Tuesday, January 06, 2009

I No Longer Friend Sime Darby


To me, Sime Darby is a big sell. I don't know about you but since the new management has taken over, since they have forced their way to gobble up the other major plantations companies, since they have become the biggest plantation company in the world... bit by bit the DNA of Sime Darby has been evolving, or should I say, disintegrating. The goodwill accumulated through the decades of being a professional company with integrity, and a heart... is now increasingly heartless (pun intended), callous, manipulative, clumsy, ruthless and predatory. Here are the cases which have led me to my opinion:

Read the latest update on the involvement of EPU and the Ministry of Finance on the opposing side on the IJN issue:

http://anotherbrickinwall.blogspot.com/2009/01/newsbreak-mof-disgree-epu-insist-with.html

a) IJN - why oh why, whoever even though up the idea should be shot ... repeatedly... or better still fed with animal fats over a 3 month period and then ask him to wait in line at IJN. The idea is a non-starter. If the idea is to ensure better pay for the medical staff, its a budgeting issue. To see Sime Darby getting involve - hey, how do you pay more to the staff when you also have to extract another new profit stream for Sime Darby? IJN Holdings had RM100 million in its coffers when Datuk Mohd Radzif took over as CEO in September 2003? Under the 9th Malaysia Plan, IJN was given another RM150 million grant by the Government - what is the problem, its not a big sum to sustain IJN by the government, is Sime telling us that they CAN make sure the rates charged will be LOWER under their regime??? Surely Sime Darby is not in this as a CSR project, right!!?? What next Sime? Thinking of privatizing the orphanages, rumah anak yatim piatu, the old folks home, how about the hospices as well... (in the wise words of my Malay teacher "kepala hotak engkau..").


Sourced from SimeDarbyWatch blogsite, the statement signed by the 35 consultants:

19th December 2008

Statement from IJN medical consultants

We read with concern the perceived perception that the medical staff of IJN are demanding higher pay and will leave IJN if these demands are not met.

We feel it is important that these negative perceptions are correctly put into context.

The institution was set up in 1992 as a corporate body directly under the purview of Ministry of Finance. Its board of Directors include representatives from Ministry of Health and MOF to ensure its direction and objectives of providing good quality and affordable medical care to Malaysians from all walks of life are adhered to.

In that respect, IJN has done and continue to do well, both in maintaining its moral as well as financial obligations. The institution has been self-sustaining since its inception (and has been able to pay year end bonuses annually without fail). For 2007and up to end Nov 2008, we have accumulated 285,764 number of outpatients, performed 15,084 cardiac catheterization interventions including angiograms and angioplasties, 6,094 heart and lung surgeries, 7 mechanical hearts and heart and lung transplants surgeries.

As true with any organization of our size, there will be people leaving the organization at various times in order to pursue different career paths. Over the last 7 years of operation, out of a total of 35 consultants, only 7 have left IJN to work either in local or overseas private centres. Therefore, our consultants' annual attrition rate is only 3%, and we have responded consistently over time to promote our home grown talents to fill up the voids accordingly. Currently, 75% of IJN consultants have been in their posts for more than 10 years.

All of us are salaried based on a different payscale than that of the MOH though not at par with the private centres. Periodic review of salary scale is usually undertaken, subject to approval from Ministry of Finance.

As proven from our consultants' attrition rate and longevity in serving this institution, it is logical to surmise that on the whole we are happy with the current scheme and proving it by remaining with IJN. Many of us have served than 10 years, excluding time spent within the MOH Hospitals prior to setting up of IJN.

Whilst we have yet to have a clear picture of the proposed privatization by Sime Darby, we would like to reiterate our commitment to serve IJN in its current form and want to stress that the proposed privatization of IJN must not be seen to be as a response to our demands for better pay. The medical personnel of IJN are not at all involved, directly or otherwise, in the negotiations for the said privatization.

Being responsible employees of IJN, we are not in the position to dictate the outcome of the privatization proposal from Sime Darby to the stakeholders of IJN. However, the perception that the privatization proposal is in response to demands for higher remunerations by its medical staff is misconceived and must be corrected accordingly to safeguard and preserve the trust placed upon us by our patients.

Signed,

1. Sharifah Suraya Syed Mohd Tahir
2. Suhaini Kadiman
3. Nor Azlina Abdul Jalil
4. Ariffin Marzuki Mokhtar
5. Thiru Kumar Namasivayam
6. Mohd Sharif Mohd Shaffie
7. Mohamed Hassan Mohamed Ariff
8. Azhari Rosman
9. Amin Ariff Nuruddin
10. Ahmad Khairddin Mohd Yusof
11. Aiza Aizan Abdul Rahim
12. Mohd Nasir Muda
13. Shaiful Azmi @ Jamauddin Yahaya
14. Balachandaran Kandasamy
15. Azlan Hussin
16. Razali Omar
17. Chew Soon Ping @ David Chew
18. Rosli Mohd Ali
19. Robaayah Zambahari
20. Mohd Azhari Yakub
21. Pau Khew Kong
22. Sivakumar Sivalingam
23. Abdul Rais Sanusi
24. Hew Chee Chin
25. Hamdan Leman
26. Alwi Mohamed Yunus



b) New Low Cost Terminal @ Labu - The new terminal, to be called "KLIA East @ Labu", will be built on a 2,800 hectare site (6,919 acres) in Negeri Sembilan under a private finance initiative, costing RM1.6 billion (US$461 million). Labu is between Nilai and Seremban. The project is to be undertaken jointly by Air Asia and Sime Darby.

Firstly, simple planning will reveal that we need a phase 1, phase 2 and phase 3 for the current LCT to cope with organic growth and demand, not just by AA but other budget carriers... just zone off a piece of land 4-5x the current size and make sure expansion phases do not hinder current operations - why no planning, why the sudden need to have a new second LCT. If we had planned better in the first place, we would not have needed the second one so soon - I do not like to trash the authorities, but please la, this is planning and budgeting 101.


Secondly, why suddenly Sime Darby is roped in? This is not Sime's expertise, especially when there is a more relevant body in Malaysia Airports Holding - what is the under-current, why do we pick and choose and allow ourselves to be lobbied into inefficiences. Apparently, Sime is involved because the new LCT will be an integral part of its
proposed development plan for its Negeri Sembilan Vision City ("NSVC"). NSVC is part of the Company's Central Vision Valley ("CVV") property development project spanning Selangor and Negeri Sembilan.

Now, lets hear what Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) has just said " MAHB implied that it is more logical for the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) to be at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA)". In a statement today, the airport operator said it is now in a position to undertake the project with its own funds, thanks to the government’s approved restructuring plan. The National Airport Master Plan study, after considering several locations, has identified a site for the permanent LCCT at KLIA, MAHB said.
The new LCCT location was selected as it would provide excellent connectivity for both landside and airside transfers for passengers as well as baggage. At least there is a National Airport Master Plan, why the need for so many LCTs, why can't MAHB be allowed to build a really big one next to KLIA, maybe the new LCT can have its own runway as well.

c) Integration Failure - This has to be my biggest gripe about Sime Darby. I have heard enough stories and examples where staffers at Guthrie and Golden Hope are marginalized and maybe penalized, and at the same time employees from the original Sime Darby are protected and at times given preference in terms of supervision and rankings. Failure to integrate such a huge merger is my biggest concern - failure to integrate means failure to reap the synergies, it means failure to see units being consolidated to work as one, it means huge infighting and inefficiencies. I do not see a proper integration team that takes what's best in the merged companies and to get all to know and believe they are all one company. Turf wars and dissensions are very high - don't trust me, just ask ANY Guthrie/ Golden Hope employee... any of them... or ask the more than 100 plantation executives and senior executives who have resigned over the past few months, many leaving for KLK and IOI.

Integrating merged companies is not something all management can do well. The fact that management of Sime Darby is not talking about integration in a major way shows that something is very wrong. There was an Integration Blue Print... I am pretty sure its a powerful power point presentation, and will be just that. It is not an easy task no matter how you cut it, there's years of differing cultures and ways of doing things. It is easy to be dismissive of another unit's SOP. It is easy to rubbish some units thinking and strategy. It is very hard to get all to think as one. It is very hard to get all to feel they belonged to a company that respected their work, their worth and their contribution. It is very hard not to play favoritism.

It is now very hard for me to friend Sime Darby!


p/s photo: Nabila Syakieb

4 comments:

solomon said...

I still believe that when business and politic are sticking together, you have all these problems.

IJN, Labu....no economic sense. Everyone want a share??

Also, it creates confusion among public or even branding issues?

What you need is to build a world class company with specialization? Don't spare / split the resources at things you are not good at.

If Sime is good in oil palm plantation, they shd focus from upstream to downstream like IOI. Why stick your foot in hospital and airport? What are you trying to prove here?

see said...

What I don't understand is when Sime were gobbling other plantation the rationale is to be the biggest palm oil company. Then why they going off core biz of IJN and building airports? They gila ka?

DiN said...

Sime Darby has their own private hospital (SDMC in Subang are theirs, right?), so they must have figured out that it would be advantageous to them is they could acquire a heart specialist like IJN.

About the aiport business, I don't know what the hell are they thinking?!

cakap mesti bikin siap siap said...

Sime Darby is only a vehicle, don't blame it.

The IJN issue is about Abdullah Badawi and Najib. It is between EPU (Badawi) and MOF (Najib). Read all here:

http://anotherbrickinwall.blogspot.com/2009/01/newsbreak-mof-disgree-epu-insist-with.html

Badawi camp:

In the meeting, Director General of EPU, Datuk Dr Sulaiman Mahbob informed the meeting that Government insist IJN to be privatised to Sime Darby.

Why is EPU resonating Sime Darby's rationale? Does that explains Sime Darby's absence? EPU is speaking for them. EPU falls under the Prime Minister's Department. Is PM "taking instruction" from Sime Darby Chairman, Tun Musa Hitam? And, why the hurry?


Najib's camp:

Sources said the representative from Ministry of Finance present strongly opposed to the privatisation and insisted IJN should remain a non-profit organisation. They explicitly expressed the Minister of Finance is opposed to the Sime Darby proposal.