Najib should not dodge questions but should answer frankly whether the Bakun Dam project has cost overruns of RM1.7 billion and that the government will be asking Parliament for a RM700 million bailout package for Sime Darby

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak has dodged questions about the Sime Darby costs overruns scandal since the GLC-conglomerate’s May 13 admission of RM964 million losses for the second half of FY2010, comprising:

1. Qatar Petroleum (QP) RM200 million
2. Maersk Oil Qatar (MOQ) RM159 million
3. MOQ marine project RM155 million
4. Bakun Dam RM450 million
Total RM964 million

These are however only a part of the losses suffered by Sime Darby from these projects, for instance:

  • the RM974 million QP project which was awarded in April 2006 and scheduled for completion in August 2008 incurs losses exceeding RM500 million;

  • the RM2.2 billion MOQ Project, awarded in January 2007 and due for completion in October 2009 incurs RM526 million losses.

The Bakun Dam is a different kettle of fish altogether. It has been reported that Sime Darby has incurred more than RM1 billion in cost overruns from carrying out a civil works contract for the hydroelectric project, with one estimate putting the total cost overruns at RM1.7 billion, which is almost the same size as Sime Darby’s actual Bakun contract of RM1.8 billion.

It has also been reported that the government has agreed to reimburse around RM700 million to Sime Darby, leaving the group with around RM1 billion to deal with.

Najib said publicly that Sime Darby should determine the cause of its RM964 million losses first before the issue of responsibility.

This is far from correct as RM964 million losses are for the second half of the FY2010 and small porton of the total losses of Sime Darby in its history of some RM3.5 billion write-offs, and with more to come.

Star today carries the following table:

History of write-offs in Sime Darby group
Description Period Estimated quantum (RM)
Provision for costs overruns for Energy & Utilities projects 3 QFY2010 964 mil
Provision for cost overruns for the RM2.2 bil Maersk Oil Qatar project 2 QFY2010 210 mil
Provision for costs overruns for the RM1 bil Qatar Oil Project 4 QFY2010 80-100 mil
Futures trading loss due to trading of palm oil FY2008 120 mil
Provision for vehicles sales receivables in China FY2005 164 mil
Provision for cost overruns in Bakun hydroelectric project FY2004-FY2005 132 mil
Losses due to Sime Bank FY1998 1.8 bil

While investigations are ongoing to determine the causes of the losses and the persons responsible, Najib should not shirk responsibility from giving Parliament and Malaysians answers which are available to him now, viz: whether the Bakun Dam project has cost overruns of RM1.7 billion and that the government will be asking Parliament for a RM700 million bailout package for Sime Darby.

Former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad is gloating over the Sime Darby and Bakun Dam fiascos, and it seems to be “sweet revenge 25 years later” when he called on Tun Musa Hitam and the entire Sime Darby Board to resign over the cost overruns.

The 2M government of Mahathir and Musa (Mahathir had later claimed that 2M really stood for Mahathir Mohamad) lasted less than five years from 1981 before it broke up, with Musa teaming up with Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah to challenge the Mahathir premiership – but it is only now we see the return of the “2Ms”, with Mahathir going for Musa’s jugular.

But it must be conceded that Mahathir raised a most legitimate question when he asked:

“Is it only the CEO (Datuk Seri Ahmad Zubir Murshid) who was responsible? Who are the others who were involved with the project and failed to see that the cost overrun was very high and the project has been delayed by almost 3 years.

“I think responsibility should be shared. I was told of this cost overrun and delay three years ago.”

However, Mahathir should not be overhasty in his bombardment of Musa and Sime Darby, as during the Sime Bank Bhd financial crisis when it incurred losses amounting to RM1.8 billion during the 1997/8 Asian financial crisis, only the banking head Datuk Ismail Zakaria resigned while the group president and chief executive Tan Sri Nik Mohamed Nik Yaacob retired only in 2004. Zubir took over the position of chief executive after that.

Who was the Prime Minister during the Sime Bank crisis of 1997/8?

  1. #1 by Bunch of Suckers on Saturday, 22 May 2010 - 11:27 am

    Yes! This is how our BN/UMNO pursue & practise, “You help me; I help you”! Keep going with your briberies!

  2. #2 by k1980 on Saturday, 22 May 2010 - 11:31 am

    Not only the CEO but all its directors and so-called “advisers” must resign. The rot stops with them

  3. #3 by maximus on Saturday, 22 May 2010 - 11:35 am

    Bunch of crooks and idiots. That is what happen if you let those half past 6 putras manage the country wealth.

    It is frustrating beyond words but don’t be despair.

    Kick them out GE13

  4. #4 by k1980 on Saturday, 22 May 2010 - 1:02 pm

    cost overrun for the PKFZ — RM12.5 billion!

  5. #5 by yhsiew on Saturday, 22 May 2010 - 1:25 pm


    Investigate in whose hand the lost money had ended up.

  6. #6 by monsterball on Saturday, 22 May 2010 - 1:34 pm

    They sucked up all the money and leave it high and dry…now going through the so call lawful process by asking Parliament to approve RM700 million bail out.
    Previously….it was so easy for them to make a show and get approval with their 3/4 majority.
    Now controlling the government with a slim majority…lets wait and see how does the Parliamentarians react to his request.
    Everything UMNO B touches go bankrupt….and the country is heading that direction….no matter how rich we are. These UMNO B crooks..must be voted out to save the country.
    Just look at all that belongs to UMNO…all are bankrupt companies…because whenever the companies make huge profits…all the greedy blood suckers gather to suck it empty.
    Go recall how many times MAS was bailed out.
    What about Berjaya Steel?
    Did they pay for all money poured in to save them? they talk about huge profits..and forget to repay.
    And the same goes with Proton.
    So that is not a bail out….at all.
    It is asking for more money for them to steal…later on.
    It is asking tax give more and let them keep on stealing….to start all over arty needs billions…and billions will be divided amongst chosen individuals…dressed up with false self made multi millionaires…with no shame as biggest crook to be so rich at all.
    UMNO B crooks never work to become millionaires….like the Chinese.
    They steal and fear no one.

  7. #7 by chengho on Saturday, 22 May 2010 - 1:35 pm

    list out the list of subcon , suppliers and consultants , often time the answer lies there…

  8. #8 by limkamput on Saturday, 22 May 2010 - 1:50 pm

    How and why that nincompoop hypocrite who after retirement could still talk all the kok as if he was squeaky clean is simply beyond the intelligence of all Malaysians. If possible, he now wants his equally hypocrite son to manage all the APs and also all the GLCs – big money man, big money.

  9. #9 by limkamput on Saturday, 22 May 2010 - 1:54 pm

    Who was the Prime Minister during the Sime Bank crisis of 1997/8?// Sdr Lim

    You should also ask who was PM when Bakun dam (or was it Bunkum dam?) was first conceived and implemented. Why such a project when more than 10 years later, despite not even one watt of electricity being generated from the dam, there is no severe shortage of energy in the country.

    The nincompoop government now want nuclear plant. Look, we can’t even ensure there are no cracks in our MRR2, how can we ensure no crack in our reactor. You want the Iranians to manage for us or what, in the spirit of Muslim brotherhood. Man, nincompoop people deserve nincompoop government.

  10. #10 by Bigjoe on Saturday, 22 May 2010 - 1:58 pm

    The problem with qouting mahathir criticism is like qouting the kettle that calls the pot black. No one can beat Mahathir when it comes to loses. Perwaja, Proton, Bank Bumi, MAS, Bank Negara the list is just too long.

  11. #11 by limkamput on Saturday, 22 May 2010 - 2:15 pm

    I have one good advice for Jib. If you want BN to regain support and become popular again, your government should just do nothing, yes, nothing. Don’t think of projects, don’t set up or run more GLCs, and don’t introduce more policies to manage our economy. Trust me, our economy can run autopilot. Look at your nincompoop deputy education minister who now wants to license all teachers. If you ask me, I would advise you to shut down all the education departments at the state and district levels (trust me, they do nothing other than creating lots of sh!t). Allow parents to appoint headmasters and allow the headmasters to hire and fire teachers. In no time the education in Malaysia will be top ranked. Anyone wants to wager me on this? Precisely, we have nincompoops at every level of your government and that is why your government have and will continue to run everything to the ground.

  12. #12 by dagen on Saturday, 22 May 2010 - 2:16 pm

    When proton was launched chengho cried. “Hallelujah.” Yes hallelujah indeed for nothing could be more inspiring than having our very own national car. When hicom was launched again chengho cried “hallelujah”. Yes. Yes. “We will be like japan and korea.” “We will have our own heavy industry, ship building and such like things.” When cyberjaya was announced and declared a “gift to the world” chengho wept openly and he was absolutely hysterical with emotion. “HALLELUJAH”. “Umno is great.” “Long live mamak.” He went on his knees and screamed.

    Errr excuse me … All of them have failed. Yes, all of them (and uncountable others) including proton (but for umno’s decision to prop it up).

  13. #13 by boh-liao on Saturday, 22 May 2010 - 3:18 pm

    Pls LIST out d perks, bonuses, allowances, subsidies, benefits, gift of shares, n salaries of senior Slime D officers
    How many of them travel by 1st Class (air travel)? Personal jets? Complimentary company yatch?
    What abt their WMBAGs (wifes, mistresses, boyfriends, n girlfriends), got 2 enjoy allowances n benefits too ah?

  14. #14 by -ec- on Saturday, 22 May 2010 - 5:17 pm

    spin off the energy business of sime darby and sell it for rm1.

    probably brunei is interested to take up the offer. but if the taker is brunei, our bn government can give it for free!

  15. #15 by monsterball on Saturday, 22 May 2010 - 6:07 pm

    Why do you need the list…idiotic Chengho?
    Can you see stadium roofs are falling…freeways are breaking…hill slopes are eroding..with dozens of houses came tumbling down….airport short circuited with numerous fire…Putrajaya roof leaking…bridges fell apart killing school children.
    All these are due to no final checking by UMNO B crooks after accepting bribes from contractors…who also have no choices but to use inferior materials to cover losses…and the chain reactions begins all over again.
    The worst of all…are that …the Ministers who are big time crooks and know next to nothing about this or that to be Minister of Housing…Transport…this and that…just for show. UMNO B relies on employees and auto pilots.
    Samy Vellu was the worst with his famous words….”It’s God’s Will” whenever any mishaps happened in the Transport or Housing Departments…that he was directly or indirectly responsible.
    Remember Lunas by-election and you will know why MIC snakes….toads and vipers are fighting each other now.
    Najib knew he could win Hulu Selangor easily.. and put a MIC man to keep it alive..and call that election…his REFERENDUM.
    You can bet…he was shocked to see how well keDAILan did with him winning by a small margin.
    Infact without phantom votes..keDAILan could have won…but that needs much more swing of votes to PR.
    The Judgment Day came for Najib at Sibu…another stronghold for BN for past 18 years.
    The best part is showing him on video bribing Foochow residents.
    He failed…and that bribe act is ignored by MACC.
    What more proofs do young Malaysians need to register and start voting UMNO B out.
    Young Malaysians must be responsible like citizens and prepared themselves to go to vote at 13th GE. It is the biggest event in their whole serve the country.
    They must register now.

  16. #16 by sheriff singh on Saturday, 22 May 2010 - 7:17 pm


    Anybody still remember the Block L and M RM 320 million giveaway WITHOUT Parliament’s knowledge?

    This RM 900+ million is nothing lah.

    But go ahead and ask for all sorts of questions in the coming Parliament session.

    Ho Leng. We are watching you too.

  17. #17 by sheriff singh on Saturday, 22 May 2010 - 7:17 pm

    Sorry. It should be RM 320 BILLION.

  18. #18 by k1980 on Saturday, 22 May 2010 - 7:35 pm

    cost overrun for the nep from 1970-2010 = RM10 trillion?

  19. #19 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Saturday, 22 May 2010 - 10:44 pm

    najib doesn’t even understand hiself, his policies or what his goals are all about?

    What’s this “People First, Performance Now” when u can’t even get a simple thing like giving figures on a project!

    I hope Rosmah & Najib team are not out to take the country for a ride at d Rakyat’s expense! Hope Rosie is not just trying to make haste while the sun shines. Frightening, isn’t it?

  20. #20 by HOHOHO on Saturday, 22 May 2010 - 11:13 pm

    FRIVOLOUS jibby will answer to all when they question this jibs bcoz he is master of DENIAL DENIAL DENIAL,SUMPAH,SUMPAH,SUMPAH!!!!
    Waste of ‘air liur’ saliva asking this person question! Wait till next 13th GE then he will give the answer to all your questions!!!
    Ho Ho Ho

  21. #21 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 23 May 2010 - 3:28 am

    Kit’s mention in last paragraph of how in Sime Bank’s loss of RM1.8 billion during the 1997/8 Asian financial crisis with only banking head Datuk Ismail Zakaria asked to resigned – and indeed charged under BAFIA – implies and is intended to underline the fact that the present selective pinning of blame on Zubir is by no means the quirk of only the present administration but also true in TDM’s time when Ismail Zakaria (reportedly close to Anwar) also was the only one officially blamed. So those who live in glass houses should be wary of throwing stones at others houses.

    Going further it also implies that this selective & unfair blaming is perceived pervasive not only in cases where a major conglomerate falters with losses but also part of the larger selective and unfair political culture in many other areas whether relating to administration of laws, allocation of Federal resources or even policies….

    Going yet further, it requires people to ask why there are so many shenanigans in and political and corporate life of this country.
    It boils down to feudal culture: blind loyalty to boss in exchange for his selective preferential awarding of rewards and protection from harm. This is the basic exchange whether in political parties or corporate entities. Merit is not in the picture. One is appointed based on loyalty, blind loyalty – in exchange for selective reward/patronage/protection you forgive, overlook and cover up your boss’s worst sins and wrongdoing. Individuals not within the circle of feudal exchange take the blame.

    In 1997 Sime Bank and its stockbroking arm, Sime Securities, extended nearly RM1 billion in credit to companies associated with businessman close to politicians. Their names were not brought out. This will happen too in PKFZ.
    When appointments to top conglomerate positions are made on the basis to enable the conglomerates to favour contracts and loans politicians’ cronies and proxies and through them round tripping to politicians themselves can one expect the conglomerates to make money? If they fail either Consolidated Fund, EPF or Petronas bail out and another set of people embracing this Feudal Exchange are appointed.

    Yet the institutions and regulators must be seen upholding “accountability”, so rules are set to encourage foreign investors’ confidence but when the rules are breached, again enforcement are selective: those who are loyal to power and to whom people in power owe a debt of loyalty are often spared whenever circumstances permit whilst those allied to those out of power or even still in power but of the rival camp will take the heat and fall. That’s the name of the game!

    In name we extol accountability and good governance whether for corporates or politics but in reality we are ambivalent and operate Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde fashion based on feudal exchange. Ultimately its this prevailing feudal culture that is bringing the country down.

  22. #22 by on cheng on Sunday, 23 May 2010 - 11:04 am

    Bakun dam is not an economically viable project from day 1, really silly to build in the first place. how to use the electri. generated??
    Distribute to West Msia?? those who hv tech knowledges, know the enormous problem n cost involve, yet how unreliable? Well known cable factory in the world only agree to do a study, no guarantee undersea cable can work smoothly. Company who will undertake to lay cable also no guarantee,
    OR can govt arm twist those existing factories that have high electr. usage relocate to near Bakun dam??
    OR get some huge electr. usage factories to be built near it.
    OR sell electr. at more than 90% discount to Kalimantan

  23. #23 by katdog on Sunday, 23 May 2010 - 12:56 pm

    Bakun Dam is another one of Dr. M’s many self deluded ego trips to make Malaysia a ‘developed’ country. Just like the Petronas Twin Towers, KLIA, Sepang F1 circuit etc.

  24. #24 by monsterball on Sunday, 23 May 2010 - 1:37 pm

    All those cost billions “katdog”….and his 10% commission is welknown….and Bakun Dam made hm lost opportunity to make hundreds of millions…with all his cronies investing too.
    That’s why he yelled at Pak Lah when Pak Lah canceled the project…and started his on going all out against Pak Lah…but Dollah talks alot…also no follow up to finish anything.
    Yes…”katdog” Barry Wain have said it all in his book…how Mahathir squandered RM100 billion.
    And he advises all UMNO B crooks brave..never admit any mistakes..and got Musa Hitam resigned…to kept distant from such a dirty crooked politician.
    Yes..all that you have shown ….costing hundreds of billions…are white elephants projects.
    That is why…our country is now far behind those that were behind us…not long ago.
    He does not care…and UMNO B members are all corrupted to the core under his leadership.
    All will never admit mistakes r stealing…to stay brave….as advised by the devil reincarnated man.
    You can bet your last Ringgit..UMNO B is a devilish racist party…cannot change at all….for change means admitting mistakes and most of then will go to jail.

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