Friday, September 29, 2017

Protasco: Ex-board members discharged, Payback time?

Past member of the  Board of Director of Protasco during good times
It was last year that we bumped into a member of the Board of Director of Protasco at Publika. When asked the latest on the Protasco board tussle, he commented, "Dua-dua sama samseng".

That was interesting because at one time, he described the former Board members on the other side of the tussle as uncouth and samseng. He is on the side of CEO Dto Seri Ir Chong Ket Pen.

Coincidently the Chairman, Tan Sri Hadenan Jalil came up in a recent posting on the RCI on BNM forex loss (read here). In the posting, links to the Protasco board tussle of 2014 was provided.

After the duo, Datok Adrian Ooi Kock Aun and Dato Larry Tey Por Yee lost at the EGM, they got ousted. There is a civil suit on the disputed oil and gas venture that was injected into Prostasco. Chong refused to do arbitration in Indonesia where the concession is. He claimed he does not trust the Indonesia court.

But, he pursued the duo through police report and managed to "fixed" them up with criminal charge (read here and here). However, both were discharged on Tuesday. The odds now is they could win their civil suit. It could be pay back time on Chong for breach of contract.

Both have since sold their shares in Protasco and other listed companies

The discharge was reported by The Star:
Ex-directors discharged from cheating case
Wednesday, 27 Sep 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: Two former company directors who were charged with cheating the board of directors, making a false declaration and criminal breach of trust involving more than RM80mil have been discharged from the case.

However, Datuk Ooi Kock Aun, 49, and Datuk Tey Por Yee, 40, have not been acquitted by the court.

The order to discharge but not acquit them was given by Kajang Sessions court judge Surita Budin after deputy public prosecutor Muhammad Ilmami Ahmad made a proposition to withdraw the case.

The DPP said the Attorney-General’s Chambers had reviewed all the evidence in totality before deciding to withdraw the case.

Ooi and Tey were accused of cheating Protasco Bhd’s board of directors and its officers by withholding information that he had direct involvement with PT Anglo Slavic Utama, a company incorporated in Indonesia.

The offence, under Section 420 of the Penal Code for cheating, was allegedly committed at Protasco’s office at Level 2, Corporate Building Unipark Suria, Jalan Ikram-Uniten, Kajang, between November 2012 and Jan 30, 2014.

Both of them were also charged with making a false declaration to a Commissioner for Oaths in Jalan Metro Pudu, off Jalan Yew, on July 25, 2014.
It is suspected that Chong and Hadenan flexed every muscle and invoke every connection they have in government and enforcement agencies to get Adrian and Larry charged in court for criminal offenses of cheating, CBT, and false declaration

This decision will have bearing on the civil suit. It was then believed that Adrian and Larry could win and the criminal charge was merely a delay tactic.

The site i3 raised the question in February 2017: 
“富达”还是“负达”,钱去哪儿呢?EPF买单?Protasco Bhd 2014 RM280m vs Q2'17 RM6m left. Money gone where, EPF pays?-NYBN
Apparently, talk is the cash rich company has dwindled to about RM6 million.

Market rumours was that Chong and his young sons were paid salary in the millions. Even the Directors too ere allegedly were getting RM3 million fee, and various perks a year for their loyalty. Someone will have to confirm this up.

The maintenance company for JKR from the privatisation of IKRAM was bandied about in the industry as having a business model based on Variation Order (VO).

They had their road maintenance contract extended for 10 years last year. And they bag a RM315 million highway job and RM50 million maintenance job in Terengganu.

It is odd to hear Chong claim things are looking up in 2018. Protasco is supposed to be well.

Market pundits are asking why the heck are they going into property development. And, most recent poser in is:
What is Protasco Bhd doing in Sri Lanka? Past record speaks. What do you think? - FiNews BursaLink

Something is not quite kosher or shall we say Halal? Nothing racist or Taliban as in the Muslim only  dhoby. Syariah-based institutional investors may need to know. It is not about the non-Muslim management but the suspicious non-halal way business is done. 

Will there be a change of fortune with Chong and some members of the Board in turn be charged with CBT, cheating and what not?

Chairman Hadenan was clearly biased against Adrian and Larry. He may have breached his fiduciary duties.

Get your pop corn ready ...

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