SIME DARBY: A Conglomerate Gone Awry

By Tunku Abdul Aziz

There is a place for conglomerates in the business world. However, as with everything else, some are good, but mostly they invariably become unwieldy and difficult to manage effectively. Many come unstuck, leaving behind a trail of miserable examples of management failures, human greed and frailties. As always, there is a lot of cleaning up to do after the party is over. The sad truth is that we do not as yet have what it takes to run a complex business successfully, and a conglomerate is hellishly difficult to keep on a straight course because the temptation to wander off into the unfamiliar is often irresistible, and most conglomerates find themselves up a creek.

There have been many instances of major failures in the Sime stables. There was the case of the insurance business in the UK in the eighties, a member of Lloyds, which was in such a bad shape because of mismanagement that it had to be bundled with a very profitable money broking company into an attractive package and sold for a song. Sime Darby naturally had to be responsible for all the liabilities resulting from claims on policies transacted up to the time of the sale of the company. For the next several years after the sale of the company to the new owners, Sime Darby continued to send out to the UK enormous sums of money to cover the claims.

Then there was the Sime Bank debacle. Banking was a business in which it had no expertise and had to rely on the management that came along with the bank when it was acquired. The integrity of the many of the top executives running Sime Bank was questionable. What happened to the bank should have been a lesson to the board of Sime Darby about sticking to what it was good at. I well remember in Windsor, England, saying jocularly to Tunku Tan Sri Ahmad Yahaya, then Group Chief Executive, when he told me Sime Darby had acquired a bank that he would be better off getting a casino licence. Later he admitted that I was right.

I also recall the factory ship fiasco in the early eighties. The Sime Darby-owned vessel operating in the North Atlantic off the coast of Africa found itself in rough seas financially. Sime Darby decided to sack its two British employees claiming that they had got into this business with the approval of the board in Kuala Lumpur. This was patently untrue. The Brits would not be bullied into submission, and they sued Sime Darby and its Chairman, then Tun Tan Siew Sin, for wrongful dismissal, and won a very substantial sum of money in an out of court settlement. Zubir, the dismissed Group Chief Executive should not have allowed the board of Sime Darby to treat him so shabbily.

I personally believe that with a loss of this scale of magnitude, an honourable board would have resigned because obviously it has failed to discharge its fiduciary and other related responsibilities of stewardship. Zubir has been used as a scapegoat in the Anglo-Malaysian corporate tradition. If Sime Darby had been an American company, the chair would have accepted responsibility and resigned or been forced to go without ceremony. I find Musa’s logic for staying put, saying that he would resign if required to do so by the shareholders, disingenuous and self-serving to say the least. He must know he has failed as chairman, and based on the principle of collective responsibility, his board must exit with him. This is the honourable thing expected of a responsible board, and this is what I expect the much trumpeted Sime tagline, ‘Developing Sustainable Futures’ to be all about. My advice to Zubir is to consider taking Musa and his board to the cleaners. Sue them. We need in this country boards that are principled, and we can also do with a little honour and integrity in our business leadership.

Sime Darby in the meantime must take a good, hard look at itself to see if operating on the present model is sustainable. It is obvious that Sime Darby has become largely unwieldy, unmanageable, and unsustainable. It is showing all the signs of having become a conglomerate in the worst possible sense. The worst is not over yet.

(The write is a former Group Director of Sime Darby, 1979-1985)

  1. #1 by monsterball on Saturday, 19 June 2010 - 7:47 am

    Musa Hitam cannot be respected anymore.
    His promises are worthless.
    After all ..he is an UMNO B member.
    What do you expect from these corrupted crooks.
    Every crooked deal….these crooks will have scapegoats.
    Sime Darby have many deals that cannot see light and be clearly seen.

  2. #2 by HJ Angus on Saturday, 19 June 2010 - 8:01 am

    The Sime Darby fiasco came about as some smart investment bank was able to convince PNB, the government trust fund that any merger could result in substantial cost savings from the 3 major plantation groups.
    Even the name they chose Synergy Drive smacked of a good marketing tactic to convince PNB who made the mistake of destroying 3 great heritage companies to create the largest plantation company apart from Felda. That too is now making news for the wrong reasons.
    Guess “Bankrupsi Negara” would be a good mantra to justify the way things are going.

  3. #3 by HJ Angus on Saturday, 19 June 2010 - 8:05 am

    If we follow the USA style, Musa Hitam and a few directors will be summoned to Parliament and grilled by the lawmakers. Unfortunately the BN MPs in Malaysia may be deaf, dumb and blind in such matters that relate to government affairs.

  4. #4 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 19 June 2010 - 8:37 am

    ///My advice to Zubir is to consider taking Musa and his board to the cleaners. Sue them. We need in this country boards that are principled, and we can also do with a little honour and integrity in our business leadership./// – Tunku Abdul Aziz.

    The advice will not be taken. In Malaysia there are 2 sets of rules.

    The first set deals with corporate governance embodying the companies laws, listing regulations etc mostly borrowed from western societies. By this set, not only Zubir could sue but the shareholders including minority shareholders fdor directors’ breach of fiduciary duties. This first set would be enforced on companies of private, non governmental and non institutional character.

    The second set of rules are neither official nor expressly spelled out. This second set is firmly grounded on our feudal political culture.

    Amongst the main characteristics of such a culture are:

    First: The practice of patronage where corporate positions at helm of GLCs and their perks are part of reward system for political contributions past present or future. The appointments are also political, recommended or endorsed by politicians or their cronies. Little wonder many of the CEOs & directors are bestowed honorific titles or affiliated to ruling political parties. They are not there necessarily for competence; certainly not corporate governance!

    Second: in the corporate milieu of GLCs , as a the case of the wider political milieu, there is a wide gap between the powerful and the powerless…The latter defer to the former. They don’t challenge those in powerful positions whether these positions relate to a corporate, a government department or political party. Those at the helm are tolerated in their sheninegans and excesses. They are part of privileges to be enjoyed at the top. If one challenges them, one finds that whatever recourse sought from the various institutions, regulators and government agencies will not only lead to nowhere but invite a backlash. The reasons are that the top decision makers of these institutions, regulators and government agencies are equally occupying their positions due to political patronage and play by the same rules ie listen to those in power!

    So the country is run upon 2 sets of rules : one laid out in the books and the laws for the commoner and the powerless; the other, unspoken, but of great potent effect wherever power equation is involved, government linked corporates, agencies, regulatory authorities are involved. These operate on principles of might not right. These have been happening since TDM’s time when flurry of privatisations took place to put Bumiputra captains at the helm of corporations linked to government to spearhead the NEP’s objective of acuuring 30% equity quota. Who dared to oppose Daim’s associate Tajuddin helming or the way he helmed the airlines; who dared Govt’s acqusition of his shares at RM8 when market price was RM3? Who dared oppose the way Halim Saad managed UEM or Renong?

    The prevailing feeling when one is connected to power is that anything is possible whether making lots money quick and easy or getting out of trouble with political help and connections. This is playing by second set of rules – not the first!

  5. #5 by boh-liao on Saturday, 19 June 2010 - 9:13 am

    Make sure d CEO n all other officers n board members do not receive bonuses
    Set up a committee 2 openly grill d CEO, just like what d US Congress is doing 2 BP CEO
    Get d facts, determine any corruption n incompetencies, make them pay back past performance bonuses, n sue them

  6. #6 by HJ Angus on Saturday, 19 June 2010 - 9:20 am

    The SIME debacle is just like other grand schemes by the Bankrupsi Negara government. At the time the merger was touted as the company that will surpass as others but just within a few years, it is tasting like some foul food.

  7. #7 by yhsiew on Saturday, 19 June 2010 - 9:54 am

    Another government linked establishment which operates in SECRECY.

  8. #8 by boh-liao on Saturday, 19 June 2010 - 10:03 am

    Sime Darby is a GLC
    GLC = Gua Lu Ciak-ka-liao (Ciak pah pah)

  9. #9 by dagen on Saturday, 19 June 2010 - 10:16 am

    But we are in jibby land. So the gang in sime would be re-assigned by umno to other positions (equally well paid and prestigious) elsewhere. And for that they would be forever beholden to umno. Jib is particularly fond of this trick. Look at the number of expired politicians he re-used and re-cycled.

  10. #10 by albert308 on Saturday, 19 June 2010 - 11:17 am

    GLCs in Malaysia merely operates under feudalism patronage system, feudal in the context of Mahathirism era. Umno is the lord, CEOs appointed based on political merits rather than corporate management capability. GLC Transformation Plan 2004 initiated by Abdullah met with failures as we can see the results today speak for itself. Sime Dardy forms as the merged entity with another two giant plantation namely Golden Hope and Guthrie. After good six years of merging, Abdullah’s DREAM becomes fantasy. We will see more failures for many GLCs in near future if disclosure is allowed when huge losses incurred as the result of oversea venture. Why UEM has to sell Pharmaniaga? Pos Malaysia forced into real estate venture soon to raised cash for huge losses in Transmile. There are many more bad news waiting for GLCs after the 2004 grand plan.

    Zubir’s departures set the precedent for other GLCs? This will never be the case under corporate feudalism in Malaysia. Zubir departure is to replaced with another appointee with political link, this time the man must be PM choice. Whatever take place, it is still under the patronage of Mahathirism era.
    Zubir need not be worry about losing his position because Umno will find other post for him according to his political link, a matter of time. Just like Tengku Zafrul, the former CEO of Avenue Capital and a crony of Jamaluddin Jarjis. Zafrul lost his job when KJ’s ECM Libra robbed Finance Ministry’s Avenue Cap; now he returned as the CEO of Maybank Investment Bank when JJ political bargaining power grew stronger. These Umnoputras CEOs never care when nation asset’s robbed, Tengku Zafrul let Avenue robbed without a fight and ECM Libra got it under ‘lightning’ corporate deal as the robber is PM SIL.

    The fact is all GLC will gone awry in feudalism patronage system!

  11. #11 by lopez on Saturday, 19 June 2010 - 11:23 am

    dont be just as stupid, in the US there are ways that an american is no familiar too,,

  12. #12 by undertaker888 on Saturday, 19 June 2010 - 1:19 pm

    semua mau, tapi kerja tak mau. inilah umno punya pattern. bodoh tapi nak tunjuk pandai. macam katak ali.

    Scientist recently discovered a type of frog in our rainforest. it makes a peculiar sound when startled. it sounds like this ……HAK!HAK!HAK! NEP!NEP!NEP!

  13. #13 by frankyapp on Saturday, 19 June 2010 - 1:34 pm

    I think the Sime Darby Fiasco should be investigated right to the bottom of it in order to finding out the real truth of the matter. What better way other than calling Tun Musa Hitam to face a say parliamentary committee so that he can be grilled by its members. A kind of liken US congressional committee which grilled the Chief of British Petroluem (BP) regarding the oil spill in the gulf of Mexico.

  14. #14 by Voter on Saturday, 19 June 2010 - 1:39 pm

    anyone heard TOTO outlet can bet world cup match ? i heard in taman muda there is toto outlet have..
    surprised thought government havent issue licence yet

  15. #15 by donplaypuks on Saturday, 19 June 2010 - 2:04 pm


    The combined share price of SD, Golden Hope and Guthrie BEFORE merger was in excess of RM 20 per share. Post merger, SD peaked at just over RM 13 per share. Today it is hovering at about RM7.60 !!

    This is a sure sign the merger was ill-conceived, a massive failure and a trickery to mask these huge losses in Bakun and the Middle East amounting to more than $3 billion. Yet so-called non-executive Chairman Musa Hitam and his CEO Zubir proclaimed the merger was an unqualified success??!!

    Anywhere else in the world where a listed entity loses 2/3 of its market price, the CEO will be the first to be booted out and then the Chairman and its Board of Directors for mismanagement and poor performance in protecting shareholders’ investment value.

    More than that, there have been numerous allegations of croneyism against SD’s board in awarding palm oil dealership in China.

    Taking into consideration this fiasco in its entirety, it’s clear there has to be WHOLESALE changes in SD’s Chairmanship, Directors and top managers.

    Last week, Hassan Merican was appointed director of SemCorp in S’pore. Why does Najib shun integrity, honesty and capability in favour of croneyism and open fraud and thievery to th eextent good talent goes overseas?

    The real problem is of course PM Njaib does not walk the talk when it comes to meritocracy. Where is it written that a Bumi must always head a GLC in the teeth of continuing multi-billion $ failures?

    PM Najib’s 1M’sia is all talk and no trousers; a fraud to try and pull the wool over unsuspecting and naive eyes to keep the few in power and money!!

    YB, please keep hammering away on these administrative cock-ups in Parlaiment and in public, till everyone gets the message, translated into vote, that we MUST boot out any Party and its leaders when they repeatedly fail to PERFORM!!

    Don’t let up on SD, $12 billion PKFZ scandal, Shah Alam Hospital, Maika, $800 million palace (I read somwhere the actual cost will be $1.2 billion!!)etc. or else Najib will cover it all up!!

    we are all of 1 race, the Human Race

  16. #16 by dagen on Saturday, 19 June 2010 - 3:52 pm

    Yup. Its football time again. But now its really big time. World Cup. Yeah. And and the ball. The jaba thingy. Yeah its a tricky ball. My point is lots of own goals will be scored. We will see lots of them. Jib and gang too have been scoring own goals all the way. Look. PKFZ, Sime, Felda etc etc. Oh no end. No end man.

  17. #17 by adoionline on Saturday, 19 June 2010 - 4:05 pm

    If the salaries that have been paid to Musa Hitam and the Sime Darby board are publicly disclosed, there will be another outcry. Most of us have never earned 6 or even 7-figure salaries. we wouldn’t know how hard it is to resign from a cushy job like that and scale down our aristocratic standard of living!

  18. #18 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 19 June 2010 - 4:05 pm

    Felda Holdings group managing director Datuk Mohd Bakke Salleh was appointed by govt to take over Sime Darby’s top executive position previously held by Datuk Seri Ahmad Zubir Murshid who has gone on leave following punlic revelation of Sime’s costs overruns from the Bakun dam project and another energy project in Qatar.

    “If we look at his track record, Datuk Bakke has the ability to improve Sime Darby,” PM Najib told reporters in support of his appointment – [See The MalaysianInsider Report byy Boo Su-Lyn June 19, 2010].

    But it may be asked, what track record?

    Reference is made to the allegations in an open letter by Datuk Dr Tan Kee Kwong (a former Federal Territory Gerakan chairman, who was once the Land and Cooperative Development Deputy Minister from 1999 to 2004 but who has since joined PKR as deputy chairman of its International Affairs Bureau) in which Tan alleged that due to mismanagment, Felda’s cash reserve which were around RM4.5 billion in 2004, dwindled to RM200 million.


    But complaints about Felda’s depleting cash reserves have surfaced following Bakke’s appointment to Sime Darby.
    “If we look at his track record, Datuk Bakke (picture) has the ability to improve Sime Darby,” Najib told reporters today.

  19. #19 by boh-liao on Saturday, 19 June 2010 - 4:07 pm

    GLCs got UmnoB control
    Dat’s Y losing $$$ when they shd b making $$$
    Where $$$ gone? 2 which sink holes?
    World Cup 2010 got bookies control
    Dat’s Y got funny results n strange actions; who is larfing all d way 2 d bank

  20. #20 by boh-liao on Saturday, 19 June 2010 - 4:13 pm

    Rumour: Visit SD plantations, one C many markers along d boundary of plots
    Cost of each marker, apparently unbelievable expensive, worth its weight in gold
    True aahh? Anyone has 1st hand expereince 2 confirm aah?

  21. #21 by habis on Saturday, 19 June 2010 - 7:15 pm

    In this Boleh Country of ours everything can be make possible and invisible if you have the right political connection.But for commoners like you and me sorrylah the laws applies in two different ways -one for the rich and powerful and the others for the poor rakyat.The gravity of the crime of mismanagement can easily be overlooked if you are the cronies of those in the powerful position in the BN govt.Responsible efficient corporate management in GLCs is not the criteria provided you know how to lick the almighty feet in the BN govt. Knowledge and expertise is also not at all important so long as you follow orders from the top.Dont worry even there is an elemen of criminal act commited for there is always a get away plan ready for you.Take a holiday and all will be forgotten.The only way to rid all these rots is to change the govt my friends.All will be possible if we unite as one to make it happen in the coming 13GE.

  22. #22 by monsterball on Saturday, 19 June 2010 - 7:22 pm

    Go read the wonderful speech by Tunku Razaleigh on the government of the day…on corruption.
    So clear so correct.
    The point is…why did he speak now and not before?
    Anyway…Sime Darby is a tool for UMNO B to cheat…and Musa Hitam is part and parcel of that performance for party sake and for his sake.

  23. #23 by frankyapp on Sunday, 20 June 2010 - 12:55 am

    When you are enjoying and eating the pie,you won’t talk to avoid choking. However when your mouth is empty hence you can talk pretty lot such Kuli and TDM. Most people know that GLCs are used by Umnoputras and cronies as a kind of milking cow to enriching themselves,all in the name of NEP. These guys used the NEP to cheat their own race.However it’s pretty sad indeed,the malays though they know it but still willingly allow these crooks to carry on with their looting. The malays hence cannot blame the non malays if they continue to remain poor and backward as it’s their own making.

  24. #24 by monsterball on Sunday, 20 June 2010 - 4:46 am

    It is years too late…and yes..exposing UMNO B corruptions right also done for selfish reasons.
    In any case…his piece on corruptions is very interesting as Kuli is a real smart man…with his smartness tied down to his belly.
    Lets see how MACC perform and reacts.
    I am sure…no change as all are ganged up to support dictatorial rule by Najib…right now.

  25. #25 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Sunday, 20 June 2010 - 5:20 am

    “DPM tells BN component parties to buck up -Muhyiddin calls on component parties to improve BN’s image because ‘the public are now knowledgeable and well informed.’

    Ha, ha,ha – what a siick and stupid DPM. All components of BN must finally (and only now) buck up because Malaysians know better that this corrupt government and BN are stealing from the taxpayers.

    “Ku Li on Corruption and Exocet missiles”

  26. #26 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 20 June 2010 - 9:47 am

    “MALAYSIA INC TOO: A Conglomerate Gone Awry”

    Political Corruption, defined by World Bank as “abuse of public power for private benefit”, is, like the HIV virus, once lodged in body politic, impossible to cure and eradicate.

    This is because it is self feeding. Power is used to accumulate financial resources from dishing out contracts and exalted positions in govt or GLCs, corporates to preferred recipients who for the benefits of market protection, preferences, and monopoly and licensing rights, give back to the power wielders their unstinting support/loyalty and via round tripping their share of the booty. A portion of financial resources accumulated by this means of patronage distribution are channelled back to again buy support and loyalty of not only the immediate party delegates voting one in, but to even members of opposition for their cross overs and, in by elections, even segment of voters!

    This cycle of extraction for private benefit and enrichment, and the use of corrupt means for power preservation for more extraction for private benefit and enrichment is an unending cycle – addictive as dadah.

    (Even if one knows this is wrong, one poised at vantage point to benefit within such a system, cannot reform by kicking the habit. One can only talk of resolvbe to end the habit but not walk it).

    However it must all end somewhere eventually – when the country, like the physical body, ravaged by the spread of this ‘corrupt’ virus, is drained off all its resources and defences, it will just, at the point of full blown AIDs developing, succumb and collapse (in a case of person into death) and in case of country into economic/social chaos.

  27. #27 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 20 June 2010 - 9:56 am

    Yes Corruption is world wide phenomenon, as old as prostitution and human history and a very in built trait of the darker side of human nature. Still such a habit if unavoidable has to be mitigated by curbs or strong income generation.

    Rampant Corruption may be buffered if one is high income economy driven by techology innovation and dynamic exertion of its hard working and smart citizens.

    But if the country is not high income, not competitive, depending on natural resources like drawing on savings to finance subsidies and hand outs, if wastage and leakages are not compensated by higher income generation – what is the inevitable end result?

  28. #28 by TheWrathOfGrapes on Sunday, 20 June 2010 - 10:55 am

    Unfortunately, Malaysia will be condemned to see such shennanigans time and time again because of the existence of the NEP/NDP/NVP/NEM and whatever guise it takes in the future. As long as incompetents and crooks are placed in board rooms on the basis on kulitfication instead of qualification, you can be sure history will repeat itself.

  29. #29 by habis on Sunday, 20 June 2010 - 11:09 am

    Can you name one GLC which is headed by a non-bumi in our country?Obviously all of us knows that if you dont belong to the right racial group you will be automatically disqualified no matter the amount of experience business acumen ability management skills you have.That is the stark reality we face in the country of ours. 1 Malaysia is all rubbish only an empty slogan to mislead especially East Malaysians to believe that all is fair in this country.Meritocracy is completely irrevalent.

  30. #30 by sheriff singh on Sunday, 20 June 2010 - 11:19 am

    Sime Darby used to be control by certain groups within and without the company.

    It was once controlled by the Penang – Kedah group of elites. Then it was the turn of the Kelantan group. The insiders will tell you this.

    Whoever was in control was generally given wide latitude by the government who considered the company untouchable and bluest of blue as there were many in the management who came from the elite families with connections.

    There were many failings in many of the Group’s operations but so long as the company was able to generate cash and paid dividends, all the failures were ignored. Corporate governance then was not something important as it is now. Many of SD’s management found themselves in cushy positions especially at Board level. How ‘independent’ were they?

    Dr Chan Chin Cheung’s recent article shed considerable light on the many failures of SD that were simply ignored or glossed over because of vested interests. Many interested parties just didn’t want to open the can of worms as SD was the standard bearer of the country.

    Not any more. The company is capable of scandals too that warrant public scrutiny under present day CG environment. The high and might are capable of mismanagement and shortcomings too.

  31. #31 by sheriff singh on Sunday, 20 June 2010 - 11:38 am

    After the ‘home coming’ of SD, this former British company was run by the elites for the benefit of the elites. The management was filled by scions of the powerful elite families, favoured individuals and the like.

    Nepotism and cronyism was the order of the day but who was there to criticise? SD could do no wrong and if the major shareholders did not care, what could the small shareholders do?

    Scratch deeper and you will find that the company was full of failed projects that cost the shareholders and country billions of ringgit, Bakun not included yet. See this eye-opener:

    No one dared to question the management and the staff will tell you that most of the time, the company was run by autocrats. They had a good thing going. It was a nice club.

  32. #32 by sheriff singh on Sunday, 20 June 2010 - 11:52 am

    SD lacked direction. No focus at all. They called it ‘diversification’. But really, they had no sense of what their core business was or is. So they became jack of all trades.

    They really had no expertise in many of the things they did. They left the operations in the hands of ‘professionals’, ‘experts’ and ‘locals’. And wool was pulled over their eyes. Every one of their divisions, local and overseas, had some scandal or another but no one really was held to account. Just a quiet handshake and out-of court settlements.

    The directors and top management did not understand how to supervise and play their roles as controllers, then and now. It was just like a club, their club. That’s why they failed and will fail again. And they won’t be blamed. They are after all the elites, the untouchables, who will no doubt be called to do other national duties in another GLC.

  33. #33 by boh-liao on Sunday, 20 June 2010 - 1:20 pm

    Of cos, d sad thing in 1M’sia is dat we must hv Malays appointed as CEO, Chairman of GLCs n all gomen agencies
    If they r competent n really d best guys 4 d jobs, well n good, OK
    But r they really so?
    Look around n we C a limited number of Malays seem 2 get appointed 2 all sorts of positions
    They hold many important n tough jobs simultaneously
    How 2 function properly lah? Even tackling 1 job well is already difficult
    No wonder many of them mati on d job, stressed n heart tak boleh tahan mah
    Watch NR – how many cabinet posts is he holding? Can do or not aah?
    At the end, every job also tak boleh pass 1

    Now, M Bakke S helms SD
    Track record not good, holding a number of top posts
    Truly a foregone conclusion: FAILURE in d making
    How 2 b 1M’sia when talented non-Malay Malaysians r bypassed
    M’sia a developed nation in 2020, ha, ha, ban ban tan lah; no bankrupt, tau chio liao, ho mia

  34. #34 by lopez on Sunday, 20 June 2010 - 9:37 pm

    dont you see it is part of the agenada to fast track their social engineering.
    some people simply lacks business acumen attributes which others have to their envy and greenish eyes.
    and in order to allow quick solution some smart polotician opines that it can be spoon fed…or simply buys the expertise and knowledge…and so some businessman sold them the idea of adopting a sturcture programme and mistakes are allowed, and maybe pardon … whose expense……i wonder..2020 hahahahah

  35. #35 by c730427 on Monday, 21 June 2010 - 8:50 am

    Sime Darby is predominantly managed by UMNO influence. The mass losses is expected and nothing new.

  36. #36 by Bigjoe on Monday, 21 June 2010 - 9:55 am

    When Badawi came into power, he initiated the GLC transformation program where suppose professional management were brought in. It had some initial success but like his administration, it somehow lost its way also.

    Where the entire process went haywire was when Badawi decided it as a good idea for GLC to lead or play a leading role National Corridor Region initiative. From focussing on performance and core competency, GLCs were told they were should also be enterprising.

    The license for enterprising was a bad idea because the GLCs as complicated machine have a tendency to abuse it. The professional management which did not have any of their own capital at risk tendency is to take too much risk or to go rent-seeking. So Sime Darby looking to steal assets from the government such as IJN or entering business did not have the expertise.

    Its very hard for GLC to be enterprising. That is its nature. If its in business that require scale and last for long time such utilities like power, water etc. then they can be an acceptable creature. But if they are in projects that are technologically difficult or can change, almost all the time they fail. The idea that govt can start and control innovation that is the role of private sector has been proven time and again ridiculous. Govt can start and encourage enterprise but it can never control and lead it all the way.

    Sime Darby problem is the pretext that govt can do many things they want people to believe it can do. Its just plainly false. So long as they want to pretend they can do things they cannot, so long as problems and losses like these will crop up.

  37. #37 by Voter get Voters campaign for PR on Wednesday, 23 June 2010 - 2:00 pm

    To ALL readers & commentators : Complained and whinned ALL you want,there is NOTHING,absolutely NOTHING you ALL can do. However there is one and ONLY one thing which we ALL can and SHOULD do viz is start your own “VOTER-get-VOTERS” campaign for PR. Do it not tommorrow but NOW cos GE13 is just around the corner..closer than you think. Start this ” VOTER-get-VOTERS 4 PR” campaign NOW by chain emails,sms,words of mouth to everyone….for a BETTER Malaysia..Join us at “VOTER-get-VOTERS for a Better Malaysia ” in facebook

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