Would you buy what Richard Branson gave away: The Air Asia X IPO seems grossly over-priced
As Minister For Climate Change,and Industry and Innovation Combet continues to display the same disregard for financial management that he did at Defense (see story below).
Combet was recently queried about a three year contract his Department of Industry and Innovation awarded late last year for the cleaning of the National Measurement Institute and Australian Astronomical Organisation's new offices and laboratories in Ryde. The NMI's labs are highly secure given its responsibility for legal metrology. As well, it provides testing services to the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA).
Regardless of the highly technical nature of the work involved, the contract was awarded a company with no prior experience in the cleaning of laboratories.
Within a month of the contract commencing Combet's Department requested a variation of that contract which resulted in a reduction of the cost to the supplier of approximately $ 105,000 to $ $ 120,000 over the term of the contract.
Given that the contract is valued at $ $847,142, the reduction represents an addition to the supplier's gross margin of 12%-14%.
Given that cleaning contracts provide margins of between 2%-5% at best, the addition to the supplier's margin is highly significant.
Combet has been asked in emails why his Department and he did not seek a variation in contract value. The response received from both the Department and Combet's office read:
On 7 May 2008 the then newly appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Defence Procurement The Hon. Greg Combet MP announced " a review of Defence procurement and sustainment", to be conducted by Mr David Mortimer AO.In making that announcement Combet said that he " would like the review to examine how DMO can continue to develop its commercial orientation and become more business-like in its operations."
On 2 July 2008 the Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, Warren Snowdon MP, witnessed the signing of the new Australian Defence Force (ADF) Recruiting Services Contract with the ASX listed Chandler Macleod. The contract was valued at up to $405 million over a period of five years.Mr Snowdon said that Chandler Macleod was selected by Defence following an extensive and competitive tender process conducted in accordance with Government Procurement Guidelines. Chandler replaced the much larger and better established Manpower Services Australia
First, there was Fetch TV, into which AK's Astro and other companies are investing:
THE STAR has announced that AirAsia CEO and major shareholder Tony Fernandes has been appointed a director of its publisher, Star Publications (M) Bhd. The Star has been a prominent publicist for AirAsia, publishing commentaries usually in favour of AirAsia.
Given the appointment Fernandes becomes part of the mind that directs the company and the paper. This is THE STAR, a Malaysian paper, owned by the MCA ,a prominent member of the ruling Barisan Nasional, so arguments of editorial independence can be safely put aside.
Consequently, it does appear that each and every journalist at THE STAR, managing editor Wong Chun Wai downwards, would need, in accordance with the law as stipulated in the Securities Industry Act 1980, tto enter into the "register in the prescribed
form ... the securities in which he/she has an interest" .
The relevant provisions are reproduced below:
29. Application of this Part.
(1) This Part applies to a person who is–
(g) a financial journalist; or
30. Register of Securities.
(1) A person to whom this Part applies shall maintain a register in the prescribed
form of the securities in which he has an interest.
31. Notice of particulars to Commission.
(1) A person to whom this Part applies shall give notice to the Commission in the
prescribed form containing such particulars as are prescribed including the place
at which he will keep the register of his interest in securities.
[Am. Act A847:s.11; Am. Act A943:s.30]
(5) Any person who fails or neglects to give notice as required by this section commits
4. Interest in Securities.
(3) A person shall be deemed to have an interest in a security where a body corporate
has an interest in a security and–
(c) that person, or the associates of that person or that person and his associates
are entitled to exercise or control the exercise of not less than 15% of the
votes attached to the voting shares in the body corporate
4) For the purposes of paragraph (3)(c), a person is an associate of another person if
the first-mentioned person is–
(b) a person in accordance with whose directions, instructions or wishes that
other person is accustomed or is under an obligation, whether formal or
informal, to act in relation to the security referred to in subsection (3);
(c) a person who is accustomed or is under an obligation, whether formal or
informal, to act in accordance with the directions, instructions or wishes of
that other person in relation to that security;
(9) An interest in a security shall not be disregarded by reason only of–
(a) its remoteness;
Of course, none of the above would apply if the THE STAR undertakes to never ever publish any commentary whatsoever about AirAsia, but I doubt that.
|DATO’ ABDEL AZIZ @ ABDUL AZIZ BIN ABU BAKAR was appointed Non-Executive Director of the Company on 20 April 2005 and on 16 June 2008, he was re-designated to Non-Executive Chairman. He is also the Chairman of the Nomination Committee. Prior to this, he served as an Alternate Director of the Company to Dato’ Pahamin Ab. Rajab since 11 October 2004. He also served earlier as a Director of the Company from 12 December 2001 to 11 October 2004. He is currently the Non-Executive Chairman of VDSL Network Sdn Bhd.|
He is also the Chairman of PAIMM (Academy of Malaysian Music Industry Association) and PRISM (Performance and Artists Rights Malaysia Sdn. Bhd.), a music performers collection body. From 1981 to 1983 he was Executive Director of Showmasters (M) Sdn Bhd, an artiste management and concert promotion company.
|TAN SRI DR. TONY FERNANDES was appointed Group Chief Executive Officer of the Company in December 2001. He is also a member of the Employee Share Option Committee of the Board.|
Prior to joining the Company, he was Financial Controller at Virgin Communications London from 1987 to 1989, Senior Financial Analyst at Warner Music International London from 1989 to 1992, Managing Director at Warner Director at Warner Music Malaysia, from 1992 to 1996, Regional Managing Director, ASEAN from August 1996 to December 1999 and Vice President, ASEAN from December 1999 to July 2001 at Warner Music South East Asia. He was actively involved in developing the Malaysian music industry and received the title ‘Setia Mahkota Selangor’ from DYMM Sultan Selangor Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah in 1999 in recognition of his contributions and was also the recipient of the ‘Recording Industry Person of the Year 1997’ by the Recording Industry Association of Malaysia.
|DATO’ KAMARUDIN BIN MERANUN was appointed Director of the Company on 12 December 2001. In January 2004, he was appointed Executive Director and on 8 December 2005, he was re-designated to Group Deputy Chief Executive Officer. He is also the Chairman of the Employee Share Option Scheme Committee of the Board. Prior to joining the Company, he worked in Arab-Malaysian Merchant Bank from 1988 to 1993 as a Portfolio Manager, managing both institutional and high net-worth individual clients’ investment funds. In 1994, he was appointed Executive Director of Innosabah Capital Management Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Innosabah Securities Sdn Bhd. He subsequently acquired the shares of its joint venture partner of Innosabah Capital Management Sdn Bhd, which was later renamed Intrinsic Capital Management Sdn Bhd.|
|CONOR MC CARTHY was appointed Non-Executive Director of the Company on 21 June 2004. He heads the Safety Review Board of the Company. He is Managing Director of PlaneConsult, a leading aviation business solutions provider which he set up in 2000 which specialises in advising and establishing Low Cost Carriers Prior to establishing PlaneConsult, Conor was the Director of Group Operations at Ryanair from 1996 to 2000.|
Before joining Ryanair, he was the CEO of Aer Lingus Commuter. Prior to that, he was General Manager/SVP for Aer Lingus in the Marketing and Strategic Planning divisions.
|DATO’ LEONG KHEE SEONG was appointed Independent Non-Executive Director of the Company on 8 October 2004. He is Chairman of the Audit Committee and a member of the Remuneration Committee of the Board. He was Deputy Minister of Primary Industries from 1974 to 1978, Minister of Primary Industries from 1978 to 1986 and a Member of Parliament from 1974 to 1990. Prior to this, he was a substantial shareholder of his family’s private limited companies, which were principally involved in general trading. He was the Chairman of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade’s Negotiating Committee on Tropical Products (1986 to 1990) and was the Chairman of the Group of 14 on ASEAN Economic Cooperation and Integration (1986 to 1987). He graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering in 1964 from University of New South Wales, Australia. He is an Independent Non-Executive Director of TSH Resources Berhad.|
|DATO’ FAM LEE EE was appointed Independent Non-Executive Director of the Company on 8 October 2004. He is also a member of the Audit, Remuneration and Nomination Committees of the Board. He received his BA (Hons) from the University of Malaya in 1986 and an LLB (Hons) from the University of Liverpool, England in 1989. He obtained his Certificate of Legal Practice in 1990 and has been practising law since 1991 and currently is the senior partner at Messrs YF Chun, Fam & Yeo. He also serves as a Director of M-Mode Berhad.|
|DATO’ MOHAMED KHADAR BIN MERICAN was appointed Independent Non-Executive Director of the Company on 10 September 2007. He is also a member of the Safety Review Board and Audit Committee of the Board. He has had more than 20 years’ experience in financial and general management. He has been an auditor and a management consultant with an international accounting firm, before joining a financial services group in 1986.|
Between 1988 and April, 2003, Dato’ Khadar held several senior management positions in Pernas International Holdings Berhad (now known as Tradewinds Corporation Berhad), a company listed on the Main Board of Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad, including as President and Chief Operating Officer.
|MOHD OMAR BIN MUSTAPHA, was appointed as Independent Non-Executive Director of the Company on 16 March 2011.He co-founded Ethos & Company in June 2002. He led Ethos as Managing Partner from 2002 to 2010, and became Chairman of the firm in January 2011.|
As Managing Partner he provided the overall stewardship for the partnership group and associates, and guides the thought leadership and client development agenda of the firm. In 2004, he took a sabbatical from Ethos to serve as Special Assistant to Deputy Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak for economic, corporate sector and foreign policy issues. He re-joined Ethos as Managing Partner in 2006 upon the untimely passing of his partner and co-founder Dr. Liew Boon Horng. In 2007, he co-founded Ethos Capital, a Malaysian based private equity firm focused on providing equity capital and management support to growth companies in Southeast Asia. Ethos Capital’s maiden fund is in excess of RM200 million.
No one paid me to say this, and no one asked me to say it. However, it now all seems
so simple. Malaysia is facing a battle of the women, or at least led by the women. UMNO , and the BN , if they are to survive as a force in Malaysian politics, may have to come up with their own champion, a cross between Corrie Acquino and Megawati Sukarnoputri, if they are to remain relevant to Malaysian politics.
In the Pakatan corner we have Nurul Izzah, who is able to draw the crowds and is spoken of by some (or is that many?) as the logical replacement for her scandal tainted father, Anwar Ibrahim.Her age counts against her, but she is Malay and satisfies the convention that the prime minister be bumiputera. Anwar himself must realise that he longer draws the crowds,and in any case carries too much baggage ,not the least from his UMNO antecedents.
Bersih 2, and now 3, has proven that it is no longer Anwar that draws the crowds ; larger each time , and always summoned by Ambiga Sreenivasan. The crowds are not necessarily drawn to her but she has certainly provided the leadership.Ordinarily she would be spoken of as a potential prime minister, somewhat like say Corrie Acquino was after she lead the masses against Marcos, but the reality is that the Malay majority would never accept a non-Malay prime minister. Otherwise, she is of the right old age, and is from the legal fraternity that has been traditional source of politicians.
Nevertheless, Ambiga seems to be in UMNO's cross-hairs. Might then UMNO strategists be wondering whether they too should start thinking of a woman leader, and do in Malaysia what the Thakshin family has done in Thailand to salvage its power and influence, substituting sister Yingluck for exiled brother Thaksin Shinawatra? If so, there is only one choice even if she is not yet an MP, and that would be Marina Mahathir.
In Marina one can see a lot of what Ambiga has stood for and has demonstrated popular support While much older than Nurul Izzah she has demonstrated at least an empathy with the issues , norms and values of younger Bumiputeras. As well she seems to identify well with younger Chinese and Indians. She is from all accounts her father's daughter even if her public musings seem at odds with his.Both appear to share boundless energy , some secret fountain of youth, and a belief in themselves which allows them to depart from convention when required.Despite criticism of him and his tenure as prime minister Tun Mahathir remains popular and influential, and those hankering back to the roaring 90s when he was PM could see in Marina a clone that could make it all happen again.One suspects that younger brother Mukhriz would agree, even it means that his ambition (if any) of becoming prime minister would be curtailed.
Readers might think the above simplistic given the existing hierarchies within UMNO. However, when the prospect of a hung parliament is being openly discussed, and with Idris Jala insisting regardless that "and already" he has made a difference, one suspects that within UMNO there is the realization that drastic action is required.
Is it then so unlikely that The Star's managing editor, Wong Chun Wai, might in the near future ,report with the fervour hitherto applied to spiking her stories, be reporting " Prime Minister Marina Mahathir said.......".