Wednesday 31 December 2014

Pray for QZ8501

My thoughts and prayers at this moment were for the 162 souls who went down with AirAsia QZ8501.

 Hopefully their loved ones remain strong.


For news :

Bodies and wreckage from AirAsia QZ8501 are being retrieved from the sea

Monday 29 December 2014

Wings of Dr Mahathir and Najib clipped today

I was doing my stuff somewhere near Kemaman, Terengganu earlier today when I heard that former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was to visit flood evacuees in the area.

For me it was simply fantastic. The 90-year-old statesman still care to make the trip to the flood hit area despite his age.

If I ever reached 90 years old, which I doubt very much, I will probably be only lying in bed and be fed by tubes.

I had decided that I must see the handsome old man.

So, I drove to the flood relief centre at Sekolah Agama AlFallah in Kemaman town where Dr Mahathir was scheduled to visit about 3pm.

Unfortunately, the officials there said Dr Mahathir's visit had to be cancelled as his helicopter could not take off from Kuala Lumpur due to bad weather.

I know the officials were telling the truth as it was raining heavily in Kemaman the whole day.

Still, I was impressed by Dr Mahathir's attempt to be with the flood victims.

It's too bad that the weather didn't permit him to fly to Kemaman. His presence would had definitely lift the spirit of the victims.

The bad weather also grounded the helicopter of PM DS Najib Razak who was scheduled to visit flood victims in Perak today.

Najib however seemed determine to do his rounds when he instead travelled to the affected areas in the state via road.

A friend who followed his convoy told me that at one of his stops where he had to take a boat ride to check on the affected area, Najib was drenched wet by the rain and had to change his clothes.

By the time he reached the last relief centre near Kuala Kangsar where he was supposed to visit, Najib looked very drained, said my friend.

By the way, my friend is not one of Najib's people. So, I was confident that she didn't try to juice up the story.

Honestly, I am a bit disappointed that some people are still harping on the accusation that Najib is not caring enough for the flood victims.

He is indeed trying his best.

Two days ago he visited the worst hit Kelantan.

Yesterday he was all over Pahang.

Today he was on an exhaustive land trip to many parts of Perak.

Tomorrow he is flying back to visit flood victims in interior Kelantan.

I expect him to continue the visits until the situation improves.

What many people may not notice was that Najib is in his 60s and the efforts he put in now is by no way a small feat.

Meanwhile, the bad weather today did not deter one guy from flying.

DPM TS Muhyiddin Yassin is the only VVIP that I know whose helicopter managed to take off from KL to flood hit areas.

Muhyiddin's helicopter landed in Dungun, Terengganu in the morning.

He visited several relief centers amidst rising water in the district.

Quite commendable of the guy who is in his late 60s.

Muhyiddin has also been on a grueling schedule the past days to be with flood victims in the worst affected areas.

I would like to record my appreciation here for the three leaders, Dr Mahathir, Najib and Muhyiddin for their efforts.


In flooded area and pondering how to make things better

I'm now in a flood hit area.

Decided to help out a bit.

It's the usual end year finishing off leave days period, so I thought I better took mine and spend it by doing what little I can in this place where I am now.

Last year I tried to do the same during the flood but with not very good results.

Instead of helping people, I got sick.

Here is one of the posts at that time,

Flood stories from Kuantan

Will try to do better this time.

Anyway, almost all major roads to the East Coast were cut off two days ago.

I managed to get a ride with some crazy guys in their Ford Ranger, a 4x4 vehicle yesterday.

My car can't pass through the roads where I was going as the route was inundated by the flood.

Against police's advice, these crazy guys I was with decided to try our luck passing the roads which were cut off by water at four points.

Honestly I wish we had not tried it as I was scared but since I was hitching a ride with them, I just kept quiet when they decided to try the stunt.

It was really scary when the engine went dead at one point when we were crossing a section of the inundated road.

Fortunately the current of the thigh-high water was not so fast and the engine managed to be restarted for us to complete the crossing.

It was about that time that we heard on radio about the

AirAsia Indonesia flight QZ8501 to Singapore missing

Our prayers for those onboard and their loved ones.

It seems that our country's ill fortune this year keeps piling up till this last few days in December.

Looking at the devastation wrecked by the flood and pondering over the missing AirAsia flight, I wondered what should we do to bring back good vibes for this country so that we can avoid all these disasters from happening again.

I think that for my part, I must try to be a better Malaysian and do more to improve as a Muslim.

Maybe I should do more to help others and stop my bad habit of cursing around so much when talking to people.

I may even stop from keep changing the color of my hair and wearing my nose stud or even dress more modestly.

Ya, I will try to do anything that I can if it could improve things.

Well, here is some pictures that I took as myself and those crazy guys crossed the inundated roads yesterday,

Before crossing a submerged bridge 
Crossing a flooded road at a badly hit village

An ambulance waiting at the end of one of the flooded roads in case of emergencies

Saturday 27 December 2014

Too bad for Najib, but we can be better (updated)


Someone pointed out to me that this is what PM DS Najib Razak had been doing a day before he went to US on Sunday, Dec 21.

Najib Visits Flood Victims At SMK Gudang Rasau

The flood situation took a drastic turn for the worse just after he left.


PM DS Najib Razak is so heartless that he doesn't care about the flood victims.

Seriously, does he?

Well, that seems to be the way he is being portrayed these past few days.

Almost everybody went like - Najib is such an uncaring person that he abandoned his duties during a national catastrophe to play golf with US president Barrack Obama.


Well, if I am not mistaken, the flood had been going on for one or two weeks before he went to US.

It was relatively stable until the past three days when it drastically worsen.

I don't believe Najib would had gone to US if he knew things would turned out this badly.

For that I blame those who were supposed to brief him on such a possibility.

Anyway, as pointed out by a commenter in my previous post, Najib could not have gone to US just to play golf with Obama.

There is definitely something important he needed to discuss with Obama and I would like to believe that it's in the interest of Malaysia.

Now they are portraying him as if he is some sort of a Marcos with an evil wife Imelda played by Rosmah Mansor.

There were even stories such as how the controversial 1MDB being a money making vehicle of Rosmah and her favorite boy Jho Low.

Well, so much for Najib's effort to be a moderate liberal PM of Malaysia.

That's just too bad for him.

Anyway, does Najib even looked like Marcos or any other heartless dictator?

Well, he is coming back today.

Hopefully he has a good plan not just on how to further improve the handling of the flood but also a better strategy to defend his administration.

But of course the attacks will continue.

Okay, let me be clear here, I am not a big fan of Najib myself and I am not among the so-called bangang Umno-paid bloggers.

Anyone who has regularly been reading this blog should noticed that I criticized Najib and his administration quite regularly over matters which I feel should had been better handled.

Najib is not in any way close to being the kind of PM that I wish Malaysia have now.

But I also believe in being fair to him.

If we want to criticize him, I believe we must do so based on the way he and his administration handle things, instead of attacking his personality like what most people are doing now over the flood.

That for me is being unfair.

Well, in case you think I'm writing this because I have been bought by the Najib's media handlers, then go and check with them if they even know who I am.

Okay, one of them knows who I am, but he is definitely not paying me to defend his boss.

Anyway, I still think they are a bunch of not so smart people (or idiots, if you prefer me to  put it that way)

Having said that, based on reports that I have been monitoring, I think the handling of the flood has not been so bad thus far.

Considering the massive scale of the disaster, it's really not so bad.

Yes, there were harrowing stories of drownings and people being trapped and ran out of water, food and other essential.

But I believe the rescuers and relief workers were well prepared and are doing their best.

Before we criticized them, we must bared in mind that they were being hampered by bad weather and other unpredictable elements.

It's not as if they were unprepared or not committed to their job.

This is after all the worst flood for this country in 30 years.

Things don't always run very smoothly during such a massive disaster.

Considering that, I believe the authorities are doing relatively  good.

For that, I think the Najib's administration did well by learning from what happened in the past, particularly the surprisingly very bad flood which hit especially Kuantan and Kemaman last year.

This time the rescue and relief effort seems to be better prepared and executed.

Well, I know that in politics, anything least that's what being preached and practiced by most politicians in this country.

We, the non-politicians unfortunately tend to excuse them for that attitude.

That's the ugly truth about politics in this country.

But I believe we can be better than that.

I don't think we should for instance tolerate people who use the suffering of the flood victims to influence public sentiments in order to accomplish their political agenda.

Friday 26 December 2014

It's wrong to exploit a disaster, by whatever means

It's just plain wrong to play politics during a disaster such as the current flood.

People are suffering and even dying.

And here we have people who used the disaster to further their political agenda.

It's distasteful.

It doesn't matter which side of the political divide they are from, these people who see the disaster as an opportunity to gain politically are real scumbags.

At least that's how I see them.

I don't care what are their motives.

The end shouldn't justify the means.

Why can't everyone be focused at helping the flood victims for now?

We can always throw mud at each other again later.

All that matter now is for the flood victims to get all the help that we can offer.

They can do without being exploited as political tools.

Anyway, as for the badmouthing and vile comments related to the subject matter, I think you should think for yourself...and don't pass judgements based on what some self-righteous people said or wrote.

Those people actually have their own political agenda.

They don't really care about you, me or anybody.

They don't really care about the flood victims.

All that matter to them is for things to go their way.

That's their sole motivation to spin or create stories which were to serve their personal interests.

It's just greed and lust for power, for these people.

It blinded them to the actual sufferings of humanity during this difficult time.

Thursday 25 December 2014

Prayers for flood victims, rescuers and relief workers (updated 2)


This is what DPM TS Muhyiddin Yassin said today about the flood situation as reported by NST;


SUBANG JAYA: Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today reassured the public that the country was in good hands while Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was away.
The deputy prime minister said he would do his best to act on behalf of Najib as the country faces one of the worst floods in its history, with tens of thousands displaced.
"Don't worry, I'm in charge.
"The PM needs time to take a break... he has been working very hard so let's be fair to him as a human being," he told reporters at the Christmas celebration hosted by the Christian Federation of Malaysia here.
Muhyiddin was responding to criticism from several quarters regarding Najib's absence during the floods, which has now seen more than 90,000 people evacuated around the country.
Muhyiddin said he was keeping close contact with Najib while the prime minister was away, and providing the latest updates on the current situation.
He said the government would mobilise all available assets to help in flood rescue operations, and would call on the private sector to assist if needed.
"We may ask some private companies or other agencies not involved with the flood operations to lend their helicopters for this crisis."
"Our priority is the safety of the people, and we will do all we can to save lives even if it costs more than we expected."
He urged the public not to spread false or unsubstantiated rumours in order to avoid adding to the flood victims' distress.
"Rumours such as distress calls and so on are hard to verify which makes it difficult for us and causes people to panic.
"This is not helpful so we hope people will not be taken in by these claims spreading on social media."
Muhyiddin said he has been receiving updates every two hours from the National Security Council on the flood situation and will to continue to advise them on the mobilisation of assets and aid distribution.
Erratic weather patterns, he said, had made it difficult for rescue and aid operations to be carried out as planned, especially in heavily affected areas in Kelantan.
He said his scheduled visit to the state tomorrow may even be disrupted, depending on the weather and flood situation at Pengkalan Chepa airport.
"If that happens, I will resort to Plan B, which is to land in either Kuantan or Terengganu."
He dismissed criticism that the government had been unprepared for the crisis, saying that the extent of the floods had been unexpected.
"We face floods every year but this is looking to be the worst the country has seen in the last 30 years.
"We can prepare all we can, but some things just cannot be predicted. Some things are also out of our control... This is a natural disaster and it can be caused by many things, including climate change and soil erosion."
Despite the seriousness of the crisis, Muhyiddin said there was not yet a need to declare a state of emergency, as several criteria needed to be met.
"Unless there was a total breakdown in electricity or water supply, or if the number of evacuees rises to over hundreds of thousands, we will not declare a state of emergency."
"Even it was declared, the important thing is what we do about it... Ensuring lives are saved and that they have all the essentials they need."
Earlier, Muhyiddin wished all Malaysians a Merry Christmas on behalf of Najib and the government.
He said Christmas was a time for the country to foster peace and harmony.
"These are very challenging times.
"There is a need for us to come together and share our feelings so that we can resolve issues in the best possible manner we can."


Received this request to publish the following from a friend who is a supporter of PM DS Najib Razak.

Here it is,

There are lots of anger that PM Najib is seen playing golf with Obama in Hawaii on Christmas day and that he is not on the ground visiting the flooded east coast or in Malaysia directing flood relief efforts.

However, we have to be realistic and understand that a PM's role is not to direct flood efforts nor to wade thru flood waters to carry victims to safety.

He is better served monitoring the situation and approve allocations and allow the right emergency bodies and his ministers to do their work.

A cursory glance at his twitter and FB page also shows that he has been making frequent updates on the flooding situation:

In fact, just 4 days ago, Najib did visit flood victims at the relief center in SMK) Gudang Rasau, Pahang that was holding residents around Sungai Belat.…/2014/12/20/pm-lawat-mangsa-banjir/

It's not like he doesn't care or is not updated with the latest. But even if he was on the ground in the flooded areas, there is little he can do and it is actually counter-productive.

Being on the ground is really just a populist photo-opportunity and the publicity and hoo-hah around him could turn out to be a hindrance to relief efforts instead of a help.

Not many people get to play a round of golf on Christmas Day (being the most important festival day for Obama) with the USA presidnet to build relationships - many many more famous world leaders would never have the chance.

Remember that President Obama is the most powerful person on earth and has vast resources at his command.

Who knows? Perhaps Najib could have asked Obama to look into assisting the flood victims in the east coast either via monetary donations or via technical, medical or logistic assistance?

And this is the latest statement issued by Najib just now,

Kenyataan Media

1. Saya telah dimaklumkan bahawa keadaan banjir di beberapa negeri kini semakin teruk dengan jumlah mangsa yang dipindahkan di sesetengah kawasan meningkat dengan mendadak.

2. Saya telah berhubung dan berbincang dengan YAB Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Timbalan Perdana Menteri selaku Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Pengurusan Bencana Negara bagi mempertingkatkan lagi usaha membantu mangsa-mangsa banjir terutama di kawasan yang terjejas teruk dan berisiko tinggi. Saya telah meminta YAB Timbalan Perdana Menteri mempertingkatkan lagi operasi penghantaran bantuan berupa makanan berikutan wujudnya kesukaran untuk sampai ke  kawasan banjir tertentu.

3. Saya diberitahu antara punca utama usaha memindahkan mangsa-mangsa banjir dan penghantaran barang makanan agak sukar dilakukan di sesetengah  tempat adalah disebabkan paras air yang sangat tinggi, arus deras yang merbahaya untuk kenderaan dan bot penyelamat di samping ada pusat pemindahan yang turut ditenggelami air.

4. Saya juga diberitahu, usaha penghantaran bantuan menerusi helikopter  terganggu berikutan cuaca buruk yang menyukarkan penerbangan dilakukan. Terdapat juga di kawasan tertentu helikopter tidak dapat mendarat untuk menurunkan bantuan berikutan tiada lokasi sesuai berhampiran pusat pemindahan.

5. Saya percaya dan yakin pasukan penyelamat kita yang terdiri daripada pelbagai agensi kerajaan dan anggota sukarelawan sedang bertungkus lumus untuk memberikan bantuan yang terbaik termasuk mencari ikhtiar untuk sampai juga ke lokasi pemindahan yang sukar bagi menyalurkan segala bantuan yang ada.

6. Apapun kerajaan akan memastikan agar segala usaha dilakukan bagi membantu semua mangsa menghadapi banjir yang begitu mencabar pada tahun ini.

Dato' Sri Mohd Najib
25 Disember 2015 


The flood situation seems to be worsening with the number of evacuated victims getting closer to 100,000 all over the country.

This is via NST SMS alert just now:

NST 25/12 Flood in 5 states showed no signs of letting up, displacing 90,250 people in what is seen as biggest number of flood evacuees in history.

The worst hit is Kelantan.

KB this morning -picture courtesy of a journalist friend.
Fortunately, the authorities seem to have learn something from the big flood which took residents of Kuantan and Kemaman by surprise last year.

They were better prepared this time.

The response to emergencies may not be perfect but seems to be better than during last year's flood.

The situation in Kelantan, though very bad, seems still manageable with rescuers and relief workers doing their best for the victims.

They were however hampered by very bad weather causing some rescue efforts and delivery of relief supplies to be delayed.

Other than messages sent by flood victims, I have also monitored the exchanges between the rescue and relief workers and could feel that they are trying their best with all sincerity to assist the flood victims.

This is a message by a pilot of an air force helicopter to his friends via wassap which was shared with me yesterday by his journalist friend,

"Kawan2 di tudm dah cuba rescue d area manik urai ari ni...tapi cuaca very bad from kelantan and from penang,,,tomorrow first flt depa try masuk lagi...doa yg terbaik...malam ni usaha utk hantar makanan bagi yg terperangkap di area k.lipis...semoga d permudah"

Let's pray for the safety of those affected by the flood and all involved in the rescue and relief efforts.

Those who could afford it, please lend a hand to help.

On my part I will try to do what I can at the place where I am now.

By the way, I don't think anyone should try to exploit the situation like this,

Kelantan floods divine impetus for hudud rollout, claims Nik Aziz's son

It's just not right, okay.

Celebrating festivals

I am at my parents' place in Subang.

It's almost 3.30am, yet I still can't sleep.

Decided to write this instead.

I am staying the night here because my grandmother asked me to spend more time with her.

We had steamboat dinner here last night.

Grandma and grandpa have been at my parents' place since last week.

They are here for the Chinese Winter Solstice celebrations on Monday.

This year they took the trouble to be with my mother for it.

Normally, they celebrated the occassion with my aunts in Singapore.

I think grandma and grandpa miss my mother a lot these days.

Lately, they come to KL quite regularly to see her.

My father, as usual is not around when my grandparents are here.

He is currently somewhere in the east coast.

I wish he could be here with us for all the celebrations.

The only celebration that my parents and I actually spent time together is on Hari Raya.

My mother and I spent time during all the Chinese festivities with her family.

As for my father, his parents passed away before I was born.

His family is rather scattered and hardly see each other even during festivities.

Well, today is Christmas.

I don't celebrate Christmas.

I only celebrate Islamic and Chinese festivals.

I don't even celebrate Malay festivals....I don't think there is any such thing being practiced.

Hari Raya is an Islamic festival, not Malay festival.

As far as I know, all of my mother's family members are officially Taoist.

I don't know any of them being Christian.

So, I believe they don't celebrate Christmas too.

My father once said that my mother used to celebrate Christmas just for fun.

That was before they were married.

That's just the way it is with my family and me when it comes to celebrating festivals.

We only celebrate festivals which we could relate to such as Hari Raya and Chinese New Year.

But we all always wish our Christian friends Merry Christmas for the occasion.

It's the same when we don't celebrate Deepavali but wish Happy Deepavali to our Hindu friends.

Nothing wrong with that.

So, to Christian readers of this blog,


May it be a joyous occasion for you all.

Have fun, okay.

Wednesday 24 December 2014

1MDB's explanation, once again

I had not too long ago insisted on

And 1MDB had actually obliged several times such as this one,

Alas, many however were not satisfied with such too technical explanation.

The 1MDB issue had since become the biggest threat to the leadership of PM DS Najib Razak as his critiques from both sides of the political divide use it as their most potent political weapon.
And once again 1MDB had come out with another explanation,  this time by Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin who is chairman of the Board of Directors of 1MDB.

Hopefully his explanation this time is convincing enough for readers of this blog.

Here is Lodin Wok's explaination:
As the chairman of the Board of Directors of 1MDB, I have viewed with surprise recent statements, both in the media and by certain individuals, suggesting that the company has failed to respond to various questions that have been directed at it over the past months.
As the Board of Directors, we welcome debate, and as a company that is wholly-owned by the Ministry of Finance – and by extension, the people – we believe that public scrutiny of 1MDB is a good thing, and will only serve to strengthen the company and its governance.
In the interests of increasing the company’s transparency, I have held meetings with members of the media where I listened to and responded to their concerns.
Furthermore, the company has taken various other measures such as issuing multiple statements responding to allegations directed at the company, publishing a detailed document answering frequently asked questions, and releasing a public statement outlining key highlights from 1MDB’s last financial results – the first time 1MDB has done so since the company’s inception in 2009.
All of this information is freely available on 1MDB’s website, and we believe that these actions reflect our efforts to engage in a more open and constructive dialogue than has perhaps been the case in the past.
Despite this, issues that have previously been raised and, subsequently, addressed by the company continues to be regurgitated by certain individuals. In the interests of providing clarity, we would once again like to respond to the various concerns.
1MDB’s funding and debt levels
Contrary to claims, 1MDB is not a sovereign wealth fund but rather a strategic development company. In practice, this translates into a company that is independently run and funded, but one whose investment decisions are driven by the interests of the national economy.
Whilst a sovereign wealth fund and a strategic development company may not sound very different, there is an important distinction between the two: whereas a sovereign wealth fund is directly funded by the government and invests on its behalf, 1MDB raises and invest its own capital.
In fact, in terms of actual funding, the company has only ever received RM1 million in equity, which was provided by the Ministry of Finance at the time of its inception.
Given that 1MDB does not receiving any funding from the government, it is therefore simply not true to claim that the company is investing or worse, wasting, the state’s – or the people’s – money.
As 1MDB funds its own operations, it should not be surprising that, from time to time, the company raises capital on the international debt markets in order to finance some of its projects. However, all of this debt is backed by solid assets.
At present, this includes the 15 power and desalination plants in five countries that comprise our energy business, as well as our extensive property portfolio which includes 70 acres of prime real estate currently being developed as TRX - Kuala Lumpur’s first dedicated financial district, 495 acres of land on the site of the old airport in Sultan Besi earmarked for Bandar Malaysia - a mixed-use urban development, and 234 acres of land in the centre of Air Itam, Penang.
The total value of the company’s assets (RM51.4 billion as at the financial year end of March 2014) comfortably exceeds the value of its total debts (RM41.9 billion for the same period). This means that the company has net assets of close to RM10 billion, representing the value it has created since its inception five years ago.
Furthermore, this does not take into account the expected benefit to be realised from the initial public offering of the group’s energy portfolio, which will help de-leverage the group and contribute towards reducing its debt profile.
Finance costs and interest rates paid by 1MDB
Like any business, 1MDB attempts to secure the lowest rate of interest and finance costs when taking out a loan or conducting a bond issue. However, in certain instances, these interest rates and finance costs have been towards the higher end of the market rate.
It has to be understood that, when it comes to raising debt on the financial markets, there is no one size fits all solution.
A number of factors determine the finance costs and the interest rate applied to a loan or bond issuance. These include the length of maturity, whether the loans are underwritten or guaranteed, macro-economic factors, and many more.
To take one example, we are aware that concerns have been raised about the 5.75% interest rate assigned to a RM5.0 billion Islamic bond that was issued by 1MDB in 2009. As a comparison, it has been noted that another government-linked company Petronas paid an interest rate of 3.60% on a bond at the same time.
This is an unfair comparison that does not take into account a number of important factors. To highlight just one: when subscribing to a bond, lenders take on a certain degree of risk and the longer the tenure, the higher the risk for the bondholder. Therefore, bonds that have a longer maturity period typically have a higher interest rate.
To the best of our knowledge, the only Petronas-related bond issued in 2009 that carried a coupon rate of 3.6% was for a RM100 million bond with the tenure of only three years, whereas the 1MDB bond had a tenure of 30 years. As such, given the significant difference between the maturity periods, it should not be surprising that the bond issued by 1MDB had a higher interest rate.
More broadly, it is important to note that the bond issued by 1MDB in 2009 was the first Malaysian bond with a 30-year tenure, and the first Islamic bond to be issued with a maturity period of that length.
Given the economic climate at the time, the fact that 1MDB successfully managed to raise this amount of capital reflects the support, goodwill and confidence placed in the company.
Funds regulated by the Cayman Monetary Authority
There has also been substantial debate about funds invested by the company regulated by the Cayman Monetary Authority. However, anyone familiar with the financial world should be able to confirm that there is nothing unusual about companies of this size investing their funds in the Cayman Islands, which is one of the largest registered fund jurisdictions internationally, with the Cayman Monetary Authority recognised as one of the leading fund regulators in the world.
Thousands of international blue-chip companies have funds regulated by the Cayman Monetary Authority, including over 200 Malaysian companies, many of which are household names.
To provide some background with respect to 1MDB’s investment: in 2009, 1MDB and a Saudi Arabian company entered into a joint venture to facilitate long-term economic cooperation between Malaysia and Saudi Arabia. As part of this, a joint-venture fund was set up to undertake investments on projects which would generate financial and strategic benefits to both countries.
However, due to various factors, both parties eventually decided not to proceed with these plans.
As a consequence, 1MDB’s investment in the company was converted into a fixed income instrument in the form of Murahaba notes, essentially a loan, with an annual interest rate of 8.75%. This loan was paid back in full, for US$2.318 billion with a profit of US$488 million, in 2013.
Repatriating these funds to Malaysia would have exposed them to fluctuations on the foreign exchange market, as being witnessed at the moment. In order to ensure that 1MDB maintained a strong liquidity position with a truly diversified global portfolio, these funds were invested in a 1MDB subsidiary that was registered in the Cayman Islands. However, the company has already redeemed a significant portion, US$1.4 billion, of the fund and expects to redeem the remaining amount in the coming months.
Overpaying for power assets
In line with the government’s strategic aim of ensuring Malaysia’s energy security, 1MDB has acquired a number of energy assets since 2012. These acquisitions have allowed the company to diversify its fuel mix and country risks, as well as benefit from healthy cash flows and the expertise of their excellent management teams.
The claims relating to the amounts 1MDB paid for its energy assets revolve around values that were attributed to the assets at the time they were acquired and on the basis of certain assumptions made by external parties.
However, the company takes a long term view and consider broader synergies for the group, as well as the social and economic impact on the country, when we evaluate assets and forecast economic returns.
As such, it is the management team’s strong belief that the value paid for these assets, which may have involved a premium in certain instances – as is common when acquiring another business, is commensurate with their existing and future potential.
It is also important to note that since acquiring its first energy assets in 2012, 1MDB has built this into the second largest independent power producer in Malaysia, with a strong presence in international markets within three years.
In total, 1MDB’s energy business has consolidated 5594MW of net capacity, comprising both gas and coal fired plants.
This portfolio provides the business with healthy cash flows and enables 1MDB to participate in bids for coal and gas fired plants, the two primary fuel source for power generation assets in the markets that the company operates in, allowing it to create further value and drive future growth.
As such, the economic benefit gained from these assets means that the company has recuperated any excess value it may have paid at the time of the acquisitions.
Overpaying for land
Any decision the company makes to invest in real estate is reached following an extensive period of due diligence, which includes the appointment of independent appraisers to determine the value of the land at the time of the acquisition, whilst also taking into account the value the company can add to it.
All of 1MDB’s investments are undertaken in line with the best interests of the business, and with a view to stimulating economic growth and prosperity in Malaysia.
We understand that there has been some speculation about the value paid by 1MDB for a land parcel in Penang. This land is located in the centre of the town of Air Itam, a much sought after area where property prices have seen a substantial increase in recent years.
This is reflected in the prices that other developers have paid to acquire land in neighbouring areas which, at over RM200 per sq ft, is substantially higher than what 1MDB paid.
In fact, in one instance dating back to 2013, approximately 9.8 hectares in Air Itam were purchased for RM267.4 million, about RM251 per sq ft, for a mixed-use development. In another, approximately RM251 per sq ft was paid for a mixed development project near the Kek Lok Si Temple.
Given the general difficulty companies face in finding sizeable plots of land in prime areas of Penang, that are suitable for carrying out large-tier development projects, the amount paid by 1MDB for this land was not only commensurate with its value but highly attractive.
Preferential treatment on power contracts
Any award takes a number of factors into consideration: the technical standards of the bid, the track record of the company, the bidding price, the urgency of the project and the whole systems cost of the bid to name a few. The projects that 1MDB have been awarded, in Malaysia and abroad, have been on this basis.
Earlier this year, a joint consortium consisting of 1MDB and Mitsui & Co, Japan's second-largest general trading company, participated in an open and competitive tender exercise for a 2,000MW coal-fired power plant known as Project 3B. Following due consideration of the various bids, the Energy Commission announced that the joint 1MDB-Mitsui consortium had been chosen as the preferred bidder.
Subsequently, there have been suggestions that 1MDB received preferential treatment, and the basis of these claims is that the company’s bid was not the lowest offered. This rationale is flawed as it fails to take into account the fact that any award is based on a number of considerations, not just the tariff.
Whilst there was a bid that was slightly lower than the one presented by 1MDB, the fact is that 1MDB’s was the lowest compliant bid, with a proposed levelised tariff of 25.33 sen/kWh. There was a bid that was fractionally lower, of 25.12 sen/kWh, but this proposal did not comply with a number of requirements set out by the Energy Commission, key amongst which was their lack of experience operating a coal plant.
As the Energy Commission announced in a public statement, the 1MDB-Mitsui Consortium won the bidding exercise “in a fair and square manner with a well-proven technology that would enhance security of supply expected of a 2000MW coal-fired power plant operating in a grid system of our size”.
It is also important to note that there are other tenders that 1MDB has participated in where the contract has been awarded to other parties.
For example, despite 1MDB offering the lowest bid for a gas-fired plant in Prai, another company was deemed as offering a better overall package and awarded the contract on that basis. – December 22, 2014.

Monday 22 December 2014

The Election (Chinese: 選戰) - updated


Do read this post by BIGCAT about



Today I just want to recommend this new Hong Kong drama serial, The Election.

It stars among others my current favorite Hong Kong actress Angelica Lee Sinjie.

By the way, she is from Alor Star.

Angelica Lee

It's the best drama serial coming out of the island for quite a while.

And the story is just the stuff for you all political junkies.

Here is a review by South China Morning Post

HKTV's political drama The Election wins the youth vote 

It's just launched, so you all try la find a way to watch it.

Seriously, it's worth it.

Umno people at the party headquarters are also recommended to watch the drama so that they may learn a thing or two about how to win an election. Learn a bit about strategy, instead of buta-buta saja like last time.

DS Najib Razak is also recommended to try watch the drama...if he has time la.

Okay, I am resting early tonight...its raining cats and dogs where I am now...sejuk beb.

Oh, almost forgot, Happy Winter Solstice for you all Chinese who celebrate the occasion.

Don't eat too much of that TangyuanIt can make you fat, okay.

Sunday 21 December 2014

Moderation: Annie vs Sin Chew's deputy editor in chief

I am bored, so, I decided to analyze an article by Sin Chew Daily deputy editor in chief Lim Sue Goan.

It's about moderation.

My comments are in blue.

A tough fight

Saturday 20 December 2014

A good car and a marriage proposal

Everyone seems to be in the holiday mood now.

So many people in my office are taking leave.

Christmas and New Year coming.

I guess everyone also just can't wait for this year to end.

It's a very bad year for Malaysia.

Dominated by the tragedies of MH370 and MH17.

I will write more about it in the year end wrap-up later.

As for today, I actually went on a long drive up a hill with someone.

Just got back.

It was a nice but tiring trip.

The guy drove a Proton Preve.

It seemed to be handling the winding road up the hill very well.

He said the "sports mode" of the car is very good for such a drive.

Well, despite the complaints by some about the Proton car, I found the Preve to be quite good.

The guy has been driving his for more than two years but the car seems still new.

I had drove the car a bit before and decided that it is quite good.

I do remember the guy bitching a bit about it when he first bought the car but after a while he seems to love it, especially its turbo engine, superb road handling and above average safety features.

I think its not bad at all for a RM70,000 car.

Okay, back to the trip....

We started from Bangsar, head towards east and then up north before swinging west to go up the hill. That took us about two and a half hours.

Once there, we just drove around exploring the place before settling down for lunch at a quite nice restaurant.

I had smoked salmon, salad and apple juice.

He had steak, pumpkin soup and beer.

The food was quite good.

The view from the place was superb except for some cables hanging low near where we were sitting.

The weather was relatively cool and nice.

After lunch, we drove back to KL via a different route heading west.

As we drove back, the guy actually told me how much he loves me and wanted to marry me.

I just laughed.

It's not the first time he said that.

Told him it's the same deal : convert and stop the drinking and pork eating, then only I will consider.

He made a face and started talking about me being cruel to him.

I just laughed again.

Well, don't get me wrong, I am fond of the poor bastard but if he is serious then he really need to think about fulfilling my conditions.

It's not my choice anyway...and what I asked were the bare minimum.

It's not as if I asked him to buy me a bungalow or a Mercedes Benz, okay.

I am not even asking him to quit supporting DAP.

By the way, the guy is an atheist.

So, there should also not be any issue about me making him betray his religion and stuff.

I am not even asking him to change his name.

I like his Chinese name.

Well, so much for a marriage proposal.

Eh, no politics today. I am tired.

Need to rest.

Have a nice weekend guys.


p.s Don't worry about me. The guy doesn't read my blog. That's why I can share this story with you all :-)