Friday, December 30, 2011

A Big Fish in the South: The-Friday-before Intermission

 Amok and the clean-up of Iskandar. While we wait for the fish to be marinated, let's rewind a little to around  the time just after Arlida Ariff was replaced as CEO of Iskandar Investment Berhad (IIB). (Note: her husband was charged court on Monday, the first in a list of people expected to be tried on the recommendation of the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commisison). In March, Earnst & Young had just completed the audit ordered by Khazanah, the major shareholder of IIB (it owns 60% of IIB, EPF and Johor state government's investment arm Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor (KPRK) each owns 20%). It was reported that E&Y found cases of mismanagement and criminal breach of trust, among other things. Khazanah chief Azman Mokhtar, or Amok to his friends and to bloggers, studied the E&Y report and discussed with stakeholders the next course of action. Aides said he was keen to invite the relevant authorities in and let them probe deeper the findings of E&Y. Nothing to hide and he wanted the rogues out. He was proposing that Khazanah/IIB lodge a police report and another to the MACC. Strangely, not everyone was in favour of his idea. A representative from Kumpulan Prasarana (who was, in effect, the representative of Johor state government) who sat on the IIB board, in particular, was not too keen to go along with Amok's idea. But Amok was adamant and the IIB Board called in the cops in April this year to investigate tbe findings of E&Y. A certain Board member was adamant that a report to the MACC was unnecessary but the MACC eventually came into the picture, nevertheless.

A short story, but it should put some things in proper perspective and accord credit where it's deserved. Of particular interest to corruption-watchers should be the value of potential collaborations between the MACC and forensic auditors such as Earnst & Young.  


  1. E & Y was commissioned by Khazanah to check/investigate the rot in JB. Things are rotten in Iskandar now yes, but remember the saying "A fish rots from the head".

    Iskandar's head is Khazanah Nasional.

    More reason the SPRM must pay a comprehensive visit to Khazanah HQ in KL.

  2. Anonymous1:13 pm

    It's so sad, isn't it ? For suspicions of impropriety, men like Ahmad Sarbani and Teoh Beng Hock died while in MACC custody. Now MACC is taking their time to interviews the cows in the condos in Bangsar and Singapore.

    Big Fish ? Can't be someone connected to UMNO cos it is a protected cesspool of rampaging thieves.


  3. Rocky,
    go check the real reason why Amokh had to send in the E&Y people in the first place and why he had insisted for the MACC probe. You seriously think he have a choice?

  4. One more thing Rocky, I will tell you how things were handled in IIB when Amokh's MCOBA buddy Dr Iskandar was the CEO there. One of these days, ok. Salute.

  5. Rocky, are you doing 'damage control' for Azman? He MUST go. Pls tell PM if he does nothing about Azman AND Khazanah people, he will lose A LOT of votes and his seat! A foreign investor friend once sat with these people and he came out from the meeting 'shocked'....they knew nothing and empty in the head...they only had the 'power' which they abused!

  6. Eddy, agree. Heads must roll. In Khazanah, too. And not just over Iskandar. Over other deals, too.

    You would remember, this blog's "love affair" with Khazanah started with Pantai Hospital's deal involving the Singaporeans. That was way back in 2006. Since then, we have engaged Amok regularly, via our posts and through meetings with bloggers. To his credit, Amok has never run away from us. Got to give him that. Some ministers won't even want to meet bloggers, you know.

    Amok can defend himself, he does not need me to do that. How do I know he can take care of himself? We have been going at him for five years now. FIVE years. And he's still standing. Some of us have given up blogging to join politics, take up residence in London, or simply retire and Amok is still there at Khazanah.

    Selamat Tahun Baru eddy.

  7. Dear Big Cat,

    If the MACC has something to link this with Amok, they would mate. As it is, we know they don't. So I would let the MACC have its day, and give us a great start to the new year.

    Happy New Year to you and your readers, Big Cat.

  8. Selamat Tahun Baru Bro Rocky :)

  9. karim hashim3:36 pm

    Rocky, how wrong you are with regards to E&Y. IIB is stink up and down. From land sale deals (which is Khazanah-driven) to contracting-award deals (which is IIB-staff led).

    E&Y is IIB account auditor. E&Y is also their Programme Mgmt Office facilitator, and guess what, E&Y is also the internal auditor investigating IIB management.

    Question is, why didn't E&Y highlighted the hanky panky on IIB land deals signed by Khazanah? Why were they so focused on trying to get to Arlida, exposing petty corruption when the question should be on why Khazanah signed deals that are lopsided costing IIB billions of lost potential profit?

    It was MACC who uncovered the corruption in IIB land deals, while E&Y tried to deflect the attention (surely on Khazanah's instruction) to petty corruption by IIB staff.

    Please don't glorify E&Y. They suck.

  10. Jasper Bloodstone4:51 pm

    Khazanah is planning to IPO Integrated Healthcare Holdings on both Bursa Malaysia and SGX.

    Does that reflect adversely on Bursa and it's capacity to absorb an IPO of this magnitude?

    Or does it reflect the liquidity and numbers of fund managers in Singapore?

    After all, both Khazanah and Between are comfortable dealing with each other, following the political winds...

    Should Amokh be held to account for this too? Eh, Rocky - how say you?

  11. Anonymous5:29 pm

    A fish rots from the head is not necessarily true nowadays.. i srongly believe people who manage IIB rot by themselves..

    Anyhow bravo YAB DS PM..doing a good job.. cleaning everything.. a sure votes from my family..

  12. Anonymous5:40 pm

    Amok, your Iskandar projects turned out to be a BIG BLUFF after all! MACC should come and visit you.

  13. Anonymous8:21 pm

    Looking for scapegoats....election around the corner I assume :)

  14. Anonymous6:00 pm

    What about these guys in IRDA ... aren't they supposed to keep an eye on things - or is it a ceremonial posting.

  15. Anonymous10:02 am

    Amok should resign not only for all the rot in Iskandar but also in various other other khazanah owned companies...period