Tuesday, 16 August 2011

More insights on the MAS - AirAsia share swap deal

Updated 17 August 2011; More by YB Wee:

KLSE: Please investigate why no announcement when the “MAS-AirAsia” share swap was almost “MAS-AK”!

Original Post
YB Wee Choo Keong have been writing quite a bit on the nontransparent MAS-AirAsia Share Swap deal, his latest:

WAU! What a rosy report on MAS!
"I wonder how much did MAS pay BinaFikir Sdn Bhd for a job well done. Ten years later, Khazanah Nasional Bhd, under Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar, had to undergo negotiations for a share swap that was shrouded with secrecy with AirAsia in order to save the nation carrier, MAS. Tan Sri Azman should be applauded for his great efforts.

It was also coincidental that his former co-founder in BinaFikir Sdn Bhd,Mohammed Rashdan Yusof, who is also a Khazanah director, is now appointed to sit on MAS board. Henceforth, MAS should be flying high again. After this secretive MAS/AirAsia share swap, it will be interesting to wait and see MAS could hold on to its existing destinations and/or had to take up a big chunk of the 200 airbus that AirAsia has ordered."

Read the rest of YB Wee's superb post here.

The clincher to YB Wee's post is the responses in the commenter section which could throw some lights on whether Khazanah's latest move will be a profitable venture or a misadventure which would only make friends and cronies rich while the public watch in utter disgust as the so called financial experts/decision makers of Khazanah  blundered big time, again.

I think the comments are worth a blog posting in itself and should be read by many more:

It was rosy then but now need a boost through the share swap in darkness from Azman and Rashdan, the great MAS saviour of all times.

Now is another asset restructuring where a good friend of them, Tony, must be put into MAS to help MAS by giving up more destinations to AirAsia and take up Airbus from AirAsia otherwise the 200 airbus will be parked at KLIA as air show. What a stupid move.

YB, when WAU was proposed to MAS, BinaFikir has only 2 employees – Azman and Rashdan. And WAU is Binafikir’s first project for the so-called advisory outfit and Malaysia. The fees charges from Taxpayers from WAU (which turned out as the most expensive TOILET PAPER in the world) is nothing less than US$1million. Few years later, Azman got promotion (no thanks to Pak Lelah) to join Khazanah in 2004 and in 2008 Rashdan sold BinaFikir to Maybank for …. million and was appointed as CEO of Maybank Investment. Not sure how Maybank agreed on the price, but “8″ seems like a nice number, to some, and easy to remember. During his tenure as CEO of Maybank Investment, many experienced staff left the Group between 2008-2010 because cannot stand Rashdan’s arrogant attitude and some commented that he seems to know everything! (After all, he holds a “double first class” from University of Cambridge UK, so no point arguing with the prick!). Wahid is aware of the problem in Maybank – after the appointment of Rashdan, staff morale were extremely low, productivity is as good as zero, and KPIs were well below par. Although initially Wahid defended Rashdan for his “out-of-the-universe” management-style (also known as “kurang ajar” to most), the poor performance of Maybank Investment left Wahid with no choice but to kick Rashdan out from the Group. Heard that Maybankers were having parties and kenduri kesyukuran when Rashdan announced his resignation in March 2010. 2 months later, in May 2010, Azman offered him position in Khazanah as Executive Director of Investment (well that’s what friends are for, right?) and to cut short Rashdan’s “colourful” resume, in 2011 he is the Executive Director of MAS.

There’s a good article in The Sun dated 9 August about MAS-AirAsia deal written by Datuk Azman Ujang – “…Dick Brown, the then CEO of Cable & Wireless of US said the world of business has more bright people. I like to see both, but if i has to choose between high intelligence and effective execution, I would take effective execution all the time”..also “a top industry player explains MAS badly needs an operations man at the helm and not a finance man.”

Need to say more?

Good Luck Malaysia!

The Troubleshooters
Dear Sir,

Thank you for your relentless effort. My heart is bleeding again.
We are ready to surface.

I have also read somewhere about the main issue that has been overlooked.

“The state-owned airline has already had two rights issues since Jala took over, raking in RM1.6 billion in 2007 and RM2.67 billion in 2010 to fund its operations and fleet purchases.
Industry experts said that a further injection of cash will not save MAS as “operational fixes” are required.”

“The past financial fixes haven’t helped MAS. Another round of money won’t either, an industry source told The Malaysian Insider despite a touted RM8.4 billion aircraft renewal programme.
“Most of the past solutions for MAS, either the WAU or Jala’s business transformation plan, were financial in nature to keep the airline in the black. But what is needed are operational fixes,” he added.”

Yes, this is what lacking in MAS leadership – an Operational person who is FIRM, FAIR and FULLY FUNCTIONAL (as in operational).

I have also written many analysis and some reports were given PERSONALLY to Tan Sri Md Nor Yusof (when he was the MD) and Tan Sri Munir Majid (when he was the Chairman).
Being Finance persons, they somehow were not able to understand operational issues.

The observations below are extracted from my report titled “ENGINEERING AND MAINTENANCE DIVISION WORK CULTURE: A PRELIMINARY ANALYSIS” dated 11 December 2003


Based on a series of investigation, study and event that have unfolded, out of plain responsibility, I would like to raise my concerns on Engineering and possibly other MAS senior Management that we may be living in an unhealthy and disturbing culture whereby:

1. We take problems for granted.
2. We fail to analyze the real underlying issues and thus not able to provide professional solutions
3. We tend to defer important issues and failed to put first thing first preferring to continue prescribing quick fixes and fire fighting instead of fire prevention.
4. We tend to contain main issues, buying time, with the hope that the issues may miraculously go away or at the very least, the individual who raised it will be frustrated, fed up and eventually give up.
5. We are slow to act and react, we tend to condone many malpractices especially among the management. We have been led to believe that if we expose these malpractices, we are backstabbing our own friends and colleagues. We failed to recognise the fact that if we do not correct and instead choose to ignore the issues, we are actually backstabbing and betrayed the trust given by the nation and the public (staff)
6. The true professionals and leaders were not given the due recognition and credit they deserve.
The non performers (yes man) are rewarded whereas the performers are sidelined simply because their superiors felt threatened by their able subordinates.
7. Many have been exposed albeit ineffectively on various course such as leadership, communication, financial, management etc. What really missing is the very basic skills of learning which is analytical, comprehension, expression, interpretation and research skills
8. We tend to tolerate our own incompetence, giving too many chances when what seriously lacking is a dose of proper lessons
9. We tend to penalize those who defy, those who had guts in exposing our own incompetence and malpractices.
10. We tend to be ignorant of the huge responsibilities that Engineering & Maintenance have to shoulder and our inaction could jeopardize many lives including our loved ones.
11. Engineering as the engine of growth and heart of MAS acutely lack professionals who can provide solutions to the needs and problems and leaders who solve problem others fear.
12. In summary, we do not seem to be doing the right things and OUITE EVIDENTLY we do not know the right things to do.

Now, after nearly 8 years under tight wrapped, it is time for me to share with the public.

Thank you 1Malaysia.

Read the full comments here.

I must say that what was described by "The Troubleshooter" who seems to have inside knowledge of the workings in MAS, is a dilemma faced by many Engineers/technical professionals who worked in a company whose core is Operations but managed by Finance People who appreciate numbers/cost/profits but not operational/maintenance management.

Must reads to get a clearer view about the shameless share swap deal:

Sakmongkol AK47 expose:
A Sting job in the air?    Sting is in the air?
Please read this as well:

MAS-Air Asia swap: A shroud of mystery by anotherbrickinthewall

Tony Fernandes has dumped AirAsia: Time for fans to face misplaced devotion

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