Thursday, May 17, 2007


The Forgotten Mail and Other short stories from Balai Berita. Where financial performance is concerned, 2006 was nothing to shout about though the Chief Executive Officer* of the NSTP insisted that it was "not bad". The meeting was conducted without any untoward incident and ended before lunch.
Missing in Action.The AGM took place without the Deputy Chairman**. The Chairman informed the shareholders that the Deputy Chairman had been told to rest his neck after a recent back op in Singapore. The Group Editor-In-Chief*** was still at the Pantai Hospital's CCU after a by-pass surgery.
A. Kadir Jasin, a shareholder, observed that the Deputy Chairman was able to write "a long piece on Ijok (by-election)" despite being unwell. The Chairman responded that the doctors' order had come more recently and that the Deputy Chairman was now in Pantai Hospital resting, a fact that can easily be verified, he added.

The Malay Mail and the J Curve theory. In his power-point presentation on the group's showing last year and the encouraging 1st quarter results released yesterday, however, not a word on the Malay Mail/Weekend Mail. I asked him why. I said the Malay Mail was the Harian Metro of the Eighties for the NSTP, the group's cash cow and today it was not mentioned at all. The Malay Mail and the Weekend Mail were also very much in the news last year, although for the wrong reasons. The paper, helmed by the CEO himself, went through a revamp which cost reportedly US$1 million. Then it published the Nov 4/5 issue that got the Weekend Mail suspended for about three months. I asked:
a. What lessons were learnt from these?
b. Was there going to be greater accountability as a result of what had befallen the Mail, other than the removal of the editor of the paper then?
c. How much did the group lose as a result of the misadventure?
The CEO said the company spent only RM200,000 on the study to revamp the Malay Mail/Weekend Mail early last year. Many lessons were learnt. "We even apologised," he said. The Weekend Mail was suspended, he added. "It shouldn't have happened but it did." Another lesson learnt: he said they have been bringing back the hard news ("we discovered that the young wanted to read hard news too] to the Mail.
He spoke of the J Curve theory and how it will take years to get the Mail right.
Kadir Jasin retorted that if the Mail continued to lose money despite the revamp, the directors should consider hiving it off. Director Rahman said the group will consider selling if all else fails. "We are still committed towards turning around the paper".

Paying for the Plaintiffs
Kadir Jasin asked if the NSTP was paying for the Plaintiffs in the lawsuits against two bloggers [NSTP and 4 others vs Rocky and NSTP and 3 others vs Jeff Ooi] and a lawyer (Kalimullah Masheerul Hassan vs Matthias Chang]. He also asked how much the bills have come up to and if the company was also paying the legal bills for an ex-employee involved in the suits [former group editor Brenden a/l Pereira is a plaintiff in both the suits against Jeff and I].
The CEO* confirmed that the NSTP is footing the bills for ALL the Plaintiffs as they were all associated with the group. He also said the NSTP has to date spent RM70,000 only on their legal fees.

*The 4th Plaintiff in a defamation lawsuit against this blogger by the NSTP and 4 Others
** The 2nd Plaintiff in the same lawsuit
*** The 3rd Plaintiff in the same lawsuit


  1. Sounds like NSTP is unbothered by their ills. Noticed the RM1.20 yesterday, today and tomorrow on their prints? Even newspapers these days go on price aah?

    Anyways, I have always liked the paper and the original Malay Mail. And I wish them well. It is still the paper I choose over The Star.

    Did he say he spent RM200,000 for the revamp study? The revamp proper? RM800k perhaps?

  2. Anonymous3:30 pm

    What is wrong with the corporate of Malaysia ? Is there no more value to the Ringgit ?
    We heard of the TNB boss saying 'what is RM200 million "
    Today I read that the NST bosses that said its RM70,000 ONLY in their legal expenses! And that is only the beginning.

    I wish to God that there is a way to make these buggers pay out of their pocket for any screw -ups they do.

    Easier said when its NOT their money they are wasting. Bloody Hell ! It smacks of abuse and arrogance.

  3. Anonymous3:32 pm

    Is this something new ? Are all these figures quoted by him plucked out of the air ?? Shouldn't they be stated in some financial report ??

  4. Anonymous3:43 pm

    why should nstp be paying for the individual legal bills. more so, if one is no longer with NSTP. if i am a shareholder, i will cry foul but i am not. so, nothing much i can do, can I.

  5. Anonymous5:36 pm

    Bring balik original Malay Mail la..your J curve will turn into an i...straight all the way up.

  6. Can't believe it bro'. If it's true that the 4 plaintiffs are "private action" lawsuits, then surely this is a case of blatant abuse of shareholders funds. Somebody hold these directors accountable, please!

  7. Sdr Rocky,

    Many questions from the shareholders were not answered satisfactorily or not at all because the two editorial chieftains were “gravely” ill.

    My attempts to get Sdr Datuk Syed Nazri and Sdr Datuk Manja to speak on behalf of the editorial department was not acted upon.

    I told the meeting that the two were as capable as their missing bosses. (Sorry Syed and Manja if I put you chaps in trouble). I wanted to know if the NSTP is still practicing the “right of reply” policy because I noticed lately that NST, in particular, had refused to publish such a reply even when the paper was proven wrong.

    I also related my personal experience when our query about the NSTP’s banning of Berita Publishing’s ads went unanswered for more than a year. We sent the latter in Jan. last year. Today I got the answer – the ban continues because I wrote “unpleasant” things about a certain powerful figure in the company.

    As for the Deputy Chairman and editorial adviser not being at the AGM, the chairman told the meeting that he was hospitalized at Pantai, where the GEIC is being treated.

    But upon checking after the meeting, I told the chairman that the information “could” be wrong. The deputy chairman was not hospitalized. The chairman replied via SMS. He said:

    “Thanks Datuk. I am now informed he was not checked-in but he was required to do physiotherapy this morning and that was why he could not be present this morning.

    “In fact the seating arrangement this morning included him and the secretary had to quickly rearrange things.

    “Sorry my info was slightly wrong. You may want to verify that he had to do physio at Pantai this morning. Salam, Dato’.”

    Could it be that somebody in the NSTP management did not given correct information to the chairman?

    I also suggested at the AGM that if the new Malay Mail is not profitable, the NSTP should consider selling it.

    Thank you

  8. Rocky,

    I dont; know-lah. How can we be sure they are the "true" figures. How do we know that really, the study cost RM200,000. Nobody denied when it was stated that it cost US1m.
    How do we know that the lawyers' fees cost ONLY RM70,000.
    But they are on record.

  9. Anonymous8:40 pm

    Nuraina, I agree with you about these so-called figures. NST likes to spin but the trouble is that they are sto stupid their spins go haywire. Talk about competency. I just pity them. Perhaps they could hire Dr Josef Goebbels to do some more spin. Frankly, Hishamuddin is the wrong guy to head NST and Beritan Harian. He is headless and clueless. i have attended his daily briefings, and you know what, he doesnt know what is going on. We need somebody strong and credible, and I think Rocky could be the guy.

  10. Private actions but company funds footing the legal fees. Shows 'Daylight Robbery' can happen if they're the same pool of cons.

  11. Anonymous11:18 pm

    (Sorry Syed and Manja if I put you chaps in trouble). Why Datuk, u think these guys are sooooooooooo gooooood!!!. We malays always trumpet our horns when we like or when we are friends but screw rhese guys when we are not friemds. We malays must be together, why attack Kali, Syed Faizal and His........

  12. Anonymous11:24 pm

    How do we know that really, the study cost RM200,000
    How do we know that the lawyers' fees cost ONLY RM70,000.
    This is how the malays cheat tje malays.......this company, nstp belongs to us, umno, and yet they are cheating us...... WHY????????
    This is how govt works.....????
    NEP is only for few ma;ays and some not full malays....Kali,

  13. Anonymous11:56 pm

    Those who have the most to lose will invariably run for cover. Some will feign sickness. How sick can one get to pull a stunt like this. They knew you were coming for the AGM and they had to run. No balls. Can only talk besar in their own shit holes. And they bamboozled stupid nasty pee to foot their bills? Real badua_ betul!

  14. Anonymous1:51 am

    Sdr Rocky

    It was bullshit that the lawyer fees cost only RM70,000-00 for all the cases ( Kalimullah, Brendan Pereira and co against Rocky and Jeff Ooi and Kalimullah against Mathias Chang). Who are they trying to kid? Klaimullah appointed Cecil Abraham as counsel and he will not lift his fingers if the fees was RM70,000-00.

    I would think that it will cost about RM500,000 in legal fees, whihc is still on hte lwo side. Stop trying to fool us. We are no idiot and we do not sleep during working hours, press conferences or meetings!!!

    NSTP lies and lies and it does not apologise for its mistake. Until today Kalimullah still refuse to apologise for his mistake in his June 11 article. This is the standard of the NSTP bosses. Feel sorry for people like Datuk Syed Nazri and Manja.

    Datuk Syed i know you are suffering. Let drown your sorrow under these NSTP leadership with your "English tea" at the press club.

  15. Anonymous7:05 am

    Datuk Akj, I think Kali would be well enough to attend the AGM if fellows like you and Bru were not present.

    I think he posted his kaki to watch out for you guys. So when you fellows came, he decided to do the disappearing act. Like the chairman said, his chair was already on the stage.

    You may be right. The new chairman could have been told that Kali was hospitalised. He was at home.

    Kali was operated upon in Singapura. He had a similar problem like Anwar Ibrahim, I was told.

    Hisham Aun was not there to hold his hands.

  16. Anonymous9:18 am


    Sah, we Malaysian are cursed !!!

  17. Anonymous1:59 pm

    Nasty pee is lucky i am not a minority shareholder. They would not have had it so easy. i would have taken the whole board to town and hang them out to dry for pulling a stunt like this.

    Bro, insist on the minutes of the AGM and go through them with a fine-tooth comb. Scour through the accounts and balance sheet. i bet there'll be enough discrepancies there to institute criminal proceedings.

    When you discover the gems of dishonesty, haul up the auditors and report the board to the SC and the police for CBT. Go one more step further. Get a quorum for an EGM, call for another audit by another independent audit house to verify the figures. Then watch for midnight shredding of documents on certain floors of nasty pee and you'll have another Enron and Worldcom issue emerging. Go for the guttural, let the heads roll. Enough of all the chicaneries that are taking place in shady corporate offices where the minority shareholders are being screwed day in and day out.

    Boy, am i angry for you minority shareholders.

  18. Anonymous4:34 pm

    What ? What ? Kali went for piles operation ? Hmmmm ..wonder how and why ...

  19. Anon 4.34pm,

    Piles op? Am sorry I don't have the details. I was only told its "back op" and the Chairman said something about "neck pains" that needed hospitalisation.

    Thank you.

  20. Anonymous8:13 am


    now you know that the rumours that NST is going private may well be true...

    look st the crap they're stirring in NST.