Kudos to Bung Mokhtar: Time to Alert the Government

October 24, 2012

Kudos to Bung Mokhtar:  Time to Alert the Government

by Nigel Aw (10-23-12)@http://www.malaysiakini.com

A High Risk: Putting All Eggs in One Basket

UMNO’s Bung Mokhtar Radin (BN-Kinabatangan) today launched a tirade against tycoon Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary for what he described as the businessman’s penchant to monopolise everything under the sun.

bung mokhtar parliament 080708 01Whatever businesses exist in this world, Bung Mokhtar (left) said, Syed Mokhtar wanted the companies pioneered by him to be in them.

“In the sea, he is doing business, on land, he is doing business, in the air, he is doing business.If he can do business in the grave, he will probably do it,” Bung Mokhtar said during the committee stage of the debate on the Budget 2013 allocation for the Finance Ministry.

Bung Mokhtar was complaining about the participation of giant government-linked companies (GLCs) and other private businesses in open tenders for smaller projects that he said would deprive smaller companies of business opportunities.

“So what is the policy? I ask that the Finance Ministry explain. These GLCs should not be allowed to participate in the smaller open tenders, they should focus on their mega projects,” he said.

‘Rakyat angry over monopoly’

After only briefly raising the matter, Bung Mokhtar, who is also BN backbencher deputy chairperson, then went on to repeatedly hammer at Syed Mokhtar.

“Why, when we speak about mega project, there is Syed Mokhtar. This is not a fair business for smaller players. There are many other Malay bumiputeras that want to succeed like him. Don’t let him monopolise everything alone, this is a bad strategy and the Finance Ministry must re-look at it. Other people want to live and do business on this earth too,” he said.

Bung Mokhtar added that the government must act as the people are angry about this and want to see that mega projects are carried out transparently.”This is a problem, he has already taken Penang Port, now he wants to take Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB), he wants to take the MRT, he wants everything… It is enough what he has done in Penang.

“They (Opposition) say UMNO has cronies, he (Syed Mokhtar) is the real crony. We don’t have cronies, where is wrong, we will say it out,” he said.

Bung Mokhtar warned that if such monopolies are allowed to continue, especially for mega projects, it will eventually hurt the economy. Pointing to the example of Tajudin Ramli (right) who had controlled Malaysia Airlines, he said eventually it was the government that had to take responsibility for the ailing carrier.

Bank Negara should have acted sooner

This was not the first time he has targeted Syed Mokhtar as he, in June this year, took the tycoon to task for wanting to take over Penang Port in a privatisation exercise.

He had then also criticised the government for treating certain businessperson, including Syed Mokhtar, like “princes“.

Bung Mokhtar, in the house today, also criticised Bank Negara, pointing out the fiasco that ensued after a crackdown on gold investment companies such as Genneva would not have happened if it had acted earlier.

“If Bank Negara investigated five years ago, this incident would not have happened.It is as if Bank Negara never knew about this and has only recently awoken, they have been sleeping before this,” he said.

Investors with such companies have been up in arms after they abruptly found their investments hanging in the balance after Bank Negara moved in on the companies.

16 thoughts on “Kudos to Bung Mokhtar: Time to Alert the Government

  1. Kudos to the Man from Kinabatangan for raising concerns about this. The Government should take heed of the basic risk management dictum: “Don’t put all eggs in one basket”. Should fortunes change– and this cannot be ruled out in a world that is changing rapidly– government may have to undertake a massive bailout using taxpayers money. Too big to fail syndrome is likely to be the rationale for bailing out Syed Mokhtar. Let us hope it will not come that. But it is always good to be forewarned.–Din Merican

  2. It is a rare occasion to bang nails on your own boat. Everyone want a piece of the cake, including Sri Gading’s and Kinabatangan’s crony. They are just sore about it. Syed Mokthar, just give their family members directorship on the listed companies to solve the barking.

    It is unfair statement on Robert Kuok, to say that he “ran away” to Philippines. We all know why.

    About those gold companies, let MACC and BNM reviews who are their directors directly or indirectly linked to. It would be pretty interesting.

  3. Like him or not, one has to agree with him on this one. It’s like Taib and his family monopolizing every facet of business in Sarawak. And if that doesn’t bring in the money, there’s plenty of prime land that can be had for practically free. It’s time the country introduce anti-monopoly law to curb such crony enrichment practice.

  4. This backbencher is finally making noise but not the right kind of noise. He complains about the big GLCs competing with SMEs. Is it that lately there is so little for the picking that most have turned bottom-feeders?

    The fundamental question that should be asked by UMNO/BN MPs is why after the hues and cries all these years, there is still no mandatory open tender for all mega projects?

    Most of us know that negotiated contracts are the spigots of corruption, draining billions of taxpayers money and above all undermining the country’s competitiveness. How do you monetise lost economic opportunities due to this practice? How is paying attention to this despicable practice and the havoc wrecked on ordinary citizens struggling to make their ends meet?

    High time UMNO/BN MPs play their check and balance role rather than leave it to opposition MPs.

    On this Syed Mokhtar fellow? UMNO/BN is working hard to epitomise him as Malaysia’s success in affirmative action by pushing him to the top rung billionaires league for a while and damned the consequences.

  5. You may be partially correct, but don’t be too naive at the same time, Bung. Not excatly him, but the powers that be are using him as the Conduit for their own ends. Hence the perception that he is ” one ” of the Cronies.
    We should also realise that under ” Mahathirsm ” crony=capitalism, they had INFACT created the Ten ( 10) Billionaires of Malaysia – all without exception they were ALL Cronies – the Conduit=system is the only way those shrewed Idiots could Siphone out monies, make hay for themselves, & finally lump it on the Rakyat…..

    Perhaps i sound cynical, but this Bung is getting frusterated b’coz he is left out in this big game…..

  6. He is not doing it out of altruism. Likely Syed Mokhtar group is competing with him for some deals he wants in for himself.

    But admist all this debate. the real point is lost. Syed Mokhar group will fall – its the nature of business and technology. If the top elites are too thin, who will replace them and then we are back to the same old complains the bumiputeras has not ‘caught up’ with others again..

  7. Well done Bung Mokhtar. More BN Parliamentarians should follow his lead in openly criticising the government constructively and do not leave this responsibility just for the Opposition to carry. The Parliament is the best arena for this exercise. Who says checks & balances cannot be done in-house and this is a good beginning. Problems of corruption & transparency are the other subjects to be addressed more frequently – we all, irrespective of political leanings, know the government has these problems to be solved and solve seriously.

  8. Be aware and note on what that FM Anifah Aman did in parliament. This
    Sabah UMNO MP is doing the similar thing. Once being offer a huge
    project he will sing like Anifah Aman that UMNO IS ALLAH.

  9. The reason for the buyout is simple enough. Umno wants to control everything before it goes under. I mean really under after GE 13. The frantic rush for the exit is beginning now.

    Syed Mokthar is just a runner so was Tajuddin before him.

    What comes next may not be enough for a Hollywood blockbuster. Minions like us can only watch from the sidelines. There’s lot of fun. Heaps of it.

  10. Hi guys,so many comments about Bung,most,if not all I agree, but lets think outside the box on this,I would rather goad him and let him say more about this cronyism,
    let’s give him & his gang more rope,so finally they can hang themselves.I hope this will be highlighted by PR during ceramahs.I betcha his new wife wants that ala Rosmah’s diamond ring too.
    Hussin,isn’t Bung’s statement like a slap to your face,heee3,sorry,but it looks that way to me.Don’t change tack or else I’ve got no one to parlay with,Oouch!!!!

  11. One squeak doesn’t a rat make.
    This is all a charade, make some noise, deflect attention, play the good-cop-bad-cop routine and hope the folks (like some have been) will be hoodwinked. (Did someone say checks and balances?)
    Most likely a sore loser who did not get a slice of the pie.
    Good luck to him.

  12. Din,

    I know this Syed very well.He gives a lot of money to the right people and lots.That why he got what he asked for. Tun Mahathir after his retirement is still using his private jet Global Express to travel everywhere around the world. When the First Lady in Dubai, Syed was also in Dubai.Cannot be sheer coincidence.It happens many times.

    He is very smooth and slippery,Muka Tebal type.He never says no until you are no longer in power.This happened to our good friend,Tan Sri Ahmad Kamil Panjang. He was at one time Syed’s so called Advisor, being paid 30k a month. Now Tan Sri is not well,resting, and Syed stop paying his advisory fees.Poor Kamil, kena main.

  13. Haha hebatnya! Cronyism is fine if you are the recipient. If you aren’t, it is an evil. All we want is a change of government. And an anti-monopoly statute that is strictly enforced by an independent body not beholden to anyone. Bung or Mokhtar, who cares? We get rid of the Barisan in GE13 and then let’s see.

  14. Hamid… Hamid… Hamid…

    Have you heard this one “better to keep your big mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubts?”

    The Bombardier Global Express used by Tun M is a Malaysian-government owned and the Tun uses it after retiring as PM and became advisor to Petronas with the latter picking up the tab and Tun Abdullah Badawi went and bought himself an Airbus A319BJ…. which DS Najib is now using…. The Global Express does not belong to Syed Mokhtar al-Barangkali…

    Secondly, RM30,000 monthly as an advisor is a sick joke… no one gets paid that little as a key advisor bro…

    Just like no one gets paid only an S-Class 350 to front for Taib to buy up those companies worth billions which you claimed you did…

  15. this superman has business in the SEA, LAND n AIR,, really a super super man in malaysia.. super man exists only in movies ??

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