Recently I had tea with my personal doctor, Dr Chan and his husband Jeffrey Chan. Just as we sat down, knowing that I am into politics, he immediately told me to check out an article about world famous tycoon Robert Kuok versus the Malaysian government. We had always discussed politics together although we may not share the same view sometimes.
So I read the article that he mentioned and I would like to share it with friends on this blog. There are some truth and some misinformation in the article but I would let you to make your own decision on the content of the article.
My two cent worth:
Every Prime Minister since Tun Abdul Razak maintained a very good relationship with Tan Sri Robert Kuok. His views and investments were very much treasured by the Malaysian government. Even Tun Dr Mahathir seek his counsel related to China and it was also through him that the Malaysia government managed to brokered a peace deal with the Malaysia Communist Party. The relationship between them was so good that whenever Tun Mahathir visit China, he will stay at Kuok’s hotel.
Well, so what went wrong and when and where? Perhaps we should direct this to Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the pro cronies Prime Minister who do not even know what he is doing. It was during his time that Kuok was asked to sell his sugar interests in Malaysia to Abdullah’s cronies.
We also see that it was also during Abdullah’s administration that Kuok started to move his Malaysian assets overseas and stop making investment in Malaysia. What happened between Abdullah and Kuok we do not know but one thing for sure is that Abdullah must have given the impression to Kuok that Malaysia is not a place for investment.
It is wrong for the article to blame the current Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib. What Najib needs to do now is to win back the heart and trust of Kuok for the betterment of Malaysia. We are a resource rich country and there are many things that he can invest in. Abduallah should come out to clarify this (well, if he is still mentally fit).
Sugar King vs Malaysia
Recently, the government offended Robert Kuok, as a result, the Malaysian economy suffered a great blow! After the official Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Malaysia , the Najib government now really understands Robert Kuok's influence on China !
In order to benefit their cronies, they arm twisted to swallow up Robert Kuok’s sugar empire. The cronies get richer by 10’s of billions, but it caused a national loss of more than 200 billion! Those who have insider info can only curse: PKHKC it!
Malaysia's Sugar King was forced to leave Malaysia, but became the world’s sugar king! He bought the world's largest sugar mills in Australia, invested USD10 billion, it is the world's largest sugar cane sugar refining industry, living up to the name of the world’s sugar king.
On the other hand, the Malaysia government benefited cronies at the expense of national interests. For those who have insider info, Kuok offered immense help to the Malaysian government in the past few decades, he has done everything possible; but what the government did was like what you will get when you turn over a pig stomach: faeces. In other words, Najib Government was UNGRATEFUL!
In "Confidential" news about the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Malaysia recently.... it hit a snag with Najib.
Prior to Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Malaysia , Najib and his cabinet on more than one occasion, hinted that he hoped China will double the amount of palm oil with Malaysia .
We all know that China is the largest consumer of palm oil from Malaysia . Rapid economic rise in the recent years, China became the largest palm oil market for Malaysia, but Malaysia has also strong competition from Indonesia , trying to sell palm oil at lower prices to China and India, diluting the Malaysian market share. This is most worrying for Najib.
Najib hoped to sign new palm oil trading contracts with Premier Wen Jiabao, hopng to more than double the average 10 million tonnes monthly export to China . But Wen Jiabao came to a Malaysia, he told Najib: 'impossible'. It was an utter disappointment.
Najib knows the Chinese market demand. Even to import one million tonnes of palm oil daily, is not a problem. So, where is the problem?
The problem is... Sugar king Kuok did not agree!
Why was Sugar king Kuok able to influence China's decision to buy Malaysian palm oil?
Who has the monopoly of Chinese national oil market? China national oil market leader is "Arowana" cooking oil, accounting for nearly 40%! The Arowana cooking oil boss is Robert Kuok!
Think about it, if Premier Wen Jiabao on behalf of the Chinese government buys Malaysian palm oil, who is going to refine it into cooking oil? Of course, it is the privatized enterprises! With 40% market share, if Arowana cooking oil company refuses the supply, how is the Chinese government going to utilize the supply?
Najib was insensible from the start, and did not know Kuok had such huge influence in China . He had helped cronies, forcing Robert Kuok to give up the Malaysian sugar king throne, and didn’t expect to have such quick retribution
Kuok was forced to leave Malaysia, his heart is of course very unhappy. People of Malaysia must know, during the early days of Malaysia , we did not have aviation professionals, the BN government requested Kuok's father to help set up Malayan Airways.
1970 Malaysian maritime shipping industry was also a vacuum, the Malaysian government sent representatives to Hong Kong to personally plead Kuok’s help. For national development, Kuok put aside the Group's businesses, came back to Malaysia to assist the Government to establish a national maritime shipping industry. This later transformed into MALAYSIA INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING CORPORATION, referred to as MISC.
Robert Kuok was a big help when Malaysia repeatedly faced economic difficulties. Even in MCA Tan Koon Swan’s case, it was Robert Kuok who paid the bail! Malaysia ’s successive governments, from BN to the National Front, owed Robert Kuok a hell of a lot. But the Malaysian Government was ungrateful, using the strong arm twisting excuses to forcefully take over Kuok’s empire. Is this not ungrateful?
When Deng Xiaoping made a comeback in the 70s, and announced China's reform and needed most help from overseas Chinese entrepreneurs; Robert was first to take action to help Deng. Among the other entrepreneurs of Chinese economic miracle are Henry Fok and Li Ka-shing Hong Kong . Malaysian entrepreneur Robert Kuok was the first to respond to Deng Xiaoping in Beijing and built China 's first five-star hotels, Shangri-La!
With over 30 years of deep relationship with the Chinese government and leadership, Kuok has great influence. Najib failed to recognise this. This is why the quote at the start of this post : “For the interests of their cronies, they arm twisted to take over Kuok’s Sugar Empire, cronies got rich by the 10s of billions, but it caused a national loss of more than 200 billions!”
Kuok's sugar empire was eaten by the fat vampire's family abruptly. Imagine, a world renowned international trade business personality, what humiliation he received in return for his single-minded help all this while for his own country and government? And Najib would never think that the consequences of offending the Sugar King will be so very serious.
Right after Sugar King left Malaysia , he immediately announced the acquisition of Australia 's biggest sugar factory. This is the world supplier of raw material for sugar manufacturing. Of course, this includes supplying to the family of the fat vampire woman’s sugar factory in Perlis.
Early this year, Kuok announced plans to invest USD 10 billion in Indonesia for development of the world's largest sugar cane growing areas, as well as advanced refinery. The world economy was facing a downturn, the Malaysian government travelled around the world to solicit investment. How much was Malaysia ’s foreign investment? Kuok’s single investment in Indonesia is equivalent to as USD10 billion dollars! Don’t you want to screw the couple: PKHKC!?
At the moment, Kuok’s take towards China ’s palm oil contract with Malaysia was to remain with the agreed terms. There won’t be any increase. Indonesia has more palm oil than Malaysia . It is cheaper too. Now that Kuok had invested so much money in Indonesia , the Government of Indonesia would have treated him as their God of Wealth. Certainly, open to negotiate anything with him. Moreover, Indonesia has been eyeing to take over the China palm oil supply contract from Malaysia .
The CONSOLATION China gave in return for not increasing the purchase of palm oil was buying frozen durian. Do the Chinese people have the habit of eating durian it? How much time and effort is needed to market frozen durian from Malaysia ? Thai durian may not sell well in China , let alone Malaysia frozen durian?
Business is business, who would supply millions of dollars’ worth of frozen durian into a brand new market with no durian eating habits? Should the Chinese people become non-receptive of it, how do we deal with return goods? A total loss with capital. Is this how to do business?
Earlier this year, when the news hit the papers that Kuok made an announcement to invest USD 10 billion in Indonesia, many criticized Kuok for being unpatriotic, preferring to take so much money into Indonesia instead of Malaysian. What CRAP! You arm-twisted him to take over his empire, forcing the man to leave Malaysia in hurt & humiliation; now that the man ignores the Malaysian market, and you criticize him? Have you guys got balls for brains?
For him to bring his huge investment to Australia & Indonesia instead of Malaysia , who is to be blamed?
Incidentally, Kuok is not just Chinas’ hotelier, king of cooking oil, the world’s sugar King; he is also the patent owner of the Coca-cola soft drink brand in the Chinese market. Kuok is involved in a diversity of businesses in China . He created many job opportunities for China . The Chinese central government and leaders have great respect for him as an entrepreneur. When the man speaks, the weight it carries can be far-reaching.
THE MANDARIN VERSION IS BELOW
70年代大马海上航运业也真空，是大马政府亲自派代表去香港邀请郭鹤年帮忙，郭鹤年为了国家发展，将自己的集团业务暂时放下，回来大马协助政府设立国家海上航运业，这才有了后来的MALAYSIA INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING COPERATION，简称MISC。