Thursday, December 27, 2007

EPF needs to explain why it discontinued the $1.4 Billion claim against its six former executives.

EPF has an obligation to explain to its contributors why it has discontinued the suit filed in 2005 against Rashid Hussain and five former top executives.
A writ of summons to the value of RM1.4 billion was filed against the six by RHB Capital, RHB Securities Sdn Bhd and RHB Equities Sdn Bhd at the Kuala Lumpur High Court sometime in 2005.
The six former top executives were sued” for breach of fiduciary duties, breach of trust,breach ofcontracts of employment/or negligence in relation to certain margin financial facilities granted by RHB Equities during their tenure as Directors and/or Officers of RHB capital, RHB Securities and RHB Equities.”
The suit was filed by major shareholder Utama Banking Group in 2005 and during the course of the trial evidence adduced seems to indicate a clear breach of fiduciary duties. Dubious huge loans for margin financing was given without any collateral and proper approval.
Surely such obvious dereliction of duty should eventually bring to book those responsible for the loan fiasco.The loan claimed in the suit was not a paltry sum but for a mind boggling sum of RM1.4 billion.
Despite public opposition to the pension funds acquisition of the RHB group, and despite Rashid Hussain’s total debts of RM3.5 billion ringgit which included a bond repayment of RM265 million due in June 2007, EPF proceeded to acquire the entire parent firm for RM3.9 billion ringgit including warrants and convertible loan notes. At the same time the fund also made an offer of RM8.75 billion ringgit bid for RHB Capital at RM4.80 per share.
What perhaps remain a mystery was why EPF did not accept Kuwait Finance offer of RM2.19 ringgit (compared to EPF offer of RM1.80) for each Rashid Hussain share and RM7.35 (compared to RM4.80 offered by EPF) for each RHB Capital share? Why was it so adamant in acquiring a loss and heavily indebted entity when a better offer was on the table?
What EPF needs to explain to the EPF contributors is why after having acquired control ofthe RHB group it has decided to discontinue the much publicised RM$1.4 billion claim.
The fundamental question remains as to why was EPF so generous in foregoing what seems like a legitimate claim of RM1.4 billion claim against the six former top executives of RHB? Was there any covert attempt to conceal the main purpose of EPF’s acquisition of the RHB group? Was EPF used as a vehicle to acquire the equity of the RHB group with the intention of discontuing the civil suit against the six defendants?
All these perplexing questions need to be answered so that confidence can be restored to the pension fund.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Who are the Opportunists?

The Council of Former People’s Representative (Mubarak) President Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang described the Hindraf leaders as “opportunists and traitors to their race and country.” He further added that these people were extremists and that they should rightly be detained under the ISA.
Referring to his assertion, I would like the former Mubarak to carefully reflect on past history and see who are the opportunists.
After May 1969, with the introduction of the NEP, the Malay bumiputras were the sole beneficiary of govt policies. However somewhere along the course of implementation the NEP was hijacked by the UMNO elite Malays who only seek to enrich themselves and their cronies.
Based on such factual events how could the former Mubarak President condemned the Hindraf supporters as opportunists?Rightly the real opportunists were the UMNO elite Malays.
As regards his statement that they were extremists, can the former Mubarak president defined the term ‘extremists’ in order to justify his claim. Does his definition include people who participated in a peaceful assembly to articulate their grievances construed as extremists?
Yes, he could refer to the unfortunate terminology ‘ethnic cleansing’ used in the memorandum submitted to the Queen as extremist. But hello, what about UMNO unshealthing their keris and threatening the Chinese? What about the former Chief Minister Rahim Thamy chik’s utterance that the Malays would take out their parangs if the non-Malays challenge Malay supremacy?
Are they no more seditious and extremist?
It is really pathetic that people like Tan Sri Abu Zahar Ujang who had enjoyed the fruits of NEP should now find it plausible to hurl untruthful accusations that it was the Hindraf supporters who were opportunists when in actual fact he and the UMNO elites were the opportunists.
How could Abu Zahar equate articulating one’s cause as being traitor to race and country? By his implication, the Hindraf supporters should just remain silent and accept their discrimination and marginalisation so that they will not be traitor to their race and country.
With such perverted logic so prevalent amongst the UMNO top echelon it is no wonder how a peaceful assembly of disdvantaged people could be construed as terrorists.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Police should also be charged with attempted murder.

Malaysians in general and Indians in particular must be appalled at how the Attorney-General could charge 31 Hindraf protestors for the dubious crime of attempted murder.
Surely the charge can only be valid if the perpetrator of the crime can be identified. There is no justification to detain the 31 members if the crime was committed by a single individual. The prosecutor cannot expect the court to believe that the 31 perpetrators were responsible for throwing an object which specifically caused injury to the police officers.
How could the prosecutors cast a net so wide and hope per chance that it may catch the culprit from amongst the 31 protestors? Obviously not all of the 31 protestors were responsible for the single injury caused to the officer. Therefore will justice be served if the law punish the 31 Hindraf members just because one of them caused injury to the officer?
Can our justice be so vicious that 31 individual should pay the price for a crime committed by one individual? That in essence is what the Attorney-general is doing and in doing so he has made a mockery of our judicial system.
But in reality what was the crime committed by the 31 protestors?
By the same token, there were several protestors who suffered head injuries when the police fired tear gas canisters laterally at the crowd. Video clips taken on that day confirmed that quite a number of the protestors suffered injuries as a result. By the same logic the police officers who fired the tear gas canisters can also be charged with attempted murder.
Further the clips also showed that in retaliation some of the protestors flung the canisters back at the police thus perhaps causing the injury to the police officers.
If such a scenario did occur, how could any one be charged with attempted murder? The act of throwing back the canisters in retaliation was merely a natural response to the action of the police in the first place. Is it acceptable for the police to fire indiscriminately at the crowd with the possibilty of causing injury to them whilst it is against the law for the victims to retaliate in a similar fashion?
What is perhaps even more shocking is the refusal of the judge to grant bail to the 31 protestors.This literally means that the 31 Hindraf members whose guilt has not even being established will now have to start serving time before the actual trial commence. Anyone familiar with our legal system will tell you that it will be light years before they will see justice in the court.
The act of charging the 31 protestors by the Attorney-General, Gani Patail is not only a travesty of justice but serves to confirm the lingering suspicions that the Attorney-General’s chambers and the judiciary are beholden to the executive.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Review N.E.P before its too Late.

This govt would be foolish to ignore the pleas of the silent miniority. Any ill-conceived policies that benefit only one segment of the population cannot prevail over a length of time.
First and foremost the govt must realise that every right-minded Malaysians would still want the NEP to continue but not in its present form.
The NEP must adhere to its stated goals of eradicating poverty irrespective of race. It must be need-based and not race-based.There are still many pockets of poverty that exist across every racial divide.
I have seen poor Malays, poor Indians, poor Chinese families living only on two scanty meals a day. I have also seen poor Indian children, poor Chinese children and poor Malay children struggling to have money to attend school. This only serves to reinforce the perception that poverty does not respect race orcreed. It is a common thread among many of our fellow Malaysians irrespective of race who sadly still live on this poverty line.
Yes, these are the classes of people who deserve to enjoy the fruits of NEP and not the well-heeled, rich Malays who are least deserving.
How can the govt despite numerous protest from the housing fraternity justify a policy of giving discount to rich Bumis to buy high-end houses at a discount when a more appropriate policy would be to extend a housing discount for all races for housescosting $100,000 and below?
To continue with such a racist, discriminatory policy would in effect means that the non-Malays would have to subsidies the rich Malays for every purchase they made. Such a policy defies logic and is an abuse of the NEP.It was never intended for the NEP to help the rich Malays getting richer. If the govt cannot even see the fallacy of such a policy then we can only conclude that it has simply lost its moral right to govern.
The non Malays have never, ever objected to the govt building mosques for their Muslim subjects. We accept that Islam is the official religion of our country but in return we only ask for a little space for non-Muslims to practise their faiths.
For every 10 mosques that you build give the Hindus one shrine , the Christians one church and the Buddhists one temple. Is that not a reasonable request? If you give space for these faiths to worship then there would not be any need to have illegal places of worship.
If our leaders are true Muslims they will never allow their religion to suppress the followers of other religions. Islam has always allowed other religions to exist and flourish. History is resplendent with many examples and modern Turkey is a living proof that Islam, Christainity and Judaism can exist side by side without any antagonism.
This govt must review and reflect on their discriminatory polices which have marginalised a large section of their miniority population. It is still not too late for them to realise that not only are there poor Malays but also by the same token there are poor Indians and poor Chinese who also need help.
Let us not forget they are also Malaysians. A govt that ignores this realty is doing so at their own peril. The signs are already there. Dont let it reach a point of no redemption.

Let Us Vote this Chief minister out.

Even before the words of P.M that Hindraf allegations were nothing but' blatant lies' had died down,Melaka Chief minister,Ali Rustam was busy demolishing yet another Hindu temple.
According to Ronnie Liu's blog,'The Sri Penyachi Amman temple in Tambak Paya village,Melaka was demolished this morning(4thDec.) by an enforcement team from the Malacca city council which disregarded a'stay order' signed by two state top officials.'
Any Chief Minister with a little bit of common sense would not have fuel an already volatile situation bearing in mind the events of the past week.But this stupid Chief Minister( who was once aTNB meter reader )of Melaka deem it fit to provoke and cast aside the credibilty of P.M's statement that the memorandum of Hindraf was nothing but lies.
If anything, this stupendous action by theMalacca Chief Minister serves to reinforce Hindraf's claim that this govt is indeed perpetuating some form of cleansing , ethnic or religious.Otherwise how do you explain the close proximity of another temple demolition coming so close after the recent controversial demolition of the Kampong Rimba Jaya temple.?
This is the same mindless Chief Minister who uttered the words that those who took part in the Hindraf rally should have their citizenship revoke.To this simpleton Chief Minister I would like to tell him that citizenship is a birth right and not a privelege.To say that a person's citizenship should be revoked merely because he participated in a rally which the govt refused to issue a permit reflects the idiotic character of this man.
There is no doubt in my mind that Malacca's non malays will vote with a vengeance this coming general election.The chinese have not forgotten his rough shod tactics of wanting to rid Malacca of pigs by setting a ridiculous time frame of culling 100,000 pigs in two weeks.
Perhaps it would be a fitting finale if we could send this meter reader to his old job at TNB during the next general election.