(Pasir Pinji, Wednesday): After the Cabinet meeting last
Wednesday, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir agreed that there was
some truth to the statement by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s
Department, Datuk Dr. Rais Yatim that government enforcement agencies had sat on
high-profile cases involving criminal breach of trust and other financial
improprieties and he promised to “look into them”.
Mahathir should present a White Paper
in Parliament on June 17 listing and
explaining the status report of police investigations into such outstanding
“high profile” cases which seemed to have gone nowhere -
whether Rais’ list of 21
outstanding high-profile cases or better still, a full list of the outcome of
all reports which had been lodged against Cabinet Ministers and Deputy Ministers
in the past decade.
The White Paper on “Outstanding
High-Profile Police Reports and Investigations” should also explain what has
happened to my police report in March last year on the Pension Trust Fund (KWAP)
taking up 273.86 million of the unsubscribed Time dotCom IPO shares for RM903.74
million as to whether there had been criminal breach of trust or
misappropriation of public funds to protect the interests of public funds as
well as the pensions and gratuity interests of 850,000 public servants.
Although more than a year has passed,
the government has not given a satisfactory accounting as to why the KWAP,
the second largest provident and pension fund in the country
after the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), became
a “Bail-out Fund” in March last year by
acquiring the lion’s share of 48 per cent of Time dotCom’s IPO
issue of 571.7 million shares or 63.9% of the unsubscribed IPO portion of 428.83
million shares, ploughing some six per cent of its total funds by taking up
273.86 million shares of the unsubscribed portion of the Time dotCom IPO at the
cost of M903.74 million.
The Time dotCom IPO was an utter flop,
with applications for only 142.86 million shares, or 25% of the total 571.7
million shares made available for public subscription. Excluding shares that
were privately placed or subject of restricted offer for sale, individual
investors applied for only 29.738 million shares or a mere pittance
of 5.2% of the total number of shares offered in the IPO.
This leaves the IPO with 428.83
million unsubscribed shares, for which KWAP took 63.9 per cent at the IPO price
of RM3.30 per share - which works out to the lion’s share of 48 per cent of
the entire Time domCom’s IPO of 571.7 million shares.
The use of public funds to bail out the
Time dotCom 75% IPO shortfall paying the IPO price of RM3.30 when the market had
been quite unanimous in expecting a sharp plunge of its price on its public
listing tantamounts to criminal negligence, criminal breach of trust and
criminal misapplication of public funds.
From the very first day of its public
debut in the stock market on March 12, 2001, Time dotCom had been on a daily
plunge, closing on the first day at RM2.43, the second day at RM2.28, the
third day at RM2.27, the fourth day
at RM2.17 and the fifth day at
As a result, KWAP had lost hundreds of
millions of ringgit in the disastrous decision to enable Renong and in particular Tan Sri Halim Saad to
laugh all the way to the bank cash-rich by RM900 million at the end of the Time
dotCom IPO exercise.
Since its listing, Time dotCom never
came near its IPO price of RM3.30. This year, for instance, the Kuala Lumpur
stock exchange experienced a rebound, the highest price chalked up by this
counter is RM2.67 as against the lowest price of RM2.20.
The closing price of Time dotCom on Monday was RM2.37, which works out to
a loss of over RM250 million in the KWAP investment.
In acting as a
“bailor-of-the-last-resort” for the Time dotCom IPO, by acquiring
63.9% of the unsubscribed IPO portion of 273.86 million Time dotCom shares for
RM904 million on March 1, 2001, and incurring hundreds of millions of ringgit of losses, KWAP had acted most imprudently and recklessly in disregard of its statutory charter to finance payments of pensions and gratuities for the 850,000 civil servants.
Under the Pension Trust Fund Act, the
Fund is administered by trustees known as the Pensions Trust Fund Council
comprising as chairman the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Finance and nine
other members including an officer each from the Treasury, Bank Negara,
Attorney-General’s Chambers, Accountant-General’s Department, Public
Services Department, the Employees Provident Fund and three other members with
business or financial experience.
The Accountant-General is responsible
for the day-to-day administration and management of the affairs of the Fund.
Article 16 of the Act stipulates that
the Fund’s annual audited account and annual report shall be laid before
Parliament, which KWAP had never complied.
This is a very serious “high
profile” case In view of the highest-level representation of the trustees,
with the Secretary-General of the Finance Ministry and the
Accountant-General both directly responsible for the management and investment
decisions of the KWAP.
Rais Yatim said on Sunday that that
information on the “hot cases” of criminal breach of trust would be made
known to the public soon.
He should clarify whether my police
report on the KWAP losing a quarter of a billion ringgit in recklessly investing
in Time dotCom is one of them.