Friday, June 25, 2010

The Sime Darby fiasco - I believe we have the right to know

I have just received an email from a friend and would like to reproduce the contents here.

I have a gut feeling that Sime Darby Berhad, the world's biggest oil palm plantation company, is going to make history soon - for all the wrong reasons.

With an overzealous management, with some executives corrupt to the core and a Board of Directors which knew nothing about the things happening around it, the fiasco in Sime Darby is poised to become the biggest corporate scandal in Malaysia's history.

Therefore, those probing the financial scandal should not confine their investigations to the cost-overruns in Qatar and Bakun. There's more to it than meets the eye.

There are many other questionable deals which took place prior and after Sime Darby's merger with Golden Hope Plantations Berhad and Kumpulan Guthrie Berhad in November 2007.

I have some questions begging for answers:

1. What happened to the trading loss in China which had reached RM80 million at one stage? The Chinese buyers had refused to accept palm oil which was ordered when the price was high but fell when the shipment reached China? Why is palm oil being sold cheaper in China than it is in Malaysia? What is the actual quantum of investments of Sime Darby in China? Utilities Divison's Weifang operations, Jinning Port, Motor operations, property investments, etc. Has Sime Darby evaluated the country risks? Did Sime Darby over-expose itself in China? Was there a risk management report on China before all these investments took place? Were money paid to middlemen to secure projects?

2. What happened to the two AHTS (Anchor Handling Tugs) and one DLB (Derrick Lay Barge) which Sime Darby awarded to MLC Shipbuilding Sdn Bhd to build. Were these ships, worth RM155 million, ever delivered. Or was the RM155 million written off? Did Sime Darby call for tender before awarding the project to MLC? Does MLC, owned by one Redzuan Goh, have the expertise to build ships?

3. Why invest in plantations in Liberia? Is it worth taking the risk going to Liberia? Could Sime Darby have generated more money expanding/developing estates in Malaysia (ie Sabah/Sarawak) - less risk and still plenty of fertile land? Isn't it easier to deal with Sabah/Sarawak Government than the Liberian Government? What's the economic rationale of going to Liberia? This is despite the known fact that Guthrie started the Liberian project but got out of it twice due to civil wars. The Liberian Government is fragile. What if a new regime takes over and nationalises the Sime Darby project?

4. What is this special relationship with Brunsfield Group that enables it to secure many projects from Sime Darby. Among others, Brunsfield was given the contract to renovate KLGCC, to build Sime Darby's World Headquarters in Bukit Kiara, and The Oasis in Ara Damansara where the Divisional headquarters will be located. The total contract awarded to Brunsfield could actually be billions.

5. The sale of the land at USJ Elite Exit (now being developed by a private company - MCT). At what price was this land sold and what was its price when Sime Darby bought it? What is the market price now? Why was the land sold anyway? Is it to show income in an attempt to make losses elsewhere look smaller?

6. The Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club in Bukit Kiara now sits on a land leased from City Hall. Apparently, the Sime Darby management had agreed to buy the land from City Hall without the approval of the Board. To rectify the situation, a paper was submitted to the Board last week to approve the sales and purchase of the land in retrospect. It will be silly for the Board to do so, especially now when the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission is carrying out an investigation on Sime Darby. How much is the new facelift of the KLGCC going to cost?

I wonder if the Board is aware of all these things I have mentioned.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Goodbye Pudu Prison

During my younger days, I often passed the Pudu Prison on my way to the city centre to shop or watch a movie or simply to lepak with my friends at snack bars like Rendezvous or Oasis. As I passed the prison, I can't help but notice that, especially in the mornings, there would be a line of prisoners or inmates, on 'patrol', walking down the path outside the prison walls, flanked by two prison guards, one in front and one at the back on their way to attend to their morning chores. The inmates could be seen carrying brooms, sickles and rattan baskets. The policemen, during those days, wore khaki colored uniforms with the pants three quarter long and the 'fez' looking hat.

The building did not mean much to me except that I was told by my dad that if I did anything 'naughty', that was where I would be spending time in order for me to repent. It was only when the news came that the building would be demolished that a sense of nostalgia sank in. The question I have been asking since then was, why the need to demolish? Now, earlier, we were told that there weren't enough rooms to house the inmates so there was a need to relocate it to Kajang. Next thing, I heard it was to make way for development. Another reason was, it would be an eyesore to have a prison block right in the city centre. So I am wondering which is which?

Anyway the die is cast and the prison is now being ripped apart from top to bottom. When the MP for Bukit Bintang Fong Kui Lun (DAP) asked why the building is not being retained as part of Malaysia's heritage, Deputy Finance Minister Awang Adek Hussain (UMNO-BN) replied: "To our opinion, it's not something to be proud of." What a cock-eyed reply. Of course, Pudu Prison or for that matter, any prison is nothing to be proud of. But in the case of Pudu Prison, it can be treated part of our heritage and can be renovated into a touristic site. Let's take a look at some other countries:

1. The Bastille in France. Today, France celebrates Bastille Day on every July 14 to commemorate the founding of the replublic.
2. Alcatraz in the States. Founded in 1934 and is a tourist attraction today. The prison have played host to criminals like Al Capone.
3. The Tower of London. Founded by Richard the Lion Heart (1189-1199) and has undergone many changes since then.

Our Pudu Prison qualifies to be among these greats for it was built in 1895. You take away the prison, you take away our history, or is UMNO trying to portray it's so-called righteousness again?

A prominent feature of the prison is the mural painting on its outer walls done by former inmate, Khong Yen Chong, in the 1980s. Stretching out to more than 260m long, the mural used up nearly 2,000 litres of paint. The painting earned Khong the Guiness Stout Effort Award for "outstanding achievement in his world record work of art."

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Now this is what I call a slap on the face for Mahathir

Recently, Mahathir made a remark that Singapore Malays "kow tow" to the Chinese in their country. The response from the Singapore Malays was fast and furious. To have a better view of the press cutting below, just click on the image to enlarge.

What the Malays said is quite true as they feel that the Malaysian Malays just don't measure up to them. They are intelligent, articulate and have the air of confidence in them. I guess the truth hurts sometimes. This is what happens when you practise mediocrity instead of meritocracy. To the UMNO leaders, please, mind your own business. Don't go around poking your nose where it doesn't belong. Surely, you will not want another embarrassing rebuttal from your cousins down under again.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The dilemma that is Sabah

Sabah veteran politician Karim Ghani has admonished the state Barisan Nasional government for acquiescing to the notion that the state is merely one of 13 in the federation and not one of the three components in Malaysia.
"We are actually a federation composed of Sabah, Sarawak and Malaya. It is not Sabah, Sarawak, Perlis, Kelantan and so on. This must be put correct," the prominent Sabah Umno member said recently.
"It is incumbent upon the leaders in Sabah to say that this is our position," he said in an interview.
"I suggest someone either the state government of Sabah or the opposition bring this to the assembly and reaffirm our position as we see it … that we are one of the three components of the Federation of Malaysia, not one of the 13 states," he said.

Explaining his stand on a recent government-sponsored talk by a law professor who said that Sabah and Sarawak could not claim that Malaysia was a partnership of three equal members, Karim said it was crucial for state leaders to rebut this contention.

He said that this was because the professor was reflecting the view of the federal government, as he was in the state on the government's invitation.

Ranjit Singh, of Universiti Utara Malaysia's College of Law, Government and International Studies, made the startling claim in his working paper titled 'Sabah Politics and Policy and Federal-State Relations 1963-1995', last month.
Politicians and leaders of all stripes have been pouncing on the the controversial contention that downplays Sabah's and Sarawak's importance in the formation of Malaysia in 1963.

Karim said the contention is important because "it involves the root of the formation of Malaysia.
"It is beyond the question of autonomy because when Tunku Abdul Rahman (the then Prime Minister of Malaya) invited Sabah, Sarawak, Singapore and Brunei to join Malaya to form Malaysia, it was agreed that they would have equal rights and be equal components with equal status.

"The reason, as what Tunku Abdul Rahman said then, was that one, we are colonised, second, we are poor, three, we are undeveloped...meaning by forming Malaysia we will be free from colonisation, we will be rich like Malaya, and we will be developed like Malaya.

"Unfortunately, after 46 years of independence, Sabah did not become rich like Malaya but instead became one of the poorest in Malaysia...the same can be said with the development aspect.

A different master now

Stating that Sabah had actually remained a colony albeit under a different master he said: "The basis of a free nation is that the leader is appointed by the people. In our case our leader is appointed by Kuala Lumpur.

"Before 1961, our leader in Sabah was Sir William Good but he was appointed by London. So nothing has changed.
"When we talk about equal component and equal share we must remember that when Tunku Abdul Rahman invited us there were five separate entities and thus equal share meant each nation would enjoy a 20 percent share of the nation's wealth.

"When Brunei pulled out there were left four entities, so the share become 25 percent each for the remaining four. Then when Singapore was kicked out there were three left and thus each should have enjoy 33.3 percent share of teh nation’s wealth.

"But if we are only one of the 13 states our share is only 7.3 percent so who took away or stole the rest of 26 percent (of the wealth) which supposed to belong to Sabah.

"That is why the question whether we are one of the 13 states or one of the three components in Malaysia means so much.

"If Tunku Abdul Rahman had said you (Sabah) become one of the 13 states, like Sabah is equal to Perlis, I don't think the Sabah and Sarawak leaders would have been so stupid to accept the invitation (to form Malaysia).
"I think the professor (Ranjit) was trying to justify the 1Malaysia concept when he presented the paper. The 1Malaysia concept means the position of Sabah is no longer there, because everyone is equal.

"So don't be surprised if you see the heads of federal government departments and agencies are from the Peninsular because you cannot ask any question anymore because of 1Malaysia.
"And it is the same when those people from the peninsular come to Sabah to take our business and land under the 1Malaysia concept.

"But this is not what Malaysia is. Malaysia, like Australia, is a federation composed of three components Sabah, Sarawak and Malaya Federation."

Agreement is void now

Karim also is of the opinion that when Singapore pulled out from Malaysia the Malaysia Agreement became null and void

"I believe that was when the changes were made (that resulted in Sabah and Sarawak becoming part of the 13 states).

"Probably they quietly changed the status of Sabah and Sarawak. When they brought it to the parliament our MPs who did not know about it and just raised their hands in agreement.

"So this is the position of Malaysia," he remarked sardonically.

[Source: Dominic Legeh/FMT]

Monday Humour

A lady about 8 months pregnant got on a bus.

She noticed the man opposite her was smiling at her.

She immediately moved to another seat.

This time the smile turned into a grin, so she moved again.

The man seemed more amused.

When on the fourth move, the man burst out laughing,

she complained to the driver and he had the man arrested.

The case came up in court.

The judge asked the man (about 20 years old)

what he had to say for himself.

The man replied,

'Well your Honor, it was like this:

when the lady got on the bus,

I couldn't help but notice her condition.

She sat down under a sign that said,

'The Double Mint Twins are coming' and I grinned.

Then she moved and sat under a sign that said,

'Logan's Liniment will reduce the swelling,' and I had to smile.

Then she placed herself under a deodorant sign that said,

'William's Big Stick Did the Trick,' and I could hardly contain myself.

But, Your Honor, when she moved the fourth time

and sat under a sign that said,

'Goodyear Rubber could have prevented this Accident!'

... I just lost it.'



1. When I was born, I was given a choice - A big dick or a good memory.. I
don't remember, what I chose.

2. Your birth certificate is an apology letter from the condom factory.

3. A wife is a sex object. Every time you ask for sex, she objects.

4. Impotence: Nature's way of saying 'No hard feelings....'

5. There are only two four letter words that are offensive to men -
'don't' and 'stop', unless they are used together.

6. Panties: Not the best thing on earth, but next to the best thing on

7. There are three stages of sex in a man's life: Tri Weekly, try Weekly,
and Try Weakly.

8. Virginity can be cured.

9. Virginity is not dignity, its lack of opportunity.

10. Having sex is like playing bridge. If you don't have a good partner,
you'd better have a good hand.

11. I tried phone sex once, but the holes in the dialer were too small..

12. Marriage is the only war where you get to sleep with the enemy.

13. Q: What's an Australian kiss?
A: The same thing as a French kiss, only down under.

14. A couple just married were happy with the whole thing. He was happy
with the Hole and she was happy with the Thing......

15. Q: What are the three biggest tragedies in a mans life?
A: Life sucks, job sucks, and the wife doesn't.

16. Q: Why do men find it difficult to make eye contact?
A: Breasts don't have eyes.

17. Despite the old saying, 'Don't take your troubles to bed', many men
still sleep with their wives!!


An old nun who was living in a convent next to a construction site noticed the coarse language

of the workers and decided to spend some time with them to correct their ways.

She decided she would take her lunch, sit with the workers and talk with them. She put her sandwich in a brown bag and walked over to the spot where the men were eating. She walked

up to the group and with a big smile said: "Do you men know Jesus Christ?"

They shook their heads and looked at each other very confused. One of the workers looked up into the steelworks and yelled out, "Anybody up there know Jesus Christ?"

One of the steelworkers yelled down "Why"?

The worker yelled back, "Cos his wife's here with his lunch."


A man suffered a serious heart attack and had open heart bypass surgery.

He awakened from the surgery to find himself in the care of nuns at a

Catholic Hospital. As he was recovering, a nun asked him

questions regarding how he was going to pay for his treatment.

She asked, 'Do you have health insurance?'

He replied in a raspy voice, 'No health insurance.'

The nun asked, 'Do you have money in the bank?'

He replied, 'No money in the bank.'

The nun asked, 'Do you have a relative who could help you?'

He said, 'I only have a spinster sister, who is a nun.'

The nun became agitated and announced loudly,

'Nuns are not spinsters! Nuns are married to God.'

The patient replied, 'Then send the bill to my brother-in-law.'


1.The Prime Minister of China called President Bush to console him after the attack on the Pentagon:
'I'm sorry to hear about the attack. It is a very big tragedy. But in case you are missing any documents from the
Pentagon, we have copies ofeverything.'

Musharraf calls Bush on 11th Sept:
Musharraf: Mr President, I would like to express my condolences to you. It is a real tragedy. So many people, such great bldgs... I would like to ensure that we had nothing in connection withthat...
Bush: What buildings? What people??
Musharraf: Oh, and what time is it in America now?
Bush: It's eight in the morning.
Musharraf: Oops....Will call back in an hour!

Blair and Bush are sitting in a bar. A guy walks in and asks the barman,
'Isn't that Bush and Blair?'
The barman says 'Yep, that's them.'
So the guy walks
over and says, 'Hello, what are you guys doing?'
Bush says, 'We're planning world war 3.'
The guy says, 'Really? What's going to happen?'
And Blair says, 'Well, we're going to kill 14million
Iraqis and one bicycle repairman.'
And the guy exclaimed, 'A bicycle repairman?!! !'
Blair turns to Bush and says, 'See, I told you no-one would worry about the 14 million Iraqis!'

A man is taking a walk in Central Park in New York. Suddenly he sees a little girl being attacked by apit bull dog.
He runs over and starts fighting with the dog. He succeeds in killing the dog and saving the girl's life.
A policeman who was watching the scene walks over and says: 'You are a hero, tomorrow you can read it in all the newspapers:
New Yorker saves the life of little girl.'
The man says: 'But I am not a
New Yorker!'
Oh then it will say in newspapers in the morning:'Brave American saves life of little girl,' the policeman answers.
'But I am not an American!' says the man.
Oh, what are you then?'
The man says: 'I am a Pakistani!'
The next day the newspapers say:
'Extremist kills innocent American dog.