Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Tenaga exits Indon mine

Expensive lesson. Last July this blog highlighted Tenaga Nasional's unhappy union with Pak Robert and other Indonesian partners in a shady coal mine venture. In August, I wrote about a potential RM350 million losses at group level as a result of this soured ties. In Tenaga Okays Bail-out, I reported a US$100 million scheme to help Che Khalib Mohd Noh, the President and CEO of the utility giant, to get out of the Indonesian mess. On Oct 24 last year, he told Bernama here that Tenaga would sell off the mine in Indonesia even at a loss because the losses would be pittance to Tenaga Nasional.

In the Business Times today, Anna Maria Samsudin reported that Tenaga has reached an agreement to sell all its shares in the Indonesian business for just US$19.5 million [story here]. Tenaga is said to have invested over RM200 million.

Tenaga Nasional probably did not have any other options but to quit but it is an expensive lesson the GLC had to learn. But for a man sitting on billions of ringgit, Che Khalib is unlikely to be too perturbed. As he said in the interview with Bernama:
In giving a comparison of the Indonesian coal mining investment, he said TNB's turnover for 2005/2006 financial year 2005/2006 was RM20 billion while coal mining venture only cost RM200 million.
"It is not worth cracking and banging our heads against the wall (over this matter)," he added.


  1. Another one bites the dust? Whose money are all these? Just TNB's? Where is Sharir, the PAC chairman?

  2. Anonymous2:05 pm

    CK is unperturbed because it's OPM (Other People's Money). This attitude is very disturbing when such business personalities exhibit it and still get away with it!

  3. This kind of bad governance, if in China, would be answered by a firing squad.

    God save this country.

  4. No CEO worth his salt would write off a loss running into million as pittance.
    In fact the word "loss" should not be in his vocabulary.
    Would he use that word in such a lackadaisical manner had it been his own money?

  5. It was a bad investment to start with, no point continuing to throw money into the pit. What we haven't heard from Tenaga is how they are going to avoid such dysfunctional investments in future. We all know there are no guarantees for success in business - but there are ways to avoid unecessary loss, and to find out problems early.
    And one question always needs to be asked in Bolehland - who stood to profit personally from this deal ?

  6. Think of all the 'nasty stuff' one can do with rm200 million and you'll get an ugly picture about this debacle.

    What happened to management accountability and responsibilities by GLC CEOs in handling public funds?

    Due diligence after the fact ain't worth much when heads were not cracked in the first place. In this case, CKMH should have sweat the small stuff instead of gloating about how much turnover TNB made.

    Now, will TNB also cancel the coal transportation contract that a certain wealthy son got? And what will he do with 200 ships.

  7. Anonymous6:09 pm

    I think the 'investment' was done during Jarjis's tenure as Chairman. Wonder what's the link with Dr.M, stable of horses, and the Argentina connection.

  8. Anonymous6:52 pm


    Another feather in the cap for you and fellow bloggers. TNB, in collusion with some mainstream newspapers, would have sweept the fiasco under the carpat.

    What now Che Khatib? His KPI in tatters. He should be honorable by admitting fault and resign.

    But who actually involved TNB in this bad deal?

  9. hmmm... that means i can run a GLC, and do a damn better job.
    so can you, and you, and you....

  10. Anonymous11:13 pm

    So Transparency Malaysia and Minorities Watchdog Group...get to work and whistle-blowers ...get your rewards from Securities Commission....another Enron in the making?

  11. XMM left this comment at 7.12 pm. My apologies to you, I ter-deleted it. Cheers. - Rocky's Bru.

    I wonder if he would have banged hi head if the RM200 million was his children's inheritance?

    I imagine Tan Sri SM Nasimuddin fretting over every thousand, let alone million of his own money because he had to earn it the hard way, by taking calculated risks.

    Of course its not worth fretting over or hurting your cranium, its the people's money and you will only have to account for it before God and not his false prophets who are in charge now....

    take and have good night sleep Che Khalib

  12. Anonymous11:48 pm

    Dear Anon 6:09 pm...

    I believe you are right there. The investment did take place before Che Khaleb became the TNB boss. I am not sure if under Jarjis but possible.

    What we all know is the operations started to fall apart as soon as Che Khaleb came to TNB. The investment in Indonesia was not problematic before. Even Che Khaleb

    The problem was told to me that this Che Khaleb wanted to show the Indonesians who is THE Boss (him la, of course). So he probably treated TNB's partners in Indonesia just like your Indonesian maid. But he picked the wrong guy and result is we see today, TNB had to sell all its stakes because the Indonesians are the real BIG BOSS!

    Shar101's questions are timely, what happens to 200 ships and Kamaluddin's business. But no worry. This Che Khaleb was Kaml's junior in school, so things will be OK.

    Malaysia boleh balun!

  13. Anonymous9:18 am

    Its depressing when the man at the top merely writes it off as a pittance. I work in the mining business and actually know a lot of people in the same business in Indonesia.The problem with this mine was that it was allowed to fall in an abyss due to poor management,if I recall correctly,TNB were looking to recruit mining professionals from within their own organisation. Todays market price for coal is still much better than it was ten years ago,so with proper management and practices,this venture should have been making lots of profit.On another point,I currently work on one of the biggest coal mines in Latin America which produces 24Million tons of coal per year...we dont need 200 ships to move the stuff,which begs the question why did the famous son require 200 ships for?

  14. Yeah, why the 200 ships? Damn right OBE, heads should have been rolled and cracked in the first place. And Kak Ena, I think if you're the CEO I'll make an excellent Deputy. Don't think we can make it any worse...

    I'm in Kalimantan Timur here - and this IS Batu Bara Country.

    Ironically Bro' Rock - we both got Indonesian themes on our blogs for today...ha ha... (well, I shouldn't laugh, the subject matter is serious).....

  15. Huuuur dats why i stop surfin' Minishort's blog. Pity her since she has a big mess to douse off in this hot weather. LLN(during my Abah's time) used to be a great and respectable organisation even during the transition to GLC. Now, it's an Elite's pawn.

  16. They bought the mine without due diligence. Three jokers from tnb were supposed to do so but instead spent time seducing indo models in hotel rooms; word gets around in this industry.

    It was a trap - mining, and piling.

    How many Che Khalib's are there within the umno network? Will an investigation be called to expose this corrruption, amongst many others?

    One hates to say this - THEY can't be trusted with money.

    This is taxpayers' money.

  17. Anonymous9:02 pm

    Compare 200mil with sales???? Better compare it with GDP of country???? Must be senile... Why don't he compare it with his salary??? Or compare how many households must TNB collect from to come to that figure???

  18. Anonymous9:57 pm

    Another "mala-un" connected to the 3-family run gomen; he will survive... even if C4 burst outside mine along with the towkays!

  19. Anonymous10:16 pm

    '200 ships to move the stuff,which begs the question why did the famous son require 200 ships for?'

    Excuse my ignorance but if there is such a need for 200 ships and they have been ordered, what does the famous son intend to do with them?
    Wait a minute, how about activating the sale of sand to our neighbour ,now that the Indons are against it, and put the ships to good use. ;(

  20. Anonymous12:24 am

    The Indonesian coal deal was pushed tru by the great JJ whe he was Chairman of TNB (behaved more like an exec chairmen and together with some of the politicians in TNB fleeced it of hundreds of millions RM.All the info on the scandals are quite openly available and has been swept under the carpet...all ACA has to do is to question its longest serving board member)
    In this deal Pak Robert an Indon Chinaman, although a minority shareholder seem to have the final say......(Quite usual in other TNB ventures where to much power is vested on the minority shareholders - this obtained, of course, by buying off key officails). Some of these Board members who are part of this silly decisions continue to be on the Board..............
    I dont know whats the big deal running TNB. It is basically an operations outfit.....not a business one. It does not have to develop products nor has it got to do business development - two of the toughest and most crucial ares in a legitimate business enterprise. Another major element if of course finance. Whenever there is a financial/cashflow problem, CEO and Board has to roll over and cry and the Govt raises tariff. Wala.....you suddenly have Rm 1.8 billion directly into the bottomline!.......So Khalib and Moggie....pl dont syok sendiri.......btw have you noticed that Malaysia is infested with short men in key position thus catching the disease Napoleanitis...........best wishes

  21. Anonymous9:10 am

    How can this idiot pooh pooh away RM200 million ????? Bloody arrogant !! Perhaps he can tell us how many schools can be built with that amount ? Its more than enough to build a university branch campus : even pay for free text books for students !! ---why eevn buy another jet for his boss. So boss---why don't you just sack this idiot. It'll make you a hero for a while !!

  22. Anonymous9:11 am

    If you were a CEO of a subsidiary owned by say Kuok, Quek, Francis, Lim, or Syed Mokhtar. Try telling them you lost a couple of millions ONLY in your recent "investment"!!! YOU'RE FIRED! Idiot!

  23. Anonymous10:31 am

    There is nothing wrong with the coal investment in indonesia. The mine is still in operation & producing 3 million ton of high quality coal per year and no problem getting a good price from the market. Earlier TNB used to get USD10 to USD15 discount for every ton of coal delivered from the mine and now is only history. No thanks to the arrogant CEO.

  24. Anonymous11:43 am

    Waah, this Khalib guy think its his father's money aah, simply want to push away this huge loss by comparing it with TNB's turnover. You know Saudara Rocky,over the years I read cases in the mainstream media where government Civil Servants were hauled up to court even after their retirement for falsifying records on their claims which come up to only a few hundred ringgit? I say this Khalib should be asked to resign and the sooner the better, he makes us Malaysian really look bad.

  25. Anonymous11:49 am

    we should just allow Che khalib do his job even he made some losses to the TNB. no one is perfect, morever the rest malaysian are not even better than him that fit his job. give him the chance to turnaround like Jean Todt on Ferrari F1 Team.

  26. Anonymous9:05 am

    it produces three million tons a year someone said...if that figure is correct and assuming all 3 million tons would be shipped to Malaysia...are the 200 ships in question actually tug boats?

  27. We need to put the right people in the right business-Warren Buffet