How should we judge a government?

In Malaysia, if you don't watch television or read newspapers, you are uninformed; but if you do, you are misinformed!

"If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." - Malcolm X

Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience - Mark Twain

Never argue with an idiot, otherwise people won't know which one of you is the idiot.
Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright - until you hear them speak.

Why we should be against censorship in a court of law: Publicity is the very soul of justice … it keeps the judge himself, while trying, under trial. - Jeremy Bentham

"Our government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no
responsibility at the other. " - Ronald Reagan

Government fed by the people

Government fed by the people

Career options

Career options
I suggest government... because nobody has ever been caught.

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?

When there's too much dirt...

When there's too much dirt...
We need better tools... to cover up mega corruptions.

Prevent bullying now!

Prevent bullying now!
If you're not going to speak up, how is the world supposed to know you exist? “Orang boleh pandai setinggi langit, tapi selama ia tidak menulis, ia akan hilang di dalam masyarakat dan dari sejarah.” - Ananta Prameodya Toer (Your intellect may soar to the sky but if you do not write, you will be lost from society and to history.)

Friday, March 27, 2015

Political realignment might have adverse effect on Pakatan's hold on Selangor

 
Graphics courtesy of Steven Lee in Facebook
 
DAP might be safe in Penang, but PKR's current position in Selangor is very dependent on PAS's support. Just by teaming up with Umno and Najib will be able to regain the coveted crown jewel. Perhaps, this has been the main reason for Umno's feigning support for PAS's Hudud in Kelantan. But it has also put Najib in a difficult position at the national level where he might lose his Fixed Deposits in East Malaysia.
  
Link

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

On Hudud: Has Hadi been taken for a ride by Najib?

Ex-Law Minister, Zaid Ibrahim and ex-DPM, Musa Hitam, were among the first to openly object to PAS's initiative and passing of the Bill on Hudud in the Kelantan State Assembly.

While we are waiting anxiously for PM and Umno President, Najib to open his golden mouth on the matter, more and more leaders from both sides of the political divide as well as NGOs and private individuals, have come out to state their objections to hudud. Leaders in Sabah and Sarawak are generally opposed to it. Their support (aka 'Fixed Deposits') had been vital to keeping BN's rule. We can understand the dilemma Najib is in and we can see through his objective of having hudud to cause a split in Pakatan Rakyat. This has almost been achieved with DAP announcing their opposition to Hadi as President of PAS, but not the political party.

So far, two ministers have openly stated their objections to any introduction of a Private Member's Bill on Hudud in parliament. Many people are of the opinion that these two statements are indication of what Najib's stand will be like. In other words, PAS President could have been taken for a ride for being given the false hope of seeing the success of hudud in Parliament.


Nazri Aziz on Hudud: Stupid to discuss something that won’t happen
Former de facto law minister Nazri Aziz has dismissed PAS’ high hopes to see the Islamic penal code implemented in Kelantan.

"No need to discuss something that will not happen. It’s stupid for anyone to even be discussing Hudud," Nazri, the present tourism minister and first Umno minister to dismiss Hudud openly, told reporters in the Parliament lobby, The Malaysian Insider reported.

According to him, the Hudud bill could only be passed by amending the Federal Constitution which required the support of two-thirds of the legislators in Parliament.

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2015/03/24/hudud-stupid-to-discuss-something-that-wont-happen/


Nancy says nay to hudud
Now Nancy Shukri, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, is saying that hudud would be impossible to implement in Malaysia.

Nancy, the de-facto Law Minister, is the second Barisan Nasional minister after Umno’s Nazri Aziz to comment that PAS’ attempt to push through a Private Member’s Bill to amend hudud laws would fail.

Nancy, who is from the Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu, said punishment for offences under the Islamic penal code would clash with those provided for under civil criminal laws, reports The Malay Mail Online.

And implementing hudud might result in "double jeopardy", she added.

"I am in agreement with Datuk Nazri. It is just not possible… In Sarawak, I don’t think they will get the vote for hudud.

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2015/03/24/nancy-says-nay-to-hudud/


Zairil: Muslim DAP MP rejects PAS’s hudud as ‘man-made’ law
'The DAP national assistant publicity secretary stressed that criticisms against the implementation of hudud come not just from non-Muslims and the public, but even from Islamic scholars.

"For example, renowned Islamic scholar Professor Tariq Ramadan has called for a moratorium on hudud because the world has changed and it’s no longer conducive for the implementation of hudud," said Zairil.'

'PKR central committee member Latheefa Koya said Friday that the hudud law that PAS is pushing for is not in line with Quranic teachings, noting four differences between the holy book’s teaching on hudud and Kelantan’s hudud enactment.'

- See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/muslim-dap-mp-rejects-pass-hudud-as-man-made-law#sthash.fNVEBbEi.dpuf


G25: Hudud law means abandoning moderation
The group of 25 prominent Malay civil servants has urged Putrajaya to uphold the Federal Constitution and prevent the implementation of hudud law.

http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/293129


Council of Rulers opposes amendments needed to enforce hudud
See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/council-of-malay-rulers-oppose-amendments-needed-to-enforce-hudud#sthash.Rc6dA5qO.dpuf


Lim Kit Siang: Najib should be given another 48 hours to make his statement on the stand of UMNO/BN MPs on Hadi’s private member’s bill on hudud implementation in Kelantan
'In fact, Najib’s failure to announce UMNO/BN’s opposition to Hadi’s private member’s bill would itself be a tectonic shift in the cardinal nation-building policies which the country’s first three Prime Ministers, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak and Tun Hussein, the Barisan Nasional and before it, the Alliance, had previously espoused without any equivocation.

In fact, all the previous five Prime Ministers, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Hussein, Tun Mahathir and Tun Abdullah when they were Prime Ministers would have no hesitation to declare that hudud law is against the Malaysian Constitution and unsuitable for a multi-racial and multi-religious nation like Malaysia.

If Najib is not prepared to declare what the previous five Prime Ministers would have no hesitation in doing during their premiership, it means that the UMNO/Barisan Nasional under Najib has deviated from previous UMNO/BN policies.'

http://blog.limkitsiang.com/2015/03/25/najib-should-be-given-another-48-hours-to-make-his-statement-on-the-stand-of-umnobn-mps-on-hadis-private-members-bill-on-hudud-implementation-in-kelantan/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+limkitsiang%2Frss+%28Lim+Kit+Siang%29

Link

Monday, March 23, 2015

Passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew

Link
 
 
An icon of different things to different people, either you love him or hate him, he was without doubt, instrumental in developing Singapore from almost nothing since kicked out of Malaysia (again depending on interpretation), to a first world country to be emulated by developing countries.
 
Just imagine a small country (often referred to with disdain, as a 'little red dot') without any natural resources, other than human, could be transformed into a developed country ranking high in terms of per capita income. Nothing is perfect, the excellent results come with a price - that of personal freedom. Singapore is also known as a 'fine city' as in people are likely to get fined for numerous offences unknown to other countries, with the best example being 'no chewing gum is allowed'. No smoking in most places, no graffiti and so on.
 
The main reason for its success seems to be meritocracy, one of the best criteria for choosing personnel to fill different positions regardless of race or origin. This has the effect of attracting top talents in different fields from all over the world to Singapore to help make it what it is today.
 
The passing of Lee Kuan Yew will not see the end of his name being used for comparison with other world leaders. May his soul rest in peace.
 
 


'This was Lee Kuan Yew's actual living room. I think most HDB flats have better furnishings and decor than his. It speaks volumes of the priorities of the man. He was not ensnared by the trappings of wealth and hence was not greedy for the dollar. Greed will inevitably result in compromising principles and ideals, which may put him on the path of making "wrong decisions". Someone who lives in this room ... I'd trust him whole-heartedly with public finances and the country's resources, don't you! Hence the room is not so much a reflection of his frugality but a showcase for his definitive values in life.' - Malaysia-Finance Blogspot.

Lee Kuan Yew once uncovered a CIA plot, turned down a $3.3m bribe and embarrassed the US

'Apparently, a CIA agent had been caught trying to purchase information from Singapore intelligence officials. He then offered Lee $3.3 million for personal and political use if the failed affair was kept under wraps.

Thinking more about the future of his country, Lee refused, and asked instead for $33 million in formal economic-development aid for Singapore.'


More:

http://singapore.coconuts.co/2015/03/24/lee-kuan-yew-once-uncovered-cia-plot-turned-down-33m-bribe-and-embarassed-us

PAS + UMNO - PKR may still have the numbers... as it depends on those present on the day of voting in Parliament

From The Malaysian Insider: Without PKR, PAS can still push through hudud bill

'Dr Wong Chin Huat of the Penang Institute said the bill required only a simple majority of all MPs present in the Dewan Rakyat at the time of voting. This means PAS can get it through if all Umno MPs also say yes to it.

It is not a case whereby PAS and Umno need 112 votes, a simple majority, in the house in order to get the bill through, said Wong, referring to a common misconception about passing legislation or amendments. If there are enough MPs who support it in the Dewan Rakyat at the time of voting versus those who don't support it or those who abstain from voting, then the bill passes.

Parliament has 222 members. PAS has 21 MPs and Umno 88 and if the latter said they will support it, then it would bring the number of MPs who support the bill at 109. In order to defeat the bill, there must be at least 110 votes against it. The only way the bill can be defeated is if almost all PKR, DAP and the other Barisan Nasional MPs who opposed the bill, come out to vote against it in the house.'

See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/without-pkr-pas-can-still-push-through-hudud-bill#sthash.4Q2R1Vwn.dpuf

Link

Friday, March 20, 2015

Malaysiakini: Tian Chua is the 11th person to be arrested post KitaLawan rally

Link
 
 

Hudud seems too close for comfort to non-Muslims

We were under the impression the initiative taken by PAS in Kelantan will not affect the rest of the country. Not only that, we were also assured that Hudud will not affect us, only the Muslims. But when they have the numbers, there is no guarantee what is going to happen later. Slowly but surely, it is going to affect us one way or the other. Already, some Malays have been complaining that though they have special privileges, they do not have the same kind of freedom as the non-Malays. Will they be happy if they are subject to strict Syariah laws while the non-Muslims go about their usual seemingly carefree way of life? Will all the Malay MPs be obliged to vote for Hudud in Parliament?

We have the numbers for hudud vote in Parliament, says Kelantan PAS

'Kelantan PAS says the numbers in Parliament are in its favour as it only needs a simple majority to get hudud implemented in the state by amending a law governing the scope of the Shariah courts, and not the Federal Constitution, deputy menteri besar Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah said.'

'The plan to amend the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 by way of a private member's bill in Parliament will only need 112 votes from the 222-member federal legislature, and quashes earlier talk that the Islamist party lacked the numbers to enforce hudud by amending the constitution.'

'There are 126 Muslim MPs in Parliament. PAS has 21 seats, its opposition allies PKR and DAP 16 and two respectively, and the ruling Barisan Nasional, 87. While this total is far short of the 148 votes or two-thirds needed to approve a change to the constitution, it allows a margin for a simple majority even if the two Muslim MPs from the strongly secular DAP were to vote against any proposal. PKR Muslim MPs have been mostly reticent when asked previously if they would or would not vote in support of hudud, which is not part of the opposition Pakatan Rakyat's (PR) common policy.'

- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/we-have-the-numbers-for-hudud-vote-in-parliament-says-kelantan-pas#sthash.VLtd5SlN.dpuf


It is still confusing until tested in law. Earlier, When PAS said they have the numbers, I thought they could make it federal law with just a simple majority. But it is for Parliament to pass the private bill on Kelantan only. I suppose for hudud at federal level, it still needs two-third majority. In other words, other states can follow Kelantan's example, one at a time. But I still have hope that there are enough Malays who do not wish for hudud (Zaid for one), and with realignment (with or without PAS in Pakatan), ultimately, it depends on the voters. Muslim ADUNs and MPs might feel obliged because of religion to support hudud, but Muslim voters can anonymously vote for those who do not support hudud. PAS will find out soon enough at the next GE.Link

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Liew Chin Tong: The real story behind Kelantan hudud move


'To drive a wedge is to cause hostility or disagreement between two parties. In Malaysia, the implementation of the Islamic criminal law or hudud is one such wedge that is designed to break Pakatan Rakyat, and to bolster the position of the pro-Umno elements in PAS vis-à-vis the pro-Pakatan Rakyat leaders.'

'The recent hudud debate was given a new lease of life in March 2014 when Minister in Prime Minister Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir dangled the private member’s bill option at the PAS-led Kelantan government.

The discussion between Deputy Menteri Besar Datuk Nik Amar Nik Abdullah and the Federal Government took the form of a "government-to-government" arrangement, thus avoiding the scrutiny of PAS national leadership and the Pakatan Rakyat leaders’ council.

Without having any intention to brief the party’s central committee as well as the Pakatan Rakyat top leaders, the Kelantan PAS leaders was adamant to table the hudud enactment on 29th December 2014. Alas, it was stalled by the great flood of Kelantan which swamped even the state government offices in Kota Baru.

Nik Amar was later instructed by the PAS central leadership to attend the Pakatan Rakyat Leadership Council on February 8, 2015, chaired by Anwar Ibrahim, two days before the de facto PKR chief was jailed.

Nik Amar explained that the exercise was a minor amendment to the 1993 enactment, and Pakatan leaders were assured that they would be allowed to have a look at the draft.

On March 12, 2015, two junior excos of Kelantan were sent to attend the Pakatan Rakyat Leadership Council with "no mandate" to change anything, and allegedly "too late" to do anything.

The purpose was clear. It was meant to present a fait accompli by deception.

It is sad that some people would do such a thing despite the Quranic warning that one should never resort to unfair and dishonest means.'

See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/sideviews/article/the-real-story-behind-kelantan-hudud-move-liew-chin-tong#sthash.3fCASuIH.dpuf

Link

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

What is practised by corrupt naval personnel could well be the modus operandi in other government departments

People used to wonder how certain goods could be so overpriced, as often reported annually by the Auditor General. In my humble opinion, an explanation by an ex-Admiral, who is now PKR's Lumut MP, unravels what happened in the Navy could well be practised in other government departments and agencies.

Ex-admiral: Group manipulated Navy procurement system – Malay Mail Online

'The procurement method used by the navy to source parts for its fleet may have been manipulated by a small group of Royal Malaysian Navy staff and suppliers to mark up prices of certain items, claims a former high-ranking naval officer.

Retired First Admiral Mohamad Imran Abdul Hamid, who served for several years at the Lumut naval base, said fleet procurement came under a special unit called Depot Bekalan Armada (Fleet Supply Depot).

This unit sourced parts from suppliers through a three-tier procurement system.

In an interview with Malay Mail yesterday, Imran said the three tiers of procurement were known as the Quotation Management System (QMS), e-procurement and e-bidding.

In detail, he said QMS was used to source parts which cost RM20,000 or less each.

If the part costs between RM20,000 and RM50,000, the e-procurement method is used.

E-bidding is for parts costing between RM50,000 and RM250,000.

He said the Fleet Supply Depot was headed by a commanding officer, usually a captain, with a commander as his deputy.

"Below them are the material controllers or MCs," he said.

"Each MC is in charge of different parts or needs of the fleet...'




 
 
 
'He said it needed "teamwork" or "network" already established between the navy staff and suppliers over a long period of time to enable millions to change hands between the two sides.

Pointing out the probable way the two sides manipulated the system, he said this could have been done by pushing up an item fit for QMS or e-procurement into the e-bidding system.

"Let’s say one of the items to be procured is worth RM20,000.

"By right, the depot unit should use the QMS method to acquire it.

"However, this item is pushed either to e-procurement or e-bidding.

"Of course, the money is bigger in e-bidding.

He said once suppliers have locked in their quotations by the end of the tender period, the tenders are then reviewed by the procurement panel at the depot.

Since the value of items are not in millions the decision is finalised at the panel stage.

Imran, who once headed the navy’s logistics department, said once an item was purchased at a higher price, the procurement record would carry the new higher price instead of the older lower price, thus "helping" the "fixers" to reap profit from the marked-up item even for future transactions.

He stressed the procurement method would be susceptible to manipulation as long as the same staff were allowed to work in the same unit for years.'

More:

http://maritimesecurity.asia/free-2/procurement-2/ex-admiral-group-manipulated-navy-procurement-system-malay-mail-online-2/

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Monday, March 16, 2015

Why I refuse to advise people on shares

Not that I am qualified to do so, but in the land of the blind, the half blind rules.

A year ago, I helped a friend to sell his rights to buy shares based on his shareholding. It was all his decision and I accompanied him just to go through the procedure of selling via his remisier. He had not dealt with him for years. It was over within minutes and I could have waited for him in the car instead of his paying Rm3 per entry at the car park.

Now that the share price has gone up substantially, he loosely commented about having lost out Rm20,000 for having sold his rights! It was an exaggeration based roughly (mental calculation) on 5 lots x Rm4 which is way above his entitlement of 3600 shares and the current price of Rm3.75. He did not take into consideration the cost of taking up the shares plus the proceeds from the sale of rights at all! Not a nice feeling on my part, is it?

I had to work out how much he actually lost out so that he is not unduly affected by misconception.

Foregone: Sale proceeds from rights to subscribe 3600 shares at Rm1.00: Rm3,600;
Cost of taking up 3600 shares @ Rm1.80: Rm6,480; Total costs Rm10,080.
Compared with Rm13,500 (3,600 x current price Rm3.75) it shows a loss of Rm3,420 for not taking up the rights.

This brings to mind the thankless task of remisiers when they call up their clients to ask if they wanted to buy or sell shares. Sometimes, a client might be busy and did not bother checking share prices daily and it would have been such a pleasant surprise to know a share price had risen beyond his expectation. But because his remisier called, he could have been tempted to sell instead. Then when the share price rose substantially soon after, he would comment (not blame) that if only his remisier did not call he would have made much more!
 

Link

Will Hishamuddin be successor to Najib?

In a recent survey, Hishamuddin Hussein (H2O) is the favourite choice to be the next PM. This is despite the fact that there is a serving DPM in Muhyiddin (logical successor) and another Umno VP, Ahmad Zahid, who obtained highest votes (among 3 VPs) in Umno elections.
What could be the reason for those who voted to have chosen H2O?

Just like present PM, Najib, H2O has strong pedigree as a son of a former PM (our 3rd), Tun Hussein Onn. Najib is a son of our 2nd PM, Tun Abdul Razak. Both of them were educated in UK and speak excellent English. They are also known as WOGs (Western Oriented Gentlemen).

Hishamuddin had impressed many people as Acting Transport Minister, when he chaired a daily press conference related to the missing MAS plane, MH370, a year ago. With his many years experience as minister in various ministries, he could easily answer English questions posed by local and foreign journalists. Being Minister of Defence and having a cousin as PM, he could speak with authority on most things.

There is also the Malay feudalistic mentality which encourages the appointment of those who come from aristocratic families (almost like natural succession within dynasties), with the exception of Tun Dr Mahathir who had a very strong personality instead, enough to change his own race to suit the requirement that only a Malay can be a PM of Malaysia.

It is ironic that despite Umno and other rightist groups' insistence on more use of Bahasa Malaysia, they could be influenced enough to be in favour of someone more because of his fluency in English and his education overseas.

By the way, there is a Malay journalist, Fa Abdul, who took a lot of trouble to write an article criticising Tony Pua's pronunciation of Seychelles as 'Sis-chillies'. Fa was rightly condemned for being frivolous by Dr Wong Chin Huat in Facebook:


'Tony Pua can help save our billion dollars but may mispronounce a word. Fa Abdul can correctly pronounce perhaps tens of thousands of words but may not be helpful in saving perhaps even one dollar of our money.

Everyone has different strengths. Mr Pua is a good parliamentarian while Mr Fa Abdul may make a good English teacher and perhaps even a good comedian too, but a good journalist or columnist? That I am not sure if I have to judge her based on this article alone. (I would say she is if you look at her other works.) Top on the yardstick of newsworthiness should be "relevance/impact" when I last checked.'

While on the subject of irony, nothing is more ironic than UMNO (United Malay National Organization), better known by its English initials than its Malay: PKMB (Pertubuhan Kebangsaan Melayu Bersatu). Honestly, each time I wish to refer to this, I had to search and make sure! I am sure even if Umno members were to be asked about PKMB, they are likely to be stumped before realising what those initials stand for.
 


By the way, while on the subject of feudalistic mentality, one evening I was watching a serial on olden China and a former slave was competing with a general's daughter (also goddaughter of another general) to be selected as the Emperor's bride. The ex-slave had won the affections of both the Emperor and his mother. But the latter thought her aristocratic background and upbringing could easily win over them. She degraded the ex-slave as 'San kai tong foong' (Cantonese for wild fowl passing off as phoenix).

In other words, unless we are out of such mentality, we are likely to choose people based on their family backgrounds instead of their own abilities or qualities.

Link

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Najib's extraordinary wealth certainly needs more disclosure than inheritance and Bung's lame explanation

'Party insiders have also said that grassroots members were worried over media reports on Najib and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor’s wealth, which were turning supporters away from the party.

The issue was highlighted by American daily The New York Times and one story was also translated into Bahasa Malaysia and spread in social media and in Pakatan Rakyat (PR) media.

"There is no issue with his wealth," said Bung Mokhtar.

"His siblings are all in business so the wealth comes from these businesses."

Full article: http://www.malaysia-chronicle.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=473202:bung-mokhtar-bombshell-najibs-wealth-from-his-siblings-who-are-all-in-business-did-the-razak-brothers-get-extras-from-najib?&Itemid=2#ixzz3TxNmrBGJ

Bung Mokhtar's explanation that 'his (Najib's) siblings are all in business so the wealth comes from these businesses' is so lame that I wonder how many take him seriously on that, even though it is a known fact that many people already consider him a joker rather than a politician.

How many of us can claim that having very rich siblings, we can spend like they do, as though their wealth belong to us? In fact, often, we find siblings are at loggerheads with each other instead and more likely, they are likely to help only when one is in dire straits, and not providing unlimited allowance for him to spend as he likes as of right.

By claiming that the wealth comes from his siblings' businesses, is he saying that Najib has a share in each of their businesses? If so, isn't it corruption if a serving PM is known to have a share in his siblings' businesses where his official decisions could directly or indirectly help those businesses?

It is no secret that Najib's siblings, especially Nazir (helming CIMB, through mergers and acquisitions), have increased their wealth tremendously during the past few years. But to think that Najib and Rosmah could have depended on them for their extravagance (we are talking about tens of millions or even hundreds of millions) does not make sense at all.

Most people have accepted the notion that our second PM, Tun Abdul Razak, had been a frugal man in words and actions, and therefore did not leave fantastic inheritance to his widow and children.

It is also unlikely that Najib has sufficient interests in his brothers' businesses to have supported the kind of lavish spending highlighted in both foreign and local presses.

The conclusion seems to point to Najib having gathered much wealth during his years as a political leader, in positions like CM of Pahang; minister in various important ministries like Defence; as DPM; and currently as PM.

Unless and until there are transparency and accountability in disclosures, we can only guess where the real sources of wealth came from.

Is it surprising or not that we have come to accept ministers enriching themselves during their years in positions of power, and that Najib is only now being questioned about his extraordinary wealth?
 
 
 
Link

Sunday, March 08, 2015

1MDB: Cabinet and a minister too quick to provide clearance

Soon after the cabinet listened to an explanation by auditors, Deloitte, they seem satisfied with it.
  
Now, comes an example of unsolicited comment by a minister, in his haste to show support for PM:

'The 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) has received a clean audit report (unqualified) for its audited financial statements for the year 2010-2014 by the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM).

Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Hasan Malek said until today, no reports of serious offenses such as fraud and dishonesty were detected during the audit of 1MDB.

It was an offense under the Companies Act 1965 if the auditor did not report any serious offense to the CCM, which carries a jail term of seven years or RM250,000 fine or both, he said in a statement here.

Therefore, he said, any wrongdoing of 1MDB funds was merely an allegation and had been refuted by related parties including 1MDB and Petro Saudi Limited.' - http://www.therakyatpost.com/

Just like the cabinet's quick clearance on 1MDB, the minister's statement is a no-brainer and unhelpful in giving assurance to the public on the company's state of affairs.

CCM's role is to ensure registered companies comply with the Companies Act 1965. That a company filed its audited financial statements which are unqualified by its auditors does not necessarily mean there are no problems with the accounts, especially in the case of 1MDB which has attracted widespread suspicions.

The external auditors' role is rather limited in scope and is best summed up by the expression that they are 'watchdogs, not blood hounds'. If directors are bent on scheming to hide certain transactions, it is unlikely to be revealed by standard auditing programmes. There are already calls for the Auditor General and Public Accounts Committee to separately audit the accounts, which must have been an insult to the relevant external auditors involved. Some people do not even trust the government bodies to audit and have even called for forensic auditors!

Our government's credibility must be at an all time low.

Link

Friday, March 06, 2015

Oil and Gas: when the going gets tough, the tough get going (or leaving)?

If even Petronas is losing money, what do we expect of those companies directly dependent on it for business?

Petronas is under pressure to cut capex, opex and RSCs (Risk Sharing Contracts) and this will only lead to retrenchments and even resignations in the lesser companies. It will take years for the oil and gas industries to regain its former glory and some players seem unwilling to sit out the unprofitable years.
MARCH 5, 2015 12:25 PM
 
Petronas’ crashing profits – blip or crisis?

'Petronas’ (Petroliam Nasional Bhd) spectacular crash in the fourth quarter of the financial year 2014 (4Q14), posting RM7.3 billion losses, was into uncharted waters.

It was the state oil company’s first ever quarterly loss. Quarter-on-quarter, Petronas’ 3Q14 RM12.8 billion profit had abruptly turned into 4Q14’s RM7.3 billion losses.

Malaysia’s only Fortune 500 company and perennially named in the upper echelons of the most profitable companies in the world, had never registered a losing quarter since the company started filing financial results on a quarterly basis five years ago.'

'In June last year, barely eight months ago, the price of Brent crude oil was up to about US$115 per barrel.

Brent is one of the major benchmarks for purchases of oil worldwide. Prices had hovered around the US$100 levels since 2010 mainly due to China’s explosive economic growth spurring demand and political strife in oil-producing countries such as Iraq curbing production.

In an extraordinary collapse, by Jan 23 this year, Brent crude oil price had fallen by more than 50% to US$49 per barrel. Supply of oil, due to a combination of economic and political factors, had finally overtaken demand. There was a glut of oil supply, causing the steep drop of prices.'

'Double whammy – capex cuts & RSCs

What lies in store for Petronas amid such turmoil in the O&G industry?

It has already been forced to slash capital expenditure (capex) for its current financial year 2015 (FY15) by 10% and operating expenditure (opex) by 30%. Capex cuts, at least for the next two years, is estimated to be between RM25 billion to RM30 billion.

It has also declared a halt to awarding domestic risk sharing contracts (RSCs) – local joint ventures with local partners to extract more oil from marginal and mature oilfields using enhanced oil recovery (EOR) – unless the oil price returns at least to US$80 per barrel.

This double whammy – Petronas’ capex cuts and halt to RSCs – will further compound troubles for local O&G players already reeling from the shock of the oil price crisis.

Medium- to small-sized O&G players, especially those that rely on Petronas for a significant chunk of their businesses, will feel the immediate financial squeeze from Petronas’ capex cuts.

"It is the new reality. We have to be more prudent and conservative," said outgoing Petronas chief executive officer (CEO) Shamsul Azhar Abbas.'

More:

http://www.kinibiz.com/story/issues/150851/petronas%e2%80%99-crashing-profits-blip-or-crisis.html
 

Meanwhile, as reported in The Star:
Mokhzani, Yeow resign from SapuraKencana Petroleum
Wednesday, 4 March 2015

'Tan Sri Mokhzani Mahathir and Yeow Kheng Chew have both resigned from the board of SapuraKencana Petroleum Bhd, with both citing personal reasons.

The company announced their resignations took effect on Wednesday.

Mokhzani resigned from his post as vice chairman of the oil and gas service company while Yeow resigned from his post as a non-executive director.

Mokhzani was appointed to the board of SapuraKencana on Dec 9, 2011 as the executive vice chairman and a non-independent executive director.

On Feb 1, 2014, he was redesignated as a non-independent non-executive vice chairman.

He was appointed to the board of Kencana Petroleum Bhd on Nov 25, 2004 and was the non-independent executive director and CEO prior to the merger of businesses between SapuraCrest Petroleum Group and Kencana Petroleum Group.

Yeow was appointed to the board of SapuraKencana on Dec 9, 2011 as a non-independent executive director.

On Feb 1, 2014, he was redesignated as a non-independent non-executive director.

He was appointed to the board of Kencana Petroleum on Sept 15, 2005 and was a non-independent executive director of Kencana Petroleum prior to the merger of businesses between SapuraCrest Petroleum Group and Kencana Petroleum Group.'
http://www.thestar.com.my/Business/Business-News/2015/03/04/Mokhzani-Yeow-resign-from-SapuraKencana-Petroleum/?style=biz

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