Tuesday, January 16, 2007

AAB's zoo - but who's the zookeeper?

Looks like AAB is caught in another controversy, this time with some dodgy companies, a couple of which are owned by a bloke with a shady past. Raja Petra Kamarudin of Malaysia-Today blog has unearthed the AAB’s silly and indeed inane involvement.

Apparently the private company proposed to raise US$50 billion through its Singapore subsidiary, together with a local company Asasatu Technology Sdn Bhd, which has been reported to be in deep financial trouble (heavily in debt) and already in the process of being wound up.

The fund raising is to finance Malaysia’s 9th Malaysian Plan.

AAB has even instructed the deputy governor of Bank Negara to give the proposal by the private companies serious consideration, by way of a prime ministerial hand-written comment on the letter of proposal. Then his instruction was followed up his political secretary to the deputy governor that he (AAB) has no objection to the proposal.

Why doesn’t the PM raise the needed funds through proper sources, like reputable banks, instead of through such questionable companies, one about to fold up and a couple foreign ones owned by a person who had been accused of business scams?

US$50 billion – got that, not millions but billions, and in US dollars, not ringgit!

malaysiakini reported:

According to Raja Petra Kamarudin, who first broke the story in Malaysia Today, the plan was for the Malaysian government to borrow the huge sum from overseas without being seen as doing so.

“The Malaysian government will not officially borrow the money and the borrower will instead be a small mama-papa private limited company called Asasatu Technology Sdn Bhd. This will keep the Malaysian government ‘clean’ of any foreign borrowings,” he wrote.

He added that it was apparent that when Abdullah announced the RM200 billion Ninth Malaysian Plan, the government had no money to finance the five-year project.

“However, not wanting it to appear like the country is borrowing interest-bearing US dollars, plus is subject to currency fluctuations, to finance its development plans, they used a small private limited company as a front which again used an Australian PO Box company which in turn is backed by Singapore,” he added.

OK, let’s gather the unsettling facts:

(1) private dodgy companies with shady past or about to close up.
(2) AAB personal intervention without due process of public governance
(3) Singapore involvement

Wait, did we just mention AAB’s personal intervention and a Singapore involvement? Hmmm, these are suspiciously Rempit-ish 'indulgent' indications.

In fact, Raja Petra went on to comment (as reported by malaysiakini):

“The whole package was brokered by a Singapore outfit, but so as not to reveal that Singapore is involved, lest fingers start pointing to the prime minister’s son-in-law, they shall put the whole thing through an Australian PO Box that will front as the ‘partner’ for the Malaysian outfit.”

“In short, through many layers or levels of front companies and PO Box companies, Singapore is funding Malaysia’s development proudly touted as the Rancangan Malaysia Kesembilan, or RMK9,” he added.

Oh, incidentally, one month ago I posted I fear the 'Greeks' even bearing gifts.

First, kucing kurap (mangy cats), then Chinese lions, yesterday 'twas toads, now it's a horse. Is there a snake somewhere among the grass?

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