Friday, March 29, 2019

Old Dogs and Fat Cats Corporate Shenanigans

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.

PM asked profitable companies to pay their employees better
OLD habits die hard and old dogs are said to be unable to learn new tricks.

Some dog owners are themselves unwilling or unable to learn new tricks that can be taught to their younger dogs and puppies.

So even thought the Barisan Nasional (BN) government had been ousted and replaced by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) more than 10 months ago, old bad habits are still very much alive.

Reforms and new ways of doing things seem not to have the desired effects on everybody.
[Anonymous comments will not be published. Please use real or pseudonym. Thank you.]

So we still hear stories of chief executive officer of a government linked company (GLC) nonchalantly said he could not remember his remuneration package when asked by the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP).

It turns out that he was paid something like quarter a million ringgit a month and his annual package was in excess RM7 million.

He had since left the company and a new man was appointed to the post apparently with a more modest remuneration package but still unimaginably generous.

More recently the chairman of another GLC has had his contract cut short and his peers on the board recommended that he be paid compensation in excess of RM4 million.

This is in spite of him having amassed shares worth nearly RM140 million in companies belonging to the group he chaired, presumably through share option and other reward schemes.

His remuneration last year was in excess of RM5 million.

It is not at all surprising because almost all the board members are his peers. They have been on the board together like forever. One of them had been a board member for nearly 30 years.

So I don’t know if the government should or would agree with the board’s proposal to offer this person such a generous compensation.

Corporate Incest

Sometime before the fall of the kleptocratic government of Datuk Seri I Mappadulung Daeng Mattimung Karaeng Sandrobone Sultan Abdul Jalil Mohd Najib Abdul Razak, I wrote about the incestuous relationship involving several GLCs implicated in the 1MDB, FGV and Tabung Haji scandals.

That was during the Tabung Haji-TRX land deals controversy.

I noticed that these companies shared board members and were seen to be doing Najib’s bidding in concert.

Many of them had since been removed and some are even facing criminal and civil actions. Those who remain should also be terminated in due course.

It would appear that during the kleptocratic “Cash is King” days, many GLC heads and board members joined their political masters in a get-rich-quick scheme of sorts.

They happily rewarded themselves with huge salaries and fat performance bonuses when their companies are actually monopolies and oligopolies, and are not actually doing that well.

Recently, a middle-ranking officer of a large GLC bank complained to me that while the big bosses rewarded themselves with fat bonuses, the middle and lower management and ordinary staff were given pittance.

At the Invest Malaysia Capital Market Forum in Kuala Lumpur on March 19 last, the Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, urged profitable companies to pay their workers better.

The government has no direct control on private sector companies but it has a wide say in the GLCs. As such the proposal for a better and more equitable remuneration package should start with the GLCs.

Additionally, in line with government’s commitment to raise governance, integrity and anti-corruption bar, action must be taken against GLC executives and board members – past and present - who are involved in corporate legal breaches like money laundering, insider trading, non-disclosure of mandated information and failure to perform fiduciary duties.

Generous rewards must be accompanied by harsh punishments for wrongdoing.



Da machai said...

Capitalist ideology of manpower supply and demand.

They just dont give a damn about others except themselves and their family.

jumbeaux said...

Salam Datuk

I know what Tun is doing in trying to fix a damaged system and in fact he is the one true reformist in the government right now. But I pity him and his close advisors because they cannot move fast enough to what borrowed time Tun still has as PM.
Their work has been hindered by people who does not want the system to change. People who have made "successful" living out of the system.

On the other side, they are also not helped by people who are putting idealism over pragmatism. (For example, of all his priorities at the moment, Tun could do without having to manage cry babies in PAC).

Looking from outside, I sense that the two forces are pulling in the opposite directions. Hence why the rakyat felt like the country is not moving at all. I worry what will happen once these people really take power.

Mahathir for PM now and always said...

first of all we pray every day to God to let us have PM Tun Dr Mahathir to run Malaysia for as long as possible. This is being selfish, however there is no other alternative to him.
Let all the naysayers yap and shrill how they like, but the reality is that we must support Tun all the way.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is in a hurry to get things done as fast as possible as he realises that he does not have much more time to live.

"I am lucky I survived this long. Actually, I should not be around to watch what happened with my predecessors (former prime ministers Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) but I am lucky in the sense that I am not only older, but still able to function.

Imagine if Badawi or Najib is still PM !
If Anwar is the PM, what can he do?

So understand the consequences if Tun is not around. His stature has already started to make Malaysia shine again for ALL of us.
Now give him the space he needs and let him continue to do the work he started, and we also pray his Ministers will learn fast and demonstrate their ability and capability.
He has carried you on his shoulders for too long, so don't act rashly, don't speak unwisely, don't waste our time or Tun's time and get on with your work.
Time and tide waits for no man, it applies to all of us.

Unknown said...

prk rantau
pihak manakah yang akan
menggunakan slogan
dan dari perspective mana?


Abitpusher said...

Still playing the blaming game ke dato'. Silap2 akan jadi Kerajaan sepenggal ni. Huhu.

wansee c said...

In the wake of Plan A prematurely fell flat, hence, there comes the kick-off of Plan B. Cleverly appointing a proxy acting for somebody to carry out the behest of tit for tat payback. In fact, it is not worth to respond to an immature small bug's unfounded allegations against Tun with the intention to misguide others and sully Tun's honour in the eyes of public. That was exactly what the big-headed orator had done to Tun decades ago.It is just a repetition cycle, no surprise. However, the inkling of them, a bunch of crooks, clinking glasses to crow about their first move triumph amid laughing up their sleeve, compels me to say my piece. The crux of their strategy is nothing but to deliberately make Tun vain and redundant before usurping the number one seat to die for.

The threesome and the gang have indeed colluded well. The mouthpiece has certainly had a glib tongue to let things spiraling out of control to an unsavoury end and enough to produce some damages to Tun and PH altogether. This is something they are well-versed in. Before GE14, there were no worries, no pain, no grudges, no tinge, no whatsoever and even regarded Tun as indispensable to lead the way to emerge victorious in the election. And now, all of a sudden, the chronicle of their family hardships surfaces and the attack on Tun from all sides, trying to lay everything at his door. All in all, it is always someone's faults to blame but never once theirs. What a fart. The people quiver with indignation that they are just too good and quick to forget Tun's devotion. If it wasn't because of Tun, PH would never have made it otherwise on the 9th May.

Looking back on all the notorious scandals, I would describe the masterman as a real hypocrite, liar and indecisive who can't be trusted for anything or with anyone. He is simply a man with a poem on his lips and a dagger in his pocket, to be precise, getting up to his old tricks again to talk through the back of his head to dupe innocent people as if butter wouldn't melt in his mouth. It is self-depreciating for him to stick at nothing in order to get 'crowned' by squaring up to Tun via an imperious manner of a nuisance. Well, the time has arrived to finally allow him to show the cloven hoof and reveal his ulterior motives, masking by a deceptively unassuming facade that makes him stand out like a feigned innocence. Bear in mind, don't ever come the raw prawn with Tun as he knows all the lurks. The people are exhausted, disillusioned and fed up of all the disguise. One question still bugs me: Who was/is actually creating the turbulence, past and present?

It is indeed dim old dog cannot pick up new tricks nor nurture its puppies to master the essential survival skills to stoically weather the storm in the face of adversity. Truthfully, at the end of the the day, it all boils down to his sake and the 'throne'. As for now, just wait till Tun bites the bullet while the other so-called 'in-waiting' bites the dust to permit our beloved nation gets back to the normalcy. Let's pray and hope...

Zed-85 said...

Sallam Dato'

Kalau gaji Chairman, CEO mahu ikut paras antarabangsa. Kalau campur elaun sampai beratus ribu.

Kalau gaji graduan dua ribu lebih dah lebih 10 tahun, saya ingat mungkin 20 tahun tak gerak-gerak.

Jadi itu masalahnya adalah pendapatan tak naik, harga barang semakin semakin naik.

Saya baca suratkhabar, graduan ramai yang tak ada kerja.

Ini semua adalah masalah ekonomi.

Ini bukan masalah orang melayu hilang kuasa, atau masalah ugama.

Masalah yang sebenar adalah masalah ekonomi.

Masalah ekonomi bukan senang, kita perlu bersaing dengan negara lain, rasuah kena jaga dan undang-undang perlu jaga.

Kalau banyak rasuah, sampai kiamat, ekonomi tak akan baik.

Cuma ramai orang melayu dimainkan lagu perkauman dan ugama sehingga tak sedar masalah yang sebenarnya tak ada kena mengena dengan kaum dan agama.

Saya tengok TV, pekan Merawi di Filipina habis ranap jadi pandang jarak padang terkukur kerana pengaruh ajaran agama songsang.

dt rahman pekan said...

we are the government now!

'Action' is what we need now.

Those who were clearly pro Najib's govt n are indebted 2 him must b removed wthout delay.

Those suspected sympathizers shld b give clear KPI. If they fail 2 deliver,sack them.

Those known 2 b involved in white collar crimes shld b charged or detained in a 'common pool' (just like d civil servants).

Those being charged n awaiting trial shld b separated from society n put in a colony 4 restricted residents (just like lepers of old). PULAU PERHENTIAN?

We hv 2 b cruel 2 b kind 2 our soceity.

This NATO mentality has 2 change.

Many may think that i m cruel n heartless. So let it b.

Dah cemuih mendengar rintihan warga yg rindukan pembaharuan.

At least this actions suggested, can at least alleviate ( 2 a certain extent) their feelings of hopelessness.

Kalau d prk Rantau kena santau nanti (yg saya rasa kemungkinan besar PH akan kalah tipis), than real 'spring cleaning' has 2 b launched wthout delay.


Tun Daim's national service said...

I read the STAR's interview with Tun Daim, and in that 90 minutes there were lots of subjects covered and all given honest and sincere answers by Daim.

Daim said the Cabinet has equal representation of all component parties. Unlike Barisan, Pakatan does not practise proportional representation. All members are equal.

This is key to understanding the concept of PH govt. In the Barisan govt, MCA and MIC were treated as destitutes with begging bowls in hand every time a sensitive subject was touched upon and UMNO was called to rein in their people.

This does not happen in PH govt. The Chinese and Indian supporters of MCA and MIC were given lots of verbal assurances and promises by UMNO, and at the end were played out again and again by their UMNO masters. Is this what the rakyat wants?

Never again, and the rakyat must remain vigilant to prevent the previous regime from gaining even a foothold and giving voice to thugs and louts.

PH govt is not perfect, if any Ministers, civil servants and those in positions are seen to act inappropriately in the discharge of their duties, the respective parties must bring this up to Tun.
Tun hears, he listens and acts.
But don't act out in the public, washing dirty linen.

Daim said:
"..Pakatan essentially promised too much (election manifesto)in too short a time frame. They need to explain to the people that for some promises, they need more time... There needs to be more dialogue and communication by the government with the rakyat to address these grouses and give a reassurance that these grouses are being addressed and seen to.

I have real faith in people, they are smarter than you think. If you are honest with them, they will understand. Do not take the rakyat for granted. People don’t like it if you treat them like idiots... "

And on the ECRL, Daim said he "... read that out there, a price reduction of over RM10bil (ECRL project) is okay. It is definitely not okay with the government. "

Very true, a 10 billion ringgit is peanuts, a drop of water in the ocea.
So Tun Daim, pls continue to do your excellent work to represent Malaysia in negotiations with the Chinese govt. You have vast experience, knowledge, contacts and the right attitude in handling the complex issues sensitively, diplomatically out of the public eye, and other issues which need your attention too.
Your national service to the country and people, and so too the CEP and members.

Circus event said...

there's some talk that Najib Abdul Razak fully supports his upcoming money laundering trial being broadcast live.
This is going to be a circus event for him, like the malu bosku campaign.

Don't think he can pick and choose what he wants.
For sure, he should already be wearing the orange attire, why didn't he wear this?
Probably he wants the live proceedings to promote himself since he's been losing steam in popularity, and his hardcore supporters like Lokman going to jail.

Sunday lite said...

something lite for Sunday.
‘I know the Taliban and we won’t be like them,’ says KJ

well, well, KJ, your new look belies your assertion.

Taliban are all hairy on their faces I believe. Haha ha

Jojo said...


I pity Tun Mahathir that he has to come out of his retirement and fix all the damages done by the kleptocrats.

I pity the PM that he can't have his way in choosing his preferred cabinet ministers. If not it would have been smooth sailing for him.

On a different topic, there's always loud mouth ministers or deputy ministers from either DAP or PKR that will give contradicting statements. Latest is Teo Nie Ching and UEC. Why is must be everything about cina, cina, cina coming from Teo Nie Ching ?? Ini menteri khas untuk agenda cina ka ???

Harris Beh said...

Carry on Kadir, carry on.
You have made some very critical and relevant points. There are more for you to write about. There must be much more we need to know.

safiai saad said...

I was surprised at the following facts:

1. GLC are companies belong to the government,as such government has substantial ownership of the company.government might even own golden share, which mean it can overrule any decision made that is detrimental and oppressive to the companies.

2. The fiduciaries duty of the member of board of director sure could be invoke under the corporate governance principle.What are Khazanah and Finance ministry do about it.

3. Numeration committee must be answerable to the shareholder, which mean the ultimate owner is the government. Some one is sleeping here?

4. The minority shareholder watchdog should play active role to check the balance of how GLC is operating.

So much issue to be discussed,and thanks Sdr Kadir for sharing these information.

Cat just curious to know said...

Assalamualaikum Datuk,

Do we have any contingency plan in place if Tun is asked to meet up with his maker tomorrow?

Butt our Redzuan said...

this is what we mean :
Entrepreneur Development Minister Mohd Redzuan Yusof today waded further into his colleague Yeo Bee Yin's portfolio at the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry (Mestecc), claiming her position on Australian rare-earth mining company Lynas was not endorsed by the cabinet.

Butt out Redzuan. If you have anything to say, bring it up with Yeo directly, and do not go via the press.
Redzuan you have already made yourself a figure of ridicule with your flying cars.
Don't interfere in another minister's portfolio.
Stupid idiot.

Stop, look first said...

The Pakatan Harapan (PH) government will table a Bill to amend the Federal Constitution and lower the voting age from 21 to 18 years’ old at the next parliamentary meeting, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said today.

Is this wise? Is this in the PH election manifesto?

I would caution any haste in its implementation for many reasons.

If uni students cannot learn to find jobs to supplement their allowances and always have to depend on charity, then they are not mature enough.

Anees Khan said...

Salam DAKJ,

Now that PH is the government of the day, make changes to the above issues immediately to save the public money, why do you need to raise them here?

Another thing, please discharged and allow those GLC bosses to start their own genuine businesses, how much can they make out of those businesses?

Lastly, those handsome pays must be because of excellent jobs they have done. Are they? if not, ask them to pay back and/or charge all those appointed directors of the relevant GLC with misused of powers vested to them.


budak jawa said...

Aslm dakj,

Ini isu lama. Mudah sahaja. Menteri panggillah pegawai atau kalau nak more diverse opinion, form a taskforce untuk kaji dan cadang berapa remuneration package untuk top mgt glc.

Kalau setuju, buat paper ke kabinet. Diluluskan, laksana. Mudah sahaja.

Nak minta board kaji secara volunteer pun boleh. Tapi amalannya, kerajaan tak campur tangan urusan syarikat kecuali perkara yang melibatkan kepentingan nasional.

Dah hampir setahun memerintah, kalau masih bangkit perkara yang sama, mungkin bukan masalah pelaksana. Mungkin masalah menteri yang bertanggungjawab tak buat kerja atau tak tau buat kerja. Maklumlah, ramai punahsihat persendirian yang macam pandai dan dilantik di pejabat menteri.

Glc zaman sebelum ini modus operandinya banyak yang bersekongkol dgn para menteri untuk telan duit rakyat melalui glc. Buat jv projek antara glc dan kerajaan, buat hebahan dan potong reben jemput mantan pm, kerugian dan risiko tolak ke kerajaan, keuntungan ke glc. Mantan pm dapat nama, projek berjalan, glc dan top mgt untung, kerajaan tanggung rugi (ini pun takde masalah, ramai pegawai kerajaan yang sudi beesihkan atau sorok masalah asal diberi jawatan).


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).