Sunday, June 06, 2021

Wee Ka Siong and Zafrul may face an unexpected Zambery "hurdle" over sale of Subang airport to Pavilion KL tycoon

And of the RM400 mil aerotrain tender, the other sword over the MAHB chairman's head

Puchong, 6/6/21: Word is the Transport Ministry and the Ministry of Finance will make a big, final push this week for Subang airport to be given, on a silver platter, to tycoon Desmond Lim of the Pavilion KL fame.

It is a move the unions in Malaysia Airports Holding Bhd, which owns Subang, have described  as "most foul", given that the PM himself has just given an assurance that the Cabinet will not decide until after it has consulted MAHB. "They are trying to go behind our back".

Subang counts as one of the most lucrative airports owned and run by MAHB so, naturally, it is not keen. Moreover, it already has its own plans to revamp the airport. Khazanah, however, is the major shareholder (33.2 per cent) of MAHB and Khazanah answers to Tengku Zafrul, the Minister of Finance. Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong, who is said to be quite sympathetic towards Desmond, is in the picture as airport operations come under his ministry's purview.

Only Zambery Kadir, the former Perak MB who is now chairman of MAHB, stands in their way, it seems. 

I know a source who know people at Kesma, the 2,000-strong trade union, and I asked if the union leaders were absolutely sure that Zambery was with them on this. "Yes, praise the Lord, brother, the Chairman is. Both the Board and the Management of MAHB are against Wee Ka Siong's plans. They (the unions) got word that MOT and MOF would be trying to get the deal for Desmond done this week so they are rather anxious, but they are sure they have the support of their Chairman," the source told me. 

Zambery should be losing sleep, too. Up against two key ministers in Muhyiddin's Cabinet, he will need all the luck in the world to "save" Subang airport. Regardless of the PM's assurance (read MAHB to have a say in Subang airport redevelopment).

Subang is not the only sword hanging over Zambery's head.

The Edge carried a report last week about some last minute changes to a RM400 tender process that created a lot of unhappiness - and, naturally, suspicions - among the companies taking part in the bid. You may read all about it in A Voice's posting MAHB's Aerotrain, Corporate Governance, and Zalekha.

Jose Barrock asks, is the tender done in an above board manner?

The blogger A Voice trains his spotlight on MAHB's procurement committee, in particular its chairman Zalekha Hassan. He refers to a move by former MAHB chairman, the retired judge Zainon Ali, to limit the chairmanship of the procurement committee to 3 years, in the name of good governance and transparency.

The blogger says:

Nothing against Zulekha, but this is strictly demanding accountability on politicians and corporate governance. She has to be duly replaced to enable Zambery not being perceived by the public as typical politician kowtowing to their boss. 

The responsibility rest on Zambery's shoulder to prove politicians can make decisions to the best interest of the company and its stakeholders, thus not for “other” consideration.



Read also:

Sacking politicians put politicians at GLC under spotlight /// Now airport workers want the Sultan to intervene in Subang airport sale /// 

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