Glaming is the Game

Datuk Azeez “Putera” Rahim

Glamourising is the game. Now that ‘The Man with the two ‘E’s’ is in, he plans to do a whirlwind PR job and getting the media buy in, to fortify his appointment. After all, drama and dramatization is thought to be his best traits which are substitutes to the shortcomings in qualities necessary to be a leader.

More over, as a corporate man in this age in the dynamism of professionals and the demands of good corporate governance since ‘integrity and credibility’ aren’t traits that Datuk Azeez Rahim is known for.

In the agenda is the dialogue with media at the 13 storey Bangsar South which was recently acquired by TH in late 2012 at a cost of RM 102 million. What is interesting is the decision to acquire considering the tenants’ agreement ends in 2014. Probably it is best to address the issue the rational of the acquisition or is it another scam where TH’s is made a sucker.

Probably in this dialogue is the best opportunity for Azeez to share exactly the returns that TH is getting from their equities, fixed deposits and commercial papers subscribed, plantation, IT and properties. It is the best opportunity for Azeez to defend all the investments that TH made and ventured into. Unless, this is the where it could be proven that Azeez is incompetent to be Chairman of a serious investment body of over RM 36 billion in assets and cash.

Internal sources leaked in the information about newly minted Chairman instructed the Comms Team to invite the media, be it traditional or non traditional for TH’s annual dos during the upcoming Ramadhan and Hajj pilgrimage seasons. The short list is expected to be out shortly. The objective is to do a PR how good of job TH has been serving pilgrims and their depositors.

It is also been said that Chariman Azeez Rahim would want the media to look at the operation of TH’s subsidiary in Saudi Arabia which is TH Real Estate Co. (THRE). Incorporated in 2009, THRE is yet unable to produce any revenue for TH where as the expenditure is SR 2.5 million per annum to employ five persons. Probably the media would be interested to learn that the CEO of THRE’s salary was raised from RM 30,0000 to RM 70,000 per month.

It would also the best opportunity for Azeez to dispel the rumour about THRE CEO is the good friend of Jasmi Ismail, who is the brother to CEO of Tabung Haji and been demonised as a ruthless but hungry corporate personality.

It is expected that Azeez would want to media to capture the objective of TH is for having a net earnings of over RM 2 billion per annum and able to give annual dividends of 8% to the 8 million depositors. That would probably drown the attention that should be focused on issues such as the residential facilities for Muasasah Jemaahs are more than 1 kilometer away from Haram Al Shariff (which is burden to the elder pilgrims) and as such, it was said that even breakfast is not provided.

Azeez should also be made to provide the rational on the discrimination of the breakfast provided and good three square meals per day to the ‘Packages’ which TH charge at more than RM 30,000 per pilgrim.

After the trips to Mekah and Medina, the story circulating through the grapevone is that Azeez would pack a sum of traditional and non traditional media (especially bloggers who he can buy them into) for a visit to London. It is not to see the Queen but to visit some properties very near where the Queen lives whenever she is in London. TH paid £370 million or RM 1.8 billion for these investments.

Azeez would probably rationalise why TH is very aggressive in making investments in premium and luxurious properties in London considering that TH operations is centred around Jedda, Mecca and Medina for Hajj and Umrah pilgimage pruposes. The consideration that TH has no expertise in the matured and sophisticated property game, more over in places like Central and West London.

It is a good opportunity for Azeez to explain why TH paid 8% higher than what the market was able to absorb when TH acquired 151 Buckingham Palace Road, SW1 for £205 million instead of the market offers then which was lesser than £190 million. After all, he was already TH BOD member then.

Malaysians secure £200m-plus Victoria offices

By Paul Norman – Friday, March 22, 2013 15:05

Malaysian haji pilgrims fund Lembaga Tabung Haji has completed the acquisition of its second major asset in central London, with the circa £205m purchase of 151 Buckingham Palace Road, SW1, CoStar News understands.

Market sources said Lembaga has now completed on the acquisition of the Victoria asset from Ivanhoé Cambridge. A price of £205m is understood to have been agreed which would equate to a yield of just under 7%.

Lembaga is understood to have fended off stiff competition from underbidder Hines, as well as Malaysian government funds EPF and KWAP.

The purchase of 151 Buckingham Palace Road follows the completion of Tabung Haji’s deal last September to buy SJ Berwin’s distinctive City offices at 10 Queen Street Place, EC4, for £165m, reflecting an initial yield of 5%.

The deal was first revealed by CoStar News in July, when Tabung Haji entered into talks to buy the 221,198 sq ft block from Irish investor Jaguar Capital.

Lembaga Tabung Haji is the Malaysian hajj pilgrims fund board, formerly known as Lembaga Urusan dan Tabung Haji. The fund facilitates savings for the pilgrimage to Mecca through investment in Shariah-compliant vehicles.

Ivanhoé Cambridge instructed CBRE to sell 151 Buckingham Palace Road last October for £220m, reflecting an initial yield of 6.4%.

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Probably Azeez could also take the opportunity to provide validation to the media whether one of the tenants of 10 Queen Street Place (Little Ship Sailing Club) EC4 which serves spirit and non halal items in their menu. It would interesting to watch how the man would wiggle himself out of the contentious issue where TH is earning from operations which are not syariah compliant.

There is a suggestion that media be brought to have a quiet little tea at TH CEO’s new place in Notting Hill. However, taking the media to go for shopping in the high street regular shops plus Harrods sounds about average.

Probably the highlight of the ‘Glam is the Game’ is the explanation for TH to award the renovation contract of three floors to Seri Libana Sdn. Bhd. and none of the TH BOD members have any interest in this company.

As part of the good corporate governance game and his own personal commitment as the TH Chairman with high integrity and credibility, Azeez is expected to announce that several representatives of the depositors would be appointed into the BOD and investment panel. It is statutory for PLCs to do annual general meeting. Hence, Azeez would now hold “AGM”
for depositors, to bring them up to speed on the operations of TH.

He should also take this opportunity to explain extraordinary entrepreneur Shaik Akmal Shaikh Alaudin (who happens to be very close acquaintance to Kalimullah “Riong Kali” Hassan and Lord of GLC Tan Sri Nor Mohamed “Blackula” Yakcop and a name linked to pre-Red Berry The Malaysian Insider) has no influence what so ever on TH CEO Dato’ Paduka Ismee Ismail for access to lucrative projects and investments home and abroad.

The ‘Glam is the Game’ dos in Bangsar South, Saudi Arabia and London would definitely provide TH to engage the media closer to share their plans, investments, potential opportunities and operations. They are PR events Azeez planned that should not be missed, especially to bloggers.

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Published in: on July 5, 2013 at 09:30  Comments (9)