Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sime Promises Better PR

A Kadir Jasin

[ANONYMOUS comments with not be entertained. When commenting, your real identity is preferred. But a suitable pseudonym is accepted. If you have to use anonymous, please print your name or pen name at the bottom of your message. Please avoid seditious, defamatory and libelous statements. Unrelated comments will not be given priority.]

LAST evening, several bloggers were invited to a dinner and discussion with the top brass of Sime Darby Berhad led by its Chairman Tun Musa Hitam.

Also present were its President and Group Chief Executive, Ahmad Zubir Murshid and the Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, Group Communications and Corporate Affairs, Leela Barrock.

The bloggers were YB Wee Choo Keong, Rocky’s Bru (Ahirudin Atan), I Am A Malaysian (Eric Woon), 3540 Jalan Sudin (Noraina Samad), Outsyed The Box (Syed Akhbar Ali), CT Choo and yours truly.

Many issues and development concerning the conglomerate, its shareholders and the staff, including the controversies surrounding the aborted plans to purchase the National Heart Institute and the construction of a new low cost carrier terminal (LCCT) for AirAsia at KLIA were discussed.

They also explain the long-term philosophies and plans to make the company a major global player in plantation, engineering, properties development and natural resources extraction.

Ahmad Zubir said the board and management of the company are always conscious of their responsibility to the company’s 10.5 million shareholders, its 100,000-odd employees and the communities it serves worldwide.

Sime Darby is 52-per cent owned by Permodalan Nasional Berhad. Other substantial shareholders are the EPF and the Tabung Haji.

Ahmad Zubir said the next five years would see its plantation growing from the current 600,000 hectares to about a million hectares and several core units being listed while the smaller non-core businesses sold.

Both Musa and Ahmad Zubir acknowledged that Sime Darby has not been very good at conducting public relations and has missed a number of opportunities to explain its position in the LCCT and NHI controversies.

They said the company is taking step to improve its public relations capacity and expertise to deal with the traditional as well as the digital media as part and parcel of transparency and good corporate governance.

They also confirmed that contract with the controversial PR company, Fox Communications, has not been renewed.

No comments: