Tuesday, August 2, 2016

MAHATHIR: SEMASA JADI PM SAYA TAK PERNAH PINJAM RM1 BILLION

Ander boleh menipu SITIAP woran pada sesetengah masa, dan sesetengah woran pada SITIAP masa, te... thumbnail 1 summary
Ander boleh menipu SITIAP woran pada sesetengah masa, dan sesetengah woran pada SITIAP masa, tetapi ander tider boleh menipukan SITIAP woran pada SITIAP masa.. ~ DS SAMY VALUE
Di dalam satu forum terbuka yang diadakan di Pusat Konvensyen Straits Quay Pulau Pinang yang dihadiri lebih kurang 600 orang, Tun Mahathir telah memburuk-burukkan Datuk Seri Najib Razak berkenaan 1MDB. Beliau berbohong dengan mengatakan “Semasa saya menjadi Perdana Menteri, seingat saya, saya tidak pernah meminjam RM1 bilion”.

Hakikatnya, pada awal tahun 1980-an, Tun Mahathir pernah terlibat dalam satu perdagangan penuh spekulasi dengan menggunakan sebuah syarikat RM2 yang bernama Maminco Sdn Bhd.


Syarikat Maminco Sdn Bhd digunakan untuk membeli kontrak masa depan timah dan mengumpul stok komoditi. Semua urusan dijalankan secara rahsia dan bertujuan untuk mengapung harga komoditi tersebut di Bursa Logam London, pusat dunia untuk perdagangan industri logam.

Bagi membiayai skim tersebut, Tun Mahathir telah membantu Maminco untuk mendapatkan pinjaman RM1.5 bilion dari Bank Bumiputra. Tiada siapa tahu nilai sebenar pinjaman yang dibuat oleh Tun Mahathir. Perbandingan dengan nilai hari ini tahun 2016, ianya dianggarkan bernilai tidak kurang daripada RM7 bilion, atau mungkin 7 kali ganda lebih daripada nilai yang dinafikan oleh Tun Mahathir.

Rancangan Tun Mahathir pada permulaan urus niaga berjaya dan menyebabkan harga bijih timah meningkat. Ianya telah memberikan keuntungan kepada Maminco, namun tidak kekal lama. Tekanan permintaan menyebabkan peningkatan pengeluaran bijih timah dan memaksa AS melepaskan simpanannya.

Apabila harga bijih timah jatuh, Maminco berdepan kesukaran untuk membayar pinjaman. Hal itu memaksa mantan Perdana Menteri Tun Mahathir terlibat dalam satu lagi konspirasi.


Beliau membenarkan jualan ‘saham bumiputera terpelihara’ yang baru pada nilai par kepada Makuwasa Sdn Bhd, satu lagi syarikat RM2 yang baru ditubuhkan.

Makuwasa Sdn Bhd dijadikan sebagai perantara pelaburan bagi KWSP, semua saham yang dibeli terdiri daripada saham yang dipesongkan daripada dana simpanan untuk menyelamatkan Maminco. Semua urusan dijalankan secara rahsia dan hanya diketahui oleh Tun Mahathir dan beberapa orang kepercayaannya.

Makuwasa pula telah menjual saham tersebut pada harga pasaran untuk dapatkan margin, di mana sebahagiannya disalurkan oleh Tun Mahathir kepada Maminco Sdn Bhd untuk menebus kerugian yang dialami di tangan spekulator Amerika Syarikat.


Jadi, Tun Mahathir bukan sahaja memainkan peranan dalam perdagangan spekulatif, malah beliau begitu bijak menggunakan dana yang sepatutnya digunakan untuk bumiputera, bagi menyelamatkan sebuah syarikat yang mempunyai tunggakkan pinjaman Bank yang sangat besar.

Skandal Makuwasa-Maminco bukanlah yang pertama kali untuk dana awam digunakan dalam perdagangan spekulatif oleh Tun Mahathir.

Pada pertengahan tahun 1980-an, mantan Perdana Menteri itu terlibat dalam perdagangan mata wang spekulatif melalui Bank Negara Malaysia dan menyebabkan bank pusat muflis hampir sedekad kemudian.

Semuanya bermula pada tahun 1985, apabila Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) mencatatkan penyusutan rizab pertukaran asing bernilai sekitar USD5 bilion. Kemerosotan secara tiba2 itu berlaku semasa perjanjian yang dipersetujui oleh pemimpin2 negara G-5 ketika tu di Plaza Hotel New York. Perjanjian tersebut membawa ke arah langkah perlindungan oleh Amerika Syarikat, yang sengaja menurunkan nilai mata wangnya sebanyak lebih kurang 50% bagi mengurangkan kerosakan cagaran antara rakan perdagangan strategik.

Bagi menebus kerugian, Tun Mahathir bersekongkol dengan Gabenor BNM ketika itu, Tan Sri Jaffar Hussein untuk merampas pasaran mata wang dengan membuat spekulasi ke atas mata wang utama global. Bank pusat dikatakan telah bergantung pada maklumat yang diperolehi daripada bank2 pusat yang lain untuk mendapatkan keuntungan jangka pendek daripada perbezaan kadar faedah dan perubahan kadar pertukaran.

Tan Sri Jaffar mencetuskan aliran rentas sempadan ‘hot money’ dan berjaya membuatkan bank2 pusat yang lain mengikutnya. Tan Sri Jaffar telah melakukan sesuatu yang luar biasa dengan jayanya dalam pasaran pertukaran wang asing di bawah pengawasan Mahathir dan Tun Daim Zainuddin.

Negara-negara Asia secara tidak langsung mengiktiraf Tan Sri Jaafar sebagai perintis dalam pasaran pertukaran mata wang, di mana semua bank di rantau ini mengambil petunjuk daripadanya.

Pada tahun 1990, ketiga2 mereka Tun Mahathir, Tun Daim dan Tan Sri Jaafar membuat keputusan untuk terjun dalam paun sterling British dengan menjual matawang tersebut dalam jumlah yang besar. Langkah tersebut dikira bertepatan dengan perjanjian yang ditandatangani oleh United Kingdom dan negara2 Eropah yang lain. Kerana perjanjian tersebut memerlukan British mematuhi Mekanisme Kadar Pertukaran (ERM) sebagai langkah keselamatan.

ERM membataskan negara2 yang mengambil bahagian untuk ‘margin kadar pertukaran’ yang ketat, bagi menstabilkan mata wang Eropah. Dengan menspekulasikan pound, BNM berjaya menurunkan mata wang British sebanyak 4 sen apabila Britain menghantar kelulusan keahliannya kepada ERM.

Langkah spekulatif Tan Sri Jaafar menghasilkan jumlah wang besar, yang kemudiannya masuk ke dalam akaun penama, yang seterusnya membantu untuk pembiayaian PRU tahun 1990. Tetapi sebahagian besar daripada jumlah wang itu masih belum dipulangkan kepada UMNO atau belum dipulangkan kepada kerajaan persekutuan. Ianya dipercayai telah diletakkan atas penama2 tersebut ke dalam kepentingan perniagaan mereka di seluruh dunia.


Tahun 1992, Britain sengaja mengenakan Tan Sri Jaffar di mana United Kingdom (UK) telah menarik pelabur untuk pound dengan menaikkan kadar faedah bagi mengapungkan nilai mata wangnya.

Secara tiba-tiba United Kingdom menarik diri dari ERM. Langkah itu turut menjatuhkan pound British seperti seguni kentang panas dan membebani kerajaan Malaysia dengan kerugian yang dianggarkan sebanyak USD3.6 bilion.

Pada tahun 1993, team Tun Mahathir-Tan Sri Jaffar kerugian USD2.2 bilion lagi dalam perdagangan spekulatif. Ekoran dari impak tersebut, pada tahun 1994 bank pusat telah diisytiharkan muflis. Tetapi telah diselamatkan oleh Kementerian Kewangan, portfolio yang ketika itu dipegang oleh Ketua de facto PKR DS Anwar Ibrahim.

Tan Sri Jaffar telah meletakkan jawatan, walaupun beliau dan Tun Mahathir telah disiasat kerana peranan mereka dalam melesapkan berbilion ringgit tetapi tiada tindakan dikenakan terhadap mereka. Kerugian pada masa itu telah meningkat kepada jumlah yang tidak pernah benar2 diambil kira.

Tun Mahathir menuduh Datuk Seri Najib melesapkan RM50 bilion dana 1MDB dan mengambil RM2.6 bilion daripada firma pelaburan strategik. Beliau tetap sombong dan degil, dan enggan mengakui hakikat bahawa 5 panel bebas terikat dengan pelbagai undang2 telah membersihkan nama Perdana Menteri DS Najib daripada sebarang jenayah.

Tun Mahathir juga enggan akui kerugian BNM yang dicatat pada pertengahan 90-an yang dianggarkan bernilai RM30 bilion. Mengikut nilai hari ini, ia bernilai RM150 bilion, ditambah pula dengan RM7 bilion untuk skandal Maminco-Makuwasa. Mengapa perlu banyak perkara sampah yang diperkatakan oleh Tun Mahathir terhadap Datuk Seri Najib? Sedangkan yang betul-betul sampah adalah Tun Mahathir sendiri. - MYNEWSHUB




Billions of losses accrued during Mahathir’s tenure
August 4, 2015
The Focusweek team, The Ant Daily
http://www.malaysia-today.net/billions-of-losses-accrued-during-mahathirs-tenure/

In the book Malaysian Politics under Mahathir (by Diane K Mauzy and R S Milne) published in 1999, the first two years of his leadership is described as a “cautious, careful period”. It is not surprising, considering that it took time to consolidate his power in Umno and, following the 1982 general election, in the government.

But even as early as 1981, when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was sworn in as prime minister, some of the country’s biggest financial scandals were already brewing. In an interview with Time magazine, a Morgan Stanley economist says Malaysia might have lost as much as US$100 bil since the early 1980s due to corruption.

Petty “coffee money” to police and government officials can only amount to so much. No, it would take a lot more behind the scenes to amass such financial losses.

Focusweek recalls the most damaging financial scandals of the Mahathir’s years in office.

Maminco-Makuwasa Affair (1981)

Malaysia was once a leading producer of tin. In 1979, the country produced almost 63,000 tonnes, or 31% of the world’s output. More than 41,000 people were employed in this sector and it was a major contributor to the national economy.

In 1981, Maminco Sdn Bhd, a RM2 company, was set up to secretly buy futures contracts and physical tin to artificially raise prices on the London Metal Exchange. To finance its activities, Maminco obtained a RM1.5 bil loan from Bank Bumiputra Malaysia Bhd.

The scheme helped to push up tin prices for a spell, but the higher prices also led to increases in tin production, resulting in the United States releasing its strategic stockpile. Unable to maintain the artificial high prices, the tin market collapsed. Maminco became a RM1.5 bil liability.

To recoup its investment and repay the bank, money was siphoned out of another RM2 company called Makuwasa Security Sdn Bhd. New shares reserved for bumiputras and allocated to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) were discreetly diverted to Makuwasa at par value. The cheaply-acquired shares were then sold at market value for a profit.

On Sept 18, 1986, Mahathir was forced to admit that Makuwasa was created to recoup losses accrued by Maminco to repay the bank loans.

The BMF scandal (1983)

Bank Bumiputra – a government-owned financial institution run by Umno-linked civil servants and politicians – and EPF also featured in another financial scandal.

Incorporated in 1965 to provide credit and financing facilities to rural communities, Bank Bumiputra was at the same time moving aggressively into new ventures overseas.

In July 1983, it was discovered that Bumiputra Malaysia Finance (BMF), a subsidiary of Bank Bumiputra, had given up to US$1 bil in bad loans to developers in Hong Kong – the now-defunct Carrian Group and HK$2 company Plessey Investment Limited.

Carrian boss George Tan wasted no time running his company into the ground. Billions disappeared into thin air.

BMF assistant general manager Jalil Ibrahim, who was sent to conduct an audit in Hong Kong, was murdered for allegedly “knowing too much”.

A committee was set up to investigate the scandal but no one in Malaysia was prosecuted, whereas in Hong Kong, swift action was taken against the “perpetrators” whom many considered were mere scapegoats. One of them was Lorrain Esme Osman, then chairman of BMF, who later fled to London.

A white paper prepared by an independent commission cited minutes of Cabinet meetings stating that Mahathir gave the green light to expend more money to contain the scandal, but no Malaysian politician has been held to account for the fiasco.

Apart from the RM2.5 bil in bad loans, another RM10 bil was spent to contain the scandal, bringing the total loss to RM12.5 bil.

Mahathir has denied involvement in the scandal. For the record, he never acted as advisor to the bank.

Perwaja Steel (1982 – 1995)

Perwaja Steel was set up in 1982 as a joint venture between government-owned Heavy Industries Corporation and the Nippon Steel Corporation of Japan. It was touted as a showcase of Mahathir’s industrialisation effort. A plant costing RM1 bil was built in Terengganu to meet local demand for steel.

Faced with production problems, Perwaja became increasingly burdened by large debts. Money borrowed was in yen, which appreciated significantly at that time to balloon interest payments. Nippon Steel eventually pulled out in 1987.

In a bid to turn it around, Mahathir placed businessman Tan Sri Eric Chia in charge of Perwaja in 1988. Another RM2 bil consisting of government funds and loans from Bank Bumiputra and the EPF was allegedly pumped into the plant. New downstream facilities were built in Terengganu and Kedah.

Chia remained in Perwaja for seven years before resigning abruptly in 1995. Soon after, further problems with the project began to surface. Losses were initially estimated at RM2.56 bil, but Mahathir himself publicly admitted in 2002 that Perwaja lost RM10 bil in total.

An internal report prepared by Perwaja’s new management claimed the project was crippled by inaccurate accounting reports, unauthorised contracts amounting to hundreds of millions of ringgit, dubious maintenance contracts (including RM200,000 per month to a company just for gardening, cleaning and vehicle maintenance), and a RM957 mil contract to companies of Chia’s long-time associate.

In 2004, Chia was charged with dishonestly authorising a payment of RM76 mil. He was acquitted in 2007, but the RM10 bil loss was never accounted for.

The forex losses (1992–1994)


While the potential for a big payoff is great, the risk in foreign exchange (forex) trading is extremely high. When things go sour, the losses can be massive.

Bank Negara took that gamble from 1992 to 1994. The country ended up losing RM30 bil, and raised concern among banks across Asia. Bank Negara reportedly traded US$1 bil to US$5 bil per day on some days, which was highly unusual.

Generally, central banks only enter the forex market to influence their own currency rates. Even the Bank of Japan rarely trades more than US$1 bil when it needs to intervene and protect the yen. But Bank Negara was trading to profit – something central banks should never do.

As with most trading disasters, all it takes is one unfortunate event to result in a deluge of losses. Bank Negara was betting on the pound sterling to go up, but when Britain withdrew from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism, the currency collapsed. The resulting losses were estimated to be as much as RM16 bil in those two years.

In June 2012, retired Bank Negara deputy manager Dr Rosli Yaakop named Mahathir as among the “forex scandal elite club masters”, though he noted that ex-Bank Negara governor (the late Tan Sri Jaffar Hussein) and former Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of the Economic Planning Unit, Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, were the “biggest culprits”.
Other financial scandals

The Maminco, BMF, Perwaja and forex losses were the most damning of the scandals that plagued the Mahathir administration. There were others, albeit smaller ones, that happened during his administration.

The 1994 Malaysia Airlines System (MAS) scandal is one of them. Businessman Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli took over MAS, which had RM600 mil cash in reserves, that year. When he left seven years later, the company had accumulated losses of over RM8 bil. According to Mahathir himself, the losses amounted to RM9.4 bil as of 2000.

Over the years, several costly lawsuits were filed against Tajudin. He claimed that he was forced to purchase MAS shares as a “national service” disguised as a commercial deal because the government needed to appease the public and investors.

In his autobiography, published in 2011, Mahathir denied he and former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin had forced Tajudin to bail out MAS.

Mahathir has also been accused of abusing his position to help bail out his eldest son from corporate failure. In early 1998 Petronas purchased Konsortium Perkapalan Bhd (KPB), which was owned by his son, Mirzan. The Petronas-controlled national shipping carrier, Malaysian International Shipping Corporation Bhd (MISC), was used to acquire KPB’s shipping assets with cash said to amount to RM1 bil.

And then there were, of course, the scandals involving EPF in the 1980s, most of which were raised by DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang. They include non-trustee stock investments of the EPF, as pointed out by the Auditor-General in the 1985 EPF Annual Report, where the statutory body defied Section 4(2) (b) of the 1951 EPF Act by investing RM50.79 mil in non-trustee stocks.

The report also indicated that the fund’s RM517.52 mil investment in equity holdings was concentrated in eight out of 86 companies, which raised eyebrows.

Mahathir himself was never personally implicated in any of these scandals. But his critics have argued that these were proof that there was insufficient control over the management of public funds when he was prime minister, and this led to massive abuse.


This article was first published in the July 11-17, 2015 issue of Focusweek.

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