Sunday, March 02, 2008

Letter: Penang "bribed" Motorola to stay??

Is this true? Is this true? How many more "foreign companies" are being "bribed" to stay in Malaysia?

Is the BN government concerned with providing employment for its people? Before YES - but not anymore. Nothing was done when the Banks moved towards greater automation which resulted in about 20% of Bank Employees losing job after internet banking, phone banking, etc was put in place... (Oh, they were not terminated but just asked to join another company as the Banks had outsourced certain aspects of its work to other companies ---- but let us face it about 20% Bank employees are NO MORE Bank employees). Then now, the Banks are pushing its customers to the Automated Tellers, Phone Banking and Internet Banking - and number of counters and counter-staff will be reduced soon. We expect another 20-25% of Bank Employees to lose jobs soon.

Nowadays our current BN leaders are shown to be interested in the profits of companies....and not on the well-being of its people. Generating jobs for its people, Increasing Wages of its People, Reducing the Cost of Electricity, Water, Phone, Entertainment (like Television), Toll, Fuel...are not so much the priority of the BN led Malaysian Government

Things have gotten out of control - and the current leaders of the nation from the BN, most of whom are from the corporate sector, has left us in a REALLY BAD STATE - How was it that the gap between the richest 10% and the poorest 10% is amongst the worst in Asia and the world? The government should have been for an equitable distribution of wealth between persons and families - and should not have allowed the 10% to control about 40% of the country's wealth.

Beware Malaysian, do not get any heart ailment for now if you are NOT RICH, you will not be able to afford the charges of IJN. Before the government hospitals were there - but our BN government created IJN and all hospitals providing heart treatment has been asked to stop. The last 2 government hospitals that cover heart ailments was the hospital in Penang and Johor Bahru..

I would not be surprised if the allegations in the article below is true...

Letter: Penang "bribed" Motorola to stay??
Beh Lih Yi | Mar 2, 08 1:46pm

Highly-confidential correspondence confirms that the Penang state government had asked the federal government to offer a RM1 billion project to American telecommunications giant Motorola in a desperate attempt to retain the latter’s investment in the state.

If this wasn’t done, the Gerakan-led state government warned Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi that its ‘catastrophic impact’ would be ‘politically very detrimental’ especially in the run-up to the general elections on March 8.

The three-page letter, signed by outgoing Penang chief minister Dr Koh Tsu Koon, was addressed to Abdullah and dated Dec 3 last year. Malaysiakini has seen a copy of the letter.

According to it, under the deal, the government will offer a RM1 billion project to Motorola involving the upgrading of the police force’s radio network. In exchange for this, Motorola agrees to stay put in Penang and pump-in an investment of RM350 million over the next five years.

Motorola, which has a manufacturing facility at Penang’s Bayan Lepas Industrial Zone, announced its latest investment of RM350 million for the state on Tuesday.

pak lah and koh tsu koon and motorola factoryThe stunning revelation comes as the opposition intensifies its attacks on the Gerakan state government over the sliding performance of the island’s economy. Koh has been on the defensive repeatedly denying such claims.

The state’s shaky economic performance has topped voters’ concern and is likely to be an influential factor when votes are cast on Saturday.

In the letter to Abdullah, Koh - who is also Gerakan acting president - began by stating that he was ‘very concerned’ over disclosures that Motorola was on the verge of announcing that they would be ‘pulling out their entire operations in Malaysia’.

Koh said that Motorola’s pending decision ‘was not a threat for a bigger and new contract’ but a ‘necessary business strategic response’ to the perceived lack of support from the Malaysian government.

The government had previously rejected Motorola’s request to continue to supply and expand the existing radio network of the police force due to the fact that the network project, dubbed the Government Integrated Radio Network, had been committed to another consortium.

Three ‘dire consequences’

The letter further stated that Abdullah had told Motorola executives during a meeting in February last year that the company should only work on expanding and upgrading the police’s radio network, which has been put in place by the American giant in 1992.

Koh, in the letter, went on at length to justify to Abdullah the importance of Motorola continuing to invest in the state. This included the company setting-up its worldwide headquarters in Penang for certain products.

The outgoing chief minister told Abdullah that Motorola ‘will have no choice’ but to move their product headquarters and related operations to another country, most probably China which Koh described as ‘wooing Motorola very aggressively’.

Motorola needed to make a decision whether to accept the offer to move by early this year, he added. Koh also listed out ‘three dire consequences’ should Motorola decides to pull out:

  • penang koh tsu koon komtar 290208It would cause a total of 10,000 jobs to be lost of which 4,000 are direct jobs in the Motorola facility in Penang and the remaining 6,000 jobs among Motorola suppliers and vendors in the country.

  • It would be a ‘bombshell’ on the electrical and electronics industry in the country and the decision will trigger a highly probable domino effect with other multinational companies pulling out.

  • It will be ‘politically very detrimental’ especially in the run-up to the general elections.

Koh, chief minister for 18 years, appealed to Abdullah and the federal government to reconsider its decision not to award Motorola a new project ‘in this special case’.

"From what I gather, the retention and expansion of the existing communication system for the Royal Malaysian Police radio network will cost less than RM1 billion for 10 years, and not more than RM4 billion as was erroneously conveyed," Koh stated.

He added that the cost will cover an upgrading of ‘an existing communication system already in full operation’ over a 10-year period and he will try his best to convince Motorola to further reduce the offer price.

Koh ‘arm-twisting’

Koh also stressed that Motorola has invested an accumulated amount of RM5 billion in Malaysia over the past 35 years and that it has ‘contributed significantly’ to the nation’s economic development.

He cited Motorola’s move to make an additional investment of RM350 million in research and development and manufacturing over the next five years to back his argument.

"I sincerely trust YAB Dato Seri (Abdullah) will assist Penang, and Malaysia, to retain a major investor, avoiding the catastrophic impact of a pull-out and also to allow the police to continue with expanding a tested and trusted radio network," said Koh.

The controversial deal was first hinted at by PKR leaders in Penang on Thursday, but without any proof to substantiate their claim or name of the corporation involved.

penang and election 200208PKR Penang chief Zahrain Mohamed Hashim - who is contesting the Bayan Baru parliamentary seat and who said he had read the letter - described it as Koh ‘arm-twisting’ Abdullah.

Koh, when quizzed on the matter by reporters on Friday refused to respond apart from saying the question was ‘vague’.

On Tuesday, Motorola had announced its latest deal to invest RM350 million in Penang over the next five years.

Coincidently, the announcement served as a lifeline to Koh who was cuaght in a whirlpool of opposition claims that Penang had lost its shine due the relocation of many multinational companies to other countries.

Launching the Penang Progress Report 2008 on Wednesday, a visibly relieved Koh had said: ‘The announcement by Motorola that it would be investing RM350 million more for its operations in Penang yesterday proves that the state is still competitive’.

‘The DAP is trying to run down everything but refuses to see the progress,’ Koh was reported to have said.

No comments: