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Sakmongkol ak 47

Sunday 27 June 2010

Bakke’s mission at Sime

Nowadays I am less inclined to needle Musa Hitam for the debacle at Sime. His position is ceremonial anyway. He isn't at the driver's seat. Sime is Zubir's Sime not Musa's Sime. Most of the calls urging Musa to resign came from quarters who still think Dr Mahathir is PM of Malaysia. When I first wrote about this matter, immediately after Musa held his forum with bloggers- I asked the entire board to resign. Not just Musa. Musa can't be made to carry the burden alone.
So we can't be selective as to who we want to resign. If Musa resigns, the entire board must also do so. It's the moral thing to do. Zubir, because he is head of the management committee or team, should be joined by the entire management team. That includes Azhar who succeeded him briefly and right down the front-line managers who are part of Sime's business that fumbled big time.
Sure, Tun Musa is not going to escape unscathed from this fiasco. The board has already done the right thing by asking Zubir to go. He was head of management. It was he who manages the company. The board's role was supervisory and only acted based on the information the management committee provides. They take a foolish stand if the management provides them with silly input.
I am going to repeat my best wishes to Dato Bakke who has assumed the post of CEO for Sime Darby. He has been endorsed by the PM and Musa accepted this endorsement. I also wrote that we shall have to wait whether Bakke can do a good job. His part is also checkered- Tabung Haji also lost money and Felda lost a lot of cash by going into silly spending binges. We must support him as long as his capabilities do extend beyond expediting Hajj pilgrimage tickets and placements for senior ministers. I happened to be in front of someone a long time ago, when Bakke phone in to tell the Hajj tickets and documents are ready.
I am not inclined to be too harsh over Tun Musa Hitam. That despite knowing he flies here and there on first class on chartered planes. Most government ministers and heads of GLCs do that too. If we want to be consistent- ask everyone to fly business class on normal airplanes. Then we can hantam Musa Hitam for flying the way he does. He is after all a former DPM. When Sime agrees to fly him the way he does, they acknowledged his stature as a former DPM and chairman of Sime Darby. Sime Darby makes millions and you want its chairman to fly economy? What do you call that? Pompous humility?
But no one discusses the role of the management committee, that manages the company and front line managers on a day to day basis. What have they been doing? We should be scalping their heads too.
One thing Bakke must do is not to constraint himself at looking at Sime's failure in the Energy and Utilities division only. He must take this opportunity to look at everything across the board. Look at Sime's core business- the plantations. Without this core business, Sime is nothing.
He must begin by placing those really talented in that field to head Sime's plantations unit. I hear fruits remain un-harvested because of labor shortages. That translates in lost revenues. Lots of them. He must looked at the reasons behind the dismissal of people like Razidan Ghazali, Mohan Abudllah and Anhar Suki. If these people were kicked out by the gone-on-extended leave Zubir's for lame reasons he must reconsider them for re employment. They probably can add value to the plantation business. I am not sure their dismissal was with merits because if I remember correctly, they brought Sime to court and Sime was made to pay compensation. That can only suggest the dismissals were without merits other than Zubir wanting to create his own fiefdom.
It was all Zubir's management. Not Musa Hitam. It was Zubir's Sime and not Musa.
MOhd Bakke should seize the initiative and set up his own technical audit answerable to him to look into Sime's questionable business deals. For example who ordered and approved the RM 250,000,000 renovations at KLGCC? Bakke should ask Tengku Badli from Property Division to explain. Then, look into Sime Property Business too.


Anonymous,  27 June 2010 at 14:34  

Energy and Utility losses is just a diversion. Do a forensic audit and see really was the losses due to Bakun or something else?? What i have been told is something else.

Deep Throat and Pro Wenger fan

Donplaypuks® 27 June 2010 at 15:37  


You are right. The die is cast.

So, I too wish Bakke well and that he will do a decent job.

He should clear SD of the fraudsters, thieves and incompetents and turn it around to make that consistent super billions of $ profits they should be making given their market dominance! I mean in M'sia we seem to have a habit of taking gold and turning it into mud, while elsewhere the reverse occurs!!

To succeed Bakke must concentrate on SD's 4 core areas of expertise:

1. Oil Palm/Plantation
2. Property Dev
3. Healthcare
4. Motor

Bakke should bite the bullet and sell off SD's construction, energy & utilities etc. arms and get back to doing what SD knows best and has a sterling track record in achieving! Forget about billion $ tapping underground water (which has huge environmrnt implications) or oleochemicals projects etc. Adhere to the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid!) school of management until the reserves are huge enough.

My worry is "you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ears." If Bakke delivers the goods, it will be a pleasant and much needed and welcome surprise. Then and only then, let the board pay him huge bonuses and fees and let him fly 1st class; we'll backke (pun fully intended) him fully!!

As for Black Musang, I think you are being sarcatic. We cannot let such huge incompetency go unpunished. The loss to shareholders in share value runs into the hundreds of $billions ($24 a share vs $7.60)! Khazanah, PNB and EPF must take the big stick out and sack the old guard forthwith since they won't voluntarily resign.

Then the SC should wade in to see if Black Musang and other directors were remiss in their fiduciary dities to SD and its shareholders and press charges!

The truth is white collar crimes nowadays cost us more than blue collar ones. So, as a deterrent, we shoul make pre-emptive strikes so that this type of crime too does not pay. There should be minimum $5 million fines AND long jail sentences. In China, they hang them for such offences!!

we are all of 1 race, the Human Race

Anonymous,  27 June 2010 at 16:44  


Tell them to also investigate Sime Paddy Project in Perak , another loss making project I assume. when you put someone who doesnt know anything about paddy planting to run the show.
This is another joke, just giving Dato Bekke a head start here to investigate .

I guess this is the result if you put a non PLANTER to run the show.

Penanam Padi

A Voice 27 June 2010 at 17:01  

You said:

Most of the calls urging Musa to resign came from quarters who still think Dr Mahathir is PM of Malaysia.

Maybe you should read the Company Act depan belakang kiri kanan.

It is time we should no more take things easy.

Inilah orang UMNO pesyen Jurasic ... suka ambil mudah

Anonymous,  28 June 2010 at 00:50  

We have this tendency of not solving problems..for instance if KTM Komuter is messing up;lets build a super efficient RM 36 bil MRT.And if that fails why not go for a Maglev?

And that is how Bakke is going to do his turnaround of Sime.The poor guy is a complete incompetent on technical/engineering thus will rely on a bunch of newbies to do things for him.Without the engineering DNA the young newbies will go to school on write offs instead of creating a real "cost recovery"action plan.The real hands-on guys lower down the line will be blamed and soon be isolated,get pissed and will move out.This leaves the whole organisation short on real knowledge of the onsite issues...and that will just make the situation worse.

But Bakke will be smelling of roses cos he will blame the previous mgmt and have sufficient write offs to carry him through.

The winner will be the client cos he escapes from the arduous task of defending claims from Sime.

Bakke will then justify closing down the engineering division or selling a good brand name for peanuts.

At the end of the day >> a good engineering outfit bites the dust and money due from claims for variations,additional works etc is left on the table.

Welcome to Khazanah school of mgmt folks.See the action UEMB,Time if u want to see a trailer of SIME turnaround.

Until PM realises that the Khazanah playbook is mythical PR exercise..we will continue to have surprises.

UMW O&G next?

Non-partisan,  28 June 2010 at 08:59  

You may have your points to argue for Tun Musa. Likewise, others may have their strong points too to call for his resignation.

But to accuse those 'urging Musa to resign came from quarters who still think Dr.Mahathir is PM of Malaysia' is completely irrelevant to the issue in question.

Instead, it is a blatant reflection of your naivety smacked with bad intention.

Anonymous,  28 June 2010 at 09:01  

"If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience" - George Bernard Shaw.

Remember Sime Bank saga???

Ariff Sabri 28 June 2010 at 09:08  

anon 08:59

we shall see how this Sime affair will be played out.
intention is only known to the person. i can also make inference about yr intentions concerning calls asking Musa to quit considering the bad blood between Musa and Dr Mahathir.

fening lalat,  28 June 2010 at 13:12  

how do you relate Bakke's credential and Bakke's mission at Sime Dato?How does these two articles relate?

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