It Cost TNB US$115 Million For Mahathir To Meet Bush



Mahathir might tell you he sometimes forgets what he did in the past or he was not aware of what people below him did. But he definitely remembers this Indonesian coal-mine deal because he personally instructed his crony-confidante to set up the company to front the deal. And he personally knows the proxies that were used in this company plus he personally called the TNB Chairman to instruct them to buy the coal-mine for US$68 million and to pay a 10% deposit.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Raja Petra Kamarudin



Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he did not instruct anyone to pay anything for him to meet President Bush back in 2002. Other reports say Mahathir paid US$1.2 million for that meeting while The Age of Australia says it was $1.6 million Australian. The truth is it cost Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) US$115 million or about RM482 million for Mahathir's meeting with Bush. But they dressed it up as if it was a business deal to make it appear above board.

What happened was Mahathir asked his very close crony-confidante to incorporate a Malaysian company and place it under the name of certain proxies. This newly incorporated company then negotiated to sell a coal-mine in Indonesia to TNB. An agreement was made between the Malaysian crony-company and PT Dasa Eka Jasatama (DEJ) and TNB was instructed to buy that Indonesian coal-mine for US$68 million.

TNB then paid a 10% deposit or US$6.8 million for the coal-mine, after which they took a loan from Standard Chartered Bank in London for the balance 90%. The loan was obtained from a UK bank to make sure that the details do not leak to members of the Malaysian opposition, as is normally the case – and then people like Rafizi Ramli and Tony Pua will start broadcasting it to all and sundry.

It was from the profit of this coal-mine deal that the Americans were paid to arrange the meeting between Mahathir and President Bush.



TNB lost US$66.24 million on the coal-mine operation and five years later they sold it off for US19.5 million, thus losing another US$48.5 million. That comes to a total of US$114.74 million or RM482 million, all because Mahathir wanted to meet President Bush.

So, Mahathir says he never instructed anyone to pay for him to meet President Bush. But he did instruct his closest crony-confidante to incorporate a company under the names of proxies and he did instruct TNB to buy a coal-mine in Indonesia. And, from the profit they made from selling this Indonesian coal-mine to TNB, they paid the Americans millions to arrange a meeting between Mahathir and President Bush.

This Indonesian coal-mine fiasco is no secret and everyone in TNB knows about it but no one will talk about it openly except through whispers in the corridors. The TNB Board of Directors was not happy about the deal but they were overruled by someone 'high up' from the Prime Minister's Office back in 2001.

Initially some within TNB's management spoke out about venturing into a business that they know very little about. Then there was the issue of price (whether the coal-mine was overpriced) plus viability (whether there is enough coal to sustain the operation). The viability and returns on investment (ROI) needed to be studied before TNB forks out close to a quarter billion ringgit.



TNB decided to sell off the Indonesian coal-mine after losing US$66.24 million over five years and then lost another US$48.5 million when they sold it

The TNB Board, however, was told that the matter was not open for discussion because the decision to buy that Indonesian coal-mine was made at the highest level and it was more or less a fait accompli. The job of TNB's Board was merely to approve the whole transaction with no objections or questions asked.

That decision was eventually going to cost TNB almost half a billion ringgit in losses and all Malaysia received in return was a meeting between Mahathir and President Bush. Yes, almost RM500 million for a short meeting in the White House does not sound like a good return on investment, does it?

Mahathir might tell you he sometimes forgets what he did in the past or he was not aware of what people below him did. But he definitely remembers this Indonesian coal-mine deal because he personally instructed his crony-confidante to set up the company to front the deal. And he personally knows the proxies that were used in this company plus he personally called the TNB Chairman to instruct them to buy the coal-mine for US$68 million and to pay a 10% deposit.

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Anina Saadudin secara rasmi keluar PPBM



KUALA LUMPUR 16 Sept. - Bekas Ketua Serikandi Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), Anina Saadudin mengumumkan keluar dari parti tersebut secara rasmi hari ini.

Beliau mengumumkan keluar parti itu melalui teks sepanjang empat muka surat yang beliau bacakan di kediamannya di Bandar Baru Bangi, dekat sini.



Anina yang juga antara tujuh pemimpin yang mengasaskan penubuhan parti bercadang untuk menubuhkan sebuah Badan Bukan Kerajaan (NGO) yang bakal diumumkan secara rasmi tidak lama lagi.


"Dengan prinsip perjuangan membela rakyat dan bukan membela individu, saya dengan ini mengumumkan keluar dari Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia," katanya dalam satu sidang akhbar dekat sini, hari ini. - UTUSAN ONLINE

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PPBM, One Year On

Tay Tian Yan, Sin Chew Daily

Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) has been established for one year now.

Has it grown up yet? Is it strong enough now to face the general elections? Can it bring on a Malay political tsunami?

Or, is it just a bubble that is not going to do anything big, waiting just for the right time to burst?

 
There will not be any answer until the ballot boxes are opened and the votes are counted. But, that does not stop us from making near-distance observations.

Last weekend, the party held its first anniversary celebration in Muar.

The choice of venue is understandable. Muar is president Muhyiddin's hometown and his political "home ground".

Muhyiddin was born and raised in Muar. His father was a religious cleric respected in the Malay community, and the family had extensive connections there.

Although he later moved over to nearby Pagoh and won a seat there, he took very good care of his hometown when he later became MB, minister, and DPM.

It has been rumored that he will run in Muar — which has a significantly larger Chinese population than Pagoh — in the next GE. And this underlines Muar's importance to PPBM.

The party chose to celebrate its first anniversary in Muar, and Mahathir and Mukhriz had earlier through the grassroots and social media urged the public to make a trip to Muar to support the party.

A stage and tents were put up in the middle of the town square, and a full-day program had been planned: cooking class, health talk, drawing contest, cultural show, mini soccer game, motorcycle decoration contest, etc., trying to woo the old and young and everyone in between.

But, there were only about two to three hundred attendants throughout the morning, including the staff and party members.

My observant friend said, "These activities were similar to those of Umno. A 'copy and paste' thing."

The only difference was perhaps the name of party.

By comparison, nevertheless, Umno is way more powerful in organizing and mobilizing people. PPBM is nowhere near that.

At three in the afternoon, Muhyiddin and Mukhriz arrived. The MC tried to bring up the atmosphere as he chanted the party's slogan. Unfortunately, there wasn't much rapport from the participants.

When Muhyiddin walked around to greet the participants, there wasn't much excitement in the crowd, and few would bother to take the initiative to talk to him when he was left alone.

It was a world of difference from when he was the DPM. Sure enough the PPBM president was frustrated, and indeed a little bewildered. It looked like he wasn't quite used to life as opposition leader yet.

The mood improved marginally when Mahathir arrived soon afterward, as people crowded around him and shook hands with him. The jovial atmosphere nevertheless did not last too long.

Some of the attendants left soon after they got their prizes, hardly bothering about the politicians still there.

When he night fell, PPBM held a political talk at a half-filled local community hall.

Muhyiddin and Mahathir took turns to deliver their speeches which invariably focused on 1MDB and Najib.

Nothing new in their speeches. Not much excitement from the crowd either. Some left early out of impatience.

I was thinking PPBM should have conveyed to the Malay community its raison d'ĂȘtre, reform agenda and objectives of its political struggle over the past one year, instead of harping on the same old issues. Moreover, the Malay community is hardly impressed by such arguments.

Thanks to the presence of Mahathir, PPBM has managed to draw some attention, but many in the Malay society has little idea why the party has come into being, except to topple Najib and Umno. They are also not sure what PPBM can do for them.

To the Malays, throwing out Najib is never an issue close to their hearts, but bringing down Umno could very much contravene their own interests.

While PPBM wants to take the place of Umno, it still fails to deliver itself out of Umno's shadows. Empty ideologies and the fighting for power may only win over a handful of dejected but will hardly gain the acceptance of mainstream Malay society.

How many seats can PPBM win? Will it ever initiate a Malay tsunami? Will there be a change of government this time?

I'm not going to draw any conclusion here, but I believe you have the answer.

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