KHAZANAH QUEST TO INVEST
Patience is the hallmark of Job; try telling that to politicians – Malaysian ones at least.
Perhaps their antennae would be easily pricked to erect attention if they find themselves in the billion people strong market of India as purveyor of panties, and a whole assortment of women’s undies.
But they were beaten to it – by Khazanah Nasional. Don’t laugh, don’t adjust your screen, no need to snigger lah brother! We now have exposed to all and sundry, so early in the day; its seemingly less-than-profitable foray into – blush, blush – the undeserved segment of selling undergarments to a tasty market of Indian women with pent-up panty expectations.
Silently, many would have sheepishly approved this foray into the nether regions, or prohibited territories – to the extent that some wouldn’t have missed on the opportunity to dip their itchy digits for a slice of the Indian panty pie. This prospect, we live in hope would have been reversed in the spirit of Malaysia baru.
While salivating over the projected profits, they might have balked at the lengths Khazanah went through to in keeping with judicious accounting procedures and prudent book-keeping. The fund after all, is the custodian of the nation’s kitty. It buys up equity to grow the bounty for our joint prosperity, lest we lose sight of that fact guiding its reasons and purpose for existence.
Lacking substantive ammo, Khazanah’s detractors opted for the low blow; setting their sights at targets well down below. In the case of the Zivame investment, below the belt is indeed how low one can go.
In the interest of accuracy, AWANI Review is inserting the letter of farewell written by Tan Sri Azman to bid adieu; where he took the opportunity to address burning questions that if left without response; malign integrity.
But for the purpose of this installment, we draw your attention to the last paragraph on page three which explains Khazanah’s actions and treatment of the Zivame investment.
As the MD who paid the ultimate price for accountability, Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar chose to address the salvo of ill-informed barbs in the parting five-page letter, carefully penned to explain the facts, run through the reasoning, provide technical background and unveil fiduciary actions involved, to the lay observer.
Basically, Khazanah pumped money into the online company that sold undergarments on the Indian market.
Basically, Khazanah pumped money into the online company that sold undergarments on the Indian market. Were one to SWOT-analyse it, the opportunities for dipping more than just a toe in the business – hence the 100% equity; is just so compelling.
In a market of a billion people, India is still a society where female modesty sometimes holds back the fairer sex in the face of boorish assertiveness of male dominion. The women shy off, make do and hold back. Picking up panties in full public glare can be an exercise that requires great courage, not unlike being subjected to visual assault if not mental groping in a Delhi metro. Consult any Indian expat colleague on `eve teasing’ and you’d begin to sympathise with the plight of the Indian women shopper.
Now with the advent of internet penetration, mobile coverage and smartphone affordability, Indian women can browse and pick-a-panty at leisure. You can join the experience – even if you are, the man you are by clicking on this helpful link – www.zimave.com.
Before you measure yourself up for size, back to Khazanah’s petticoat predicament. According to Azman’s explanation, all tech investments undertaken by Khazanah needs to be provided for in the name of financial and accounting prudence. (In mediaspeak, provision is when one makes allowances to prepare for a write-off of all the capital pumped into a venture - basically preparing of the eventuality that the money is gone. Its like being resigned to living with bad debt, but with prospects of recovery in the accounting.)
So it was with Zimave. Azman went on to outline the profitable prospects for the retailer which has begun to register rising returns. In fact, Khazanah expects the sum provided for, was on course for recovery. To the pessimists; post recovery – wouldn’t it then enter into profit territory?
Indeed, one accountant’s writing off – through the action of making a provision, is a politician’s opportunity to `profit’. Quite unfortunately, Khazanah's detractors were herded into a trap in which it had to harp on such tenuous tendrils to paint a grim picture.
Alas, much mud has been hurled, and with each tirade, some stain will stick.
Sticks and stones may break one’s bones, but hurling Indian knickers at Khazanah may well be a Malaysian contribution to the perils of politics, that gets in the way of viable business.
It behoves all and sundry, to pick up this opportunity, to create a better history; for this - our beloved country!
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