Friday, October 31, 2008

Falling out at Tune Money

CEO Zafrul quits! Tengku Zafrul has been had again. The first time was at Avenue, after the merger with ECM-Libra. Now he's been forced to quit Tune Money, my sources said. Both ECM and Tune Money involved the PM's friend Kalimullah Masheerul Hassan, Kali's friend Lim Kian Onn, and Tony Fernandes.

Zafrul sent in his resignation a week ago but is still sore, especially with the PM's friend and the PM's friend's friend. He told some friends that one of the friends was going around bad mouthing him and putting pressure on him to resign. I could have told Zafrul that that's how the guy operates.

Their quarrel, apparently, is over how to move on. Zafrul wanted to developTune Money, which has been making waves after just one year, as planned. Kali and Kian Onn, it was understood, wanted to get out. Tony is caught in between but he's stuck on Kali with regards to a couple of other big ventures.

The economic uncertainty is making the wizards nervous and uncertain about returns to their investment. More worryingly, Pak Lah will be stepping down in March, the latest, and the talk is that some people are in a hurry to get out ahead of the PM.

Kali and Kian Onn have 16.5 per cent share in Tune Money while Zafrul holds 10 per cent., CIMB 25 per cent stake and Tony much of the remaining.

Pic of happier tunes - Minister of Finance ll, Zafrul, Tony and Kalimullah.

p.s. Tengku Zafrul's CEO blog In Tune was last updated on Oct 16, 2008. Tony hasn't posted anything on The Entrepreneur about his CEO's resignation, either.


  1. Anonymous5:38 am

    Zafrul is a carpetbagger who resigned because he has fallen out of favour. His resignation is no big deal.

  2. Anonymous6:38 am

    What to be done not to dilute the Malay equity holding again? Can he start his own company called "Tune Cash"?

    Malays Nationalist please give some ideas so that we can increase Malays ownership of equity.

  3. just like the movie All the President men ... one by one will jump ship.. the world of 3 K crumbles to the ground the other warriors will find a new ship to sail the ocean..careful with Somalia pirates...

  4. Anonymous7:53 am

    Serve you right Zafrul.

    Now you know who Kali is. If bump into a snake and Kali, pick up a stick and you know who to whack first.

  5. Anonymous8:31 am

    Tengku Zafrul have the looks,charisma and some good ideas.But the real test of a good CEO is whether your company making money?

    Let's not get emotional about business and let the facts and figures talk.

    Can we know the amount of money spent so far on Tunemoney and what kind of returns are they getting?What are the future prospects of the schemes already implemented?

    From my observations,Tunemoney is having a tough time competing directly with the Banks/Insurance Co selling insurance or selling their prepaid debit card.

    Even their unit trust is struggling doing online sales vs the other unit trust companies who have well trained wealth advisors,complete with a notebook doing a one to one presentations.In addition,the other unit trust co. have a track record to show.

    Tony is an accountant,they don't have feelings, you know and can only appreciate results/performance.I am sure he will never allow a good CEO to go just like that.

  6. Rocky - gosh, which one is Kali? I can't even recognise him in the pix! I remember him well, from my journa days...! Now dia sudah jadi taukay besar!

  7. Anonymous9:47 am

    Let this be another bitter lesson for those who jumped to work with politically connected business outfit. The 10% share is just on paper, no real cash. Too bad that Zafrul didn't know that politicians don't last forever. He should have just stayed with Citibank after ECM Libra ... Wali Kota

  8. so sick of this,there this is the problem la, when business is mixed with political patronage.

  9. It's difficult to sustain a business (or career) when the mantra (or mentor) is to follow "make hay while the sun shines".

  10. Anonymous10:11 am

    guess, you live by the sword you die by the sword. it comes with the territory.
    with his credentials , there's no lack of suitors.

    Bangsa Malaysia

  11. Anonymous10:49 am

    next wait when Tony Fernandes will jump ship:)

    But i guess Tony has made enuff and much more than Zafrul, so he can afford to jump ship and do some bungee jumps:)

  12. Anonymous11:45 am

    you want to know the real situation, Tengku has been trying to develop Tune Money but the buggers including Tony just want to create hype and sell at a high price, Tony needs Kali-ular to get the sleeping government to approve Air Asia wonder Air Asia is in trouble now....All hype no business sense.

    So Kudos Tengku for the right move, you have turned around Avenue before, i'm sure you will do something exciting soon..

  13. Anonymous2:22 pm


    Look at the picture carefully. There are two sharks, a croc and an idiot in the picture.

    The sharks by nature are hit and run creatures. They zoom in, mouths wide open, take the biggest bite and zoom off.

    The croc is more patient. When the water is fast, they just lie facing upstream, with their mouths open. Everything goes into their mouth.

    If the water is slow and deep they just lie still and wait. Anything within reach is game.

    The Zafrul guy is a novice. He also cannot read the signs very well. The others want to quit asap, hit and run style. Zafrul wants to stick around, see what he can salvage. Maybe he is one of those Malays who thinks he does not believe in the NEP. The others know the NEP very well. Hence they want to quit while they are ahead.

  14. Anonymous4:45 pm


    zafrul kena fu**** by kali the way he did with you guys in NST. all planned by kali and tony Fernandes and his chinese crony just parrotted the script prepared by Kali.

    Just like the way he did to you rocky and others at NSTP. at nstp he got a lembu like Syed feisal to do it for him.

    anyway the lembu will now seek shelter at Pos Malaysia from Monday

  15. Anonymous6:49 pm

    Business is risky.

    Big business = Big Risk

    No Venture = No Gain

    Wrong Venture = TOTAL LOSS


  16. Anonymous7:13 pm

    Breaking News! ACA probing KALI n Gang. Is it true!

  17. Anonymous10:50 pm

    Tony is also the biggest snake, heartless and total asshole. not surprise to hear about zafrul cos thats what tony does to people at AA


  18. Anonymous12:14 am

    I wish all the best to Zafrul.

    Zafrul's far-sighted thinking is essential to this country


  19. Anonymous9:02 am

    Hang canggih Rocky, gambaq menteri tu, Kawan2 Korporat Kata dialah Ketua Kepala Keja Kotoq Kumpulan Kali Kelawai, Kawan Ketua Kepala Batas, Kamaluddin n KJ. Byk sangat K yang payah ni....@&#*$
    Jgn pukoi Ulaq sudah....Keh Keh Keh!


  20. Anonymous11:32 am

    Azran better watch out and be prepared... and he knows it not all rosy and the X (no pun intended :p) could come sooner haha


  21. Anonymous8:27 pm

    Nothing new lah. It is already an open secret that KaliUlar, Tony Fernades and Lim Kian Onn are big cronies of Badawi.

    Who was KaliUlar before Badawi came to power? He was just a miserable reporter. Last post, he was with Singapore Strait Times. The others are non-starter.

    Why are the Members of Parliament
    keeping quiet about Badawi's cronies. The PR MPs are attacking Najib but not Badawi's cronies.

    We must protect our investing public and not let these cronies screw up our nation.

    We must not let these cronies out of the country until we are satisfied that they have fulfilled their promises to the investors. No bail out for these cronies. No bailout for AirAsia. Airasia must immediately pay back RM110 million to MAHB for the Airport Taxes that it has collected on behalf of MAHB.

    The MPs must speak up for the people and not to protect these cronies.

    Please do not tell me that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was not aware of the nonsense done by Badawi's cronies.

    Non Badawi Cronies

  22. Anonymous11:49 pm

    All we need to do is to withhold the passports of KaliUlar, Tony Fernades, Lim Kian Onn, SON and SIL until April or any date after the Sleepy Head got thrown out of office. They may just commit suicide because they do not have anyone to protect them anymore.

    Any living Malaysians would want to crucify them because they have bled the nation wealth for their own benefits.

    Airasia is the obvious case where the government allowed airasia to abuse public fund by allowing airasia to owe airport taxes. Airport taxes had already been paid by passengers why airasia had to withhold. Airasia pay up the RM110 million now and not March.

    How about the deferred taxes of more than RM500 million? Why airasia was allowed to deferred its tax paymnent of RM500 million?

    Anwar Ibrahim (Opposition Leader) please get your boys, DAP and PAS to speak up against these Badahwi cronies.
    No need to speak up after the KaliUlar, Tony, Lim KIan Onn, SIL and Son have chabuted!

    The Opposition Leader must take immediate actions to ensure that Arasia pay back RM110 million and the deferred taxation of RM500 million.

    PR Supporter

  23. Anonymous12:36 am

    Kali is an Ular.

    I hope that Lim Kit Siang and his DAP boys will speak up in Parliament regarding the abuses of public fund by Badawi cronies like Kalimulah, Tony Fernandes and Lim Kian onn.

    Public should not be made to suffer because their boss, Badawi, is in deep shit and they had to disappear earlier than him.

    Kalimullah, Tony Ferndandes, Lim Kian Onn and others must be accountable for their what they have done when Badawi was all powerful.

    Powerless Bodohwi

  24. eugene said...

    so sick of this,there this is the problem la, when business is mixed with political patronage.


    Well, big business is ALWAYS mixed with political patronage.

    Lehman Brothers, AIG, and the billion-kajillion bail outs anyone?


    Just relax la, all of you.

    Focus on something good rather than try to punish people whom we are NOT absolutely sure has done anything outside the law. For many injustices can be done legally.

    Such is the world.

    Let he who is free from sin cast the first stone.

  25. Anonymous4:49 pm

    it is not a surprise .. to the extent of Zafrul and his teammates resignation.. what went wrong? can he be forced to quit The Firm (the TV show he hosts) why not...!

    From my observations, Tune Money has a great potential to become the leader as the first no-frills financial services operator. But, what went wrong in the first place?

    Is it because of the management team is among those people who do not know to run things and just know to give direction! and direction!

    Zafrul & co should have done enough homework understanding the market. Tune Money biz is too new to the public.. I bet they are aware but how many percent of awareness level to this new and innovative financial is tough to get confidence from the public for is something new.

    and, where is Tune Money communications activities, frankly i don't and haven't seen it clearly. They should have built a strong foundation of perception.

    I heard Zafrul did brand Tune Money... well Zafrul your Tune Money branding.. didn't work at all... coz brand involves emotional perception rather then number of Tune card members or website hits.

    Actually, connections do works, but at the end of the day YOU THE MANAGMENT still need on-ground experience to materialize all ideas.

    from: -the observer-

  26. Anonymous7:05 pm

    I'm not surprise of all that some comments made here sounds like coming from Mr Tony and the gang. The reality is that our market is not ready to financial products online. In last Saturday Star Bizweek, both Zafrul and Tony said that the company will make money by the end of this year, so my question to Tony and the Gang, why the mass resignation, heard that almost half of the staff have tendered. I'm very sure that Tony ,Kali and Kian Onn have something that they want to do and kick out Zafrul because he refuses to play ball.

    Latest news that Kian Onn is actively involved in the running of Tune Money and one of his key mission is to sack people in Tune money.

    Tony, Care to explain....

    -observer of observer-