Thursday, December 07, 2006

Singapore interest in Malaysia's merged media?

40 per cent. That's how much the market says Singapore could hold in the NSTP-Utusan merged company, mostly through proxy. Is that a plan?
You have no way of knowing at this point of time as both parties have signed a non-disclosure agreement, although that did not stop them the other day from briefing the analysts, who after that seemed very sure that the deal will happen. The renewed confidence, in turn, sparked NSTP's 19-sen rebound in this morning's trade.
I may be a minority shareholder but I want to know. If Lee Kuan Yew and Co holds even a single share in the NSTP or Utusan or, God forbids, a merged entity, I demand to be told before it happens.
That 1 share could be the golden share, man!

[read here for the 19-sen rebound and here on what the analysts had been told].
p.s. look out for regular updates in the next few days. the spin docs are working overtime to make the merge deal look prettier and sweeter for the Malay public and the Umno supreme council members.

update One: 4.55pm
First sweetener: Nasir Ali, the Utusan Melayu group executive director, is tipped to be the group CEO of the merged NSTP-Utusan entity. This is definitely aimed at putting the pro-Utusan group at ease. Where will Syed Faisal Albar, the CEO of NSTP, go? Full time at Malay Mail/(suspended) Weekend Mail or away from the limelight in the Media Prima empire?
[read the Bernama piece here on update 1]
[More Liquidity for the Market, says Nor Mohamed Yakcop here].


  1. Anonymous3:14 pm

    Dear Rocky,

    This came through from a friend from Singapore purportedly from The Strait Times:

    Ibnu Hakeem

    The tidak apa attitude of the Abdullah Ahmad Badawi regime seems to be just
    barrelling along, just like the elevated Star LRT train that kept on going
    until the tracks ran out.

    It has taken no less than the Sultan of Selangor to do the Prime Minister's
    job. Unlike Badawi, the Sultan has taken decisive action to get the corrupt
    Councillor, Dato Zakaria, to step down from his job. Why couldn't Badawi
    have done the same thing? The PM has more power than the Sultan. Many
    people do not know that after the 'Istana Zakaria' scandal broke, Dato Zakaria
    actually accompanied Badawi on the umrah to Mecca where Zakaria was the
    muthawif or guide for Badawi's entourage (or that Badawi had paid homepage
    to Zakaria in his new palace). How does one fire your muthawif? But too
    late; about 500 people demonstrated in front of the 'Istana Zakaria' on
    Sunday, resulting in a few people getting injured in the ensuing scuffle.

    Then over in GLC land (GLC = Generally Leisurely Conduct) we had an
    overdose of more 'tidak apa' attitude from Tenaga Nasional Bhd. According to
    Bernama, TNB will be writing off up to RM200 million in losses from another failed
    investment - this time in Indonesia. But according to TNB's Chief Executive
    Officer, Che Khalib Mohd Noh, it's no big deal. Khalib says, compared to
    TNB's turnover of RM20 billion, a mere RM200 million is not worth cracking
    and banging our heads against the wall over! Well done Mr CEO of the Week.
    You may yet win the 'GLC CEO of the Year Award.
    But why did you increase the electricity tariff, which has burdened the average Malaysian citizen? Instead of paying off the Indonesians RM200 million, why don't TNB just give all its Malaysian customers an RM200 million rebate?

    This is just another manifestation of the general incompetence of the
    Badawi Administration. The close-one-eye case from Melaka seems to have been
    closed permanently. So too has the Senator and son team who were implicated in the
    cloned APs scam.

    There seems to be no bottom to this 'tidak apa' attitude that is being
    displayed under the Badawi regime. Factories are closing down. For the
    first time Indonesia has attracted more foreign direct investments than Malaysia.
    But what does our Minister of International Trade and Industry say about

    'Who cares? If they don't want to come here let them go elsewhere'.

    Just how much longer can the country afford to suffer under this
    Government? Something has to go and go soon. What or who will it be?

  2. Anonymous3:34 pm

    Bro, wonder if you've read this? Look at the personalities behind Asia Capital. Interesting don't you think. You're the former Business editor. Tell us mere mortals what this all means. Why is Khazanah investing US$200 million in a Singapore company to invest in the Takaful industry in Malaysia?

    Largest S'pore reinsurer created in $960m deal

    Singapore Business Times
    2 December 2006

    Khazanah and 3i own 65%; 3 top corporate honchos are angel investors

    A NEW Singapore insurance-related firm burst onto the scene yesterday in a US$620 million (S$960 million) deal that includes three of Singapore's best-known corporate figures.

    The ambitious new company, Asia Capital Holdings, will be involved in managing insurance risks for ships, airlines and the oil and gas industry in Asia - seen widely as growth areas.

    This field of insurance has proved more tricky since the Sept 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

    Investors of Asia Capital also include London-based investment powerhouse 3i and Malaysia's state investment company Khazanah Nasional.

    The Singapore investors are DBS Group Holdings chairman Koh Boon Hwee, Singapore Exchange chief executive (CEO) Hsieh Fu Hua and Singapore Post chairman Lim Ho Kee.

    The US$620 million raised to start up Asia Capital is the largest-ever private placement deal in Asia.

    Asia Capital's business is as a reinsurer, providing insurance to insurance companies.

    In Singapore, most insurers focus on the motor insurance market, for example, or fire insurance.

    These are termed 'low severity and high frequency' insurance, whereas Asia Capital will fill a market need in the 'high severity and low frequency' sector.

    The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is encouraging specialised insurance segments such as reinsurance.

    It has said it will register new players if they are well-capitalised with an accepted rating, and managed by experienced professionals.A

    ccording to 3i's managing director for Singapore and co-head for Asia, Mr Mark Thornton: 'With the expansion in Asia in fixed assets such as ships, airlines, oil and gas, all these need insuring and reinsuring.

    'Singapore has one reinsurer, mainboard-listed Singapore Reinsurance - but its operations are believed to be on a smaller scale.

    Other than that, Asian companies have to go to the Asian offices of the likes of global players, such as Swiss Reinsurance, to insure these type of major assets.

    Another option is Catlin Singapore. Its specialisation is the marine sector.

    Asia Capital CEO John Tan, who has 30 years of industry experience, feels there is a need for an Asian-focused reinsurer.

    He said that 'many people, within and outside the Asian industry, want faster development of the Asian reinsurance landscape'.

    Private equity firm 3i and Khazanah are investing US$200 million each for a combined 65 per cent stake.

    Other investors include funds from various banks such as Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia and Credit Suisse Private Equity Asia.

    Mr Koh, Mr Hsieh and Mr Lim are involved as 'angel investors' who pumped in the initial investment a year ago - believed to be a couple of million dollars each.

    Mr Koh is known as a private equity investor with stakes in technology firms.

    With this latest round of funding, the trio's stake is diluted and is believed to be not more than 1 per cent.

    They helped Mr Tan put together a team of people and engage in fund-raising.

    So far, the headcount is 35, with plans to raise that to 70 people within the first year.Khazanah is also looking to tap the Islamic finance market in Malaysia.

    There are plans for Khazanah and Asia Capital to set up a separate joint venture with the former owning 70 per cent.

    This is to create a Malaysian-based retakaful business - which is also a reinsurance business but carried out according to syariah principles. There is said to be demand in this area.

    Asia Capital has been given the stamp of approval by insurance rating agency AM Best with an A- financial strength rating. The MAS has also registered the firm.

  3. Anonymous3:40 pm

    You know what Rocky, I guess our Malaysian media is very much like our national football team...pathetic.

    Latest from Doha, the national lads played their final group match against Iraq and got whacked 4-0!

    FAM will as usual say that it was their final match which didn't mean anything (in terms of getting points), the Iraqis could be using more then the allowed three over-aged (AFC says only three players above 23 can play in Asian Games) and the fact is that they train outside the country and not in Iraq itself. Screw that aside, basic point is that we lost 4-0 to a war torn nation.

    Relevance to Malaysian media...exactly the same. Loads of hype but nothing when it comes to performing. Media Prima reminds me of FAM, big plans and ambitions but yet with politicians meddling in their affairs, they are like toothless tigers. And this shows in their performace. NST still loses out in sales compared to a more 'lembik' The Star. NST tried to kill off Malay Mail by bringing a new guy and he hardly lasted (guess you might see him at the Ryan Starr concert since he claims to love RockStar Supernova but yet prefers Pussycat Dolls over the Rolling Stones). Now it's back to the old (not very old) guys in Malay Mail.

    Only The Sun is kinda ok, given the fact they are a free newspaper and carry the jist of daily happenings. But they don't belong to Media Prima.

    And now with the merger..well Singapore will surely benefit in monetary form, but as for the Malaysian public, there's nothing for them. It just reminds one of those ring tones advertisment you see on pay for a ring tone, all we get is a lousy ring tone which we can do without in the first place but yet the telco companies make millions. That's what the merger is all about.

    p/s: If we apply the same theory about football and our mainstream paper, you would be getting the major public condeming it. Thus, blogging is catching up to beating the main players off the scene.

  4. Anonymous4:20 pm

    Bro, heard that Brendan would not be leaving after all. Sources say he might sit in the new NESTUM entity!

    God Bless Malaysia.

  5. Anonymous6:12 pm

    This is life in a borderless world.That island is unfortunately the leading financial center on this side of this world.Khazanah and this new administration are after all citizens-of-the-world, not katak bawah tempurung like you and me.To sophisticated people like them, there's no such thing as national-interest anymore, business interest is king.But what goes around comes around.People buy your water for 2 cent, you happily invest 200 million in their country.And then plan to sell-off interest in NST-UM merged entity to them.Since when are they press-freedom-free-speech-champion? AAB, you OK or not?

  6. Anonymous9:44 pm


    Now we have the answer.

    Depressed the NSTP share price.

    Bought the NSTP shares at a low price.

    You're a crook and everyone knows it.

    So you use a clueless nice guy like Tan Sri Hashim.

    He went to see Pak Lah and proposed a merger of NSTP and Utusan.

    The only M&A Pak Lah know is menantu and anak. So he okayed the deal and asked Hashin to brief Najib.

    Pak Lah won't dare face Najib because the only M&A that he knows are Khairy Jamaluddin (menantu) and Kamaluddin Abdullah (anak). But he was not too daft to realize Najib might oppose him. So he won't deal with Najib.

    Najib was caught. He could not say no to PM but could tip off the Supreme Council members.

    Hashim could not convince Utusan Board because he too did not understand M&A.

    The only M he knows is Mahathir (he was Mahathir's special assistant) and A is Abdullah (who made him Utusan executive chairman).

    So he relies on Nasir Ali to hold his hand. Nasir being a Daim protege knows about M&A and much more.

    Promise some shares to members of the Umno Supreme Council and they will change their stand.

    So who has been depressing NSTP share prices and buying them cheaply?

    Unless you a nincompoop, you would know who they are. They are the PM's M&A (money men and associates).

    So Bru, a riddle it was not!

  7. Anonymous11:49 pm

    It's an open secret. And I have not heard from Shahril for some time now. Is he still doing his work, chasing the corrupt?

  8. Anonymous12:21 am


    Why are we allowing Singapore company to buy the equities of our compan like Telekom and etc. I do not think that Telekom needed fund at all.

    Quite frankly, why are we sellinjg profit making companies to Singapore. I do not understand why!!!

    I thought that the PM have talking about protecting Malay interest so was the UMNO Youth, who went to the extend of threatening to use the keris on other Malaysians. Good for the Malays, the ABB's Government is protecting you.

    Then why the government was not protecting Malaysians interests being sold to Singaporeans.

    I would like ot know why Telekom had ot sell certain percentage of its equites to Temasek of Singapore. I do not think that Tleekom needed the funds.

    Why the ABB and his SIL were not protecting Malaysians interests? Why the TIngkat 4 boys were sleeping and only interested in attacking Malaysians like Tun Mahathir?

    Rocky, why I ahd to hear every now and then that Malaysian equities in our companies had ot be sold to Singapore????

    Under Tun's leadership for 22 years, we never heard about our interests had been sold or about to be sold to Singapore.

    Under ABB and SIL for only less than 3 years certain perecnetage of the equities in Telekom and others profit makings companeis had to be sold or already sold to Singapore.


  9. Anonymous5:20 am

    I hope it is not true that Singapore interests will hold a substantial stake in the new entity to be formed to take over the new merged entity NST-Utusan. If this is so the government should then insist that Spore allows Malaysian parties inc the GLCs to hold similar percentage of interest in SPH. This would then be fair. But I doubt Spore will 'layan' as they would not want any foreign interest to hold sway in their newspapers.
    In so far as Malaysian owners are concerned, it is only in name that Umno interests control a substantial stake in the company (the current UM and NST and Media Prima). It does not really have any voice.
    People calling the shots are the SIL and the fourth floor through HinduGod. So don't expect objections to the merger when it comes to the Majlis Tertinggi for endorsement. The MT members just do not have the balls to object. Badawi is quite oblivious to what is going on and doesn't seem to know what is what. After all isn't he 'The Empror with the new clothes'. So God help us.
    SIL, Kalli and the fourth floor boys continue to have thing their way.

    bakar mahmud

  10. Anonymous8:10 am

    Protecting interest of Malaysia is one thing, churning commissionable trade is another. I think from pass practices, you will know which one takes precidence. Who is there to stop them?

  11. Mayeb we should lease Johor to Singapore for 100 years?

  12. Anonymous2:28 pm

    Dear Rocky,
    If given chance/choice, Singapore Straits Times would like to invest in The Star, or Sin Chew Daily. They are more interested to make more money.... Why do they want to invest/control non-money making entities (or low ROI).

  13. Anonymous3:00 pm

    This is just so much bulls**t that it stinks to high heaven!

    In the first place, there was no such report or commentary in the Spore Straits Times. So much for 'wielmaja's' reliability.

    In the second place, there is no plan for Spore govt investment companies like GIC or Temasek to invest in Msian media. Nor will the SPH media conglomerate in Spore. The media sector in Msia, like in most other countries, is offlimits as far as foreign investors are concerned.

    All the posts in this thread are just replayed views of those who are unhappy with things in Msia. Period. Full stop.

  14. Anonymous3:33 pm

    hai Rocky,
    I think you should know who's and who behind all this arangnments kali and the gang c/w his sidekick khairi ""Biarkan siluncai terjun dengan labu-labunya ,biarkan, biarkan ? ...until when we want to let AAB and son in-law's company to ruin our economy come om malaysian wake-up please for the next general election please do your best to ensure the opposition will atleast secure half of the house seats and .....

  15. Anonymous3:45 am

    Dear Rocky

    40% stake. That's good investment; how come Khazanah not learning from Singapore. CEO does not need CPA MBA DR to that "cut and paste" or "copy cat" business trick.

    Good lah... the malaysian chosen half past six to run the country, about fair to get such result.

    We should all join in hands in support for such Singapore move and look at the bright side; all you know the country could be as prosper as Singapore too and more Malays able to secure jobs, at least Cleaners or Security Guards.

    'Tidak Apa' is a reality in 2020... so let it be.

    At least in history Malays can be proud of ruining their people, culture, beliefs etc... which not every race able to pursue.

    Melayu Boleh ma....

  16. Datuk Rocky!

    Again I took the liberty of posting this article from Rejal Arbee taken from Umno Reform Maya.Com, which I think a popular blogsite like yours fails to reproduce for a bigger audience, I hope Datuk you can use this for the survival of the phatethic Melayus aka Morons! Selamat "menghunus keris" Pak Datuk!:


    Datuk Rejal Arbee: NST Utusan merger set to go on despite objections
    Contributed by rejal on Monday, December 04 @ 00:00:00 EST
    Topic: RENCANA

    Oleh Dato' Rejal Arbee

    At long last, a number of Umno Supreme Council members seem to have found their voices again when they questioned the proposal for a merger of the New Straits Times Group and the Utusan Melayu Group at its meeting on Friday (Dec 1). Before this, none of them saw fit to bring up the going-ons in The New Straits Times (though majority owned by interests close to or associated with Umno) which culminated in the exodus of some 60-odd senior Malay journalists including some very experienced editors earlier this year, only to be replaced by Singapore cheerleaders and elements cynical to Umno and the Malays.

    But don’t hold your breath. The merger looks like it will still be on despite strong objections by these few. What has happened is that the proponents have merely been told to go back to the drawing board to ensure Utusan Malaysia will not lose its identity in the merger - whatever that means.

    So don’t be surprised if the proposal will still be pushed through. Umno President Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi only said that the distinct identity of Utusan and perhaps the other titles in the NST stable should be retained. It is now up to journalists of Utusan and the NGOs and other concerned Malays to try and stop such a move.

    Many Malays have expressed disbelief over the proposed merger and are unable to rationalise the need for it. But of course these views will not gain space in the mainstream media, so pervasive is the fourth floor’s hold over them through Datuk Kalimullah Masheerul Hassan previously the Group editor-in-chief now the Editorial Advisor. The title may have changed but the status quo ie control remain intact.

    Malays who value their identity recognise the role of Utusan, in the beginning with the Jawi script, Utusan Melayu and later, Utusan Malaysia in upholding and championing the cause of Malay nationalism and Malay interests. Utusan Melayu has also been at the forefront of Malay nationalism and the struggle for independence from the British.

    Should the merger go through with Utusan’s stance compromised, its pioneer editors like Abdul Rahim Kajai and Yusof Ishak will turn in their graves. Some concerned Malays are questioning whether this is not a covert move to undo the Malay agenda.

    The New Straits Times and even Berita Harian under the new group of people have already been transformed into a shadow of their former glorious selves in furthering the cause of the Malays.

    Since the NST went tabloid some time ago, it has lost much ground and goodwill. The master puppeteer and his band of spinners and lackeys were hoping that such a move would help to draw some new non-Malay readers especially for the NST. But of course this has not happened. In fact some Malays have now lost faith in the group and abandoned the group’s products.

    Not only has it lost its premium status as a paper of quality when it was a broadsheet, the tabloid NST cannot even make a small dent in The Star’s standing. Without counting the schools subscriptions - given at a discount of up to 50% of its cover price – its circulation would have been at an unsustainable figure of below 100,000 copies.

    And now it has come up with this merger proposal. Whoever is behind this may have their own agenda but the various products which were built up over the years by very dedicated people in the editorial may face an untenable situation, especially the Malay products Berita Harian and Harian Metro. How are the proponents going to rationalise Utusan Malaysia and Berita Harian as well as Harian Metro and Kosmo?

    Newspapers are not mere business entities to be used for corporate maneuvers. They have their own souls and are indeed influential in shaping public opinion. But of course the spin doctors at the NST know this and they have used their sway over the newspapers – whether under their direct control or not - to the full.

    But what is known is that the puppeteers have not been able to reign in Utusan which had taken a more independent stance. So to them the only option available is to gobble up the delinquent Utusan to bring it in line.

    So much for a more open and freer press. But of course those in the know, are fully aware that this ‘more open society and freer press’ is only a spin. Look at how even a mild reaction by Umno Youth Exco member Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir describing the Umno’ President speech at the recent Umno general assembly as nothing new had thrown the party into a frenzy. What is wanted is only praises.

    Those in the know are also aware what is allowed, ie praises and spin for the leadership and the reverse for anyone who so much as is brave enough to question the current leadership.

    Another taboo subject is criticisms against Lee Kuan Yew’s Singapore. This I can vouch for from first hand experience. Two items for my Wednesday’s column in Berita Harian were spiked over two successive weeks in April for advocating a more circumspect relationships with Singapore.

    And then now it is OK to support Singapore government controlled companies’ forays into corporate Malaysia but never to question them. Thus it is taboo to question or even mention the creation of the “free excess zone” in the Iskandar Development Region (South Johore Economic Region) to enable unfettered excess to Singaporeans without them needing passports to enter the area – or what some have described as an “official de facto extension of Singapore” into Johore.

    So what is going to happen to Utusan Malaysia and Kosmo (or for that matter Berita Harian and Harian Metro) should the merger plan go through as it surely will despite the few voices of dissent. Utusan because of its history may gobble up Berita Harian, a more recent publication just as Metro may swallow Kosmo, the new kid on the block with much lower circulation compared to Metro, now with the highest circulation among the Malay newspapers.

    Should this be the scenario, then the spin doctors at the NST will have the distinction of becoming destroyers of newspapers. They have already destroyed the Sunday Mail. The Malay Mail is next in line. The day they decide to turn it into a fashion and entertainment trash that is a sorry excuse for a newspaper its days are already numbered. After that, god forbid, maybe the NST which has become a shadow of its former glorious self.

    The paper’s management at the behest of the editorial management had made the worst decision it possibly could when it went tabloid. This was the single most damaging decision that could spell the death knell of the paper if no proper remedial measures are taken to arrest the slide it is going through.

    The premium the NST as a broadsheet held over its competitors like the Star dissipated overnight. Its advertising revenue fell due to the reduction of its size – an advertiser taking a full page ad in a broadsheet will still only take a full page ad even in a tabloid as he will hardly want to take a two page spread there. At the same time it also lost the edge it has over the Star as a favoured newspaper for corporate advertising.

    Readers’ support that the new editorial management hoped for did not materialise. In fact the paper continued to lose its readership. The NST management should have seen that it could never be able to compete with the Star by bringing itself down to the Star’s level. The Star’s readers will not just switch to the NST merely because of the reduction of its size.

    Putting the two newspapers side by side will not show much difference in their content and coverage. So what incentive is there for a Star reader to switch to the NST when there is nothing extra that the NST could give him? In fact the similarities had nudged some of the loyal NST readers to switch to the Star and the Sun.

    When the NST tried to be different through innovations in page design, layout and coverage they are just copied by the Star. The majority of its readers are quite oblivious of such blatant acts since two thirds of them do not read the NST and do not know the Star was copying the NST.

    Thus whatever effort by the NST to dent the Star’s readership will always come to nought. At the same time some of its loyal readers had also abandoned the paper when they lose confidence in the paper and switch to the Sun. So is it any wonder that the NST’s circulation continues to slide?

    Yet the NST CEO Datuk Syed Faisal Albar was made to stand up for the plagiarist Group Editor, a Brendon Pereira, now on one month leave before going back to his adopted and much revered island republic across the causeway. The gall of it was Syed Faisal being made to have the audacity to describe a plagiarist as one of the best Group Editors the NST have had in a long time. Is he trying to state that this Brendan fellow is of the same caliber as Tan Sri Lee Siew Yee and Tan Sri Nordin Sopiee? Come on!

    And on the allegations of plagiarism, Syed Faisal has this to say: “our position is very clear, it is not. The other piece (Mitch Albom’s in the Detroit Free Press) did not revolve around the Prime Minister or former Prime Minister. Our content was original”. How pathetic they made Syed Faisal to be.

    Jeff Ooi in his blog Screenshots has made it easy to do the comparison between Albom’s Sept 10, 2006 article in the Detroit Free Press “Remembering the day before the day” with Brendan Pereira’s “How we miss June 6” in the NST of Oct 30, 2006 by putting them side by side and highlighting eight places where there were similarities. If this is not plagiarism then I do not know what is. I have in fact told a journalism lecturer he should use Jeff Ooi’s made easy comparisons as a clear example of plagiarism.

    It is obvious that this Brendan fellow copied the idea, and in some instances even phrases from Albom, when writing how the country misses the time before June 7 – that was the day when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad accused Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi of stabbing him in the back, reversing his policies and undoing some of his projects. Albom had written how America misses the day before Sept 11, 2001. Any journalist worth his salt will not succumb to this kind of copying of other people’s ideas and style and language without so much as acknowledging it.

    But what is most surprising is why must the CEO be made to defend this fellow over the allegations. The editorial department of a newspaper have always been jealous of its turf not allowing the management to be made accountable for any breeches of editorial matters. Thus in this case it should have been either the Editorial Advisor, Datuk Kalimullah Masheerul Hassan or the Group Editor-in-chief Datuk Hishamuddin Aun who should have the courage to defend their man and not leaving it to their CEO. Again how pathetic can one get.

    Rejal Arbee
    Dec 2, 2006

  17. Anonymous1:54 pm

    to rejal arbee and pascquale. the reason why nst is in the doldrums is because malays are not supporting it, including pascquale and rejal. correct me if i am wrong.

  18. Anonymous4:48 pm

    Datuk Rejal Arbee merely regurgitates the same old tired cliches. His bete noire seems to be Singapore. I wonder why? Is it a case of phallic envy that "the little red dot" is doing much better than Malaysia in all the areas that matter - GDP growth, levels of FDI, per capita income, foreign reserves, preferred location for MNC's and financial institutions' regional HQs etc etc?

    Datuk Rejal obviously has no clue how to address the inevitable consequences of globalisation and free markets, and the fact that skilled and talented people go where they are appreciated, not where they are viewed as Trojan horses of the neo-colonialist movement!

    The difference in quality between the Singapore Straits Times and The New Straits Times is like that between day and night. Perhaps this is what Datuk Rejal cannot stomach - the way that the Spore Straits Times outmuscles its Msian counterpart so effortlessly.

  19. Hey Brendan Pereira! This is what you write undfer anonymous!
    "Datuk Rejal Arbee merely regurgitates the same old tired cliches. His bete noire seems to be Singapore."
    There is no such things as old tired cliches when the country is under seige, Singapore is not only an abomination to Malaysia but it will be a threat in a not too distant future! So BP use your name and do not sign in as anonymous I know who you are! My bete noir would definitely be traitors and Singapore agents that ought to be strung up alive!

  20. Anonymous4:17 pm

    Hey, pasquale

    So sorry to disappoint you, but I am most definitely not Brendan Pereira.

    And I stand by what I wrote - that Rejal Arbee doesn't have a clue as to what he is writing about!

    Malaysia under siege? Just how did Malaysia land itself in supposedly such perilous circumstances, seeing as how the same Umno-led coalition has been in power since Merdeka? Are you accusing the successive iterations of the Msian govt of gross dereliction of duty from 1957 onwards?

    And if you believe that Spore has pulled off a major con job by persuading all those MNCs, airlines, financial institutions and universities, not to mention oodles of foreign talent, to regard a "little red dot" as an Asian hub and the gateway to S E Asia, then all I can say is that there are a lot of high-powered people and companies that seem happy to be fooled.

    But people like Rejal Arbee can't argue on facts, so they resort to name-calling, casting aspersions and making all sorts of allegations, each of which can be demolished to show their intellectual poverty. And their lack of understanding of how the globalised economy works and where capital and talent go where they are best rewarded.

    Yup, and to repeat the point, I am not Brendan Pereira. I believe that Mr Ahiruddin could easily verify this.

  21. "Hey, pasquale

    So sorry to disappoint you, but I am most definitely not Brendan Pereira." wrote anonymous!


    Hey Anonymous! I know and couldn't careless if you are or not! BP is just a point of reference or symbol of anyone involved in a conspiracy
    to destroy this country, for all I care you may be just the Singapore High Commissioner! Who cares but the fact is you took great pain in trying to dispel Rejal Arbee's short but intriguing treatise!

  22. Anonymous1:58 pm

    Don't know about the stuff about journalism but from a business point of view, newspaper are bad business. Merger of papers are primarily about cost savings and leverage with advertisers, everyone knows it does not grow circulation. Why do it then? If the merged entity can generate good cashflow, a leveraged buyout play can make some good money for new shareholders but otherwise, it does not do much. I don't believe this is a buyout.

    Why then the merger? Its seems reactionary and does not solve long term problem which is the internet, foreign publication and 24-hr news channels.

  23. Anonymous1:32 pm

    Hey, pasquale

    Quit waffling and wiggling and come to the point. After writing that I am Brendan Pereira, you now write that you couldn't care less. How typically Malaysian - doing a song and dance, raising irrelevant points and generally making a wayang of it all.

    I take pleasure in tearing Rejal Arbee's arguments and points to shreds because they are so devoid of any factual basis that they point to his imperfect understanding of how the world operates these days, and how, in spite of his whinging, things don't revolve around Malaysia and certain "agendas".

    As Bill O'Reilly is so fond of saying: "the spin stops here".

  24. Anonymous6:52 am

    anonymous 4:48pm,

    r u psychic my friend? In no way did dato rejal suggested that he is envious of Singapore- he is just airing some grievences people have about the propose merger between Nst and Utusan

    Btw on the surface actually their shouldnt be any grievences, after all Nst is supposedly owned by the Umno president while Utusan is owned by Umno( m i right?correct me if i'm wrong). so why are people woried?

    Because of the kalli factor, thats all. My hunch is actually thier wouldnt be much actual differance, whatever Utusan's current indepandence is more 'imagined' indepandance, one step removed.

    and as a defender of malay interest? well utusan has long ago abondoned that role. To me being a nationalist is not the same as being a racist- there's a world of differance, the former has a very strong moral basis, while the latter is simply illigetimate- but Utusan doesnt realize it.

    But i digress. Again i ask anonymous 4:48 r u a telepath?

    How do u know whether Dato rejal arbee understands the mechanics of globalization or the free market? He 's piece was generally about the politics of the media in Malaysia.

    So if ur not psycic pleease stop making the same mistake u accuse of dato rejal of making..u sound like a regurgitation urself.

    Anon, if the global mercenarise u describe as ' talented people who go where thier appreciated' includes Brenden, well i feel safer with the half past six who are trained in KL.

    Even if their work is shoddy at least we know its theirs.

    And pasquale, intelligence and defending the malays do not contradict each other you know

  25. Anonymous8:30 pm

    Anonymous wrote:
    'Is it a case of phallic envy that "the little red dot" is doing much better than Malaysia...'
    I don't know Rejal Arbee, but from his writing it sounds to me it is by someone who believes he is discharging his patriotic duty to defend his country against an invasion -- be it imagined or not -- by said little red dot.

    Anonymous wrote:
    '...the fact that skilled and talented people go where they are appreciated, not where they are viewed as Trojan horses of the neo-colonialist movement!'
    And you are saying, of course, that there are no Trojan horses or neo-colonialist movements in the little red dot. Okay, yeah, whatever.

    Anonymous wrote:
    'Perhaps this is what Datuk Rejal cannot stomach - the way that the Spore Straits Times outmuscles its Msian counterpart so effortlessly.'
    Funny. I suppose we only have Roland Barthes to thank for post-modernist reading techniques, where one can read one's own prejudices into just about any text one wishes, even if the original text doesn't seem to contain such alleged hidden messages.

    Sounds to me, Anon, you're the one who has something personal against the original writer. Oh, well. Better luck at making a convincing case next time, Anon.