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Star reported this event which I find ‘laughable’. (Full report here).

Not because the builder, E.A. Technique, could not entice the behemoth to get wet but due to its name. The ship, a 5500dwt, 85mtr long, 9mtr high and 17.5mtr wide petroleum double-hull tanker was ‘christened’ MT Nautica Johor Bahru and is capable of carrying 5,200 tonnes of oil cargo. Considering that Malaysia is still new in heavy ship-building, I think it’s quite an achievement for E.A.T. to receive the order to build such a fine vessel and get it delivered to the client, eventually. (I wonder if the Cobra Sultan will suffer the same fate, though).

Now, speaking of ‘big’ launching, we have just had another ‘mother’ of a mega launch when AAB gave us the NCER recently. It’s hugh or rather, humongous, to describe the RM177 billion investments needed in the four states involved covering seed research and development, padi and cash crop planting, livestock breeding and bio-prospecting on herbal produce. Penang alone would have several urban renewal projects including Penang Sentral (transportation and logistics hub), Penang City Centre (Patrick Lim’s goldmine), the Second Bridge (via softloan from China), Pulau Jerejak premier medical/tourism centre, seaport/airport expansions (TRC?), monorail (Scomi lah) and a micro-electronics centre of excellence (BIPV?).

To ensure that everything gets coordinated and implemented (hahahaha!), AAB himself will chair the NCER operations and he’s incorporating the Sime Darby masterplan into the region’s development. (Read here). “Sime Darby has done a good job and spent many hours on it and it will be a waste not to adopt it as a masterplan”. (Heck, that sounded almost noble. Then, comes the clincher…) “We will adopt everything but there may be some adjustments”. (In other words, Sime Darby being the lead management of Synergy Drive, a RM30 billion conglomeration of palm oil plantation companies, an idea mooted by CIMB, would now have to kowtow to the new boss).

And AAB means to ‘crack the whip on recalcitrants’, including the private sector, who wishes not to participate in enhancing his legacy. “No excuses”. (Read here). In the words of 2nd finance minister, MNY, “The PM has no particular bias towards his home state. He is as excited about the Northern Corridor as he is about the Eastern Corridor and the Iskandar Development Region. All three corridors will be his legacy for the country”. (I’m speechless coz it came from someone who found nothing wrong with the ECM-Libra/Avenue Capital deal ).

Well, folks, as in the case of the ship that wouldn’t touch water, will AAB’s legacy be a case of ‘building castles in the air’?

Update: Sime Darby introducing ‘genetically engineered’ food onto our dining table? See BigDog’s take on this. Plus Professor K.S. Jomo’s (the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs assistant Secretary-General) views on public consultation here.