Thursday, May 29, 2014

Replacing Bashir with an outsider - Whatever happened to homegrown talent?

On the appointment of Datuk Azman Mohd as the new CEO of TNB, Najib said he had fulfilled a pledge to TNB employees to appoint a home-grown talent to the post.

"TNB is an organisation whose excellence is beyond doubt. As such, when it came to a transition in the top management, I told their unions that if they had someone from within, I will appoint that person as the chief executive.
"In accordance with our slogan of "Promises Fulfilled", my pledge to the TNB employees has been fulfilled. We are proud of the home-grown talent of Datuk Azman who is qualified to be the CEO and President of TNB," he said. 

If newspaper "speculation" about MDeC CEO Badlisham Ghazali replacing Tan Sri Bashir Ahmad at Malaysia Airpots turns out true, we can speculate that somebody at Khazanah Nasional obviously does not subscribe to the Prime Minister's belief that the top post in a GLC could - and should - be filled by an insider.  

Sure, Badlisham is a vastly experienced chief exec - 8 years at MDeC developing the nation's multimedia industry and prior to that 18 years selling computers and programs for HP when it was the largest personal computer maker - but surely it is injustice to expect him to fill half of Bashir's huge shoes. And that is exactly what Khazanah will be seen as doing here. 

Doesn't MAHB has someone from within that Najib Razak can appoint as the new chief executive? Actually it does. Bashir has earmarked a couple of insiders who are now ready to take up the top job.

Bashir's tenure as MAHB CEO, which has been extended a couple of times by the government, expires end of next week on June 6. Given his wealth of experience and his global stature, the MAHB Board wants to retain him in some advisory capacity but Khazanah, it seems, wants to let Bashir go officially first before considering re-engaging him. 

Bashir - Years of running battle with Khazanah and friends
Surely, too, this man whom the global airport-aviation industry is naming its Man of the Year this weekend, deserves more recognition from his own shareholder?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Blogging again, naturally

The PM and SM Nasaruddin at the NPC Awards
My swan song

My fellow Kembara Bumi Suci riders in their latest riding gear
Media bosses with Shabery Cheek and TM's Zamzamzairani

Spiritual journeys and my last NPC Awards: The first thing Najib Razak asked me as he got out of his Perdana at the Majestic Hotel was: "How was your trip?" He was referring to my motorcycle expedition to the Holy Land that ended just last week. "Spiritual, Sir," I replied and, aware that the PM leaves for China today to mark 40 years of bilateral ties started by his father and our second Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak, I added, "China, especially, awesome." Later over dinner, after having given away prizes for the eight major winners at the National Press Club Awards, he asked if my Kembara Bumi Suci riders had covered Xian, one of the places he would be visiting. You could see his excitement about the upcoming visit. "It must be close to spiritual, Sir, this visit of yours to China," I said. "Yes ... and emotional," he answered.

The two months that I hadn't been blogging (72 days to be exact) were the longest time away from the keypads. The KBS had left KL on March 14 (Najib had launched the project a few days earlier at Sri Perdana) and we arrived in Madinah 61 days later after covering more than 17,000 km (of land, sea and even air; tarmac, sand and ice) and 12 countries. After performing the Umrah, I flew back early last week ahead of the team in order to help organise the NPC Awards; I have been the Organising Chairman since its inception in 2011. 

The evening went well, the hall was packed, the sponsors happy and we got Shabery Cheek's ministry to come on board for the first time. Najib's take on today's journalism was honest, especially the part of his speech about being forced to drag unscrupulous media practitioners to Court. Government and Opposition politicians do it (sue journalists and media organisations); it's part of the democratic process, he said. It's a balance between allowing for a liberal media and a need to keep one's good name against journalists who defame because of their own political agenda. 

I've never subscribed to this simply because we have politicians who take journalists and the media to Court over the slightest of hurt simply because they can afford it and because it is politically expedient to do so. They speak of Press freedom but they are the first to suppress the Press when they have a bit of power ...

The third NPC Awards will be my last, I've decided. Time for the enthusiastic Club exco to take the event to another level next year. My mind rests on two things: organising the next great motorcycle adventure before the year is out (e.g. ride to 40 cities in China to commemorate the 40th anniversary) and making sure my pals and I are protected if and when we get sued for the things we write on our blogs ...