Well done, Dato’Seri Nazir Razak

July 9, 2015

CIMB starts internal inquiry into Banker’s wrong WSJ analysis

by Elizabeth Zachariah


Malaysia’s CIMB Bank is to investigate its Islamic Bank Chief Executive Officer Badlisyah Abdul Ghani, who had made a wrong analysis in disputing the Wall Street Journal’s (WSJ) documents over the alleged trail of funds which landed in Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s bank accounts.

Nazir RazakDato’ Seri Nazir Razak

In an Instagram post last night, CIMB Group Chairman Dato’ Seri Nazir Razak apologised over the matter, saying that Badlisyah should not have made comments on the documents as it was a “technical matter”.

Nazir’s post was accompanied with a picture of CIMB Group Chief  Executive officer Tengku Datuk Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz and CIMB Islamic Bank Chairman Datuk Dr Syed Muhamad Syed Abdul Kadir showing Badlisyah’s comments made on Facebook to a “surprised” Tan Sri Md Nor Yusof, who is a former CIMB chairman.

“Zafrul and Syed showing a surprised Md Nor the Facebook post by Badli (CEO CIMB Islamic) on WSJ article,” said Nazir, who is also brother to Prime Minister Najib.

“Posts have been removed as it is a technical matter on which he should not be commenting. Our apologies, we will conduct an internal inquiry.”

In his original comment on his Facebook page, Badlisyah accused the global business daily of using false documents in its report alleging that US$700 million (RM2.67 billion) worth of 1MDB-linked funds were pumped into the Prime Minister’s personal accounts.

Badlisyah said there was a discrepancy in the “Swift” code mentioned in the documents uploaded online on Tuesday. He said the documents released by WSJ stated that the Swift code for Wells Fargo Bank was “PNBUS3NANYC”, but it should actually be”PNBPUS3NNYC”.

“The Swift Code PNBPUS3NANYC belongs to Alfa-Bank Moscow. This is not just a tell-tale sign the document is an absolute hoax but a very firm confirmation that the document is a hoax or a fraud.

“How could WSJ miss this factual error?” he said in the Facebook post circulated on pro-Umno blogs.But the Malaysiakini news portal later disputed the banker’s assertion, saying that it examined Badlisyah’s claim and found that the Swift code for Alfa-Bank Moscow was ALFARUMM.

“Badlisyah correctly pointed out that the particular Wells Fargo bank branch should have a Swift code of ‘PNBPUS3NNYC’ instead of ‘PNBUS3NANYC’ as listed on the documents released by WSJ,” reported Malaysiakini.

“A check showed that the ‘PNBUS3NANYC’ Swift code belonged to its predecessor, Wachovia Bank, which was subsequently taken over by Wells Fargo Bank in 2008.

“It is unclear why the transaction used a Swift code belonging to the predecessor of Wells Fargo Bank or how long the transition to a new Swift code would take.”

Badlisyah also said the document erroneously listed the bank’s address as “375 Park Avenue, NY 4080, New York, NY”.

The “real address” of the particular Wells Fargo bank branch is “375 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10152”, he said.

However, Malaysiakini said here was no discrepancy in the address, as both “4080” and “10152” are part of the Bank’s address, which is: “375 Park Avenue NY 4080. New York, NY 10152”.

Following that, Badlisyah admitted he made an error in his analysis and said that he has since corrected it.

“I would like to make clear that all the views published on my Facebook account are strictly my PERSONAL views and not the views of any other individual or organisation. They were meant for private consumption among a group of friends.

“I would also like to acknowledge that I had made an error in my post with regards to my analysis of the various SWIFT codes.

“The mistakes were correctly pointed out by a report in Malaysiakini on the matter, and I have also made the correction on my Facebook page,” said Badlisyah in a statement issued last night.

34 thoughts on “Well done, Dato’Seri Nazir Razak

  1. When you work in a major corporation or a reputable bank like CIMB Bank, you cannot have a personal or private view. You have to be careful since anything you say or do can be market sensitive and implicate your employer. So well done, Dato’ Seri Nazir Razak for taking prompt action

    Most companies have public relations/investor relations departments to deal with all stakeholders. Sime Darby where I once worked has its code of conduct for employees and a communications department. –Din Merican

  2. Obviously WSJ is not on this Badlisyah’s regular reading list. He probably have not heard of, much less read, the Financial Times or the Economist. His reading repertoire does not extend beyond Utusan Melayu, NST and other UMNO newsletters. Who appointed him CEO of a major bank? Nazir Razak as Chairman of CIMB should fire this guy on the spot. He (Badli chap) probably got his MBA locally, or if abroad, from Creekville State U. Or maybe he is like that Chairman of LTH, that Azzeeez character, with a PhD from Preston U, which is a universe away academically and in all other ways from Princeton. Of course UMNO folks would not know the difference. Then they get mad when others call us Malays dumb.
    M. Bakri Musa

  3. Datuk

    It is shocking and dumb-founding of a CEO of a well established commercial bank to commit such blunders. It reflects not too well of the calibre of the said CEO and I am glad the Chairman has acted promptly. If such is the calibre and quality of a CEO in CIMB, imagine the others in government owned banks ? They are not paid peanuts but their performance maybe below expectations. Just peruse their financials and you’ll probably agree.

  4. Another case which illustrates the need for meritocracy… I am sure the second echelons of many big GLCs throughout this country have better qualified managers and technocrats who are professionals (be it Malay, Chinese, Indian, Ibans or whatever…) but they don’t get to sit on the cushy chair as CEO and chauffeured-driven in a S350 Mercedes simple because they don’t kiss asses and lick bottoms… but they do work their guts out… I know of many of these second echelons professionals even those in my age group who are graduates of 1980s to 1989 period… plenty of them retired at 55 like normal people, a small EPF, a double-storey terrace in a suburb etc….

    Nazir Razak is also guilty of and responsible for what this CEO of CIMB Islamic did. He cannot pretend to distance himself. He is afterall the big boss and every selection needs his nod I am sure.

    Question Dato… why was his facebook circulated first among pro-UMNO bloggers? Itu yang satu Malaya mahu tahu?

  5. Err.., i couldn’t help but chip in. I must refute Dr Bakri’s insinuations about our most genius Islamic banker with UMNOb-deepfried network domains: http://www.cimbislamic.com/en/who-we-are/leadership/board-of-directors/cimb-islamic-bank-berhad.html

    To save you the trouble:
    “Badlisyah Abdul Ghani, is the CEO of CIMB Islamic Bank, CEO of Group Islamic Banking and Country Head for the Middle East and Brunei for CIMB.

    As CEO of Group Islamic Banking, he manages and oversees the overall Islamic banking and finance franchise of CIMB. CIMB Islamic operates as a parallel franchise to the Group’s conventional operations and covers Islamic wholesale banking, Islamic consumer banking and Islamic asset management. As the Country Head of the Middle East and Brunei he manages and oversees the overall business of CIMB in those markets.

    Badlisyah has 17 years of domestic, regional and global banking experience. He was previously attached to CIMB’s Corporate Finance Division and before that, he worked in the Labuan International Offshore Financial Centre with a Malaysian Islamic banking group in various capacities in structured finance, capital markets and syndications.

    He has been recognised by top international publications as ‘Islamic Banker of the Year’ and ‘Top 20 Pioneer in Islamic finance’. He won the ‘Outstanding Contribution to the Development of Islamic Finance’ award for his role in the global Islamic financial markets.

    Badlisyah sits on the Islamic Capital Market Consultative Panel of Bursa Malaysia, a Council Member of the Association of Islamic Banks in Malaysia, Chairman of the Islamic Capital Market Committee of the Malaysian Investment Banking Association, member of the Standing Group on Accounting for Islamic finance at the Malaysian Accounting Standards Board, member of the Islamic Finance Committee of the Malaysia Institute of Accountants and industry representative member of the Law Harmonisation Committee of Bank Negara Malaysia.

    Badlisyah is 40 years old and holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Leeds, United Kingdom. He is an alumnus of the ICLIF Leadership and Governance Program.”

    UMNOb loves toe-suckers. Perhaps toe-suckers have an indescribable obsession to suck-up from bottom-up? That’s certainly different from the run-of-the-mill ball-apple polishers?

  6. It’s great and Good leadership. The guy who tried to confuse is trying to bodek adik Najub to get further fringe benefits.

  7. All the protagonists in this scandal (and many other scandals) are Malays. These are the very same people who give sermons on morality and honesty. They claim to be defenders of race and religion.
    Badli is there because he is Malay. Tell me, when is a capable non-Malay ever appointed to any top position in the civil service, judiciary, Bank Negara, GLC, Army, Navy, Police etc???
    What is there to be surprised at the state we are in?

  8. Let’s put aside the “mistake” which simply revealed the ‘quality’ he has obviously concealed behind his fancy suits and grooming.

    More importantly, what impelled him to step out of the bounds of corporate decorum expected of all those occupying the top strata in the hierarchy? Is he moonlighting as a card-carrying UMNO functionary or was he simply gunning for recognition and a place in the next federal ‘honors’ list?

    Whatever the case, he has damaged the CIMB brand and Nazir would do well to put him out to pasture. He is clearly GLC material and should be snapped up by one of them

  9. DS Nazir should be the Finance Minister. At least he managed a bank before unlike the current FM.
    How come so thick skin one?

  10. Quote:- “How did he become CEO?”

    Because he was never called for a job interview by all the Malaysian Chinese companies he applied to?

  11. This chap just wants to gain brownie points, not realizing that he had exposed his stupidity by doing so. And he is CEO of a bank at that. A real disaster for CIMB bank.

  12. Notwithstanding Badlisyah’s failure to provide accurate analysis of WSJ article to defend PM and subsequently jeopardised standing of CIMB among clients, he has set his path into future management of the many GLCs where clever analysis is not a requirement.

  13. Badlisyah’s incompetent analysis was picked up by Pro Najib blogs and propagandists as evidence that the WSJ was duped by …..well….someone.

    Not only is his professionalism called into question but any reading of his so called analysis displays a cavalier attitude to the political nature of this scandal.

    The fact that a so called “banker” could make such rudimentary mistakes either because he was in a hurry in execution of some other agenda or that he was honestly confused by the documents before him, does not speak well of the corporate figures that lead CIMB.

    I wonder though which of his employers has his so called analysis damaged more ?

  14. I say well done to Dato Seri Nazir. I only wish there were more corporate captains like him. This kind of action, gives corporate Malaysia a good name.

  15. Folks, not sure if you have seen the letter from Najib’s lawyers to the WSJ’s parent company, Dow Jones:

    Firstly, this highlights yet again why English must be made the medium of instruction for education in Malaysia.

    Secondly, WTF do Najib’s lawyers expect WSJ to do with this letter? Where is the ultimatum? Where is the threat to take legal action if there was no response, or no retraction was made and no apology offered?
    It makes the Malaysian PM appear as though he does not understand the articles written in plain English.

    Dow Jones has already stated that they stand by the WSJ’s articles.

    So what next? NFA?

  16. What I found disconcerting, was how ‘shoddy’ this Banking head was in his personal crusade to exonerate the PM which Malaysiakini deserves credit for verifying his mistakes. Well, on the balance between his ‘privately expressed ‘ fallacies and a deliberate breach of professional ethics, neither maybe edifying for all of us but I certainly hope this ‘amateur’ sleuth knows which is more reprehensible.

  17. Sorry Badlisyah….for a CEO of CIMB Islamic Bank to make such elementary mistakes, you must be damn dumb or you have been paid to make such mistakes with intention. You have brought down the reputation of CIMB ….now the Chairman Nazir Razak has to untie the dirty knot in order to maintain his dignity as he is related to the PM.

  18. Could you imagine what if he turned out to be right?

    He could be the next Bank Negara governor.

    Now he better start writing his CV.

  19. “Well done, Dato’Seri Nazir Razak”

    He definitely has to take action as it implicates him, his bank & his brother…!

    Badlisyah…Good try to impress your Boss Nazir, but as a legal man, you screwed yourself big time with the message on FB to outsmart WSJ.

    There goes all your past unsustainable track record – http://www.internationalfinancemagazine.com/events/badlisyah-abdul-ghani/

    Self inflicted “Hara-Kiri” – Malaysia Boleh…!

    Sad indeed.

  20. Whatever Badlisyah is, at least he was honest to admit a mistake. Others less honest would say his facebook page was “doctored, tampered with, hacked”

  21. “..honest to admit a mistake.”
    Nah.., he should just admitted that he’s a toe-sucker.
    I heard that sukuk funds and bonds are going south, too.

  22. Folks, it took me one whole day to decipher the Malaysiakini report! So it’s not so unusual for a Malay CEO to make a slip. Understandable if he had collected all those credentials by ball polishing. God bless BolehLand.

  23. Also, this moron Badlisyah should not have made any comments because CIMB group was at one time an advisor on the sale of Edra Global Energy Bhd which was owned by the 1MDB.

  24. In such a hurry to defend the indefensible…many succumb to errors, fumble and excitement that led to a lower stature of oneself like this Badlisyah. Najib and Rosmah are in a mess. They need to get lost!

  25. Haha, now it seems it’s Mkini’s fault that good ole Badlisyah was outed and such practises are “unethical”. This so called banker’s analysis was used by pro Najib propaganda sites to discredit the WSJ because it seemed to come from a “credible” source but now since this moron’s analysis’s has been discovered to be faulty, he becomes a victim of the vicious alternative press. Pathetic.

    If the WSJ had been duped or if they had engaged in unethical behaviour with regards to this scandal, I would certainly want to know about it. As I said behaviour it would not have been the first time the WSJ had been sued and judgement delivered against them.

    But if you’re gonna’ take your shot you better be damned sure, you don’t miss. And that’s the problem with these government propagandists and spin masters, they are so used to having the deck stacked in their favour, they don’t know how to operate on an level playing field, where ideas, propaganda and spin are up for grabs.

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