PGPF conference and exhibition on “The Arab Uprising” and KL War Crimes Tribunal 2011

Perdana Global Peace Foundation will be holding this year’s conference title “The Arab Uprising” at the auditorium, Islamic Art Museum, Jalan Perdana, Kuala Lumpur on 18 November 2011 0900-1230hrs. PGPF President Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad would be giving the opening address. Other speakers include:

PGPF Advisor Dato’ Mukhriz Mahathir would give the introductory address

Former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, “NATO and the Arab Spring in Libya”

Former Assistant Secretary General Dennis Halliday, “Lets Grow Non-violent Change – Israel and the Arab Spring”

Brussels Tribunal Dirk Adriaensens, “Iraq and the Arab Spring: Its better to die on one’s feet than to live on one’s knees”

Orthopadeic Consultant and author of ‘From Beirut To Jerusalem’, “Where is the Palestinian Uprising?”

Brussels Tribunal Hana Al Bayaty, “The Arab Spring and the Collapse of Neo Liberal Order”

University of Ottawa Professor of Economics Miche; Chossudovsky, “The War on Libya and the Broader US-NATO Millitary Agenda: Towards a World War Three Scenario”

The corresponding exhibition to commemorate the conference “War Is A Crime Exhibition” and the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal would be held at 88 Jalan Perdana, Taman Tasek Perdana, Kuala Lumpur between 18-27 November 2011.

The Kuala Lmpur War Crimes Tribunal would convene at the same address between 19-22 November 0900-1700hrs daily.

Everyone is invited.

Published in: on November 11, 2011 at 19:30  Comments (2)  

JCorp Mumbo-Jumbo

Johor Corporation (JCorp) made a surprising announcement yesterday. ‘New bloods’ were injected into the group, having strategic position in some of the listed companies under their stable.

Thursday November 10, 2011

Young blood for Kulim and DRealty boards

PETALING JAYA: Two companies in Johor Corp’s (JCorp) stable Kulim (M) Bhd and Damansara Realty Bhd (DRealty) saw the entry of fresh faces on their boards, with Kulim adding four new directors and DRealty, three.

Three of Kulim’s new directors have also been appointed to DRealty board. Plantation giant Kulim’s new executive director is Datuk Ahmad Zaki Zahid, 44, the former executive director of Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd who left the property group in October.

Ahmad Zaki has been appointed Kulim executive director.

Zaki has had stints at Booz Allen Hamilton and the Securities Commission and was once the special assistant to then prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Zaki is now also DRealty managing director.

Another new face to the board is non-independent and non-executive director Wan Mohd Firdaus Wan Mohd Fuaad, 28, who is currently the special officer to Mentri Besar of Johor.

The other two appointed to Kulim board are independent and non-executive directors Edward Leung Kok Keong, 44, and Natasha Kamaluddin, 39. Natasha, a management consultant stalwart and current partner and director of Ethos & Co, is the only one of Kulim’s four new directors not appointed to DRealty board.

Leung holds two other directorships in Tebrau Teguh Bhd and ACE Market-listed Asia Bioenergy Technologies Bhd and is a chartered accountant.

All four board members are relatively young. Insiders said part of the rationale for bringing in the new board members is for them to provide new perspectives and ideas on how to restructure the companies under JCorp.

State-owned JCorp is an asset-rich and diversified group but is saddled with mounting debt problems. By mid-next year, it will have to settle up to RM3.6bil of its debt obligations. The group has been mulling a number of options on how to use its vast asset base to solve this problem, resulting in the recent sale of oil palm estates and mills to its 53% subsidiary, Kulim, for RM700mil.

Listed companies under JCorp include New Britain Palm Oil Ltd, QSR Brands Bhd and KFC Holdings (M) Bhd.


Why did JCorp make these movements?

Zaki is a notable and very senior ‘Level Four’ character, who played very significant role in PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s failure as the Fifth Malaysian Prime Minister from November 2003 to April 2009. Zaki managed to conveniently ‘place’ himself in MRCB when PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah was ‘pushed out of office’ in UMNO’s post 12GE party election. He started with Securities Commission before joining Booz Allen Hamilton and later appointed into then Youth and Sports Minister Dato’ Hishamuddin Hussein after the November 1999 both General Election. Then, PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah asked Zaki to join him as a Special Function Officer when the former was the Deputy Prime Minister.

Nastaha is someone who is a very close associate to Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s own ‘Level Four’, Datuk Omar Ong.

Firdaus is Menteri Besar Johor Dato’ Abdul Ghani Othman’s special officer in IRDA. Ghani is a joint Chairman of IRDA. Firdaus is also a founding member of ‘libertarian think tank’ IDEAS, which recently came into flak when they worked closely with notorious former academician Aziz Bari.

Kelantanese Wan Mohd. Firdaus Wan Mohd. Fuaad

How and why all of these personalities were brought into JCorp’s Kulim and Damansara Realty is a mystery. Neither any of them have relevant experience in plantations, property development nor FMCGs, which include powerful inflation-proff brands such as KFC, Pizza Hut and Ayamas. Besides being the Special Officer to IRDA Joint Chairman and literally assuming the role of ‘consultant within’ (talk, talk, talk and theoretically summarisng a conceptual idea without proper role out and actual implementation plan and timeline), 28 year old Firdaus has very little experience in operations let alone senior management position.

Zaki and Firdaus are neither Johoreans. Zaki’s family hail from Kedah where else Firdaus is a Pasir Mas Kelantanese. Neither both have any affection towards Johor. Zaki played pivotal role in the inception of the sluggish PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah’s developed economic region Iskandar Malaysia which was forced down Johor’s throat beginning November 2006. Firdaus one the other hand played the strategic role to implement PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah’s poorly thought through ‘wet dream’. Needless to day, Iskandar Malaysia failed to brought forth what these ‘Level Four Boys’ then envisaged South Johor to be.

Youngest Shell Malaysia Chairman Anuar Taib

Why can’t MB Ghani bring in Johorean professionals in the likes of property man Dato’ Syed Mohamad Ibrahim (CEO of Iskandar Investment Bhd), proven oilmen Shell Chairman Anuar Taib and Mohd Azha Abdul Jalil or French company Vieola Water Services Malaysia CEO Mohamad Akhir Ahmad instead? If MB Ghani willing to gamble with Zaki, Natasha and Firdaus, then the bet would have better odds with Syed, Annuar, Azha and Akhir.

That notion is not as important as why are these characters are brought in. Not so long ago, MB Ghani summarily dismissed Tan Sri Muhamad Ali Hashim as JCorp Group CEO. So many complaints about Ali, which the high debt of JCorp was the convenient blame. Hence, there were lots of speculation on the sale of JCorp’s of prized vehicles which include from Ali, to realise cash pay off the borrowings.

Liberals would take that approach and allow Kulim and the all QSR brands under it be under the control of Non Malay entities where else crimson-blooded nationalists would defend otherwise and would take very serious effort to alternatively raise sustainable cash to pay off these borrowings. Ali, who had painstakingly build JCorp to what it is now was on that track when he was asked to leave.

The presence of Zaki, Natasha and Firdaus is suspiciously suggesting that ‘slicing JCorp up’ corporate maneuver. They would use ‘the market sentiments’ to justify a dislodging assets move such as that. As people who stood firmly by liberal thinking as they guidance and idealism for better Malaysia, they would not have the feeling of what Ali tried to do with JCorp, which was to develop Malay entrepreneurs. This include the entrepreneur and intra-preneur development programs, where hundreds of aspiring Malay entrepreneurs operate JCorp invested companies.

These Non Johoreans would probably cast a bleaker grim over Johor with their new found roles in JCorp. and soon enough, mess it up further. Within the three of them, they are unlikely to get any of it right.

Published in: on November 11, 2011 at 09:32  Comments (52)