Pergau Payoff

Kuala Yong near Jeli, Kelantan is a laid back but picturesque place. Located some 100 kilometres west of Kota Bharu, the village was once the seat of a global controversy that is still being spoken about today – the Pergau Dam affair.

I touched briefly on the Pergau Dam affair in a recent posting. It talked about how Malaysia took advantage of the weak British economy to conduct the infamous ‘Dawn Raid’, almost bringing Margaret Thatcher to kowtow before Mahathir.

The Pergau Dam affair was about treachery – Mahathir’s style.

It involved an arms scandal as well as aid for the poor that turned into what is now the Pergau Dam.

Allegations of bribes being passed to the then-Prime Minister of Malaysia was abound. But as with the allegations of tens of billions of Ringgits squandered by Mahathir, he never challenged these allegations either.

The Pergau Dam story started with then Secretary of State for Defense George Younger’s agreement with the government of Malaysia in 1988 that the Britain would provide aid in the amount of 20 percent the value of arms sales from Britain to Malaysia. This aid would come in the form of a dam project, despite a subsequent assessment from economists and engineers of the Overseas Development Administration (ODA – the UK’s development arm at the time, which reported to the Foreign Secretary) who found that the dam would not be a cost-efficient way to increase the production of electricity.

In 1991, then Foreign Secretary, Douglas Hurd, authorised the expenditure of £234 million from the aid budget anyway, to maintain a deal made by the defence secretary and approved by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and later John Major.  The World Development Movement called for a judicial review of the funding of Pergau Dam on the grounds of a law which states that aid can only be used for “promoting the development or maintaining the economy of a country….or the welfare of its people”.

The British High Court ruled in 1994 that the project was not of economic benefit to the Malaysian people; the deal linked aid directly to commercial contracts and was unlawful.

The Sunday Times ran a story that the dam contractor, George Wimpey International, had paid an initial bribe meant for Mahathir to the tune of USD500,000 (approximately RM1.25 million then). Instead of challenging the newspaper in a court of law, Mahathir got Anwar, who was his Deputy then, to announce ‘Buy British Last II‘.

Lim Kit Siang, Mahathir’s present best friend, jumped at the opportunity to slam the latter. He openly challenged Mahathir to sue the Sunday Times in a court of law – something Mahathir never did.

Although the amount of bribe stated by Lim Kit Siang varied from what was reported by the Sunday Times the last two lines of the above screen capture of Kit Siang’s article shows that monies were transferred to ‘account numbers in Switzerland to which fees related to contract award are to be paid.

When the Pergau deal and alleged bribes transfers took place in 1984-85, Mahathir’s right-hand man Daim Zainuddin was the Finance Minister. Coincidentally, it was said that Daim owned, or was in control of, at least a bank in Switzerland, if not more. This was also how, according to Edmund Terence Gomez and Jomo Kwame Sundaram, Daim’s company called Baktimu Sdn Bhd was able to obtain a RM40 million loan from the Union Bank of Switzerland to buy a 33 percent stake in Sime UEP for RM75 million in CASH!

Daim only recently divested from the banking business in Switzerland through his company, ICB Financial Group AG.

Could Daim have been involved in providing the accounts into which these payments were credited?

Neither Mahathir nor Daim has come forth to explain, let alone sue especially the Sunday Times for running that story.

In the words of Lim Kit Siang when his struggle then was for the people:

Insider Submarine Trading?

Najib Razak’s reply to Wan Azizah on the Scorpene issue in 2008
In 2008, then Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, in his reply to Wan Azizah confirmed that all terms and approvals of the procurements of the two units of Scorpene submarines and 18 units of fighter jets were made in accordance with Government procurement procedures and could only be executed by the Finance Ministry.

The inking of the deal to purchase the Scorpene submarines was made in June 2002 when a now-amnesiac Prime Minister was also the Finance Minister then.

In yesterday’s posting I mentioned about Ibrahim mohd Noor being Daim Zainuddin’s proxy and ran Perimekar Sdn Bhd with Mohzani Mahathir out of a bungalow at Jalan Lembah Ledang off Jalan Duta in Kuala Lumpur.  The fact is that very few people know that Ibrahim had an office there, which also happened to be the base for the creation of Ibrahim’s venture into media and advertising via Blue Inc Sdn Bhd.

Being close to Daim gave him the advantage of ‘privileged knowledge’ and knew when Mahathir finally agreed to to the submarine program.  He teamed up with Mokhzani Mahathir and used Perimekar as the vehicle for this venture. A nucleus team was formed and started on the proposal.  They went to a few reputable German shipbuilders like HDW and Blohm & Voss.

However, at the end of 2001, Daim and Mahathir had a fall out.  Lim Kit Siang, Mahathir’s now best friend, was very observant of this event and commented that the Mahathir-Daim fall-out is not over policy differences on whether to end the policy of bail-outs and buy- outs.

Rather, he claimed, it was “over differences as to who should be the beneficiaries of such government bail-outs and buy-outs at a time when the government must pick and choose the beneficiaries as public resources are stretched to the limit and are incapable of saving all crony companies and individuals.”

Of course, Lim Kit Siang being an old man although not yet as old as Mahathir, suffers from selective amnesia and seems to have forgiven Mahathir for all his sins to the people of Malaysia – as long as the position that gives power is within his grasp.

As a result of the fall out, Ibrahim had to give up Perimekar and his quest to supply the Royal Malaysian Navy with its submarines, and Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT) took this up.

At the time, Boustead was planning to take over Amin Shah’s Business Focus Group, in particular the PSC Naval Dockyard Sdn Bhd.  Amin Shah, a known Daim crony, privatised the Royal Malaysian Navy’s dockyard during Daim’s tenure as the Finance Minister and injected it into a company he took over, Penang Shipyard Co.

At the time, PSC Naval Dockyard Sdn Bhd already had the contract to supply six out of 27 new-generation patrol vessels  for the RMN, which happened to be a deal between PSC Naval Dockyard Sdn Bhd’s joint-venture with German shipbuilder Blohm & Voss.

It seemed convenient for Perimekar then to also have another deal with a German shipbuilder especially Blohm & Voss.

After Ibrahim was out of the picture and Abdul Razak Baginda’s wife was in Perimekar, the latter shopped around for a suitable submarine.  The DCNS and Thales at the time had a product which was the Scorpene submarine, considered a superior diesel-electric attack submarine at the time and was constructing for the Chilean Navy.

In early 2002, the Malaysian Defence Industry Council was hosted at PSC Naval Dockyard Sdn Bhd in Lumut, and Amin Shah tried to peddle two used Dutch submarines to Najib Razak who was then the Defence Minister.  The submarines, the Tijgerhaai (Tigershark) and Zwaardvis (Swordfish) were ambitiously bought by Amin Shah.  However, Najib Razak was not interested in having two rustbuckets for the RMN.

The Scorpene had incorporated systems that are in use with the French Navy’s nuclear attack submarines, also built by DCNS and Thales.  The proposal also included the very potent Blackshark II torpedoes and MBDA SM39 Exocet anti-ship missiles.

Abdul Razak Baginda also managed to package together the elite turnkey submarine training with the DCI-NAVFCO at Brest.  Coupled with extensive exercise exposure of the RMN officers and men with their French counterparts in the submarine force at Brest gave the RMN men an exposure to the French Navy’s role and operations as well as tactics used in NATO.

Once the deal was inked in June 2002, Razak never went to Cherbourg again.

And Altantuya? She only existed a few years after the deal was inked. Even a renowned Najib Razak-hater wrote in his book that Abdul Razak Baginda first met in 2004, a good two years after the Scorpene deal was done.


It is interesting to note that the RMN had sent its first batch of officers for submarine training with the Royal Australian Navy in 1992.  They earned their submariners’ dolphin a year later.

And guess which Minister of Defence it was then who mooted the idea of having a submarine force?

The then-Defence Minister replying to a question by Lim Kit Siang in Parliament
So was the plan for Perimekar laid out like a carpet a while before the then Prime Minister gave the go ahead to work out a submarine program for the RMN?

It is impossible for the Prime Minister or Finance Minister then to not know about the purchase of the submarines.  This is not like buying sweets at a Mamak shop.  They cost billions of Ringgits that would still need the approval of the Finance Ministry.

So is Mahathir not afraid of the hereafter peddling one lie after another?

Borrowing the words of a certain Opposition office-holder:

“Allah Knows!”

 

Kerala Militant Torpedoed 

You know the next general election is going to be a dirty one when old issues are brought back ad infinitum despite being repeatedly shot down.

The latest issue that is being brought back is of the Royal Malaysian Navy’s Scorpene deal. Two portals, Free Mischief Today and Malaysian Incite published a report yesterday claiming that Abdul Razak Baginda has been charged in a French court.

A quick search by a friend found no such news from AFP.

Credit to Danny Liew

I find it impossible that such a big thing never made it into a little column on the AFP portal.

Today, U-Turn Mahathir revealed that the purchase of the Scorpene was never discussed in any cabinet meeting. It was reported again by Malaysian Incite. Perhaps the Big Chief of that portal had had too much during happy hours with Tokong.

Anyway, Mahathir can fool the youngsters like Pribumi’s Ketua Amanda, Syed Sajat. Other more matured people would know the truth.

The green light for the purchase of the Scorpene was given by the Prime Minister and Finance Minister back in 1995. I’ll leave it to you to name them. The negotiations were conducted according to defence procurement contracts procedures.

In June 2002, the contract was signed after getting the final approval of the Finance Minister who was also the Prime Minister. Again, I shall let you guess his name.

Included in this contract was the purchase of a former French Navy submarine (which is now a museum in Melaka) that would act as a training platform for Malaysian’s submariners for four years.

The final commercial committee was headed by the Secretary-General of Treasury who submitted the report of the acquisition. At this point, the Ministry of Defence was no longer involved.

Back in 2012, Mahathir said that neither he nor Najib Razak were involved in the acquisition of the Scorpene submarines. The Opposition bloggers went to town to link Mahathir and Daim Zainuddin to the purchase.

So, how is it that Mahathir is exonerated by the Opposition and now claims he would have blocked the purchase had he known about it?

The Greatest Malaysian Misleader

Delusional old crap

The above is an extract from an interview of a psychopathic and delusional old man by the Nikkei Asian Review yesterday.  He said that he had never abused his power when he was the Prime Minister.

If you have a copy of Barry Wain’s ‘Malaysian Maverick‘ you can see the list of abuses that Mahathir had done during his premiership.  And those are only the ones that Mr Wain had discovered.

Time Magazine quoted an economist at Morgan Stanley in Singapore as saying that the country might have lost as much as US$100 billion since the early 1980s to corruption. Under Mahathir’s 22 years term, there were monetary losses amounting to over at least hundred of billions of Ringgit and this excluded those unaccounted for, and irretrievable.

Another politician, Syed Husin Ali, whose party is now worshipping Mahathir said, “Petronas has neither been fully transparent nor accountable with how it spends its money, especially in aiding and abetting Tun Mahathir to indulge in unproductive construction of mega projects, to bail out ailing crony companies and corporate figures, and to involve itself in excessive and wasteful spending on celebrations and conferences.”

For the record, Mr Wain has never been sued by Mahathir.  Neither has Mahathir’s foe-turned-best friend Lim Kit Siang been sued for his remarks on the former.

Lim Kit Siang aka The Emperor once wrote:

If we examine the decade of the Mahathir administration, we will find that the scandals, unaccountability, the human rights violations and abuses of power have one common thread – to protect and further the economic interests of the ruling political elites. This necessitated a growing concentration of political power in the hands of the Executive and increasingly in the hands of the Prime Minister, at the expense of the fundamental constitutional principles of the Separation of Powers among the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary, the Independence of the Judiciary and the Rule of Law.

Under his political culture, the role of Law and Judges is not to ensure justice and protect human rights, but to protect the vested economic interests of the powers-that-be from expose and jeopardy.

Two-thirds parliamentary majority has become a blank cheque for abuses of power and human rights violations.”

Emperor Lim was notably vocal on the issues of the Forex scandal that all but wiped out our Bank Negara reserves and also the BMF scandal before he became the jockey that now rides on the political mule called Mahathir.  But the things he wrote on Mahathir are still there waiting to be used against the latter should he (Mahathir) forget his current position – a mule.

As a matter of fact, Emperor Lim also has examples of abuse of power in relation to freedom of the press during Mahathir’s time – and I am not talking just about Ops Lallang.


So for Mahathir to claim that he never abused his power as the Prime Minister is an absolute farce.  It only goes to show how desperate he is to paint a false picture of his past to the youngsters who were yet to be born when Mahathir had this country beneath his fists.

He thinks that the Pakatan will collectively agree to his ambitions of either putting his son as the Prime Minister or he become one himself based on his 22-year experience.

But we all know that no one in the Pakatan wishes to have another one term of Mahathir remembering what he was capable of.  So they will just ride on his anger towards Najib Razak…like the old mule he is.

Pakatan Akan Siasat Skandal BNM Kata Lim Kit Siang

Tuan Besar Pakatan Harapan, Encik Lim Kit Siang berkata bahawa Pakatan Harapan akan menyiasat skandal forex Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) yang berlaku semasa pentadbiran U-Turn Mahathir jika Putrajaya miliknya.

“Sekiranya Pakatan mengambil alih sebagai kerajaan persekutuan dalam pilihan raya umum yang akan datang, satu Suruhanjaya siasatan diraja mestilah ditubuhkan untuk menyiasat kerugian skandal forex Bank Negara bernilai RM30 bilion dalam 1992,” katanya.


Berita seperti inilah yang diharap-harapkan oleh rakyat Malaysia khususnya ahli-ahli DAP yang tetap di landasan perjuangan mereka.

Memetik pandangan bekas timbalan gabenor Bank Negara Dr Rosli Yaakop, Kit Siang berkata spekulasi matawang yang berlaku pada masa itu mendapat restu U-Turn Mahathir dan bekas menteri kewangan serta konco kehormat beliau, Daim Zainuddin.


Mengulas perkembangan terkini, Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri Azalina Othman Said berkata Kit Siang harus menyokong usaha kerajaan untuk menyiasat skandal tersebut.


“Lim Kit Siang sebagai seorang Ahli Parlimen yang berpengalaman, seharusnya menyokong usaha Kerajaan dan bukannya mempolitikkan perkara ini,” katanya menerusi kenyataan media hari ini.

Menurutnya lagi, jika pendirian Lim kini berubah mengenai penubuhan pasukan yang dibuat semalam, maka terbuktilah bahawa Ahli Parlimen Gelang Patah itu hanya lantang demi kepentingan politik sahaja sebelum ini, dan ianya perlu dinilai secara bijak oleh ahli DAP.
“Malah kecenderungan beliau untuk berubah-ubah prinsip serta pendirian memperlihatkan sikap tidak konsistennya dan wajar dinilai oleh penyokong-penyokong DAP,” tambah Ahli Parlimen Pengerang itu lagi.
Saya boleh bayangkan betapa gembiranya Kit Siang dengan sokongan kerajaan menubuhkan pasukan petugas khas untuk menyiasat dakwaan beliau selama ini.

Penantian 24 Tahun Lim Kit Siang Bakal Berakhir

Buku bertajuk "Skandal Kerugian RM30 billion Akibat Pertukaran Matawang Asing oleh Bank Negara" yang ditulis olh Lim Kit Siang
Buku bertajuk “Skandal Kerugian Bank Negara Berjumlah RM30 billion Akibat Pertukaran Matawang Asing” yang ditulis oleh Lim Kit Siang

Pada tahun 1993, Tuan Besar Pakatan Harapan Encik Lim Kit Siang telah menyeru agar Parlimen menubuhkan sebuah Suruhanjaya Siasatan DiRaja (RCI) untuk menyiasat kerugian RM30 billion yang dialami Bank Negara akibat skandal pertukaran matawang asing.

Jumlah RM30 billion pada tahun 1994 adalah bersamaan dengan pelepasan cukai untuk 19 juta rakyat Malaysia ketika itu termasuk bayi dan kanak-kanak selama LAPAN TAHUN! Jumlah tersebut juga bersamaan dengan 1.2 juta rumah murah bernilai RM25,000, 45 universiti, empat LapanganTerbang KLIA dan lima Lebuhraya Utara-Selatan.

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Setelah 24 tahun penantian, permintaan Lim Kit Siang kini hampir menjadi kenyataan.  Kit Siang harus berterima kasih kepada Perdana Menteri Najib Razak kerana bertindak untuk mengetahui kebenaran mengenai skandal tersebut manakala kita rakyat Malaysia patut memberi penghargaan kepada Lim Kit Siang kerana berkeras meminta agar siasatan terhadap kerugian tersebut dijalankan.

Lim Kit Siang amat berdedikasi dan memberi tumpuan khusus terhadap skandal tersebut hinggakan beliau telah menulis sebuah buku mengenai skandal tersebut seperti di atas.

Surat dari Pejabat Perdana Menteri mengarahkan agar satu pasukan petugas ditubuhkan untuk meneliti kes skandal 1992 Bank Negara
Surat dari Pejabat Perdana Menteri mengarahkan agar satu pasukan petugas ditubuhkan untuk meneliti kes skandal 1992 Bank Negara

Lim Kit Siang mendakwa di dalam penulisannya bahawa kerugian akibat skandal tersebut telah mengakibatkan suatu lubang yang boleh mengakibatkan tenggelam dan musnahnya Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) sebagai entiti pihak berkuasa dan penjaga bank-bank dalam negara.

Gabenor BNM ketika itu, Tan Sri Jaafar Hussein menafikan pada tahun 1992 bahawa wujudnya lubang tersebut.

Untuk mereka yang lahir selepas tahun 1975 dan terlalu muda untuk mengingati skandal tersebut, BNM di bawah Jaafar Hussein menjadi satu entiti yang aktif dalam pasaran pertukaran matawang asing (FOREX). BNM begitu agresif mempengaruhi pasaran pertukaran matawang asing hinggakan Pemangku Pengerusi Bank Rizab Persekutuan Amerika Syarikat, Alan Greenspan, terpaksa meminta BNM untuk menghentikan aktivitinya tersebut.

Pada tahun 1991, akhbar Reuters melaporkan:

“Sejak dua tahun yang lalu, ia (BNM) telah meningkatkan jumlah dagangan, dan tahun ini ia telah mula berniaga dalam apa yang digambarkan oleh para peniaga lain sebagai “jumlah yang benar-benar besar…”

“Biasanya, Bank Negara beroperasi dengan lot-lot bernilai AS $ 50 juta setiap lot, berbanding dengan norma pasaran sebanyak AS $ 5 juta atau US $ 10 juta dan berniaga mungkin dengan enam bank utama di Eropah dan enam di New York,” kata para pedagang.

“Seorang pedagang matawang berkata satu-satunya peniaga yang menyaingi Bank Negara ialah dana dari Jepun. Namun dana Jepun ini memasuki pasaran tidak lebih daripada sekali atau dua kali setahun, Bank Negara pula melakukan berbilion dolar sehari.”

“Teknik terkini BNM ialah dengan mengenakan bank-bank utama dengan USD50 juta setiap satu transaksi, dan mengenakan mereka sekali lagi 10 minit kemudian,” kata para pedagang.

Kemudian ia (BNM) menukar pusat dagangan dan melakukan transaksi yang serupa sekali lagi, berulang kali.”

Pada 21hb September 1990, BNM telah menjual di antara US$ 500 juta ke US$ 1 billion nilai Pound Sterling dalam masa yang tersingkat hingga mengakibatkan matawang tersebut jatuh 4 cent setiap Dollar.  Bank-bank bertindak balas dengan cuba mendahului permintaan BNM.

Pada tahun 1993 juga, menurut Lim Kit Siang, U-Turn Mahathir yang kini merupakan rakan “comolot” Lim Kit Siang, telah menafikan wujudnya “lubang” yang boleh mengakibatkan kemusnahan BNM.

Pada tahun 1993 juga, BNM telah cuba mempertahankan nilai matawang Pound Sterling dari serangan para pedagang termasuk George Soros namun usaha ini gagal.  Kegagalan ini mengakibatkan BNM mempunyai nilai tanggungan melebihi nilai aset semasa, dan terpaksa diselamatkan oleh Kementerian Kewangan pada tahun 1994.

Pada bulan April tahun yang sama, Jaafar Hussein meletakkan jawatan sebagai Gabenor BNM.

Maka tidak hairanlah BNM kemudiannya gagal mempertahankan matawang Ringgit pada tahun 1997-1998 daripada serangan George Soros akibat kekurangan rizab matawang asing disebabkan skandal tersebut, hingga menyebabkan matawang kita tidak pernah pulih sepenuhnya sejak peristiwa yang berlaku di zaman pentadbiran U-Turn Mahathir tersebut.

Menurut bekas Timbalan Gabenor Bank Negara ketika itu, Dr Rosli Yaakop, empat orang bertanggung jawab penuh dalam skandal ini.  Mereka adalah U-Turn Mahathir, konconya Daim Zainuddin yang merupakan Menteri Kewangan ketika itu, Jaafar Hussein sebagai Gabenor BNM ketika skandal tersebut berlaku, dan Nor Mohamad Yackop yang merupakan Menteri Di Jabatan Perdana Menteri yang bertanggung jawab terhadap Unit Perancang Ekonomi di bawah U-Turn Mahathir.

Menurut Rosli, pakar-pakar menganggarkan kerugian sebenar di antara US$27 billion sehingga US$33 billion iaitu lima kali ganda simpanan rizab asing dan seluruh asset BNM bernilai USD20.7 bilion dalam tahun 1992.

“Dakwaan kerugian oleh Bank Negara telah “diperkecilkan secara berskematik” (schematically understated), melalui penilaian semula pegangan emas (gold holdings) dan penilaian semula pelaburan sebut harga (quoted investment),” tambah Rosli.

Rosli membuat dakwaan-dakwaan tersebut di ‘Forum Skandal Forex Bank Negara‘, anjuran Penang Institute, di Dewan Sri Pinang, Georgetown, Pulau Pinang pada 11hb Jun 2013.

Lim Kit Siang telah memegang teguh kepada tekadnya untuk diadakan juga satu RCI supaya skandal BNM tersebut disiasat kerana rakyat Malaysia berhak mengetahui ke mana, bagaimana, dan siapa anasir-anasir yang bertanggung jawab terhadap kerugian yang terpaksa ditanggung oleh seluruh rakyat Malaysia.

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Kerugian RM30 billion yang ditanggung oleh BNM serta bantuan kewangan oleh Kementerian Kewangan adalah kerugian wang rakyat. Sayugia diingatkan bahawa 1MDB tidak melibatkan wang rakyat kerana institusi tersebut telah meminjam wang dari institusi-institusi luar negara, bukannya dari mana-mana badan kerajaan mahupun syarikat berkaitan kerajaan (GLC).

1MDB juga telah melangsaikan segala hutang jangka pendeknya dan membuat lebihan tunai sebanyak RM2.3 billion yang memberi manfaat kepada negara.

Sekali lagi, kita amat berterima kasih kepada Encik Lim Kit Siang di atas ketegasannya supaya satu RCI dapat diadakan untuk menyiasat skandal forex BNM 1990an. Kerajaan pimpinan Najib Razak telah mendengar keluhan beliau dan adalah diharap Encik Lim Kit Siang berasa amat gembira dengan usaha kerajaan ini.

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Kegembiraan Lim Kit Siang terserlah

Kelepetokrasi

KELEPET.

The word means hem or a fold on a piece of cloth or paper.  A Malay synonym would be ‘lipatan.’  To Lipat or to Kelepet would colloquially mean ‘to pillage.’

Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-800

Malaysia Airlines has always been a favourite airline of mine.  The national flag carrier is THE symbol of Malaysia’s global reach.  However, the airline which roots can be traced back to 71 years ago has been suffering badly from an especially bad episode of mismanagement dating back from 1994.

Disguised under the New Economic Policy that was supposed to assist the Bumiputeras to be economically stronger, U-Turn Mahathir and financial henchman Daim Zainuddin selected several cronies to helm public-listed companies.  They include Amin Shah Omar Shah (who screwed up the Kedah-class NGPV programme) and Tajuddin Ramli (TR) who stripped Malaysia Airlines of its edge and finances.

TR took over Malaysia Airlines in 1994 through his company Naluri as instructed by U-Turn Mahathir and Daim, the year Jaffar Hussein resigned as the Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia after making a loss in the region of RM30 billion in US Dollars through foreign exchange gambling.

Malaysia Airlines was okay for about two years before crashing in 1997 with a net loss of RM259.85 million (RM426.15 million in today’s terms) from a net profit the year before of RM333.01 million (RM546.14 million in today’s terms).

Like the collosal losses of real money the nation had to absorb through the BMF as well as the BNM Forex scandals, U-Turn Mahathir and Daim saw it fit for Malaysia Airlines, or rather their crony Tajuddin Ramli, be bailed-out using, again, the rakyat’s money.

An infuriated Lim Kit Siang (thank you again, Uncle) released a press statement on the 20th February 2002 saying among others:

The Malaysian Airlines System (MAS) police report on January 9 and the police investigations into alleged million-ringgit  management irregularities at  the MAS  cargo division during   the tenure of  former MAS executive chairman and key shareholder Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli is  a most welcome  departure from the invariable past practice of government and  corporate cover-ups, especially  in government-owned or controlled companies, making Malaysia notorious as a country teeming with “heinous crimes without criminals” – starting with the infamous Bumiputra Malaysia Finance (BMF) scandal in the eighties. 

It has been reported that the alleged management irregularities centred on business arrangements between MAS and a Germany-based cargo handler controlled by Tajudin Ramli and focussed on contracts between MAS and ACL Advanced Cargo Logistic GmbH, a 60%-owned unit of Naluri Bhd., a listed Malaysian company in which Tajudin is the largest shareholder.  ACL operates a cargo facility in Hahn, Germany, that MAS in 1999 contracted to use as its global cargo hub.  

The management irregularities being investigated by the police can only be  the tip of an  iceberg as MAS has chalked up colossal debts of RM9.2 billion and accumulated losses of R2.5 billion, requiring repeated billion-ringgit bailouts at the public taxpayers’ expense – and the Malaysian public are entitled to demand a  full accountability as to how the national airline could end up as such a sick company, a national embarrassment and a burden on public coffers.  

It was reported that the management irregularities in the cargo division  were discovered in   an audit ordered by the government after taking control of MAS early last year  following  the scandalous RM1.79 billion buyback  bailout of Tajudin’s 29.09 per cent stake at RM8 a share when the market price was only RM3.68.

This raises the question as to why an audit was not conducted before the government’s  buyback  bailout of Tajudin’s MAS stake – which would have a very important bearing on the proper price of the government buyout. 

I am sure Uncle Ah Siang has not forgotten this episode too when he became pally with U-Turn Mahathir recently.  Surely the interest of the rakyat is paramount to the God of DAP.

Or is it still?

He continued:

On March 21 last year,  the then Finance Minister, Tun Daim Zainuddin, gave a long and most unsatisfactory reply in Parliament during question time to justify the buy-back bailout of  Tajudin’s MAS stake which took place under his watch, but he  failed to address or  answer the  two most important questions, viz:

  • Why no independent professional valuation was ever done when the government agreed to  pay Tajudin’s Naluri Bhd for the MAS stake at RM8  per share representing  a premium of  RM4.32 or 117 per cent over the closing market price at RM3.68 per share when the deal  was signed on 20th December 2000; and 
  • Why rules for the bail-out of companies established by the National Economic Action Council  in the “National Economic Recovery Plan” was violated and  Tajudin was not only spared from having to “take his appropriate hair-cuts” but was given a bonanza at taxpayers’ expense to reward for his mismanagement of MAS by  being given  117% premium for the  MAS shares over the  market price, transforming it into a personal rescue for Tajudin instead of a public rescue for MAS.  

The  current police investigations into management irregularities in MASkargo Sdn. Bhd. have again brought to the fore  the  questions concerning  prudence, propriety, responsibility,  integrity, accountability and transparency of the decision to use RM1.79 billion public funds for the buy-back bailout of Tajudin’s MAS stake.  

Last month, the government announced a RM6.1 billion MAS restructuring exercise involving assets sale to enable the national carrier to retire some of its debts and provide RM820 million as working capital, which is just a creative way for a second round of government bailout for the national airline.

Malaysia Airlines, Perwaja, Renong as well as other companies steered towards oblivion by their cronies had to be bailed out using the rakyat’s coffers, and not one person has ever been charged in a court of law for the breach of trust they committed.  This included Amin Shah Omar Shah who, prior to being given the contract to build our Navy’s vessels, had never built a single fishing boat!

Kit Siang the self-proclaimed rakyat’s champion as recent as 2012 stated in the DAP’s mouthpiece Roketkini that Mahathir cannot pretend to be ignorant of the MAS scandal.

In fact it as also reported that “Mahathir had his hand in getting Petronas to bail out his son Mirzan Mahathir’s shipping company, then Konsortium Perkapalan, which had trouble servicing US$490 million debt!”

(courtesy of Finance Twitter)
(courtesy of Finance Twitter)

Lim Kit Siang was so furious about the bailout of Konsortium Perkapalan using the rakyat’s money that on the 16th June 1998 he wrote:

But Mahathir should similarly give full co-operation to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Nepotism, particularly as to whether there is any nepotism in the government, through Petronas, using hundreds of millions of ringgit of public funds to bail out Mirzan Mahathir’s Konsortium Perkapalan Bhd.

Just recently, a copy of a directive from the Ministry of Finance to Telekom Malaysia regarding a direct negotiation contract award totalling RM214.2 million to Mukhriz Mahathir’s OPCOM made its rounds on the Internet:

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A blog post by a Sup Torpedo wrote about this back in 2006:

Mahathir’s criticism of Scomi is justified. It has proved that Scomi does not garner very much government work and now that’s all open to scrutiny. Unlike a company called Opcom Sdn. Bhd. who had a direct nego approved by the Finance Ministry way back in 2003 when Mahathir was both Prime Minister and Finance Minister. The amount of the tender by Telekom Malaysia Berhad was two hundred and fourteen MILLION ringgit. The Ministry of Finance approved it, no doubt with the blessing of the then Finance Minister and Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.

Hey! What’s new?  If you look at the above letter, it was dated on the 7th October 2003.  The old fart stepped down as the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister on the 31st October 2003.

It was an eleventh-hour effort to enrich his kin – a true nepotistic egoist dictator who was afraid that money made during his 22-year dictatorship would not be enough to cover his grave.

Even in 2006, during the peak of the old fart’s attacks on his successor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, observers such as Sup Torpedo could see that it was little about putting the interest of the rakyat ahead as compared to securing money for the Thousand-year Reich of his:

Don’t miss the wood for the trees. This fight that Mahathir got going on with Pak Lah is not about doing the right thing. It is at best about putting his old crony’s rice bowl firmly where the padi fields grow. At the very worst of motives might be the will to further advance Mukhriz’s political career and provide continuity to the old ways.

Again, what is new now? Virtually nothing, except for one little glaring fact: WHY IS UNCLE KIT SIANG SELLING HIS SOUL AND PUTTING HIS PERSONAL POLITICAL INTERESTS AHEAD OF THE RAKYAT’S BY MAKING A U-TURN ON HIS ATTACKS ON MAHATHIR?

A simple answer would be that he is nothing but the stinking, arrogant cow-dung for brain hypocrite he has always been.  Power is what he seeks for power ensures riches, just like his charged-for-corruption son.

And what of the rakyat then?

As the saying goes: “The meek shall inherit shit.”