Najib Razak / Socio-economy / Umno & Barisan Nasional

Ekuinas : Realising whose objectives?

The Prime Minister had announced the setting up of a private equity investment fund under the name Ekuinas (derived from Ekuiti Nasional Berhad) a few days ago.

In his blog, he stated:

• Ekuiti Nasional Berhad (Ekuinas) to be established with initial capital of RM500 million, eventually to be enlarged to RM10 billion fund.
• Ekuinas will focus its investments in high growth sectors, in line with supporting the New Economic Model
• Ekuinas will jointly invest with private sector, reflecting a genuine partnership and through a fully commercial approach will ensure meritocracy of participating Bumiputeras
• Ekuinas will complement the other existing funds.

Blitzing through his first 100 days, the PM sought the need to liberalise the economy in the middle of the worldwide recession. Malaysia is not spared from this crippling phenomena as she registered 6.2 negative growth in the first quarter of 2009. The most recent contraction was back in 2001.

The PM endeavours to bring Malaysia out from the recession as quickly as possible using the main thrust of his approach  – attracting foreign investments. Working hand in hand with this main thrust is his desire to see more quality bumiputeras venturing into businesses.

While we applaud his good intentions, caution may be the best approach in these challenging times. Good strategy without proper execution will lead to wastage and worse, economic disaster. Case in point would be the dividend payouts by Petronas to the government since 1976.

Interesting to note that for 28 years (1976 to 2003), the total number of dividends paid was RM173 billion while for a mere 6 years (from 2004 to 2009), the dividend payout was RM253.6 billion!

Again, if the nation was not fundamentally strong as at 2003, we could have fallen into a fiscal emergency by now!

Wastage is one of the government’s worst enemy. But in our case, the main perpetrator for this wastage was Pak Lah’s own mismanaged administration. With RM173 billion for 28 years we have had Penang Bridge, PLUS highways, KLCC, KLIA, Sports Stadiums for the Commonwealth Games, Sepang F1 circuit, Putrajaya and many other infrastructures.  And those were just infrastructures. Many other fiscal policies were made which required money yet the economy was vibrant while the cost of living was kept low.

What did we get after the government spent RM253.6 billion for the past 6 years? What momentous, physical, good for the people, monuments had the government built? The Crystal Mosque in Kuala Terengganu? Get real. Even the 2nd bridge in Penang is yet to be built and the cost is escalating while the Sultan Mizan Stadium has its roof collapsed barely a year after it was officiated. Did he spend it on intangibles like Islam Hadhari? Mind you, Petronas dividends were not the only money he squandered. Revenue from income tax evaporated into thin air without anything to show for the past 6 years. And yet, he had the cheek to lie to us saying that Malaysia has no more money to develop any mega projects.

We however, do know about all the money laundering schemes hatched during the last 6 years which surmounted to billions of ringgit. For instance, RM10 billions being spent on public transportation in Klang Valley since 2004 but the construction of the new LRT lines have not moved an inch. And who was the prime beneficiary of this amount of money?

The point is, inefficient execution will jeopardise any good intentions. When dishonest people were entrusted to guard our nation’s wealth became even more greedy than they were at the start of their powertrip, things will not go as it was originally intended. No wonder Malaysians were kept at the losing end.

I had high hopes that the new PM will stop relying on people with vested interests which clamour his inner circle. It was often repeated by many people that Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak must not be over reliant on  advices  from people closest to him without getting other balancing views. He must not repeat the mistakes of Pak Lah.

So, when Najib announced the setting up of Ekuinas, I couldn’t help noticing that Ekuinas’ reasons of existence is very much similar to what Ethos’ Capital and the people behind it had wanted back in October 2008. The blogger A Voice made a blistering attack on Omar Ong and Rohana Mahmood in his article back then.

Basically, I am writing this to highlight on the need for the government to put strong monitoring mechanisms to counter check the activities of Ekuinas Berhad. I guess when we had too much unscrupulous people abusing the nation’s wealth under the pretext of ‘good intentions’, one tends to get slightly paranoid. This paranoia is exacerbated by The Edge’s interview with the top two people in Ethos last year.  By putting two and two together, I found too much coincidence between this interview and the setting up of Ekuinas.

Firstly, Ethos Capital was established up to look into the private equity business opportunities in Malaysia as both Omar and Rohana saw the tremendous potential for revenue making in this industry.

She believes that under the current global economic crisis, private equity can do well, because we are looking at distressed companies, looking at those that need capital injection and those who are unable to grow because they are unable to get funding, so the alternative form of funding, naturally, is private equity fund.

As far as the Private Equity industry and Ethos Capital is concerned, we see value not just in Malaysia but in the region, in fact we are doing this, we are just waiting things out,” she says, adding that Ethos has recently made an investment, paying a valuation that is less than one time price to book. “It was a very good deal… this is a credit crunch, banks are not lending, all we have to do is identify the good deals,” Rohana adds.

The heightening crisis has prompted Ethos Capital to expand its mandate. While before it wanted to focus on value creation and growing smaller companies for an eventual listing, it will now also look at distressed companies in the wake of the financial crisis.”

Secondly, it is widely known that Omar Ong, the Managing Director of Ethos is a close confidant of the PM. This TECHNOCRAT wannabe has the ears of Najib Razak and had successfully ensconced himself into the inner circle of the seat of power. In order to justify the existence of Ekuinas, the MECD must first be abolished. This will make the new private equity fund more relevant. However, it still overlaps other governmental institutions with similar objectives such as MARA, Mavcap, MDV, Tekun, PNS, PNB etc. To this, this blog feels that the EPU Minister needs to clarify  the matter in Parliament.

The Edge also stated, “Rohana is already looking to start raising money for Ethos Capital’s second fund end of next year, and this time, the goal for the fund size is lofty — she hopes to raise more than RM500 million.”

Well, perhaps with the imminent appointment of Ethos’ Managing Director as one of the director of Petronas, RM500 million will be an easy feat to achieve.

Nevertheless, the purported objectives of Ethos Capital and Ekuinas are similar enough although the latter will slightly focus more on bumiputera companies. That is why, in certain aspects, I find it quite ludicrous for Malaysia to have so many private equity funds. The birth of Ekuinas makes it a direct competitor to Ethos Capital. With this regards, I hope the people in Ethos’ management will not have a hand in setting the direction of Ekuinas and its funding activities. I pray that this will not be true. The lack of humility shown from the interview did not help the cause of  these people in the long run.

Just read Rohana Mahmood’s pompous announcement of Ethos Capital’s intention to dabble in private equity funds . It still lingers in the minds of those who remember.

People are going to invest in Ethos because of who we know, and also because of what we can do, because I don’t compromise integrity and shareholder value, that is something I will not do, you can kill me, you can bribe me, but I will not do this… so, yes, I make no apologies about knowing who I know, like the Carlyle and Blackstones of the world, but at the end of the day, these guys deliver value. Full stop.”

Her partner, Omar Ong chipped in with another gem.

I make no apologies for that (being well connected), I think as in anywhere in the world, if you know people, it will help, but what is important is that there must be professionalism, ability to execute. Gone are the days when network alone was important. Frankly, in our business, we need networks regionally, and also a clear plan for value creation, because people will not give money based on network alone.”

Now, the big questions are:

1. Since Ekuinas will not be audited by the Big 4 firms and its books will not be opened to public, who will given the task to manage the monies in Ekuinas?

2. What are the operating agreements or the management agreements between the parties involve in the overall management of the fund? And how much are the commissions and the management fees?

3. Who are the consultants employed for the incorporation of Ekuinas?

4. Who will be the members in its Investment Committee Board?

5. Will EPF/Petronas money be used to finance Ekuinas?

All these questions derived from the hope of not wanting to see another blunder. We do not want to see a case where even a RM2 company can get huge chunk of investment which in the end is just another facade for money laundering by cronies.  As the consequence, the objective of achieving an increase in bumi equity will fail yet again. This blog believe the questions above are valid and members of the Parliament should ask for further clarifications on this.

25 thoughts on “Ekuinas : Realising whose objectives?

  1. Siapa akan menyelia ?

    Tiap kali ade pengumuman baru, ramai (yang kesah dan ambl berat) terperanjat.
    Pinjam kata bahase owam putih “History will repeat itself”.

    Sekadar komen dan hujah kritis, bloggers yang berkelulusan dan kepakaran ekonomi wajib pantau semua skema liberalisasi dan kesan kewangan pasaran terbuka agar kepentingan rakyat Malaysia tidak ratah olih Kapitalis asing.

    Kalu nak harap market forces, Amerika sarikat pun hancur kerana Pres Bush rah kan interest di rendah kan dan megalak pasaran terbuka membuat spekulasi di pasaran perumahan dan hartatanah.

    Rase nya kita dah situ.

    Tak nak laksanankan capital controls macam 1997-98 sekali lagi pade masa pelabur asing keluarkan pelaburan singkat di KLSE ?l

    Like

  2. Redundant. Given all the existing “private” equity vehicles, ie PNB, MARA etc, which are not really “private” in the first place, given the source of the funds.

    Gets more laughable every day.

    PM is happy. He hopes that people will vote BN next time. At what cost?

    PR (not my cuppa) is being blamed for the liberalisation moves. Masih tak mahu cermin diri.

    Fact of the matter remains…root cause of all the disenchantment has not been dealt with. Wastage, inefficiency, patronage, cronyism (the latter blatantly proven by Rohana and Omar’s words).

    Dismantling the structure as opposed to addressing the leakages and profiteering and imbalances.

    Bakar kelambu.

    Habislah kena denggi nanti…

    Like

  3. all the more reason not to let omar ong be in the petronas board. conflict of interest mah…

    thanx for highlighting this to us.

    REALLY FED- UP

    Like

  4. JMD,

    Ini satu lagi kisah yg akan menjadi sebahagian drpd sejarah malaysia. Berulangkali kita didendangkan dengan lagu2 yg sama. kong kali kong. Pusing2 kembali pada asal jugak. Kenapakah tiada ketelusan di dalam apa sahaja perkara yg melibatkan dana2 berprofil tinggi? Samalah kesnya dengan dana2 Petronas yg terang2an milik rakyat. Apakah ‘special’ sgt ETHOS? Saya rasa sarikat saya pun boleh berjaya dan lebih berkredibiliti berbanding ETHOS.

    Inilah nasib Malaysiaku yg tercinta.. Ingatlah wahai pemimpinku, anda semua akan dipertanggungjawabkan di alam barzakh nanti.

    Like

  5. JMD,
    Did you bother to check out the national debt that had resulted before making the obviously flawed statement that with RM 173 billion did this and that. (Wonder whether we could have sent a man to the moon with that).

    Sometimes, elementary mistakes like this does reveal quite a lot.

    On the Ekuinas front, its a good idea if they can find the right companies to invest. Unfortunately, the companies that would fit the bill are perhaps overseas, as our economic landscape is already dominated by the GLCs, telecommunications, gaming and other businesses that make money by taking a little bit every day from millions of citizens. I read that Ekuinas plans to take stakes in private firms (not necessarily the private equity model favoured by the Blackstones and the Carlyles who prefer LBOs).

    JMD : Thank you for the comments. Yes I have checked the national debt of our country. First of all, the billions of ringgit from Petronas dividends are not the only source of revenue the government can use to finance its expenditure. But I guess you already know that. Hence, be it RM173b or RM253b, they are not the total amount of money the government has spent during those years. The overall revenue figures are actually higher. One thing we can be sure is that the figures above rose substantially over the years.

    Now, the national debt issue. Pak Lah’s sympathisers often used the national debts to show how Pak Lah had lowered the nation’s foreign borrowings during his tenure. This is in fact, a flawed statement Wenger. Now lets see the statistics:

    From 2004 to 2008, the foreign borrowings had decreased from RM3.2b to RM470 million. Congratulations. Pak Lah is a saviour. But wait a minute, the drop between RM3b to less than half a million is minuscule compared to the difference between RM173b and RM253b. So, what has Pak Lah shown to us with that huge chunk of money?

    Plus, if people had bothered to check, even during Tun M’s time, there is not much difference in the amount of foreign borrowings in his time to Pak Lah’s. Borrowings were often paid on time. Please check the figures here and here.

    In fact, judging from the tables in the links above, domestic borrowings during Pak Lah’s time rose tremendously and he was incapable to meet most of the debts as compared to his predecessor. At the last count, Pak Lah’s government borrowed RM60b domestically. Almost triple the amount the highest Tun M ever borrowed (RM23b).

    Where did you get the figures about national debts in which you claimed I made a flawed statement?
    Oh wait, you must have been talking about external debts. Silly me to have mixed up between foreign borrowings for financing purposes and the Malaysian external debts. Err, do you know the difference between the two? Since you adjudged that I am incapable of adding 1+1, I leave it to you to enlighten us. I can always be stand corrected by anyone when presenting these figures.

    Okay, lets see Malaysia’s external debts over the years in here and here. Please look at the numbers and form your own opinions.

    Again, if RM173b did all this and that, what did RM253b do for the past 6 years? Can we say ‘nothing much’?

    Instead, he charged us with RM1.92 (in 2006) and RM2.70 (in 2008) per litre of petrol while telling us Malaysia has no money to subsidise fuel.

    Thank you for visiting this blog.

    Like

  6. And let me counter on the second point. The Governments budget is being overstretched due to the large civil service, which alone costs RM 40 billion a year and what about the cost of maintaining Putrajaya?

    So even if Petronas gave RM 250 billion over 6 years, we could have spent all of that on Government staff salaries. But are you going to call for a smaller sized Government?

    JMD : Yes, what are the costs of maintaining Putrajaya and the civil service? Care to share with us the reference links? Again, RM250 odd billions are not the only revenue the government received during the whole 6 years. Lets look at the detailed figures on government’s revenues since 1991 shall we? Please visit here and here.

    Approximately RM525b was received as revenue by the federal government from 2004 to 2008 while RM621b was used as expenditure. With half a trillion in revenue and an even higher amount in expenditure, what had Pak Lah done with our money? This is a much bigger question than your question about smaller sized Government. Thank you for the comments.

    Like

    • Sorry to interupt..

      “smaller size government” and “paying salaries”?

      I’m sorry but I can’t recall that government staff received huge chunk of increament or bonus within that 6 years. Setakat “ciput” macam sebelum tu ada la juga…

      I also cannot recall huge intake of government staff over the past 6 years (for example, in 2000, an govt agency took in 200 a year, and all of sudden the agency took in 2000 staff a year within that 6 years). If that is the case, okla kan..tp rasanya tidak…

      Care to share the basis of such argument?

      ~ OnDaStreet

      Like

  7. Pingback: The Malays is not ready for PM Najib’s liberalisation policies « The “thirteen million plus Ringgit” guy rambles….

  8. Let see.
    several billions to subsidise out fuel. even at 2.92/litre, our neighbours were paying (thailand) almost RM3.80. So smugglers were making almost RM1 perlitre despite reducing subsidies.
    Petrol kiosk in border regions were reporting increase in sales by 400%. Loss due to petrol/diesel subsidy alone is about RM20 billion.
    Then there is the LRT/Putra/monorail, which all had to be bailed out and presently running at a loss. Maybe 1-2 billion per year. his exclude the KL bus services. Incidentally, before govenrment intervention, all bus and minibus service were profitable and regular.

    Cost of paying rental to Putrajaya, which works out to RM8/sq ft. This exclude power and other utilities. Even at this rental rates, they still cannot manage to synchronise the traffic lights on the main boulevards, forcing many to use the backlanes which is free of trafic lights.

    Cost of building and maintaining mosques. The new “Glass mosque” at Putrajaya is even more elaboate than the “crystal mosque ” in Kuala terengganu. These mosque has no benefit or return to the community what-so-ever and waste of public funds.

    Coming back to ekuinas, If majority of poor are malays/bumiputras, then surely the main thrust of any financial assistance, will be in the form of micro credit scheme. majority of paddy farmers/rubber smallholders are malays. Why are these sectors neglected. Today, these paddy farmers merely collect rental from Thai workers who work the paddy fields.

    JMD : Thank you for the comment. Like I said, execution must be efficient and monitoring mechanisms should be fully enforced. For example, if the petrol dealers near the borders aren’t that greedy for a quick profit, we would not have lost so much due to ineffective controls. Faults lie within ourselves too. I like the last paragraph. Good points.

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  9. Hi JMD,

    Thanks for providing the figures. I will do my expose on The Rembau Times and provide a summary here on the Jebat Must Die blog. Well, I do hope that since you have taken it upon yourself to bamboozle Pak Lah, you may have to accept a rather strong fact orientated rebuke from the “we-don’t-think-Pak Lah-deserves-to-be-whacked” faction or the “Pak-Lah-is-better-than-orang-tu” group.

    Wenger J Khairy

    JMD : I am not sure why you are persisting to divulge onto this matter further. It’s like you are going all out in trying to monitor all articles that specifically criticise Pak Lah or KJ or their associates. Does it really matter? I see many blogs criticise other past leaders as well. A fact is a fact. No malice intended mate. However, a valid question was asked – where did all the money go to? There is no need to answer because we know it went into the drain due to inefficiencies and mismanagement. The bigger question now is, how do we move from here? Hence, this article that specifically hoping that proper internal controls and specific targets are met using correct action plans. The other obstacle is how to counter vile tactics from the opposition who uses racism as their modus operandi. I see that recently, you had faced with similar problems with racist commentators. Much like how this blog had faced mid last year especially when I posted articles to expose how the opposition use racial cards to further their agenda. It can be a tough battle to fight but nevertheless, I see that you are cruising along fine. Thank you.

    Like

    • Nak tergelak aku dibuatnya. Penyokong2 kuat Pak Lah macam si Wenger ni tak habis-habis takut dgn bayang2 sendiri.

      Selama ni diorang hentam Mahathir (which is mostly twisted truth, half-truths as well as downright lies and slanders) takpe pulak.

      Sekarang diorang pulak jadi macam udang masuk periuk tom yam bila apa-apa saja perkara disebut berkait dengan Pak Lah. Kenapa ye? Hmmm… agaknya resam orang bersalah memang begitu.

      “I see many blogs criticise other past leaders as well. A fact is a fact.” BRAVO JMD, memang kena sebijik tepat kat dahi diorang nih!

      Like

  10. Assalam Mualaikom JMD,

    Terima kasih diatas penjelasan tuan mengenai Perlembagaan Persekutuan dan hak istimewa orang Melayu dan DEB.

    Sudah sampai masanya kita untuk tidak membuang masa lagi dengan berdebat , berdebat dan berdebat.

    Saya sedar tuan seorang yang bijak pandai dan berilmu. Saya pasti juga tuan mempunyai golongan sahabat-sahabat yang berpengaruh kalau tidak pun yang seangkatan daripada segi pendidekan dengan tuan.

    Tujuan saya ialah, apakata kita berhenti berdebat dan mengorak langkah dengan erti kata yang sebenarnya. Kita perjuangkan hak istimewa orang Melayu dan Bumi secara terus terang.

    Nasib kita sekarang ibarat , “Masuk mulut buaya keluar ke mulut harimau”. Masa demi masa kita dikaburi dengan cogan- cogan kata;

    1Malaysia
    Rakyat Didahulukan. Pencapaian Diutamakan.
    Liberalisasi
    Globalisasi
    Meritokrasi
    Ekuinas

    Tetapi apakah erti semua ini kepada pekebun kecil, penternak -penternak , pesawah padi , peladang-peladang dan nelayan ?

    Mereka tidak faham apa-apa. Cuma apabila sudah tiba masa mereka hendak menghantar anak cucu mereka masuk IPTA , mereka perlu berhutang, bergolok dan bergadai.

    Yang mereka tahu bila hendak membeli baja, makanan ternakan, racun rumpai dan disel untuk bot tangkap ikan, harga semakin hari semakin naik atau pun bekalan tiada.

    Yang mereka ada hanya harta sedikit untuk dijual bagi menampong anak dan cucu mereka belajar ke IPTA.

    Cukup sudah kita ditipu dan diperdayakan dengan terma-terma bahasa teknologi moden.

    Usah lagi kita berselindung dengan nama samaran.
    Tunjukkan kehebatan JebatMustDie.
    Hunuskan “Keris Taming Sari” dan kita perjuangkan hak istimewa orang Melayu dan Bumi.

    Terima kasih.
    Latipah Md Sidek.

    JMD : W’lam Sujini/Latipah. Terima kasih kerana komentar ini. Terlebih dahulu, saya tiada sahabat yang berpengaruh. Akan tetapi, akan mengetengahkan idea idea kepada mereka yang mampu untuk mengusulkan sesuatu yang penting untuk kebaikan kita semua.

    Like

  11. JMD,

    An excellent posting and counter-commenting.

    “Ekuinas will jointly invest with private sector, reflecting a genuine partnership and through a fully commercial approach will ensure meritocracy of participating Bumiputeras.”

    I am most interested in “will ensure meritocracy of participating Bumiputeras.” I hope to hear more, especially on how it would be done, the determining and selection of “participating Bumiputeras.” How they would be identified, who determines their merit. Would they be invited to participate by open announcements or on selected, group by group basis. Cronyism must be eliminated, there must be transparency in the selection and award process.

    The composition of the selection and award committee(s) should be announced, not for ease of identification in lobbying efforts, but for the public to know who are responsible in evaluating tenders and making recommendations. I hope they are tendered out on selective basis, those selected to compete among themselves. The results of bids and awards should be announced on notice boards like done at JKR.

    “Participating Bumiputeras” should be registered in the relevant categories. Even those so-called turn-key projects involving design, construct and financing should be tendered out among those in the relevant category. There should be a special unit handling the registration exercise, updating the Bumiputera participating company records and monitoring their progress for subsequent participation.

    If these kinds of procedures are not adopted, I am afraid cronyism will continue to rear its ugly head. Project costs would be bloated, no healthy growth of genuine Bumiputera entrepreneurs, Mister Ten Percenters and Alibabas will continue to abound, and so-called leaders would be continuing to allow people to bleed the country.

    Maju.

    JMD : Thank you for the good comments Maju. The points you raised are valid concerns regarding the transparency issues within our strategic institutions. But will the top management have strong sense in adhering to good corporate governance? It is hard to find good honest people running these bodies. Sometimes there are good people, but too much political interference into their business practice made them unable to achieve the intended objectives.

    Like

  12. There’s really no need for yet another mega taxpayer ripped off Govt fund when we have Khazanah, unless it’s a thinly disguised attempt to give Ethos Consulting a gaji buta free hand.

    None of these Funds will guarantee any minimum returns to justify being given ‘directly negotiated’ fund management contracts.

    In the first place it is highly suspicious that while Temasik in S’pore has come clean with its disastrous performance and the sacking of its crony CEO (make no mistake, Ho Ching’s departure is a sacking, nothwithstanding she’s been given till Oct t o clean out her desk), in M’sia Khazanah, Prasarna, Valuecap and Mavcap all operate under a veil of secrecy. This is as though the Official Secrets Act confers upon the Govt the right not to be accountable to the Rakyat.

    With the valuations of MAS, Telekom, Axiata, Maybank, Sime Darby etc., all having fallen by 40%-60%, it’s a given that Khazanah will have to take huge write-downs in a mark to market exercise. Likewise Valuecap and Mavcap. So, what’s the score?

    In particular, does anyone know how Prasarna operates, how much debt it has incurred, how much MAS owes it for leasing charges and what RoI it get?

    It is this sweeping underthe carpet that will be THE major factor in the demise of UMNO/BN majority come GE 2013. We will not be taken for a ride a day longer!!

    Without transparency and accountability as its cornerstone policy, no elected Govt can be trusted!

    Like

  13. Maaf JMD, izinkan saya menjawab soalan “the ex-nimr”

    Maaf , saya bukan ex-guru mrsm Kulim. Cuma ex- jurutera Telekom. Dah lama berhenti kerja. Sekarang sudah status nenek.

    Terima kasih diatas soalan.

    Wassalam

    Like

  14. Pingback: JAKIM and the HDC coming full circle «

  15. ASM UNIT TRUSTs
    PNB jual ASM 1.3 billion kuota Melayu kpd bukan bumiputra.
    Adakah ini sebagai balasan sokongan atau orang melayu dah taada duit lagi ?
    Apa lagi dalam karung 1Malaysia PM untuk jadi kan wawasan 1Malaysia kenyataan
    Mengapakah tidak di tawarkan beri peluang kapada Tabung Haji,PPZ, MOCCIS,Bank Rakyat,Ajensi Ekonomi Negeri,Tabung Perwira,Tabung Polis ,Amanah saham Mara?
    Tabung terengganu dah ade I billion royalti tak kan ta bolih beli kut ?
    Dengan Satu pangillan talipon semua yang tertera di atas bolih dapat melabur !!!.
    Ini kuota Melayu dan tidak di rampas dari orang bukan bumiputra.
    Geram ati sakit rase.
    changkat lobak.
    arjuna waspada.

    Like

  16. Hi JMD,

    I did not read this posting but scrolling across, I saw you mention Ethos.

    ah the Ethos that same blokes who were paid, God knows how much to do all the feasibility studies, the consultation, the planning the hiring and I suppose the management as well of the Halal Development Corporation. They sure screwed up on that job because obviously all their assumptions about what would happen when HDC took over from Jakim turned turtle. Presumably they thought a HALAL Certification coming out of Malaysia will obtain universal approval!! simple thing like that they failed to do and God knows how much has been lost in terms of $$ and in terms of Godly goodwill too!!

    Like

  17. You said, “With RM173 billion for 28 years we have had Penang Bridge, PLUS highways, KLCC, KLIA, Sports Stadiums for the Commonwealth Games, Sepang F1 circuit,”

    If that was the case, then why is it we still pay toll on the north South Highway?

    JMD : PLUS Highway has debts amounting to RM8.5billion. From where this figures came from, I am not sure. Without seeing the published accounts, might not be able to determine where this debt came from. Did they take new loans during the widening of the roads from two lanes to 3 lanes a few years ago? Probably. Maintenance costs are quite high in this kind of business anyways. But PLUS will abolish its toll in 2030 (after a renegotiation in 1999 which extended the original 2018 deadline). On second thought I am with you on this one. The concessions paid to the toll operators are ridiculous and confounded many people. Shaziman Mansor should do the obvious thing – be transparent. Thank you.

    Like

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