May 29, 2012, 7:55 am
Filed under: Coaching & Mentoring, Rakyat's concerns | Tags: , ,

It certainly is mind-boggling to witness the constant denial mode of the UMNO led government… far as the will, and now demands of the people are concerned.

Instead, we find the government constantly coming up with a myriad of excuses from Petty Traders’ grouses to crude butt gyrations to intimidate the concerned citizens of the country!

Is that what our government has been reduced to?

The fact that such cheap publicity stunts could have been replicated in front of the houses of UMNO politicians or the Deputy Inspector General of Police (who publicly condoned the ‘intimidation’)……but did not take place…..only proves that the one that is really concerned is UMNO!

The latest is UMNO’s (and it cronies’) selective acknowledgement of the findings of the widely followed Merdeka Centre surveys carried out amongst the Malaysian population.

‘Acceptance’ when the survey findings say that the popularity ratings of Najib has apparently improved somewhat BUT ‘rejection’ when it says that the population wants the electoral roll to be cleaned up!

It is clearly evident that UMNO is setting the last mile platform  for the impending General Elections by attempting to create a false fervour and feel-good  atmosphere in order to win ‘handsomely’……of course, with help from a tainted electoral roll.

One example that clearly comes to mind was the UMNO celebrations held at the Bukit Jalil stadium that housed 100,000 participants.

This is not dissimilar to the closing ceremony of the 1998 Commonwealth Games when bus-loads of civil servants were herded into the stadium to fill up the empty seats…….to counter the wide-spread discontentment from the sacking of Anwar Ibrahim from all posts in UMNO then.

It was clearly the same modus operandi in the recent Bukit Jalil event where participants were reportedly given money and enticements in order to ‘be present’ at the UMNO celebrations.

Without enticement, no one would attend as shown in the family get-together event organised for the same participants the following day at the same premises.

Compare that with the presence of the hundreds of thousands at the Bersih 3.0 gathering…..who paid for their own hotel stay the night before, who came out of their own volition, via their own transportation means…..and endured the expected intimidation and beatings!

One must be living in cuckoo-land if this movement is not seriously acknowledged!

One more thing……the intimidation of Ambiga Sreenivasan, the defacto leader of Bersih 3.0…..has made her one of the most popular person in Malaysia…..of course, except to petty people interested only in crude gyrations of the lower human anatomy!



I recall an article sometime ago about the current batch of writers that we have in the blogosphere.

Whilst most are sincere and truthful, there are those who have been employed to write with the intention of INFLATING WEAK IDEAS, OBSCURING POOR REASONING AND TO INHIBITING CLARITY.

It is unfortunate (?) that Rocky Bru a.k.a. Ahiruddin Attan immediately comes to mind!

His latest attempt was to limit the damage caused by the UMNO owned newspaper, New Straits Times, when they erroneously ‘quoted’ an Australian senator who allegedly labelled Islam as a ‘criminal organisation.

Anyone worth his salt would know that such quotation coming from a national newspaper can and generally would tantamount to a ‘death sentence’ on that individual concerned…….look no further for Salman Rushdie (author of Satanic Verses). 

Yet, NST proceeded with its ‘report’ irrespective ….. especially when this Australisan senator, Nicholas Xenophon, is a known associate of Anwar Ibrahim, the head of the opposition People’s Front (Pakatan Rakyat).

‘Realizing’ subsequently that its reporting was fundamentally flawed, NST offered a retraction and apology.

But damage was already done……and Xenophon’s safety is now compromised with threats possibly made against him.

Xenophon is now proceeding with a suit against NST notwithstanding (Click HERE……..understandably to ensure that the lies perpetrated by NST and Xenophon’s innocence are clearly made known to the world…..and NOT ‘swept under the carpet’ with a mere apology and with Xenophon watching over his shoulder for the rest of his life!

What makes it especially galling is that you get writers trying to down-play the incident!

An example is Rocky’s sad attempt of doing this by EQUATING an Australian newspaper’s report of Rosmah’s (wife of Malaysian PM) alleged extravagant shopping spree TO our dear’ol NST’s ‘Islam is a criminal organisation’ quote attributed to Xenophon.

Of course, both papers retracted their reports and apologised BUT equating a tabloid report to one that effectively sentences a person to death?

And by the way, NST is not a tabloid…….it is trash to most objective readers!

Should we therefore be surprised that the NST has lost readership to the point that its mother company, NSTP Holdings Berhad had to be de-listed from the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (read: to hide its sorry financial figures from the public)?

Click HERE for Rocky’s sad attempt at it all!


As it is often said ……. a useful tree that bears fruits will constantly be utilised by pests!!

Therefore with the oppostion controlled states of Penang and Selangor lately attracting more than half of investments in the country besides significantly contributing to the GDP of the country ……. it is only natural for the UMNO machinery to take credit for opposition states’ achievements.

For the uninitiated, both Penang and Selangor states have been under the control of the People’s Alliance (Pakatan Rakyat) led by Anwar Ibrahim, Tok Guru Hadi and Lim Guan Eng since the last general elections in 2008.

And for the UMNO led Barisan Nasional government to blow their own trumpets and tell the world that the ETP (Economic Transformation Programme) has been a resounding success ………. sounds so hollow!!

Najib should realise by now that the people are quite adept at seeing things as it is ……. as opposed to how it is being portrayed by the UMNO led government.

After years of being hood-winked, the people are able to differentiate between rhetoric and hard-drawn evidence!

And if Najib and company are able to prevail in the next general elections, much of it will be attributable to the non-proportional representation in terms of voters per seat.

Just look at the Sarawak state elections recently. In a Taib (Sarawak Chief Minister) backed constituency comprising majority indigenous Melanaus, the seat comprises 5,000 voters.

However, if the seat was an opposition leaning constituency (read: better informed urban populated area), that constituency would comprise 30,000 voters on average.

To say that there is a slight advantage to UMNO and its cohorts would be an understatement!

Perseverence seems to be the only way forward.

Click HERE for Najib’s fantastic achievements under the ETP ….. Extra Teruk Programmes?


I was quite bemused by the story told by Penang Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng to an audience an an event organised by a professional accounting body.

He recalled having, after graduating, so much difficulty getting employment with a Big 8 accounting firm. (That was in the olden days …….. now the remaining big firms are known as the ‘Final Four’!).

And when he did procure a job with a Big 8 accounting firm, he was ‘sacked’ shortly thereafter!

And the reason?

The accounting firm found out that his father was Lim Kit Siang, then the secretary-general of the Democratic Action Party (DAP), the main opposition party in Malaysia then. Guan Eng is the current secretary-general.

“What a load of shite!” may be most people’s reaction …… but that’s how the system was and still is!

I recall the time of the Bumiputra Malaysia Finance scandal in the mid 1980s whereby this Hongkong subsidiary of Bank Bumiputra Malaysia Berhad had loaned billions of ringgit under questionable circumstances.

When a Panel of Enquiry was set up to look into the scandal, its members were people of renowned stature i.e. Ahmad Nordin (Auditor General then), Ramli Ibrahim (partner of KPMG) and Chooi Mun Sou (lawyer).

But when the report was finalised, only two of the three panel members were prepared to sign it.

And who was the third who refused to sign?

Ramli Ibrahim of KPMG.

There was no official reason given but I do recall speculation that the firm had several big time clients e.g. Petronas ……. and therefore did not want to ruffle feathers, so to speak.

Wow, if that was how these Big 8 accounting firms behave, it is no wonder that we are seeing the results of such ‘undesirable’ behaviour of companies under their watch!

The tide is out ……. and it doesn’t appear to be able to ‘come in’ again to cover the rot!

It is also no wonder that the setting up of the Audit Oversight Board became a necessity ….. to audit the work done by the auditors!

It has come to a stage that the economic system cannot afford another collapse of an accounting firm like Arthur Andersen (due to Enron debacle) as the remaining large, medium and small accounting firms are unable to absorb the work-load should another large accounting firm collapse.  

Now do you know why the remaining big firms are called the ‘Final Four’?

Unfortunately, this symptom is not confined to accounting firms alone …… it is actually endemic in that legal firms, valuation firms, financial advisers etc have had their standards compromised due to this “wanting to please the powers to be” syndome.

Maybe the prescription of a “Change of Administration” in the political landscape appears most appealing!

Click HERE for Lim Guan Eng’s story about being sacked by a Big 8 accounting firm. It also appeared in Malaysiakini (if you are a subscriber).

Would anyone like to disclose which accounting firm sacked Guan Eng?


Contrary to Singapore’s Straits Times reporter, Leslie Lopez, the current chairman of Malaysia’s Securities Commission, Zarinah Anwar, will not be replaced by the retiring Secretary General of the Ministry of Finance.

Instead, it’s going to be Ranjit Singh who will be elevated from his current post as Managing Director of the regulatory organization.

There will not be any split in the powerful Chairman post  ……. the Straits Times story that there will be a non-executive Chairman whilst Ranjit will assume the Chief Executive’s position.

All this means that Ranjit Singh will be all-powerful …… just like Zarinah.

But from the grape-vine ….. Ranjit is so much different from Zarinah.

All things considered, despite Ranjit having many detractors from within, so I hear, there is no doubt about the grudging respect these same people have for him.

Articulate, focused and with the ability to see the big picture, he appears cut out for the Chairman-ship of this regulatory organisation.

And his first task – to regain the credibility lost from the ‘Spousal Concerns’ of his predecessor! Click HERE and HERE for the ‘I told you so!’ bit.

March 4, 2012, 10:23 pm
Filed under: Coaching & Mentoring, Human Resources | Tags: , ,

THEY RECENTLY FETED HIM TO FOOD, WINE & SONG (on the company’s account)




Recently, I attended a lavish farewell dinner for a close relative of mine, who had worked very hard for his company.

So hard, that he hardly had time for his family …… and that was not surprising considering he was virtually working 24/7 …. of course with the ‘concurrence’ and ‘support’ of his superiors.

Well, this kind of things take its toll ……… and it culminated in his health spinning out of control!

So much so, that he was given friendly and medically inclined advice ……. that he had to stop doing what most people now saw as a sickly vice!

This relative finally threw the towel in and is now recuperating ……. hoping to get back into the kind of physical condition that he was in prior to his bodily (and mental) abuse!

But what do his superiors care!

As long as people like him do the work for them …… and there are so many credit takers for work done by others …… what do they care?

After all, the money paid to him in terms of salaries, bonuses and perks come from the company …. especially those laden with cash!

To put it into perspective, I recall a speaker once saying that for companies, the EPS i.e. “Earnings Per Share” is a very important indicator of a company’s well being and is defined as “Profits divided by number of shares of the company”.

Companies’ EPS will determine the value of companies’ shares based on their Price Earnings multiple.

In the same way, EPS is also an important personal well being indicator for individual wage earners. In this case, EPS stands for Earnings Per Stress unit …. whereby a higher EPS is preferred too.

In my relative’s case, the company had given him fantastic salaries and perks …… but the corresponding stress was multiple of times more……… the relative effect being it lowered his EPS!

It was so low ….. meaning the ‘Stress Units’ were so high ….. it could cause a human ‘valve’ to burst ….. at the blink of an eye!

It is no wonder that many people end up dying rich instead of having lived richly!

It is also no wonder that Work-Life balance is the name of the game in the corporate world, the world over.


I was reading the week end papers when I came across an article about how ex Chairman and CEO of Petronas, Hassan Marican, had left the Malaysian shores …… to take up foreign directorships in companies like Singapore Power and ConocoPhillips.

It was quite obvious that there was a falling out of sorts between him and Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib over an appointment of an individual to the Board of Petronas.

Granted, the PM had the prerogative to make such appointment but the perceived ‘interference’ in the running of a multi-national that provides a substantial amount of the government’s annual revenue income …. does not make good reading for the foreign investing audience.

The fact that Hassan Marican is somewhat perceived as a persona-non-grata in his own country ….. only adds to this perception that ‘performers of the positive kind’ are not really welcome in the Malaysian corporate environment.

It adds further credence to this notion that critics of the establishment are not really welcome to be part of the set-up ……….. thus causing a culture of ‘keeping their mouths shut’ as it is ‘not safe to speak up’!

Most people in the corporate sector end up taking care of their immediate accountability with no desire whatsoever to ensure overall achievement of the organisation.

Why is this so ……. despite the clear encouragement of most, if not all organisations encouraging such openness and collaboration?

This is because this so-called openness is only perceived as a ‘SHOW’ and not truly encouraged by the establishment.

Behaviour of this open kind would be responded to in the ‘culling’ of the person concerned in the subtlest of fashion ……….. leaving in no doubt to the minds of others that ‘keeping their mouths shut’ is the safest option.

The stifling of criticism has had dire consequences across the board in that it also had the effect of stifling growth, innovation and human capital development.

But with the Little Napoleons faced with the over-riding choice factors of cowardice, political expediency, vanity and non-conscience in deciding which option to take, it doesn’t take a lot to conclude that the country, Malaysia and its people, have been and will continue to be the biggest losers under the current administration!

This does not necessarily need to be so in other countries, though!

The cultures of other countries have seen people standing firm against intimidation and subtle coercion aimed at forced subservience.

This reminds me of the predicament I read that was faced in 1990 by Sir Geoffrey Howe (GH), a brilliant senior member of the British cabinet then headed by Margaret Thatcher (MT).

GH was having differences with MT who then began to ostracise and belittle GH.

This was the same modus operandi she did to other ‘recalcitrants’ within her Conservative party ….. who later left the cabinet in disgrace.

But not Geoffrey Howe.

He decided to rebut the insinuations and subtle allegations against his competency …….. by responding in parliament i.e. informing the world his take of developments culminating in his decision to resign as Foreign Secretary which, at the end of his speech, also ended the Prime Ministerial career of Margaret Thatcher.

Such was the venom of his words, albeit subtle and disguised, that irreversibly catapulted the unhappiness and disgruntlement of the party seniors to the fore ….. that made Margaret Thatcher’s resignation as PM a foregone conclusion.

Geoffrey Howe’s speech should be a case study for every student of speech writing and articulation.

And with the recent debate by the two Malaysian political gentlemen, let’s hope that this is the start of many future better debates/discussions on important issues plaguing the country but ignored by the current administration. 

Geoffrey Howe’s speech can be down-loaded HERE whilst the substantive part of his speech can be seen below: