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.