Memoir Putera Lapis Mahang

Memoir Putera Lapis Mahang

Saturday, November 24, 2012

TAJUK 83: CUCUNDA KETIGA

"ANUGERAH BERHARGA"
KELAHIRAN CUCUNDA KETIGA

Hadiah yang berharga bagi sesuatu perkahwinan ialah cahaya mata. Hadiah yang ditunggu oleh seorang ayah apabila anaknya telah melangsungkan perkahwinan ialah kelahiran cucu.  Tidak kira, sama ada ia cucu pertama atau yang ke berapa, semuanya ditunggu dengan penuh debaran.  Ini kerana 'melahirkan anak bagi seorang ibu' adalah kesakitan yang paling tinggi selepas kesakitan 'apabila nyawa ditarik dari tubuh oleh malaikat Izrail'.

Hari ini 24 November 2012, iaitu dua hari selepas aku meraikan ulang tahun kelahiranku yang ke 53 aku menerima kelahiran cucuku yang ketiga, yang bakal melanjutkan kensinambungan zuriat Toharudin bin Haji Abd Rasid bin almarhum Haji Tahir bin almarhum Hj Ibrahim.

Aisyahnur Abid binti Toharudin (21 tahun) telah selamat melahirkan seorang puteri pada jam 0443 di Hospital Tuanku Mizan, Wangsa Maju.



Aisyahnur Abid yang dilahirkan pada 8 Mac 1990 telah berkahwin dengan Kapten Muhammad Noor Hafiz bin Kasim pada 19 Nov 2011.

Pada 23 Nov 2012 petang ketika sedang sibuk mengikuti program lawatan tahunan PTU ke PUKL yang disempurnakan oleh YBhg TPTU, aku menerima 'SMS' dari isteriku yang menyatakan bahawa Aisyah telah mula mengalami pendarahan dan sakit-sakit tanda menghampiri masa bersalin.  Bagaimanapun kami tidak terus membawa ke hospital kerana ingin melihat perkembangan selanjutnya.

Kesihan juga aku melihat Aisyah kerana, dalam saat begini suaminya tidak dapat berada di sisinya kerana keperluan tugas. Nor Hafiz masih berada dalam operasi Batalionnya (13 RAMD) di Seri Aman, Sarawak.

Malam itu aku ada majlis tahlil di surau (untuk almarhumah ibu kepada Lt Jen Dato' Hj Raja Mohamamd Affandi).  Selesai majlis itu sepatutnya aku ke rumah Lt Kol Roustom Shah TUDM di salah sebuah OMQ untuk majlis doa selamat sempena pernikahan anak beliau pada 24hb.  Namun hatiku tidak berapa sedap, aku terus pulang ke rumah.  Aku lihat Aisyah masih mengalami sakit-sakit.  Aku arahkan isteriku untuk berkemas menyedaikan peralatan yang sewajarnya dan minta Aisyah bagi tau sahaja kalau rasa dah sakit sangat.  Aku tidak berapa panik kerana hospital tidak jauh dari rumah, boleh sampai dalam 15 minit sahaja. Malam itu aku merasa sangat mengantuk, kepenatan, aku masuk tidur dalam pukul 11 lebih.

Baru sahaja terlelap, isteriku mengejutku mengatakan Aisyah dah merasai sakit yang berterusan. Aku pun bergegas bangun dan bersiap untuk membawa ke HAT Tuanku Mizan.  kami bertolak dalam jam 0030H dan melapor di kaunter kecemasan.  Setelah setengah jam, Aisyah dibawa ke bilik bersalin dan kami apabila diberitahu bahawa rahimnya baru terbuka 3cm (sepatutnya 10 cm) maka kami pun pulang dahulu ke rumah.

Pagi tu, setelah selesai mendirikan solat Subuh, isteriku menelefon ke hospital dan diberitahu bahawa Aisyah telah selamat bersalin pada jam 0440.  Lebih kurang jam 0730, aku dan isteri (bersama Atikah dan Nurul) pergi ke hospital dan meminta kebenaran jururawat untuk mengazankan cucuku.



Kami hanya dapat melawat (masuk ke wad Obstetrik) pada jam 1230 petang. 
.
 

Auni Humayra binti Muhamad Noor Hafiz
 

Dalam setengah jam kemudian, Fairiz dan Farihan datang melawat.  Aku mengambil kesempatan keluar sekejap menghadiri dua jemputan perkahwinan; Kept Hj Kamaruzaman (di Dewan Dato Othman Harun) dan Kol Hj Ahmad Zulkifle TUDM di Kampung Pengantin (Wedding Garden), Setapak.

Kawan baik Aisyahnur semasa sekolah rendah, Afzan bt Dato' Azri adalah satu-satunya bukan keluarga yang datang melawat Aisyahnur di wad.  Mungkin dia terbaca maklumat berkaitan kelahiran baby Aisyahnur di dalam facebook.
.
 
Muhammad Aqeef Waqas, cucu sulung sempat melelapkan mata kepenatan semasa melawat sepupunya yang baru dilahirkan (pemegang jawatan Laksamana- ketua segala cucu)

 
sepupu yang baru

baby dah buka mata

 
INILAH KETIGA-TIGA CUCUNDAKU BERSAMA BONDA MASING-MASING
Muhammad Aqeef Waqas bin Mohd Farihan (24 Okt 2011)
Wafa Firdaus binti Muhammad Hafeez Firdaus (22 Ogos 2012)
Auni Humayra binti Muhammad Noor Hafiz (24 Nov 2012)
.
Satu perkara yang agak mengecewakan aku ialah sikap kakitangan di HAT Mizan.  Sebuah hospital yang besar, selesa, moden dan canggih serta mempunyai pengiktirafan ISO. 

Setelah habis waktu melawat pada jam 1900, kami sekeluarga meninggalkan hospital.  Pihak hospital tidak membenarkan mana-mana ahli keluarga menemani Aisyahnur.  Kami percaya dengan hanya ada 3 pesakit (bersalin) pastinya Aisyahnur bakal mendapat layanan yang baik. Aku percaya staf di hospital ATM pasti lebih profesional berbanding hospital biasa yang wad bersalinnya sentiasa penuh.

Namun pada malam itu, lebih kurang jam 1100 malam, apabila menelefon Aisyahnur tentang perkembangannya, kami menerima berita yang tidak menyenangkan.  Bayangkan, dalam keadaan yang masih lemah, baru lebih kurang 18 jam melahirkan anak, masih ada kesan ubat bius serta masih ada pendarahan, terpaksa menyalin sendiri bayinya yang menangis kerana membuang air besar.  Apabila dia menekan loceng meminta bantuan nurse yang bertugas, apa kata 'nurse yang bertugas itu?

"Baby awak ni berak, awak ibunya, awak basuh lah ye".  Lepas basuh, lampin ni buang dalam tong sampah dalam bilik air tu".

Bayangkan dalam keadaan kesakitan itu, dia terpaksa membawa bayinya ke bilik air, mencuci dan menyalin. Sedih sungguh aku mendengarnya.  Aku percaya Aisyah tidak mereka-reka cerita. Aku kenal anak aku.  Aisyah seorang yang keras hati dan dan walaupun tubuhnya kecil berbanding abang dan adik-adiknya, dia antara anak aku yang paling berani dan kuat semangat. Dan, kalau tidak ditanya, dia tidak akan bercerita.

HANGIT juga hati aku. Kalau ada 20 pesakit mungkin dia ada alasan tidak cukup tangan.  Ini cuma 3 orang sahaja di dalam wad.  Bulan Ogos lepas, masa meanntu aku melahirkan anak di Hospital KL, walaupun ramai pesakit, para jururawat menjalankan tugas dengan baik. Kalau jururawat banyak mulut atau mulut laser tu aku boleh terima kerana cerita itu aku dah biasa dengar sejak aku kenal apa itu wad bersalin.  Tapi banyak mulut pun tangan berjalan buat kerja juga.

Aku minta isteri aku menelefon ke wad, minta bagi tau nurse itu, kalau dia tak mampu nak menjaga, saya akan datang malam ini juga. Bila isteri aku beritahu bahawa Aisyahnur adalah anak pegawai tentera, baru dia menggelabah minta maaf.  Mentang-mentanglah suami Aisyah tiada dan masa aku melawat tengahari tadi aku pakai kopiah sahaja dan tidak memperkenalkan diri.  Dia ingat aku kerja cikgu atau kerani kot.  So, dia nak buli Aisyah.

Pada 25 Nov 2012, lebih kurang jam 1300, aku bersama isteri pergi ke HAT Tuanku Mizan untuk menguruskan membawa pulang Aisyahnur dan 'baby'nya setelah keduanya didapati sihat.

Alhamdulillah, pagi itu, nurse itu melayan dia dengan baik, memandikan bayi dan menyalin pakaiannya.  Sepatutnya: kalau dia niat baik untuk mengajar ia boleh dibuat dengan cara yang sesuai. Mungkin tengok dulu, macam mana cara nak angkat baby, tengok dulu masa berjalan ke bilik air, sama ada perlukan bantuan atau tidak. Kalau dah confirm mampu, atau tiada masalah, barulah boleh dilepaskan.  Bukan siang-siang dah lepas tanggungjawab.

LEBIH MENARIK, sepanjang hari Aisyahnur berada di dalam wad, Makcik India (cleaner) yang mengambil berat tentang Aisyah. Sambil membuat tugas mencuci lantai dan bilik air, dia menawarkan bantuan kepada Aisyah. Malah memberikan nasihat dan petua untuk diamalkan. Jauh lebih profesional dari nurse yang bertugas.

PERSOALANnya.  Andainya berlaku insiden seperti ibu tergelincir atau bayi jatuh semasa nurse tiada dalam wad, agak-agak apa ayat yang akan keluar dari mulut mereka. Pastinya skripnya berbunyi begini;

"Ehh, kami kan ada, dah tau awak ni tak mampu lagi, kenapa tak panggil kami?......, tengok dah jadi macam ni, nanti pihak pengurusan mesti salahkan kami kerana tak pandai kerja.....".

Aku tak tau, mungkin Pengiktirafan ISO di HAT Tuanku Mizan kena semak semula.
'Ala kulli hal, anak aku telah selamat melahirkan bayinya dan keduanya dalam keadaan sihat.  Allah Maha Mengetahui bagaimana perasaannya, melahirkan anak pertama tanpa sesiapa berada di sisinya.  Suami jauh diperantauan.  Ibu bapa pulak tidak dibenarkan menunggu.

Aku harap juga bayi ini tidaklah ikut macam ibunya waktu kecil dulu. Si Aisyahnur ni, dari kecik sampailah hari pertama dia masuk TADIKA (1996)- dia adalah anak yang paling kuat menangis dan tidak mahu langsung berenggang dengan emaknya.  Walaupun dah ada adik, dia tidak boleh terlepas pandang ibunya. Dengan orang lain khususnya pakcik-makciknya langsung tidak mau.  Amat sensitif. Merajuknya tahan berjam-jam. Adiknya lebih mudah mesra dengan orang lain. Susah betul menjaga dia waktu kecil dulu. Aku tidak dapat membayangkan macam mana nak hantar dia ke sekolah.  Mesti ibunya kena tunggu sampai waktu balik.  Tapi sikapnya berubah 100% sebaik sahaja melangkah masuk ke TADIKA.  Hari pertama masuk kelas dia terus 'independence'. Tiada lagi air mata pada dia.


.
 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

PRICE NEGOTIATION


CONTRACT NEGOTIATION

Negotiation is a dialogue between two or more people or parties, intended to reach an understanding, resolve point of difference, or gain advantage in outcome of dialogue, to produce an agreement upon courses of action, to bargain for individual or collective bargaining, to craft outcomes to satisfy various interests of two people/parties involved in negotiation process. Negotiation is a process where each party involved in negotiating tries to gain an advantage for themselves by the end of the process. Negotiation is intended to aim at compromise.

Negotiation occurs in business, non-profit organizations, government offices, legal proceedings, among nations and in personal situations such as marriage, divorce, parenting, and everyday life. Professional negotiators are often specialized, such as union negotiators, leverage buyout negotiators, peace negotiators, hostage negotiators, or may work under other titles, such as diplomats, legislation or brokers. (wikipedia.com)



Preamble

My first appearance with contract negotiation happened without knowing that it was contract nego. It happened when I was working in Training Directorate (Air Force Department) between end of 1991until mid of 1993. My appointment as SO2 Training Finance (handling training budget and financial control). Then, I was handling courses of Air force personnel in UK. In those years the training activities in UK were very active in conjunction with the MOU Procurement Project (between Malaysia and UK) which involved the procurement of Hawk Aircraft and Martello Radar.  The dealing mainly involved in the allowances and  entitlement for the RMAF personnel in UK.  Even though the contracts were already signed, a lot of dispute and dissatisfaction raised due to high cost of leaving and insufficiency of cash allowance.  Some of the course participant gave up from the course and voluntarily returned to units.  

Finally, after series of nego, the UK Government agreed to increase the allowance.  Though I was not directly involved in the nego, my input in terms of students' course report contributed to the decision making process. 

One more experience in that office was dealing with another British Company named International Test Pilot School (ITPS). The RMAF sent Kapt Ackbal Abdul Samad for that course.  Again, the argument was related to the entitlement and allowances.  This time, my involvement was more contributing- sat down together in the meeting. Finally the outcome of the nego was very fruitful. Beside the basic overseas training obtained from the government (based on the AFCI), Ackbal received additional list of allowance and entitlement given by the company.

And, my real experience dealing with contract nego started when I was transferred (posted) to Government Procurement Division, Ministry of Finance in January 2000 (upon completion my staff course in MTAT).  My four year tour in MOF really taught me with the world of contract management. Directly involved in preparing the tender document- start from processing the proposal papers from the Ministries and Departments (for the Minister's approval)- preparing the tender document - tender advertisement, tender evaluation, negotiation until the signing the contract document. 

I have a lot of experience of sitting in Contract Nego.  In fact until today, my job as KSK includes performing the Chairman of Price Nego Committee.  A mandatory board in MLU for all procurement involves schedule servicing and technical services. Without the approval from this Committee, the indent cannot be issued to the company. When I was working in Treasury I involved directly in many Contract Nego meeting. Dealing with British (for RMN Super Lynx), dealing with French (for Sea Skua Missiles), dealing with Swiss (for PC7 Mk II), dealing with Russian (for RMP Mi-17), dealing with Italian (for FRD's Agusta 109), dealing with Indonesian for CN235, dealing with American/Canadian for Global Express and etc.  Off-course with also dealing with local companies such as AIROD, ZETRO and etc.

In Feb 2006- when I was working in MTU-Kontrak, I attended a 5 day course known as 'Negotiation: Training of Trainers' in INTAN Kawasan Selatan (IKWAS), Kluang. The facilitator was Prof Amminu from University of Cambridge.  He is a Nigerian. But the focus of this training was more toward political negotiation.  However, there were some similarity in terms of principles and techniques. Contract Negotiation (Nego) is part and partial of the procurement system.


In this topic, I will write some theories and my experience in conducting Contract Negotiation

The contents of this blog page will cover the followings:
  • Types of Negotiation
  • Negotiation Strategies
  • Negotiation Techniques
  • Negotiation Tactics
  • Barriers in Negotiation
I hope this collection of notes will help the readers who interested to know some knowledge on Negotiation.

Types of Negotiation

The dialogue between individuals to come to a common conclusion benefiting all is called as negotiation. Negotiation refers to the discussions among individuals evaluating the pros and cons of a situation and coming to an alternative best suited to all. In negotiation, individuals try their level best to come to a conclusion which would satisfy all. In simpler words, it is also called as Bargaining

Negotiation takes place in various ways in corporates for increased output and better relations among employees. Among the types of negotiation are:
  • Day to Day Negotiation at Work Place. Every day we negotiate something or the other at the workplace either with our superiors or with our fellow workers for the smooth flow of work. These are called day to day negotiations.
  • Negotiation Between Employee and Superior.  At the work place, an employee has to negotiate with his superiors so that he is assigned the responsibilities as per his interests and specialization. Don’t accept anything you are not comfortable with. Sit with your boss and discuss things with him. Let’s suppose your boss wants you to prepare a report on branding and marketing strategies of the organization and marketing was never your specialization. It is better to negotiate at the first place to avoid conflicts and misunderstandings later. An individual before accepting any offer should negotiate his salary with the concerned person to avoid tensions later. If you are not getting what you deserve, you will never enjoy your work. Don’t just accept any offer just because you need a job, its always advisable to negotiate well before joining any organization. If the nego is between the employer and the Trade Union, it known as Collective Bargaining.
  • Negotiation Between Colleagues- Negotiation is essential among team members to reduce the chances of disputes and conflicts. Any particular team member should not be over burdened while the other member is relaxing. One should negotiate with his fellow workers and accept only those responsibilities he feels he is best capable of doing. The responsibility of achieving the targets should not rest on only one shoulder, but equally divided among all. Negotiate with your team members and accept the responsibilities willingly. If you want to go for a leave for some days, negotiate with your team member to take care of your work in your absence. When he takes a leave, you can help him in the same way. Negotiation helps to increase the output of the team and eventually the productivity of the organization. People achieve what they expect and hence misunderstandings and conflicts are reduced to a large extent and the office becomes a better place to work. 
  • Commercial Negotiations. Commercial negotiations are generally done in the form of contract. Two parties sit face to face across the table, discuss issues between them and come to conditions acceptable to both the parties. In such cases; everything should be in black and white. A contract is signed by both the parties and they both have to adhere to its terms and conditions. Example:  Cherry was representing the administration department of a reputed organization. He was assigned the responsibility of buying bulk laptops for the office employees from a vendor. He asked the vendor to quote a price for him. Cherry found the price was beyond the company’s budget and thus sat with the vendor, negotiated the price with him and finally both of them agreed to a price suitable to both. A contract was signed between Cherry and the vendor mentioning the payment details, mode of payment, date of delivery, warranty details and other important terms and conditions. Commercial negotiation generally involves an external party and thus a contract is essential so that no party backs out later. 
  • Legal Negotiation. Legal negotiation takes place between individual and the law where the individual has to abide by the rules and regulations laid by the legal system and the legal system also takes into account the needs and interest of the individual.

Negotiation Strategies

The worst contract negotiation objective is to bleed every last cent out of the vendor for the lowest price. Remember, you want to "partner" with your vendor so that both of you will meet your corporate goals and objectives by signing the contract. Successful contract negotiation means that both sides look for positives that benefit both parties in every area while achieving a fair and equitable deal. A signed contract that benefits both parties will provide a firm foundation to build a long lasting relationship with your vendor.

Strategies for Planning Contract Negotiations
  • List Rank Your Priorities Along With Alternatives. As you develop your contract negotiation strategy, you may keep returning to this area to add additional items. You will not be able to negotiate effectively all areas of the contract at once. You want to be sure that what is most important to you is discussed and agreed upon before you move to less important items. In addition, you may want to refer to the least important items if you have to give up something to get your top items.
  • Know the Difference Between What You Need and What You Want.  Review your priorities frequently throughout the contract negotiations planning process and one final time at the end. Be sure to ask the hard questions: "Is this really a priority for our company, or is it a 'nice to have'?" "Was this priority a result of some internal political jockeying, or is it for real?".
  • Know Your Bottom Line So You Know When to Walk Away. Is there a cost or hourly fee that your company cannot exceed? Have you come to realize that one or two of the top priorities are truly non-negotiable and you will be better to walk-away from this contract if the vendor does not agree to it? List these along with the rationale so they are not forgotten. 
  • Define Any Time Constraints and Benchmarks. In any substantial project you will want to set performance measurement standards that you will expect from your vendor. If these are essential to your business, then you will want negotiate a fair and equitable penalty when they are not met. For example: project completion dates, delivery date for first batch of parts, start date for the service, lead times, etc.
  • Assess Potential Liabilities and Risks. What is the potential for something to go wrong? What if unforeseen costs are encountered? Who will be responsible if government regulations are violated? Whose insurance will cover contract workers? These are just a few of the more common questions that must be addressed in any contract. 
  • Confidentiality, Non-compete, Dispute Resolution, Changes in Requirements. These are other items that could be a potential negotiation stumbling block or deal closer. For example, if the vendor (or an employee) have the possibility of being exposed to confidential information, you will want to be sure a confidentiality clause is put into the contract with the liability assumed by the vendor.  
  • Do the Same for Your Vendor (i.e. Walk a Mile in Their Shoes). Now that you have completed the contract negotiations planning process for your business, repeat the same process as if you were the vendor. What area do you think is most important for them? What risks or liabilities will they want you to assume? Your list won't be perfect, but it will succeed in putting you into a frame of mind to look at things from their perspective. This is how great partnerships between client and vendors are built.
Preparation. Before the actual contract negotiations begin, make sure the following items are reviewed and confirmed:
  • Determine If You Will Need Legal Counsel. Negotiating a contract for one year of janitorial services in a small office is vastly different than negotiating a contract to outsource a fairly large call center. If you feel the least bit uncomfortable reviewing contract "legalese", do not hesitate to retain a lawyer specializing in contract negotiations. 
  • On-Site or Teleconference. Agree upon where the negotiation session(s) will take place. If you think you have the upper-hand by negotiating at the vendor's site, then propose up front that you will travel to them. If the distance is too far to travel cost effectively, set up a teleconference to accomplish the negotiation session. Make sure it is a video conference because body language speaks louder than words.
  • Make Sure the Person Representing the Vendor Has Authority to Negotiate. Before your people travel to the vendor's site or the vendor travels to your site, make sure the person/people representing the vendor have the authority to negotiate on behalf of the vendor's company. It would be a huge waste of time to hear at the end of a long negation session "Well, let me get back to you after I hear what my boss has to say about this."
Negotiation Techniques

Negotiation is referred to as the style of discussing things among individuals in an effort to come to a conclusion satisfying all the parties involved. Discussions should be on an open forum for every one to not only participate but also express their views and reach to an alternative acceptable to all.
It is important how we negotiate with each other. One must know the difference between negotiating and begging. Do not stoop too low to get a deal closed. Negotiation must be in a dignified way. One has to be extremely patient and also understand the second party’s needs and interests as well. Never impose your ideas on anyone. Let everyone speak their mind and decide something which would favour one and all.
Some of negotiation techniques:

  • The first and the foremost technique for an effective negotiation is one should be well informed with everything related to the deal. Find out even the minutest detail you think is important and you might require at the time of negotiation. Be prepared for everything. Remember the second party might ask you anything.
  •  Take good care of your posture as well as your body movements. Look confident. While speaking, don’t look around or play with things. It’s just a discussion, no one will kill you if you are not able to close the deal. Don’t stammer in between or start sweating in front of others. The second party will take undue advantage if they find you nervous. Take care of your dressing as well. Don’t wear anything which is too casual. If you dress casually people will not take you seriously.
  • Be very focused. One should be very specific what he wants. First ask yourself what is the purpose of this negotiation? What do you actually want? What is the affordable price for you? Be firm and stick to it. Be very specific and clear.
  • Never keep things to yourself and crib later. Don’t assume that the other person can read your mind on his own. One needs to ask for what he wants. A mother will not feed her child unless and until he cries. Speak your heart out. If you are not satisfied with the deal, show your displeasure to others. Express them that you are not very happy with the price and it needs to be revised.
  • Be a patient listener. Listen to others as well. Think about their interest and needs as well. Don’t ask for anything which would not benefit the second party. Don’t jump to conclusions and never interfere when the other person is speaking. Listen to the other party’s proposal as well; he might come up with something unique which you could not even think.
  • Be realistic. Don’t ask for something you yourself know is not possible. Don’t quote anything just for the sake of it. One should be a little practical in his approach. Don’t ask for irrational discounts. Be logical. It’s nothing bad to think about your personal interests, but one should not be mad for it. If you want to purchase something, also remember that the store owner has to earn his profits as well.
  • Don’t be in a hurry to close the deal. Take your time to discuss things among yourselves. Make sure you are deciding something which would be a win win situation for all. Never drag any discussion and make the conversation too long. Too much of pleading and persuasion result in a big zero and no conclusion can be drawn out of it.
  • Know where to compromise. An individual has to compromise sometimes to come to an output. If you feel that if you accept some terms and conditions, things would be better and it would not harm you much, go ahead. Everyone needs to compromise sometimes or the other. Even in marriages, one partner needs to negotiate with the other for better understanding.
  • Communication is also important in negotiation. Speak clearly and precisely. One should not confuse others. Playing with words is one of the biggest threats to negotiation. Don’t use derogatory or lewd remarks against anyone.
  • For a third party it’s always better to sign a contract or have something in black and white so that no body backs out later. It’s always better to sign agreements in the presence of both the parties for better transparency. At workplace after every discussion and negotiation, emails or minutes of the meeting must be circulated among all the team members for everyone to get a clear and the same picture
Negotiation Tactics 
  • Know Your Customer.   It’s important to understand the customer’s timetable for launch.  If implementation is not imminent, conserve your resources by responding only as necessary to keep the deal alive until it makes sense to proceed.  Repeated starts and stops and deal changes increase costs unnecessarily. Other important points include: 
    • Understand the customer’s familiarity with your product/service and whether the customer is entering a new technology arena or market.  If so, expect delays and build in time for education. 
    • Learn the customer’s approval process and identify the decision-makers.
    • Assess the parties’ relative leverage:  do they need you, or do you need them?
    • Appreciate that the customer’s attorneys, whether in-house or outside, will be highly motivated to avoid any risk.  In most cases, the incentives to avoid risk will override the incentives to get the deal done.
  • Set the Customer’s Expectations.  Educate the customer at the outset of your contracting process, from both a business and legal perspective, and remind them as necessary during the negotiations. Set expectations early as to what is/is not possible/negotiable, from both a business and legal perspective. And at all times, make sure that front line sales is selling the terms as well as the product/service.
  • The Contract is Key.   Always present the customer with a pristine contract.  While it is easy to push back on a lawyer who is “moving commas,” you will quickly become bogged down in defending typos, grammatical errors and ambiguities. Also, move as many of the “negotiated” terms as possible to the exhibits.  Not only will this take focus away from the provisions that you would rather not change, but it will facilitate identifying non-standard terms throughout the term of the customer relationship. Consider whether lower-value products or services can be separated from the bundle and sold or licensed on a PO or a click- or-shrink-wrap agreement.  It might be worth moving an SLA or other highly technical terms to a webpage that can be cross-referenced in your customer contract.  The idea is to remove as many terms as possible from the negotiation process. Also, maintain a compilation/database of acceptable compromises and educate negotiators about them. And avoid separately pricing consulting services and the resulting “if we pay for it, we own it” response.
  • Control the Paper. Don’t expect that sending a document in a form that is not intended to be edited will discourage comments.  Technology and custom have left those days behind.  Do impress upon the customer that versions of your agreement will be controlled at your end and commit to turning revisions timely. It might be best to encourage your customer to discuss comments by phone rather than inputting changes (once made, the customer becomes wedded to the changes). And always provide a marked copy.  Failure to do so promotes unnecessary suspicion.
  • Control Your Counsel.   Make sure your outside counsel is aware of company “hot buttons” and is clear on the chain of command. And if there are legal budget constraints on the deal, make sure your outside counsel is aware of these, as well. It’s smart to check your counsel’s availability for conference calls and notify him/her in advance if “on call” availability is necessary. And make sure the business representatives are controlling the deal.
  • Just Say No.  Disagreements are going to happen. When they do, the tone should always be respectful but firm.  If antagonized, the customer’s representatives are likely to dig in their heels. Make sure, also, that the team members are supporting, rather than undercutting, one another.  “Good cop/bad cop” only works when everyone knows his/her role. Resist deal fatigue, threatened deadlines, and last minute nickel-and-diming; make concessions only if assuming additional risk makes sense in the context of the entire deal. Your contract negotiator should also not be someone who will own the ongoing customer relationship.
  • Business Versus Legal.  Separate the business issues from the legal ones and have the each party negotiate separately.  Having attorneys present during business negotiations is usually not an effective use of legal resources. (On the other hand, astute business negotiators can contribute to negotiation of the “legal” issues by making decisions about the appropriate level of risk the company should assume.) Be sure also to have your counsel hold training sessions with contract negotiators to sensitize them to the importance of warranties, limitations of liability and indemnification provisions. 
  • Get On the Same Page.  Internally, take 5 or 10 minutes before a scheduled call to bring the negotiating team up to date on interim developments.When you’re with the customer, insist on getting all requested changes before responding; don’t negotiate against yourself.
  • Get Momentum.  Initiate calls yourself – and make them (rather than waiting for them) when they’re scheduled. And never end the call or leave the room without agreeing upon next steps and a timetable.  Hold your team accountable to meet its commitments.
  • Contract Evolution.  Constantly update contract templates in response to historical comments and convene periodic meetings with counsel to review and evaluate issues arising in contract negotiations. It’s better to err on the side of reducing the level of detail.


Barriers in Negotiation 

When we consider the types of negotiation that occur in a professional environment, we tend to think first of salaries. But nearly all of our relationships involve some form of negotiation. From defining roles and assigning tasks in a team environment, to managing deadlines and assets, to dealing with clients, lenders, suppliers, and government bodies, we engage daily in a process of balancing conflicting interests or limited resources. To develop a fulfilling professional life, we must be prepared to negotiate effectively and with confidence.
  • Confrontation. Participants in a negotiation can sabotage the outcome by characterizing the exchange as a confrontation or a conflict. The purpose of negotiation is to promote dialogue and, ultimately, to achieve agreement. An adversarial or uncooperative attitude can easily scuttle any positive results and plunge the discussion into pointless hostility. Language plays an instrumental role in determining the tone of a negotiation. Neutral, inclusive statements set a calm and reasonable tone, whereas declaring an absolute position leaves little room for compromise.
  • Negative Emotion. Negotiation can be stressful. It can evoke feelings of fear and anger, especially when it seems that one’s best interests are threatened. And it is more than likely that everyone involved in a thorny negotiation will experience some negative emotion. The key to overcoming this barrier to a successful resolution is to acknowledge that diverse perspectives and interests exist and to address them openly. Instead of reacting to emotional outbursts with escalating emotion, a symbolic gesture expressing empathy or even an apology can go a long way toward defusing the situation and creating a more collaborative atmosphere.
  • Limitations. Limited resources, whether they are budgetary, human, or material, are what most often give rise to competing interests and create the need for negotiation. During the course of a negotiation one party might introduce obstacles attributed to limited funds, time, personnel, policy restraints, or a combination of reasons. If the limits put forth are real but the parties share a mutual desire to reach a compromise, then a collaborative exercise in problem-solving will usually yield an agreeable outcome. However, in some instances the limits are artificial and may signal an unwillingness to negotiate. A sincere attempt to brainstorm a solution represents the most productive course of action; one that will invite the active engagement of the participants or encourage them to reveal their true intentions.
  • Negotiation Strategies. Thorough preparation can make all the difference to the outcome of a negotiation. Not only must you know what you hope to achieve, but you should research the interests of the other parties involved.

http://www.cga-canada.org/en-ca/AboutCGACanada/CGAMagazine/2009/Jan-Feb/Pages/ca_2009_01-02_career_development.aspx



Friday, November 2, 2012

SISTEM PEROLEHAN KERAJAAN: BHG 5

dari Bahagian 4

  AMALAN PEROLEHAN KERAJAAN  
  AN INTERVIEW  
 WITH AUDITOR-GENERAL OF MALAYSIA 

.
YBhg Tan Sri Ambrin bin Buang
Auditor-General



Isu ketirisan dalam sistem perolehan Kerajaan bukanlah satu perkara baru.  Setiap tahun pelbagai kes dilaporkan oleh Auditor General Persekutuan yang melibatkan pelbagai kes salah guna kuasa dan perlanggaran prosedur yang melibatkan kerugian atau kehilangan Wang Kerajaan bernilai berjuta-juta ringgit.

Selain dari Jabatan Audit Negara, banyak lagi audit yang dilaksanakan oleh pihak Kerajaan (sama ada di peringkat Persekutuan, Negeri atau audit dalaman Kementerian atau Jabatan) bagi mempastikan pengurusan kewangan negara diurus dengan baik. Namun ia tetap berlaku.  Dimanakah silapnya?
  • Adakah peraturan yang sedia ada tidak mencukupi?
  • Adakah kita tidak mempunyai Ketua Jabatan yang cekap dan boleh dipercayai?
  • Adakah kita terlalu banyak peraturan yang sukar untuk dipatuhi sehingga penjawat awam terpaksa mencari jalan untuk menipu?
  • Adakah penjawat awam kita sudah kehilangan integriti?
  • Adakah latihan untuk penjawat awam kita hanya memebrikan penekanan kepada duniawi- kenaikan pangkat sahaja dan melupakan perkara ukhrawi dan etika?
  • Adakah penjawat awat tidak cukup makan kerana gaji terlalu kecil?
  • Adakah amalan rasuah atau pecah amanah ini sememangnya telah menjadi sebahagian dari budaya kerja?
Kali ini aku hanya menyalin semula teks wawancara jurnalis The Star dengan Ketua Audit Negara, Y.Bhg Tan Sri Ambrin bin Buang.


SHINING THE TORCH ON WASTAGE,
INEFFICIENCIES

by Aniza Damis and Tan Choe Choe 
Question: Do you have guidelines on how a project is supposed to be implemented or supervised?
Answer: When a government project is signed, there is a provision for the appointment of a project director. These are technical people, so normally it will be Public Works Department people, or the technical people in the ministry. It is the project manager's job to supervise the work of contractors, vendors and sub-contractors. The issue is how effective is your supervision?
If you certify that a project is okay when it's not, you're not doing your job, you're negligent, and you should be subjected to disciplinary action.
Question: There was the issue of repair work being done on Terengganu government quarters that don't exist.
Answer: It's a matter of whether you supervise on site or you supervise on paper only. When it's on paper, you don't counter-check what happens on the ground. So, if somebody says there are three houses that have to be maintained and paid for, you accept it, but actually the work is not done.
Question: The controlling officer is supposed to be the director-general or the secretary-general. But he has his own department or ministry work to do. He can't drive to Terengganu and count the quarters before he gives his approval. So, how is the counter-check supposed to be done?
Answer: You're right. Certainly, you can't expect the controlling officer to know what is happening in Terengganu, but there are Responsibility Centres. They have the function to monitor how money is being spent. Whether they do it properly is an open question.
Question: One department bought air-conditioners for RM10,800 each, whereas the market price is only RM2,000. The department claimed the remainder was for maintenance. How can maintenance be nearly RM9,000 each?
Answer: That is their explanation. But imagine if the audit did not discover this, it would mean that things would just proceed.
Question: But the explanation sounds dodgy.
Answer: In the extreme of cases, you cannot discount the possibility of collusion between the desk officers handling the procurement and the supplier.
Question: So, what happens when the explanation given is so obviously not logical?
Answer: The controlling officer has to study the case and decide whether his officer's reply is reasonable. If he finds that it's not, he has the power to institute investigations. Hopefully, a neutral investigation committee will be established. If you appoint the accused's friend, there is the possibility the thing will just be hushed up. If you want to do an investigation, do it professionally. Get somebody who is not at all involved in that division or department.
Question: So, you come up with the report, they come up with the reply, and it's up to the respective internal audit committees to pick it up and take action. But some people will say, "This case has already been exposed in the audit report, therefore 'kira settle' (it's considered settled)," and they do nothing about it. Does that mean your report forgives mismanagement? Once it comes out, everyone knows about it, there is public humiliation, so it's settled?
Answer: Well, we have now been asked to help the government do the necessary follow-up. So, we will get reports from the ministries on what action they have taken. If you're conducting investigations, what is the outcome? What is the penalty you want to implement?
If, in our opinion, the penalty is not sufficient, there's nothing to stop me from taking it farther. I can write to the chief secretary to the government or to the Treasury secretary-general that in our opinion, this (action) is not sufficient. They have the power to take whatever disciplinary action they want. If the Treasury wants to conduct its own investigation, it has the power to do so because it is also the custodian of the public's money.
Our job doesn't stop at just tabling the report.
We are supposed to inform the government (on) what actions the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), the police and the Public Service Department are taking. We are in that mode now, to collect information and find out the status of MACC investigations, because normally, they will do the follow-up (after our report comes out). We don't even have to ask them to investigate. They can do it on their own. Our report is accessible to everybody. I can assure you, where it merits punishment, there will be punishment.
Question: Are ministries audited in rotation?
Answer: It depends. If you talk about the accountability index at the federal level, all ministries are audited every year. That is for financial management. But when it comes to the performance audit, for the big ministries, we will cover at least one topic (project/programme). So, for instance, for the Education Ministry, there are two to three studies that we do. The same goes for the Home and Finance Ministries, the police, Customs and Inland Revenue Board. For the big ministries, there will be a performance audit every year, but not the small ministries.
Question: Is it possible that there will be some activity/project which your light will never shine on?
Answer: Yes. Each year, there are hundreds of thousands of government projects and activities. We only do a fraction of this because we have constraints. It is also an international practice to do sampling.
Question: How do you do your sampling?
Answer: It's random. We have a set of criteria, and we look at what are the topics of public interest. My policy is, every big project is compulsory. And we will come in without waiting for it to be completed. That's what we did for the double-tracking, and are doing with the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit). In the past, we would wait until the project was finished before making our observation; but by that time, it was rendered meaningless. However, in the past three to four years of my tenure, we went in while the project was ongoing. Our idea was to help them, so that if there were certain procedures that they had not followed, we ask them to please correct it immediately.
Question: And that's why you looked at the national feedlot project last year?
Answer: Yes, because the project was under construction. If I were to wait for the project to be completed, we don't know when that would be. And it's a big project because it involves a loan of RM250 million, not to mention all the assistance they have got in terms of grant and whatnot, so we're looking at the project.
Sometimes, we do another audit after three years or so to see how things go. We really want to see whether there have been improvements. If not, we mention in the report that this has been brought up (before). Because you know, on the ground, people come and people go. Sometimes, they forget what was written three to four years ago, or they didn't read the report. But, on our part, we have the memory, you see. So, if we think that this is very important, we will do another audit.
Question: Is there any department, project or ministry that you're not allowed to touch, officially or unofficially?
Answer: I think we've touched all ministries. Our powers are all provided for in the Audit Act 1957.
Question: Have you ever been in error?
Answer: We take pains to ensure accuracy. We have mechanisms and there's nothing to prevent the checking and double-checking of facts. All I can say is that we reserve the right to make an opinion based on the facts collected by us. You may not agree with us; inasmuch as we respect whatever you want to say about our report, I think you also have to respect our opinion.
If people want to spin and make further comments, I cannot stop them. I do not wish to really comment. I would just say, "Your facts are not correct".
Also, you must remember, you're talking about an audit that was done early last year. After a while, things change. So, these people will say, "No, we have done this, we have done that".
Question: So, they have more than a year to fix it?
Answer: Yes. And that is good. Because our hope is that, wherever there are weaknesses, please correct them. And please use them as lessons. Otherwise, things keep on repeating.
Question: There is a proposal for three audits a year. Would you prefer that?
Answer: If something against the law happened last year, why would you want to wait one whole year before someone could come in (to investigate or fix it)? We are all for transparency. We are all for facts.
Question: It wouldn't be harder?
Answer: No, because our auditing process is continuous.
Question: Speaking about transparency and perception, when you sign the report it means that...
Answer: I stand by it.
Question: You signed it in July but it came out in September. Between the time it was published and tabled in Parliament, was there any chance of tampering? Can someone direct you to take something out?
Answer: Who would want to do that? The auditees themselves know much earlier what are the issues. If you look at some parts of the report, when we include the auditee's response, they have said what action they have taken. And most of this action is taken after the audit revelation. We have already revealed the thing, they respond. So, we put it in the report.
Question: But the Auditor-General's Report is a "bad news" story. When you read chapter by chapter, the story is acceptable. But taken as a whole, someone could say, "Oh, it's too much of a nightmare. Can you take out some of the scary parts?"
Answer: Well, some of our auditees say they have already explained. So, to them, why should the Audit Department still want to put it into the published version? But can you imagine the situation where we drop everything, then our report wouldn't be over two feet high.
If we feel it is a pertinent issue, about value for money, we will still include it in the final published copy. Because the report is supposed to serve as a lesson for everyone. If you delete that part, then there's no lesson to learn! It is normal that people overlook certain things, that they are not aware of certain things. Maybe there are too many regulations for them to follow or it is too onerous for them to follow.
Question: So, when you sign off in July, that means that the report is final? No more changes?
Answer: Yes.
Question: We've been reading your reports for as long as you've been the auditor-general, and it is really annoying to read the same sort of mistakes.
Answer: It depends on what you're talking about. You're talking about improvement, right? Last time, one of the problems is people are late in submitting their accounts for auditing, and then, there are many that don't get a clean certificate. Now, the situation has improved. They are submitting their accounts on time, and more and more of them are getting a clean certificate.
But, if you talk about complying with the guidelines, isn't that everybody's job to comply? Everybody should get four stars. But most of them only get three stars because in certain areas, they are still lacking. We want them to focus on following the guidelines. If you don't do anything about it, then you will never get four stars.
Invariably, there are bound to be weaknesses in planning, in implementation, this is the gist of our reports. It's how serious are the weaknesses. Some are just certain procedures being overlooked. Some involve monetary implications and additional cost to the government.
So, it's very difficult for me to comment on whether there has been any improvement. But, from the government side, they have taken steps to address this. For example, to get value for money, the government has introduced value management -- third-party evaluation. The government has been able to secure savings from that. So, this response from the government is a very responsible move.
Question: When you look at the overall report, is the wastage still more than the savings?
Answer: I don't know, because we simply don't quantify each and every transaction. How do you define loss? Let's take the double-tracking project. You can see that the project is shaping up. So, even though there is an increase in cost, do you consider that as a loss?
When people supply equipment, it is not being used because the building is not ready yet. But when the building is ready, it will be used. Do you consider that as a loss?
Question: In the seven years that you have been doing this, do you think the accountability and integrity message is getting through?
Answer: Yes, I could sense that when I check with my officers. They say they are happy, because now they get fair attention, unlike those days where you can write anything and nothing really happens. With regards to the consciousness of audit, I would say that the audit report is a permanent agenda to be discussed at a very high level and of course, at the cabinet. So, that, to me, is a reflection of the seriousness of the government. I'm sure that the state government, whether it is Pakatan Rakyat or Barisan Nasional, does, too.
Question: Does this trickle down to the officers?
Answer: It depends on their boss. Everybody knows what is mentioned by the auditor-general, so, have you sufficiently addressed those issues? If you say that your system is no longer working, do you take the trouble to change it? The onus is on them.
Question: You say there is improvement in terms of consciousness and accountability. Is it because of the media attention?
Answer: Yes, definitely. We are now in a network-environment; people are networking. So, you'd better explain yourself well. My advice to my fellow civil servants is: always when you work, think that you could be audited. That's why we have spot audits.
Question: Are the criticisms this year more ferocious compared with previous years?
Answer: No. (If) people want to spin, and you know very well that this is the political season, it is expected. But when you mention A-G, make sure your facts are correct.
Question: Your report last year on the NFC (National Feedlot Corporation) spring-boarded a bigger investigation. When you were doing this report, were you hoping that there wouldn't be another scandal? Do you let how your findings are reported affect how you do your work?
Answer: No. I am only concerned that I have to stand by my report. I always remind my officers, "Your job is not completed just because you have submitted; there will be follow-ups after that. If you are not lucky, you may be hauled up as a witness. So, you'd better be sure of your facts. Because when you go to court, you will be grilled".
Question: If an auditor doesn't shine his torch in the corner when he should, he can also be charged?
Answer: Of course.
Question: So, you never take into consideration that we're going into the 13th general election?
Answer: This thing is planned. For next year's report, from the beginning of this year, we have already decided. I have seen the list of projects. How are we to know when the election is going to be?
Question: Who audits the auditors? They could be bribed.
Answer: Yes, but I don't think it will happen. We are a department. We are subject to the accountant-general, the government financial system -- they also make an audit report on us. They tell us what mistakes we make. Also, being under the Prime Minister's Department, we are subject to internal audits from the department.
I have adopted the policy of jabatan contoh (exemplary department). You tell people to do this, do that, so, you must do what you tell people to do. Otherwise, you have no credibility.
Are we done? I have another meeting on disciplinary action.
Question: Disciplinary action for whom?
Answer: My staff. Does that surprise you? We are all humans, you know.

The New Sunday Times, October 28, 2012
.
Biodata Tan Sri Ambrin bin Buang:

Ambrin bin Buang dilahirkan pada 24 Mac 1949 di Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur. Beliau mendapat mendapat Ijazah Sarjana Muda Ekonomi dari Universiti Malaya pada tahun 1971 dan kemudiannya mendapat ijazah  Sarjana Perniagaan Antarabangsa, Universiti South Carolina, Amerika Syarikat pada tahun 1981.

Beliau memulakan kerjaya sebagai pegawai Perkhidmatan Awam (PTD) pada tahun 1971 sehingga 1979 di Kementerian Perdagangan dan Perindustrian (MITI) sebagai Penolong Setiausaha, Bahagian Pentadbiran dan Kewangan; Penolong Pengarah, Bahagian Perdagangan Antarabangsa, Setiausaha Sulit Kepada Menteri; dan Timbalan Pengarah, Bahagian Perindustrian.


Sepulangnya dari program Sarjana beliau kembali ke MITI untuk menjawat jawatan  Timbalan Pengarah Bahagian Perusahaan Kecil (1981-1982),  Pengarah Pemasaran, Lembaga Perindustrian Kayu Malaysia (LPKM) (1982-1987); seterusnya bertukar ke INTAN sebagai Timbalan Ketua Pengarah (1987-1991), kemudian sebagai Ketua Pusat Pentadbiran Ekonomi Dan Dasar Awam

Timbalan Pengarah (Pengurusan).

Pada tahun 1992-1995 beliau ditugaskan di Kedutaan Besar Malaysia Di Tokyo sebagai Menteri Kedutaan; 1995-1999  dipinjamkan sebagai Pengurus Besar Kanan di  KL International Airport Berhad; 1999-2001 dilantik sebagai Setia Usaha Kerajaan Negeri Selangor; dan dari Okt 2001 - Feb 2006 dilantik menjadi Ketua Setiausaha Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia.

Beliau telah dilantik menjadi Ketua Audit Negara mulai Feb 2006 sehingga sekarang.  Beliau juga dilantik menjadi salah seorang dari Ahli Dewan DiRaja Selangor.

Antara pingat dan darjah kebesaran yang diterima ialah Kesatria Mangku Negara (K.M.N.)- 1990; 

Darjah Paduka Mahkota Selangor (D.P.M.S) - 2000; Panglima Setia Mahkota (P.S.M) dan Dato’ Setia Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah (S.S.I.S) - 2005.