Isnin, 17 Ogos 2015

Misteri 1MDB dan telaga minyak Terengganu: sejauh mana kemungkinannya? (Bahagian 1)





oleh Wan Ahmad Fayhsal

Baru-baru ini bekas Menteri Besar Terengganu, Datuk Seri Ahmad Said (Mat Said) telah bersumpah atas nama Allah bahawa dana pelaburan negeri Terengganu iaitu Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA) yang telah dibawa ke persekutuan dan ditukar nama menjadi 1MDB pada hujung 2009 telah berhajat untuk cagarkan telaga minyak di perairan Terengganu untuk meraih dana hutang buat 1MDB.

Adakah ianya sesuatu yang berasas? Nampaknya memang ada asas seperti yang dilaporkan oleh Bloomberg pada 20 Mei 2009:


Nama Casey Tang yang tertera dalam laporan Bloomberg tersebut kini adalah salah seorang yang dicari oleh Bank Negara bagi membantu siasatan 1MDB.


Seperti yang tertera pada tajuk, ketika itu nama 1MDB masih belum timbul secara rasmi dan masih dikenali sebagai TIA. Shahrol Halmi yang merangkap sebagai Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif (CEO) TIA [selepas itu beliau turut sama menjadi CEO 1MDB] telah terang-terang menyatakan cadangan untuk menerbitkan kertas hutang Islami (Islamic bond) yang telah dipakejkan menjadi produk sekuriti (securitized) yang bersandarkan royalti minyak. 

Cadangan kertas hutang tersebut seperti dilaporkan Bloomberg yang telah menemuramah wakil TIA, adalah gabungan dua bentuk kertas hutang: 

(1) kertas hutang Islami yang hayat matangnya (maturity date) memakan masa 30 tahun.   
(2) produk sekuriti yang bersandarkan royalti minyak. Kedua-duanya berjumlah RM 11 bilion.

Walaubagaimanapun TIA hanya terbitkan (1) kertas hutang Islami, 30-tahun, bernilai RM 5 bilion atau lebih dikenali sebagai Islamic Medium Term Note (IMTN). Cadangan untuk produk sekuriti royalti minyak nampaknya tidak dibuat.


Snapshot daripada Almanac Bon Malaysia menunjukkan kod TIA IMTN yang kini diletakkan di bawah kelolaan 1MDB. Masih berjalan.



Snapshot daripada laporan Aminvestment yang menjadi pengurus kepada TIA IMTN tersebut yang telah diterbitkan dalam beberapa bahagian (tranches).



Sebelum kita teroka lebih lanjut dakwaan bekas MB Terengganu tersebut, ada baiknya kita lihat contoh-contoh produk sekuriti royalti minyak yang telah diterbitkan di serata dunia seperti contoh Brazil:












Selain daripada Brazil, Angola, dan UAE yang telah mencagarkan (collateralized) royalti minyak mereka, Mexico juga telah lakukan yang sama kecuali dalam bentuk yang sedikit berbeda iaitu dalam bahasa teknikalnya: future flow securitization.

Untuk Brazil, Angola dan UAE, juga Ecuador (dan negara Afrika lain), ringkasnya rancangan pembangunan negara mereka dibuat dan terpusat pada hasil bumi petroleum. Bagi menjana modal dengan cepat, negara-negara tersebut mencagarkan hasil royalti yang dijana oleh telaga minyak mereka untuk mereka dapatkan pinjaman yang besar. Pinjaman ini akan digunakan untuk membangunkan sektor-sektor ekonomi, pendidikan, pertanian dan banyak lagi. 

Pendek kata cara ini adalah cara biasa untuk berhutang: perlukan cagaran yang mampu menampung dan sesuai dengan kadar pinjaman yang ingin diminta.

Akan tetapi bagi Mexico, melalui syarikat minyak nasionalnya PEMEX, mereka tidak mencagar royalti telaga minyak sebaliknya mereka jadikan royalti tersebut sebagai satu produk sekuriti berbentuk future flow.

Apa itu produk sekuriti future flow? Apa beda dengan cagaran yang dibuat oleh Brazil, Angola, UAE dan Ecuador? Ianya beda dari segi mekanisme: "future flow" adalah satu bentuk produk hutang yang menghimpunkan pendapatan masa depan daripada telaga minyak untuk dibawa ke masa kini dengan cara dipakejkan dalam bentuk satu kertas hutang sekuriti yang boleh didagangkan kepada pelabur.

Maknanya seperti contoh PEMEX, pemegang sekuriti "future flow" minyak dan gas PEMEX dapat beli hak pendapatan pengeluaran masa depan minyak dan gas PEMEX dengan harga yang diskaun yang kemudiannya boleh dijual di masa akan datang ketika mana harga pasaran melebihi harga diskaun untuk mendapat pulangan daripada hasil langganan sekuriti "future flow" tersebut (buy low, sell high). Strategi membuat keuntungan daripada sekuriti "future flow" ini amat bergantung kepada harga minyak di pasaran semasa. Kalau jual ketika harga minya lebih tinggi daripada harga sekuriti "future flow" maka dapatlah untung.




Syarat-syarat pensekuritian sumber minyak dan gas yang dikeluarkan oleh agensi rating terkemuka Standard & Poor. Ada risiko dan syarat-syarat ketat sebelum hasil minyak dan gas dapat dijadikan produk sekuriti.


Dalam kes PEMEX, ianya lebih rumit kerana langkah-langkah sekuriti future flow ini melibatkan perbankan persisiran pantai (offshore) bagi tujuan untuk (1) melindungi daripada risiko pertukaran mata wang (fluctuation of currency exchange) juga (2) untuk meningkatkan rating PEMEX melebihi had siling rating negara Mexico (sovereign rating). Ini akan membuka ruang kepada PEMEX untuk menarik lebih banyak pelabur kerana sekuriti tersebut dikelola di luar negara Mexico - di kawasan perbankan persisiran pantai (offshore) yang mampu bantu naikkan rating pengeluar kertas hutang melebihi had sovereign rating dalam negara yang selalunya lebih rendah kerana mengambil kira keseluruhan sosio-ekonomi dan politik sebuah negara yang lebih rumit berbanding rating sebuah syarikat iaitu dalam kes ini PEMEX yang "beroperasi" (baca: kelola dan urus sekuriti royalti minyak) di luar Mexico iaitu di offshore (selalunya ditubuhkan di Amerika Syarikat kerana royalti minyak didagangkan dalam mata wang USD).

 
Rajah menunjukkan struktur transaksi "future flow securitization" royalti minyak yang dipungut dari masa depan dan di bawa ke masa kini dalam bentuk produk sekuriti untuk didagangkan kepada pelabur melalui pengendalian syarikat pengendalian khas (SPV) milik PEMEX yang ditubuhkan di kawasan "offshore".


Adakah (1) cagaran telaga minyak untuk membuat pinjaman yang lebih besar dan (2) pensekuritian royalti minyak jenis "future flow" salah di sisi undang-undang? Apa risikonya?

Inilah kecanggihan instrumen kewangan moden. Pelbagai produk yang direka oleh pihak bank untuk menjana pendapatan atas sesuatu pendapatan yang lain (kata HAMKA seperti "ternak wang").

Masalah untuk (1) cagaran telaga minyak ialah bilamana pinjaman dibuat secara "high leveraging" yakni berhutang berkali ganda lebih daripada nilai cagaran yang akan memakan diri kalau mana harga minya di pasaran merudum. Ini menyukarkan negara pengeluar minyak tersebut untuk membayar hutang yang dipinjam berkali ganda daripada hasil pendapatan semasa (current revenue) telaga minyak yang dicagarkan - seperti kes Ecuador yang akhirnya "terjajah" oleh IMF dimana banyak aset milik negara terpaksa dijual bagi membayar tunggakan hutang yang dijana melalui cagaran telaga minyak setelah kejatuhan harga minyak dunia yang membawa pulangan yang tidak mencekupi untuk melunas hutang seperti yang telah dijadualkan (servicing the loans by cashing out the collaterals).

Masalah untuk (2) lebih kepada ketidak adilan mengambil hak generasi akan datang untuk kegunaan masa kini oleh generasi semasa. Ianya juga amat bergantung kepada kadar kemampuan dan kebolehan penjanaan pendapatan aset "future flow". Bagi mengelak sebarang kemungkinan kejatuhan kadar kemampuan (poor performance), pihak pengatur sekuriti "future flow" selalunya mengeluarkan tuntutan untuk mencagar nilai royalti dengan lebih besar nilainya (over-collateralization) bagi mengelak sebarang risiko ketidak mampuan untuk membayar faedah kepada pelabur kalau mana berlaku masalah kepada aliran tunai daripada "future flow" tersebut (event of default) bagi melindungi kepentingan pelabur yang melanggani sekuriti "future flow" tersebut.

Pokok pangkalnya adalah: tadbir urus yang amanah

Nak cagar telaga minyak untuk buat "high leveraging" bagi projek yang benar-benar penting dan mampu menjana pendepatan yang setimpal atau lebih daripada nilai aset yang dicagarkan, ianya tiada masalah. 

Hal ini menjadi masalah kalau mana pemimpin dan pemegang amanah cagaran juga sekuriti tersebut tidak amanah, malah tamak seperti kes Ecuador dan Angola yang mana mereka mencagarkan telaga minyak bagi mendapatkan tunai yang akhirnya tidak digunakan untuk membangun ekonomi dan kepentingan rakyat tetapi sekadar mengenyangkan perut dan memenuhi tembolok pemimpin dan keluarga mereka. Akhirnya telaga minyak yang sepatutnya menjadi milik bersama rakyat jelata, yang telah dicagarkan bakal hilang hak miliknya oleh rakyat akibat kerasukan dan kegagalan pemimpin dan pemegang amanah membayar hutang sehingga pihak pemiutang (yang beri hutang) berhak mengambil aset yang dicagarkan tersebut. 

(rujuk kisah bekas pensabotaj ekonomi John Perkins mengenai pengalaman pahit Ecuador yang membangun dengan cagaran telaga minyak kemudian terjajah setelah kerajaan Ecuador gagal membayar hutang yang menyebabkan banyak aset termasuklah telaga minyak dirampas oleh pihak asing yang memberi hutang kepada Ecuador).

Kes Dubai yang mensekuritikan royalti minyak secara "future vlow" turut sama terkesan teruk bilamana harga minyak jatuh yang merugikan para pelabur sekuriti. Ditambah pula kejatuhan pasaran saham Dubai memudaratkan lagi sekuriti "future flow" tersebut lebih daripada pencagaran telaga minyak seperti dibuat Ecuador dan Angola kerana produk sekuriti "future flow" sudah pun termasuk dan terkait dalam instrumen-instrumen hutang yang diterbitkan dalam pasaran saham. Ada pendedahan risiko yang lebih besar berbanding pencagaran telaga minyak yang biasa dibuat di Latin Amerika dan Afrika.

Walaupun TIA (kini 1MDB) tidak sempat mengeluarkan sekuriti royalti minyak Terengganu, kertas hutang IMTN bernilai RM 5 bilion yang disusun oleh Aminvestment yang menggunakan mekanisme murabahah perlu dinilai dengan teliti akan sejauh mana ianya benar-benar patuh Shari'ah dan telus dalam menanggung pembayaran faedah dan asas yang matang secara penuh pada tahun 2039. 

Antara soalan penting: apa asas yang memungkinkan penerbitan TIA IMTN sampai 30 tahun lamanya? Apa asas kerajaan Persekutuan dan Kementerian Kewangan begitu berani menjamin TIA IMTN dengan kadar yang kompetitif? Adakah TIA IMTN itu turut sama menjadikan minyak dan gas sebagai cagaran yakni dalam bentuk aset yang mendasari transaksi murabahah dalam pengatur caraan TIA IMTN tersebut?

Insha-Allah, kita akan teliti secara halus dalam Bahagian 2 nanti.


Sabtu, 1 Ogos 2015

Najib’s “Samson Option”: Is Nuclear Power the ULTIMATE END GAME for 1MDB?






by Wan Ahmad Fayhsal


The scandal that has engulfed upon government of Malaysia’s strategic development company 1Malaysia Development Berhad or better known as 1MDB has created a big ruckus in our country. It’s a very high profile investigation due to direct implication not only to 1MDB but also the Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak who is in charge of 1MDB.

The groundbreaking revelation was made none other than The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and Sarawak Report (SR) last month on the alleged huge sums of money that was transferred into Dato’ Sri Najib’s personal private bank account in Ambank from 1MDB-linked companies called SRC International Sdn. Bhd via its subsidiary Gandingan Mentari Sdn. Bhd. and another company that used to do 1MDB corporate social responsibility work – Ihsan Perdana Sdn. Bhd.

Arising from these revelations, there are two names that were repeatedly highlighted by WSJ and SR that helmed two of the identified companies in which they sit as board members of SRC International and Gandingan Mentari:

1 – Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil – as alleged by WSJ as having the power of attorney to manage Dato’ Seri Najib’s account. 
2 – Datuk Suboh Md Yassin

Company records obtained from Commission Companies of Malaysia (SSM) clearly show their "togetherness": 



Form 49 of SRC International Sdn. Bhd shows Datuk Suboh Md. Yassin and Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil are members of the board for SRC International.

The same duo appeared in Gandingan Mentari Sdn. Bhd. the company that was alleged by WSJ and SR to transfer money from questionable sources that ended up in Prime Minister's Dato' Seri Najib's personal bank account.

The name Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil has been highlighted constantly by another media outlet ­– The Edge which has been very vocal and resourceful in connecting the dots on corporate deals, transactions and money trails involving 1MDB, the mysterious Penangite by the name Low Thaek Jho or better known as Jho Low who is believed to be the key figure in managing the alleged ‘dubious’ deals and transactions involving 1MDB especially with regard to the joint venture with PetroSaudi International.

Nik Faisal shown in picture here, reported by The Edge few months back.



The involvement of Nik Faisal in this 1MDB saga is pretty much clear cut but what about Datuk Suboh Md Yassin? Why he is currently in the top three – alongside Jho Low and Nik Faisal – within the wanted list of Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) with regard to the investigation on 1MDB, and SRC International by Special Task Force (STF) that is manned by personnel from the Attorney General’s Chambers, MACC, Malaysia’s Central Bank (Bank Negara) and the Police? 





Furthermore besides Jho Low who is already outside the country, Nik Faisal and Datuk Suboh Yassin’s presence were no longer detectable locally. The investigators have suspected that they have left the country in the midst of the 1MDB investigation conducted by STF.




Datuk Suboh Yassin is currently pursued by MACC but nowhere he could be found and was believe to have fled the country as reported by The Sun Daily.


Few days back the name Datuk Suboh suddenly rang a bell in my head. The name sounds familiar to me before this whole exposé by 1MDB was made by the media.  I think I used to see and bump into him somewhere before early this year.

After pondering and performing serious recollections, I remembered that I’ve seen him  early this year in a conference whic I have attended called Nuclear Power Asia 2015. The conference was being held at Hilton Kuala Lumpur from 26 till 28th January 2015. I’ve written my personal view on the conference in Malay language here.


 My picture, adorning the red tie during the luncheon in the 6th annual Nuclear Power Asia 2015 conference. This was where and when I first got to know Datuk Suboh Md. Yassin as the chairman of MNPC before he was linked to 1MDB and SRC International Sdn. Bhd.

I remembered that someone from Malaysia Nuclear Power Corporation (MNPC) – an organization that is placed inside the Prime Minister’s Department have shown to me the presence of their chairman, Datuk Suboh Md Yassin during the conference. I think I saw him mingling with other delegates, and attending few plenary sessions during the conference.

So early this week I've done some research in the Nuclear Power Asia website and it was not surprised for me to see Datuk Suboh’s pictures were captured by the conference organizer’s media:


(1)  Datuk Suboh can be seen seating with his head tilted downward.


(2) Datuk Suboh, from the other angle during the conference.


This duo – Datuk Suboh Md Yassin and Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil have always appeared together in companies that have connections with 1MDB such as SRC International Sdn. Bhd. and Gandingan Mentari Sdn. Bhd.



So on the 28th of July, I went to Malaysia Companies Commission of Malaysia (Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia) or better known as SSM to do some research with regard to Datuk Suboh and MNPC.  I have obtained Form 49 for MNPC and SRC International Sdn. Bhd. as well as MNPC annual report for 2013.





To my surprise I saw many interesting names including Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil who sits with Datuk Suboh Md. Yassin in MNPC’s Board of Directors:


(1) From Page 1 of MNPC Form 49:


(2) From Page 2 of MNPC Form 49:


(3) From Page 3 of MNPC Form 49:


Besides the ex-officio who are the nominees from respective ministries that have direct roles with nuclear (such as Economic Planning Unit, Ministry of Science and Technology) there are FOUR other members – including Datuk Suboh Md. Yassin and Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil – who currently sit in the board of MNPC who are not ex-officio; which means they were brought in from the industry [exception to Datuk Suboh who served in government office before]. 

The other two are (1) Wie Hock Kiong and (2) Cheah Tek Kuang.


After doing some due diligence on their background, strangely these four board members of MNPC – Datuk Suboh Md. Yassin, Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, Wie Hock Kiong, and Cheah Tek Kuang – all of them do not possess any background on nuclear-related matter whatsoever.

Surprisingly the former chairman of PAC on 1MDB - Datuk Nur Jazlan was actually a member of the board of  TSH Resources Berhad alongside Datuk Suboh Md. Yassin. 



"The Developer" - who is Wie Hock Kiong?





He is clearly a successful property developer through and through. Interestingly he was formerly in the Board of Putrajaya Perdana Berhad (PPB) – an outstanding construction and property development company which as reported by The Edge was acquired by UBG Berhad along with Loh & Loh Berhad that heavily involved Jho Low and PetroSaudi International throughout the privatization exercises:


Jho Low involved heavily with UBG Berhad’s acquisitions of Putrajaya Perdana Berhad – the company which Wie Hock Kiong sits as one of its board members. Source picture: Focus Malaysia.

There’s a crucial link between Jho Low and Wie Hock Kiong in the transaction involving the disposal of block shares owned by Wie Hock Kiong and his brother Wie Hock Beng  - after the selling down by Jho Low which later was acquired by Dato’ Rosman Abdullah via his Cendana Destini Sdn. Bhd for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition made by Cendana Destini made Dato' Rosman as the major shareholder in PPB, and subsequently the Wie brothers relinquished their posts in the PPB's board.


Dato' Rosman Abdullah singlehandedly via his SPV Cendana Destini Sdn. Bhd. acquired the entire stake in PPB. Source: Putrajaya Perdana Berhad's official website.



But later PPB disposed 30% of its stake to Lembaga Urusan Tabung Haji (Muslim Pilgrimage Fund) in an off-market transaction as reported by The Edge and The Star for an undisclosed sum.

Arising from this transaction, soon after Datuk Seri Panglima Azeez Rahim the chairman of Lembaga Urusan Tabung Haji was made as Non-Independent and Non-Executive Chairman of PPB.




It is well known that Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez from UMNO is very close to Dato' Seri Najib Tun Razak and his wife.


We have to remember that in Lembaga Urusan Tabung Haji, three of its board members sit in 1MDB's Board of Directors as well as at the Advisory Board:



Clear cut link of Tabung Haji decision makers with 1MDB.


Tan Sri Ismee Ismail, not only sits in 1MDB but also used to sit in the board of SRC International Sdn. Bhd along with Datuk Shahrol Halmi the former CEO of 1MDB:





In the early days of SRC International Sdn. Bhd circa 2011-2012, back then Datuk Paduka (now Tan Sri) Ismee Ismail was one of its directors already with the usual duo Datuk Suboh Md. Yassin and Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil as well as former CEO Datuk Shahrol Azral Halmi. Source: SRC International audited financial statements for year end 2012.




Recently Dato’ Rosman Abdullah who is now the Group Managing Director as well as his fellow board member Jerome Lee Tak Loong were remanded by Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to assist on the investigation involving 1MDB and SRC International Sdn. Bhd.


Why would Dato' Rosman (picture above) was remanded by MACC in their due course of investigation on SRC International Sdn. Bhd. and 1MDB? Was it due to the off-market transaction of shares disposal to Lembaga Tabung Haji?


As for the Wie brothers after disposing their shares in PPB, they joined Pesona Metro Sdn. Bhd and became their largest shareholders with combined shares amounting to 60%. (refer here).

Wie Hock Kiong still remain in PPB not as board member but holding senior management position as the Chief Executive Officer of of Saluran Arena Sdn Bhd (SASB), a subsidiary of PPB.

Along the way both PPB and Pesona Metro formed a solid partnership and recently they were awarded a lucrative highway concession estimated to be worth around RM 2 billion by the government.

With all these complicated web connections between PPB, Tabung Haji, Pesona Metro, 1MDB, SRC International let us not lose sight again on the original question that should be raised pertaining to Wie Hock Kiong:

"What and why a construction and property developer guy that has nothing to do with nuclear sits in MNPC board?"

Could he might be the "developer" for nuclear power plant civil works?


"The Financier": who is Cheah Tek Kuang?


Cheah Tek Kuang has an outstanding résumé with regard to his decades of experiences in banking and financial matters. In order to understand his significant role in AmBank, even after retirement in 2012, as per released by AmBank’s Group Corporate Affairs:

“Mr Cheah Tek Kuang retires as the Group Managing Director of AmBank Group on 1 April 2012 and he will take on the new advisory role as Adviser to the Chairman’s Office, AmBank Group. Mr Cheah will be appointed Deputy Chairman of AmBank (M) Berhad and AmInvestment Bank Berhad respectively. Additionally, he will continue as Non-Executive Director of AmIslamic Bank Berhad. As part of his duties as Adviser to the Chairman’s Office, Mr Cheah will provide guidance to Mr Ashok Ramamurthy as he transitions into his new position as Group Managing Director for three months, from April to June 2012. Effective 1st July, Mr Cheah will continue to serve as Adviser to the Chairman’s Office. 
Tan Sri Azman added, “Cheah Tek Kuang has made a remarkable contribution to the Group. Over a 34 year-career, including 18 years as a Board member and senior executive, he has been instrumental in the growth of AmBank into one of Malaysia’s large and successful institutions. I know Ashok will continue to build on the very strong foundations laid by Cheah Tek Kuang.”

(source: BERNAMA - http://mrem.bernama.com/viewsm.php?idm=19322)

We can simply put that Cheah Tek Kuang is the right hand-man of Tan Sri Azman Hashim. His role in AmBank is very central and important. As reported by The Edge and many others, Ambank has been playing a significant role in 1MDB issuance of debt papers like bonds and sukuk.


Let us try evidence that below:


Ambank is one of the favourite banks used by Jho Low and 1MDB to raise sukuk and bonds.

As reported by The Edge on Jho Low’s affinity with Ambank.




As shown in the income fund managed by AmInvestment, in their AmIncome Annual Report 2014 where they raised sukuk for 1MDB subscribed by PNB and Tabung Haji. Source: AmBank Group AmIncome Advantage report.


On top of that, AmInvestment is the lead arranger for 1MDB-owned Bandar Malaysia Sdn. Bhd sukuk murabahah programme. Source: Securities Commission Malaysia.


The Trust Deed between 1MDB's Bandar Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. and AmTrustee Berhad.


Excerpt (1) from Bandar Malaysia Sukuk Sdn. Bhd. a unit under 1MDB Real Estate Sdn. Bhd., clearly stated the involvement of AmInvestment Bank Berhad as Lead Arranger and Lead Manager.


Excerpt (2) from Bandar Malaysia Sukuk Sdn. Bhd. a subsidiary of 1MDB. Clearly stated the involvement of AmIslamic Bank Berhad.


Not to forget, Ambank Islamic was also named by WSJ and SR to manage Dato’ Seri Najib’s personal private bank account which currently under probe by the 1MDB Special Task Force.

Like Wie Hock Kiong, Datuk Suboh, and Nik Faisal, he too does not possess any qualifications on nuclear-related matters.


Again, this also begs the same question: why is Cheah Tek Kuang sits in the board of MNPC?

Or for a more serious question, judging from the documentary evidences above, could Cheah Tek Kuang be the key person in managing and arranging for all fundings of debt papers, bonds, sukuk for 1MDB via AmBank group of companies especially AmInvestment?

Besides Datuk Suboh Md. Yassin and Nik Faisal, these two distinguished and successful gentlemen – Wie Hock Kiong and Cheah Tek Kuang – as evidenced by their involvement with few of Jho Low’s "company flipping deals"  and 1MDB-related debt issuances would definitely warrant further queries on their presence in the board of MNPC.

Given their links with 1MDB – directly or indirectly in transactions related matter, are they the key players for Najib to prepare 1MDB to be an energy behemoth through its subsidiary Edra Global Energy by going nuclear?

Could Wie Hock Kiong given his impeccable record in construction, be the main player in Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Commissioning (EPCC) and civil work for Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) for 1MDB?

Could Cheah Tek Kuang be the main financier to raise necessary fundings for the nuclear power project for 1MDB?

If not, why then would these four gentlemen, despite of having ZERO nuclear background and expertise were appointed to be the members of MNPC board of directors where the perks and benefits of being there are definitely unattractive as compared to being board members in Government-Linked Companies (GLCs) or public-listed companies?

To evidence that we must understand first what is MNPC.


MNPC as NEPIO

What is MNPC can easily be understood from this slide:

                     
Source: refer here CIDB


MNPC is a Nuclear Energy Programme Implementation Organisation (NEPIO) that is tasked, as explained in MNPC’s Memorandum and Articles of Association:


MNPC as NEPIO and described in its M&A

Task No. 1: “To plan, spearhead & coordinate the implementation of nuclear energy development programme for Malaysia and to take the necessary action to realise the development of the first nuclear power plant in Malaysia”  
Task No. 2: To ensure the development of nuclear infrastructure for the country is in line with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) guidelines covering 19 key areas of national position, nuclear safety, management, funding & financing, legislative framework, safeguards, regulatory framework, radiation protection, electrical grid, human resource development, stakeholder involvement, site & supporting facilities, environmental protection, emergency planning, security & physical protection, nuclear fuel cycle, radioactive waste, industrial involvement, and procurement; and, 
Task No. 3: To identify the company or special purpose vehicle (SPV) to be the owner and/or operator of nuclear power plant.  
(source: refer to MNPC’s presentation that was uploaded into IAEA website)



Without discounting Task No. 1 and Task No.2, with regard to the possible link of 1MDB to MNPC, I am more interested on Task No. 3 which I will elaborate later.

For in-depth view on MNPC as NEPIO, please read this document published in IAEA website.


How Najib as Prime Minister is damn serious in having total control of MNPC just like how he has done in 1MDB

As usual, to understand what type of “creature” an entity or company is, one must pry into its Memorandum and Articles of Association (M&A). 

As for 1MDB, it evolved from state-level Terengganu Investment Authority Berhad (TIA) before Prime Minister Najib brought it to the federal and given a substantial makeover in its M&A as can be seen below in "RESERVED MATTERS", Article 117:

Article 117 in 1MDB's Memorandum and Article of Association (M&A) clearly described the critical role of the Prime Minister in 1MDB's decision making especially related to financial commitment.


As we can see from the excerpt of M&A here – a public document that could easily be obtained from SSM, in “Reserve Matter” section, Article 117, it clearly stated that the final say of any important decisions especially related to financial matters must have WRITTEN APPROVAL of the Prime Minister. All articles in 1MDB M&A are LIMITED BY Article 117.

In laymen’s term, the whole of M&A is governed by this particular Article 117 where the real authority in making the final decision is none other than the Prime Minister. 

It is a "special ruling" in 1MDB M&A, despite the Prime Minister has only advisory capacity – which is not covered and liable under the statutory and fiduciary laws of the Malaysia’s Company Act, the M&A awarded TOTAL and ABSOLUTE POWER to Prime Minister Dato' Seri Najib Tun Razak to decide matters especially on finance that have utmost bearings on STATUTORY and FIDUCIARY matters that are liable under the law of this country.

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Before we go to MNPC’s M&A, let us digress a bit and review some important documents and news report as far as 2009 when TIA was transformed into 1MDB.

One of the important fund raising activities ever done by TIA was the issuance of Islamic Medium Term Notes (IMTN) arranged by none-other than the usual suspect Cheah Tek Kuang’s AmInvestment  Bank Berhad which was described as “the first ever 30-year issued  IMTN from Malaysia”.


Excerpt of the IMTN document issued by TIA.



Excerpt from Asia Bond Monitor report that reflected how 1MDB inherited TIA-issued IMTN worth RM 5 billion arranged by AmInvestment Bank Berhad.

Later own inherited by 1MDB after TIA was brought to Federal and changed into 1MDB.


Also mentioned since 2009 when 1MDB was still TIA, the Jho Low-linked company called PetroSaudi International was already in the picture waiting to do joint venture which occurred not in TIA but later when TIA was evolved into 1MDB:

Excerpt of report covered by IFR Asia that mentioned TIA linked with PetroSaudi (Jho Low) in IMTN arranged by AmInvestment Bank. Accessible via Chris Wright media (click here)


Reviewing The Star’s coverage on the evolvement of TIA to 1MDB in 2009 by Jagdev Singh Sidhu, clearly mentioned in the report on the intent to collaterize Terengganu’s oil assets as part of the fund raising exercise:



Excerpt from the report by The Star which mentioned the intent of 1MDB to collateralize oil royalty payments of Terengganu.  (Source: The Star)

Meaning to say, Jho Low via PetroSaudi International was ready to securitize the oil revenue of the State of Terengganu as part of the fund raising exercise for TIA then later for 1MDB. 

No wonder former Chief Minister of Terengganu, Datuk  Seri Ahmad Said made a claim early this year about 1MDB trying to mortgage Terengganu's oil royalty to raise debt for 1MDB. In its precise financial technical term, what 1MDB was hoping to do was actually to SECURITIZE THE OIL REVENUE to turn into financial instruments called ASSET-BACKED SECURITIES (ABS).

These ABS could be sold to general investors as part of fund raising exercise – like how Mortgage Back Securities (MBS) in US were created in abundant out of irresponsible lending by the banks, repackaged and sold as “investment” that finally precipitated into a financial bubble that led to the United States’ Subprime Crisis in 2008.

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Now we come back to the original discussion on the M&A. There’s a strong parallel between 1MDB and MNPC M&A. But prior to that we must see through some of the important pages from MNPC Annual Report 2013.

The cover page of MNPC Annual Report 2013. Obtained from SSM.


3rd page from MNPC Annual Report for 2013 clearly listed down their principal activities as well as the four non-nuclear gentlemen closely linked with 1MDB-related transactions and companies. (Source: SSM)



From MNPC public documents obtained from SSM, I able to review a “special resolution” that was passed by the board of MNPC on the 5th of March 2014 that amended 3 important articles: Article 5, 36 and 53.


 


Picture from page 1 of the passed special resolution in MNPC Board General Meeting in March 2014. (Source: SSM)


Picture from page 2 of the passed special resolution in MNPC Board General Meeting in March 2014 . (Source: SSM)

As you can read from the resolution above, the amendments involving article 5, 36 and 53 were made with specific reference by inserting the clause involving "by the consent of Prime Minister".

All of the amendments made have common element in it: the supreme role of Prime Minister of Malaysia in approving critical decisions with regard to the appointment of key people in MNPC – especially the positions of Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

When there’s a change in M&A, surely there’s a new intent, new purpose. What is the purpose of the amendments if not for Najib to have full control on MNPC?

This shows the common factor between 1MDB and MNPC is none other than Najib as Prime Minister wants to have a TOTAL CONTROL with regard to key decision making related to board-level matters in 1MDB and MNPC. 

To make it digestible to laymen, from the governance structure described by M&A for both 1MDB and MNPC, we could say that in reality Najib is 1MDB; 1MDB is Najib and  Najib is MNPC and MNPC is Najib.

What can we deduce from these amendments? Instead of relying on minister in charge on nuclear, Dato' Seri Najib as Prime Minister wants himself to have full control on the selection process of key personnel of MNPC especially at the board level which we now have evidenced from solid public document t(hat was obtained legally, not from Justo), on how perhaps through his authority as the Prime Minister vis-a-vis the MNPC M&A, he has appointed four non-nuclear personnel that are linked to 1MDB directly and indirectly to sit in the board of MNPC.

Sadly, what would it look now at MNPC when the chairman  - Datuk Suboh MD. Yassin is absconded?


How serious is Malaysia under Najib in the quest to go nuclear?


World Nuclear News reported in 2011 that Malaysia is on the brink of "eventual deployment" of nuclear power project. Source: World Nuclear News


Malaysia under the Prime Minister-ship of Najib Tun Razak is dead serious about nuclear. It was already outlined in Economic Transformation Program (ETP) that under Entry Point-Project 11 (EPP 11) is all about nuclear power plant project:


As depicted in Economic Transformation Programme's website, "Deploying Nuclear Energy for Power Generation" is placed under the Entry Point Project 11 (EPP 11).


In 2010 as reported by The Star, Najib was awarded a historic bilateral meeting by the United States as "Najib is among more than 40 world leaders attending the summit but only one of two Asian leaders (meaning Najib) was granted a face-to-face meeting with Obama. The other leader is Chinese President Hu Jintao." 



Najib himself attended 2010 Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, DC.  

Surely the close proximity of Najib with Obama as arranged by then his deceased right hand-man Tan Sri Jamaluddin Jarjis (as indicated by the Golf Diplomacy between Najib and Obama in Hawaii a year back) perhaps already included within their discussion items  something pertaining to nuclear power project??




Interestingly in 2012, the former Deputy Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was in Seoul, South Korea for the same biennial summit representing the Prime Minister. Muhyiddin also attended the one in The Hague on behalf of Najib in 2014.

So I believe the pictures and the news report have more than meets the eye, given the nature of nuclear power project which is highly sensitive to public sentiment.

Alas, some of the findings pertaining to the seriousness of Malaysian government ambition under Dato' Seri Najib to pursue their own nuclear power program was eventually leaked into the public domain.

Potential sites for NPP have already been identified by MNPC as reported by anti-nuclear activist, Dr Ronald McCoy:


source: The Sun Daily
 
Among the four states as alleged by Dr McCoy that were identified by MNPC, the one attracting me the most is Johor

Strategically located beside Singapore burgeoning economy, Johor itself is growing at rapid scale in becoming a modern industrialized state that opening up for heavy industries especially the one located in Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex (PIPC).



Excess capacity of electricity generated by NPP could easily be distributed to those industrial grid even the one in Singapore.

Surprisingly I found a study done by two Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) researchers who have concluded geographically, if NPP is to be built in Johor, Tenggaroh and Jemaluang might be the best area to build NPP facilities down South.

Front page of the journal paper that published a study on potential sites for NPP in Johor.


The recommended areas


The journal paper on the most feasible locations of NPP in Johor can be read here.



Najib’s Samson Option will drag Malaysia down

From the above we have evidenced many important questions which ultimately – like 1MDB, could only be answer by Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak. 

What is the possible connections between 1MDB and MNPC – both helmed and totally control by Najib as the Prime Minister that we can try to evidence from the MNPC slide that explained the Task No. 3 within the objectives of MNPC as NEPIO?

I can see that the  Task No. 3: "to identify the company or special purpose vehicle (SPV) to be the owner and/or operator of nuclear power plant"  seems to open the avenue to link 1MDB and MNPC.

Would MNPC as a NEPIO that is totally in control by Najib would identify the company or special purpose vehicle (SPV) that is 1MDB Energy Global – also controlled by Najib as to be the true owner and operator of nuclear power plant in Malaysia?

The way Najib positioned himself and his key men in 1MDB and MNPC have  made the two outfits clearly meant for each other in which such integration would unlock billions of ringgit in value that might arise from not only the NPP EPCC but also the lucrative power generation concession that will surely outruns the normal life span of ordinary coal-fired power plant. 

There's a rumor in the horizon where the "unbundling of Tenaga’s business into three separate entities" that will individually house the utility’s power generation, transmission and distribution divisions could be a reality in near future. Would 1MDB be part of this exercise by acquiring the profitable segment of power generation from TNB and throw nuclear power plant into the mix?

1MDB will definitely be a REAL CASH COW!

The billion dollar question is: who will benefit from such deal?

That I leave to reader’s imagination to interpret.

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Samson sacrificed himself along with his enemies the Philistines by destroying the temple. Would Najib reincarnate the same biblical story to us Malaysians by going nuclear?


Politically speaking, would Najib in his bid to escape and evade the alleged corruption charges at the same time trying to consolidate more power, would be like the biblical figure Samson who rather than throwing in the towel, willing to fight till the bitter end and drag all Malaysians along like how Samson did to the Philistines in the pagan temple of the biblical story?

Obama is coming again! Yes we all know Malaysia is central to US "Asia's Pivot" in their battle for influence against China in Asia Pacific. So where does Najib -  as Chairman of ASEAN and Premier of Malaysia fits into the whole scheme of Washington's regional diplomacy and geopolitics of "Asia's Pivot"?? Could nuclear be the wild card for the US by using 1MDB as its vehicle?


Could nuclear be one of the important agenda for President of the United States of America Barrack Obama to discuss and most importantly to conclude a deal about it when he meet his counterpart  Dato' Seri Najib Razak  this coming end of the year who is now sullied and tainted with serious alleged corruptions?


As analyzed and evidenced by many media on the scandal of 1MDB, the money trails involved many countries as well as already traceable under the SWIFT system. Surely President Obama would have read Najib’s files especially the one that might be in sealed documents in the possession of US Department of Justice  just waiting for the right time before they are being unsealed for indictments – like how Sepp Blatter, the outgoing and disgraced FIFA’s President had faced few months back.



Could Obama use the RICO Act (Racketeer-Influenced and Corrupt Organization) as a form of intimidation and “arm-twisting” Najib to ratify important deals that the US has being  eyeing for so long to strengthen their grip in our region? Would 1MDB augmented by Nuclear Power Project fits the bill for it to act as the conduit for Washington's Pivot to Asia through Malaysia especially in their effort to control the Strait of Malacca like how they have been controlling the Strait of Hormuz using Carter's Doctrine?

Would Malaysians especially the Council of Rulers allow Najib to proceed with his nuclear agenda in order to secure his political survival by entering into a Faustian bargain with nuclear super-power like the US without realizing, just like the secretive Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), the attendant consequence of that dealing is by selling out Malaysia along the way?

Najib still has the chance to step down gracefully rather than evoking "the Samson Option" for all of us. 

Indeed I have evidenced his ULTIMATE END GAME FOR 1MDB as suggested by his consolidation of power in MNPC as well as the placement of Najib’s key men in 1MDB and SRC International Sdn. Bhd in MNPC.

I rest my case and God knows best! 

May God protects us all! Amen!

Saturday, 1st of August, 2015.