Archive for January 4th, 2008

Renaming Synergy Drive to Sime Darby – merger or reverse takeover?

by Mendela

Some one e-mailed me the below:

I have been curious to find out the reason for the renaming of Synergy Drive to Sime Darby after the merger. By renaming the merged entities, it seemed more like a takeover.

The followings may offer some reasons which weren’t published in the mainstream papers.

1. Was it really a merger or was it a reversed takeover of Golden Hope and Kumpulan Guthrie by Sime Darby? We were told that this was a merger of equals. It’s now obvious that it was called a merger “to enable PNB to vote at the EGM. If it was called a takeover, it would be deemed to be a related party transaction and PNB would have to abstain from voting;

2. A takeover was evident when the new merged entity is called Sime Darby (SD) Berhad. Synergy Drive (SD) was it’s temporary name during the “takeover” exercise;

3. Did the promise to create the world’s largest listed oil palm plantation company really happen? Can the “new” Sime Darby be called a plantation company when only 47 per cent of revenue is contributed by plantation activities?;

4. Have the stakeholders, in particular the PNB, been “taken for a ride” with the promise to establish the world’s largest listed oil palm plantation but ended up still with a diversified company?; Read the rest of this entry »


Herald & “Allah” – “Wonderful Christmas present” which is not so “wonderful” after all

The euphoria that good sense and sanity have finally prevailed among those in government whose decisions could adversely impact on inter-religious and inter-racial relations as to aggravate religious polarization in a plural society like Malaysia lasted just four days.

On New Year’s eve on Monday, 31st December 2007, Malaysians thought they saw a silver lining after a whole year of gloomy “annus horribilis” when they learnt that Herald, the Catholic weekly, had been allowed to continue printing its Bahasa Malaysia section with no restrictions on the use of the word Allah for God.

A happy editor of the 13-year-old Herald, Father Lawrence Andrew, said that a representative from the Internal Security Ministry delivered a letter containing the permit to print the paper, dated Dec. 28, by hand at 10 am on a Sunday (Dec. 30) – which was a great and commendable gesture of goodwill.

The letter placed no restrictions whatsoever and included the permit for all the languages, including the Bahasa Malaysia segment, causing Father Lawrence to give effusive thanks to the government and the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok for his assistance.

Bernard described the Herald permit as “good news” and “a wonderful Christmas present” by the government to the Christian community.

This morning, the euphoria that good sense and sanity have finally prevailed among the decision-makers in government on why it is imperative to promote inter-religious goodwill and harmony evaporated after just four days when Malaysians woke up to read headlines like “Herald can’t use ‘Allah’ in its publications” (Star) and “Cabinet: ‘Allah’ for Muslims only” (The Sun). Read the rest of this entry »


Najib – teaching baby crabs to walk straight

Today’s New Straits Times carried two intriguing and controversial front-page headlines in the aftermath of the Chua Soi Lek sex video scandal: “LET THIS BE A LESSON” and “’My biggest mistake’”.

The “LET THIS BE A LESSON” headline and NST report (p 6) elicited the common reaction from most readers – “Is Najib the right person to give such a warning?”

The report quoted the Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak telling Barisan Nasional leaders and members “to learn a lesson from the resignation of health minister Datuk Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek”.

Najib told Barisan Nasional leaders “to behave themselves so as not to embarrass the party”. He said party members must exercise discipline and abide by the code of conduct of the party.

Had Najib set exemplary standards in his political career as to qualify him to issue warning or is he akin to Father Crab teaching Baby Crab to walk straight?

Or was Najib saying that the real lesson to be learnt was not to be caught with the pants down?

The second NST frontpage headline “’My biggest mistake’” – also front page headline of Star My mistake – Chua blames downfall on hardwork“ and the Sun “Chua’s biggest mistake” – is equally thought-provoking.

Chua attributed his political downfall to his being too conscientious and hard-working as Health Minister and MCA vice president , to the extent that he gave this unsolicited advice to future Health Ministers – “Please go slow. If you go too fast, you will also be subject to speculation. This is political reality, so I agree with some people that it is the Ministry of Hell, not because of the ministry’s work but because of the political system that we have.”

A heart-felt advice by Chua to his successors to be Health Ministers of mediocrity instead of excellence and distinction? Read the rest of this entry »