow the management to do whatever they wish to do with the money?

If it is meant for cattle farming, why did the Minister not put any such terms as not allowing certain investments?

Was the Minister awake then?

Returning to the extract:
The private firm that was entrusted by the government to manage the National Feedlot Centre (NFC) in Gemas, Negri Sembilan, has come under public scrutiny following PKR’s series of exposes that the family-run business had taken out millions from the government fund and parked it in high-end condominiums in Malaysia and Singapore.

PKR revealed more documents yesterday, purportedly from Singapore’s Land Authority showing that Izmir’s father, NFCorp chairman Datuk Seri Mohamed Salleh Ismail, and brother, Wan Shahinur Izran Salleh who is the company executive director, had purchased two condominiums in the island republic’s posh Marina Bay Suites that cost over RM17 million each.

“The property market is sound and secure, more protected, and less volatile than others,” Izmir said today in defending the company’s decision to invest the money in the property market instead of placing it in money market instruments such as bonds from the government or blue-chip firms.

Izmir said that NFCorp had decided to put the money from the fund to better use during a break in its business operations caused by the government’s decision to suspend the construction of an abattoir to be rented to the company.
This was Khairy's argument when this issue first blow open. Why was Khairy so overzealous to defend Shahrizat and NFC then but now staying away and silent on the issue?

Frankly, we do not know from which Business School did Azmir went to or where he received his training, but one do not invest ones idle working capital into long term asset.

Secondly, if one need to invest in properties, it must be related to the business requirement.

Thirdly, one only invest in property investment, when the business is on-going, good cash flow, loans repaid and sufficient cash in hand to tide bad times. Even that, it is not prudent and smart management to invest company's money in condominiums.

This part must be blamed on management.
“With an export quality abattoir capable of 500 heads of cattle a day, the possibility of the beef production numbers would be achieved.

“The contract farmers under the Entrepreneur Development Programme and NFCorp targets would be able to see 246,000 heads of cattle bred by 2015 and deliver 44,000 metric tonnes of beef,” Izmir said.

He added, “We would be a highly successful venture.”
It could but it did not. Why?

The TMI report explained the issue raised by the Auditor General's report.

The extract below:
In his report, Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang had showed that the NFC set up in 2008 had failed to hit its target of breeding 8,000 cattle last year.

Under the 9th Malaysia Plan, the centre is expected to produce 60,000 cattle by 2015.

“An audit check found production in 2010 was only at 3,289 heads of cattle or 41.1 per cent,” the report said.

The audit report also found NFCorp did not finalise the standard operating procedure or implementation agreement in 2010.

It noted NFCorp claimed it could not do so because the government has yet to build an abattoir capable of slaughtering 350 heads of cattle a day.

The audit report said the Treasury completed a study on the slaughterhouse on April 5 last year to be presented to the prime minister.

The audit report noted two factories related to the project have yet to be built, namely the livestock feed factory that was part of the pilot project under the entrepreneur development programme, and a bio-gas factory to process the waste from the abattoir and the feedlot into fuel for the farm.

The report stressed infrastructure upkeep to be the most important factor for the project’s success and recommended the MoA devise a “Blue Ocean” strategy to boost its cattle breeding production to meet the original 60,000 target by 2015.
It looks like the Government did not deliver their part of the deal in developing NFC. Why?

If it is money not disbursed, then it is Minister of Finance that has to answer for it for not allowing the project to proceed as scheduled and planned. We heard the two MoF representative on the BoD of NFCorp did not do their job.

On Dato Shahrizat, from what we understand, the project did not involve cabinet level decision.
Thus, there is no issue of conflict of interest on her part.

So does issues of criminal breach of trust or money laundering from abuse of power.

But there is still the issue of related parties getting contracts from Government. For that let's be real!

Can she stop her husband from pursuing this business? Men being men and their male ego, it is not that easy.

As someone in Tun Dol's network of Sahabat, Tun Dol should damn well know that Salleh Budu is Shahrizat's husband. As Prime Minister, he should know better than to give Salleh the money.

Tun Dol should have known that Salleh does not have neither the expertise, nor the experience to develop and manage such feedlot program.

What we know off is he hired someone and not pay the person to prepare the paper to import cattle from Australia and do fattening, which is basically what the operation is now.

He hired expensive foreign expertise from Australia to prepare the business plan and allowed foreign counterpart to manage his operations abroad.

The question now shift to why should Salleh be chosen over others? That we like to know.

Some friend of ours are already in the animal husbandary and doing the feedlot business. They have a lab in operation, Phds doing research, breeding grandparent stocks and exporting the breed abroad.

Salleh was given RM250 million soft loan but they can't secure even RM5 million loan. Is that fair?

Back to Shahrizat, she should not have problem with the authorities such as MACC, Police etc. If she wins the lawsuit against Rafizi and Zuraidah, it should cleanse her name.

But with her bad handling of the issue that dragged on for many months and in addition, the manner Shahrizat drag UMNO, Wanita UMNO and other leaders into her personal problem, she has made NFC into an issue UMNO have to defend. For her irresponsible behaviour, we are reluctant to support her on this issue.

She have made herself into a political liability to UMNO and we do not see where she can win any seats in the next general election.

Admit it that Rafizi had done his work well. Embarassed as it is, admit it that the Ketua Wanta UMNO was outwitted by a political newbie from PKR.

Shahrizat has some admitting to do too.

Now that NFC debacle is clearly a legacy issue of Tun Dol and voters have already taught the Government a lesson in 2008, why not give Najib a break?

It is not fair to load it on the person who has to solve the problem.

Najib certainly has lots of legacy issues from Tun Dol's days to solve. Constant blaming will not solve the problem. Just penalising people also will not solve the problems.

If it is Anwar, he would just talk and talk and talk. He is good at finding excuses, laying blame on others, wiggle his way out of mess, but sweep all the problems aside.

We know him well enough.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

The ghost of ECM Libra-Avenue found the door

Zarinah will find her way to the door at the end of March

There is a Malay saying, "Pandai-pandai tupai melompat, akhirnya jatuh ke tanah jua."

It's meaning holds true to SC Chairperson, Tan Sri Zarinah Anwar who was reported to end her tenure at the end of March. This is a vindication to this blog who has been calling for her resignation since the ECM Libra-Evenue merger debacle in 2006.

Her decision to allow exemptions and later in the PAC, her justification became the caveat for all conspiring parties to escape from the highly irregular and suspiciously tampered deal.

The Malaysian Insider had hinted on February 4th of Zarinah's resignation. Read Bigdogdotcom here.

But we are not about to agree then with a news report from the online news portal that acknowledged lying to attribute Tan Sri Tajuddin Ramli with the RM8 billion loss of MAS.

Perhaps, their latest newsbreak today can be considered as confirmation of Zarinah's resignation, given that it came with quite detailed account of the restructuring in SC.

The Malaysian Insiders today:
Top SC job to be split between retiring Treasury chief, executive director

By Jahabar Sadiq
February 09, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 9 — The Securities Commission (SC) will revamp its top post with retiring Treasury chief Tan Sri Dr Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah taking over as non-executive chairman from current executive chairman Tan Sri Zarinah Anwar when she steps down at the end of March, sources say.

The Malaysian Insider understands that Zarinah’s regulatory duties will be taken over by Datuk Ranjit Ajit Singh, who is now the executive director of market supervision in the commission. It is learnt that Putrajaya felt Ranjit was most capable for the top job but there was concern the right wing in Umno may jump if a non-Malay took the post, leading the government to split the job to provide cover for any non-Malay getting such a post and placate the Malay ground.

“Dr Wan Abdul Aziz will come on board as non-executive chairman and Ranjit will be the top regulator,” a government source told The Malaysian Insider.

Another source said the government will make the announcement soon, including naming a replacement for Wan Abdul Aziz in the Treasury.“They’ve decided to split the SC post for accountability purposes and to provide cover for any non-Malays getting such a job while placating the Malay ground,” he said, adding that Zarinah was both chairman of the commission and also head of the senior management in the SC.

“So now, the top regulator reports to the commission,” the source said.

Singapore’s The Straits Times reported last week that Zarinah was stepping down as the SC chief next month after six years at the helm of the capital markets watchdog.

Her contract ended amid pressure over the market regulator’s role in conglomerate Sime Darby Bhd’s acquisition of a 30 per cent stake in E&O Berhad last August, where her husband was chairman of the property developer.

The Straits Times said government officials and financial executives close to the situation told the newspaper that “Prime Minister and Finance Minister Najib Razak will decide on her replacement in the coming weeks.”

“The E&O deal has put Tan Sri Zarinah in a tight spot. The reason is that her husband, who is E&O chairman, had raised his personal stock holdings in the company just days before Sime Darby’s announcement,” it reported.

State-controlled Sime Darby purchased its 30 per cent interest from three major shareholders — E&O managing director Datuk Terry Tham, Singapore’s GK Goh Holdings and a group of investors led by businessman Tan Sri Wan Azmi Wan Hamzah — at the end of August last year in a deal that valued E&O shares at RM2.30 a piece.

The purchase price represented a 60 per cent premium over the value of the shares in the company on the open market when the deal was announced.

The RM776 million deal triggered unease over the widely perceived coddling by the agency of large state-controlled companies at the expense of minority shareholders when exercising its authority on corporate takeovers.

The SC ruled six weeks after the deal that the plantation-based conglomerate did not have to make a general offer, prompting E&O minority shareholder Michael Chow to sue the SC for failing to compel Sime Darby to make a general offer for the rest of the shares, which would cost an additional RM1.8 billion.

This came despite a SC task force finding that Sime Darby was obliged to make a general offer for E&O shares after acquiring a 30 per cent stake in the property developer.

Singapore’s The Straits Times reported last week that the task force was of the view that a general offer obligation had been triggered as a new “concert party” was created between Sime Darby and Tham, who jointly controlled more than 33 per cent in the property concern after the deal.

Malaysia’s takeover rules stipulate that any party that acquires more than a 33 per cent interest in a public-listed entity must carry out a general offer for the remaining shares.

A general offer can also be triggered if a new party buys less than 33 per cent, but secures management control of the target company.
Later on after the ECM Libra-Avenue debacle was closed, this blog found links between her via husband to the perpatrators namely Dato Kalimullah Hassan and Khairy Jamaluddin.

Subsequently, we continued our pursuit of her for the rampant conflict of interest by her in her husband's dealing. It is strange that every other deals that involved delisting will invilve her husband.

SC's decision to exempt E&O from undertaking an MGO despite noticeable working in concert between buyer Sime Darby and sellers who remained in management.

This time the pressure on her is insurmountable with Kalimullah also applying the same pressure. ECM Libra had bought a block and expected to cash out via the MGO.

Sources claim that her husband and Kalimullah had part ways for quite sometime.

Having Kalimullah and ECM Libra benefit from the deal may not be something we cherish but fair is fair in this game.

With an impending MGO waiting, it is timely that we demand the resignation of Tun Musa resign as Chairman of Sime Darby.

The MGO will cost a bomb to Sime whose just written off a considerable amount of loss from their foray to
Middle East. It is an ametuarish oversight to not see that maintaining the Managing Director tantamount to working in concert.

How much longer should Sime keep this old retired politician around who keep putting Sime in one mess after another. We are ever waiting to pull down his picture from our blog.

There is also Tan Sri Nor Mohamad Yakcopthat need to be disposed.

The end of Zarinah's tenure is a lesson to all bloggers and pejuang. Be persistent and resolute in your struggle.

If you strongly believe in something, keep on banging. Doors will open and walls will crumble. Truth and justice will finally prevail.

That makes us different than normal media. When we hold on to something, we never let go.

Frankly, it feels goood have one struggle achieve a result. It is better than what ever money can buy.

And, to all those sceptics, didn't I tell ye?

Monday, February 06, 2012

Musical Prelude: Spirits in the Material World

There is no political solution
To our troubled evolution
Have no faith in constitution
There is no bloody revolution

We are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world

Our so-called leaders speak
With words they try to jail you
The subjugate the meek
But it's the rhetoric of failure

We are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world

Where does the answer lie?
Living from day to day
If it's something we can't buy
There must be another way

We are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world
Are spirits in the material world

- The Police

Saturday, February 04, 2012

In search of the Ghost

ABITW have written three articles relating to the character the Ghost of Johor here, here, here and here.

Much is mentioned of businessman extraordinaire Dato Lim Kang Hoo, but is he the Hungry Ghost? Or is the Ghost someone else?

Is the Ghost a person or many persons? Maybe the Ghost is not human. Perhaps, it is a mere metaphor of a character or characters with absolute awesome power and influence.

This blog limit the description of the Ghost as a potential source of problem to the rakyat, politicians, civil servants and professionals.

Did the Ghost broke any rule in doing so?

The information we received that emanated from Johor Baru does not specifically say the Ghost disagreeing with the authority or Government. Neither did he instruct the Government to do contrary to the process of Government.

We are sure you'll are getting confuse trying to figure out what we are trying to say. Isn't the real world a complex and confusing one, not like rhetorics in literary poems or on political podiums?

Only an example can described what was told to us.

Supposed a decision was reached to explore a certain project in Johor by the Exco and subsequently, the Civil Servant received the go ahead to study dan draw out the plan, implementation, and management.

After long deliberation by a Committee and after refering to external professional work, it is agreed to proceed. It is good for the rakyat, it is good for the state but it is not in favour of certain business interest.

The Ghost was briefed and he agreed and did not complain. But the problem comes after the briefing. The business interest would talk and advise the Ghost to the contrary.

Soon another proposal would come in at Bukit Timbalan. After another deliberation and comparison, the decision remained and the Ghost need to be explained of the decision. He would appear to accept.

The same set of taukeh would again convince him otherwise. They get in touch with the Civil Servants and instructing them to do things in the name of the Ghost, which will eventually end up in favour of their proposal.

The problem is these taukehs are so powerful that they can determine the fate of the Civil Servants with regards to their promotion, extension of retirement, job and transfer. The Civil Servant reluctantly oblige. They had to oblige despite the backing of exco, MB and Committee.

Believe it or not, the perception is everytime a Civil Servant refuse to budge in to their demand, they get victimise.

Thus the need to understand who is this Ghost that could fearfully wield such power and influence?

Rocky Bru, Big Dog, and A Voice willl be down in Johor in a few days time to find out. Perhaps together with another blogger, we had been requested audience by someone that could lead us to this Ghost that is haunting Johor.

Many commentators have made their guesses but we have not confirmed. It is left as a mystery because it need to be investigated.

The reason we have to investigate and get to the bottom of it so that no one should make any wrong accusation from wrong misinterpretation and insufficient information. Only PKR stooge do that so of blind accusation.

Maybe we might even meet the Ghost if the person we are meeting is the Ghost.

Pray for us everyone that nothing untowards happen to us if we are face to face with the Ghost of Johor.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

The Ghost not wasting time on Tebrau Teguh

There is a once popular Indian curry house in New York City called Curry in a Hurry. By the look of things, the Ghost and Dato Lim Kang Hoo is in a hurry to consummate everything before the General Election.

The Star's prediction of the MGO of Tebrau Tegas shares as quoted in our posting yesterday was a bit off. Instead of state-owned KPRJ doing the MGO, it is Iskandar Waterfront Holdings (IWH) offering the MGO and buying a block from KPRJ, thus reducing the state company direct equity to a minority status.

Kang Hoo direct shares in Tebrau Teguh via Credence Resources and his equity remained. And, Kang Hoo (also via Credence Resources) owns IWH together with KPRJ. The percentage equity is not known and not locatable online.

He also controls Ecovest Berhad, who owns Danga Bay Sdn Bhd and Executive Director of Khusford Berhad. And, he has lots of option and power at his disposal.

On the same hurried note, the disappearance of a bright JB-based lawyer Kamal Hisham attracted the attention of the media. The police claimed they could not find him and had contacted Interpol.

On the contrary, the lawyer representing him, Dato Jaharbedeen, who happens to be RockyBru's lawyer, said there is no problem to contact him. He happens to be away in Dubai doing business since April. Read on in Bigdgdotcom here.

Sounds spooky, isn't it?

Back to the Tebrau Teguh MGO by IWD, read The Star's yesterday report below:
IWH buys Tebrau Teguh stake triggering mandatory takeover offer

The Star
Wednesday February 1, 2012

PETALING JAYA: Tebrau Teguh Bhd's major shareholder Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor Sdn Bhd (KPRJ) is selling a 33.15% stake in Tebrau Teguh to Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd (IWH) for 76 sen per share.

The offer is for 222 million ordinary shares of 50 sen each in Tebrau Teguh, which works out to a price tag of RM168.72mil.

Tebrau Teguh told Bursa Malaysia that the proposed acquisition would trigger a mandatory takeover offer for the Johor Baru-based property developer and construction group by IWH and parties acting in concert (PAC) with it.

The mandatory offer for Tebrau Teguh would be conditional upon IWH receiving valid acceptances which would result in IWH and the PAC holding more than 50% of Tebrau Teguh's voting shares.
Now for the real meat and not as per the item reported to fill in for Tebrau Teguh's corporate profile mentioned yesterday here.
Meanwhile, Tebrau Teguh also announced that it had been appointed by the Johor state government as the developer for 167.13ha in Pengerang, Kota Tinggi, Johor.

The land, within the Johor oil and gas industry hub, is to be developed into a mixed development which would complement the proposed Petroliam Nasional Bhd's RM60bil integrated refinery and petrochemical complex, known as RAPID.

Tebrau Teguh said it had received a letter from Johor's Economic Planning Unit dated Jan 30, 2012 regarding the appointment.

Tebrau Teguh was presently negotiating the technical, financial and legal aspects of the appointment.

“We will make further announcements on the final terms and conditions of the said project later,” said the company.
Notice how timely that Johor state's EPU issued the letter of appointment to Tebrau Teguh on Monday when the shares were suspended.

Isn't providing land and infrastructure for the ancillary and supporting industries complimenting and complementing Petronas's RM60 billion Rapid project described here to feed the hungry ghost?
Meanwhile, IWH's shareholders are Credence Resources Sdn Bhd and KPRJ.

IWH directors are Datuk Lim Kang Hoo, Lim Hoe, Lim Keng Cheng, Lim Chen Herng, Datuk Shahir Nasir, Datuk Ayub Mion and Johar Salim Yahaya.

Kang Hoo is the co-founder and chairman of construction and civil engineering company Ekovest Bhd.
Remember Johar Salim here? Read also Big Cat's version here. Recently found out, he is related to a buddy of ours.

Missing from the report is the equity structure of Credence and KPRJ in IWH is not found online yet. Only found information on IWH is in Edgedaily here reporting it's paid-up capital of RM12.73 million is in the form of RM10 million paid-up capital and 274.629 million redeemable preferene shares of 10 sen each.

The way things are going, maybe it is no more relevent who is the majority shareholder. The person calling the shot will be Kang Hoo, who seems to be above the interest of the rakyat and state.

What will be Kang Hoo's next move? Will he move in to control Tebrau Teguh by taking over from IWD or he takeover IWD from KPRJ? With the ghost behind, it is not necessary yet.
If the proposed acquisition is completed, KPRJ's direct shareholding in Tebrau Teguh would be reduced from about 41.15% to 8%.

KPRJ is the Johor state's investment arm.

Under the terms of the offer, IWH, KPRJ and other relevant parties are to enter into definitive agreements on or before April 29, 2012 concerning the proposed acquisition.

The offer price would also be reduced by an amount equivalent to the net amount of dividend payments or distribution made by Tebrau Teguh prior to the completion of the proposed acquisition.

Tebrau Teguh also said it was not in discussions with any parties to acquire Danga Bay Sdn Bhd from its current owners, Credence Resources and KPRJ.
Maybe not in the material time, but perhaps in the future.

As soon as Tebrau Teguh is delisted, can we expect more projects awarded and more state land injected?
For the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2011, Tebrau Teguh posted a 29.3% year-on-year jump in net profit to RM3.2mil, mainly due to higher profit generated from property development activity.

Revenue for the quarter under review was slightly lower at RM30.5mil, compared with RM30.6mil a year earlier.

For the nine months ended Sept 30, 2011, the company recorded a net profit of RM3.7mil, compared with RM3.8mil a year earlier.

Revenue for the nine months under review increased 33.4% to RM93.9mil, compared with RM70.4mil a year earlier.

As at Sept 30, 2011, Tebrau Teguh's net assets per share was 75 sen.

Tebrau Teguh's shares closed last Friday at 75 sen, and trading in the company's shares was suspended on Jan 30.

The company's shares will resume trading from 9am on Feb 2.
Too bad, all the future benefit will not be felt by KPRJ and other shareholders, major or minor, if the shares are delisted.

If you happen to own the shares, keep it to as some predict it to be at least RM1.80 since the claimed RNAV is RM2.50. Do not be in a hurry to exercise the MGO.

Who knows you may help the rakyat and buy time or even thwart the delisting plan. That is if stock investors have any sense of moral and nationalistic duty other than the self interest of making money.

Let them be in a hurry.

Just like they are in a hurry to hunt for Kamal Hasan. Rumours are saying he may have something to spill on the hantu. Jahat betullah khabar angin. Kasi pokok goyang saja.

Make sure you read Bigdogdotcom here.

My Say