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Sakmongkol ak 47

Friday, 28 August 2009

Responding to Anwar’s Ngajat?

Anwar's Ngajat?

Neutralising Anwar Ibrahim's Ngajat overtures! That's the only rationale I see behind Idris Jala's appointment.

In 1975 when I was in 6th form at SABS Kuantan, my Economics teacher, Mr Tan Kee Chow, gave us one of the most practical adages. If you borrow RM500, 000 you are at the mercy of the bank. But if you borrow RM500 million, the bank is at your mercy. It couldn't be truer these days. Present day Translation: - If you want to make a mistake, make a gigantic and noisy one. You will get promoted to minister.

What KPI will Idris Jala be implementing? His record at MAS is a very much overhyped one. Losses are masqueraded behind balance sheet cleansing. MAS'' assets are sold for a song. MAS will be having no assets at all. But he has been regarded as the best CEO money can buy. Who does this assessment? The vadey eating Nor Yaakob. Isn't he the one the last time who paralysed Bank Negara with gargantuan losses in the currency market? He made it to finance minister and now heads the EPU. He is now the stumbling block to the proposal by a group to take over road toll concessionaires. Helo mister, that's RM50 billion into the government's coffers. Wang masuk lah, bukan wang keluar.

The only rationale I see with Jala's appointment is Sarawak politics. He is a dayak- Pak Lah thought he was a Muslim and got his chance of becoming MAS CEO. In Sarawak, the survival of BN hinges upon dayak support who form the majority group. After years of neglect and sidelined, Idris Jala's appointment is perhaps a big consolation to soothe things out. It is hoped by this appointment, dayak support to the BN will be secured. I hear Anwar Ibrahim is already learning to do the ngajat dance.

But it can also be seen as an excuse to kick out this dayak from slashing and burning MAS further.

The government's KPI now is winning the trust of the people immediately. Its KPI is key groups targeting. Its KPI is bringing immediate benefits to the lumpenproletariat who don't give a hoot about the 30% quota requirements, or hak here and hak there. The younger generation is repelled by UMNO's positions-for-thievery political philosophy. The younger generation is a thinking public. It is now thinking, for what practical purpose is the appointment of a person responsible for hoodwinking the public that MAS is profitable made?


Anonymous,  28 August 2009 at 13:44  

Vadai eating good one Dato as it is this mamaks who really the thieves in umno that will eventually cause it's demise.

Anonymous,  28 August 2009 at 14:46  


I’ll gave u more credit in economic analysis than the likes of big dog & voicy, anytime. & yet in this Idris Jala’s MAS comical, u seem to fall in line with them!

What takes?

There’s a saying of comparing apple with apple. So in commenting Jala’s record in MAS, a proper perspective should be set. Namely, in the likes of the current worldwide economic turmoil, who, especially in the similar airline industry, can do better than Jala? Anyone comes out better than MAS, under the similar current circumstances? And do remember in this scenario, better means lesser red inks.

& please dont put AirAsia as an example because number acrobats r even more daring there!

It’s easy to shoot blank & wide. How about the bull-eye sling by a better substitute? Or there is no ‘fairer-one’ willingly taken up this national service, knowing that it’s a ‘shit’ job that required more than appointing con-sultants, paper-shiftings & financial numbers ‘masturbating’.

And what if this ‘fairer-one’ turns up yet another set of bloodier red inks? Blame the current on-going market forces?

Then aint we back to one-lesser than with Jala’s current KPI? Is good to have hint-sight, izznt it?

‘Losses are masqueraded behind balance sheet cleansing. MAS'' assets are sold for a song. MAS will be having no assets at all.’

This statement should be made when the so called ‘brilliant’ WAU was implemented by the FM’s blue-eyed boy. Why the silent then? In fact there were praises then all-overs for turning MAS into a sudden gold nugget, which eventually turned lead & sinking faster despite the fact that MAS was then managing by a home-turf man & Tajuddin was no more. Meanwhile the recipients of that fame, move on to better posts with pseudo-credits in toll! Just as in ‘If you want to make a mistake, make a gigantic and noisy one. You will get promoted to minister.’

2b cont


Anonymous,  28 August 2009 at 14:47  


Anyway, this Jala bashing has been going on for quite some time now. I just cant help thinking about the only logical rationale in it is because he is a Kerabit Dayak & Christian, who is been recruited to salvage a sinking ship that defying all the ‘savvy’ efforts of those ‘fairer-one’! But then Dato as u yrself said it - 'Pak Lah thought he was a Muslim and got his chance of becoming MAS CEO.'

Btw I don’t buy this;

‘..the proposal by a group to take over road toll concessionaires. Helo mister, that's RM50 billion into the government's coffers. Wang masuk lah, bukan wang keluar.’

There r many good takes on the rejection of this proposal by Asas Serba – the simplest one been where/how does AS comes up with the fund. I’ll be having nightmare if EPF will be looped-in to do the funding. Because, with no proven track records, eventually the govt has to come in for the rescue - do remember infra is of national interest. Meaning - yr/my money going down the drain again. See the shadow of MAS under Tajuddin & PKFZ bond warrant by CIMB now?

Btw, if the personality behind AS is proven to be true then that chance of going belly-up is increased by a nth power multiplier! See National Steel Corp of Phillipine? Renong’s guarantee buy-back option? And UEM’s financial bloodbaths? At the end of the day, the M’sian tax-payers r, as usual, the ultimate suckers.

Of course I’m not supporting the one the last time who paralysed Bank Negara with gargantuan losses in the currency market. I just get the feeling that he is getting too smart now to be the lone fall-guy, thus the objection!

Lastly, Dato, I do agree that ‘The only rationale I see with Jala's appointment is Sarawak politics.’

On the part about ‘But it can also be seen as an excuse to kick out this dayak from slashing and burning MAS further.’ No!

Rather there is a big chance that some wet-at-the-ear fairer-one is gaming for a challenge, just to try carrying the maruah bangsa. I do sincerely hope that he is up to it. But then if that failed, please be honest & admit the task is bigger than the heart. Just remember it takes exceptional people to overcome extra-ordinary odds, & not everyone is born exceptional!

There is not shame in failure. But blaming others (be they people &/or events) r, as this act is equal to fitnah.


kuldeep 28 August 2009 at 15:49  

A very bright level headed guy..Azmil is taking over as MD.Not flash and self promotional as his ex Boss >>so he is a good executive (not business man tho)

Thus..we hv to advise him to P&L all the losses hidden in the balance sheets eg the 2.5 bil MTM hedge.And he has to build up reserves for unearned income,major repairs,deferred start up cost etc etc..that has been aggressively depleted in recent years.

Azmil hv to set a CLEAR CUT OFF as a clear LEGACY of Jala's inspired management,Only then can we know whether inspiration membawa padah or berkat.

And further..when the s**t hits the fan due to past transgression we do not want our Azmil to bear the stink.

Sad..our PM did not see thru the smokes and mirrors.

Donplaypuks® 28 August 2009 at 16:09  

1 Minister reporting to another Minister!

That's must be a World No.1; our Thunderbolt better than Usain Bolt!!

Malaysia Bolih!

Has our PM and his advisors got their heads screwed on the right way??!! Or is it a novel way to get KTK to resign?

We are all of 1 race, the Human Race

kuldeep 28 August 2009 at 16:34  


its fine if a guy does his jobs and tells the full truth..

but mr jala..for the last qtr reported it as a "best ever qtr"{ due to his inspired operational excellence..
The FACT is there was a huge operational was depleting fast..and the so call gain was a result of MTM hedge.

The hedge is STILL underwater to tune of Rm 2.5 the balance sheet..and if oil price remains at usd 70..THAT WILL BE THE ACTUAL REALISED LOSS IN 2 years.

So..Jala messed up the hedge by going very2 long during an unstable period in the oil market.

And operationally>>MAS is worse off or at best same as during Fuad's time.

The mess started with bigger by fudged numbers during MdNor Yusof...and Fuad got hit by the earlier transgressions.And Jala came in..did the normal..write offs,asset sales,more money frm govt n PMB etc etc..BUT called that a turnaround.Thats only paper pushing Sir.

Thus all I hope is Azmil puts out all the shit as cut off to highlight Jala's success...if he doesn't do that he will be the next Fuad.

kuldeep 28 August 2009 at 16:41  

Now following PMs affirmative action..all Menteri/KSU must create Senior positions to manage this KPI thing within their respective Ministries..
Each Dept will also need to have their KPI administrators.Headmasters,Generals,IGP,MARA,Professors must employ KPIs specialists too.

I see potential for at least 50,000 new positions to manage this KPI...this shld contribute to the economic recovery. one will decide to have cutting costs as a KPI cos that will be conflicting this potential to generate employment through KPI.

Anonymous,  28 August 2009 at 18:01  

I dont see that Jala appointment is because of Sarawak politics. Jala is a Kelabit which is just a small group of Dayak. If its due to sarawak plitics there are other senior dayak politicians outside PBB which are dayak base.
Tha fact that Jala is recognised not only in malaysia speaks volume of his capability.

Anonymous,  28 August 2009 at 18:04  

Dato' this over-hyped fella who has only one tool to apply to fix problems wherever he goes ie business reengineering shows how desperate Najib is getting. The tainted lawyer candidate for permatang pun tak check background now we have a similar situation where a questionable track-record is again not scrutinised properly before being heralded for the job.
You are DAMN RIGHT, the government's KPI now is to win the trust of the people immediately. What can Idris Jala do to achieve that. Of course, he'll be able to do the Ngajat better then Anwar.

Anonymous,  28 August 2009 at 18:58  


Btw how do public found out about the story of ‘a huge operational was depleting fast..and the so call gain was a result of MTM hedge.’

Public knows because all the infos r there in the published financial report! There was minimum doctoring about the words, too, as operational loss, MTM hedge & depleting cash.

The latest MAS published financial report didn’t lie or twisted those facts. They put it in plain English so that every tom, dick & harry can see them. What do u call that kind of report?

What Idris Jala said about that - ‘for the last qtr reported it as a "best ever qtr"’ I can only speculate as a CEO trying to put confidence into the investing publics about the health of the company during a very trying time.

He didn’t lie per se because he tried to instill confidence for the investing public about the company. At the same time, the investing public can comb through the financial report to judge the current health of the company. Jala would be lying as if he doctored the financial reports like those from the previous MAS financial years.

About the fuel hedge – do ask yrself what u can do in the similar situation! Fuel market volatility coupled with worldwide financial upheaval made right business decisions very difficult.

In fact almost every airliner in the world made fuel hedges & lost heavily. Can Jala be spared & beat the trend? It will be an almost impossible task & iff he did would u then claimed he was lucky?

Let’s be honest, Jala did a very commendable job for MAS during a very trying time. Any lesser being will probably asking for massive financial injection from the govt by now.

Moreover, Jala carries the past ‘baggages’- from WAU, fudged numbers of MdNor Yusof & Fuad's typical incompetent. He doesn’t blame the pasts like most of u would. He just shouldered the task & did the normal just like a manager should - write offs, asset sales, more money frm govt n PMB etc etc. And a turnaround MAS did! Or perhaps u can do better than what he did by doing some other ways? Care to tell? Hint-sight is indeed good!

Let me remind u about a saying – a man’s achievement is bestowed by his peers or people in the know, not by himself. Idris Jala earns that stripe by working for it & he is recognized by most of the international fund managers such as Templeton Investment. He puts MAS on their investing map.

In fact his immediate departure has imposed a negative view on MAS by the investing market. Can a mis-manager claims that kind of fame?

So u do need to clean yr biased colour lens somewhere else! Give credit where it’s due especially during this holy month of Ramadhan Al-Mubarak!


Anonymous,  28 August 2009 at 18:59  

You sound like a sour grape. Idris may be over hyped but he alone is worth all the CEOs of GLCs put together. Having said that, I think there's more than meet the eyes in his appointment. Are they going to take MAS for another flight, eh ride again? Only Najib has the answer.

Open sesame

Anonymous,  28 August 2009 at 20:49  

Technically, Kelabits are not categorized as Dayak. They fall under Orang Ulu,together with the Lun Bawangs, Kenyah, Kayan.... but what do u guys from across the sea care anyway....

Ariff Sabri 28 August 2009 at 21:52  

anon at 20:49.
my apologies. the ignorance is entirely mine. i dint think 'people across the sea' can entirely be grouped under this category because of my ignorance. they are sufficient people who care. thanks.

amoker 28 August 2009 at 21:57  

I think he did a good job. If he did not, i assume MAS would be even worst off now. Just contrast him with the predecessor who bought paintings etc , he has to clean up their shit.

Saudagar Mimpi 28 August 2009 at 22:07  

it was all politics, not as sincere as one thinks...

kuldeep 28 August 2009 at 22:23  


thanks..nicely reasoned response.

My take simply is that idris jala did not do a miracle turnaround.His self promotion precedes his power to the man.So don't pin high hopes that he will catalyse PM's administration cos in today's political environment there's few places you can hide.

Investors are still not negative on MAS due to the massive and continuing govt support that will ensure MAS survival in this current downturn.And only for that asset class btw.

I am more concerned that Azmil will have the credit when the play unravels.Thus,I believe he should do a clear cut off incl clarifying the MTM losses and other "aggressive" acctg as a prelude to his reign.Thus,Idris achievements can be clearly evaluated.

Turnarounds revolves around market share,customer royalty,building for the future,enhancing core competencies and distinctive branding.I am more into DIGI then Celcom.

And similarly if not even more critical when it comes to running a country.

kuldeep 28 August 2009 at 22:25  


have a look at Garuda..thats more of a hands on,business approach turn around.

Anonymous,  28 August 2009 at 22:57  

the art lover is still in MAS...

Fuad was never much into painting.

And if Azmil does not do a proper cut off he may end up being the next Fuad.Not easy to lose billions in just one year...hahaha

Greenbug 28 August 2009 at 23:29  

Dato, I hv to disagree with you on your take on the proposal to take over the toll concessions. Where is the RM50 billion funding going to come from? EPF? Or one of the GLC banks? It is still the rakyat's money going into the govy coffer to allow a bunch of robbers to make easy money. Left pocket, right pocket, scenario.

Vadey-eating Finance Minister? Why did the PM still select him into the cabinet if he had been known all along to have been responsible for loss of billions in forex adventures for Bank Negara? Thats creditbility for you. Plus Nazri, plus Rais, plus Sharizat, plus JJ, where is the cred for this cabinet?

Anyway a little bird informed me there is going to be another "harapkan pagar, pagar makan padi case..." i.e. the minister assigned to resolved KL City's bus terminal is planning to move the terminal to Kelana Jaya where he himself has a plot of land.... ha ha ha! Get your popcorns and soda ready and wait for the wayang soon...

Anonymous,  28 August 2009 at 23:33  

Saya kurang faham tentang akaun MAS until I read write up in STAR.

So,if this Idris is a gentleman he must admit he guess wrong on the movement of the oil price.

So he must admit that if oil is usd 40,MAS will lose 3.8 billion.If it is usd 70 MAS will lose 2,6 billion..and so on.Kalau harga naik hingga usd 200 then MAS bikin profit billion2.Tapi MAS is airlines bukan oil trader.

But he tried to bull shit by saying he is a genius in making a turnaround with the best ever second quarter.He is not outright lying but other CEOs would have explained it more truthfully.

He knows that most people do not understand the accounts including his political Masters and will take what he says at face value.But serious investors pandai baca akauns.

So,masaalahnya ialah kenapa dia buat hedging untuk jangka masa dan amaun yang lebih dari standard practise airlines yang lain?Sama juga dengan trader Barings di Singapore..salah jangka hingga bankrupt company.

The measure of a man is to take responsibility for errors in judgement.

Pak Idrus 29 August 2009 at 00:12  

I am shock You of all the people call Idris Jala a Dayak. There are no such thing as a Dayak. It is just a political term used by the British to mean the Iban and Bidayoh. Idris Jala is a Kelabit. The Kelabit is one of the 32 ethnic group in Sarawak. Thanks.

Anonymous,  29 August 2009 at 06:30  

Bulls eye, Dato’ and Kuldeep. The public is getting warmer. Read my earlier comment below in "Brick in the Wall blog"

As expected, whenever there are issues affecting MAS, a lot of nerves will be striked !!

>>Nice one bro, and you are also right, most of the MSM analyst semua makan gaji buta.

Please read
“Turbulence at Malaysia Airlines

He mentioned that “As at Dec 31, 2008, the airline had RM4.62bil in cash, reducing by a huge RM850mil to RM3.77bil as at March 31, 2009 and by a further RM830mil to RM2.94bil as at end-June 2009. That’s a rapid rate of cash depletion of almost RM1.7bil in a mere six months.”

I have written many times that the easiest way to determine a company’s health is by studying their cash flow.
As for MAS, in 2004 MAS cash reserve was RM 2.19 billion, 2005 dropped to RM 1.18 billion, 2006 then was RM 1.58, and in 2007 a huge jump to RM 5.25 billion and in 2008 dropped again to RM 4.62 and then dropped further to RM2.94 billion after only six months.

The big questions which the MoF should be answering to the public are
a. Where did the RM 3.7 billion comes from in 2007 ?
b. Where did the RM 2.3 billion gone to, only 18 months since Jan 2008?

I also agree with the editor P. Gunasegaram who thinks that sometimes accounting is an ass, much like law is more often.

When the time is right I will hit MAS where it hurt most i.e the safety, so much so, the public will be scared to fly MAS. <<

More details here:

Btw anomie, it has nothing to do with race or religion, only performance and competencies.
I have personally cautioned Munir in 2006 on the potential problems.

Idris majored in Industrial Relations, Sak and Brick in The Wall are trained accountant/ economist while yours truly, a former MAS professional with strong passion in accounting and economics.

Azmil has to come clean and as an accountant not to cook more figures and announce the actual losses or he will be another Fuad Dahlan.


Anonymous,  29 August 2009 at 10:29  

Mas has something to hide serious!Why mend a good running engine when there is none?
Nowadays nobody trust those bloody sucking politicians to handle money and maybe Najib has better ideas.

Anonymous,  29 August 2009 at 13:09  

Mr Idris will be taking a substantial pay cut..I presume Menteris earns about 400k per annum whereas as MAS MD he was earning a million bucks.

He still has a few years in his contract with MAS.Would MAS or govt compensate Mr Idris for the unfinished 2 years?

But PM says he will be appointed CEO of Pemandu..will he be paid additional for this executive post?

Will this be the beginning of the trend for Menteris to hold executive post apart from their portfolio.

We must appreciate the sacrifice made by Mr Jala as a national service.

Anonymous,  29 August 2009 at 13:47  

Its wrong for EPU Minister to outright reject the 50b proposal.The proposal can save the RAKYAT 20% on toll rates and give some cash to government.

Govt can use the cash to build alternative toll free roads AND much needed public transportation.

Its very2 wrong for PM to say that can't sell PLUS cos big money earner for Khazanah.It just confirms that RAKYAT is paying a heavy burden/toll to feed the khazanah cash hungry monster.If PLUS is so good give back some money to the people.

I am not supporting the hiway deal..I am trying to point out our process is wrong>>our Ministers makes unilateral decisions WHEREAS transparency and professionalism is NEEDED.

Let the numbers and conditions speak for themselves NOT gut feel and obnoxious disregard for true governance.

Anonymous,  29 August 2009 at 14:56  

AmResearch also said that MAS was the only airline among its competitors to consistently experience negative year-on-year revenue-passenger-kilometre growth throughout the year.

While it highlighted that MAS has remained profitable amid the industry crisis, AmResearch expressed concern on the sustainability of MAS' current cost- cutting strategy and the impact it could have on future demand and branding of MAS products.

Anonymous,  29 August 2009 at 15:30  


PPasir..rohaizat background was not thoroughly checked..and he became a big burden to BN

Now..will Idris be another Rohaizat?

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