As reported in The Edge: Asked on a report on May 31 on Disney's denial, its managing director, Datuk Ahmad Pardas Senin said: “The efforts need to be continuously done as this is not something that can be achieved in a short space of time.” He said UEM World had initiated talks with several operators other than Disney as UEM World had allocated 2,400ha of its 9,200ha township in Nusajaya for leisure or theme park development. Prior to its suspension at 2.30pm on May 31, UEM World fell six sen to RM1.76 after Disney's denial that it was interested to set up a theme park in the country. It resumes trading on June 1. On May 30, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohd Effendi Norwawi said the government was in talks with Oriental Land Co Ltd, who operates Tokyo Disneyland, and Disney in the US to bring in Disney. Reuters on May 31 quoted Walt Disney Parks and Resorts spokeswoman, Lisa Haines, as saying: “At this time, however, there are no existing discussions in Malaysia and we currently have no plans for a Disney-branded resort development in that country.” On UEM World’s bid for the second Penang bridge, Ahmad Pardas said it had written to the government to be considered as it was the concession holder of the first Penang bridge and undertook the construction of the second link bridge between Johor Bahru and Singapore. He hoped it would be considered for transportation projects under the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP), including the expansion of light rail transit (LRT) and other railway commuter projects.
My Take - It is so obvious that UEM World and probably the minister have been given an ear bashing by Disney folks. In handling corporate negotiations, we probably have some inexperience folks there (more with the minister than UEM World). Disney would be in trouble if Malaysia keeps talking about the project when Disney themselves have not yet announced any details of the negotiations. A seasoned negotiator would have sat down with Disney to plan the news releases in a proper manner. These are the kind of things why GLCs reputation is found wanting in important things such as: "execution", "proper follow-through" and "professionalism". Its not like your own backyard anymore where the Bursa / SC dare not reprimand those very high up. Sigh! You cannot retract what you have said when it has been recorded by Reuters, damage is done, just hope that this does not jeopardise the deal. When the minister said they have met Disney in the US earlier in the month, and mentioned another meeting with Oriental Land (franchise holder for Disney in Japan) - that is material information. They did not think of the impact on Disney in the regulations-heavy American corporate governance environment. Why were there no better advisors? Should really hire me... man!