Thursday, November 30, 2006

Politics in Summit Hotel Subang USJ

The Survivor Game

The Human Resource Manager PuanM has resigned barely a year after joining the hotel.

Her two asisstants also walked out on the hotel.

PuanM had been one of (resident manager) RS's strong supporters in the hotel since he joined early this year.

According to sources, RS was involved in"engineering" a very ugly political storm in the hotel which resulted in his General Manager calling it quits early this year. Being next in charge, he harrassed and pressed other hotel staff which led to the resignations of heads of departments in the front office, sales and marketing, F&B and banqueting. He could not have been able to do all that without PuanM's support.

To be fair, RS may not have done all that on his own initiative. Nobody, least of all an intelligent educated career person - I presume RS is one - wants to join a company and start politicking with all his colleagues the next day. People generally just want a job and hope to do well in it to progress to somewhere else.

He had the mandate from Summit Hotel & Meda Inc Bhd's owner Group Managing Director Kenneth Teoh to do all the backstabbing.

Kenneth Teoh keeps coming up with such purges all the time. Before this, he had done the same thing to his right-hand man, an executive director RChung. RChung, I heard from people, is a very nice man who was much respected by his hotel staff. RChung was responsible for setting up the hotel operation from scratch and running it despite insufficient financial support from Meda Inc Bhd (Kenneth Teoh). Some suppliers who had delivered goods to the hotel under RChung's time has still not been paid today (more than 5 years). Same for those suppliers who provided their goods and services under the recent General Manager HTC. Kenneth Teoh knows nothing about running a hotel, except to hire managers and staff at lower cost and to hutang the suppliers until either the suppliers take him to court or give up.

Back to PuanM.

The reason why her two assistants quit immediately must be due to their anger at RS. They must have felt "played out". PuanM had apparently a good working relationship with RS otherwise she wouldn't have lasted one year. So what happened?

There's a third party.

Shortly after RS came on board, Meda Inc Bhd hired a new Financial Controller MC, formerly from a Avillon hotel.

MC had started off quite well with RS. They were new, and Kenneth Teoh had pitted them against the older team of people in Summit Hotel USJ. The older team quit, so it's MC+RS in charge of the show.

But in recent times, MC and RS had sharp disagreements in the offices. MC had now become the blue eye boy of Kenneth Teoh and he is slowly moving away from his alliance with RS. Anybody who can tell Kenneth Teoh that he can save RM9.50 sen for the company is immediately Kenneth Teoh's godson. Nothing wrong with that, but it becomes a major problem when you cut the wrong expenses that ultimately affect business profits. Especially for the hotel business.

Kenneth Teoh knows nothing about what will hurt the hotel's business. For example, his typical style of management is to hire a new manager and then give instructions to this manager to jaga the superior. When your boss does that, he is undermining your authority to manage and decide what's good for the company. Your new subordinate will have no respect for you, and will try very hard to please Kenneth Teoh, so he spends more time watching you rather than doing the job that he is hired to do. Then Kenneth Teoh spends all his time listening to all that distorted dirty laundry! How can the hotel manager or dept head do what's good for the hotel if he has to jaga blakang all the time? So, the politics of "Survivor " becomes prevalent in the office. No real work gets done, just a lot of wayang and finger-pointing games.

The Summit Hotel Subang USJ is Meda Inc Bhd's cash cow and Kenneth Teoh is cutting the quality of the cowfeed, thus affecting the quality of milk that comes from mummy lembu. The hotel operation contributes about RM4 to RM6 million of profits to Meda Inc Bhd. The hotel transfers out half a million ringgit to support Meda Inc Bhd every month! (And after that, nobody knows where the money goes to....)

So, now MC is Kenneth Teoh's right hand man. RS will have to re-align his loyalty or he will become another casualty soon. (This is already expected. Kenneth Teoh was only using RS to do his dirty work which he himself did not have the guts to do. Now that the job is done, Kenneth Teoh does not need RS anymore! Just look at the historical record.)

So, recently, PuanM herself became the subject of accusations and allegations. (I may want to write about this tactic that Meda Inc Bhd frequently use in another post). As far as I know, there were no conclusive evidence. The source of such allegations is very questionable. But RS has to cut her loose or he'll go down with her. So, it's PuanM's turn to go.

Will RS be next? I heard he is no longer useful to Kenneth Teoh.

When will it be MC's turn? He is still the flavour of the month - for now.

MC will probably have a slightly longer shelf life. Anyway, he is 60+ while Kenneth Teoh is 40+. You angkat the boss you survive longer. Some people close to the situation give him 2 more years maximum. Kenneth Teoh doesn't like to keep increasing your pay every year. When you quit, he can happily hire another executive at a lower starting price. But all he gets are politically-correct & cheaper employees who are good at politics but have no time left for good work.

Whoever is next, it's up to the one-man Tribal Council, Kenneth Teoh. It does not matter how well you do your job, but how well you play his game.

Even then, he himself may not survive for long.

Anyway, it's not worth it. You do according to Kenneth Teoh's wishes, you end up making so many enemies outside the hotel, and a bad reputation for yourself. There's no million dollar prize at the end of the show for you.

For more on MEDA INC BHD and THE SUMMIT HOTEL, please go here -->

Thanks to Mo Jo for his Survivor artwork ^5

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