The Bailout of all UMNOputra Bailouts

by Lim Kit Siang

It boggles the imagination as to how the withdrawal of all suits against the former Malaysia Airlines (MAS) chairman Tan Sri Tajuddin Ramli could save the Federal Government billions.

It is the Malaysian taxpayers who are the real  victims of the Tajuddin-MAS financial bailout in 2000  to the tune of billions of ringgit – starting with the RM1.8 billion government buy-back of Tajuddin’s 29.09 per cent stake in MAS at RM8 per share representing a premium of RM4.32 or 117 per cent over the market price at RM3.68 per share when the deal was signed on 20th December 2000.

It was followed by MAS police reports from 2002 that Tajuddin had caused the national flag carrier to suffer losses in excess of RM8 billion.

Are Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz Nazri seriously suggesting that after causing MAS, the Federal Treasury and the Malaysian taxpayers to suffer some RM10 billion losses, Tajuddin is still in a position to virtually hold Putrajaya to ransom to force a “global settlement” of all civil suits filed by GLCs especially MAS, TM and Prokhas (formerly Dahaharta) as to require the lawyers of all GLCs concerned to hand over their cases to a known UMNO lawyer?

The latest “Tajuddin intervention” has all the makings of being “The Bailout of all UMNOputra bailouts” couched as  “it looks like a bailout, sounds like a bail-out but it’s not a bailout” – and the onus is on Najib and Nazri to produce all relevant information to convince the long-suffering Malaysian taxpayers and public  that it is not so.

There is now the  latest twist in this “bailout of all Umnoputra bailouts” with The Malaysian Insider report on Aug 13 that several GLCs are perturbed by Nazri’s attempts to justify Putrajaya’s intervention in the ongoing lawsuits against Tajuddin as they claimed the de facto law minister was giving out misleading information.

The Malaysian Insider reported:

“A source close to several parties named in the lengthy series of suits and counter-suits involving Tajuddin pointed out that the former poster boy for Bumiputera entrepreneurship had lost his RM13 billion countersuit against national debt restructuring company Danaharta in 2009.

“Among several documents obtained by The Malaysian Insider, a High Court judgment on December 7, 2009 showed trial judge Anatham Kasinather had awarded a total sum of RMRM589,143,205.57 to Danaharta, its two subsidiaries and its four managing directors named as Datuk Azman Yahya, Datuk Abdul Hamidy Hafiz, Datuk Zukri Samat and Datuk Kris Azman Abdullah.

“The same trial judge had also dismissed Tajuddin’s RM13 billion countersuit against Danaharta and its agencies a month earlier on November 12, 2009.”

This is totally at variance with Nazri’s claim that his intervention would save Putrajaya billions, as Tajuddin, who is facing millions in legal claims for causing MAS to suffer losses in excess of RM8 billion during his tenure, had made a whopping RM13 billion counter-claim.

Nazri had said: “Our total claims by the companies against Tajuddin are only half a billion ringgit. That is why, we said we should sit down and talk.”

Nazri has been accused of “plucking from thin air” the figure of RM13 billion against Danaharta as Tajuddin was the only who owed money and Danaharta did not owe him anything.

Public confidence has been greatly shaken by this intervention and the Malaysian public are entitled to the fullest information about all the civil suits, criminal reports (and anti-corruption investigations) which GLCs have made against Tajuddin if Malaysians are to be convinced that the Tajuddin intervention is not to become “The Bailout of all UMNOputra Bailouts”. – The Rocket