Tuesday, February 10, 2015

1MDB is a Sound Business

1MDB is a government business that has strong fundamentals, so said president and group executive director Arul Kanda Kandasamy (left) on Saturday. In fact, he assured us that he has done a strategic review of 1MDB’s business and company operations and he found them to be sound. 

He didn’t leave it at that. He continued to say that allegations against 1MDB were driven by uninformed statements by individuals without full knowledge of the facts. Of course, he didn’t name them but we know who the 1MDB critics are – unenlightened individuals such as former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, DAP’s Tony Pua, PKR’s Rafizi Ramli, UMNO’s Khairuddin Abu Hassan and I believe, many Malaysians. And I am one of them. 

Arul wasn’t satisfied with that too and he made further remarks that suggest he has the makings of a good BN politician. Instead of raising facts and figures that could help disprove the criticisms directed against 1MDB, he denounced the faultfinders: “… this has left us no choice but to conclude that the attacks on 1MDB are politically motivated and intended to sabotage our day-to-day business and impending corporate exercises”. This was unnecessary and uncalled for. 

And even though he contended that his objectors were unjustified with their 1MDB put-downs, he continued to show delight in assailing them: “Should these attacks continue, they have the potential to undermine the value of 1MDB, which would not benefit anyone other than those who seek to score political points at the cost of the economy”. 

Before he carries on with more drivel that is unlikely to even help 1MDB, he should spare a minute to read Mahathir’s statements on 1MDB. “Borrowed money cannot be regarded as wealth. And there are many things done with 1MDB money that are just plain wrong. (The) Government should not be indulging in buying and selling shares to make money for itself”.

From Arul’s pronouncements, I would say that he is not what he is made out to be. If at all there are Malaysians who have expectations of him – then they will be disappointed because he has so far failed to clear the air about 1MDB beyond expelling hot air – as is evident above.

I think he thinks he is being clever but in reality, he is making himself look like a fool. Maybe he was clever until he made the fateful decision to join 1MDB because at 1MDB, being clever is not a job requirement. That might explain why he couldn’t respond intelligently to any of the issues raised by those who are concerned with 1MDB’s travails.

But if we wish to give him the benefit of our doubt, maybe, Arul was just playing the game. He had no choice but to try hoodwinking Malaysians by pretending to be stupid – after all, he is only an employee and as you know, 1MDB is one of the many impetuous schemes conjured by the prime minister. 

Didn’t you read about Najib Razak’s latest pet project? He has given away RM2 million to the Malaysian Golf Association to popularise golf in our schools. He cannot even ensure our students are being correctly equipped to speak good English and he now wants to teach them golf! What hogwash! 

Last evening, I was at the Tropicana Golf & Country Resort in PJ to participate in the Crystal Toastmasters Club meeting. I was an evaluator for an Advanced speech. It is always good to attend their meetings because I can put a tick on nearly every box, if not, every box there is. Whether it is attendance, timekeeping, food, hospitality, quality of speeches and evaluations – Crystal Toastmasters certainly do an awesome job. Therefore, I would score yesterday’s meeting an 8 over 10.

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