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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

CHAPTER 2: MULTIMEDIA CITY

In 1994, Tengku Farith Rithdaudeen was asked to join Road Builder, a listed construction company that his father had just bought into. He was executive chairman of the company. Tengku Farith feels uncomfortable with that because everyone will see that he is a son’s of a chairman at the Road Builder. Besides I wasn’t sure whether leaving CIMB would be the right thing to do as he used to be there for a long time.
Then, his brother in law Shahrir Roose advise him to list down all his weaknesses and show it to his prospective boss, Mr. Chua Hock Chin. To his surprise, Mr. Chua Hock Chin, who are also an executive vice chairman and cofounder of the company impressed with Tengku Farith action which considered as a mature person to reveal his weaknesses.
Tengku Farith was given the position as business development manager. He did big projects including Kuantan Port and Bes Raya. But, the Road Builder has its rival, DRB Hicom in competing to get project at Kuantan port. After discussing with EPU (Economic Planning Unit), DRB Hicom got the Kemaman project while Road Builder got the Kuantan Project. In 1995, he was approached by Syed Jalaludin of UPM a project which is not necessarily agricultural basis. Again, the fact that good relationship led to business opportunity came to test when he had to get his cousin who worked in MIMOS involved.
Road Builder decided to build a cluster of research centers, and while doing so, they met a lot of important persons including Ariff Nun of MDC who was quite hilarious, and Mohamad Awang Lah of CEO Jaring which was opposite to Ariff Nun.
The idea of setting up Multimedia City did not go smoothly because EPU not giving an approval. This is because it involved university land and they don’t think this project would be great benefit to country. Tengku Farith and his team wrote to prime minister and attach a lot of supporting document. After read all document, Dr. Mahathir not have objection but unfortunately, the strong objection come from the late Othman Yeop Abdullah who was MDC chairman at the time. He thought that this project would steal the thunder away from Cyberjaya. Year 1997 was a Asian economic crisis and the big project like Multimedia City would be out of question anyway

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