Blowing The Chance

Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak hopes that Fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad would reconsider his decision to resign as Petronas Adviser and continue to serve nation’s largest corporation, in the capacity and role the latter had served since 10 years ago.

Published: Tuesday December 3, 2013 MYT 8:42:00 PM
Updated: Tuesday December 3, 2013 MYT 9:16:47 PM

Najib wants Mahathir to reconsider decision to step down as Petronas adviser

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak hopes Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will re-consider his decision to step down as Petronas adviser.

Najib said onj Tuesday, this was because the Government felt that the former prime minister was still able to contribute for Petronas’ development and success.

“In respecting Tun’s decision, which was made on doctor’s advice, I hope Tun can reconsider the decision.

“The government welcomes Tun to continue to serve as Petronas Adviser,” he told reporters after a meeting, which lasted for nearly an hour, with Hamas leader Khalid Meshaal at the Putra World Trade Centre.

Najib said he had received the resignation letter from Dr Mahathir in which he also thanked him (prime minister) for visiting him at the National Heart Institute when he was admitted there for chest pain.

“Upon the doctor’s advice, he has to reduce his daily routine.

“As such, Dr Mahathir had informed me of his intention to step down as Petronas Adviser,” he added.

Mahathir had confirmed his resignation as Petronas Adviser, effective Dec 1, on Monday, due to age and health factors.

He was appointed Petronas Adviser after his retirement as prime minister in 2003. – Bernama


On Monday’s official announcement, Tun Dr. Mahathir cited that he has been advised by his doctors to do less. However, it is hardly the cover story that would convince everyone.

The fact is that, Tun Dr. Mahathir has had a rocky relationship with Prime Minister Najib pertaining to Petronas every since the latter took over the stewardship of the nation.

First, it was appointment of Dato’ Omar Ong into the BoD of Petronas.

Omar Ong back in Petronas

Omar Ong back in Petronas

This was one of the three issues Tun Dr. Mahathir raised with Prime Minister Najib in the first one-on-one engagement after swearing in as the Sixth Prime Minister in April 2009. The Fourth Prime Minister specifically warned Prime Minister Najib against the appointment of Ong into Petronas.

Then, the relieving of Tan Sri Hassan Merican as Group President and CEO of Petronas.

Things changed in Petronas after Prime Minister Najib’s man Dato’ Shamsul Azhar Abbas was brought in as CEO. Policy changed. The bit which Tun Dr. Mahathir found most damning is about Bumiputera participation in one of the most successful New Seven Sisters.

Strategic posts previously were undertaken by Malay professionals are now being filled by Non Malays.

The Management of Petronas: Fifty percent of the Exec Vice Presidents is now Non Malays

The Management of Petronas: Fifty percent of the Exec Vice Presidents is now Non Malays

Naturally, Shamsul Azhar could not have done this without the blessing of Prime Minister Najib. Despite the displeasure of Tun Dr. Mahathir, the appointment of Ong and Shamsul caused a dent in the relationship between the Fourth and Sixth Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Najib had his chances. He was adamant of his policies in Petronas. Now, he must be ready to face the repercussion of Tun Dr. Mahathir giving up the pleasure and dedication of no longer being the Adviser to Federal Government’s single largest contributor of income.

Probably Tun Dr. Mahathir would not be so diplomatic from now on, when he speaks his mind on policies and decisions made by Prime Minister Najib’s leadership. This is something Prime Minister Najib must be ready to be reflected.

Five out of Fourteen BoD members of Petronas are Non Malays

Five out of Fourteen BoD members of Petronas are Non Malays

In June 2006 when Tun Dr. Mahathir decided to speak up against PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s poor and weak leadership in an event organised then by notorious socio-polical blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin at Paradise Club in Ulu Kelang, it was like a snow ball which turned into an avalanche. Less than two years later, PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah’s mandate was reduced from BN’s all time high to all time low, within half a Parliamentary term.

Just for size, Petronas wasn’t an issue when Tun Dr. Mahathir decided to go against PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah.

Published in: on December 4, 2013 at 01:30  Comments (23)  

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  1. Najib is bent on so-called liberalization. So-called because he does not seem to abide by the spirit of the Constitution. The Special Position of the Malays is clear and enshrined in Article 153. It was not placed there for the fun of it. It was he quid pro quo for the Malays agreeing to the citizenship right of the non-Malays at Merdeka. They have got their citizenship and we must have our special position always, forever.

    Either he genuinely feels this is burdensome for his brand of politics or he is so desperate in wooing the votes of the non-Malays. Despite the Chinese tsunami, a term he himself coined, on the results of PRU13. Whichever it is, he is not protecting and promoting the rights and the interests of the Malays that UMNO was sworn to do when formed over 60 years ago.

    He was quite smart. Changed the UMNO party elections system. Gave official appointments to highly controversial characters like Khairy and Shahrizat who has cengkuriks all over the place like Azeez, an alleged fake Master’s degree user, who was appointed to the hugely rich and highly remunerative Tabung Haji. Such people went ligat to get a no-contest for Najib at the party elections nominations.

    Najib also arranged that the UMNO General Assembly is held after the party elections where almost “all the President’s men” got re-elected. Now Najib is sitting pretty. The PAU will be just a place for him to laugh in his heart at the recalcitrant delegates – whatever criticisms, however strong they may be, will be of no effect to his position. He’ll use the same tactics at the next, and the next, party elections. We will be in for a heart wrenching time for a long, long time to come.

    We need to whack him for all the ills he does and omits to do for the rights and the interests of the Malays. Regularly, vehemently, here, there, everywhere. Short of a huge gaffe, a blunder of significant proportions, he’s going to continue to be PM. We need Tun Dr Mahathir to play a role to get him replaced. Let’s all pray for his speedy recovery and long life. And ask him to lead the way.

    • There you go again. It’s amazing the inferiority complexes that you all cling on to for dear life.

      Now, if that’s your security blanket a la Linus in the “Peanuts” comic strips, then bully for you.

      But if it’s going to be your shield and armour against the world out there, then it’s going to be a huge disappointment.

      Just today I read that Joe Biden and Shinzo Abe have committed the US and Japan to conclude the TPP negotiations by the end of this year.

      Which puts Malaysia on the horns of a dilemma. To pull out of the TPP and go it alone or to buckle down and try to get the best deal that it can.

      Even SBY is pushing the WTO to save the Doha Round by coming up with a “Bali Package” before the WTO ministerial meeting in Bali is concluded.

      SBY and his advisors have seen the writing on the wall as far as the region is concerned.

      And if Malaysia has to rely on the tender mercies of the Chinese locomotive to sustain it’s economy, then God help us all.

      • And you have no inferiority complex? Why the hell do you need to accuse people of having inferiority complex if you don’t have one? Shit talk, you.

        You get attracted to Peanuts, eh? I thought on Red Beans.

        And who says any of the options you mentioned is no good? You haven’t given any reasoning for stating your opinions, anyway. And you think readers must listen to you? Not with the kind of shit talk you put out, man.

      • Cheap attempts at humour and pathetic put downs are par for the course.

        It would of course be too challenging (and intellectually taxing) to rebut Corbulo, point by point.

        Unless you are game to accept the challenge, that is.

      • This bugger has been walloped before, yet he persists in nosing into others’ business, making uncalled for, irrelevant, unnecessary and irritating comment. He must be whacked for that.

        Now where the hell in his comment has he said anything relevant to the earlier comments above? My comment was at least relevant to the inferiority complex that Carbulo accused others of, unjustifiably and belittling others in the process. And any put down on the bloke is a justifiable retaliation.

        But for no rhyme or reason this bloke comes in trying to irritate me. Is he the kurang ajar bastard, biadap, like what Tunku Aziz, DAP Vice Chairman said of his kind, Lim Guan Eng, as he stormed out of the party?

        Instigating me to “rebut Corbulo,point by point”, yet he does nothing of the sort, but just come in to irritate. Has he any proper breeding, any guidance on manners and decent behaviour given by his parents in the past? Or the ultra kiasu kind just left by the pig sty when small, tottering around, periodically picking up pig shit, putting it into his mouth. hence very smelly each time he opens his mouth.

  2. Omar Ong too powerful in Petronas.Tun should tell Najib .Omer Ong must go before he reconsider his decision.

    From the management comittee,Dato Wee and Dr Colin,are two powerful figure who control and decided billion of ringgit Petronas contract.
    That post should be filled by Anak watan.

    • Agree with you bro and in addition to that:

      What is seemed obvious when Dato’ Wee, the former Shell personal of rejection, was appointed due recycled to be the VP for Patronas upstream division. He gradually brought in more rejected Shell personnels under his team of management and technical division. I sense Omar Ong has placed fullest recommendation to the Prime Minister of Wee’s entry thus has pushed Shamsul to the near way out. 

      I think Tun is also unhappy with Shell ‘culture’ which has assimilated into Patronas to supersede in running of Patronas. The fact is, Najib is unaware of the ‘commercial culture and goals of Patronas. Patronas is not only about operation of pulling levers, pushing buttons and revenue, it is also about cultural-commercialization of branding Patronas with Bumiputra minds to international cooperate management.

    • How PM Najib taken by Omar Ong all way to place the latter in board of Petronas is baffling.

      Ong did not serve his dues, as a Petronas scholar. He joined in 1995 and left hardly two years later for MDEC.

      He was taken to court for dishonouring his bond. Petronas actually got a session court’s decision. He just ignored it.

      He left MDEC to join McKinsey. Later, he formed Ethos Consulting with his fellow McKinsey comrade Dr Liew Boon Horng. Slumber head Pak Lah Al-Flip-Floppy as DPM provided their first lucrative job, a consulting work to bring in professionals from commerce direct into top jobs in government.

      Pak Lah’s aide for policy Zaki Zahid then was their liaison.

      By the time Najib became DPM, Ong joined him as Special Officer.

      New Year’s Eve of 2006, Dr Liew struck really horrible luck when a 2 ton concrete dropped from the sky. Ong there on had to leave DPM’s office to take charge of Ethos.

      Then in 2009, PM Najib appointed Ong to Petronas BOD. Only then Ong settled his dues with Petronas.

      How could someone who left in 1997 as an executive without completing his bond and got a court decision, could come back as a BOD member 12 years later?

      Is there no sense of audacity and morality?

      Is Omar Ong even qualified to be a Petronas board member?

      In 12 years Ong could ‘transformed’ himself from a graduate entry level employee into the most strategic post as a board member?

      Obviously, PM Najib don’t bloody care about the appropriateness of Ong’s appointment. I’m just waiting when he’ll start to place his sons in GLC boards.

      If Ong could qualify himself so quickly, so will his children too.

  3. NAJIB should not merely ask Tun Mahathir to reconsider his decision to resign, but to ask into the reasons why…….
    NAJIB himself has to find out the happenings in petronas.
    NAJIB too owe an explanation why TanSriHassan Marican left.
    Unless he has a different agenda…
    Lesser Malays in top management of Petronas now………why..

    • His different agenda has been obvious since before PRU13, ain’t it? He bent backwards to please the Chinese for votes yet got the Chinese tsunami.

      I fear if he continues to bend, backward or forward, Anwar the Rear Admiral will get on his back.

  4. If I was Dr Mahathir, I would hv left too. At least he is kind enough to wait till PM Najib’s first GE is done. PM Najib is very lucky becoz Dr Mahathir is letting it down very softly with that “The doctors asked me to go slow”.

    Dr Mahathir claims as an Adviser, he didn’t hv a say on how Petronas do things and go about their daily business. However, he did play his role very well.

    Dr Mahathir’s leadership aura provided a lot of very valuable goodwill for Petronas’s doors to be opened in countries like South Africa, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Sudan and Iran. Today, Petronas benefitted immensely from that.

    I don’t understand why there is now 50% Non Malays in the executive committee of Petronas. And doing very strategic jobs (finance & EPP).

    There are definitely Melayus with relevant global oil and gas experience and exposure who can do these jobs. Even within Petronas.

    That’s reflected in the consolidated statement of income and losses for the Group recorded RM290.98b in revenue and RM90b in profits. The year before that was RM288.5b and RM104.8b respectively. A very good team of Melayu professionals.

    All of these are there because the immediate past management proven that professional Melayus could do it.

    PM Najib is giving the Non Malays something when they would always refuse to reciprocate. It is a proven fact, regardedless how good and experienced the Malay professional is.

    Forget 50%! Would technology based Non Malay cos like YTL Power or Maxis appoint just 30% of the executive committee comprises of competent professional Malays? How about Public Bank and How Leong Group? IOI?

    I really wonder what strategic value the five Non Malay BoD members of Petronas brought to the table, since Shamsul Azhar rolled out PM Najib’s ‘Open Petronas to Non Malays’ policy.

    PM Najib via his minions such as Shamsul Azhar and that Melayu-wannabe Ong fella tried to fix something that wasn’t even broken in the first place.

    That’s why Dr Mahathir walked away!

    • The CEO would find it akward to report to or even brief Tun Dr Mahathir as Adviser regularly. He knows which side his bread is buttered. Plus Omar Ong is prowling all over the place – as a Director he can create some havoc just by showing his face. That’s why Najib hammered Omar Ong into the BOD despite being rejected the first time on grounds of being a Petronas loan delinquent.

      I support the opinion that Tun should get a few people to form a nucleus to commence formidable anti-Najib activities. Tun doesn’t have to go places, he just stays in his office, the activists can go to him and get advice on the most effective ways to get Najib act in ways that will protect and defend the rights and interests of the Malays. Then carry out those activities based on Tun’s advice.

    • Well, one of those “professional Melayus” upped and relocated to Singapore. I am not naming names here.

      Are you advocating “hiring quotas” for public-listed companies in Malaysia? For MNCs’ Malaysian operations? For foreign banks operating in Malaysia?

      You might as well tell the government to take the “Ease of doing business” report and consign it to the refuse bin.

      And when the investments, and the good jobs that come with them, go elsewhere, blame the free markets/Zionist/capitalist/neo-liberal (take your pick) lobbies.

  5. Good job to the old man for resigning. He doesnt need all this shit. He’s got his legacy and money. Time to watch the sun set and nothing more. For how long can we expect him to settle our shits? He can never be demonized but for how long do we want him in the spotlight taking sucker punches left right and center?

    Cut off najib as you’ve cutted badawi, tun m. You did your best for this land, let someone else take the torch and heat off you.

    • Nobody else has the knowledge and the experience to think out tactics and execute them in the most effective ways.

      Get his advice and guidance on how to get Najib stick to the UMNO aims and objectives of protecting and promoting the rights and the interests of the Malays. Protecting alone is not enough. He has to promote them,

      Lobbying and persuading those who can help get Najib to act accordingly can be done by a team of activists. Tun just gives the advice and guidance and must not be taxed too much in terms of energy and anxiety. .


      • Hi bro how have you been.

        Tun m isnt appreciated. Sad fact. His little soldier is taking a beating. How long more can it withstand the pressure of talking to a dumb tree that is najib razak?

        See how those around him act towards him? When he gives advice for free, no one listens and take note. Najib blows millions on mat sallehs who know jack shit about anything and he pays them millions.

        See how frail he looks on tv now? I say thank you very much. But u should move on. I love you and i grew up a good chunk of my developing years under you tun m. It saddens me how things are going but this country is headed by a bafoon who is dumber than badawi, llyod and harry put together

  6. A Prime Minister has to have 3 Golden Attributes which Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had :-

    1. Commonsense. Do not run around the hot and humid streets of KL etc.
    2. The ability to think out of the Box.
    3.. Compassion. Maybe the Tun has too much of this.

  7. Shamsul Azhar had always been with Petronas, unlike Omar Ong who is an outsider brought in. Also it is most likely that the replacement of Malays in key posts by the non Malays were done upon directives from the top and Shamsul was merely executing it. All that had gone wrong in this country since 2009 continues to inflict hardship on the people and the misery is going to get even worse in 2014. Malaysia is run like a corporation which is an injustice to many Malaysians who cannot compete with groups who have the wealth, the capital and the connection. It is here that politicians should use their political will to intervene and ensure that socio economic interests of the nation are not engulfed by the dictates of the capitalist economy. One would expect the PM to be on the side of the people but he is on the side of capitalist market,the IMF, the cheapskate foreign investors who feed on local incentives, foreign rating agencies and anything that smacks of liberal capitalism. He talks so much abt transformation and high incomr economy without laying on the tables, how it will benefit ordinary Malaysians and at one point can the generally peanut wages of Malaysians be improved – under what circumstances, which sector realistically. I dont know if any other Malaysians have a clue about the gibberish ‘angan-angan’ of a high income economy when all current reality points to the fact that Malaysia’s capitalist economy has created a few very rich and a mass of average and low income groups. Petronas has been a very well run entity and respected globally long before people like Omar Ong came into the picture. Tun M’s stepping down as its adviser marks the final chapter of Petronas losing all its best brains and talents.

    • Interesting analysis, but basically flawed.

      Two points to note:

      – the completion of the “Bali Package” at the just-concluded WTO meeting in Bali brings the “Doha Round” closer to completion. How will this affect Malaysia when trade and investments are liberalised? What did the Malaysian negotiators at the Bali meeting offer, and what did they commit the country to?

      – it looks like the TPP is pretty much a done deal, the way the US is pushing other countries at the current TPP meeting in Singapore. Can Malaysia afford to walk away from the TPP if the terms are not to it’s liking? What are the alternatives when the world is being stitched up in a “spaghetti bowl” of bilateral and multilateral free trade agreements pace the Doha Round? How will “going it alone” affect the Malaysian economy when (a) trade in goods and services make up a substantial, and increasing, percentage of GDP (b) the much-hoped for move into high value-added manufacturing is not happening because of the “addiction” to low-wage foreign labour, the inferior quality of the local work force compared with other countries (c) the reluctance of MNCs to bring their latest technologies to Malaysia because of various perceived “obstacles”?

      I don’t know what exactly is your area of expertise, but I have worked for, and with, MNCs for many years. It’s natural that they are always looking out for the best places to invest in, to set up manufacturing plants, R&D facilities and regional or global HQs. Tax incentives, work force skills and adaptability, political stability and security (both of personnel and IP) are some of the factors they consider.

      Our small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have a long way to go before they can seamlessly plug into the MNCs’ regional and global supply chains, or if they can develop their own high-value added niches.

      This is the reality.

      So, to push the ideas of “directed” contracts and hiring quotas are merely “feel good” BandAid statements that ignore the reality, or worse, push it to the next elected government to resolve.

  8. […] Petronas yang sebelum ini memberikan platform untuk membuktikan professional Melayu mampu mengurus syarikat gergasai dan multimasional, kini telah berubaha dasar dengan membuka kepada Bukan Melayu. Semenjak 3 tahun kebelakangan ini telah menyaksikan transformasi dimana lebih 1/3 Lembaga Pengarah dan 1/2 Eksekutif Terutama Petronas dijawat oleh prof…. […]

  9. […] his agenda to make achieve a high value economic nation. The fact that it was his instruction to de-Malay-nised Petronas despite of the proven success of the New Seven Sisters corporation all the while under the watch, […]

  10. […] then it would bring about new perspective of how Petronas is viewed and fresh expectations. The resignation of  Tun Dr. Mahathir as Petronas Adviser was only three months ago and already created a […]

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