What will it take to end MACC’s endless woes?

Photo: MalayMail

On July 27, 2015, representatives from civil society groups gathered in Putrajaya to deliver a memorandum outlining proposals to strengthen the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Act.

That 21-page document was prepared by the Malaysian Bar, in collaboration with the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas), the Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4), Citizens’ Network for a Better Malaysia (CNBM), and Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M).

But it was an exercise in futility. In the morning, Bernama issued a statement quoting the then chief secretary to the government Ali Hamsa as saying that Abdul Gani Patail’s services as the attorney-general were terminated early due to the latter’s “health problems”.

Almost immediately, the three top guns in the MACC were replaced and it marked the week of the long knives – the darkest period in Malaysia’s fight against corruption. Any and every civil servant, especially enforcement officers who had knowledge about the wheeling and dealing in 1MDB and related agencies, were forced to clear their desks.

That document from the civil society was delivered but it suffered like other evidence – untouched and ignored.

While there were a series of exposés by the media – local and foreign – on what the government of the day under Abdul Najib Razak was covering up, it was not until the court cases began in 2019 that Malaysians understood the reasons behind the black operation to get rid of top graft busters.

The change of government in May 2018 saw the return of former MACC deputy chief Mohamad Shukri Abdull to helm the commission and after him, lawyer Latheefa Koya for a short spell.

But following another change of government in 2020, a raft of criminal charges was withdrawn and as expected, many read into these actions and the MACC, being the investigating body, bore the blame. When civil servants escaped with fines, MACC was seen to be influenced by the social status and political hierarchy of the perpetrators.

Hence, it was the assumption that the prosecution did not push for custodial sentences.

Other ominous signs began to appear. It is difficult to fathom how low a once acclaimed and highly-respected institution has dropped.

The MACC has transcended into an organisation which is now making headlines for all the wrong reasons. Its series of howlers has now become the perfect example to illustrate the idiom “it never rains but it pours.”

This month, it has been besieged with issues starting with the withdrawal of 27 charges against Felda director Noor Ehsanuddin Mohd Harun Narrashid. When confronted for an explanation, MACC said that the “bribe had been returned before investigations started”.

Then came the muddle which did more damage – the MACC advisors claiming that investigations were “unprofessionally conducted and were influenced by political considerations.”

But the key question remained unanswered: Is it legal and acceptable for any person to accept gratification and later repay the money and call it “advances” to escape prosecution?

Yesterday’s announcement by the MACC chief Azam Baki that three of its officers had been remanded was stale news.

The remand took place one week ago – last Tuesday, Sept 14, to be exact, and the matter was hushed up until the news appeared in a blog, Edisi Siasat, on Saturday.

Within these events lies the only certainty in this desperate affair – an apparent attempt at covering up the case of the missing money; a lot of money, at least RM6 million.

The money was from the case of former Malaysia External Intelligence Organisation (MEIO) chief Hasanah Abdul Hamid who stood trial for criminal breach of trust involving a sum of RM50.4 million belonging to the government. In April, she was given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal during her trial.

Already, there are accusations of cloak and dagger operations to protect the guilty.

Among others, the blog claimed that one of the alleged perpetrators is a close aide of Azam and hence it became an internal investigation.

Indeed, a riveting story is to be told when and if it goes to court, and the MACC’s tattered image is likely to turn the worst way imaginable.

In Parliament yesterday, Puchong MP Gobind Singh rightly raised two pointed questions: Theft falls under the jurisdiction of the police and not the MACC. So why is MACC the one making the arrest and detention? This involves MACC officers. Is the MACC going to investigate itself?

Newspaper publisher, former MACC advisory panel member and head of Rasuah Busters, an anti-corruption platform, Hussamuddin Yaacub called on Azam to accept responsibility for the debacle and resign and allow a special police team to investigate the alleged theft.

As Malaysians begin to digest the course of events, shenanigans and goings-on in the MACC, it will be a good time to have a re-look at the civil society proposals which must be gathering dust in either the AG’s Chambers or the MACC headquarters.

With MPs now in the mood to propose private member’s bills, will some caring lawmaker take up the cause for a better Malaysia? We need a MACC that is helmed by people of integrity, and one which is totally independent and apolitical.


R NADESWARAN is a veteran journalist who has written extensively on governance issues including corruption.

*The views expressed are those of the author. If you have any questions about the content, copyright or other issues of the work, please contact Newswav.

越野跑鞋之神 – Wayne Edy 定位决定地位!

■企动人心

越野跑鞋之神

Wayne Edy 定位决定地位

企业界有句劝谏说“Don’t fall in love with your business”(千万别爱上你的生意),但身为创办人,到底是否该爱上你的企业?

本期“企动人心”的主人公Wayne Edy,一手创办全球知名轻量化越野跑鞋品牌inov-8,但却因为公司亟需资金而引进投资者,眼看自己的股权与话语权日渐式微后,又以巨款全额回购股份。

深耕鞋业超过40年的Wayne,不但爱上他的企业,而且还到达深不可测、无可救药的地步!

inov-8是一个年销1000万美元运动鞋子及服饰的品牌,Wayne对公司主导权失而复得后,矢言要把品牌承诺做到更彻底。

16岁结鞋缘

出生于津巴布韦的Wayne,在英格兰北部威尔士长大,攀山涉足等户外活动是他原生家庭的例常活动,使Wayne从小就爱上户外活动。

16岁完成学业后,Wayne通过学徒计划进入一家制鞋公司,从而开始了他离不开鞋子的一生。

在学徒生涯中,Wayne有机会在公司各部门学习,在不同环节上累积经验,从制造不同类型的鞋子,到采购、市场行销、品牌宣传甚至零售管理,让他在方方面面都不断加强,成为更全面的鞋子专家。

到了20多岁,他离开旧东家迁至英国后,曾在一家户外服饰公司工作,不久后他自立门户,开设鞋业顾问公司。此时的Wayne,其实是在做好准备等待一个机会来临,把自己的所有专长发挥出来。

热爱户外活动让他更能从客户体验的角度去设计产品,包括如何制造出轻盈、防水、防滑鞋子,以应付多变的气候。

思路决定出路

全球运动鞋市值3655亿美元,品牌接近200个,要在这个市场占一席位并不容易,而且市场竞争已经如此剧烈,如何在这片红海中杀出重围?

2003年,已经40岁的Wayne决定创立一个攀山运动鞋(mountain athletic)品牌,因为在越野跑鞋这个细分市场上,未有知名品牌称霸,属于蓝海市场。

他把包括养老金的逾10万美元毕生储蓄拿出来创业,成立inov-8。为了创业,连养老金都拿了出来,Wayne当然也会感到焦虑,但他也觉得属于自己的时机到了。

既然是细分的市场,那当然也是小众市场,在英国大约只有5000至6000名登山运动者,尽管市场小,但却也是更容易对这个群体展开集中营销攻势,比如此受众群都爱订阅某某杂志、参加类似的比赛及都活跃于在同一社区。

在Wayne这位鞋匠的巧手下,inov-8成为英国轻量化越野跑鞋品牌,主打产品the MUDROC 290,依据运动生物力学而设计,极具轻量化和透气度高,且备有防滑橡皮鞋底(rubber-cleat sole)。

inov-8越野跑鞋外型上的设计看起来有点奇特,算不上好看但却依人体足部设计,穿上the MUDROC 290去登山,会让登山者觉得是自己的脚在控制鞋子,而不是让鞋子控制主人;登山者在随着地势跑动时更顺势。。

定位决定地位

inov-8越野跑鞋the MUDROC 290获得最早的印证,就是纽西兰运动员Melissa Moon穿着这对跑鞋,在阿拉斯加参加2003年全球越野女子赛中赢得殊荣。原本是Adidas品牌代言人的Melissa,发现原有的鞋子无法应付因下雪导致泥泞的山路赛地,所以临时借了一对inov-8越野跑鞋。

当冲过胜利线的时候,Melissa兴奋激动地把跑鞋高举并告诉所有人是inov-8帮她赢得这场比赛,在场所有媒体镁光灯也把这幕记录下,使inov-8的名气马上打响!

随着实力获得验证,inov-8越野跑鞋立下它的江湖地位,成为许多越野赛精英运动员的首选品牌。

尽管是以针对登山运动者为主而出发,但Wayne的远大视野是把inov-8塑造成更广大的市场及必须迈向国际市场。

成功在欧盟市场的越野圈子建立名气后,开始有人慕名而来主动找上Wayne。美国一位超级级马拉松选手Thomas Michaelson主动联系上Wayne表示想购买inov-8鞋子。

Wayne寄出鞋子供试穿后,Thomas与妻子Lisa Michaelson不但被牵粉,还成为了Wayne在美国的生意伙伴。

inov-8伺机而动,于2004年打进美国市场,并且不再仅局限于越野球鞋,而是朝向开拓健身训练鞋类的市场,并且还增加了户外鞋的新产品,旗下产品形成三大支柱。

风暴来袭 退居二线

由于产品与策略都到位,inov-8在2005年开始取得小额盈利,但很快美好的一切又被2008年金融风暴打沉。处于成长冲刺阶段的inov-8,需要资金维持营运向前行,但与银行谈判的借贷条件不理想,Wayne担心若再爆发下一波金融风暴,公司会撑不下去。

在苦无对策时,Wayne唯有通过引进私募资金Living bridge,先化解公司资金的燃眉之急,并把自己的股权减持至42%。

Living bridge加入后,Wayne与Thomas夫妇的合作关系也在2010年结束。他也辞去CEO职位,退居第二线,并经常飞往美国及亚洲,拜访分销商及推广品牌。

跟许多引进新投资者企业的经历一样,公司在解决的资金问题后,又会面对与投资者理念不一的新问题,因为私募资金有着不同的议程,需要在短时间内以回酬表现来化解投资人的压力。

但若以绩效来说,Wayne反而认为由他当CEO时公司盈利表现更好,因为身为品牌创造人,而且又是自负盈亏,他总以公司长远利益为主要考量。

退居第二线后, Wayne仍密切关注公司业务发展,尽管他可以出席董事局会议,但提出的意见却没有采用,而有些他不认同的决定,却还是会照执行。

身为创办人,当下他的感受就是“一个住着自己灵魂的品牌,却由不得自己拿主意”,这让他感到十分沮丧。试想像,一家你创立的公司,你的产品也是你的个人特色,但公司运行又好像不再与你有关系,这种感觉……太难了!

再度易主 另起炉灶

到了2015年8月,Living bridge套现离场,把inov-8的80%股权再转售给日本运动服饰品牌Descente。

由于Descente时任主席极力挽留Wayne继续在公司留任,希望他可以参与公司创新的环节,因此Wayne保留了20%股权。

Descente是日本年销10亿美元以上的集团,尤其在北亚地区拥有数个闻名品牌,通过与Descente合作也补强了inov-8在服饰方面的业务。而在这项合作关系中,Descente取得了inov-8在制鞋方面的专业。

Wayne仅有的20%股权,在整个大集团下显得太渺小,根本没有影响力,但他又不甘心让inov-8成为Descente庞大旗舰下其中一个小角色。

如果继续留任,他只能继续扮演一个“不放手却干不出大事”的创办人角色。眼下的两个选择显而易见,一就全面退出,二就是全额回购再揽大权。

另厢,从2014年至2020年,Wayne也没闲着,另起炉灶开创了制造军用鞋的公司,而这盘生意却也一点也不小,年销售达1200万美元。

但Wayne还是心系inov-8,2020年为了筹资向Descente买回inov-8北亚区以外的全部股权,他出售在军用鞋公司的所有股份,全面退出。

格局决定胜局

深耕鞋子行业超过40年,现年59岁的Wayne,其专业与成就不仅止“鞋匠”的格局,但却秉持着十份深厚的匠人精神来经营这份事业。

他制造的越野跑鞋是许多精英运动员的首选品牌,在10位世界越野赛冠军中,就有6位是inov-8的头号粉丝。现今的inov-8,也从仅仅的越野跑鞋,发展成一个全地形鞋类、服装及装备品牌。

inov-8现今的总部坐落在被誉为“英国最后一片净土”奔宁山脉的北部—湖区(Lake District),山明水秀的湖区,是一个度假胜地,以湖泊与群山。

inov-8团队是由在登山、航海、户外、工业鞋类领域中的专家组成,在产品研发和设计中拥用强大技术实力,结合了由世界越野赛精英运动员和专业登山运动员的测试,他们能够自如地应用生物力学等众多相关学科研究成果。

inov-8员工会趁休息时间,试穿了跑鞋往山区跑跑,因为环境及企业管理文化,让员工对产品的热爱度更高,在了解用户体验之际,也创造出地表最强的跑鞋。

而身为创办人的Wayne,更透露他同时候大概会轮流穿着40对鞋子。从16岁到接近60岁,他的一生注定了离不开鞋子行业,也在越野跑鞋界里奠下了神级的地位。

Wayne Edy教会我们的事:

  1. 差异化:要从红海中杀出重围,差异化是最强的必杀技。小众品牌如inov-8,根本无法通过在广告上与龙头大哥Nike较量,唯有通过开辟一个新市场,在细分的版块上做到No.1,才有机会在未来逐步做大。
  2. 做强做深:inov-8会成为精英运动员的首选品牌,以及冠军越野者的必备武器,这并不是一个偶然,而是有一个强大又专业的团队,不断钻研把产品做强做深,没有最好,只有更好!