Pakatan Rakyat’s policy statement on New Economic Model (Part 3b)

Having reviewed the NEM in details, what is most damaging to NEM does not even form any part of NEM or the documents published by NEAC.

In the end, the public shall judge Barisan Nasional by its actions – past and present; to determine the level of seriousness and political will. In this department, Barisan Nasional’s contradictory decisions and actions prior to and in the immediate instance of unveiling of NEM shall prove to be the most fatal blow to NEM.

Rent Seeking
YAB Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak has openly admitted that out of RM54 billion of equity allocated to Bumiputra, only RM2 billion remains due to immediate and large sell down of Bumiputra shares in the capital market.

Embarrassingly, he went on to admit that “those who received bumiputra shares were not ordinary folk but mainly influential people ‘who sat in the front rows at functions such as Tan Sris and Datuk Sris”.

It is an open secret that the majority of these shares were allocated to individuals connected to the ruling elite who went on to amass massive wealth.

In spite of the open admission, it has been almost a year since the disclosure yet there has not been any serious steps taken to get to the bottom of the problem. Barisan Nasional government has not even attempted to announce to the public the individuals or parties involved with such a massive amount.

The least that the government could have done is to publish the major recipients so as to send a signal of its seriousness to purge the rent seeking culture prevalent in its ranks.

The other example of pure rhetoric on the part of Barisan Nasional when it comes to purging the rent seeking culture is its handling of the much delayed National Cancer Institute.

On 9th January 2007, the then Prime Minister YAB Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi completed the ground breaking ceremony for National Cancer Institute in Putrajaya.

Various news reports21 indicated that the centre would cost RM340 million and should be completed within 30 months from the ground breaking ceremony (expected June 2009).

The institute was also included as a project under the 9th Malaysian Plan22 and was reported extensively as a key government initiative to combat cancer.

In an answer to a question in Dewan Rakyat on 10th March 200923, the then Deputy Minister of Health, YB Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad informed the Parliament that the government is “in the final stage to build the National Cancer Institute at a cost of RM700 million”.

24 months after the project was announced and included in 9MP, the cost has escalated by 100%.

The cost escalation can be explained by the nature of the parties involved in the project.

Pakatan Rakyat can disclose that the project was allegedly awarded by direct negotiation to a company called Kiara Teratai Sdn Bhd whose directors and shareholders are one Ahmad Zaed bin Saleh Hamdi dan Hashim Hasan.

A search on the two individuals show various filings at Bursa on transactions related to MMC and Tradewinds, two companies associated with Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar al-Bukhary. Both individuals are considered individuals connected to Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar al-Bukhary.

Kiara Teratai Sdn Bhd’s financial statements ended 30 June 2009 confirmed that the company has received a letter of intent dated 5 January 2008 from the Government to design and build an institution for cancer.

A similar check on IJM’s market report indicated that IJM was expected to be awarded a contract to build a local, specialised hospital job for a price of RM700 million.

Connecting the dots, we can summarise the following:

  1. The project was initially estimated at RM340 million and included at that price in 9MP;

  2. The government then awarded the tender to a connected company named Kiara Teratai Sdn Bhd, fronted by individuals connected to Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar al-Bukhary (via a letter of intent dated 5 January 2008);

  3. Kiara Teratai is expected to appoint IJM as a subcontractor to build the hospital at RM700 million; twice the cost estimate in 2007;

  4. The price tag of RM700 million has been announced in Parliament by the Deputy Minister, in complete ignorance of the initial estimate of RM340 million; and

  5. The project is delayed as completion was expected by June 2009. So far, in March 2009 – the government is only talking of “finalising” the construction.

These are only two examples taking place in our midst, despite government’s avowed mission to combat rent seeking culture.

Just as the Prime Minister and his economic advisors drafted the NEM, connected parties continue to benefit from rent seeking at the expense of the public.

  1. #1 by waterfrontcoolie on Wednesday, 21 April 2010 - 6:05 am

    YB, have a look at the PTP. It is so successful that I was told it required an anual injection of $1 billion by the Gomen. The initial cost of some $6 billion was already free capital investment by the Gomen. Do they think the foreign lines are so grateful that they would pay enough to keep PTP viable?? This is real BodohLand thinking. They will sail away when another Arse Hole operator offers them a lower rate! Of course we can’t find another one in the Asean region to undercut PTP. Maybe Kuantan Port will do it!

  2. #2 by chengho on Wednesday, 21 April 2010 - 6:52 am

    they should award to YTL

  3. #3 by cheng on on Wednesday, 21 April 2010 - 11:07 am

    If award directly to IJM or YTL, sure save more than 5% (RM35 million). what can RM35 million or more do to the poors in the villages

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