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Thursday, April 5, 2012

The transformed cronies — Sam Peh

Sulaiman Kamal | 2:13 PM | Best Blogger Tips

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APRIL 5 — Remember how Dr Mahathir Mohamad gatecrashed Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s sleepover at Putrajaya in 2006 and claimed that Abdullah’s family had an undue influence on business and contracts.

Many people including me felt that Mahathir was just vindictive and was overstating the influence of Khairy Jamaluddin and Kamaluddin Abdullah. But it appears that Mahathir was right and that the so-called Mr Clean’s inner circle was running a lucrative lobby/influence peddling scheme.

>Link Info : Politics

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Malaysiakini has been covering a very interesting case where NR Systems, a subsidiary of Scomi, is suing Gamuda-MMC for non-payment of RM360 million in commission for allegedly helping Gamuda get the multi-billion ringgit double-tracking project.

This case shows how pervasive influence peddling is under the Umno government. According to court testimony, Gamuda sought to revive the double-tracking project, cancelled during Abdullah’s time.

And they did this not by putting up a new paper to the Ministry of Finance or the EPU. Gamuda allegedly sought the intervention of fixers and commission agents, who suggested that “well-connected” individuals be deployed to persuade Abdullah to put the double-tracking project on board.

Names mentioned were Khairy and Kamaluddin, who is also involved with Scomi.

Can we surmise that the well-connected individuals were promised or paid for their intervention? Of course we can.

The Gamuda lawyer smugly suggested that the Gamuda-MMC consortium did not need to get the services of fixers because Syed Mokhtar al-Bukhary is also well-connected.

That may be true during the Mahathir and Najib years but when Abdullah was the PM, Syed Mokhtar was an outsider. So it is conceivable that Gamuda-MMC needed “fixers” who were close to Abdullah and who bend him according to their will.

Can you imagine, this was the PM who portrayed himself as being clean and not interested in the old ways of political patronage? The NR Systems and Gamuda-MMC saga is only the tip of the iceberg.

Abdullah’s family and cronies benefitted big time from his time in office. (Question: does Khairy have a full-time job?)

The lobbying and influence peddling is even worse under Najib. His wife, family and friends are all sought after by big business to clinch deals and privatisation projects.

These people are “transformed” to super rich under this variation of skim cepat kaya.

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