Saturday, 12 March 2011

Seizure of 35,000 Bibles in Bahasa Malaysia – another example that Najib is not master in his own house and the hollowness of 1Malaysia? « Lim Kit Siang

Is the continued seizure of 35,000 copies of the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia – 30,000 copies in Kuching Port and 5,000 copies in Port Klang – another example that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak is not master of his own house and the hollowness of his 1Malaysia policy?

It is three days since the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) has come out with a statement expressing that it is “greatly disillusioned, fed-up and angered by the repeated detention of Bibles written in our national language, Bahasa Malaysia”.

The CFM Chairman Bishop Ng Boon Hing and its executive committee in a joint statement on Thursday revealed the power of the “Little Napoleons” in the bureaucracy which could even thwart and veto the Prime Minister’s order for the release of the Christian scriptures in Bahasa Malaysia.

Why has there been no action by Najib to ensure that his order to release the 5,000 Bibles in Bahasa Malaysia held in Port Klang since March 2009 are complied with without any more delay or hassle?

Instead, we have a Home Ministry official justifying the seizure of the Bibles in Bahasa Malaysia on the ground that it was based on a Cabinet decision made a quarter of a century ago in 1986.

-Seizure of 35,000 Bibles in Bahasa Malaysia – another example that Najib is not master in his own house and the hollowness of 1Malaysia? « Lim Kit Siang

EPF- "Ini bukan duit bapak hang!"

"You EPF, you who take in our money —
you go and find people to build homes which are affordable.
You have the moral duty to so. It’s our bloody money.
Ini bukan duit bapak hang!
- Datuk Sak


EPF should build affordable homes in Sungai Buloh

— Sakmongkol AK47

March 12, 2011

MARCH 12 — Here is the problem we have with EPF. Sometime ago, EPF who was given rights to develop the RRIM land in Sungai Buloh, handed it over to MRCB to manage. Or places it under custody of MRCB. It’s the left pocket transferring to the right pocket. This is a 3000 acre prime land located just outside Kuala Lumpur but will later form a portion within the Greater Kuala Lumpur.

What was MRCB’s Plans? The plan was for MRCB to either sell off the land or enters a JV with IJM. The CEO to be appointed was Mohd Lotfy Mohd Noh who was a director of MRCB. He is now, the CEO of Kwasa Land, a fully owned subsidiary of EPF.

The deal didn’t go through. Perhaps the terms of the JV or form of cooperation were not acceptable by IJM. Maybe some people were asking too much.

But MRCB can’t do it on its own? Whereas it boasts itself a “property development and investment company. The Group is one of the largest developers of residential, commercial and industrial properties in Malaysia. Our long-standing policy is to elevate quality and innovations in lieu with market needs, as well as bringing quality living to all customers.

It cannot develop the RRIM land that will yield new investments of RM 5 billion, yet it’s teaming up with Ekovest to become PDP for the River of Life Project. That’s RM 17 billion and you bet, it will be more. But it can’t do a project that will bring in RM 5 billion.

The development is expected to feature breathtaking landscape parks, green lungs, open spaces, walkways and water bodies,” one party familiar with the plans said. “The township will also incorporate full information technology and data infrastructure (MSC City Status) and complete urban transportation integration.”

You see these people up there — they are just paper tigers. They can’t do on their own. They talk big about building up Iskandar, and other land portfolio. In reality they are just doing things like any other RM 2 paid up capital Bumiputera developers are doing. Parner with a PDP. You have the resource given by the government. All you need to do is market it. Make deals. Then we don’t need people with degrees from Oxford and Cambridge. We need Gordon Gekko characters. Hell — the CEO at PASDEC Corp in Kuantan can do that.

So if MRCB which gloats itself as a first class property developer subcontracts the development of their property to contractors, what’s the difference between them and the ordinary Bumiputera resource owner? You are just a rent seeker as they who you despised.

I would like the PM to give assurance to whistle blowers out there, in pursuit of their civic duty and moved by public spirited values to be protected by law. In this way, whistle blowers will come out to bare all the shenanigans and corporate legerdemains carried out by corporate chieftains in our GLCs. The MACC should go investigate all deals done by heads of our GLCs. Start with Khazanah, TNB, PETRONAS, Maybank, MRCB, etc etc. investigate the whole lot!

Back to MRCB. When the deal didn’t go through, what to do with the land? EPF and MRCB do not have any Project Delivery Partner. If not, IJM Corporation would have been proudly announced as the PDP of the Sungai Buloh RRIM Land. Wow.

Ok, the bosses at EPF say — bring back the land to EPF portfolio. IJM doesn’t want we can find other ways. You Lotfy, come and head our Kwasa Land. You parcel the land into smaller sizes and partner up with selected PDPs. Damn — maybe we can milk more babe! So you have it — EPF forms a wholly owned subsidiary to manage the development of the RRIM land. Its CEO is Moh Lotfy MOhd Noh the underling assigned and receiving instructions from Shahril Redzuan of EPF who wants to become chairman of EPF — if Nor Mohamad Yakob is in time to appoint.

But here is a bigger issue. EPF takes in deposits from workers and employees. There are presently around 11 million depositors or pencarum. 10 million or so earn salaries below or up to RM 3000 pcm. These are the ones targeted by the PM to own their first homes though 100 per cent financing. I have written this as a step to relieve pressure in the property loan industry. It’s a measure to prevent a subprime crisis by using loans to first house owners as a cushion when the big loan defaulters come crushing down. Yes those who financed purchases of 2nd, 3rd or even their Nth homes. These are the potential subprime borrowers.

So why doesn’t EPF come out in full support of the PM? It gets its money from employees most of whom fall under the category of RM 3000 and below income earners. Why doesn’t it go into home construction? Make homes that are affordable to the majority of the depositors. Leave the building of super homes whose ‘super’ element is the astronomical price to private developers. The private developers, if they want to build castles in the air, who cares.

You EPF, you who take in our money — you go and find people to build homes which are affordable. You have the moral duty to so. It’s our bloody money. Ini bukan duit bapak hang!

You ask your people to go learn how the Singapore government carries out housing scheme under the HDB. Or if you are paranoid and xenophobic about learning anything from that little red dot, go learn from Greater London Council on how they go about doing their council homes. You like it don’t you- eating fish and chips from that Times newspaper. Or is it Page 3 of the Sun?

* Sakmongkol AK47 is the nom de plume of Datuk Mohd Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz.

He was Pulau Manis assemblyman (2004-2008).

Dato' "Sak" Talks about the Petronas silence ....

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

PETRONAS in the news-1

In the last 2 weeks, PETRONAS was in the news for the wrong (?) reasons.

First- PETRONAS was ranked badly in a 2010 Report on Promoting Revenue Transparency in Oil & Gas companies. The report is published by Transparency International (TI) and Revenue Watch Institute (RWI).
PETRONAS performed badly in all three key sections.

These are
'Reporting on Anti-Corruption Programme',

'Organizational Disclosure'
'Country-Level Disclosure for International Operations'
PETRONAS' respective scores were 30, 38 and zero percent, compared to the average scores of 43, 65 and 16 percent.
UK's BG Group, India's Oil and Natural Gas Corporation and Norway's Statoil top the three sections respectively with scores of 93, 100 and 69 percent.
PETRONAS was ranked in the bottom 25 percent of the 20 international and 24 national oil companies surveyed.

Reporting on Anti-Corruption Programmes' refers to companies reporting their anti-corruption programmes according to the TI-UN Global Compact Reporting Guidance on the 10th Principle against Corruption.

Organizational Disclosure' measures reporting of a company's organizational structure, operations, partnerships and standards used for published financial accounts.

Country-level Disclosure for International Operations' refers to companies' reporting on meaningful country-level financial and technical data relating to their international operations.

What is the purpose of the Report? I think we need to look at it positively and not succumbed to a xenophobic reaction treating the Report as work of some insidious organization out to discredit Malaysia. As Malaysians concerned over the management of a national asset, we have every reason to be circumspect.
PETRONAS is the biggest revenue earner for this country.

The report aims to promote accountability in resource-rich countries by improving awareness of the importance of revenue transparency of major oil and gas companies. We have to remember that Oil and gas producers generate and transfer considerable funds to national and host governments. Natural resources wealth can fuel large-scale corruption and mismanagement, if not properly managed.

Second- PETRONAS is in the news for its announcement in introducing the new commercial methodology of RSC- risk sharing Contract. What is that?

In introducing the Risk Sharing Contract, PETRONAS has this to say. It said that in not too many words. We are left to second guess what our national company means and intends.
"The RSC model strikes a balance in sharing of risks with fair returns for development and production of already discovered fields. In this arrangement, PETRONAS remains the project owner while contractors are the service provider. Upfront capital investment will be contributed by the contractors who will receive payment commencing from first production and throughout the duration of the contract," PETRONAS said.

"The new arrangement facilitates direct participation of Malaysian companies in the country's upstream oil and gas activities, in line with PETRONAS' efforts to leverage on their existing capacity while fast-tracking their capability in development and production in a structured manner," it added.

We haven't been told-
how is the marginal field defined? H
ow are the local players chosen?
How is the foreign technology partner selected?
How did we come up with a ballpark figure of RM 800 million?
Who provided that figure?
Why can't it assign PETRONAS Carigali for instance to partner with the Petrofac for instance?

Unless the consortium of the 3 companies in unison proposed to PETRONAS to work on the marginal fields, then I think the choice of the 3 can be defended. We can't fault the private companies for coming out with a commercially viable solution to PETRONAS when PETRONAS itself feels further work on the fields is uneconomical.
But unless PETRONAS is forthcoming with more revelation, its silence will only fuel speculation and wild guesses.

So if I were to second guess and translate it into simple language, perhaps it can be this way:
"hey guys, you want to make money? Here's the deal.
We want to appoint a foreign player to extract oil and gas from our marginal fields. Don't worry marginal is a misnomer- plenty of oil and gas there. But you people can share by being equity partners to these people. Just get the capital and join them.
They are your technology partner. They do the work, maybe you get to supply support services and other things. PETRONAS will oversee and make sure you make money. And we will also be fulfilling our political objectives- fast tracking the capabilities of the chosen local ones."

PETRONAS has come some way from Production Sharing Contract to Risk Sharing Contract.
The contractors now assume all the risks (?) and get compensated when they strike oil or gas? Will they get to recover all their set up costs? They get to share the value that's above the costs? How will the sharing be structured?

Let's study a little bit of history.
The production sharing contract (PSC) is a scheme where the resource owner contracts out the extraction and production of oil and gas to exploration companies. Basically the idea is this. The exploration companies or contractors do all the work to extract and produce oil. Hence the term produced oil. Once oil is produced, the contractor gets to recover all the costs incurred in extraction and producing the oil- this is termed as cost oil. After all the costs are deducted, you get to share the profit- hence the term profit oil. It's divided between the resource owner and contractor on an agreed basis. Usually 80% to the owner and 20% to the contractor.

This idea was first introduced in Malaysia by Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah when PETRONAS was formed in 1974. The Petroleum Development Act 1974 empowers PETRONAS to be the custodian of our oil and gas reserves. It sets out to manage and operate our oil and gas reserves. It owns the oil and gas on our behalf.
Tengku Razaleigh worked hard to convince the oil majors operating in Malaysia then to accept the arrangement. The Americans were of course livid and complained to the then PM, Tun Abdul Razak. But Razak chose to stay the course with Razaleigh.

Update: I hear sound whispers that the whole cost of the project is financed by Petrofac. Haiya, cilaka, saya pun boleh bikin ini marginal field punya projek ma...

A Doctor in the Crack ....

"Tun Salleh Abas was sacked as chief judge in 1988 for complaining
to other Rulers about noisy repairs at the King’s private house...."

- Malaysian Insider
“I say ‘pseudo’ because it is a copycat title of a famous British comedy film
of the 1950s based on a novel by Richard Gordon.
Perhaps it was deliberate, as it does reflect some comedianship,
apart from political lying. ”
- Tengku Razaleigh.

"... he disliked the Internal Security Act (ISA) ...
that he never wanted anyone arrested .... in 1987.
But he was convinced by the police .....

he thought only a few people would be detained,
but was flabbergasted by the final number, which was 554.
... he was not told that newspapers .... would be banned."
- A story-teller in the house — The Malaysian Insider

“His memoirs has proven two points.
Firstly, he has a wealth of imagination

and secondly, he has a bad memory....."

-Truth and lies