More than meets the eye

Apparently, some parties are trumpeting the story about Adviser to 1MDB Tan Sri Dr. Abdul Samad Alias quitting after six months for “Not getting any briefing” and inadvertently, it is providing the additional perception salt to the wound.

The Star story:

Published: Tuesday September 8, 2015 MYT 8:28:00 AM
Updated: Tuesday September 8, 2015 MYT 9:38:18 AM

Nazir Razak raises concern over 1MDB adviser’s resignation

CIMB Chairman Dato’ Seri Nazir Razak

BY RAHMAH GHAZALI

PETALING JAYA: The resignation of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) adviser Tan Sri Dr Abdul Samad Alias has raised the concern of Datuk Seri Nazir Razak (pic).

“Respected, honest, professional appointed by the Govt and welcomed by the Chairman with fanfare.

“But denied access to information by management. If this is true and tolerated, what message does it send to other GLC’s/agencies?” asked the CIMB Group chairman in his Instagram account, Tuesday.

Dr Abdul Samad had reportedly said he resigned as the advisory board member of 1MDB after more than six months into the job.

Addressing the International Conference on Governance, Risk and Control on Monday, he said he quit his position because months of repeated requests for a briefing on 1MDB affairs were never entertained.

“I was appointed as an advisory panel member for 1MDB on January 2015,” he was quoted as saying by a news portal.

He then requested for a briefing on 1MDB’s affairs, particularly on its profits and losses, which he claimed he never was given the access to.

He said he tendered his resignation on July 29.

1MDB, in a statement Monday, said it fully respected Dr Abdul Samad’s decision.

“Whilst we very much regret his departure, we fully respect his decision and wish him all the best in his future endeavours,” the statement said.

It added that the 1MDB board of directors and shareholders would remain focused on implementation of its rationalisation plan.

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Dr. Samad said that he joined 1MDB as Adviser to the BoD on 29 January 2015. Most likely he was appointed by the decision at PMO level and it is believed that he was brought in to opine on strategic review and rationalisation plan.

In the conference yesterday, he also claimed that he asked for the briefing on information pertaining the financial position of 1MDB; balance sheet, profit and loss and the works.

We are not sure the request for the briefing was made to 1MDB BoD, Management, external auditors or those who appointed him as the Adviser.

However, what is certain Dr. Samad was both sitting on the Investment Advisory Panel to TH and 1MDB when TRX and TH was in their final leg of the discussion and negotiation for the acquisition of the 67,954 sq. ft. parcel earmarked for residential with the Tun Razak Exchange development.

It also believed that Dr. Samad was the Chairman of the BoD of Tadmax Resources Bhd. where 1MDB acquired the parcels in Pulau Indah, Selangor and  Air Itam land in Penang island.

The Oldest English Daily story:

Tadmax land deal with 1MDB settled, report confirms

Thursday July 2, 2015
10:03 AM GMT+8

KUALA LUMPUR, July 2 ― Tadmax Resources Bhd has settled the sale of a parcel of land in Pulau Indah to a unit of state-owned 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Tadmax completed the deal with Ivory Merge Sdn Bhd ― a wholly owned subsidiary of 1MDB ― after having secured requisite approval for land partitioning and the issuance of the separate document title of the land on June 26, according to The Edge today.

“The parties have mutually agreed that the proposed disposal is duly completed on June 30, 2015,” Tadmax was cited as saying in a filing with Bursa Malaysia yesterday.

The announcement also stated that payment of the balance of the purchase consideration will be made by Ivory Merge once it completes verification of the land, final accounts and completion documents by the end of July at the latest.

Debt-riddled 1MDB announced on June 30 that it has received “significant” proposals to buy two large parcels of land in Selangor and Penang even as critics question the state-owned investment’s purchase of them.

In a statement, 1MDB chief executive Arul Kanda Kandasamy said the Cabinet had been informed of the company’s intention to “monetise” its land in Pulau Indah, Selangor and Air Itam, Penang through joint ventures or outright sales on February 15 this year.

“I am pleased to update that we have received significant expressions of interest in both land parcels.

“Accordingly, 1MDB intends to appoint an independent real estate consultant to assist in reviewing the various proposals,” he said Tuesday.

The Edge, however, queried Arul Kanda’s announcement yesterday, saying the status of the 310-acre Pulau Indah land remained unclear and that there has not been any news of 1MDB finalising the RM294.378 million price to buy the plot from Tadmax Resources Bhd.

1MDB’s announcement came after opposition MP Tony Pua questioned the real estate deals, in particular the 310-acre land in Pulau Indah the company bought for RM282 million from Tadmax Resources Bhd, after securing a US$150-million (RM540 million) loan from Export Import (EXIM) Bank.

The DAP MP has suggested that the transaction was a front to bail out troubled government-linked companies, pointing out that Tadmax was formerly known as Wijaya Baru Global Bhd before November 2013, and that Wijaya was known for its involvement in the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal.

– See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/tadmax-land-deal-with-1mdb-settled-report-confirms#sthash.jbX2xIoT.dpuf

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Probably, there could be some degree of issues which suggest the conflict of interest that have arisen and it is the right move made by Dr. Samad to withdraw. After all, Dr. Samad is someone very revered in the accounting profession, having served both as President of MICPA and MIA.

Highly probable also, CIMB Chairman Dato’ Seri Nazir Razak should analyse the facts, history and do a bit of homework first before exercising his skill of the gift of the gab. Otherwise, it makes him lesser of a professional and closer to become a politician.

*Updated 1530hrs

Press statement by 1MDB pertaining to the resignation of Dr. Samad

Media statement by 1Malaysia Development Berhad

Issued on 8 September 2015
For immediate publication

Further clarification on resignation of Tan Sri Datuk Dr. Abdul Samad Haji Alias from 1MDB Board of Advisors

Further to the announcement issued yesterday by 1MDB on this matter, we regret to note that today, third parties such as Datuk Seri Nazir Razak, who have no direct knowledge of the facts, are issuing speculative opinions on certain statements made on 7 September 2015 by Tan Sri Samad Alias, a former member of the 1MDB Board of Advisors.

1MDB can confirm that our President & Group Executive Director, Arul Kanda, personally met Tan Sri Samad in January and March 2015 to discuss the company’s affairs. Amongst other information, Arul Kanda shared with Tan Sri Samad details of the 1MDB strategic review and rationalisation plan. This included a slide presentation which showed the extent of future debt and interest obligations of the company, and a discussion on proposals to address the key issues facing the company.

As for access to the 1MDB audited financials, these are publicly available documents. 1MDB would most definitely have been able to share these with Tan Sri Samad had such a request been made, or indeed repeatedly made, as claimed by Tan Sri Samad. Tan Sri Samad has the contact details of various 1MDB Board members, including the mobile phone number of Mr. Arul Kanda. However, 1MDB did not receive any “repeated requests” for information as claimed by Tan Sri Samad.

It is, however, important to 1MDB that we properly address the concerns raised by Tan Sri Samad. In addition to regularly issuing public updates on the progress of the 1MDB rationalisation plan, the 1MDB Board of Directors has today sent a letter to Tan Sri Samad to seek a meeting with him to discuss and clarify any outstanding concerns. We further reiterate our appreciation to Tan Sri Samad for his earlier input and support of the company.

Published in: on September 8, 2015 at 11:00  Comments (9)