Sunday, 30 October 2011

Lapuran Ketua Odit Negara- kenapa kita bising2

Saya mendapat komen yang panjang lebar dari sahabat blog saya, Encik Walla. Oleh kerana saya inginkan memanafaat fikiran bernas yang ada dalam komen tersebut untuk di kongsi oleh seramai mungkin pembaca, maka saya menterjemahkan komen tersebut kedalam bahasa Melayu. Mudah mudahan, selaras dengan saranan dan pegangan MP Pagoh, ianya memperkasakan bahasa Melayu.

Begini bunyi nya komen Walla.

Pendedahan yang memualkan oleh lapuran ketua odit negara( LKON) membatalkan semua rasa gembira dari bajet 2012. Malahan, pendedahan tersebut telah mengukuhkan lagi persepsi bahawa kerajaan yang di pimpin oleh UMNO secara sistematik membohong dan menipu rakyat setiap tahun hanya untuk memperkayakan imam2 perang UMNO dan Napoleon2 kecil.

Pengundi2 simpanan tetap- penjawat awam, guru, bekas tentera dan polis serta petani yang akan mendapat faedah dari bajet 2012, menikmati itu semua diatas penghukuman yang di kenakan keatas sektor swasta dan akan memudaratkan aliran tunai masa depan negara ini. Semua mereka ini yang akan menerima imbuhan jawab lah sendiri sama ada bolehkah mereka mendapat durian runtuh itu semua, tanpa rompakan dan samun yang berleluasa yang tidak di bendung?

Dimana mereka dapat menunjukkan muka ketika mereka menadah tangan menerima imbuhan yang disebut dalam bajet 2012? Bagaimana rupa wajah sang guru wanita  ketika dia mendapat gaji baru sambil menyatakan bahawa harap harap gaji bertambah tidak bermakna kerja pun bertambah?

Sektor swasta yang menyumbang  jumlah cukai untuk membiayai pembelian kerajaan sekarang akan berfikir dua kali sama ada mereka mahu tulus terus membayar cukai kepada kerjaan yang hanya pandai memutar belit, cuai, mencuri dan bercakap soal perkauman yang ekstrim.

Mat Salleh yang menjadi pakar runding pembentukan imej PM Najib akan mendapati tangan nya terlalu penuh. Bagaimana dia mahu menunjukkan bahawa Najib ok manakala sekeliling Najib kucar kacir? Pinjam tongkat sakti Hermione? ( Hermione ialah watak budak perempuan yang bersama dengan Harry Potter). Memakai minyak pati SK-11?  Atau suntikkan botox keatas pentadbiran Najib?

Sejak awal lagi, rakyat di beritau dengan tegas bahawa kita akan menjadi sebuah negara kaya dunia pertama; sebutan yang menyukakan seperti transformasi, kerajaan yang mengambil berat dan perihatin, 1 Malaysia, dan sebutan2 rengkas Pemandu tumbuh seperti buih untuk menggambarkan aura kemajuan dan kejayaan. Tapi sebenarnya, di belakang tabir, mereka membohongi rakyat yang di janjipalsukan dengan masa depan yang bersyuragaloka di bawah pimpinan UMNO.

Dari proksi perniagaan dalam GLC GLC  kepada pemalsuan harga yang menjahanamkan, UMNO telah menipu dan mencuri dari rakyat negara ini dan melemahkan semua sektor2 ekonomi kita.

Suatu ketika dahlu, kita mempunyai system kawalan dalaman. Kita ada undang undang serta peraturan dan protocol. Semua ini di laksanakan tanpa rasa takut, berat sebelah atau berbau perkauman. Hari ini, terutama sejak rejim talam dua muka Mahathir, semua ini telah di anakkampangkan.
Sejajar sangat dengan tradisi lanun bugis dari Sulawesi, semua nya di halalkan asal sahaja status quo yang menyokong penyandang kerajaan di pelihara; dan mereka yang mempunyai kuasa dan kedudukan berada di atas undang undang dan peraturan. Undang undang dan peraturan hanya untuk rakyat bawahan dan orang biasa yang akan di momokkan dengan pelbagai cerita seram supaya memastikan yang berkuasa terus berada di tampuk kuasa.

Jika tidak, bagaimana kita menerangkan Dr Mahathir di kebalkan dengan selimut Teflon yang kalis peluru manakala professor Aziz Bari hanya perlu di takutkan dengan sebutir peluru? Walhal, cacian keatas raja Melayu yang di lakukan oleh Dr Mahathir dahulu lebih dasyat dari yang termampu di buat melalui teguran seorang tokoh akademik. Pecacai UMNO yang mengencing para raja Melayu hari ini tampil kehadapan konon menjuarai kemaksuman raja raja Melayu. Podah lah!

Sila beri kita jawapan bagaimana Piawai Ilahi boleh di peliharai apabila prinsip prinsip keadilan semua nya di korbankan untuk tujuan muslihat politik, kerakusan peribadi yang akhirnya mendedahkan hipokrasi dan permunafiqan bangsa Melayu untuk di perlihatkan kepada seluruh dunia. Dimanakan harga diri orang melayu? Malu orang Melayu menggelarkan diri mereka Melayu jika berpegang kepada hipokrasi UMNO ini.

Untuk apa semua hipokrasi ini?

Untuk mendapat bayaran progress pertama dari pembinaan hospital yang mengenakan caj RM 1 juta per katil?
Atau untuk mendapat pandangan dari seoang jaguh longkang yang berani memukul seorang insan lain yang tidak boleh mempertahankan diri sehingga lebam seluruh anggota dan mengorbankan hak seorang manusia lemah mendapat perlindungan dari yang berkuasa dan gagah walaupun yang mengharapkan ehsan itu lain bangsa dan agama nya?

Sesungguhnya, bangsa Melayu kita sudah di beri makan dengan rerumput kebodohan oleh pimpinan zalim di negara kita.

Bayangkan-lapuran ketua odit negara utu hanya bahagian atas gunung salji sahaja. Ini yang termampu di kesan oleh pasukan odit negara dari maklumat yang ada dalam rekod dalam tempoh odit yang terhad ketika sentiasa dalam pemerhatian pegawai pegawai yang bermuka masam dan kemarahan.

Bagaimana pula hal hal yang mencurigakan yang hanya mampu di sahihkan dan di terangkan oleh kemahiran perakaunan dan rekod simpanan akaun yang belum sofistikated? Kita tidak boleh terangkan kecuali menyatakan, kita belum cukup ilmu untuk menerangkan nya.  Jika sektor swasta boleh mempunyai perkara perkara seperti pasaran bayangan, tidak mungkinkah sektor awam juga mempunyai perbelanjaan bayangan?

Bagaimana kah rakyat yang siuman akan mempercayai kerajaan ini walaupun sesaat.

Maka disini lah letak nya jawapan mengapa kita semua mesti bising apabila lapuran odit negara di kemukakan- sebab amanah rakyat sudah di cabul. Apabila amanah, keyakinan dan kepercayaan sudah di cabul, tidak ada harapan lagi untuk kita mengharapkan kerajaan ini akan melakukan yang baik dan ikhlas. Setiap waktu dan saat adalah satu lagi lembaran muka perlakuan jinayah yang akan hanya di report dalam lapuran odit tahun hadapan.

Sebab itu lah sebagai contoh, walaupun berada sendiri dalam majlis tersebut, MP dari Bagan Datuk tidak boleh membezakan antara harga pasaran dan harga yang di bayar kepada kontraktor kroni UMNO. Perbezaan ini YB, bukan nya RM 6 tapi  Enam Bilion Ringgit. Itu RM 6,000, 000,000. Enam Ribu Juta ringgit. Tentu YB fahamkan.
Bayangkan berapa banyak paket angpow hijau atau merah yang boleh  terhitung oleh seribu jebat si anak tani yang membanting tulang dalam kerjaya masing2? Dan seorang bekas Komrad perjuangan rakyat menyifatkan inilah bajet yang terbaik kerana memuliakan para petani dan pesawah. Bersyukurlah kerana saudara komrad sudah terjumpa jalan pulang.

Adakah jumlah wang yang begitu besar akan mengalami nasib serupa seperti dalam projek2 kementeian pertahanan yang melibatkan antara nya, kapal selam yang tidak boleh tenggelam, kapal peronda yang terkinja kinja, tangki yang bocor, dan program latihan yang melibatkan alatan letrik di tempat yang tidak ada bekalan letrik yang hampir pula dengan ampangan yang dibina beratus juta Ringit yang tidak ada air! Hampir2 saya ingatkan yang jadi menteri Pertahanan ialah Samy Velu.


Pada masa yang sama, elok kita bertanyakan soalan, ketika lidah kita masih belum kelu, mengapa wang simpanan EPF rakyat di jadikan ah long dan ceti yang membiayai syarikat2 tenat?

Adakah dengan memberi pinjaman2 raksasa kepada syarikat syarikat tertentu, tanpa jaminan bayaran semula dan di luar penglihatan pemegang saham dana ini yang sebenarnya- iaitu lebai malang rakyat biasa- adakah kerajaan berkata bahawa mereka telah mejumpai zikir atau jampi yang akan menghindari pencarum2 EPF dari malapetakan kerugian yang mengerikan?

Kalau lah pinjaman itu semua gagal di bayar, adakah kerajaan akan mengambil langkah mencitak matawang  dari kilang percitakan matawang mereka di Shah Alam untuk menampung kekurangan dana caruman , atau sebagai langkah untuk menyokong gerakan hijau mengurangkan penebangan pokok untuk membuat kertas citak, kerajaan akan menggalakkan pencarum2 yang pencen supaya mati segera?

Atau adakah, dengan segala pembohongan ini, sebetulnya rakyat mampu menyimpulkan sikap sebenarnya kerajaan terhadap rakyat dengan satu sebutan? Iaitu:-

TiuuKauw

Rakyat sudah di liwat  kau-kau, dan yang menyedihkan di screw oleh screwdriver yang harga nya juga harga bohong. Tiu Niamah Kahai!

Bila kita penat duduk di halaman rumah kerana di gigit nyamuk dan mengiang teliga dek cegkerik, kita pun menekan remote control telivisyen kita dan memasang TV. Kita lihat berita RTM1, saluran yang biasa nya kita cuba elak untuk menonton, kecuali kita mahu tonton bagaimana pembaca berita cuba sedaya upaya untuk senyum senyum palsu.

Di muka TV kita lihat budak  Naza  mengadakan siding akhbar untuk membina HUB kewangan KL. Kos pembinaan hub tersebut ialah 25 ribu juta Ringgit. Bagaimanakah syarikat yang medapat AP ini, dan dapatnya dengan cara yang menimbulkan banyak pula keraguan memperolehi hak untuk menguasai projek ini? Ini tiba tiba timbul. Tidak ada tender atau apa apa pun. Mengapa projek ini di beri kelonggaran membayar cukai selama 10 tahun, sama seperti penyewa dan ya habibi tenant dari timur tengah yang di beri keistimewaan yang serupa? Ini tenant dan penyewa yang jadi sahabat baik kepada budak cina yang bernama Jho Low yang mengangap Rosmah Mansur sebagai kakak nya yang baik hati?

Dan di manakah nanti kita dapat mencari para perkerja yang mampu bertutur dalam bahasa Inggeris yang di perlukan untuk mengendali industry dalam hub tersebut, mereka yang kita perlukan untuk berinteraksi dnegan orang lain dalam pasaran kewangan global, mereka yang kita perlukan untuk berhubungan dengan terminal Bloomberg dan yang akan membuat analisa power point macam budak2 Idris Jala?
Mungkin dari Pagoh, Bagan Latuk, Sembrong atau  Jerlun agak nya?

Ini kah cara nya kita mencapai taraf ekonomi pendapatan tinggi? Dengan cara memalsukan harga tender kepada suatu jumlah yang menyusahkan kita untuk menyebutnya sementara 90% dari rakyat terasa cubitan bisa beban inflasi yang meninggi tapi pendapatan yang mendatar? Atau mungkin rasa perit itu datang dari gula istimewa yang di beli dari kedai yang di langgani oleh giatMARA?

Perlu di ingatkan- bila kerajaan mengumumkan projek MRT yang berkos RM 50 billion, mereka menyatakan bahawa 90% kos nya akan di biayai oleh sektor swasta degan belanja kerajaan hanya 10%. Sekarang ini hampaknya, 100 percent belanja nya akan di sabsidikan oleh kerajaan dengan wang rakyat dan melalui pegambilan semula tanah terpilih dengan cara sama yang di pakai bila kerajaan mahu membina bangunan  Matrade, iaitu satu lagi projek kroni Barisan Nasional!

Inilah cara nya bagaimana projek2 besar dalam negara ini di mulakan. Semua projek ini tidak akan di bina secara sempurna atau mengikut standard yang telah di persetujui. Yang menepati piawai dan standard 100% ialah memastikan pelaburan dan perbelanjaan kerajaan itu di salurkan kepada akaun makhluk halus yang bersembunyi di belakang tabir yang menghantar anak2 mereka ke sekolah antarabangsa yang terlalu tinggi kos nya untuk anak anak kita semua.

Inilah keadaan nya yang sebenarnya. Sekurang kurang nya, dahulu, mereka bertanggungjawab keatas perlakuan mereka. Sekarang mereka melakukan nya tanpa segan silu dan meludahi muka kita dan terus melakukan nya.

Jadi saya tanya soalan cepu mas ini? Adakah UMNO sudah berubah? Tidak mengapa- jawablah bila anda senang2.

Itulah sebab nya, di antara alasan mengapa kebobrokan yang di lapurkan oleh ketua Odit berlaku ialah kerana penjawat awam tidak tahu cara melakukan kerja2 mereka dan itulah sebab nya, mengapa, megikut KSN yang berasal dari kampong Ceruk Paluh Pekan itu, pegawai2 tersebut, pada tahun hadapan akan meninjau harga pasaran sebelum mereka membeli apa yang patut di beli.
 Kepala hotak kau!
Apa yang perlu kita lakukan? Kita semua mesti bangun dari lamuman khayal. Lapuran OSK yang bertajuk Election Factsheet 20 October 2011 mempunyai dua peta. Peta2 ini menujukkan taburan jografi kerusi parlimen dan dewan undangan negeri. Manfaatkan nya dengan terbaik, awang weh!

Ingatlah- dalam tahun 2004, kawasan2 berwarna biru sudah di separuhkan di kawasan2 yang jumlah penduduk nya rendah manakala warna parti pembangkang menguasai semua kawasan2 yang ramai penduduk dan kawasan2 bandar. Apa kah yang sudah terjadi? Itulah yang di katakan tsunami politik. Rakyat jelata sekarang harus mara dengan cara ala pasukan kereta kebal.

Lakukan pukulan maut!

Manfaatkan mesin2 pemotong daging yang mahal2 seperti yang di lapurkan oleh ketua Odit Negara. Gunakan dengan terbaik, satellite, computer mainframe, pasukan kuda yang di beli tapi tidak boleh bersukan kuda, gunakan juga PATI dari seberang yang berbondong2 di angkut dengan bas serta di eskot oleh polis untuk segera di beri latihan keusahawanan supaya dapatlah mereka bersaing dengan bumiputera asal dengara ini. Enak sekali dong! Mampir lagi!

Betul atau tidak?

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Saturday, 29 October 2011

Why the fuss over the 2010 AG Report.

Let us show you a few examples. Perhaps then readers will understand what all the fuss is over the AG Report.
Bizarre overpricing- the National Youth Skills Institute (under the Youth and Sports Ministry) approved the purchase of a car jack that cost RM50 for RM5,700, a digital camera that cost RM2,990 was bought for RM8,254 and RM1,146 was paid for a set of technical pens with a market price of RM160;
Negligence- the Police Air Wing purchased two helicopters worth RM117.75 million, which could not be used, as they did not meet specifications. Another RM15.4mil was spent to train pilots to fly these helicopters.
Incompetence- Customs Department under-utilized its RM290mil information technology system but was planning to spend another RM451.30mil to develop a new one.
These are the findings of the Auditor General’s report a few years ago.  If the transgressions were not rectified, we know it means, things have not improved. If matters are left as they are, we can then more or less expect what’s coming.  We can expect the same stories about negligence and incompetence because  those responsible are laid back about the issues. We have all the reasons to believe that the report for 2011, next year, will reveal the same story about misappropriation of funds, bizarre overpricing, projects not completed. These are indicators of negligence, incompetence and regretfully said- of officious arrogance.
The 2010 Auditor General's Report  is precisely that- voluminous and horrifying mentions about more or less the same findings contained in reports of preceding years. What does that say? It says loud and clear, the same transgressions committed were not rectified or even allowed to continue. It means the same wrongdoings are allowed to be perpetrated because the enabling circumstances and possibly the same perpetrators were allowed to persist. It further shows those responsible to ensure the transgressions are not repeated have been incompetent and negligent in carrying remedial actions.
The same people who did all the transgressions are still in commanding positions; they will have the opportunity to improve upon their incompetence by doing more damage. The Chief Secretary’s village fool response by way of saying he is not worried and that the problem has been dealt with because he has sent circulars asking officials to exercise more discipline is a negligent expression and ensuing act of gross callousness. I am afraid, the public isn’t that forgiving.
We don’t want circulars- we want those transgressors punished or even sacked. Ask them to publicly explain what happened to those overspendings? Let’s ask the chairman of Giatmara for example, where is the shop that sells the heavy duty blender for 4 times the market price. Let’s make it the 1 Malaysia shop for heavy duty blenders. Maybe even give them soft loan from EPF.  Let us Mydin the shop.
Yet we want to extend the services of such a fellow. Let’s elect Allred E Newman for Chief Secretary then.  Then, we are assured the same transgressions repeated, will be met with the same incredulous response of what me worry!
The answer is also, we don’t have to suffer the incompetence of those entrusted to manage public money. If they don’t manage properly and because it’s our money they are managing, they deserve to be publicly assailed. This isn’t about being perplexed as to why the opposition should bicker about the report. If you do, then we shall have to explain to you in as simple terms as possible.
This is beyond opposition. This is about, the mismanagement of our money which deserves being treated as a cause of concern for possible fraud and deception.
The short answer to the question then as to why the opposition gets irked by the audit report as do all right thinking Malaysians is the money being treated isn’t the property of the transgressors. That being so, the administration of the money and the application of the funds thereof, must be done with utmost care. It’s not your father’s money. That is the short answer.
The long answer is, Malaysians are fed up of the deception and misappropriation of funds.
For the year 2010, the government approved a budget of RM 149 billion for operating expenditure. This wasn’t enough and the government had to increase the opex to 151 billion. The report said 9 ministries over spent. Here is where all of us should be concerned. This is taxpayers money being spent on opex. The 2 billion could have been spent of capex capital expenditure which builds capacity to create more wealth.
Now, Malaysians are equally outraged by the revelations of the 2010 Auditor-General Reports on the continuing financial scandals, hanky-panky and gross financial negligence in government. We are horrified to learn for example, the  National Sports Institute acquired 23 horses totalling RM5.66 million without a Financial Ministry go-ahead with none of the horses competed in two recommended international championships; we have the case of the RM142 million RazakSAT malfunctioning barely a year after being commissioned; wait, we have more- The Malaysian Marine Parks Department spent a whopping RM56,350 for a pair of night vision Marine binoculars, 29 times more than its market value of RM1,940; and paid the same amount for another pair of night vision Bushnell binoculars, or 1,893 per cent more than its actual price of RM2,827.
We are once again appalled at the incompetence of front line workers incapable of appreciating the importance of proper placement of decimal points and making accounting mistakes that resulted in wasteful overspending. These should not have happened if there are efficient and proper internal audit systems. As the result of a laid back attitude, we are told of stories where a pensioner received RM21, 433 a month instead of RM214.33 for 16 months!. The mistake was detected after more than a year. The officer who finally detected the mistake should be a given a merit order.
We are also dismayed of hearing Giatmara Centre mistakenly paying RM170 per kg instead of RM1.70 per kg for sugar for a poverty eradication programme or RM25, 500 for 150 kg of sugar! This must be a special kind of sugar.
What about the village-fool response that I mentioned above? In his response to the 2010 Auditor-General’s Reports, the Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Sidek Hassan has repeated his annual reaction and call to all departments and agencies to take heed of the Auditor-General’s comments and views. Which goes to show, that what I said about the same mistakes being repeated did take place, otherwise, he wouldn’t have to repeat his annual reaction would he?
No wonder then, there was this need to delay the submission of the 2010 Auditor-General’s Report to ensure that it would not completely overshadow Najib’s 2012 Budget. Otherwise, the Finance Minister’s charitable overtures would be overshadowed and overwhelmed by the over 1,300 pages of exposes of financial irregularities, hanky-panky as well as misappropriation of public funds in the first full year of PM Najib’s premiership.
All right thinking Malaysians are waiting for the Finance Minister or the Chief Secretary to explain the delay in submitting the 2010 Auditor-General Reports until after the end of the parliamentary debate on the 2012 Budget. If the Report was enclosed alongside the budget documents, the AG Report would have been the foremost parliamentary issue.

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Friday, 28 October 2011

Two views on BN's premature optimism

I find two comments that deserve to be read by a wider audience. Both are strong opinions on the article that I just wrote.  In my article I wrote about UMNO being the dominant partner in BN in the peninsula.  But as the first commentator wrote, this position doesn’t invite envy at all. UMNO could very find itself orphaned soon.
Assuming that if 18( out of 20) of the seats now held by MIC, MCA and Gerakan fall to non BN parties, the BN’s position does indeed rely on the BN partners in Sabah and Sarawak. Sarawak has 30 parliamentary seats while Sabah has 11. As the writer observed, the Sarawak strongman doesn’t seem to give two hoots what Najib and Muhyidin want. Indeed he was sworn in the very night BN Sarawak was announced the winner fearing that delays would invite intrigues and machinations from national leaders. So, before the federal leaders can do him in, he thumped their noses. The message is clear. He doesn’t trust our federal leaders.  Maybe it’s time for him to make deals with other leaders and then agree on a timetable where he can exit with dignity and not unceremoniously evicted as he nearly was after the recent Sarawak elections.
PBB and its partners in Sarawak are friends under the same banner with BN leaders in Peninsula. Can the Sarawak people trust their partner in Semanjung who seemed willing to abandon its own partner in Sarawak just to retain power? With that kind of partner, they don’t need enemies.
Indeed Taib Mahumud who must have felt humiliated by the treatment he got from federal leaders during Sarawak elections recently, now holds the trump card. He is said to have control over 23 of the 30 MPs. He must have felt immensely chagrined as Najib repeatedly told audiences that Taib Mahmud will retire. Taib Mahmud did not say anything about retiring. He said he will retire by a schedule of his own choosing. He is not an UMNO member and therefore doesn’t have someone to watch over him. His party delivered 100 per cent results while UMNO in the Peninsula couldn’t hold a candle to his track record. In short UMNO has no influence at all over Taib Mahmud. He can do very well as he damn pleases.
I have not said anything about Sabah and Sarawak. If the lifeline needed isn’t extended to UMNO and BN in Semanjung, UMNO and BN will find themselves on the opposition benches. That would usher in the much needed cleansing process and the weak in constitution will be weeded out. It’s a common anecdotal observation that should there be a hung government or BN and UMNO loses in the GE, its MPs can be induced and encouraged to cross over while just having teh tarik. Its that simple.

“Actually it’s all about UMNO. UMNO in the end carries BN.”
That was probably true a couple of elections ago. No more. UMNO has just 79 seats in Parliament out of 222. Of the total of 140 BN seats those now held by the other component BN parties held by MCA, Gerakan and MIC – total of 20 - are under serious threat of going to the opposition. So a lot will hang on the 30 seats held Sarawak BN parties, and the 11 held by Sabah BN parties.
So having just 35.6% of all seats, UMNO cannot possibly be the be-all-and end –all of BN. Actually, with the weakness of MCA, Gerakan and MIC, UMNO desperately needs PBB and its allies in Sarawak. That is why, after the recent Sarawak elections Taib Mahmud, without so much as whispering a word to Najib, quietly slipped out to the Istana in the deep of night to be sworn in as CM. He simply showed Najib and the DPM the finger. What can they do to him? Taib knows that the BN government and Najib’s future depends on him.
Ask Sabahans and Sarawakians how much they really care about (West) Malaysian politics, and you get a blank stare. The local politics there overwhelm everything emanating from KL or Putrajaya. Semananjung, Sabah and Sarawak are really 3 separate worlds. So there are the Semananjung UMNO warlords, and there are Sabah and Sarawak warlords. Each has clawed his way to the top through money politics involving cronyism and corruption – through privatization deals and government contracts in the Peninsular, and through timber and land deals in Sabah and Sarawak. If the top leaders are “elected” this way, expect the rest of the party leadership at lower levels to be the same.
UMNO was never like this before Mahathir came to power. The old UMNO had ideals. But after1987 under the stewardship of Mahathir UMNO evolved into a party in which devious, greedy and corrupt leaders have become rich at the expense of the ordinary Malays. This poor quality leadership is reflected in the numerous instances of mismanagement of this country’s wealth as reported by the Auditor General. Nothing is ever done because each trail would lead to an UMNO leader or crony.
Have we not seen or heard enough to say Malaysia deserves a change from this corrupt and inept BN government?
The other comment was submitted by a writer wishing to be known as el especial . this one is reflective.
“During that time, leaders with the required temperament and idealism emerged naturally to lead. Once that phase has run its course and the first generation leaders either passed on or were themselves consumed by the corruption of power, natural leaders cannot be found. We have to either replicate the natural milieu (which we can’t) or consciously plan a process. We have to do the second option.”
Indeed we cannot replicate the natural milieu. As true as it is, rest assured that nature has a rather insidious way of running its course. While we are asleep, the water in the river runs.
Take the state that we are in today. You certainly can’t argue that things are ideal or perfect or how you would want them to be. We are moving far from it towards a chaotic state characterized by rampant destruction, etc etc. Yet this is the natural order. An order that will bring so much destruction so as to rid and cleanse the system anew. Only then can there be an equilibrium of sorts.
One may try to move the system towards this state yet it is an uphill task. The current state of order is so saturated and diluted in a mess of its own making that to untangle, it simply need artificial shocks to the system. And it has to be wide spread to afflict all. The 2008 tsunami is but a small step, of ripples in the sea. Regionally and worldwide more are coming. If its to me, I would put it that artificial shocks are nothing compared to the nature’s order of chaos and destruction as a path to salvation, symmetry, and statis. Some call it composure. Now I’m being long winded.
 “Good leadership is seen as a game of chance- we choose using random methods in the hope, that by some fortuitous process, good leadership emerges. In other words we are leaving it to chance. Because of that, we often have duds emerging as leaders.”
The current milieu does not allow a leader to be true to him/herself and up hold the ideals he/she holds dear lest be seen and ostracized as an outcast trying to instigate foreign elements into the system. Forward steps the duds. A step back for the reluctant leader. They fiddle while the city burns. And burn the city will until the sky is engulf with nothing but darkness. So we wait.
The night is dark before a new dawn.
The methods employed to make the current assessments indicate qualities that make up a person’s disposition but not a reflection of good leadership. We have to be clear right from the start- we are looking for good leadership not a good person in the sense of possessing a likeable personality. A good person earns credit for himself and the benefits of being a personable fellow accrue to him alone. But if he is not a good leadership material, his defects affects whole societies.”
Agreed. And behind these leaders, there are those who prefer to be the invisible hand. Unnoticed yet potent.

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Thursday, 27 October 2011

BN's premature optimism


Why is UMNO facing so many problems when the time comes in selecting candidates for leadership potential? The short answer it seems is because it has never been serious about constructing a system for selection and leadership succession. It’s too much to expect, the member of the JKKK or village committee, the bank and school jagas, village lay-about, to know what the country needs. We might as well elect the hawker to become PM.
Short term judgments cannot produce sustainable leadership. UMNO should have recognized this. They will choose to elect people reflecting their own standards and achievements. After more than 60 years, UMNO which evolved into something radically different from 1988 onwards hasn’t perfected a selection process. Instead it leaves the emergence of leaders to unplanned events and happenstance.
We can’t replicate the times when leaders emerged naturally. When UMNO was formed in 1946, the world was engulfed in an era of fervent nationalism. During that time, leaders with the required temperament and idealism emerged naturally to lead. Once that phase has run its course and the first generation leaders either passed on or were themselves consumed by the corruption of power, natural leaders cannot be found. We have to either replicate the natural milieu (which we can’t)  or consciously plan a process.  We have to do the second option.
On that note, let me make some comments on the prospects of UMNO in the coming general elections. Or more precisely, I want to say something on the source with which UMNO, BN and its likeminded supporters make their prognoses and choice of candidates.
The next GE is probably the toughest UMNO and BN will face. Just consider this. All the leaders of BN component parties in West Malaysia are having trouble at finding a seat to contest. They are all political fugitives with no place to call home.
The leader of the MCA is now negotiating with local MCA leaders on where he should stand. So far 3 MBs have offered Soi Lek a seat that he can choose. He has to prove his winability claim. His deputy is not going to have an easy time in Bentong. He hasn’t sorted out his promise to have the central spine road built in the town of Bentong. See? A leader is judged on the standards of the Jurutera Jalan JKR.
The MIC leader can’t re-contest in Hulu Selangor for he will surely be taken to task over the many things he promised the voters when he was their MP. No one buys his cock and bull story about being sure of being chosen if not for last minute unseen hands. He would have lost if he had stood there. There are indications that he will stand in Cameron Highlands replacing S Devamany. If Devamany stands, MIC will lose that seat. Gerakan’s embattled leader, Koh Tsu Koon is ready to make the ultimate sacrifice, offering not to stand. The leader of the PPP, as the UMNO youth leader recently said on his twitter message, is always a good show warming the stage before the arrival of bigger leaders; he is indeed a good show being in his best element, bowl in hand begging to be given a seat. I thought KJ was referring to a court jester.
Actually it’s all about UMNO. UMNO in the end carries BN. so the way it chooses its leaders on all levels is profoundly important. So far, it hasn’t perfected a sound policy. And it’s not seen as a dominant force as it once was. It’s reduced to constantly having to juggle between the competing needs of component parties. So far, PM Najib is seen as being an easy compromiser.
The way BN and UMNO go about choosing candidates and assessing their chances at the GE is pathetically flawed- because it shows they are not interested in putting up capable, determined and serious leadership for the country. Good leadership is seen as a game of chance- we choose using random methods in the hope, that by some fortuitous process, good leadership emerges. In other words we are leaving it to chance. Because of that, we often have duds emerging as leaders.
A candidate’s suitability is couched in simple-minded things such as getting along great with people, playing futsal or football, a likeable person etc. How do you judge whether a person has the interest of the people and nation at heart? Surely not through walkabouts, playing football and such things; you judge them by their work ethics, by their determination and by their articulation of issues. And doing hard work at raising the standard of living of the people.
The methods employed to make the current assessments indicate qualities that make up a person’s disposition but not a reflection of good leadership. We have to be clear right from the start- we are looking for good leadership not a good person in the sense of possessing a likeable personality. A good person earns credit for himself and the benefits of being a personable fellow accrue to him alone.  But if he is not a good leadership material, his defects affects whole societies.
The country needs good leadership first and foremost- men with abilities, appropriate qualifications and the special quality that allows them to remain cool and collected when under pressure.  The benefits arising from these qualities accrue to society as a whole.
Sadly these are not reflected in the reports on potential candidates. Consequently, they are not of much use to a country that needs good leadership. They are in general questionable- being the product of some shadowy authors feeding off the information gathered and more often than not, fabricated by field operatives. The operatives in turn are easily compromised by the usual stock-in-trade practices of incumbents and elections hopefuls- getting paid to give favorable assessments. Incumbents and election hopefuls know them- the operatives in JASA, Kemas, MIO, the Special branch and numerous point men relied to carry good stories about each hopeful to the people who matter.
Other than being used to select candidates, the reports are also relied to interpret the chances of the incumbent national government. Needless to say, they are self-serving- designed to fortify their own nerves and offer their supporting public the much needed confidence booster.
As to the date of the elections, I am certain it will be held sometime in March 2012. Najib realizes that he needs a mandate of his own making. Is he getting some divine signals as to the elections date?
His pilgrimage to Makkah this time may be prompted by purely pious reasons; as another Muslim, we mustn’t discount another person’s desire to seek religious salvation. We have no reasons to disbelieve Najib’s religiosity is any less than the religiosity of any other outwardly packaged Muslim. Allow me to join so many others to wish him selamat berangkat menunaikan fardhu Haji dan semoga dapat menunaikan nya dengan sempurna.
But as to the date of the elections, the auspicious date isn’t linked to the Makkah pilgrimage at all. The date if it’s already in Najib’s mind may have been suggested by swami ji in India. Yes, it’s the swami ji who told a visiting American lady that his some would one day become the president of the USA which the son did.
Let’s get back to the main story. One piece of news that intrigued me greatly last week was the research undertaken by OSK securities. I waited for a few days to see the reaction to the outcome of the findings by OSK securities. As far as I could see, there were not many reactions to the report by OSK. OSK said, according to its research findings, the BN is set to win the next GE with bigger margins. Are they relying on the reports which I alluded above? Jeepers creepers. The BN and UMNO are doomed.
The dearth of spirited response to the OSK findings may be the result of two possibilities; one- the findings are accepted as legitimate and having more truth quotient in them or; Two- no one is placing much credibility to the findings of OSK. This is probably because OSK’s forte is in doing research for securities, shares and the business health of firms trading on our bourses. OSK is never known for its political assessing prowess.
The state which I am most familiar with is my home state- Pahang. I suppose the same generalizations are applicable as regards the other states. Overall, they overstate the BN and UMNO’s chances by at least 30%. The reports are simply inflated to give a favorable color to them.
What did the report say about Pahang for example? Pahang has 14 parliamentary seats. The report says BN will retain 12 seats. It will lose in Kuantan and Indera Mahkota the two seats now held by PKR. My own assessment is, on the assumption that its chances are overstated by 30%, the BN can only win 9 parliamentary seats. Where will it lose? It will lose in Jerantut, Raub and Bentong. No MCA parliamentary hopefuls or incumbents will win in Pahang in GE13. The parliamentary seats in Bera and Temerloh are also in jeopardy. An interesting seat to watch is Cameron Highlands where there is much grumblings about the incumbent MP, Devamany. If I hear it correctly, the MIC president G Palanivel is set to stand in Cameron Highlands. If Devamany is retained, BN may lose that seat.
PKR is set to retain the Kuantan parliamentary seat as the PKR rep there is seen as being relentless in her fight against the Lynas locating its nuclear waste plant in Gebeng. Public opinion seems unmoved by the explanations and appearance of experts attempting to quell public disquiet about the Lynas Plant. Fauziah Salih has benefited from the unpreparedness of the state government in handling the Lynas issue.
In Indera Mahkota, the PKR rep hasn’t done badly either but chiefly, PKR’s relevance is retained simply because UMNO is no longer seen as the credible platform on which voters can depend on. The local UMNO is devoid of credible leadership and the divisional leader is hardly MP or even ADUN material.
This time around, I don’t see the chances of BN retaining the two state seats in Indera Mahkota as high. Pang Tsu Ming, the incumbent in the Semambu seat looks shaky as that area has a substantial portion of Chinese voters. The other DUN seat currently held by PAS is likely to be retained by PAS. Beserah constituency has a large number of voters with kinship ties with Terengganu and Kelantan.
I fear BN’s chances are not good in Tanjung Lumpur and in Teruntum, Tanah Rata, Ketari. The lone Gerakan rep, a very competent fellow is in the wrong place and wrong time.  

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Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Horror stories behind the AG Report- 1

We are sometimes, no let me restate that- always appalled at the snootiness of lawmakers who poke fun and trivialize the serious side of governance. A clear example of such attitude involves the recent nonchalant responses surrounding the delayed supply of the auditor’s general report. It is true there is no law that demands the Auditor’s Report be given alongside budget documents. Using the same argument, there are no laws on many things either. The lawyer’s un-lawyerly adage is you can break any laws as long as you are not caught.
It is also equally true, in the interest of good governance and accountability which any responsible government pledges itself to, the AG Report must be expeditiously supplied to lawmakers. Otherwise, it gives rise to a cause of concern that the delay is an attempt to shorten a critical assessment of the spending habits of government agencies. Lawmakers are guided by a higher sense of propriety, responsibility and accountability that demands they operate beyond the technical confines of written rules.
So it is correct  and proper when lawmakers demand to see the AG Report that by convention is provided alongside budget documents. It was disingenuous for a lawmaker to state recently that there is no law compelling the AG Report  be supplied together with other budget documents.
In my experience as an ADUN in Pahang, the auditor’s report came along with the budget documents. This is necessary for legislators to go through the spending habits of institutions of government. That will ensure matters are debated as they should be.
The AG Report has acquired the status of almost an absolutely necessary addendum for the purpose of intelligent and responsible analysis of government spending habits. I have found them necessary to provide justification or grounded criticisms to the spending habits of government.Probably because there are not so many intelligent people on the government front benches, the AG report is seen as not crucial for a healthy debate in our parliament.
It is in these documents that we find most justifications for the criticisms directed at deficit spending and of government debt. By the way, the claim that 2012 debt is within tolerance limits is simply the result of artful manipulation of the 2012 GDP figures. When the finance minister announces that our GDP will grow by 5-6%, as a percentage or proportion, the 2012 debt will indeed remain within our psychological barrier. It enabled the minister to state our debt to GDP ratio is good. In terms of absolute numbers on the other hand, the debt to GDP ratio is much bigger than last year’s. So, the declaration that the economy will grow by 5-6% was necessary so as to keep the proportion of debt to GDP acceptable. It was just a trick.
The more pointed criticisms about deficit budget are the hidden financial indiscipline that goes along with spending with wanton abandon.  The ministry waiting and wanting to be crucified is the Tourism Ministry because its minister is loud and appears to be pushing her bravado image to the limits. And so she reaps what she has sowed.
The Tourism Ministry overpaid nearly RM270 million for advertisements when it chose to use direct bookings instead of open tenders. So the paying of 1-2 million for setting up websites is peanuts compared to the cost of placing advertisements. It is indicative of the minister’s inability and incompetence of putting her ministry in order. The same vendor has been at it- placing exorbitant advertisement fees for years. If the same vendor can control the Tourism Ministry in almost a cartel-like embrace, that should raise everyone’s concern of a possibility that ministry officials are more than just good friends with the particular vendor. It can suggest that corrupt practices and favoritism in return for consulting fees is rampant at the ministry and the loud mouthed minister is not able to do anything about it.
The ministry also spent a whopping RM1.95 million to buy 1,000 racks — RM1, 950 per rack — to hold its tourism pamphlets for the Visit Malaysia Year 2007 campaign. Perhaps it’s time for the ministry to set up an in-house workshop for the fabrication of display racks since these are going to be used continuously. We are not going to nit-pick at the ministry’s inability to explain the unaccounted or missing 149 units of racks amounting almost a quarter of a million Ringgit – but that would surely be grounds to trigger a domestic inquiry. Why would the ministry be billed for the missing 149 units and if that can happen to 149 units, can the ministry be certain that they actually got 1000 units? 
A minister and her ministry can’t even handle the case of display racks and yet she is entrusted to put Malaysia on the world tourism map.  These qualities must be the new elements that make up a candidate’s winnable constitution.

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Sunday, 23 October 2011

Good times ahead with Petronas



It was almost written so as not to attract attention- State oil firm PETRONAS will award contracts to unlicensed energy services companies to encourage greater competition in the oil and gas industry.  That’s new. I though competition is defined as no competition. That definition is in the business lexicon of the big boys in Malaysia.
Example: Gamuda gets a plump deal by way of direct negotiation. Certain people get to operate IPPs by way of direct negotiations. Gamuda  gets appointed as PDP. Gamuda is the project manager for the entire MRT project.
Competition in Malaysian business lexicon means NO competition for the big boys- feeding frenzy and free for all fight among the smaller boys. The smaller boys fight for a smaller portion of the business.
The move would be a departure from the current practice where PETRONAS only hands out jobs to licensed players in certain segments such as oil and gas equipment makers and offshore support vessel operators, the report said. Licensed players refer to those registered with PETRONAS after fulfilling certain strict requirements.
What is the purpose of the relaxed rules? So that, intoned the report with the usual strictly business and professional as usual disposition - so that the measures will attract more foreign investment to develop Malaysia as a regional energy hub, it added.
As though in anticipation of protests from pressure groups and other economic pressure groups, PETRONAS went on to quickly said  such moves would expose local energy services companies such as Malaysia Marine and Heavy Engineering Holdings Bhd , Kencana Petroleum and Ramunia Holdings Bhd to competition.  
Competition is good says the conventional wisdom. As we shall see, there is no such thing as conventional wisdom as far as PETRONAS is concerned when it comes to competition. In so tender tones, PETRONAS further added that the change would not apply to the bumiputra vendor programme, where companies controlled by ethnic Malays are given preference under a policy aimed at redistributing national wealth.
This is where there are no such things as conventional wisdom. The big boys such as Kencana and Sapura are not exposed to competition. They are given super preferential treatment. Who did PETRONAS select to partner with Petrofac to develop the not easily defined marginal oil fields? Kencana and Sapura.
Everyone knows in the market, Kencana and Sapura are big at group levels only. The operations are mostly handled by their subsidiaries working with sub-contractors. Almost all of these are running inefficiently and incurring delays and so forth. That’s translated into additional costs to PETRONAS in terms of time, delayed costs and even additional direct costs.
How does PETRONAS handle those contractors operating through subsidiaries belonging to Kencana and Sapura? They practise what in banking circle is known as banker’s dilemma. If one owes the banks small amount they will come to you with brass knuckles. If one owes them super large amounts, the defaults of which can cause banks to keel over, they will treat you as the GROs do the well-heeled customers. They will treat you with extraordinary hospitality. Sit on your laps, let you fondle strategic places and so forth.
So in order to prevent Kencana and Sapura from keeling over and dragging with them PETRONAS to the bottom of the sea, PETRONAS awards Kencana and Sapura with MORE contracts. Its good money chasing after bad money. Lend more so that the borrower can secure more business. So that these people make more money and remain solvent and can help finish the PETRONAS projects. PETRONAS has even resorted to paying subcontractors directly bypassing Kencana and Sapura.
Our much heralded captains of the oil and gas industry, Mokhzani Mahathir and Shahril Shamsudin are big figures at group levels. What will they gain when Sapura and Kencana teams up and then develop the marginal oil fields?
Read carefully ya. Mokhzani stands to gain RM 400 million while Sahril Shamsudin stands to gain RM 440 million.
Man, the new economic model so loved by our PM and lovingly supported by the Messrs. Idris Jala and the Pemandu guys and the ETP guys is a boon to the big boys.
Meantime, Alfred in the kampungs and Felda schemes will say- what? me worry? We get RM 300, 3000, 500 cash what?

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Saturday, 22 October 2011

Where will the MCA president contest?



A few days ago we heard the plans by the MCA president to contest in the next GE. He hasn’t decided where to context professing humility that even though he’s president and a winnable candidate, he can’t impose his will anywhere. So where will CSL contest now that he has revealed that 3 MBs of Johore, Perak and Negeri Sembilan have offered him seats to contest?
It’s difficult to believe by that admission; it’s also true that the MCA president hasn’t got a place to contest. How is that possible when he has declared, or self-declared that he is a winnable candidate? The more important question here is MCA a winnable party?  
In a speech celebrating the oncoming Deepavali celebrations, Chua declared that he has received invitations from the MBs of Johor, Perak and Negeri Sembilan to contest. The speech made in Seremban is significant in several aspects.  
For it was in Seremban in 1982, the MCA presiden then, Lee San Choon contested in Seremban against the then DAP chairman, Dr Chen Man Hing. Lee San Choon won after MCA and BN spent millions of Ringgit directly inducing voters to vote for the MCA president. That was the costliest victory won by an MCA president. MCA literally went on a spending free on that day- it bought everyone it can shove money to. Malay votes were delivered by the usual suspects of political wheeler dealers. The contest was dubbed as the clash of the Chinese Titans.
Cua Soi Lek must be thinking that it’s possible for him to repeat that feat. He is now the MCA president. But one ingredient to that thinking is missing- the men representing his opponent in Chinese leadership are not standing in Seremban. Lim Guan Eng is in Penang and Lim Kit Siang is in Perak. So for CSL to repeat the feat of a former MCA president he has to choose a battleground where his appropriate opponent stands.
That was what the contest between Lee San Choon and Chen Man Hing represented. It represented not only a contest between money power of the MCA and the dogged determination of Dr Chen; it was in reality, a contest to earn the bragging rights as to who is the leader of the Chinese community.  Lee San Choon was out to prove that there can only be one tiger on top of the mountain.
To me then, CSL must retrace the steps taken by Lee San Choon in its entirety. He must stand in a place where he will contest against a worthy opponent. Now is the time to show his much talked about strength in character. That can only be proven if he either takes on Lim Kit Siang or Lim Guan Eng.  That clash will prove once and for all, which Chinese leader is more relevant to the community presently.  
Let us write in to support the idea for CSL to fight either Kit Siang or Guan Eng. We want to see the much fabled aggressiveness of CSL on a different bed stage. If he insists that he must contest against his equivalent as party president, he can opt to contest against the indomitable Karpal Singh, the DAP chairman.
But the idea of CSL contesting in Seremban is also titillating; if CSL chooses to do battle in Seremban, now is the time for the Seremban folks to redeem what their predecessors did in 1982. Let the Seremban folks give CSL the biggest blow-job ever!

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The winnable candidate from the loser party.


Beberapa hari yang lalu, kita ada membaca mengenai rancangan presiden MCA mahu bertanding dalam PRU 13. Soalan nya di mana? Presiden MCA tidak ada tempat? Sukar di percayai dan sungguh memeranjatkan! Presiden parti Cina yang terbesar tidak mempunyai tempat untuk bertanding? inikah nasib seorang yang menyifatkan diri nya seorang winnable candidate?

A winnable candidate from a losing party? Narng  bohtee narng, kui bohtee kui!

Dalam ucapan nya menyambut Deepavali di Seremban, Chua mengistiharkan telah menerima tawaran dari MB Johor, Perak dan Negeri Sembilan untuk bertanding mana mana kerusi di negeri2 tersebut. Amat ironic juga, tawaran2 tersebut datang dari MB2 yang belum tentu di pilih dan menang. Ahli2 UMNO pun sedang berusaha mengusir Zambri Kadir dan Mat Hasan. Ghani Othman sendiri pun belum tentu di jadikan calun negeri Johor. 

Tapi jika yang membuat tawaran tersebut belum tentu lagi nasib mereka, adakah keyakinan mereka membuat tawaran itu mencerminkan bahawa Chua Soi Lek sebetulnya adalah seorang winnable candidate dari sebuah defeatable party?

Ucapan nya di Seremban adalah signifiken sekali. Seremban pernah menjadi ranjang pertempuran antara dua orang ketua parti cina. Dalam tahun 1982, Presiden MCA ketika itu Lee San Choon bertanding di Seremban melawan Pengerusi DAP, Dr Chen Man Hing. Lee San Choon menang apabila MCA dan BN berbelanja jutaan Ringgit menyodok pengundi Bandar Seremban.  MCA beli borong semua- pengundi Melayu yang di broker oleh pimpinan UMNO dan pengundi Cina yang di pujuk dengan wang Ringgit.

Keadaan ketika itu berlainan sekali. MCA parti yang mewakili cukong dan tauke Cina. MCA pun banyak wang bahkan mampu membiayai politik UMNO. Pengundi Melayu pun MCA beli untuk memenangkan Lee San Choon. Cua Soi Lek agaknya memikirkan, dia boleh mengulangi apa yang di lakukan oleh Lee San Choon.

Cuba kita tanya, apakah yang di lambangkan oleh perlawanan Lee San Choon dengan Chen Man Hin pada masa itu? selain daripada pertembungan wang dengan semangat gigih? San Choon mewakil politik yang berwajahkan wang dan Chen Man Hin yang mewakili semangat juang?

Ianya melambangkan pertandingan membuktikan siapakan mewakili dan menjuarai masyarakat Cina. Siapa taikor? Maka amat bertepatan sekali pada masa itu, ketua satu parti politik Cina lawan ketua satu parti politik cina yang lain.

Maka kepada saya, Chua Soi lek pun harus menjejaki langkah presiden parti nya yang terdahulu. Inilah masa nya untuk dia membuktikan kejantanan nya sebagai ketua parti Cina yang terbesar melawan ketua parti cina yang lain. Ini bermakna, jika CSL anak jantan, paling tepat dia berlawan sama ada dengan Lim Kit Siang atau Lim Guan Eng. Pertembungan tersebut akan membuktikan secara muktamad, siapakah yang berhak mengistiharkan dirinya mewakili suara masyarakat Cina.

Ya, marilah kita menyokong supaya CSL melawan sama ada Kit Siang atau Guan Eng. Kita mahu tengok CSL membuktikan kejantanan nya di atas gelanggang yang berbeza. Atau jika dia berkeras mahukan dirinya sebagai Presiden MCA melawan yang setaraf jawatan dengan nya, boleh lah CSL menimbangkan untuk berlawan dengan pengerusi DAP- Karpal Singh.

Tapi, ada juga baik nya, jika CSL bercadang beranding di Seremban untuk megulangi kemenangan seoarang Presiden MCA dimasa lalu. Jika CSL memutuskan mahu bertanding di Seremban, ianya akan memberi peluang untuk pengundi Seremban mengkoreksi kesilapan meraka pada tahun 1982. Let the Seremban folks give CSL the biggest blowjob ever!

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Tuesday, 18 October 2011

The UEM Land-Sunrise deal- revisited.

What has happened to the UEM land buy-in into Sunrise? The value of the buy in was RM 1.4 billion. You bozos don’t think we have forgotten do you?

From the beginning the public did not understand the rationale of UEM land, a member of the UEM group, with its large land bank would want to buy into Sunrise. It’s got Nusajaya with its 3400 hectares of land and all that.

What has Sunrise got? It’s much touted award winning skills which the UEM boys are so smitten with but think they cannot learn or acquire somewhere else. Its resident architect in chief- Saiful Anuar Abdul Ghani found himself so overwhelmed by Sunrise’s magic? Also, it’s got the Tong Kooi Ong- formerly boss of Phileo Allied. And UEM Land has only got Wan Abdullah Wan Ibrahim. Wan Abdullah who? Pales in comparison to the myth-making Thong of Phileo , the financial wunderkind.

Hence UEM land justified its buy-in of Sunrise being founded on:
    * Leveraging on Sunrise Group's robust financial strengths and prospects
    * Accelerate UEM Land's own business expansion
    * To secure new development projects
    * And, to create another Capital Land (Singapore state-own company which is one of Asia's biggest property developers)

The deal would result in:-
    * UEM Group's shareholding in UEM Land will fall to around 60%
    * Major shareholder of Sunrise will have stake of around 9% in UEM Land
    * Creating an enlarged group with combined asset base of over RM5bn

Sunrise has reached its end already. With no more land bank, the only way it can grow further was to entice another suitor to take over. They found one in the able and willing UEM land.  

UEM doesn’t have the expertise in luxury development and they don’t have the marketing skills.Are these admissions of incompetence or inverted humility employed to get support?

The deal was founded and justified on the assumption that by buying into Sunrise, UEM land would leverage on the special skills represented by Sunrise. What are those pray tell.  Acquiring the art of survival known only to Tong Kooi Ong? Getting the secrets of building high end condominiums?  And it accomplishes this by issuing shares worth RM 1.4 billion and by volunteering to reduce UEM’s share in UEM land by at least 40%?

You had the analysts singing praises for the deal- the public was induced into believing  that the acquisition would complement UEM Land's lack of expertise in high-rise, high-end property development. This was the rationale that was most perplexing; UEM land can build highways and other award-winnable buildings at KL Sentral, it needs the special skills that could only be found in Sunrise?  The skills at Sunrise are not learnable?

The building skills of Sunrise were so unknowable and un-learnable such that, that deficiency can only be resolved by buying over Sunrise for RM 1.4 billion? Why would Sunrise with its award winning constructions principally at Bukit Kiara wants to be gobbled up? Because it can leverage on the large land bank that UEM land has. It knows it can get its hands on EPF money. It also know it can get government backing. And also, because Tong Kooi Ong wants to shed his buddy to Anwar image. Because it knows since it has the skills, it can dominate the new organizational structure of UEM Land-Sunrise by controlling the strategic and key components of the revised corporate entity. Tong will control the development side of the business. I hear he is revising whatever UEM Land has planned thus far. So how does UEM land learn the skills from Tong if they are not in the driver’s seat?

Tong will feature prominently in the deal through his  Casa Unggul Sdn Bhd being  its single largest shareholder with a 24.41% stake. The Employees Provident Fund Board has 12.61% voting shares in Sunrise.

Since then, did the people in UEM Land and UEM expand their knowledge about to how to construct high end condominiums? Can we ever imagine- a conglomerate and a business entity with so many fingers in so many pies ( they have actually run out of fingers by the way) claiming pubescent innocence that they don’t how to do what Sunrise has been doing? Yet they can build impressive looking buildings, highways and so forth.  You mean we have been paying humongous remuneration packages to bozos running UEM and UEM land?

Wasn’t this the big rationale when the public asked why must UEM land park their assets in Sunrise? They said they wanted to learn the trick in building up market properties like Sunrise does at their Kiara complexes.

Now, I ask you, if we want to learn the insides of the business which have made Sunrise a topnotch name, were do we start? We will start at the operations right? At the marketing department right?  Because these are the two things UEM Land says it doesn’t have.
Does UEM Land have its people there? Its COO is Lum Tuck Ming. Its boss of Strategic Marketing is Edward Sutton. Didn’t UEM say it doesn’t have the operational skills and marketing expertise? Instead at UEM Land we have so many despondent executives resigned in their beliefs, they are inferior that people at Sunrise.

So, can we ask UEM land, have they placed their people in the operations department and marketing departments? Or are they contented at having their people placed as supporting casts in the support service’s department- accounts and bean counting and other clerical functions.

If they haven’t, then their much publicized declaration that they are injecting UEM Land assets into Sunrise as a means to cultivate and develop technical knowledge was all bull manure. They were probably at it, because some people at UEM made tons of money for supporting the decision to inject UEM land assets into Sunrise. Sunrise hasn’t got any land bank left baby- you are giving them an extended lease. UEM could have partnered another government linked company such as Sime Darby or anyone else. Sime Darby can build high end condominiums too right.

So if it were not a crime, I would pull all those responsible for maneuvering the entry of UEM land into Sunrise ,  line them up and have them shot one by one.  Perhaps with an elephant gun.

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