An appeal to Omar Ong

The appointment of Ethos Consulting Supremo Omar Ong as a member of Petronas board of director (BOD) recently drew so much attention, here in bloggosphere, and now to people in the capital market and media. It was said that the appointment will take effect almost immediately (pending the ‘formalisation’ at Petronas BOD level, “any time soon”).

Our contention is that, there had been  so much bad presses which have plagued Sixth Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s ‘infant’ Cabinet and Leadership. The ‘kick-off’ of losing two by-elections was a blow, regardless how some people want that to be perceived as ‘baptism of fire’. Then the on going Perak political tug-of-war, which turned the whole episode into an unprecedented media circus.

At this juncture, it is paramount that the ‘institution’ be protected. The biggest challenges for PM Dato’ Seri Najib are the global financial storm, not yet reached our shores with the full wrath of fury and his own personal issue pertaining to public perception, especially amongst the more educated and IT savvy Malaysians. The nation has to move forward, in these most trying times.

PM Najib does not need another element to diminish public and even at some point, international confidence on him. Petronas being the nation’s most prize gem, contributes the most for the Malaysian Government coffer from taxes and dividends, for the last 30 years. It had been calculated that 55% of Federal Government revenue comes from Petronas. It is the world’s most profitable and productive state owned oil company and listed on the Fortune 500.

Omar Ong’s ultra close association to the ‘Level Four Boys’ is unmistakable. As far back when PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was still the Deputy Prime Minister and Omar and co-founder late Dr. Liew Boon Horng who were still in McKinsey, they were doing consultancy projects for then Special Function Officer to Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zaki  Zahid.  His attempt to shred off the ultra close association is futile. The Malaysian public, especially people in the capital, financial and securities market are all too familiar of the name Omar Ong and Ethos & Co. When people make their mind up, it is a herculean task to change the public perception. Then again, the 12th General Election 8 March 2008, which saw BN’s humilating defeat in 5 + 1 states and worst ever performance since 1955, is attributed almost entirely on ‘perception’.

If Omar Ong is a real patriot, who selflessly puts the interest of the nation first before his own and being a true ‘friend’, as he claim to be to PM Dato’ Seri Najib, then he should do the right thing. Omar Ong should not accept the offer of the Petronas BOD appointment.

After all, shouldn’t Omar Ong focus and really build up the competencies with his success of Ethos & Co? Ethos should be the Malaysian McKinsey and sell our indigenous developed products and capabilities to compete in this exciting global consultancy game. Prove to the world, his ability to give PM Dato’ Seri Najib a sound advice on the strategy of this nation, as reflected on the success stories of the economic corridors, especially Iskandar Malaysia, NCER, ECER and specifically SDC, where Ethos & Co. was singled out and accorded in the speech during the launching.

Published in: on May 25, 2009 at 14:48  Comments (32)  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

32 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Big Dog,

    1. I was told you are related to this Omar Ong fella. Just as you point out that both Khairy and Omar Ong were from Oxford (and therefore providing irrefutable and conclusive evidence that they are lifelong partners in crime), does this mean you are also guilty by association? Surely you too must be in cahoots with them? How do we know if you have not gained from your family relations, no matter how distant they may be? Blood must be thicker than water, or in this case, thicker than a common scroll of paper? You see my point?

    2. And this linkage to the infamous 4th Floor – what exactly is the issue – guilty by association again? Did the 4th Floor boys commit criminal acts or simply give unsound advice? If they broke the law, for God’s sake, please investigate, charge and hang them! If they gave bad advice, shouldn’t the blame lie squarely with Pak Lah for listening to them? After all as Prime Minister he was accountable to the Rakyat. Which is which now? To equate Omar Ong with the power of the 4th Floor is to say that Najib is as intellectually challenged, gullible and incompetent as his predecessor.

    3. I fail to understand this: if Omar Ong was good enough to be hired by McKinsey, and later, entrepreneurial enough to start his own firm, why is he not good enough to join the Petronas board? After all, he was a Petronas scholar and served in Petronas for a few years in the mid 90s (in Corporate Planning and was later posted to Vietnam on international assignment). I was told when Omar Ong was in McKinsey, he worked with energy clients in Europe and the Middle East. Isn’t all this relevant experience, or is there some other criteria for board membership that Omar Ong does not meet?

    4. Isn’t it true that the President of Petronas answers only to the PM, and not even to the Board? It is widely known that Ministers and even the Minister in PM’s Department (who is supposed to oversee Petronas), have always made noise that the Petronas President hardly ever acknowledges them but deals direct with the PM. It has been like this since the days of the late Tan Sri Azizan. Do you expect this to change with one non-executive appointment to the Board? Will be board suddenly become relevant again, led by the all powerful Omar Ong? It would be interesting to see Najib giving up this exclusive power by making Petronas actually accountable to the board. Yeah, when pigs fly.

    5. Some have argued Petronas should be shielded from political meddling as the prized asset of the country. Shouldn’t we then be demanding that Petronas becomes accountable to Parliament rather than argue over who should or should not be on the board? In any case, let us not forget that UMNO has always been represented on the Petronas board until recently. No less than the former UMNO Legal Adviser until he stepped down to join the bench. Bet you didn’t realise that huh? Should we reject Omar Ong because he’s not an UMNO member then? Not to worry, the way to solve this is for Najib to appoint one of the recently dropped UMNO Ministers as the new Petronas Chairman. Mike Tyson, Rafidah Aziz, Syed Hamid – take your pick. They are all UMNO loyalists who have served the country with dedication since even before Omar Ong was born.

    6. The other argument has been that Omar Ong is a businessman and should therefore not be on the board. This is such a simplistic view of the corporate world. If one cares to examine the Fortune 500, independent directors of boards often are made up of people who are active in industry and business, and professionals e.g. lawyers, accountants, consultants. There are established ways and mechanisms to deal with potential conflicts e.g. disclosure of related party transactions, abstaining from commercial decisions where a particular board member may have an interest, etc. This is precisely why in the past, people like the late Tan Sri Bashir and Tan Sri Ananda Krishnan could sit on the Petronas board even though they were not only businessmen, but were actively doing business with Petronas!

    7. So in Omar Ong’s case, the relevant question to ask is whether his firm Ethos – has any dealings with Petronas, and if so, are there mechanisms in place at the board level, to ensure he does not participate in any decision involving his company. I have no reason to doubt that Petronas as a world class company will have world class corporate governance mechanisms. To argue that Omar Ong should not be on the board because he makes a living somewhere else, is simply absurd!

    8. Maybe in the end, there’s a simpler, less sinister explanation for all this attention with Omar Ong’s appointment. It has something to do with what happens when you have a lot of a particular species of crabs in one basket, and one of them tries to climb out. The rest will instinctively try to pull that lone crab down. Sounds familiar?

    • Tak da muka lain ka yang Petronas nak amik buat ahli lembaga pengarah. Apa, seluruh Malaya ni tak da lagi ka professional Melayu yang layak utk menjadi ‘pengemudi’ syarikat paling kaya Malaysia ni?

      Apa pengalaman Omar Ong dlm membuat keputusan makro?

      Kenapa DS Najib tak amik partner Ernest Young ka, Shook Lin & Bok ka atau setidak tidaknya, Gabenor Bank Negara atau Pengerusi Maybank, CIMB atau konglomerat cam Sime Darby sebagai ahli lembaga pengarah selain dari seorg opportunis umpama Omar Ong ni?????

      Tak silap aku la, Omar Ong ni ahli UMNO. Bendahari bahagian di Johor lagi.

      Yang aku heran la kan, Omar Ong ni semasa dilahirkan, ayahnya naturally Chinese (kemudian menjadi Cina muallaf & guna nama Mustapha Ong), emaknya naturally Chinese. Macamana boleh jadi ahli UMNO ekk????

      • hahahahha ni la orang amno yg otak singkat. mike pi sabah tengok berapa ramai bukan melayu dan bukan islam jadi ahli amno hahahahah

        kalau mike nak bantai ong ong ong pun guna la akai sikit hik hik hik

    • Check this out

      he’s a defaulter

  2. Big Dog

    Be it Bina Fikir or Ethos or ECM Libra, these were merely hype and conduit to takeup local consultancy job or be a gatekeeper or front for foreign consultant like Ernst & Young, Ethos UK, McKinsey, etc.

    The were never meant to pursue foreign work but merely local. Another case of a hyped up jaguh kampung.

  3. Everybody want to be a director of Petronas.In fact during the time Pak Lah was PM, Rembau has been eyeing to kick out Hassan Merican so that he can put his own people.Even Che Khaleb who lost RM 900M for TNB wants to be CEO of Petronas.I have involved in the local corporate scene since 1981 when I started work with the accounting firm of Hanafiah,Raslan & MOHAMAD and with respect,until today I never come across of Omar Ong achieving big things in the local corporate scene. To YOUNG CHIGU, Omar and Rembau,a degree from Oxford and Cambridge does not qualify you to be a director of Petronas.I doubt both of you will not be able to turn around a trouble company like Transmile by yourself.Until both of you bring up or turnaround a bad listed company by yourself,you will not get my respect.

  4. Wa bd you sound like you begging this guy not to cancel whatever contract you have with petronas.

  5. Is D S Najib following the foot step of the former Flip Flop PM,there are already sign of him doing so.Just look at the way and how he handdle the Johor Causeway and the 3rd bridge.Johorean at large want the causeway to be demolished and replaced with a straight or a crooked bridge. They dont want a 3rd bridge !this message is from the rakyat ,dont messed around with the rakyat because come PRU 13 Johor will be gone.

    Please D S Najib, stand up and say no to LEE Junior,tell him the rakyat want the Tambak Johor to be demolished !

  6. Is dis part of d so called ‘collaboration’ between PLah & DSN b4 transition of power? Looks like KJ succeeded in getting into Petronas aftr all,..heheh,..wat else can I say,..UMNO/BN is deeper in shit now,..duh,..tst..tst..tst.. pity d true supporter of UMNO..apo nak dikato,..heheh,..(,”)


  7. UMNO dari dulu sampai sekarang macam macam ada… mamak India muslim macam si Azeez Putera dan Zaki Putrajaya tu, tok Arab macam Syed Ali dan kuncu2 di UMNO Wilayah, Jawa pekat macam Khir Toyo, keturunan Turki macam Hishamuddin… bila nak masuk Sabah, orang Kristian macam John Ambrose pun boleh jadi Ketua Bahagian! Inilah namanya 1 Malaysia ala UMNO.. Tak peliklah kalau Omar Ong tu ahli UMNO. Bendahari pun tak pe.. asalkan boleh cari duit utk Ketua Bahagian sudahlah..

  8. Nama dia ni mmg ong betullah. Nak jadi setiausaha DS Najib org halang, nak jadi penasihat DS Najib pun kena halang. Sekrg ni jadi pengarah petronas la pulak!

    Siapa sekeliling jalan sultan ismail-raja chulan-lebuh ampang-lebuh pasar yg tak kenal nama omar ong?

    Semua org tahu apa kebolehan dia, macamana dia naik, macamana bisnes ethos meletup. Janganlah buat muka tak malu pulak perasan yang diri terrer!

    Lama lama nanti org makin meluat pd org cam gini. bila org meluat, org tak lanyak petronas. Nanti penghabisnya org pakat pangkah PR. Baru padan muka Najib & BN!

  9. Different men in different camps, each and every one of them struggling, jostling, acting, and backstabbing to get a share of the contract or an post in a government corporation.

    Entertainment for the month…

  10. It’s all a Chinese thing – brains don’t matter in this equation.

  11. saya berminat dengan tulisan ini… huh padan muka kamu…. Ada bloggers (seorang dua) penyokong Tun yang tidak sedar diri

  12. Mohd Omar Ong bin Mustapha Ong was a scholar of Petronas. He was offered scholarship in May 1989 to do A-level in the UK and to study in Oxford University. He has repeatedly defaulted from his obligation in the scholarship agreement with Petronas.

    The revelation of Omar Ong’s appointment as a member of the Board of Director of Petronas will mean that the Board of Direcor have honoured a scholarship defaulter with this appointment.

    Omar completed his study and graduated from Oxford with a Bachelor’s degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. On February 16th, 1995 he joined Petronas as Executive. He later resigned and join Multimedia Development Corporation (MDC) on February 1st, 1997.

    Omar was employed for nearly 2 years and at the time of resignation, had not fulfill his compulsory service. Petronas agreed to transfer the compulsory service to MDC being another Government Company..

    His stinct with MDC lasted few months more than 3 years for he resigned on March 31, 2000. This is in breach of the scholarship agreement and he was informed by the Education Services Unit on June 2000.

    Consequently, he was issued a Letter of Demand in January 2001 from the Legal Service Unit of Petronas. By September 2001, Lee, Hishamuddin & Co. was appointed to start proceeding against Omar. Judgement was obtained against Omar in February 2003.

    After MDC, Omar joined McKinsey & Co, London, and operated in Kuala Lumpur. He later co-founded Ethos & Co. in February 2002.

    In February 2004, he was appointed Special Officer 1 to the Deputy Prime Minister. A deed of settlement was signed in May 2005 and he was to serve the Government of Malaysia for an assigned period of 4 years 10 months. In the event of another breach of contract, he will be required to pay a settlement of RM120,000.

    Omar resigned and rejoined Ethos & Co. in February 2006.

    Appreciate you could publish this comment in your blog in order to get reactions from Omar Ong or Petronas to this revealed details.

    This should serve to alert Najib that the man he agreed to be appointed as Director for Petronas is a Petronas Scholar who defaulted on his loan.

    Najib’s insistance on the Board of Director of Petronas to appoint Omar Ong will put them in a difficult position to breach their own internally long practised policies and will be expected to be given exception.

    As another Petronas Scholar, I ask why should defaulter Omar be an exception?

    • Thanks.

      This is a very interesting point indeed. This mitigates our appeal to Omar Ong to not accept the appointment of Petronas BOD, much stronger.

      • bd, there are thousands of scholarship and loan defaulters – MARA, JPA, Petronas and other govt entities – who never served a singly day with the organisation that paid for their studies. you and I know many of our friends from Mara who are not paying back loans they took from Mara. this Omar ong is an interesting case.. He actually joined Petronas and it appears that since he was moving between govt agencies like mdc and DPM’s office, Petronas counted that as serving the bond. From the posting, sounds like he would have served about 8 years of the 10 year bond he had with Petronas.. the right thing for him to do is to pay the RM120k for the remaining 2 years he didn’t serve. Don’t see what the big fuss is.. I know many Petronas scholars who didn’t even report back to Petronas after they finished their studies.. Mysteriously file “hilang” in the scholarship unit.. Was told if u know people inside Petronas in the right places, boleh “settle”… Guess this Omar Ong didn’t know the right guys.. Fact that this info about his case is out on the blogs probably means that he did not try hard enough to “settle” with the right people within Petronas…maybe as a board member he shld get to the root of this problem… Am sure there are many other pandora boxes around Petronas that we hv yet to discover… Go Omar Ong!

        Two wrongs doesnt make it right. The fact is that Omar Ong defaulted. He had the means to pay the RM 120,000 but he prefer not to.

        The moral here is that, how can we put the stewardship of an orgnaisation like Petronas on the hands someone who chose to default his own bond, even upto when a lawyer’s letter of demand issued? There are issues of moral and ethics in this case.

        Biggum Dogmannsteinberg

    • a friend from mdc told that this man one of the person who make mdc have money problem….hmmmm????

  13. Please please GOD let Omar ONg be accepted into Petronas and let him rape the company dry!!

    Good selection.

    Baghus sekali!

    Better still , Omar Ong , have the Najib photos, maybe thats why he’s director of Petronas and you are just a useless blogger.

    Better also Singapore has the photos also!!!

    Bagus sekali.

  14. Hey BigDog,

    How about writing another obituary for PETRONAS…
    The one you did for UMNO was soooo Goood.

  15. BD, so this Omar Ong related to u or what? Come on, think we need full disclosure here.. Maybe there’s some family rivalry going on here that we should know about;-) Funny, we seem to know so much abt this guy from guys that want to kill him.. If ur related, there must be more juicy stories to share!!

  16. Brader Biggum wrote:

    “…If Omar Ong is a real patriot, who selflessly puts the interest of the nation first before his own and being a true ‘friend’, as he claim to be to PM Dato’ Seri Najib, then he should do the right thing. Omar Ong should not accept the offer of the Petronas BOD appointment….”

    This is very strange, Brader.

    Why are you appealing to Omar Ong –the appointee ? and not the appointer –YAB PM?

    I think you are implying that PM/s proposal is a foregone conclusion–non-revokable, right?

    Sdra “You Know Who I Am” is right in the sense that we should not judge Omar Ong by his “ass-ociation”….

    But Brader George Choo aptly put it that Omar Ong is nobody in the industry….

    Having stated that, we all must recognizelah that “cable” is still vital in getting the right appointments.

    Omar Ong “knows who” and that matters a lot. We who don’t know “anybody”, well, are still allowed to hang around Petronas –when buying gasoline/NGas lah!

    Rezeki/”ong-ong” oranglah. Jgn diganggu-gugatlah. May the best brains serve (the nation)….

  17. Thanks najib. We love you. You have done a good job. Omar Ong & Syed Albar memang berkaliber untuk memimpin petronas. Satu pandangan yang jauh Dato’ Seri Najib. Saya sebagai rakyat malaysia agak gembira jika perlantikan ini menjadi kenyataan. Blogger ini semua macam monyet sahaja. Tau bersuara sahaja tidak ada tindakan pun.

  18. […] An appeal to Omar Ong The appointment of Ethos Consulting Supremo Omar Ong as a member of Petronas board of director (BOD) recently drew so […] […]

  19. “Lama lama nanti org makin meluat pd org cam gini. bila org meluat, org tak lanyak petronas. Nanti penghabisnya org pakat pangkah PR. Baru padan muka Najib & BN!”


  20. Personally, I feel there is no wrong about appointing someone like Mr Omar Ong to Petronas BOD to strike the GONG of CHANGE.

    There are about 5,000+ Petronas loan defaulters across the world and I really mean it! This is because Petronas itself being a scholarship sponsor is not or has not been professional in managing their scholars. I chose to decline the offer made to me because it was intellectually insulting to offer a non related post according to my qualifications and potentials after all those hard years in uni overseas. What do you expect me to do? Just accept it as fate and qada’ qadar?

    I have a choice at that time, I chose the right one I believe. Since my situation now after 15 years since graduation is a lot more better than my fellow in Petronas. Patriotic Discounts is such a talk of cock to me since it does not help make ends meet to our own needs. Nowadays, we can’t just live with just enough to eat and nothing left in the bank u know. Is that what Petronas expects of their scholars?

    Even Mr Omar here did join Petronas for some time, making me a badder sinner for not even serving a single day.

    Mr Omar Ong has an experience serving Petronas and he should know(as I do) all the bad skunks and deadwoods in there that needs to be removed and system to be improvised and changed for the better.

    anyway, Tan Sri Hassan Marican was appointed to Petronas BOD at the age of 36. Whats wrong with Omar? Again, I dont buy the blame of guilty by affiliation. Maybe Petronas should clean up all the cronyism it yields to with the likes of vendor protection of select few. Don’t need me to say the name, but son of Mahathir conquers over half the Petronas Vendor Development Scheme approved suppliers list and Scomi, which Kamaluddin Tun Abdullah sits in the Board is enjoying tons of single sourcing contracts!

    I trust with this, I am still honest and will take the chance of Mr Omar Ong than the current Petronas management. Ditto to the PM.


    • Great.

      Lets bring all these 5000 plus Petronas defaulters into the BOD and most management positions within the richest corporation in Malaysia.


      There’s no sin if any corporations won Petronas contracts. Unless anyone could prove the contract was awarded under wrongful terms, then this argument is really a lame one.

      However, it is a sin to ignore letter of demand issued by someone who ‘invested’ on you and now want you to live up to your agreed commitments (Yes, when one accepted Petronas offer and signed on the agreement to a bond, it is a commitment). That is unIslamic.

      Its utter shameful to have someone who proudly defy his/her commitment, in the manner it was presented here.

      • Rest assured bro, in my own ‘congak’ of my golf buddies I’ve already have at least 100 names as directors and business owners who were once Petronas scholars and did not work for them by virtue of either defaulting or not offered a job. I can assure u that once in the Gala Dinner of last year’s Asian Oil & Gas Conference at Mandarin Oriental, we all kawan-kawan toasts together! I guess its rezeki the main chess board here. Not having to serve your contract, which is only on paper and can be breached thru settlement amount of ‘Money’ that we owe. Those who have the means, we pay back. Those who doesnt don’t.

        Well again thats your own opinion.You have not been in “OUR SHOES”. Simple as it is to say bro big dog. Not easy to LIVE it. Simple to sell your soul by signing a scholarship contract, but when forced to work in under privilaged and potentially limiting environment, I think my brain process logics rather than rethorical “gratitudeness” or “ungratefulness”.

        Don’t we know one simple thing in business, the smaller ones die first. Petronas will always be the bigger dog and I’m a small nigwig. My business can close, but Petronas wont budge an inch! So let them take the heat, its Corporate Social Responsibility. Better still, its National Service to the People.

        Back to Mr Omar, if he instigates the FEAR OF CHANGE to Petronas’ current management, he gets a full thumbs up from the people, especially me.

        You haven’t answered the difference of the current chairman by default Tan Sri Hassan Marican being appointed to Petronas BOD at the age of 36. Whats wrong with Omar’s age or even his affiliations to the PM?

        What about the problems plaguing Petronas’ organisation itself? Why are their staff leaving at a worrying rate? Why can’t they simply match other Nation Owned Oil Co’s standards and pay to attract talents?Why do they still rely on Tun M’s salesmanship but can’t fly on their own? Why is there still protective Vendorship Scheme that prefers son of some big guy’s companies? The why lists goes on and on….to oblivion.

        I’m in the industry bro. Its a rough place to be, especially with Petronas in this condition.

        Maybe Mr Omar can shed some hope.I’d take it.Who wouldn’t?

  21. Hye BD, the issue here is beyond moral and ethics. have they not learned the lessons on the destruction caused by the Badawi Boys On Level Four. Dont tell me that they still have high regards for someone like this Omar Ong who together with KJ,Zaki, Kamal, Kali “The Godess” Mullah and that Kelinga Singapore CIA, caused BN to fall to its knees after the 12th GE.
    Dont tell me that our country is depleted of capable people to be in Petronas. What’s so great and special about this Omar Ong by the way?

  22. very good boys

  23. Well Done Omar !!! You possess the right elements to be PM one day !!!

  24. Biggum Dogmannsteinberg

    Being a petronas scholar is not as easy and ‘senang’ as you people think. And,Petronas scholars are not Floor 4 boys too! To bcome an overseas pet scholar, we have to pass all those unnecessary and weird cut-off-points (which people who are not in our shoes will never know) set by those so-called educationists and slog our guts out just to fulfil their ‘insightful’ requirements while mara scholars can just sit down having high tea,partying and messing around with their friends without worrying to serve the bonds! Some pet scholars can’t even close their eyes for more than 6hrs per day just to study crazily! Don’t you believe? Just ask around and you’ll get the answer for sure.

    Also Petronas Defaulter,

    I think you had the experience before and that’s why both of us knew Omar Ong suffered all his way to Oxford and therefore his appointment to pet BOD is vital in changing pet sponsorship system and to make petronas a better sponsor for all potential students coz he had suffered like us too!

    To Omar Ong,

    I hope u would see my comment one day and u must put your best forward in becoming Petronas BOD directors by all means bcoz I believe that you would make Petronas a real giant in the oil and gas industry in the future by revamping our country’s most important assest- Petronas!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: