Isu Metramac - pekong siapa terbuka?
Laporan media New Straits Times Malaysia
Isu Metramac membuka banyak persoalan yang menunjukkan beberapa kepincangan bukan sahaja pada sistem tetapi kepada pengurusan sistem khususnya penglibatan kepimpinan politik. Isu - isu yang timbul dalam Metramac sebenarnya banyak membuka pekong kerajaan memerintah ketika itu dan isu pokok yang harus kita tanya, apakah dalam era kepimpinan Pak Lah sudah ada "perubahan."
Kes membuka penglibatan golongan Melayu yang kononnya bijak berniaga tetapi hakikatnya mereka mungkin merupakah proksi kepada orang - orang yang mempunyai kuasa. Ini juga menunjukkan bahawa Melayu bukan sahaja bersaing dengan bangsa lain dalam perniagaan tetapi bersaing dengan kepimpinan yang mengkhianati amanah yang diberikan.
Apakah perkara seperti ini harus didiamkan sahaja atau BPR harus membuka langkah segera dalam menangani bukan sahaja isu ini malah berbagai isu lain yang melibatkan rasuah. klik sini untuk memberi pendapat.
'They took RM32m'
V. Anbalagan PUTRAJAYA, Fri
V. Anbalagan PUTRAJAYA, Fri
Prominent businessmen Datuk Halim Saad and Anuar Othman siphoned RM32.5 million from a toll operator. By doing so, they could have been flirting with an aggravated form of criminal breach of trust, an offence which carries a maximum 20-year jail term with whipping and fine upon conviction.
This was the damning finding of the Court of Appeal which ordered Metramac Corporation Sdn Bhd to pay about RM65 million to a construction company in compensation for loss of advertising rights. The court ruled on the case yesterday but released its written judgment today. Judge Datuk Gopal Sri Ram also ordered Metramac to pay Fawziah Holdings Sdn Bhd all proceeds to be received under future contract. The case involved Datuk Fawziah Abdul Karim and her mother Maimon Bee, who were directors and shareholders of Syarikat Teratai K.G. Sdn Bhd, now known as Metramac.
In July 1986, Fawziah succeeded in obtaining a tender to design, construct and operate the privatisation of a number of roads, including one in Jalan Cheras. But toll collection was suspended in September 1990 after a demonstration at the Cheras toll plaza. As a result, compensation of RM764 million was payable by Kuala Lumpur City Hall to STKG. The then Finance Minister Tun Daim Zainuddin told the shareholders that the Government did not have money to compensate them. STKG was then bought over by Metro Juara for RM97.5 million. Halim and Anuar were the shareholders of Metro Juara. After this transaction, the Federal Government suddenly found the funds to compensate Metro Juara, or Metramac as it was known then.
Sri Ram said: "You may well ask how all this could have happened without the direct involvement of Tun Daim. It is also incomprehensible why the defendant, as it was constituted immediately before the takeover by Metro Juara, was not given this same financial support by the Federal Government."
He noted that at least two of the pre-takeover shareholders were either Government concerns or Government-assisted concerns. "I think that it is a fair question to ask why taxpayers’ money was channeled into the hands of two private individuals — to profit them — instead of a wider section of the general public. "It is not at all clear why the Minister of Finance used his power to favour Anuar Othman and Datuk Halim Saad."
For completeness, Sri Ram noted that Halim and Anuar had siphoned from the defendant’s account RM32.5 million. He said that he had asked the lawyer representing the company how this could have happened. "His reply was stupefying," Sri Ram said in his 52-page judgment. The judge said the counsel had submitted that Anuar and Halim, as shareholders paid this sum into Metramac’s account and were now reimbursing themselves.
"This answer overlooks the most elementary principle of company law," Sri Ram said, adding that shareholders of a company had no interest, legal or equitable, in the assets of their company. He said it was clearly wrong to treat even a private limited company with only two shareholders any different from any other company.
Sri Ram said an intentional misappropriation of such a company’s property, moveable or immoveable was a criminal breach of trust. He added if the misappropriation was done by directors as was the case here, it was an aggravated form of CBT.
"I must therefore be forgiven if I were to look askance at the counsel’s rationale for what was done in this case," he said.
Lawyers contacted by the New Straits Times today said that enforcement agencies can open an investigation based on a court’s decision.