Tuesday, December 05, 2006

NSTP and Utusan to trade today

Correction. In the tradition of good journalistic ethics, I apologise for an error in my earlier posting "Utusan Merger is OFF, for now". Under "update", I quoted a Bernama report that contained this para: The two companies said that their shares would remain suspended until both parties are able to reach a definite agreement in relation to the merger.
Fellow bloggers have been alerting me to a later Bernama report that has set the record straight:
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 4 (Bernama) -- The trading of shares of New Straits Times Press (Malaysia) Bhd and Utusan Melayu (Malaysia) will resume Tuesday, Bursa Malaysia said.
Read the full report here.
And while we're at it, mark these words from the Prime Minister.
Abdullah said he hoped the proposed merger would not involve the editorial departments of the two companies which managed their respective newspapers.
"What the Malays do not want to see is that Utusan being sent to the grave due to the merger," he said.
The full story here. Doesn't augur well for the merger talks, if you ask me.


  1. Anonymous2:48 am


    The NSTP-Utusan proposed merger has implications beyond ordinary tie-ups of two corporate entities, each a PLC in their own right. I'm no expert or authority on M&A (mergers and acquisitions), but it is obvious that the employees of the 2 publishing houses are not welcoming this prospect with open arms. Far from it, I'm told. In fact, some Utusan employees have started wearing badges protesting the proposed merger. If the Board and Senior management of Utusan have not yet seen this, they should start worrying because Utusan employees, or quite a number of them, are not supporting this new exercise. And Utusan employees have a history of making their views known in no uncerrain terms. Remember the mogok (strike) of 1961?

    If the Board and Management are happy,then they must have good reasons, and should share the information not only to their shareholders but to the ordinary rakyat too.

    NSTP was born following Tun Razak's decision that the Straits Times distributed in Malaysia must be Malaysian-owned and controlled. Hence, the New Straits Times.

    Utusan has been the voice of the Malays which dates back before Merdeka and the Malay intelligentsia had come to regard Utusan as the opinion-makers for the Malay masses.

    This proposed merger must be seen from the historical perspective of why the publishing houses were formed in the first place. Furthermore, has a business case been put up for it and whether shareholders and the public are fully aware of the plus-minus; should it take place, how many employees will be displaced; etc.

    There are rumours all over the city and in newsrooms of the two newspapers ever since the proposed merger was reported. This is not good. If the journalists themselves are surrounded by rumours, I dare not imagine what will happen next.

    I'm sure the founding fathers of the companies have views of their regarding the proposed tieup. But sorry dads, keep your opinions only to yourself and mind your own business, backers of the proposed merger said. Pak Samad, Said Zahari, Mazlan Nordin, PC Shivadas, A Kadir Jasin - some of the famous and credible bylines of Msian journalism - their views are neither heard not solicited in so far as this new game is concerned.

    The days when Msian journalism is hijacked, or alllowed to be hijacked, by number crunchers or bean counters, is a clear signal that someone somewhere is playing zero sum game monopoly.

  2. Anonymous5:30 am

    When trade opens this morning (Tuesday), I hope share prices of NSTP and Utusan do not crash.

    As it is i am losing my pension on account of non-performance of NSTP shares since the Kalli Gang was assigned to the company.

    Thank You Pak Lah.

  3. Anonymous5:43 am


    If merger of NST-Utusan is good as the PM is saying, which he should not because these are independent listed companies, why is his own party opposing it?

    Does this mean that Abdullah is losing confidence and support of his party?

    I also wonder why Abdullah is in a hurry to merge NST and the Utusan at the same time as the mega merger of Sime, Guthrie and Golden hope?

    Is he seeing or knowing something that we don't know like consolidating NST and Utusan to strengthen his weakening position?

    Do you think Bursa Malaysia can absorb 2 big mergers at the same time?

    It smells ECM Libra-Avenue Asset rip-off to me. Why is Kallimullah so silent? He is the puppet master after all. Everybody knows. He also messes up the NSTP that it has no market value today.

  4. Anonymous7:26 am

    Apa yang dia tau?

  5. Anonymous8:54 am

    AAB doesn't know what he is talking about apart from "the merger is good...."

    As usual there are people in the background with grand designs - AAB is just supposed to support them.

    They are people in a hurry - they know fully well now that, if malaysians have any sense, AAB and his kuncu-kuncu WILL BE HISTORY sooner than we (and certainly they)think. InsyaAllah

  6. Anonymous11:49 am

    "What the Malays do not want to see is that Utusan being sent to the grave due to the merger." So said Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

    Correct me if I am wrong but I thought when The New Straits Times was born many-many years ago, it is meant to make it the English voice of the Malay. But what happened to NST now in Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's hand?

    So would you convinced that Utusan will not send to grave after the merger?

    Cukuplah Pak Kaduk seorang yang MENANG SORAK KAMPUNG TERGADAI!

  7. Anonymous12:00 pm

    Anyway, shares of both companies opened today. NST got whacked - down 67 cents at opening. (Read Edge Online). Utusan also got whacked.

    So much for the merger.

    Securities Commission should investigate both public listed companies for misleading the people and share manipulation.

    But the Securities Commission is another joke and manipulated body, swinging to its political masters.

    So here you have it. Many have got burnt now.

    But how many NST directors have got rich, I am sure, they are laughing to the bank.

    You duds in SC, what action will you take now?? We are watching.

  8. Anonymous12:05 pm

    Sorry, in line with my layman ethics (double Z - Zam and Zahidi - please note), I apologise.

    NST opened 61 sen down or 21 per cent lower than its closing before suspension, not as blogged earlier.

    A 100 apologies.

  9. Anonymous12:31 pm

    Dear Mr Rocky

    Well done!! To err is humans. But after having made the mistake you must have the courage to immediately apologise for it. You have done so. It is hoped that other young journalists will inculcate your professionalism. Good for you Mr Rocky.

    You defintely have ethic. Unlike your ex-boss, now ECM Libra's director, who until this very day refused to acknowledged the lies in his June 11 article when his boss, the PM, had indirectly asknowledged the lies in that article.

    Never mind, Mr Rocky. Your ex-boss had no ethic and it does not mean that you should follow his foot steps.

    So you better teach Zam and Zahid about ethics so that they cna advise your ex-boss, Kalimullah accordingly so htat we will have more ethical journalsits in the NST.

  10. Anonymous12:39 pm

    Kepada semua budiman...

    Saya menulis ini atas dasar yakin kepada sikap dan dasar keterbukaan.
    Saya tidak meragui, gabungan NSTP dan Utusan Melayu akan menjadi kenyataan juga akhirnya. Sebelum ia terjadi, saya ingin mengajukan pertanyaan yang boleh kita beri jawapannya bersama.
    Boleh atau tidak Media Prima yang mempunyai beberapa rangkaian television - TV3, NTV7, TV8, TV9 dengan media kumpulan NSTP bergabung atau "menelan" RTM. Dari segi bisnes, bunyinya amat logik sekali. Dari segi prinsip dan keagungan institusi, saya katakan ia mustahil berlaku kerana mudah ditakrif sebagai melanggar pantang larang dengan andaian akan menjejas dan mengikis fungsi RTM, walaupun kita tahu semakin hari semakin kecil bilangan penonton RTM, kesan saingan komersil rangkaian Astro dan stesen TV lain.
    Bagaimana pula jika RTM dibenarkan menelan Media Prima? Saya juga katakan ia boleh berlaku, malah lebih mudah dilakukan dan pastinya kurang bantahan dan hiruk pikuk politik. Cuma, menoleh ke belakang sedikit, sewaktu ura-ura RTM hendak diperbadankan tidak berapa lama dulu, macam-macam pandangan dinamgkitkan, kononnya bimbang berlaku perubahan dasar RTM terutamanya jika ia menjadi institusi komersil dan hanya memikir untuk membuat wang hingga lupa kepada matlamat kewujudannya.
    Begitu jugalah dengan gabungan NSTP-Utusan Melayu. Proses penggabungan, selain masalah teknikal, sebenarnya boleh berjalan lancar jika Utusan Melayu dibenarkan mengepalai urusan penggabungan ini. Bergabung bermaksud tak kira siapa besar atau kecil, perlu duduk di atas. Ia adalah cantuman dua atau lebih entiti. Siapa lebih kuasa, dialah yang lebih berkuasa. Soal keupayaan modal atau kelebihan nilai harta, adalah soal sekunder. Ia soal siapa yang diarah supaya menerajui proses penggabungan ini dan latar belakangnya.
    Jika sebelum ini si anu-si anu yang kecil pun boleh menelan si polan-si polan yang besar dan disokong dan direstui pula oleh MOF, tak ada masalahlah kalau Utusan Melayu mengepalai gabungan ini dengan sokongan Umno pula. Duit boleh dapatkan pinjaman bank jika mahukan siapa besar dan siapa kecil sebagai penentu kepada peneraju gabungan ini. Pada saya, sama ada perkataan gabungan, kerjasama, kongsi kuasa, "siapa telan siapa", pakatan strategik atau sebagainya digunakan, ia tidak lebih kepada soal semantik. Yang penting, institusi yang manakah harus diletakkan sebagai primadonanya, Utusan MELAYU yang ada perkataan MELAYU nya itu kah atau NSTP nya kah?. Tidak dinafikan kedua-duanya adalah institusi media yang ada rekod sejarahnya tersendiri. Jika mahu kekal bersaing, tidak perlu lagi lah sentuh mereka tetapi jika mahu digabungkan, perlulah melihat dari segi kesannya dari semua segi.
    Saya membuat perbandingan RTM dan Utusan Melayu henyalah berdasarkan kepada RTM adalah milik kerajaan manakala Utusan Melayu adalah milik Umno. Kedua-duanya adalah supremo dan biasanya melebihi kepentingan syarikat swasta, malah GLC sekali pun.
    Setelah bergabung, gaji kakitangan Utusan Melayu mestilah disamakan dengan mereka yang agak buncit koceknya di NSTP selain dapat itu dan ini, elaun itu dan elaun ini. Hari ini, dengarnya pekerja Utusan Melayu membantah penggabungan ini walaupun mereka sedar gaji mereka selama ini lebih kecil dan gabungan boleh memberi sedikit kenaikan gaji. Jangan pula nanti selepas bergabaung gaji dan faedah kakitangan, ikut syarikat masing-masing pula. Setelah bergabung, yang mana lembaga pengarah dikuasai oleh orang pilihan Utusan, perlu diberi kuasa menentukan arah baru syarikat kerana mereka menjaga kepentingan Umno, seterusnya kerajaan. Perlu juga jelas, apakah matlamat sebenar gabungan ini?. Apakah ia semata-mata untuk mengejar keuntungan? Soalnya mengapa sebelum ini rugi? siapa yang harus dipersalahkan?. Ini juga perlu diteliti. Adakah dengan bergabung nanti syarikat baru ini boleh membuat untung? Jika sekarang rugi sedangkan pengurusan sebelumnya membuat untung, siapa yang salah sebenarnya? Janganlah bergabung kerana tidak mahu menyalahkan diri sendiri. Letak tempoh minimum kepada pihak pengurusan supaya membuat untung, bukan arahan blanket saja.
    Pastikan juga keuntungan syarikat baru nanti adalah real, datangnya dari idea perniagaan yang inovatif. Kalau keuntungan datangnya dari menjual harta, jual pejabat dan jual kilang serta mesin percetakan, ia tidak memerlukan penggabungan, malah tidak memerlukan akauntan bertauliah atau CEO yang berwibawa. Siapa pun boleh berfikir mengenainya. Kita tidak mahu melihat harta syarikat yang pastinya akan bertindan menerusi penggabungan ini, dijual. Kita pasti boleh menjangka siapa pula yang akan membelinya,..terlepas ke tangan orang lagi. NSTP pernah membeli akhbar luar termasuk di Thailand dan cuba bertapak di Afrika Selatan, maknya dah pergi global, tapi kali ini balik ke lokal semula. Ingat, adalah lebih sukar untuk mendapatkan market share di segi iklan dari terlalu banyak media dari satu poket yang sama. Tambahan pula kalau dilihat rancangan pemecahan geografi edaran antara akhbar-akhbar, rasanya sukar untuk mendapatkan perkongsian edaran pun. Tapi, tak apalah, itu pilihan mereka. Dalam perniagaan surat khbar, ia tidak boleh main agak-agak atau rasa-rasa-rasa. Ia memerlukan pemahaman dan cita rasa falsafah dan politik. Jangan pula nanti, setelah gagal, ada pihak lain yang dipersalahkan. Kalau berjaya tu takpalah.

    Mior Kamarul Shahid

  11. Anonymous9:55 pm

    congratulations everybody, your wish to finish off the nst is coming to fruition. well done everybody. pse wait for the funeral of the nst. at the funeral of the nst, pse have something bad to say.

  12. Anonymous11:23 pm

    nstman says

    congratulations everybody, your wish to finish off the nst is coming to fruition. well done everybody,


    Are you are Kalimullah in disguise?

    Sure sounds like him blaming others and not taking reponsibility for the sad state of affairs the NST is in now.

    You are so pathetic!

    I say congratulations Kali & gang.

    Well done! Your wish to finish off the nst is coming to fruition.

    You did it, Kali. You have accomplished yr mission single-handedly - without getting much help from us.

    RIP NST.

  13. Anonymous12:33 pm

    Don't you think it stinks when the PM actually said the merger is done SOLELY for financial reasons? Jeez..if it is to save money, just close NST. That's a good enough financial reason if any. Why drag Utusan into the quicksand?