Monday, June 22, 2009

Mahathir's Dodo Dynasty

A friend forwarded me an email with a selection of photos taken at a recent gala housewarming party hosted by Mukhriz Mahathir. The images were from a local gossip blog and merely revealed without commentary the Gatsbyesque garishness and pompousness of Mukhriz Mahathir's lifestyle preferences...

I decided to turn these images into a blogpost and began editing the photos. When I was ready to upload I discovered my Streamyx connection down again (third time within two weeks!) - this time it was due to a dysfunctional phone line. That happened around 3:00PM Saturday.

It's almost 2:00PM Monday as I type this and Telekom has been unable to get my line working. Each time this happens I think of Mahathir and his privatization program and vow to do everything within my power to prevent Mukhriz Mahathir from establishing a Mahathir dynasty.

We need another dynasty of arrogant mediocrity like we need a great big hole in our wallets!

This blogpost comes to you from the same cybercafe I had to use every day for 3 years, while waiting for Telekom to provide me a land line.

Back in 1975, when I was living at 7 Pesiaran Ampang Hilir, I applied for a phone and was made to wait nearly 3 years. Telekom's monumental lack of enthusiasm over the notion of progress is perhaps a quaint and wonderful cultural trait - but I don't think it does a telco's public image any good.

Looking at the new mansion that Mukhriz Mahathir built, one can't help but speculate about how much it might have cost...

A wild guess might put the overall cost between RM15-20 million.

Apart from shooting his mouth off at every opportunity and coming across as an overconfident moron (the worst type of moron, if you ask me), what DOES Mukhriz Mahathir actually do? Does he have any marketable skills or special talents?

Is he a financial whizkid, for instance? I doubt it. Mutual friends assure me that Mukhriz Mahathir can be quite a charming and affable fellow. Maybe so, but does being "charming and affable" mean you can afford to live in a multi-million ringgit mansion?

I know his elder brother Mirzan is ranked among the richest men in Asia (read somewhere he was worth USD8.5 billion a couple of years ago)... I guess when your daddy is Mahathir or Suharto it's impossible to fail in business, no matter how hard you try.

So how do you suppose Mukhriz amassed his fortune? Surely not on his cabinet minister's salary? Does he have a couple of hit albums on the charts?

I don't have a problem with people who strike it rich by fortuitously stumbling on a cave filled with pirate treasure... or who inherited a fortune from their tycoon fathers... or who invented something the world finds useful - like the personal computer or iPhone or Google...

But Mukhriz Mahathir's dad is a politician. To be precise, he was prime minister for 22 years. He has publicly lashed out against corruption and Umno-style money politics (while privately stashing his store of nuts away in offshore hiding places, no doubt). So did daddy give Mukhriz this mansion as a birthday present, for boldly speaking out against Abdullah Badawi's lameness and making snide remarks about the seriousness of Anwar's sodomy accusations?

Guess we'll never know... unless Marina spills the beans!

19 comments:

Richard Loh said...

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KoSong Cafe said...

Hey, Antares, sorry about your streamyx problem. Whenever I had such problems, my mind goes to 'big brother is watching' and blame it on sabotage, especially for troublemakers (your description)like us?.

I am not proud to admit, but I have been tolerating without a proper email using streamyx and had been using Yahoo mail account for a number of years and I get upset each time I had to explain to friends. My problem could be MS as my outlook express was disabled and so on. Even using hand me down notebook from my daughter had its problems as they suspect I am using pirated software when in fact I had problem whenever asked to update and I did not know how to answer properly!

Actually, meant to point out the furniture in your 4th picture was something I had posted before! It can be assembled to form a rocket shape and I had described it as something which suits DAP!

MAHAGURU58 said...

Yo Brother Antares my man,

Haiyaa...you beat me to it man!

I received the same set of photos and was thinking of unleashing a barrage of my own against the Old Man who speaks as if he is just a poor old pensioner when in reality the clan does Eddie Murphy proud by partying all the time!

Anyway, congrats to you for publishing this for the general adoring public to know how the filthy rich live here in Malaise..ya!

Oops...typo error there...

Malaysia!

:P

Juin Nik said...

"It's almost 2:00PM Monday as I type this and Telekom has been unable to get my line working.Each time this happens I think of Mahathir and his privatization program and vow to do everything within my power to prevent Mukhriz Mahathir from establishing a Mahathir dynasty."

I strongly support Mahathir's privatization program. It is one of the crucial steps which will lead our country into a capitalistic society.

Imagine your case where you had to wait 3 years for Telecom to provide you with a phone line. Imagine other states,cities & rural communities which face a similar situation. If our country continues to privatize each consumer & service industry with necessary government intervention, such a problem would not exist. That is the visionary goal I can personally identify in Mahathir.

Theoretically, new telephone service companies would arise in future to strive for the consumer's money. Giving Telecom a run for its money. Resulting in competition and benefits to the average daily consumer(the choice in their hand).

I know not about Mukhriz Mahathir's agenda or activities.. but if he has legitimately amassed his fortune through his charisma & personality, I would give props & kudos to him for learning a slight fraction of his father's traits. Not all of us can be casually called "charming and affable".I assure you. If that separates him & his RM15million dollar mansion to my monthly rent in an apartment, so be it. Elitism will always be prevalent in any society, but capitalism has taught me the influence of choice & opportunities. In my opinion, how we utilize our own personal skills, traits, mentality & gifts will be the deciding factor.

I am merely an overseas Malaysian student who regards Mahathir as one of the many figures who helped boost our country into prosperity. Look at our neighboring countries and tell me what separates Malaysia from them, based upon their economies.

I apologize if I offended you and for my naivety as well. There are far too many factors to consider & I am still learning day by day. Do correct me if I have erred. This post caught my attention through twitter & I just wanted to give my 2 cents worth. Thank you & god bless.

Anonymous said...

Antares,

I was just jousting with this staunch Mahathirist ,just proves that you need sub -dodo's to elect dodo's

http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=6778953884&topic=9495

Cheers
Vijay Kumar Murugavell

Anonymous said...

Mukhriz should build his palace in Jerlun....to showcase the successful of 'Ketuanan UMNO' to all the voters there !!



Dakis.

Antares said...

Mahaguru - Thanks for visiting and leaving your comment, bro. Many ways to skin a cat - or a crocodile. Feel free to upload your own version of the story... building mahligais appears to be a family trait... even Marina has been known to embark on her own private palace in Ulu Langat, but it was abandoned for reasons unknown ;-0

Juin Nik - You're very polite and that has saved you from being severely whacked for defending Mahathir. Let's put it very simply.
Given a choice between living humbly in the Swamp with Shrek and Fiona... or being offered a lucrative position in the administration of Lord Farquuard in Duloc, you know which reality I would choose.

Vijay - So that's how you've been spending your weekends... jousting with sub-dodos... admire your stamina.

Dakis - I think you're absolutely right. Mukhriz should have chosen Jerlun as the location of his mahligai.

backStreetGluttons said...

Gosh , what a rich , fine and charming life for such a wealthy gentleman.

Ketuanan Melayu ! Perfect !

Now we all know which smelly pinky balls he has to lick daily

donplaypuks® said...

Hi Antares

Muk owned (don't know if he stil does)a company called Opcon which had a monopoly and pioneer status on manufacture of fibreoptic cables.

There was a famous spat between Mahathir and Badawi when M accused KJ of pulling the plug on a $50 million fibreoptic cables contract with Telekom and Opcon, soon after Badawai came into office as PM in 2003.

So, God only knows how many other million $ contracts were transacted between Opcon and Telekom before this, and whether Opcon was involved in the supply for laying of fibreoptic cables along the length of the NS Highway. These contracts would have been the 'directly negotiated/non-tendered out' type, blocking out competitive bids from local and overseas parties as well!

Don't forget his bro Mokhzani also owns Kencana Plc which is listed on the KLSE. Kencana is in the O&G biz mainly doing Petronas jobs, similar to Scomi which is of course owned by Badawi's son.

Petronas has a (in my opinion illegal) requirement of minimum 75%Bumi shareholding for any company to qualify as its vendor. If one does a proper audit, I would not be surprised if most of the jobs were sub-contracted to foreign O&G specialists, leaving the local party as rent seekers!!

Mokhzani came out of the blue as Chairman of Tongkah Harbour Plc in the early '90's. He secured a big stake in Pantai Hospital Plc into which FOMEMA, originally 100% Govt owned, was injected. What a nice gift from the Govt, since FOMEMA (compulsory medical check-up for maids) is all cash biz and guaranteed no bad debts. He now also owns franchises for Ferrari and other expensive cars.

Mirzan OWNED a Plc called Perkapalan which was bailed out by Petronas in 1998 to the tune of about $1.7 billion in the wake of the Asian Currency Crisis. Mahathir claimed Petronas bail-out was 'in the national interest'!! After that, Mirzan disappeared to do business in Indonesia and has not been seen in the M'sian corporate scene since!

That gives you an inkling into where most of their wealth came from.

Anonymous said...

Problem is rich folk get bored very quickly. I'll bet this M is already grossly unhappy with parts of his house and can't wait to do major renovations, or better still, move to a bigger house!

Antares said...

DPP - Wow... thanks for providing the lowdown on how the Mahathir scions amassed their ill-gotten gains. Very useful info, bro.

BrightEyes said...

dontplaypuks,

Yes, its true. Mukhriz is MD of OPCOM with 50% ownership. But, he's gonna quit the company & sell his stake very soon...

http://tinyurl.com/ma4pys


Whoops, did I mention Opcom in April got a RM359million contract from Telekom? Looks like the tap is turned back on!

http://aisehman.org/?p=1257


Kenduri besaq depa no? Jawapannya 'Ya'... 2 months later

Checkout Opcom's share price... early April... 30sen. Then from 6-27 April... skyrockets to 60sen. Now at 72sen.

http://tinyurl.com/kn75md


Opcom shareholders just doubled their money! Don't you just love a good business story? :)

Fyi, a business insider told me the Telekom concession is actually to Mukhriz's name, and not the company itself. That means if Det Jr. decides to be evil and take the contract with him when he leaves, expect the stock price to drop like a rock. But of course, he'd probably would have sold his share beforehand, no?

And Antares, you needn't embark on a crusade to stop the succession of the Det Dynasty. Once Det Vader passes on, Det Jr. will be helpless without his controller. And that is when Khairy will move in for the kill...

To his credit, I felt Muhkriz to be a better choice as Youth Chief. He's the least corrupt among the three. But then again, this is UMNO, where those who pay the most wins.

Antares said...

BrightEyes - Hey, it gives me the warm fuzzies to hear that Mukhriz Mahathir is the least corrupt of the 3 contenders for Umno Youth prez... that KJ fler gives me goosebumps, his energy is so contaminated! But "least corrupt" or not, it's the same old despicable Umno rent-seeking game that's been played out since Razak introduced the NEP in 1970- and we the people have had enough of this crap. So, my dear Mukhriz, if you're reading this: nothing personal, bro... but if you had any self-respect and authentic intelligence, you would realize the truth of what I'm saying... and renounce your unethical business practices and then change your name. Thanks for spending more than 6 hrs on my blog this afternoon :-)

Juin Nik said...

Juin Nik - You're very polite and that has saved you from being severely whacked for defending Mahathir. Let's put it very simply.
Given a choice between living humbly in the Swamp with Shrek and Fiona... or being offered a lucrative position in the administration of Lord Farquuard in Duloc, you know which reality I would choose.

I am saddened to be recognized & treated as a child. True, I may not be as eloquent & well-informed in your political bouts & rings, but I was arguing for the sake of economics. In my hands is a statistical analysis of poverty distributed unevenly across the world(2005). Outdated? I know = ( Malaysia(still considered an underdeveloped country among Western peers) has a less than 15% percentage of people living under $2/day compared to Indonesia, 35-75%; Thailand, 15-35%. Singapore on the other hand lands in the list of top 20 countries with highest GDP. I ask myself what is the cause of all these facts.

Which is why I merely wanted to give you a youthful and down-to-earth view of my opinions/approach.
I will oblige your fairy tale metaphor anyhoo: choice and belief is entirely upon ourselves. I do not wish to label nor classify(a trait I see aggressive people unleash unsparingly) you as a denizen of the swamp nor board of Farquuuard's cohorts.

Personally if I was given the choice,may I firstly pride myself for my own abilities/accreditation of the invitation into his corrupt administration & still retain my liberal ideas? The swamp with bountiful land, privacy, & resources would be a luxury as well but if I were to choose that, wouldn't I be selfish of those who live in the villages under Lord Farquuad? Can't I instill a sense of social injustice among the administration and hope in providing change at the slightest chance/impact or stay in my swamp and dwell upon matters with other swamp-dwellers?

Of course that is idealism, I will think differently as I age. I may be down ridden and wisely reclusive or corrupt and end up a fat old cat.

One thing I notice is the inability of intellectuals to be nice. Call me a pacifist but abrupt exclamations & heated cynicism only lead to personal & opposite anguish over defending one's ideals and opinions. Such a vicious cycle will never end. Wouldn't we also be in peril of possible extremists in our beloved country? Today we joust, tomorrow we grind each other's bones to dust?

My only hope is that our thoughts & inclinations do not hastily devolve back into the era of communism/Marxism. I am glad Malaysia is still running and improving its economic engine under socialism.

I say this in respect to my fellow high schoolmates who never got a chance at the education I've received. But has begun grasping tertiary knowledge thanks to fibre optics and the broadband internet. Such amenities that would be impossible without privatization of companies.

Again I apologize if I have struck any wrong key & my vague mushy sentiments aren't your cuppa.

I noticed you're a fan of Pink Floyd. Amidst your disapproval of social injustice, may I urge you to be "Comfortably Numb" against these corrupted conglomerates? If we are to defend the people, are we to direct that strength & attention towards these personally accumulated wealth?
Instead how has these figures' actions & decisions benefited/robbed the mass? Would you agree on such a different approach?

I leave my personal quote to anyone who may apply "watch out for the mean squares"

Antares said...

Juin Nik - Good to see you returning to elaborate on your pro-Mahathirism, but the only thing we can achieve here is to simply acknowledge that one day we might find ourselves sitting next to each other on a long train journey, and it may turn out that we communicate more efficiently face-to-face than through comments left on a blogpost. Before I leave it at that, I must say something about your "arguing for the sake of economics." Wrong platform, young man, you won't catch the train you want here. Never take any ECONOMIC ARGUMENT seriously - humans hide behind all kinds of theories (Adamsian, Malthusian, Keynesian, Galbraithian, Greenspanian & whatnot) to disguise their own unmitigated greed to accumulate much more than they can handle - and that's when they succumb to moral decay and have to hire a platoon of spin-doctors & image consultants (in the name of CSR) to convince themselves they're still "decent folks." Well, entities like Mahathir are not and their egos are too monstrously inflated for them to ever be.

Juin Nik said...

Oh politics have always intrigued me; this is my first foray into your world. Quite frankly, I think it's very ugly. No wonder my dad never dabbled himself in it and only focused on prosperity.

I see.. but I agree it's always better to talk things over a cuppa tea. Make it friendly arguments, banter & chatter, at least.

I visited just one forum and just do not understand what's the point in exchanging personal slander over differentiating ideals. It kinda disgusts me at how we "educated" Malaysians hold onto hostility ever so dearly. Only to satisfy our own egos and share with others our intellectual notoriety.

Your words do shed me some light. Thanks a bunch!
I'm thinking: that initial greed, that search for profitability, would get us to innovations, ingenuity & bring us out from any rut. Greed is the only thing that encourages entrepreneurship, hehehe. It has to be concerned about personal wealth I suppose for us to kick away the "malas mode".
Just a thought, just a thought. Man am I greedy(gotta blame my Chinese ancestry mentality)!

We still ought to instill positivity & faith in ourselves & other people when it comes to morality though. If we keep that mentality, I believe our country will flourish. I've met too many uptight, unwilling to risk, mean, pessimistic with integrity-filled Easterners. Yet I have also met too many free-spirited, risky, kind, optimistic stupidity-filled Westerners. Call it East Vs. West and notice they have their pros & cons.

In the end everyone just wants to be happy. I do miss my own country. Of course, I am digressing in my own ramblings - )

adriene said...

antares,

thank you for this post and getting discussion going.

:)

HusseinAbdul Hamid said...

Hi Brother...posted your Mahathir's Dodo Dynasty on to my blog to share with others. You do good work! Regards.

HH'steadyaku47

Hamzah Mohammad said...

The nation's immediate problem is Najib and his henchmen. Let no one tries to water down the mess Najib created by highlighting on the Old Man & His Dynasty's excesses already well-documented by bloggers of the late 90s. We will come back to Mahathir once Najib is done with.