I suppose it just can't be hidden through creative accounting anymore. My friend Big Dog wrote about it on Feb 9, 2010. Read it here.
The truth is Sime Darby has incurred losses of almost RM1 billion from its project with Qatar Petroleum. At a townhall meeting with Sime Darby staff last week, its Group Chief Executive Officer and President Datuk Seri Ahmad Zubir Murshid admitted that the company had incurred heavy losses in Qatar.
Aparrently the project was a mistake ab initio. Under-quoted from the very start, compounded by lack of knowledge and shortage of expertise.
I am surprised that the Sime Darby Board did not or has not called for the resignation of the top management. The mere resignation of Sime Engineering Services' managing director Datuk Mohamad Shukri Baharom (picture above) is insufficient.
When Golden Hope Plantations Berhad incurred trading losses of a mere RM120 million due to the doing of a rogue trader, Dato' Sabri Ahmad, the former Group Chief Executive of GHope, was asked to resign from Sime Darby. He joined Sime Darby as the adviser for the plantations division for a few months when Golden Hope merged with Sime Darby in November 2007.
Two others Razidan Ghazalli - the Finance Director of Golden Hope and Muhammad Mohan Abdullah, the General Manager of a Golden Hope subsidiary, Golden Jomalina Sdn Bhd, were sacked when they refused to resign.
Both Muhammad and Razidan took legal action and sued Sime Darby for wrongful dismissal. But Sime Darby, perhaps in an admission of guilt, chose to settle the mattter out of court and paid them off handsomely.
I have one question to ask the Sime Darby Board: Why the double standards?
I am waiting eagerly for the Prime Minister's GLC transformation efforts. Sime Darby certainly needs to be transformed from the top to bottom.
Loss of staff morale is a big issue in Sime Darby. I was told that close to 20,000 have resigned since the November 2007 merger. This has heavily hampered productivity.
My name is Mohd Ashraf Abdullah. I was born and raised in Tampin, Negeri Sembilan. I am a journalist at heart. I served the New Straits Times as a journalist for 17 years, beginning as a cadet reporter in 1988. I was trained to be a political writer. I served the NST in various capacities including as Staff Correspondent of the Kuantan Bureau and London Correspondent. I resigned as News Editor in 2004 to join Golden Hope Plantations Berhad as Deputy General Manager, Group Corporate Affairs. Two years later I was made General Manager, Group Corporate Affairs. When Golden Hope and Kumpulan Guthrie Berhad were merged with Sime Darby Berhad in November 2007, I chose not to accept the offer of employment by the merged entity. I was a scholar of the British Government and possess a Masters Degree in International Studies and Diplomacy from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. I am also a Jefferson's Fellow of the East West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.