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The Prime Minister confirmed 1MDB is in trouble

…and he did not even have to wait for the AG report to tell him that.

Finance Ministry Moves To Reduce 1MDB’s Debts

PUTRAJAYA, May 19 (Bernama) — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the Finance Ministry would take the appropriate measure to reduce 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB)’s debt.

Najib who is also Finance Minister said issues surrounding 1MDB would be answered when the Auditor-General presents the audit report to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) soon.

“I hope everyone will wait for the report,” he said at the finance ministry’s monthly assembly here Tuesday.

On March 4, Najib directed the auditor general to verify 1MDB’s accounts.

“We believe with this measure, we can reduce 1MDB’s debts. I’m confident of the finance ministry’s ability to execute it amidst all the criticisms.

“We will prove with this move, we can achieve the objective. From time to time, we will take the necessary measures,” he said.

The problem with 1MDB is its debt and the dodgy ways they have concocted to get it. Now, due to its high debt, the public had to pay more than RM2 billion per year on interests alone!

Is there no heads to roll because of this overly careless and ridiculously ill-advised venture perpetrated by the Ministry of Finance and 1MDB Board of Directors?

After months of telling the public that the finances of 1MDB is strong and secure by saying nonsensical stuff like the assets is more than the liabilities, 1MDB will not miss any payment schedule so on and so forth, the government finally today admits that yes, we have a problem.

The mess 1MDB created had caused the Prime Minister to have finally identified what the Finance Minister and 1MDB advisors had done wrong, and now wanted the Finance Ministry to find solutions to this problem.

Obviously he was talking to the mirror when he made that announcement.

This blog have always believed that the Prime Minister must, at the very least resign from his Finance Minister post in order to regain credibility. The easiest way is to not appoint himself to that particular post in the upcoming, long overdue cabinet reshuffle.

What better way to re-strategise and regenerate a flaccid performance? As it is, there is enough deadwood in his cabinet which could build a sampan.

The person ultimately accountable for all three entities is

The person ultimately accountable for all three entities that created this financial blunder is the same person that will punish the wrongdoer who is accountable for this blunder

The Prime Minister Answered A Question Nobody Asked

Dear Umno members and rakyat Malaysia in general.

When your Umno President and Prime Minister was told that his performance was worse than Pak Lah, it was regarding his performance as a Prime Minister. Everyone knows this. Tun Mahathir said:

25. I had great hopes when Najib took over from Abdullah. 

26. But he did even worse than Abdullah, losing more badly in Selangor where he was the Head of UMNO. There are so many scandals surrounding him now. His popularity is now even lower than when he led the BN in 2013. In a number of constituencies the margins won by Barisan Nasional (BN) are very narrow.

27. Sabah and Sarawak, are now no longer safe, no longer BN’s fixed deposits.

28. Is it too absurd to predict defeat for the BN in 2018?

Is there anybody out there who do not understand this? Were we talking about the Umno President, or the Prime Minister? Is Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak just the Prime Minister for Umno, or Prime Minister for Malaysians?

But yesterday, in his poorly executed FAQ (probably concocted by a highly paid British media ‘expert’), his response to the issue above was:

Claim: “Najib did worse as UMNO President compared to Pak Lah”

  1. In the last general elections (GE13), BN won 11 state governments compared to 9 in the previous GE. We regained Kedah, maintained Terengganu and solidified our position in Perak.
  2. UMNO won more seats in GE13 when compared to GE12.

Barisan Nasional won 140 seats (63% of parliament) under the sleeping Pak Lah.

Barisan Nasional won just 133 seats (60% of parliament) under this clueless PM.

With much less popular votes than his predecessor, this administration pinned all of their defence on:

a) Umno won more seats. Can Umno alone become the government?

b) Won back Kedah (Perak returned to BN during Pak Lah’s premiership)

Kudos for changing the question to fit your own preferred answer. It was quite a hilarious read. However, it did not mention how the reigning Umno President who doubled himself as the Head of Umno Selangor, did more badly in Selangor than how Umno did in GE12. Embarrassing isn’t it?

Now, for the rational among us, has this FAQ really solidified his leadership.. or accentuated his desperation and weaknesses?

And by the way, has the chinese tsunami been successfully reversed by BN? From the look of Rompin and Permatang Pauh by election, there might also be a malay tsunami against the Prime Minister soon.

To remind those who are handling the PM’s media propaganda: You must not expose yourself with careless mistakes. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle. Politics 101.

The AG’s report will not find anything wrong with 1MDB. Here’s why..

The Prime Minister, in his usual tactics of delay and diversion had failed in his responsibility of answering questions about 1MDB and had shirked on his duty as its Chairman of Board of Advisors and also as the Finance Minister, He is now shifting the accountability of answering the questions to the Auditor General and PAC.

He had since 2013 to answer the allegations himself but waited till last month to order the investigations, and now hiding behing AG and PAC as if these two are a pair of judges that must not be questioned while overseeing a trial.

He said in his blog:

  1. It is unfair for certain politicians to convict the government in the court of public opinion way before the actual facts are laid down by lawful authorities, namely the Auditor-General and the bi-partisan Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
  2. When concerns began to be raised, I wanted a detailed explanation, so I ordered the Auditor General and PAC to investigate 1MDB’s books. Anyone found guilty of embezzlement or misappropriation will be brought to justice.
  3. We are expecting the release of the preliminary report by Auditor General very soon. In the mean time, please do not speculate and form conclusions without the information that will be laid out by the Auditor General, who will provide a detailed report into 1MDB’s finances.
  4. We all want detailed answers but it is only proper to let the auditors do their job and tell us clearly what the situation really is. If we pre-empt it, we would be undermining them, as many others have done. This is not the proper procedure. If we are sincere in finding out the truth behind those allegations, we need to get the information from legitimate sources (like the Auditor General) and not third-party news portals or online blogs that might have hidden agendas.

Firstly, the Auditor General and PAC are not the judiciary where there will be a ‘contempt of court’ if anyone, including the Prime Minister should answer the questions regarding 1MDB. As it is, there are a few feeble attempt to defend 1MDB in the media, namely Salleh Keruak and a few facebook/twitter accounts set up by the PM’s social media office.

Secondly, and this is quite perplexing; why would the PM need a detailed explanation on 1MDB when he is actually for all this time holds two other posts (as FM and top boss of 1MDB). Is he not accountable for the operations and management of 1MDB? It is after all, a 100% subsidiary of Ministry of Finance.

This only exposed him as the most lackadaisical Prime Minister who has been ignorant of grave issues that are happening under his nose.

Plus, if the Prime Minister himself does not know how to explain about 1MDB, his barking dog Salleh Keruak certainly knew less about 1MDB than the Prime Minister.

The PM is after all, the most legitimate of all sources. But he wasn’t sincere in giving us the truth for the past couple of years.

Thirdly, and this is confirmed by an auditor friend in a Big Four firm – Auditor General will not find anything wrong in 1MDB’s accounts because, just like the international audit firms that had been auditing 1MDB, it will be bound by auditor’s scope and procedures. And these procedures will audit on form, rather than substance. To put it in layman’s terms – it will not audit ‘intention’ of a transaction. It will only audit the procedures of the transaction.

For instance (we start with the easiest for now):

1) Who is Jho Low and why is he dictating the business and acting on behalf of 1MDB as proven in the hacked email correspondence between him, 1MDB and the middle eastern business partners?

Most likely answer in AG report: Our investigation found nothing unusual in the accounts as all transactions are approved and signed by the relevant parties and had authorisation by the Board of Directors of 1MDB.

(the PM could have just called this business partner of his to get to the bottom of it and let us know how it went)

2) Why are the IPPs bought in 2012 at a price more than its market value and paid higher than normal commission rate to Goldman Sachs (at 10%) for the issuance of subsequent bonds?

Most likely answer in AG report: The purchases were done according to proper Board resolutions with friendly parties a.k.a. accredited valuers being called to get the market value of those assets. Payment of 10% to Goldman Sachs were done accordingly and the appropriate banks have confirmed its remittance.

(as the Chairman of the Board of Advisers, the PM could have easily gotten the answers for this since 2013 but of course he waited until 2015 and will let the AG report answer on his behalf)

3) The valuation report on the oil exploration reports in Turkmenistan and Argentina received only on 29th September 2009, a day after 1MDB’s joint venture deal with Petrosaudi was signed. 1MDB put in USD1 billion for the JV yet Petrosaudi put in USD1.5 billion of dodgy ‘oil exploration rights’ which revealed on hindsight, did not exist at that point of time. On the same day of signing, Petrosaudi asked 1MDB to repay the 3-day loan worth USD700 million which Petrosaudi had ‘supposedly’ given to the JV company on 25th September. The questions is.. WHY to all these?

Most likely answer in AG report: We could not get the 3rd party confirmation from Petrosaudi regarding those transactions but all the paperwork seemed to be in order. The Chairman and the shareholder of 1MDB had sighted the paperwork and given their approval in September 2009. We deem the transaction as immaterial as total number of assets in 1MDB is worth RM52 billion while the money unaccounted is less than 10% materiality level.

(good luck in explaining this one)

4) According to 1MDB accounts, at least RM7 billion was deposited in Cayman Islands by 1MDB through its many vehicles. But this has been denied by the Prime Minister during his delayed telecast interview last month. So where is the money?

At first he said the money is not in Cayman Islands

At first he said the money is not in Cayman Islands, but in other places.

Then he said the money will be brought in when the time comes. So where is the money located?

And he said the money will be brought in when the time comes. So where is the money located?

Most likely answer in AG report: 1MDB have safely assured us by way of director’s statutory declarations and   gave us enough comfort that the monies are there in the accounts although it is beyond our scope of work to check into 3rd party accounts such as Good Star Ltd and Petrosaudi. Overall, the 1MDB accounts is deemed true and fair and have followed all the relevant accounting regulations and standards.

(The AG team will be stretched and overwhelmed with the magnitude of this work scope)

There you go. The reasons why the AG report might not find anything. The PM is just buying off time by getting the AG to audit 1MDB’s accounts as an excuse to get a breather from all the questions asked. The issue is larger than just its accounts. It’s about governance, abuse of authority and corruption. This is precisely how Arthur Andersen gave a good audit report for Enron back then. Unless forensics audit is done, or MACC is brought in then the AG can never find anything at fault with the accounts. Either way, neither party can gain any credibility if the sitting Prime Minister still hold the post of Finance Minister and Chairman of Advisory Board of 1MDB while investigation is ongoing.

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For more questions, please read: http://kadirjasin.blogspot.com/2015/05/soalan-penyiasat-1mdb-wajib-tanya.html

Nazir Razak was only partly right on 1MDB

1MDB is being defended arduously by the pro 1MDB factions under the Prime Minister’s watch. It is an uphill task indeed. What more, even the younger brother of Prime Minister is gunning 1MDB down by urging its Board of Director to resign because of a complete mistrust in its financial situation.

Indeed, the financial problems associated with 1MDB is at a catastrophic stage; involving astronomical amount of taxpayers’ money.

1MDB started and funded with only RM1 million as its capital. But it was able to buy several IPPs, huge area of government lands etc totalling billions of ringgit. Among others:

a. Purchase of Tanjong Energy (now known as Powertek Energy Sdn Bhd) from Ananda Krishnan for RM 8.5 billion. This is higher than market price. The licence was about to expire.

b. Purchase of Genting Sanyen Power (now known as Kuala Langat Power Plant) for RM 2.3 billion. Again high above market price. The licence was about to expire.

c. Purchase of Jimah Energy for RM 1.2 billion.

d. Purchase of 70 acres of land in Jalan Tun Razak for RM320 million i.e: RM64.00 psf.

e. Purchase of 495 acres of land in the former Sungai Besi TUDM airport (now known as Bandar Malaysia) about RM 363.5 million i.e: at RM 91.00 psf. Estimated value RM1,000 psf.

f. Purchase of 234 acres land in Air Itam in Penang RM 1.38 billion i.e: at RM135.00 psf.

Total amount = more than RM14 billion. This does not include billions of ringgit in Cayman Islands and Singapore. The total number of borrowings as appeared in 1MDB’s books now stood at RM42 billion!

Where did 1MDB get all the money to buy all these assets? That’s right, through loans. Billions of it. And guaranteed by the government.

Is it prudent to borrow an unbelievable amount of money when you have only RM1 million as capital? Obviously if it’s any other kind of business, it would be a severe case of mismanagement. If some other board of directors are doing it, the shareholders will immediately convey an EGM to remove all of the directors for dereliction of duty.

Tell us, if you have only RM1, is it prudent to borrow RM42,000?

Nazir Razak was partly right when he said the directors should resign for failing in its responsibility in appointing an independent auditor instead of waiting for the Auditor General’s audit report.

“The immediate check for a responsible board is to appoint an independent (auditor) now … otherwise the board and management, in my view, should resign.

”It is your basic responsibility. There’s a complete mistrust in your financial situation. You have to responsibly deal with that. But instead you sit there and wait for AG.

“To me that’s irresponsible. If you do that then it’s better for you to step down and let someone else come in and take over,” Nazir told the media over a luncheon at the Asean Business Club (ABC) forum.

What he should have also said was, the board of directors should have resigned much earlier for failing to adhere the simple rule in business — never bite off more than you can chew.

Accumulating gigantic amount of debt even before seeing any returns? What a preposterous business model. The risk management department in 1MDB must have been run by monkeys.

Buying dodgy, nearly expired IPPs at grossly overpaid prices, accumulating debts along the way, while buying federal lands at grossly below market prices then selling these prized possessions to foreigners just to pay the interests of those debts!

At this juncture, we really do not understand why those pro 1MDB people have not asked the Prime Minister to resign from his Finance Ministerial post yet. We could understand that the pro Najib people have become blind sided by their inability to discern what is wrong and what is right.

But to at least see that a serious abuse of power that came from a centralised figure that holds so many portfolios simultaneously have caused 1MDB to bulldoze all levels of checks and balance. Is this acceptable?

The cabinet was in the dark, otherwise Deputy Prime Minister wouldn’t have said that even he could not explain the 1MDB scandal.

Furthermore, the Chairman of 1MDB’s Board of Advisors, wearing his Prime Ministerial hat, has ordered the AG and the PAC to investigate 1MDB; and to make matters even more ridiculous, 1MDB have not even froze its accounts or transactions pending these investigations. They are happily going about their business, albeit frantically selling everything they have just to pay off their debts.

The taxpayers will get hurt. The scandal will put a big dent on the economy. All because the government wanted to do business blindfolded… trusting dodgy businessmen and half cooked professionals. This is under this government’s watch. And they failed the people.

And yet, Najib Razak and his fans are blaming Tun Mahathir for what he did 2o years ago?

Grow up.

And grow a pair.

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Readers might want to read:

1) http://kadirjasin.blogspot.com/2015/05/quixotic-gallantry-of-pmos-public.html

2) http://syedsoutsidethebox.blogspot.com/2015/05/has-singapores-banking-system-been.html

1MDB – Persoalan Yang Tidak Terjawab Sampai Sekarang

As at 11th May 2015, the Prime Minister still hasn’t replied and give answers to the original questions about 1MDB. His answers were always in the form of attacking the bearer of those questions. But now, nearly all of his bootlickers, who not too long ago were defending 1MDB have came out in the open and asked him to answer what the rakyat had wanted to know. These are the questions, they were laden with facts, not simple allegations as what Salleh Said Keruak (who took the role of Nazri Aziz as the barking dog during Pak Lah’s time) had been trying to spin. We just want to know the truth.

Taken from chedet’s blog:

6. Dakwaan-dakwaan yang telah dibuat terhadap 1MDB bukan berbentuk tuduhan melulu. Ia disertai dengan fakta yang jelas, iaitu jumlah hutang, siapa yang mengurus, siapa yang menerima wang berbillion Ringgit, pelaburan yang dibuat, dimana wang ini disimpan, dalam bentuk apa.

7. Nama Jho Low disebut berkali-kali. Demikian juga nama-nama syarikat miliknya. Tuduhan dibuat berkenaan dengan pembelian rumah mewah olehnya di London, New York dan Holywood. Lepas itu rumah dijual kepada anak tiri Perdana Menteri dengan harga ratusan juta Ringgit. Sudah tentu ini tidak disebut dalam akaun 1MDB yang akan diperiksa oleh AG.

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8. Pada mulanya duit Riza Aziz dikatakan warisan harta kekayaan dari keluarga Tun Razak. Kemudian dakwaan ini dinafi. Soalannya jika tidak dari keluarga Tun Razak dari mana datang wang yang banyak ini. Apakah ianya hasil dari perniagaan? Jika ya, apa perniagaan, dimana? Sudahkah cukai pendapatan dibayar? Kepada Kerajaan mana?

9. Pelaburan ratusan juta untuk filem “The Wolf of Wall Street” oleh Riza Aziz, anak tiri Dato Sri Najib datang dari mana? Filem ini tidak memberi keuntungan. Tidak mungkin filem ini membiayai rumah mewah yang dibeli dengan ratusan juta Ringgit atau Dolar Amerika.

10. Semua perkara-perkara ini tidak akan terdapat dalam akaun 1MDB. Tetapi rakyat ingin tahu kerana melibatkan Jho Low. Dan Jho Low disebut-sebut berkenaan dengan pengurusan 700 juta USD dari 1MDB.

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11. Ada yang disebut berkenaan Petro Saudi yang juga menerima bayaran ratusan juta dolar dari 1MDB Benarkah Petro Saudi ini mendapat konsesi kawasan minyak dan gas di Argentina, di Turkmenistan dll. Apa buktinya? Benarkah JV dibuat dengan Petro Saudi sebelum ‘due diligence’ dibuat. Katanya sementara 1MDB melabur USD1 billion dalam JV dengan Petro Saudi, tetapi Petro Saudi tidak melabur satu sen pun. Apa jadi kepada wang IMDB dalam JV tidak jelas.

12. Apa sebabnya lebih dari 6 billion Ringgit (Dollar) disimpan di Cayman Island? Kerajaan tidak pernah simpan duit di lain negara selain pembelian bond. Apakah bond dibeli? Apa hasilnya?

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13. Katanya wang sebanyak USD1 billion sudah dibawa balik dari Cayman dan disimpan dalam bank Singapura. Kononnya Bank Negara menjadi masalah kerana proses menyimpan wang yang banyak mesti melalui proses yang rumit. Bolehkan Bank Negara jelas kenapa menimbul masalah sedangkan 1MDB adalah syarikat Kerajaan yang dikuasai oleh Kementerian Kewangan. Jika mudah di Singapura kenapa susah sangat di Malaysia?

14. Urusan Kerajaan pernah dirahsia. Tetapi soal bayar balik hutang adalah public knowledge (dalam pengetahuan orang ramai). Orang ramai ingin tahu benarkah Ananda Krishnan memberi pinjam RM 2 billion untuk bayar faedah ini. Apakah faedah yang dikenakan oleh Ananda? Apa cara bayaran balik hutang Ananda? 1MDB dikatakan untung. Kenapa tidak dapat bayar faedah 2 billion Ringgit.

14. Why has the 1MDB become controversial? What is wrong with 1MDB?

15. From the beginning it was wrong. It started off as an off-budget and it was not put before the Parliament.

16. The money was borrowed. So it is not sovereign wealth but sovereign debt.

17. The bond raised by Goldman Sachs costs more than is usual for Government borrowings. The interest rate at 5.9% was too high. Government loans usually attract about 3% or below.

18. In addition 10% commission went to Goldman Sachs which means that 1MDB gets only 90% of the money borrowed yet has to pay interest on 100%, raising the interest rate to 6.6%. Averaging at 6%, yearly interest on 42 billion Ringgit is about RM 2.5 billion. Since 2009 there has been no income from all the assets. And 1MDB had to borrow RM2 billion to pay the interest. The loan is now RM42 billion.

19. Total initial borrowings amounted to 42,000,000,000 (42 billion Ringgit). As far as can be ascertained the investments are as follows:

a. Purchase of Tanjong Energy (now known as Powertek Energy Sdn Bhd) from Ananda Krishnan for RM 8.5 billion. This is higher than market price. The licence was about to expire.

b. Purchase of Genting Sanyen Power (now known as Kuala Langat Power Plant) for RM 2.3 billion. Again high above market price. The licence was abut to expire.

c. Purchase of Jimah Energy for RM 1.2 billion.

d. Purchase of 70 acres of land in Jalan Tun Razak for RM320 million i.e: RM64.00 psf. Land last sold in the area was at RM7,000 psf.

e. Purchase of 495 acres of land in the former Sungai Besi TUDM airport (now known as Bandar Malaysia) about RM 363.5 million i.e: at RM 91.00 psf. Estimated value RM1,000 psf.

f. Purchase of 234 acres land in Air Itam in Penang RM 1.38 billion i.e: at RM135.00 psf.

20. It should be noted that TRX land is close to land recently sold at RM7000.00 psf. Assuming the market price is RM3000.00 psf the true value of this land is 6 billion Ringgit. The Government has therefore lost 5 billion plus because 1MDB paid only RM320 million.

21. With regard to the Sungai Besi Airport land, 1MDB paid 363.5 million Ringgit for 495 acres – i.e at RM91 psf. Assuming market price for this land is RM1000 psf. the Government lost approximately 20 billion Ringgit.

22. The land in Penang is of poor quality and has more than 1000 squatters. Yet 1MDB paid RM1.3 billion i.e at RM 135 psf.

23. These are all the purchases that are known. They all add up to RM14.7 billion. So there is approximately 27 billion Ringgit left.

24. More than 1billion US Dollars were said to be paid to Petro Saudi without verification as to the value of this company or its assets.

25. Where is the rest of the money?

26. A certain amount was registered in the Cayman Islands. What was the money used for? What was brought back to Malaysia. What was brought back and deposited in a Swiss bank in Singapore. Why? Where was the money brought back from? Why is this money not used to pay the RM 2 billion interest. Why did Bank Negara allow the first tranche to be repatriated to Malaysia and not the second tranche. Now the Swiss bank has told the Singapore authorities that the document did not originate from them and does not represent a true account of the assets of 1MDB. So where is the money said to be registered in the Cayman Islands and is now brought back.

27. Clearly 1MDB is not getting any return from its investments. Not only is it losing money but the Government has lost money when 1MDB paid only RM683 million for TRX and Sungai Besi. Total loss incurred by the Government is approximately 25 billion Ringgit.

28. 1MDB revalued all its assets at 52 billion Ringgit. That is because Government land was brought at far below the market price. It can only use this money to repay loans if it succeeds in selling them off as land or after development. Progress on TRX is very slow and there is no work on Sungai Besi land. No money will be generated during development; only outflows.

29. It is this disappearance of a huge amount of borrowed money by 1MDB and the inability to answer questions regarding what happened to the funds that disqualifies Najib from being Prime Minister of Malaysia.

As the stories go… Tabung Haji and 1MDB

It is simply outrageous for the Prime Minister to brush off all the despondent criticisms towards the Tabung Haji Properties – 1MDB transaction with “it was not a bailout”.

He said:

Perdana Menteri menjelaskan, ketika Tabung Haji (TH) membeli sekeping tanah milik 1MDB ia adalah pelaburan dan bukannya ‘bailout’ 1MDB kerana TH boleh memperoleh keuntungan sehingga lebih RM170 juta melalui pembelian itu namun disebabkan perkara itu dijadikan isu, beliau menasihatkan TH menjual tanah berkenaan.

Najib berkata, melalui penjualan semula aset berkenaan, TH boleh untung sehingga RM5 hingga RM6 juta namun pada masa sama merugikan pendeposit TH sendiri kerana jika aset itu tetap milik TH, pendeposit boleh untung sehingga RM170 juta.

Now, since the Prime Minister thinks that all the rakyat are idiots, then let us try explain to him and his advisers on how we perceive things..

Firstly, in the eyes of the public, IT IS A BAILOUT. Why? Because regardless how much Tabung Haji Properties got from the deal (some say up to a huge amount of RM5 million), 1MDB received a cool RM188.5 million out of it. And they got that much because the government sold that land to them dirt cheap while Tabung Haji Properties had to pay really high.

Now why did the government sold that land for around RM60 per square feet but allowed 1MDB to resell it at nearly RM2,900 per square feet? That was a bumi tract of land.

We are not talking about Tabung Haji here. Of course Tabung Haji wasn’t bailed out. The common people know this. Even a child can identify with this. But 1MDB got easy money and this made the rakyat uneasy.

And to make matters worse, what most people couldn’t stomach is the fact that the hard earned money of depositors, the money from rural folks were used to transact with a much maligned entity. An entity which is perceived to be the epitome of ‘pecah amanah’ on a grand scale. It doesn’t matter if Tabung Haji Properties and Tabung Haji are two different entities. The ordinary folks don’t even care. It’s from their halal money, subsidising a mismanaged company. It’s a matter of perception.

The trust is simply not there. Compounded by the fact that when the news broke out, its ignorant chairman quickly lied to the public saying that the story on the exposed documents, in his own words were “tak betul”Well it turned out Azeez Tak Betul is the one Yang Tak Betul when the land purchase turned out to be true after all. The trust deficit widens. The people can’t trust you anymore.

And what did Tabung Haji Properties was ordered to do after that? Sell the bumi land off to a third party. Now is there a replacement for the bumi tract of land that is lost to the private sector?

Otherwise, the bumis will be at the losing end. 1MDB gets the money to pay off its laughing creditors, Tabung Haji Properties received a little bit of money to appease the people but the rakyat at large got swindled and lost a prime tract of land.

Is this the definition of New Economic Model? What kind of model is this when the Prime Minister wears so many hats and decides on various financial decisions?

The Finance Minister orders the land to be sold very cheap to 1MDB. The real market value of the land inflated their balance sheet. But 1MDB incurred a lot of debt due to mismanagement and has to service their loan interests. Top boss of 1MDB gets a lifeline from Tabung Haji when it received money through land sale. Tabung Haji incurred a lot of wrath. The Prime Minister advised Tabung Haji to sell the land to third party after people raised the issue (if it wasn’t exposed, government will not deem it as sensitive).

Now, why should the top boss of 1MDB also be the Finance Minister and the Prime Minister as well? Where is the segregation of duties? Where is the accountability? Can the Finance Minister be sacked because he failed in corporate governance? Can the Prime Minister order, without fear and favour, a complete and thorough investigation on 1MDB when he himself is in 1MDB and MOF?

We have written about this situation in 2009:

We have always believed that the PM should never hold the post of Finance Minister. Having two Finance Ministers shows lack of trust and above all, exposing the Prime Minister unnecessarily to an artillery of criticisms. The post of Finance Minister is a delicate post. One smart move will ensure strong vote of confidence from the people. One ill advised move or a contentious project made under the watch of the Finance Minister will render him hapless in the face of public scrutiny. Datuk Najib do not need this kind of attention as the Prime Minister. Repeating the mistakes of Pak Lah will be the death of Umno under Najib.

We told you so. We are in dire straits. We have serious trust issues. The answers are not forthcoming.

Instead of getting answers for 1MDB, Jho Low etc, we got replies in the form of crooked bridge and Team A/Team B battle royale in 1987 Umno AGM. What kind of nonsense is this?

Politics 101. You must not open new battle grounds when you can’t even afford to defend the 1MDB battle. You will then face so many battles in many fronts.

It is hard for the common people to say things to correct the government. Voltaire once said:

“It is dangerous to be right in matters where men in the establishment are wrong.”

To be continued..

p.s.: JMD will blog once again after months dishing it out on twitter.

Sabah only produces 10% of Malaysian oil production

This piece of news caught our eye today:

Kota Kinabalu: Increasing cash payments – often called oil royalty – for Sabah will have an adverse effect on the national oil and gas industry and possibly render it no longer viable.

Petronas Senior Vice President (Upstream Malaysia) Datuk Mohd Anuar Taib said investors might think twice to come to Malaysia and invest in the oil and gas sector, which is already becoming a highly competitive industry among the oil producing countries.

In a special briefing for the Sabah media, Mohd Anuar together with Vice President of Malaysia Petroleum Management, Adif Zulkifli, said many of the major oil companies from US were also returning to their country.

They said that if the cash payments of five per cent to the Sabah State Government were to be increased it would result in Petronas and its Production Sharing Contractors (PSC) being left with a smaller portion to be divided between them.

The breakdown of the revenue from oil fields is 10 per cent (five per cent each for the State and Federal governments), 70 per cent for cost recovery and only 20 per cent profit.

Out of the 20 per cent, Petronas has to pay 38 per cent to the Federal Government in oil income tax.

“Therefore, Petronas and its PSC would only divide the remaining 52 per cent out of the 20 per cent, normally 50:50,” they said.

Therefore, if the cash payment is increased to 20 per cent like what Sarawak is asking, it means Petronas and its PSC only share 10 per cent of the profit after deduction of income tax.

“This is surely not attractive to investors and they may just shy away from Malaysia,” they said.

Adif said Sabah was actually producing about 180,000 barrels or oil equivalent per day (boe/d) which is only 10 per cent of the total national oil production.

Most of the oil produced was in the peninsula side, he said, adding Sarawak mostly produces gas.

However, Sabah’s production is expected to grow to 16 per cent over the next few years.

According to Adif, out of the 333 oil platforms in Malaysia, 53 were in Sabah.

Sabah currently has 14 oil fields and three gas fields in production while 41 oil and 47 gas fields had been discovered.

Petronas has 27 active PSCs in Sabah involving 12 companies or players. Petronas’ cumulative upstream investments up to 2013 plus commitments amounted to approximately RM179 billion while for downstream the figure was RM6 billion.

Adif said Petronas was not paying oil royalty to Sabah but as stated in the Petroleum Development Agreement, it was paying cash payment.

“This is our top priority and according to the agreement, Petronas must pay the five per cent whenever there is production regardless if there is a profit or not,” he said.

Oil and gas industry have become more costlier, he said, adding that Petronas had to attain expertise from other companies and this was done through the PSC.

The cost of exploration alone starts at RM4 billion, he said.

Nonetheless, he said compared with other oil producing countries, Petronas’ cash payments of five per cent to Sabah were relatively higher.

Source – Daily Express

The opposition in Malaysia have been feeding lies to the people of Sabah and generally to the people of Malaysia regarding the oil royalty. It is now made known that Sabah only produces 10% of the total national oil production.

Therefore, what is the justification of Sabah and Sarawak in saying that people in West Malaysia are living on their oil wealth?

First and foremost, we are fed up with politicians who uses Petronas and petroleum industry as a chess piece in their political agenda. Using oil royalties to entice the people to break the strong harmony that we have as Malaysians.

The opposition had done a massive damage on to the psyche of East Malaysians just because they want to create hatred for the central government and steal more votes for them in the process. Although the Federal government had done so much for East Malaysians, it seems the opposition is teaching the people not to be grateful about the developments and progress achieved.

But the Federal government would still help them..

KOTA KINABALU: A formula is being worked out to address the call to increase oil royalties for Sabah, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.

The Government, he said, together with Petronas, would decide on various methods to improve Sabah’s economy.

“We have been concerned about the issue of oil royalties in Sabah and as an immediate solution, Petronas will increase its corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes in Sabah,” he said.

“We will be announcing several other approaches which can help Sabahans in the oil royalties issue,” he added.

Najib explained that there were many approaches which could be applied to it, but not necessarily increasing the percentage of oil royalties as mooted by the Opposition.

He said Petronas would help more rural students, provide more scholarships and increase its funding in its CSR programmes here, among others.

“This is not about getting contracts. It’s about giving and creating value,” he said at the breaking of fast with Sabah Barisan Nasional members at a hotel here yesterday.

In the first place, does Dato Sri Najib Tun Razak know that Sabah is not entitled to receive 20% oil royalty based on the state oil production? Can someone please let him know, before he wrongly reapportioned our country’s precious funds to people who wrongly thought they deserve more than their fair share of contribution?

Thank you.

Malaysia reciprocates Singapore on toll charges

The latest announcement by the Malaysian Highway Authority that starting from 1st August 2014, all vehicles going to Singapore will be charged RM6.80 at the CIQ toll to Singapore and RM9.70 at the CIQ toll from Singapore received some mixed reaction by the public.

With the advent of Singapore charging foreign vehicles coming in to Singapore at SGD35 (RM90) from SGD20 (RM52) starting from 1st August 2014 as well (an extra of RM38), Malaysia seemed to reciprocate with a lesser amount of quantum albeit, with a blanket charges on all vehicles.

Obviously leading the way in going against this move are the opposition portals, and unsurprisingly, Pakatan Rakyat’s politicians.

It is quite alarming to see the amount of disinformation coming out from these portals (and those politicians). For one, the toll charged is not for the use of the highway (the Eastern Dispersal Link highway) leading up to the toll, but rather only for vehicles using the CIQ.

All other users using the EDL but are not going to Singapore will not be charged at all. The 8km highway itself is free to Johoreans for them traverse across Johor Bahru. And as the name implies, the highway had greatly dispersed traffic and reduced travelling time for Johoreans in their state capital city.

A quick search on information for the toll led us to http://www.edlconnects.com.my with the FAQs at http://www.edlconnects.com.my/faq.html.

Among other things, out of 220,000 daily vehicles that are currently on the EDL highway, only 60,000 are the CIQ users and out of this 60,000 vehicles 80% of them are Singaporean cars. Meaning, 48,000 vehicles are Singaporeans!

Furthermore, and this is quite pertinent since Malaysians who care about other Malaysians who are working in Singapore, what they need to know is that Malaysians who are working in Singapore receive income from Singapore and pay their taxes to Singapore. As they use our highways without tax representation, surely a meagre amount of toll charges (82% less than what Singapore is charging us) will not cause their employers much loss of income.

And those who ride bikes to Singapore, are not charged at all.

Question now is, will the government be smart enough to counter any negative feedback received from the people going in and out from Singapore?

“The Importance of Being Earnest” by Dr. Awang Puteh

Just like the great masterpiece of Oscar Wilde, this article which was published in The New Straits Times today and written by one who calls himself Dr. Awang Bin Puteh revealed how comical double standards, ‘lupa daratan’, vanity, arrogance and hypocrisy thrive in the corporate world and among billionaires. And we thought these people living in the upper echelons of society could at least be humble, reciprocal and more reflective about their social standing and how they came to be.

A recommended read indeed.

The Importance of Being Earnest

CRONY CAPITALISM? It’s time for YTL boss to walk the talk and show ethical leadership by example

APPARENTLY, the negative trait of Melayu mudah lupa is not only confined to the Malays, but also to other ethnic groups in Malaysia. This is evident from the statement by YTL Corporation Bhd managing director Tan Sri Francis Yeoh when he commented  on crony capitalism a few days ago.

Yeoh’s claims that he is successful because he is not a crony and doesn’t depend on government contracts.

He also went further, which seems tantamount to fanning the flame of racial provocation, by stating that non-Bumiputera small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) “absolutely have no chance” to even fight “for the crumbs” as they are already at the low end of the food chain.

He delighted in lecturing us, delivered with a straight face and an affectation of pious conviction, that Malaysians are not taking advantage of our ethnic diversity, and we must introduce more open competition and encourage greater transparency in business.

Not unexpectedly, his statement evoked negative reaction from the public, and many reacted in disbelief to Yeoh’s hypocrisy given his companies’ close links with the government in the past as well as in the present.

Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam summed it up aptly when he said that “people who live in glass houses, should not throw stones”. He further correctly stressed that Yeoh’s talking about getting rid of cronyism doesn’t sound right while his companies bagged lucrative government contracts through direct negotiations rather than open tender exercises.

Why the repetitive mantra by Yeoh despite YTL receiving all the government’s love and special attention all these times? We know that great wealth buys great political influence, but to insult the people’s intelligence with his sermon borders on brazen arrogance.

Maybe these kinds of people live in a bubble, and not surpassingly, those inside the bubble sometimes think that they can pull the wool over our eyes.

Nonetheless, let us address Yeoh’s arguments specifically.

Yeoh is adamant that YTL is successful because he is not a crony and doesn’t depend on government contracts. That is a bold statement.

Without government contracts, YTL would still be a small-time contractor. In fact, it is continuously the beneficiary of government assistance. For instance, in 1990, YTL was awarded an almost RM1 billion contract to build public hospitals.

Unless Yeoh suffers from amnesia, he could not possibly forget his big break in 1992 when the government awarded him the first licence to build, operate and manage power plants.

Without this lucrative concession, his company would probably be stuck as Syarikat Pembinaan YTL Sdn Bhd, a relatively small construction and property development company. This foray into the power sector vaulted YTL into the big league, where its pre-tax profit last year alone amounted to RM2.5 billion, versus RM30 million in 1991 before contributions from power operations began flowing in.

Importantly, most of the projects given to YTL were and still are heavily subsidised by the rakyat. His power agreement with Tenaga Nasional Bhd was so lopsided and utterly unjust that Tan Sri Ani Arope, the then TNB chief executive officer, submitted his resignation after refusing to accept YTL’s terms.

His “take or pay” agreement with TNB obligated it to take up YTL’s power output — priced much higher than what TNB could easily produce — whether the utility needed it or not, for 21 years.

Maybe that’s what Yeoh meant when he stated that YTL became successful via “innovation”, which ripped off billions in taxpayers’ money.

Has he also conveniently forgotten how he was recently awarded a RM10 billion contract by the Education Ministry to provide, among others, laptops to schools, despite YTL not being a computer maker, nor expert in education services? The contract irked member of parliament Zaril Khir Johari, who raised questions on this issue in Parliament. His 1BestariNet programme, which is to install 4G high-speed broadband to all schools, indirectly means that the rakyat are actually funding the commercial expansion of YTL’s YES 4G network. So much for innovation.

Yeoh was also borderline malicious when he said the non-Bumiputera SMEs had been discriminated by the government.

Well, I wonder where he got his statistics from. Analyses done by the Economic Planning Unit show that non-Bumiputera businesses, especially Chinese companies, took 80 sen for every RM1 in government contracts.

Even funding for SMEs benefited non-Bumiputeras the most, as data shows that Bumiputera companies accounted for about 30 per cent of the entire funding for SMEs last year.

To put things in perspective, the value of the contract YTL secured from the Education Ministry alone, for providing only laptops to students, exceeds the entire funding for all Bumiputera SMEs for the entire period of last year!

It is heart-warming to learn that YTL supports national unity. Let us, for a second meditate upon and closely scrutinise these nationalistic statements from Yeoh: “We should leverage on our different ethnic races in the nation and should start working together. We have been working for a long time like we’re in a tunnel. We have not learnt to work together. We have been separated and not looked at each other’s strengths. We do not celebrate our diversity.”

Such enlightened view should indeed be emulated by other companies! However, in the name of transparency, would YTL be willing to make public the ethnic diversity figures in YTL workforce, its board of directors, exco, senior management, mid-management and low-level positions?

YTL should also make public how much was sub-contracted to Bumiputera and Indian companies, compared to Chinese-owned companies.

Similarly, in the name of transparency, would YTL also make public its power agreements, which had enabled YTL to make astronomical returns at the expense of the people? Please allow public scrutiny of the agreements, as suggested by MP Tony Pua from DAP not too long ago.

Yeoh also argued that he is a true patriot, for he has “defended the present government’s concerted efforts to introduce more open competition and encourage greater transparency in business”.

This is commendable, but flies in the face of facts. How does YTL explain its willing participation in direct negotiations with the government on some of the most lucrative contracts? It was only last week that a YTL Corp wholly-owned subsidiary was awarded a power plant project by the Energy Commission via direct tender!

Maybe YTL can make a declaration to the public that it will no longer participate in direct-negotiations and cease altogether from seeking contracts from the government.

There is still time for redemption for a devout man like Yeoh to walk the talk. I am sure he would like to show ethical leadership by example.

Moving forward, we have to help Yeoh from backsliding from his recent epiphany, and to become the born-again corporate leader that he aspires to be.

I would urge the government to be kind to him by avoiding any dealings with YTL group, either in providing contracts, or using its products and services. The government should also exclude YTL from participating in any way whatsoever in the KL-Singapore High Speed Rail project, if the project is yet to be awarded to him. He sorely needs help from the government to wean him away from his old habits.

As for me, I will also do my little part. I will stop patronising YTL hotels, shopping malls and Internet service provider, among others. I am boycotting YTL and I suggest the rest of Malaysia follow suit.

After all, Yeoh proudly claimed that his company gets 85 per cent of revenue from overseas operations.

Oh, by the way, the deafening silence from some of the most vocal critics of crony capitalism in Malaysia is really puzzling.

Imagine if the same statement was made by a Malay tycoon, I am sure the deafening silence will become a raging tropical thunderstorm.

Maybe when a Bumiputera businessman gets a contract, it’s cronyism and unfair privileges. But when people like Yeoh gets it, it is innovation, market forces and meritocracy.

 

Impact of Pakatan Rakyat’s mindset onto the people’s intelligence

On Labour Day last Thursday, a demonstration organised by Pakatan Rakyat to protest the implementation of GST (Goods and Services Tax) were held in Dataran Merdeka.

And as we all know, most people who take part in demonstrations do not actually know what they are protesting. Some even got their information backwards while others don’t even know why they are there in the first place.

Kudos to Pakatan Rakyat leaders who had successfully stupefied some of the rakyat.

As per the video below, we can now see the extend of stupidity Pakatan Rakyat leaders like Rafizi Ramli, Ong Kian Ming, Nizar Jamaluddin etc had done onto the average people on the street.

Enjoy.

Kicking people when they are down – the NUFAM way

MH370 is a tragedy that had happened without anyone could have imagined. The mystery and the repercussion that surround it has called the entire nation to unite in the face of a national disaster. We must stand strong and pray that the family members can receive some closure so that the grieving process can start as soon as possible.

So that the nation can heal, so that the people can look forward for a brighter future ahead.

But some quarters, even before the plane is found; even before investigations have been concluded, had scoffed at the people who are tasked to find the plane. We do not need this kind of insensitive people and their vile derision to weigh us down further. To our surprise, we have our very own Malaysian citizens that are leading the way in ‘kicking people when they are down’.

After Anwar Ibrahim rode CNN’s back in criticising the Search and Rescue efforts by the government in the recent article which can be read here, a similar unsavoury voice is heard today in the form of NUFAM:

Malaysian Airlines CEO’s head must roll, says union

The National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (Nufam) has called for the resignation of Malaysia Airlines chief executive officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya following the prolonged MH370 disaster.

Nufam, which has long been at loggerheads with Ahmad Jauhari over workers’ issues, said that the latter’s resignation could restore public confidence in the airline.

“(Nufam) believes it is the right thing to do now as this even has brought tremendous impact on the aviation industry in this country…

“Since the Flight 370 tragedy (happened) under his watch, it is rightful for him to step aside and allow someone else to take over his position,” Nufam said in a statement.

It said that Ahmad Jauhari must also step down following two other incidents involving MAS flights – the incident in Kathmandu, where a flight was hit by flying ducks and in Hong Kong, where a flight en route Seoul had to divert to due to generator failure. (Really NUFAM? Flying ducks and generator failure? If it weren’t for the MH370 story, these two incidences wouldn’t make any headlines. Does the CEO of BMW have to resign because people who drove it went into accidents?)

It added that airline staff has also “lost confidence” in the way Ahmad Jauhari has handled the crisis which entered its 19th day today.

Following the Hong Kong incident, Nufam also released a statement urging MAS to ensure stringent safety checks on its aircraft, citing cabin crew concerns.

The union has been at odds with the management prior to the crisis, with its president and several office bearers sacked or suspended following criticisms against MAS.

In the first place, it is an open secret that NUFAM had tried to wrest control of MAS union from the original employees union of MAS – the MASEU.

MASEU has the biggest membership of flight attendants in MAS, and NUFAM the newcomer is believed to just trying to make itself relevant. This statement by them came as no surprise at all given the fact that their modus operandi in usurping MASEU’s voice in the past has been less than pleasant.

Fact is, NUFAM does not have any credibility to talk on behalf of MAS’ employees. Which made the above statement as a whole, rife with ulterior motives. Just like Anwar Ibrahim’s behaviour, the nation does not need people with hidden agenda to bog us down further with unnecessary politicking. Everyone is coping to the best they can.

We must give support in order to see this through.

Support  and words of encouragement for the those involved in SAR. Prayers and well wishes to the family members.

Thank you.

How Pakatan Rakyat aspire to finance itself

Most people think that Pakatan Rakyat politicians are human beings with excellent moral values and integrity. They portray themselves as the people’s saviour against Barisan Nasional politicians which they accuse as the corrupt devils greedy for riches.

In actual truth, the politicians in Pakatan Rakyat are as greedy and as corrupt as the ones they are accusing. And since they always arrogate themselves as the epitome of goodness, this hypocrisy renders them even worse than their Barisan Nasional nemesis.

Take for instance Rafizi Ramli’s overzealousness in trying to create the perception that the LRT extension project, which had been awarded to George Kent – Lionpac consortium, was dubious and it should have been awarded to Balfour Beatty consortium instead.

And it was later discovered and exposed by this blog that Balfour Beatty’s main partner is Ingress Corporation Bhd whereby the main player in the latter is a close crony of Anwar Ibrahim.  Luckily, the motive of Rafizi Ramli’s incessant accusations were uncovered and since then, he has been quiet about this issue.

Another example is how Tony Pua is belittling 1MDB and backed YTL over the tender of a power project. The blatant  support for a corporation to win a multi billion was so unashamedly done, eyebrows were raised as to why a senior DAP politician would do that. Ironically, DAP which is very much known for its principles on socialism is now seem to be capitalist in nature. Are they shifting their raison d’etre when big money is involved?

Hypocrites rule the roost and Pakatan Rakyat’s lust for money and opulence can be seen openly. Otherwise, why would DAP politicians in Selangor who should be a socialist in nature, demand near 300% hike in their salaries?

The latest incident involve water crisis in Selangor will raise more eyebrows. For a start, this is the chronology of the whole fiasco:

BheD-z-CAAAD6PC.jpg-large

PKR politics as we all know is very much a carbon copy of Umno’s but in one huge difference – they do everything much worse.

On Wednesday, the Federal and Selangor governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will facilitate the implementation of the Langat 2 water treatment plant project and the takeover of water assets in the state.

The MoU breaks a five-year impasse that has stalled the implementation of water projects in the country’s most industrialised state. – Source

However, PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli had claimed the party was in the dark about the MoU, and said the state executive councillors would be asked to explain.

PKR deputy president Azmin Ali said the Mentri Besar would be summoned to brief Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim once he returns from Japan.

“We want to hear Khalid’s side of the story as many are still in the dark about the details. We are concerned over whether there would be an increase in water tariff prices and whether there would still be free water for Selangor,” he said yesterday.

Anwar’s official Facebook page showed that the Permatang Pauh MP is currently in Japan.

It has been reported that several PKR leaders were not informed before the state signed the memorandum on the water restructuring exercise while it is unclear if Khalid has the backing of the top Pakatan Rakyat leaders over the deal. – Source

Zaid Ibrahim had a different take on why top PKR politicians was in the dark about the deal:

Kajang by-election contestant Datuk Zaid Ibrahim said that PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim got “checkmated” by Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim on the water deal.

Zaid said it was too late for Anwar – who is apparently setting his sights on the office of mentri besar – to influence the deal that has just been struck between the Federal and state governments.

“It is too late. It is a checkmate for Anwar,” he told a packed press conference at his residence here yesterday.

However, PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli had claimed the party was in the dark about the MoU, and said the state executive councillors would be asked to explain.

But Zaid believed Anwar knew the MoU would be signed.

“I am sure Anwar knew about the deal …in the event a new mentri besar takes over from Khalid, he cannot do anything to ruin the deal.

“I think what Khalid did was right and I agree with him.

“At least the future of the Selangor people would be more secure with the end of the privatisation of water supplies,” he said. – Source

Zaid Ibrahim’s press conference can be seen as below. There are many sneak peaks on what Anwar Ibrahim intend to do once he will become Menteri Besar of Selangor inside the video.

And today Khalid Ibrahim told the public on why the water deal was made in such clandestine manner. Basically, he did not want the trio of vultures – Anwar Ibrahim, Rafizi Ramli and Azmin Ali to take over the water deal for their own benefit. This triad of political schemers had been working against Khalid Ibrahim since day one of the Kajang plot.

Some PKR top brass wanted to set price of water assets, says Khalid

SHAH ALAM: Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim disclosed that there were party leaders from PKR who were trying to influence the valuation of the water assets in the state.

He said some party leaders had introduced him to a few people who were trying to make their case as to why the pricing of the water assets should be higher.

“I have been an investment banker for so long that I look at the principle of valuation before determining the price (of the assets). I stood by my principle of valuation and set the price at RM9.65bil.

“These people wanted to set the price and wanted the valuation to justify their price,” he said in an interview with The Star yesterday.

Khalid also explained why the mechanics of the deal could not have been revealed to all and sundry in and outside of the party before the agreement with the Federal Government was signed on Wednesday.

He pointed out that the information, if revealed, would have an impact on the price of the stocks related to the water assets.

“I was also concerned about possible abuse of information and insider dealing. These are reasons why PKR leaders were not informed ahead of the signing on the water deal between the Selangor state government and the Federal government,” he said.

Khalid said he did not inform his party leaders due to those reasons to ensure that the implementation of the transaction was right and adhered to proper corporate governance.

Like George Orwell’s Animal Farm – the ones who think could be the saviour, will eventually become worse than the alleged oppressors once they have tasted power.

Is MIC blocking the PM’s transformation agenda?

This blog has always been keen and passionate about public transportation for the longest time.

From the first article – “The Public Transportation Issue” written in November 2008, about 9 articles have been written. All of it can be read here.

What Malaysia needs is a world class public transportation system which can connect people efficiently, more so in the Klang Valley. The acute problem in traffic, compounded by increasing number of cars have made public transportation one of the key NKRA of Najib’s administration.

As such, the effort to upgrade the public transportation (buses, LRT, MRT, monorail etc) is paramount to alleviate the choking problem faced by the people in the capital city. Time lost by the people stuck in traffic jams costs money and opportunity loss.

Therefore, we find it vital that the public transportation especially the LRT and MRT must be the impetus in attracting the people to use public transportation.

But the news we heard today is both disappointing and alarming. It seems the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) is up in arms against the government in providing a better service for the general public.

Prasarana denied entry to Puchong Tamil school

PETALING JAYA: A LRT extension construction company is unhappy that its contractors were prevented from carrying out their work, by a group of MIC members and parents from Castlefield Tamil School.

Prasarana Negara Berhad (Prasarana) said it is extremely disappointed that efforts to build an LRT Line Extension Project (LEP) have been hindered by reckless actions of these individuals.

They also claimed that the individuals, who had formed a blockade in front of the school yesterday, scuffled with auxiliary policemen from the company, resulting in a senior officer being injured.

This is despite Prasarana obtaining an injunction to enter part of the school compound and informing the school authorities of the planned work to be undertaken.

“This is the third time that we have made effort to enter the site. We have stated repeatedly that we will ensure minimum interruption to the children’s studies while construction of the LEP is underway,” said Prasarana’s group director of the project development division, Zulkifli Md Yusoff.

“We are dedicated to ensuring that the well-being of the schoolchildren and their teachers are not compromised during this period. Apart from enhancing the school’s facilities, we would also ensure the safety of the children and public,” he added.

Yesterday, around 60 MIC Youth members and the parents led by former MIC Youth Chief T Mohan prevented Prasarana’s constructors from entering the school. They also urged Prasarana to sign an agreement before starting the extension work.

No need for school to be relocated

It is learnt the school administration had passed a memorandum to Prasarana for a mutual agreement where it wants the company to provide RM20 million to build a new school on six-acre plot given by Selangor state government.

However, Prasarana stressed that it is going to occupy only 0.47 acres of 2.8 acres of the school compound and upon completion of the project, the five LRT piers will only occupy 20 metres of space.

“It is important for the public to understand that LEP can coexist with the school harmoniously and there is no need for the school to be relocated for this project to commence,” said Zulkifly.

“Moreover, the Education ministry has set a requirement that 100% approval from all parents must be obtained for the relocation. But, a group of 80 parents came out to voice their disagreement,” he added.

“Prasarana will build sound-proof barriers, improve the school’s facilities, including installing air-con units in classrooms and improve the landscape by planting trees and foliage as a gesture of goodwill.

“There are many benefits to consider, the key of which is improved transport convenience for the students and surrounding residents to the greater LRT network in Klang Valley,” he said.

The 17.7km LRT extension of the Ampang line under the National Key Result Area (NKRA) would directly benefit residents in Petaling, Bandar Kinrara, Puchong and Putra Heights.

It is learnt that a 180-metre stretch passes the edge of the Castlefield school, running parallel to the Puchong Damansara Higway (LDP) and the construction of the five pillars.

MIC should be held responsible for this transgression as its unruly members are working against the government’s effort to vitalise the LRT service. Furthermore, it seems the school board of Castlefield are getting more and more greedy when all effort was given by the government to ease any hardship which may be borne by the school (giving airconds, building a hall and school facilities etc) and even throwing away RM20 million of taxpayers money just to build another school!

RM20 million of our money to be used just because of a 0.47 acres of space? The school board must be out of their mind!

God forbid if they would also want to control that RM20 million and pick their own contractors themselves!

On top of that, MIC and the school board are knowingly defying a court order. In a civilised country such as Malaysia, defying a court order will have severe repercussions. Will the leadership of MIC take responsibility over the action of their members?

All this stupidity by working against the public’s wellbeing should stop.

Castlefield Tamil School is not the first school to have a train line adjacent to it and nor will it be the last. In Malaysia, they are many schools which have similar scenario and they pose no problems for the students.

As a matter of fact, according to this report, there are several LRT lines which has been built near schools, such as:

  1. Sekolah Methodist Wesley, Sentul, KL
  2. SRJK (T) Appar, Jalan Merpati, KL
  3. SRJK (C) Chong Kwok, Jalan Merpati, KL
  4. SK (L) Jalan Batu, KL

The ball is in MIC’s court. Please get a clearer picture from both sides of the affected party. Do not be swayed by petty politics to the detriment of greater good.

As for the greedy school board, enough is enough.

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