Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The curious case of Asas Serba: Cabinet to decide tomorrow?

Savior, or the ultimate Monopoly in the making? It's been nearly a year since Asas Serba, which has rightly or wrongly been linked to Halim Saad and Daim
Zainuddin, made headlines with an offer to help the government reduce toll rates on all highways by 20 per cent. I first wrote about it in How to pre-empt your boss on Oct 6 last year. It is rather curious that out of the blue this private entity's name is being bandied about again, in both the papers and the blogs. It started with Asas Serba telling a press conference in KL that No Single individual will control highways on May 3.

Some toll-paying bloggers are dead against Asas Serba.
On May 16, Syed Akbar Ali did a posting on Another Highway Monopoly:
They say they will bring down toll rates by 20% and maintain that rate level for the remaining concession period (up to 2038 – 28 years from now). We are talking about our grandchildren paying for our actions.
Folks if Asas Serba can cut toll by 20% and keep it fixed for the next 28 years, why cant the Government do the same? That is the question.
Via Khazanah Nasional Bhd, the Government has a 63.87% stake in PLUS. This stake is said to be worth RM10.5bil at current prices. Another 22% is held by the Employees Provident Fund and PNB/Amanah Saham. So the Government controls 84% of PLUS.
There are many ways to do this. I think what is confusing everything is cronyism and party politics rather than good economic sense or even common sense about how the public is going to vote at the next General Elections. (Silap-silap kena tendang nanti).
And just a little while ago, economics-finance blogger ABITW posted Asas Serba: DON'T play it again, Sam in which he argues why the Cabinet must REJECT the proposal at its weekly meeting tomorrow.

The proposal is going to be studied by the Cabinet tomorrow?


  1. Anonymous12:49 pm

    why want to protes by shouting here & there & causing all sort of traffic jams?

    don't want to pay toll... just use trunk roads la!

  2. Anonymous12:49 pm


  3. Anonymous1:01 pm

    Rocky said Outsyedthebox wrote : Folks if Asas Serba can cut toll by 20% and keep it fixed for the next 28 years, why cant the Government do the same? That is the question.

    The anwser is simple, becoz the government dont have that type of cash lying around. If they had, they would not want to increase prices.

  4. Anonymous1:08 pm

    Please play it again Asas Serba.

  5. Bro

    This is the exact question everyone's been asking the Govt.

    If AS can propose to take over ALL the tollcos for $50 billion, immediately reduce tolls by 20% with no further increasess and compensations AND guaranteed dividend of 7.5% per year, it means the fat layer in tollcos is very, very thick.

    When this question was posed to that shady mf Samy Velu, he lied to us that it could not be done as it would cost the Govt "hundreds of billions"!!??

    Since the Govt, through Khazanah, EPF and PNB controls 84% of PLUS, it's a simple matter for Govt to re-structure the earlier cosy croney deals, cut tolls by MORE THAN 20%, cancel out ridiculous guaranteed compensations and suspend automatic toll increases!!

    They can force these changes WITHOUT taking PLUS private or coming up with 1 cent. There's no need to waste the Rakyat's money in buying out the minority 16%!! Ask any merchant banker in town and he will give you the same advise!!

    Similarly, the other tollcos can be forced to fall in line because their contracts were signed totally against PUBLIC INTEREST. If a proper audit is found, I'm sure much fraud, cost misrepresentation, kickbacks and donations to political parties were made to secure these plum contracts.

    It cost the Rakyat $4.6 billion in compensations to tollcos last year.

    In 1 stroke of the pen, Najib can save that and strike a blow against M'sia becoming bankrupt by 2019 as so gleefully announced by Jala and APCO spindoctors without looking at obvious solutions!!

    Next stop, IPP's, Water and the 4 AP KIngs monopolies/oligarchies!!

    If Najib does the proper re-structuring, 2019 bankruptcy will never materialise.

    We will then be on our way to wiping out our national debt which grew by 12% per year over the last 20 years to a record $362 BILLION - caused entirely by UMNO/BN mismanagement and giving away these gaji buta contracts to croneys who have been ripping us off over and over again!!

    The other "subsidies" can wait, especially those that will affect the masses, in particular the 40% poor, where petrol, education, health and welfare are concerned

    we are all of 1 race, the Human race

  6. Anonymous2:17 pm

    Sime Darby Bhd and Pos Malaysia Bhd will be hauled up before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to explain their financial losses.

    LAWAK bodo kah?. PAC kan dah selesai masalah PKFZ, Proton -Agusta dan lain lain hal.

    Pi lah


  7. Anonymous2:33 pm


    I think one sentence will suffice : If the Govt creates just one more monopoly like Asas Serba, they will really get their behinds kicked again in the next General Elections. They may even get kicked out. Please be forewarned.

    Syed Akbar Ali

  8. Bro, I think Malaysians as whole have it up to their nose on monopolies already. We have the IPPs, sugar, flour, APs and whatever things that can me monopolised by individuals or companies close to the Government.

    This Asas Serba proposal to monopolise the highway concession could be the mother of all monopolies which will in the long run benefit only a few. Nanti mereka jual Asas Serba dan listing kat Singapura atau London Stock Exchange pulak, boleh buat untung besar tu. Is this a taste of things to come in the New Economic Model?

    I think I know what the cabinet should do to the proposal, I know..just throw it in the dustbin for the rubbish it is and replace it with a plan for the Government to buy highway concessions such as PLUS which though is making hundred of millions in profit annually still qualifies to be paid compensation by the Government under the terms of its lopsided agreement. BN tunggu apa lagi, kata nak menang next election!

  9. Dong King Kong2:42 pm

    It seems the motto of today's government is about sell, sell and sell. Worry about the repercussion later for future generations to shoulder. Maybe this is what NEM is all about. The big question is WHY.

    To Asas serba : Tak ada kreativiti akaunting lain ke nak pakai.

  10. And the cheek of it, they are going to issue Bonds to the government and to whoever to finance it. Its a no brainer really. If the government, and the people through EPF, already control 84% it is only necessary to buy the remaining 16% for a fraction and then write the whole thing off. I would imagine the road users would not mind contributing towards the repayment of loans still outstanding together with interest there on. After all aren't the roads finally owned by the people anyway.

    I would suggest that with the money saved from reduction of subsidies, the government takes over Plus once and for all and either abolish or reduce tolls...

  11. Anonymous2:52 pm

    If Asas Serba takes over all the national highways, doesn't that make it a GLC?

    -Just wondering

  12. Anonymous2:52 pm

    Asas Serba wants to create a monopoly, however my greatest fear is that if they were to fail, we would be looking at a massive bail out! We can't allow history to repeat itself like how the government bailed out Malaysia Airlines when a controlling stake in the national carrier was sold to businessman Tan Sri Tajuddin Ramli who later had to be bailed out by non other than the govt!

  13. Anonymous3:21 pm

    That question mark at the end makes me wonder if we were visited by the same little birdie. The one that told me Asas Serba have decided NOT to hand over the proposal tomorrow after all. Why the flip-flop? They're not ready suddenly? And we want to give all twenty something toll concessions to these guys on a silver platter?


  14. Anonymous4:25 pm

    The Cabinet MUST accept & approve this proposal - our next action would be
    1. BUY PLUS shares or
    2. kick the Najib Govt by next GE

    Dua2 pun OK

  15. Anonymous4:26 pm

    hey bodohs, the solution is simple. give the whole thing to the malakie donkie (self professed soldier turn farmer, built like a pugilist, bit actually a skinnie inbreedie - resultie of an unholie liasonie betwie his mumie and grankie). That inbreed has been commenting about solutions to "concretize" melayu economic dominance. "Expropriate chinkie business and start may13" That is his best solution so far, thinking with his ass and not wondering why after 40 years of tonkat, his motherfucking inbreeding kind still has not caught up.
    By teh way I am still waiting for the knife cut that he/she promise during may13. I guess you only know how to hee haw and screw your family. hahaha

    warrior 123

  16. the reader4:42 pm

    They say Daem the magician....heres another one i guess

  17. Anonymous4:55 pm

    Dear Rocky
    Adakah Malaysia mempunyai menteri yang bijak dalam menganalisa benda ini. menteri yang bijak akan melihat dalam pelbagai sudut yang berfokuskan kepentingan rakyat. Bukankah para menteri wakil rakyat. Di sini kebijaksanaan mereka di perlukan bagi menjamin kesejahteraan rakyat dan negara.

    Ada juga menteri yang terlalu bijak dan memikirkan hal sendiri dan menidakkan rakyat. Menteri begini perlu di buang segera dari menerajui negara dan juga di benteras dalam pilihan raya akan datang.

    Rakyat dah celik, rakyat dah bijak untuk melihat segala kemungkinan kerana rakyat juga belajar. Bukahkan kerajaan belanja wang yang banyak untuk rakyat belajar.

    Maka wakil rakyat yang juga pak menteri yang kurang bijak, menyeleweng, berkepentingan sendiri dan menyonglap kekayaan akan di benteras habis habisan.

    sakura KL

  18. Anonymous5:21 pm

    What exactly is Asas Serba's motive for wanting to takeover and cut toll? And why does it take a private company to come up with this solution, when the government has been saying that it would not be possible to do this without great repercussions? If you look back on all activity from AS on http://asasserbawatch.wordpress.com you can see something is a bit fishy here..

  19. Anonymous10:20 pm

    those stooges are wasting taxpayers money..investigating but no action taken...

  20. Anonymous12:02 am

    FLEECE the rakyat = biasa lah.

  21. Anonymous12:08 am

    instead of forking 50 Bloodfools. might as well build a new expressway.

  22. Anonymous1:10 am

    I was born in unusual circumstences. While everybody was getting older, I was getting younger. The Curious case of Benjamin Button. Ohh, rupa rupanya kat rumah ada Astro iye? Apa salahnya Asas Serba diberi peluang? Apa Daim dan Halim bukan melayu? Tak kan cuma nak bagi semua pada Naza aje macam tanah PERCUMA kat MITI di KL. Kalu Naza bole, Asas Serba pun takade salanya. GENG BABI.

  23. Anonymous1:21 pm

    French financial police have searched the offices of naval arms manufacturer DCNS and industrial group Thales in connection with a probe into the sale of submarines to Malaysia.

    Hidup NAJIS

  24. Anonymous1:21 pm

    Najib fighting corruption? He is the biggest MUSANG of all lah. Do you know how many days he took to approve Dato Mumtaz Jafar's latest 12 ha corporate plan? ONE day only. Contract worth RM150 million. Malam bagi, pagi dapat. Betul tak Najib?

  25. Anonymous1:40 pm

    Here is a deal that could save the government billions of Ringgit and toll rates not raised for a number of years- meaning something good for the government and the public.

    What's the objection? coz these people behind Asas Serba are alleged to be connected to Tun Daim?

    But I want the public to be aware of a more sinister scenario behind the numbers brought up by Asas Serba and Nor Mohd Yakoob.

    The government says they need RM 383 billion. Asas Serba says it can do the job with RM 50 billion. Which figure is true?

    What does the difference between 383 and 50 billion represents?

    That figure represents the level of profiteering, corruption, over charges and other financial legerdemain that is taking place and perpetrated by the various levels of decision makers in NAJIB's government.

    Naza Nazi

  26. Anonymous4:08 am

    people like daim and gang, yg merosak kan image melayu, bumiputera.

    ini lah grup melayu yg makan melayu. atas nama "nak tolong" melayu.

    kalau govt rasa rakyat tak nampak, tak perasan, tak kesah; woooo silap besar woooo...

    najib boleh jatuh lagi terok dari badawi.

    jgn main main dgn rakyat beb. jgn main main dgn hati perasaan org melayu...

    -ranjau sepanjang hiway-

  27. Concerned Citizen12:34 pm

    The recent announcement by the Works Minister started to ring some alarm bells.

    Having said that "There is nothing wrong with having a look at such proposal."

    As a concerned citizen of Malaysia, I can see that this is going against the spirit of the NEM because such an option should be made transparent to the public. The government would have to tender such a contract rather than accept a proposal by one sole company.

    This lack of transparency smells of rent-seeking and rampant corruption and I can see that if this deal were to materialize, it would only create the illusion that Malaysia is not serious about changing the way business is done in the country. Investors would get the wrong idea. How is it that just because somebody gives you a proposal, you can consider it? Instead why not make the issue of highway takeovers open for public tender?

    As for now, Asas Serba’s proposal seems very noble, almost as if a company would seriously be created for the benefit of the rakyat with no vested interests by its shareholders/directors. Given the current state of affairs it would be tempted to be pro Asas Serba, times are tough as government coffers have been sucked dry and the rakyat are being burdened with the rising costs of nearly everything with no rise in real income.

    Whatever it is there must be something that we the public are not aware of
    In a way it can be likened to selling your soul to the devil, a short term relief but what happens after all has been said and done? More empty promises, a negative perception to the country to foreign investors? We need to move forward, and not go back to the old ways of creating monopolies. All this talk of transparency and ending rent-seeking behaviors has just been thrown in the bin!

  28. Anonymous2:56 pm

    You are right, Concerned Citizen. The statement that there is nothing wrong with having a look at such a proposal is a good example of not being able to see the forest for the trees.

    How can one take such grand promises from Asas Serba seriously, who have no track record when it comes to this, as well as no guarantee that if the highways start becoming unprofitable that they have the financial backing to keep everyone happy. Your reference to the devil is a good one, however what may be more appropriate is better the devil you know than the devil you don't. Is creating a monopoly really beneficial and in line with the NEM?

    Naza makes a good point, however perhaps from the wrong point of view. Why the huge difference in figures between the government and Asas Serba? Maybe pointing the finger at corruption is the easiest way to look at it, maybe the government is just more realistic in considering what it would take – and considering the fact that they have been doing this for years, whose opinion would you value more?

    Even considering Asas Serba's proposal is a step back and I'm not sure why this is not apparent to everyone.

    -Free thinker

  29. Anonymous11:33 pm

    bangunlah rakyat. monopoli melampau 1 kompeni jaga semua tol. oh mana PM ku.