Monday, July 30, 2018

Misreporting and misreprenting the Council of Eminent Persons

A Kadir Jasin

PREAMBLE: Views expressed herein are entirely mine. I am writing in my personal capacity as a blogger. It has nothing to do with whatever position I may hold.

The sitting of  the Council of Eminent Persons at Menara Ilham
THERE have been many articles and comments made on the role of the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP). Some are thoughtful and largely accurate but most are akin to fictions.

I would not blame the writers and commentators because the council has not been generous with information. Understandably so because it is still work-in-progress and its chairman, Tun Daim Zainuddin, isn’t a chatty kind of person.

[Anonymous comments will not be published. Please use real or pseudonym. Thank you.]

While the Pakatan Harapan government encourages freedom of expression, still it is unprofessional and unethical for the journalists, writers and members of parliament to make comments based on untruth and hearsay.

The Rembau Barisan Nasional Member of Parliament, Khairy Jamaluddin aka KJ is one of them. He was reported saying in the Dewan Rakyat that members of the CEP are unelected.

Everybody knows that. If they are elected, they would be in the Parliament answering KJ. He then went on to accuse Daim of exceeding his authority by purportedly asking Chief Justice, Tun Md Raus Shariff, to resign.

As a parliamentarian and a former minister, people expect him to check his facts. Did he ask Raus if this is true? If he did not, it shows that he is being irresponsible and should apologise.

The same goes for those who wrote in or told the media about the CEP. Clearly some of them love publicity and think highly of themselves. They thrive on wild imaginations and can’t suppress their bloated ego. They crave the limelight.

This government promises freedom of expressions. But free expression must be based on facts and truths or, at the very least, on thoughtful analyses and fair comments.

KJ and his nemesis - Umno President and Bagan Datuk MP, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi - also issued statements on the en-bloc resignation of the Khazanah Nasional Berhad board.

KJ had said that company must not revert to old ways of doing business. Was he then agreeing with the PH government?

That’s exactly what the new government is asking government-linked companies (GLCs) and government-linked investment companies (GLICs) not to do i.e going back to the bad old ways.

The government and the CEP have discovered enough evident to conclude that their old ways of doing business were bad and had led to billions of ringgit of losses and missing funds.

I think KJ is too young to suffer from dementia. So he must have still remember that the bad old ways started in or around 2004 when he ruled supreme at the 4th floor of the Prime Minister’s Department and Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop was elevated to the post of Finance Minster II by the then Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Nor Mohamed is a survivor extraordinaire. Despite losing billions in botched foreign currency trading at Bank Negara in the 1990s, he was rehabilitated by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad during the 1997/98 Asian Financial Crisis, made minister by Abdullah and Deputy Chairman of Khazanah by Mohd Najib Abdul Razak.

Zahid, on the other hand, hopes that there will be no political appointees in the board of GLCs and GLICs. He must be sleep walking or high on ketum, figuratively speaking I hope. Or he is perpetuating lies in order to continue to fool his uninformed Umno constituents.

The PH government has made it very clear about this. It would not flood the GLCs and GLICs with political appointees at the board and management levels like the Umno-led Barisan Nasional government did.

It was these political appointees who ran such iconic agencies like Mara, Felda, Tabung Haji and Felcra to the ground.

KJ is so confident of Khazanah’s performance that he fully supports the outgoing Board. Has he checked the accounts of the Company beyond what was reported in the annual reports and press statements?

Yes Khazanah did make tens of billions of ringgit in profits since its inception in 1993. Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar was its Chief Operating Officer since 2004. 

Making profits is the objective of Khazanah. Its executives are paid well to make profits. But what about those billions of ringgit of losses they incurred?

Many writers, bloggers and social media activists sang praises for Khazanah and Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) directors, saying they were professional and apolitical. Ex-ministers are apolitical?

Then there was the suggestion that Putrajaya was stunned by the Khazanah board en-bloc resignation. How could Putrajaya be stunned when it was reported that it declined to meet the Khazanah Managing Director?

But a representative of the departing board told me that they finally succeeded in making contact with the government following which the en-bloc resignation offer was made.

The government and the CEP have to dwell deeper into Khazanah and other GLICs that built their businesses around legacy assets.

We need to know how much of their turnovers and profits are generated by assets transferred to them by the government – the legacy assets – and by the new businesses they create on their own.

This could be the reason that prompted the Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahatrhir Mohamad, to say that Khazanah had deviated from the objective of assisting the Bumiputera.

Like the PNB, much of Khazanah’s early assets were shares of blue chip companies held in trust for the Bumiputera by the government. They were transferred - mostly at cost - to PNB in the early 1980s and Khazanah a decade later.

While PNB remains largely Bumiputera although some of its unit trust funds are now open to all Malaysians, other Bumiputera trust agencies, including Khazanah, have lost their original character.

Let’s face it. Not all departing GLC managers are playing fair or are gentlemen. There are those who submitted resignation letters without stating the effective dates. There are those who said they would leave when their contracts expire.

The timing of resignation offer by the Khazanah board is also ominous. It coincides with the time when rating agencies are in town to interview their resource persons. Before this, Khazanah is known to be in their good books.

If the board’s claim that its role is supervisory and investment decisions are made by the management is true, then their en-bloc resignation shouldn’t leave a major impact on Khazanah’s operation.

I am told that Azman would stay on for a while and that his replacement has been identified.

As for Daim's recent trip to China, the Foreign Minister had clarified and one former ambassador wrote saying it didn’t matter if the cat was black or white as long it caught the mouse.

Dr Mahathir had been sending Daim as his special envoy all over the world since 1981. If we read Dr Mahathir autobiography “Doctor in the House” we would have known that he had sent Daim as his negotiator as early as 1981 to USA to negotiate on tin and to UK to end the “buy British last” campaign.

He had also sent the former Finance Minister to Singapore, Philippines and Australia.

Who was with Dr Mahathir in the White House when he was invited by President Bill Clinton? Did any minister accompany Dr Mahathir then?

Only those who are new in politics and the media or don’t read will question why the PM sent Daim to China. Daim himself is a familiar face in Beijing.

This coming week Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, will come to Malaysia to meet Dr Mahathir and arrange the Prime Minister’s visit to China next month. According to the programme, Daim will host a dinner for the Chinese dignitary.

The CEP’s main task is to collect information on the activities of GLCs and other government agencies during the kleptocratic reign of Mohd Najib, analyze them and present their findings to the Prime Minister. It is up to the Prime Minister and his cabinet to decide what to do with the findings.

The strong message here is this: The costly mistakes and conspiracies of the past should not and would not be repeated.

The cabinet runs the country. The suggestion that there is a contest for power and differences of opinions between the government and the CEP is the work of the ignorant and the foul-minded.

Personally I think the glory stories of outright cheating, corruption, breach of trust, abuse of power and the neglect of fiduciary duty should all be investigated by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency, the police, the Parliamentary Account Committee and the Auditor General.

The people have the right to know and receive restitution in the form of a better government, sustainable economy and fair wealth distribution.

This is what we want for Malaysia Baru - the New Malaysia.



Right on the dot, Datuk said...

Thank you Datuk,
you put the words which are in my thoughts in writing. The CEP board is doing national service, not a task for the faint hearted. And the ones who are carping and finger pointing, including the "traitors" within their own GLC organisations are running scared because they know the New Malaysia headed by Tun Dr M and his cabinet, ministers, deputy ministers and MPs are winning out. We need the CEP to be around still, performing the advisory roles which are needed beyond the 100 days. Some of Tun's ministers have to learn the high art of statesmenship and they will quickly learn. Meantime, CEP is there to be leaned on and we must use their talent and skills and they will be generous to us.

Contrast that to the dunggus like Najib, Zahid, Khairy, Annuar who are running around like desperadoes, headless, eyeless and mindless. Simply because the clothes have been stripped from them. Imagine what they now look like = naked.

DollahJunior said...

Is it possible for CEP to provide avenue for those who work in GLIC & GLC to provide insider info or to provide suggestions while protecting their identities?

Unknown said...

I agree with your comments. Pertinent and clear.

kusufian write said...

CEP should also suggest the new economic n financial directions, the blueprints. Not merely a recommendation but how to sustain future growth. HKMA is targeted destruction by Christmas. USD to double up is possible. Whats are we as a nation to thrive through. A cluster economy is PM visions, in two years ..

Sincerely Yours said...

In one interview published by The Star, Daim said the CEP will come up with a report after their 100 day term completed. I’m looking forward to it. Daim said the report will be submitted to cabinet and it is up to the cabinet whether to implement the recomendations as stated in the report.

Nevertheless, I’m looking forward to read the report. I hope the gomen won’t classified it. If it is priced even at RM1,000 I’m willing broke the bank to buy it!..

Jalak Lenteng said...

Less we forget that Tun formed the CEP even before he formed the cabinet. It showed the level of trust, confident, and faith Mahathir has in Daim. In implementing his ideas, vision and plan.

Daim’s quiet and low key trip to China representing Malaysian government without the presence of gomen officials is somewhat bizzare in diplomatic term. It just showed the true nature of the relationship between the two. A bond which has been forged over half a century. It’s still strong and doesn’t wane a bit.

Compare to other trusted lieutanants of old days such as Rafidah and Anwar, Daim always has Mahathir’s ears. Every time Daim whispers, Mahathir will always listen; regardless of the outcome of those whispers. Mahathir still listen to him nevertheless. Now they are at it again, like good old days. Nothing change.

And at the same time, there’s Anwar returning to the mainstream politics after getting full pardon. People now wonder how he gonna fit in this equation. We all know Daim and Anwar dislike each other. Till now, after Anwar was pardoned and released from prison, both of them haven’t met each other though they now in the same camp.

As head of CEP, Daim could always invite him over at Menara Ilham, having a chit chat and listening to Anwar’s views for new Malaysia but that unforthcoming. The bad blood is still there though not that prominent.

Nevertheless, Anwar is going to play an extremely important role in years to come. Mahathir is not going to live forever. Both of them should better start talking. The sooner they start, the better. It’s going to be an akward encounter but a highly appreciated and regarded one.

Great pretender said...

the CEP is doing a great job for the rakyat and country and all should desist from further comments. They have not put a step wrong since day one, individually or as a group. Of course there's always sour grapes from people who are jealous, so just ignore these detractors, their jibes will die a natural death.

What is bothersome is some hypocrites who perhaps fear the axe or MACC or IRB will go after them, they withdraw from serving the nation.
The Star reports that Lee Chong Wei looked very well and in good health in his latest press conference. Wasn't he supposed to be suffering from a life threatening respiratory illness that BAM announced that he had to withdraw from two major world events? Who raised him from near death? Or as The STar wants us to think, there was nothing really wrong with that fella.
Maybe just cold feet, cold hands and no brains up there. What a great shame to have fallen so low if the report is proven true.

jumbeaux said...

Salam Datuk

The negative stories about Daim could come from the,now, "holier-than-thou" UMNO leaders or people inside the government who are unhappy with Mahathir's decision to create the CEP. To me, Mahathir should be given the freedom to choose what he wants to do in order to fix the huge damage that Najib created.

There are also "holier-than-thou" types in Pakatan Harapan who likes to talk about principles and rights etc. but declined to be part of the government when given the chance.

Honestly, the rakyat don't care too much about principles or democratic reforms as long as the economic problems are fixed and they and their children have job/ business opportunities to earn a living. The Pakatan Harapan should stop being so giddy in power and try to change everything at the same time. They should focus first on fixing the economy.

p/s - I have not been impressed with the new Education Minister, Dr.Maszlee. He should be advised not to talk in public on his Ministry's strategies when they were obviously undercooked.

On the other hand, I am getting worried because I am not hearing any strategies from Mukhriz in Kedah. Nothing at all.

People know that they elected an inexperienced but a well-intentioned government. However, their goodwill may run out sooner than we think.

Unknown said...

Why do you feel the need to say "in the name of God etc" in your preamble? What is it that you want your readers to believe of you? That you are an honest godfearing person? Why do you need to tell us that? I smell a rat.

Unknown said...

Salam bahagia Yg Bbgia DAKJ,
I am so impressed, with your posting today,Dato'.

Indeed,you are none other, but a precious 1!

Terima kSih , Dato'

Targaryen Singh said...

Unprofessional, hearsay and lying - that was what the media had been in their attacks against Najib and the previous government. To the extent many people believed a lot of lies and they voted for PH.

Now PH, especially the Bersatu cronies, are having a taste of their own medicine. So stop whining!

Budak jawa said...

Aslm dakj,

I heard lge found a lot of mess in mof. He better be careful in listening to advise from mof officer especially on covering up the problem. He must be fully aware that in finance, accuracy, completeness and transparency will build up credibility ids the utmost important thing.

Education minister statement pointing at mof and epu on mybrain allocation is very amateur.

Then cep.

Everybody must work more and talk less. But result must be seen as quick as possible rather than finding excuse not to implement things promised or scrapped good program.

All the best

Treason is treason said...

have not heard anything so preposterous as the bare-faced lies by the ex DG Intelligence head
She said, CIA letter nothing to do with Najib, and yet it had everything to do with Najib.
If intelligence officers are alledgedly shaken, the whole rakyat (including the rest of the intelligence officers who are not involved in the letter) is shocked and shaken when treason and treachery are the order of the day, when she and the allegedly 10 intelligence officers who vetted the letter she sent out to CIA called a foreign govt to interfere with our country and govt.
She and the 10 officers must be put on trial for treason, and if Najib is found conspiring with her, he too must face the law.

Syabas Mat Sabu !! said...

Misreporting and misreprenting the Council of Eminent Persons is excellently written.

Then again what do you expect from people who like to ridicule, yet is so ultra sensitive to take cartoonists like Zunar to court, to take a young girl who floated yellow ballons to court.
Sad to say, Najib became the butt of all jokes, if only he had taken the jokes as jokes he would have earned some respect.
Mat Sabu is a great gentleman, well deserving of his post as Minister of Defence, so don't understand why Najib wants to poke fun at him. Maybe he thinks Mat Sabu is the most vulnerable of the ministers, but I take my hat off to Mat Sabu who refused to be drawn down to the level of Najib. Syabas Mat Sabu !!

There's another name for treason now said...

clear as day,
Former Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation (MEIO) director-general Hasanah Abdul Hamid may have committed treason in admitting that the leaked letter to the US Central Intelligence Agency is genuine, says a lawyer.

Mohd Haniff Khatri Abdulla believes that Hasanah can be investigated under Section 124C of the Penal Code for attempting to disrupt parliamentary democracy or Section 121 for treason with her admission.

Hasanah should not have revealed that the letter has nothing to do with former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak as the matter is still subject to investigation, the lawyer told Malaysiakini...

Wow, her lawyer should be sacked !

Songlapper said...

In 2006 during the Pantai and Singapore Parkway deal, rumour was KJ was the warlord that inflated Khazanah purchase price on the assumption the concession company Fomema and Pantai Medivest are given extension. MACC should investigate these songlapping in Khazanah. Parkway was assisted to escape to do a GO .That time Tingkat 4 boys rule and rob the country. Unfortunately Melayu Judah like.

Aku said...

Kadiag, السلام عليكم ( Assalaa / mu / 'alai / kum.),
Aku mintak izin nak singgong kejadian MOI cuba pelekeh Hj Mohammad bin Sabu masa kempen PRK Sg Kandis baru2 ni,
bawa aku teringat pada kalimah2 “ hamiyatal jahiliyah “ dlm ayat 26, suroh al fath :

إِذْ جَعَلَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا فِي قُلُوبِهِمُ الْحَمِيَّةَ حَمِيَّةَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ فَأَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ سَكِينَتَهُ عَلَىٰ رَسُولِهِ وَعَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَأَلْزَمَهُمْ كَلِمَةَ التَّقْوَىٰ وَكَانُوا أَحَقَّ بِهَا وَأَهْلَهَا ۚ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمًا

Yg maksodnya lebih korang :
Ketika orang-orang kafir menanamkan dalam hati mereka kesombongan (yaitu) kesombongan jahiliyah lalu Allah menurunkan ketenangan kepada Rasul-Nya, dan kepada orang-orang mukmin dan Allah mewajibkan kepada mereka kalimat-takwa dan adalah mereka berhak dengan kalimat takwa itu dan patut memilikinya. Dan adalah Allah Maha Mengetahui segala sesuatu.(dari

(Ingatlah dan kenangkanlah ihsan Tuhan kepada kamu) ketika orang-orang yang kafir itu menimbulkan perasaan sombong angkuh yang ada dalam hati mereka (terhadap kebenaran Islam) - perasaan sombong angkuh secara Jahiliyah (yang menyebabkan kamu panas hati dan terharu), lalu Allah menurunkan semangat tenang tenteram kepada RasulNya dan kepada orang-orang yang beriman (sehingga tercapailah perdamaian), serta meminta mereka tetap berpegang kepada "Kalimah Taqwa", sedang mereka (di sisi Allah) adalah orang-orang yang sangat berhak dengan "kalimah Taqwa" itu serta menjadi ahlinya. Dan (ingatlah), Allah adalah Maha Mengetahui akan tiap-tiap sesuatu. (dari

Bukan tujuan aku nak kata MOI ni kapiag atau samakan dia dgn musyrik quraish, tapi nampak sosok macam perangai orang yg dikuasai sombong angkuh (tahap fanatik), munkin sekali buat2 lupa kebobrokkan perangai dia semasa jadi menteri (sebelom disambong oleh sepupu dia) antaranya bila mana 4 saja dari 18 kapai terbang perang Sukhoi Russia yg di beli bulih terbang dgn baik.
Dari ‘the Star, 31 Julai 2018’
“The Defence Minister said that the RMAF had 18 Russian-made Sukhoi Su-30MKM and ten MiG-29 jetfighters.
"Only four of the Sukhois are able to fly well," he said, adding that the remaining 14 are under repair. “

Hanyasanya aku du’a kita apa (temasuk Hj Mad) di curahkan Allah ta’ala ketenangan ketenteraman serta tetap bepegang pada kalimah taqwa yg antaranya ialah tiada tuhan yg disembah selain Allah dan Muhammad adalah utusanNya.

Terima kasih dan maghap no.

Unknown said...

CEP is doing a fine job.2 weeks back a friend of mine a successfull remisier was called up by find out what nonsense goes on at ground level.what measures to be taken and how to improve the economy. fantastic they are listening to the people and not some highly paid CON-sultan ..Well Done..

doncin cai said...

après plus de cinq ans

msh said...

Yes bro.

The phrase is actually always said/uttered by muslims thru out the world...since day one of Islam.
Its the english interpretation of 'Bismillah...' my brother.
Nothing rat....or smell rat abt

This is taken from a dictionary.....

"Muslims often say this phrase when embarking on any significant endeavor, and the phrase is considered by some to be a major pillar of Islam."

Hope this cld enlighten you...


Unknown said...

No political appointees? Better shut ur mouth because u never know what's next.mahathir is unexpected.he has lost control over his cabinet minister.he is not the one whom i knew before.

About Me

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I was born in 1947 in Kedah. I came from a rice farming family. I have been a journalist since 1969. I am the Editor-in-Chief of magazine publishing company, Berita Publishing Sdn Bhd. I was Group Editor NST Sdn Bhd and Group Editor-in-Chief of NSTP Bhd between 1988 and 2000. I write fortnightly column “Other Thots” in the Malaysian Business magazine, Kunta Kinte Original in Berita Harian and A Kadir Jasin Bercerita in Dewan Masyarakat. Books: Biar Putih Tulang (1998), Other Thots – Opinions & Observations 1992-2001 (2001), The Wings of an Eagle (2003), Mencari Dugalia Huso (2006), Damned That Thots (2006), Blogger (2006), PRU 2008-Rakyat Sahut Cabaran (2008), Komedi & Tragedi-Latest in Contemporary Malaysian Politics (2009) and Membangun Bangsa dengan Pena (2009).