Tuesday, 3 January 2012

A little chirpy bird and the IIB-gate

When I read what rockybru posted in his Friday intermission, I was kinda curious about how such a story could be leaked from a supposedly highly confidential board meeting.  So I began digging around, but in a leisurely manner, you know, it was a Friday after all, and a long weekend at that.  But when A Voice posted this, my digging became a bit more urgent as I see that the speculative nature of that piece will adversely affect the diligent work done by BN Johor to ensure BN victory in the coming election.

After a bit of arduous digging, I got access to a little chirpy bird. 

This little bird (who does not represent KPRJ, by the way) told me that the matter on how to handle the "IIB-gate" was indeed discussed in the board meeting and that it was an open discussion, more in the nature of "how do we handle this?... if we do this, what will happen? ... if we do that - what will be the implications?" etc.  

Apparently it was an open discussion, but what was minuted was that the final decision was made unanimously, with no one dissenting.

Turned out the KPRJ representative was not the only one who had reservations about the option of making a police report, there were 2 or 3 others (the little bird couldn't remember the details as it wasn't minuted, more of a discussion, and it wasn't that recent, etc.) who shared the same concerns.

Mostly these people were concerned about how such a decision will affect IIB day-to-day operations, the image thing, etc. ... probably because these people were not involved in the operational management and decision-making within IIB.

It was therefore strange  when the story that came out in rockybru's was very particular about the representative of KPRJ, and of him being a representative of the Johor State, or probably in this case Johor MB, I suppose.  What about the other board members who shared his concerns?  Why no mention of which organisations they represent?  Was it because they are all based in KL? What about the board member who was adamant about not involving the MACC?  The way it was worded looked like it was also made by the same KPRJ rep, as there were no other board members identified, wasn't it?  In fact, A Voice more or less stated in his article that it was so.  Was it?

What got me curious was, that the Haji Johar Salim that I had the pleasure to have encountered, does not at all reflect the corporate shark potrayed here.  Maybe my gut feel is wrong, for once, but it just felt wrong.

Further on, in his article, A Voice then linked Johar Salim with Lim Kang Hoe, and then to Abdul Ghani Othman.  Aha!  That was just too convenient guys, but all the same, very revealing.  They will then link this with the Utusan and Berita Harian story, and people will jump immediately and say ya la, that must be true, so and so is an Umno politician, so he must be corrupt, kan?  Then people will begin to demand for independent audits of these Johor institutions.  So the corruption matter will stay in Johor and the "corrupt" Johor politicians/state GLC heads/IIB rogues/etc., and will not touch any of the "pristine" pure-as-snow Khazanah people in KL kan?  Can you people who leaked and spun the confidential board meeting discussions be a bit less obvious?

And another thing, if you do a bit of proper digging, you would know that Dato Lim Kang Hoe serves a different political master/partner lah, definitely not a Ghani Othman proxy.

As for the Kulim Board appointments, you should read Benchmark and make your own conclusions.  I have sorta made mine.

In the matter of QSR and KFC being sold to CVC, and being backed by CIMB Investment, which is deemed to be bad news by A Voice, I was planning to write about the rationale of that move (my own speculative insinuations will be at work here, hehehe), but I must first confirm some of my facts with sources within JCorp and of course PMO.  After all, CIMB Investment is controlled by you know who.  In short, I personally think the move is a sensible one for JCorp in the long run and should have been done a long time ago, but what do I, a curious cat, know about corporate wheeling and dealing?

For example, if I were an ambitious person in a position of decision-making for a GLC investment arm, I would structure all the investments in such a way that if I were kicked out of the GLC, I can still be in control within the public-listed entity that control all the businesses, provided I fight tooth and nail to stay in control of the public-listed entity of course, or keeping it intact while I fight to get control.  I don't have to worry about liabilities, because the investments were made by the GLC, which will have very little benefit from its investments because the corporate entity will be under my control.  Hmmm ... maybe I should not write about it as my tiny brain is incapable of thinking of all that complicated corporate stuff.

Instead, maybe  I should complete that little article I was working on about KPRJ and its role in fast-tracking rural development as well as the many social projects it does for the public and how their assets have now grown to billions over the last few years, while maintaining a very low operating cost and a very small team.  However, if I were to write about this, I may be accused of being a mouthpiece of whoever.  Hmmm ... maybe I should not finish that article after all.

Personally, I feel sorry for poor Haji Johar Salim and the few (about 12 I think) KPRJ staff in general - never mind guys, KPRJ may not have huge sophisticated offices, or super duper vice presidents running around earning 5-6 digit salaries, or massive PR budgets to waste on newspaper pull-outs, or multi-million ringgit consultants producing impressive-sounding blueprints, but KPRJ has done good for many ordinary folks in Johor and I for one have no major complaints about KPRJ.

In any case, I am going to sit back for now and see how this whole thing unravels, unless of course I come across more insinuations/speculations/etc. that perk my curiosity.  Eh, what exactly did they say about curious cats?


  1. Concern Johorean4 January 2012 at 01:57

    You seems to praised KPRJ a lot mate. Their assets now into billions? That's surprised me. What about the hundreds of millions own by them to Sime Bank in the 97 meltdown. KPRJ being set-up by Ghani. Ask all the senior JCS ppl. I'm sure they can clarify on how KPRJ hijacked all others Johor states company. No matter what, Ghani will give priority to KPRJ for any project involved in Johor. To me and my family, KPRJ is the crook!

  2. Dear Concern Johorean,
    well, looks like I have to finish my KPRJ article after all, Sabar ya. BTW, I think the families of thousands of families in rural areas throughout Johor do appreciate the thousands of km jalan kampung built by KPRJ.

  3. Bigcat,

    Interesting times for Johore. With ABITW inside tracks and yours deliberating the comings and goings, hopefully, matters can be resolved in the manner that that meets everyone's expectations, ie beyond suspicions.

    By the way, your previous post "One brave blogger and three interesting comments", Ledang Heights boy's comment sounds, well..sound.

    Ye lah we are not do wheeling dealing savvy but worthy of your kupang.

    Hope you oblige.

    Many thanks

  4. Dear Freddie,
    A Voice, me and Rocky are on the same side despite our differing views on things. We want the best for this country. But if we were on the Pakatan side, I would probably be accussed as an Umno agent by now for my views which are different from my "seniors".

  5. Dear Sis Bigcat,

    Frankly I think you should write about KPRJ especially for people like me, a Johorean/JB settling in Klang Valley.

    Your article should be a fair one and not to over praise.

    What I heard from friends/relatives, at the initial formation stage especially, KPRJ sapu everything in its way. Class F contractors sampai tak boleh cari makan. So much so instead of calling it "kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor" they call it " Kumpulan PIRANHA...". They say decision maker for this group is UTM, headed by his wife. Decision by Ghani will be based on her advise.

    Sis, pls don't be angry with me, I am merely repeating what I heard from people. I hope your article will give some clear picture of KPRJ. Salam.

    Orang JB

  6. Dear Orang JB,
    I am working on that KPRJ article. Please sabar ya. No, I am not angry. Thanks for your comment. The part about Ghani's wife is a bit funny though...hahaha...well, never mind, Kak Jamilah probably have a good laugh too if she read it. Cheers.

  7. What I hear is that in KPRJ Haji Johar is a mysterious character. He is very close to LKH. BTW how do you plan to complete the article on KPRJ? Why don't you interview their staff and find out the truth.

  8. Dear BigCat,

    Salam. Your articles on the goings-on in Johor perks my curiosity, a lot. When I first read you blog (about three weeks ago), I read it with some salt. I was a tad skeptical whether your writings are based on hearsay or facts. However, after three weeks (or was it four, five?) of reading your blog (it started with the article by rockybru about a report lodged against you), I'm reading it with a bit less salt. There a bland objectivity here which I couldn't put my finger on. Keep it up with the good work and fact-based writing.

    Owh, and I look forward to reading your KPRJ article. May the force be with you.

  9. Dear Anon 21:59
    I had actually met Haji Johar and find him quite an ordinary guy. In fact, I think I am more mysterious than him :)Please sabar, I am half way through the KPRJ article.
    As for LKH, if u really want to know who is close to him, why don't you park yourself near the enterance of his office and see the people who come in and go out from there. I don't want to be accussed of trying to slander anyone but I believe you will be surprise that a certain MB wannabe and his boys could be seen among the people there.

  10. From what I know, Khazanah Comms do monitor internet blogs like they did when Amok sent out email statement to staff, refuting allegations on IRDA Watch 2 years ago.

    BigCat has displayed few comments that are damaging to Khazanah...hanky-panky deals, cryonism and state-of-the-art money laundering scheme. Silence means consent. Are they acknowledging the comments were true?

  11. Dear uncle,
    thanks for the kind words and encouragement. Really appreciate them. Cheers.

  12. Dear Azlin,
    errr....that one I don't really have an answer. Sorry ya. Whatever it is, please note that I am not against Khazanah. I am just against the presence of crooks in there. That's all. Cheers.

  13. Concern Johorean4 January 2012 at 18:47

    Dear BigCat,

    It is the government of the day responsibility to build the infra throughout the states. KPRJ is just one the investment arm of Johor States Government. The can build the "jalan kampung" because the state government is behind them. They no need to worries about any financial issues. Any contractor can be appointed by the government to build the "jalan kampung" too.

    Tend to agree with anon 18:19. Prof Jamilah did have some influenced in some of the matters. I remember back in the late 90's where JCS officer been seconded to Ghani as one of his pa yet he need to prepare the speech, report bla bla bla for Prof Jamilah instead.

    What about his son Jamil? Where did he get the money from buying car in cash, driving Holden, modifying the cars with unlimited fund etc. Hmmm..

    To me, Ghani and few other ppl need to go. Way too long heading Johor. Wonder who is capable enough that will replace him.

    To all JCS, stop being arrogant!

    Wishing you all the best BigCat in revealing more secrets!

  14. Dear Concerned Johorean,
    Yes, its the duty of the government of the day to built jalan kampung, thus KPRJ is doing it, and they are doing a good job about it. So, what's the problem? Jalan kampung may not sound glamorous but it is important, at least to Ghani's administration. I will explain this in detail in the soon coming KPRJ article.
    As for Prof Jamilah being such a dragon lady, and Ghani's son being so flamboyant and got so much money, well, that's actually really funny. I know them, and I can tell you that I am an even fiercer dragon lady than Jamilah and more flamboyant than Jamil. They are really good people lah.

  15. Bigcat, \
    Those Khazanah guys should be made to declare their assets. What say you...I believed they hv been sipping the taxpayers money..

    But the Khazanah's chairman don't seem to act. Is he blind and deaf or his advisers are keeping him out of the loop. He is busy with his walkabout.....

  16. Bigcat,
    Your intimacy with the Saujana First Family is so pronounced. Are we missing a plot here?

  17. Dear Anon 08:06
    who am I lah to tell Azman Mokhtar what to do. Maybe he is already started doing something already.

    Dear JohorMali,
    I am really trying hard to follow your advice about not being condescending. Thamk you.

  18. Bigcat, you wrote "i am just against the presence of crooks in there (Khazanah).

    Are there crooks in Khazanah? Is that a fact or just your fiction? Care to share with us who are the crooks? Are you refering to the MD himself, or GS, or HH, MZS, ...?

  19. Dear Anon 16:07
    Of course these are all just my fiction. Of curse there are no crooks in Khazanah. Of course everyone in Khazanah are Saints and angels.


  20. A good piece!
    I believe that Ghani Othman needs to plan his exit plan. He has done enough damage to Johor.

    I hope Johor can survive in the next coming election.

    As a Johorean, I am really sick of Ghani and I think he should GO!