Archive for February 29th, 2012

MAS losses soar to RM2.5b

By Lee Wei Lian
The Malaysian Insider
Feb 29, 2012

PETALING JAYA, Feb 29 — Malaysia Airlines recorded a stunning net loss of RM2.52 billion for 2011 and the company is now in “crisis”, the national flag carrier said today.

The carrier also confirmed that the losses for the 2011 financial year were the largest in its history.

The airline reported a massive net loss of RM1.28 billion in the fourth quarter, which was about as much as the first three quarters combined.

“The company is in crisis,” said Malaysia Airlines (MAS) CEO Ahmad Jauhari Yahya in a statement.

Ahmad said that the losses were due to higher expenses including a 25 per cent increase in fuel expenses and a 50 per cent increase in non-fuel expenses.

The company’s cash reserves more than halved to RM1 billion at the end of last year from RM2.1 billion at the end of 2010 and net assets plunged from RM3.5 billion to RM1.1 billion. Read the rest of this entry »


The Superhumans of Malaysia

— Sakmongkol AK47
The Malaysian Insider
Feb 29, 2012

FEB 29 — We have two super humans in Malaysia. Each is said to be able to give guarantees. In the case of Dr Mahathir Mohamad, he guaranteed the loan given to Tajudin Ramli to acquire 32 per cent share of MAS in 1992. The guarantee was in the form of an overriding indemnity provision to Tajudin Ramli protecting him from losses should he mess up the acquisition.

Now, that is the type of captain needed by Dr Mahathir to drive his NEP.

The current prime minister can also give guarantees. He can guarantee that when FGVH lists, the returns to Felda settlers will be assured. That means, while Dr Mahathir can walk on water, the current PM is given the attribute of someone who can control the free market.

Adam Smith, the man accepted by many as the Father of the science of Economics wrote about the invisible hand that regulates free enterprise. He got the name wrong. The invisible hand is Najib Razak. That superhuman attribute was given to Najib Razak by Felda chairman Isa Samad. Read the rest of this entry »


Selangor MB accuses Putrajaya of nepotism over KJ’s appointment

By Yow Hong Chieh
The Malaysian Insider
Feb 29, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 29 — Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin’s expected appointment to a key government agency shows Putrajaya still values political links above professionalism, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said today.

The Selangor mentri besar said Khairy’s appointment as Perbadanan Usahawan Nasional Bhd (PUNB) chairman will benefit Umno rather than Malays, and would be a step back for the Bumiputera community.

“While the Bumiputera have been encouraged to pursue the standard professionalism on par with the world’s best, the appointment clearly shows that political affiliation, and not capability and experience, makes the cut for top positions in government-linked corporations.

“As one of the founders of PUNB, I take great pride in the fact that it has thus far been led by professionals free from political interest. While there were politicians at the policy-making level, they did not interfere with the operations of the company,” he said in a statement.

The prime minister should not “demean” the efforts of the Bumiputera professionals who have made PUNB what it is today by picking Khairy, who has not shown he can run a successful corporation, Khalid added. Read the rest of this entry »


Does Mahathir also want a RCI into the losses from the financial scandals during Tun Abdullah’s five year premiership?

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahahtir Mohamad seems to have given a “positive” response to my proposal for a full audit and accounting into the RM100 billion “black hole” caused by the losses of the financial scandals his his 22-year premiership.

I had said on Saturday that the time has come to revisit the RM100 billion “losses” suffered by the country during his 22-year premiership, especially if the present generation of Malaysians are still to pay for the “sins of Mahathir’s past premiership”.

This came about as a result of the RM580 million write-off by the Malaysian government with the “out-of-court” settlement between Danaharta and Tajudin Ramli on Feb. 14, the terms of which remain confidential between the two parties, where all suits pertaining to the court judgement of RM589.14 million that Tajudin was ordered to pay to Danaharta in 2009 would be dropped and Tajudin agreed to withdraw claims totally RM13.46 billion, involved in 27 appeals, 11 against Danaharta.

Core to Tajudin’s case is his affidavit that he was directed by former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir and former Finance Minister Tun Daim Zainudin in 1994 to buy a controlling stake in MAS to bail out the government – a “national service” to help bail out Bank Negara after the central bank suffered massive foreign exchange losses due partly to speculation in foreign currency markets with an “Overriding Agreement” to indemnify him against any losses suffered.
Read the rest of this entry »


Standing up against political gangsterism

By Othman Wahab | February 29, 2012
The Malaysian Insider

FEB 29 — What would you do if a group of individuals constantly threatened you, used thuggish language and behaviour to intimidate you and your family, friends and neighbours?

How would you react if your legitimate right to express your opinion or gather as a peaceful assembly to express an opinion on a matter close to your heart, is challenged by gangsters and politicians behaving in such manner?

What would you say if your brother or sister attending a political gathering was assaulted by thugs who are acting with the support of the government?

Would it be acceptable to you if your elected representatives are being threatened with bodily harm, abused with racist epithets and prevented from speaking to Felda settlers by thugs?
Read the rest of this entry »


A Critique of the ETP: Part 5 – Diversity – The ETP so far is just a handful of mega-projects

By Dr. Ong Kian Ming BSc (LSE), MPhil (Cantab), PhD (Duke)
Teh Chi-Chang, CFA, BSc (Warwick), MBA (Cantab)

Just two mega-projects and Oil, Gas & Energy, really. Behind the apparently impressive RM176 billion of investments achieved in the ETP so far is a sobering picture. The MRT and Petronas’ RAPID mega-projects make up 55% of total investments in Entry Point Projects (EPPs). Going by National Key Economic Area, 53% of investments were in just one NKEA – Oil, Gas & Energy.

Zero progress in Financial Services. Not a single EPP has been announced in this NKEA which is targeted to deliver up to 15% of the income boost envisaged in the ETP. The Kuala Lumpur International Financial District is not a Financial Services EPP and is not even mentioned in Bank Negara’s Financial Services Blueprint 2011 to 2020. Is PEMANDU in sync with the key financial regulators Bank Negara and the Securities Commission?

Broad-based investments are necessary to transform Malaysia. The RM800 billion of investments targeted by the ETP are spread across 131 EPPs in 12 NKEAs. This will deliver the broad-based growth that will turn Malaysia into the high-income nation that PEMANDU envisages. But progress has been skewed towards just one NKEA and a few mega-projects. The ETP currently appears to be business-as-usual, government-linked mega-projects rather than private sector-led transformation.
Read the rest of this entry »


Reforming MACC: Tickled by PM’s two-thirds poser

— Aliran
The Malaysian Insider
Feb 29, 2012

FEB 29 — Aliran is tickled by the prime minister’s so-called pledge that he would give more bite to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) if voters hand the Barisan Nasional (BN) its coveted two-thirds parliamentary majority in the coming general election.

We are bemused because the federal government does not need a two-thirds majority to give teeth to the MACC as it does not require a constitutional amendment. What it does need, though, is political will and commitment from the federal government to ensure that the MACC is fully and fiercely independent. Read the rest of this entry »