Thursday 29 December 2011

The good people of IIB and some questions

A friend called me this afternoon and among others we chit chatted about what is happening to his former work place; Iskandar Investment Berhad (IIB).

My friend, who is among the pioneers of IIB sounded quite sad.

"I feel sorry for our friends who are still in there (IIB). They must be quite anxious now. It's so unfair. Now every one of us are tarnished by this corruption case," he said.

"Looks like I have to take out IIB from my CV," he half jokingly added.

My friend was among the large group of mid-level management staff who left IIB last year. At that time he told me that he can't stand anymore the antics of a group whom he called "the inner circle".

"If only Arlida had stood up to them," he said, in reference to former IIB CEO Arlida Ariff whose husband was charged with alleged IIB-related corruption several days ago.

Then my friend pointed out something which have been bothering me all along.

"How come no one really linked all this with Khazanah?" he asked before proceeding with several other questions.

"All those people in the inner circle, aren't they appointed to their position by the Khazanah board of directors? I know one of them who started as an assistant vice president and within just over two years had become a director and heading one of IIB's major projects. The guy is just a marketing person and has no technical background. What were the Khazanah BOD thinking when they appointed him? Or was there something else behind it?"

"Another thing is that the E&Y people were send in by Azman (Mokhtar). How sure are the MACC that they did not cover up for Khazanah?"

Seriously, I had these doubts also about Khazanah back then, especially when I observed the manner of how Arlida was told that her services were no longer required by IIB. The way Khazanah distanced themselves from IIB at that time piqued me. I still remember how the Khazanah people washed their hands off the whole thing. What actually made me angry with them at that time is the fact that everytime IIB did well previously, they would had always been there to share the limelight.

Only the valiant effort of the small IIB corporate comm team at that time actually saved the day. Otherwise the whole thing could had been a media feeding frenzy with severe consequences on the whole of Iskandar Malaysia. The present IIB comm team (and Irda's too) should learn a thing or two from their predecessors in handling the current situation.

For instance, they should already have a plan to counter the front page "sources" stories on the IIB issue which appeared on several newspapers today. They should know by now where the sources of those stories came from and whether they are real or insidiously planted to confuse the public into believing that the whole corruption case is just confined within IIB.

As it was with my friend, I am actually symphetatic with the rank and file of IIB. I had the previlage of working closely with them once and I found them to be good people. Most were genuinely passionate about the development effort they are part of.

"We are building a whole new metropolis for Johoreans, how nuch more exciting it can be," said a bubbly young IIB lady as I had lunch with her team members at a riverside restaurant in Pendas Laut, Gelang Patah. That was about three years ago.

Honestly, at that time I found them to be very professional and much easier to work with than most people of other government agencies, including their "sister" Irda.

I really hope the best for these honest workers of IIB, present and past. If you all are reading this - please be strong and believe that God is fair. You all need not worry if you have done no wrong. Cheers guys and gals.


  1. Dont talk nonsense....iib has been in a mess right from the beginning. The new people in IIB are all novices. No need for sympathies. Stick to your journalism, Big Cat, as this is a corrupted investment arm of KHAZANAH NASIONAL.

  2. Anon 06:21
    your lack of compassion for your friends in IIB made me quite sick. I know you are from Irda. As far as I am concerned, these IIB people whom I'm dedicating this posting to are good people who work honestly for Iskandar Malaysia. You on the other hand is just a conman leeching on Irda and giving the organisation a bad name. I'm sorry for the good Irda people who have to put up with you. You can curse and run me down all you want and I will allow it to go through but I don't tolerate people who kick their own friends who are already down like what you did.

  3. Bigcat,

    I have great affinity for Johore even though it was many many moons ago and only for a year that I worked in Pasir Gudang, Johore Port Installation.

    Those days the trip to PG via Masai town on the trusty company VW, windscreen were smashed every other day by pebbles being at the rear end of countless lorries.

    Things must surely have change in leaps and bounds as I have not been there since.

    But I am absolutely certain nothing, of the wonderful social and cultural norms, that gave me this affinity, has changed.

    It is really sad to hear of these transgressions that tarnishes the State.

    It takes great political will to sort out these infractions.

    There lies the greatest weakness of the BN Govt, state or federal, opportunists within..of the despicable kind.

    Harapkan pagar...

    Thank you

  4. Dear Freddie,
    I agree with you, but I believe this BN government is seriously doing something about this problem. I still hope for them to do good. The alternative is not so promising as I found that the Pakatan people are mostly hypocrites. I am quite certain they will be even worse than BN if given the power to run this country.
    Having said that, I think it is important to differntiate the good and bad people in an organisation like IIB. Most of them are good and I feel that what had happened is not fair to them hence this posting.

  5. Being a Johorean,I welcomed the formation of IRDA with great hope that it will be the catalyst for about anything in the economic growth of my beloved state.
    But as time goes by and looking at what actually IRDA is doing, I am at the verge of disappointment.
    Nothing that IRDA is doing now that cannot be executed by any other government agencies eg. JKR JPS MPJB.
    It is just another glorified GLC. Just look at the designations..President, Vice President etc.. where Manager, Asst Manager would suffice. Basically IRDA should really come down to earth a little bit.
    About the runners.... I rest my case, for I do not wish to say no more!

  6. Bigcat I totally agree with you, if the Pakatan Hypocrites comes in power this country will go to the dogs for sure.

    What could we possibly expect from a political pact which insists on having for Prime Minister in waiting, a convict jailed for abuse of power and horor of horrors now waiting for the Court's judgement on his trial for sodomizing his former male assistant.

  7. Yes agree with you as there are many honest and dedicated staff past and present who has contributed a lot to the development of Iskandar Johore. My salute to them including my other half who has since left the company when the wind started to change direction.


    The Khazanah people, especially Azman Mokhtar, should know that MACC is hinting something - they are now going through the files of all agreements signed by Iskandar Investment Berhad with foreign 'investors'. All these deals were signed by Khazanah Nasional on behalf of IIB.

    Those who were called by MACC over the last 6 months were not only IIB staff in charge of procurement, but also staff who are in charge of corporate matters. And boy, MACC themselves were shocked on how much were revealed to them. Can't blame those IIB people, they were interrogated like criminals.

    Many of IIB deals were lopsided, giving advantage to foreign investors. And yes, what MACC meant with "foreign agent" is a guy by the name of Imran Markar - a Sri Lankan who lives in Dubai and London. He claims to be a good friend of Azman Mokhtar, and he sits in the Board of three companies - Medini Iskandar Malaysia S/B, Global Capital and Development S/B and Medini Central S/B. And he also the benefiary of Terra Lumina S/B. All these companies are vehicles of Medini land sale. With the profit sharing, dividends, marketing commission being schemed up in the agreements between these parties, no wonder MACC called this 'legalised corruption'.

    If any of the Khazanah people - those in the inner circle of Azman Mokhtar - read this, they should be afraid. Especially people like GS, ZKA and HZM. MACC knew this. Good luck and see you guys in jail.

  9. IIB Watch,
    I had heard about these things too but in lesser details. Thanks for sharing what you have here.

    If your info were accurate, I hope at least those three you mentioned will be hauled up too, especially GS. The chances are slim though, but no harm in hoping, right?

    For the record, I never said Azman Mokhtar is THE big fish in this case. What I said was there are big fishes too in Khazanah as far as the IIB case is concerned. Someone had misquoted me on that one.

  10. Anon 6:21

    you sound like a candidate whose CV was turned down by IIB...

  11. Azman Mokhtar must go.....

  12. Big cat is a flip flop Just like our politicians. His december 12 blog titled "iskandar Malaysia doing well after 5 year" and now talks cock about Iskandar.

  13. Anon 04:29,
    I am a supporter of Iskandar Malaysia. What I do not support are people who use Iskandar Malaysia to swindle the rakyat's money. I have never said Iskandar Malaysia is bad for the country. What are bad for the country are the corrupt people who are crooks within Irda, IIB, Khazanah and those dealing with them. The Dec 12 posting was to highlight how despite the presence of these crooks, Iskandar Malaysia is still a success, thanks to the good works of the good people in IIB, Irda, the State government etc etc. It could be better if there are no crooks at all. Unfortunately, that's not the case. We need to however not let the good people who are in the majority be tarred with the same corrupte image due to those crooks.

  14. Big Pussy - oops I mean Big Cat

    You are very defensive of the people at IIB. You must be employee or ex-employee. You should declare your interest or else people will assume you are biased again IRDA and Khazanah because you do not want to admit your employer or ex-employer and ex-boss Arlida is the one that is corrupt and fucked IIB up.



  15. Bigcat and IIBWatch,
    Amazing how detailed other people knew about Khazanah's debacle on Iskandar Msia. What I can add here is that GS has schemed things up far beyond anyone's thought - with his connection to the powers-to-be, he planted his allies in IIB through British graduate connections:
    GS is a friend to Datuk ZZ (advisor to PM-5) Datuk OM (advisor to PM-6) and KJ (the son-in-law).
    OO and ZA went to Oxford together.
    ZZ, OO and SM were same batch studying at Bristol, Oxford and Imperial College respectively. Forgot to say GS was from Kings College.
    AY in EPF Investment Division was a friend to ZZ, OO and SM. He studied at Southampton.
    Whatever investment deal GS was about to conclude, he will refer to ZZ, OO and KJ. GS will then instruct SM to prepare papers for submission to IIB Board. ZA will prepare budget allocation for the investment deal. GS will then go to AY to get EPF support.
    As far as Azman Mokhtar is concerned, as long as the powers-to-be and EPF are ok with the investment deal, he as Chairman of IIB will approve the paper.
    Guess who will then has to follow up and implement the deal? Arlida lo...
    Guess who will then be blamed for the mess? Arlida lo...

    This is how Khazanah played their game. Planting spies, leveraging on connections and collude with powers-to-be. No wonder they cannot be touched.

  16. Silhouette,
    thanks. I heard the same. That's why I insisted for the probe to go all the way to Khazanah. That's why in my first posting on this issue, I had insisted for no one be made the scapegoat. The Khazanah people are working hard now trying to convince the MSM and new media that the whole thing is confined to IIB. Sadly, they seems to be winning.

  17. Anon 30 December 2011 04:29 wrote

    Big cat is a flip flop Just like our politicians. His december 12 blog titled "iskandar Malaysia doing well after 5 year" and now talks cock about Iskandar.

    Yup..BIGCAT is a BIG FLIP FLOP. Macam lalang. Kena sergah dengan IRDA, terus kecut perut.

  18. Anon 14:38
    suka hati engko lah labu....I'm not in the business of educating idiots.

  19. Big cat, in your "a little warning in irda" dated 14 Nov u wrote in your last paragraph:

    "Mail, you try settle those small issues first. I want to see whether you can or cannot. You don't fix those, I will come and kacau you again."

    You also wrote in "bad pr skills" dated 17 Nov

    "Info such as funny distribution of contracts and other even more damaging stuff."

    On 7/8 DEc, IRDA lodged a police report about your posting and those comments.

    few days later on 12 Dec, you came out with a posting "Iskandar Msia doing well after 5 years".

    BIG CAT, you are not only a flip-flop, you are also a CHICKEN-SHIT! Cakap tak serupa bikin! What happened to "Mail, you try settle those small issues first. I want to see whether you can or cannot. You don't fix those, I will come and kacau you again."? And where are the "Info such as funny distribution of contracts and other even more damaging stuff."? What a hopeless blogger!

  20. BigCat,

    I dont know who you are but I am 1 of the "old" comms team & very bubbly but bubbly no more!

    Now, the scenario is really different here wherever you go, people is down & talking about giving up or quiting.

    I stop using my corporate shirt as to avoid un-wanted questions...& most here believe it will get more worse than your prayers for us to get a job somewhere else is really appreciated...

    Yes, we do curse the people who put this company to its knees! being local johorean & tracing up to 17 generations of Johoreans, I really wonder when the resource plunder will ever STOP?!

    Keep on writing...

  21. Dear kutumalam,
    if u are from the old IIB comm team, then definitely we had met before. I remember u all as beng a vey good team.

    However, I hope u don't give up. IIB was good back then. That was until it was hijacked by the "inner circle" people. But if you get another job then I wish u all the best.

    Please tell the others still in there not to lose hope. People like me do appreciate the good works u all had done ever since Iskandar Malaysia started. Those who put u all in the current situation are the ones who need to be punished. Not u all, ok?

    Whatever it is, I believe there is still hope for the organisation. Your new CEO, I believe is a good man. He is not perfect but I know he is trying his best under the circumstances.

    Cheers my friend