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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ada sesuatu tidak kena di New Straits Times


Dimana lojik NST taksir enjin F-5E bernilai US$29 juta?

Oleh MyKMU
Rabu, Disember 30hb, 2009

Semasa NST mula mendedahkan mengenai kehilangan enjin F-5E, enjin tersebut dikatakan bernilai US$29 juta.

Kemudian ada pula pendedahan pihak berkuasa bahawa dua enjin yang hilang. Seterusnya bukan sahaja enjin tetapi ada barangan alatganti lain turut hilang. Ditambah lagi, ini sudah lama berlaku. Aturan keluar berita pun ada benda tidak kena.

Untuk maklumat jet pejuang F-5E kita sudah hampir 30 tahun lama. Sekarang bayangkan kita berada di akhir tahun 70an, dan negara baru merdeka dalam 20 tahun lebih. Agak-agak mampukah negara membeli jet pejuang baru yang mana dua enjin untuk terbang saja boleh bernilai US$29 juta 30 tahun kemudian?

Ini bermakna enjin itu bernilai lebih mahal semasa jet pejuang F-5E dibeli dan pastinya harga jet pejuang F-5E itu sendiri berharga berkali ganda lebih mahal dari harga US$29 juta.

Jangan sekali-kali lupa situasinya adalah akhir 70an yang mana minyak di Terengganu masih baru ditemui. Wang itu hanya diutamakan kerajaan untuk menghantar ribuan pelajar Bumiputera belajar ke luar negara bagi negara membina keupayaan dalam ilmu-ilmu asas perlu untuk membangun negara?

Pastilah perbelanjaan besar-besaran dalam pertahanan bukan satu prioriti.

Jika anda baru sedar taksiran US$29 juta itu tidak masuk akal, sepatutnya kita semua tidak mudah menerima bulat-bulat sebarang maklumat. Inikan pula tidak ada sumber yang sah disebut. Perasaan kritis ini perlu walaupun yang dibaca adalah akhbar media perdana NST.

Kita sepatutnya ada sikap kritis dan objektif untuk tidak bulat-bulat menerima sebarang maklumat. Ini yang selalu menyebabkan salahfaham, tuduhan meliar, fitnah, dan pandangan ambil mudah mudah tersebar. NST boleh disalahkan tetapi kesalahan utama masih kita yang mudah tertipu.

Dari maklumat yang diterima dari rakan-rakan yang pernah berkhidmat dalam TUDM, squadron jet pejuang F-5E yang enjinnya hilang bukan jet pembelian baru tetapi sudah wujud hampir 30 tahun. Ketika jet ini dibeli, ia pun bukan belian baru atau baru keluar dari kilang tetapi barangan terpakai.

Untuk memahami bagaimana rupa jet pejuang terpakai, tentera Amerika sering membelanja untuk mempertingkatkan peralatan tentera mereka. Jet-jet yang tidak mahu diguna lagi dihantar kesebuah airfield di padang pasir Arizona. (sila lihat gambar)

Jet-jet itu dijual kepada pembeli dari dunia ke-tiga. Sebelaum dihantar, jet-jet tersebut dibawa masuk kilang untuk diperbaiki dan dipulih penggunaannya. Sebenarnya jika tiada pembeli, jet-jet tersebut dibiar saja dan akhirnya dijual sebagai besi skrap saja.

Malahan dipercayai pada masa jet pejuang F-5E mula dibeli, harga sebuah jet pejuang F-5E secondhand hanya US$2 juta sahaja! Untuk enjin yang hilang itu bernilai US$29 juta, kita perlu hilang enjin untuk 15 buah jet pejuang F-5E. Lojikkah nilai enjib tersebut bernilai US$29 juta.

Apabila NST membuat laporan sedemikian, jet pejuang yang mana dimaksudkan? F-5 atau F-15 yang lebih baru untuk enjin bernilai sedemikian?

Sebelum anda cuba membuat andaian wartawan tersilap atau kesilapan percetakan dan jet sebenar adalah F-15, fikir balik. Malaysia sendiri tidak ada F-15 dan hanya ada membeli MIG dan Sukhoi.

Buat masa ini, NST masih berdiam saja dengan kesilapan itu. Mungkin sekali mereka termalu dan tidak mahu lagi mengaku salah kepada kesalahan maklumat tersebut selagi tiada pihak rasmi membetulkan fakta itu.

Penulis hanya merasa curiga dan percaya ada cerita tersirat yang sebenar disebalik laporan-laporan akhbar yang kredibiliti mencurigakan.

Satu lagi, sebelum mengakhiri artikel ini, enjin yang hilang pun bukan enjin pada jet pejuang tetapi enjin alatganti yang biasa datang sekali dengan pembelian sebuah skaudron jet pejuang bersama latihan dan seterusnya.

Dengan demikian, bukanlah yang hilang itu, enjin yang sedang digunapakai oleh skuadron jet f-5E tetapi “army surplus” yang tidak terpakai. Lagi mencurigakan?

Sementara itu, menjenguk di kedai jual suratkhabar pagi tadi, Suara Keadilan sudah menjana hikayat dan andaian baru untuk menghalakan tuduhan kepada Dato Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak. Tidakkah bertambah-tambah curiga?

  • Kenapa kes saman NST terhadap Jeff Ooi dan Rocky tidak ditarik-balik?
  • Akhir sekali, pentadbiran siapa kuasai NST sekarang?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Has it gone down to press intimidation and gangsterism in Penang?


DAP claim themselves as the purveyors of freedom of speech and press freedom. Twenty months down the road after securing Penang, what has it gone down to?

Utusan Malaysia is banned from covering CM Lim Guan Eng's press conference. The excuse is that Utusan lied and spin news. But in actual fact, he is avoiding from his current camouflaged Chinese-centric policies been known to the Malay masses.

Last month, the blogs were hot with the story of Malay welfare recipient had to suffer the insult of receiving it at Buddhist temples. Pemuda UMNO Nibong Tebal published in their blog but succumb to withdrew the posting and apologise when DAP Youth made a police report against them.

Last Saturday, Dato Ibrahim "Tiger" Yahya, the RTM Director General and long time blogger, revealed Guan Eng threaten to imprisoned him for commenting on his seditous speech to accuse MACC for murdering Teoh Beng Hock. Read here.

The Penang Government have since made a police report on that posting. Why Penang Government when the alleged offense is personal and involves party politics?

Coming concurrent with press freedom is usually freedom of speech. The power to administer lies with the police but in Penang, it may have gone down to state vigilanteeism. An Indian demonstrator that set alight a poster of Guan Eng in November found himself a victim of hired musclemen.

The Star report below:


Man who burned CM's photo attacked

BUTTERWORTH: A legal firm runner was attacked by a group of men and he claimed the attack could be linked to his action of setting alight a poster of Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng during a Penang Barisan Nasional Youth demonstration on Nov 30.

S. Krishnan, 47, received 16 stitches on his right thigh at the Seberang Jaya Hospital but was not warded. He also sustained bruises on the neck, back and hips.

Krishnan, whose nickname is Mak Mandin Kumar, said he was on his motorcycle and heading home in Taman Mak Mandin after dinner at 10pm on Sunday when the attack took place.



In pain: Krishnan relating the incident to Chua (right) and Sum at the Seberang Jaya Hospital on Sunday

He said he had sought refuge at a petrol station in Jalan Permatang Pauh, about 1km from his home, when he realised that he was being tailed by a group of men on motorcycles.

"I left the petrol station 10 minutes later when I thought the coast was clear," he added. Krishnan said he was, however, cornered by eight men on four motorcycles at a remote spot at the Mak Mandin light industrial area.

He said six of them, including two armed with kitchen knives, attacked him while the other two stood as lookouts.

Speaking to reporters at his home yesterday, Krishnan said several of the men shouted "Cut off his legs!" in Tamil.

He said he called his friends after the assailants fled and they took him to the hospital where Bagan MCA division Youth Chief David Chua and the division’s vice-chairman, Sum Yoo Keong, visited him.

Chua said he visited Krishnan as they were involved in helping residents of Rumah Hijau in Mak Mandin, who are facing eviction.

Krishan had lodged a report at the Mak Mandin police station on Sunday night.
The Indians have been up in arms against Guan Eng since his own unfulfilled promise during the General Election to solve the Kg Buah Pala issue amicably. They dealt in an arrogant and inhumane manner by Guan Eng himself. At one instance, he refused to speak with the villagers through their representive.

He could have turned the century old village into a heritage village like Kg Chetty in Melaka. But, he chose to stoop to threat from big business.

S Krishnan was part of the demonstration organised by the Penang Barisan Nasional Youth that set alight the poster of Guan Eng.

One would have thought that it is just a typical demonstration. According to Pakatan Rakyat's usual modus operandi, the excitement ends with the demonstration. Thereon, it is media play and political propaganda dissemination.

This time around gangsters were hired to silence the Indian demonstrators from continuing to keep the Kg Buah Pala issue alive. S Krishnan was picked from among the many. Hear he described the ordeal in the You Tube video below:


The fact that S Krishan was hustled by Indian gangsters does not defuse the suspicion they were hired musclemen. It is common these days for Chinese gangsters to out-source such "job" to Indians.

Have press freedom and freedom of speech in DAP Penang gone down to press intimidation and gangsterism?


* Updated 11:40 PM

Monday, December 28, 2009

F1 debacle: Who is Tony and Alex to talk of patriotism?


Airasia's Tony Fernandez have been going around town bad mouthing Petronas since they decided not join to Tony's 1Malaysia F1 Team (1MF1T) initiative. But the Team Principal has not gone the way of Alex Yoong to openly accused Petronas as unpatriotic.

However, he has done so in private. Not only that, he is sulking about his Airasia giving Petronas a lot of businesses. Sure, read "subsidised" fuel too.

Pleaseee la Tony .... Having done an insidious number on MAS with the help of Khairy and Zaki Zahid, did his Magic Mirror said he is the most patriotic of them all in this land of plenty called Malaysia?

It is obvious that F1 is just the high exposure event he needed to project himself as the darker skinned Sir Richard Branson. That way he hope to get some suckers to buy his increasingly cash strapped Airasia. It is living on hand to mouth and the problem could surface in a metter of months.

F1 will be a convenient deviation and a chance to fleece Petronas. Tony's expressed frustation only shows he is overly dependent on Petronas and it shows he has no global network to put his F1 team together.

In the first place, why should Tony be the Team Principal when he has never involved himself in F1 race before? Did he for once ever thought that by himself being the Team Principal, it will be a sure dealbreaker? He should have let the more established Petronas take the driver seat.

Talking about driver seat, Alex Yoong should get himself a mirror to look at himself and ask himself (not ask the mirror) whether he is worthy to accuse other's as unpatriotic. What has he contributed to the nation worthy to call others as unpatriotic? Would he dare compare with Petronas's valueless contribution to the nation?

F**k him!

Just cause he has a glamorous wife, do remember that he did not have a glorious racing career. Alex not inly failed as an F1 driver but was a non starter. He was not able to score a measly single point as sponsor Magnum-requested driver for Minardi. Neither could he do well for the Malaysian A1 racing team. Some budak Melayu did a significantly better job.

Did Alex for once think how much confidence to attract potential sponsor with him as Head of Driver Development for the Lotus team? He could only excell in the art of F1 road safety by avoiding to overtake other cars.

Having that off my chest, it time to discuss the issue of F1 sponsorchip by Petronas rationally. Trust me to shoot both side of the divide on the issue.

The first we need to do is to shrug off the patriotism argument. The competing teams in F1 race are not based on country representation but team led by motor companies' initiative and their sponsors. So, when Tony package the team as 1Malaysia F1 team (1MF1T), that was a crude tasteless commercial hype that shows corporate indifference to 1Malaysia.

The spirit in 1Malaysia lies with the slogan "Rakyat didahulukan, Pencapaian diutamakan". It is about giving priority to the peoples' needs and that aim is guided by a set of specific targets. F1 with 1Malaysia is in conflict.

1Malaysia would have been better represented by having the money spent for F1 racing channelled into forinstance, providing MARA with more money to give out scholarships and more allocations for the inadequately budgetted welfare programs.

Having said that, this shows this blogger has the least interest in F1 motorsports. Not to say never, this blogger attended the race once. It was a free ticket meant for the proletariat part of the course at a chinceny point. The spot gave a better view of the race than the podium where cars zoom faster than the speed our neck could turn.

But 10 minutes into the race and curiosity wearing off, F1 race was just a hot, noisy and confusing event. The commentator was hardly audible on the speaker, and quickly you lose track of things. Who is leading and who is not and which car did how many pitstops.

The real financial benefit of F1, as this blogger understand it, goes all to Bernie Ecklestone. Unlike other world class sports event, none of the TV revenue is shared with the race organisers. The teams had to pay for their own expenses through sponsors.

The sponsors only benefit is the prestige and airtime value, particularly for teams having the lead and more with the podium finish team. Sponsors in related manufacturing business for car, engine, tyre, and lubricant and fuel suppliers could use the F1 race as testbed. Advertisers gets worldwide attention for their product, brand and perhaps prestige to advertise on an F1 car or around the race track.

This pose the question as to what do Lotus, Petronas, and Airasia get out of participating in F1.

Come to think of it, let's not discuss Airsia. It is just about promoting Tony who will never ever be as handsome, charming and thrilling as Sir Richard Branson.

For Lotus, it is quite straight forward. They were part of the F1 circuit but quit since 1994, due to financial problem. It is a natural involvement, if they can afford it.

Tony claim that his Lotus team will bring the whole technical team and establish a facility here in Malaysia. Since it is Tony kaki auta talking, this blogger is sceptical.

He is talking about having the team and wind tunnel facility here in which as I was told, none of the Japanese major car manufactuers participating in FI have such facilities. Do we have the expertise here? Will that mean having the expat from Norwich here?

For Petronas, it is understood from the press report that by signing as part of the Mercedes team, it is an opportunity to be part of the much needed brand repositioning to be seen as a global player.

From my source, Petronas had recently struck oil in few major oil fields in Iraq. Having competed against the Mat Salleh, Petronas secured four contracts as operator and contractor.

Mind you, despite Iraq is under the American illegal invasion and Malaysia being vocal against the invasion, Petronas managed to win contracts as a both Contractor and Operator.

My shipbuilder school buddy having been going in and out of Iraq since before the invasion. He said securing contracts in Iraq is an international bidding game. There is no hanky panky involved and he liked that way of doing business.

Sceptics say Petronas managed to get those contracts by virtue of being the token Muslim country able to compete. Oil exploration, they claimed is about international diplomacy and much of what Petronas success is from the effort of Tun Dr Mahathir during his premiership. Anwar's so-called International contacts brought in none and he lied if he claim he could.

My disinterest in F1 motorsports is unable to fathom the link between F1 sponsorship and global brand respositioning. Petronas is not a retail brand beyond the shores of Malaysia.

As far as players in the world of oil cartel is concern, they know each other and do not need to advertise to be known. More so, of successful state owned oil companies like Petronas. These oil companies compete and colloborate with each other everywhere. One can call it friendly competition.

But as Petronas statement claim, the deal came with a contract from Mercedes for use of Petronas lubricant for the F1 race car. I am not sure if it was the same case with the earlier Sauber team sponsored by Petronas.

Mercedes enticed Petronas with a 5-year contract for use of Petronas lubricant for the first field run for all Mercedes Benz car sold in China, UK and certain parts of Europe.

On an optimistic note, maybe there are prospects for other contracts services with Mercedes Benz. But still, this blogger find it hard to swallow the prospect of RM1 billion being chanelled to entertain the world with a series of motorcar race in which it could have benefited the man in the streets of Malaysia.

Read Bigdog for his vociferous support for Mercedes Benz here.

Other the cynical words on Tony and Alex, Petronas have been criticised as not patriotic for inking the Mercedes deal as a pressure to oust Petronas Chairman and CEO, Tan Sri Hasan Merican. He was alleged to have made the Mercedes decision without the consent of Dato Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak.

Hasan has been under heavy criticism due to the Board of Directors twice earlier decision to refuse Najib's suggested appointment of Omar Ong as a member of the Board of Petronas.

As far as Hasan's position in Petronas, the prerogative lies with with the PM and one can only advise or express one's view. Hasan has been instrumental in the implementation of the Government policy to expand Petronas abroad and he has delivered.

Of late, near the end of his contract term, there are many personal allegations made against Hasan. For that, it must be substantiated with details and if possible documents.

In case anyone is suspicious that Omar is behind the scene being his usual political self, this blogger will not agree because he did not receive any information of Omar being behind the latest opposition to the Mercedes deal.

The latest on the Mercedes deal, read The Malaysian Insider report below:
Petronas deal to sponsor Mercedes GP was a business decision

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 28 — The controversial decision by national oil company Petronas to sponsor the Mercedes Formula One team instead of the Malaysian-backed Lotus F1 racing team was not made without sanction from the administration of Datuk Seri Najib Razak, The Malaysian Insider understands.

Since last week's announcement of the Mercedes sponsorship, speculation has been rife about the future of Petronas chief executive Tan Sri Hassan Merican.

Conservative hawks within Umno have also been questioning the patriotism of the move by Petronas to back Mercedes instead of Lotus F1, which has been touted here as the 1 Malaysia F1 team after the prime minister's political slogan.

But according to industry sources familiar with the deal, Hassan, who is slated to retire in February, had made a strong argument for backing Mercedes to the government.

"Tan Sri Hassan would not have done this without sanction," a source told The Malaysian Insider about the decision.

It is understood that Petronas had considered the relative value to the company's future plans and decided Mercedes would fit into its plans better than Lotus.

Petronas is hoping that through its collaboration with Mercedes Formula One, it will be able generate business growth in the lubricants market.

Hassan and the Petronas management are understood to have argued that while the Lotus brand had huge historical significance, it did not sell many cars compared with Mercedes.

The Malaysian Insider understands that Petronas, which has been involved in Formula One for more than a decade now, was not looking at just establishing a brand presence through its motorsports sponsorship.

"It is about building a market for lubricants, and that can be achieved better with Mercedes and Michael Schumacher," a source told The Malaysian Insider, in reference to the return to racing of the legend in the Mercedes team.

Another factor that was considered in Petronas' decision was the fact that despite the government's backing, the Lotus F1 team would not be known as the 1 Malaysia F1 team. It has been officially entered as the Lotus F1 team.

The Petronas decision has piled the pressure on Lotus F1 boss Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes, who also controls AirAsia, to bring in the funds needed for his team.

Fernandes had hoped to bring Petronas on board given that his team has government support and his airline is a major purchaser of aviation fuel. The Lotus car company is also owned by Proton.

With no other local company either having the funds or seeking a global presence, Lotus F1 is likely to have to go global in its search for a major sponsor.

Lotus F1 was understood to have been seeking US$85 million (RM297 million) in funds from Petronas.
Dr Mahathir was supportive of the Lotus effort and was present at the 1MF1T launch. He has not uttered a word against any of these initiatives. So did Najib and by the MI report, he seemed fine with both.

Why quarrel over it? Malaysian can support which ever team they want. Just like they made the choice between Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool or other English League teams.

Certainly the prospect of 41-year old Michael Schumacher comeback and trying for his 8th F1 championship will certainly be a thriller. Why not a Malaysian 1-2-3-4 finish? And the possibility of a fine finish by our Lotus Malaysian third driver?

However, socialistic me is really not thrilled with all these. But, I am just glad with the possibility that the 1Malaysia slogan will not be commercially abused and wrongly potrayed by that pariah salesman.


* Edited 2:00 am 29/12

Friday, December 25, 2009

Kit Siang failed macho attempt

Lim Kit Siang's immediate response to Dr Mahathir's call on his and Anwar's bluff was in tweeter's response here.

It doesn't matter that Kit Siang made a subsequent macho attempt to response with some brevity here with loads of verbage like quintessence, Mahathirism, Machiavellianism, and perverse illogic as title.

Read also Anwar's spin master's cut and paste attempt here to defend for the ole Mr Opposition? Kit Siang demanded to be sued now?

These are but delayed and failed responses that does not hide his shaken disposition. Why spoil the fun of suing Kit Siang now?

Why Din must sound defeatist with a spin to ask Dr Mahathir to sue all Malaysian here? Anwar total lawsuit is already more than RM700 million.

Sorry Din, this nobody blogger you called, see it necessary to pick on you. Nothing lost from picking on a bigshot now spinning for Mr Liwat.

Tweetering in panic

Kit Siang's panic response is reproduced below:
Am in Tokyo on private visit. Will give blog response 2Mahathir.
12/23/2009 09:49 PM

Mahathir wants Wain’s book 2b released forthwith. Who really believe Mahathir? Or is Najib or Hisham culprit blocking “Maverick M”’s release?
12/23/2009 09:45 PM

Why Mahathir don’t sue me now if I had libelled him calling for RCI into Barry Wain’s RM100 billion allegation in his book Maverick M?
12/23/2009 09:39 PM

Why his suit conditional on outcome of RCI into Barry Wain’s allegation when M will do utmost 2block RCI though claiming support publicly?
12/23/2009 09:35 PM
The fact that his response is with a list of questions shows only want one thing. Kit Siang was in a state of gelabah. That is a Malay jingo to describe a panic person rambling in his speech and action.

Jebat Must Die in his posting Sleepless in Tokyo described Kit Siang's twitter response as his befuddled brain in such a shock that he could only churn out a lame defense to Dr Mahathir's reply. Jebat answered in the same respective order as Kit Siang's tweeter response below:
1. Mahathir reserved the right to sue pending the results of the RCI which you in the first place urged the government to set up!

2. Did Mahathir say he will block the RCI? In fact, Mahathir had also urged the government to set it up. The stupidest remark from Kit Siang would be ‘Why his suit conditional on outcome of RCI?’. This is because if the RCI did indeed find him guilty, then he does not have to sue the two of you!

3. Sigh. We have to wait for the results of the RCI which you called for in the first place! If Mahathir is declared innocent, only then Wain and yourself no longer have the position to defend against the impending suit as the RCI has revealed that the allegations are indeed libelous and defamatory.

4. Now this is redundant. Mahathir already called for the book to be released. Kit Siang has no more concrete things to say at this juncture.
Looming prospect of bankruptcy

Kit Sing in horror because he least expect Dr Mahathir to accept his challenge and every extra demand he could come up with to get out of a straight duel.

The typical DAP Cina kon*k kec*k would usually enlist new demands everytime their challenge is taken up. This time around Dr Mahathir have pre-empted all possible new deamnds even including DAP Tunku Aziz's Transparency International to be part of the Commission.

Taking from Jebat Must Die again, he explained that with teh burden of proof on Kit Siang and Barry Wain, they are likely to lose in the event of lawsuit. Reasons being below:

In any allegations, it is up to the accuser to bring out any proof that had substantiated his claims. In this case Barry Wain must show all the evidence that made him think ‘Mahathir wasted RM100 billion in 22 years’.

If he couldn’t substantiate his claims then his writings are purely slander.

The RCI is there to investigate this evidence prepared by Barry Wain and make a decision out of it. If Tun Dr Mahathir is found innocent, I think he will then proceed in suing Barry Wain, Kit Siang (for repeating the allegation) and other people he sees fit. This is because, these two people had defamed and maligned him unceremoniously.

Please be aware that Barry Wain clearly stated Mahathir’s name in making his allegation. He did not say it’s the Government of Malaysia that lost the RM100 billion.

The ramifications of this is huge on Barry Wain’s part since we all know that all decisions were made by the cabinet. The cabinet of 1981 to 2003.

Unless the whole people that were part of that cabinet are plunged along together with this accusations in this RCI, it will be hard to find Mahathir as solely guilty of it.

And who were in the cabinet of 1981 to 2003? Tun Musa Hitam, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Najib Tun Razak as well as Anwar Ibrahim. Anwar’s peons such as Azmin Ali and Kamaruddin Jaafar will also be implicated as their names will undoubtedly appear in many dealings Anwar made during his time as Finance Minister.

Mahathir even called the government to release all the documents and accounts from 1981 onwards so that the RCI can peruse over them. Now, if the RCI is set up, Najib must declassify all these historical documents. I bet many heads will roll especially the ones running around in Pakatan Rakyat.

Again, the ball is in Barry Wain’s and Najib’s courts. Wain with the documentary proof to prove his allegations and Najib to give the green light for the RCI.

Anwar Ibrahim must get ready to be called in for this RCI with the proof that he did not authorise any transactions or contracts during those period while Kit Siang must get ready to be sued along with Wain if the slander is not true.
Kit Siang should hold his horses. Dr Mahathir is in no hurry and it is his game you have to play by. Kit Siang could either prepare himself or flee to Singapore.

But is anyone curious as to why is Kit Siang in such a state of gelabah?

Could it be the fear that all his accumulated "Swiss account" abroad would end up in his nemesis Dr Mahathir's retirement or charity fund?

That certainly could be the reason. There were some blogs writing about it. But that could be just rumours.

But, this blogger have personally heard the same from a former DAP office bearer working under Kit Siang. It was also confirmed by an opposition MP.

Kit Siang have for years been asconding PAP's contribution to DAP. Just don't demand for a proof because you are not getting names.

So just shut up and help Kit Siang raise money for his new retirement fund!

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

to all Christian bloggers and blog reader

and

Happy New Year

to all

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Dr M called Anwar and Kit Siang's bluff

Barry Wain, Kit Siang and Malaysiakini.com should ready themselves for a massive lawsuit

Barry Wain launched his book, ‘Malaysian Maverick: Mahathir Mohamad in Turbulent Times’ conveniently at about the time Anwar Ibrahim made a call to go offensive at the Penang PKR Convention in November last month.

The former editor of the Asian Wall Street Journal had a knack for sensationalism in his book promotion. According to his new book, he claimed Malaysia has squandered an estimated RM100 billion on financial scandals under the 22-year rule of Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

PKR were quick to pick up on the book's promotional pitch. In this link here, Din Merican, a former corporate man who made a name in blogosphere as a regular comentator in Bakri Musa's blog but now a Spin Master for Anwar, gave Barry a hand.

Lim Kit Siang had called on Najib for a Royal Commission to probe into the allegations in the book.

Dr Mahathir in his blog today here called his bluff and agreed to the Royal Commission.

Dr Mahathir requested that the commission should not comprise of Government nominees but should include even foreigners and members of Transparency International.

He insisted there be no coverup and Government must give full access to all the documents and accounts of the Government over the period 1981-2009.

Since the allegations links the financial losses to Petronas money, Dr Mahathir went on to demand that the Commision probe into Abdullah Badawi's spending of RM270 billion of Petronas money during his five year term.

This is demand by Dr Mahathir is quite surprising. While the timing of the book release create the suspicion that Anwar has a hand in this book, is Dr Mahathir indirectly accusing Abdullah as having a hand in this sham by implicating him along?

As someone quite meticulous in his work, Dr Mahathir is not someone who could be easily be caught off-guard making decision without proper considerations, procedures and overzealous in his discretionary power.

He is a disciplinarian that cannot neither be found sleeping on the job nor caught in some unnatural sexual act.

It takes someone of extreme confidence to call such bluff. One can be quite sure that Dr Mahathir have read the book and able to identify the weakness of his allegations.

Barry Wain's investigative and reporting methodology will most likely emulate that of his former employer. Asia Wall Street Journal's track record in this region has not been flawless to say the least. They have on many occasions lost in many lawsuits against them.

Dr Mahathir's willingness to be subject himself to such Commission is much applauded.

It would be an opportunity for him to put an end to those tired speculations, tales and conspiracy theories being repeatedly circulating and churned out from pieces of unsubstantiated information and without any shred of evidential value.

Barry Wain must be able to substantiate his allegation with hard documents. Otherwise, Dr Mahathir has forewarned that depending upon the result of the commission, he "reserve the right to sue Barry Wain, Lim Kit Siang and Malaysiakini.com for libel for a sum to be disclosed later."

By the confident tone of his posting, Dr Mahathir would be in for a more comfortable retirement at the expense of Kit Siang, Barry Wain and his publisher. He will own Malaysiakini.com by then.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Time to reprioritise the role of MRSM and other boarding schools

The plan was to write on some political development but an Utusan Malaysia report today caught this blogger's attention.

Utusan reported an appeal by a BN Backbencher on Government's decision to cut allocation to Institut Kemahiran Mara (IKM) up to 200% and Maktab Rendah Sains Mara (MRSM) up to 60%.

IKM's budget will be slashed from RM403 million a year to RM143 million a year. Whilst MRSM's budget be slashed from RM200 million a year to RM143 million a year. Read here for the full report.

This report will have it's own political ramification. The discussion on the reduced allocation for MARA will evolve around the nation's economic and financial situation to further extending into issues of Bumiputera speacial rights under Article 153.

Nevertheless, facing up to the reality of budget constraints, this blogger argue that the Bumiputera economic future is better served by lesser budget cut to IKM and more cut in allocation to MRSM.

Government have overextended their MRSM program and need to relook the MRSM program which in this blogger's opinion have astrayed from it's original purpose.

MRSM can operate on a lower budget and be more socially effective if the Middle class Malay stop their dependent mentality to demand for more boarding schools, specifically MRSM, and take charge of their children's basic education.

Before touching further on the subject, which could spark screams from this blogger's circle of boarding school Alumni and Middle class Malays, the Article 153 will be briefly touched.

The late Supreme Court Lord President, Tun Suffian's had interpreted in his book on the Malaysian Constitution that previlages under Article 153 is actually a permanent cost for trade-off between the Immigrants' citizenship and willingness (or in actual fact, force by colonials) to accord the citizenship by the Malay Rulers.

Though the previlages is termed as Malay Special Rights, it is actually basic and minimal in value. Compared to rights for licences and permit to do businesses, and job in the civil service, it is scholarships and training that has significant economic value.

Although there are constitutional avenues to stem the Government effort to cut MARA's budget, budget constraints is a reality and there is no other choices but to prioritise. Thus, it is timely to express openly to the public this blogger's view that have been vehemently opposed by his fellow boarding school Alumni in the past.

Face it! Reality has sink in and the need has come to do some drastic changes.

Part of the problem lies with the Government, institution or individual, lackadaisical attitude in their financial management of MARA and it is time to take stock of the situation and review back it's priorities. They have to face up to the reality that money can never flow like water. Even producing clean tap water to reach the rural areas cost money.

There have been many attempts in past years, if not a decade and half ago, to consolidate MARA's financial position and make them financially self reliant. The idea was to make MARA sustain it's educational and entrepreneur development program beyond the NEP period.

Unfortunately, the attempt was never taken up seriously by the many pen pushing Little Napoleans. Such basic as auditing function in MARA was lacking. Let alone to establish a Fund with regular income stream from its investment.

Despite the limitation in finance, MARA continued to expand it's MRSM program along the grandiose idea from the late 80s for an MRSM at every Parliament area. One wonders the benefit of having a closed entry school system in a particular locality. Majority of students are from other localities.

There is no real economic benefit to the local economy other than petty economic activities in supplies and jobs. Secondly, do we need to keep building more MRSM to cater to the rising population and rising number of Bumiputera?

When MRSM was conceived in early 1970s, it was to increase the number of Bumiputera students in the Science stream. The rural schools were lacking in facilities to teach the Science stream subjects (streaming was later extended to commercial subjects). The science stream allocation in urban Government school were limited and were taken up predominantly by non Bumiputera, notably Chinese.

Bumiputera were lacking in exposure in the Sciences. They needed to be given a chance. This explains why the program was placed with MARA which is under the auspices of the Ministry of Rural Development.

The Government intention at the time was to build more boarding schools to rigorously groom potential Bumiputera students to produce good results and catch up in numbers. MRSM was built as a Boarding school and not the day school like the Bronx High School it was modelled after.

But since then, demography, lifestyle and educational needs have changed significantly. There is more urban Government schools today and sufficient facilities in Government schools to teach Sciences. Qualified Bumiputera students should be able to get a place.

The Bumiputera middle class demography, particularly among the Malays, have increase in numbers. Correspondingly, it is quite noticable that urban middle class Malay children are benefitting from the present boarding school program. One can find parents driving Mercs and BMWs on registration day or on a typical weekend.

The reason primarily is the perfect As minimal requirement which by probability, favours children from the urban and well heeled family. The minimal academic requirement severely disadvantaged the potential rural and urban poor students, particularly the East Cost and East Malaysian students. They usually do poorly in the English language subject and this denied them that entry opportunity.

Although more urban Middle class children are getting in, another trend is emerging. Boarding school life is no more suitable to these urban qualified children. Most boarding school had to face two wave of attrition and three sets of registration dates before student population settle in.

It is not unusual that further attrition resulted in the number of students per batch is less than budgeted for. In total, many rural and urban poor were deprived of that opportunity due this flip flop habit of urban kids.

Usually these students entered boarding school at the insistent of their boarding school alumni parents. But boarding schools do not provide urban students an added advantage in terms of facilities and accessibility to facilities than those at their schools and homes.

This impress on the point that boarding school entry requirement should be made on economic needs for a second chance for the economically disadvantaged than as reward for the capable haves or a status symbol for future snobs.

These yearning by Middle class Bumiputera family, particularly Malays to send their children to baording schools have to be addressed.

It has reached a point that if they failed to send their children to those branded boarding schools, they are willing to send their children to quasi boarding schols which is more religous school than a normal school stream.

For that matter, the current boarding schools have expended so fast in numbers that it is not producing the quality character for future success.

This can be attributed to the problem of quality teachers able to build character are not meeting the demand, over emphasis on producing straight As while neglecting other aspects of education, and the infiltration of politically PAS-aligned wardens turning the schools into sekolah agama rakyat-like environment.

Products of boarding school are regimented and spoon fed lots that either turn into lifeless book worm or plunged into disciplinary problesm at varsity level.

In a conversation with Encik Wahab Alwi few years back, the man oftenly dubbed as "Father of MRSM" for pioneering the MRSM school concept, he highlighted that the education budget in this country is lopsided. The bulk of the educational budget is spent on the smaller segment of the population.

Off course, it can't be expected to go on a laisse fairre free market economic model. That would further deprived the needy of education and see further injustice from misallocation of resources. An example is the merit based scholarship launched by Government are financing students from economically capable family.

Educational budget have to be reprioritised and that include the objective of MRSM and boarding school education. It has to be kept within a realistic budget.

One is to focus on the rural and urban poor. The budget saved by MARA could be reallocated to training programs like IKM, and scholarship for Unversities which is have immediate impact in the numbers of Malay professionals. MARA cannot subsidize the education of the affordable Malays.

Secondly, should the Middle class still persistant and argue according to their children's right (which is a weak self serving argument since children are dependent of parents), they will have to bear the full cost and cross subsidize for poor children. Let them pay to their nose to have the school facility which should be meant for social engineering rather the already socially engineered.

More, if not equally important, and more so with an East Malaysian as Minister for Rural Development Ministry, there should be more boarding schools and MRSMs for Sabah and Sarawak than in Semananjung. The need for more social uplifting is more pressing there!

So what do we do with the capable urban and Middle class Bumiputera children? Stop whining. Go to a normal locality school, preferably the mixed race schools and compete. Show Melayu or Kadazan or Iban or Bajau or ... boleh!

It is high time Middle class Bumiputera take charge of their own life and take responsibility of the children's own education and not left it to the Government. If they can have nice homes with beautiful interior, more than one car and annual holidays abroad, they can surely spend for their own children's education.

There should not any more be children of Alumni be given priority entry. It is ridiculous that a beneficiary of Government assistance see it as a previlage that his or her off spring receive the same Government assistance. That applies to all MRSM, MCKK, TKC, STF, STAR, SMS, etc.

These people should instead be contributing back in serious monetary amount back to the school as a sense of gratitude that taking away the opportunity of other children.

Turn those elitist MCKK or TKC into a Sekolah Rakyat for all I care. After all, products of MCKK today are in PKR and PAS playing populist politics to appease the non-Bumiputera voters and betraying the plight and rights of the Bumiputera.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Credible and honest explanation of BTN

The much uproar in the recent debacle on Biro Tatanegara (BTN) is but an attempt by Pakatan Rakyat to smear a racist perception on UMNO.

If UMNO had been racist, why are Chinese are more wealthy and dominating the economy? A racist UMNO would have denied the Chinese of economic opportunity and dominated it for the Malays only. But, the Malay's corporate wealth is still below 20% and retail wealth at much lower.

During UMNO's leadership in the past 40 years (since May 13 1969 incident), the country has been peaceful and free from racially charged issues for the last 40 years.

Racial and religous issues were well contained until the last 2-4 years where opposition grew brave and bold to raise racially and religously charged issues with abundant. Who is racist then?

Although unfairly and rudely attacked as racist by Dato Nazri Aziz who of late seemed to be an opposition apologist or perhaps is a closet opposition, there is much truth in Tun Dr Mahathir's view that the BTN syllabus be maintained.

The policy and role of BTN was clearly for nation building despite having different unique program approaches for different profile of attendees.

There was nothing racist about BTN courses except for the problems with overzealous facilitators. This is clearly explained by Deputy Minister and UMNO Information Chief, Dato Ahmad Maslan in today's NST report.

Overzealous lecturers blamed for BTN grouses

Chai Mei Ling, NST 2009/12/20

KUALA LUMPUR: Overzealous trainers and rebellious participants are to be blamed for the problems surrounding the National Civics Bureau (BTN) courses, said its chief, Datuk Ahmad Maslan.

Dismissing allegations that its courses bred racism, he cited “human nature” as the reason for the discontentment among a handful of former participants.

In maintaining that the syllabus was sound and grounded in values and historical facts, the Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said criticisms could have been sparked not by the course module but by human factors.

“Any individual with a rebellious streak, who’s not used to life in the camp like sleeping in a dormitory, bathing from the kolah (water tank) and washing their own dishes, is not going to like the course," he said.

"Those forced to attend the course by their superiors will write that the course is useless. Of every 100 participants, a few are bound to be difficult. That's human nature."

Criticisms, he said, could also come from participants who were children of opposition members who thought that the government initiative was a form of indoctrination.

Ahmad, who is Umno information chief, did not rule out the possibility that a "slip of the tongue" by some facilitators could have left certain quarters disgruntled.

"Maybe some facilitators terlepas cakap (slip of the tongue). We have 1,500 trainers, facilitators and speakers, how do I control each and every one of them?

If they wanted to say certain things -- just one minute out of the five-day course -- that's a small matter. It's not in the curriculum."

The trainers are teachers and university lecturers who have attended the department's special courses.


Since 1974, the BTN course, delivered through camps and seminars spanning four to five days, was aimed at raising people's commitment to national aspirations and development.

Target groups include members of educational institutions, civil servants, university students, non-governmental organisations and local leaders.

Its module, a summary of which is accessible from the bureau's website, covers five major themes outlining the country's historical journey, governance, promoting the inculcation of good values, self development and physical education.

Ahmad said the module would undergo improvements from time to time and was amended to keep it in line with the country's vision, although its core topics -- patriotism and good values -- remained unchanged.

On whether the bureau would review its trainer selection process or look into the way facilitators conducte courses as a measure to prevent future slip-ups, Ahmad said he would meet all 1,500 trainers next month to explain in detail the 1Malaysia concept.

"We'll remind them to intensify the incorporation of the 1Malaysia concept into the syllabus. Eight aspirations of the concept -- high performance culture, precision culture, knowledge culture, innovation culture, integrity, resilience, loyalty and wisdom -- are being added."

A large part of the course took the form of experiential learning, Ahmad said.

Participants, when made to move in mixed groups, learn about teamwork. The spirit of togetherness is instilled when they share dorms, dining areas and communal bathrooms.

Inculcation of patriotism comes through the singing of the national anthem and patriotic songs. Jungle trekking and night walks build up courage, strength, resilience and cooperation.

Tasks like washing dishes are aimed at instilling responsibility and humility.

"Other tasks, like entrusting participants with the caring of eggs, are to remind them of the fragility of the country's multiracial make-up and the efforts needed to protect it.

"At the end of the sessions, attendees fill in forms to evaluate all aspects of the course.

"There's nothing in the syllabus that is racially divisive. It's Kem Bina Negara -- we want to put it in the participants' head that we have to build this nation together.

"Racism is musnah negara (racism wrecks the nation)."

Ahmad said detractors formed a small percentage of the total of 1.5 million participants who had undergone the course in the past three years.

"With 1.5 million people having gone through the course, if there were elements of racism in it, the country would have been in chaos.

"Even if you say it's a political strategy, we're not that stupid (to put in anything offensive to other races). It's a very, very wrong strategy. We need the support of all races. I don't see why BTN has to be feared."
This is a long overdue explanation from BTN.

Nazri who is more keen in giving opposition speak on BTN but suppressed UMNO people comment speak on BTN, could have help mitigate the perception problem created by opposition?

Which political party is this regular non-attendee of UMNO Supreme Council meeting with?

On PKR's name smearing plan, Anwar and his PKR and DAP conspirators had planned to extend painting the same racial brush stroke on the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for defending BTN.

This is a similar strategy they used to tarnish the then Deputy Prime Minister, Dato Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak, with yet to be proven and substantiated accusation of involvement in the murder of Mongolian Altantunya.

If Nazri had not arrogantly snapped at Ahmad earlier for correcting his wrong usage of term in his statement that the cabinet had agreed to up-grade instead of revamp the BTN curriculum, the ploy by PKR could have been diverted.

The video tape on Anwar and Khalid Ibrahim at a BTN course would have exposed them as those were overzealous culprit and hypocrites.

Anwar was instrumental, when he was the Deputy Prime Minister, for abusing BTN to achieve his personal political pursuit to unseat the then Deputy Prime Minister, the late Tun Ghaffar Baba.

He had removed the existing heads in BTN and placed with his own lackey - Idris Jauzi as Director General and Dr Hasan Ali as Deputy. Ahmad Maslan can disclose further on this.

Frankly, the 'real issue' of BTN is it's abuse by those in charge for their own personal political agenda. It started after BTN came under the charge of Tun Musa Hitam and for a time by Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

To correct the perception that BTN was an instrument in sustaining the unclear concept of "Ketuanan Melayu", the abuse by such leaders have actually led to the split among Malays. Few BTN operatives were instrumental in causing severe split among PAS and UMNO Malays and were catalyst or batu api in the factional fight within UMNO.

BTN's objective, role and modus operandi need to reviewed but it is unfair to smear the institution as racist.

And some heads which shouldn't be extended from retirement for being supportive of the past leadership that lead to the current predicament of the national leadership. Why are these opportunists still around?

- This blogger defended BTN but never attended and rejected several invitations to attend BTN courses. As a patriotic person, it is an insult to attend courses on patriotism. For a lomng period of time, he has taken a strong position that BTN approach and method were archaic and is long overdue for review and upgrade. If they had been more sensitive and receptive, BTN would have avoided the current predicament. He has on many occasion relayed to BTN the negative comments of their overzealous facilitators.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Pantai article defered


Apology for the long silence. This blogger was spending much time out of town. Another long trip away from today till Sunday.

Another apology for defering the Pantai article. We just realised we are missing one set of important document in our possession. It would not be fair to readers to read only certain part of the revelation with the document and other part without document.

Upon getting a copy of the missing document from our source, we will publish the whole series in its entirety.

This blog will resume as usual.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Pantai: The Nor Yakcop-Khazanah fumble Part 2

An anonymous commentator spoke of the need for succession plan for CEOs to come from within the group.

It is supposed to be selected from among the top executives in the Company and is one that is respected by his peers in order to earn the respect and support of the organisation.

Since most offices will will be breaking early by afternoon for Hari Raya Haji holiday tomorrow and a long weekend, the background story on Pantai debacle will have to be rescheduled. It is perhaps better to discuss the commentators view.

Sorry for being rather complacent lately to update this blog. Promise to be more regular after this Pantai piece.

Today's posting will thus publish an article in Malay from MyKMU that discussed the need for a clear policy and guideline in any CEO selection which Nor Yakcop had failed greatly. Read below:

Perlu ada polisi pemilihan CEO yang jelas sebagai panduan

Akhir-akhir ini pemilihan Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif (CEO) sesebuah syarikat khususnya syarikat kaitan kerajaan (GLC) sudah menjadi suatu perkara yang dibincangkan terbuka oleh umum dan dilaporakan oleh media, baik perdana mahu pun alternatif.

Ada yang hanya membuat tekaan untuk menunjukkan kebolehan membuat ramalan. Ada perbincangan tersirat bertujuan untuk melobi. Selalu juga didengar mereka yang menimbulkan isu atas hujah-hujah tertentu agar seseorang itu tidak patut dilantik.

Menteri yang berkenaan atau Perdana Menteri kelihatan sedia mendengar timbal balik yang ikhlas dari media dan menghargai dengan tidak memilih nama-nama yang dipersoalkan kewibawaan. Ini seiring dengan apa yang disarankan Perdana Menteri supaya sedia mendengar dan Menteri tidak ada jawapan kepada segala-galanya.

Apa sekali pun timbal balik yang diberi, kuasa prerogatif tersebut masih terletak kepada Menteri yang berkenaan atau Perdana Menteri dan ianya memang perlu dihormati. Namun begitu, ada baiknya suatu polisi yang menggariskan kriteria CEO GLC dibuat sebagai panduan pemilihan dan diketahui pihak-pihak yang berkenaan. Bagi mengelakkan pemilihan CEO sering jadi perbincangan umum, kriteria am dan khusus untuk pemilihan dijadikan satu polisi yang telus dan difahami, baik dalam organisasi atau media.

Sesuatu syarikat mengalami masaalah atau keperluan tertentu untuk sesuatu masa dan fasa dalam kitaran hidup korporat (corporate lifecycle). Kriteria untuk memilih seorang CEO itu perlu menyesuaikan latarbelakang dari segi pencapaian, pengalaman, dan kepakaran dengan keadaan syarikat dan suasana ia berada.

Tentu sekali syarikat yang berupa syarikat pembangunan tidak boleh diketuai oleh seorang dari pengalaman logistik. Seorang konsultan yang lebih berpengalaman dalam menjana polisi awam dan khidmat nasihat pengurusan khusus tidak bolehlah diletakkan pada kedudukan teratas sebagai CEO.

Jawatan CEO memerlukan seorang yang perlu ada pengalaman mengurus, implementasi polisi dan berupaya memahami masaalah operasi.

Pengurus yang pernah mengepalai syarikat dalam keadaan fasa pertumbuhan pesat tidak semestinya sesuai untuk mengurus syarikat yang mengalami konsolidasi atau fasa perubahan struktur dan proses atau syarikat baru mula (start-up).

CEO yang paling sesuai untuk mengepalai sesuatu syarikat haruslah seseorang yang berlatarbelakang dalam kegiatan utama syarikat. Umpamanya kontraktor harus dikepalai oleh seorang berlatarbelakang jurutera. Syarikat penerbangan dikepalai oleh seorang yang berlatarbelakang dalam aeroangkasa.

Kadangkala jika syarikat itu sedang mengalami proses perubahan untuk mengatasi masaalah yang diluar kepakaran kegiatan utama, maka CEO yang sesuai tidak semestinya dari latarbelakang sedemikian.

Umpamamnya hospital sesuai dikepalai oleh seorang doktor. Namun begitu doktor itu harus mempunyai pengalaman dan kepakaran mengurus dan mentadbir organisasi. Adakala apabila cabaran yang dihadapi hospital untuk menstruktur operasi untuk viabiliti jangkamasa panjang atau menjana dana untuk memperluaskan operasi, latarbelakang yang sesuai mungkin semestinya seorang doktor.

Kadangkala seperti syarikat penerbangan, latarbelakang aeroangkasa saja tidak mencukupi kerana ia perlu dipadankan dengan kepakaran khusus. Jika syarikat tersebut baru distruktur kembali kewangan dan organisasi, ia memerlukan seorang yang boleh memperkemaskan operasi. CEO dari seorang berlatarbelakang kewangan, atau pemasaran atau sumber manusia tentu tidak sesuai.

CEO perlu seseorang yang fokus dalam memberi kepimpinan kepada organisasi. Tentu sekali seorang aktivis politik mungkin tidak sesuai. Selain itu, ia menimbulkan syak akan ada salahguna kuasa dan kemudahan syarikat. Dalam suasana politik hari ini, ini perlu dihindarkan.

Sebagai pemimpin organisasi, CEO perlulah seorang yang berperibadian yang boleh memimpin, dihormati dan berupaya memberi keyakinan kepada pekerja-pekerja seluruh organisasi. Keperibadian yang sombong tidak menarik sokongan dan hormat dari pengurus dan pekerja di bawahnya. CEO yang bertanggungjawab dan ikhlas tentu dapat memberi semangat yang positif kepada organisasi.

Seringkali, resume seseorang itu tidak mencukupi untuk mengenali kesesuaian seseorang calun itu. Prestasi lepas yang tidak meyakinkan atau rekod buruk tidak boleh tidak diambilkira. Satu kajian pemeriksaan latarbelakang calun perlu dilakukan dengan mengumpul maklumat dari mereka-mereka dalam industri, rakan dan pesaing dan pelbagai sumber-sumber.

Penting sekali agar CEO sesebuah GLC itu mempunyai pemahaman dan pemikiran sosio-politikal atau sosio-ekonomi serta sikap yang patriotik kepada kepentingan negara dan awam. Walaupun tanggungjawab CEO adalah kepada stakeholders atau mereka yang berkepentingan kepada syarikat, mereka perlu ada sedikit sebanyak roh perjungan atau sikap keprihatinan dalam sentiasa mengambilkira kepentingan negara dan rakyat.

Paling penting sekali, CEO perlu teguh nilai moral supaya berpegang kepada amalan pengurusan yang beretika dan timbang rasa kemanusiaan. Mereka bukan saja tidak disabitkan dengan jenayah rasuah tetapi bersih dari desas desus yang berunsur rasuah.

Kriteria pemilihan CEO sebenarnya boleh disimpulkan dalam slogan yang kita biasa dengar suatu masa dahulu tetapi sudah hilang dimakan masa ia-itu
Bersih Cekap Amanah.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Nor Yakcop-Khazanah debacle in Pantai: Part 1

Oversight and over exuberance is nothing new to Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, but luck has always been on his side. That luck must run out fast before the nation have to incur more costly mistake from his misadventures.

Not long after resigning from his job at Bank Negara together with the late Tan Sri Jaafar Huessein due to the humongous foreign exchange losses from his own indiscipline and excesses in trading (but he blamed others including Dr Mahathir privately), he joined the Abrar Group.

He became the group’s public figure for whatever reason for their takeover of Mun Loong Berhad. That placed him with a position and public presence. It also helped to lift him back to prominance. The problem was he was rising higher and higher to the level of incompetence.

Words are Najib is reshuffling cabinet soon. Hopefully this time former sprinter Mumtaz Jaafar will stop 'running' as Nor Yakcop's lobbyist. No more Mumtaz, please. This is for the nation's sake.

The much needed break

The Abrar Group was a clueless group of Malay boys with a confused political economic agenda. From the words of Malaysian student studying in the US in the 90s, they were managing some mysterious Arab funds. They were armed with doctoral degrees and immediately had access to manage fund out of Connectibut, US.

It is theoretically impossible to beat the S&P 500 without taking excessive risk. Abrar's Wan Hasni dan Rahim Ghouse decided to return and invest the money in Malaysia.

Mun Loong was supposed to be their public listed vehicle to consolidate businesses they acquired. They were acquiring businesses in no orderly and strategic fashion - from plywood factory, Canadian satellite company to prawn farming. They had no inherent management expertise. Without experiance but thinking big, management was typically command and control style with corporate headoffice mindset. In a matter of time, they failed.

Nor Yakcop left Mun Loong to the boys to sort the mess with bankers, shareholders, and investors. Gone was his plan to be a corporate player. Then, the financial crisis came in 1998. He was brought was brought to meet then Prime Minister Dr Mahathir to assist in solving the crisis.


Dr Mahathir understood that it takes a thief to catch a thief. Thats how he described foreign exchange traders. Nor Yakcop may have failed in his market dabbling, but he knew sufficiently how the market operates and the big boys in the game. Yes, as described in Edwin Lefevre's investment classic, Reminiscences of a Stock Operator, the foreign exchange market too was a game where knowing the rule book is insufficient.

He was appointed as Adviser of Bank Negara. From there, he was elevated to Ministerial status and appointed to Senatorial position. Under Tun Abdullah administration, he became Minister of Finance II. Originally the plan was to maintain him in cabinet with the task to restructure and consolidate the Government companies into Khazanah, but he managed to stay longer after Abdullah's departure.

The shortcut to disaster

Part of his task was to create a new pool of “young” CEOs. The keyword was young. Experience, expertise and capability came second to young. Company succession plans were thrown out the window. The cardinal rule of thumb in choosing CEOs - operational experience, planning capability and understanding finance - were made irrelevant.

The way was to get kids from branded ‘schools’ (meaning Universities) and those with impressive resumes, preferably consulting experience.

The first few identified for that program were Rosman at Malaysia Airport, and Abd. Rahman and Shahril at MRCB. Then came names like Azman Mokhtar for Khazanah, Wahid Omar for Telekom (now Maybank), Cik Khalib for TNB, etc.

Some did a good job but most of these CEOs suffer due to lop-sided experience. Not to mention, ego and arrogance of youth and lack of finess. They are mostly accountants and naturally are figuratively minded book keepers. Too few anong them went through the ranks to acquire sufficient operational experience in planning, managing and problem solving in the day-to-day running of organisation.

These theoretical and rhetorical minds were bad in decision making, weak in problem solving and negotiating, and manage by ‘outsourcing’ - assigning to their top executives or consulting firms.

Before even introducing the background of the Pantai debacle, the reason the several part series on Nor Yakcop-Khazanah debacle at Pantai begin with a lecture on basic strategy implementation is to show the root of the problem lies within the maxim I was seldom scolded for in the early part of my career. Never be the blind leading the blind.

Blind leading the blind

The Parkway acquisition of Pantai was representative of such endemic problem. Nor Yakcop had went beyond his scope of expertise. A non starter in the corporate world is leading the government's corporate reorgaanisation plan. He had to depend on boys like of Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar to be his walking dog in the corporate jungle.

Azman Mokhtar was too inexperiance to lead Khazanah. He was picked there for Binafikir's Wide Asset Unbundling for MAS which was a mere hyped. It was basically an undergraduate corporate finance 'cookbook recipe' called sell and lease back. The Pantai disaster can be partly blamed to Pak Lah's slumbered intervention. Basically, Azman failed to find the creative, and rightly prioritised solution to such delicate problems like Pantai. It was a clear case of the blind leading the blind.

This lies the skewed Malaysian ways of always putting the wrong people at the wrong positions. If today's overzealousness is with accountants typified as company record keeper, at one time it was with lawyers. Lawyers’ role in any organisation are limited to legal matter and naturally supportive in nature, but are given such prominent roles. Such is not practise abroad but it is only in Malaysia such things happen.

The Pantai debacle was also a serious oversight by the Minister in charge. There was a prevalent lackadaisical attitude by the Khazanah CEO for not giving and being sufficiently shrewd to give national interest foremost priority. That gave rise till today the suspicion they were compromised.

In other countries, the Minister and CEO would have resigned for such serious oversight but here we allowed them to continue to make more mistakes. It seems the KPI they instituted in their organisation doesn’t apply to them.

In the case of Azman Mokhtar, words are his golden parachute is too costly for Government to drop him. Government will drop other CEOs without proper compensation but not Azman. Come renewal time, he will find ways to make himself indispensable to renew his contracts.

The serious mistakes of both Nor Yakcop and Azman Mokhtar will be elaborated further in the ensuing series.


Edited: 7:30 PM

Friday, November 20, 2009

MUSICAL INTERLUDE: Sorry seems to be the hardest words


Despite unsolicited promotion and compliment from Rocky Bru here, couldn't post the article on Pantai this week due to various engagement throughout the week.

Will duly post it Monday.

END

Friday, November 13, 2009

NEXT CHANGE: Revelation on Nor Yakcop's folly at Pantai


On Aug 4, 2006 the Goverment of Singapore Investment Corp (GIC) bought over 25 million shares in our biggest healthcare company, Pantai. That's more than 5 per cent. Parkway Holdings, a Singapore company, already has more than 31 per cent. That effectively gave them control. The bourse rule should have imposed a Mandatory General Offer (MGO).

There was public uproar as Malaysians question the Government's decision to approve the sales of a strategic asset to Singapore. Khazanah came in to salvage the situation as though to takeover Parkway's shares through a company Pantai Irama. But Pantai Irama was only 51% held by Khazanah and 49% owned by Parkway. Nevertheless, rules remained broken and it was an unnecessary expensive corporate exercise borne by Khazanah.

The untold part was that Pantai remained under the control of Singapore's Parkway. Malaysian were deceived by the fancy corporate restructuring designed by Khazanah's Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar and perhaps at the behest and approved by Tan Sri Nor Mohamad Yakcop, the then Minister of Finance II.

This blog will NEXT WEEK reveal how both of them allowed Singapapore to control an important national asset and deceived the public into believing Pantai is majority-controlled by Khazanah.

A very experianced economist had studied our Central Bank's balance sheet and said that Nor Yakcop, Anwar's ex-crony in Abrar/Mun Loong actually lost RM16 billion in forex speculation. Multibillions may have been lost in his tampering of Khazanah and the GLCs. The country's economy is in a state of mess by his bad planning. Najib is saddled by legacy issues that led back to Nor Yakcop.

Recently, he attempted to place a member of the destructive band of Tingkat 4 boys at the top of one of our GLCs. This will allow them to continue with their past corrupt practise that led to the destruction of our economic sovereignty. It is high time he be removed from the cabinet before he made more losses and mess.

In the meanwhile, read Big Dog's PM Najib should cut NMY’s pay.

END

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Omar Ong could prove suspicion wrong at Iskandar

Omar Ong is now a member of the Board of Director of Petronas. He was proposed by the Prime Minister and the Board of Directors finally endorsed his appointment as an Independent Director and de facto representative of the PM.

This is done within the jurisdiction of the PM as pointed out by Tengku Razaleigh. Ku Li also said that Directors who protest should have rightly resigned.

This blogger have expressed his suspicion and doubt of Omar Ong on many occasions and even in the not too distance past. Of late, there are those who feel it was wrong and unfounded. Omar Ong is not what many had perceived him to be.

Since the PM has decided, some level of trust on the PM's decision is due. It is expected that this blogger give the PM the benefit of doubt. However, on Omar Ong's part, he must make effort (not just deny and talk) to convince that he is different from those Tingkat 4 rascals.

As Petronas Director, Omar Ong is in the position to address a grave concern on the sectoral plan for the oil and gas industry in Iskandar, Malaysia. This presents an opportunity to change the perception towards him.

Blogger bigdogdotcom had written an impressive analysis of Iskandar and the annexation threat on Johor by Singapore. His analysis was based on the latest The Edge’s Special Report featuring the third series of CLSA report on the Singaporean perspective on the way forward for cross-causeway relationship. Comments in his blog posting highlighted potentially hostile millitary buildup by Singapore. Read his analysis here.


His concern have been the concern of Johoreans since the launch of what was then called South Johor Economic Region (SJER). The annexation was anticipated in a Malay political book put together by former journalist Johari Ismail and published last year.

In the CLSA report, the Singaporean attitude for our oil & gas industry in Iskandar is only aimed at getting a piece of the pie from Petronas and not to bring in mutually beneficial investment. Sembcorp Marine was mentioned as skirting with the idea to invest but has not given any commitment.

Another aspect they are looking is the consolidation of companies which will be explained later in this posting.

The first para of the report on the oil and gas opportunity as they see is below:


The Singaporean are eyeing Petronas contracts for future plans to do deepwater exploration. They estimate the annual Petronas exploration spending at US$1 billion. This exclude the opportunity from multinational companies which currently are required to be given out to local or locally associated companies. Read below:



The oppurtunities from consolidation mentioned above can be described plainly as opportunities for Singaporean companies to gobble up local companies. They have already identified several prospective local companies. Read below:


The "larger" small local companies are targetted too. Read below:


The Singaporean companies have the advantage of financial support from the Singaporean financial market. They will end up controlling the merged entity and at the end, the merged companies will be listed on the Singapore stock exchange. Read below:


This blogger had sufficient years of experiance in the capital and financial market to say that news and special reports emanating from such financial magazines do not appear out of the sky. Usually it is arranged by parties promoting such ideas or 'warming' up the investing community to anticipate a certain plan to be executed.

It is more obvious with The Edge, which have office in Singapore and publish their Singapore version of The Edge. It could be a marketing effort by parties attempting the Singaporeans to invest. The party/ies would definately have past close relationship with The Edge and can be traced.

From this analysis, Omar Ong must ensure the exuberance to bring in Singaporean investment must not overlook the fact that it is Singapore that stands to benefit more than Malaysia. Singapore will get the meat, Malaysia, who owns the oil, will be nourishing bone soup.

Singapore is not bringing in much added value to the Iskandar and Malaysian oil and gas industry, other than competing with local companies for contracts, acquiring local suppliers, contractors, transport companies, and service providers and eventually listing on their stock exchange.

This is unlike the plan put forward by Tengku Razaleigh in a speech he presented in Parliament on September 13, 2006. According to his proposal, Malaysia should be able to harness the capital market of the world in its pursuit to be the leader in all areas in the oil and gas industry in ASEAN. Read here.

If these plan camouflaged as a CLSA Special Report on The Edge is put forward, Malaysia is not going to be that envisioned leader but will be playing second fiddle or even become dependent on Singapore.

For recollection, the Iskandar idea was crystallised and championed by Dato' Dr Vincent Tan and Dato Zaki Zahid of the infamous ‘Tingkat 4’. They were noted for being too open and embraced Singapore in their economic policies to the extent of giving away our advantages.

It shows how shallow, lacking in ambition, and regressive those deemed by some as our so-called bright young men.

Omar Ong can prove he is not in co-hort with the Tingkat 4 destroyer of the nation by redressing this aftermath from their path. As a Petronas Board of Direrctor, he can play the role to stop the Malaysian oil and gas industry from giving away our advantages to Singapore's sel serving interest described in the CLSA Report.

If he is unable to dismantle and at worst, was found to be part of this plan, the suspicion and opinion of himself will remain. And Ethos Consulting and Capital used to be given special coverage by The Edge.


* Updated: 12/11 1:45 am

Monday, November 09, 2009

PAS: Aman Sebelum Bergelora


Dalam ucaptama Seminar PAS, Presiden Dato’ Haji Hadi Awang dilaporakan berkata tidak akan ada lagi sebarang rancangan atau usaha untuk bekerjasama dan bergabung membina kerajaan dengan UMNO.

Kata Hadi, PAS akan memberikan tumpuan untuk memperkukuhkan Pakatan Rakyat bersama PKR dan DAP. Objektif PAS untuk pilihanraya umum ke 13 adalah untuk mengekalkan kerusi-kerusi yang telah dimenangi. Turut dinyatakan adalah komitmen PAS kepada perjuangan asal untuk membina kerajaan negara Islam akan kekal.

Bagi yang merasakan ucapan Hadi boleh mencapai hasrat yang dinyatakan oleh Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, Naib Presiden PAS agar PAS menjadi pengganti kepada UMNO, pendapat itu hanya impian belaka.

Hala tuju PAS sebenarnya mengelirukan. Seminar PAS tidak mencapai apa yang dihasratkan akarumbi dan aktivis PAS. Keadaan dalaman PAS tidak akan menjadi aman tetapi bertambah celaru dan gelora. Konflik ideologi antara PAS dengan PKR/DAP akan tetap berterusan.

Dengan hanya cita-cita untuk mengekalkan kerusi yang ada, Hadi mengesahkan PAS tidak akan menjadi parti dominan dalam Pakatan Rakyat. Dengan demikian bagaimana PAS berupaya menggantikan UMNO yang merupakan tulang belakang dan penentu hala tuju Barisan Nasional?

Tentu sekali, PAS tidak berupaya menjadi suara dan kuasa yang mewakili Islam dan Melayu jika terpaksa menurut dan akur kepada keputusan kesepakatan dengan PKR dan DAP.

Jika demikian, Hadi hanya beretorik dan mengelamun di siang hari untuk menyatakan PAS akan kekal dengan objektif asal untuk membangunkan negara Islam.

Ideologi PKR nampaknya adalah liberal kebaratan. Pemimpin-pemimpin dan ahli-ahli PKR terdiri dari latarbelakang yang berbeza-beza hingga ada potensi konflik. DAP yang berpaksi kepada slogan “Malaysian Malaysia: Sama Rata, Sama Rasa” lebih hampir kepada ideologi PKR.

Kedua-dua rakan PAS ini tidak mempersetujui gagasan negara Islam yang diunjurkan PAS.

Dalam PAS pun sebenarnya sudah ada perubahan sikap mengenai negara Islam. Bekas Menteri Besar Perak, Dato Seri Muhammad Nizar sendiri ketika dipersoalkan kenapa Pas meninggalkan gagasan negara Islam di sidang Dewan Undangan Negeri Perak pernah mencabar UMNO buktikan di mana dalam perlembagaan PAS tertulis perjuangan untuk negara Islam.

Malahan Hadi sendiri, selepas persetujuan persepakatan Pakatan Rakyat, pernah menyatakan bahawa negara Islam hanya istilah dan menekankan semangat disebalik negara Islam.

Lim Kit Siang tidak menjawab komen Hadi mengenai negara Islam tetapi hanya menyatakan kelegaan mendengar komitmen PAS kepada Pakatan Rakyat.

Kewujudan jentera PAS dalam Pakatan Rakyat penting untuk PKR dan DAP tetapi ide mereka untuk hala tuju Pakatan Rakyat tidak dikehendaki sangat. Petunjuknya adalah kecaman yang diajukan kepada Dato Dr Hasan Ali setiap kali beliau bersuara untuk isu-isu yang membabitkan orang Islam.

Walaupun Hadi menjadi sasaran kritikan keras sebelum Seminar oleh ahli panel Seminar, Dr Aziz Bari yang dipercayai suara Anwar Ibrahim, sokongan kepada Hadi dari fraksi ulamak masih kuat.

Kedudukannya begitu utuh hingga mudah untuknya menyatakan tidak akan undur diri. Malah Nik Aziz pun turut disindir oleh ahli panel Seminar dan perwakilan sekutunya. Ini pasti telah memutikkan dendam di kalangan pihak yang tidak berjaya.

Di penghujung Seminar PAS Sabtu lepas, Naib Presiden PAS, Salahuddin Ayub menyeru jemaaah PAS rapatkan barisan dan bersatu untuk merancang pelan kemenangan untuk PRU13.

Rancangan Salahuddin untuk mengadakan think tank hanya melibatkan pihak atasan. Masaalah yang timbul hingga perlu diadakan Seminar kini merebak ke akarumbi dan bakal menimbulkan pertembungan antara fraksi.

Pertembungan diantara pemimpin-pemimpin berfraksi kepada kumpulan-lumpulan yang dikatakan pro-Pakatan Rakyat dan pro-Kerajaan Perpaduan. Penglibatan pengaruh luar, perbezaan ideologi, dan peranan personaliti bakal merumitkan keadaan dalaman PAS.

Tidak boleh dinafikan bahawa personaliti-personaliti yang dikatakan pro-Pakatan Rakyat adalah mereka-mereka yang rapat dengan Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim. Antara mereka yang dimaksudkan adalah Husam Musa, Kamaruddin Jaafar, Dr Hatta Ramli, Khalid Samad dan Nizar.

Sedikit demi sedikit, mereka ini sudah mula condong untuk memeluk pendekatan liberal serta pragmatik dari segi politik yang didendangkan Anwar dan PKR. Ini bercanggah dengan pendekatan tradisi PAS yang lebih konservatif.

Fraksi ulamak dalam PAS masih berpengaruh dikalangan akar umbi. Mereka kurang senang dengan campurtangan Anwar Ibrahim dalam PAS. Sebahagian besar undi kepada Mat Sabu dan Nasharuddin adalah undi yang menentang campurtangan tersebut.

Dalam isu kerajaan perpaduan dengan UMNO, fraksi ulamak mempunyai pendirian berbeza-beza. Ada yang menyokong gagasan penyatuan ummah.

Manakala, ada pihak yang menentang. Mereka seperti Dato Ahmad Awang berdendam dengan kerajaan BN yang lepas. Segolongan lagi serik untuk cuba sekali lagi, terutama beberapa golongan lama seperti Nik Aziz yang mengharungi zaman bersama dengan UMNO dalam Barian Nasional.

Sokongan Nik Aziz kepada kumpulan Erdogan yang telah memberikan tenaga dan pengaruh kepada kumpulan yang lebih liberal ini. Kajian Dr Hasan dari Zentrum Studies, University Malaya mengenai kurangnya kecenderungan orang muda kepada PAS memberi kekekuatan hujah kepada pihak Erdogan.

Disebaliknya, tidak semua dari kumpulan Erdogan cenderung kepada ideologi liberal yang dibawa oleh Anwar Ibrahim dan Pakatan Rakyat.

Husam umpanya adalah lebih merupakan seorang aktivis dan ahli politik dari seorang pelopor idelogis. Gandingan dengan Anwar hanya lebih untuk memperkukuhkan kedudukan politiknya.

Pemimpin seperti Husam mempunyai sokongan akarumbi dalam PAS dan dilihat sebagai berpotensi untuk kepimpinan pusat. Dia merupakan tunjang harapan kumpulan Erdogan.

Di dalam aspek ini dilihat kelemahan fraksi ulamak. Pemimpin fraksi mereka seperti Nasharuddin, dan Dr Hasan Ali tidak berapa popular di kalangan akarumbi.

Kekuatan faksi ini terletak kepada Haji Hadi yang mewakili kumpulan konservatif dalam PAS. Itu Hadi menjadi sasaran untuk dilemahkan oleh kumpulan Erdogan.

Walaupun serangan kepada pucuk kepimpinan dapat dipintas mudah dengan sokongan pro-ulama dalam PAS, kumpulan Erdogan tidak kalah habis. Mereka berjaya mengetuk gendang perang untuk didengari akarumbi dan aktivis PAS yang menyebelahi mereka.

Satu lagi elemen penting dalam pertembungan dalaman PAS ini adalah elemen kenegeriaan. Elemen ini tidak difahami ramai tetapi wujud perbezaan ciri-ciri antara PAS negeri.

Persaingan PAS dan UMNO di Kelantan lebih berupa pertembungan kelas. Akarumbi PAS adalah dari golongan kelas ekonomi rendah. Faktor ugama bukan merupakan faktor utama.

Ini berlainan dengan PAS Kedah yang merupakan tuan punya tanah dan penghayatan kepada perjuangan Islam mendapat lebih keutamaan.

Sementara ciri PAS Terengganu adalah konservatisma ugama mereka. Mereka pula agak lemah dari segi pentadbiran dan merupakan penyebab utama kekalahan PAS di Terengganu pada tahun 2004 dan 2008.

Pada pemilihan PAS baru-baru ini, PAS Kelantan dengan Husam sebagai pembawa bendera mengalami prestasi yang buruk sekali dengan hanya Kamaruddin Jaafar yang mendapat tempat dalam AJK Pas Pusat. Tentu sekali, PAS Kelantan yang merasakan negeri mereka menjadi asas batu loncatan untuk PAS akan kembali menuntut tempat.

Fakta-fakta yang dibincangkan ini semua menunjukkan ke arah PAS yang akan berhadapan dengan krisis politik dalaman dari hala tuju mereka yang tidak jelas. Tidak hairan jika PAs akan berhadpaan dengan krisis dalaman yang berlaku seperti pada tahun 1982.

Sebenarnya PAS yang konservatif lebih sesuai berada dalam Barisan Nasional dan PKR dan DAP adalah lebih sesuai sesama mereka dari segi ideologi. Kehadhiran PAS hanya merumitkan keseragaman ideologi dan agenda Pakatan Rakyat.

Selagi perbezaan antara PAS dan PKR/DAP tidak dapat diselesaikan, PAS dan PKR/DAP akan berhadapan dengan konflik yang berpanjangan. Ini antara sebab Anwar cuba mempengaruhi politik dalaman PAS.

Hanya satu kompromi meyerupai penubuhan Barisan Nasional saja yang boleh menyelamatkan keadaan. Masaalahnya ego politik masing-masing tidak akan mahu memperakui formula BN sebagai yang terbaik.

Selagi mereka terus hilang dalam buaian mimpi retorik, PAS dan PKR/DAP akan terus berkonflik. PAS pula akan terus berkonflik disebabkan percubaan Anwar untuk mempengaruhi melalui ejen-ejennya.

Sumber: MyKMU

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