Sunday 10 May 2015

Defending the Tabung Haji-1MDB deal

The following is an article in defense of the Tabung Haji-1MDB deal by New Straits Times Press group managing editor Datuk Abdul Jalil Hamid:

Managing TH issue 

BY A. JALIL HAMID - 10 MAY 2015 @ 12:57 PM

IT seems there is never a dull moment in Malaysian politics. 
That was the case last week. 
By the way, there is an Indonesian saying, which sounds like this: Wayang kepadaman damar. 
Literally, it means a chaotic situation that happens suddenly. 
To be more precise, I am referring to the uproar over Tabung Haji’s (TH) deal to buy a 0.63-hectare piece of land in the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) for RM188.5 million. 
The episode has created a near hysterical situation for Malays in this country after the deal was first leaked about four days ago. 
Timing-wise, it seemed to coincide with the Permatang Pauh by-election, which the Barisan Nasional lost ultimately. 
The pilgrims’ fund board had planned to redevelop the land into a high-end residential tower that would contribute positively to the group’s future earnings. Never mind if the deal was first proposed in 2013, and cleared by its board and investment panel, and that it was an arms-length deal. 
The moment you mention 1MDB, it suddenly becomes a less kosher deal for depositors of TH, whose assets now total RM56 billion and that their annual pilgrimage is heavily-subsidised by the pilgrims’ fund. 
Malays suddenly melatah (to speak or act wildly, or deliriously) on hearing the link, even without getting the full picture or verifying the story. 
Even some senior Umno ministers have suddenly become so concerned about 1MDB, saying it has turned into a “toxic” situation that all other government-linked companies, including TH, have to stay away from. 
One minister even dared reporters to write about his frustration in the government’s handling of the 1MDB issue. 
Never mind if the transacted price was still below some of the recent deals in the Golden Triangle. 
Never mind if Bumiputera ownership of prime properties in the Golden Triangle is still less than 30 per cent compared with the dominant share by the Chinese. 
How can Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad classify this as a “bailout” when TH will make a profit from the sale of the land, which it decided yesterday to let go despite what would be a sound investment? 
By the way, there are at least a few foreign investors who have agreed or looking to invest in TRX. 
They include an Australian property firm and an Indonesian group, which is looking to invest in a signature tower in TRX. 
The issue is the people see that 1MDB would be making money at the expense of TH by selling the 0.63ha land at the so-called very “inflated price”, and they are not happy with that. 
But TH would also be making money, maybe lots of money, from its returns on investments on that prime piece of property. 
Is that the case of a missed opportunity? 
But right now, the general sentiment is that it is not “politically correct” to be in the vicinity of TRX and 1MDB. 
Just take a walk along upper Bukit Bintang. You are lucky if you find the sleek shopping malls there are owned by Bumis.

About letting go.

One writer by the name Salehuddin Omar posted a piece recently in the Malaysia Today portal. 
The piece, under the heading “Tun Dr Mahathir – My Way” talked about how Dr Mahathir had taken the lead to galvanise the support of Umno and the rakyat to force the PM to resign and replace him with his chosen successor, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. 
He said Dr Mahathir believed his 22 years in office as PM, his standing amongst Malaysians, especially amongst the Malays, was strong and this gives him the right to dictate and judge his successors to ensure Malaysia continues to prosper. 
“In other words, his successors have to listen and take his advice as long as he is around. 
There is no other way but only his (Dr Mahathir) way,” he wrote. 
He said the PM was always courteous and respectful to Dr Mahathir, always keen to listen to his views and suggestions. 
These include Dr Mahathir’s big ticket items, the crooked bridge and financial support for Proton. 
The other pressing issue was his son Mukhriz and his political future, after he lost the vice presidency in Umno elections in 2013. 
Salehuddin is right. 
The gloves have long come off. 
This is despite the fact that Najib had been trying to be inclusive and accommodative to his predecessors. 
He has not one but two predecessors to manage. 
But he feels that he should be given the room to govern based on the mandate given to him and not to be a lame duck PM and take direction from say, Mahathir or caucus of elders. 
Mahathir had promised that it would be a complete break when he stepped down. 
That was in 2002 when he returned from his break after announcing his resignation. 
In his piece, Salehuddin reminded the readers: “Dr Mahathir has little concerns that his attacks on the PM could weaken the party and BN. While during his time as PM, Dr Mahathir had advised and demanded party members to remain loyal and support his leadership during trouble and challenging times, he now advocates the opposite.”

Johor Sultan and GST

With due respect, I would like to touch on the point raised by the Johor sultan and the goods and services tax (GST). 
Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar last week the collection of the GST local government services, saying the imposition of the taxation system for such a purpose “does not make sense”. 
He said the state should not collect GST for “government services” as it should be considered the state's responsibility to the public. 
The statement is confusing. 
The people at the MoF has clarified that there is no GST for government services. Services by PBT also attract no GST. 
“But if the PBTs have business entities or appoint private companies to run, for example, parking services, that is considered business and as such they have to collect GST.” 
GST is Federal matter and as such better for policy matters be left to the government. 
Anyway, we cannot look back. 
The tax is here to stay but of course there are teething problems and these are being sorted out.
Read More :

Note: Anyone knows who is Salehuddin Omar who was quoted in the article?

Anyway, this is how the pro-Pakatan The Malaysian Insider reported the article:

NST editor calls Tabung Haji land deal 'profitable', says Malays acting hysterical


  1. Just bad timing.since you all know that 1mdb is a sensitive issue,why do it at the first for the profit that will be made from the selling of the land to another party,is there any other safer way to make it or neutralise the issue.

    it is just bad timing

  2. A.Jalil Hamid should write to us why NST has dropped in its readership since he takes over NSTP rather than broaching and dabbling in a topic that he does not know anything about. He should be ashamed of himself in writing this piece of crap that has nothing to do with him unless of course he was doing it to please his political master!

  3. Tak best defense ni. Try harder.

    1. Shame on you Abdul Jalil for piggybacking on some anonymous Salehuddin to slur the reputation of the Tun without providing evidence. You have compromised the integrity and prestige of the nation's leading English daily; a managing editor who is unable to succinctly express his own evaluation of volatile national issues ought either to relinguish his esteemed responsibilities as editor, or choose timidly to keep his silence thereby proving nothing about himself.

  4. Annie,

    1MDB issue is about governance, transparency, integrity and accountability in managing a country. nothing personal. When somebodys running 1MDB like his private company to the extent even a cabinet members know little about it, of course people will be asking.

    If nothing is wrong with 1MDB, answer the questions asked, not attacking the person who put up the question. as simple as that. When you cannot answer and the issues and bring up another issues, of course people will start suspecting somethings fishy and relate to your personal glamorous and wealthy lifestyle.

    Again,I just want to hear answer about 1MDB. Not perhimpunan solidarity all over the country please. NAJIB PLEASE ANSWER.

    budak jawa

    1. A very good point..agreed. Just answer the question not deflecting it with some grandfather story

    2. wht we all want to know is where is the 27 billions ? to whom it was given under which company under whose ownership ? and who is this jho low ?

      when u read the questions u know it all boils down to integrity.

  5. Annie, I was watching news at TV3 just now. Rasa geli geleman tgk panglima bugis dok bercakap. I seriously think he doesn't know what's gonna hit him. He seems syok sendiri la.... Kesian pun ada.

    1. Bro, I wonder when the Indonesian will protest and claimed that Malaysia's stolen their clan-man to be the Malaysia's PM ... hu huuu .... long live bugisman ...

    2. Aah mmg kesian..

      Dia ckp lawa rakyat sokong dia..

      Try buat pilihanraya esok tgok
      rakyat sokong ke tak..

      Bagus punya tempat dia pilih
      pergi tawau yg dipenuhi orang bugis
      yang banyak takde IC..

      Desperate sgt PM ni..

    3. Tu la pasal. Aku pun ada tengok tadi. Bergegar rostrum dia duk hempas tangan dia kat situ to make a point. Marah sungguh dia kat Dr. Mahathir. Menteri-Menteri Sabah semua terlopong tengok..

    4. Masa tulit itu bolang calon wakit lakyat eaa aa , atak tulit "bugis" atau "Bulayu" ?, manyak susah lea aa ,ini macam ,sekejap jadi Bugis ,Jawa Boyan ,Minangkabou ,tatak Bulayu.

      Isi bolang punya jam Bulayu . mana atak satu Malaysia .

      Cina / India tulit bolang pon Cina / India bila-bial pon akan tetap Cina / India maa aa .

    5. Bugisman or Bogeyman?!
      Looks like he is turning into The Malaysian Bogeyman!!

    6. Bugis vote not enough for him to win the branch and Division chief in Umno, parliament seat let alone the PM of Malaysia.Stop segregate Malays by clan and ethnicity.The issue here is what happened to 1MDB....not TDM, Bugis, jambatan Bengkok,blogger bangang or kangkung price

  6. This NST editor who wrote this article is definitely another idiot trying to please the PM in order to keep his position. It shows his shallow thinking, unknowledgeable and just another clown like Ahmad Maslan or Puad Zakarshi. The statistics shows that NST media readers had declined tremendously over the years and instead of him trying to rectify the situation, he finds its better to come to defense of Jibby Kangkung. I think we rather appoint any Pakcik from the kampung to be NST editor as this Pakcik would at least have the brains before writing rubbish or "merepek" article like this.


  7. "No Retreat" The Bugis warrior has sounded. Semboyan dan gendang perang dah berbunyi!.

    Will we see the Rats and Brutuses jumping back onboard the Bugis gunboat?

    The Bugis gunboat has new armour and weapons called ISA and POTA.

    Take no prisoners! It's the fight to the finish , for whichever dynasty reign tiill the next election.

    Desperate times requires desperate measures. What to do?

    1. Is he playing chess with death?

  8. 1MDB-TH Prop deal is ok.

    Gov - 1MDB deal is NOT ok. Mana boleh jual tanah murah macam tu. Everyone else buys at market rate.

  9. Explanation ape ni...?? Rakyat terutama kaum melayu skrg ni bukan pertikaikan investment itu....tetapi CARA urusniaga dilaksanakan. Diwaktu dunia sedang perhatikan isu 1MDB yg dalam siasatan audit, adakah logik dalam pemikiran mana2 Pengarah syarikat perniagaan yg mempunyai akal waras lagi bijaksana, untuk menjalankan urusniaga dgn pihak yg sedang tenat bermasalah dan lebih2 lagi sedang dalam SIASATAN RAKYAT?? Bila transaksi tetap berlaku, dari mata rakyat marhaen....apa yg dapat diperhatikan adalah unsur bersubahat antara TH dgn 1MDB. Dari explanation diatas, terbit persoalan....dari tahun 2013, kenapa masa SEKARANG baru nak beli?? Klu ini dirasakan perkara baik untuk investment pencarum TH, kenapa urusniaga ini dilaksanakan secara SENYAP...?? Unless kalau ini adalah satu tindakan yg disebabkan 'wahyu' dari atas yg suka dirujuk sebagai 'nasihat'.....which give Board of Directors no other options kecuali menurut 'nasihat'...

    Now, what is the issue?? People know it is RIGHT to invest, but they also know there is something WRONG about how it is being done and it
    bring confusion....period...!!

    And one more thing, apa yang dikaitkan zaman Tun Dr Mahathir dlm issue ini...apa relevannya? People now questioning 1MDB...mana pegi billion RM tu smua....kalau invest...rugi ka, untung ka?? Now, TDM ka yg jadi advisor 1MDB...??

    Kesimpulannya....penyataan NST ini tidak membantu pencerahan....tetapi lebih kepada satu alasan!!

  10. Well I think Malaysian Insider's byline was spot on given the rant by the newly minted Datuk (A. Jalil). Anyhow, it's high time for BN to be removed from power.


    mmg ada gst la di pbt johor