June 23, 2008


Tan Sri Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz has quit as a member of the Khazanah Nasional Bhd board, citing possible conflict of interest since KN has major stakes in banks.

Now from 8 board members, KN has only seven. Zeti was appointed as a director of Khazanah in July 2000 after she became the Bank Negara governor in May. It is normal procedure for BNM to have a seat in Khazanah (which leads to speculation now: Is Zeti quitting Bank Negara, too?)

Khazanah Nasional was incorporated on 3 September, 1993 as a public limited company, at the time when the late Jaffar Hussein was governor, and Nor Mohamed Yakcop was his chief adviser for foreign exchange.

Nor is current board member of KN and MOF2.

Nor and Zeti are known not to see eye to eye on policy issues.

Interestingly, even before the dust settles down, there was talk about the Malaysia Building Society Bhd (MBSB) being taken private!

Malaysia Building Society Bhd (MBSB) is expected to be taken private next month for shareholders to transform the company into a niche player in the financial market.

Investors from Abu Dhabi, together with the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), are expected to make a general offer of between two and three times the book value of the company that would lead to the Middle Eastern investors taking a 30% stake in the company.

So what if MBSB is taken private?

Well ...

MBSB is 'an Exempt Finance Company'

The status of an Exempt Finance Company was granted to MBSB on 1 March 1972 by the Ministry of Finance and the status has never been revoked or rescinded.

The status allows MBSB to carry on a finance business without a license. It can set up headquaters without the go-ahead from the Bank Negara even. If it falls out of Government hands, you can just imagine what it's capable of doing.

NOW that's what I call a NATIONAL ASSET being given to a foreigner!!!!

June 17, 2008


International financial service firm, Ernst & Young, might end up with dirt on its face if claims by Northern Utility Resources Sdn Bhd's major stakeholders on the firms actions are proven to be true.

Two of NURs shareholders are scheduled to hold a press conference soon, after obtaining documents that show that E&Y's agents at NUR deliberately didnt inform the stakeholders of an offer by national utility, Tenaga Nasional Bhd for an independent power purchase agreement. NUR is under receivership, with E&Y as the receiver manager.

A board meeting is scheduled this week, and sparks are about to fly. The year 2008 hasn't been a good year for E&Y. In January, the STAR revealed, nobody knows for sure where some RM37 million of Multi-Code Electronics Industries Bhd (Multico) money is. E&Y were the external auditors, but Multico, opted to appoint Azman, Wong, Salleh & Co to carry out a special audit on its accounts.

A recap, NUR provides and bills execlusively for the Kulim Hi Tech plant. Recently, Tune Money's Tengku Zafrul, in which ECM's Kali is a partner has been linked in trying to take over the company, via back door moves. Little birds tell me, that in Johor, they are also looking for a company to provide and bill for an exclusive high tech park. It would require, a company with experience to handle it.

Note, EY is also the auditor for EDEN Bhd, which used to make food for a living, but now are big in power.


Where Habibah Abdul of Ernst & Young goes, trouble starts brewing.....

Ernst & Young's Habibah Abdul (extreme left when she was at the Securities Commission), came in to conduct their routine annual audit of the Golden Hope Group accounts for the financial year ended June 30, 2007 (Audited Accounts) and reported the loss under Note 37, which covers financial instruments and sets out the fair values of financial assets and liabilities not carried at fair value on the balance sheet.

A RM77.5 million item was described under Note 37 as a "financial liability that represents unrealised losses from forward commodities contracts as at June 30, 2007’’.

In their briefings to both the GHope audit committee and the GHope Board, Ernst & Young did not specifically highlight the RM77.5 million trading losses.

But who is Habibah? This woman is the central figure involved in signing off the accounts of Technology Resources Industries Bhd (now Celcom), Naluri and Malaysia Airlines during Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli's time. She and Tajudin are from same alumini. Habibah was the signing partner for these firms, and after Tajudin left Mas and Naluri, police reports were lodged by the management for mal- practise and falsifying invoices.

Interestingly during that period, Habibah was also a member of the Securities Commission. The SC as we know, are reeling from bad publicity, after it emerged a former top second tier telco boss was charged this year, with accepting millions in bribes on behalf of a senior SC official.

June 16, 2008


Meet Tengku Zafrul Tengku Aziz, the Tune Money boss. Or is he really?

From Avenue Capital to Tune Money, this "poster boy" once described as one of Malaysia's most prolific young CEOs could be little more than the country's most ambitious Malay crony of the first decade of the 21st century!

Tengku Zafrul, was an investment relations officer in Tenaga Nasional Berhad during the time Jamaludin Jarjis reigned supreme over the utility (before becoming the junior Finance Minister towards the end of Mahathir Mohamad's rule). He later became managing director of Avenue Capital during the time it was in process of being taken over by ECM. He quit Avenue, and barely a year latter was a shareholder in a company called Tune Money, with Kalimullah and Lim K Onn (incidentally, the core vendors of ECM!).

Were banking or moral ethics breached? For a standing MD of bank which under suspicious circumstances was taken over by ECM, a smaller bank, until even kangaroo parliamentary committee couldnt justify the deal. Was ECM working on insider info provided by Zafrul, with blame pinned on the Prime Minister's gravely-misunderstood son-in-law, Mr Khairy Jamaluddin?

And what's this the market is talking about T Zafrul bidding for an ailing IPP that had earlier gone to ECM for financial help and was told that they were NOT keen?

Further reading: Profile of T Zafrul

June 14, 2008


Meet Datuk Seri Ahmad Zubir Murshid, the Chief Executive Officer and President of Sime Darby Berhad, the largest Malaysian company born out of wedlock and the unholy threesome of Sime Darby, Guthrie and Golden Hope last year. The baby from the merger was at first called Synergy Drive but later named Sime Darby.

From Zubir Murshid, we have seen more and more shit, pardon the pun. In the last week or so, Sime Darby is Slime Darby. Slimier than the toilets up there in Templer Park and than Sime Darby has ever been in its long and colourful history.

I have met Zubir several times. Eager to make promises. Talk big, mostly about petty things. Quick to break promises (ask his friend Gunasegaran formerly from the weekly Edge, who quit Sime Darby not a month after joining it on the promise of a very senior position). No track record to shout about although he has been with Sime Darby for donkey years.

Note: More shit to come out in the next few days. The Golden Hope boys he sacked are going to fight back. Business blogs are chasing the story so a lot of shit is going to be coming out from this man.

Further reading: Sime Darby wikipedia

May 18, 2008

Why CEO Watch?

WHY NOT? Just because they are CEOs, some of them think they can do anything they like. No way. They aren't angels. They make mistakes like other human beings. Some of them cheat, steal, break promises, mislead.

Some of them think they are Hollywood stars - rich and irresistible. So they go out with starlets and marry trophy wives. And along the way many of them have brought down proud corporations. They are grossly overpaid and they collect awards like Tan Sris and Datuks for themselves instead of excellence awards for their companies.

There are some good ones but they usually are quite low profile. They don't shout but are usually yelled at by the media and the politicians.

My blog will feature these characters and how they perform for their companies. Whenever there are juicy stories about them, we'll share.

With the hope that this blog will make the CEOs more aware, I remain ...