Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Saga of Umno-Linked Companies in the UAE

Last week, I received a call from a friend. He is a senior staff at an UMNO-linked company (ULC) operating in the UAE. A public-listed company with some concession contracts in Malaysia. You may guess it right.

His message was simple, he was desperately looking for a new job. This ULC was officially closed down when the JV partner took over by buying the whole equity. ULC staff was sent packing immediately.

The information received, it was due to the greed of the JV partner. I had an experience dealing with this particular ULC for some personal matters and the person-in-charge here was fired for some CBT-type of activities. He made some millions, the rumour said.

Another ULC by the name of Paremba had closed shop and lost millions. Its senior staff was detained and jailed for dishonoured cheque last year. He was freed after Malaysian community assisted through legal avenues. Another former staff was recently detained for the same charge and is still in prison, however, as claimed, this guy has some millions in his account as well.

Thieves are not uncommon for ULCs....they may follow the leaders.

The problem is not unique. Malaysian companies are coming lately to grab the ever increasing opportunities with USD trillions worth of projects all over the UAE. Some has made it in big way. Some like these two ULCs, should have learned their lessons or bad experiences well and hopefully return with vengeance to secure more projects with impressive ROI. Therefore UMNO bigwigs and mafia can spend lavishly for next election. Or for their own personal investments (like second wife or more girlfriends) and entertainments around the globe.

Another landscaping company, owned by son of former premier is already in deep financial shit. The staff salaries are always over due or if ever paid only half of the amount due. This has been going on since last one year. Most of the staff has already quit but some still hoping for a turnaround. (I managed to help few of them)

This son of former premier by the name of M seems, according to his staff, investing heavily in Dubai upmarket properties. He allegedly owns luxury homes here and a frequent visitor for pleasure. Well, his company needs cash injection with the current cash flow problems and he must be aware of the staff predicaments. However, his big mouth father should advise his son before KJ and gangs use this shitty problem as a weapon to kill him off. Like father like son.

The biggest Malaysian employer here by sheer size, an ID public-listed company with hundreds of Malaysian staff and RM billions worth of projects seem doing the right things except, most of its staff working without proper work visa. Mostly on visit visa which has to be renewed every two months. Malaysians can enter the UAE anytime with upon arrival visit visa which is valid for 60 days per entry.

In the UAE, anyone caught illegally working on visit visa can be jailed before being deported and will be banned from entering the country again. So far this company manages the risks very well even the office was raided few times and some staff deported for wrong reasons but at the end, linked to the illegal status.

This company may want to save upfront and operating cost but by risking or rather abusing its staff, it does show how inhumane some chinaman business is. Racism aside, it is not coincidence that most of its staff working illegally are Malays. Mind you, as I always remind these unfortunate guys and gals there are always positive sides of this especially they are here and can see the opportunities. If there are better opportunities around, leave this company immediately as we would never know the consequences. Better be safe than sorry.

The rumour says the current outgoing diplomat man here would be its chairman very soon after happily carrying the towkay's bags around for all these years......yes some few diplomats can be scumbags, but opportunists are acceptable unless they abuse their powers, privileges and special immunity for personal gains!

At the end of the day, we want more Malaysian companies, all of them not only UMNO-linked, MCA-linked, MIC-linked, PAS-linked, PKR-link, DAP-linked, Raja Petra-linked, chinaman or GLCs to be successful and proud of.

Do right thing as well as become wiser from those lessons learned!


Pentilium5 said...


My friend in audit says.... dont create an environment for people to take advantage - they will!

Most companies dont lay the ground work properly and expect people to perform superbly - the grounding must be solid - risk management, back to basic kind of thing, funny that the bank i work with does not seem to evolve from "Credit 101" i.e. always stick to the basic.... and dont get tempted by the market without having thought about the consequences-> yet we (the Bank) are not affected so much as the current bane in the credit market nicknamed "subprime".

Lesson to learn is that companies need to evolve to that stage so to wither the economic cycles, the japanese took 50 years, we had less numbers of years than that, i am hopeful we can be world class in the next 10-15 years. Hopefully we benchmark ourselves with the best of the best!!!

pakpayne said...

i wonder....how those 'illegal' employees feel?
I also wonder....how does that company gets away with it?
i especially wonder ...what is the name of the said company?