Saturday, July 7, 2012

More on the Talam case by Tony Pua

We are still waiting for Chua Tee Yong's response.

A tribute to Malaysia's greatest musician - Paul Ponnudorai

Paul will always remind me of the contestant with the babyface look who appeared on the Bakat TV show in the early 70s.  After participating in the contest, he disappeared and was never heard of until the late 70s or early 80s when he started making the pub circuit.  During his many performances, I couldn't help but associate him with another local great, the late Terry Thadeuss, but then Terry was more into the heavy stuff while Paul's leanings were inclined towards unplugged pieces.  His audience was definitely captivated by his singing and guitar playing style which is so much Jose Feliciano-ish.

Read the rest, as it appeared in The Star today ...

Legendary Malaysian guitarist Paul Ponnudorai, 51, died early Saturday morning because of organ failure due to a latent infection.
Once described by Time magazine as “quite possibly the greatest musical interpreter of our time”, the Ipoh-born guitarist came to prominence in the 1980s as a sought-after club performer.

He has backed up a variety of local artists in the last three decades, including Sheila Majid and Sudirman, as well as played with a wide range of foreign stars such as Billy Cobham and Wynton Marsalis.

Right on Time, Ponnudorai's first album (of mostly covers but with a couple of originals), was released in 2005.

The guitarist's music ability was across the board and he was able to shine in all genres - from blues and rock to jazz and bluegrass and pop.

He was widely known in the regional live music scene and a highly respected performer.

The wake will be held Saturday from 2pm onwards at the Gui Yin Funeral Parlour at Jln 222, Petaling Jaya. The funeral is scheduled for Monday.

Ponnudorai leaves behind his 91-year-old mother Kamalam, four brothers, three sisters, nieces, nephews and a host of fans.

RIP Paul.  You will never be forgotten.

The business of Talam

 “Confusing” probably describes most of our initial attempts to get to the bottom of what the deal was between Talam Corporation and Selangor.

With a little diligence, clear thinking and attention to detail however, most mysteries can be unravelled and articulated efficiently.

This article attempts to explain in easy to understand terms the background and context of this issue, how Selangor recovered the debt owed to it by Talam, and how this debt recovery differs from the bailouts we have seen at the federal level.

In the beginning

The story begins in the late eighties and early nineties, with an engineer and project manager who worked in Selangor state subsidiary PKNS - one Chan Ah Chye.

This man later goes on to form Talam Corporation, and before long - possibly due to close connections with the ruling elite in Selangor, then headed by BN menteri besar Muhammad Muhammad Taib - becomes a major player in the Selangor property and development scene.

azlanOver time, an extremely large amount of state land is alienated to Talam, who basically gets it for free. A strong imagination is not required to speculate in whose pockets any resulting profit eventually ends up.

Talam’s modus operandi seems to be to pledge this land to the bank in exchange for huge loans, which they then use to finance their development and profit making projects. In essence, since they got the land free, they have successfully achieved money for nothing (it is uncertain as to whether “chicks for free” were involved).

The ‘wise’ businessmen of that era believed in the dictum of never using your own money when you can use someone else’s. This heavy lending continued to characterise Talam’s business approach, and their loans consistently kept getting bigger and bigger.

Tumbling down

Of course, no student of recent economic trends is unfamiliar with the concept of a bursting bubble.

The financial collapse of the late nineties brings Talam’s debt-ridden house of cards crashing down. An overgearing of loans and inability to service them halts various half-completed projects, rendering them idle, half-built ruins.

INONEncredibly however, this does not prevent Talam and their political patrons from altering their basic modus operandi.

In 2001, under BN menteri besar Khir Toyo (right), three parcels of land are alienated by Selangor to Talam via their subsidiary Maxisegar Sdn Bhd, who undertakes to construct Unisel’s campus at an estimated cost of RM750 million.

It will probably come as no surprise that Talam failed to complete this project. By September 2006, the company had been classified as an affected company under Practice Note 17 (PN 17), indicating dire financial straits.

New sheriff in town

In 2008, when Khalid Ibrahim assumes the menteri besar’s post, he inherits a situation in which Talam owes the state and its subsidiaries (among other creditors), a great deal of money.

Urban legend has it that when Talam was called in to explain why they have never endeavoured to pay their debts, the sheepish reply given was, “No one ever asked us to.”

NONEThankfully for the citizens of Selangor, there was a new sheriff in town.

Corporate finance is not only an area of expertise for Khalid (left) - it is a passion. With great gusto, he set out to solve this problem, and recover that which was owed by Talam to the people of Selangor.

The problem was undoubtedly challenging, but after some work and careful strategising, a plan was set into motion.

The end goal was simple: to leverage the assets still held by Talam to repay the debt Talam owed to the Selangor and its state subsidiaries.

The technical nitty-gritty

Making this happen was a technically complicated process that required considerable financial acumen.

The summary is this: firstly, the debts that were owed by Talam to Selangor state subsidiaries were properly booked and accounted for - something that, very suspiciously, had not been done before. Once these debts were acknowledged by all parties, the debts were consolidated and transferred to one state subsidiary - Menteri Besar Incorporated (MBI), which was then responsible for collecting the debts from Talam in the form of land and cash.

money ringgit malaysia wang duit currencyThe rest of this section explains how this was done. It is a boring and complex explanation, but I list it here for the record and for those interested.

Talam owed RM392 million in debt to three Selangor state subsidiaries: KHSB, PIYSB, and PNSB. After acknowledging and booking these debts, the next step was to have another state subsidiary, Selangor Industrial Corporation (SIC), purchase these debts from the other three companies.

A loan from CIMB Bank of RM 392 million was given to SIC to complete this purchase. In November 2009, the state exco and legislative assembly both approve a grant of RM392 million to MBI, who then use the funds to purchase the original consolidated debt from SIC. SIC then uses those funds to pay off their CIMB loan.

The end result is as simple as the transaction itself is complex - without any major or excessive transactional expenses, Talam now owes the same amount of money to just one state subsidiary, instead of the original three.

Restructuring and successful collection

It is important to note that at no point are funds transferred from taxpayer monies to Talam. Funds have instead only been transferred from one pocket of the state to another.

NONEThis differs wildly from federal bailouts of corporations like Indah Water Konsortium, MAS, or the Putra/Star LRT, where taxpayer money was injected directly into companies that had probably lost untold amounts via mismanagement, corruption and plundering.

The transfers in the Talam debt restructuring allowed for a structure in which there is a clear acknowledgement and accounting for the RM392 million owed by Talam, and a single company for them to pay it to.

The story does not end there.

Another extremely important milestone in this tale is that MBI has in fact already succeeded in recovering all RM392 million in debt owed by Talam.

For those who would like to keep score, this recovery came in two forms.

RM340.88 million was recovered via acquisition of land and assets: 1,322 acres of land in Bukit Beruntung worth RM150.28 million, 2,264 acres of land in Bestari Jaya worth RM105.3 million, 400 acres of land in Ulu Yam and 60% equity in Ulu Yam Golf & Country Resort worth RM22.2 million, 134 acres of land in Danau Putra worth RM52.1 million and five office units in Menara Pandan worth RM11.1 million.

The remaining RM51.12 million was collected in cash: RM12 million from sales of land in Puncak Jalil, RM5 million in cash assignments from EON, RM7.68 million in payments by Unisel for earthworks, RM9.04 million from the sale of 25.94 acres of land in Bukit Beruntung, and RM17.4 million from sales of 218 acres of land in Bestari Jaya.

Go ahead, count it - it's all there.

Facts trump hype - again

How can we summarise this? For more than a decade under BN, one corporation owed the state hundreds of millions of ringgits.

Within a year or two of taking over, Khalid managed to collect on these debts, instantly increasing the amount of money available to spend on welfare programmes throughout Selangor.


Yes, it’s a scandal that Talam was allowed to get the free lunch it did under BN, and it’s a scandal it took this long for to create the change in government that succeeded in cleaning up the mess.

INONEt would be insulting to suggest that this article is titled specifically in the hopes that Chua Tee Yong (left) would take the time to carefully peruse the facts within. Nevertheless, perhaps he may find the exercise beneficial in his longer term efforts to maintain what little credibility he has left.

Said credibility is shrinking at about the same rate at which he is reducing the amount of money claimed to be ‘misused’ by Selangor - from RM1 billion, to RM260 million, to RM42 million. Before long, he may have to measure in sen instead.

Perhaps Chua fancies himself a Rafizi Ramli. What he fails to understand however, is that Rafizi’s exposes are not just all about ‘glamorous’ press conferences and big numbers. Behind every expose is a ton of hard work and solid research.

Behind Chua appears only to be blind ambition that extends far beyond ability, and a shameful mainstream media that think that hype can overturn facts.

[Source: Mkini]

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Selangor State Government/Talam deal explained

If you are one of those who are involved in corporate finance, you will find this video interesting as Tony Pua explained the financial deal between the Selangor State Government and Talam.

Now we await Chua Tee Yong's response.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Let's go a-lynching

I am a great fan of Western movies and have been so since the fifties when actors such as Randolph Scott, Audie Murphy, Stewart Granger, Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne, Charles Bronson, Clint Eastwood graced the silver screen.  Who can even forget Cary Cooper in 'High Noon'.  In recent times, we had Kevin Costner in "Silverado" and "Dances with Wolves".  There will always be the red Indians, you know tribes like Apache, Navajo, the Crow, Commanche, Cheyenne and of course, the Sioux, who would be seen attacking new settlers and after all is over, in comes the blue uniformed cavalry.  No Western movies would be complete without those good guys vs bad guys scenes, good guys being the sheriff of the town and the bad guys, the bad guys.

Now once a bad guy is caught and being locked up in the jail, a town council meeting would take place where everyone wants justice done, that is,  by lynching the poor fellow.  The sheriff would be there to deter the crowd and will repeatedly tell the noisy gathering, with the famous line, "Don't take the law into your own hands".  As the meeting progressed, the sheriff would lose control of the meeting and everyone in the room would turn into a mob, proceeded to the jail house to had the bad guy dragged out and lynched from the nearest tree.  There is no time to even build a proper gallow.

When Sri Gading MP Mohamad Aziz recently made a remark to hang Ambiga, it just conjured an image of a typical Western movie scene where the Parliament House was like a cowboy saloon and the MPs were there for a town house meeting.  In the heat of the debate, you had one fellow who stood up and shouted "Hang Ambiga!"  His fellow UMNO MPs, were just like the rest in the town house meeting, who cheered and supported him in a mob-liked manner.  Well, the good thing is, there was no hanging that day.

Mohd Aziz with members of his 'lynch' mob?
Well, the question before us is, have we descended to such a degressive state where an act such as hanging would even cross our mind?  What does it say about the intellectual state of our MPs?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Sodomy II : Flushed down the toilet bowl

Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan’s allegation that he was sodomised by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was uncorroborated and a conviction based solely on the accuser’s testimony would have been unsafe, the Kuala Lumpur High Court concluded in its written judgment of the opposition leader’s Sodomy II trial that was released today.
High Court judge Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah said in his 80-page written judgment that it could not be 100 per cent certain about the integrity of DNA samples examined by government chemist Dr Seah Lay Hong.
He ruled that it is not safe to rely on the results of Dr Seah’s examination of the DNA evidence.
“There was no evidence to corroborate the evidence of Saiful on factum of penetration,” he said.
“The court is always reluctant to convict an accused person based solely on the uncorroborated evidence of the complainant. Therefore the accused is acquitted and discharged of the charge,” he ruled.
On January 9, the High Court acquitted Anwar of a charge of sodomising his former male aide Mohd Saiful 
Speaking in court then, the judge had ruled that the prosecution had not done enough to prove Anwar had committed sodomy against Saiful.
Anwar, 64, had been similarly indicted of sodomy over a decade ago and was found guilty. He spent six years in jail before being exonerated.
The High Court’s decision this time had given a boost to Anwar’s Pakatan Rakyat (PR) pact’s plans to take over Putrajaya.
The prosecution says it plans to appeal the decision and has 10 days from today to do so.
In the written judgment released today, the judge addressed the question of the integrity of the DNA samples.
The judge pointed out that the DNA samples collected had been placed in individual plastic receptacles, labelled and sealed at Kuala Lumpur Hospital, but were subsequently open by the police investigating officer DSP Jude Pereira.
“According to him (Pereira), it was done for the purpose of individually re-labelling the receptacles. In my view, this was not necessary since the receptacles were already packed and labelled by the experts who collected them,” he said.
[Source: The MI]

Now, this really made my day

The woman in the video found the lion, injured in the forest, on the verge
of death. She took the lion home with her and nursed it back to health.
Later, when the lion was better, she made arrangements with a zoo to
take the lion.Some time passed before the woman had a chance to visit the zoo.
This video was taken when she walked up to the lion's cage to see how
he was doing.  Watch the lion's reaction when he sees her!!!

Monday, July 2, 2012

UMNO : Hudud law in Johore

After reading this news report from the Harakah Daily, it is good to know that Tok Guru Nik Aziz has made the right move by calling the bluff of Kemelah state representative Ayub Rahmat for wanting to introduce Hudud law in Johore, applicable to both Muslims and non-Muslims in the state.  By now, I am sure Ayub Rahmat must have given himself a kick in his own butt for not keeping his mouth shut but knowing these UMNO morons, they just have to say the wrong thing at the right time.  I guess Ayub Rahmat did not think about the consequences before opening his big mouth. If the Johore state assembly were to pass a bill leading to the introduction of Hudud law in the state, one thing for sure, many corrupt UMNO and MCA politicians will be in for a hard time, minus their hands and certain private parts of their body. Talking about that private part of the body, what has that anti-Hudud fella, Chua Soi Lek, got to say now?  Probably,this is another guy who wished he had kept his big mouth shut too.  CSL has been unrelentlessly hounding the DAP for months on end for working with PAS and its Hudud law policy.  I guess he will now have to train the barrel of his anti-Hudud canon at UMNO which will mean he will be fighting on two fronts now, PAS and UMNO.  If this happens, it will further reduce his party's chances of surviving this round at the coming GE13, unless he pulls MCA out of the BN coalition.

Anyway, from Tok Guru to Ayub Rahmat : CHECK MATE, brother!

A call by an UMNO state assemblyman in Johor to implement "true hudud" in the state has been welcomed by Kelantan Menteri Besar Tuan Guru Nik Abdul Aziz Nik .
“To me, I am deeply thankful for this realisation," said the PAS Murshidul Am.
Yesterday, Kemelah state representative Ayub Rahmat was reported as saying that Johor UMNO must take the lead in implementing 'true hudud' before Kelantan did.
According to Ayub, UMNO's version of hudud laws - the Islamic criminal laws stipulating deterrent punishment on serious crimes - will have to differ from the 'distorted' one being enacted by Kelantan as the latter covered only Muslims.
But Nik Aziz said he fully supported Ayub's call.
"No need to throw a challenge, I fully support it.
“Whether Kelantan or Johor implements its first, is not important. Kelantan has had to face hurdles to implement hudud, so if Johor can do it before Kelantan, go ahead," he wrote on his Facebook page.
MCA president Chua Soi Lek who hails from Johor has come out strongly against Ayub's proposal. MCA has been at the forefront of a campaign to stop the hudud law enactment in Kelantan, describing the Islamic laws as 'backward'.
[Source: Harakahdaily]

The 'Rambo' Granny of Melbourne

Gun-toting granny Ava Estelle, 81, was so ticked-off when two thugs raped her 18-year-old granddaughter that she tracked the unsuspecting ex-cons down... And shot off their testicles.
"The old lady spent a week hunting those men down and, when she found them, she took revenge on them in her own special way," said Melbourne police 
investigator Evan Delp.
Then she took a taxi to the nearest police station,
 laid the gun on the sergeant's desk and told him as calm as could be: 
"Those bastards will never rape anybody again, by God."
Cops say convicted rapist and robber Davis Furth, 33, lost both his penis and his testicles
 when outraged Ava opened fire with a 9-mm pistol in the hotel room where he and former prison cell mate Stanley Thomas, 29, were holed up.
The wrinkled avenger also blew Thomas' testicles to kingdom come, but doctors managed to save his mangled penis, police said. "The one guy, Thomas, didn't lose his manhood, but the doctor I talked to said he won't be using it the way he used to," Detective Delp told reporters.

"Both men are still in pretty bad shape, but I think they're just happy to be alive after what they've been through." 
The Rambo Granny swung into action August 21 after her granddaughter Debbie was carjacked and raped in broad daylight by two knife-wielding creeps in a section of town bordering on skid row.


"When I saw the look on my Debbie's face that night in the hospital,
 I decided I was going to go out and get those bastards myself 'cause I figured the Law 
would go easy on them,"' recalled the retired library worker.
" And I wasn't scared of them, either - because I've got me a gun and I've been shootin' all my life.
 And I wasn't dumb enough to turn it in when the law changed about owning one."
So, using a police artist's sketch of the suspects and Debbie's description of the sickos, tough-as-nails Ava spent seven days prowling the wino-infested neighborhood where the crime took place till she spotted the ill-fated rapists entering their flophouse hotel. 
"I knew it was them the minute I saw 'em, but I shot a picture of 'em anyway and took it back to Debbie and she said sure as hell, it was them," the oldster recalled...
"So I went back to that hotel and found their room and knocked on the door,
 and the minute the big one opened the door, I shot 'em right square between the legs, right where it would really hurt 'em most, you know. Then I went in and shot the other one as he backed up pleading to me to spare him. 
Then I went down to the police station and turned myself in."

Now, baffled lawmen are trying to figure out exactly how to deal with the vigilante granny.

"What she did was wrong, and she broke the law, but it is difficult to throw an 81-year-old woman in prison," Det. Delp said, "especially when 3 million people in the city want to nominate her for Mayor."


Monday Humour

You must trust your husband

There comes a time when a woman just has to trust her husband... for example...
A wife comes home late at night and quietly opens the door to her bedroom.
From under the blanket she sees four legs instead of two. She reaches for a baseball bat and starts hitting the blanket as hard as she can.
Once she's done, she goes to the kitchen to have a drink.
As she enters, she sees her husband there, reading a magazine.
"Hi Darling", he says, "Your parents have come to visit us, so l let them stay in our bedroom. Did you say ‘hello’?”
The origin of yodeling, or is it?

 Have you ever wondered where and how yodeling began?

Many years ago a man was traveling through the mountains of Switzerland

Nightfall was rapidly approaching and he had nowhere to sleep. He went up to a farmhouse and asked the farmer if he could spend the night.

The farmer told him that he could sleep in the barn.

As the story goes, the farmer's daughter asked her father, 'Who is that man going into the barn?'
'That fellow traveling through,' said the farmer. 'needs a place to stay for the night, so, I told him he could sleep in the barn.'

The daughter said, 'Perhaps he is hungry.' So she prepared him a plate of food for him and then took it out to the barn

About an hour later, the daughter returned. Her clothing disheveled and straw in her hair. Straight up to bed she went.

The farmer's wife was very observant. She then suggested that perhaps the man was thirsty. So she fetched a bottle of wine, took it out to the barn,! And she too did not return for an hour. Her clothing was askew, her blouse buttoned incorrectly. She also headed straight to bed.

The next morning at sunrise the man in the barn got up and continued on his journey, waving to the farmer as he left.

When the daughter awoke and learned that the visitor was gone, she broke into tears. 'How could he leave without even saying goodbye,' she cried. 'We made such passionate love last night!'

'What?' shouted the father as he angrily ran out of the house looking for the man, who by now was halfway up the mountain.

The farmer screamed up at him, 'I'm going to get you! You had sex with my daughter!'

The man looked back down from the mountainside, cupped his hand next to his mouth, and yelled out.....

Some British humour to cheer you up
Police in London have found a bomb outside a mosque...
They've told the public not to panic as they've managed to
push it inside.

During last night's high winds an African family were killed
by a falling tree.
A spokesman for the Birmingham City council said "We didn't
even know they were living up there.

Jamaican minorities in the UK have complained that there are
not enough television shows with minorities in mind, so Crime Watch is being
shown 5 times a week now.

I was reading in the paper today about this dwarf that got pick-pocketed.
How could anyone stoop so low.

I was walking down the road when I saw an Afghan bloke standing on a fifth floor
balcony shaking a carpet.
I shouted up to him, "What's up Abdul, won't it start?"

Learning English

A friend of mine, who is a teacher, once told me that in one of her  Geography lessons, she had difficulties getting some of her students  to pronounce the name of a city, OKLAHOMA !
A Malay student, read it as O.K. lah Omar 
A Chinese student, read it as Okra Oma !
An Indian student read it as Wok Kla Wo Ma !

Don't laugh, but do you know how to pronounce correctly, the word....

"Oklahoma" ?
The Proper Way is:

OKLA...   (with a pause) ... HOMA
(There's a gap between the 'a' and the 'h'.)

Don't agree, let me prove it..............................

There........... you learned something today!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Our Sunday Girl - ROSEMARIE

Oh Rose, my Rose Marie 

Oh Rose Marie I love you 
I'm always dreaming of you 
No matter what I do I can't forget you 
Sometimes I wish that I'd never met you 
And yet if I should lose you 
T'would mean my very life to me 
Of all the queens that ever lived I'd choose you 
To rule me my Rose Marie 


Of all the queens that ever lived I'd choose you 
To rule me my Rose Marie 

Of all the queens that ever lived I'd choose you, yes I'd choose you 
To rule me my Rose Marie

She ain't got no money
Her clothes are kinda funny
Her hair is kinda wild and free
Oh, but Love grows where my Rosemary goes
And nobody knows like me

She talks kinda lazy
And people say she she's crazy
And her life's a mystery
Oh, but Love grows where my Rosemary goes
And nobody knows like me

There's something about her hand holding mine
It's a feeling that's fine
And I just gotta say
She's really got a magical spell
And it's working so well
That I can't get away

I'm a lucky fella
And I've just got to tell her
That I love her endlessly
Because Love grows where my Rosemary goes
And nobody knows like me

There's something about her hand holding mine
It's a feeling that's fine
And I just gotta say
She's really got a magical spell
And it's working so well
That I can't get away

I'm a lucky fella
And I've just got to tell her
That I love her endlessly
Because Love grows where my Rosemary goes
And nobody knows like me

It keeps growing every place she's been
And nobody knows like me

If you've met her, you'll never forget her
And nobody knows like me

La la la- believe it when you've seen it
Nobody knows like me