The Golden age of Cronyism and Nepotism AKA as the time when Mahathir couldn’t care less


I am sure you all have heard about all those stories where Mahathir’s friends Vincent Tan and Danny Tan kept selling and buying businesses with Mahathir’s sons.

Or about the case where one month before retiring, the Ministry of Finance where Mahathir was the Finance Minister, had issued a letter to Telekom Malaysia asking to enter into direct negotiations for a RM214 million contract with Opcom Bhd, majority owned by Mukhriz – which helped Opcom’s shares more than double in price upon listing two months later.

 

Or the time just one month before retirement, Mahathir directly awarded, without tender and without informing cabinet, a 20 years exclusive sports-gambling license to buddy Vincent Tan for just RM20 million which Vincent then sold off at a value of RM700 million.

But certainly you would have heard about the multi-billion case in 1998 where Petronas and MISC had to bail-out Mirzan Mahathir’s Konsortium Perkapalan group which faced bankruptcy.

After the bail-out Mirzan reflected on his days as an owner of Konsortium Perkapalan in June 1997 where he told TradeWinds: “I must say I´m a greenhorn compared to others in the business. I got into it by necessity and that is probably the wrong way. It requires people who have a passion, and I didn´t have it.”

There you have it, a person without passion for the business but still wanted to build a multi-billion business full of dodgy govt-related contracts that eventually collapse.

But even more strange was that two years after the bail-out, in Feb 2000, Mirzan’s company was reported to have received a five years contract from Tenaga Nasional to ship coal for the Kapar power plant using a Panamax class ship – despite the fact that Mirzan no longer owned any more ships!

The decision to select Mirzan’s company over other existing owners had both confused and surprised those who follow coal bulk business.

Speculation then was that Mirzan could let the contract on to another party such as MISC, or another Malaysian party or could be working on behalf of a foreign owner as the .tender specifies that foreign owners bidding for the work must do so through a Malaysian broker – as required under the cabotage policy implemented by Mahathir when he was MITI minister (since 1976) and Deputy PM on 1 Jan 1980.

Ah.. that was the golden age of cronyism and nepotism that the current members of Parti Pribumi looks fondly back at.

The time when Mahathir couldn’t care less about what you thought of him as he could always ISA you.

Parti Pribumi members and Pakatan probably wishes that this golden age will make a return after GE14.
LSS.


http://www.tradewindsnews.com/weekly/160487/mirzan-bags-a-bulk-coal-deal-without-ships

Advertisements

GOOD TIMES: Business and Consumer Confidence in Malaysia jumps in Q1 2017



The latest Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER) survey has found that the Business Confidence index showed a huge 31.5 points jump from 81.2 points in Q4 2016 to 112.7 points for Q1 2017 – well into positive territory.

 
This means that both domestic and external demand is growing. There is also a higher expected production and expected export sales

 
The Business Expectation sub-Index saw an even bigger jump of a staggering 57.5 points! This may be due to the expected growth in manufacturing production and export sales in the second quarter of 2017 in view of the recovery in exports.

 
Based on the survey, 43% of respondents reported strong sales, up from 22% in the previous quarter.

 
New export orders during the quarter were also higher, with 44% of respondents reporting higher new export orders compared to 15% in the preceding quarter.

 
The survey also pointed toward dropping inventory levels across the manufacturing sector, indicating that sales growth was outpacing the replacement of stock causing manufactures to ramp up production significantly.

 
On wages, the survey found that salaries rose rapidly during the first quarter, with 68% of the companies surveyed disclosing that their wage costs per unit had gone up. Respondents of the Consumer Sentiments survey, however, were not as upbeat.

 
The Mier Consumer Sentiment Index (CSI) stood at 76.6 in the first quarter, gaining 6.8 and 3.7 points quarter on quarter and year on year respectively.

 
Typically, consumer confidence would lag business confidence as the businesses would be the first ones to find out if the economy has improved as they have immediate access to hard data – especially in orders.

 
Bonuses and wage increases for employees comes later but some workers are already benefiting due to the increased overtime and incentive pays from the stretched production lines that has been ramped up.

 
Consumer confidence is also easily influenced by negative propaganda by the opposition, which aims to sabotage our economy by purposely depressing confidence. However, consumer confidence will eventually follow business confidence and should spike up even more in the next few months.

 
This would mean that Pakatan’s propaganda of “failed state”, bankrap and “Save Malaysia” will fail and they will be exposed as the liars they are.
Those who still believes will mostly be the hard-core RBAs and opposition party members.

 
Such negative and fear-inciting propaganda may have some traction in late 2015 and 2016 but will fail spectacularly this year.

 
After all, why rock the boat when things are good and you can see big improvements?
LSS.

http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2017/04/24/mier-consumer-sentiment-still-weak/

​The lies and spins behind the GST issue


It irritates me when Malaysians post comments on subject matters they know very little about and act like they are experts on the subject. Take the Sharia Amendment Bill or RUU355 as one example. I have read so many comments from people, many of them non-Muslims, who say that once this bill is passed you will need four witnesses to prove rape.

 

This is a downright lie because rape, just like robbery and murder, do not come under Sharia laws, whether Hudud or otherwise. And by saying you need four witnesses to prove rape you are just making a mockery of Islam, which is what their intentions probably are: to mock and make fun of Islam.

 
Another victim of lies and spins is the GST. Today, KTemoc, a staunch DAP supporter, came out with a very fair and informative blog posting titled ‘Truer story of GST’ (READ HERE: http://ktemoc.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/truer-story-of-gst.html). This article actually explains the GST quite well so I really need not repeat what KTemoc said.
Nevertheless, the salient points in KTemoc’s article are:

1. The GST is not a new tax but replaces the now abolished S&S that used to be 5%-15%.
2.  Some goods are NOT subjected to GST: example most fresh food.
3. The 6% GST for Malaysia is actually quite low compared to other countries.
4. The GST is a consumption tax and not an income tax.
5.  There is no GST on raw or unprocessed foodstuff: so the poorer rakyat actually escape paying GST. (KTemoc then gives us a long list of goods and services that are not subject to GST, which is quite a long list indeed).
The best part of KTemoc’s blog posting is the part where he says that the Chinese have been complaining for so long that they are paying 90% of the income tax while the non-Chinese pay very little. And now that the GST spreads out the tax burden so that everyone ends up paying tax the Chinese also complain.
RAJA SARA PETRA

More details about the IPIC-1MDB settlement has come to light.



As the Finance Minister II Johari had always maintained, 1MDB had always believed it would win the arbitration case against IPIC on the strength of the documents and proof that they have – which includes a letter from the BVI govt stating that the “fake Aabar” does in fact officially and legally belong to IPIC.

But Johari also indicated that bilateral relations was utmost and hence the decision to go with a private settlement instead of going ahead with international arbitration which would reveal embarrassing details on both sides – particularly on the IPIC sides where the names of their officially appointed top officials were all over the place including in the real IPIC, the real Aabar, the fake Aabar. Money was also found to be transferred from the fake Aabar into their accounts too.

The Singapore-govt owned Straits times reports the following today:

http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/1mdb-abu-dhabi-deal-irons-out-funds-tangled-transactions

“According to senior financial and legal executives, the main hurdle was fund units amounting to US$2.43 billion (S$3.4 billion) held by two 1MDB subsidiaries, Brazen Sky and 1MDB Global Investments, that were guaranteed by IPIC subsidiary Aabar Investments PJS. Aabar had disputed the guarantee.

To overcome the hurdle, 1MDB agreed to waive its right to claim from Aabar the US$2.43 billion guarantee. In return, Abu Dhabi arranged for an undisclosed entity domiciled in the Seychelles to buy the units from 1MDB at the guaranteed value, to be settled by deferred payments from this month to October 2022, said a senior financial executive familiar with the matter.

Under the settlement, Malaysia and IPIC will enter into negotiations to resolve roughly US$3.5 billion in cash advances and payments 1MDB made to several Abu Dhabi entities. Should IPIC fail to make full settlement before the deadline of end-December 2020, the Malaysian government can pursue legal claims against IPIC.

1MDB never denied the destination of the payments, but has insisted that instructions for the payments were based on agreements executed by senior IPIC and Aabar executives, including Qubaishi.

With those payments to be received by 2020, 1MDB will also honour its obligations under 1MDB’s US$3.5 billion bond issue guaranteed by IPIC due in 2022.”

So, there you have it. Malaysia does not pay “double”. It pays IPIC using the money that they received from IPIC!

This is why our Ringgit has been strengthening over the past 3 days straight as foreign investors believe that the 1MDB uncertainties are finally behind us despite what the Pakatan leaders have been trying to accuse.

This also settles the case that no 1MDB money has gone missing and any money that was initially in doubt has been fully recovered by 1MDB.

I had always argued that those money paid from fake Aabar and from GoodStar was never legally owned by 1MDB anymore as they have already changed hands and legal ownership transferred. Read here: http://limsiansee.blogspot.my/2016/07/us-doj-says-yes-but-1mdb-says-no-why.html

This is why the PAC report signed off by the opposition MPs too, had clearly said PM Najib is not involved and there is no money missing from 1MDB.

This is also the reason why the US DOJ and Swiss authorities had always maintained that PM Najib was never a suspect in their investigations.

With this IPIC settlement, 1MDB has virtually completed its final rationalization step.

There is no RM42b missing or RM30b missing or RM50b missing or RM27b or RM2.6b missing.

Simply, there is now RM0 missing.

LSS.

​PROTON PERDANA AWARDED THE ‘MALAYSIA GOOD DESIGN MARK’



Shah Alam, 19 April 2017 – PROTON Holdings Bhd (“PROTON” or “the Company”) is pleased to announce that the All New Perdana (“the Perdana”) has been awarded the ‘Malaysia Good Design Mark’ (“MGDM”) accredited by the Malaysia Design Council (“MDC”). The award was accorded to the Perdana under the Public Areas and Transportation Products category. The award was presented by YB Datuk Wira Dr Abu Bakar Mohamad Diah, Deputy Minister of Science, Technology & Innovation to PROTON Deputy Chief Executive Officer, YBhg Dato’ Radzaif Mohamed at the event in the Shah Alam Convention Centre (“SACC”) yesterday.

The Perdana, which was officially unveiled on 14 June 2016, received the accreditation in reference to a good design in a well-rounded product which was developed and manufactured locally. PROTON is pleased and humbled to receive the recognition which effectively recognises PROTON’s capability in designing and producing affordable and competitive cars for consumers.

“We are encouraged to receive the recognition from the Malaysia Design Council for the Perdana. A great deal of effort has been put into developing the car and I dedicate this recognition to those talented men and women who had invested their “talent” into the Perdana project. PROTON still has a lot of areas that it can improve on and this award will provide further impetus for PROTON to work harder to provide better designed and engineered cars to its customers,” said Dato’ Ahmad Fuaad Kenali, Chief Executive Officer of  PROTON.

The MGDM is a design recognition programme by the Malaysian government under the Malaysia Design Council. Its establishment is to give recognition to local industries that excel in providing quality and innovative products which encourage the upgrading of production quality through research and development.

The Perdana joined the ranks of the Satria Neo and the previous Persona which was accorded similar award by MDC in 2007 and the Iriz in 2014.

In 2016, the Perdana was awarded the ‘Best Local Car Design of the Year 2016’ by Carsifu Editors’ Choice Award, a motoring publication of The Star Media Group.

Why Distribute Christian Flyers in A Malay Housing Area?


Article 11 Federal Constitution of Malaysia: 

11.(4) State law and in respect of the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya, federal law may control or restrict the propagation of any religious doctrine or belief among persons professing the religion of Islam.

 

The statement above is an excerpt text from the Federal Constitution of Malaysia. The bold wordings shows that no propagation of any religious doctrine or belief among a person professing the religion of Islam.  As a Malaysian we all know for a fact that according to Article 3 of the Malaysian Constitution Islam is the religion of the federation but other religion can be practiced.

            You can spin it any way you want but the fact of the matter is, the law of this country does not allow any religion to be propagate against Muslims.  How hard is it to understand this matter? Seriously? Recently in, Taman Berjaya Indah Kajang Selangor after Wan Azizah Wan Ismail won the state seat, it was reported that Christian missionary was distributing flyers in a Malay/Muslim populated area.

            You don’t have to be a lawyer to understand the provision in Article 11 (4) of the Federal Constitution. It doesn’t even have legal jargons for anyone to be confused. And up till today we are baffled on why Christian missionaries are trying their best to ignore the provisions laid down by Article 11 (4) of the Federal Constitution. Why on earth do they want to destroy the harmony and peace that we have enjoyed for decades?

            We may believe in a higher power which is different from others, is it too hard for each and every one of us to respect each other. Furthermore, if the authority took action against these types of shenanigans, they will accuse the government of behaving like a tyrant. Just like when the authorities raid the Bible Society of Malaysia building. They keep on disregarding the fact that the government reaction is based on their action which clearly against the supreme law of the land i.e. the Malaysian Federal Constitution.

            Malaysia is a melting pot of culture, religion and race. Keep it real. If it’s clearly against the rule of law in the country, then why do it? The laws are made like that for a reason. Just go with the flow. Abide the law and be happy, is it that hard for everyone to understand?

The usage of Inmarsat and the application of satellite monitoring in the search of MH370:


The Inmarsat is the leading organization on satellite monitoring which was established in 1979 by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Its main focus is to enable ships to stay in constant touch with any available ports and shores in order for them to get help if anything would happen to the vessel. The Inmarsat will connect ships and vessels no matter how far it went out to sea.

The Inmarsat has more than 60 location world-wide and provide around the clock support facilities for their patrons. Although it is a commercial based system, the Inmarsat are also involved in many search & rescue operations. They will provide and analyse data to be given to relevant authorities in such operation. After 35 years Inmarsat has emerged as the leading provider of Aerospace and Maritime information.

After 9th of March 2014, Inmarsat has been a household name in Malaysia. Before this, Inmarsat is known only to those who are involved in the maritime business, but now from the hawker stalls in Jakarta to the Malaysian Parliament in Kuala Lumpur, everyone are talking about Inmarsat and their contribution towards the search & rescue mission of flight MH370.

Some might think that satellite imagery that Inmarsat and militaries from the 26 nation is easily interpreted. This is the result of watching too much Hollywood movies. The raw data from satellites does not come with a clear full coloured image. Raw data are represented by a plotted image that must be processed by using complicated coding. Satellite imagery is not like when you take picture with your digital camera. It is more complicated than that.

A lot of criticism had come from the foreign and local media saying that the Malaysian government has not released the full information on the data collected by the search and rescue operators. Some has even criticized the blurry image of the satellite image saying that the government intentionally distorted the image so that the public cannot see the real condition on what is happening in the Indian oceans. Well, the truth is, this is the best that we can get out of the satellite photos. The Malaysian government has even released raw data to ensure that the public is up to date with the current scenario.

Malaysia has done its best to provide the facilities that is needed to find out what had happened to flight MH370. However, there are parties who think that that the government doesn’t doing enough just because they don’t understand the concept and method used by the search and rescue operator. On a lighter note, Malaysia was praised by all of the commanding officers of the 26 nations that were directly involved with the search operation. US Navy Commander William Marks stated that the Malaysian government has done an exceptional job in coordinating the water-space and airspace management in finding the plane.

Even though criticised harshly by the media, the government of Malaysia turn a deaf ear on the comments and focus all their efforts on investigating what had happened to the plane. This is a true meaning of responsibility. The Malaysian government should be praised for their everlasting conviction and determination in the search for flight MH370.