The notorious media dark baron Kalimullah “Riong Kali” Hassan is believed to be back in very active bids, to be a major media player. The latest is Asia Broadcast Network’s bid for internet service provider (ISP) Jaring Communication Sdn. Bhd.
Wednesday May 2, 2012
Optinet in 3-cornered fight for Jaring
By B.K. SIDHU
PETALING JAYA: The fight for Jaring Communications Sdn Bhd has turned into a three-cornered one with the entry of Optinet Technology Sdn Bhd, a special purpose vehicle representing four local companies.
The four are namely Melaka ICT Holdings, Ersatech Sdn Bhd, Dignity First Sdn Bhd (in which blogger Rocky Bru or Datuk Ahirudin Attan is a shareholder and director) and Jom Mobile. All four companies hold an equal 25% equity stake in Optinet.
All the four shareholders of Optinet had conducted a due diligence on Jaring and they found that Jaring has tremendous growth potential, Optinet director Shaharom Md Shariff said in an interview recently.
“Jaring provides the best skill sets, network and licences for Optinet to move ahead as our vision is to provide broadband services to consumers and get into the content business where we want to push content to users,” he adds.
For them to apply for licences and set up a network would take time and the “easiest way is to buy and not re-invent the wheel. It helps us leapfrog into the content business and we have enough cash to rollout and make Jaring sustainable,” he adds.
It is learnt that Puncak Semangat submitted its proposal to the Finance Ministry two weeks ago while the others had submitted their proposals in March.
It is not known when the ministry will decide on which of the three will get to buy Jaring, but a major consideration would be a viable business plan to turn Jaring around and the RM80mil-odd debts. Jaring was the pioneer in bringing Internet services to the country.
As it is, the partners in Optinet are already entrenched in the network infrastructure built-up, maintenance and content game.
Shaharom said Melaka ICT had expertise in the area of technical and network, Ersatech is involved in telecommunications towers in Selangor, Dignity is in the business of content creation and distribution, and Jom Mobile has the technical team needed to drive the business.
Shaharom said Melaka ICT was currently laying fibre-opics in Malacca to offer broadband services and this was done with the intention to bring down the overall cost of broadband services.
“We want to make a change in the market place by bringing down the cost of broadband access and that was another reason why we are bidding for Jaring as Jaring has an existing infrastructure we could align with fibre. As far as laying of fibre is concerned, if it works well in Malacca, we could replicate the model to other states.”
Shaharom believes the cost of broadband in the country is relatively high and it should be brought down so that a larger population can ride on the broadband wave.
He also brushes aside speculation that Optinet is politically connected.
“We have no political links. We submitted a bid because we have a strategy to ride on Jaring to deliver content to consumers,” he said.
Jaring has been a takeover target for many years.
As far back as 2001, Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) had first expressed interest in buying Jaring. That didn’t materialise. Interestingly, a government budget speech a few years later had also indicated that Jaring would merge with TM, but that too didn’t materialise.
Later, Time dotCom Bhd had sought to acquire Jaring but its low offer price didn’t interest the Government.
Subsequently in 2007/08, a tender exercise was called by the Finance Ministry, using an advisory firm to handle the bids. Again, Time dotCom was one of the bidders, along with four other parties including Packet One Networks Sdn Bhd. Then the parties were said to have offered between RM15mil and RM27mil
It is not known why Puncak Semangat wants to buy Jaring but it can be presumed that it would need a network infrastructure and a skilled team, which Jaring has, to kickstart its journey into the telecoms world since it is slated to get a block of the LTE 4G spectrum sometime this year.
CMC Engineering has its own plans to use the Jaring network to set up a syariah-compliant data centre for the Asean region, among other things.
MIMOS controlled Jaring lost the market share and now no longer a relevant ISP. They are lacked of marketing and applied technology. And when Telekom Malaysia launched the first high speed broadband Streamyx ten years ago, Jaring simply lost it. To revive Jaring, they need new business model, strategy and investments.
The upside for Jaring is that they have the infrastructure which enable new players for new HSBB services, IPTV and digital TV and even downstream Telco retailers. However, all these assets needed to be upgraded to service the current upwards trend of HSBB.
What is worrying is that Riong Kali is believed to be part of ABN, which was said to have submitted their bid for Jaring after the tender date has ended. In that Star Biz report dated 2 May 2012, no mention about ABN coming into the bidding race. However, in this week’s business weekly The Edge, ABN is expected to submit their bid next week. CEO Sreedhar Subramanium briefly attracted to The Edge of their overall plan for Jaring.
What is known so far is that the bid for Jaring’s ended on 26 April. What is baffling is that why is ABN with Riong Kali believed to part of the team, able to join in the bid a month after it officially ended. The parent company of Jaring is MIMOS, which is owned my MOF. It was said that one of the active personalities within ABN, goes around claiming to be close to someone who is very close to the Prime Minister.
This the Riong Kali network:
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Bukti Dato Kalimullah, Shaik Aqmal dan Sreedhar Subramaniam Berpakat
Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM) sebelum ini telah mendedahkan penglibatan Dato Kalimullah Hassan dan Shaik Aqmal Alauddin menaja dan membiayai Malaysian Insider sebuah portal yang telah ditubuhkan oleh Sreedhar Subramaniam yang sering memperburuk-burukkan dan memfitnah kepimpinan Negara khususnya Perdana Menteri Dato Seri Mohd Najib.
Sreedhar Subramaniam seperti yang diperakui oleh laman web Malaysian Insider merupakan orang yang mengilhamkan dan pengasas penubuhan portal ini untuk tujuan memberikan berita politik, ekonomi, peristiwa dan individu berprofail tinggi di dalam negara ini.
Pada hari ini, JMM menyerahkan bukti dokumen mengenai penglibatan ketiga-tiga mereka di dalam Malaysian Insider melalui kumpulan Efficient E-Solution Bhd yang dipercayai telah mendapat kontrak secara paksa dari Kementerian Kewangan.
Buktinya, Shaik Aqmal adalah Pengarah Urusan dan Sreedhar Subramaniam juga Pengarah di dalam syarikat VPI International Sdn Bhd (Efficient E-Solution Bhd mempunyai kepentingan 20%) yang telah menandatangani kontrak besar dari Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri (LHDN) iaitu LHDN.01/11.1(S)/347/3/2 yang pada mulanya berjumlah RM 216,090,927.00 dan kemudian dinaikkan kepada RM 585,540,927.00.
Shaikh Aqmal dan Sreedhar Subramaniam sebagai penandatangan kontrak ini telah menggunakan Regalia Records Management Sdn Bhd yang mana VPI International Sdn Bhd mempunyai kepentingan di dalamnya untuk menaja dan membiayai portal Malaysian Insider yang diilhamkan oleh Sreedhar Subramaniam.
Dengan mengemukakan bukti dokumen kontrak ini, jelas dan sah memperlihatkan Dato Kalimullah, Shaik Aqmal dan Sreedhar Subramaniam secara berpakat menaja dan membiayai Malaysian Insider dengan niat jahat untuk memperburuk-burukkan dan melemparkan fitnah terhadap Perdana Menteri Dato Seri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, Institusi Raja-Raja Melayu, Agama Islam serta perpaduan di antara kaum bagi memecah belah keharmonian yang boleh mengugat perpaduan di dalam negara.
Kementerian Kewangan wajib menjelaskan perkara ini kerana VPI International Sdn Bhd telah menggunakan keuntungan hasil dari projek ini bagi membiayai Malaysian Insider yang sering melemparkan fitnah dasyhat berulang kali terhadap Perdana Menteri Dato Seri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak dan isteri beliau Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor serta kepimpinan-kepimpinan negara yang lain.
JMM meminta Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcob menjelaskan hubungan beliau dengan Dato Kalimullah, Shaikh Aqmal dan Sreedhar Subramaniam kerana kontrak LHDN ini diperolehi sewaktu beliau menjadi Menteri Kewangan.
Sekian Terima Kasih
Azwanddin bin Hamzah
It is believed ABN CEO Sreedhar Subramaniam is Riong Kali’s man, who started Malaysian Insider four years ago. Then, during PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah Ahmad Badawi tenure, The Malaysian Insider was the ‘news breaker’ via the new media.
Today, as Riong Kali is no longer favoured in any way by the Perdana Putra administration, The Malaysian Insider is another Opposition friendly online news portal. In fact, they have been sued of spewing lies which the news portal eventually had to openly apologise.
Riong Kali’s investment bank ECM Libra is already almost playing the role of ‘economic adviser’ to DAP controlled Penang State Government, even for foreign direct investments. Penang Chief Minister and DAP Secretary General Lim Guan Eng expressed his appreciation for Riong Kali’s contribution for the proposed Penang Learning Centre. Now if is true that Riong Kali is part of ABN bidding for Jaring, would this be an ISP for DAP in the future, especially when MCMC recently issued a digital broadcasting license to ABN.
If this is proven to be true and the players are who they perceived to be, then it is a dangerous development indeed. Riong Kali has often been classified as a ‘dodgy character’, to be allowed to be a part of something so strategic.