We return to the original mamak in pursuit.
Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop was seen by a friend having high tea at Chef & Brew, a posh eatery at Plaza Damansara with a group of his kaki. Coincidently, it is also a favoured joint of Khairy and his kaki. All of a sudden, the usually soft spoken Nor Yakcop was heard from far saying, “I am in a lot of trouble already. Don’t you read the blogs?”
It could be an excuse to turn down a request from his friend but maybe he is feeling the heat from discussions on the business dealing of Tabung Haji by his boy, Dato Ismee, the purchase of Vision City by his boy, Dato Sharil Redza at EPF, and many more by the English blogs.
We are far from reaching those current issues but still on his days making losses gambling government’s money in the highly speculative foreign exchange market and committing criminal breach of trusts at Abrar Corporation, Abrar International and Mun Loong.
Interestingly, the mainstream media has been covering up his early disasters during Pak Lah’s days to justify his appointment as Minister. We look into it as we stroll through his days with Pak Lah.
Nor Yakcop was supposed to manage and in this case, using active management to counter the foreign exchange exposure of the country’s reserve. He ended up becoming a punter instead and ended up making the biggest trading loss in financial market history.
He had to resign from his position as Adviser at Bank Negara Malaysia in 1994. But, this moment in Nor Yakcop’s history was obliterated by mainstream media. Reports only described it as “leaving briefly to join the private sector.”
His position as executive chairman of Mun Loong Bhd, vice-president of Abrar Group International and executive vice-chairman of Abrar Corporation Bhd were only mentioned in passing as though it is part of his long list of achievement in the corporate sector.
That short spell in the private sector was no better than his reckless trading and cover-up of losses at Bank Negara Malaysia. If other rouge traders end up serving time, he should have been in too for his indiscretions at Bank Negara and CBT with Abrar and Mun Loong.
|Keep my past minimal, OK?|
With that part of his history covered up, he could rise and highlight his achievements on his return to Bank Negara Malaysia in 2000 as Special Adviser, then appointment as Special Adviser to Prime Minister, and subsequently, as Minister of Finance II and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Economic Planning Unit (EPU).
Notice this flattering cover-up by Utusan Express dated January 8th, 2004, which was in the early part of Pak Lah’s days. Was it really a success by Nor Yakcop for the nation?
Nor Mohamed Yakcop - right man for the job
KUALA LUMPUR Jan 7 - The architect behind the establishment of the ringgit peg against US dollar, which provided financial stability to counter the 1997/98 financial crisis, the new second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop is the right man for the job.
He has also been instrumental in drawing up restructuring exercises for companies such as United Engineers Malaysia (UEM) and Malaysia Airlines (MAS) to get corporate Malaysia back on track after the crisis.
[Note: Did he managed to put Corporate Malaysia back on track or it was a quick fix that destroyed the Bumiputera Commercial & Industrial Community (BCIC) and created a new breed of carpetbaggers?]
Now, the 56-year old former Bank Negara Adviser, is also involved in promoting the use of the gold dinar in trade between countries.
He was responsible for the implementation of a number of major projects including the implementation of Islamic banking, Ar-Rahnu (Islamic pawn loans) scheme, setting up of Bilateral Payments mechanism between Bank Negara Malaysia and central banks of South-South countries, setting up of the Securities Commission, Cagamas Bhd and Rating Agency Malaysia Bhd.
[Note: Other than the much needed establishment of new institutions, which had been long discussed, are these really his efforts and was it really sustainable and successful programs?]
A founding member of the Institute of Islamic Understanding (IKIM), he played a significant role in the formulation and implementation of the selective exchange control measures implemented in September 1998.
[Note: Was SCC his idea or that of a local University Professor and modelled from other countries like Chile and China?]
Since taking on the job of Special Economic Adviser to the Prime Minister in May 2000, he has played a major role in a number of corporate restructuring exercises including UEM, Malaysian Resources Corporation Bhd, MAS, Tabung Haji, Johor Corporation, KUB, Langkawi Cable Car project and the Light Rail Transit (LRT) companies (Putra and STAR).
[Note: Did these companies became better?]
He was also responsible for setting-up Prosper (Projek Usahawan Bumiputera Dalam Bidang Peruncitan) scheme, which aims to increase bumiputera participation in the retail sector.This Pak Lah era report highlighted his involvement in solving the financial crisis that hit the Banks badly from 1998 onward.
[Note: Why is PROSPER very quiet now?]
With several feathers in his cap, including being the architect of Islamic banking and its successful implementation, he was credited for leading a team of advisers in putting in place the very much needed reforms in the corporate and financial sector.
The Association of Banks in Malaysia, in welcoming the appointment, said it was a positive development.
"A thorough-bred central banker, Nor Mohamed has extensive experience in a complex financial environment and a proven track record in managing a financial crisis," its chairman, Dr Rozali Mohamed Ali, said.
When the 1997/98 financial crisis gripped the region and the nation's economy, Nor Mohamed was responsible in advising the then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on the implementation of the controversial capital controls which included the establishment of the ringgit currency peg.
The selective capital controls have proven sceptics wrong when it managed to bring Malaysia out of the crisis earlier than other affected countries which had subscribed to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) rescue formula.
Nor Mohamed was appointed as special adviser on financial affairs to Dr Mahathir, then Prime Minister, in May 2000 and was retained in the current post by Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi due to his wide experience.
Born 56 years ago in Penang, Nor Mohamed had his early education at St Xavier's Institution in Penang before graduating with a B.Econ (Hons) from University of Malaya in 1972 and an M.B.A from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium in 1979.
His career in Bank Negara, spanning 26 years from 1968 to 1994, he left briefly to join the private sector only to return in September 1998 as the central bank's special adviser until early 2000.
His involvement in the private sector from 1994 to 2000 included stints as managing director of RHB Research Institute Sdn Bhd, advisor to Jati Discounts Bhd, executive chairman of Mun Loong Bhd, vice-president of Abrar Group International and executive vice-chairman of Abrar Corporation Bhd.
Nor Mohamed is a board member of MAS and Khazanah Nasional and is in the National Economic Action Council (NEAC) executive committee since May 2000.
He is married to Puan Sri Fawziah Mohd Abu Bakar and has three children.
Nor Yakcop’s plan was to recapitalise the Banks by getting corporates that was part of the BCIC to repay their loans to the Banks. The troubled Chinese corporations were left untouched.
To do so, Nor Yakcop took the easy way to abuse his position by using Banks and Merchants Banks to harass and seize Bumiputera-controlled corporations. Those that resisted were investigated with intention to frame with trumped up criminal charges and civil suits by the corporation they once controlled.
In the end, Nor Yakcop nationalised the Bumiputera corporations without giving fair consideration, and using trickery on the owners. It is believed he may have also nationalised UMNO’s investment interest. If only UMNO members knows and are not feudalistic blind loyalists to their leaders, they would have been an up-roar.
Under Dr Mahathir's tight control, he was merely assigned to solve the banking issues arising from the financial crisis of 1998/99. After 2004 general election, Nor Yakcop was empowered to restructure the whole Malaysian corporate landscape, specifically the Bumiputera corporates.
Although being described as consummate civil servant and central banker, Nor Yakcop is never known to do things proper and systematic, but rather instinctively. His psyche is to beat the stated rules if he can for a short cut to make money. If he has to break the law and get the organisation in trouble later, it does not worry him. At the end, when things go wrong, he has no conscience to cover-up.
It is a recurring trait of Nor Yakcop from his days as foreign exchange trader. He did it again under Pak Lah when he became the powerful de facto Finance Minister and contracts were under his purview.
Nor Yakcop was also in charge of the GLC Transformation Plan in which the disastrous failure is is near to obliterating the BCIC which was worsened by the neo-liberal policies by Dato Najib's inner circle and Advisers.
|Me, my sons and my friends ... opps Bumiputera will be rich|
His programs for the lower level BCIC like Equinas, Prosper, Teraju, Yayasan Penaraju Pendidikan Bumiputera, Majlis Tindakan Ekonomi Melayu, Teras, etc. are all to hoodwinked Bumiputera as though something is being done.
All the while it is only lip service and not serious effort thus the limited impact.
While, his restructured GLCs continue to exert their influence and advantage in business, GLCs strayed away from the objective of their incorporation to ignore nation building agenda and social responsibilities.
Bloggers like us were questioning the policies generated by Nor Yakcop since it’s inception then, but no one bothered to ponder. The business people think it is positive thinking to ignore moral issues, social agenda and remain focus to pursue the paper with Agong’s head.
Many strange deals were heard. Both Nor Yakcop and his boys were heard to be lining their pockets.
What was he been doing at EPU under Dato Najib’s cabinet when most of economic planning and policy formulation was done by Omar Ong, Ethos Consulting and their favoured friendly consultants with Dato Idris Jala and Pemandu as front?
Did he achieved what he set out to do or was merely hoodwinking others and lining his pocket?
An extract of Wikipedia below:
Nor Mohamed YakcopWikipedia makes no mention of his short but criminally untrusted stint at Abrar.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop is the Malaysian Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, in charge of Economic Planning Unit. He was the prior Minister of Finance II, a post he has held since 2004 until 9 April 2009. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Advisory Council.
Previously, he served with Bank Negara, the Malaysian central bank, from 1968 to 2000. During his time in Bank Negara, he was responsible for the implementation of a number of major projects, including:
- the implementation of Islamic banking in Malaysia
- the setting-up of the bilateral payments mechanism between Bank Negara Malaysia and Central Banks of South-South countries
- the setting-up of the Rating Agency Malaysia Berhad.
He was also involved in a currency speculation scandal in the early 1990s, where Bank Negara lost up to RM30 billion. No actions had been taken on him as he moved on to hold important government positions.
He was the Special Economic Adviser to former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.
In 2002, he was appointed the director of Khazanah Nasional. He played a major role in government-linked companies (GLCs) like United Engineers Malaysia Berhad and Malaysia Airlines.
The transformation of the GLCs is another feather in his cap.
Following the Asian financial crisis, many of the GLCs were mired in debt and rudderless. In retrospect, his solution to their problems was simple.
First, he restored their balance sheets using the Government’s sovereign guarantee when necessary as this guarantee cut down their cost of funds.
Then he got young, bright professionals to manage these GLCs, giving them wide latitude to run these huge corporations but with the proviso that they did not line their own pockets. To ensure that they delivered, he introduced key performance indicators and service contracts. The GLC transformation is now into its third phase – and delivering results.
He was a member of the Dewan Negara, the upper house of the Parliament of Malaysia, for two terms before stepping down to run for the Tasek Gelugor parliamentary constituency in Penang in the Malaysian elections on March 8, 2008.
Someone really closed enough to Nor Yakcop described him as someone who reads a lot. Thus, he is able to give the impression that he is knowledgeable and has got lots of new ideas. But, the person close to Nor Yakcop said he had nothing to show as success.
Usually, he cheated to make things look good but more worms come out of the woodwork later. It is like his rotten positions left inside the reserve accounts at Bank Negara till the news of the losses exploded from the earlier announcement of RM6 billion to announce later as RM9 billion. We believe it is RM16 billion.
Like any mamak, he is verbally confident in public speaking and personal communication. He is able to able to convince or seek sympathy from others.
Some may think he is impressive but his ideas had short-lived effectiveness. His ideas never gave the “wow!” reaction that Dr Mahathir used to give whenever he announced any new measures or initiatives as Prime Minister.
According to Wikipedia, Nor Yakcop was born on August 25, 1947 in Penang, then Malayan Union. He joined Bank Negara as a clerk in 1968 after completing Form 6 at Xavier Institution Penang.
He managed to secure Bank Negara scholarship and immediately entered University of Malaya to later graduate in 1972. Naturally, he came back to be an officer and rose up the ranks. At a certain position, prospective government officers are usually given a chance to pursue their masters. He pursued for a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) at Leuven, Belgium.
For someone with humbled beginning and given a new lease of life, Noor Yakcop became crooked and greedy. He used his boys to lined his pocket with contracts [Read about Kanari and the Istana contracts here] and to take care of family business interest abroad.
Do not assume that the GLCs foray abroad exist in a vacuum. There are possible links to corruption and power abuse.
|Nor Yakcop and his sons, "Brother in Racing"|
And, he used his positions to raise money to support his three sons interest which are like rich man's son to indulge in sportcars. It only means Nor Yakcop must be filty rich to have his sons involved themselves in the sports of motorcar racing. [Read about Brother in Racing here.]
Not only the media is helping to cover-up his disasters, which should have ended his career, his Penangite Pashtun buddy, Dato Kalimullah could be trying to get friends to twist for him as though he was a late bloomer and rose from the bottom.
Continued in Part 7
Part 1: A great talent leaves
Part 2: Continued presence
Part 3: Bounty to Hunt
Part 4: Rogue trader
Part 5: Forgiven sins