Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Most Dangerous Selfie Ever? Teens Film Themselves On Roof Of Hong Kong Skyscraper

Most Dangerous Selfie Ever? Teens Film Themselves On Roof Of Hong Kong Skyscraper

Pic: video source YouTube/FrankWu, filmed by Daniel LauPic: video source YouTube/FrankWu, filmed by Daniel LauThree teenagers from Hong Kong take the selfie craze to a new level as they pose for the camera on top of one of Hong Kong's tallest buildings.
This selfie video shows a group of friends relaxing as they eat bananas, with Hong Kong's skyline in the background.
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But the scene takes a vertigo-enducing turn when photographer Daniel Lau changes the camera angle using a "selfie stick" - a retractable pole on which the camera is mounted - to reveal that they are, in fact on top of a building.
The video was shot on top of The Centre skyscraper which stands 346 metres (1,135 feet) tall and is Hong Kong's fifth-tallest building.
The footage is dizzying to watch, not least because Lau turns the camera round several times, offering a stomach-churning view of the streets below him, before lowering the lens and turning his attention to his mobile phone.
The term "selfie" dates back to 2002, when it was first used in an Australian online forum, but the craze for taking them has mushroomed over the past 18 months, so much so that Oxford Dictionaries picked "selfie" as the 2013 word of the year.

WATCH: ‘World’s scariest selfie’ taken on top of Hong Kong skyscraper

TORONTO – A photographer in Hong Kong has taken the selfie of all selfies — from the top of an 1,135-foot skyscraper.
In a video posted to YouTube, Daniel Lau, along with fellow photographer Andrew Tso and friend A.S., are perched on top of Hong Kong’s fifth tallest skyscraper; The Center.
As his friends sit on the peak eating bananas, Lau, using a “selfie stick” to hold the camera, stands and gets a dizzying, wide-angle panoramic shot.

Many viewers of the video, which is being called the “world’s scariest selfie,” have commented the footage made them sweat or made them feel sick.
While selfies have become part of our daily lexicon, they’ve also become increasingly dangerous as people try to capture themselves in memorable moments.
In April, a Regina man was kicked in the head by a train conductor in Peru while taking one too close to a moving train.
A man was also attacked by a squirrel in April after taking one with the furry creature, who appeared friendly before turning on him.
And at the Tour de France in July many fans put themselves in danger trying to get selfies in front of the riders on the course.
© Shaw Media, 2014

Is this the most dangerous selfie ever taken? Three teenagers shoot incredible video from ANTENNA on top of 1,135ft Hong Kong skyscraper

  • Photographer Daniel Lau captures daredevil stunt using a selfie stick
  • Teenagers are seen perched on top of Hong Kong's fifth tallest building
  • Part of trend which saw Briton pose on top of Christ the Redeemer statue
Three students have taken extreme selfies to new heights - by snapping a gravity-defying video at the top of Hong Kong's fifth highest building, The Centre.
In a YouTube video, the teenagers scaled the famous 1,135ft skyscraper and are seen perched perilously high, with the a panorama of the city behind them. 
Photographer Daniel Lau used a 'selfie stick' mounted with a camera fitted with a wide-angle lens to capture the stomach churning footage.
Two friends, fellow photographers Anrew Tso and A.S, are shown casually eating bananas at the beginning of the video clip, which has received over 450,000 views since it was posted last week.
The trend for taking extreme selfies has exploded in recent months, especially in Russia, where 'skywalkers', as they are known, climb buildings, cranes and construction sites to take photographs and share online. The death-defying stunts are carried out without safety nets.
Extreme: Photographer Daniel Lau used a 'selfie stick' and a wide-angle camera lense to capture the footage
Extreme: Photographer Daniel Lau used a 'selfie stick' and a wide-angle camera lense to capture the footage
The teenagers scaled the famous 1,135ft skyscraper and are seen with the a panorama of the city behind them
The teenagers scaled the famous 1,135ft skyscraper and are seen with the a panorama of the city behind them
In June, 31-year-old Londoner Lee Thompson took the world's first 'selfie with Jesus'.
The travel company boss became an internet sensation when he shared his selfie from the top of Brazil's iconic Christ The Redeemer statue in June.
Mr Thompson convinced the Brazilian tourist board to let him climb the 124ft-high monument and pose for a photograph at the top.
He said the 25-minute climb to the summit was 'extremely hot, eerily quiet and claustrophobic' but he reported that the view was 'incredible' and that the selfie was one of his favourite photos.
The extreme trend sees photographers posing in a plethora of dangerous situations,  which include getting up close and personal with wild animals.
Monkeying around: The extreme selfie trend sees photographers posing in a plethora of dangerous situations
Monkeying around: The extreme selfie trend sees photographers posing in a plethora of dangerous situations
Twenty-six-year-old Californian Forrest Galante took selfies with a six-metre anaconda in the Amazon, cradling a shark in the Bahamas and coming within a few steps of a Komodo dragon in Indonesia. 
But the craze for taking dangerous selfies has resulted in some tragic consequences.
A couple 'taking a selfie' on the edge of a cliff died when they fell hundreds of feet while their young children watched.
The Polish couple died after falling from the rocky edge in Cabo da Raca, west Portugal.

Teens take world's scariest selfie

Selfie craze taken to daredevil heights

This trio have captured a jaw-dropping selfie as they precariously perch at the very top of a Hong Kong skyscraper.
What starts as an innocuous video of three friends snacking on bananas turns into a shocking display of daredevilry as the camera is panned across the surrounding view of Hong Kong, 346 metres below them.
The video footage was taken from one of the city’s towering spires, The Centre skyscraper, the fifth tallest skyscraper in Hong Kong.
Chief photographer Daniel Lau used a ‘selfie stick’ to capture the dizzying footage, using a wide-angle camera lens mounted on the stick. His two mates, shown devouring bananas at the beginning of the video, are fellow photographers Andrew Tso and A.S.
More than 375,000 people have viewed the video since it was posted to YouTube last week.
Climbing to the top of skyscrapers to take selfies has become a recent trend, most recently when 31 year old Lee Thompson took 'the world's first selfie with Jesus'.
Thompson took what was described as the 'ultimate selfie' after he climbed Rio de Janeiro's Christ the Redeemer statue to take his photo with Jesus.
While the statue was under repair after being struck by lightening, he convinced the Brazil tourist board to allow him and his friend, Oliver Harvey, to take photos from the top of Brazil's iconic statue.
Thompson's argument for the stunt was that selfies were a 'powerful medium through which we can share our perspectives.'
The trend of taking photos on top of skyscrapers has taken off in Russia and Ukraine, where 'skywalkers' or 'rooftoppers', as they call themselves, dangle themselves from buildings, cranes and construction sites to take selfies and share online.
The stunts are carried out without safety nets, just a friend in charge of photographing the death-defying mission.

‘World’s scariest selfie’ taken on top of Hong Kong skyscraper 































Halim Saad Fails In Appeal To Reinstate RM1.8 Billion Suit

Halim Saad Fails In Appeal To Reinstate RM1.8 Billion Suit

Former executive chairman of Renong Bhd Tan Sri Halim SaadFormer executive chairman of Renong Bhd Tan Sri Halim SaadPUTRAJAYA: Tan Sri Halim Saad has failed in his appeal to reinstate a RM1.8 billion civil suit against Khazanah Nasional Berhad and two others over his settlement to give up control of Renong Berhad.
A three-member Court of Appeal panel chaired by Justice Datuk Zaharah Ibrahim, today unanimously dismissed the business tycoon's appeal which he had filed in a bid to reverse a high court decision that threw out his civil suit against the three respondents.
"We find that the high court judge's conclusion that the plaintiff's (Halim) claim was obviously unsustainable on the grounds of limitation period had set in, and the accord of satisfaction is correct," she said.
Zaharah, who presided on the panel with justices Datuk Mah Weng Kwai and Datuk Varghese George Varughese, ordered Halim to pay RM25,000 in legal costs to Khazanah and another RM25,000 to former minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop and the Government.
On Oct 31, last year, High Court judge Datuk Hanipah Farikullah allowed the application brought by Khazanah, Nor Mohamed Yakcop and the Government to strike out Halim's civil suit ruling that it (the suit) was filed out of time, beyond the six-year time frame as stipulated under the Limitation Act 1953.
The former executive chairman of Renong Bhd had filed the suit against Khazanah, Nor Mohamad Yakcop and the Government on April 17, last year, seeking to reclaim over RM1.8 billion in compensation for selling his stake in the company.
In the statement of claim, Halim said in 2001, he owned 372,000,000 shares amounting to approximately 16 per cent of the issued and paid-up capital of Renong, making him the single largest individual shareholder in the company.
He said in November 2002, Nor Mohamed was appointed as director of Khazanah and at all material times, Renong held a substantial stake in the issued and paid-up capital of a company known as United Engineers (M) Bhd (UEM).
Halim claimed he was induced by Nor Mohamed as an agent representing the government for him to take up the deal for his exit from Renong and UEM.
He was seeking RM1.3 billion in general damages for breach of the Renong purchase obligation, another RM508 million being the value of paid-up capital of Kualiti Alam Sdn Bhd in settlement of Halim's losses for rescuing Fleet Group, and damages for fraudulent misrepresentation.

Could Halim have done it on his own?

3 Votes

June 13, 2013

Could Halim have done it on his own?

by Jose Barrock
June 12, 2013
In the second part our series KiniBiz looks at the go-go years, the 1990’s when corporate kingpins such as Halim Saad, of Renong fame thrived, and controlled multi-billion ringgit empires. We also analyse his fall from grace, which he is now attributing to former Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Nor Mohamed Yakcop, the Government and state-controlled investment arm Khazanah Nasional Bhd. Could Halim have restructured UEM and Renong and come out unscathed, or did the Government really have to step in?
A head of equity from a local banking group, speaking of the go-go years, of the 1990’s said,  “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” taking a leaf out of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities.
Her sentiment is understandable. In the 90’s the Malaysian economy was booming. From 1988 to 1997, the Malaysian economy went through a time of broad diversification, sustaining rapid growth averaging 9% annually.
bursa_malaysia_new_genericLarge scale foreign investments resulted in manufacturing growing from 13.9% of GDP in 1970 to 30% in 1999, largely made up of electronic components, devices and goods.
Foreign investment nudged the benchmark KLSE Composite index to trade above 1,300 in 1994 and the ringgit was trading below 2.5 against the greenback in 1997. There were times when the KLSE was the most active exchange in the world, with trading volumes (not value) exceeding even that of the NYSE.
Stocks such as Repco Holdings Bhd were trading within the RM140 band, despite being loss making — based only on a rumour of a gaming licence in Sabah. Basically everyone, be it hawkers, bus drivers or construction workers were into the stock market, and making money too.
The go-go years
It was against this backdrop that the likes of Halim Saad, of Renong Bhd fame rose to prominence. Halim first surfaced in corporate Malaysia in 1980, aged 27, when he joined former Finance Minister, Daim Zainuddin’s outfit Peremba where he rose to the ranks of corporate services manager.
Prior to Peremba he had a position with a unit of Ford Motor Co, but it was Peremba and the tutelage of Daim that honed his skills for what lay ahead.Often Halim was referred to as Daim’s protégé, but how close the two are now is anyone’s guess, with contrasting stories surfacing.
Halim was, and still is very sharp. He was known to work long hours, which made him an unpopular employer. He came in at about 11am but worked through the night. He would call people at midnight and grill them,” a merchant banker who has known Halim for many years added.
In no time at all, he was also involved in Daim’s personal companies such as Daza Sdn Bhd, which was later sold to Fleet Group, an UMNO linked company. Halim was also a director of Hatibudi Sdn Bhd (appointed in 1984 at the age of 31) a company which in April 1985 acquired a controlling block in United Engineers (M) Bhd from Singapore’s Overseas Chinese Banking Corp.
However in February 1988, a court ruling based on an appeal by the losing faction for leadership in the UMNO General Asembly of 1987 — Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and Musa Hitam — held that UMNO was illegal, citing membership irregularities.
umno-flag-2.0UMNO was disbanded and reborn as UMNO Baru.With the old UMNO defunct, assets parked under Hatibudi such as UEM, were taken over by the Official Assignee for safekeeping.
Some say the assets were returned to UMNO, with the likes of Halim being merely caretakers, but others claim the assets were taken over by the former trustees and nominees, Halim included.
At UEM, it was no longer Hatibudi that controlled the company but a new entity, Hatibudi Nominees Sdn Bhd, which had the same shareholders, Halim and Anuar Othman.
There are conflicting views on whether Halim was acting on his own or as a nominee. Halim denied to KiniBiz that he was a nominee.
In January 1988, a month before UMNO was disbanded, when the opposition Democratic Action Party sought legal action on the award of the North-South Highway to UEM, Halim is reported to have stated in an affidavit that he held the shares in Hatibudi in trust for UMNO.
Anwar IbrahimHowever more recently, in Parliamentary proceedings, Oopposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, who was then Deputy Prime Minister, and Deputy President of UMNO stated that UEM-Renong had no connection to the political party.
Nevertheless, in early 1990, Halim consolidated UMNO’s old assets under Renong, a smallish property company which he took over. Halim controlled more than 50% of Renong. Among the assets acquired by Renong was Fleet Holdings, in which Halim held a 50% stake.
By March 1991, Halim controlled about 73% of Renong; 15.07% directly and the rest indirectly, through shares held under companies such as Fleet Holdings in which Halim had a 50% equity interest.
Among the companies Renong had under its belt were Hatibudi and Fleet Holdings, which in turn had such choice assets as PLUS Expressways Bhd, Commerce Asset Holdings Bhd (now CIMB), Crest Petroleum Bhd (the forerunner to SapuraKencana Petroleum Bhd), New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd, mobile operator TimeCel, Cement Industries of Malaysia and TV3, to name a few.
However by 1997, a stretched Renong was crumbling under the weight of the Asian financial crisis.Then in November 1997, UEM acquired a 32.6% stake or 722.88 million shares in Renong, at RM3.24 per share or for RM2.3 billion, which caused quite a scare in the market, resulting in the benchmark KLCI losing 20% of its value, and a loss of some RM126 billion in market capitalisation.
During that time, the market was a sea of red… it was just so depressing. Everyday there would be a loss. There was widespread panic,” says a veteran remisier attached to a local brokerage.
During that period, there were also so many unanswered issues, like where UEM acquired the huge block of Renong shares. Halim had said that it was bought via open market purchases, but only 625 million Renong shares were traded over the past three months, prior to UEM’s sudden acquisition .
It has never been disclosed who the sellers were. But what is clear is that  they exited at RM3.24 while Renong’s shares plunged to about RM1.50 in a span of days, and UEM’s RM2.3 billion investment was worth slightly over a billion over the next few weeks.
Ernest-ZulligerAnother question that begged asking was whether UEM’s board had approved the acquisition of the 32.6% in Renong? Shortly after the acquisition, two independent directors of UEM, Ernest Zulliger (left) and Thomas Lee resigned.
This resulted in many speculating that the owners of the 32.6% block got out, selling their shares to UEM, knowing that there was going to be a correction in the market, and leaving UEM to carry the baby.
Halim meanwhile had always maintained that the acquisition by UEM of Renong was a good one as Renong’s net asset value per share was indeed above RM6.10.
In his statement of claim, Halim has it that he was contemplating a general offer for UEM  and had made an offer to buy back the 32.6% via a Put Option at RM3.1 billion.
Those who do not see eye to eye with Halim have it that the Securities Commission which reported to Anwar coerced him into making the offer.
Halim in his statement of claim meanwhile said that he voluntarily made the Put Option, and negotiated for it to be in three staggered payments of RM100 million each in 2001 and the remainder to be paid with interest in May 2002.
Nevertheless his plans fell through.In Halim’s statement of claim he said that he was summoned to the then premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s office in Putrajaya, in July 2001 and told to drop his Put Option and shelve his plans of a general offer, and negotiate with Nor Mohamed Yakcop, Mahathir’s hatchet man at that time.
Whether Halim could raise funding for the Put Option or the general offer was a point often debated about, with those close to him maintaining that he had the backing of financial institutions from Singapore while others said funding was close to impossible.
According to his statement of claim, Halim had sought RM1.3 billion in cash, equivalents and land. He also wanted his remaining 16% in Renong to be bought back at RM1.25 per share or RM465 million and requested for the transfer of waste management company Kualiti Alam Sdn Bhd free from encumbrances, as a settlement for him having rescued Fleet Group, along with the sale of Pharmaniaga Bhd to one of Renong’s officials nominated by Halim as well as for him to be released from the Put Option.
Khazanah’s general offer was completed on Oct 8, 2001, but Hamil said Khaznah never fulfilled its part of the bargain in compensating Halim, as the Government was of the opinion that the assets were never Halim’s but Umno’s, as advised by Nor Mohamed.
The feud with Nor Mohamed
The long-standing feud between Halim and Nor Mohamed was not exactly aNor Mohamad well-kept secret, with Halim often bitter at having lost his empire.
Adding fuel to the fire, Nor Mohamed in his book, “Notes to the Prime Minister”, touched on the Renong-UEM saga, referring to it as the “bailing out of increasingly unpopular corporate figures.”
Halim had been adamant and had told many in his private circles that the Government’s takeover was in no way a bailout.
Nor Mohamed had also referred to the Renong-UEM group’s debts as affecting the entire stock market, and the Government’s takeover of the two as “a way to resolve, once and for all, the debt issues of the group”
However some say that Halim could have restructured UEM-Renong himself.The key to resuscitating the UEM-Renong group lay in PLUS Expressways Bhd’s floatation exercise which was in July 2002, a mere eight to nine months from the takeover of UEM by Khazanah’s Syarikat Danasaham Sdn Bhd at RM4.50 per share or RM3.7 billion.
The listing of PLUS raised RM2.5 bilion for Khazanah, and with asset sales such as Crest Petroleum, a reduction of stakes in Time dotcom and Time Engineering, Renong’s debt was slashed to RM15 billion from RM30 billion previously.
“Halim had his own plans for restructuring the group. He didn’t need the intervention (by Khazanah),” a source familiar with Halim said. Among others Halim had sought to sell Time Engineering and its fibre optic business to Singapore Telecom (SingTel). But Mahathir scuttled the deal saying, SingTel would “sing and tell.”
Whether Halim could have concluded the restructuring successfully is arguable.Those close to Halim also say that he felt the Government had acted unfairly against him, and the takeover of his vehicles was a ploy to take away his assets, which was planned earlier.
In Nor Mohamed’s book, “Notes to the Prime Minister”, he talks about a meeting with Azman Yahya at Eastin Hotel’s coffee house in Petaling Jaya on June 1, 2001, where the two discussed the takeover of UEM-Renong, after which he brought the issue up with the Mahathir.
Halim-SaadIn his statement of claim, Halim states that he met Mahathir in July of 2001, and was told to talk to Nor Mohamed, in a meeting which happened on July 12.
What is clear is that Halim has sought legal redress, and is seeking in excess of RM2 billion in return for him giving up his empire, for assets which Halim says the Government via Nor Mohamed had agreed to transfer to him, damages for the breach of the agreement to purchase his 16% in Renong for RM465 million or RM1.25 per share as well as damages for fraudulent misrepresentation, interest and cost, among others.
Interestingly enough, in his statement of claim, Halim said that a witness to all his dealings with Nor Mohamed is Rashid Manaf, a lawyer formerly with Rashid & Lee. Rashid is well known as being the chairman of property developer SP Setia Bhd for about 15 years.
Halim has named Nor Mohamed the first defendant, the Government second defendant and Khazanah third. Certain quarters say that Halim filed the suit on April 17, three days before nomination day for the 13th General Election, which was just concluded, to deter Nor Mohamed from contesting, and preventing him from remaining a Minister.Ironically Nor Mohamed was appointed Deputy Chairman of Khazanah after stepping down from his position as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.
Khazanah has come out to say that it “has a strong defence”, against Halim’s allegations, but whether Halim succeeds or not (some fear his action may be time barred), he has certainly caused quite a stir among corporate circles.

1 Votes

June 13, 2013

The Ghost of RENONG haunts the Government

by Jose Barrock and P Gunasegaram

June 11, 2013
In this first part of a series, KiniBiz looks at former corporate kingpin Halim Saad’s billion-ringgit legal suit against former Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Nor Mohamed Yakcop, the Government and Khazanah Nasional, which has set the stage for an old can of worms to be reopened. The case sheds some light on what goes on behind closed doors in corporate Malaysia, and the close nexus between the government and business.
“I have nothing to say, but I pose three questions,” former head honcho of the UEM-Renong group said, referring to the suit amounting to over RM2 billion he filed against a former minister in the prime minister’s department, Nor Mohamed Yakcop, the government and government investment agency, Khazanah Nasional.
“Who did the assets belong to? (Halim denied strenuously that the assets belonged to UMNO). Why did they (Nor Mohamed, the Government and Khazanah) stop me from making a general offer and going ahead with the put option? And who stopped me from making a general offer and going ahead with the put option?” he asked.
Halim was referring to the put option he granted to United Engineers (M) Bhd in January 1998 which gave the company the right to sell back 32.6% of Renong shares back to him at RM3.24 a share or RM3.2 billion.
This was the price at which UEM had earlier acquired the shares, causing a public outcry and accusations that Halim was using UEM to save himself and other shareholders by supporting Renong’s share price at a time when the market was plunging in the wake of the Asian financial crisis.
Unlawful and fraudulent
Since late last year there had been murmurs in the marketplace that Halim would be taking the government to court, alleging that state-controlled investment arm Khazanah Nasional Bhd’s takeover of his companies, Renong Bhd and United Engineers (M) Bhd (UEM) and related assets, was unlawful, and fraudulent.
Then two months ago, in mid-April, it happened, he filed the suit.Halim in his statement of claim said that he was fraudulently induced to sell Renong and UEM, and gives details of what he alleged happened, resulting in his legal suit.
Halim is claiming RM1.8 billion in compensation for him giving up his companies and losses from the rescue of Fleet Group and Fleet Holdings, general damages for a breach of purchasing his 16% of Renong for RM465 million, damages for fraudulent misrepresentation, interest, cost and any other relief deemed proper.
Four-cornered circle
gavel-justice-BIGThe actual events leading up to the legal suit started in November 17, 1997, when UEM acquired 722.88 million shares or 32.6% in Renong for RM2.3 billion or RM3.24 per share.
(This acquisition raised many eyebrows, and many facets of the deal were never really explained. Read about it tomorrow).
Halim was the largest shareholder of UEM with a direct 16% stake or 372 million shares. In January 1998, Halim in his personal capacity offered to buy UEM’s block of shares in Renong via a put option. In an extraordinary general meeting on Valentine’s day 1998, UEM’s shareholders approved the acceptance of the put option, making it exercisable by UEM at any date between March 1, 2000 and February 28, 2001.
Then in late 2000, UEM exercised the put option at a price of RM3.16 billion, payable in four tranches, with Halim agreeing to pay RM100 million in three instalments — mid-February, July and December 2001– and the remainder paid with interest on May 2002.
According to the suit, Halim paid the first instalment in February 2001, but by mid-2001 was contemplating buying over the remainder of UEM, via Renong in a general offer, which was an alternative to completing the put option.
Dr Mahathir.However in July 2001, Halim was summoned by former Premier Mahathir Mohamad, to the latter’s office in Putrajaya.
During this meeting, Mahathir informed the plaintiff (Halim) that he should allow the government to take over his (Halim’s) shareholdings in the Renong and UEM group, and in that connection asked him to meet Nor Mohamed, his Special Economic Adviser,” Halim’s statement of claim reads.
In meetings with Nor Mohamed on July 12, and 17 of 2001, Halim was advised against proceeding with the put option, and to shelve his general offer plan for UEM, and that the government’s vehicle to take over the companies would be Khazanah.
Accompanying Halim in these discussions was Rashid Manaf, his solicitor (with Rashid & Lee, and later chairman of SP Setia for many years).
Halim on July 16 the same year, had written to Mahathir, to reconsider his position and as an alternative, set his own terms for him to exit both Renong and UEM.
The terms proposed by Halim for him to exit include a payment of RM1.3 billion in cash and kind — RM325 million in cash, RM325 million in cash equivalents and the balance RM650 million via land within the Prolink development in Johor, now part of Iskandar Malaysia.
Secondly that Khazanah acquire Halim’s 372 million shares or 16% in Renong, at RM1.25 per share or for RM465 million.
ringgit-malaysia-generic-5.0Next that Kualiti Alam Sdn Bhd, a waste management company be transferred to Halim, free from all encumbrances, as a settlement for Halim rescuing UMNO linked Fleet Group and Fleet Holdings. According to suit the rescue cost RM508 million.
Halim had also requested that Pharmaniaga Bhd be sold to a senior executive of Renong, to be nominated by him, and sought to be released from any liability in respect of the put option. The suit suit calls this the 2001 agreement.
As for the RM100 million Halim had already paid — the first instalment of the put option — either Khazanah or UEM were slated to repay Halim, after Khazanah’s general offer of UEM and Renong were completed.
Nor Mohamed and Halim reached a consensus on the repayment of theNor Mohamad RM100 million between July 2001 and June 2002, as a separate agreement to the 2001 agreement.
Halim thus supported the general offer by Khazanah’s unit Syarikat Danasaham Sdn Bhd, and in due course resigned as executive chairman of Renong and related companies, after shareholders of Renong agreed to sell the company’s 37.1% in UEM to Khazanah, under the general offer.
Khazanah’s general offer was completed on October 8, 2001.
Deal goes sour
Halim wrote several times to both Mahathir and Nor Mohamed seeking the performance of the 2001 agreement, and that the compensation in the form of Prolink land, be settled via cash instead.
The plaintiff also met up with Mahathir on June 2, 2002 and Nor Mohamed on August 10, 2002 seeking the performance of the terms of the 2001 agreement.
In May 2003, Khazanah repaid the RM100 million which was one instalment of the put option and an additional RM65 million as compensation for losses arising from the foreclosure of several assets pledged by Halim to various financiers.
Shortly after this RM165 million payment, Halim met Nor Mohamed who orally agreed that the defendants would perform their obligations under the 2001 agreement, the suit said.
According to Halim’s statement of claim, between 2003 and 2010, Nor Mohamed was evasive, always indicating that he would revert with an appointment but never did.
When met at social functions and queried by Halim, Nor Mohamed would respond that he would “deal with the plaintiff later”.
On April 23, 2010, Mahathir in a meeting with Halim had said that Nor Mohamed had all along informed him (Mahathir) that the assets Khazanah had taken over was UMNO’s and not Halim’s, meaning there was no reason to pay Halim. The lawyer Rashid was present during this meeting with Mahathir as well, according to the suit.
In a meeting organised by Mahathir, Nor Mohamed admitted that the payment “would not be forthcoming for the reasons already mentioned by Mahathir,”
Halim is alleging that Nor Mohamed, the Government and Khazanah had never intended to pay or perform their end of the bargain, and had induced him fraudulently or recklessly — not caring whether the representations were true or false — to part with Renong and UEM and other assets.
Now, Halim is claiming RM1.3 billion (pursuant to the RM325 million in cash, RM325 million in cash equivalents, and RM650 million in Prolink development land agreement), general damages for the Renong purchase obligation, RM508 million being the prescribed value of Kualiti Alam, alternatively damages for fraudulent misrepresentation, interest, cost among others.
Whether he succeeds or not, Halim has certainly ruffled some feathers.Nor Mohamed who is no longer an MP now after being dropped as a parliamentary candidate was recently appointed Deputy Chairman of Khazanah and heads the executive committee of Khazanah.
Who is Halim Saad?
Halim-SaadHalim who was once the poster boy for corporate Malaysia in the 1990’s, and protégé of former Finance Minister Daim Zainuddin, was born in the northern state of Perlis, and will turn 60 in October this year.
He has been low key ever since he stepped down as executive chairman of his flagship Renong on October 3, 2001, or about 12 years ago.
“He did surface in companies like Seloga (Holdings Bhd in mid-2004), and more recently Sumatec (Resources Bhd), and there were some like Hektar (Real Estate Investment Trust), which was said to be controlled by him… but nothing like his heyday in Renong,” a seasoned remisier said when contacted by KiniBiz.
Halim, a member of the famous Malay College Kuala Kangsar alumni, and a New Zealand trained accountant, joined Peremba in the early 1980’s, a company linked to former Finance Minister Daim, who was the chairman of Peremba.
In Peremba, Halim climbed the ranks to become a corporate services manager, and was involved as director in some of Daim’s personal companies such as Daza Sdn Bhd (later renamed Tekal) and sold to Umno linked Fleet Group.
It was not always easy to identify UMNO’s assets, and differentiate them from the proxy holders such as Halim’s assets. Halim was also a director of the UMNO-linked Halimtan network of companies, which included Pradaz, Roxy and CSM, and importantly also Hatibudi Sdn Bhd.
Hatibudi took control of United Engineers (M) Bhd (UEM), after which the later was awarded many lucrative projects such as the North South Highway.
In the 90’s Renong took over a considerable number of assets belonging to UMNO, such as Fleet Group, Hatibudi and Koperasi Usaha Bersatu Bhd (now known as KUB Bhd).
By March 1991, Halim controlled about 73% of Renong, 15.07% directly and the rest indirectly, through shares held under companies such as Fleet Holdings in which Halim had 50% equity interest.
Halim and his wife then, Noraini Zolkifli (they went through a messy divorce in the late 90’s), also controlled companies such as Hanuma Sdn Bhd, which in turned controlled private companies such as Hanurai Sdn Bhd and Pacific Fleet Sdn Bhd which had significant stakes in Renong.
In December 1990, Renong had RM1.26 billion in terms of assets, and was only smaller than plantation giants Sime Darby Bhd on the local bourse.
In 1992, business magazine Malaysian Business had Halim’s net assets at about RM2.4 billion, making him among the richest men in the country. Renong and UEM crumbled in the late 90’s as a result of the Asian Financial Crisis, under the weight of some RM30 billion in debts.
Now Halim is back, he’s suing the Government for what he claims is rightfully his. Whether he succeeds, or whether the suit will be settled out of court, away from the public eye remains to be seen.

COMMENT When Halim Saad filed his massive RM1.3 billion suit against Khazanah Nasional, it returned to the fore a trend in Malaysia that defines its political system - the practice of political business.

The term ‘political business’ was first employed to describe the practice of political parties owning corporate equity, a factor that led to the rise of large investment holding companies such as Umno’s Fleet Holdings (which owned, among other leading firms, the New Straits Times Press and TV3), the MCA’s Multi-Purpose Holdings and the MIC’s Maika Holdings.

NONEAll these holding companies would come to be mired in controversy, a factor that led to Umno transferring its assets to trusted nominees in the early 1990s.

Enter Halim Saad (left), who by his own admission had long served as an Umno trustee, though he answered primarily to his mentor Daim Zainuddin - then the finance minister - and to then premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Halim had been fortunate to come to hold in his own name the vast corporate base that Umno had built during the 1980s when Fleet Holdings was under Daim’s control.

Halim was also in the right place and at the right time as Mahathir was then actively voicing his intent to produce an ensemble of entrepreneurial bumiputera capitalists.

Former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir MohamadMahathir (right) justified the selective patronage system he would introduce by arguing that the best way to create Malay capitalists was to distribute government concessions to those most capable of generating wealth.

This marked the beginning of a different sort of political business nexus, one characterised by an intimate familiarity between Umno and elite businesspeople.

This form of political business would define Mahathir’s premiership and become a constituent feature of future Umno-led governments.

Mahathir relied heavily on Daim to aid his vision of creating huge internationally-renowned Malay-led conglomerates.

Daim, Mahathir and Bursa Malaysia

Both men were captivated with the workings of the stock market and saw Bursa Malaysia as a route to rapidly creating domestic capitalists.

Malaysia’s stock market capitalisation relative to gross domestic product (GDP) - goods and services produced - would emerge as the highest in South-East Asia.

azlanBetween 1989 and 1993, equity market capitalisation as a percentage of GDP increased from 105 percent to 342 percent. By 1997, the Bursa Malaysia was listed as the 15th largest in the world in terms of market capitalisation.

A form of ‘casino capitalism’ was the result of this deployment of the bourse to create conglomerates, which reflected Renong’s pattern of corporate development.

This casino capitalism was welcomed, even celebrated - many got rich by it - until the 1997 Asian currency crisis.

Things fell apart quickly, and this crisis disclosed not just the problems with this type of corporate growth, but why political business ties - ostensibly for the purpose of redistributing wealth equitably and nurturing bumiputera capitalists - was simply not a viable way to implement policy.

Go to KiniBiz for more.

Stage set for biggest corporate battle: Halim Saad vs Government of Malaysia
Filepic of Halim Saad taken in 1997 when he was chairman of Renong Bhd.
Filepic of Halim Saad taken in 1997 when he was chairman of Renong Bhd.
PETALING JAYA: The stage has been set for the biggest corporate battle ever to land in Malaysian courts and it is between a former mover and shaker of the business world and the Government.
Former majority owner and executive chairman of Renong Bhd, Tan Sri Halim Saad, who has been keeping a relatively low profile for the past 12 years, filed a suit at the Kuala Lumpur High Court in April, claiming that he had not been paid the agreed RM1.3bil and given the tracts of land that were agreed in a deal entered into in 2001.
He alleges that he was told not to exercise the “put option” but sell his shares to Khazanah Nasional Bhd instead.
The Star reported that according to documents, the statement of claim names him as the plantiff in the suit and Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, the Government of Malaysia and Khazanah as the three defendants.
Nor Mohamed was then Special Economic Adviser to the Government while Khazanah now controls the UEM Group, which was then part of Renong.
Halim has alleged that despite agreements signed in 2001 and/or the 2003 agreement, the defendants had agreed to the deal with “an intent to deceive him or induce him to enter into both agreements”.
Halim claims he received only RM165mil of the agreed sum of RM1.3bil. Of that amount, RM100mil was the first instalment for the put option that was refunded to him, while the remaining RM65mil was for interest and costs.
In the 1990s, Renong owned a stake in UEM, and in 1997, UEM bought a 32.6% block of shares in Renong. However, this did not go down well with investors.
In 1998, Halim offered to buy the Renong shares from UEM by way of a “put option”, The Star reported.
The option price for the “put” was RM3.2bil, which he was supposed to pay in four instalments. Three of the instalments were supposed to be RM100mil each and the balance with interest was to be paid on Feb 14, 2001, when the option was due.
Halim was reported to have paid the first RM100mil but encountered problems when the second instalment was due, and that was when Khazanah stepped in. Khazanah took UEM private in 2001 and cancelled the option.
Halim resigned from the Renong/UEM group in October 2001.


Is Tan Sri Halim Saad's weekend marriage legal in Malaysia?
The Renong chairman, Tan Sri Halim Saad, married the niece of the finance minister's new kid on the corporate block, in a
glittering wedding in Singapore over the weekend. Bolehland's best and brightest turned up for the glittering show that one
comes to expect when corporate tycoons running away from their bankers decide to take a new wife. Which is exactly what
Tan Sri Halim did. Renong is a leading Malaysian conglomerate in more ways than one: it is officially favoured, it has debts it
cannot repay, but it continues to get contracts galore from a grateful government -- it has just got a contract to build a dam in
Singapore. But its corporate jets have disappeared, and money does not flow like water any more, it is more like urine flowing
from one suffering from prostate problems. The grand show put on for the wedding served more than one purpose: besides the
uniting of lovebirds after the Tan Sri's messy divorce in which his ex-wife wants to take him to the cleaners, it is also a warning
and signal to those who have doubts about the long term viability of Renong and its sister-company, UEM, that all is well.
But reading through the press reports about the wedding, one thing struck me. There is no mention anywhere in these reports of
his marriage under shariah laws. The impression one gets -- and I showed the reports to several Muslim friends -- is that it is a
civil wedding. With the Prime Minister insisting in his speeches around the country that PAS is not Islamic, how could such a
wedding take place without paying homage to Islam as the country's official religion? Unless, of course, the Muslim ceremony
took place in Malaysia. As far as I know, that did not take place. I could, of course, be mistaken. But given the high
prominence of the wedding in Singapore, it is fair to assume that a similar wedding in Malaysia would have been as high profile.
The Prime Minister, who dismissed a deputy prime minister because he believed he went against Muslim sensibilities, cannot
have this become an electoral issue. When I called a PAS ulamak friend to check on this, it was he who raised the question
before I did. This means that until and unless Tan Sri Halim Saad comes clean and is unequivocal about his Muslim marriage,
the fallout would be worse than his messy divorce from his first wife.
In the highest reaches of Bolehland's corporate and political world, marriages are made not in heaven but in bank and
corporate parlours. Tan Sri Halim, 45, married a Singapore lawyer working in Malaysia, Shaesta Said, who is 25 or 29
(depending on whether you want to believe AFP or Bernama), a niece of Dato' Akhbar Khan, the latest entrant in the
highstakes contest to acquire the most debt in the shortest possible time. He is one of three parties attempting to take control of
the CLOB Malaysian shares, which fell foul of the KLSE's re-registering them. Tan Sri Halim is chairman of the Renong-UEM
combine which with Telekoms is the third entrant. Given the way these things work in Bolehland, the Prime Minister is
outclassed in this affair. Both Tan Sri Halim and Dato' Akhbar Khan are acolytes of the Penghulu; while the second of the three
proposals is submitted by Tengku Abdullah, whose relationship with the Prime Minister is well known; unless he can come with
a brighter plan, the Pengulu now marches ahead in the grand plan to acquire the suspended Malaysian shares. The arrogance
with which these things are conducted is the stuff of Bolehland legend. Tan Sri Halim Saad must come clean on the status of his
Muslim marriage, where it was held and when. Especially when it is the official view in Malaysia that a marriage between
Muslims, one of whom is a Malaysian, overseas is not recognised unless it is conducted according to Muslim rites.
M.G.G. Pillai


The Umno web of deceit and corruption

In the 1980s and 1990s, Halim Saad and Tajudin Ramli were two of Malaysia's brightest stars, picked by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad to lead the country's ethnic Malays onto the national stage as exemplars of a new Bumiputera business culture that would catch up with the ethnic Chinese who had dominated commerce as long as Malaysia had been in existence.

When Mahathir took office, insiders say, his plan was to create a cadre of 100 super-rich bumis who in turn would help rural Malays into prosperity under a konsep payung, or umbrella concept routed through the United Malays National Organization, much the way he envisioned driving the country into industrialization through massive projects. But greed intervened. Once the privileged got rich, there was little incentive to share it with the kampongs, the Malay rural villages. Many of the companies eventually collapsed and are being supported by government institutions such as Khazanah Nasional, the country's sovereign investment fund, or the Employee Provident Fund.

Although the Umno connection was widely assumed during Mahathir's 22 year reign as prime minister, today a flock of explosive court documents filed in different Kuala Lumpur courts appear to be breaking open conclusively the open secret that Tajudin and Halim and others were essentially front men for the United Malays National Organization, the country's biggest ethnic political party and part of a class of rentier businessmen who became known as Umnoputras, a play on the word Bumiputera, or native Malaysians, predominantly ethnic Malays.

Nor were they alone. Others included Syed Mokhtar Al Bukhary (right), one of Malaysia's richest men, as well as Yahaya Ahmad, who headed Mahathir's national car project and who tragically was killed with his wife in a helicopter crash, and Samsuddin Abu Hassan, introduced by Mahathir to the government of Nelson Mandela but who had to flee South Africa after being accused of misappropriating millions and evading South African debts totaling about R50 million (US$7.233 million at current exchange rates). Samsuddin left behind his glamorous wife, Melleney Venessa Samsudin, along with a failed Durban bank, and returned to Malaysia.

Samsudin ultimately ended up on the board of directors of Mitrajaya Holdings Bhd., another Umno-linked company that has played a significant role in major national projects including the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, KL's Light Rail Transit System, the CyberJaya Flagship Zone and numerous other projects.

At least 23 of Malaysia's biggest companies (see list below) appear to have been vehicles for Umno to siphon off vast amounts of money in government contracts as Mahathir's plans went awry. The companies and the people who run them are so hard-wired into Umno, the government and its investment arms that de-linking them would probably destroy the party. That in effect makes a mockery of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak's widely publicized speech in July in which he promised to root corruption out of his party.

Much of the ownership appears to have been channeled through a mysterious company that emerged in 1993 to stage an RM800 million management buyout of a major chunk of Malaysia's media including the New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd and TV3. Realmild already owned a controlling interest in Malaysian Resources Corporation Bhd, which got the contract to develop the massive Kuala Lumpur Sentral transport hub. It also acquired ownership of the Labuan and Sabah Shipyards, which supply the Malaysian Navy, as well as Redicare and Medivest, which were awarded lucrative contracts to supply medical supplies to government hospitals.

In September, Syed Anwar Jamalullail, the brother to the Sultan of Perlis, and others testified in a tangled court battle in a Kuala Lumpur High Court that Daim Zainuddin, the prime minister's close associate, often told Malay businessmen to act as nominees in the management of Malaysia's top companies. The long-running suit was launched five years ago in2005 by Khalid Ahmad, a former Realmild director, who alleged he had been cheated out of a RM10 million payment for five percent of Realmild's shares by Abdul Rahman, thought to be the beneficial owner.

According to the testimony, Abdul Rahman paid out the RM10 million but later reneged after he learned from Mahathir that the shares actually belonged to UMNO. The trustees for Realmild in fact were Mahathir himself as well as former Berita Harian Group Editor Ahmad Nazri Abdullah, New Straits Times Group Editor Abdul Kadir Jasin and Mohd Noor Mutalib. Another witness, Ahmad Nazri, said in a deposition that he held the majority share of 80 percent in Realmild, although 70 percent of the shares were actually in trust for Mahathir.

The companies others ran included Faber Group Bhd, a member of the UEM Group, now involved in integrated facilities management and property solutions sectors; KUB Malaysia Bhd. A holding company dealing in information, communications & technology, property, engineering & construction and food related industries.

The companies have been involved a wide variety of activities including media, property development, construction, toll roads, hospital equipment, logistics and distribution, cellular telephony and other businesses. What they had in common was that most of them benefited from government contracts doled out by the Barisan Nasional, the ruling coalition that has controlled Malaysia since its inception as a country. The other thing they had in common was that at some point most of them were mismanaged into financial trouble of one kind or another and had to be bailed out or bought out by the government.

Realmild unloaded Malaysian Resources Corporation Bhd onto the Employee Provident Fund in late 2005 as part settlement for an outstanding Rm500 million loan. Putera Capital Bhd, is threatened with bankruptcy. It formerly owned the Putra World Trade Center, Umno's headquarters, which rents out office space to businesses. UEM Builders Bhd, an offshoot of United Engineers Malaysia (UEM), along with UEM World Bhd, was dumped onto Khazanah Nasional, the investment holding arm of the government and the government's strategic investment vehicle.

Khazanah Nasional now also owns PLUS, which held the tollway contract for the national north-south highway, as well as Pharmaniaga, a former UEM subsidiary dealing in hospital supply and other services. Court documents show that MAS, then the state-owned flag carrier, was taken over and privatized by Tajudin Ramli only to lose an estimated RM8 billion (US$2.77 billion at current exchange rate), with a major part of that being funneled into a Frankfurt, Germany cargo logistics company whose directors were closely connected to Tajudin.

According to the website Malaysia Today, Tajudin's lawyers revealed that Tajudin had only been a front man for Umno and that Umno "not only has to protect him from prosecution but that they also had to ensure that the government bought back the shares at the same price that they were sold to him although the shares were only worth a portion of the real value."

Other depositions made available in recent weeks have listed a long series of documents detailing misdoings in UEM/Renong, once headed by Halim Saad, which has long been accused of looting the government treasury through vastly overpriced construction contracts. Halim told the press in September that he had left the UEM/Renong board in 2001, saying authorities wanted Khazanah to take it over "to prevent a systemic risk to the banking system in Malaysia and to enable a sustained restructuring of the group."

UEM itself is still at it. The government-linked company was given the contract to build a second bridge from the mainland to the northern city of Penang at a price estimated in 2007 at Rm2.7 billion. It has since climbed to RM4.3 billion without figuring in a variety of ancillary costs including compensation for fishermen and project development costs of RM285 million, with the total now nearing RM5 billion.

Other documents show how completely the country's press was in the thrall of UMNO. Media Prima Bhd, a listed company, apparently took over the ownership from Realmild of TV3, 8TV, ntv7 and TV9 as well as 90 percent of the equity in The New Straits Times Press (Malaysia) Bhd, which publishes three national newspapers; the New Straits Times, Berita Harian and Harian Metro. It also owns three radio networks, Fly FM, Hot FM and One FM. Other cross media interests of Media Prima include content creation; event and talent management.

It also owns outdoor advertising companies Big Tree Outdoor Sdn Bhd, UPD Sdn Bhd, Right Channel Sdn Bhd, Kurnia Outdoor Sdn Bhd and Jupiter Outdoor Network Sdn Bhd. It is online through a digital communications and broadcasting subsidiary, Alt Media, with the Lifestyle Portal and the newly launched TonTon, a cutting-edge video portal with HD-ready quality viewing experience that offers the individualism of customized content and interactivity of social networking.

The companies:
Faber Group Bhd
KUB Malaysia Bhd
Malaysian Resources Corp. Bhd
Media Prima Bhd
New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd
Putera Capital Bhd
UEM Builders Bhd
UEM World Bhd
Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd (partly owned by Syed Mokhtar Albukhary, another Mahathir crony and one of Malaysia's 10 richest men according to the Forbes List
Renong Bhd
Realmild Sdn Bhd
Mahkota Technologies (Also a partnership with Syed Mokhtar Al Bukhary)
Malaysian Airlines
Malaysian Helicopter Service
Temasek Padu Sdh Bhd
Sabah Shipyard
Labuan Shipyard

- Asia Sentinel 

Halim's son steps out of tycoon's shadow

Muhammad Taqiuddin Halim is a young, driven entrepreneur coming into his own. That’s not too unusual except that he faces the almost impossible task of proving that he is his own man.
The son of controversial tycoon Tan Sri Halim Saad, 30-year-old Taqiuddin is determined to choose his own path in the corporate world. That may explain his reluctance to reveal too much about his relationship with his father, reports Farah Saad.

Viral Video : Kisah Cinta Atas Jodoh Tuhan, “Cinta Butterfly”

Sekadar menceriakan hari Isnin anda, mari kita tonton sebuah video bertajuk ‘Cinta Butterfly’ yang die-mailkan oleh seorang pembaca OHBULAN!.
Tidak diberikan deskripsi, kami kira ini sebuah video kisah benar mengenai 2 pasang kekasih yang bertemu jodoh sebelum berkahwin. Namun, apa yang menarik minat OHBULAN! tentang video ini ialah cara mereka berdua mula bertemu.
Video berdurasi 5.10 minit ini menceritakan bagaimana Nazuha dan Taqiuddin bertemu buat pertama kali apabila Taqiuddin terjumpa sebuah dompet selepas menunaikan solat di masjid. Ketika menunaikan solat, Taqiuddin telah memohon doa pada Tuhan agar diberikan petunjuk dan jodoh hidupnya.
Selesai sahaja berdoa, Taqiuddin yang mahu menuju keluar telah melihat seorang wanita bernama Nazuha telah tercicir sebuah dompet. Taqiuddin lantas mengutip dompet itu dan terus bergegas ke keretanya untuk mengejar Nazuha yang ketika itu sudah menaiki sebuah kereta lain. Tidak mahu jadi ‘spoiler’, anda tonton sendiri video ini yang amat menyentuh hati kami.
Ingat, jodoh itu telah ditetapkan Tuhan dan kita hanya perlu berusaha dan berdoa kepada-Nya. Apa pun, jika benar ini adalah kisah dimana Nazuha dan Taqiuddin mula bertemu jodoh, jujur kata kami amat terharu dan tahniah diucapkan dari krew OHBULAN! atas perkahwinan anda berdua.
Video ini telah diarahkan oleh Rifaiee Omar dan hasil kerja pengarah berbakat ini seharusnya dipuji. Tahniah kepada Rifaiee Omar juga!

Halim Saad

Daripada Wikipedia, ensiklopedia bebas.

Halim Saad’s RM2 billion lawsuit against government - defence strategy revealed

By V. Anbalagan
July 11, 2013
Malaysian tycoon Tan Sri Halim Saad's RM2 billion suit against the Malaysian government, Khazanah Nasional and a former minister for allegedly duping him into giving up control of troubled conglomerate Renong, and the juicy back story of political patronage may not reach the trial stage - if the defendants have their way.

In their statement of defence, sighted by The Malaysian Insider, Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop and the two other defendants argue that Halim's suit should be struck out because it was filed out of time.

Under Section 6 of the Limitation Act 1953, a litigant should act within six years once a cause of action arose.

In this instance, Halim's clock started ticking from August 2002, when he was told that his claim for the lump sum payment would not be entertained by Khazanah Nasional, the national sovereign wealth fund.

At the core of the claim, which has been the talk of the town, is the series of events which led to Halim giving up control of Renong and the role played by the then prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his special economic adviser Nor Mohamed.

To recap, the Asian financial crisis of 1997 led to the fall in Renong’s share prices and exposed the conglomerate’s poor cash flow and large debt burdens.

A business manoeuvre that year in UEM’s purchase of a 32.5 per cent block of shares in Renong did not go down well with the investing public.

To appease the market, Halim had, in 1998, offered to buy the Renong shares from UEM through a put option.

The option price was RM3.2 billion, which was to be paid in four instalments, the first three of which was RM100 million each, and the balance with interest on February14, 2001, when the option was due.

Halim paid the first RM100 million but could not pay up the second when it was due, as a result of which Khazanah took over.

The sovereign wealth fund took UEM private in 2001 and later cancelled the option.

Halim’s version:
Halim said he made the first payment on February 2001, and said that sometime in July 2001, he was summoned to Putrajaya where Dr Mahathir told him that he should allow the government to takeover his shareholdings in Renong and UEM, and that he should meet Nor Mohamed to discuss the process.

He alleged that a couple of meetings took place with Nor Mohamed and an agreement was reached with him exiting Renong. This included Halim being paid RM1.3 billion in cash and property as well as control of a private waste management company, roughly valued at RM2 billion.

Halim said that he wrote various letters to Dr Mahathir and Nor Mohamed seeking that the 2001 agreement be honoured.

The business magnate said he only received RM165 million in 2003, and that this was part of the agreement reached in 2001 in which he gave up his stake in Renong.

He alleged that on various occasions between 2003 and 2010, he tried to meet Nor Mohamed in an effort to seek compliance of the agreement, and managed to finally see him at the latter’s office in Putrajaya where Halim was told that no payment would be forthcoming.

In their statement of defence, the three defendants dismissed Halim’s narration of events as untrue and a figment of his imagination.

Nor Mohamed and the Government of Malaysia’s version:

He noted that as the special economic adviser to Dr Mahathir, he was given the mandate to only handle the restructuring of UEM and not to enter into any agreement to pay compensation to Halim.

In fact, the former Economic Planning Unit minister said that when he met Halim, at no time was there any agreement by the government to pay him what he says he is owed. Discussions mainly covered the restructuring of UEM.

Khazanah Nasional’s version:
In its statement of defence, the national sovereign wealth fund sketched in some detail the circumstances which led to the takeover of Renong. It noted that on November 17, 1997, UEM made an announcement that it had bought 722 million shares in its parent company, Renong, for about RM2.38 billion. This acquisition caused an adverse reaction and the KLCI lost about RM126 billion in market capitalisation. Shortly after that, Halim entered into the put option.

On December 11, 2000, the put option was exercised and Halim was required to purchase from UEM, Renong shares at about RM3.165 billion within 14 days.

As he did not have the funds, he was allowed to pay in four instalments. On February 14, 2001, he paid the first instalment of RM100 million but did not have the finances to pay the other three instalments.

In April 2001, Khazanah was approached to provide a loan of RM2.26 billion to Halim to allow him to make a general offer for UEM shares. Khazanah declined as it already had substantial exposure to the Renong Group.

Khazanah was asked by Danaharta to consider making a general offer (GO) to all UEM shareholders and to take it private. It did so. Khazanah said that it was aware that Halim was expecting some compensation in return for his support for the UEM GO but it was never accepted by Khazanah. In fact, Halim was made aware that his proposals were rejected.

During the whole process of the GO, Halim did not claim the existence of any agreement to compensate him in cash and property, as alleged in his statement of claim, Khazanah noted.

Khazanah said that in April 2003, the board of directors at a meeting chaired by Dr Mahathir decided that it would pay a total of RM165 million as a full and final settlement to Halim.

In keeping with Halim’s request for sufficient funds to pay off his outstanding debts, the RM165 million took into consideration the sum of RM100 million he paid UEM as part of the put option and other costs, including a personal liability of RM45 million to the banks.

In a letter dated May 13 2003, Halim confirmed to Khazanah that he accepted the sum of RM165 million as full and final settlement of his claims for compensation, said the sovereign fund in its defence statement. - July 11, 2013.

Mahathir Crony: Daim Zainuddin How He Become So Filthy Rich

daim zainuddin wealth

Books have been written about Tun Daim Zainuddin, but not many people know who the real Daim is. He is famous for being taciturn. Everyone knows that Daim is the silent type; so silent, in fact, that the victims of his scheming and conniving have fallen like ten pins without ever knowing what hit them.
He has, on the quiet, made a career of shooting poison darts, laying booby traps. and knifing friend or foe in the back. His hand is never seen, but his mark is everywhere. Truth to tell, he has been at the root of many national crises, but his name has never been smudged, thanks to the wealth he wields and his bond of friendship with Dr. Mahathir.
Silent cancer
Most members of Umno’s new generation are aware that Daim is an acquisitive millionaire and a macho man with a taste of young women, but they concede him these weaknesses bec au se they see in him a clean and competent Economic Adviser to the Government. But the generation of Harun Idris, Musa Hitam and Manan Othman to name just a few of the old hands – they are the ones to ask in order to discover who the real Daim is.
It was Datuk Harun who plucked Daim up from the depths of failure in the salt business. Daim’s wife, Mahani and Harun’s wife, Salmah were good friends and an influential pair in the early 1970s. It was wife power that moved Harun to give Daim 160 acres of prime Kampung Pandan land. And thus Syarikat Maluri was born.
There is no use speculating over how much Daim paid Harun. After all, the two were fast friends. For the gory details, just ask Low Kiok Bow or Thamby Chik. They can relate how Daim cheated a land broker and greased Selangor state executive councillor and Mahathir’s brother-in-law, Ahmad Razali for that piece of land.
Of course, Daim still had to pay for the land. In those days, it was not easy to borrow from a bank. Hence, he was forced to corrupt Bank Bumiputra. Lorraine Osman and Rais Saniman know how much he spent. Manan Othman can no doubt confirm the figure, he was so close to Daim that they tried to share a girl friend, with Manan often borrowing the bedroom at Daim’s office in Taman Maluri.
Mahathir’s choice
Daim’s elevation as Senator and, subsequently, Minister of Finance, was part of Mahathir’s strategic plan. Mahathir’s choice should surprise no one, after all the two were intimate friends from the same kampung in Seberang Perak, Alor Setar. Upon becoming Prime Minister on 16 July, 1981, the first thing on Mahathir’s mind was how to sideline his archenemy, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.
Daim told everyone he had no interest in politics, but all the while he was confident of getting the Finance Minister’s job after a stint with the Senate. A few months after joining the Senate, Daim became Chairman of Fleet, which owned the New Straits Times. In 1984, he finally got his dream job and became the third most important man in the Federal Cabinet, after the Prime Minister and his deputy.
Musa squeezed out
Musa Hitam, the Deputy Prime Minister, was at first oblivious of the closet ties between Mahathir and Daim. Innocently, he expressed to Mahathir his disquiet over Daim’s wheeling and dealing, particularly his award of projects and contracts to his own associates and cronies. It must have baffled him when his complaints fell on deaf ears although he was Deputy Prime Minister, he has no say when it came to economic matters, particularly privatisation and the assignment (to supporters) of economic projects.
How disappointed Musa must have been to find that Daim could not care less about his effort to help his supporters secure some projects or contracts. Daim succeeded in making millionaires of such cronies of Wan Azmi, Halim Saad, Tajuddin Ramli, Samsuddin Hassan, Razali Rahman and Tan Sri Basir, but Musa in the end was cast off as a poor ex-DPM.
Musa once complained to Mahathir that Daim had stolen a number of supporters’ project proposals, but again Mahathir ignored him. These were the first acts in the eventual breakup of the Mahathir-Musa partnership. As the interests of Mahathir and Daim bloated, Musa got squeezed out.
Pushing Musa to tie up with Razaleigh
Many Umno members assume that Razaleigh is Musa’s number one enemy. In fact, the reason for the 1986 split in Umno must fall on Daim. It was he who drove Musa to the edge until he had no choice but to resign. Again, Daim’s man of few words demeanour to his advantage. Few knew of his behind-the-scenes role in that Umno rupture not many more know it today.
One really should not wonder why Musa called a truce Razaleigh and the two decided to collaborate in the 1987 fight, the one that eventually c au sed Umno to be outlawed. At that time, Daim was almost invincible, what support coming from such strongmen as Sanusi Junid and Anwar Ibrahim. The comradeship of the three was rock solid, and the Musa-Razaleigh camp could do nothing except to make a joke of it by giving them the nicknames AIDS.
Getting rid of Tun Salleh Abas
The formation of the new Umno, Daim and Mahathir had first to get rid of the Lord President, Tun Salleh Abas. Again, Daim was the chief plotter in the sacking of the pious and respected Tun Salleh, and his replacement with Tun Hamid Omar, a playboy and chronic gambler, but Mahathir’s and Daim’s schoolmate. The appointment of Tun Hamid Omar triggered the collapse of the integrity and the independence of the judiciary.
Finance Minister, Daim persuaded Mahathir to give the Economic Planning Unit and Treasury full power in implementing the privatisation policy. Hence, it was no longer necessary to call for tenders for government projects. Instead, the projects were awarded directly to favoured companies. And so began the era of wealth accumulation by him and his cohorts.
The United Engineers Company, bought for RM2, changed into a multi-million- ringgit corporation. As Finance Minister, Daim practically ordered banks to lend to companies that he himself owned. And no Daim crony every complained of difficulty in securing bank credit. Indeed, bankers lived in fear of Daim. Having appointed Wan Azmi and Basir to head Malayan Banking and Bank Bumiputra, he would give any project to any of his cronies bec au se funding was not an issue.
If those physical projects were not enough, Daim also took every opportunity to take wealth from the share market as well. Every time the Treasury approved a company for listing on the stock exchange, Daim cronies received their lion’s shares. That was how Southern Bank, Resort World, Sports Toto, Berjaya, Tanjong and scores of other blue chip firms landed with Daim and Company.
Once, when share values were high, Daim boasted among friends that his visible wealth alone totalled RM65 billion. To shut the mouth of Barisan Nasional leaders, Daim gave lucrative projects (CRUMBS) to Samy Vellu and Ling Liong Sik so that their children could be big-shots in batches.
Free to plunder
Daim managed to fool Umno members into believing that Mahathir would not let him go although he had asked to be relieved of his Cabinet post on a number of occasions. With Musa and Razaleigh out of the picture, Daim could grab as much wealth as he wanted without even Mahathir stopping him. Besides, he was Umno’s treasurer and he could make it look as if the companies he controlled were those in which the party had a stake.
Daim’s avarice damaged not only his own image as finance minister, but also Mahathir’s and Malaysia ‘s reputation with the international community. It is said that he used to demand exorbitant fees for himself in negotiating contracts involving foreign suppliers. The chairmen of Japan ‘s two biggest banks – the Bank of Tokyo and Sanwa Bank – once complained to Mahathir that his Finance Minister demanded commissions that were too high when negotiating yen loans.
Margaret Thatcher, too, has complained about Daim’s role as a commissioned agent. He had – or still has – accounts in Zurich , London , Hong Kong, Tokyo , Singapore , Caymen Island , Channel Island and Virgin Island. Indeed, instead of keeping his billions in Malaysia , he has stashed them overseas.
Even conspiring to snatch KTM land in S’pore
With his immense wealth and far-reaching influence, Daim eventually became a burden that Mahathir could no longer bear. In every deal he made, there was something in it for himself. It was not beneath him even to conspire with Lee Kuan Yew to snatch KTM land in Singapore . The Malaysian Cabinet had no knowledge of this. But this issue of Malaysia being cheated by Lee Kuan Yew and Daim is far from over.
Mahathir eventually realised that he had to end Daim’s lordship over the Finance Ministry. And so he told him to quit.
Mahathir worried that if Daim continued as Finance Minister, complaints would come not only from Vincent Tan, Ananda Krishnan, Arumugam (M’s DIRECT CRONIES) and other members of the Malaysian business elite, but also from foreign leaders.
Signs of a Daim-related scandal were ominous and it could break anytime in Japan or Britain , therefore, Daim had to go.
Daim had to go
Daim’s resignation was planned such that it would not appear as if he had been sacked. Indeed, it does not make sense why a powerful Finance Minister, rich and in control of so many public companies, would suddenly quit simply because he had lost interest in the job. The truth is that he was ordered to resign.
Observers will recall that Mahathir’s first comment on the so-called reaction was, ‘He has asked several times for permission to resign, and I have finally allowed it. I hope Daim would not leave the country after resigning’. That statement was pregnant with meaning. Mahathir knew Daim was sulking. So did Anwar and Sanusi. Mahathir retained Daim as Umno Treasurer for a good reason, he wanted to ensure the safety of Umno money, a lot of which was under Daim’s control.
But Daim who holds so many of Mahathir’s secrets, is only a sly one. After resigning, he ran off to live in his San Francisco residence. He told the Malaysian public he wanted to study at Harvard, but in fact he wanted to leave Malaysia . Mahathir, who was familiar with Daim’s antics, pleaded with him to come back, saying he need him to advise on economic matters.
Daim returned and announced that Mahathir had named him Economic Adviser to the Government. Rafidah asked Mahathir to confirm this, but all she got was silence. Daim was never formally appointed as Economic Adviser, a post which Tun Raja Mohar once held. The appointment is the prerogative of the Public Services Department. Daim gave himself the job. To keep Daim happy, Mahathir allowed him to open an office at the Economic Planning Unit, and this strengthened the public perception that he was still in control as far as economic affairs were concerned.
Rafidah more honest than Anwar?
When he was to told to resign as Finance Minister, Daim asked Mahathir to appoint Anwar Ibrahim to the job. Obviously, he thought this would help to ensure that his skeletons would remain closeted. He warned Mahathir of the peril that Rafidah would be to both of them: the secrets they shared would be uncovered.
Daim also persuaded Mahathir to appoint Mustapha Mohammad as Anwar’s deputy because these two could be depended on to fill up the holes he had left gaping. Anwar is nobody’s fool, but he sacrificed his idealism to protect his towkay.
As far as we know, no Finance Minster in this world has retired a billionaire, except Daim. In the book Daim yang Diam: Sebuah Biographi (Daim the Silent: A Biography), Daim explains his retirement: ‘I am happy in retirement. It was too heavy a responsibility. In truth, I love the business world. Business is in my blood. I love to make money. I know how to do it. I can do it just by sitting in this chair. On a lucky day, I can make millions.’
Friend of Soros
According to an internal bank analysis, collaborated by the corporate community, and from Daim crony Amin Shah, Daim’s wealth, in ringgit and foreign currencies kept overseas currently amounts to RM20 billion.
With so much money at his disposal, Daim can manipulate the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange. He showed his hand in 1991, just to prove how much influence he wielded. After selling off his stocks, he made a statement to the effect that the market would crash. And crash it did.lawak mahathir kroni penjenayah
As we can all recall, even Mahathir could not help but make a wry remark when Daim boasted that he invested in KLSE only for pocket money. But to his good friend, Daim said he could turn in profit on RM90 million a day when the market was up. When the market plummeted in October 1991 Daim bought back his share on the cheap. When the market turned bullish again 1995 and 1996, Daim made billions of ringgit from it. This, then, is what the work of an economic adviser amounts to.
So it turns out that Soros is not the only big time market manipulator and currency dealer. Daim met Soros twice in London when the ringgit was being hotly traded. Anyway, when the ringgit fell below RM4 to the US dollar, Mahathir asked Daim for help and, according to a source in Singapore, he lost RM1 billion trying to prop up the Malaysian currency. To lose that much in currency trading, imagine how much money he had at his disposal.
Mahathir panicked
The falls in currency and share values put Mahathir in a feverish panic. He knew his policies and his own belligerent attitude were partly to blame. Seeing Mahathir in such a frenzied state, Daim recommended that he declare a state of emergency to enable him to restore the economy and at the same time, bury the corpses that were beginning to stink.
We hail the Chief Secretary to the Government and the Solicitor-General for opposing the move. If Daim’s plan had been followed, Mahathir would turn dictator and the Malaysian economy would be utterly ruined. Having failed to declare an emergency, Mahathir set up the National Economic Action Council, headed by Daim, with the Economic Planning Unit as its Secretariat.
The original plan was to give the NEAC complete autonomy, but the Cabinet ministers opposed this for fear that they would lose any vestige of power they had left. Eventually, the council became merely an advisory body, with the Cabinet having final say on its recommendations.
Daim finally found a road-block in Anwar
The establishment of the council was a wedge between Anwar and Daim. Thus, two old friends who had together stood behind Mahathir against Musa were now turned against each other.
All of the council’s recommendations were rejected by the Cabinet and Bank Negara. Daim openly assailed Bank Negara for dismissing his proposals, such as those relating to interest rates and credit control.
We salute the Bank Negara Governor for maintaining a prudent monetary policy in the face of Daim’s bullying and insults. Unlike Daim and his cohorts, Bank Negara’s officials are not self-serving.
Daim’s appointment to the NEAC was a major national mistake. Going by press reports of its deliberations so far, the NEAC’s sole preoccupation is with saving mega corporations from bankruptcy. No doubt, these are Daim-related companies.
Daim has yet to show any concern over the rise in the price of chillies, or the leaps in fish prices or how the price of rice has boiled over. Neither has he talked about small businesses in their death throes. Class F contractors going bankrupt or kampung road projects being abandoned. In his dictionary, there are no entries for the small man’s worries, nothing about low-cost houses, water cuts or study funds for the children of poor Malays. In fact, it contains only billion size figures.
Jet-setting with his new wife while others fall
While the Malaysian economy is close to ruin, Daim remains a billionaire, living a life of glamour, jet setting with his new wife Naimah and the attractive Josephine, an Indian lass who helps him run one of his firms, the International Malaysian Bank.
We have merely given a sketch of who the real Daim is. A thorough account will soon be available in book form. We recommend the book to Umno members, especially those with big ambitions, bec au se they will learn much from its fantastic but true tales of economic and political intrigues.
We denounce the likes of Vincent Tan and Tan Phek Khiing for land-grabbing, but perhaps we should ask the Menteri Besar of Johor and the Menteri Besar of Kedah how much land Daim has taken.
Ask Sanusi how much Daim paid to the Kedah government for 12,000 acres in Sungai Petani and how much profit he made from them. For 12,000 acres, Osman Arof had to be sacrificed. The true story of the Daim-Sanusi conspiracy in Kedah will be exposed in the book.
Umno is at a crossroads and has to decide wisely where it is going. One road heads to glory, where stability and democratic practice will abide. The other leads to division, autocracy and ultimately, utter destruction.
The call for reform, which used to be made only in whispers at small, secretive gatherings, is becoming louder. Umno members, showing that they can no longer contain their restiveness and frustration, have begun to openly debate the need for change, even at party conventions.
Can there be a clearer indication that they have reached their tether’s end, that they can no longer stomach the leadership’s undemocratic attitude and the prevalence – whether in the party or the government – of favouritism, cronyism, nepotism, graft and other misdeeds? Malay nationalism is dead and materialism and egoism are running amok.
We cannot depend on the Umno Supreme Council to initiate reform because few of the members have the guts to speak up. In fact, the council has lately been transformed into a monologue theatre. But of course even a monologue can flop without good supporting players – fools, clowns, jesters, attendants and the oh-so- important flatterers.
As far as these bit players are concerned, Umno’s ideals and principles are not as important as their jobs. This keep-your-mouth- shut syndrome serves only to embolden the party leadership in its conceit, arrogance and h au ghtiness. A president has become a dictator. Woe are the Malays and Umno. What is to become of them? That is a question only Umno members can answer.

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