My Anthem

Saturday, June 30, 2012

MEDIA WATCH: About happenings to ponder over, the folowing in Hong Kong...

From the Asia Sentinel:) or :(~~~~~~

Home arrow Politics arrow Hong Kong arrow Prize-Winning Reporter Driven out of SCMP
Prize-Winning Reporter Driven out of SCMPPDFPrintE-mail
Written by Paul Mooney   
Protesters against SCMP policy
Protesters against SCMP policy
Editor Wang Xiangwei says the East is Red
This is reprinted from the Asia Sentinel welcomes tales of similar experiences. Send them to the editor
On April 22, Wang Xiangwei, the new editor-in-chief of the South China Morning Post, informed me that my contract with the newspaper would not be renewed when it expired on May 21. I can’t say I was surprised.

Sitting in a hotel restaurant in Hong Kong on a hot April day, Wang stared down at the table as the conversation began, seemingly unwilling to make eye contact. After a few minutes of chit chat, I asked him directly about my contract. He fidgeted and said he would not be able to renew it due to budget problems.

To me it was clear that this was a political decision. For seven months, he had basically blocked me from writing any China stories for the newspaper. During that period, I only had two stories in the China pages of the newspaper–one on panda bears and one on compensation for AIDS victims. Some two dozen other story suggestions went unanswered by the China Desk–in one case a story was approved, but the editor told me Wang had overruled him. A half-dozen emails to Wang pleading to write more for the newspaper went unanswered.

It certainly was not about money. Following my departure, Wang hired a spate of new young reporters, many apparently from the mainland. And if there were budget problems, why was I chosen to be let go? Obviously, there were newer people at the newspaper than myself. I had been on contract for two years, and wrote my first article for the newspaper in 1990, some 22 years ago. And I’d won 10 awards for my reporting for the newspaper, more than any other staff reporter.

When I offered to freelance and said I didn’t care about the word rate, he hemmed and hawed. When I asked if the newspaper could at least allow me to keep my journalist accreditation with the South China Morning Post, so I could continue to contribute articles to the newspaper, he muttered something about having to think about it. Despite several emails asking about this, he never agreed to do this. And there was no cost in sponsoring me.

When the news came last year that Wang had been appointed the editor-in-chief, I was quite surprised. For one, despite talk of him being a veteran journalist, he had little actual practical experience doing real journalism–far less than a lot of his staff. Wang had worked for the China Daily, done a master’s degree in journalism and had gone off to London on a training program, where he worked briefly for the BBC. As far as I know, he never “pounded the sidewalks,” as we American journalists say of a reporter who has spent years roaming around doing interviews.

He’d shown weakness in news judgment on many occasions, but more important, he’d long had a reputation as being a censor of the news, which may be what endeared him to Mr. Robert Kuok, the Malaysian tycoon who owns the newspaper, and his son and daughter, who took turns running it.

Talk to anyone on the China reporting team at the South China Morning Post and they’ll tell you a story about how Wang has cut their stories, or asked them to do an uninteresting story that was favorable to China.

Last November, I traveled to the US on holiday and decided to take a train to meet Geng He, the wife of rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, who had snuck past Chinese security guarding their Beijing home with a young son and daughter, making it all the way to Thailand and eventually political asylum in the US.

During a three-hour interview in a highway Burger King, Ms. Geng gave me unreported details about the harrowing escape through Southeast Asian jungles, much of it in the middle of the night. She cried as she talked about her husband’s treatment by brutal security people, and she smiled when she recalled her husband’s dedication as a lawyer. Tears fell as she described the difficulties the family was facing in the US. Both children had been seriously affected by the treatment of their father here in China, which included serious torture and forced disappearances for lengthy periods.

An editor expressed interest in the story, but got back to me later in the day to tell me that Wang had spiked it. No reason was given.

When I was the second foreign reporter to see Gao during his brief respite from being disappeared, Editor-in-chief Reg Chua and Deputy Editor David Lague had a bitter argument with Wang, who was not keen to run the story. They wanted it on the front page, but Wang wanted it buried inside. They compromised by putting the story inside and cutting it slightly. Gao Zhisheng was obviously on Wang’s list of people not to be reported about.

When the government began its nasty crackdown against rights lawyers and other dissidents last year, one that saw people have black hoods thrown over their heads before being stuffed into cars, and then being taken to hidden locations, where most endured horrible torture, I saw an unprecedented pattern of intimidation and pain that clearly marked a new and frightening trend and so I suggested a story to the China Desk (David Lague, the deputy editor, was on holiday at the time). The story was immediately rejected by a China Desk editor, who said the newspaper had reported on tortured lawyers already. I wrote a short note saying this was a new and different trend, but I knew it would go unanswered.

When David Lague returned weeks later, I submitted the story to him and he immediately said to go ahead. I finished the story, but it sat on the China Desk for about three months, a practice I later learned was not uncommon when Wang wanted to let a story shrink in importance. When I wrote to David Lague, he pleaded he no longer had the authority he used to have. Silence of the Dissidents ran three months later, and I went on to win two awards for the story the China Desk tried to kill.

During their time at the newspaper, the two veteran journalists frequently battled fiercely with Mr. Wang over stories, with the daughter of Mr. Robert Kuok, the Malaysian owner of the newspaper, frequently siding with Wang. Insiders say the Kuoks long coddled Wang, believing he had influence in China.

Nor was I the only foreign reporter to be pushed out of the newspaper–I follow a long line of foreigners–each with long experience–who saw their contracts allowed to run out by Wang–this way he could plead innocence: You’ve not been fired, your contract ran out. There are now no foreign reporters working for the South China Morning Post in China–a first in a long while.

One good example is the case of former Guangzhou correspondent Leu Siew Ying, a native of Malaysia, who won the European Commission’s Lorenzo Natali Grand Prize in 2006 for her reporting on protests in the village of Taishi the previous year.

“She left the paper in 2007 after disputes with Mr. Wang about following up on Taishi and pressure from the Guangdong authorities,” Wall Street Journal Asia editor Hugo Restall wrote.

During Wang’s time with the newspaper, several foreign editors were offered the job of editor-in-chief, but most left after fighting a losing battle with the former China Daily reporter and member of the Jinlin Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. The Kuoks always made it clear where their loyalties lay.

But this is not just a case of foreign reporters being harassed. Talk to just about any one of the excellent Chinese or Hong Kong reporters writing about China for the newspaper, and, if they’re willing to talk, they’ll quietly tell about Wang spiking perfectly good stories or of being told to write more “positive” articles.

It’s interesting that the story that finally exposed Wang was one about the mysterious death of June 4 activist Li Wangyang, which barely got coverage in the newspaper.

After a sub on the desk questioned this gap in the newspaper’s reporting, about a story that other Hong Kong media had jumped on eagerly, Wang curtly told the sub off. “I don’t have to explain to you anything. I made the decision and I stand by it. If you don’t like it, you know what to do.”

When the news gained international attention, and his own reporters signed a letter asking for an explanation, a worried Wang responded with a statement to staff that he decided to run the story as a brief on the first day because he felt the newspaper didn’t have enough hard facts for a full story.

But what Wang failed to say was that the newspaper had in fact run a much longer story on Li’s death in its first edition and that Wang had chosen to yank it, shave it down to a brief for the next edition, and replace it with an article about former Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui and a conversation he had with a group of students–a story that had already run two days earlier. 

What few have noticed, is that self-censorship is not the only problem. Possibly more worrying is the newspaper’s new-found proclivity under Wang to publish dubious stories that reflect Beijing’s views.

Earlier this year, deputy editor Tammy Tam gushed like a high school girl over a story about the Chinese Panchen Lama, asking only one serious question of a person who has never appeared in the Western media before. Eric X. Li, a well-known apologist for China, has been writing regular columns for the South China Morning Post. In one recent article he slapped Hong Kong citizens on the wrist for not welcoming mainland women to have their babies in the territory, and then wondering aloud if a people like this deserved the right to vote. Last week came a story by Professor Jiang Shigong, deputy director of Peking University’s Centre for Hong Kong and Macau Studies, that claimed “Hongkongers accept Beijing’s rule.”

In his own weekly commentary, Wang had egg on his face after predicting that disgraced Chongqing party secretary Bo Xilai had escaped any serious trouble. “Firstly, Bo’s political career looks safe for now and he has apparently managed to push back the pressure from his opponents within the party,” Wang wrote just before Bo fell hard.

Another article described Tibetans in Lhasa happily celebrating the Tibetan New Year, with quotes coming from one unidentified “middle-aged Tibetan man.” Meanwhile, more objective reports were reporting a dire situation in the Tibetan area. The article read like a China Daily story.

While the South China Morning Post continues to publish good critical reportage on China, the newspaper no longer has the status it had in the late 1990s, or more recently under three years direction under Chua and Lague, when the newspaper made great advances.

Under Wang’s stewardship, the newspaper has lost credibility with Hong Kong and international readers and is now often the butt of jokes in the local Chinese media there.

Sadly, the South China Morning Post, which has a history of more than 100 years of reporting on Asia, may be beyond the point of return. With credibility and morale at the newspaper sagging, and with controversies on the rise, competent journalists will now be reluctant to join the newspaper, and it can only sink deeper into mediocrity. The prospects for English-language journalism in Hong Kong is not good and this is sad.

(Reprinted from
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Thursday, June 28, 2012

From Business section of NST, this stock offender rings a bell...


I will elaborate on the "BUTT"s after doing some homework OK! I'm working very heART for my ER -- hey,, buy me endless rounds of TehTari' K! -- as I plan to compare the sentences handed down. I'm sure the three cases beg the question: Are court judges beyond "buying over" for a sweetheart deal?


Ex-Fountain View director gets jail, RM1.3m fine

Published: 2012/06/28

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KUALA LUMPUR: Former Fountain View Development Bhd director Datuk Chin Chan Leong was sent to prison to serve a 12-month jail sentence for a share manipulation offence on Bursa Malaysia committed between 2003 and 2004.

A three-member Court of Appeal panel imposed a 12-month jail term and a fine of RM1.3 million on Chin for market manipulation involving Fountain View shares.

The court ruled that the one-day jail imposed by the Sessions Court did not reflect the seriousness of the offence.

The manipulation took place over a two-month period from November 2003 to January 2004, during which the price of Fountain View shares increased from RM1.99 to RM6.05. Fountain View, was at the time, listed on the Main Board of the stock exchange.

Chin was found to be trading with 20 Central Depository System accounts which he beneficially owned through the companies that he controlled.

Read more: Ex-Fountain View director gets jail, RM1.3m fine


UPDATEd @7.17PM:

I googled Tony tiah john soh chee wen, and was surprised with a good article from

SO ENJOY!:)~~~~

PS: In the article below, please NOTE the one highlighted in ****RED compared with the one in ++++BLUE.

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Thursday, July 28, 2011


He finally did it. :)

A great must read posting: Enforcement is the problem, not the rules - fromM.A. Wind on his brand new blog. CG in Malaysia.

Think about it...

You have all these rules and regulations.. which covers 'almost' everything... but then... there is lack of enforcement of the rules.


It won't be effective, yes?

It makes the rules and regulations redundant, yes?

Think about it...

Have a look at these old postings once again.
Compare the crime vs the 'fine' they got. If the fine is so small compared to the 'value' of the crime, what's there to stop future crimes for happening and happening and happening? Slapping the culprits with peanuts when the crime committed is worth million only encourage more wrong doing!

Take the examples mentioned in the posting. (some of the below are just direct copy and paste from the earlier postings)

The case of Well Multi Corp: 

SC said : both executives had furnished RM141 million in fictitious sales in its audited financial statement for the year ended December 2005

The stock: The stock surged from 92.5 sen on May 16 last year to RM3.32 on May 29, a whopping 258%. 

The punishment:  Each of the accused to one day’s jail and a fine of RM400,000 in default of one-year imprisonment

And from a Star Biz article: The lack of deterrent sentencing

Saturday October 30, 2010

The lack of deterrent sentencing


Pancaran Ikrab Bhd

Earlier this month, the construction outfit’s former managing director Ngu Tieng Ung was given a custodial sentence of one day and a fine of RM2mil for committing two counts of financial fraud involving RM15.5mil 13 years ago. Sessions court judge S.M. Komathy Suppiah allowed Ngu, 43, to pay the fine in 12 instalments starting next month, to be paid by the fifth of each month or a 30-day jail sentence if he fails. Ngu was charged with causing the transfer of RM15.5mil from Pancaran Ikrab’s bank account for the purchase of shares when the money was not meant for that purpose. The offences were committed in October 1997 and Ngu was charged in May 2005.

The Securities Commission (SC) said that under Ngu’s watch, a total of RM37mil was transferred out of Pancaran Ikrab. The money was never recovered and was written off in the company’s accounts.

Granasia Corp Bhd

In March, the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court convicted Chan Kok Suan, the former managing director of Granasia for submitting false statements to the SC, namely the revenue and profit after tax of the company for the year ended Dec 31, 2002. The information was submitted in connection with Granasia’s proposal to list on the main board of the stock exchange. Chan was convicted under section 32B(4) of the Securities Commission Act and imposed a fine of RM500,000 in default, 10 months imprisonment, according to the SC. He was charged on Feb 9, 2006 and pleaded guilty on March 1, 2010. Prosecution has filed an appeal against the sentence to the High Court.

MEMS Technology Bhd

In February, the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court convicted director and substantial shareholder Ooi Boon Leong and former director and chief financial officer Tan Yeow Teck for knowingly authorising the furnishing of a misleading statement by MEMS, listed on the then Mesdaq market, to Bursa Malaysia. The misleading statement is in relation to MEMS’ group revenue for the year ended July 31, 2007 contained in the condensed consolidated income statements. The Sessions Court sentenced each accused to a fine of RM300,000 (in default two years imprisonment). Ooi and Tan were charged on April 16, 2009 and pleaded guilty on Feb 25, 2010. Prosecution has filed an appeal against the two sentences to the High Court.

****Fountain View Development Bhd

The Sessions Court sentenced the company’s former director Datuk Chin Chan Leong to a fine of RM1.3mil (in default 13 months imprisonment) and a one-day imprisonment for share manipulation in February. Chin was charged with creating a misleading appearance of active trading in Fountain View shares through transactions that did not involve any change in ownership on Bursa Malaysia through 20 central depository securities accounts. Avenue Securities Sdn Bhd former remisier Hiew Yoke Lan was fined RM1mil (in default 10 months imprisonment) for abetting Chin in the said offence. Both were charged on June 27, 2005 and pleaded guilty on Feb 5, 2010. Prosecution has filed an appeal against the sentence to the High Court.

Kiara Emas Asia Industries Bhd

Last November, the SC secured a conviction against director Datuk Tan Hooi Chong for abetting Kiara Emas in the misappropriation of the rights issue proceeds amounting to almost RM17mil between Dec 16 and Dec 31, 1996. Tan pleaded guilty to the offence under Section 32(6) of the SCA 1993 read together with Section 40 and Section 109 of the Penal Code. Tan had also admitted to misutilising the rights issue proceeds for his personal benefit. He was fined RM600,000.


Idris Hydraulic (M) Bhd

According to the SC website, in 2001, former Idris Hydraulic managing director Datuk Ishak Ismail was convicted by the courts for disclosing false information to the SC in a proposal by Idris Hydraulic to the SC that stated he did not hold any shares in KFC Holdings Bhd (KFC). The information submitted was in connection with a proposal for the acquisition of an asset of KFC by Idris Hydraulic. Ishak pleaded guilty and was convicted on Aug 23, 2001.

He was fined RM400,000, in default six months imprisonment. In 2003, Ishak, as a director of Idris Hydraulic, was also compounded RM400,000 by the SC for misusing RM50mil of the proceeds raised from the disposal of Kewangan Bersatu Bhd.

As a result of the compound, the charge was withdrawn.

Aokam Perdana Bhd

Teh Soon Seng, former managing director of Aokam Perdana was suspected of being involved in short-selling the company’s shares. The SC subsequently investigated him for “possible breach of securities law”. They interviewed Teh for two days in Kuala Lumpur in 2003. Teh, however, has maintained his innocence to this day. It was reported that the SC said it had previously conducted an investigation involving Teh for possible breach of the securities law. However, the investigation revealed no evidence for action to be taken against him. Teh eventually sold Aokam and resigned as its managing director on March 8, 1997 before the Asian Financial Crisis became full blown. He subsequently left Malaysia for good. Nine months later, it was reported that the Malaysian police were seeking his help in connection with the alleged theft of logs and misappropriation of funds of about RM55mil belonging to Aokam. In 1998, Aokam declared it was insolvent and could not pay some RM33.3mil in debts.

++++Omega Securities Sdn Bhd

On Aug 5, 1999, Omega Securities co-founder Datuk Tony Tiah Thee Kian and businessman Datuk Soh Chee Wen were charged in the Sessions court with defrauding Omega Securities of RM424.9mil. Tiah was fined a maximum RM3mil in default 30 months’ imprisonment on May 10, 2002, after he pleaded guilty to a charge of allowing a false report to be furnished to the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (KLSE). On May 11, 2002, Tiah resigned as executive chairman of TA Enterprise and his wife took over the stewardship of the company. He returned to the post in August 2007. On June 14, 2007, Soh was fined RM6mil after pleading guilty to two charges of abetting in the submission of false statements to the KLSE relating to 44,592,000 Omega Holdings Bhd shares.

Sessions Court judge Azimah Omar fined Soh RM3mil in default 30 months’ jail on each of the two charges.

Ekran Bhd

In November 2009, Tan Sri Ting Pek Khiing and six other directors of Ekran were handed total fines of RM630,000 for breaching Bursa Malaysia’s listing requirements pertaining to a related-party transaction. The penalty for Ting, the company’s executive chairman, was RM500,000. Four directors were fined RM25,000 each and the remaining two RM15,000 each. The breaches relate to the company’s failure to disclose the change in the terms of Ting’s settlement of the remaining amount owing to Ekran. To recap, Ting took some RM712.9mil from the company as an advance in return for the injection of some of his private assets in 1996/97. The amount has been long overdue – for more than 10 years.

Renong Bhd

The deal involving United Engineers (M) Bhd’s (UEM) put-and-call option raised many unanswered questions. In November 1997, United Engineers (M) Bhd (UEM) purchased a 32.6% block in Renong, its parent company, from the market at RM3.24 per share. The total cost came to about RM2.34bil. Former Renong executive chairman Tan Sri Halim Saad entered into a put-and-call option, giving an undertaking to buy back the shares from UEM at RM3.24, inclusive of the holding cost to appease UEM’s minority shareholders and the regulator. The entire amount would come up to RM3.2bil on Feb 14, 2001, when the option was due. When the put option expired, there was however no settlement. In fact, Halim resigned from the Renong/UEM group in October 2001. Khazanah Nasional Bhd took UEM private in 2001 and later cancelled the option.

Pending cases

Kenmark Industrial Co (M) Bhd

On June 16, 2010 the SC obtained an injunction against Datuk Ishak Ismail, restraining him from dealing with RM10.2mil being proceeds from his disposal of 58.7 million shares of Kenmark. These monies will be quarantined pending the outcome of a civil suit the SC has filed against Ishak alleging that he committed the offence of insider trading and market manipulation when he purchased Kenmark shares on June 9.

Linear Corp Bhd

On Dec 29 last year, Linear was awarded a massive RM1.67bil contract to build a district cooling plant, also known as the “King Dome” project in Manjung, Perak by Seychelles-based company Global Investment Group Inc. Linear’s former director Alan Rajendram paid out its entire cash hoard of RM36mil without board approval. In June, it was found that there was no evidence of any significant progress towards the execution of the contract, and no documentary evidence to demonstrate the overall viability of the King Dome project. Linear has since been classified as a PN17 company.

A special auditor was appointed in August to look into the company’s financials and any potential irregularities. It is being investigated by the SC and the stock exchange.

Axis Inc Bhd

Axis has been embroiled in some corporate scandals over the last two years, ranging from default on loans and uncollected receivables to more unusual ones involving missing documents and even stolen machinery. The latest is that a whole load of documents, including purchase and delivery orders, bank statements and cheque butts, some dating back to 2004, had gone missing, prompting it to make massive write-offs.

Most of these documents were related to its dealings with questionable contract manfacturers. This prompted the SC to issue a “stern reminder” to public listed companies about the preservation of documents and obstruction of investigations.