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WAU! What a rosy report on MAS!

I read with great admiration the report card of BinaFikir Sdn Bhd with regards to the “Widespread Asset Bundling” (a.k.a. as “WAU”) restructuring of MAS. Incidentally, Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar and Mohammed Rashdan Yusof were co-founders of BinaFikir Sdn Bhd. During the WAU exercise, Tan Sri Mokhtar was the Managing Director and Mohamamed Rashdan Yusof was the chairman of BinaFikir Sdn Bhd.

BinaFikir Sdn Bhd was founded in 2002, in HERE. In January 2002 it has been commissioned to restructure MAS under the name of WAU. The WAU exercise was completed on 6-11-2002. The excerpts of the said report card are as follows:

  • Restructuring involved ‘unbundling’ the airline of RM5bn of assets and RM7bn of liabilities, transforming MAS’s gearing ratio of 700% as at 31 March 2002 to a net cash position, thus creating an “asset-light” airline
  • WAU is a financial restructuring which succesfully resolved MAS’s balance sheet problems and gave a strong platform for the management to focus on continued operational improvements
  • Successfully executed by 6 November 2002 (being a record duration of 8.5 months for a restructuring of this magnitude)
  • Awarded the Airfinance Journal Asian Corporate Finance Deal of the Year for 2002 and The Edge’s Deal of the Year 2002

 “Following the Widespread Asset Unbundling (“WAU”) restructuring exercise in late 2002, many investors have much positive expectations on MAS to deliver improved performance. We believe this has been the single most important factor behind MAS’ strong relative share price performance vs. its peers in the region…MAS’ share price has consistently outperformed Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific” ECMLibra Analyst Report on MAS, 30th July 2004.

“WAU only took effect for last 5 months of this financial year (2003) and yet had a major effect to turn around MAS’s profit.”

The BinaFikir Sdn Bhd’s report card on WAU, in HERE.

I wonder how much did MAS pay BinaFikir Sdn Bhd for a job well done. Ten years later, Khazanah Nasional Bhd, under Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar, had to undergo negotiations for a share swap that was shrouded with secrecy with AirAsia in order to save the nation carrier, MAS. Tan Sri Azman should be applauded for his great efforts.

It was also coincidental that his former co-founder in BinaFikir Sdn Bhd, Mohammed Rashdan Yusof, who is also a Khazanah director, is now appointed to sit on MAS board. Henceforth, MAS should be flying high again. After this secretive MAS/AirAsia share swap, it will be interesting to wait and see MAS could hold on to its existing destinations and/or had to take up a big chunk of the 200 airbus that AirAsia has ordered.

Next posting will be on LSG Sky Chef Brahim Sdn Bhd, a company where a brother of high ranking politician has an interest.

7 thoughts on “WAU! What a rosy report on MAS!

  1. It was rosy then but now need a boost through the share swap in darkness from Azman and Rashdan, the great MAS saviour of all times.

    Now is another asset restructuring where a good friend of them, Tony, must be put into MAS to help MAS by giving up more destinations to AirAsia and take up Airbus from AirAsia otherwise the 200 airbus will be parked at KLIA as air show. What a stupid move.

  2. YB, when WAU was proposed to MAS, BinaFikir has only 2 employees – Azman and Rashdan. And WAU is Binafikir’s first project for the so-called advisory outfit and Malaysia. The fees charges from Taxpayers from WAU (which turned out as the most expensive TOILET PAPER in the world) is nothing less than US$1million. Few years later, Azman got promotion (no thanks to Pak Lelah) to join Khazanah in 2004 and in 2008 Rashdan sold BinaFikir to Maybank for …. million and was appointed as CEO of Maybank Investment. Not sure how Maybank agreed on the price, but “8” seems like a nice number, to some, and easy to remember. During his tenure as CEO of Maybank Investment, many experienced staff left the Group between 2008-2010 because cannot stand Rashdan’s arrogant attitude and some commented that he seems to know everything! (After all, he holds a “double first class” from University of Cambridge UK, so no point arguing with the prick!). Wahid is aware of the problem in Maybank – after the appointment of Rashdan, staff morale were extremely low, productivity is as good as zero, and KPIs were well below par. Although initially Wahid defended Rashdan for his “out-of-the-universe” management-style (also known as “kurang ajar” to most), the poor performance of Maybank Investment left Wahid with no choice but to kick Rashdan out from the Group. Heard that Maybankers were having parties and kenduri kesyukuran when Rashdan announced his resignation in March 2010. 2 months later, in May 2010, Azman offered him position in Khazanah as Executive Director of Investment (well that’s what friends are for, right?) and to cut short Rashdan’s “colourful” resume, in 2011 he is the Executive Director of MAS.

    There’s a good article in The Sun dated 9 August about MAS-AirAsia deal written by Datuk Azman Ujang – “…Dick Brown, the then CEO of Cable & Wireless of US said the world of business has more bright people. I like to see both, but if i has to choose between high intelligence and effective execution, I would take effective execution all the time”..also “a top industry player explains MAS badly needs an operations man at the helm and not a finance man.”

    Need to say more?

    Good Luck Malaysia!

  3. I should have taken accountancy or law in university instead of nuclear engineering. What the heck, in the 70’s you you can’t escape your karma. If you are a Malay and you got credit in maths and science, you have to be streamed into science class whether you like it or not. Suddenly not so bright Malays got to take up the non science courses at university and now after more than 40 years we have these brilliant Malays as our corporate leaders.

    Where do you find all those science students who later graduated with their masters and PhDs? They are now nearing their retirement age of 58 and some have reverted to join MLM scheme to earn extra bug after retirement. Who make all the money? The art students who can’t qualify for the science stream in the 70’s.

    As for me, I am still waiting for our nuclear power program to kick off if only I can get a piece of the action. What, the government is going to entice our talent overseas to come back help in our scientific development? Habislah, maybe I should go back to my kampung and “tanam kacang”.


  4. Dear Sir,

    Thank you for your relentless effort. My heart is bleeding again.
    We are ready to surface.

    I have also read somewhere about the main issue that has been overlooked.

    “The state-owned airline has already had two rights issues since Jala took over, raking in RM1.6 billion in 2007 and RM2.67 billion in 2010 to fund its operations and fleet purchases.
    Industry experts said that a further injection of cash will not save MAS as “operational fixes” are required.”

    “The past financial fixes haven’t helped MAS. Another round of money won’t either, an industry source told The Malaysian Insider despite a touted RM8.4 billion aircraft renewal programme.
    “Most of the past solutions for MAS, either the WAU or Jala’s business transformation plan, were financial in nature to keep the airline in the black. But what is needed are operational fixes,” he added.”

    Yes, this is what lacking in MAS leadership – an Operational person who is FIRM, FAIR and FULLY FUNCTIONAL (as in operational).

    I have also written many analysis and some reports were given PERSONALLY to Tan Sri Md Nor Yusof (when he was the MD) and Tan Sri Munir Majid (when he was the Chairman).
    Being Finance persons, they somehow were not able to understand operational issues.

    The observations below are extracted from my report titled “ENGINEERING AND MAINTENANCE DIVISION WORK CULTURE: A PRELIMINARY ANALYSIS” dated 11 December 2003


    Based on a series of investigation, study and event that have unfolded, out of plain responsibility, I would like to raise my concerns on Engineering and possibly other MAS senior Management that we may be living in an unhealthy and disturbing culture whereby:

    1. We take problems for granted.
    2. We fail to analyze the real underlying issues and thus not able to provide professional solutions
    3. We tend to defer important issues and failed to put first thing first preferring to continue prescribing quick fixes and fire fighting instead of fire prevention.
    4. We tend to contain main issues, buying time, with the hope that the issues may miraculously go away or at the very least, the individual who raised it will be frustrated, fed up and eventually give up.
    5. We are slow to act and react, we tend to condone many malpractices especially among the management. We have been led to believe that if we expose these malpractices, we are backstabbing our own friends and colleagues. We failed to recognise the fact that if we do not correct and instead choose to ignore the issues, we are actually backstabbing and betrayed the trust given by the nation and the public (staff)
    6. The true professionals and leaders were not given the due recognition and credit they deserve.
    The non performers (yes man) are rewarded whereas the performers are sidelined simply because their superiors felt threatened by their able subordinates.
    7. Many have been exposed albeit ineffectively on various course such as leadership, communication, financial, management etc. What really missing is the very basic skills of learning which is analytical, comprehension, expression, interpretation and research skills
    8. We tend to tolerate our own incompetence, giving too many chances when what seriously lacking is a dose of proper lessons
    9. We tend to penalize those who defy, those who had guts in exposing our own incompetence and malpractices.
    10. We tend to be ignorant of the huge responsibilities that Engineering & Maintenance have to shoulder and our inaction could jeopardize many lives including our loved ones.
    11. Engineering as the engine of growth and heart of MAS acutely lack professionals who can provide solutions to the needs and problems and leaders who solve problem others fear.
    12. In summary, we do not seem to be doing the right things and OUITE EVIDENTLY we do not know the right things to do.

    Now, after nearly 8 years under tight wrapped, it is time for me to share with the public.

    Thank you 1Malaysia.

    Email: troubleshooters2011@gmail.com

    My other report and the lame response here:


  5. double first from cam-bridge?
    remember those harvard and Yale mat grads that were given the responsibility to manage penang bridge?
    Initially, they were interviewed in a glowing manner by our news corps. Then, several years later, a forced bailout, with PLUS having to take over the ailing company.
    These guys from ox-fart and Harf-fart are useless. Just look at London financial district and wall street. These guys create wealth from bubbles i.e. make money out of nothing. And they strive on volatility. that is why the prices of commodities are going up and down like a yo-yo. the make money both ways, i.e. short selling when going down. The victims are consumers and long term manufacturers, who have to hedge their cost, not only for commodities, but also currencies. end result, the cost of manufacturing goes up.

    Guess what? They are using the same method in our supermarket. Prices goes up and down like a yo-yo. So if you go on the wrong day, they whack you upside down.

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