The Premonition of the Two Pees

Revenge is best served cold. Government announced that Petronas Adviser position would be filled by Fifth Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on 1 April 2016, upon the unanimous Cabinet decision of the sacking of Fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad from continuing as the Adviser of the national oil corporation.

The Star story:

Friday, 25 March 2016 | MYT 5:18 PM

Pak Lah appointed Petronas adviser

KUALA LUMPUR: The Cabinet has endorsed the appointment of former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as adviser of Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas), effective April 1.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Abdullah was to succeed Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, whose service as Petronas adviser was terminated by the Cabinet on March 11.

“The decision to terminate the appointment of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was made by the Cabinet since he was no longer supporting the present government, especially with the launch of ‘Deklarasi Rakyat’ (people’s declaration) together with opposition leaders,” he said in a statement here, Friday.

On March 11 the Cabinet unanimously removed Mahathir as Petronas adviser as it believed the former prime minister was no longer supporting the present government, hence he should no longer be holding any position related to the government. – Bernama

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There is also key changes in Proton too. Dato’ Harith Abdullah, who was appointed to the current post one month short of two years, would go back to DRB-Hicom and managing the distribution of the Group’s automotive and defence.

Ahmad Fuaad To Take The Helm Of Proton From April 1

PETALING JAYA: Proton Holdings Bhd will have a new CEO as of April 1, following an internal organisation by its parent firm, DRB-Hicom Bhd.

In a statement yesterday, DRB-Hicom said Datuk Ahmad Fuaad Mohd Kenali, currently DRB-Hicom COO for finance and corporate affairs, will become the next CEO of the national car maker.

Ahmad Fuaad, who has been a non-executive director at Proton since 2013, will be redesignated as executive director.

He will replace incumbent Datuk Abdul Harith Abdullah who will be going back to his previous role as DRB-Hicom’s COO of automotive distribution and defence.

Datuk Md Radzaif Mohamed, who was COO of the automotive distribution and defence in Abdul Harith’s absence, will take on the role of deputy CEO at Proton.

DRB-Hicom group managing director Datuk Seri Syed Faisal Albar said the movement of internal talent is consistent with the group’s policy to constantly develop capabilities to allow DRB-HICOM Group companies to always maintain fresh perspective to steer the group in the current challenging and competitive business environment.

– The Sun Daily

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Harith, isn’t he first executive who is a collateral in the tussle of policy and eventually strategic management of Proton. First it was Dato’ Lokman Ibrahim. Then Tan Sri Khamil who had given up the Chairmanship of the BoD of Proton in favour of Tun Dr. Mahathir.

Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak initially was bullish about his mentor’s ascension to the Chairmanship of the Board of Director (BoD) of Proton.

The corporation which evolved from the national car project started in 1983 has been plagued by legacy issues continue even after it was taken over by DRB-Hicom in 2012. The stigma of troublesome products with poor or below average components, continuously looms the corporation which started from the national car project.

Despite launching three new models which themselves are competitive in bundled package offered, Preve’, Surpima and Iris, did not manage to corner its intended captive market.

Tun Dr. Mahathir, who started as the adviser after the DRB-Hicom take over and eventually came in as the Chairman of the Board of Directors (BoD) in May 2014, had partly blame the media for Proton’s poor reception by the market.

The Malay Mail Online:

Dr M accuses media of rounding on Proton unfairly

Wednesday March 19, 2014
11:37 AM GMT+8
KUALA LUMPUR, March 19 — National carmaker Proton has been at the receiving end of unfair criticism from the media, according to former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Writing in his blog, Dr Mahathir said Proton gets very little protection from the government and is not the reason for the high taxes on cars.

Proton came to life during his leadership and has been losing market to Malaysia’s other car maker, Perodua.

“The raw hatred for Proton by some members of the media is quite unprecedented,” Dr Mahathir wrote.

“The protection for Proton is minimal. Most of the exemption from tax that Proton gets can also be obtained by foreign cars if they are prepared to have 90 per cent local contents ,” he added.

Local content is key because it has created nearly 250,000 high income jobs . Proton creates the type of jobs that can propel Malaysia towards developed nation status, he argued.

He said the government has only ever paid RM400 million to set up Proton while the carmaker borrowed RM800 million, which it has since repaid.

“Compare this with what a Japanese company and the GM in the US spent recently merely to develop and produce electric and hybrid cars – 5 billion US dollars each,” Dr Mahathir said.

While the government promised Proton RM200 million a year for research, little of this money has been tapped, he said.

Closing down Proton will lead to an outflow of RM20 billion or more, he added.

The outflow of Malaysian money due to import of cars every year is more than RM20 billion while exports of automotive components and cars earn the country RM4 billion, resulting in a net outflow of RM16 billion.

“Close down Proton and the outflow would be RM20 billion or more,” Mahathir said.

Earlier this month on March 5, The Star daily reported that Proton is trying to source as much as RM3 billion from Putrajaya and other sources in order for it to develop new models for the market.

According to the report, Proton had approached the government last year to help fund its model development but came away empty handed after failing to convince its officials. It then turned to national oil firm Petronas but was similarly unsuccessful.

In the report, the firm is said to require some RM3.8 billion in investments by 2017 and at least RM1.8 billion by next year.

The same day, Datuk Seri Mustapha Mohamed confirmed that Proton approached Putrajaya for funds but said the practice was not unusual among local firms.

The minister of international trade and industry declined, however, to divulge the purpose of the funds being sought by the struggling automaker, other than to say Putrajaya provides various forms of allocations to help local companies grow, including tax breaks, research and development grants, and training incentives.

Proton later denied the report, saying instead that it had previously applied for a research and development (R&D) grant from the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), before the company was taken over by DRB-Hicom.

“Proton wishes to state that an article in one of the local English newspapers on Proton seeking development funds of RM3 billion from the ministry and Petronas is not true.

“The statement that Proton has committed RM3.8 billion until 2017 is also not true,” Proton’s corporate communications chief Nur Balkish Hood was quoted as saying in a statement by Business Times.

During its heydays in the 1990s, Proton accounted for nearly four of every five new vehicles sold, but has since witnessed its fortunes dwindle before being overtaken by second national carmaker Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sdn Bhd (Perodua) as the best-selling brand in Malaysia.

Proton was established in 1983 by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in his bid to jumpstart Malaysia’s shift towards manufacturing.

In 2012, it was sold to Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar al-Bukhary’s DRB-Hicom.

– See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/dr-m-accuses-media-of-rounding-on-proton-unfairly#sthash.LRGpxFkC.dpuf

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In reality, Proton sales dwindled even after the DRB-Hicom take over and introduction of three new models. This is not withstanding of the new Perdana, which is a rebadge of the previous Honda Accord model.

Proton attempted with lots of strategic moves like the recently announcement of a new engine developed by Ricardo of United Kingdom. This is not withstanding the fact that right after DRB-Hicom took over Proton, they acquired the Petronas-Sauber developed NE01 engine.

The dwindling brand through the years

The sales from the Federal Government, State Governments and GLCs have helped Proton in the past three years. Between 2012-2015, Proton managed to see 10,500 cars of various models (mainly Preve and Saga) which include 3,000 Perdanas.

That is approximately RM800million of outright sales by Government and GLCs. The after sales aggregated bills in the past three years, would probably tipped the turnover for the Proton Group  in the neighbour of RM1 billion ever since DRB-Hicom took over.

Now that Tun Dr. Mahathir has taken Prime Minister and UMNO President Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak to court even for personal reasons, it is impossible to decouple the man as a member who recently resigned from UMNO and Chairman of Proton BoD.

It cannot otherwise be distinguished as Tun Dr. Mahathir would have to declare in court that he is the Chairman of the BoD of one of companies under the DRB-Hicom Group as his vacation.

It has also been argued that how could a corporation which the Chairman of the BoD is committed to toppling of the Prime Minister of Malaysia, continue to be a major automobile fleet vendor of further contracts from the Federal and State Governments and GLCs.

Probably Government should ponder seriously into other models such as Toyota Altis, Toyota Camry, BMW 520i and the brand new BMW 730iL with the efficient 260hp 2 litre engine as options to eventually replace the current fleet of Proton Saga, Preve and Perdana.

After all, Toyota is under UMW  and BMW is under Auto Bavaria, which is part of the Sime Darby conglomerate. Both of these Malaysian MNCs are under the PNB Group.

Any profits derived from Government and GLC sales could eventually be channeled through the various existing PNB unit trust schemes, especially ASB. 10.8 million Bumiputera investors and depositors are the end receiver of this.

Another interesting point to consider is that Toyota and BMW already introduced their array of hybrid cars in Malaysia compared to Proton. It would be very inspiring if all the senior Government officers and GLC management use hybrid cars.

Objectively, Tun Dr. Mahathir did not bring about positive result in his involvement with the national car project corporation, now under DRB-Hicom in the past three years. Realistically, three initially much-hoped top management executives left, within a very short span of slightly over three years.

Now that he has done obsessively too much to demonise and topple the leadership 0f Prime Minister Najib just within a very short span of a year, he is getting back  the brunt of what he threw back into his face without even causing  a dent. Inadvertently, the Fifth UMNO President made himself a persona non grata.

He should seriously consider sparing Proton, for the sake of the Group, its brand, loyalty, dedication and livelihood of the people within the Group.

 

Published in: on March 25, 2016 at 22:00  Comments (2)  

A living monster incarcerated

Justice after thirty years. The learned Bosnian Serbian leader Radovan Karadzic who invented the term ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ for the cold blooded massacre of 8,000 men and boys in and around Srebrenica in the summer of 1995, has been found “Criminally responsible” and guilty by International Court of Justice and sentenced to 40 years jail.

BBC.com story:

Radovan Karadzic jailed for Bosnia war Srebrenica genocide

11 minutes ago

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic has been convicted of genocide and war crimes in the 1992-95 Bosnian war, and sentenced to 40 years in jail.
UN judges in The Hague found him guilty of 10 of 11 charges, including genocide over the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.
Karadzic, 70, is the most senior political figure to face judgement over the violent collapse of Yugoslavia.
His case is being seen as one of the most important war crimes trials since World War Two.
He had denied the charges, saying that any atrocities committed were the actions of rogue individuals, not the forces under his command.
The trial, in which he represented himself, lasted eight years.
The current president of the Bosnian Serb Republic, Milorad Dodik, condemned the verdict.
“The West has apportioned blame to the Serbian people and that guilty cliche was imposed on all the decision-makers, including in this case today… Karadzic,” he said at a ceremony to commemorate the anniversary of the start of Nato air strikes against Yugoslavia in 1999.
“It really hurts that somebody has decided to deliver this verdict in The Hague exactly today, on the day when Nato decided to bomb Serbia… to cause so much catastrophic damage and so many casualties,” Mr Dodik added.
Karadzic verdict vital to Bosnia’s future
Balkans war: a brief guide
Profile: Radovan Karadzic
Exploring the corridors of the Hague tribunal

Many Bosnians have been following the trial closely
Meanwhile, some relatives of victims expressed disappointment at the outcome.
“This came too late,” said Bida Smajlovic, whose husband was killed at Srebrenica.
“We were handed down a verdict in 1995. There is no sentence that could compensate for the horrors we went through or for the tears of only one mother, let alone thousands,” she was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.
Karadzic’s lawyer said he would appeal, a process that could take several more years.
“Dr Karadzic is disappointed and astonished. He feels that he was convicted on inference instead of evidence and will appeal [against] the judgement,” Peter Robinson told journalists.
Karadzic faced two counts of genocide.
He was found not guilty of the first, relating to killing in several Bosnian municipalities.
But he was found guilty of the second count relating to Srebrenica, where Bosnian Serb forces massacred more than 7,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys.
“Karadzic was in agreement with the plan of the killings,” Judge O-Gon Kwon said.
Jump media playerMedia player helpOut of media player. Press enter to return or tab to continue.
Media captionWhat happened at Srebrenica? Explained in under two minutes
The massacre happened in July 1995 when Srebrenica, an enclave besieged by Bosnian Serb forces for three years, was overrun. The bodies of the victims were dumped in mass graves.
Karadzic was also found guilty of crimes against humanity relating to the siege and shelling of the city of Sarajevo over several years which left nearly 12,000 people dead.
The judge said he had significantly contributed to a plan which emanated from the leadership and whose primary purpose was to spread terror in the city.
Charges
Genocide
Count 1 – genocide (in municipalities of Bratunac, Foca, Klyuc, Prijedor, Sanski Most, Vlasenica and Zvornik) – not guilty
Count 2 – genocide (in Srebrenica) – guilty
Crimes against humanity
Count 3 – persecutions – guilty
Count 4 – extermination – guilty
Count 5 – murder – guilty
Count 7 – deportation – guilty
Count 8 – inhumane acts (forcible transfer) – guilty
Violations of the laws or customs of war
Count 6 – murder – guilty
Count 9 – terror (in Sarajevo) – guilty
Count 10 – unlawful attacks on civilians (in Sarajevo) – guilty
Count 11 – taking hostage of UN observers and peacekeepers – guilty
The full indictment
Mr Karadzic was also found guilty of orchestrating a campaign known as “ethnic cleansing” of non-Serbs from the territory of the breakaway Bosnian Serb republic, in which hundreds and thousands were driven from their homes.
He would only be expected to serve two-thirds of his sentence. His time spent in detention – slightly more than seven years – will count towards the total.
Top UN human rights official Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein welcomed the verdict as “hugely significant”.
He said the trial “should give pause to leaders across Europe and elsewhere who seek to exploit nationalist sentiments and scapegoat minorities for broader social ills”.
At least 100,000 people in total died during fighting in the the Bosnian war. The conflict lasted nearly four years before a US-brokered peace deal brought it to an end in 1995.
Gen Ratko Mladic, who commanded Bosnian Serb forces, is also awaiting his verdict at The Hague.
Karadzic Timeline
1945: Born in Montenegro
1960: Moves to Sarajevo
1968: Publishes collection of poetry
1971: Graduates in medicine
1983: Becomes team psychologist for Red Star Belgrade football club
1990: Becomes president of Serbian Democratic Party
1990s Political leader of Bosnian Serbs
2008: Arrested in Serbia
2009: Trial begins at The Hague
2016: Guilty verdict, sentenced to 40 years

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Profile of Karadzic:

Radovan Karadzic: Former Bosnian Serb leader

3 hours ago

Radovan Karadzic was handed over to the UN tribunal after 13 years on the run.

Radovan Karadzic, the former Bosnian Serb leader, was found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity during the 1992-95 Bosnian war.

The atrocities during the war have been described as the worst crimes committed in Europe since World War Two.

At a UN tribunal in The Hague, judges found him guilty of 10 out of 11 counts of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity and other atrocities in the Bosnian war of the 1990s, including leading the slaughter of thousands of Bosnian Muslims (Bosniaks) and Croats.

One count of genocide related to the massacre of more than 7,500 Muslim men and boys in the Srebrenica enclave in July 1995, which the UN said was part of a campaign to “terrorise and demoralise the Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat population”.

He was found not guilty in one count of genocide, relating to the forcible expulsion of hundreds of thousands of non-Serbs from seven towns and villages in Bosnia.

The trial was a weighty affair – lasting five years, followed by an additional 18-month deliberation by the bench. Over 497 days, Mr Karadzic conducted his own defence, referring to some three million pages of evidence against him.

He was sentenced to 40 years in prison – though his lawyer has indicated he will appeal.
Balkans war: a brief guide
Serbia timeline
How do you define genocide?

Radovan Karadzic (L) reviews the Serbian Volunteers Guard in Bijeljina (Oct. 23, 1995)

Mr Karadzic’s political party organised Serbs to fight against Bosniaks and Croats in Bosnia
The former Bosnian Serb leader was also found guilty of orchestrating the shelling of Sarajevo, and the use of 284 UN peacekeepers as human shields in May and June 1995.

As he closed his case, he told the tribunal there was not a shred of evidence against him, although in a written statement he accepted that in his role as political leader of the Bosnian Serbs he bore “moral responsibility” for crimes they had carried out.

Radovan Karadzic spent 13 years on the run before being handed over to the tribunal.

He had been found living in disguise in Belgrade, under a false name and working as a New Age healer. He had even become well-known on the alternative health circuit, reportedly publishing a column in Healthy Living magazine.

A bushy grey beard and thick glasses had transformed his appearance.

Since the court adjourned to deliberate, Serbian prosecutors have arrested and charged eight people with playing direct roles in the Srebrenica massacre.

Poet and psychiatrist

Mr Karadzic was born in 1945 in a stable in Savnik, Montenegro.
His father, Vuk, had been a member of the Chetniks – Serb nationalist guerrillas who fought against both Nazi occupiers and Tito’s communist partisans in World War II – and was in jail for much of his son’s childhood.

Karadzic Timeline
1945: Born in Montenegro
1960: Moves to Sarajevo
1968: Publishes collection of poetry
1971: Graduates in medicine
1983: Becomes team psychologist for Red Star Belgrade football club
1990: Becomes president of Serbian Democratic Party
1990s Political leader of Bosnian Serbs
2008: Arrested in Serbia
2009: Trial begins at The Hague
2014: Judges begin 18-month deliberation
March 2016: Found guilty of 10 out of 11 counts

His mother, Jovanka Karadzic, described her son as loyal, and a hard worker who used to help her in the home and in the fields. She said he was a serious boy who was respectful towards the elderly and helped his school friends with their homework.

In 1960 Mr Karadzic moved to Sarajevo, where he later met his wife, Ljiljana, graduated as a doctor, and became a psychiatrist in a city hospital.

He also became a poet and fell under the influence of Serb nationalist writer Dobrica Cosic, who encouraged him to go into politics.

After working briefly for the Green Party, he helped set up the Serbian Democratic Party (SDS) – formed in 1990 in response to the rise of nationalist and Croat parties in Bosnia, and dedicated to the goal of a Greater Serbia.

Less than two years later, as Bosnia-Hercegovina gained recognition as an independent state, he declared the creation of the independent Serbian Republic of Bosnia and Hercegovina (renamed Republika Srpska) with its capital in Pale, a suburb of Sarajevo, and himself as head of state.

Mr Karadzic’s party, supported by Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic, organised Serbs to fight against the Bosniaks and Croats in Bosnia.

‘Ethnic cleansing’

A vicious war ensued, in which Serbs besieged Sarajevo for 44 months, shelling Bosniak forces but also terrorising the civilian population with a relentless bombardment and sniper fire. Thousands of civilians died, many of them deliberately targeted.

Mladic and Karadzic 5 August 1993,AFPImage copyrightAFP

Ratko Mladic was Radovan Karadzic’s military chief during the war

Bosnian Serb forces – assisted by paramilitaries from Serbia proper – also expelled hundreds of thousands of Bosniaks and Croats from their homes in a brutal campaign of “ethnic cleansing”. Numerous atrocities were documented, including the widespread rape of Bosniak women and girls.

Reporters also discovered Bosnian Serb punishment camps, where prisoners-of-war were starved and tortured.
War crimes were also committed against Serb civilians by the Bosnian Serbs’ foes in the bitter inter-ethnic war.
Mr Karadzic was jointly indicted in 1995 along with the Bosnian Serb military leader, Ratko Mladic, for war crimes they had allegedly committed during the 1992-95 war.

He was obliged to step down as president of the SDS in 1996 as the West threatened sanctions against Republika Srpska.

‘Immunity promise’

After the Dayton accord that ended the Bosnian war, he eventually went into hiding – possibly in the mountainous south-eastern area of the Serb-controlled part of Bosnia, protected by paramilitaries.

Mr Karadzic says Dayton’s chief architect, US diplomat Richard Holbrooke, promised him immunity from prosecution in exchange for quitting the political scene. Mr Holbrooke denies any such deal was struck.

Radovan Karadzic was working as a New Age healer when he was arrested in Belgrade

When he finally appeared before the UN’s International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in August 2008, he failed to respond to the charges against him and the court entered pleas of “not guilty” on his behalf.

Prosecutors accused him of using delaying tactics as he boycotted the initial hearings and insisted on representing himself.

Launching his own defence in 2012, he sought to cast himself as a “mild man” who should be “rewarded” for having tried to avoid war.

His performance was described by one publication as “by turns eloquent, historically provocative, and self-aggrandising”.

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The “Ethnic cleansing” tragedy of fellow Yugoslavian against Muslim men, women and children amongst their own community when the former red Republic of Yugoslavia collapse after the fall of Soviet Union, is the worst genocide and crimes against in Europe since World War II.

Balkans war: a brief guide

18 March 2016
From the section Europe
War in Yugoslavia

The former Yugoslavia was a Socialist state created after German occupation in World War II and a bitter civil war. A federation of six republics, it brought together Serbs, Croats, Bosnian Muslims, Albanians, Slovenes and others under a comparatively relaxed communist regime. Tensions between these groups were successfully suppressed under the leadership of President Tito.
War breaks out
After Tito’s death in 1980, tensions re-emerged. Calls for more autonomy within Yugoslavia by nationalist groups led in 1991 to declarations of independence in Croatia and Slovenia. The Serb-dominated Yugoslav army lashed out, first in Slovenia and then in Croatia. Thousands were killed in the latter conflict which was paused in 1992 under a UN-monitored ceasefire.
The conflict spreads
Bosnia, with a complex mix of Serbs, Muslims and Croats, was next to try for independence. Bosnia’s Serbs, backed by Serbs elsewhere in Yugoslavia, resisted. Under leader Radovan Karadzic, they threatened bloodshed if Bosnia’s Muslims and Croats – who outnumbered Serbs – broke away. Despite European blessing for the move in a 1992 referendum, war came fast.
Ethnic cleansing
Yugoslav army units, withdrawn from Croatia and renamed the Bosnian Serb Army, carved out a huge swathe of Serb-dominated territory. Over a million Bosnian Muslims and Croats were driven from their homes in ethnic cleansing. Serbs suffered too. The capital Sarajevo was besieged and shelled. UN peacekeepers, brought in to quell the fighting, were seen as ineffective.
An imperfect peace
International peace efforts to stop the war failed, the UN was humiliated and over 100,000 died. The war ended in 1995 after Nato bombed the Bosnian Serbs and Muslim and Croat armies made gains on the ground. A US-brokered peace divided Bosnia into two self-governing entities, a Bosnian Serb republic and a Muslim-Croat federation lightly bound by a central government.
The cost of war
In August 1995, the Croatian army stormed areas in Croatia under Serb control prompting thousands to flee. Soon Croatia and Bosnia were fully independent. Slovenia and Macedonia had already gone. Montenegro left later. In 1999, Kosovo’s ethnic Albanians fought Serbs in another brutal war to gain independence. Serbia ended the conflict beaten, battered and alone.

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Karadzic’s general, Gen .Ratko “Butcher of Bosnia” Mladic who commanded Bosnian Serb Forces, is also awaiting his verdict at The Hague. It is expected that he would face his fate next year.

Published in: on March 25, 2016 at 03:10  Comments (1)