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Sakmongkol ak 47

Saturday 28 February 2009

Sakmongkol AK47 speaks to Tun Daim(3)

TDZ on Perak Politics.

Apa sudah jadi kat Perak? Yang depa dok involve the rulers kenapa? TDZ began his answer to my question on Perak. What's happening to Perak Tun? I had asked. Clearly TDZ was displeased that the ruler was unnecessarily dragged into the political opprobrium. TDZ seemed to suggest there is another more practical and political way. Involving rulers in politics will start a dangerous precedent.

TDZ wasn't too happy that Zambri Kadir is sending UMNO lawyers to London seeking advice from a Queen's Counsel.

I quickly added that by doing that, UMNO is acknowledging that it has done something unconstitutional. Admission of guilt will further erode whatever remaining credibility UMNO has.

You know...TDZ added. Zambri Kadir writes well. He could have been a good political secretary a few years back.

But he was not that enthusiastic about the way Zambri started off as MB. Zambri announced that he is MB for all and then proceeded to form an advisory team consisting of Gerakan, MIC and other BN component party members. These people lost said TDZ- they couldn't even support from their own community. Yang Zambri dok bawak depa in as advisors kenapa? If he is serious, better bring in economic experts, NGO's ke apa. But not people who have lost credibility.

TDZ was also lamenting the statement made by Pak Lah when the latter said, emergency rule wouldn't be applied. How does and how would he know? Asked Tun. Macam mana dia tahu apa akan berlaku? Suppose civil unrest breaks out. People go on rampage? Would Pak Lah rule out emergency rule?

These people didn't learn from the Kalong Ningkan case. Ah ha, thought I. TDZ is going back to a little back of history. Federal rule was brought to bear over the Ningkan affair.

TDZ said he was in the thick of things during the Kalong Ningkan case. My reading from TDZ's reference to the Ningkan affair appears to suggest that in practice, we can apply some lessons from that case. TDZ said he was a young lawyer then. I later discovered that TDZ was practising as a lawyer with Allen and Gledhill I think. He has been in practise for 6 or 7 years. I had earlier thought that during the Kalong Ningkan case, TDZ had just came back from the UK. No...No, he said. I was already in practice for 6 or 7 years then.

What's happening in Perak now bears uncanny resemblance to the Kalong Ningkan affair in 1966. By the way, during that time Tun Razak played an important role in wresting power from Ningkan to Tawi Sli. The architect of the Perak putsch now is the son of that important player. DS Najib is credited for the BN's success in wresting Perak from the PR.

Kalong Ningkan faced a vote of no confidence from his dewan negeri when 21 of his colleagues moved a motion of no confidence before the governor. The governor then wrote to Ningkan asking him to resign. Ningkan refused and brought a court case against the governor and Tawi Sli, the man chosen to replace NIngkan. Ningkan won the case and was reinstated. But when he convened the assembly, some of his party colleagues had crossed over the other side, thus rendering what could not be achieved before now becomes possible through the dewan itself.

Zambri as the MB can direct the speaker to call an assembly. But I quickly protested- but Tun, what good can Zambri achieved by calling such assembly when the speaker for the time being is PKR man? Doesn't he have the discretionary powers to do as he pleased?

Well, we elect a new speaker. We play politics sikit lah. Aha- now I learnt firsthand that TDZ is first of foremost a problem solver. I have long thought TDZ was a political mechanic. His forte and priority is to set things right in the most practical of ways. If theory stands in the way of practicality, TDZ would sacrifice the former. To TDZ- it's what works that is paramount.

Macam mana Tun, I repeated my question. Well, Zambri calls for an assembly, the first order of business being to endorse the action taken by the Perak Sultan. Who would not endorse the sultan's action? The PR people too would endorse the action of the sultan, because abstention or refusal to do that would be an open declaration of defiance against the Ruler. Not even the most intractable PR man would refuse to endorse the Sultan.

The second order of business is to move a motion to elect a new speaker. By that time Zambri would be able to muster majority support in the house to succeed at that motion.

Here I am at a loss to explain how such a move can succeed. TDZ did not elaborate on this point. But if I can deduce from his reference of the Tawi Sli vs Kalong Ningkan thing, I can only picture the possibility of people from the PR side crossing over to side with BN. The possibility of success would be enhanced of the 3 defectors are allowed to enter the Dewan. I would think the right to attend the Dewan must be accorded to them in their capacity as Independent ADUNs. The speaker can't bar them indefinitely for that would impute mala fide on his part.

I will leave this point on Perak politics at that.

TDZ on Economics.

If you don't mind Tun, can we talk of economics? Do you think the RM7 billion stimulus package is enough? As far as I know Tun, no money from the stimulus has been made available.

Where do you think spend the money on? TDZ countered my question. Instantaneously I answered- they will spend most of ot helping out UMNO class F contractors.

TDZ laughed at my unthinking answer. I explained further that the government will spend of infrastructure since it has spill over and good multiplier effects. But I said, such projects have log lag times.

You know, what will cripple that kind of spending? TDZ asked. It's all the red tape. Its the obsession with being transparent and all those things dear to Pak Lah. If you open tender everything, how long do you think we can reach the stage of implementing? The time taken for pre-bidding itself will eat up a large portion of time.

You know, TDZ said. Extraordinary times allow extraordinary measures. If I were to do it, I will select contractors. I call them ask them- can you do this? Don't fail me. Ok, do it.

As I have said, TDZ is a mechanic. To him, making things right is more important than observing all the niceties so dear to Pak Lah.

Look at the economy of the world- said TDZ. China is exhorting its people to buy Chinese. India is asking to buy Indians. Where do we sell our products to?

I take that to mean, for TDZ securing means of earning more is the number one priority to confront the economic recession. Boost domestic demand and demand from other countries.

But how can we earn from other countries if they don't buy from us, I pleaded. Do it on the quiet side said TDZ. I did that during the financial crises. I went over to developed economies on the quiet side, asked them to help us out by buying this. Please buy that. Please help us. Extraordinary times call for extraordinary ways. If you have to go see people with bowl in hand, you must do it.

Ini- yang pegi announce nak buat stimulus package, buat apa? Just do it. And I just remembered-Just do it is the slogan for Nike. And TDZ has a pair of shades just like the Nike Chairman. Just do it. Ini yang you announce besar besar buat apa? By the time you asked where is the stimulus package, Nor Yaakob would say semua dah habis...

Total commitment is needed. You don't have time for distractions. Ini apa? Najib has the time to present the award to the TNB guy as the best CEO? He wasted what? 3 or 4 hours? That time could be better applied to sitting at your table cracking your head as to how to solve our economic problem. Ask lah, the deputy minister to present the award.

But Tun, I said; that is publicity kan? TDZ was very quick to respond by saying- yes some ministries need publicity, some don't. Obviously from that answer, the Finance Ministry does not need publicity. It needs total commitment to serious work without fanfare.

To be continued again....


Further questions for PKNP

The main points from the defender of PKNP who goes by the name of Jack Nicklaus are:-

  1. I must say i had the chance to meet a close friend to the two gentlemen (so called hijackers). It seems that the story started even longer than mentioned, in which these two gentlemen could have been the originator of the project idea itself and definitely not hijackers... (one factor to be corrected).
  2. There is no hijack case...simply a case where due to power craze and greed, the two gentlemen almost cornered out by empty promises and very forgetful people who uses high powered persons' names to oust them the kampung way.... (one factor with solid proof)
  3. Theres is no land selling ie. buying dirt cheap and selling expensive..which budak darjah 5 pun tau nak buat... The mechanisme brought by two gentlemen is the 1st in M'sia which has proven right at countries who are much better managed and with much better income per capita.... (one big factor cancelling the PKFZ crazy issue)
  4. PKNP do not sell the land, this time only leasing in which they will continue to get income for the next 30 + 30 years... and on top of it they would be getting extra income thru dividends (a real bonus actually) from the courtesy of the two gentlemen's idea....(this is real good deal for PKNP... oh yes, PKNP do not really have the risk at all)
  5. I could spell out more about the gentlemen's story but hope the above is sufficient to at least raise a reasonable doubt about the negative comments hitting at the two gentlemen and PKNP.
  6. So Mr Ariff, please do the right thing.
  7. I know some might be just sour grapes, lack of journalists' experience and maybe just half glass empty thinkers'... but hey just give them a break and let see and hope they succeed... its going to be good for PAHANG...

Rgds, Pahang Lover

These PKNP people. They think they are very kleva. They come back from Amerika. They smoke cigar there, everywhere and heya. They spoil the atmosfiya. I could go on in the Kedahan slang to parody how these people would behave.

They want to MEC city me. They want to Phuket me. They want to South Africa me. They want to TembelingResort me. They want to HighwayBricks me. They want to KuantanParade me. They want to Putrasquare me. They want to Pelabuhan Kuantan me. They want to insult the intelligence of Pahang people saying they made money for the state.

Let me explain. The above are really the badges of shame committed by PKNP. This bloody idiot of a GLC has received virtually a monopoly in almost all business fields. It is a behemoth. Unfortunately, it failed miserably to transform itself into a conglomerate. Its managers go here and there for short managerial and executive courses. I am just wondering whether they can follow through the courses given their dismal command of the English language. All they can do to signal they have attended such courses are to have attendance certificates and diplomas framed on their wall.

The MEC city project, bombed. A few thousand acres were acquired from the government through PKNP at dirt cheap prices. The idea was to transform the area now occupied by Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) into a hub for the manufacture of electrical and electronic products. I remembered the launching of this business park by then PM Mahathir. UMNO Bahagians were told to transport busloads of noisy and rambunctious UMNO members to make up the crowd. Many were given souvenirs of electronic calculators. I got one with a sticker at the back which said the product was made in Malaysia. I peeled off the sticker which revealed that the simple calculator was made in Taiwan.

They improved the land slightly and resold at thousands of percent higher prices. In the end, PKNP bombed here. There is no electronics and electrical goods park here.It now houses UNiversiti Malaysia Pahang.

PKNP went into business in Phuket. To do what is a mystery. Perhaps it was to do a bicycle manufacturing plant. In the end PKNP lost RM 100 over million. In South Africa they went into the manufacture of wire harness I think. PKNP has yet to recover RM 120 million losses. Kuantan Parade was a building owned by PKNP which was later sold to Pilecom or whatever. It is left holding its balls with one miserable unit. The complex where the east coast mall now stands is a monument of shame. The place used to be government quarters until some smart Alec proposed to build a huge mall there. To sweeten the bitter pill, the promoters proposed to divide the complex into Malay, Chinese and Indian towns.

I don't know whether you will call this stupid or moronic; even a makcik who is owner of land will request for at least 20-25% share in her land from the developer. And what did the Pahang government get through PKNP/Pasdec? It was 17%. How did I know? I asked this question in the Dewan and the MB answered. Indeed the MB sounded uneasy then having to state the figure of 17%. I even asked whether the whole land area is a leased or freehold area. The market was awash with rumours saying the developer was pressuring the Pahang government into giving it a freehold title otherwise it will back away from the development.

Who or what exactly is PKNP and its stable horses? It seems the modus operandi how PKNP does its business is something akin to the CIA's covert operations. A mole within the company will be 'located' by the enemy (read those who want money from government, land, sweet deals etc.) The mole would be conditioned by the scouting party about the good prospects.

The mole, after being sufficiently conditioned goes back to his head and says, boss, here is a good deal. I have been in contact with so and so, and maybe there's this business lead we can capitalise on. Hence the item numbered 1 on the e mail sent by the mole Jack Nicklaus.

The mole's version of the business proposal is made believable for the gullible minds of PKNP management. The mole may have even champion the business lead. It's good for PKNP. It's good for Pahang. These people are brilliant. Notice how the term brilliant is said- it's said as if in awe reflecting the state of cerebrally-challenged environment in the PKNP management. By the mole's own admission,PKNP is infested with budak darjah 5. See items numbered 3, 4 and 7 in the e mail by Jack Nicklaus.

Well, there's more that meets the eye here. It is a tale of treachery and betrayal. Will the government countenance such a thing?

First, I seem to remember the federal government has stated that it will only issue 2 supply base licenses. One for Labuan and the other the Kemaman supply base. Now if the Tanjung Agas O&G hub is to be turned into a supply base, the government will have to issue a 3rd Supply Base licence. Now, let's see how brilliant this idea is.

One immediate effect is to bring in another competitor to Kemaman Supply Base. Now, we know a supply base depends on Production Sharing Contractors( PSCs) doing business in the area. Once they set up shop, other supporting players in the O&G industry will converge. Thus you have people like Halliburton, Schlumberger, Scomi and so on to support the PSCs.

So, pray tell, will the Tanjung Agas Supply Base gets its own PSCs? Or will it force by decree since the next PM is from Pekan, the existing PSC's to come to Tanjung Agas. There are probably about 6 PSCs in the country at the moment. These are:-

  1. Newfield now doing work in Kelantan, I think.
  2. Petronas Carigali
  3. Talisman
  4. Exxon Mobil (EPMI)
  5. Petrofac
  6. Carigali-Hess

Will all these people be forced to relocate and therefore snuff the life out from Kemaman supply base? What we were told, there are 7 players in this Tanjung Agas Supply Base. All I see are strange name of companies that were probably formed from off the shelf companies. I see no big names in the O&G industry.

To be continued.


Friday 27 February 2009

Sakmongkol AK47 speaks with Tun Daim Zainuddin(2)

Sakmongkol AK47 speaks with Tun Daim Zainuddin.(2)

This is part 2 of my rendition of the 45 minutes conversation I had with TDZ. Our conversation was carried out in both Bahasa Melayu and English. I must say this however. I did not take notes while we were talking as I wanted to savour the fullness of our conversation. But as soon as I got back, I quickly wrote notes in my own little Red Book on what transpired. Hence although the conversation we had, wasn't scripted and therefore organised, I think I managed to capture most of what were said. I must however say that what I write is chiefly my recollection and I will not insist on total acquiescence by TDZ. He retains the residual right to affirm or repudiate what I say here.

TDZ was talking in a very assured tone. I would have to say the tone was pleasantly hushed. You know, the manner by which supremely confident people talk. No need to shout to be heard kind of manner. Perhaps TDZ must have also realised that he was after all talking to an unknown entity such as I. I was thankful; he didn't show any irritation while we were conversing. To his credit and to my profit, TDM put me at ease; I was not intimidated by his presence.

I seem to recall that TDZ was always seen with spectacles on. Perhaps it was my faulty particular recollection. On this day, he wasn't using any. But I did notice a menacing looking pair of shades on the table on his right. The kind of shades you would see being used by Phil Knight- Chairman of Nike which is a kind of wrap- around shades.

UMNO and the need for change.

One of the first question I asked TDZ was- how does he see UMNO now?

He answered; you know the UMNO leaders are talking about change. But where are the changes are they talking of? Do you see any, he asked me.

He has been UMNO treasurer for 17 years he said (I am quoting him directly here); he knows what's going on with UMNO. Dr Mahathir, he said was busy and so left a substantial part of party matters to him.

He doesn't see any substantial changes taking place and from the way he said it (now this is my interpretation) he wasn't confident of seeing any. Leaders are just interested in securing places in the sun for themselves. Just the other day, TDZ mentioned that Azim Zabidi wanted TDZ to say something favourable so that he Azim could stand as candidate in Bukit Gantang, again!

We all know TDZ broods no political frolicking. I am not making this anymore painful than it is- suffice to say, that TDZ wasn't enthusiastic over Azim's gambit. Most likely therefore, the candidate for the coming Bukit Gantang by elections won't be Azim Zabidi.

He has had his chances; it's time to give others. Dah kalah, beri peluang kat orang lain.

UMNO's continued relevance.

That's one. Second, said TDZ- who does UMNO now represents? Is it the Malays? UMNO would be severely challenged at this claim. TDZ mentioned what I have said in my blogs. UMNO failed to secure the majority of Malay votes.

On hearing this I quickly added- yes Tun. In the last elections there were 5.7 million Malay voters and UMNO managed to secure somewhere in the region of 2 million votes.

There you are said TDZ- 3.7 million Malays did not support UMNO. And he then quickly added; you tahu, UMNO has what? 3 over million members kan? Why did it get only 2 million votes?

Then there are the young. What has UMNO planned to rope these people in? You can easily say, out of 10 young people, 8 will likely vote opposition.

And here is a clincher. Both TDZ and I agreed that UMNO now appears to be losing credibility. Whatever UMNO says is no longer readily believable. You have a situation, where Anwar Ibrahim even if he were to come out and say something or anything, people will believe him. Isn't that an irony?

UMNO is in the sorriest state now. I wanted Kadir Jasin to write something on this, but it didn't get off.

It would have been very interesting to read Kadir Jasin's take on the plight of UMNO now. I take it to mean, that if KJ ( Kadir Jasin ok?) had done so, that would have been more of TDZ there. Readers would not have to endure Sakmongkol's rendition of this conversation.

Tun Daim on leadership.

Tun, I said; you know I come from UMNO Bahagian Pekan. That's Dato Najib's place. Now, I have seen you a few times at Dato Najib's place in Jalan Duta. How do you see Najib?

Yes, Tun said; I meet up regularly with Najib. I sometimes have dinner with him. And I always talked candidly and with utmost frankness with Najib. And I say this: - if Najib does not lead- you know leaders must lead, he will falter. And Dr Mahathir will pummel him.

Dr Mahathir has told this to me. You know Najib has always been playing the neutral kind.

Ambivalent, I volunteered.

Yes, that will not do. Jadi leader, kita tak boleh lembik lembik. Najib has to be resolute and be more affirmative. First he has got to get rid of the deadwoods. Those MBs who have lost- he has got to jettison them. Those MIC and MCA people and others who don't seem to have the trust of their own community- Najib has to let them go. He cannot please everyone. Najib must be prepared to play hardball. He has to risk being unpopular. Najib must have that Dr. Mahathir trait. He must have some ruthlessness.

The function of a leader is always to lead. This means a readiness to take unpopular steps.

And you cannot discount Dr Mahathir. He is part of Malaysia. That's the mistake Pak Lah buat. I asked Pak Lah- go and see Dr Mahathir. Pi lah jumpa dia. Ask him what does he actually want. Dismiss Rafidah, Nazri? Just follow and in return ask Dr Mahathir to campaign for UMNO lah. But Pak Lah didn't want to. At the end of the day, Rafidah wasn't in too (in the cabinet).

I got the impression when TDZ said that, the unpleasantness could have been avoided had Pak Lah gone to see TDM.

Tapi Tun I said; how do you infuse assertiveness kalau Najib is of that constitution?

That's where he must have the support of assertive leaders and advisers. The advisers must be ready to say things honestly to Najib. I takut, he doesn't have that kind of advisers je.

Najib must LEAD. Kalau tidak.....

Kalau tidak Tun, I quickly added- the acronym RAHMAN becomes a self fulfilling prophecy, ending with N as PM.

Yes, said TDZ; N and in E-N-D. TDZ actually spelt out the letters for me. By the 13th General Elections, UMNO will be no more. Number 13 pulak tu.....hmmm

On Dr Mahathir.

TDZ refers TDM as DR. Mahathir. I can't quite tell you how he pronounced Mahathir in the nuanced Kedahan tongue...Something like Mahathier...not with the accentuated sound of dear.

Excuse me Tun, I said. I need to ask you this question. Masa you selalu bercakap dengan TDM, dia dengar tak cakap you? You know, he being a very forceful character and very on top of things...Ling Liong Sik dulu..mana ada bunyi bunyi pun...

He did, provided you must argue your point. If you are not prepared to argue and reason out, of course Dr Mahathir will insist on his way. You tahu, masa economic crises dulu, we discussed things, two, three of us....we must put up reasoned arguments. Argument kita bagus, dia dengak.....tak kuat, Dr Mahathir will insist on his idea...macam tu.

You see you must be prepared to engage Dr Mahathir with reasoned argument. Plus you must be assertive like Dr Mahathir. Did you see any of the present problems during Dr Mahathir's time? Component parties out in open defiance? NGO's very vocal? Takde kan?

To be continued......the Perak politics, managing the economy and Ketua Pemuda race.


Thursday 26 February 2009

Sakmongkol AK47 speaks with Tun Daim

Meeting Tun Daim Zainuddin.

I am now writing on a slightly different matter. It is about my meeting with Tun Daim Zainuddin. I have read several books on him. They are written in Bahasa Melayu and English. There, you have an impression of the man.

My own impression of the man has not been out of this world. When he was serving as our finance minister he appeared to be absorbed in his work most of the time. It is said, that if you ask him a question, he will give a very short answer. He is very sparse in his words. Once or twice I saw him in person during the UMNO General Assembly, Tun Daim who is small in physical stature, seemed to be walking with stooped shoulders. It seems the problems of Malaysia are placed on his shoulders. He has no time for small talk and idle conversation.

I have never met him in person for any substantial amount of time. When he was the finance minister he wasn't accessible easily. I hear whenever one gets to see him, one gets to talk while he will continue doing whatever he was doing.

So when his minder, the very able Mei Chuan called me to say, that Tun Daim is able to accommodate me, I was excited. This venerable assistant to TDZ even e mailed me to supply a map of TDZ's office. Its located at Wisma YPR.

Now, where is Wisma YPR and what does YPR stand for? Later I just remembered that YPR stands for Yayasan Pok Rafeah, TDZ's mother I think. I think this gesture tells a lot of this smallish man. The place when I later discovered was once a hotel I think.

My appointment was at 4pm on the 23rd of February. My wife (Mamasita) and I drove from Kuantan on the 23rd at 11 am and made it some 20 minutes before 4pm. I have heard that TDZ is fastidious about punctuality as he is about money. So I wouldn't want to begin with a wrong step on this one.

We were ushered to his 9th floor office at Wisma YPR. It is a very tastefully appointed office but not opulent. We waited at the reception area which to me looks like an art gallery. It has several paintings on the wall and other objects d' art strategically placed. One notices quickly TDZ's tastes in abstract paintings mostly of women figures in several strange poses. As I am not an art connoisseur, I am afraid I am not able to appraise the meaning of such paintings.

'TDZ shall be here shortly, said Mei Chuan. He is on the way from a meeting'. I breathed a sigh of relief. Better I wait than TDZ does.

A few minutes later, Mei Chuan told me that TDZ is ready to see me. You have 45 minutes with Tun. That's great I said silently. I would be lucky if given 15 minutes.

I was ushered into a large room that serves at TDZ's personal office. It is simple. TDZ sits behind a large desk with a computer on one side. As he was sitting, you are not aware of his smallish-ness. But one thing you quickly grasped- TDZ has a presence. He was dressed very simply. He has a British India chequered shirt on, green in colour. Normally one would see him wear a batik shirt.

My actual impression this time is that Tun Daim looked very relaxed. Apart from his usual silver crown of hair with a dash of black here and there, Tun Daim looked very presentable and regal. On his desk, I saw a pile of blog articles printed no doubt by his assistant, Mei Chuan. He must have been reading them.

Then he said his first words. Yes, what I can I do for you? I said, Tun, let me say it is a singular honour for me to be able to see you. Secondly, I am coming here, under no great pressure, for I am not here to ask from you anything. I am here to just exchange some ideas on current issues. He let out a laugh at the second part of my statement. Tak de apa nak beri pun…haha

After a few pleasantries, we started talking. There was never a doubt to my mind that we shall be talking with candour. I would later discover, this larger than life figure possesses a rapier sharp mind. But most of all I would be disarmed by his willingness to speak easy. It was obvious he was not restrained nor constrained.

I first asked Tun- Tun, I have been meaning to ask this jackpot of a question as to how, before March 2008, you cautioned the government about the trouble in 5 states. And after the elections, you were proven right. And if I remember, many political leaders were very dismissive of you. Yes, TDZ said, that Khir Toyo even said, what does Tun Daim know, he has been out of politics.

Tun Daim said he felt the pulse of the nation then. A lot of grievances were detected on the ground. Business people were coming to tell him lamenting of grouses. There were many issues not favourable to the government.

Indeed Tun Daim said he went to see and talked to Pak Lah. He asked why Pak Lah wants to call General elections when he still has time in his favour. The economy was not doing well; there were so many issues not settled- the Hindraf thing, and so on. Pak Lah said he was confident of securing a 2/3rd majority.

The 2004 landslide victory was actually a curse to UMNO and BN. It made them complacent and arrogant at the same time. That is a lethal combination.

I shall continue another time. My 'interview' with TDZ covered my things which will be interesting I hope. We talked about politics, about the management of the economy, even about the Perak political crisis. Do you know that TDZ at one point in time was considering to appoint Zambry Kadir as his political secretary?

That would have to be later, please.


Again! PKNP and its O&G Industrial Park

I have written 3 articles about the Tanjung Agas Oil and Gas industrial park. Readers can read them in this blog. They have attracted some comments. Most of them are suspicious of the project.

I have received an e mail from a writer who calls himself JackNicklaus. By the name, I am guessing he is an avid golfer. I am publishing the e mail here in its entirety. I feel this email should be shared by readers so they can judge the credibility of what is contained therein. As for me, I found the e mail, amazing in its hushed conspiratorial tones.

Dear Mr. Ariff,

I was told of your blog discussing on above mentioned topic (22nd & 24th Feb). I insist on writing because i feel maybe some people need to dig more just to be fair and also there are very very big possibility to know that there are more innocent people in this case.

I must say i had the chance to meet a close friend to the two gentlemen (so called hijackers). It seems that the story started even longer than mentioned, in which these two gentlemen could have been the originator of the project idea itself and definitely not hijackers... (one factor to be corrected).

There is no hijack case...simply a case where due to power craze and greed, the two gentlemen almost cornered out by empty promises and very forgetful people who uses high powered persons' names to oust them the kampung way.... (one factor with solid proof)

Theres is no land selling ie. buying dirt cheap and selling expensive..which budak darjah 5 pun tau nak buat... The mechanisme brought by two gentlemen is the 1st in M'sia which has proven right at countries who are much better managed and with much better income per capita.... (one big factor cancelling the PKFZ crazy issue)

PKNP do not sell the land, this time only leasing in which they will continue to get income for the next 30 + 30 years... and on top of it they would be getting extra income thru dividends (a real bonus actually) from the courtesy of the two gentlemen's idea....(this is real good deal for PKNP... oh yes, PKNP do not really have the risk at all)

I could spell out more about the gentlemen's story but hope the above is sufficient to at least raise a reasonable doubt about the negative comments hitting at the two gentlemen and PKNP.

So Mr Ariff, please do the right thing.

I know some might be just sour grapes, lack of journalists' experience and maybe just half glass empty thinkers'... but hey just give them a break and let see and hope they succeed... its going to be good for PAHANG...


Pahang Lover

Now compare this e mail with some of the comments found in response to my articles. The immediate difference is that while the email letter is only accessible as an email and therefore privy only to me, all the comments following my blogged articles were readily available for direct public access. For example the very spirited comments from one safhamas in very aggrieved tones:-

safhamas said...

From VERY reliable sources, I came to know that this idea/proposal was first submitted to PASDEC about two, three years ago by Zee Zee Offshore Sdn Bhd (Capt. Zee Zee [Zakaria Zainul Abidin] and his partner Idrus). After a few round of discussions/meetings with the MD of PASDEC, both parties came to some sort of mutual agreement to form a company which will have PASDEC and Zee Zee Offshore as partners. At this point due to lack of funds, Zee Zee Offshore invited Mohd Faidzal Ahmad Mahidin and Badaruddin Masodi to outsource financial arrangement for the new company (SPV) which has been registered by that time under the name of Pekan Petrobase Sdn Bhd.
After more discussions/meetings, PKNP decided that they are the ones that should get involved instead of PASDEC. And more meetings was arranged including two or three presentation to the MB. Finally MB agrees with the proposal and instructed PKNP to take the lead. Problems arises when the negotiations on the breakdown of shares was carried out. Both Faidzal and Badaruddin wanted equal shares same as the owners of Zee Zee Offshore Sdn Bhd.
…….to be continued……that is if you want me to….

Just in case if anybody ask whether I have evidence to back-up my claims; let’s put it this way, it’s for me to know and for you to find out, ok? I don’t want to be responsible if any of you out there are locked up for spreading sedition because in Malaysia anything can happen,eg. the ones who really “derhaka” are branded as “pejuang” but in reality this so called “pejuang” are the actual “penderhaka” assholes. Bottom-line my intention of bringing-up the matter is purely to warn you and your readers to be really on your toes if any of you intend to be involve in this project in whatever capacity better still DO NOT GET INVOLVED!!!.

23 February 2009 20:28

safhamas said...

It's not only Dato (MY ASS!) Lias that was involve in the hijacking, one asshole name Sabri, one woman (definitely not a lady) who is the legal adviser for PKNP and of course those two fucking assholes; Faidzal and Badaruddin and a few others that I can't mention because it might cause nasty things to happen to a few innocent people. Btw, if I'm not mistaken, the two of them (Faidzal & Bad.) were also involve in the Port Klang FTZ scandal.

23 February 2009 20:55

Problem is this two goons demanded equal shares for doing nothing at this juncture whereas both Capt and Idrus were the ones that handled the presentations and negotiations (Capt only handled the technical part). Negotiations became stuck when this two goons went behind both Capt and Idrus backs by making "arrangments" with that Dato' and the gang.
Anyway shit happens so it's nothing new. Ok, I think I better stop now before I start making mistakes that might cause problems for some innocent people. This will be final comments and I really appreciate the replies from all you guys. You all take care.

24 February 2009 00:45

safhamas said...

Tuan Ahli Umno Temerloh; tak pa lah, biarlah dia orang nak sangat project ni. Lagi pun baru-baru ni say berjumpa dengan Capt dan dia kata "biarlah ALLAH saja yang memberi pembalasan yang sewajarnya kerana yang beri project ni pada dia orang ni pun adalah ALLAH jua, ALLAH lebih mengetahui daripada kita insan yang hina ini". Camna pun thanks for the offer cuma saya ni kasihankan Capt sebab dia dah 75 tahun umurnya dan pengetahuan dan pengelaman beliau dari segi bidang marine oil & gas amat berharga sekali dan rugilah negara kalau kita tidak dapat munafaatkan ilmu ini pada orang muda kita. Beliau pernah bertugas sebagai master, offshore vessel di Bahrain, North Sea, Gulf of Mexico dan banyak location lagi.

24 February 2009 10:25

Which versions do you find believable? One is a hushed, conspiratorial and apologetic. The others (mostly) are laments of very aggrieved persons- motivated by a desire to get justice.

And now, let me add my own emotional response to this Jack Nicklaus bloke. If he is a golfer and working for PKNP, then that explains why PKNP is kaput on all fronts. Notice the patronizing way he avers to this project by PKNP being good for Pahang; we should be grateful and syukur to the courtesy of these two jokers. He mentioned that there is no selling of the land- only leased. Of course lah, you bloody cow dung! - Any land alienated to PKNP automatically becomes leased land. We want to know the lease term. If you leased it for effectively 60 years, you are effectively selling the tenured land.

Secondly, don’t give us this bloody shit about PKNP reaping the dividends. A long time ago, as a private citizen, I have heard all the fairy tales about PKNP receiving dividends. Remember the big con job involving the MEC city project? Remember the brick factory project of the infamous Highway Bricks where PKNP was promised not only dividends but was tricked into believing getting huge profits on the promise of Highway Bricks being LISTED? Perhaps PKNP then was salivating on the prospects of getting windfall profits out of the promised IPO. What did it get after that? It had to incur losses of more than RM100 million.

Sorry folks- I did say, it is my emotional response.


Wednesday 25 February 2009

A New Thinking for a New Leadership

What is uppermost in the minds of our top leadership? Politics is the overwhelming and overriding preoccupation. Undoubtedly it is the UMNO leadership elections. The federal government is facing some critical buy by-elections.

DS Najib is unchallenged as the new UMNO President. The assembly in March 2009 will give him the endorsement thus legitimizing his position as UMNO president.

Naturally, he too will be occupied with politics. There are two things where he must direct his mind and resources. These are:-

(a) The politics of UMNO and

(b) The economy.

Both are intertwined.

As regards to the politics of UMNO, he must direct his mind and resources to carry out the changes he has declared. He must now talk the walk as the cliché goes. We have heard that too often, if UMNO does not change, it will go the Golkar way, the LDP route, and suffers the Indian Congress Party fate.

Everyone also knows that changes demand more than just talking about it. One aspirant for the Ketua Pemuda post has even made Dare to Change as his campaign battle cry. That sounded more like a self help book rather than a serious invitation to UMNO crowd. Thus far, he has shown no changes nor does he offer a menu of the changes he wants. Indeed he has remained bashful about articulating his ideas. The way he is conducting himself demurely at that, seems to indicate his weak leadership constitution.

DS Najib cannot compound his own ambivalent constitution with more wishy-washy leadership material playing the leading roles.

All he did was calling for the UMNO president and Prime Minister to go way. And then now, he says patronizingly to not mistreat the outgoing PM. Well, one swallow does not make an Indian summer.

I say this in a matter of fact way; although Mukhriz may a personable fellow- he is not right for Ketua Pemuda.

Leaders are made of sterner stuff. Mukhriz hasn't got the Bismarkian trait of his father. If they are not, then they must surround themselves with people of that constitution. This leads us to Najib.

The whole country will be watching whether DS Najib will do the right things. That by the way is what a leader must do. He must do the right things. We are very familiar with the expression the function of a leader is to lead.

So the first thing, DS Najib must do is to stop playing to the gallery. He must stop being all things to all people. He has an irritating tendency to do this. If he has 10 people, he wants to please very single one. He cannot. He has to recognize this fact.

In his parliamentary seat of Pekan, even though he won with a big majority, there will always be around 10,000 who will not vote for him for whatever reasons fancy them. It has been that since the time of Tun Razak but Tun Razak did not lose sleep over that. But Najib suffers insomnia if that happens. So to get rid of that political insomnia, he must stop being all things to all people.

That kind of behavior pattern suggests an ingrained ambivalence in his personality. It suggests he does not have the resolve to carry out unpopular actions. He must be decisive and must acquire the ability to not be sidetracked with criticisms. He must have a trait of a Mahathir and the attitude of a Hussein Onn's willingness to take the right action rather than being pissed on his grave.

He must stop pandering to wishes of the many UMNO warlords. This country is not composed of only UMNO warlords, UMNO contractors and UMNO businessmen. DS Najib is UMNO leader for all Malaysians.

The first order of things is to acquire a ruthless streak. By that I mean he must be assertive and decisive. He must clear his Augean stables- get rid of deadwood political leaders. Those who have contested and lost, he must jettison. The MB's who lost elections and states must be assigned to the bottom rung of the leadership ladder. They have had their day. Ministers who have not been performing and who can be liabilities to Najib must be pensioned off. These include Najib's journeymen during his stint as Ketua Pemuda long time ago. If Nazri Aziz, Rafidah Aziz,Azalina are burdensome to him, he must let go of them. And he mustn't be hesitant to mete out the same treatment to MCA, MIC and other component party leaders. Those who have lost the trust of their own communities should not be accommodated and pampered once again. Najib should cut his losses.

He must surround himself with capable advisors. By these I mean not those advisors in awe of him, mere myrmidons and sycophantic panderers who hallelujah him all the time like uncritical zombies. He must have advisors who are willing to risk talking candidly with candor and upfront with everything. He will need a constant dose of reality checks.

He must seek counsel from previous leaders. Pak Lah must be treated with decorum. I have said this a long time ago in my article An Honorable Exit Nonetheless.

Of course he must engage TDM who will definitely be his biggest critic. He must be prepared to put up good reasoning with TDM. TDM just can't be ignored. Part of making peace with TDM will entail sacrificing some of the more strident and vitriolic voices in UMNO. One such person is Nazri Aziz. And most of all Dato Najib must show he is made of sterner stuff. Otherwise TDM's perception of DS Najib being of weak constitution becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

He must conduct himself to the business of leadership. That involves the paramount mission of to first of all, LEAD. By ensuring the right people are there. In the next article I will write who can be Najib's ketua pemuda and the reasons there in.

The other burning issue is the economy. Unless DS Najib can devote an overwhelming time to managing the economy, he should relinquish the Finance Ministry. TDM did that during Tun Daim's time. He put a capable person there. Tengku Razaleigh managed the country's finance and economy for a long time. The PM at that time wasn't obsessed at keeping the finance ministry.

Minding the kitty requires a person with serious constitution. When DS Najib took time off to present the CEO of TNB with whatever award of the year thing, what did that show? It shows he has got the time to take time off from the serious affair of managing the country's economy at these trying times. He has got 3-4 hours to while away from minding the economy. That presenting award thing could be done by the other finance minister. In the new administration is there a need to have a second finance minister?


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