This is a hot issue now. Msybe our beloved PM will have a good answer for this. Then again, maybe not - elegance silence
(MalaysiaKini) Questions are being raised over reports that the government is seeking a US$50 billion loan (RM175 billion) from mostly foreign banks through two ‘dubious’ companies to help fund the Ninth Malaysia Plan.
The companies named are troubled local firm Asasatu Technology Sdn Bhd - which is heavily in debt and in the process of being wound up - and Australian company Project Equity Services Group (PESG), a little-known firm based in Sydney.
A third Australian company, the Union Financial Services Corporation, is also said to be involved in the transaction.
The two foreign companies are owned by Roland Bleyer, a man who had been accused of being previously involved in a number of business scams.
Over the weekend, the Malaysia Today blog published several related documents on the issue.
This included a letter allegedly sent to Bank Negara deputy governor Zamani Abdul Gani by Prime Minister and Finance Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s aide Reezal Merican Naina Merican dated June 15, 2006. (Read page one and page two of the letter here)
Among others, Reezal said Asasatu managing director Zubir Ahmad had met with the premier two weeks earlier.
He said Abdullah “had been made to understand that this company [Asasatu] is working with a fund management company [Union Financial Services Corporation] to bring in foreign funds into this country.”
“In principle, the prime minister has no objections for this proposal to be considered,” he added.
Three questions for PM
Commenting on this today, Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang asked if Bank Negara had approved the transaction. (Kit's Blog)
The veteran politician said the premier must clarify three things "in the name of accountability, transparency, integrity and good governance".
- Whether and why the government has adopted the unusual and even extraordinary arrangement to raise US$50 billion funding for the Ninth Malaysia Plan infrastructure development projects through dubious private companies.
- Whether and why Asasatu, whose status in the latest record in Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) is "winding up" has been chosen to arrange the US$50 billion for the government.
- Whether and why the partner and agent of Asasatu to arrange for the financing for the government is the Sydney-based PESG.
“An Internet search raises many questions about PESG, whether it is a front-company for Roland Bleyer, who is also the president of Union Financial Services Corporation,” he said.
Lim claimed the company is dogged by a long history of allegations of scams by their victims world-wide.
The opposition leader said the premier cannot turn a blind eye and claim ignorance of such Internet material.
“If Abdullah is really in the dark about such material, I am prepared to forward to him all relevant information,” he added.
Gov't needs to borrow money?
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.
“The whole package was brokered by a Singapore outfit [through a PESG subsidiary], 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.
tags : prime minister malaysia abdullah ahmad badawi 9mp Asasatu Technology Union Financial Services Corporation