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Thread: Politics: Corruption in BN & PR - A Historical Perspective - RPK

   
   
       
  1. #11
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  2. #12
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    EPISODE 11: A Tale of Two Tan Sris

    THE CORRIDORS OF POWER



    Wednesday, 22 February 2012 Super Admin




    The PAS leaders in Selangor know about this but they do not dare raise the matter for the sake of Pakatan Rakyat solidarity. With their internal party problems and Hassan Ali barking like a dog in heat, they can ill-afford another controversy. But they are quietly lobbying in the background for PKR to drop Khalid in the next election lest this matter becomes an election issue.

    THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
    Raja Petra Kamarudin

    Azmin Ali is up in arms. He is grumbling that Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim is bypassing the ‘correct channels’ in making decisions. He means, of course, that the ‘correct channel’ is Anwar Ibrahim, the Economic Advisor of Selangor who himself has complained that most times he is kept in the dark about what is going on in Selangor.

    I can believe this because this was exactly what Anwar told me when we met in London in 2010. In fact, Anwar was even more blunt in his criticism of the Menteri Besar. He said that Khalid was stubborn and had a huge ego and would not ‘listen to advice’. My retort was: you created the monster so why can’t you just un-create what you created? (In fact, I wrote about this before).

    Anyway, there appears to be a showdown between Azmin and Khalid looming over the horizon -- reminiscent of a similar showdown cum power struggle and turf war that he had with Ezam Mohd Noor, which resulted in the latter leaving PKR in a huff to join Umno.

    Whisperings are spreading through the corridors of power of the Selangor State Secretariat. And what is being whispered is that Tan Sri Lim Kim Hong is a man in a hurry. He is not sure whether Pakatan Rakyat will still be in power in Selangor come Christmas Day. So he wants to seal all his deals before then.
    France had its ‘Tale of Two Cities’, which tore France apart. Selangor has its ‘Tale of Two Tan Sris’. And this is also threatening to tear Selangor apart.
    People have been talking about the relationship between Tan Sri Lim Kim Hong and Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim for some time now. It is not a secret that their relationship goes back a long time to 1994 when Khalid first picked up his stake in Guthrie.

    Khalid initially bought 5% of Guthrie for RM125 million, according to The Asian Wall Street Journal on 17 June 1994 (read the news item below). To partly fund this purchase, Khalid borrowed about RM66 million from Bank Islam. Bank Islam later sued Khalid for recovery of the unpaid loan.

    The question being asked is: where did Khalid get the difference from? According to Azmin, Lim Kim Hong was the person who funded Khalid and now, as payback time, Lim is being given lucrative jobs in Selangor.

    These jobs run into the billions and Azmin is pissed big time. Well, we have Lim Kang Hoo doing multi-billion jobs in the Federal Territory with the backing of the Federal Territory Minister, Raja Nong Chik (READ MORE HERE: http://malaysia-today.net/mtcolumns/...nong-chik-saga). And then we have Lim Kim Hong doing the same in neighbouring Selangor with the backing of Khalid Ibrahim (READ ALL THE REPORTS BELOW).

    The PAS leaders in Selangor know about this but they do not dare raise the matter for the sake of Pakatan Rakyat solidarity. With their internal party problems and Hassan Ali barking like a dog in heat, they can ill-afford another controversy. But they are quietly lobbying in the background for PKR to drop Khalid in the next election lest this matter becomes an election issue.

    As the Malays would say: Melayu berkuasa, Cina yang kaya. It is very nice being a Chinese, especially if your surname is Lim. Hmm..is that why Lim Goh Tong made it big? And wasn’t it another Malay politician, Tunku Abdul Rahman, who was backing that now dead Lim?
    Well, if you need to be born a Chinese just make sure you carry the surname Lim.

    ***************************************
    PNB Chief Moves to Guthrie With Lucrative Share Deal

    (The Asian Wall Street Journal, 17 June 1994) -- The chief executive of Malaysia’s huge national investment corporation will leave his post with a hefty golden handshake and the promise of more gains to come.

    Permodalan Nasional Bhd. said Thursday that Abdul Khalid Ibrahim will acquire up to 20% of its publicly listed subsidiary, Kumpulan Guthrie Bhd., when he leaves his post as PNB chief executive on July 1 to become Guthrie‘s deputy chairman and chief executive officer. Datuk Khalid will initially buy a 5% stake in Guthrie, or 50 million shares, for 125 million ringgit or 2.50 ringgit a share. He will also have a three-year option to buy an additional 15% of Guthrie at a price to be determined.

    Guthrie stock closed Thursday at 3.96 ringgit per share, up 24 sen. That means Datuk Khalid will enjoy an immediate windfall, on paper, of about 73 million ringgit. But Datuk Khalid said at a press conference that he intends to hold his Guthrie stake as a long-term investment, and plans to expand the company. “PNB wants Guthrie to be a corporation that could challenge . . . other multinationals in Malaysia and elsewhere,” he said.

    Guthrie, one of Malaysia’s biggest plantation concerns, last year made a pre-tax profit of 101.4 million ringgit on revenue of 1.05 billion ringgit. The company currently is 90% owned by PNB, a government-created investment holding company that manages a portfolio valued at about 20 billion ringgit, the bulk of it in the form of unit trusts owned by more than three million Malaysians.

    Datuk Khalid will be replaced at PNB by Mohamed Hilmey Mohamed Taib, a 41-year-old former banker and accountant who is currently PNB’s deputy chief executive.

    Datuk Khalid, a 47-year-old former university lecturer and merchant banker, joined PNB in 1978 and helped direct the then-fledgling investment company’s growth into a mammoth stock-holding concern for Malaysia’s “bumiputra,” or indigenous, citizens. He also helped create a unit trust scheme whereby bumiputras, mainly ethnic Malays, can purchase shares in PNB’s underlying stock portfolio and reap hefty dividends. PNB’s after-tax profit rose 17.5% in 1993 to 736.9 million ringgit.

    PNB made an international splash in 1981, when it wrested control of Guthrie from the company’s British shareholders through a one-billion-ringgit “dawn raid” on the London Stock Exchange. PNB’s other long-term investments include stakes in Malaysian Mining Corp. Bhd. and UMW Holdings Bhd.

    Although Datuk Khalid‘s shift to Guthrie was expected, some Malaysian securities analysts were surprised at the heavily discounted 2.50 ringgit price for Guthrie shares that PNB offered its departing chief. When PNB floated 10% of Guthrie on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange in 1989, the company pledged to offer an additional 20% of Guthrie‘s equity to the public. The prospective sale to Datuk Khalid fulfills that promise, but it means PNB is passing up the chance to seek a higher price for Guthrie stock from other bidders or the public.

    “It really looks like PNB is paying (Datuk Khalid) off,” says one securities research manager, who believes Guthrie stock would sell readily. “They’re forgoing a higher price on the market by offering such a discount.”

    Datuk Khalid says he regards the arrangement “not as a monetary reward, but as an opportunity because the risk is being taken by me.” He adds that he is financing the acquisition largely through bank borrowings secured by the Guthrie shares. “I’ve not taken this much liability in my career,” he says. “None of my family assets could cover this liability.”

    The PNB chief adds that the arrangement has the support of PNB chairman Ismail Mohamed Ali, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim. Dr. Mahathir and Datuk Anwar head Yayasan Pelaburan Bumiputra, a government-backed foundation that is PNB’s ultimate holding company.

    Datuk Khalid says he decided to leave his PNB post for the challenge of owning and running a large company. “A portfolio manager is very different from an operational manager,” he says, though he declines to outline his plans for Guthrie. The company’s earnings have grown only slowly in recent years and Guthrie has begun seeking ways to expand into fields such as property development.

    Mr. Hilmey, who replaces Datuk Khalid at PNB, has spent 13 years with the investment company, serving as assistant general manager of one of PNB’s unit trusts and general manager for finance before becoming deputy chief executive in 1990.


    New Straits Times, 25 April 1996

    ***************************************
    Khalid ordered to pay RM66.67 million to Bank Islam

    (Bernama, 21 August 2009) - Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim was ordered by the High Court here Friday to pay RM66.67 million to Bank Islam Malaysia for a loan he took to purchase Guthrie shares in 2001 when he was the company's chief executive officer.

    Justice Datuk Rohana Yusuf, who made the order in chambers, however, granted Khalid's application for an interim stay of execution pending a formal application on Sept 16.

    Khalid's counsel, Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, told reporters that Rohana allowed Bank Islam's application for a summary judgment on grounds that the case need not enter into a full trial as there were no triable issues.

    A summary judgment is a final decision by a judge which resolves a lawsuit in favour of one of the parties.

    A motion for summary judgment is made after discovery is completed but before the case goes to full trial.

    Malik Imtiaz said an appeal would be lodged with the Court of Appeal against Friday's outcome as he felt the matter should go before a full trial.
    He said he would file a proper stay application by next week.

    The court fixed Sept 16 to hear the formal stay application and to mention Khalid's suit against Bank Islam.

    The bank counter-sued Khalid on May 24, 2007, claiming that Khalid had breached its contract in the Al Bai-Bithaman Ajil (BBA) loan agreement in the purchase of Guthrie shares.

    Khalid initiated a suit against the bank on May 18, 2007, seeking damages and a declaration that there existed a collateral contract between him and bank with the said loan agreement dated April 30, 2001.

    He also wanted a declaration that the BBA facility, in isolation and without the collateral contract, is null and void and that Bank Islam had breached the collateral contract and the BBA facility.

    Khalid was not present in court while Bank Islam was represented by senior counsel Tommy Thomas.

    ****************************************
    Is Khalid Ibrahim in another favour-for-cash with Lim Kim Hong?



    (Another Brick in the Wall, 6 November 2009) - When Khalid was asked by reporters on his link with Lim Kim Hong written in this blog on June 9th, 2008, the above was his response.

    This blog has been in pursuit of the Selangor Menteri Besar, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim's past corruption trail since early 2007. The claim is that Khalid had a history of favour-for-cash arrangement with Lim Kim Hong.

    With Khalid currently under financial difficulty to repay the balance loan of RM66 million with Bank Islam, there is suspicion that he had done another favour-for-cash arrangement.

    This blog made its first revelation of the link between Khalid Ibrahim and Lim Kim Hong during the Ijok by-election. A set of questions for candidate Khalid Ibrahim was posted on April 26th, 2007. The questions were partly answered by the first expose made by Dato Desa Pachi at the campaign trail in the presence of Najib.

    In June 2008, another series of posting was made on the opening of Lim Kin Hong I Berhad's I-City.

    The first probe was on June 9th with a piece entitled Hubungan Rahsia Khalid Ibrahim dan Lim Kin Hong. That posting received much publicity with Rocky Bru's link to the posting here. Sinar Harian published in their Dari Blog ke Blog section.

    Reporters asked Khalid about the posting and he denied. It was reported by The Star, The Edge and Bernama. Comments to news report was posted on June 12th that day itself in Khalid Ibrahim Menjawab Blog ini.

    READ MORE HERE: http://anotherbrickinwall.blogspot.c...avour-for.html

    ****************************************
    Khalid wins appeal against Bank Islam case

    (Bernama, 3 March 2010) - Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim need not pay RM66.67 million to Bank Islam Malaysia (BIMB) as the Court of Appeal here today set aside the summary judgment obtained by the bank against him for failure to settle an Islamic loan facility that he took to buy shares.
    Justices Datuk Zainun Ali, Datuk Jeffrey Tan Kok Wha and Datuk Syed Ahmad Helmy Syed Ahmad unanimously allowed Abdul Khalid's appeal with costs.
    The case is sent back to the High Court as the quorum ruled that the issues in the case must be ventilated at full trial.

    In setting aside the summary judgment, Zainun said the court was of the view that under Islamic banking principles, opinion from Islamic jurists on the precepts of Islam on the legality of the transaction, was required.
    There are two suits filed relating to the matter, one by Abdul Khalid against the bank and the second is the bank's counter-suit against Abdul Khalid.
    On Aug 21 last year, the Kuala Lumpur High Court, granted the bank's application to enter summary judgment against Abdul Khalid and ordered him to pay RM66.67 million.

    READ MORE HERE: http://archive.freemalaysiatoday.com...ank-islam-case
    *****************************************


    I-Berhad plans mixed REIT

    (NST, 11 March 2011) -- I-BERHAD, an integrated ICT developer, aims to launch a mixed real estate investment trust (REIT) worth more than RM1 billion in four to five years.

    The idea is to unlock the value of investments at i-City, the company's 29ha knowledge and tourism hub in Shah Alam, Selangor.

    I-Berhad chief executive officer Datuk Eu Hong Chew said the REIT will comprise data centres, an office tower, hotel, mall and carpark block.

    "We are growing our property portfolio. When we have developed 30 to 40 per cent of i-City, we will launch the REIT," Lee told Business Times recently.
    I-City, the first private initiative to be awarded the Malaysian Super Corridor Cybercentre status, is currently 20 per cent developed. The project started in 2005.

    The company has so far built cybercentre office suites, data-centres and innovation centre with a combined 500,000 sq ft of space.

    Al Rajhi Banking Group owns 200,000 sq ft of the space and the rest have been leased to multi national firms and small- and medium-sized enterprises.
    Lee said I-Berhad will double the existing 1,000-bay carpark block within the next two years to enhance its value.

    It has RM50 million in cash to fund the construction of new properties for the next three years.

    Lee added that the company will not borrow from banks at this point. It plans to plough back future profits for its investments in i-City.

    The company, helm by its executive chairman Tan Sri Lim Kim Hong, aims to be profitable in fiscal 2011 with expected growth in all its three divisions - property development, property investment and tourism.

    For the nine months ended September 30 2010, I-Berhad posted a net loss of RM1.73 million on revenues of RM6.4 million.

    State-owned investment fund Permodalan Nasional Bhd holds 20 per cent of I-Berhad.

    ****************************************
    Selangor to clean up Klang River

    (The Star, 20 March 2010) -- The Klang River rehabilitation project, an initiative under Selangor’s economic stimulus package, offers many opportunities including new commercial, tourism and property development ventures.

    According to project masterplanner DPZ Asia Sdn Bhd principal Kamal Zaharin, there are various components in the project – river cleaning, new source of drinking water, environmental protection, flood mitigation, commercial, tourism and land development activities.

    The state government has gazetted the riverbank and no development can take place without its permission.

    “The draft master plan for the project is scheduled to be ready before the end of the month,” Kamal said.

    One of the companies appointed to undertake the project is Wessex Water I-Bhd Consortium, a 50:50 joint venture between Wessex Water, a UK-based water and sewerage treatment company owned by YTL Corp Bhd, and I-Bhd.

    Wessex Water managing director Gareth Jones said the state government’s plan to rehabilitate and clean up the Klang River was very visionary because “in any country, a river is the people’s lifeline.”

    “The status of the Klang River now lies between critical and bad. There is a lot of trash that needs to be weeded out but the river can be saved and improved,” he said, adding that the company would start work next year.

    Jones said various parts of the country were now suffering from water shortage and the cleaned water would come in handy.

    “We are looking at tapping the water at the lower end of the middle stretch of the Klang River between Puchong and Shah Alam that is not affected by sea water. The physio-chemical treatment process will leave no chemical residue and the process of improving the water quality so it can be drunk is very economical and commercially viable,” he told StarBiz.

    On its development potential, I-Bhd CEO Eu Hong Chew said: “We expect more new developments and redevelopment projects along the river bank going forward.”

    Eu said the project would enhance the asset value of the riverfront land and open a new growth corridor for Selangor.

    “The property fraternity should be excited about the prospects ahead as the river rehabilitation project will open new development options within established municipalities in Selangor,” he added.

    For a start, I-Bhd’s i-City project which has some riverfront development (along Rasau River that flows into Klang River) can look forward to some value enhancement when the river water is cleaned.

    The 72-acre project, with a gross development value of RM2bil, is already 20% completed. It will take a further five to eight years to complete.

    Last Saturday, Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim announced that four companies – Wessex Water I-Bhd Consortium, TSS-Mako Engineering Sdn Bhd, GJA Engineering and Construction and DPZ Asia Sdn Bhd – had been appointed to carry out the river rehabilitation project.

    Apart from DPZ Asia, which was appointed by Khalid, the three were appointed from among 37 companies that had submitted their proposals last October after the project was advertised by the state government.

    TSS-Mako combines local talents with three of South Korea’s biggest engineering firms while GJA Engineering is a 100% bumiputra-owned company.

    Khalid said the entire project would take 15 years and was expected to attract some RM50bil worth of investments to clean, rehabilitate and develop the river.
    Phase one comprising the building of a RM1bil water treatment plant and development along the riverbank, also estimated at RM1bil, will take two to three years.

    The 120km river stretches from Klang to Shah Alam, Subang Jaya, Petaling Jaya, Kuala Lumpur and Ampang Jaya.

    *****************************************
    DPZ only involved in planning of Klang River project

    (Bernama, 14 April 2010) -- Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim today clarified that DPZ Asia Sdn Bhd was not directly involved in rehabilitation and cleaning up of the Klang River project.

    "DPZ do not carry out the project but rather involved in providing advise and planning," he said when answering a question by Amirudin Shari (PKR-Batu Caves) who wanted to know the status of the company's appointment in the project.

    Abdul Khalid said DPZ was picked because it was managed by a local who had the expertise in rural and city town planning and had worked as a town planner in Florida, United States.

    He said the Malaysian, through his company had successfully carried out a number of project planning works in United States, China, New Zealand and Australia.

    Abdul Khalid said it was also part of his efforts to bring back the expertise of an international consultant to the country for a small cost and contribute for the development of the country.

    Yesterday, acting opposition leader Datuk Mohamad Satim Diman (BN-Seri Serdang) had wanted the Menteri Besar to clarify the appointment of DPZ Asia, which was done without an open tender.

    As for the appointment of three other companies through a tender exercise, Abdul Khalid said GJA Engineering & Construction Sdn Bhd was a professional Bumiputera company involved in the development along rivers.

    The second company, TSS Mako Engineering Sdn Bhd is a consortium made up of local companies and a number of companies from south Korea that have vast knowledge in rehabilitation and cleaning of rivers in South Korea.

    He added that Wessex Water I Bhd Consortium was a joint venture between Wessex Water company which has expertise in environment like managing the Thames in London and I-Bhd, a developer of high technology cities like the I-City.

    ************************************



    I-Bhd’s decision to leverage on digital technology has borne fruit in the form of i-City

    (The Star, 7 January 2012) -- When I-Bhd first ventured into property development about six years ago, the company decided to leverage on its digital technology prowess to undertake the construction of the first digital city in the country, i-City in Section 7, Shah Alam.

    That decision has proved to be a worthwhile proposition.

    The state-of-the-art information and communications technology (ICT) urban centre is located on a freehold plot along the Federal Highway Route II fronting the Sungai Rasau toll plaza.

    According to I-Bhd executive chairman Tan Sri Lim Kim Hong, the strategy has helped the group to establish itself as a unique property developer with a unique development that I-Berhad can be proud of.

    “i-City is today one of the leading technology cities in the country – from being the first to provide fibre to the unit to having the whole 72-acres of development as a Cisco network.

    “Being a MSC Cybercity with complete information communication technology (ICT) infrastructure, the development is provided with dual source power supply, multi-telco environment and super broadband accessibility of 200mbps,” Lim relates to StarBizWeek in an interview.

    Chief executive officer Datuk Eu Hong Chew says i-City is the first gated and guarded mixed development that has been accorded the status as an International Park in Shah Alam.

    The 10-year development will feature some 12 million sq ft of gross lettable area (GLA) for a total gross development value (GDV) of RM4.5bil.

    Of this, about 35% will comprise residences, and the balance will be offices, commercial and retail space, hotel and service apartments, a convention complex, an intelligent school and a technology hub.

    Since construction took off in 2007, some 500,000 sq ft or 366 offices suites as well as a 70,000 sq ft Tier 4 data centre have been completed.

    Eu says Al-Rajhi Bank (Malaysia) had in 2009 invested RM95mil to purchase 250,000 sq ft of the office suites for investment purposes, adding that another institutional investor is expected to buy up the balance 50% of the office suites in the next three months.

    He adds that i-City is promoting a cosmopolitan lifestyle living in line with the Selangor state government’s initiative last July of according i-City an international community.

    “With this status, the plot ratio for the development has been raised to five times from three times previously which raises its GLA to 12 million sq ft from 7.5 million sq ft.

    “We are taking advantage of this higher plot ratio to increase the residential component to 35% of the GLA from 5% previously. This means some 3 million sq ft will be the residential component,” Eu says.

    The first residential project in i-City will be i-Residence comprising a 33-storey block of 346 service residences and an adjacent double-storey block of 20 duplex suites.

    I-Bhd director Monica Ong says the service residences with built-up from 715 sq ft to 1358 sq ft are priced in the region of RM450 per sq ft, while the duplex suites of up to 3,500 sq ft will be at around RM550 per sq ft. They will be fitted with air conditioners, water heating system and kitchen appliances.

    “The i-Residence design is also in line with our master planner Jon Jerde’s concept of having luscious we well as pedestrian friendly environment,” adds Ong.



    Lim Boon Siong posing with a model of the RM2bil I-City ICT-based commercial development in Shah Alam

    Intelligent city

    Being part of the MSC Cybercity, the residences get to enjoy dual source power supply, a multi-telco environment and super broadband accessibility of 200mbps.

    According to Eu, since its inception, i-City has what it takes to become a success story.

    “Its location within the vibrant city of Shah Alam has opened up the opportunity for I-Berhad to get the full support of the state government, which has formed the i-City Selangor Steering Committee to facilitate its development,” he explains.

    Being the maiden private sector-led ICT urban centre development in the country, the project has been designated as Selangor’s International City by the state government.

    The state government will build a flyover from the Sungai Rasau toll plaza along Federal Highway cutting into Section 7 Shah Alam to i-City which is slated to be ready in 2013.

    “This interchange plans include providing an exclusive access to i-Residence as well as from both KL and Klang,” explains Ong.

    Under the light rail transit (LRT) blueprint, the extension of the LRT system from Kelana Jaya to Klang will also serve i-City.

    Leveraging on these advantages, Eu says it will not be far fetched for i-City to realise its goal as a vibrant ICT urban centre where “work, play and entertainment come together.”

    “i-City’s business plan involves not only developing properties for sale as well as for long term investments, but also to build up its leisure business based on i-City’s vision of being both a knowledge hub as well as a tourism destination.

    “We started i-City with the MSC Malaysia Cybercentre development.

    “Then in December 2009, we opened ‘The City of Digital Lights’ as it’s first leisure component. This year, we are launching our first residential component,” adds Eu.

    Midas touch

    The other decision to engage renowned American architect Jon A. Jerde of the Jerde Partnership as the master planner for i-City has also given the project its “winning streak.” Jerde has brought his Midas touch of “place-making” to turn i-City into the city of digital lights and a tourism destination that has become quite a hit among Klang Valley folks.
    “We believe the relationship with The Jerde Partnership has resulted in the planning
    for the right products in line with the famous Jerde hallmark of place-making to make a positive impact here.

    “Over the years, Jerde has built a strong network of retailers, mall operators and investors. Its name alone has become a premium brand that sells,” Lim says.
    He says projects that bear the Jerde hallmark in the US include Universal Citywalk in Los Angeles, which has redefined the urban village as an intricate weave of uses and services, and the internationally acclaimed Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas, Nevada, that is now a dynamic destination for a new form of urban theatre.

    Jerde is also behind the iconic 4.2 million square feet Mall of America in Minnesota, the largest mall in the US, and one of the most vibrant shopping complexes in the world with 520 shops, theme parks and a university.

    In Asia, Jerde’s architectural landmarks include Canal City Hakata in Fukuoka Prefecture in Kyushu, Japan, and the famous Roppongi Hills in Tokyo. In Hong Kong, his signature can been seen in the Arcade @ Cyberport, an ICT-based residential, office and retail development.

    “The first leisure element in i-City, dubbed the City of Digital Lights with its 1 million LED lights is Jerde-inspired from the Fremont Street Experience. We just adapted the lightscape concept to be in-line with our digital technology approach and hence the LED lights,” comments Lim.

    Growth catalyst

    Eu says for the next phase of the company’s growth, I-Bhd will be leveraging on Lim’s business and entrepreneurial expertise to further add value to the development.

    The first step in this direction is the establishment of a strategic alliance between Everbright International of China and I-Bhd in December last year to co-develop 30 acres of land in i-City.

    He says the 30 acres represent all the undeveloped land in i-City and will ensure that the whole development can be completed by 2020.

    “The strategic alliance with Everbright International is made possible by Lim’s “guanxi” or special relationship that he has established with the various parties in China since venturing into China in 1984,” Eu says.

    He points out that the joint venture with Everbright International is an important milestone for I-Bhd as it will enable the company to continue with its strategy of “selling upon completion as well as to hold part of the property as long-term investments.”

    Furthermore, it will also enable I-Berhad to tap into China’s demand for investment of properties in Malaysia.

    With Everbright International holding 70% share, the Chinese counterpart will drive the joint venture and thus free I-Berhad to pursue other development activities.

    “For the next phase of i-City’s development, I-Berhad will be tapping into its branding expertise to brand it’s upcoming residential projects,” Eu adds.

    I-Berhad has a few niche residential property projects in the Klang Valley for launch these one to two years.

    The first residential project, i-Residence in i-City, is schedule for launch in March.

    The 33-storey i-Residence will be the third building block in i-City after the MSC Malaysia Cybercentre and the tourism component.

    The second will be a luxurious condominium project in Changkat Kia Peng, Kuala Lumpur.

    The slightly more than an acre land in the city’s Golden Triangle is set to mark I-Berhad’s move into the high-end residential market.

    The parcel was acquired by Lim about 20 years ago and is today a valuable prime land located within 5 minutes walking distance to KLCC. Also on the card is i-City South, a 7-acre development to the south of the current i-City site
    py

  3. #13
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    Links to Episodes 2, 3, 4:

    ‘KSSB accounting in disarray’

    Tarani Palani
    | February 21, 2012


    Lapses in book keeping coupled with a new 'top-up' system for buyers provides a breeding ground for corruption, says a former employee.




    PETALING JAYA: Kumpulan Semesta Sdn Bhd (KSSB), the Selangor state-owned company at the heart of a sand mining scandal, did not maintain its books properly, claimed an ex-employee.


    The whistleblower who refused to be identified also provided FMT with documents showing accounts poorly kept by KSSB or had inexplicable balances added on.


    He claimed that such cases had affected numerous companies. “It is not merely limited to not maintaining the books but a new “top-up” system that came into place in 2010-early 2011.


    “Under this new system, a purchaser cannot gain access to the sand mine unless he has paid up first. When he has “topped-up” his account, than he could take sand from the mine.


    “The problem is many of the accounts are in disarray…at the last-minute the purchaser gets a call demanding payment, failing which they cannot gain access to the sand.


    “If the accounts are not well-maintained, they can randomly demand money at anytime. Whether or not this money goes into to KSSB’s accounts is anyone’s guess,” he said.


    The whistleblower was an former employer with KSSB who was dismissed from his duties last September.


    When FMT contacted one the companies which had dealings with KSSB to double check, the accountant there was absolutely irritated by the top up system that was in place.


    “I have been chasing them for months now just to inquire about the outstanding balance in our accounts since last year. They said that I needed to produce slips.


    “So I got proof of payment and when I called them back, they said that they have to check with their banks as well. It’s been seven to eight months now,” she said.


    KSSB: No cases of account manipulation


    She added that KSSB would always make last minute calls for payments due to the top-up system.


    “They (KSSB) will always call at last minute after my (company’s) lorry drivers call and say they can’t enter the mine. What sort of attitude is this?


    “We don’t even know if they are keeping the accounts properly. We stopped taking sand for a couple of months. Since last month we started our own checklist,” she said.


    She said that even if KSSB was a new company, training must be provided to the staff in order for them to be more professional.
    “They are a state-government agency, surely they can do better than this,” she said.


    KSSB CEO, Wan Abdul Halim, however, rubbished allegations of possible corruption, saying that there were no cases of account manipulation.


    “I have not heard of cases of manipulation of accounts for personal gains. There may have been some confusion previously but that is not the situation now.


    There is no dispute as to how much balance there is in any company’s account as the accounts department oversees all accounts. There is only one source,” he told FMT.


    He also took the whistleblower to task, arguing that it will be unlikely for KSSB’s accounts to be audited if it was not kept well.
    It was reported that KSSB has been steadily increasing its revenue and profit margin.


    In 2008, KSSB raked in RM 8.17 million in revenue. In 2009, it took in RM 13.76 million. In 2010, it made RM 15.3 million and by May last year, the company had RM60 million in revenue.


    Also read:


    KSSB boss defends sand-mining ops
    py

  4. #14
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    EPISODE 12: Pak Lah was ousted because of 16th September

    THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

    Thursday, 23 February 2012 Super Admin
    Anwar Ibrahim, on September 18th, only hours before the UMNO meeting, urged the Prime Minister to call a special session of Parliament by September 23rd in order to hold a vote of no-confidence against the PM. Abdullah's detractors, led by UMNO VP Muhyiddin Yassin, asked Abdullah to step down so that UMNO can be under Najib's stronger leadership when it faces Anwar and the threat of a no-confidence vote after Parliament reconvenes. - US Embassy, KL

    THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
    Raja Petra Kamarudin

    The issue of 16th September 2008, the day when Pakatan Rakyat was supposed to have formed the new federal government after at least 30 Barisan Nasional Members of Parliament cross over to join the opposition ranks, is still clouded in intrigue.
    In Episodes 7 and 8 of this series of reports, Malaysia Today revealed how John Soh was supposed to fund the RM300 million take-over exercise. In short, the 30 BN MPs were supposed to be paid RM10 million each as an inducement for them to cross over.

    John Soh, however, refused to fork out the money seeing that the exercise was very risky since there was no guarantee they would cross over after receiving the money. Furthermore, Umno would have enough financial resources to counter-offer these 30 defectors a bigger sum of money and that would thwart the whole attempt.

    Nevertheless, while the 16th September exercise may have ended in a fiasco for the opposition, it actually worked in Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s favour. The ex-Prime Minister was able to use this as leverage to force Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (Pak Lah) into retirement, as what he had been relentlessly trying to do for two years since 2006.

    Anwar’s 16th September, which eventually was a non-event, was postponed to 1st October. Anwar was supposed to meet His Majesty the Agong to impress upon His Majesty that the opposition had the numbers. And although this may represent a narrow majority, once Pakatan Rakyat takes over they are confident that more BN MPs will cross over.

    Umno was not that confident that it might not happen. After all, anything is possible in politics. That was why they flew as many MPs as possible to Taiwan for an agricultural ‘study tour’. The main issue was Pak Lah -- at least that was what Dr Mahathir argued. Hence, to ensure that Anwar fails to get the 30 BN MPs that he needs, Pak Lah must be ousted and replaced with his 'stronger' Deputy, Najib.

    Meanwhile, Anwar already knew that 16th September was not going to happen. And he knew because the RM300 million was not forthcoming. John Soh made that point very clear. But Anwar still created the impression that it was going to happen as planned, maybe with just a few days or a couple of weeks delay.
    And that accelerated Pak Lah’s exit and ensured a regime change with Najib Tun Razak as the new Prime Minister and Dr Mahathir as the de facto Prime Minister.
    Maybe Pak Lah would still have been ousted, eventually, and Najib would have taken over, eventually. But the 16th September panic only made it happen earlier. And this was the gist of the Secret Report from the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur to Washington on 19th September 2008, as revealed by Wikileaks, which you can read below:

    Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi failed to quell dissent or gain consensus support for his 2010 transition plan during a very heated September 18th UMNO Supreme Council meeting, which featured calls for Abdullah to step down led by UMNO VP Muhyiddin Yassin. Following the meeting, Muhyiddin and other advocates of Abdullah's early exit reiterated their positions in public, while Abdullah and his camp appeared defensive.

    The Prime Minister hinted he could leave sooner than the 2010 handover, but affirmed that the decision on when to step down in favour of Deputy Prime Minister Najib was his (Abdullah's) alone.

    Continuing his psychological warfare, Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim called for a special session of Parliament on September 23rd to hold a vote of no-confidence against the PM, a suggestion immediately shot down by PM Abdullah. Over the next two weeks, Anwar is focused on gaining the King's approval and recognition of his would-be new majority, according to a senior opposition source. The Opposition reportedly welcomed Abdullah's removal of Najib as Defense Minister, but remains concerned that Najib could become Prime Minister.

    This is a low point for Abdullah. The Prime Minister's failure to quell dissent in the UMNO Supreme Council is a serious, though not yet fatal, blow to his hopes of remaining in power and gaining re-election in the December party polls. Two dates in early October will serve to push UMNO elites toward a decision point on the leadership issue, namely the October 9th start of the UMNO divisional elections and the October 13th reconvening of Parliament.

    Abdullah's party critics already are arguing that they cannot sell Abdullah's re-election to the UMNO divisions come October 9th. Abdullah's detractors may also urge that UMNO be under Najib's stronger leadership when it faces Anwar and threat of a no-confidence vote after Parliament reconvenes. Under these circumstances, Anwar has more incentive to move as aggressively as he can in the coming weeks, though doubts remain over Anwar's crossover support, and the possibility of a government crackdown against Anwar and the Opposition cannot be dismissed.

    The United Malays National Organization (UMNO) Supreme Council met on September 18th in a session intended to address PM Abdullah's plan to seek re-election as party president in December and remain power until 2010, when Abdullah would step down in favour of DPM Najib Tun Razak. Abdullah sought to regain the Supreme Council's endorsement of the plan and thereby quell calls for his speedy resignation, which have resurfaced over the past few weeks.
    Prior to the meeting, Embassy sources as well as various media accounts stated that UMNO leaders opposed to Abdullah's continuation in power, including UMNO VP Muhyiddin and possibly DPM Najib himself would use the meeting to reject the 2010 transition plan and seek Abdullah's removal. Former PM Mahathir reportedly lent renewed support to the effort to remove Abdullah.

    The closed-door meeting ended after only two hours. Immediately afterward, PM Abdullah spoke to reporters, but focused his comments on dismissing Anwar Ibrahim's call for an emergency parliamentary session. In response to questions, Abdullah said he had not used the Supreme Council meeting to explain again his transition plan. Sounding beleaguered, Abdullah told reporters: "Because the (UMNO division) meetings have not started, and whatever things that I need to do, whatever action that I will take, it's all up to me. I will talk to Najib (regarding future decisions), there's no need to repeat."

    The Prime Minister added that, "I did not explain again. I just said that I'm aware, I'm putting my ears close to the ground." Abdullah did not offer a strong reaffirmation of the transition plan to the public, as he did earlier in the week after meeting with Najib. Likewise, the UMNO-affiliated media, such as the dailies Utusan and New Straits Times, that had trumpeted the transition as a fait accompli and already in train only several days, took this issue off the front page and also carried criticisms from Abdullah's rivals.

    In the clearest public signal that the meeting went poorly for Abdullah, UMNO VP Muhyiddin met reporters afterward and confidently explained that he had reiterated his stance to the Supreme Council, namely that Abdullah should step down soon, adding that "none of my colleagues criticised me over the remarks...." Apparently pressed for details on when Abdullah should hand over to Najib, Muhyiddin replied, "No specific date, we just gave our views and that of the grassroots who want it to be done as soon as possible. We gave space for the president (Abdullah) to discuss it with Najib."

    A major daily, The Star, reported on September 19th that Supreme Council members had endorsed a "speedier transition," quoting one unidentified council member as saying, "Let's just say this time the president got the message." According to on-line reports, including that of Malaysia Insider, Foreign Minister Rais Yatim, UMNO women's wing leader Rafidah Aziz and Culture Minister Shafie Apdal supported Muhyiddin in the meeting. Najib and several others reportedly spoke in defense of Abdullah.

    A local press source, with close links to UMNO leaders who has reported accurately in the past, provided us with his second-hand account of the UMNO meeting. He described the discussion as "very heated." In addition to those UMNO leaders noted in press accounts, Domestic Trade Minister Shahrir Samad, who has appeared loyal in the past, urged Abdullah not to run for party re-election because it was "untenable" with UMNO grassroots, and Abdullah's nomination could not to presented to the UMNO divisions in October.

    Rafidah Aziz was more strident and told the PM who he "would not get even 10 nominations (from the hundreds of UMNO divisions)." After hearing this criticism, Abdullah reportedly became emotional, at which point DPM Najib intervened to stop the discussion.

    DPM Najib carried out good-bye ceremonies at the Defense Ministry on September 19th, two days after PM Abdullah decided with "immediate effect" to take on the Defense Minister role himself in a swap with Najib taking the Finance
    Minister I portfolio. Meanwhile, the Malaysian military appears uncertain of its civilian chain of command. A top Malaysian military official told Embassy DAO on September 19 that he did not know who was overseeing the armed forces at this moment, but it would be worked out.

    Press announced on September 19th that Najib had cancelled his plans to visit the Middle East, a trip originally scheduled to begin today, and will delay his arrival in New York for the UN General Assembly. Najib's office informed polchief that the DPM will be in New York November 25th-29th, and in Washington from September 30th until October 2nd.

    Continuing his psychological warfare, Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on September 18th, only hours before the UMNO meeting, urged the Prime Minister to call a special session of Parliament by September 23rd in order to hold a vote of no-confidence against the PM. Abdullah immediately and predictably dismissed Anwar's request after the UMNO Supreme Council meeting.
    Tian Chua (protect), the PKR information chief and close aide to Anwar, told polchief September 19th that Anwar's call for an emergency session of Parliament and the earlier request to meet with PM Abdullah to convince him the Opposition now has the majority were merely "diversions." Instead, Anwar was focused on bringing down the government before October 1st by making an approach to the King (who has the constitutional authority to determine who commands the majority in Parliament).

    Tian Chua claimed Anwar had already provided the King with information on those government MPs who intended to defect, but that Anwar believed he would need to present these MPs physically before the King and that was a practical obstacle. Tian Chua said the number of immediate crossovers would not provide a comfortable majority in Parliament, and that some but "not enough" ethnic Malay/Muslim MPs would be among those defecting.

    However, the Opposition hoped that once Anwar had a slim majority more ethnic Malay MPs from UMNO would jump to Anwar's side. Tian Chua said that UMNO veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah had not agreed to switch to the Opposition, contradicting public pronouncements from others in Anwar's circle.

    Tian Chua concluded that the uproar over the government's recent use of the Internal Security Act to arrest three people, and the immediate release of one detainee, significantly reduced the chance Abdullah could invoke the ISA to detain more opposition figures. Nevertheless, Anwar had decided to tone down his messages over the next few days to avoid giving the BN government a pretext for a crackdown.

    Tian Chua stated that the Opposition was benefiting from the disarray in Abdullah's government, and was pleased that Najib was no longer Defense Minister. He added that if he became Prime Minister, Najib would be much more difficult opponent and more likely to use harsh measures to stop the Opposition, a view we have heard consistently from Anwar and senior Opposition leaders.








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  5. #15
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    EPISODE 13: One disaster to cover another disaster (part 1)

    THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

    Monday, 27 February 2012 Super Admin

    In the RM13.46 billion Statement of Claim that former MAS Executive Chairman Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli brought against Danaharta, he declared that the then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had instructed him to acquire a 32% stake in MAS to bail out Bank Negara, which had experienced massive losses in foreign exchange.
    THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
    Raja Petra Kamarudin

    Najib must give a frank and honest answer whether the RM589 million out-of-court settlement of Tajudin Ramli’s debts is proof that Malaysians today are still paying for the RM100 billion Mahathir financial scandals
    Lim Kit Siang (25 February 2012)

    Malaysians are entitled to a frank and honest answer from the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, whether the RM580 million out-of-court settlement of Tajudin Ramli’s debts is proof that Malaysians today are still paying for the RM100 billion financial scandals perpetrated in the 22 years Tun Dr. Mahathir was the Prime Minister. And if so, they want to know of other such instances.
    More and more Malaysians are asking this question as there is total lack of transparency, accounting, explanation, or details for the RM580 million out-of-court settlement with government-linked corporations (GLCS), raising the question whether the Barisan Nasional government has achieved another entry in the Guinness Book of Records in being the first government in the world to surrender a court judgment for RM580 million.

    One big controversy among Malaysians today is who is to be believed, Mahathir or Tajudin Ramli about the “double bail-out” of MAS.

    Tajudin had claimed through his affidavits that former premier Mahathir had made him buy MAS to help bail out Bank Negara after the central bank suffered massive foreign exchange losses due partly to speculation in foreign currency markets as a “national service” with an "Overriding Agreement" to indemnify him against any losses suffered. This has been denied by Mahathir.

    Four reasons have been advanced by those who believe that Tajudin’s claims are more credible, viz:

    (1) Tajudin would be out of his mind to buy at RM8.00 something trading at RM3.50 then.
    (2) Tajudin would do so if he were protected by an overriding agreement as he claimed.
    (3) The overriding claim appears credible because the government did subsequently buy back from him at twice market price which the government was not otherwise obliged to do so.
    (4) Affidavits are sworn statements to court and false statements constitute perjury, a punishable offence.

    As Prime Minister, Najib would know what actually transpired and Malaysians want him to tell the country the truth, whether it is Mahathir or Tajudin who is lying and whether criminal action would be instituted against Tajudin if he had committed perjury in his affidavits.

    *************************
    That was what Lim Kit Siang said on 25 February 2012.

    Two weeks ago, on 13 February 2012, Malaysia Today came out with EPISODE 6: How Malaysia Today ‘lied’ three years ago.

    I had anticipated that Lim Kit Siang would jump and go for the jugular. This is because in 1994, almost 18 years ago, Lim Kit Siang was the very person who exposed a massive financial scandal that still holds the Malaysian Book of Records -- or the Guinness Book of Records, as Lim Kit Siang would say.

    The financial scandal, which Lim Kit Siang was referring to, happened in 1992 and 1993. And no one except for a handful of those who walked in the corridors of power knew about this well-guarded secret until Lim Kit Sang raised the matter in Parliament. Hence we must revisit this 20-year old scandal because that particular matter is connected to the MAS (Malaysian Airlines) fiasco, which two weeks ago reached an ‘out-of-court settlement’ at a great loss to the Malaysian taxpayers.

    Most Malaysians have forgotten the earlier episode of two decades ago -- or somehow do not see the link between that old episode and the current MAS scandal. Some I spoke to were not even aware of this scandal because at that time there was no Internet. Well, allow Malaysia Today to refresh your memory and explain how the issue of February 2012 is linked to the issue of 1992.
    Today, we will first talk about the MAS issue.

    In the RM13.46 billion Statement of Claim that former MAS Executive Chairman Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli brought against Danaharta, he declared that the then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had instructed him to acquire a 32% stake in MAS to bail out Bank Negara, which had experienced massive losses in foreign exchange.

    In other words, Tajudin was just doing ‘national service’ on the instructions of Dr Mahathir. And the whole objective of this exercise, said Tajudin, was to cover Malaysia’s massive forex losses. Hence, you can’t look at this MAS multi-billion disaster in isolation. You need to look at it in the context of the earlier scandal, the forex disaster, which the MAS exercise is supposed to cover.

    The Chinese call this digging a hole to get the earth to cover another hole. Only that each new hole you dig gets bigger than the earlier hole you are trying to cover. (Don’t you just love Chinese sayings?)

    Nevertheless, the MAS exercise itself was a disaster. Hence, the MAS exercise was not a solution to a problem but a problem as well. So now we had two problems, both running into billions of losses of hard-earned taxpayers’ money.
    But that was merely the civil matter, which has now been settled out of court and is money down the drain. There is still the criminal matter, which the powers-that-be has filed under NFA (no further action). It appears like the criminal case too has been ‘settled out of court’.

    According to the police investigation, there is certainly something criminal that went on in MAS resulting in, according to the police, a RM8.8 billion liability for the airline company. This means there are TWO losses involved here. First was the loss on the government buy-back of the MAS shares at DOUBLE the market price and second was the operational loss suffered by MAS itself.

    Now, what many may not be clear about is that the civil suit was on the shares while the criminal investigation was on the shenanigans in MAS that resulted in the RM8.8 billion fiasco. So they are actually two separate issues but both involving massive losses to the Malaysian government -- meaning, of course, the Malaysian taxpayers.

    What is even more interesting and which is the main issue here, the police investigation also revealed that there was collusion between the Police and the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) to not prosecute Tajudin and to NFA the case.

    Now, this is the Director of the Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) who is alleging that the Police and the AGC are colluding to cover up a crime -- a crime, according to Tajudin in his Affidavit to the court, done on the instructions of Dr Mahathir.

    Was this why they had to NFA the criminal case in 2007 and seek an out-of-court settlement on the civil case two weeks ago? Was it to ensure that the real purpose of the MAS exercise would not become public knowledge? Was it so that Malaysians would never find out that the RM8.8 billion MAS hole was to cover an even bigger RM30 billion forex hole that was created back in 1992 and 1993?

    And remember one thing: RM30 billion 20 years ago is equivalent to RM100-RM150 billion today.

    This was what the Director of the CCID said in his investigation report:



    And this was what he said in his letter to the then Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.











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  6. #16
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    Somebody must pay for this fiasco!

    EPISODE 14: One disaster to cover another disaster (part 2)

    THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

    Tuesday, 28 February 2012 Super Admin


    Consequently Soros, who took the loan from the British banks, repaid it in Pounds which was then cheaper and pocketed the difference of more than US$1 billion while the Malaysian gambler, Mahathir, lost about US$4 billion. Later in 1993, Bank Negara again lost another US$2.2 billion in speculative activities. Malaysia’s total loss by this time stood at US$6.2 billion equivalent to RM15.5 billion. However, the actual figure for Bank Negara losses were never revealed. Instead, the central bank, when put under scrutiny for its dubious activities, gave conflicting and confusing data to make it difficult for the opposition to get to the bottom of the mess.

    THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

    Raja Petra Kamarudin

    Recalling RM15.5 billion loss in Foreign Exchange Speculation: Former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad gambled away Malaysia’s foreign reserves in 1992-1993

    Awang Abdillah

    Former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is an ambitious man who believes in the theory of mega economics.

    He believed and still believes that by adopting a mega-based economic model, Malaysia not only could become a developed country by 2020 but would also become a strong nation at par with the Western powers economically and politically.

    Hence, he was prepared to go international and take on the Western powers. One of the fields that he was keen on was the global foreign exchange (forex) market where there is big money.

    In fact Bank Negara, during the Mahathir administration, was involved in covert global speculative activities as early as in the 1980s possibly to test the waters. Throughout the period (1990 to 1992), Britain’s economy was in recession where national output began to slide and unemployment rose.

    Domestic demand fell including demand for imports. In 1992, the exchange rate of the British pound sterling was fixed under the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM).

    Unlike the Asian economic crisis of 1997-1998 where their (Asian) currencies were weak or vulnerable, in the case of the British Pound, despite the economic slump, the currency still commanded a comparatively strong exchange rate.

    Greedy politician

    However, pressure was mounting from many quarters for Britain to float its currency in line with the current (at the time) market situation. Many quarters wanted Britain to adjust the value of the pound accordingly because the European countries believed the pound was overvalued.

    Britain’s forex market appeared to be the focus of many speculators who wanted to profit from the market instability. Speculators would make or lose in a “free-for-all” market situation.

    A very greedy politician would think this opportunity was too good to be missed. Mahathir, the then prime minister of Malaysia-cum-mega speculator, ordered Bank Negara to speculate on the British pound sterling.

    George Soros, the global forex player, was also speculating on the same currency but for different reasons. But both shared a common desire. They went for the kill. The battleground was the London foreign exchange market.

    Both believed that they were going to make money from the British. One believed he could make fast and big money, the other wanted to profit from the expected fall of the pound.

    Smart Soros

    The one that believed the Pound would appreciate took billions of US currency from Bank Negara foreign reserves fund (actual figure unknown).

    The “wiser” speculator who believed the British Pound would fall was not using his own funds. He borrowed from British banks to the tune of 10 billon pounds and changed the money to German Mark.

    The moment of truth came when on Sept 16, 1992, Britain left the ERM. Unable to stand the economic and market pressure on its overvalued Pound, Britain, instead of floating the pound, officially devalued its currency causing the pound to fall.

    It was not what the European countries and Mahathir had expected. Luckily for Mahathir the currency did not crash.

    The British government had a two-pronged strategy – firstly to devalue the Pound to stimulate the economy through cheaper and hence higher exports and more costly imports thereby reducing imports in order to regulate the country’s general economic fundamentals.

    Secondly after the devaluation, the sterling was automatically floated to regulate the market fundamentals.

    Had Britain directly floated the pound, the erratic rise and fall would disrupt Britain’s plan to stimulate the economy although it may have helped the pound to appreciate which speculator Mahathir had expected.

    Bank Negara losses never revealed

    Consequently Soros, who took the loan from the British banks, repaid it in Pounds which was then cheaper and pocketed the difference of more than US$1 billion while the Malaysian gambler, Mahathir, lost about US$4 billion. Later in 1993, Bank Negara again lost another US$2.2 billion in speculative activities. Malaysia’s total loss by this time stood at US$6.2 billion equivalent to RM15.5 billion (based on the exchange rate as at Sept 1992. US$1=RM2.5).

    However, the actual figure for Bank Negara losses were never revealed. Instead, the central bank, when put under scrutiny for its dubious activities, gave conflicting and confusing data to make it difficult for the opposition to get to the bottom of the mess.

    Bank Negara had abused the foreign reserves which were meant to finance imports, stabilise the ringgit and pay off foreign debts. The British government made the right decision. The devaluation made the pound cheaper thereby stimulating exports and made imports expensive.

    Mahathir gambled away nation’s money

    The fall based on devaluation is different from a fall by floating. The former is an economic adjustment to regulate the macro-economic fundamentals such as national output, employment, among others, while the latter is a market adjustment to regulate market forces such as the exchange rate of a local currency vis-a-vis foreign currencies and the share prices in the stock market.

    Hence, once the nation’s currency has been devalued, it can be floated without the possibility of a currency crash because the effect of devaluation has already stabilised the country’s general economic fundamentals.

    Mega gambler Mahathir had committed a serious crime by secretly compelling Bank Negara to use its scarce foreign reserves for unethical and unauthorised purposes.

    What was more serious was that he had gambled away the nation’s hard-earned money worth billions of ringgit in high-risk global speculative activities.

    He should be held accountable for this squandering. Malaysia did not have the expertise in global forex speculation the likes of global forex player Soros. What should Malaysians do to this mega crook who always denies any wrongdoing? Bank Negara, in this case, was in cahoots with Mahathir.

    Mahathir must pay

    Bank Negara is supposed to be the regulator of the financial market, not player/speculator. It can use its own foreign reserves to go into the forex market in Malaysia in order to regulate and stabilise the ringgit, but it should not speculate in forex markets. As such, its action was unethical. Foreign reserves of a country is a crucial item to service imports, regulate the country’s currency value and to pay off foreign debts.

    The Bank Negara governor at that time was Jaffar Hussein and the head of the forex trading unit was Nor Mohamed Yakcop. Both resigned after the speculation fiasco.

    The golden rule is if any Malaysian wants to bet in any foreign exchange market he should use his own funds, not that of the nation. Mahathir must be held accountable for his action.

    Awang Abdillah is a political analyst, writer and FMT columnist.


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  7. #17
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    EPISODE 15: One disaster to cover another disaster (part 3)

    THE CORRIDORS OF POWER Wednesday, 29 February 2012 Super Admin

    Nor Mohamed Yakcop’s first job is to issue a White Paper to “exorcise the ghost” of the RM30 billion Bank Negara forex losses a decade ago to establish his suitability as the Second Finance Minister – apart from professionalism, a full commitment to accountability, transparency and good democratic governance -- Lim Kit Siang, 2004

    THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
    Raja Petra Kamarudin

    Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop was sworn in as senator yesterday to pave the way for him to take his oath as Finance Minister II at Istana Negara before the Yang di Pertuan Agong on Monday.

    Nor Mohamed said his task is to assist the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, in carrying out the policies of the Treasury and that he will serve as a professional. This is an inadequate understanding or definition of his Ministerial duties – as apart as being a “professional”, he is not exempted from the Ministerial duties of responsibility and accountability. Nor Mohamed cannot only be responsible and accountable to the Prime Minister himself – when he is also responsible and accountable for his actions and decisions to Parliament, the people and country.

    If Nor Mohamed is not prepared to accept the principles and responsibilities of public accountability, then he should remain as Economic Adviser to the Prime Minister and decline the political appointment as Finance Minister II.

    Nor Mohamed’s first job as Finance Minister II should be to issue a White Paper to “exorcise the ghost” of the RM30 billion Bank Negara foreign exchange (forex) losses a decade ago, which he had played such a pivotal role, to establish his suitability as the Second Finance Minister – that apart from professionalism, he is fully committed to the principles of accountability, transparency and good democratic governance.

    Up to now, the government has failed to “come clean” on the colossal Bank Negara forex losses as a result of speculation in the international currency markets from 1992-1994, with the losses cited as ranging from RM10 billion to RM30 billion.

    In Parliament in 1994, I had given reasons as to why the Bank Negara’s forex losses as a result of its forex speculation operations could have amounted to as high as RM30 billion, which had not been seriously rebutted by any top government leader or Bank Negara official.

    The reasons which I had advanced in Parliament in 1994 for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the colossal Bank Negara forex losses remain valid today, and should be the terms of reference of the White Paper which Nor Mohamed should present publicly as his first Ministerial duty, viz:

    1. To determine the actual extent of the colossal forex losses suffered by Bank Negara 1992-1994;

    2. Whether there had been any financial malpractices and abuses in view of the inconsistencies and conflicting explanations about the colossal forex losses; and
    3. Establish how Bank Negara could incur such colossal losses.

    One question which I raised in Parliament on May 3, 1994 in my speech on the 1993 and 1994 Supplementary Estimates had remained unanswered in the past decade and continues to haunt the corridors of power – whether Bank Negara’s maximum exposure at the height of its forward foreign exchange speculation was in the region of RM270 billion, which was three times the country’s GDP and more than five times the country’s foreign reserves at the time!

    Before the RM30 billion forex losses scandal 1992-1994, Bank Negara had come under scathing international criticism. In 1989, Bank Negara was criticised by Western monetary officials for speculating in the yen and the US dollar at a time when the Group of Seven industrialised countries were trying to stabilise the currency markets.

    In April 1991, a Reuters news agency report from London described Bank Negara as “a dominant force on the foreign exchange scene for some years” and it was accused by some forex operators as “a market bully”.
    The 1991 Reuters report states:

    “Over the past two years it has stepped up its trading volume, and this year it has started dealing in what dealer described as ‘really massive amounts’…

    “Typically, Bank Negara operates in US$50 million lots, compared with the market norm of US$5 million or US$10 million and deals with maybe six major banks in Europe and six in New York, dealers said.


    “One trader said the only dealers rivaling Bank Negara would be the Japanese funds. But while these funds enter the market no more than once or twice a year, Bank Negara is coming in and doing yards (billions) of dollars a day.

    “”Its recent technique has been to hit major banks for US50 million each, then his them 10 minutes later," dealers said.

    “Then it changes centre, and does it all over again.”

    The April 1994 issue of Malaysian Business – one of the publications in the New Straits Times stable – reported that Bank Negara’s maximum exposure in the foreign exchange markets reached as high as RM270 billion – three times the country’s GDP and more than five times the country’s foreign reserves at the time!

    Some Government leaders were wise after the event, and one of them was none other than Tun Daim Zainuddin, under whose first tenure as Finance Minister from 1984-1991 the Bank Negara’s unorthodox forex speculation started, who said on April 4, 1994 that while those responsible for the huge forex losses of Bank Negara had accounted for their mistakes by resigning, central banks should never “play with fire” with such forex speculation.

    Daim, who was then the Economic Adviser to the Government, said:
    “Central banks must not play with fire by venturing into speculative money markets where the risks or losses are high.

    It is wrong to think that you cannot lose when you play in money markets. You see, if you make, someone else has to lose. When you have limited funds, you do not speculate.

    You must not go into this. It is different if you are pursuing long-term investments but if you are speculating, do not go into this unless you are prepared to face losses.

    Central banks have a certain role to play and this (speculative venture) is a dangerous area where the risks are high. You should not play with fire.

    In 1995, a book on international high finance, The Vandal’s Crown by Gregory J. Millman had this to say about the Bank Negara forex scandal:

    "Using all the resources a central bank commands - privileged information, unlimited credit, regulatory power, and more - Malaysia’s Bank Negara became the most feared trader in the currency markets. By trading for profit, Bank Negara committed apostasy against the creed of central banking. Instead of working to ensure global financial stability, Bank Negara repeatedly shoved huge sums of money into the most vulnerable market situations in order to destabilize exchange rates for its own profit" (p.226)

    "(Bank) Negara operated behind a thick veil of secrecy. The bank seldom spoke publicly about its controversial trading activities. Yet it was increasingly clear to foreign exchange traders that Bank Negara’s operations in the foreign exchange markets went far beyond simple self-defense. It became the most awesome currency trader in the world. (p. 227)

    (Bank) Negara’s market manipulation was so egregrious that one American central banker said, ‘If they tried this on any organized exchange in the world, they’d go to jail.’ However, in the unregulated international currency markets, there were neither police nor jailers. The only rule was the rough justice of the vandals, and it was this rule that eventually brought (Bank) Negara down.

    In 1992, (Bank) Negara took on a large pound sterling position, apparently expecting Britain to maintain the discipline required by the European Exchange Rate Mechanism. It was a bad economic and political judgement. (Bank) Negara lost approximately $3.6 billion when Britain withdrew from the ERM, letting sterling collapse. The next year, (Bank) Negara lost an additional $2.2 billion. By 1994, Bank Negara was technically insolvent and had to be bailed out by an infusion of fresh money from Malaysia’s finance ministry." (p.229



    py

  8. #18
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    EPISODE 16: One disaster to cover another disaster (part 4)

    THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

    Thursday, 01 March 2012 Super Admin


    The RM30 billion Bank Negara forex losses scandal still remains largely a mystery as the government has refused up to date to allow a full public investigation as to how Bank Negara could speculate with such vast sums of public funds in the international forex markets and incur such colossal losses. It will be a sad day for public integrity and democratic accountability in Malaysia if the RM30 billion Bank Negara forex losses scandal is treated as if it is a minor ‘get-rich-quick’ swindle of RM30,000! - Lim Kit Siang, 1994

    THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
    Raja Petra Kamarudin

    Press Conference Statement by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, when launching the book ‘The Bank Negara RM30 Billion Forex Losses Scandal’ in Penang on Thursday, August 11, 1994 at 12 noon

    PAC should investigate into the RM30 billion Bank Negara Forex Losses Scandal and present a full report to Parliament in October of Bank Negara’s speculative forays into the foreign exchange markets and losses

    The RM30 billion Bank Negara forex losses scandal still remains largely a mystery as the government has refused up to date to allow a full public investigation as to how Bank Negara could speculate with such vast sums of public funds in the international forex markets and incur such colossal losses.

    RM30 billion is a colossal sum. If a person is to strike a RM2 million lottery every day, it would take him 41 years to reach RM30 billion!

    If RM30 billion is divided among the 19 million Malaysians, including a new-born babe, everyone will he entitled to RM1,578!

    Or alternatively, it could mean a tax holiday for all Malaysians where no individual income tax need be paid by all Malaysians for eight years!

    Or it could be used to build 1.2 million low-cost houses at RM25,000 per unit, and resolve Penang’s long-standing low-cost housing problem overnight as well as that of the whole country; or build 45 universities, five North-South Highways or four Kuala Lumpur International Airports like the one being built in Sepang!
    RM30 billion is equal to 120 times the annual supply and development estimates for the entire Penang State Government!

    The Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee should investigate into Bank Negara’s RM30 billion forex losses scandal and present a full report of Bank Negara’s speculative forays into the international forex markets to Parliament when it meets in October.

    Parliament appointed a new PAC Chiarman, Datuk Dr. jamaluddin Jarjis in May and I hope Dr. Jamaluddin will not disappoint parliament by not daring to inquire into Bank Negara’s colossal forex losses, or he would have to justify his suitability to contimue as PAC Chairman in Parliament in October.

    It will be a sad day for public integrity and democratic accountability in Malaysia if the RM30 billion Bank Negara forex losses scandal is treated as if it is a minor ‘get-rich-quick’ swindle of RM30,000!

    It is to raise public consciousness for the need for greater accountability by the Bank Negara and the Government over the RM30 billion Bank Negara forex losses scandal that the DAP has published this booklet, ‘The Bank Negara RM30 billion Forex Losses Scandal’.

    This booklet is available in Bahasa Malaysia, English and Chinese, and the Tamil edition will be published shortly.

    Call on Anwar Ibrahim to issue a White Paper and explain why the Government has not taken action against a senior Barisan Nasional leader and a top community leader involved in the Rakyat Merchant Bankers Sdn. Bhd. scandal of 110 fictitious accounts involving RM330 million?

    Recently, the Police arrested 10 senior executive officers of the Rakyat Merchant Bankers Berhad (RMBB) in connection with a RM180 million loan fraud.

    In today’s press, it was reported that the remand order against a senior executive officer of Rakyat Merchant Bankers Berhad had been extended to August 15.

    I do not want to refer to the arrest of these 10 senior executive officers, but want to question the Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, why he has not kept his pledge in Parliament in April this year that the Government would take action against those responsible for the colossal Rakyat Merchant Bankers Bhd. losses, regardless of their political connections’.

    Bank Negara took over the day-to-day operations of Rakyat Merchant Bankers Sdn. Bhd. in March this year, following investigations into irregularities in the bank’s loan approvals last December.

    Bank Negara and the Police should explain why they had not taken action against a senior Barisan Nasional leader and a top community leader involved in the Rakyat Merchant bankers Sdn Bhd. scandal 110 fictitious accounts involving RM330 million!

    Bank Negara had publicly revealed that Rakyat Merchant Bankers Bhd. had approved loans totaling RM150 million to 50 “fictitious” individuals and another RM180 million to 60 companies.

    There was an avoidance of a single customer limit of RM3 million by creating 50 individual loan applicants.

    Bank Negara found that there were only two beneficiaries to the RM150 million loans.

    In the April meeting of Parliament, Anwar Ibrahim confirmed that Rakyat Merchant Bankers Bhd. had become insolvent after suffering estimated losses of RM624.1 million as at Feb. 28 and that the losses were due to loans to certain individuals.

    He pledged that the government would take action against those responsible for the bank’s insolvency, including those with possible ‘political connections’.
    Anwar should issue a White Paper on the Rakyat Merchants Bankers Bhd. losses and explain why the Government had not acted on his pledge to Parliament to take action against all individuals responsible for the bank’s losses, regardless of their ‘political connections'


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  9. #19
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    EPISODE 17: One disaster to cover another disaster (part 5)

    THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

    Friday, 02 March 2012 Super Admin

    However, the person who must also bear responsibility for the colossal Bank Negara forex losses, apart from Tan Sri Jaffar Hussein, must be the Finance Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, himself.
    Jaffar should be made a Tun instead of having to resign in ignominy if it could be shown that over the years, Bank Negara had cumulatively made more profits from forex speculation despite the colossal losses in the past two years. Anwar Ibrahim had misled Parliament last July when I questioned him whether Bank Negara had suffered more forex losses. Anwar said that this was not true as he had been monitoring the Bank Negara’s forex dealings weekly.
    - Lim Kit Siang, 1994

    THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
    Raja Petra Kamarudin

    Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, in the Dewan Rakyat (Malaysian Parliament) on the Royal Address debate on Monday, April 11, 1994

    The colossal forex losses in the last two years have knocked out a big hole’ in Bank Negara, not only making it insolvent but destroying it credibility and authority as the ‘banker’ and guardian of banks in Malaysia

    Parliament is debating Bank Negara’s colossal foreign exchange losses for the second consecutive year and it is apt that we start with the story told by Tan Sri Jaffar Hussein at a lecture in New Delhi in December 1988 on the topic, “Central Banking in an Era of Change”, which was also used as the book title for Bank Negara’s “landmark speeches from 1959-1988”.

    Tan Sri Hussein’s story was about a captain of a super-oil-tanker at the bridge, who was called up at the middle of the night by his number two, who said,
    “Captain, Captain, I have bad news and good news for you.”
    The captain said, ”You might as well tell me the bad news first.”
    “Well, ” the officer reported, “we had struck a reef and are taking in lots of water.”
    “And what is the good news?” asked the Captain.
    “Captain, sir, the hole is at the other end of the ship.”

    The colossal forex losses of Bank Negara in the last two years have knocked out a big black hole in Bank Negara, not only making it, insolvent but destroying its credibility and authority as a ‘banker and guardian of banks’ in Malaysia.

    When Bank Negara’s 1992 Report was released last year, however, Tan Sri Jaffar Hussein, denied there was any ‘hole’ in Bank Negara, asserting that the RM9.3 billion forex losses which it was prepared to admit were mere “paper losses” and that “Bank Negara’s loss is the nation’s gain”!

    When Bank Negara’s 1993 report was released two weeks ago, there was another exercise to deny that the ‘hole’ at all, with the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed declaring that the RM5.7 billion forex losses last year came from “profits made in forex dealings in preceding years”!

    Bank Negara’s forex losses in the past two years could total as high as RM30 billion, making it the biggest financial scandal in Malaysia as well as a world-class financial scandal.

    There was in fact a conspiracy of disinformation and misinformation to ‘cover up’ the real nature, cause and magnitude of Bank Negara forex losses in the past two years which I will show in the course of my speech could total as high as RM30 billion. It is not only the greatest financial scandal in Malaysia, but has reached the standing to be a world-class financial scandal!

    In the special DAP motion on the Bank Negara forex losses in Parliament last April, the Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim strenuously denied that Bank Negara had “speculated” or “gambled” in foreign exchange.

    Anwar said that as Finance Minister, he was “fully satisfied with the reasons” goven by Tan Sri Jaffar Hussein for the Bank Negara’s forex losses.

    However, truth cannot be concealed forever, as it would always find some way of declaring itself.

    This time, it is the Economic Adviser to the Government, Tun Daim Zainuddin, who had got the ‘cat out of the bag’. On Monday, April 4, 1994, Daim Zainuddin was reported in the press as saying that “Central bank s must not play with the risks or losses are high”.

    The Daim said that while those responsible for the huge forex losses of Bank Negara had accounted for their mistake by resigning, central banks should never go into such ventures.

    He said: ”It is wrong to think that you cannot lose when you play in money markets. You see, if you make, someone else has to lose. When you have limited funds, you do not speculate.

    “You must not go into this. It is different if you are pursuing long-term investments but if you are speculating, do not go into this unless you are prepared to face losses.

    “Central banks have a certain role to play and this (speculative venture) is a dangerous area where the risks are high. You should not play with fire.

    “But now that the central bank has suspended such trading, I think it is all right.”
    Daim may know even more than Anwar about Bank Negara’s forex losses as Bank Negara’s forex ‘speculation’ was started when Daim was Finance Minister.
    What more authoritative admission can Parliament or the country get that Bank Negara’s colossal losses stemmed from imprudent foreign exchange speculation, as Tun Daim cannot be accused like the Opposition of ‘speculating’ about the causes of Bank Negara’s forex losses?

    Apart from the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister, there is no other person in the country who could speak with greater knowledge and authority about the real cause of Bank Negara’s colossal forex losses. In fact, Tun Daim may know even more than Anwar Ibrahim because it was under Daim’s tenure as Finance Minister that Bank Negara ventured into speculative foreign exchange trading- at that time with some minor success!

    It is most unfortunate that when he was Finance Minister, Daim did not warn and direct Bank Negara to stop ‘playing with fire’, and for this reason, Tun Daim must also bear responsibility for the colossal forex losses suffered by Bank Negara.
    Tun Daim praised Tan Sri Jaffar Hussein for resigning as Bank Negara Governor and praising such ‘culture of accountability’.

    Is Tun Daim prepared to accept such ‘culture of accountability’ himself for his failure to stop such speculative foreign exchange trading by Bank Negara when he was Finance Minister, as such speculative forex trading during his tenure?

    Anwar must also bear responsibility for the colossal Bank Negara forex losses.

    However, the person who must also bear responsibility for the colossal Bank Negara forex losses, apart from Tan Sri Jaffar Hussein, must be the Finance Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, himself.

    As Anwar had assured Parliament last April that he was ‘satisfied’ with Tan Sri Jaffar’s explanation for the 1992 Bank Negara forex losses, why had Tan Sri Jaffar done differently in 1993 with regard to the 1993 Bank Negara forex losses to require his resignation?

    In Fact, if the Prime Minister is right that the Bank Negara’s RM5.7 billion forex losses last year are from profits made in forex dealings made in preceding years, there is no need for Tan Sri Jaffar Hussein to resign at all.

    Jaffar should be made a Tun instead of having to resign in ignominy if it could be shown that over the years, Bank Negara had cumulatively made more profits from forex speculation despite the colossal losses in the past two years.

    If it could be shown that since it ventured into speculative forex trading under his Governorship, Bank Negara had cumulatively made more profits from such speculative forward forex trading despite the colossal losses in the past two years, Jaffar should be rewarded with a Tun instead of having to resign in ignominy!

    Dr. Mahathir said last year that there was no need for him to take action against any Bank Negara official, and that “it would not be fair as no one made any compliment when Bank Negara would not be fair as no one made any compliment when Bank Negara made large profits from its foray into the forex markets earlier”.

    Dr. Mahathir was being unfair himself, as Malaysians had not known that Bank Negara had been an active forex speculator.

    This is why the DAP had called on the Government to present a White Paper to give full details of its annual profits or losses from forex dealings in the preceding years, so that Malaysians can know whether the cumulative profits from Bank Negara forward forex dealings are able to absorb the RM5.7 billion forex losses- let alone the RM30 billion which could be the total forex losses in the past two years!

    There are two other reasons why Anwar Ibrahim must bear personal responsibility for Bank Negara’s forex losses.

    Anwar Ibrahim said last week that he had directed Bank Negara to stop forward foreign exchange trading when he discovered its forex losses 18 months ago. If Bank Negara had followed his instructions to stop forward forex trading in 1992, then how could Bank Negara suffer RM5.7 billion losses in 1993, on top of the RM10.1 billion to RM13.1 billion losses in 1992?

    Furthermore, Anwar Ibrahim had misled Parliament last July when I questioned him whether Bank Negara had suffered more forex losses. Anwar said that this was not true as he had been monitoring the Bank Negara’s forex dealings weekly.

    On July 19, 1993, I asked Anwar Ibrahim a supplementary question during question time as to whether at that date, Bank Negara’s provision of Rm2.7 billion contingent liability for forward forex trading in the 1992 Bank Negara accounts had not only been confirmed, but even more forex losses had been incurred.

    This is Anwar’s reply, from the Hansard of 19th July 1993(p. 2:
    “Dato Seri Anwar bin Ibrahim: Tua Yang di-Pertua, dukacita saya memaklumkan ini satu berita yang kurang baik bagi Yang Berhormat dari Tanjong. Kerugian yang dimaksudkan itu tidak berlaku dan tidak bertambah. Yang Berhormat mahu percaya atau tidak, tetapi saya ada maklumat yang sebenar tentang keadaan tersebut. Saya juga meneliti tiap-tiap minggu perkembangan kerana masalah yang dihadapi sebelum ini…. Saya ingin member jaminan kepada Yang Berhormat bagi Tanjong bahawa perkara ini kita teliti lebih dekat dan kita lebih waspada kerana pengalaman yang lalu.”

    In this one short answer, Anwar Ibrahim had misled Parliament and the nation on three matters:

    * that by July 1993, the provision in the 1992 Bank Negara accounts for RM2.7 billion contingent liability for forward forex trading had not been confirmed;
    * that Bank Negara had not suffered more forex losses; and
    * that his weekly monitoring of Bank Negara’s forex dealings would prevent further colossal losses arising from Bank Negara’s forward forex trading.

    If Anwar Ibrahim claims that he had directed Bank Negara to stop forward forex trading 18 months ago, and that “there are no new trading arrangements” last year as the central bank unwound its forward positions in the market last year (Business Times April 6, 1994), then Bank Negara should not have incurred RM5.7 billion when its contingent liability provision for such forward forex trading in end- 1992 was RM2.7 billion.
    Furthermore, there should not be another provision of RM1.4 billion as contingent Liability for forward forex trading for 1994 in its end-1993 Account.
    As forward forex deals are usually for three or six months, this must mean that Bank Negara was still dealing in new forward forex trades at least until June 1993.

    Anwar’s claim that there were no new forward forex trading by Bank Negara in 1993 had been contradicted by Tan Sri Jaffar Hussein, who said in his press conference on March 31 as well in his foreword to the 1993 Bank Negara report:

    “In the Bank’s 1993 accounts, a net deficiency in foreign exchange transactions of RM5.7 billion is reported, an amount which will be written off against the Bank’s future profits. This loss reflected errors in judgement involving commitments made with the best of intentions to protect the national interest prior to the publication of the Bank’s 1992 accounts towards the end of March 1993. As these forward transactions were unwound, losses unfolded in the course of 1993. In this regard, global developments over the past year had not been easy for the Bank; indeed, they made it increasingly difficult for the Bank to unwind these positions without some losses. For the most part, time was not on the Bank’s side. Nevertheless, this exercise is now complete- there is at this time, no more contingent liability on the Bank’s forward foreign exchange transactions on this account. An unfortunate chapter in the Bank’s history is now closed. ”

    This is an admission that until late March 1993, Bank Negara was still dabbling in new forward foreign exchange transactions, with the suggestion that after March, all these forward transactions were unwound.

    But the provision of RM1.4 billion contingent liability for forward forex trading in the end-1993 account (Note 12) shows that new forex trading were still being entered into well after March 1993.

    Clearly Datuk Seri Anwar and Tan Sri Jaffar are not telling the truth as to when Bank Negara ceased new forward forex trading.

    Only a full and independent investigation into the Bank Negara’s colossal forex losses can establish the truth about its forex activities, as well as other important aspects of the Bank Negara forex losses scandal.

    Dishonest and unethical accounting is treating the RM5.7 billion in forex losses as an asset item in the 1993 Balance Sheet.

    Bank Negara has used dishonest and unethical accounting to manipulate the 1993 Balance Sheet to hide the RM5.7 billion in forex losses so that the losses will not be fully reflected in the accounts. This is done by including the RM5.7 billion forex losses as an Asset item under Deferred Expenditure.

    Such treatment of extraordinary forex losses as an asset is most shocking, unacceptable and violates generally accepted accounting principles.

    Under any international accounting standards, including Malaysia, such huge forex losses should be treated as an extraordinary ;loss item in the Profit and Loss Account.

    Under no circumstances should such forex losses be capitalised and treated as an asset item in the Balance Sheet! How can such losses be treated as an asset item when it is not an asset that benefits Bank Negara but is a huge loss to Bank Negara.

    As a charted accountant, Tan Sri Jaffar Hussein should know that it is unethical and dishonest to treat such huge forex losses as an asset to Bank Negara! It is a shame not only to Bank Negara but to all Malaysians for Bank Negara to try to hide the red ink by resorting to such silly methods that any accounting student will spot immediately.

    Bank Negara is insolvent - where its liabilities exceed its assets - by RM20.1 billion, and it would have been taken over if it had been a commercial bank.
    It is clear that the intention of such malpractices is to hide the fact that Bank Negara is technically insolvent or bankrupt. In accounting terms, the Net Assets is used as a rough indicator of a company long-term solvency, value and financial performance. According to the Bank Negara Annual Reports the net worth or net assets since 1990 are as follows:-

    Bank Negara’s net worth only dropped by RM712 million in 1993 to RM3, 697 million because it only took into account the net operating loss of RM712 million suffered by Bank Negara, not the RM5.7 billion in forex losses. If the RM5.7 billion in forex losses were thaken into account, Bank Negara would have a negative net worth of -RM2, 010 million or is technically insolvent.

    Bank Negara is therefore insolvent - which means its liabilities exceed its assets- by RM2, 010 billion, and the Governor and its Board would have been suspended and the bank taken over if it had been a commercial bank!
    If Bank Negara is bankrupt, then where is its authority morally or ethically to regulate commercial and merchant banks to ensure that they are solvent and maintains sufficient capital adequacy ratio. What difference is Bank Negara now from Rakyat Merchant Bankers (RMB) which it took over on 3.3.94 because it breached its capital adequacy ratio requirements and was technically insolvent? In fact what difference is Bank Negara now from the 24 Deposit-Taking Co-operatives which collapsed in 1986 or from the other collapsed banks and finance companies which it took over in the past?

    Bank Negara has always acted as the lender of last resort and the rescuer of troubled financial institutions. Who is there now to rescue the rescuer that is now in severe financial trouble? And why does Bank Negara not come out cleanly and openly recognize the RM5.7 billion forex losses for what they were as losses in their financial accounts instead of trying to disgrace themselves by trying to package it and dress it up as an asset!

    Government should ‘top up’ Bank Negara’s deficiency in net worth so that Ahmad Mohamad Don would not be humiliated in international monetary circles as a Governor of an insolvent Bank Negara.

    Bank Negara Malaysia had always been held in high esteem by the international banking community, but this esteem had been lost as a result of Bank Negara’s colossal forex losses in 1992, I understand that at the recent International Monetary Fund meeting, the Bank Negara officials were treated like pariahs by the other central bankers.

    With Bank Negara insolvent, how could the new Bank Negara Governor, Ahmad Mohamed Don, stand tall in international conferences with central bankers from other countries?

    The Government should ‘top up’ Bank Negara’s deficiency in net worth so that Ahmad Mohamed Don would not be humiliated in international monetary circles as a Governor of an insolvent Bank Negara. Let us remember that the humiliation of the Bank Negara Governor is a humiliation of all Malaysians!

    The proper thing for the Government to do is to recognise the insolvency of Bank Negara and to inject RM3 billion in capital into Bank Negara to overcome the RM2.01 billion in deficiency in net worth, give sufficient capital funds for Bank Negara to operate as well as restore the credibility and image of the Bank Negara Governor and other officials with their peers in international conferences.
    Or is the Finance Ministry itself out of funds that it could not ‘top up’ Bank Negara’s deficiency in net worth?

    Has Bank Negara concealed RM6.1 billion forex losses by revaluation of the quoted investments.

    This is not the only accounting malpractice to be found in the 1993 Bank Negara accounts. The revaluation of Bank Negara’s quoted investments are also not taken into account leading to the likelihood that these revaluation gains have been used to conceal even greater forex losses last year than the RM5.7 billion that have been admitted.

    Under Notes 1(a) to the 1993 accounts, it is started that the Bank Negara has “now consistently applied” the current cost accounting method for all quoted investments – extending the 1992 change of valuation of gold to mark-to-market basis.

    Usually in such a revaluation exercise, there is a revaluation gain because these investments were valued at the original cost they were bought years ago, which was very much lower compared to current prices. This is shown by Other Assets jumping up by RM6.1 billion from Rm3.64 billion in 1992 to RM9.75 billion I n1993 because of the revaluation exercise.

    However, this revaluation gain of RM6.1 billion is not recognized or taken into account in the 1993 Balance Sheet as would be required under generally accounting principles. There is no RM6.1 billion increase in either Other or General Reverses Account nor any RM6.1 billion gain in the Bank’s Net Worth.
    It is likely that the revaluation gain of Rm6.1 billion has been completely offset by further hidden and secret forex losses. In other words, the 1993 forex losses do not amount only to RM5.7 billion but may be as high as RM12.8 billion!
    This is another area which calls for full and independent investigations, as to whether the Bank Negara had concealed RM6.1 billion forex losses by the revaluation of its quoted investments like MAS and MISC.

    In my speech on the Bank Negara forex losses in Parliament last year, I had drawn attention to various accounting malpractices in the 1992 Bank Negara Balance Sheet to deceive the public about the extent of Bank Negara’s forex losses.

    For instance, Bank Negara and the Government had tried to mislead the public by claiming that Bank Negara had suffered ‘paper losses’. According to Bank Negara’s own 1992 Balance Sheets, its losses were not RM9.3 billion but RM10.1 billion as reflected by the drop in the Other Reserves Account of RM9.3 billion after having transferred in RM800 million. This RM10.1 billion loss can also be double-checked and confirmed by calculating the true drop in its not worth.
    In accounting terms, retained profits will increase the net worth of a company and reduce it if losses are incurred. Bank Negara recorded a profit of RM1, 398 million in 1992, of which only RM898 million was retained because the remaining RM500 million was paid to the Government. This is shown as follows:-

    In other words, assuming no forex losses or gains, Bank Negara should have increased its net worth by RM898 million in profits, its net worth dropped by RM9, 202 million because of forex losses instead of increasing. This means that the true fall in the Bank’s net worth positions is Rm10.1 billion, caused by forex losses of RM10.1 billion. This is an example where Snwar and Tan Sri Jaffar have tried mislead the public by understanding the 1992 Bank Negara’s losses as RM9.3 billion when it should be RM10.1 billion.

    Furthermore, there was also the failure by the 1992 Bank Negara’s accountants to take into account the revaluation gain from gold. BNM had changed its accounting practice in 1992 by revaluing gold which they had bought at a low price in the past 20 years ago at current prices. Since the current price is higher than the purchases price, the amount gained would have been included in the Other Reserves Account.

    It had been estimated that gold was US$100 an ounce in 1984 just before Tan Sri Jaffar became Bank Negara Governor, but by the end of 1992 its price had now risen to more than US$300. With the further estimate that BNM had Rm1.5 billion at that time, and that this $1.5 billion worth of gold had still been retained, the gold revalued at current prices will be worth more than RM4.5 billion. This gain of more than RM3 billion from such revaluation of gold in 1992 must be reflected in the 1992 Balance Sheet and put in the Other Reserves Account.
    The fact that this Rm3 billion gain in revaluation of gold was not taken into account shows that even the gain from gold revaluation was also lost. Just like the missing RM6.1 billion revaluation gain of quoted investments in 1993, it is likely that the 1992 gold revaluation gain was again offset by additional secret hidden forex losses.

    In other words, the 1992 forex losses suffered by Bank Negara is not RM10.1 billion not likely to be RM13.1 billion. In 1993, Bank Negara suffered RM5.7 billion for forex losses and RM711 million for net operating loss. Taking into account the RM6.1 billion loss that could be hidden by the revaluation of quoted investments, Bank Negara could range from RM6.4 billion to RM12.5 billion.
    Taking both years together, Bank Negara could have suffered forex losses ranging from RM16.5 billion to RM25.6 billion.

    How Did RM10.1 billion In Forex Losses Suffered By Bank Negara In 1992 Change From Paper Losses To Realised Losses Within A Year?

    In a statement by Tan Sri Jaffar to the press on 20th April 1993, Tan Sri Jaffar denied that Bank Negara lost RM9.3 billion in forex losses and insisted that they were only beek losses- or paper losses. Tan Sri Jaffar even said that such paper losses could even turn out to be a profit. Datuk Seri Anwar confirmed this in Parliament on 27th April 1993 that the RM9.3 billion in forex losses were not real losses but merely paper losses.

    The issue is what have occurred in the space of one year for the Government and Bank Negara to now admit that the RM10.1 billion forex losses in 1992 were not paper losses but actually real losses? Such blatant accounting malpractices not only show that the Bank Negara’s financial reports do not represent a true and fair view but that Bank Negara could have suffered more losses and is hiding the real extent of such forex losses.

    It is shocking that the Auditor-General Tan Sri Ishak Tadin could still continue to approve Bank Negara’s Accounts that it represents a true and fair view when it is misleading and dishonest and can only harm our international reputation.

    Assets Alone Do Not Determine Financial Viability.

    Anwar should not be misled by Bank Negara officials that Bank Negara can afford up to RM25.6 billion losses in two years because its assets exceed to RM100 billion. It is such wrong advice that caused Datuk Seri Anwar to come out openly to state last year that the RM10.1 billion in foreign exchange (forex) losses suffered by Bank Negara in 1992 were “paper losses”.

    The additional RM6.4 billion to RM12.5 billion losses suffered by Bank Negara in 1993 has proven Datuk Seri Anwar to be embarrassingly wrong that the RM10.1 billion losses were not the same mistake by saying that the country’s financial position will not be affected because Bank Negara’s strong reserves and assets exceeded RM100 billion.

    It is true that has reserves and assets of RM100 billion as stated in its 1993 Balance Sheet. But to only concentrate on the assets portion of the Balance Sheet is to miss correctly interpreting the real situation. This is because the Balance Sheet also contains a Liabilities portion that also exceeds RM100 billion.
    To fully understand the Balance Sheet to obtain the financial health of an institution is to make a simple calculation of its net worth or net assets. From my explanation just now, Bank Negara’s actual position is not as good as Datuk Seri Anwar said because it does not have assets exceeding RM100 billion but is actually insolvent with a negative net worth of (RM2, 010) million.

    It is therefore also wrong for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamed to say that the country’s financial positions is not threatened because the forex losses are from profits made in forex dealings in the past. Which ASEAN country’s economy can avoid suffering losses ranging from RM6.4 to RM12.5 billion by its Central Bank in a year without any adverse impact?

    Making profits in the past is no justification for losing Rm16.5 billion to RM25.6 billion in two years, especially when as a result of such huge losses Bank Negara’s net worth is now insolvent with a negative net worth of (RM2, 010) million.

    How can Bank Negara lose RM712 million as a result of combating inflation in 1993 if it can successfully combat inflation in 1992 and yet also record profits in excess of RM1 billion? Why is 1993 so unusual that when combating inflation Bank Negara has to lose RM712 million?

    Why Does A Weaker Ringgit Not Bring About Reserves Gain?

    Tan Sri Jaffar said on 20th April 1993 that the RM10.1 billion forex “paper losses” was due to a stronger ringgit because a stronger ringgit would bring about losses in its international reserves. The ringgit appreciated by RM5.63% in terms of the composite basket in 1992. Tan Sri Jaffar said such appreciation was the reason why the forex losses were incurred.

    We should therefore expect Bank Negara to make forex gains if the ringgit depreciates. According to the 1993 Bank Negara’s Report the ringgit depreciated or declined by 5.22% in terms of the composite basket in 1993. However instead of recording forex gains, Bank Negara suffered a total loss of RM6.4 billion to RM12.5 billion.

    This only shows that massive speculation or gambling in the forex market has resulted in losses which has wiped out any gains from a weaker ringgit.

    How much are the forward forex positions? They must be RM30 billion or RM40 billion to be able to incur losses of up to Bank Negara’s admitted forex losses of RM5.7 billion in 1993. What gives the right to one or two persons to have the authority to gamble so much money in the forex market?

    Bank Negara forex traders operate in huge lots in the foreign exchange markets. While the market norm is to deal with US$1 million, US$5 million or US$10 million lots, Bank Negara operates in a very aggressive manner, operating in US$50 million lots. I understand that there had also been occasions when Bank Negara operated with US$500 million in one call!

    Malaysians are entitled to the full facts of the Bank Negara forex losses scandal. I had last year called for a Royal Commission of Inquiry and I repeat this call.

    Royal Commission of Inquiry should inquire whether the total Bank Negara forex losses since 1992 could exceed RM30 billion.

    The Royal Commission of Inquiry should first determine the actual extent of the forex losses suffered by Bank Negara since 1992.

    I had said that for the two years of 1992 and 1993, Bank Negara’s forex losses could range from RM16.5 billion to RM25.6 billion. The total forex losses could be more when we take into account the RM1.4 billion contingent liability for 1994 arising from forward forex commitments.

    Could there be other hidden and secret forex losses in the 1992 and 1993 Bank Negara accounts apart from those who had discussed?

    There could be. I will just give one possibility. Bank Negara had been accused for instance of dumping large amounts of ringgit into the market in the closing days of 1993 to buy U.S. dollars, causing the ringgit to fall steeply. That manoeuvre improved Bank Negara’s year-end financial position by raising the value of its currency and gold reserves in ringgit terms.

    It is interesting to note that as of November 30, 1993, Bank Negara’s Gold and Foreign Exchange and Other Reserves including SDRs stood at RM60 billion, but within a month by December 31, 1993, it had shot up by RM16.4 billion to RM76.4 billion – and hefty increase of 26 per cent in one month.

    Bank Negara’s Gold and Foreign Exchange and Other Reserves including SDRs stood at RM46.2 billion. If it had increased at 26 per cent per month, as happened in the one month of December 1993, Bank Negara’s Gold and Foreign Exchange and Other Reserves would have multiplied to the impossible figure of RM587 billion!

    It is therefore possible that the RM16.4 billion increase of Gold and Foreign Exchange and Other Reserves could conceal forex losses, bringing total forex losses to over RM30 billion since 1992.

    The first task of the Royal Commission of Inquiry is to ascertain whether Bank Negara’s forex losses since 1992 could exceed RM30 billion.

    The second task of the Royal Commission of Inquiry is to ascertain whether there had been any financial` malpractices and abuses in view of the inconsistencies and conflicting explanations about the colossal forex losses.

    It is ridiculous for Bank Negara to blame the late delivery of sophisticated computers for causing such huge forex losses. After all, how is it that Bank Negara can not only not lose money but make profits in the past without these sophisticated computers? And how is it that unsophisticated Central Banks of other countries which do not have sophisticated computers do not incur such colossal losses from forward forex operations?

    Thirdly, the Royal Commission of Inquiry should establish as to how the Bank Negara could incur such colossal losses.

    In fact, Anwar Ibrahim should be able to tell Parliament the size and details of Bank Negara’s foreign exchange losses, by releasing details on Bank Negara’s foreign trans actions, the composition of its reserves, aspects of its intervention operations and its forward commitments in the various currencies.

    Last April, Jaffar said that to give details would be “show my hand to the market”, and that “There should be no problems disclosing such information if the bank is no longer in the foreign exchange business.”

    Anwar Ibrahim said the same thing in Parliament during question time on July 19.

    Now that Bank Negara had announced that it has ceased all forward forex transacyions and that all positions had been unwound, Anwar Ibrahim should have no reason to refuse to furnish all these details about the Bank Negara’s colossal forex losses to Parliament.

    What intrigues me is the position of Nor Mohamed Yakcop, the man with direct oversight of the bank’s forex dealings and therefore directly responsible for the colossal Bank Negara forex losses.

    Although Nor Mohamed has also submitted his resignation, which takes effect on July 10 after a three-month leave, the talk is that Nor Mohamed would be transferred to a very responsible government-connected position, and the new Kuala Lumpur International Airport has been mentioned.

    After the Banks Negara Report on the RM10.1 billion to RM13.1 billion forex losses was made public , Nor Mohamed was appointed senior Adviser to Bank Negara, and he was conferred Darjah Johan Setia Mahkota(JMN) on the birthday of the Yang diPertuan Agong on June 5, 1993.

    Malaysians must wonder whether the ‘culture of accountability’ which Daim talks about following the resignation of Jaffar Hussein is a force.

    The BN Government must realize that Bank Negara is owned by all Malaysians and these losses cannot just be ignored as irrelevant and unimportant. As shareholders, all Malysians are entitled to demand full accountability and responsibility by all those responsible for the losses to our international financial credibility and funds built up over 37 years- whether he be Bank Negara Government or even Finance Minister.

    Tan Sri Jaffar said in his New Delhi lecture in 1989 that when he joined Bank Negara in 1985 from the private sector, he was informed that the main thrust of reserves management in Ban k Negara was to preserve the value of what we have and the main consideration were safety and liquidity. He said he had added a third and fourth dimension: profit optimization and market expertise.

    It is finally the failure of these two new dimensions that have led to Bank Negara’s colossal forex losses and the ignominious departure of Tan Sri Jaffar Hussein.

    RM30 billion losses would be tantamount to seven or eight years of tax holiday for all Malaysians from having to pay individual income taxes.

    The Government has still to convince the people that it is serious about the colossal Bank Negara forex losses which could exceed RM30 billion since 1992.
    With RM30 billion, the4 Government can declare a ‘holiday’ for all Malaysians from having to pay individual income tax for seven to eight years!

    Let the Government prove its seriousness by establishing a Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate into the biggest financial scandal in Malaysia, and for all concerned, starting bear his responsibility fir the colossal Bank Negara forex losses scandal.

    Call for urgent appointment. Of PAC Chairman, who should be an Opposition MP, to inquire into the 1993 forex losses of Bank Negara.

    I had told Parliament last July that in Mongolia, two former central bank governors and three of their staff were charged in court for negligence and over-stepping their authority in gambling for two disastrous years on the world’s foreign exchange markets, causing a loss of US$90 million.

    This is a puny figure compared to the RM30 billion losses that could have been lost by Bank Negara since 1992.

    It is most regrettable that the Federal Government has not supported the proposal for the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the colossal Bank Negara forex losses. In fact, the Finance Ministry and the Bank Negara had refused to allow the Public Accounts Committee to conduct a full investigation into the colossal forex losses, and Tan Sri Jaffar did not attend the PAC meeting in July last year to discuss the forex losses.

    Now, with a second consecutive year of colossal forex losses, the PAC is unable to operate and meet because it has no chairman as its former chairman, Datuk Dr. Affifudin Omar had been appointed a Parliamentary Secretary.

    I call on the Deputy Prime Minister to introduce a motion to appoint a new PAC Chairman without any further delay so that the PAC could meet urgently over Bank Negara’s 1993 forex losses.

    The Cabinet and Parliament should accept the established parliamentary convention in Commanwealth Parliaments by appointing an Opposition MP to head the PAC.

    This will also show that the Government and Bank Negara have nothing to hide and are not afraid of a full and thorough investigation into the forex losses by the PAC.
    py

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    13,392
    EPISODE 18: Selangor government still to end negotiated contracts


    THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

    Monday, 05 March 2012 Super Admin



    In August 2008, Khalid Ibrahim announced that Selangor is also going to end the practice of negotiated contracts, just like Penang. But that same year, RM79 million worth of contracts were awarded on a negotiated basis. In 2009 it was RM27 million and in 2010 RM143 million. I do not have the figures for last year but looking at the trend we can safely assume it was in the region of RM100 million.


    THE CORRIDORS OF POWER


    Raja Petra Kamarudin


    Lim Guan Eng in Penang is already practicing the open tender system, so much so that a number of contracts ended up in the hands of Umno people. I suppose that is what transparency is all about. Contracts go to those who are qualified, not to those who belong to your political party.


    In August 2008, Khalid Ibrahim announced that Selangor is also going to end the practice of negotiated contracts, just like Penang. But that same year, RM79 million worth of contracts were awarded on a negotiated basis. In 2009 it was RM27 million and in 2010 RM143 million. I do not have the figures for last year but looking at the trend we can safely assume it was in the region of RM100 million.

    Okay, so that comes to only RM350 million or so, you may say. That’s not as bad as Barisan Nasional’s billions of Ringgit, you may argue. Well, if you murder one person you are a murderer. 100 people and you are still a murderer. There is no such thing as a small murderer and a big murderer. Murder is murder.

    The same goes for the legal work in Selangor. Those who support Pakatan Rakyat or are leaders of Pakatan Rakyat get all the legal work. The legal work does not go to those who offer the cheapest price. Hence the state has to pay a much higher price for its legal work.

    Many lawyers who are not Pakatan Rakyat leaders or are not cronies of these leaders are grumbling that they can do the legal work much cheaper or at half the price but they do not get any work. Only those in the ‘circle’ get the work.

    Yes, I know, Pakatan Rakyat denies this allegation. Even those Pakatan Rakyat lawyers who do get the legal work say that they did not make the decision to award their own companies the work. ‘Other people’, employees and not partners of their firm, made that decision. Hence there is no conflict of interest since they only work for the firm and are not partners of the firm.

    Rafidah Aziz also did not make the decision to award her children shares in public companies. The committee made that decision. She did not even vote on the matter. She abstained from voting.

    Dr Mahathir Mohamad also did not make the decision to award his son a quota for car import permits (APs). It was a Ministry of Trade decision. It was a decision made by the AP committee. Rafidah just happened to have headed the committee but then she is only one vote amongst many in that committee.

    Shahrizat Jalil also did not make the decision to give her husband and children RM250 million of taxpayers’ money for the NFC project. She is also not involved in the day-to-day running of the business. The officers in her Ministry made that decision. She only happens to be the wife of the person who got the RM250 million.

    So why are we screaming about Rafidah, Dr Mahathir and Shahrizat? They are playing by the same rules as Pakatan Rakyat. Other people made the decision, not them, just like other people made the decision to give the Pakatan Rakyat lawyers the legal work.

    If the Pakatan Rakyat lawyers are so clean then why are they afraid of making public the list of lawyers who got legal work from the Selangor state government and its agencies? How much have these lawyers been paid so far? And were the jobs tendered out or did they get the legal work based on ‘negotiated’, and at a higher price than what others could do it for?


    I remember what Dr Mahathir replied when he was asked as to why he appointed Daim Zainuddin as the Finance Minister of Malaysia. Daim is my friend, he replied. Surely I will appoint my friend, someone I trust, as my Finance Minister. Who in his right mind is going to appoint his enemy?


    Yes, and when Dr Mahathir appointed his friend and crony Daim as the Finance Minister we screamed. Now these same people are arguing that surely Selangor will give the legal work to Pakatan Rakyat crony lawyers. When Umno was in power they gave the legal work to Umno crony lawyers. So now it is the turn of the Pakatan Rakyat crony lawyers to get the legal work, and at a higher price. Surely Selangor is not going to give the legal work to Umno lawyers?


    Yes, two wrongs always make it right. Cut the crap. Just publish the list of names of the lawyers and reveal whom they are and how much they have been paid thus far. Stop all this nonsense of ‘since you made the allegation then you prove it’.


    When Barisan Nasional says the same thing we whack them. When Barisan Nasional simply denies any wrongdoing we get angry. Denial is no defence, we say. When Barisan Nasional asks us to prove that there is wrongdoing we scream.


    Okay, prove that Rosmah spent millions shopping in Australia.


    Prove that Rosmah ordered that multi-million-dollar diamond ring.


    Prove that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak had dinner with Altantuya Shaariibuu.


    Prove that Dr Mahathir and not Anwar Ibrahim was behind the RM30 billion Bank Negara forex fiasco. After all, in 1992 and 1993, Anwar and not Dr Mahathir was the Finance Minister -- he became the Finance Minister in 1991.

    When we say something about the opposition you scream, “Prove it!” But when you make an allegation against Umno or Barisan Nasiional no need to prove it. Must be 100% truth!


    Well, I say that in 2008, 2009 and 2010 Selangor gave out RM250 million worth of contracts (same figure as the NFC) on a negotiated and non-tender basis. And the details are below. And if the Selangor government denies this, the next step will be to publish the details of these contracts such as the contract numbers, names of companies and the dates of the contracts. Or maybe I will send them to the MACC instead. Hmm….yes, I think that is what I will do.

    *************************
    ‘No open tenders’: MCA files report Selangor government contracts amounting to RM143 million were not awarded through open tenders, claims MCA.


    (Free Malaysia Today, 6 July 2011) - MCA has lodged a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) against the Selangor government for alleged discrepancies in the awarding of state contracts.

    Selangor MCA public complaints bureau chairman Theng Book said that 44 contracts given out in 2010 amounting to RM143 million were not given through open tenders.
    Some of these contracts, he said, were even given out twice.

    “After we studied the contracts, we found that there are many, many discrepancies, including contracts that were awarded twice. When given out again, they tendered them again,” he told reporters here.

    He added that the Pakatan Rakyat-led state government had also supplied fertiliser above market value.

    Theng said MCA raised the matter with Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim on June 22.


    He added that Khalid would provide an answer for MCA’s queries at the Selangor state assembly next week.

    Theng claimed that the state government tried to convince him that these contracts were awarded before Pakatan took over the state in 2008.

    “He (Khalid) is responsible for it. He cannot push everything to the previous state government and leave it open,” he added.


    Theng also said that he did not want to wait for Khalid to give an answer at the Selangor State Legislative Assembly next week, and therefore filed the report.


    Asked on the nature of these contracts, he said that he could not reveal the details as the MACC report had already been lodged, and they were not allowed to talk about the case.


    “If we talk too much, they will know how to cover (up),” he said.


    MCA attacked the state government for allegedly reneging on its promise of transparency and accountability in awarding of contracts.

    Theng’s deputy Kelvin Chong Seng Foo zeroed in on DAP’s PJ Utara MP Tony Puu, asking him to file a report with the MACC if there were abuses of power.

    “As for MCA, we dare to talk, we dare to do it,” he said.


    py

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