The RM764 million “patronage”
of Daim Zainuddin as Finance Minister in 1991 to his two protégés
highlighted in the Court of Appeal judgment in Metramac Cheras Toll
concession case raised grave questions of integrity which should be top
agenda of the first meeting of the Parliamentary Select Committee on
Integrity on Monday
Media Statement (1)
by Lim Kit Siang
The Court of Appeal judgment on
the Metramac Cheras Toll concession case on Thursday has raised grave
questions of integrity about the conduct of Tun Daim Zainuddin when he was
Finance Minister in 1991 involving a RM764 million “patronage” to his two
protégés, Datuk Halim Saad and Anuar Othman, which should be the top agenda
of the first meeting of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity on
million Daim “patronage” should be the first case study of the Parliamentary
Select Committee on Integrity in keeping with its terms of reference
focusing on ethics and integrity in the public service and society,
including proposals for amendments to laws and regulations and actions to be
taken by the relevant authorities
Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity, which was established by a
resolution of the Dewan Rakyat on December 8, 2005, is chaired by Tan Sri
Bernard Giluk Dompok, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department. Other
members are Lim Kit Siang (Ipoh Timur), Dato Dr. Wan Hashim bin Wan The (Gerik),
Ronah binti Abdul Rashid Shirlin (Papar), Teng Boon Soon (Tebrau), Dr. James
Dawos Mamit (Mambong), Devamany Krishnasamy (Cameron Highlands), Tan Lian
Hoe (Bukit Gantang), Datuk Richard Riot anak Jaem (Serian), Eric Enchin
Majimbun (Sepanggar), Edmund Chong Ket Wah (Batu Sapi) and Dato Hj. Ab.
Halim bin Ab. Rahman (Pengkalan Chepa).
of Judge Datuk Gopal Sri Ram, as reported by New Straits Times
today, headlined “Halim, Anuar had patronage of Daim, says judge”,
laid out the facts resulting in the judge’s verdict of Daim’s patronage as
Finance Minister to his two protégés worth RM764 million:
It was puzzled why
the then Finance Minister Tun Daim Zainuddin said in 1990 that the Federal
Government was in no position to pay Syarikat Teratai KG Sdn Bhd
compensation of RM764 million in lieu of its toll concession being
But he seemed to sing a different tune a while later when another company
took over STKG.
This is how the deal unfolded.
In 1986, Fawziah Holdings, through STKG, succeeded in obtaining a tender
from DBKL to design, build and operate several roads in Kuala Lumpur. In
December 1988, four parties invested in STKG, bringing in RM65 million worth
DBKL suspended the toll collection in September 1990 after a demonstration
at the Cheras toll plaza. As a result, compensation of RM764 million was
payable by DBKL to STKG.
In November 1990, UEM Bhd made an offer to purchase all the shares in STKG
for RM97.5 million. In reality, the shares were to be purchased by a company
nominated by UEM, namely Metro Juara, whose shareholders were Datuk Halim
Saad and Anuar Othman.
Judge Datuk Gopal Sri Ram noted that STKG was between a rock and a hard
place. It had spent large sums of money on the project and now found "itself
with the ground cut from under its feet because of DBKL’s termination of the
first concession agreement".
DBKL had terminated the contract because of a demonstration at the Cheras
"No one in his or her right mind will consider the choice of selling their
shares to Metro Juara at RM97.5 million as a choice at all. All the
independent evidence on record points to this being in reality a crude case
of economic duress presenting itself in a more subtle form."
Sri Ram noted that the offer by UEM to buy out STKG’s shares for RM97.5
milllion simply did not make any commercial sense. "Here you have a company
that has just had its loan and shareholders capital wiped out in one stroke.
It had no money in the coffers. It had huge debts. It had no prospects of
receiving any compensation from DBKL. So why pay RM97.5 million for the
shares of such a company.
"The answer is simple enough. Anuar and Halim had something which the
plaintiff did not. And that was the patronage of Daim," he said, adding that
the events leading to the takeover bears this out.
He noted even before the restructure sale agreement was signed on Jan 23,
1991, Metro Juara wrote to DBKL about recommencing the toll collection and
re-negotiating the first concession agreement.
"It would not have written such a letter unless everything had already been
out in place," he noted.
Sri Ram added that the takeover of STKG by Metro Juara was also a rushed
"There was no examination of the defendant’s books. No warranties were asked
or given. No due diligence exercise was ever carried out."
The takeover was executed on Jan 23, 1991.
"Not long after the takeover, a strange thing happened. Where doors were
once closed to the defendant before its takeover, as if by the utterance of
a magic spell, all bureaucratic doors were opened to the defendant after its
takeover by Metro Juara. And as if by the rub of a magic lamp, the Federal
Government and DBKL, who hitherto, claimed to be impoverished, suddenly
found themselves flush with funds.
"They were now in a financial position to compensate the defendant. The
figures are staggering. In one way or another, the defendant was to receive
a total sum of RM756.7 million," he said.
The Court of
Appeal judgment also found a case of “aggravated form of CBT” in a separate
front-page NST report headlined “The Metramac Case –‘THEY TOOK RM32 m’”.
businessmen Datuk Halim Saad and Anuar Othman siphoned RM32.5 million from a
By doing so, they could have been flirting with an aggravated form of
criminal breach of trust, an offence which carries a maximum 20-year jail
term with whipping and fine upon conviction.
This was the damning finding of the Court of Appeal which ordered Metramac
Corporation Sdn Bhd to pay about RM65 million to a construction company in
compensation for loss of advertising rights.
The court ruled on the case yesterday but released its written judgment
is whether the Police will immediately commence investigations into Halim
Saad and Anuar for aggravated form of CBT based on the Court of Appeal
counsel of toll concessionaire Metramac Corporation Sdn Bhd has announced
that application for a stay of execution and an appeal to the Federal Court
against the decision of the Court of Appeal ordering the company to pay RM65
million to Fawziah Holdings Sdn Bhd for claims of a signage and advertising
agreement between the two parties would be filed on Monday, this has nothing
to do with criminal or corruption proceedings which would not be affected by
the outcome of any appeal.
* Lim Kit Siang,
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP
Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission