So where does that leave Luke Preece and TBI as this company drags itself wearily into 2016, with an 82-year old self-aggrandizing egoist, Ning Anhar, at the helm? The short answer appears to be that Luke Preece’s crimes have largely caught up with him and he has paid a heavy price. The man who once lorded his high status over every link in the TBI chain, including the useless franchise schools, is now rarely seen at the main group schools in Bandung and Jakarta. He has his ‘consolation prize’, which is running a single school. But that’s what he was doing a decade or more ago at TBI Dago. Running a single TBI school was definitely not his ambition. Back in 2010, he was frequently heard to boast that he would one day replace Mariam as TBI Director. In short, his sorry history of mismanagement and pathological lying have finally caught up with him, and he has been awarded a booby prize. Let’s compare this with his much greater scope and involvement 5 years ago.
Back in 2011, this professional trouble-maker was getting involved in every single dispute at every school, including farcical debates about whether his mates could claim laundry expenses and contract-completion bonuses for contracts they broke. In truth, of course, he was creating problem for his rivals within the company, encouraging certain teachers to make ridiculous and unfair claims that other teachers didn’t get and then using the inevitable discord as ‘proof’ that the school manager was incompetent.
He was the true culprit in the majority of TBI’s woes but he was a talented scapegoater, who loved to speak ‘off the record’ while smearing and defaming others, and even used his self-confessed mistress, Lilies Agustin, to control the TBI email system. Potentially incriminating emails were often erased from the system by her after Luke insisted this woman, the Head of Marketing, should for some obscure reason also control the email system. In short, his finger was once in every pie, from monitoring the entire email system to taking sides in petty disputes over laundry claims and teaching schedules, using it all as grist for his pathological campaign to drive his rivals out of the company.
Now his involvement is much more limited. His dull, soulless zombie eyes are seldom seen in TBI’s biggest schools, scanning the room in search of potential victims. He is now very much ‘out of the loop’ at the biggest schools on Java, and people report going months at a time without seeing him. It is whispered among Indonesians that he has been ordered to stay clear. On the other hand, he still has some involvement with recruitment of Native Speaker teachers, as does his sidekick Scott Martin, the Igor of this Frankenstein’s castle. We have heard reports that Martin was trying to recruit for TBI schools in 2015 and he was quite open about their illegal visa scams during the interview process, merely offering the weak justification that “everyone else is doing it too”.
That brings us up to the present day. But I have left out all mention of one important factor- TBI’s increasingly dismal student numbers and financial performance, which Preece deserves to shoulder much of the blame for. In our next update, we will focus on TBI’s dismal finances and ask where the company is heading.