made by Lim Guan Eng to key DAP Terengganu branch leaders during a
closed door meeting in Kuala Terengganu on Thursday, 16th
The twin scandals of the Maybank RM 8.25 billion acquisition of PT Bank
Internasional Indonesia (BII) and RM 2.32 billion purchase of 12
Eurocopter's Cougar helicopters have deprived needed funds to wipe out
poverty in Malaysia
The twin scandals of Maybank's RM 8.25
billion acquisition of PT BII and RM 2.32 billion purchase of 12
Eurocopter's Cougar helicopters have deprived needed funds for
infrastructure works such as drainage to prevent flash floods of for
social programs that uplift living standards and wipe out poverty in
Maybank bought at a price that is more than 65% higher than the
prevailing market price or 4.3 times BII's book value compared to the
current market valuation of Indonesian banks at a maximum of 2.7 times.
Singapore state investment company Temasek Holdings Pte. Ltd. and South
Korea's Kookmin Bank were so desperate to sell their 56% stake in BII
that they were willing to:-
· not only forgo a RM 483 million
deposit by Maybank that they could have forfeited if Maybank had not
proceeded with the deal; but also
· give a further 15% discount of RM 758.9 million even AFTER the
deal has been closed?
By proceeding ahead with the RM8.25 billion
deal on the basis it was a commercial decision, Maybank has acted
irresponsibly and even unprofessionally. Why not cut losses, lose face
by admitting its mistake and forfeit its RM 483 million deposit instead
of recording an instant loss of more than RM 4 billion from the RM 8.25
Similarly purchasing 12 Eurocopter's Cougar helicopters for RM 2.32
billion when the the same sum can purchase 30 Kazan-M172 helicopters
from Canada's Kelowna Flightcraft Ltd. which fulfills almost all the
specifications required by the armed forces. The Defence Ministry would
only need to pay RM 898 million if it had bought 12 Kazan instead of
Cougar helicopters, a cost overrun of RM 1.42 billion.
Would not these sums of money amounting to nearly RM 10 billion that can
be saved either by not proceeding with the RM 8.25 billion deal to
acquire BII or by buying the cheaper Kazan helicopters at RM 1.42
billion less, be better utilised to help the poor? I am sure that with
RM 10 billion, not only can we wipe out hard-core poverty but even
poverty of Sabah which has the highest poverty rate in the country at
DAP supports efforts by the Federal government to increase the
penetration rate of broadband users from the present 15% to 50% in 2010,
but this is no excuse for a RM 11.3 billion High Speed Broadband (HSBP).
Even supporters of the BN government have slammed the RM 11.3 billion
has much too high and could be done at lower costs saving billions of
ringgit. Penang has just launched our free wireless Penang initiative to
be the first wifi state in the country where wireless access will be
free and wimax services will be affordable cost. Despite this free
wireless initiative, which is hoped to be implemented in 2 years, there
is no cost at all to the state government.
DAP regrets that no leader from BN especially the new leadership in MCA
or Gerakan has highlighted this controversy which is clearly against
public interest. This goes to show that MCA and Gerakan and UMNO have
not learnt the lessons of the political tsunami of 8 March general
elections that the public will no longer tolerate shady deals.
It is such shady deals that have crippled Malaysia's anti-corruption
efforts causing Malaysia to tumble in the rankings of the Transparency
International's Corruption Perception Index of No. 37 in 2003 to No. 47
this year. This lack of confidence is reflected in a capital flight of
RM125 billion (S$53 billion) in the first half of the year as compared
to foreign direct investments of only RM31 billion.
Unless BN leaders practices CAT- competency, accountability and
transparency that ensures public funds will not be used for private
interest of the few, only then can we restore public and investment
confidence in good governance and integrity.
Lim Guan Eng, Penang Chief
Minister Penang & DAP