Archive for category Financial Scandals

Enron-ising Malaysia

by Azly Rahman
Feb 22, 2014

Malaysia’s monopoly corporate crony capitalism, framed and flourishing ethnocentrically and laced with economic fascism continue to take root, fashioned after the ethos and eerie-ness of America’s Enron Corporation which was said to be too big to fail yet fell like a house of cards that turned into ashes after an internal combustion of a self-immolation.

It also brought down one of one of the world’s biggest accounting fraudsters and master of creative accounting – Arthur Anderson. This is a feature of the many a Wall Street-fashioned American corporation – grow bigger with bigger lies with the help of world-class lying accounting firms.

What will Malaysia see decades after the seeds of destruction have germinated out of the three-pronged policies of Malaysian-styled Reaganomics and Thatcherism and Marcos-Mugabeism of Malaysia Incorporated, Look East Policy, and Privatisation Policies. Or have we not seen the impact of these policies in terms of the growth of big businesses whose survival also lie in the political-economic patronage of race-based political parties? Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia must stop being an international laughing stock as “land of mega financial scandals without criminals” with all patriotic Malaysians demanding that those responsible for the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal must be identified and brought to book

I would have won if someone had betted with me whether the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) “mother of all scandals” had ever been raised or discussed at the second 2014 Cabinet meeting yesterday, especially after the shock double acquittal of two former Transport Ministers in their multiple charges in connection with the scandal.

On Monday, former Transport Minister Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy walked free from the High Court from cheating charges in connection with the PKFZ scandal, the second former Transport Minister to be acquitted in less than three months in connection with the PKFZ scandal.

But clearly, none in the Cabinet meeting yesterday wanted to rock the boat and everybody prefered to “Let sleeping dogs lie”!

But this irresponsible, craven and cowardly attitude cannot be acceptable to Malaysians who want to see the fulfillment of the Malaysian Dream – a united, harmonious, just, competitive and great plural Malaysia nation built on the principles of tolerance, justice, freedom, integrity and good governance where there is zero tolerance for corruption.
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Disclose out-of-court deals

P Gunasegaram
Jul 19, 2013

QUESTION TIME When a ball goes out of court, it goes out of play and play stops. But not so when a case goes to court and then there is an out-of-court settlement. Things are still very much in play, only the public does not get to see the action any more.

Out-of-court settlements are great if the dispute at hand is nobody else’s business but the parties in conflict. It is the right thing when matters are private, for example divorce cases when there is no reason whatsoever why it should become a public matter.

But when it involves the government, it is against the public interest to have out-of-court settlements, and if there are, then it would be best if the full terms of the settlement are made known to the public. Otherwise, who knows what will be hidden from the public eye?

Two incidents earlier this week caused us to be alarmed and relieved in turn. It was alarm when The Star reported that speculations were rife that a suit between tycoon Halim Saad on one side and former minister and government special adviser Nor Mohamed Yakcop, the government and Khazanah Nasional Bhd on the other, will be settled out of court – for RM1 billion. Read the rest of this entry »

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12 Questions about the biggest corporate catastrophe in nation’s 56-year history – the RM2.34 billion UEM-Renong deal in 1997 – which still cry out for answer after 16 years

The mega-billion-ringgit suit filed by Umno-created tycoon Tan Sri Halim Saad against the government three days before the 13GE Nomination Day on April 20, 2013 to demand full settlement of an over RM2 billion deal that forced him to relinquish his controlling stake in Renong Bhd more than a decade ago has re-opened questions about the nations’ biggest corporate catastrophe in the nation’s 56-year history.

This was the RM2.34 billion UEM-Renong deal in 1997 which precipitated the biggest crash in the Kuala Lumpur stockmarket in the 1997 financial crisis, causing the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index to fall by 19.58 per cent, from 667.29 to 536.62 points in three days, wiping out RM70 billion of the investors’ funds in the stock exchange.

In his mega-billion-ringgit suit, Halim, once the sole corporate nominee of the ruling Umno, was offered RM1.3 billion in cash and property as well as control of a private waste management company, roughly valued at RM2 billion, in exchange for his disposal of Renong in the 2001 agreement.

But Halim had since only received RM165 million despite giving up his business empire and will be demanding the remainder.

The Edge Malaysia reported that Halim attempted to pressure the government into full settlement, but in 2010, former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad told him the agreement would not be honoured.

The Edge Malaysia article wrote: “Halim held numerous meetings with Dr Mahathir — even after the latter quit as premier in November 2003 — and Nor Mohamed to push for a full settlement but he was repeatedly fobbed off.
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Pengiraan Detik 47 Hari ke PRU13 – Suruhanjaya Siasatan Diraja menyiasat kerugian RM100 bilion daripada skandal kewangan sepanjang 22 tahun Mahathir menjadi Perdana Menteri

Semalam, portal berita perniagaan yang baru berusia tiga hari KiniBiz melaporkan “Syed Mokhtar eyes Malaysia Airlines” oleh Jose Barrock, laporan bahawa Syed Mokhtar Albukhary mencadangkan kerajaan persekutuan mengambil alih cabang pelaburan negara, 69.3 peratus kepentingan ekuiti Khazanah Nasional Berhad di dalam Malaysia Airlines yang termasuk sebahagian daripada subsidi minyak jangka panjang oleh kerajaan untuk 60 tahun.

Rakyat Malaysia menanti pendedahan sepenuhnya perkembangan terbaru ini dalam kerumitan hubungan korporat-kerajaan, dengan “sumber yang dekat dengan Syed Mokhtar” menafikan terdapat cadangan untuk mengambil alih MAS dengan “dua sumber berlainan” mengesahkan bahawa urusan sedemikian sedang difikirkan.

Bagaimanapun laporan ini telah mengkedepankan isu utama dalam Pilihan Raya Umum yang bakal menjelang tentang kebimbangan orang ramai terhadap tadbir urus yang baik di Malaysia sama ada melibatkan skandal kewangan lama yang muncul dari penswastaan secara menyeluruh dan khususnya tentang penerbangan milik negara yang bermasalah; empayar perniagaan Syed Mokhtar dan hutang mega beliau mewujudkan kebimbangan sama ada ianya akan diselamatkan (bail out) kerajaan menggunakan duit penbayar cukai dan sejarah korupsi, kronisme dan penyalahgunaan kuasa di dalam senarai panjang Umnoputra yang diselamatkan dengan tanggungan rakyat sejak berdekad lalu.

Pilihan Raya Umum ke-13 merupakan waktu paling sesuai untuk meninjau kembali isu-isu yang membimbangkan orang ramai tentang akauntabiliti, ketelusan dan tadbir urus baik.
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47-Day Countdown to 13GE – Royal Commission of Inquiry into the RM100 billion losses from financial scandals in the 22-year Mahathir premiership

Yesterday, the three-day-old business news portal KiniBiz carried the report “Syed Mokhtar eyes Malaysia Airlines” by Jose Barrock, reporting that Syed Mokhtar Albukhary is proposing to the federal government to take over national investment arm, Khazanah Nasional Berhad’s 69.3 per cent equity interest in Malaysia Airlines which includes as part of the deal a long-term fuel subsidy by the government for as many as 60 years.

Malaysians await the full disclosure of this latest development in the byzantine government-corporate nexus, with a “source close to Syed Mokhtar” denying that there is such a proposal to take over MAS with “two separate sources” confirming that such a deal is being contemplated.

This report has, however, brought to the fore as priority issues in the impending 13th General Elections public concerns about good governance in Malaysia whether about past financial scandals arising from privatisation as a whole and specifically about the ailing national airline; Syed Mokhtar’s far-flung business empire and his mega-debts creating genuine fears whether they will require a massive bailout using taxpayers’ money and the history of corruption, cronyism and abuses of power in the long list of bailouts of Umnoputras at the public expense in the past few decades.

The 13th General Elections is the most appropriate time to revisit these issues of public concern about accountability, transparency and good governance.
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Investigate Malaysia’s debts now

By Pak Sako | Thursday, 21 February 2013 11:34

Former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad claimed last week that Malaysia’s current debt level is “healthy” compared with Greece’s.

But the debt-to-GDP percentage Mahathir relied on tells next to nothing about the full extent of Malaysia’s debts; the nature of these debts; or what can happen next.

The real devil lies in the details, namely:

(i) the trend in the debt level.

How has it changed in the recent past? Is there momentum in a certain direction? The federal government’s debt had doubled in just four years from 2007 and 2012. Will it stop growing, or will the trend and absolute totals continue their upward rise?

In the last decade, our finance ministers have repeatedly pledged to reduce the budget deficits. This has not happened. Instead, deficits have ballooned and the federal government’s debt has mounted.

(ii) the causes of debt.

For what are the borrowings and for whom? Are these borrowings for worthwhile investments that benefit the public? Are these liabilities being used to cover government operating costs or to prop up failing crony companies or the stock market? Is the use of costly loans for projects with low or no rates of return justified?

Almost a trillion ringgit was recently whisked out of the country in the form of illegal outflows. This is capital flight. It is conclusive evidence that our economy is ‘leaking out’ wealth.
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22 questions for Dr M, again

P Gunasegaram
Feb 14, 2013

QUESTION TIME I became a journalist at the Business Times, then a standalone newspaper, in 1978.

Three years later in 1981 Dr Mahathir Mohamad became prime minister of Malaysia, its fourth, succeeding Hussein Onn.

I have followed his career quite closely since and frankly I am not impressed. He started off with promise – and promised a lot – but fulfilled none if any.

In fact I would go so far as to say that he was positively the worst prime minister this country has ever had.

Through destruction of institutions such as an independent judiciary, running roughshod over civil servants, bringing his brand of power, patronage and poor economics into decision making, and making use of oppressive laws he used an iron fist to rule and in the process brought more harm to this country than any other person alive or dead.

Much of the problems of Malaysia can be traced back to him and he has made it difficult for his successors to make major changes going forward, much of which would involve unwinding processes and linkages he had put in place before. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why listen to discredited politicians?

By Lucius Goon | November 09, 2012
The Malaysian Insider

NOV 9 — What have Malaysians done to deserve discredited politicians like Shahrizat Jalil, Chua Soi Lek, Nazri Aziz, Mahathir Mohamad, Ibrahim Ali, Musa Aman, who still tell us anything or advise us on anything.

I mean, what moral standing, or for that matter any standing, does:

A) someone who shamelessly defends a family venture gone awry and then attempts to airbrush history;

B) someone who was a serial adulterer until being caught out.

C) someone whose defence of his son included industrial language and convoluted but ultimately unconvincing explanation of the political donation to Sabah Umno.
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Scopene Submarines Purchase and Murder Scandal

A brief summary
by Koon Yew Yin
September 24, 2012

Pakatan Rakyat has invited Suaram to talk about the Scopene Submarines Purchase and the Murder scandal at 8PM at Hotel Excelsior , Ipoh on Sunday, 30th Sept 2012. My purpose of writing this summary is to help the attendees understand the talk better. As you know Suaram needs money to do the work for us in exposing the corruption and murder involved. We are expected to donate whatever we like at the admission.

In November of 2009, Suaram, the Kuala Lumpur-based human rights NGO, asked a French investigative law firm to look into what appeared to be huge bribes and kickbacks paid to Malaysian politicians by the French state-owned defence company DCN and its subsidiaries for the 2002 purchase of two submarines and the lease of a third.

The story was complicated by the sensational 2006 death of a Mongolian translator and party girl, Altantuya Shaariibuu, who was shot by two of then-Defense Minister Najib Tun Razak’s bodyguards and her body was blown up with military explosives. While the bodyguards were convicted of her killing, the court appeared to have actively suppressed any mention of who allegedly paid the two to kill her, raising Suaram’s concerns that there would be no justice delivered. Read the rest of this entry »

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Janji Detepati or Janji Diketepi?

REFSA (Research for Social Advancement) | 29 August 2012

In conjunction with Malaysia’s 55th year of Independence on 31 August

Janji Detepati or Janji Diketepi?

In the run-up to our 55th Merdeka Day celebrations, the federal government has been particularly keen on reminding Malaysians of all it has done for us.
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Charging Rafizi – gross miscarriage of justice

By Dr Chen Man Hin, DAP Life advisor

I feel there is a gross miscarriage of justice by charging Rafizi for revealing bank accounts of NFCorp.

In my opinion, Rafizi by revealing the bank accounts of NFCorp has shown that the officers of NFCorp were involved in a major offence of laundering money belonging to the people.

NFCorp obtained a sum of RM250 million from the government, ostensibly to invest in a major cattle venture.

The company officers led by its chairman Datuk Seri Mohamed Salleh misused the money and attempted to hide the money in properties in foreign countries. They were engaged in money laundering.

Rafizi discovered this and reported the money laundering operation to the press, based on bank accounts in the names of NFCorp officers.
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Perceptions and deceptions

Rom Nain
Jul 12, 2012

Our political leaders evidently have a not-so-smart-ass response for everything under the hazy Malaysian sun.

Some – the few who can read – probably would have read that story about the French queen, Marie Antoinette, apparently saying `Let them eat cake’ upon learning that the French peasants had no bread.

Yes, perhaps that is why our home minister, upon hearing that the ISA detainees were on a hunger strike, twittered that it was the choice of the ISA detainees to hold the hunger strike, just as it was his choice to have lamb chops.

Not very sensitive of him, it could be argued. But then, neither was the French queen who, history tells us, was later executed by guillotine. Yes, she had her head chopped off.

Many of our politicians, I think, share this misconception that they are so darn smart and can deliver flippant comments, inane lines and get away with it. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mahathir is worried that the truth will be out about all the financial scandals during his 22-year premiership if Pakatan Rakyat forms national government in next polls

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has been more than his hyper-active self in the past fortnight, not only making preposterous statements about the political situation in the country but doing his utmost to fob off any possibility that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak might stick to his earlier timetable to hold 13th General Election in June/July.

It was in the past two weeks that Mahathir:

• Made the wild and preposterous statement that the Bersih 3.0 rally was a “preparation” and “warm-up” by Pakatan Rakyat for violent demonstrations to reject the results of the 13th general election should the opposition fail to win it.

• Made another wild and preposterous statement when warning that the defeat of UMNO would be akin to the Malays losing power in their own country, when the coalition that would replace UMNO/Barisan Nasional would be Pakatan Rakyat comprising PKR, PAS and DAP;

• Returned again and again to the theme that because of the Abdullah premiership, the Najib government is still weak and not ready for the 13th General Election which he wants to be held off until after the fasting month which ends in August.

However, the real reason why Mahathir is so hyper-active in the past fortnight and making so many wild and preposterous statements is because the former Prime Minister is worried that the truth will be out about all the financial scandals during his 22-year premiership if Pakatan Rakyat forms the national government in next polls. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Nor the main culprit behind forex scandal’

Athi Shankar | June 3, 2012
Free Malaysia Today

An ex-Bank Negara insider reveals the inside track on the currency speculation undertaken by Nor Mohamed Yakcop and other powerful people about 20 years ago.

GEORGE TOWN: A former Bank Negara insider has named four powerful elites as main players to have caused the central bank’s massive RM30-billion loss in the international foreign exchange speculation scandal some 20 years ago.

In his explosive revelation, retired Bank Negara deputy manager, Dr Rosli Yaakop named former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamed, ex-finance minister Daim Zainuddin, ex-Bank Negara Governor, the late Jaffar Hussein and current Minister in Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Economic Planning Unit Government Nor Mohamed Yakcop as the “forex scandal elite club masters.”

Rosli told a forum here yesterday Jaffar and Nor were biggest culprits by going overboard in the speculative foreign currency venture.

He said the duo speculated and they gambled recklessly and irresponsibly with no regard to the safety of Bank Negara’s assets.

He revealed that they wanted to beat George Soros, perhaps, to impress their bosses that they were experts in forex dealings.

The former high ranking Bank Negara officer said the forex speculation activities were against the very grain of central bank principles.

He asked on how a central bank can be heavily involved in massive forex speculations when its task was to stamp out excessive speculations?

“Bank Negara’s duty was to protect and strengthen the value of ringgit, not to gamble ringgit in forex market.

“I think it was a deliberate attempt to make money for certain people using Bank Negara as piggy ride,” Rosli hammered home his conclusion during a question-answer session later.

He accused Nor to have directly caused the forex losses given that the Tasek Gelugor MP was the man tasked to speculate, and ultimately gamble, Malaysian Ringgit against foreign currencies. Read the rest of this entry »

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Parliament skirts questions on Tajudin Ramli settlement

By S Pathmawathy | 2:16PM Mar 13, 12

Four questions related to the out-of-court settlement between former Malaysia Airlines chairperson Tajudin Ramli and government-linked corporations (GLCs) were rejected by the Dewan Rakyat today on grounds that these are sub judice.

The questions were turned down on the reasoning that the matter could have an implication on other ongoing legal battles in the Court of Appeal and pending cases in the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

tajudin ramli 1The questions were submitted by DAP MPs Lim Guan Eng (Bagan), Lim Lip Eng (Segambut), Jeff Ooi (Jelutong) and Tony Pua (Petaling Jaya Utara), and were interrelated to the government’s instructions in ordering the GLCs to end the long-drawn battle.

“These questions are important… we want to know the rationale and benefit to the rakyat by settling out of court the multi-million ringgit that Tajudin was ordered to pay by the High Court,” Guan Eng told a press conference at the Parliament lobby today.

Last month, Tajudin came to a settlement with Pengurusan Danaharta Bhd (Danaharta) putting an end to a six-year dispute over millions of ringgit that Tajudin owed to the national asset management firm.
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Shahrizat seorang sahajakah yang berhenti? Seorang lagi tu macam mana?

Oleh Aspan Alias | March 13, 2012
The Malaysian Insider

13 MAC — Shahrizat Jalil mengambil keputusan untuk meletakkan jawatan hanya pada 8hb April nanti apabila penggal keahliannya di Dewan Senat tamat tempohnya. Perletakkan jawatan ini sepatutnya sudah diambilnya sebaik sahaja terbongkar salahlaku keluarganya menyalahgunakan wang pinjaman dari kerajaan untuk mengendalikan perniagaan NFC itu. Tetapi setidak-tidaknya beliau mengambil juga tindakan untuk melepaskan jawatan kabinet yang dipegangnya melalui pintu belakang itu.

Walaupun beliau pada mulanya berusaha untuk mengekalkan jawatan itu, tetapi etika politiknya yang nyata sangat menjengkelkan itu tidak berdaya beliau untuk mempertahankan jawatan yang amat beliau sayangi itu. Sesungguhnya itu sahaja jalan yang tinggal untuknya lakukan kerana kesalahan etikanya sangat menjelikkan kerana suaminya itu mendapat pinjaman semudah itu kerana kedudukan Shahrizat didalam kabinet negara.

Seperti yang saya nyatakan dahulu, jika Shahrizat itu hanya seorang bidan kampung, Salleh tidak mungkin mendapat pinjaman dengan menggunakan wang rakyat dengan semudah itu. Semua keistimewaan-keistimewaan yang didapati oleh ahli keluarga pemimpin ini telah banyak memerah wang dan harta rakyat. Tetapi Shahrizat ini malang sedikit kerana beliau tidak mempunyai kuasa dan pengaruh sepenuhnya.
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Shahrizat is no sacrificial lamb

By Jacob Sinnathamby | March 12, 2012
The Malaysian Insider

MARCH 12 — I find it shocking that even till the last, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak wanted the last stab to insult Malaysians.

At least we deserve some modicum of respect from the prime minister. Throughout the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC), he and his government have insulted us with their indifference to the glaring fact that the BN government granted RM250 million to a family who were ill-equipped to run this feedlot business. Instead, they used the funds to buy properties and live comfortable lives.

Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil’s culpability starts and ends with several facts and assumptions including that her expenses were paid by the NFC and that it is likely that her connections allowed her family to get the contract.

It is impossible to believe that the decision makers ,who included Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Najib, gave the contract and the soft loan to greenhorns with no consideration to the fact that Shahrizat leads Wanita Umno.
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Chief Justice Ariffin Zakaria should intervene against the harsh and excessive one-year jail sentence imposed on imam Hoslan Hussein for throwing his shoes at the Federal Court judges

For the past few days, Malaysian sense of decency and propriety had been pulverised by a battery of blows which collectively signal that something is very rotten with the Najib administration which is marking its third anniversary next month, viz:

  • the one-year jail sentence by the Federal Court for contempt of court by imam Hoslan Hussein who flung his shoes at the three-man bench led by Chief Judge of Malaya Justice Zulkifli Ahmad Makinuddin on February 22;

  • Two years for the High Court judge to produce a 70-page judgment on the murder trial of Altantuya Shaariibuu, who was blown to bits with C4 explosives, which was totally unconcerned about the motive of the murder.

  • The denial of welfare aid and farming subsidies to disabled Sarawak farmer Frusis Lebi, 51, by Sarawak agriculture assistant minister Mong Dagang for supporting the opposition.

  • The unending revelations of the horrors of the RM250 million National Feedlot Centre “cow condo” scandal reaching far beyond the shores of Malaysia, with the latest allegations of purchase of properties not only in Singapore but also in Kazakhstan involving public funds specifically meant to promote greater beef self-sufficiency in the country. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tajudin cannot be indemnified against prosecution, says Mat Zain

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal | March 07, 2012
The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, March 7 — Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli is not immune from criminal prosecution over his handling of Malaysia Airlines System (MAS) during his tenure as its chairman, a former senior policeman has charged.

Referring to the out-of-court settlement reached between one-time national asset management firm Pengurusan Danaharta Bhd (Danaharta) and Tajudin, Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim said that this did not change the fact that three police reports with “damning allegations” had been filed by MAS against the tycoon in 2002, 2005 and 2009.

“[Even] if all civil suits between Tajudin and the rest of the parties involved, MAS in particular, were to be settled out of court, they do not in any way nullify the three reports made against Tajudin by the MAS management. Those reports still stand to be valid,” the ex-KL CID chief said in a statement today, and also challenged Tajudin’s successor, Datuk Seri Idris Jala, to refute allegations made in the 2009 report.
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