Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Leaner And Better Sime Darby

-- was the assurance by Sime Darby chairman Tun Musa Hitam when asked whether more heads would roll over the group's cost overruns in four projects in its energy and utilities division.
These projects are in Qatar and the Bakun hydro-electric dam.

On Thursday (May 13), Musa told a media conference that, as a result, the group would take a hit of almost RM1billion in its second half earnings from the losses.

Last night Musa met with some bloggers at the Sime Darby convention centre, and spoke candidly about the issue, explaining about the Bakun project and how the group landed with the Qatar projects; how everything that shouldn't happened, happened. And so on.

(In the news : Sime Darby's group chief executive officer Ahmad Zubir Murshid has been asked to go on paid leave until his contract ends in November.)

Responding further, he said he was not going to "chop" people's heads because "people want me to".

"I want to have basis. I am of the view that we cannot let things rot. We have to cure it. I assure you. We will be leaner and better after this."

He reiterated , that long-term structural problems that have been identified will be rectified.

There will be changes.

Musa said as the group CEO, Zubir had taken responsibility for what happened.

When a blogger, pressed further on the role and responsibility of Sime Darby's board of directors, focusing on him as chairman, a smiling and good-natured Musa responded: " You want me to resign?"
He said he was prepared to resign. But it (any demand for him to do so) has to come from the shareholders, and of course - as Sime Darby is a GLC - the Prime Minister.

Asked whether the group had found a candidate to succeed Zubir, Musa said the group would need time to look for a suitable candidate.

He quipped that if he had his way, he'd prefer a foreigner, but the decision was not his alone.

Read the earlier reports on the losses HERE and HERE.

With Musa at the meeting with bloggers were acting group CEO (executive vice-president of the plantation division) Azhar Abdul Hamid and group CFO, Tong Poh Keow who offered details and further explanations to points raised.

The last time Musa met with bloggers was more than a year ago. Zubir was with him.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Fat hope for a leaner and better Sime Darby. It will not happen as long as it is a GLC.

Anonymous said...

A leaner and better sime darby?

Were we not told this when Sime Bank incurred those losses of hundreds of millions as well?

Somethings never change!

Poor us!

jay

Anonymous said...

Arabs have very high standards and are strict on quality. What can pass of for o.k over here may not be so over there.

rahim said...

It is sad to see another Malaysian Company taking a big hit on an Engineering,Procurement,Construction and Commissioning (EPCC) Contracts for Oil & Gas.
We had seen Ranhill, PECD and Nam Fatt had huge losses in Sudan and now Sime Darby in Qatar.
EPCC contracts are lump sum fixed price and the Contractor take all the risks. In most cases the Contracts were onerous in favor of the Owner but yet 'eager' contractors are easily enticed by the huge contract price. Owners being huge oil Companies can afford the best lawyers in the world to draft the Contracts. In Sudan, the Contracts were so onerous to the extent that the Malaysian Contractors take the responsibility for correctness of information/data provided by the Owner.
The Contractors were also responsible for price increases despite the huge price increases that resulted from oil prices reaching more than USD130/bbl.

All Malaysian Contractors should stop taking the risks of performing EPCC O&G contracts unless they are able to mitigate the risks.

Abd Rahim Naim

Baharudin said...

Musa the politician with his untimely "elegant silence"?
Funny that Musa, as chairman of Simes's BOD should speak of others' failures and accountabilities... what ARE HIS FUNCTIONS & ACCOUNTABILITIES then in the fiasco? As chairman he should have the IQ/experience to smell the rot before it got full-blown... not just looking at the numbers AFTER the fact... that, any monkeys can do!!
He should take accountability as well - he speaks as a politician, blame others but himself for the failures... he didn't learn from his Memali experience over the years!? The govt. should make it a point NOT TO APPOINT ex-politician on the BOD of any GLCs!! Putar alam politician will make matters worse in the corporate world!

Rocky's Bru said...

Inevitable, I say. It's all a time bomb put there by Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's people, those smart asses who came up with the Synergy Drive idea, them who made their piles from the exericse, the PR jobs, etc. Nobody has mentioned his name, but I think it's time ex Finance Minister 2 Nor Mohd Yakcop comes to the fore and explain what exactly it was that he had in mind about Sime Darby/Guthrie/Golden Hope's future when the government decided to merge the three to create "the world's largest plantation company"?

Let's not just look at Musa, Zubir and those who inherited this time bomb.

Regards

Anonymous said...

A company and it's people is only as good as it's LEADER.

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

anon@3:54PM: I am more optimistic about it than you are.

anon@4:15PM (Jay): Let's see what happens now.

Anon@4:19PM: I'm not sure about that. Although I have heard otherwise.

rahim: i hear you. Thanks.

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

Baharuddin: I think it is always easy to fault personalities or whatever after the fact.
I know only from what was made public and from Sime Darby insiders.
I believe that no BOD can micro-manage a company or a conglomerate like Sime darby. it's not their job. I believe the board was told that everything was A-OK.
Their "fault" (the board's and the management committee) was to have believed 100 per cent what some jokers (involved in the projects - Qatar in particular)were dishing out to them and to not have at least, checked out, the talk in the industry.
Indeed, every one of them has taken responsiblity. They all are holding the bag. But someone has to go. Zubir has taken the rap. Or as some people say, been made a scapegoat, depending on how you see it.

In my view..there was transparency in the sense that the board and the managemement committee were briefed on the "progress" of the projects. Obviously, they were all misled. These guys were pulling numbers out of their asses, And as it turned out - like a script -- they painted themselves in a corner.

i do not know about running a corporation.. Sime darby aint a mom and pop business.
It looked like these guys (running the failed projects) were making bets in a burning house.

We don't now whether they can pull out of the fire.
let's hope it's not water over the dam for Sime darby.

so now Sime Darby has to do their repair job balls to the walls.

Good luck!

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

rocky,

ditto!

Certainly a question begs to be asked: wasn't the merged Sime Darby be stronger, and more profitable?

It's a major screw-up, if you ask me.
They know who are at fault. they should now act to clean up the mess and bring back the group.
I'm no brilliant CEO...if I were, i'd be there and not make a mess.

anyway...i know they can pull themselves out if they are focused on making the structural and "cultural" (as Musa pointed out) changes changes and repair. So it is not a day late and a dollar short for Sime Darby. They have other areas making money.

and I hear you...

Anonymous said...

Funny how the British Mat Salleh could run whole nations for a long time.

Q: How many Mat Sallehs are needed to plant 10,000 rubber trees?

A: Just one. Make him the estate manager.