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perilous May 21, 2010

Posted by youppe in personal, politics.
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when has the tide turn? no one saw it coming, but in many ways, it was inevitable. structural defects, initially unseen, were felt deep across the heart, and sowed the seed of uncomfortable imaginations. words won’t suffice to describe it, for it is a matter of the heart. but feelings will never betray your soul. and you would know.

the end times will always produce spectacular rhetorics, from both of the divide. the would-be victors would be predictable, and so would the losers. where do we all stand in this? this is our life too, right? we sit and we stand, talk and listen. analyze and interpret. what will we find? the answer? few who began that journey ever finds it, while some just gets even more confused. the road taken is perilous.

have we, finally, lost our heads for the last time?

– quote of the day – May 17, 2010

Posted by youppe in personal, politics, quotes.
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“What’s going on? The PM could land himself in jail. If he’s not careful, we may have a by-election in Pekan!”

– Karpal Singh, Bukit Gelugor MP

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in light of the endless by-elections we had since 2008’s General Election for all sorts of reasons, Karpal Singh’s ‘prediction’ of the next one is downright hilarious. check out what he’s talking about here.

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ps.. Karpal Singh is a hilarious man. when he speaks, you cannot help but laugh.

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gambling a-way May 14, 2010

Posted by youppe in business, finance, investment, politics.
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it’s funny. when you type ‘vincent tan ascot sports’ in Google Images, the search result’s first page is full of Ibrahim Ali pictures! it may be because Ibrahim Ali was accused by Saifuddin Nasution to be holding substantial shares in Vincent Tan’s sports betting company Ascot Sports (or Ibrahim himself misinterpreting Saifuddin’s ‘accusation’.. whatever) which has since been denied by the PERKASA president, but it was so funny nonetheless!! i expect to see Vincent Tan’s face, not him!! hahaha..

vincent tan, not ibrahim ali

anyways..

Vincent Tan and his Berjaya Group have been itching for the government to legalize sports betting for quite some time, as it was estimated that this economic segment is worth as much as RM 20 billion annually. and of course, out of this the government is expected to receive around RM 4 billion per annum in tax revenue. and dreams do come true, at least for him. his privately-held Ascot Sports has been given the sports betting license he craved, at a very perfect timing (just before the World Cup!). a point to note, this license is actually being re-issued to Ascot Sports as it was first given to them in 1987 by the Mahathir-Tun Daim administration for one year, and they were given first right-of-refusal in case the government decided to ‘re-legalize’ sports betting in the future. which asnwers the question, why there was no open-bidding session for this license, in line with the PM’s New Economic Model (NEM) which aims to promote competitiveness and transparency and eradicate rent-seeking (pun intended). which begs another question; when it was awarded in 1987, was it through transparent, open-bidding process?

whatever it is, Vincent Tan wasted no time in moving his flagship Berjaya Corporation Bhd to acquire 70% of his interest in Ascot Sports Sdn Bhd for RM 525 million CASH. isn’t this RPT (related-party transaction)? i wonder if the Securities Commission will look into this matter seriously or even approve this deal, especially when the minority shareholders of BCorp will stand to lose while Vincent Tan gets RM 525 million richer, just like that! the details of the deal between Tan’s Berjaya Corp and Ascot Sports could be found here, but i’ll copy the summary in simple terms. look and wonder..

Before the exercise

      • Vincent Tan owns Ascot 100%
      • BCorp owns 0% of Ascot

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After the exercise

Vincent Tan owns

      • 30% of Ascot and RM 525 million cash.
      • RM 125 million cash is held by BCorp to be released in stages.
      • RM 400 million cash is used to subscribe to his portion of the rights issue (ICULS).
      • Tan will not need to fork out cash as he will reinvest the entire initial consideration to be received from his disposal to subscribe to the rights issue.

BCorp minority shareholders

      • own BCorp which has debt (ICULS) of RM 614.5 million and asset of  70% of Ascot
      • give out of their pocket RM 214.5+ million to subscribe to their portion of the rights issue (ICULS) which is effectively a loan to be repaid at a later date.

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still on the same subject but on another issue, while it is undeniable the economic gains represented by the sports betting industry, i am a little worried about the part where ‘the government will collect the billions of tax revenue and reinvest it to develop the nation’. some sources said it will be channeled specifically to the Kementerian Belia dan Sukan for sports development (whatever that is) while some said it will used not specifically but lumped into the nation’s entire budget. i confess i am not an ustaz or or even a good servant to God, but even i know anything coming from the sources which is prohibited by Islam is haram. sports betting is haram, so the money coming from it is also haram. it’s as simple as that, or am i the only one confused? please enlighten me, i hope there is some explanation to this. the infamous Zul Noordin, hate him or love him, did put some serious stuff in his blog reiterating the use of ‘tainted’ money is against syara’, read about it here. i hope an authority in religious matter will clear this out and allay my fears, that i am just a little confused about which is what.

but why hasn’t anyone said anything about the matter? no one dared?

hmmpphh.

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ps… word on the street is that like G. Palanivel and Ezam Mohd Noor who were made Senators and in line for Cabinet appointments, this move is seen as a reward for Tan who has been loyal to the cause of BN, especially in terms of providing the cash to fund their more ‘underground’ operations. is this true? again, word on the street………….

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for all the wrong reasons May 13, 2010

Posted by youppe in business, finance, investment, politics.
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shares of Sime Darby Bhd, the second largest publicly-traded company in the Malaysian exchange, were suspended today pending a ‘material announcement’ to be held via press conference at 2.30 pm. if you’re a stock market investor, you’ll know what that means… trouble. well, trouble has been brewing for quite some time in Sime and it’s not like we didn’t know about it. most people know this ‘material announcement’ will almost likely be about the cost overruns incurred by the energy & utilities division (Sime Darby Engineering or SDE), but what was to be announced proved to be quite a shocker.

‘Sime Darby Removes Chief Executive Officer After Overruns’ was the headline at BusinessWeek website, and NST Business Times followed with ‘Sime Darby Says CEO To Quit’, click on those links to view the story. for the full statement by the Sime Darby board, click here. according to the official statement, and to confirm the rumours and hearsay, SDE has indeed incurred heavy losses to their Qatar venture (with 2 clients, namely Qatar Petroleum and Maersk Oil Qatar) as well as the more well-known debacle of Bakun Dam. the losses totaled near RM 1 billion which to be accounted for in Sime’s second half of FY10. monumental losses indeed, and the board has decided the ultimate sword has to befallen the head of the head-honcho himself, DS Ahmad Zubir Murshid. no one see that coming by a long mile.

what has happened to Sime? you see, when it was first announced that PNB would marry the plantation companies under their umbrella into one gigantic, super palm oil producer-cum-property developer with substantial auto and oil & gas business, the nation rejoiced. there were some skeptics, as always, but generally, Malaysia is proud to have the biggest palm oil producer in the world and an international conglomerate touted to be blazing a trail of glory for Malaysian companies internationally. with market cap of RM 50 billion and annual revenue of around RM 30 billion, the new Sime Darby looked set to shake Corporate Malaysia in a big way. although there were capable people within Guthrie and Golden Hope, the choice of Zubir Murshid as the head of the new Sime was mutual, and easy. he stands out, it’s just as simple as that, and a new management team looked set to be united and functioning properly with him at the helm. plus, he’s clean, and some people pointed out the fact that he is not just one of TS Nor Mohamad Yaakop’s former Danaharta guys of whom he picked to head most of GLCs. (that’s another story, if you’re interested click here)

but the fact is, post-merger, Sime Darby has been rocked with scandal after scandal. the merger dust has not even settled yet, and there was already accusation of witch-hunting within the new Sime, with Golden Hope’s former top executives being the victims and put to the sword for an accounting/trading loss. former Golden Hope CEO himself was booted out, with couple of his guys, provoking lawsuits-galore from the accused. i still don’t even know what the hell was that about, but for sure it was bad blood, and bad blood is not good. the purported ‘victims’ must have been smiling seeing those headlines today. oh no, no you don’t… don’t think this was an act of vengeance by ex-GHs, no you don’t. you’re getting too creative for your own good there, mister! well, whatever it is, bad blood is not good for any organization, and it will crumble from within if it’s not meted out. and oh, the IJN privatization is also another scandal the new Sime could do a lot without.

Sime Darby should be the role models, the next-gen huge Malaysian conglomerate headed by competent professionals, making it big in the international scene, and should be a toast of Corporate Malaysia. it is now in disarray, and had to deal with 2 major issues;

1.  With the board successfully ousting the CEO, the mutual one, head of the Old Sime, Sime Darby will be in management crisis. we already know about the factional infighting, the spewing bad blood between the merged entities, and with the CEO no longer there to steady the ship, it will be interesting to see who has more aces up their sleeves. the abrupt dismissal of Zubir Murshid will lead to a lot of finger-pointing, screaming to each other, etc. the old guards of Sime might have to watch their back a lot more often that the head-honcho is now gone from the picture.

2.  The losses. a company with the size of Sime should be able to bite the bullet and swallow it, but if their cashflow position is not strong, RM 1 billion deficit could do a lot of damage and shake their foundation. put the management crisis/succession issue on top of that, and you’ll be scratching your head if you have a lot of Sime’s shares with you!

corporate governance and transparency is key in determining the solution. the public must know how and why a decision is made. it will be a sad, sad day for Malaysia if Sime Darby couldn’t recover from this. infighting must be resolved, and most people are skeptical if the Acting CEO, head of Sime Plantations Azhar Abdul Hamid could be the one to do it.

keep watching.

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ps.. BigDog has been writing about the Qatar scandals since early February 2009, more than a year ago. today we found out that it was indeed true! check it out here.

pss.. Jejak Pujangga, apparently a former GH employee, has been keeping tabs with the new Sime Darby since it was formed. check him out for the whole history.

the end is the beginning of the end October 14, 2008

Posted by youppe in business, finance, politics.
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wow… it has been a long time. what’s new?

Pak Lah’s impending departure had left people with vested interest scrambling left and right, trying to save their own neck or jockeying for new allegiances. as with the political side of the storm, a similar ruckus has been going around in Corporate Malaysia for a while now. Kalimullah Hassan’s departure from NSTP warranted a headline that screamed “The Exodus Begins…” by online news portal The Malaysian Insider, which suggested a few more of his ilk would follow suit in the few months to come. labelled Pak Lah’s “no. 1 spin doctor” by none other than Dr. Mahathir himself for his role in the media group, Kalimullah however is still the chairman of ECM Libra Financial Group, which has also sparked controversy in the past for some shady dealings. his (final?) column in NST, a passing tribute to Pak Lah, would certainly make some people very unhappy, you can read it here (It Doesn’t Pay to be a Nice Guy by Kalimullah Hassan). the next day, Patrick Lim’s resignation as Equine Capital Bhd chairman only warranted a small piece in The Star Saturday, but it was a long time coming ever since his proposed mega-billion Penang Global City Centre (PGCC) was scrapped down the drain when the Opposition took over in Penang. it was also rumored that the resignation of Shaipudin Shah Harun, former CEO of MoF-owned Sykt Prasarana Negara Bhd (SPNB) has got to do with the ministry swap between Pak Lah and Najib Razak. former Pos Malaysia Bhd CEO Idrose Mohamed has taken over the helm at SPNB, but not without some doubters, especially at a time when a huge sum was granted by the government in Budget 2009 for SPNB to “improve the local public transportation system”. coincidence?

other rumours are either not confirmed or not yet in the press (known close associate to Khairy Jamaluddin, Ethos & Co. principal Omar Ong, joining Najib’s office?), so i can’t write about it here, though i’m itching to, ahaha. it sure will get even more interesting in the months to come though. (but hopefully, not too interesting, if you know what i mean)

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anyway, that’s not my main point for today… (after all that, huh? ahaha…)

i’ve been following the development in Iraqi oil industry very closely ever since 9/11 was made a justification for the US to topple Saddam Hussein and started the ‘War-for-Oil’. mind you, Iraq has the second largest proven oil reserves next to Saudi Arabia, and yet it is also the least exploited amongst the top producing nations. so make no mistake, Iraq is the ultimate “Oil Bonanza” of the modern world defined by worldwide resource nationalization. but with Saddam Hussein at the helm, this “Oil Bonanza” would be forever out of reach of Western-linked oil giants such as ExxonMobil, BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, etc., trickling down to the services sector to the likes of Halliburton and their ilk. with producing nations ever more concerned about their resource’s exploitation by foreign companies, the hunt for new reserves to counter dwindling production (which equals profits) has got even more challenging for these oil giants.

so when the security situation is getting better and post-war Iraq is finally opening up its giant oilfields for international bidders for the first time in decades, the usual suspects was at the forefront of the long queue, giving conspiracy theorists a hell of a day at the office. Hussain Shahristani is the man of the moment, being the Oil Minister for the puppet regime installed by the Americans in Iraq, and he’s supposedly has been months in negotiations with the oil companies vying for the prize. when it was finally announced (some time last month) that the first Iraqi oil deal post-Saddam era would be with Chinese state-owned CNOOC Ltd for the Ahdab oilfield, it didn’t generate as much noise as it would if the first major deal would go to, say ExxonMobil. but it got much, much louder when Shell inked a no-bid gas deal in Basra for USD$ 4 billion with a state-owned company. a spoil of war for Shell, perhaps? it was expected that major deals are to be announced for ExxonMobil and Chevron, two of President Bush’s biggest corporate campaign contributor, as well as for BP, Tony Blair’s equivalent of the two, following the meeting in London with Shahristani (refer news attachment below). with Iraq’s biggest oilfields still up for grabs, they must be licking their lips in anticipation.

war on terror? weapons of mass destruction? sound more like outright rape and plunder to me.

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Baghdad puts 40 billion barrels up for grabs

News wires

Iraq will kick off the largest oil asset sale ever today, as Oil Minister Hussain Shahristani putting 40 billion barrels of recoverable reserves up for grabs at a meeting in London.

BP, Shell and ExxonMobil are all expected to attend today’s meeting.

Iraq is offering access to eight fields which together represent about 40% of its reserves.

Shahristani is expected to unveil what have been termed “risk service agreements” that could run for up to 20 years, with formal offers to be submitted by next spring and agreements signed in the summer.

However, some analysts are cautious about the deals on offer.

Heinrich Matthee, a senior Middle East analyst at the specialist risk consultant Control Risks Group, told London newspaper the Guardian:”Currently it is unclear which party in Iraq is authorised to award a contract and at the same time to deliver its side of the bargain.

“Any contract with an independent oil company will be subjected to opposition and possible revision after pressure by resource nationalists.”

China National Petroleum Corporation has already agreed a $3 billion deal with Baghdad covering the Ahdab oilfield.

Anglo-Dutch supermajor Shell has a deal, worth as much as $4 billion, to set up a joint venture with the South Gas Company in Basra.

The Shell deal sparked controversy in Iraq.

Issam al-Chalabi, Iraq’s oil minister between 1987 and 1990, asked why there had been no competitive tendering for the gas-gathering contract and claimed it had gone to Shell as the spoils of war.

“Why choose Shell when you could have chosen ExxonMobil, Chevron, BG or Gazprom?” he said.

“Shell appears to be paying $4 billion to get hold of assets that in 20 years could be worth $40 billion. Iraq is giving away half its gas wealth and yet this work could have been done by Iraq itself.”

Baghdad has said it aims to increase crude oil production from 2.5 million barrels a day to 4.5 million bpd by 2013, but faces internal opposition from regional governors and political opponents.


Monday, 13 October, 2008, 08:04 GMT | last updated: Monday, 13 October, 2008, 08:04 GMT

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“.. change will not come if we wait for another person or another time. we are the ones we’ve been waiting for. we are the change that we seek .. “

– barack obama

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of jaguh kampung & morons July 21, 2008

Posted by youppe in business, finance, politics.
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Petronas

Global 500 Rank: 95
Profits ($millions): $18,118.40
Change from 2006: 40.9%

Profits surged over 40% for Malaysia’s largest company last year. The state-owned gas firm capitalized on the price of crude, selling Malaysian crude oil at $68.50 per barrel during the fiscal year 2007, up 11.2% from the previous year.

The company contributes more than a third to the Malaysian government’s annual budget.

-excerpt taken from Fortune Global 500

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yeah. it is a well-known fact that our own Petronas was a Fortune 500 company, but this year marked its first top 100 standing, at no. 95. yeah, ninety-five. a freaking Malaysian company, that. you’ll get dizzy when looking at the long list of sprawling MNCs lying in the wake of proud MCOB Hassan Marican’s superbly managed team, the likes of technology giants Dell (no 106), Microsoft (no 136) and Intel (no 188), top global defense contractor United Technologies (no 123), EADS (besides defense, also parent company for Airbus – no 127) and Lockheed Martin (no 170), car manufacturers Renault (no 119), Mitsubishi (no 130) and Volvo (no 167), and other global behemoths such as Unilever, Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Time Warner, BHP Billiton, Bank of China, Motorola, Coca Cola, News Corp, etc.

but you’ll get dizzier – in fact Anwar Ibrahim did mention briefly about this during the infamous ‘Debat’ – when you take a look at the list of Fortune’s Top 20 Most Profitable Companies In The World.

2008 FORTUNE GLOBAL: 20 MOST PROFITABLE COMPANIES IN THE WORLD

  1. ExxonMobil
  2. Royal Dutch Shell
  3. General Electric
  4. BP
  5. Gazprom
  6. HSBC
  7. Chevron
  8. PETRONAS
  9. Total
  10. JPMorgan
  11. Royal Bank 0f Scotland
  12. Toyota Motors
  13. Bank of America
  14. China National Petroleum Co.
  15. Microsoft
  16. ENI
  17. BHP Billiton
  18. Vodafone
  19. Berkshire Hathaway
  20. Petrobras

oh yeah. at USD 18 billion earnings, Petronas is the 8th most profitable company IN THE WORLD. NUMBER 8, for God’s sake!!!! phew, don’t you get dizzy looking at the giants in the list, and finding Petronas smacked right in the middle? we know all about the independent/international oil supermajors ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, Chevron, France’s Total and Italy’s ENI, while GE needs no introduction. the world’s biggest miner Australia-based BHP Billiton was there, Europe’s biggest bank HSBC and current darling RBS were also there, so were US-based banks JPMorgan and Warren Buffett-controlled Berkshire Hathaway, both remained strong in the current US subprime crisis despite the not-so-fortunate fate of their US rivals and peers. a familiar name to Malaysians were Toyota and Microsoft, and Petronas made more profit than both of them. on queue with the current trend in the oil industry, where the power of international oil supermajors are diminishing and overtaken by up-and-coming national oil corporations (NOC), there were 4 NOCs in the list. only Russian behemoth Gazprom, who is also the largest gas producer in the world, betters Petronas in terms of profits. other NOCs who were raking in the profits are CNPC (parent company of PetroChina) and Brazilian state-owned Petrobras. (i wonder where is Saudi Aramco, the largest oil producer in the world..? or other national oil corporations – especially NIOC (Iran), PDVSA (Venezuela)?)

you can think of any company other than the top 7, and Petronas made more profit than them. name anyone you want, any global conglomerate you can think of, and Petronas made more money than them. true, our oil & gas reserves are tiny compared to Saudi, Iran or Venezuela (countries that give the cheapest fuel prices), but our national oil company made wayyyyyyyyyyy more money. so go figure. comprehend the magnitude. understand what it means.

i have commented before in someone’s blog (i think NoktahItam’s), and Mr Anwar has also stressed the same during the debate (a simple point which was not understood by Shabery)… the problem is not with Petronas. Petronas is world-class, they deserve everything they’ve achieved. it is a corporation with the sole aim of making money out of the riches from our soil. they do that magnificently… being number 8 coming from tiny Malaysia, what more can you ask for? but when they hand over the billions back to their ultimate owner, that’s where the problem lies. what this owner does with the money, is out of Petronas’ responsibilities. whether they make tall skyscrapers, F1 circuits, bailout crony companies, make more schools in rural areas, purchase private jets and new Mercedes for civil servants, subsidize fuel prices to lessen the rakyats’ burden, etc.. it is up to the owner, and not Petronas.

the most ridiculous, moronic suggestion i heard so far this year is ‘Boycott Petronas’. so you want to help filthy rich Western capitalists ExxonMobil, Shell and Chevron (who owns Caltex) make even more money at the expense of our own local giant?

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tu la, fikir guna kepala lutut.

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(oh, don’t get me started on the IPPs, it’ll be another whole page)

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of my sodomized nation, SEPI & cinta July 9, 2008

Posted by youppe in personal, politics, quotes.
8 comments

well.. some of my regular readers (errr… can i use that term, because i don’t update this blog that regularly.. hehe) asked me when will i write my ten cents’ worth on the ongoing soap opera between Najib Razak and Anwar Ibrahim. my answer to that is… wake me up when everything’s over and the dust have settled and we know who wins in the end. then maybe i’ll write an interesting piece, or maybe not if the winner is Najib, ahaha (why? you kidding me? i wanna get married and die of old age, please!)

but anyway, i think the only one being sodomized in all this mess.. is the rakyat. yeah, that pain in your ass, is because you are currently being sodomized. not all fun, ain’t it? when the first SD from Raja Petra came out, it was shocking. when a 60-year-old grandpa with a back problem was accused of meliwating a tall, supposedly strong 23-years-old young man, it got interesting. but then all that happened afterwards was just plain sad and pathetic, and it really showed the realities of the current sorry state of our sodomized nation. everything is politicized, now even the Syariah Court has been dragged into this. sumpah dengan Quran… you think we’re in high school?? that’d be enough? it never crossed your mind that both parties would just do it without even flinching?? but then when the general perception towards our civil institutions and even the ulama was at all-time low (barring perhaps during the certain points in Mahathir’s 22 years tenure) it’s hard to fathom how the truth could ever come out. and i don’t think that the truth will ever come out from this one. what will come out is just the guy with the bigger hand, with some aces left in his sleeves.  when it is already a general public opinion that we can’t trust our police, our judiciary, our legislative head and even our ulama’, i can’t imagine a worst picture i can paint about the current disastrous state our country is in. and it does get kinda scary sometimes. it’s oblivious who’s sodomizing who, when both of them are actually sodomizing the nation. sodom me lah!!!!

so who’s gonna win?

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my bet’s on Khairy.

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on another totally different note…

i think SEPI was superb. i have a hard time believing a local production house can produce such a movie. it was world class… the script, the acting, the songs, the scenes, etc everything. from basically the same team that made CINTA (Kabir Bhatia is genius!!), this one’s better and deeper. much deeper. words are kept right where it hurts the most, and in Malay (how about that?)… and boy what about the storyboard? and the SEPI puisi, it was excellent.

for those of you who haven’t watch it, please do. because a movie of this quality deserves all the recognition you can give, triple over the recognition you can give to the likes of Cicakman, Nana Tanjung (wtf??), Anak Mami and any other thing he called ‘movie’ that Mohaideen fella throws out.

a sign of better days to come? Malaysian film industry will at last be saved? hmmm…. (i’ll certainly produce a movie one day…)

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*the movie’s attempted potrayal of Kahlil Gibran was beautiful. he’s one of my all-time favourite writer and poet, his words are one of a kind.

“.. it is well to give when asked, but it is better to give unasked, through understanding ..”

“.. out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars ..”

“.. the deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain ..”

“.. the optimist sees the rose and not its thorns; the pessimist stares at the thorns, oblivious of the rose ..”

“.. to understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to do ..”

“.. i have learnt silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet strange, I am ungrateful to these teachers ..”

– Kahlil Gibran, 1883 -1931

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i think…

i’m just as far in as i’ll ever be out.

she feels so close now, yet she’s so far away. oh she’s far away.

i know she’s so far away.

yet, sometimes i feel…

like i smelled her in the winds lately.

her scent, one i cannot forget, was in the air.

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pardon me…

i’m just waiting for my real life to begin.

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of old man, buses & monorail June 13, 2008

Posted by youppe in business, politics.
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Honestly, I didn’t think it would come to this. That he would go this far. And this low.

Tun Mahathir has gone far much lower than he’s ever been his entire life with his blog posting titled RapidKL, and damn it’s so sad. It’s so shameful I couldn’t believe it. The Grand Old Man of Malaysian Politics had become just another blogger in the vast cyberworld, playing the games of ‘common folks’ with mischievous posting, with the sole aim to make the other party look bad. A brat teenager, a 40-something clerk or a housewife (you know what i mean) who have blogging as their pastime would’ve write such a speculative, unprofessional and unintelligent piece of writing, so void of facts and full of loopholes to lead the readers to make their own assumptions. It sounded more like a group of makciks gossiping around the staircase, than a writing of a former Prime Minister worshipped by many. He pretended to present the facts for the knowledge of the rakyat, but there were no facts at all in there, just hearsay and speculation, and more loopholes so that the public can make their own assumptions. Make an official enquiry to RapidKL (or SPNB – Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd – who is the owner of the buses, RapidKL is just the operator) about the facts of the matter and present it on your blog. But he knew there would be nothing to write if official statements from SPNB were inquired, because there was nothing wrong. Yesterday Scomi Engineering Bhd president Hilmy Zaini made a press conference and took the media on a tour of the bus manufacturing facility, dishing out official FACTS after FACTS, and that’s how it should be done. In the past few years SPNB had purchased around 1,000 buses through open tenders, and Scomi only managed to win 285. And all SPNB contracts were done through open tenders. You can find that even in the Annual Report for God’s sake!!!

If Mahathir had wanted to write about the issue ‘sincerely’, he would have included the fact that it was him who started Mtrans with cronies Vincent Tan and David Chew (Chew eventually bought over all of Tan’s shares) and gave them the monorail monopoly in KL, and the fact that his son-in-law is the CEO of Mtrans. He would also include the fact that he gave the KL Monorail & Putrajaya Monorail project to Mtrans through direct-negotiation, not open tender. He would also have include the fact that when Mtrans run into financial troubles he bailed them out with government banks, leaving only KL Monorail to complete and the Putrajaya Monorail had to be scrapped. When he stepped down as PM, Chew flew overseas leaving Mtrans into more financial troubles, and Scomi took them over. There were contracts for the supply of buses to SPNB even when Scomi took over Mtrans. So… ahaha, I am speechless. Like I said, if Mahathir really wanted to raise this issue ‘sincerely’ for the rakyat’s knowledge, then he would have included all those facts. But he did not. So his intention, henceforth, is obvious.

Eventhough I am not his No 1 fan (as you could imagine from my previous postings in this blog), I do think highly of him, that he is a giant of a man in stature and intelligence. I can’t imagine him being one of the makciks gossiping about half-truths and hearsays just to pass the time. But now, I seriously have to reconsider that.

Melayu Mudah Lupa? No, we’re not!! (again)

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Ps.. if you think I am writing this because I support Pak Lah, please read my previous postings in this blog to verify that!!!

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click to enlarge

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Below is Shah Hakim Zain (CEO of Scomi Group Bhd) explanation to MCOBA-Malaysia e-group (yes, he is a MCOB) about the issue (reposted with permission);

Saudara saudara,

Since the Government acquired Intrakota and Parkmay, the operations and ownership of the buses/assets are separated. The ownership of the assets rests with SPNB while Rapidkl is responsible for the operations of the assets.

SPNB has since invested in the purchases of new buses. We understand total purchase todate by SPNB is about 1200 units for Klang Valley and 150 units for Penang. The Klang Valley buses are operated by RapidKL and penang buses by RapidPenang.

Scomi supplied the following to SPNB for Rapidkl operation:

– 2005: 160

– 2006: 50

– 2007: 75

Total is 285 units. The other suppliers include SKS, Deftech, Sumai, Euromawar and Masterbuilders.

Scomi supplied 70 of the 150 units to SPNB for penang operations. The other suppliers are SKS and Deftech.

The old buses (not so old, about 10 years) that SPNB inherited upon taking over Parkmay and Intrakota totaled to about 1000 units (one thousand). These buses were not in operating condition and have been lying idle in two yards at Sungai Buaya and Antara Gapi, Selangor.

Scomi is now refurbishing 150 units of these buses at a price lower than brand new purchases. This is the first time any supplier doing this and Scomi has successfully completed 50 units thus far.

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taken from stephendoss.blogspot.com

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

RapidKL !!!

It is interesting to note that Dr Mahathir is once again throwing stones from his glass house. In this particular issue I have a few points to make;

  1. RapidKL is the operator of buses owned by Syarikat Prasarana Nasional Berhad (SPNB).
  2. Most contracts given by them is awarded by open tender.
  3. In the case of supply of buses for RapidKL and Rapid Penang buses are purchased through open tender.
  4. In 1995, RapidKL put out a tender for 1200 buses (please check who was PM then).
  5. Out of the 1200, Mtrans was awarded 160 buses, at that time Mahathir’s son-in-law was a major shareholder of Mtrans, and Scomi was not yet in the picture. This was in 2005.
  6. Scomi only bought into Mtrans in 2006 when Mtrans got into financial trouble, after this Mtrans supplied 120 busses.
  7. In Penang, Rapid Penang put out a tender for 150 buses, Scomi was only one of five companies awarded a contract to supply 70 buses. (Pls find out who the rest are).
  8. Why does Mahathir not also reveal the role his son-in-law played in Mtrans as a major shareholder of the company.
  9. Why did Mahathir give them the monopoly of monorails in Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya when his son-in-law was a major shareholder of the company and when Mahathir was PM.
  10. Why did he as PM authorize a bail out to a company where his son in law was a major shareholder and where he knew they could not successfully carry out the monorail project.

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  1. Ahh…. isu RapidKL… amat menarik, tapi malangnya Tun M hanya meng-ekspose perihal yang dia nampak “cantik” untuk menghantam pemerintahan Pak Lah. Saya cuma sekadar pemerhati, ada dengar juga hal ini, jadi saya rasa geli hati juga kerana Tun M menyembunyikan fakta2 lain…Salah satunya adalah perihal menantu Tun M sendiri adalah CEO MTrans semasa beliau sdri PM dulu, dan ketika inilah Tun M telah memberikan monorel KL dan Putrajaya projek secara direct negotiation. Saya baca juga Scomi bukanlah 100% memiliki tender tersebut. Walhal tender2 RapidKL dan RapidPenang adalah terbuka dan Scomi mempunyai bahagian terkecil, di samping ada 4 syarikat lain yang memegang tender itu.Jadi janganlah kita mudah terpedaya dengan kata2 Tun M. Kita sebagai pembaca juga perlu peka dan buat research juga bukan sekadar mempercayai apa saja yang mereka katakan.Wsalam.

    Comment by pipitart | June 11, 2008 <!– @ 3:45 am –>

  2. kenapa TDM asyik membuat tuduhan seperti ini. beliau begitu berusaha untuk menjatuhkan kepimpinan sekarang. saya ada terbaca mengenai hal ini dizaman pemerintahan beliau sendiri ada terjadi hal seperti ini berkaitan dengan projek monorail dimana pada masa itu CEO MTrans adalah menantunya. Comment by izzatdin | June 11, 2008

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jenaka melangkaui zaman May 26, 2008

Posted by youppe in general, politics.
3 comments

this is so hilarious, i can’t stop laughing. sebuah jenaka melangkaui zaman.

most of us grew up watching P. Ramlee movies, and his songs are still a bunch of the best written Malay songs ever (moreover if you compare it with the quality of the Malay songs nowadays – ooops!). and the genius that he is, only now we realize this cynical stunt in one of his most famous movies, Pendekar Bujang Lapok. we’ve watched this scene over and over again and never get tired of it, but somehow we missed that little pronunciations that would certainly make it even more hilarious.

don’t know what i’m talking about? this has been making rounds in the cyberspace for the past couple of days, and shouldn’t be missed by those of you especially P Ramlee fans!!

check out the YouTube video here. and the original posting by Op-Ed here.

indeed, ‘jenaka melangkaui zaman’.

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alif mim nun wau.. alif tendang wau……. sarkis?????

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pss.. that haunted song Dimana Kan Ku Cari Ganti still gets me every time…

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Melayu Mudah Lupa?? April 8, 2008

Posted by youppe in politics.
1 comment so far

newsweek.jpg

believe it or not, Anwar Ibrahim is on the cover of Newsweek, again. now as one of Asian reformists, in the middle of a new giant-killing political trend that is currently sweeping through the old countries, carrying the most said word of the day, ‘Reform’.

‘Reform’ is a big word, and could only be carried by a bigger persona, mind and heart. and ‘Reform’ will only be the flavour of the day when it is dead obvious that something is terribly wrong somewhere and people are getting sick of it. it is a common fact now that without a skewed Election Commission’s gerrymandering, indelible ink u-turn (why hasn’t the police brought anyone to court yet, if the threats to the ink really is true?), the postal votes, busloads of phantom voters, etc., we would have a new government, and a new Prime Minister right now. people are demanding for ‘Reform’, immediately and all over. if your idea of ‘Reform’ in the Cabinet means dropping Rafidah Aziz, installing Zaid Ibrahim and Amirsham Aziz for credibility, but also bringing back Muhammad Muhammad Taib from the dead for… what??.. then you actually have no idea what ‘Reform’ means.

now, even Mukhriz Mahathir, who was previously so silent in the shadow of Khairy Jamaluddin in UMNO Youth, backed by the ageless Tun Dr Mahathir, is crying ‘Reform’ and calling for blood. wait,… what again??

now lets be fair. lets look at the problems, the rot in the system that has got people joining the ‘Reform’ bandwagon, from its roots and cause. take the arduous task of Zaid Ibrahim to ‘reform the judiciary’. the super-rich lawyer has in no time redressed back the 1988 Judicial Crisis, as every concern about the current judicial integrity could be traced back to that very event. yep, our judiciary was among the most independent and reputable before the heady days in 1988 when it clashed with the Executive. the propagator? the man himself, Mahathir Mohamad. 3 venerable judges were unceremoniously sacked while 2 were suspended (later reinstated) just for standing their ground to protect the independence of the judiciary that is the right of the rakyat. Tun Salleh Abas (then the highest ranked judge in the country) was of course, the biggest victim, and to be fair to Zaid, no amount of apologies could ever undo what has been done to him. (the sight of Tun Salleh leading the Bersih rally with Anwar and RPK, braving the rain & police & FRU, at his age, belies the injustice that has been done to him). since then, our judiciary has been in terminal decline and literally became a laughing stock of the world. the height of it? the joke that is the Anwar trial, of course. when the Executive gains control of the judiciary to do as he pleases, that is the kind of thing that could happen. remembering all those mattress and stuffs being carried all over the court, don’t you just wanna laugh, even now? it is also no mere coincidence that the police officer carrying the mattress is now the Inspector-General of Police (Musa Hassan) and the leading prosecutor is now the Attorney-General (Ghani Patail). how convenient is that? and how about the clamp of the mainstream media. several newspapers that stayed true to the noble principle of journalism were revoked of their licenses when they became too ‘independent’. The Star is never the same again after that, and the same goes with all the other major mainstream newspaper, until now. the propagator? Mahathir himself. i could give some slack to Media Prima Bhd as they are a private entity, but RTM is owned by the Information Ministry, which is bankrolled by the rakyat’s money. RTM is supposed to be the rakyat’s media channel, fair and square, not BN’s propaganda arm. but still, poor incompetent Zainuddin Maidin ripped off the rakyat in broad daylight, and abused the taxpayers’ money by turning RTM into what it is now, a joke. yep, that is why you got voted out, Zam, the tribe has spoken. moving on to other issues… Operasi Lalang? ISA? Mahathir. the ever-so-sensitive Memali massacre? Mahathir.

now let’s look at Amirsham Aziz, the just-retired banker extraordinaire, who was tasked to helm the EPU (Economic Planning Unit) which has become the playground of the ‘4th floor boys’ (Google this if don’t know what it means) these 4-5 years. apart from his textbook duties to put some sense (finally) into the nation’s economic planning, the ‘hidden/implied’ task of Amirsham is to somehow reform the public perception, as it is now, of the system of economic patronage to a certain group of cronies who claimed to be the ‘elites’ (whatever that means). the patronage system has always been like a culture in UMNO, but no one has ever pushed the bar up so high it ryhmes with cronyism and nepotism until Mahathir. Privatization of public institutions was a way of making his friends instant millionaires, in his vision to cultivate a breed of Malay tycoons. although the privatization exercise was somewhat influential in helping the nation weather the 1998 Asian financial crisis, but what has become of it now? Mahathir’s legacy in this part of the nation’s history is only filled with huge government bailouts of crony companies helmed by incompetent individuals not up to the standard. what has become of Bernas? Perwaja? yep Eric Chia was freed by the court, but that still did not erase the losses suffered in taxpayer’s money in the Perwaja debacle. and don’t forget the obscene bailout figure granted to MAS under Tajudin Ramli. what about Peremba (better known as PECD) now a PN17 company? and don’t even let me start on Proton, and his sons’ scandal in Pantai Holdings, Tongkah and MISC. the list goes on, and on, and on. the poster boy of this era was of course, non other than Halim Saad, helming the poster crony company, Renong Group (now UEM Group). UEM was just a loss-making, small engineering firm when Mahathir and Daim took over and gave them the PLUS project (later to become the cash-cow of the group), blatantly and arrogantly declaring that the project was given to UEM because ‘we need to build the new UMNO headquarters (PWTC), and who else is gonna fund it?’. Renong became an instant conglomerate having businesses from construction & property (UEM), oil & gas (now form the bulk of SapuraCrest group), telecoms (TimeDotCom), healthcare (now Pharmaniaga) and other interests. and it was so huge that it had to be bailed out twice (with taxpayers’ money) just because the collapse of the group would drag the whole economy with it due to its sheer size. the UEM Group and MRCB were among the few companies from that era that are still going strong today, after several revamps. of course there was also some success stories in that Mahathir’s cronyism era – Lim Goh Tong, Ananda Krishnan, Syed Mokhtar comes to mind – but the point here is that, all these scandals and system of patronage and cronyism associated with Pak Lah’s administration has become a culture in UMNO started by Mahathir himself.

The Edge (which is now owned by one of Mahathir’s most loyal ally, Vincent Tan of Berjaya Group) has lambasted Mahathir for having a ‘selective memory’, and his penchant of contradicting himself, in his continued criticism of Pak Lah’s administration. Mahathir’s ability to contradict himself, doing one thing and then saying the opposite right after that, is legendary. for me, looking at the way he’s accusing Pak Lah one after another, with the things that actually started by him in his administration, that ability is now beyond legendary. it is up to the point that it’s not even funny anymore.

Melayu mudah lupa? no, we don’t!!