In a shocking departure from normal practice one of BN’s top business cronies, Ananda Krishnan, has secured direct control of a series of Sarawak’s off-shore oil fields.
It makes his private company Pexco “one of the largest acreage holders in Malaysia”, according to its own CEO.
The astonishing development has placed the multi-billionaire (known for his close relationship with the former PM Mahathir Mohamad) in an unprecedented position to sub-contract to major oil companies.
Till now such negotiations have been strictly controlled by Petronas and not farmed out to intermediaries to cream off the profits, says industry watcher, Ganesh Sahathevan.
Official notices to mariners confirm that Pexco are already exploring the vast area.
They started conducting seismic surveys on the 4th May and have indicated they will continue for 80 days.
If Ananda Krishnan can identify the huge areas of oil and gas believed to be located there, it is likely he will then negotiate a lucrative partnership with one of the world’s main oil production companies to extract it.
This places him in a position to hijack a large amount of the revenue that would normally have gone to the state owned Petronas!
Privatising Sarawak’s oil into BN hands
Sean Guest – Chief Executive Officer of Pexco let out the information through his entry on LinkedIn!
This is not the first example of the privatising of Sarawak’s oil resources into the personal control of businessmen, who are known to be extremely close to top BN leaders.
It follows our recent revelation that one of Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud’s own key cronies, Tiong Hiew King, was likewise granted on-shore drilling rights in Sarawak late last year.
And it is highly disturbing that both these cosy deals were negotiated in secret behind closed doors and were not announced by the Malaysian government.
Taib last month complained in his closing address to the Sarawak State Parliament that it was untrue to claim that he could have had a hand in the awarding of the on-shore concession to Tiong, because such decisions are made federally through Petronas.
However, he neglected the point that for on-shore drilling the Sarawak Chief Minister has a blocking ability to withhold the drilling licence!
“Then when Petronas awarded a contract to a company within the Rimbunan Hijau Group, which was allegedly friendly to me, to explore oil and gas of Bintulu, I was accused for being involved in the award of that contract. As everyone knows Petronas is ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼not under my control or subject to my authority. Yet such frivolous accusations were made against me very much in defiant of what the truth was“[Taib complaining in Parliament over Sarawak Report's revelations 29th May - he failed to admit he does have the control to withhold the drilling permit].
Questions will now be inevitably raised about the political deals surrounding this latest departure of giving Mahathir’s own crony a similar opportunity, but off-shore where Taib holds no remit.
Has BN’s leadership started laying hands directly on what remains of Malaysia’s dwindling oil reserves?
Mysterious ‘junior’ company that has acquired Malaysia’s “largest acreage” of oil
Sarawak Report was alerted to this astonishing acquisition by the private company Pexco not by any official announcements by the Malaysian Government or indeed by Pexco, but rather by a CV on Linkedin!
Sean Guest, who is Chief Executive Officer of Pexco boasts that the company “is one of the largest acreage holders in Malaysia” in his personal CV.
From the horse’s mouth – the information that was never publicised by Petronas, whose top advisor is still the former PM Mahathir Mohamad.
According to Sean Guest, Pexco has acquired a staggering 25,000km2 in concession fields in the seas off Sarawak, none of which has been officially or openly announced.
For further information confirming Krishan’s ownership Pexco NV, which is an off-shore company registered in the Netherlands Antilles, we can look at other LinkedIn entries of Pexco employees!
Australian petroleum engineer Graham Bunn states that in working for Pexco NV he was ultimately working for Usaha Tegas, which is the Jersey registered company controlled by Krishnan
The former Chairman of Pexco, Norman Singer, further confirms that Pexco is the “natural resources division of Usaha Tegas”, Krishnan’s vast company based in the off shore tax haven of Jersey.
It is worth noting that official documents in third countries like America and Australia (where transparency is required in business dealings, unlike Malaysia) Pexco is referred to as an affiliate of Usaha Tegas, which implies that while the Ananda Krishnan company controls Pexco, it may not entirely own it.
Sarawak Report suggests that the people of Sarawak should be informed therefore as to whom exactly this concession for their off-shore reserves has gone. Who are all the shareholders of Pexco?
Given the information so far, there is a rightful concern that BN political leaders appear to be busily stuffing what remains of the country’s dwindling oil reserves into the pockets of their known business cronies and their off-shore registered businesses!
Mahathir’s unhealthy control over Petronas
The stealthy departure from the normal procedure of offering Petronas controlled oil contracts to major international producers is hard to justify in revenue terms for Malaysia.
Petronas’ traditional Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) are strictly controlled, allowing major oil companies to make competitive bids in return for around 30% of the oil they drill out. The rest is revenue for Malaysia.
However, there is doubt as to whether Pexco has sufficient experience to manage oil production directly, without itself hiring in one of the major oil producers to carry out the main job.
The company’s own Chief Finance Officer, William Deertz, points to this in yet another Linked In entry, in which he describes Pexco as a ‘Junior’ oil company. This means it habitually conducts preliminary oil explorations and then calls in bigger companies to act in joint ventures to actually produce the oil.
If Pexco is merely a ‘Junior’ oil company why has Petronas handed it the keys to one of the largest oil exploration areas in Malaysia, off Sarawak’s coast? Why is Petronas itself not dealing with the contract rather than allowing this Malaysian business crony of ex-PM Mahathir Mohamad to slip in between?
The often relied upon argument is the benefit of giving contracts to home grown ‘Malaysians’. But at Pexco the top people are still clearly foreign, apart from the owners.
This development draws further attention to the continuing influence of Mahathir over the management of Petronas, which is perhaps the greatest outstanding scandal attached to BN’s management of Malaysia.
It was already a scandal that the Petronas accounts, which are by far the country’s greatest source of revenue, should have been kept secret only for the eyes of the Prime Minister/Finance Minister.
But at least this fellow is elected, whether to be trusted or not. But, once Mahathir was no longer elected or in government he had no business to be involved in any way in these matters.
To the contrary, the ex PM has stayed as the ‘Consultant’ to Petronas ever since. He commands a great big office in its vainglorious headquarters in KL, and by all accounts he still dominates the decisions of this crucial public company.
The excuse was that this should be an advisory position offered to the past PMs. However, Badawi came and went and Mahathir is still sitting there, controlling the key financial asset of the nation – in secret.
If there is nothing to hide, be transparent
Ananda Krishnan’s friendship with Mahathir, struck up when they both took refuge in London, was the path to his subsequent riches – now he has been granted much of Sarawak’s oil wealth.
It has frequently been observed that BN run Malaysia as their own private business, as if the politicians held personal ownership of the state.
In which case it appears that Mahathir has merely given up the public face of politics, so that he can concentrate on the core business aspect that is worth hundreds of billions of ringgit.
If this is not the case, then it is time that both the shrunken old men of Malaysian politics, Taib and Mahathir, came clean and explained how it is their key business cronies have emerged as vast private concession holders over great chunks of Sarawak’s oil reserves?
Modern Malaysians should not have to resort to Linked In to discover how an unelected past Prime Minister is allocating their natural resources!
All five political aides to Datuk Seri Najib Razak will be dropped from office for purportedly putting their interests above the prime minister’s in what is seen as a move to axe the deadwood weighing down his office ahead of Umno elections this year, Barisan Nasional (BN) sources have told The Malaysian Insider.
Handpicked to run in the May 5 polls, Datuk Latt Shariman Abdullah, Datuk Shahlan Ismail, Datuk Mohd Shafei Abdullah, Datuk Mohamad Fatmi Che Salleh and Datuk Mohamed Suffian Awang have come under attack from Umno bloggers and pro-establishment critics following their embarrassing defeat in the 13th general election.
The five had been seen by Najib’s “war room” strategists as having the best chances to give a fillip to the ruling BN in its bid to regain the coalition’s two-thirds supermajority in Parliament lost since Election 2008.
But Umno bloggers have blasted Najib for allowing his aides to contest in the polls, arguing variously that the five men had little grassroots support in their constituencies.
BN ultimately won 133 seats in the 222-member Dewan Rakyat and Umno, the coalition lynchpin, took 88 federal seats in Election 2013 ― up nine from 2008.
But several party veterans have blamed the party and BN’s lacklustre performance on Najib’s “war room” strategists, and hinted that the prime minister might be shown the door if he does not remove his strategists for their bad advice.
Najib’s two special officers, Shahlan and Latt Shariman, were beaten by PAS candidates in Kedah although BN succeeded in snatching back the rice-farming state from the PR pact.
Shahlan lost by 3,935 votes to PAS vice-president Datuk Mahfuz Omar in the Pokok Sena federal seat while Latt Shariman was defeated by PAS’s Mohd Nasir Mustafa by a 1,044-vote majority in the Kubang Rotan state seat.
Mohd Shafei, who is Najib’s political secretary in the Finance Ministry, lost to PKR’s Datuk Dr Tan Tee Kwong by a 5,511-vote margin in the fight for a seat in the Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory, which was significantly bigger than the 2008 results.
Two other special officers, Mohamad Fatmi Mohamed Suffian, were also trounced in the contest for Kota Baru and Kuantan respectively.
The culling of the losers is the first sign of Najib’s seriousness in ridding himself of his advisors, many of whom have been blamed for misreading the ground ahead of the closely-fought election.
The BN “war room” had been tasked with selecting the candidates and advising various strategies to win the polls.
It counted Rompin MP Datuk Seri Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis, Putra World Trade Centre chairman Datuk Seri Dr Alies Anor Abdul, Petronas director Omar Mustapha Ong, Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor, party information chief Datuk Ahmad Maslan and former Terengganu mentri besar Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh as among its members.
The war room had stuck to its prediction of BN winning between 145 and 150 federal seats and also getting back Selangor in Election 2013 although some senior BN leaders were privately doubtful of the figures.
And by noon on Polling Day, the war room had issued its “white list” of 118 federal seats it was sure to win, but some like Pasir Mas, Shah Alam and Lembah Pantai were lost, which some Umno divisional leaders said reflected the disconnect between the leadership and the ground.
The country’s sixth prime minister is also under pressure from Umno to distance himself from his “war room” planners, namely Alies Anor, Omar and Jamaluddin, a party insider had told The Malaysian Insider.
Several disgruntled east Malaysian MPs met with veteran Umno lawmaker Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah last night to discuss their positions after not getting anything for their wins in the closely-fought Election 2013, pointing to a lengthening line-up to rattle Najib after he won his first personal mandate with fewer seats than his predecessor Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
Analysts and other political observers have said that Najib’s leadership of Umno may be challenged in the party polls due year end, which could also unravel his hold over the 13-party BN coalition and undermine his default position as prime minister.
BN VIEWPOINT IF Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his band of crony members of parliament are adamant that boycotting the opening day of the new Dewan Rakyat meeting reinforces his scandalous cause that the 13th General Election was rigged, the only thing left to say is: go ahead.
Already, Anwar's fib that GE13 was rigged has been denounced by Dr Chandra Muzaffar, among others. Rightly, Anwar's boycott proposal has been lambasted by government leaders but if the PKR de facto leader and probable house opposition leader insists on going ahead, then it is only right that he be buttressed with all the encouragement for his unprecedented, self-imposed proscription.
As a matter of fact, the government might just be comfortable with the idea of an absentee Anwar, plus a handful loyalist MPs who follow him around like he was the Pied Piper. Why not? Fewer troublesome sessions by virtue of less theatrics and stunts that Anwar is capable of remonstrating.
Here's what Anwar will be burdened with if he doesn't take his oath as MP: he obviously cannot sit inside the house let alone debate, submit questions, raise supplementary questions, lob big ticket issues, attack/counter-attack ministers or backbenchers or defend himself from all kinds of charges.
He may be allowed to loiter in the expanse of the Parliament lobby, giving one ludicrous press conference after another day after day on why he needs to debate his cause outside the house instead of inside it.
A boycott forces people's attention on Anwar's ponderous whining about not taking over Putrajaya and seeing his fantasy of becoming prime minister vanish. (Oops, it already has, but Anwar still doesn't get it.)
It might even earn him brownie points with his backers and put a disconcerting spotlight on Anwar's fantastical claim that 40,000 foreigners were flown into Malaysia - if it was at all logistically possible - to cast illegal votes.
Everyone now knows why Anwar has entered into this political black hole: there is no turning back for him because that would mean being sucked into oblivion, and that won't do for his political nihilism because he must be the centre of attention that all crises must start and end with.
It's true that Malaysian realpolitik has been on steroids since Anwar's 1998 sacking as deputy prime minister and that politicking went into unchartered territories, but at the expense of political stability and economic prosperity, the kind of positive environment countries like Spain and Greece will kill for.
Anwar turns to his real talent -- hyping his worth as a "leader" in times of bedlam and uncertainty, never mind his moral character that gets turned on by the bully pulpit in rallying or intoxicating people into executing the absurd.
His years as deputy prime minister were skewed towards building a nest of cronies and controlling mainstream media.
So, on the greater scheme of things, Anwar's big ticket rallies nationwide, including one in Padang Merbok in Kuala Lumpur on June 22, is designed to parade him on a moveable mosh pit that will be participated by those double-faced leaders from DAP and Pas, who have moved on and accepted the results but still unable to resist the spectacle of adoring crowds.
Anwar is playing a bluff in lathering a cause embarrassing to his ragtag opposition axis who have accepted that election fraud complaints must be addressed in the election courts, not grandstanding through mass rallies or a boycott.
However, Anwar knows all this, so he plays the bluff by not taking the oath on Dewan Rakyat's first day but will do so within six months, otherwise he forfeits his seat to force a by-election.
On the other hand, he might just love that by-election while taking advantage of its obvious loophole that gives an edge to the manipulator.
On the balance of advantages, Anwar will lose but damn if he cares for the implication or if his constituents suffer at being "unrepresented".
23 farmers of a village in Tumpat, Kelantan have lodged a police report against the local chairman of the Federal government-controlled Development and Security Village Committees (JKKKP) after they were denied agricultural subsidies.
Their spokesman Mat Daud Mat Ail said that chairman of Kampung Bendang Pak Yong's JKKKP, through which the Federal government channels Kelantan's share of Federal development funds, has refused to approve the farmers' subsidy application by signing on their forms.
The refusal meant that the farmers who are supporters of Pakatan Rakyat would be denied the government aid.
According to Mohd Zaki Ibrahim, state assemblyman for Kelaburan, the subsidies were for paddy fertilisers and those involving ploughing and sales of paddy.
“If JKKKP does not sign on their forms, these farmers who support Pakatan Rakyat cannot get aid," he said.
Zaki however said other farmers who were already given aid would still find it difficult to undertake their activities if the 23 affected farmers could not work on their fields.
He also urged BN's Pengkalan Kubur state assemblyman Nor Zahidi Omar to attend to the problems urgently without involving politics.
Kampung Bendang Pak Yong's village head Mohd Azmi Ibrahim meanwhile expressed fears that other farmers in the village will be penalised for their political loyalties.
The development follows the Terengganu state government's recent open declaration not to channel public funds to state constituencies won by PR in the recent polls. Similarly, deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin said the government would give greater assistance to races who had supported the BN in the last polls.
BN leaders have claimed that a 'Chinese tsunami' caused the coalition to lose more seats this time, although analysts concluded that the losses were due to a 'urban tsunami' against BN candidates.
IPOH: MIC has urged the relevant authorities to take swift and decisive actions following a brutal attack on a man by a group of mat rempits in Simpang Pulai two days ago.
B. Pathmaraj, 28, is currently in coma at the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital here.
The technician is currently placed on life-support machines.
MIC Youth secretary C. Sivarraajh said the incident was a serious matter.
"This is not the first time such an incident had happened, and it should not be taken lightly.
"Due to the seriousness of the situation, I have personally been in contact with the police, which are in the early stages of the investigation," he said.
"We hope there will be no delays or obstacles to the process of due justice.
"Hopefully, with the aid of security cameras and other methods, the culprits will be dealt with as soon as possible," he added.
Sivarraajh also told reporters that the MIC would be actively supporting the family throughout their ordeal.
"We will be constantly be in touch with the victim's family and we will help them in any way that we can," he noted.
It was reported that Pathmaraj was attacked in the early hours of Sunday morning along Jalan Raja Di Hilir, leaving him with serious injuries to the head.
The victim and his friends had stopped at a traffic light after having a drink, when a large gang abruptly surrounded the car they were travelling in.
The group of youths demanded Pathmaraj and his friends to handover their cell phones, before returning with a larger gang to demand more valuables.
When the victim refused, the gang began to vandalise the car, jumping on the roof and breaking the car's windows.
Pathmaraj then attempted to escape from the vehicle, where he was caught and beaten mercilessly by the gang.
It was reported that Pathmaraj was attacked in the early hours of Sunday morning along Jalan Raja Di Hilir, leaving him with serious injuries to the head.
IPOH: A non-governmental organisation (NGO) here has called for Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir and MIC president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel to sit down and settle the spat between them.
Persatuan Warga Prihatin Perak chairman V. Subramaniam said nothing would be solved by both parties issuing statements through the media.
He also said individuals or groups that were unhappy with Palanivel's statements should stay out of the matter.
"The party president was merely exercising his right to speak out and those who are unhappy with his statements should keep quiet.
"It is up to Zambry to welcome or reject Palanivel's statement," he said.
Speaking at a press conference here today, Subramaniam said Palanivel, as an elected president of MIC, had the right to speak up as MIC had been around since Merdeka days.
"Please respect Palanivel as the party president," he urged.
He said rather than criticising Palanivel, they should look into problems faced by the Indian community like citizenship and social problems.
"That will be more meaningful than to openly fight for positions," he noted.
Subramaniam also ticked off Batu Gajah member of parliament V. Sivakumar for his condescending statement against Palanivel which accused the Cameron Highlands member of parliament of begging for positions.
"I would like to remind the esteemed MP that he got his Speaker position when Pakatan Rakyat was in power after a DAP Indian leader threatened to resign from the party," he said.
Subramaniam's statements came in the heels of statement by Palanivel who was reported to have threatened to reject all government posts in Perak if the state government refused to award the speaker's post to one of its party leaders.
He had said MIC would reject its appointments to the posts of special officer and adviser to the menteri besar.
His statement had received brickbats from Perak Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club chairman Datuk Mohd Khusairi Abdul Talib, who said it was unbecoming of Palanivel, as president of a BN component party, to issue such a threat.
WESLEY Warren's pain threshold has well and truly been test-ed.
The 48-year-old from Las Vegas is the former owner of a testicle weighing 100lb and stars in a new documentary about the struggles of having a seven-stone scrotum.
The eye-watering programme gives a unique insight into his daily battles (including having to urinate on himself and wear hoodies as underwear), and follows him as he faces a life-or-death operation to get his body back.
We learn how his testicle became so big, what it's like carrying round the heavy load and feel a glimmer of his gland pain as he goes through 13 hours on the operating table.
The condition, known as scrotal lymphedema, had grown giant-sized in less than two years and landed him on the Howard Stern Show and Comedy Central.
Now recovering from having most of it removed in a nursing home in California, Wesley said of his new-found freedom downstairs: "My body is acclimatising. Enough cannot be said for fans that helped me.
"I'm still not able to get around much and enjoy driving or going to dinner.
"But I intend to make up for it and treat myself to a truly fabulous meal and enjoy relaxing for at least a few days.
"It's all part of the pathetic life one has to deal with trying to recuperate from such a devastating handicap."