Friday, March 9, 2012

KL Eco City Investments

An artist’s impression of the integrated urban city development in Bangsar.

I guess when you open a can of worms, you may not even realize just how many worms there are in the said can! And so this is the case with NFC. On Wednesday, PKR summoned the press to allege that Shahrizat’s family had obtained personal loans by leveraging on the RM250 million federal loan in order to acquire eight commercial units at the swanky KL Eco City development in KL’s Jalan Bangsar – supposedly with a current estimated market value of RM12 million.

This latest expose must have made Shahrizat hot under the collar and prompting her to threaten PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah with a lawsuit! Why was she frothing at the mouth when Nurul was merely seeking clarification as to whether she had influenced the construction of the said integrated urban city development that is right across Mid Valley City? This led to the second question. Did she help her family procure the properties? This enterprise actually kicked off in 2007 when Shahrizat was still the MP for Lembah Pantai and unhappy urban villagers were unfairly relocated to make way for this project that is a joint-venture partnership between SP Setia and Kuala Lumpur City Hall.

To kill any doubts, PKR’s Rafizi Ramli’s revealed yesterday that the evidence (i.e. bank documents) was in his possession. PKR’s Rafizi Ramli had previously alleged that the NFCorp directors (i.e. Shahrizat’s family) had parked portions of NFC’s millions in two banks as fixed deposits. This, he explained, was to help them obtain “credit facilities” from the said banks in order to purchase a series of high-end properties, including the latest revelation on the Bangsar investments.

Of course, not unexpectedly, NFCorp denied using its government soft loan as leverage. Instead, the company said the purchase was a “private investment” by its directors. Is there really such a thing as private investment when they are using public funds?

And will Najib Razak make good his promise to freeze all of NFCorp’s assets, including its RM72 million fixed deposit? When? Why is he so afraid to act against the Shahrizat family? The evidence is overwhelming and yet, gutless Najib is proving to be ineffectually impotent.

Yesterday, I was at Damansara Jaya to attend the D’Utama Advanced Toastmasters meeting. I took part in Table Topics and the evaluator, SK Khor gave me a backhanded compliment that I talk as well as a politician! Even Dr Arulnathan jested that perhaps, TI should change its tagline from “Where Leaders Are Made” to “Where Politicians Are Made”! Very funny, guys! I also evaluated Foong Weng Tuck’s CC speech and for that effort, I was voted Best Evaluator. It was good that some of the senior members came and buoyed up the meeting because for too long, their meetings have been drab affairs that reminded me of Resident Evil-type scenarios. I would give this meeting a 6 out of a 10.

Earlier in the afternoon, a merry band of SUBS faculty went to Sunway Pyramid to celebrate Vijay’s birthday! There was the usual banter and chitchat amongst friends and colleagues but no birthday cake though. Still, good cheer all round.

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