Sunday, October 31, 2021

Prophet's prophecy on Najd (Riyadh)

After grappling with Covid 19 pandemic, Riyadh season 2021 finally commenced on Oct 20th 2021 with a concert extravaganza.  

This was part of the plan announced in 2017 by Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman to turn a section on the edge of the capital Riyadh into a city of entertainment which offer cultural, sporting and entertainment activities. 

It is the Crown Prince's Vision 2030 masterplan to diversify the economy and reduce their dependence on oil.  

There have been many events organised since and it is not the first time a concert extravaganza held. 

This concert featured Pitbull, a Cuban American rapper remembered for a vulgar act on stage with Jennifer Lopez. The Riyadh season openner went viral and was widely discussed on You Tube, social media and websites. 

The westerners viewed it as "progress" and opening up of Saudi mindset from their strict and conservative Islamic practices.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

The Malaysian Pandora paradox

Can Daim possibly be caught, finally?

According to Greek mythology, Pandora's curiosity to open a box in her husband's care led to the release of emotional and physical curses casted upon mankind. Will Malaysian public or the implicated be cursed for revealing the evil content hidden in the Pandora paper?  

When news on the Pandora paper hit the street here on October 4th, Malaysians concern to the expose by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) is not sufficiently overwhelming. Tun Daim Zainuddin was in the initial list of Malaysians found in the 11.9 millions of leaked documents. That got the public attention, and Malaysiakini and Malay Mail featured him prominantly. 

As Minister of Finance, Daim was then concerned with Government's fiscal deficit due to leakages. Now he participate in the leakage. 

Perhaps, it is not a matter of will the curse fall on Malaysians. It already has, long before the revelation of Pandora paper. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Will Khairy threaten Ku Li to make life difficult for him?

The Minister of Health's latest obsession against anti-vaxxers is perplexing. It was Khairy, Adham Baba and Noor Hisham who early in the stage of the pandemic announced vaccine is not compulsory, but voluntary. 

Apparently, the government's interpretation of voluntary is to systematically discriminate against those refusing vaccine by cutting off access to almost all normal daily needs. It reached the point of denying non-vaccinated teachers the human rights to make a living and at the receiving end of open harrassment from superiors and educational authorities, disallowed access in the school, and restricted them to online teaching.

The government's argument is typical of the one used to justify ISA during Mahathir's era. It is  guised as protecting the health interest of the so-called 90% vaccinated. Its quite a common Malaysian habit to apply political narrative to non-political matter albeit health.  

Monday, October 18, 2021

Salam Maulidur Rasul

Quoting Michael H Hart's "The 100: A ranking of the most influential person in history" from Quora app, below:

My choice of Muhammad to lead the list of the world's most influential persons may surprise some readers and may be questioned by others, but he was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels.-Michael H Hart.

1. First, Muhammad played a far more important role in the development of Islam than Jesus did in the development of Christianity. Although Jesus was responsible for the main ethical and moral precepts of Christianity (insofar as these differed from Judaism), St. Paul was the main developer of Christian theology, its principal proselytizer, and the author of a large portion of the New Testament.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Unfinished Serba Dinamik issue

Reopening of the economy is reviving confidence in the market. Serba Dinamik Berhad shares have been gaining attention as it rose by 4 sen few days ago, in which media attributed to company restructuring

According to Hong Leong Investment Bank, investors will shy away pending the outcome of the Special Independent Review (SIR) report from Ernst and Young (EY). 

Is restructuring the main reason or market got hints of the SIR early? 

Mohamed Ackiel, Senior Vice President for Special Projects is promoted to Deputy CEO. He led the digital transformation, and several key initiatives and projects in the Middle East, Central Asia, and Americas. 

The resignation of five independent members of the Board of Directors in June to protest of the company's lawsuit against auditor KPMG took centre stage in the corporate turmoil at Serbadk. 

Monday, October 11, 2021

uCustoms: Who is behind Brinfo?

Original shareholders and Directors, Asmar Haiza
binti Ishak (left) and Salehodin bin Majid (right) 

Despite two articles in a row, could not resist to continue to write on the uCustoms investigation. 

No new information so as to not disrupt the on-going investigation by MACC. Its merely to put the information already out there in perspective.  

When this blog wrote in September 2013, it was tipped-off from sources (note the plurality) within the IT industry. It was written after the bid was over, thus it was not for commercial interest but primarily out of public interest. 

The revelation motivated a question during a Parliament session in November.  Unfortunately, the prepared answer for the Minister was a lie and half truth. The bid was suspiciously rigged.

And a commentator also alerted that there was no proof of concept for the off the shelf Microclear system adopted. Something not right was happening. This blog has since not lost sight of this issue. 

Brilliance Infomation Sdn Bhd (Brinfo) seemed to be an influential and highly connected group to be given certain treatment from media and government agencies. According to the Auditor General report, the agencies concerned were to loose and generous with time extension

So who is behind Brinfo?

Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Since Nov 1st 2016, uCustoms collected only RM200 million?

Star Online highlighted RM200 million collected through uCustoms as title of the news report Brilliance Information Sdn Bhd (Brinfo)'s HR, Corporate and Finance Director, Amar Haiza Ishak denial that the uCustoms system did not kick off. 

The full report is not available to non-subscribers, but Malay Mail Online also reported her denial that the system failed.  

To recap yesterday's posting here, the system commenced development in October 2014 and is supposed to be delivered on November 1st 2016. It has repeatedly been extended till Royal Malaysian Customs Department (RMCD) stopped the project in December 2020. 

Amar claimed it was running for 22 months, and collecting millions. 

RMCD collects on average RM40 billion tax a year and about RM80 billion during the GST era. Its not worth calculating the pro-rata collected for 22 months for comparison. 

For RM200 million collected, it is pittance and hardly an indicator of a successful running system.

Monday, October 04, 2021

Finally, the law caught up on Brilliance Info-MAMPU's uCustoms scam

It has been an 8 year pursuit and this blog actually given up exposing the wrongdoings in the tender, project implementation and repeated delay of the new system for Royal Malaysian Customs Department (RMCD) called uCustoms.

Its late but finally it is not never. The law has caught up on the suspiciously corrupted project.

Media did not reveal details, but it is no secret. The whole IT industry, trading community and freight service providers knows.  

This blog revealed back in 2013 the name and company as Salehodin Majid and Sri Damansara located Brilliance Information Sdn Bhd

The government Department MACC should pursue would naturally be RMCD, but the planning and bid proposal evaluation was done by MAMPU. The tender committee was represented by RMCD, MAMPU and MOF.  

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