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Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, 13th August 2011: 

Tajuddin intervention – Is it “the bailout of all Umnoputra bailouts”?

The two recent headlines of “Nazri says Tajuddin intervention could save Putrajaya billions” and “Najib: Tajuddin intervention ‘off-site’ solution, not settlement” have raised more questions than given answers since the public revelation that the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz had instructed all government-linked companies (GLCs) to withdrawal their civil suits against the former Malaysia Airlines (MAS) chairman Tan Sri Tajuddin Ramli.

It boggles the imagination as to how the withdrawal of all suits against Tajuddin could save the Federal Government billions when it has entered the national folklore that 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 and followed by MAS police reports from 2002 that Tajuddin had caused the national flag carrier to suffer losses in excess of RM8 billion.

Are Najib and 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 “Its looks like a bailout, sounds like a bail-out but its 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 today 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”.

*Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timor



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