Archive for March 11th, 2007

“Free fall of institutions” – can PSCI prove Tun Hanif wrong?

The longest-serving former Inspector-General of Police, Tun Hanif Omar, in his Sunday Star column “Point of View” today dealt the serious corruption allegations which had been made against the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) director-general Datuk Zulkipli Mat Noor by former top ACA officer and “whistleblower” Mohamad Ramli Manan in July last year.

Entitled “Panta Rei — It’s inexorable”, Hanif wrote:

If we recall the reported course of events in the ACA director-general’s case, an ACA director had reported by letter to the IGP on July 4 last year against his DG and another, asking the IGP to treat the letter as a first information report. It is reported that he had also sent copies of the letter to the AG, among others…

In this particular case, there was no apparent useful response from the police or the others from July 4, 2006, to perhaps early March 2007. It would be interesting to know why. This inordinate delay could have been the cause of the complainant reporting to Parliament’s Select Committee on Integrity and Corruption. To the credit of the PSC, it acted expeditiously to make known that it would convene an enquiry into the allegations on March 12 by calling both complainant, the ACA director-general, as well as the previous IGP to clarify the situation. This was a far-reaching decision that could have made an enormous impact on the current battle against malfeasance and injustice.

The action of the PSC has served notice that proper redress must be given to a citizen’s grievances and that Parliament would hold the public services to account. In one fell stroke it had brought the tipping point closer. Read the rest of this entry »


BN Supreme Council meeting – any BN leader dare to raise hottest topic in the country?

The Barisan Nasional supreme council will meet in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow where party component leaders are expected to assess their preparations for the next general election.

All the heads of the 14 component parties were informed last week to attend the meeting but they were not given any indication of its agenda.

Will there be any Barisan Nasional leader who would dare to raise at the Barisan Nasional supreme council meeting tomorrow the hottest topic in the country –the Prime Minister’s three-year failure to deliver his top agenda to fight corruption and how to restore public confidence that the Abdullah premiership had not abandoned its anti-corruption pledge?

At his first Cabinet meeting as Prime Minister on 5th November 2003, Abdullah directed Ministers to set up a task force in their ministries to tighten procedures and reduce bureaucracy in efforts to fight corruption. Nothing has been heard of these Ministerial task forces.

At the post-Cabinet press conference, Abdullah even spoke of his hope to achieve “zero corruption” but admitted that it was going to be difficult.

Apart from the run-up to the March 2004 general election campaign, Abdullah’s focus on his priority to fight corruption had increasingly lessened with the passage of time and the terms “zero corruption” or “zero tolerance for corruption” have disappeared from his vocabulary. Read the rest of this entry »


EPF Forgot Sime Darby’s Lesson in UMBC

EPF Forgot Sime Darby’s Lesson in UMBC
Richard Teo

The pension fund, EPF must surely think that money grows on trees when they decided to take-over RHB at a cost of $10 billion.

They have still not recovered from their early foray into Bank Islam and Bank Pertanian where they suffered massive losses.

Bank Islam alone in its audited profit of two years suffered losses of $2.3 billion.Either they are so naiive about business nvestment in the banking sector or they must be sadist looking for more punishment.

If there is any parallel investment failure in the banking sector we need not go too far for examples. Remember Sime Darby’s adventure with UMBC?Yes its brief foray caused them to lose more than $250 million in a short span of time.

Luckily in quick time UMBC was disposed off lock, stock and barrel and that was the first and last time Sime comtemplated venturing into the banking sector deemed ‘a profitable business which could bring long -term benefit’ by its CEO Mr. Azlan Zainol.

If it was profitable why did Sime’s investment in UMBC resulted in such a massive loss?

By his own admission Mr Azlan Zainol said they have no experience in Banking but they were going to engage professionals to run the bank.

Does this imply that UMBC was not run by experts in the banking field? Read the rest of this entry »