The same day Tun Daim delivered a personal letter from the Prime Minister to his China counterpart, Li Keqiang and it was the same day Lim Guan Eng sabotaged the meeting.
On top of getting friendly parties to question Daim's role as representative of PM and Chairman of CEP, speculation was Guan Eng got Tommy Thomas to direct MACC to raid China's CCCC office in Kuala Lumpur that morning itself.
It is believed that Daim was negotiating with Jho Loh at the time, and he was to be China's "bargaining chip" in the ECRL negotiations.
Guan Eng's sabotage did not make Tun Dr Mahathir's visit in August memorable and beneficial. Worsen by Mahathir's insinuation of China as "new version of colonialism" with his comment of free trade versus fair trade.
Mahathir made Guan Eng lose face by publicly announcing Daim the exclusivity to negotiate with China. Guan Eng may agree Daim as the better person, but it does not mean he will take it laying down.
Guan Eng is vengeful and retaliatory in nature. He could sabotage Daim's on-going negotiation with China on the ECRL. This time it could be done on the oil palm negotiation with China.
Arrogant, stubborn and uncouth
The arrogant, stubborn and uncouth Guan Eng will not admit he was rude and condescending to China's first attempt to reach out to the new government.
After GE14, Chinese NGO delegates as arranged by local Chinese businessmen came to pay respect.
Guan Eng berated them of China's dealings with the previous government. After a while, the delegates lost their patiance and told him off, "We know about Taiwan".
Immediately, Guan Eng's face was glowing red.
That incident resulted in him being left out of Mahathir's entourage during last year's China visit. There was also talk then that his visa for China was rejected.
So Raja Petra's retracted revelation of Guan Eng and Tony Pua being told off by Jack Ma make a lot of sense.
It would be no surprise China requested Mahathir to formally announce Guan Eng will not represent Malaysia to negotiate with China.
China is teaching Guan Eng a lesson and it may not be enough to have him reluctantly expressed Malaysia's commitment to BRI.
Penang tunnel return
Guan Eng is not in the comfortable position to retaliate openly to all this shameful actions against him. Raja Petra's revelation of MACC's IP could make investigation of the Penang tunnel conveniently expedited.
The Speaker of Dewan Rakyat could hold off the tunnel issue from being debated in Parliament with the excuse the issues are sourced from media and portals.
Did the then opposition not debate on 1MDB issues based on WSJ, The Edge and Sarawak Report?
Guan Eng's insecurity and restless is enough for the Malaysian public to conclude the tunnel is his 1MDB and Jalan Pinhorn is his SRC.
From then till today, public discussion is being directed towards the consultancy paid by Penang state government, cost to build new highways, Dato Zarul Ahmad of Consortium Zenith-BCUG pay-offs, and exchanged land that still need be reclaimed.
Money trail still need be done. Evidence need gathered, especially the one involving moneygame MBI International.
The more damaging part had been left out. Media did not give sufficient coverage on the lower hanging fruit, which is the land reclaimed, developed and properties already sold by Ewein Berhad!
Who took the money?
It is believed that 5 Penang DAP politicians were recipients; namely, Guan Eng as former CM, Chow Koon Yeow as former exco and current CM, P Ramasamy as Deputy CM, Dato Malik "Itik" bin Abdul Rahman, former exco and current Chairman of MAIPP and Lim Hock Seng.
Thus far, only Nazri Aziz name was mentioned by media from the UMNO side but he is not in any position of authority and could get away as political contribution.
It is believed two former UMNO Ministers are implicated.
The bulk of the money to Dato Gnarajah was initially thought to be for Dato Azeez Raheem and being his usual self to sell ma'am's name.
Azeez denied immediately and at the same time then, pictures were circulating of Gnarajah seen with Guan Eng in a car together and Guan Eng at his home.
MACC has caught up with Gnarajah and Guan Eng is hot under the collar.
MBI International could implicate recent crossover from UMNO to PPBM, former KPDNKK Minister, Dato Hamzah Zainuddin. He was suspiciously too eager to get the frozen money of MBI International released.
It is heard the China contractor involved with the Penang tunnel told MACC investigators that they were not genuine contractor for the project but being paid fee without any work done to merely use their name to give credibility.
No wonder Guan Eng is restless and nervous of China.
It was exposed in 2017 that the contractor to gain from the Penang tunnel was a retail apparel company, Voir Holdings Berhad.
Voir was switching business to construction by taking up a stake in Consortium Zenith Construction Sdn Bhd, the SPV for the RM6.3 billion Penang integrated infrastructure project.
In January 2018, they denied direct involvement in the project. There is no money in JV unless one gets sub-contract.
Prior to GE14, Voir (renamed as Vertice Berhad) secured a RM218 road upgrade contract from Gambang to Segamat.
The BN lost in May 2018 was a landslide for Vertice. They were awarded RM815 million project in the Penang Mega Infrastructure project at the end of January 2019.
Earlier, they secured a RM100 million subcontract for LRT3. This is despite them losing a RM340 million SUKE contract in September 2018.
Despite MACC raid on the company, Vertice MD Dato Wong Kwai Wah told the business media in October last year that he has confidence and ready to move on. It is still subject to further investigation to confirm, but it is glaring suspicion that Guan Eng has interest in Vertice.
Last week, Vertice announced to Bursa that JKR had terminated the Gambang to Segamat project. No reason was mentioned, but talk in the market is that Vertice is in financial problem.
Apparently, banks refrain from lending to them. The only information heard is that it was due to link with MBI International and the recent revival of tunnel project issue.
Couldn't pin Daim
At the initial stage, there may have been Tun Daim's involvement in the Penang tunnel project. But, he pulled out upon sensing something was fishy.
One of the yet to be reclaimed land belongs to E&O and Tan Sri Wan Azmi has re-appeared as main shareholder.
Wan Azmi benefited immensely from the revised price Selangor givernment bought back SPLASH. It is said Daim has interest in SPLASH but not E&O. Guan Eng has nothing to pin Daim on.
Guan Eng is buying time before his cases blow over. China is a sword of democles above him suspended by a strand of hair. Either a new government come to power GE15 or Mahathir's PPBM has a stronghold on power, Guan Eng is gone.
Guan Eng has to seize on the local Chinese sentiment against the entry of China businesses into Malaysia. China investors prefer to deal and partner with Malays. Its a long history of viewing overseas Chinese as rebels.
Local Chinese could not compete with the bigger, stronger and long play Chinese. It will weaken their stronghold on the economy.
Daim announced that ECRL will be finalised by April. There is not much time left. Already, one could see another "raid" happening on China companies.
SC that fall under auspices of MOF reprimanded three China-based PLCs for submitting false financial statements to Bursa.
MITI, whose Deputy Minister, Ong Kian Meng, was initially with Tony Pua at MOF to assist Guan Eng, initiated anti-dumping probe against China companies..
Oil palm sabotage
From the chart above, oil palm prices have recovered from its low several months ago.
But, there seemed to be a deliberate attempt by The Edge and The Star to talk the prices down. Whats the big deal about a 3% drop is oil palm prices? Thats practically unchanged!
Since EU's persistence to ban oil palm, there have been spark of optimism in the market from China's reduced use of soybean meal and demand for green fuel.
In early March, there was intent from China to increase oil palm purchase by 50% for Malaysia to export 1.62 million tonnes. The Chinese uptake would increase by 500,000 tonnes a year.
Robert Kuok will play a major role and it has been criticised as CEP member taking advantage of their position.
Defenders of Kuok claimed it is his last national service for Malaysia. Wilmar is the only outfit that has the storage capacity to handle the size. He may be committing some RM6-7 billion to buy from Malaysia at a time he could source it cheaper from Indonesia.
The oil plam deal is expected to be part of the offset program to pay for the ECRL A similar deal was recently inked with Russians in exchange for arms.
Daim's negotiation with China is crucial for the new government and more importantly, Malaysia and some 2 million Malaysians involved in oil palm and rubber industry, from industry players, employees, estate workers and smallholders.
Situation is desperate as it is known that farmers are returning back to 1960s income.
After deduction for debt repayment, in which new government failed to deliver the promise Felda settlers old debts written off, settlers are left with income of less than RM300 a month.
Guan Eng announced allowance for settlers will be paid, but the complain is that money has not been received. After 10 months in power, rubber tappers in Sabah are not getting their BMT allowance.
If Guan Eng repeat the same sabotage, it confirms another character of his that is widely known but need be mentioned more. He lack empathy to Malaysians beyond his own race.
When peoples' stomach are hungry, there could be people uprising and public unrest. That does not seem to bother him.
Guan Eng and Tony Pua is too fanatics with their Malaysian Malaysia version of socialism and equality. To stubborn and heartless to bother to know of the realism on the ground.
* Edited and updated: 1/4 8:00 AM