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Sakmongkol ak 47

Monday, 18 May 2009

Gunung Senyum: Monopoly Capital comes to Pahang?

Gunung Senyum on the left.

25 caves in Gunung Senyum will be gone

Taman yang indah dalam Gua

keindahan semula jadi

will there be a ray of light?

In 1966, the Harvard Economist Paul Baran together with Paul Sweezy wrote a seminal book titled Monopoly Capital. It became a popular book and a must read for leftist leaning students in the 70s and beyond.

The central thesis of the book is that big capital (capitalists plus pliant states/governments) is constantly driven by a rapacious unquenchable thirst and insatiable appetite to acquire more and more physical assets. In Baran's analysis, Big Capital will acquire physical assets in the form of territories and captive markets where they can charge high prices. They are driven to become the sole supplier of any commodity or service.

How do they do this? The surplus capital they have acquired has turned them into business behemoths which can dictate terms to weak states. Most often states are at their mercy and will often end up as sheepish pro-business supporting casts at ceremonies ululating the triumph of partnerships.

In Malaysia, our local big capital works hand in hand with pliant state governments who sometimes have no choice but to surrender their physical assets. YTL Corporation is starting to behave like big capital in a surreal replay of what Paul Baran wrote. Driven by a rapacious appetite in order to commit the surplus capital it has acquired (read a large war chest) it is now embarking on physically ravaging a particular physical asset that belongs to Pahang. The physical asset which I am referring to is Gunung Senyum, probably a mountain dating back to Neolithic times.

Let us see some background information.

In 2003, the PSKP ( Perbadanan Setiausaha Kerajaan Pahang) or more popularly known as PSK and Pasdec Corporation, signed their remaining 50% equity in Pahang Cement. To those sensitive about Pahang's economic future, whenever mention is made of Pasedc/PKNP and any of the other state owned agencies (SOEs), a reference to them, will of course raise red flags. These are the usual suspects in any business transactions involving sale for a song state owned assets. People of Pahang have by now become accustomed to the business modus operandi of SOEs. In return for the sale, the Pahang government got 36.8 million shares valued at RM3.75 each.

For the business acumen challenged SS at that time and the others involved, this was a tremendous achievement. It was hailed as a new chapter in the cooperation between private and public sector or sometimes euphemistically called 'smart partnership'. Readers must now be alert about all things that are preceded by the term 'smart'. For example the only thing 'smart' about 'smart' buildings is their costs and prices. In reality, it was a triumph in Monopoly Capital.

The immediate effect of this celebrated sale was that YTL Cement which then owned 50% of the issued and paid-up share capital of Pahang Cement, becomes the complete owner of Pahang Cement. We haven't been told yet of the dividends from our equity which we got out of the 38.8 million shares.

In 1995, Pasdec which is nothing but the recipient of state largesse and conferment together with PSK as the bridesmaid entered into a 50:50 JV with YTL Corporation. The JV vehicle was Pahang Cement which was given a piece of limestone mountain at a place called Bukit Sagu. The purpose of this uneven marriage was to build an integrated cement plant touted as a first of its kind in the East Coast state. YTL has already owned a cement plant in Perak.

In the name of business, an integral part of bumi Pahang was given up in order to allow YTL corporation to develop and operate an integrated cement plant. The other effect of the sale of Pahang's equity was to convert the Pahang government into a complete rent seeker. It became, at the stroke of the pen, the most celebrated Ali Baba.

The Pahang MB was reported to have said:-

"Today's signing will mark another milestone for the State Government and Pasdec. Upon completion of the sale of the 50% equity in Pahang Cement to YTL Cement, both the State Government, through PSKP and Pasdec, will have a an equity interest of approximately 20% in YTL Cement. We see this as a strategic investment in a larger listed company with diverse business activities in the manufacture and supply of ordinary Portland cement, ready-mixed concrete and slag cement."

"This investment will also allow the State Government to convert its unlisted securities in Pahang Cement into listed securities in YTL Cement and has the added benefit of providing future dividend streams. The sale of the State Government's investment in Pahang Cement will, upon completion, also provide an immediate realisation of profit on sale of investment."

In other words, the purpose of any JV for that matter was to earn passive returns in the form of dividends and (b) hoping for a windfall, the government, just like any Ahmad and Abu wants to sell its shares to realise immediate profit.

I don't mean to be rude, but if these are the aims, then, the mighty business arm of the government is not distinguishable from any class F contractor.

Tan Sri Francis Yeoh Sock Ping, Managing Director of YTL Cement, poignantly said that Pahang Cement is a testament to the success of public and private sector co-operation, where each party's strengths have been harnessed through intelligent partnership. Ha ha, a variation perhaps, of 'smart' partnership?

He continued: The fruitful collaboration between the Pahang State Government and YTL Cement is now geared to continue into the future as PSKP and Pasdec become substantial shareholders in our Company. We anticipate that our partnership will continue to yield mutual benefits. For our part, YTL Cement remains committed to its long-standing policy of enhancing shareholder value in order to reward shareholders for their investment in our Company."

We of course have another term for this kind of business deal, a term made famous by Paul Baran and Sweezy- Monopoly Capital.

Now, imagine YTL with the state as accomplice, becomes Big Business and Big Capital. Indeed YTL is the epitome of big business. Over the years it has been able to venture into a multitude of businesses leveraging on its own merits and strengths but almost always benefiting from political patronage.

The effect of Pahang government selling its equity to towkay YTL will be to allow YTL aka Big Business and Big Capital sell at high prices while able to compete by cutting costs, advertisement and marketing. From this vantage point, they get economic surpluses which however cannot be absorbed through consumers spending more.

The concentration of the surplus in the hands of the business elite must therefore be geared towards imperialistic and militaristic government tendencies, which is the easiest and surest way to utilise surplus productive capacity. The only difference now, what we then know as imperialistic or even militaristic tendencies are now known as respectable business rationalisation. The only way for big business now to utilise surplus productive capacity is to extend its tentacles to acquire more physical assets.

Hence the next target is GUNUNG SENYUM- harta pusaka dari tok nenek orang Pahang.


Pak Zawi 18 May 2009 at 07:47  

Oh dear Gua Senyum will face the same fate as Batu Cave with the quarrying going on beside it.

Anonymous,  18 May 2009 at 08:40  

Betul ke awok...
Tak pernah dengor pula citer ni...
Dalam citer atas tu takder kata nak ambik gunung senyum pun.
Lagipun Gunung ni bawah jagaan Pejabat Hutan.
Kalau betoi koi mmg tak setuju...
kita tgk dulu kerajaan pahang kata apa pulak atau kalau betui ada kilang kuari nak dibina kat situ....

Budak Semantan

Ariff Sabri 18 May 2009 at 09:07  

budak semantan,

jangan awok duduk dalam gua sudah. perkara ini dah pun di bahas dalam parlimen wok. YTL nak JV dgn kerajaan Pahang. gunung senyum dan gunung jebak puyuh tu, mengandungi granite yang terbaik. nak ekspot ke amerika weh.
dah nak kena bahan pun awak tak tahu juga.

Saya... 18 May 2009 at 09:21  

Dato Sak,

Gunung Senyum is located within the Jengka Forest reserve.

How can a forest reserve be subject to development?(oh that's normal in Malaysia! nothing has changed!)

YTL prides itself on its commitment to environmental awareness and if it goes ahead with this project, whatever the so-called "mitigating" methods ie basement quarrying, it just shows its hollowness of its words. Any attempts will disturb the delicate ecosystem of the area.

The Gunung Senyum and its sister Gunung Jebak are extremely important biodiversity pools and many plants and animals there are endemic to Malaysia and also SITE-endemic, meaning one of their kinds ONLY at those hills. Once messed with, its goodbye forever, as many have NOT even been studied yet. AND it is also an archaelogical site of historical significance.

Obviously, everyone is privy to the fact of YTL's continued patronage under political leaders/powers.

Francis and company may spout politically correct terms and cosmetic gestures towards environmental conservation hype,

but the real proof lies in actions.

Francis should put his billions where his mouth is.

Makes me sick the way these big businessmen are so patronising, macam lah kita tak nampak all their 'gestures" of charity and "CSR" are MERELY TO GAIN MORE MILEAGE AND NECESSARY EXPENDITURE IE: INVESTMENT TO GET MORE BUSINESS.

That's the way all chinaman (christian or otherwise) works under this AliBabas.

Sorry. But the truth hurts.

dua sen,  18 May 2009 at 09:53  

Sekarang Gunung Senyum bila Francis Yeoh ala "Mr No Brainer" dah takeover, jadi "Gunung Murkah" pula.

Good expose Dato! Keep it up.

Saya... 18 May 2009 at 09:54  

sorry, correction to my England:

That's the way all THESE chinaMEN (Christian or otherwise) work under THESE SELLOUT TANAH SENDIRI Ali Babas yang kononnya laungkan perjuangan agama, bangsa dan negara.Perjuangan yang boleh dijual for 10 sen.

That's better.


(BTW, whatever happened to YTL's offer to clean up the rivers? Or is that also a big biz opportunity? It is a known fact that our rivers are horrifically polluted and that our water supplies are limited despite the fact that Allah kurniakan kita air berlambak2...will we also wait until the reservoirs are dried up, then we have to drink our own pee before we act?

Thank God the forecast so far of an extended heatwave has been now the calls to beware have died down...until the next water crisis. Maybe Francis Yeoh can do his bit of CSR to cuci the rivers and REALLY show his sincerity and gratitude to the Malaysian government for all the opportunities so far? Each river needs at least 100 million to clean up tapi each state gets only about 5 million in the 9th MP for all its rivers, and most is spent on cosmetic letak signboard, tambak lagi rosakkan flow, letak bangku etc2...(biz opportunity there!)

We won't stop until its all gone.

Singaporeans can afford to drink their own pee,we cannot. I don't think we can take wudu with recycled air kencing. Ade fatwa dak?

I remember the 1997 water crisis very well as I was dalam pantang, and I thought we learnt our lessons.

Obviously haven't.

Ok, melencong as usual, sorry dato.

Saya... 18 May 2009 at 10:17  

Excerpt from far Eastern Economic review:

But even Yeoh would acknowledge that his big break came in 1992 when Mahathir, fed up with power outages, turned to the private sector and gave YTL Corp. the first licence to build, operate and manage two gas-fired power plants in Peninsular Malaysia. It effectively broke the monopoly held by national utility Tenaga Nasional and, though there are now seven others in the business, Yeoh's pioneer status allowed him to cut a fabulous deal.
Yeoh hammered out a "take or pay" agreement with Tenaga whereby the utility had to take up 72% of YTL Power International's output at 15.2 sen (4 U.S. cents) per kilowatt hour whether the utility needed it or not--for 21 years. And the utility had to pay up every two weeks. Subsequent agreements by Tenaga with other operators saw the price dropping to 11.5 sen per kilowatt hour. Listed YTL Power is 60% owned by YTL Corp.
Hey, I can be rich, disgustingly so too this way! State-owned utilities cannot perform, so WE pay through our noses! Not to make us conserve electricity, but to subsidize lop-sided deals! I guess Tun just wanted the job done, but I think Big Biz profited thru every orifice for Tenaga's failures.

True entreprenuership and patriotism or just opportunism plus greed?

Malaysia's YTL Power seeks nod for new plant-report
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 5 2009(Reuters) - Malaysia's YTL Power International (News) is seeking government approval to build a new power plant and extend a deal to sell power to state utility Tenaga Nasional, a newspaper said on Monday, citing government sources.

YTL Power, a unit of Malaysian power-to-property conglomerate YTL Corp, wants to extend its power purchase agreement with Tenaga by another five years, Business Times newspaper said.

The licence for a new plant, which would double its total capacity, would contradict a 2006 government rule that power plants can only be built on the basis of competitive bidding, the newspaper quoted an unnamed government official as saying.

'The terms of the deal would be too good for YTL and it goes against government policy on new plants,' the official said, according to the report.

YTL could not be immediately reached for comment by Reuters.

The newspaper said Malaysia's Energy, Water and Communications Minister Shaziman Abu Mansor confirmed receiving the proposals.

In a separate newspaper report, Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak was quoted as saying the government plans to renegotiate Tenaga's power-buying contracts with independent power producers (IPPs) to reduce financial strain.

Currently Tenaga purchases all the power produced by the IPPs, which include YTL, regardless of demand, the Malaysian Reserve newspaper said.

Just see how greedy these big businesses are for yourself. And on whose side the gomen is.

Saya... 18 May 2009 at 10:17  

ok, ok...once i start, i cannot tahan...I better go back to work dato...haiya... :)

Anonymous,  18 May 2009 at 10:25  

right on the button dato sak. it is a tragedy oft repeated and i've seen it happened so many times in my short life.

my auntie who lives in a felda somewhere in pahang was one of those sued by the bank after she can't afford to pay back a loan she took to buy Amanah Saham Pahang. she was promised huge returns then but now she's about to be made a bankrupt.

she's still happy though, laughing and gladly voting for umno every election because she doesn't know what's going on. everywhere she goes, people say don't worry, that's nothing.

umno can't rely on ignoramus forever

Anonymous,  18 May 2009 at 10:26  

In the first place the mountain had already been allocated to one state for a cement plant.

Now fact is fact. If Pahang government or its subsidiary is to take it on themselves to develop the entire complex with govt servants kind of attitudes, do you all seriously think any profit can be realised or just another loss making initiatives?

In this cement making business, it has to be joint venture with a big company because this kind of business involves huge capital and expertise not only in making it, but selling it.

The main question is, can the Pahang government undertake it by themselves to do it profitably? Any one can provide this crucial answer.

Isn't it better to have someone who can make it really profitable and creates employment than to have it done by the state?

Anonymous,  18 May 2009 at 10:41  

anon 10:26,

typical chinaman moneymaking attitude. rationalization of greed and lopsided agreements.

sampai bila lah gomen nak have that image? of having incapable fools run state concerns? only to have to sell out to greedy bizmen in the end?


Ariff Sabri 18 May 2009 at 10:43  

anon at 10:26.

when it comes to the state- you justify the cooperationby saying state has no money this and that. solution: dont do it then. every instances of selling out- justifiable by saying- state has no this and that? will that mean, by selling everything and JVing everything, will be ok? selling out masquerades as development?
if the state does this, why th ebig huha when the ordinary Ali and Abu sells out? they can also say, they dont have the money.

Donplaypuks® 18 May 2009 at 11:39  

Dear Sir

Perhaps you can provide some details to assess the benefit to Pasdec:

1. What was the price per share in RM for Pasdec's 50% stake in Pahang Cement?

2. How much dividends did they receive each year before the sale(% and RM)?

3. I presume they sold their 50% stake in Pahang Cement for a 20% stake in YTL Cement because YTL Cement had other cement plants and biz which would give Pasdec greater income and fiture capital gains. What was YTL Cement trading at when th edeal was struck with Pasdec at $3.75 per share? What dividends has Pasdec received the last few years? More than before or less?

4. YTL cement is trading at $3 today and peaked at $4.80 last year. So, there is a potential for capital gains once the Global Downturn recovers.

As to the moral aspect, no I would not sell our heritage, environment and natural landscape for all the money in the world!!

walla 18 May 2009 at 12:11  

This example throws up some issues:

- what is the heritage we want to retain for posterity?

- what is the limit before building benefits for state becomes monopoly capital for cronies?

- what mechanism can be put in place to check and balance abuse of power by both public and private sector entities to avert cronyism disguised as development?

To answer the first, the government should do a survey of all sites in the country which would qualify as local heritage sites in much the same way you have world heritage sites. Perhaps it already has that in which case how is it that Gunung Senyum is not in the radar?

These sites should be reclassified based on something that relates to sentimental value or historical importance or cultural/ethnographic sensitivity.

Bukit Cina Melaka was another example.

After such classification, one then has to set some criteria for all states in which these sites reside in order to weigh out the net result between economic value and those aforestated values.

Then a decision has to be collectively arrived at which states some abiding principles which should be championed ....for posterity.

Gunung Senyum may not be a historic site at the same level as others but it has caves and is a local tourist attraction which may be developed later. Certainly one cannot reproduce natural caves so it has unique features. If one can be sentimental about the Niah caves in Sarawak, one can be equally sentimental about Gunung Senyum.

Next, to the second. It is laudable for state governments to want to make progress through development. The intents are noble. However the methods have so far in too many cases been seen to be not so efficient, or even effective. It's like drawing a pipe to funnel water to the people. And it leaks at some places. But you close your eye. Without a second thought about what it will finally cost.

Even in timber mining, the issue is apparent. Static estates that remain untapped will not bring development. So concessions are given. But the primary objective of immediate wealth has overrode the question of legacy to posterity. What will they be bequeathed? Tundra. Therefore, timber mining should be less cessed to catalyze more replanting in those situations where access may be difficult causing the business case for development to be torpedoed on grounds of poor profit returns for higher cess taxed. Replanting is an important adjunct if the objectives are to include something for posterity. Of course in those cases where the mined land gets converted to housing or industrial zones, this cannot apply directly. In which case one should try to find other non-timber virgin areas to replant. In other words, do more intelligent economic eco-system development planning.

Which comes back to the approval side. If one doesn't know how to evaluate, find people who do. Just sitting down to teh and kuih-muih in a committee meeting set up to beef courage from sheer numbers will not deliver intelligent, measured and educated decisions.

As population increases and landed assets become scarcer, the notional value of natural resources and heritageable sites increases to a level which calls for more sensitive appreciation of what will be lost from what is written on paper to be gained. Too often, the focus on the intangibles of a project is written off in just a few lines from thoughts given in just a few minutes.

If one or the committee cannot get beyond that, then in all honesty create an independent audit unit to provide counter-balancing perspective that will enrich decision-making.

So, to the third. A lot of things have happened in the past because checks and balances were sidelined for project expediencies.

Were it just project expediency, it would be a unidimensional problem. Unfortunately to project expediency was also grafted political expediency.

There are many shades of political expediency. The most notable is 'anything goes so long as it can create some comforting impressions in the minds of the constituents'. That leads to 'i can only give contracts to those i know and can trust'. Which leads to crony capitalism, the modern version of Rudolf Hilferding's monopoly capitalism.

Therefore the mechanism has to thrust towards anti-authoritarianism. By this is also meant no point having a rubber-stamping committee or board. Which all boils down transparency. If a decision is to be made, let it be made transparent from pre to post. Then checks and balances can return. Like they were once long ago. No longer shall it suffice to have below the mengikut perintah a signature that signs off in the opposite direction.

Once that is set in cement (concrete), the big boys who maraud for big deals will get the message.

For too long, the process has been do first, then worry about consequences later. We simply cannot afford such chutzpah and bravura anymore. Too many white elephant projects around. Opportunity costs have eclipsed sanity. Do first and then let the Macc or the people pick up the pieces later is bad, mad and sad planning. If we keep on shovelling dirt from one corner to another and then when there is no more place but under the carpet, people will trip and fall. Especially the next generations who don't have a clue what has been happening. Because nothing was made transparent.



The Almighty gave us this land to bestride like a mighty colossus the trade route between east and west. He gave us a strategic position on the globe to collect the best of eastern and western fluxes. Then He added a natural, self-replicating and stable habitat which is rich in flora, fauna and geochemicals.

Yet the marshlands and rivers have become polluted, the waterfalls death traps, the erosions gaining momentum, and the fishermen have to travel further and further into bigger waves with each year in order to pull in the same haul.

If we are constantly aware of what we have been Given, we can start to make redress for everything again. From what is outside of us to what is inside of us. The Connection has to be renewed. The Telephone Line was temporarily cut. But the Phone still rings.

Pick up the call.

(this long, rambling one, for mamasita).

Anonymous,  18 May 2009 at 12:36  

The fault dear Brutus lies not in our stars but in ourselves that we are underlings - William Shakespeare.

Don't blame the Chinese. We should know ages ago that they will want more and more. That's the nature of the b... I'll not complete the normal expression; I have to be sensitive to the feelings of others who might misinterpret it. However, even Japanese Prime Minister Eisaku Sato at one time referred to the Japanese' vociferous appetite for business in terms of "the headless tiger" forever wanting more and more.

But to my own race which has been holding the reins of power for so long in this country, I'll say it bluntly, though hopefully not abusively. The intention being to make the corrupt, the gullible and the ill-advised politicians realise, remember and be aware in their future dealings. Don't give away pesaka nenek moyang kita. Look deeper into the implications of any business or whatever proposal. There's hardly any strictly honest, sincere and non self-serving intentions in any proposal, be it business, economic or politics. Get advisers who are not only properly qualified and experienced, but also who think about preserving, protecting and propagating pesaka nenek moyang kita. If they don't, we the rakyat will continue to keji them, spit and might even kecing on their ...... (Hope I'm allowed to say them like these - in general, anyway).

History has shown that we gave away Singapore to Stamford Raffles. Then the British gave it back to us during the formation of Malaysia. But T.A Rahman gave it away again to LKY - tendang, konon nya, whereas when the Kelantanese politicians were behaving badly, we sent the Army there and declared Emergency rule. How stupid can the "kicking out" of Singapore be! How the Malays suffered as a result! We have only ourselves to blame. Let's repent and avoid future mistakes, for goodness sake, for the Malays' sake.

The other story is one of being generous. From the time the Menteri of Larut asked the Penang Chinese to do tin mining in his territory in the mid-1850s. One history book said he even provided capital for them to do it (he collected a lot of cukai jalan, cukai sungai etc and had a lot of money). The towkays brought secret societies and gangsters, the Ghee Hins and Hai Sans, in the competition for control of the leased tin mining lands. So many of them became millionaires, a trend that continued until after Merdeka. Sadly, the Malays could only grin, menggigit jari. Tun Tan Siew Sin had said in 1969 that the Malays had been "generous enough". Winning elections notwithstanding,
let us be prudent for the sake of our turun temurun.

There are many examples of we giving away pesaka nenek moyang kita from Menteri Larut all the way through until Bukit Sagu and now Gunung Senyum. Too long to enumerate. Yet they didn't renew Sakmongkol's Assemblyman's term. Social values and norms of behaviour have apparently changed to money politics, corruption and cronyism. In many cases it was back to the old concept of Mamandas who would tell the powers-that-be only what they want to hear. And the jostling for power, the bad mouthing, the back stabbing. Sad for our race. We must pull up our socks, cubit peha, stick our tongue out or whatever that is legal.

What can we the average Melayu do?We can keep on talking, pointing out the follies of our own race. In the hope that 1-2, who are in a position to change things, do so. I can only applaud Sakmongkol's dexterity and warewithall. He has his boxing gloves and AK47. I know he would not use them but am sure he would continue boxing and firing out verbally at the various anomalies and irregularities he encounters. We must support him. And say so in his blog. So that more Malays become aware and beware.

Anonymous,  18 May 2009 at 13:18  

Dato, pls organize something so that we can formally protest. Jgn jadi seperti kerajaan negeri Perak, lepas satu-satu gunung di tobek untuk marble/batu kapur. You have my support.

Anonymous,  18 May 2009 at 13:51  

YTL was just a cash strapped contractor before the IPP.It was opportune that they failed to get overseas funding for the IPP thus EPF came to the rescue.They were also seen as saviours with the takeover of Lot 10/Sentul from Sulaiman Manan.With the cashflows from the IPP YTL rebranded themselves succesfully..and created some "icons" much liked by our then leaders.Remember Pavarotti in Pangkor?

In cement they bought over assets previously owned by Perak which was privatised to a group of Bumis..

Well..its no small feat the way they have developed from that single "kickstart" from the IPP.The principle of seeing the value of assets and ability to add value to those assets have been executed well.Bumis given the same "kickstart"..sadly do not have similar resolve.

Firstly,Bumis must appreciate that assets are long term..contracts and commissions are just a once off.And,except for Johor...other SEDCs are lacking in the courage,business acumen and structure to really do genuine business.

NJ,  18 May 2009 at 13:56  

Dato Sak,

Saya tertanya-tanya diri sendiri, bilakah akan hadirnya pemimpin-pemimpin negara yang memimpin, bukannya berpolitik semata-mata.

Adakah suatu parti politik di Malaysia ini yang tidak menggadaikan negara demi wang ringgit? yang tidak mempergunakan agama demi mencapai cita-cita politik mereka? yang memperjuangkan satu Bangsa Malaysia dan tidak menyemarakkan lagi polarisasi kaum?

Mungkinkah perlu satu lagi perjuangan, di mana anak Bangsa akan bangkit untuk memerdekakan negara ini dari gejala-gejala yang merosakkan negara ini?

Saya masih menunggu kehadiran satu parti ini, untuk saya berikan satu undi, biarpun hanyalah sekadar satu undi.

Terima kasih Dato Sak, atas tulisan Dato Sak ini.

Salam Sejahtera,


Shahnon 18 May 2009 at 14:57  

good one Dato'.

It's disgusting if what you said is really happening. I've been to Gunung Senyum once during my Uni days and i think it's a nice place.

Second thing, I'm pretty sure you have many friends and contacts in the state government. Why not share your thoughts with them too? We cant allow these greedy business ppl to rob our nature as they wish.

Anonymous,  18 May 2009 at 15:03  

Bukan granite ler dato, tp limestone, batukapur, Dato patut gerakkan massa utk menentang, kalau ndak habis ler gua tuh, bukit sagu dah tinggal hampas sagu dah, ni nak ghaibkan jebak puyoh lak,PROTECT OUR HERITAGE, GUA JEBAK PUYOH...

Anonymous,  18 May 2009 at 15:35  

Anon at 13:51, you said:

"Well..its no small feat the way they have developed from that single "kickstart" from the IPP.The principle of seeing the value of assets and ability to add value to those assets have been executed well.Bumis given the same "kickstart"..sadly do not have similar resolve."

Ability to add value to those assets?

Hack ptui! itu bukan add value, itu daylight robbery (but the politican to give carte blanche to Francis also to blame lah, since Francis kipas that leader with various "bodek" personal projects.

Crap lah. Bumis also have resolve, many Bumi companies have succeeded. But they know the dif between profit and GREED. And they know WHEN to stop. And these successful companies are never highlighted, only run down by accusations of patronage..tapi bila Cina jilat buntut, corrupt, depa cakap "pandai...street smart".

Hallo, just look at the IPP agreeemnt la and the ERL...itu bukan CONTRACT ka? i think the cost dah lama recover lah..dont talk crap about adding value to asset.

Money and success are NOT everything.

We also need a conscience. And some bloody ethics.

"Pissed off by these chinky and their malay ali bapuks"

Anonymous,  18 May 2009 at 15:54  

Anon 12:36

You posted....
"History has shown that we gave away Singapore to Stamford Raffles. Then the British gave it back to us during the formation of Malaysia. But T.A Rahman gave it away again to LKY - tendang,"

Now I am just curious. Did the British gave back "Singapore" to us or rather "LKY" decided to join Malaysia. Now these are two different things.

LKY could have followed Brunei and stayed out ... and would Singapore had been in Malaysia?

When Singapore joined Malaysia, they were like Sabah and Sarawak. They have the right to ask the "Askar" from Malaya to leave as they did when May 13 erupted and got Gurkhas to keep the order.

Singapore in Malaysia as a state is vastly different from a state like Kelantan or say Johore.

That was why the only way Tunku could do was to "kicked" Singapore out because he was scared the Malay majority would be in jeopardy. It would have been a disaster for the Malays then. Whether one would appreciate this or not ... let history decide.

Please dispute me if I am wrong... this is what I understand.

So Singapore joined Malaysia and left and it really was not given away by Tunku as many Malays wanted to believe.

Anonymous,  18 May 2009 at 15:55  

YTL Cement cannot cut the hills in Perak. Now they go to Pahang. Gone lah! Pahang. Duit ada. Bukit ta'ada.

Anonymous,  18 May 2009 at 16:49  

I do not condone the destruction of our nature reserve, but it takes two hands to clap.
Permits and approvals need to be given for any of this ventures. Who are the ones approving all this ?
No private company can just walk in and say they want that piece of land and it is automatically given.

Anonymous,  18 May 2009 at 17:48  

Anon 15:54

It's academic whether LKY wanted to join Malaysia or the British "paved the way" for it to happen.

Remember, the British also "paved the way" for the non-Malays to stay after Merdeka and the leaders agreed on what has been called "the Social Contract" giving non-Malays citizenship and the Malays a special position under the Constitution. And viola, we got Merdeka.

Remember also the British managed to rule over the vast territory called India, got China to take opium as payment for Chinese goods and even got the Chinese to lease Hong Kong for 100 years after the Opium War. They were good in "paving the way", weren't they?

A friend told me he read LKY's autobiography or something wherein was said LKY was literally scared at his Residence when T.A Rahman announced the "Separation". And guess what? The Malaysian Military Garrison Commander who came to see him told him that he was instructed to see to LKY's safety. Very gentlemanly T.A Rahman. Some people described him as a person who assumed everybody to be good until proven bad. Only that, by the time people are proven bad, we already lost quite a lot.

There was not much difference between Singapore and Kelantan, my friend. Apart from the RMR military garrison, there was the Royal Navy, then headquartered in Woodlands. People like Tun Ghazali Shhafie would have been willing to go to Singapore as Director of Operations or something, like was done in Kelantan when KL sent the Army there. Mind you, we didn't even have to send the Army to Singapore. The Army was already there. And almost our entire Navy was there. T.A Rahman was a gentleman. Our history books must point this out. And the agony and suffering of the Malays as a result of his decision.

My point was that, following Sakmongkol's expose on the Bukit, the Gunung and the Gua, the Malays are still doing it. No need to be academic, my friend. Just think of the future of the Malays. If you are one, that is. If you are not, still, think of the future of the Malays. You wouldn't want to see accumulated pent-up feelings, long stored-up frustrations and anxieties releasing themselves in more ways than one, do you?

I'm afraid you understand wrong, my friend. T.A Rahman went to London to think, consult or what, then he flew home and announced the "separation".

Btw, why did you say, " really was not given away by Tunku as many Malays wanted to believe." Do I suspect you are not my friend? I hope you are not one of those who want to re-write history to the favour of certain interested parties? If so, I withdraw those words "my friend" above and regard you as a potential enemy.

Anonymous,  18 May 2009 at 19:07  

I think this giving away of Gunung Senyum is at the wish of those Pahang leaders at Fed Level with the help of local leaders who wants to gain something. Hopefully with this expose the intention will be aborted. If they are aborted, thanks to you Sak.

Anonymous,  18 May 2009 at 22:50  

gunung tak senyum lg?


Still many steps to go..

They have to do Environmental Impact Assessment dulu before any work is done.The EIA needs to be publicised and comments invited.

Unless we don't trust the DOE too?

Thus not so simple to rape and pillage nowadays .

Anonymous,  18 May 2009 at 22:51  

Thank you dato for this repeated exposure. This is the kind of issue that that any side either fr PR or BN able to agree , contructively .
The big corporation really has to learn how to control greed , sinful over profiteering.
All those earth hour hype , environment awareness are such a scam done by them.

I saw a comment regarding SEDC , most not performing with exception of Johor.Are you sure ? Do you how much public lost money as Johorean after their launced Dana Johor and Amanah Saham Johor went really down the gutter.
DJ are 'advised' to be bought back by buyers at 30% the value and ASJ is at buying value , RM1.00 but only at RM5,000.00 per year.My mum is 67 and she has another RM55K inside. Well .. you will say every investment has its risk. But hey, these are state endorsed arm. How it failed miserably ? Blame it on '98 . Fine . But what happenned after the rebounce ? KPJ is doing well so does their KFC . Isnt is the time repay back those poor 'stakeholder' or 'risktaker' partners ?

Jamal JB

Anonymous,  19 May 2009 at 01:56  

we have the oldest rain forest, beautiful limestone/karst hills, wide biodiversity, rich marine life, etc... yet there is so little interest to preserve these treasures.
they are supposed to be part of our national heritage - some sort of gold standard that we could be proud of but the day will come when we have nothing left to show.
look at cameron highlands - near barren. janda baik - going botak. taman negara - over developed. pangkor island - all corals destroyed.
when will we ever learn?

Saya... 19 May 2009 at 04:16  

someone said:

Still many steps to go..

They have to do Environmental Impact Assessment dulu before any work is done.The EIA needs to be publicised and comments invited.

Unless we don't trust the DOE too?

Thus not so simple to rape and pillage nowadays ."

I say to this fella:


If the DOE can be trusted we wouldnt have Bukit Antarabangsa, Zooview, or the Highland Towers now...and the numerous dead rivers courtesy of happily discharging factories now would we? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA....

Funny guy.

Anonymous,  19 May 2009 at 09:27  

1>> A particular commentator regards the DOE and the EIA process inadequate to protect the country's interest and considers it a big joke.

2>>Another laments the losses incurred by investors in a state endorsed Johore Investment Funds.Was this funds managed by Johor Corp?
Meanwhile Terengganu have launched a massive Rm 11 billion investment Agency.Was there any lessons learnt from the collapse of the various state investment funds?

Dato, the public have very little confidence in the administration i.e BN.It maybe a perception with some degrees of truth but at the needs a very clear and consistent thrust by BN to explain all the past concerns...and to take affirmative action.

Laughing at DOE and the EIA process is not fair on the conscientious folks trying their best to do their jobs...

Saya... 19 May 2009 at 10:29  

Well, the DOE folks I'm sure do their jobs well, have met with their people at an Environment forum,they work hard I guess, but the joke is...they have NO POWER. Nothing, Nada. Zilch.

Example, pollution/jams in to coordinate/be effective when you have bus owners lobby on one side, and taxi permits given out on the other side, PM ordering something else on his side (subsidies to get more people to buy cars), Transit people (those who actually use buses) having no money and connections to get their suggestions across to policymakers ie: no public/ground participation,Transport ministry with their own agendas, Environment Ministry in another space and time continuum,toll concessionaires with their own interests, etc, etc, we have smog city and long suffering commuters.

See this report from the Malaysian Bar (sorry panjang sikit,kena cut and paste coz I can't conjure facts from the air... but the excerpt gives a picture of the impotence of the DOE and EIAs; no fault of the personnel):

Modern environmental law in Malaysia, similar to other Southeast Asian region had little to build on what could be described as a design for promoting holistic environmental protection. Most of the legal framework in force was at best environmentally neutral or obstructed environmental purposes to the extent that it elevated the prerogatives of ownership.Despite an impressive legal and administrative structure, the desired protection for the environment has yet to be achieved. This is due to the fact that environmental protection is often politicised. Furthermore, post independence development policies often accord priority to economic development rather than promoting environmental protection. Thus, there is no stimulus for reappraisal of the archaic colonial laws or the establishment of a systematic regime for environmental protection as a whole.

Despite the significant numbers of breaches of environmental law, the proportion of prosecutions or other enforcement action is extremely low. To date there are only five reported cases under the heading of environmental law in the law reports in Malaysia.[30] The local authorities and other government agencies prosecute environmental offenders using laws other than the environmental law, principally tort law (i.e. nuisance, trespass, negligence). The DOE, as the principal agency entrusted to implement and enforce the environmental protection legislation has limited powers to deal with the land planning system. This is because power to regulate land development is solely within the discretion of the State Planning Committee at the state government level and the local planning authorities at the local government level.

There are problems of overlap in prescriptive and enforcement jurisdiction, since environmental concerns often cut across numerous natural resource sectors and environmental regulation is organised. The overlap in the jurisdiction is evident in relation to implementing the regulation for the prescribed activities under the EIA Order 1987. The list of the prescribed activities requiring an EIA report embraces issues ranging from industry and other infrastructure projects to agriculture, land reclamation, fisheries and forestry. The DOE assess the EIA report for a land development project and makes recommendations as to whether the development is to be permitted or refused. A planning authority can consult any authority, department, person or body before determining an application for planning permission. However, they are not required to strictly follow the opinions of other authorities. The planning authority may choose to ignore the recommendations of the DOE and other government agencies. The Town and Country Planning Act 1976 (Act 172) provides that in determining planning applications, the planning authorities are required to take into consideration all aspects necessary for proper planning, including the directions given by the State Planning Committee. The State Planning Committee can request for the approval of an application for planning permission to be considered for purposes of economic development even if such projects may contradict with the policies in the development plans.

Securing co-operation and co-ordination among ministries or even within one ministry is a common difficulty throughout the world. In Malaysia, where the bureaucracy is relatively new to the needs of environmental management, compared to Western counterparts, this can pose all sorts of management problems. Mechanisms for obtaining co-operation among ministries are relatively undeveloped, basically owing to the strong influence of the cultural characteristics of Malaysian society.

Characteristics of State Bureaucracy and Administrative Values

In practice, Malaysia’s bureaucracy has never been sharply separated from politics as such it is not surprising that Malaysian society is strongly hierarchical. Particularly in the early years of independence, most political leaders who came from bureaucratic background were inclined to fall back on the bureaucratic personnel for advice and support. Malaysians reflect a strong cultural affinity to strong leadership and in furtherance of individual interests. Civil servants and other government officials are often loyal to their superiors in return for job security, financial income and promotions or alternatively employment chances in the private sector in the event of retirement from civil service. The role of the superior officer in return, is to exploit his influence to strengthen the powers of the department and in order to secure his clients in the office by distributing more benefits and protection to the junior staffs.

To maintain client-patron relationship, communication and dissemination of orders and information tend to be vertical whereupon horizontal communication and exchange of information between departments or ministries are either kept to its minimum or discouraged. This state of affairs has undoubtedly proved detrimental to the development of a healthy environmental management, which requires horizontal linkages between the various government institutions concerned with the task of enhancing environment.[54] Obviously the reason is that emphasis on the horizontal linkages may reduce the power and delimit any free access to funds for the individual agencies.[55]

It appears that privatisation, has become another means for political patronage where privatised projects being sold or given to favoured groups and individuals. Of course there have been various debates and arguments about all these objectives; particularly whether privatisation will necessarily be able to achieve them. Often these patron-client linkages extend beyond ethnic boundaries and involve multiethnic co-operation to protect and advance shared interests. The influence of political ideology within development planning regime can be seen as a hindrance to implementing conservation or environmental protection policies. Furthermore, it will be difficult to provide a fair and rational decision either in processing planning applications or appeals against such decisions.

Anonymous,  19 May 2009 at 21:15  

Thanks Mr Saya...very informative piece indeed>>deserves a whole mention by itself.

It seems nobody is doing the right thing..everyone has vested interest and the little man on the street is irrelevant.Its a sad state of affairs BUT is everything as clear cut/black and white as most critics put it.

Lets talk PUBLIC be successful ridership is needed.The most economical solution and fastest to implement would be special traffic lanes for Buses (possibly electric or NGV)..or tramways.And to discourage cars...area pricing,higher parking fees etc etc...Thats easy to talk about but if the govt pushes this thru it will be suicidal

ok..I am only an armchair expert who still believe that they are lots of genuine ppl in public service,politics,cabinet..trying to do jobs the best they could.

Saya... 20 May 2009 at 09:17  


you're welcome.

but it MRS Saya..isk isk...diskriminasi... :)

Anonymous,  27 July 2009 at 04:58  

Sebelum ni koi ade dgr cerite ni tp masih samar-samar tp selepas bace posting aok ni dato' koi jd tak puas hati betul.Kite patut buat sesuatu sebelum terlambat,gua jebak puyuh adelah yg terbaik sekali dkm banyak gua-gua kat area situ..sayang lah anak cucu koi tak dapat menikmatinye satu hari nanti.

Unknown 24 September 2009 at 20:04  

please go to this link for an article on jebak puyuh
hope this helps provide some more information. i think its local pahang folks who has to voice out against this particular development. once gone, forever gone.

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