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Sakmongkol ak 47

Friday 19 September 2008

Tour of Duty at the Kitty

Please know that Sakmongkol is very reluctant to downplay a fellow blogger’s personal view on some topic of interest. But he was going through some material on Malaysiakita, and chanced upon a piece titled- Najib will kick GLCs butts. Aha thought Sakmongkol- that’s interesting. Very.

Sakmongkol has written a passing remark about a testament to the finance minister’s profligacy. Looks like, Sakmongkol has to bring forward the instalment of his story.

As to the pleadings of the man who watches over Sime Darby, Sakmongkol says, go on hoping. May your prayers be answered. In all probability, the nascent idea of forming the largest plantations conglomerate will come to speedy fruition and CIMB will make tons of money.

Sakmongkol repeats, the fundamental thing Dato Najib knows about Finance is how to spend it. It’s a huge kitty. And if any common theme can be extracted from the history of his extravagance, then the MOF is in for some further rude awakening.

There are probably 3 stories that Dato Najib wants us to ignore and forget.

  1. The contract given to PSC-Naval Dockyard. That has become a sacred cow.
  2. The purchase of the Sukhoi fighter jet planes where RM 380 million was paid to a middleman as commissions.
  3. The purchase of the submarines which netted some people RM510 million worth of commissions. That whole thing with the submarines are fast submerging everyone associated with the deal.

Let us begin by looking into the contract awarding PSC-Naval Dockyard to build some superfast patrol boats. They are called New Generation Patrol Vessels( NGPV). They are said to have tremendous speed. They can help defend our coasts and territorial waters. We need these boats to defend our shores against pesky neighbours. We require these fast boats to catch pirates who terrorise our fisherman. It is good for our self esteem. Malaysia deserves to have the best. If Harrods in London sells patrol boats, they would be selling these NGPVs. Top of the tops.

The much vaunted speed of the vessels is exceeded only by the speed by which we awarded the contract. It gave the appearance that Malaysia is engaged in external war. All this while we have been accusing Singapore as having the siege mentality.

Sakmongkol is afraid, the joke is on us really. Ours is a siege mentality of another kind. If we don’t wallop the kitty now, people after us will gobble it up.

During one of the UMNO general assembly, the current information minister, Shabery ‘Joseph Goebbels’ Cheek, termed this PSC-ND affair as a sacred cow. Everyone clapped hard on that day. Delegates from the kampungs have never heard such a high sounding term. Lembu Suci became a buzzword. The person who spoke about the term, was hailed as a formidable intellectual amidst the barren field, peppered with so many UMNO run-of-the mill politicians.

Everyone was herded into believing that Shabery was onto something. Unfortunately, there was nothing after all. It was just hot air. It was sheer brinkmanship. It was sufficient to gain Shabery scoring points.

The issue petered out after that and our Shabery was made a minister. Indeed after uttering the term ‘lembu suci’ or sacred cow, Pak Lah brought Shabery on a trip to South Africa.

Back to PSC-ND. They got a contract worth some RM 24 billion to build 27 NGPVs. Which means each vessel is priced at RM890 million. PSC-ND is a partnership between two parties. We shall call it smart partnership. This used to be a favourite term among businessmen sometime ago.

The first partner, Penang Shipbuilding Construction Bhd was a public listed company owned by one Amin Shah Omar Shah. The Malaysian government owns the naval facilities in Lumut under the RMN. It was corporatized as Limbungan TLDM. Amin Shah Omar Shah stepped in and privatised Limbungan TLDM and formed PSC-Naval Dockyard. He paid RM 300million.


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