There are folks that expect certain pro-BN bloggers to stop raising issues on Khazanah Nasional coming to an election.
They are entitled to their view. True, some issues can be kept on hold for after the general election. However, for issue like MAS-Air Asia CCF, it would be too late by then. These buggers would want to lock up everything fast.
Most corporate issues are not election campaign material unless there are elements of corruption. Even if there is suspicion of corruption, it has to be comprehensible to a simpleton PAS politician and supporter. Usually they do not articulate on corporate issues well and one got themselves sued for saying the wrong fact for nothing.
Without fear of that political backlash, there are a potpurri of concerns over trust companies under the Government, like Tabung Haji and PNB. It could be about the deviation from formation objective, personalities, investment policies, and leakage.
As Prime Minister cum Finance Minister cum Women, Family and Community Development Minister, Dato Najib has a lot on his plate to chew. Inheriting the premiership from the incompetent Pak Lah was not easy. It is time he identify a capable Finance Minister to take some load of his shoulder.
The objective of Tabung Haji is clear cut. It is a saving mechanism for potential pilgrims to Mecca. They are also the authorised agency to manage the pilgrimmage.
For many years, the concern with Tabung Haji was it's investment portfolio. Back in 2010, the was much talk that Tabung Haji was over exposed in stocks with 40% of it's RM25 billion fund in equity, unlike EPF which was less than 20% of it's RM300 billion fund. Earlier in 2009, despite the market surge, Tabung Haji only declared 5% dividend vis-a-vis EPF's 5.65%.
Utusan Malaysia dated March 8th, 2010 reported former Tabung Haji Chairman, Tan Sri Hanafiah Ahmad seeking for investigation and questioning their investment. The report below:
Lantik badan siasatan bebasTabung Haji's officio, Abi Musa Asa'sari Mohamed Nor denied Hanafiah's concerns with claims on their performance and accountable process. [Read Utusan Malaysia here. ] However, Abi Musa, whose position in Tabung Haji was not mentioned in the report, did not answer precisely the concerns of Hanafiah.
KUALA LUMPUR 7 Mac – Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) didesak supaya melantik sebuah badan akauntan bebas yang berwibawa dan profesional untuk menyiasat secara terperinci segala aktiviti pelaburannya dan anak-anak syarikat.
Bekas Pengerusi dan Pengarah Besar TH, Tan Sri Hanafiah Ahmad berkata, siasatan itu perlu disegerakan kerana terdapat banyak aktiviti pelaburan lembaga itu yang dipersoalkan oleh para pendeposit yang kini berjumlah 5.1 juta.
Hanafiah berkata, TH merupakan sebuah institusi yang dimiliki oleh orang ramai khasnya umat Islam dan pihak pengurusan tertinggi perlu tampil untuk memperjelas dan menunjukkan bahawa segala urusan pelaburannya telus.
Beliau menegaskan, terdapat banyak perkara kini dipersoalkan oleh para pendeposit terbaru melibatkan Petra Perdana, pelaburan dalam syarikat-syarikat tertentu seperti Ramunia, Silver Bird dan Lityan serta di sektor perladangan bernilai berbilion ringgit di Indonesia.
Hanafiah berkata, TH sebelum ini pernah bercadang untuk memiliki hotel di London, United Kingdom tetapi tidak menjadi kenyataan.
"Soalnya kenapa boleh timbul cadangan untuk memiliki hotel di negara itu sedangkan keutamaan perlu kepada pemilikan tempat penginapan di Arab Saudi yang akan memudah dan menyenangkan umat Islam menjalankan ibadah haji," katanya.
Beliau khuatir keghairahan pengurusan lembaga itu dalam pelaburan menyebabkan tujuan asal penubuhan firma itu dilihat tersasar lebih jauh.
"Saya memang takut melihat keghairahan mereka melabur.
"Jangan membuat pelaburan ala koboi kerana ditakuti institusi ini ‘runtuh’ sekiranya ia tidak dipantau dan dikawal,’’ kata beliau kepada Utusan Malaysia di sini.
Information source from Tabung Haji (invesment monitoring unit) reveals then that Tabung Haji made major losses in equity investment:
Axiata - (>RM150 million)Out of 200 stocks owned by Tabung Haji, only 30% (or 60 stocks) are profitable. The total losses of those 140 stocks that are in the red are about RM2 billion. That should explain why Tabung Haji paid the same dividend rate of 5% for 2009 when KLCI surged more 40%.
Tenaga - (>RM150 million)
Ramunia - (>RM50 million)
BIMB Holdings - (>RM150 million)
Lityan - (>RM60 million)
Green Packet - (>RM40 million)
MEMS Technology - (>RM40 million)
Muhibbah Eng - (>RM40 million)
AKN Tech - (>RM30 million)
Today those concerns of Hanafiah are beginning to realise. What happened to investment made in Petra Perdana, Ramunia, Silver Bird, Lityan and the 83,000 hectare plantation in Riau, Indonesia?
Why was Tabung Haji getting themselves in desperate cases of bailout like in the case of Ramunia, Silver Bird and Lityan?
While this blog had defended Tabung Haji [read here] against politicians making mountain out of mole hill with regard to Silver Bird, Ramunia and Riau plantation, this blog share the concern of Hanafiah.
Perhaps, serious reflection need to be made on the competence and integrity of management and various committee of Tabung Haji. Phenomenon of moral hazard in banking should not be allowed to happen in Tabung Haji. Nothing is too big to fail in the world today.
As our claim earlier of the lack of intelligence of PAS politician on corporate matters, Husam tried to spin an issue on the sales of Riau plantation to the opposition friendly Kuok Group. Trust a PAS politician to be factually wrong that he got himself sued by Khairy for making wrongful allegation to link him with Pantai deal.
The more credible Hanafiah was more concern with the purchase and not the sale of the multi-billion plantation in Riau. Read the following news report, below:
Tabung Haji to sell 95% stake in Riau plantation for RM2bNow that it is sold to PT Borneo, instead of Kuok Group as claimed by Husam, the question is why was it sold?
Tuesday, 03 April 2012 09:27
Siti Radziah Hamzah
Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) has conditionally accepted a proposal from an Indonesian-based company to acquire 95% of its equity interest in PT TH Indo Plantations (THIP), according to a spokesperson from TH.
THIP is estimated to be worth RM2.3 billion, which includes 83,879ha of plantation land, one kernel crushing plant, six palm oil mills and one biomass plant in the province of Riau, Indonesia.
If the deal goes through, TH is expected to make at least RM2.19 billion, which is to be satisfied via cash payments.
It is understood that TH is actually discussing a price of above the market valuation of RM2.3 billion to sell the assets and has principally approved the deal.
“The board of TH has principally approved the deal, subject to regulatory approvals from the Indonesians,” said the spokesperson, declining to reveal the identity of the Indonesian buyer.
In a statement recently, TH group managing director/chief executive officer Datuk Ismee Ismail said TH had received the proposal in February 2011.
“TH expects to utilise the proceeds from this divestment to be invested in other plantation assets.
Plantation will continue to be one of the main investments sectors in TH, taking into consideration its steady cashflow and long-term prospects.
“We believe that the offer received provides a good opportunity to realise the appreciation in value of its investment in THIP,” he added.
THIP owns and operates 83,879ha of oil palm plantations since 1997.
Compared to the value of its initial investment, the offer received will provide a favourable return on investment.
“Transactions such as this will definitely benefit our depositors directly,” Ismee said.
He added that TH will continue its efforts to manage its investment responsibly in the best interest of its seven million depositors, while ensuring competitive returns.
One is talking Indonesia here. Some vital information is still be held back. The report was a typical sanitised corporate public statement.
Now another shocker that was the concern of Hanafiah:
Friday, April 13, 2012, 07.37 PMSo does that mean Tabung Haji could not manage easily the Riau plantation it bought. Why did they buy it then?
Tabung Haji to invest 200m pounds in UK
KUALA LUMPUR: Tabung Haji expects to make at least one investment amounting to 150-200 million pounds (1pound=RM4.8732) worth on a commercial property in the United Kingdom this year.
Its Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Ismee Ismail, said the property had been identified for investment from a study carried out since 2008.
Among the considerations taken in the study included the adherence to syariah principles.
"We had to be careful as we needed to study each of the tenant company occupying the property and ensure their compliance with syariah," he told reporters after signing the Malaysian Corporate Integrity Pledge here today, along with his senior management, CEOs of subsidiary companies and 450 members.
The event was witnessed by Tabung Haji Chairman, Tan Sri Abi Musa Asa'ari Mohamed Nor, Chief Commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Datuk Seri Abu Kassim Mohamed and the President of Malaysian Institute of Integrity, Datuk Mohd Tap Salleh.
Tabung Haji today also became the first government linked investment company (GLIC) to have taken the corporate integrity pledge in order to bring further up its corporate governance, accountability and culture of transparency.
On the sale of its oil palm plantation in Indonesia, Ismee said Tabung Haji was planning to use the US$910 million received from the sale towards the purchase of plantation land in Malaysia.
"We will be looking out for land (oil palm plantations) which are more closer to us in Malaysia itself or in other nearby countries which we can manage easily."
He also reiterated that oil palm plantations remained a core sector for the company and that the sale of its land in Indonesia was part of a restructuring in the sector's portfolio. --BERNAMA
What a lame excuse of looking for land more closer to Malaysia? Riau is close enough that they speak Malay in Malaysian accent.
On the London property, Hanafiah asked for the investment rationale. This should can be an issue for Husam to build on, if he understand how to make it an "intelligent" issue.
It doesn't matter that MACC Commissioner and Pak Lah initiative-MII's President are present at the MCIP. It is only a ceremonial pledge. Actually, MACC should maintain a distance so that they can play their enforcement role without fear or favour.
When the intention to purchase property in London was first raised, the rationale given was unconvincing. What is this global makbel smoke screen?
That was why Hanafiah raised the question. Read below:
Friday, September 4, 2009Why did Ismee insist and the committee/s approved to buy those London properties?
By The Star (by Zazali Musa)
"Tabung Haji sees good opportunities to own properties in Europe"
JOHOR BARU: Lembaga Tabung Haji (LTH) is now looking at Europe as part of a strategic investment plan to further expand its property portfolio via subsidiary TH Properties Sdn Bhd.
The fund’s chief executive officer Datuk Ismee Ismail said it had explored London and found that the city offered good returns for property buyers.
"After London, we are going to other major European cities and we believe there are good opportunities for us to own properties in Europe,"’ he told reporters after giving out Hari Raya Aidilfitri contributions to single mothers here. [Our comment: London and other major European cities are matured economies. Can one get bargain? Attractive return but what about capital gain?]
Ismee said LTH was already known among investors and bankers in Europe as an “Islamic economic powerhouse” due to its large fund size.
TH Properties has invested about RM2.3bil in properties in Malaysia as well as Makkah and Madinah in Saudi Arabia, according to Ismee.
He added that for the last two years, instead of focusing on properties in Kuala Lumpur, the fund had been going to Georgetown, Johor Baru and Kota Kinabalu as these places also offered good investment opportunities. [Our comment: Smoke screen, smoke screen, smoke screen ...]
“You can’t go wrong when it comes to (buying) property but you must remember the three words – location, location, location,’’ he said. [Our comment: Tell that to the Japanese when they went heavily into American properties back in the 90s]
[Our comment: The rest are all garnishing.]
Separately, Ismee said the number of LTH depositors had increased to 4.7 million while its fund had grown to RM23bil.
In 2006, there were 4.5 million depositors while its fund stood at RM16bil.
He attributed the increase to two main factors – the growing confidence among depositors and a good dividend pay-out compared with other syariah-compliant financial products.
LTH paid a 5% dividend to its depositors last year. It hopes to maintain the rate this year despite the current global economic crisis, according to Ismee.
Is this a neo-liberal belief from some wet-behind-the-ears kids, whose never been around the block, claiming the world is conquerable?
Investment of GLC like Tabung Haji cannot be blinded by numbers and return only. They have a role to play in the local economy on behalf of the Muslim and Bumiputera community, such as stated by this report below:
January 26th 2012Questionable links
GLC patut 'ambil' kuota bumi
Oleh AINUL ASNIERA AHSAN
KUALA LUMPUR 25 Jan. - Syarikat-syarikat milik kerajaan yang bergiat dalam sektor hartanah dan unit amanah hartanah wajar membeli kediaman kuota Bumiputera untuk mengelak aset berkenaan 'bertukar tangan'.
Pensyarah Kanan Jabatan Pengurusan Hartanah Fakulti Seni Bina, Perancangan dan Ukur Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Shahrom Md. Ariffin berkata, pendekatan itu dilihat sebagai cara terbaik dan lebih praktikal dalam usaha menyelamat hartanah yang diperuntukan kepada Bumiputera.
Beliau berkata, masalah kediaman tidak terjual itu disebabkan pembeli Bumiputera berminat tetapi masih belum membelinya.
Justeru, katanya, sekiranya kediaman-kediaman berkenaan dibeli oleh GLC , sekurang-kurangnya hak yang diperuntukan kepada Bumiputera terjamin.
''Siapa kata Bumiputera tidak berminat untuk memiliki kediaman, banyak yang masih mencari-cari dengan tumpuan terhad kepada kediaman berkos rendah dan sederhana. Jumlah Bumiputera yang mampu memberi rumah sederhana mewah dan mewah begitu kecil.
''Oleh itu, saya syorkan Permodalan Hartanah Bhd., Permodalan Nasional Bhd., Majlis Amanah Rakyat, AmanahRaya Bhd. atau Lembaga Tabung Haji mengambil alih hartanah-hartanah tersebut.
''Kalau Bumiputera secara individu tidak mampu, saya yakin agensi-agensi ini berupaya kerana mereka memiliki dana yang besar,'' katanya kepada Utusan Malaysia ketika dihubungi di sini hari ini.
Beliau berkata demikian ketika mengulas cadangan Persatuan Pemaju Hartanah dan Perumahan Malaysia (REHDA) supaya status hartanah lot Bumiputera ditukar secara automatik kepada bukan Bumiputera jika gagal dijual dalam tempoh masa tertentu.
Cadangan itu dibuat bagi mengatasi kerugian yang didakwa terpaksa ditanggung oleh pemaju ekoran gagal menjual hartanah berkenaan, selain perlu melunaskan kos tertentu untuk mengubahnya ber dasarkan undang-undang semasa.
Presidennya, Datuk Seri Michael K C Yam berkata, kaji selidik yang dilakukan REHDA mendapati masalah kegagalan menjual hartanah lot Bumiputera merupakan punca paling utama kerugian ditanggung oleh pemaju untuk empat tahun berturut-turut.
Mengulas mengenai tersebut, Shahrom mengakui REHDA tidak boleh dipersalahkan berhubung cadangan yang dilontarkan.
Ini kerana isu berkenaan adalah perkara lapuk yang dibincangkan hampir setiap tahun oleh para pemaju tetapi ia tidak dilihat secara serius oleh mana-mana pihak.
Akibatnya, kata beliau, isu itu bersifat bermusim tanpa tidak diketahui bilakah jalan penyelesaiannya mampu dilaksanakan.
Bagaimanapun, tegas beliau, jalan penyelesaian perlu dilihat secara teliti oleh kerajaan untuk mengelakkan para pemaju hartanah tempatan rugi dan pada waktu yang sama pertahankan hak Bumiputera.
Shahrom menambah, cadangan menukar hak milik hartanah yang diperuntukan itu tidak wajar dipertimbangkan kerana dikhuatiri keistimewaan itu akan hilang secara perlahan-lahan.
"Mekanisme yang betul perlu dibincang, diteliti dan dilaksanakan. Tetapi saya berpendapat kuota kediaman Bumiputera boleh diselamatkan oleh agensi-agensi terbabit," katanya.
Beliau berkata, di sebalik tumpuan agensi-agensi berkaitan kepada hartanah komersial, mereka boleh menambah hartanah kediaman sebagai portfolio baharu terutama di kawasan-kawasan utama yang berpotensi besar dan berdaya saing.
"Contohnya di kawasan Mont Kiara dan tengah-tengah kawasan segi tiga emas Kuala Lumpur kerana kediaman di kawasan ini tidak akan jatuh dan baik untuk pelaburan jangka panjang.
"Dengan pembelian kediaman, entiti-entiti terbabit bukan sahaja membantu menangani masalah pemaju, pada masa sama GLC mampu mempertahan dan menyelamatkan hak milik Bumiputera.
"Mungkin kediaman yang mahal itu tidak mampu dimiliki Bumiputera pada masa sekarang, tetapi mungkin boleh dijual pada tahun-tahun mendatang. Siapa tahu ketika itu banyak Bumiputera yang mampu," katanya.
When neo-liberal was earlier mentioned, it actually is raising concern whether Ismee's actions has to do with his background and links?
Ismee's background as CEO ECM Libra Securities used to be put to question because it means having links with Dato Kalimullah, Lim Kian Onn dan David Chua. He was attached in Dato Azman Yahya's Danaharta, which the talk in the market was that he took oppurtunity to sqeeze cashstrap businessmen, particularly Bumiputera but not the Cina.
One rumour source claimed his father's boasted around Kampung Tunku that Ismee got the job over a lunch appointment with Khairy Jamaluddin then.
There is a bigger concern.
When Tabung Haji bailed out Lityan in 2010, Ismee was on record personally given 1,000,000 new shares in Lityan. It was not given to Tabung Haji but the CEO personally.
His name cropped up in parliament when Wee Choo Keong raised issues not investigated by SC Chairperson, Tan Sri Zarinah Anwar. Read here.
Rumours were saying that it was a token of appreciation after getting the relisting approval from SC. Upon listing, Lityan shares flew and talk was Ismee got himself a brand new Mercedes S320 Plat no XXX19 from the "free" shares.
Guess who is the Chairman of Tabung Haji's Investment Panel, if not the controversial Mr Fix-It husband of former SC Chairperson, Dato Azizan.
And there is another rumour of Ismee in Tabung Haji's sale of 54 acres of prime land at Bukit Jalil to SPPK at dirt cheap price in 2002 of RM25 psf when market was around 120 psf. Ismee was awarded a bungalow lot by SPPK and him and his gang made close to RM500,000 each!
Fact or fiction, true or rumour, the story of leakages in Tabung Haji's Investment Department is legendary. It is an open secret in the market. It has been going on since time immemorial, as far as many in the market can remember.
When this blogger was hawking an investment proposal, we met senior management from Tabung Haji able to afford a cash RM1 million investment.
There is a high level of distrust in Tabung Haji's investments decision that there was uproar when the intention to list TH Plantation was made in 2005. Read Utusan Malaysia here.
It raised lots of suspicion. Was Tabung Haji having acute financial problem that it needs to list? Is someone getting something out of it?
Despite several measures taken several times, the talk is still going on. Ismee's name is still being rumoured.
They asked why was MACC quiet on this? They claimed MACC had cleared him of any wrongdoing. More than that, one source claim any whistleblower leaking info to MACC will be known by morning next day. Great material for Husam to spin on.
Maybe there is no case against him but how do one explain of the Lityan shares. Hanafiah is fair with his concerns.
Lastly, apart from the issues raised, it was made known to this blogger decades ago by a General Manager of Tabung Haji that their assets outstrip the total savings of depositers in the tune of RM6 billion vis-a-vis RM3 billion.
Maybe it is larger now. Tabung Haji does not give out it's accounts to depositers like PNB. Enquiry with the PR Department could raise alarm bells all throughout the organisation.
To whom does this surplus asset goes to? Who is supposed to own it? Does it belong to the depositers or Government? Why can't it be utilised to make Haj cheaper for the lesser in the Muslim society?
If that request is not financially tenable, why then is the concern for Tabung Haji's investment? Could the surplus asset be attracting many dishonest operators within Tabung Haji making "ownership claim"?
Until someone of unquestionable integrity and rumour free background is placed up there, the public will keep poking issues on Tabung Haji despite their excellent Haj management ability.
May God save us all, if trust companies like Tabung Haji, which is intended to perform ibadah, is corrupted by unscruplous professionals.
* edited 11:30 AM