The question that begs an answer is how could Gading Sari Aviation Services get a contract from Pos Malaysia when it does not even own any aircraft plus it was the highest bidder? And who was it that forced Pos Malaysia to reinstate the contract after it was terminated on 31 March 2008?
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Pos Malaysia Bhd acting managing director and group chief executive officer, Datuk Abu Huraira Abu Yazid, confirmed that on Wednesday, 18 June 2008, the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) raided the company’s premises. “We cooperated with them fully. We have nothing to hold back or to hide,” he told reporters after the company’s annual general meeting the following day.
Abu Huraira said that it is just a ‘general investigation’ but admitted that the ACA had confiscated some documents relating to the investigation. However he was not in the office when the ACA raid was conducted so he does not know more than that.
Abu Huraira did not reveal what the ACA raid or investigation was about. But he did confirm that Pos Malaysia is reviewing its contracts with Transmile Group Bhd and Gading Sari Aviation Services Sdn Bhd. The contracts for both these companies expire at the end of March next year. What Abu Huraira did not reveal, though, was that Gading Sari Aviation Services Sdn Bhd’s contract had, in fact, already been terminated on 31 March 2008 but then Pos Malaysia received instructions from the Deputy Prime Minister’s office to reinstate the contract — so he is not really telling us everything.
Abu Huraira added that the review of the two companies’ contracts was based on their performances. “We have an arrangement with them to handle our business in Sabah and Sarawak. We are now re-evaluating their performance before making a decision,” he told reporters.
Gading Sari Aviation Services is a helicopter rental company owned by Tengku Abdullah, the son of the Sultan of Pahang. Tengku Abdullah owns 750,000 shares in the company while Raja Mufik Affandi Bin Raja Khalid owns 250,000 shares and Md Ismail Bin Abdul Kader the balance 4 million shares. Raja Mufik and Md Ismail are both Directors of the company.
The question that begs an answer is how could Gading Sari Aviation Services get a contract from Pos Malaysia when it does not even own any aircraft plus it was the highest bidder? And who was it that forced Pos Malaysia to reinstate the contract after it was terminated on 31 March 2008? According to the talk in Pos Malaysia, the phone call came from the Deputy Prime Minister’s office?
Transmile Group Bhd, on the other hand, is an air cargo operator, which made the news last year for alleged financial irregularities amounting to RM700 million. Pos Malaysia holds a 14.99 percent stake in the troubled Transmile Group Bhd, which has debts to the tune of RM535.8 million. Abu Huraira said that Pos Malaysia does not intend to reduce its stake in Transmile Group Bhd. “The issue does not arise at the moment. We must give Transmile time to turn around its operations and improve the financial position.”
And the question that begs an answer here is have those who committed the criminal act of misappropriating the company’s money been brought to book or will Pos Malaysia have to eventually write the investment off and treat the entire episode as a misadventure at the expense of the rakyat? And what was the role of Pos Malaysia’s then executive chairman, Tan Sri Zainol, in the decision to award the contract to Transmile Group? It would be good if we can also find out the link with Megantara Air, an Indonesian company owned by Daniel, Tan Sri Zainol’s son-in-law.
Let us hope the ACA investigation shows some results and not end up as a NFA (no further action) like so many other scandals involving those who walk in the corridors of power. In the first place, both these companies are not qualified to get these contracts plus their prices were the highest. Then, when Pos Malaysia does the right thing by terminating Gading Sari Aviation Services’ contract, someone powerful in the corridors of power instructs them to reinstate the contract. The ACA investigation should not stop at Pos Malaysia. It should extend to those who walk in the corridors of power, to the Prime Minister’s and Deputy Prime Minister’s office if need be.
Pos Malaysia is losing millions of Ringgit. And now we hear that Pos Malaysia has been given the task of refunding the RM625 to each car owner eligible for a rebate. And we also hear that RM1 billion has been handed over to Pos Malaysia for ‘safe-keeping’ to meet the cost of these rebates. Are we going to hear of another scandal involving misappropriation of funds a couple of years from now when the ACA discovers that fictitious payments have been made to ‘ghost’ car owners? Thus far there has been too many incidences of wrongdoings in Pos Malaysia to make us think otherwise.