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The buck stops here

Lately we’ve been getting a lot of flak from a disgruntled blogger who writes for MalaysianWireless alleging that SoyaCincau.com is linked to and is being biased towards YTL Communications.

Not content with attacks on SoyaCincau.com, Kugan Kathegesen – blogger and owner of MalaysianWireless – started launching personal attacks on one of our writers (who is also the co-founder of this website) accusing him being engaged in industry espionage for YTL Communications.

The articles concerning these allegations can be found here and here.

We take these accusations very seriously and would like to make it absolutely clear that Kugan’s accusation that SoyaCincau.com and YTL Communications are in collaboration with one another is completely false and is based on nothing but speculation.

YTL Communications has never engaged SoyaCincau.com for any advertisements, advertorials or editorials, nor has SoyaCincau.com approached YTL Communications for any placement of ads on our website.

In the telco circles, Kugan has gained a notorious reputation for being a petulant and perpetually whining blogger who will throw a hissy fit on the most trivial of matters.

Because of this, many see Kugan as a person with no credibility. His blog is seen as irrelevant, filled with garbage that’s a shoddy mishmash of copy-paste posts which offer readers no real value or insights. Those who read MalaysianWireless will know that Kugan thrives on negativity.

And it is precisely for these reasons that we, like many others, have completely ignored MalaysianWireless and given the blog, and its writer, a permanent place in the blogosphere hall of shame.

While Kugan has launched numerous attacks on SoyaCincau.com and our writers, we have made a very conscious decision to ignore his allegations as they were all based on lies and half-truths. But when the lies got more and more outrageous and the attacks got more and more personal, we feel that we must put a stop to Kugan’s nefarious agendas and put him in his place.

But this post is not about Kugan or his blog.

This post is about the people behind SoyaCincau.com and about explaining the real situation to our readers based on truths and facts so that they can make their own conclusions.

As much as it is a necessity for us to remain anonymous (to protect the identities and careers of the people behind SoyaCincau.com and to remain independent irrespective of who we work for), the need to always present the facts and stay true to our principles is more important than anything else.

It is because of this, we have made the decision to reveal Amin Ashaari, co-founder of SoyaCincau.com – the person who is being subjected to multiple personal attacks from Kugan – to eliminate any room for further unfounded speculations and lies.

By agreeing to reveal himself, Amin and the co-founders of SoyaCincau.com are well-aware of the risks that he is bringing to the future of SoyaCincau.com but as we put presenting facts above everything else, the benefits of what we have to say here far outweighs the risks.

To the readers of SoyaCincau.com, we reveal to you co-founder of SoyaCincau.com, Amin Ashaari.

Facts about Amin Ashaari

  • Amin Ashaari started his career in telecommunications in 2007 at U Mobile in corporate communications. After U Mobile, Amin joined the corporate communications department at P1 in 2009. After P1, Amin joined PR agency, SWOT Communications in 2010 to lead the YTL Communications account
  • U Mobile, P1, YTL Communications, SWOT Communications along with a few other mobile operators, journalists and agencies are aware of Amin’s involvement in SoyaCincau.com yet still invite him to media events for coverage
  • Amin is not an industry spy for YTL Communications as accused by Kugan. Amin has never divulged any privileged information about other operators to YTL Communication nor has YTL requested any privileged information about other operators from him
  • To ensure articles about YTL Communications on SoyaCincau.com aren’t biased, Amin has never written any articles about YTL Communications for SoyaCincau.com
  • YTL has never sponsored or commissioned SoyaCincau.com to conduct any road tests or reviews of its network. All road tests done by SoyaCincau.com are self-funded by the authors themselves
  • Amin wasn’t fired from P1,he chose to leave the company to pursue other opportunities

And here are the facts about SoyaCincau.com:

  • SoyaCincau was founded in mid-2008 by two friends who shared a passion about mobile tech and gadgets. SoyaCincau.com was created as a platform for the two friends to share their experiences with like minded readers
  • At that time, we were working in U Mobile and felt that the anonymity was necessary to allow us to be independent in our writing and opinions irrespective of who we worked for. The anonymity was to protect our identities, not to disclaim responsibility from what we wrote
  • From the get go, it was never our intention to garner fame or fortune, the name was chosen because it was easy to remember, unique and represented our irreverent (read: cheeky) personalities
  • SoyaCincau.com is 100% self-funded. No mobile operator or device manufacturer has ever directly advertised with us. Our only form of income is through the minimum Google ad placements carefully placed to avoid distracting readers. This money earned from Google ads is used for domain and hosting expenses. We pay for all our mobile accounts (mobile broadband and telephony)
  • Where possible, we purchase our own devices (HTC Legend, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, BlackBerry Torch, iPad 2, SmartCover, D-Link DIR-457). Test devices that we receive were not given to us but loaned for a certain period and duly returned

Rebuttal to Kugan’s allegations and lies:
Now that we’ve gotten all that out of the way, we would like to highlight some of the many but pertinent discrepancies that Kugan has put forth in his erroneous postings.

Kugan claims that we are biased because of our links to numerous mobile operators telco. The Malaysian mobile industry is a small space and our relations within the industry are unavoidable but this has never influenced our writing nor has it detracted us from presenting the facts at all times. Those who know us understand this and respect us for this. Presenting the facts is our prime motivator and the reason why we’ve been well received.

Anyone who spends time reading SoyaCincau.com will know that we have always called a spade a spade as far as mobile operators are concerned. This includes YTL Communications. One only needs to go through our archives see how we’ve commented on both the positive and negative aspects of the operator.

We place strong emphasis on presenting facts and grounding our opinions on careful and meticulous research. We do not impose our opinions on our readers. Our opinions are based on our observations of facts that we’ve gathered from what we know.

SoyaCincau.com readers are free to disagree and criticise our work. They can comment on our site without restrictions (except for racist, sexist and comments touching on sensitive issues like religion and sexuality). In addition, comments on our site do not require prior approval. We also never delete comments (except for the reasons stated earlier).

Kugan claims that we have a grudge against P1, Amin’s former employer. This is not true. We form our opinions about P1 based on facts we’ve gathered and our own first-hand experience using the service. When making comparisons, we try to be as subjective as we can.

We don’t find any satisfaction in backbiting any operators either. If anything, we want P1 to succeed and improve its services so that Malaysians have a choice and there’s healthy competition in the country. There is no point to strive for a one telco environment because no one will benefit from that.

In fact, we cover more news about P1 than most mobile tech site in the country.

We have come to understand and accept that in life, you can’t please everyone every time, and we’re perfectly fine with that. We respect that our readers are analytical enough to derive their own conclusions based on what we write and we’re more than happy to have an open discussion with our readers because we learn so much from what the people have to say.

But in Kugan’s case, we’ll make the exception. The real motivation Kugan’s baseless attacks and allegations on SoyaCincau.com and Amin are a mystery to us and frankly, we don’t really care.

By revealing Amin as our co-founder we risk being shunned by telcos and other PR agencies. The risk of not being invited for events is very real for us now but this will not stop us from always trying to bring the latest news to you.

The most is important thing is that we’ve come clean to our readers and presented you the facts. It is entirely up to you to come to your own conclusions.

Either way, we will always thank you for dropping by. As always, we welcome your comments and thoughts. Let us know what you think.