Just a few days ago, we tweeted:
The answer is found in a newsfeed by Bernama:
Najib opens Khazanah office in San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak officiated Khazanah Nasional Berhad’s regional office for the Amerikas, Khazanah Americas Incorporated (KAI), in San Francisco Sunday.
He hoped that the opening of this office would help propel Malaysia into a developed nation status by the year 2020.
The Prime Minister said Malaysia’s visionary ambitions to reach a developed nation status by 2020 could be achieved by moving up the value chain and creating an economy driven by knowledge, innovation and technology.
Najib said this when officiating the office located at the 45th Floor, 101 California Street, San Francisco, the third Khazanah’s regional office after Beijing and Mumbai.
Also present were his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Communication and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek; Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh; Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Dr Ewon Ebin; Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin and Director, San Francisco Mayor’s Office of International Trade and Commerce Mark Chandler.
The Khazanah Americas Incorporated office has a scenic view of the Golden Gate Bridge, the world’s longest and tallest suspension bridge when the bridge was completed in 1937, to connect San Francisco with Marin County across the 1,600 metre-wide strait known as the Golden Gate which links the San Francisco Bay with the Pacific Ocean.
Complimenting Khazanah for “the great choice of sparkling office with a nice view”, Najib said Khazanah had made the right choice to be in San Francisco as the city is the centre of innovation in the United States – one of the most dynamic regions in the world, home to the most admired and innovative businesses and institutions.
Najib, who is also Khazanah Nasional Berhad chairman, said the opening of the office has shown that the Malaysian government fully supported and underpinned its seriousness on creating a competitive, sustainable and innovation-friendly environment and encouraged private and government entities to invest in key sectors abroad.
The Prime Minister also said Malaysia was keen to invest in exciting high-value areas such as life sciences, green technology and cutting-edge innovation that could help Malaysia’s transformation efforts.
Najib said Malaysia hoped to learn from the United States its remarkable culture of innovation, risk-taking and entrepreneurship to spur Malaysia’s own economic growth.
He said he was looking forward to see the innovation that would emanate from this regional office initiative.
He said that over the years, Malaysia’s business and economic interests had expanded across the globe and hoped that the Khazanah office would be able to identify potential partners and get the people in innovation in Americas to partner with those in Malaysia.
Najib also said that Iskandar Malaysia in Johor had established itself as a high value innovative centre and its Pinewood Studios, an integrated media production studio facility, are expected to be completed and opened next year.
He said Malaysia had a lot to offer to investors such as big economic growth number of 4-5 per cent a year, its Vision 2020 efforts on track and a low inflation rate of 2 per cent, which was not bad considering the current external factors affecting the world economy.
“With Khazanah Americas, we can further strengthen our presence and build strong networks with businesses here and I hope we can identify potential partners in America to help propel Malaysia into a developed nation status by 2020,” he said.
In his welcoming speech, Khazanah Nasional Berhad Managing Director Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar said the opening of the Khazanah Americas Incorporated office would be a hub for Khazanah into innovation and technology as well as a bridge between the two countries and regions.
Najib, who arrived in San Francisco with his wife early Sunday, is on a working visit here until Sept 24, prior to his visit to New York to lead Malaysia’s delegation to the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) from Sept 25 to 29.
He is scheduled to deliver a statement at the High Level Meeting UNGA on Nuclear Disarmament on Sept 26, and Malaysia’s statement during the General Debate on Sept 28. – Bernama
… and the CONmen go marching in.
This time a lavish Khazanah Nasional rep office in one of the most expensive downtown office towers in very expensive San Francisco. Where the in-building parking (if you can find one) charges run at U$3 (RM10) per 15 minutes or US33 (RM110) per day. That would be RM3,300 per month for one car in a dingy basement — the rental rate of a very comfortable KL apartment.
While being fawned head-over-heels by CONmen from Frost & Sullivan and likeminded parasites, PM Najib reportedly complimented the breathtaking view of the Golden Gate Bridge and praised Mr. Non-Performer Royale, Azman Mokhtar for making “the great choice of sparkling office with a nice view.” Yes indeed. A million dollar view that will captivate many a heart. But is Khazanah promoting Malaysia or Northern California?
Who will staff this luxurious office? How many Malaysians? From where and based on what criteria? Another bunch of cocky 26-year olds “selected on merit” who will splash scenes of their wild parties and sinful weekend getaways — this time in exciting SF — on FB? Don’t be surprised if some of the PEMANDU party animals get recycled and sent here to liven up the wild Bay Area LGBT nightlife.
So how much are the rakyat (yes, Malaysian taxpayers) paying these people? Let me guess ………… a lot. Yes, a lot because San Francisco is one of THE most expensive cities in the U.S., with rental rates three times the U.S. average. The median rent for a 1-BR, yes one bedroom apartment in this city is about US$3,300 (almost RM11,000) per month. In preferred neighbourhoods, 1-BR rentals — if you can actually find one — would be US$3,600-4,500. For 2-BRs? You’re staring at US$5,000-8,000 per month. 3-BR? Don’t ask. And we have not even looked at other costs in a city ranked in the top 3 most expensive in the U.S.
How I know all these? I have a SF rep office as well. You pay through your nose in rental, parking and staff costs but as long as you make money, lots of it, its fine.
So will Azman Mokhtar and the merry-men and -women of Khazanah actually “make money” to cover this yet another splurge of the rakyat’s hard earned ringgits?
By bringing in investors? Isn’t that job already done by the likes of Mida, Matrade and Miti? Seriously, what can Khazanah do that Mida and Matrade cannot do or has not already done? Mida has six offices across the U.S. — Los Angeles, San Jose, New York, Boston, Chicago and Houston. Martrade has offices in Los Angeles, Miami and New York. And we have investment minister-counselors in our Washington, D.C. embassy and consulates general in New York and Los Angeles. Throw in Tourism Malaysia and Malaysia Airlines and you’ll have a heck of a lot of “rep offices” offering the same thing again and again to confused Americans.
So what exactly is Khazanah’s role in SF? To attract investments? Again, that’s Mida and Miti’s job. To expand trade? That’s Matrade’s job. To secure tourist dollars? That’s Tourism Malaysia’s job. To play a hand in diplomacy? That’s the foreign office’s job via the embassy and consulates.
Oh, I forgot ….. Khazanah is supposed to SPEND money, NOT make money. While part of the fat budget has been blown on expensive office rental and staff costs, there must be quite a chunk left for a Silicon Valley spending spree. Najib reportedly said in SF, “Malaysia [is] keen to invest in exciting high-value areas such as life sciences, green technology and cutting-edge innovation that could help Malaysia’s transformation efforts.”
What exactly do all those Powerpoint jargons mean?
I’m sure Mr. Kool wannabe here would throw in “value proposition” and “value chain” and “leading edge” and “next-gen” and “ears and eyeballs” and other so-very-90s-lah CON-sultant bullsh*t somewhere in his speech.
As for stopping the spending spree, its too late lah people. The depleting chequebook’s out. Khazanah must be seen to spend on something somewhere to justify their SF office adventure. You see, their No.1 KPI is “to spend money, lots of it” and No.2 KPI is “to lose money, most of it” and No.3 KPI is “blame others, all of them.”
I’m just waiting for some announcement of a “strategic investment” in some “new economy” scam involving solar powered green-coloured multiheaded dildos or something like that run by a couple of Taiwanese H-1B visa abusers out of a Sunnyvale garage repackaged, of course, into some sustainable eco-friendly healthy green technology gizmo that purportedly will yield a financial windfall for Khazanah and propel Malaysia to new heights of economic ecstasy ….. blah, blah, blah. Sounds familiar? A sucker born every minute? Remember InventQjaya? Remember E-Village in the Dengkil boondocks? And don’t let me get into cow farms and such. Just finished a late dinner meeting with some old ex-ministers and the possibility of regurgitating the horrendous raw sturgeon wrapped in salty seaweed and boiled cabbage is very real indeed.
Oh, ….. saw in the newsfeed that Najib had just committed the rakyat’s money into yet another new fund management company, Putra Eco Ventures Inc. The report said: “The company will channel the investments and provide business consultancy services to green technology companies.” Now, that’s a triple whammy of oxymoronia. “Channel the investments”? “Provide business consultancy services”? These types of phrases have scam and leakage and abuse and misadventure written all over them. Throw in “green technology” and you are looking at a financial trainwreck in the making.
So people, another little chapter of the follies of GLC Malaysia unfolds away from the public radar. While the rakyat bicker about twenty sen fuel price hikes and lack of decent affordable housing, the jet-setting chimps-in-suits of Khazanah (… and soon PEMANDU and TalentCorp and 1MDB and other disasters) throw our tax money into bottomless pits in faraway America.
My problem with Najib is that every time he launches or announces or officiates something somewhere, I get an overpowering sense of mindless, needless wastage of the rakyat’s money. And this Khazanah rep office in San Francisco is no different. Again, I just don’t understand the logic. To attract investments, Mida, Martrade and Miti and our embassy and consulates have already done that for umpteen years. No need expensive, lavish office overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge in SF. On the other hand, if you just want to throw money at American companies, to invest in their business schemes or scams, they couldn’t care less about your office. They just want your money, lots of it. Heck, they wouldn’t give a hoot even if you work out of a Motel 6 by the 101 freeway …. as long as you give them money.
So again, what’s this “great choice of sparkling office with a nice view” in San Francisco really about? Is this a necessary strategic move to oversee the deployment of our sovereign funds — our children’s money — in foreign-based ventures crucial to our economic competitiveness, ……. or is this yet another expensive stupid out of control ego trip by some chimps-in-suits condoned by a weak, gullible Prime Minister easily fooled by meaningless CONsultant jargons liberally dished out in slick Powerpoint presentations?
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Blogger Din Turtle wrote his opinion about it here >> http://dinturtle.blogspot.com/2013/09/najib-buka-satu-lagi-pejabat-milik.html?m=1