Sunday, June 2, 2013

Genting Gives Away RM190 Million

I always believe that corporate social responsibility is not what it seems in this country. It is done mainly as a public relations exercise and in some cases, it is also about companies being arm-twisted I do not discount the fact that there may also be willing companies to give away their earnings for dubious causes.

And so I am not surprised to read that Genting Berhad made unexpected CSR contributions totaling an estimated RM190 million in the first quarter of this year! Analysts and industry sources wonder out loud if these are related to GE13.

For the same 2013 period, Genting made a pre-tax profit of RM967.6 million. If not for the “donation”, this would have been RM190 million or 20 percent higher at RM1157.6 million.

Analysts are bewildered that the Genting group made this humongous handout, and that too spread out over a number of its companies, in a span of three months, thereby, significantly impacting its bottomline.

They speculate that the so-called donations could be election-related, using charities as fronts. It is normally unthinkable that such massive amounts of money were made to charities, one analyst said. Of course, Genting officials did not avail themselves for comment.

One day, these Chinese businesses which audaciously align themselves with UMNO will have to answer to the rakyat!

Yesterday, Najib Razak announced that a special parliamentary committee will be formed to oversee the Election Commission – thus admitting that the EC had so many shortcomings that he was compelled to take action. Additionally, he expressed the hope that the move will “strengthen public confidence in the Election Commission” – thus, admitting also that Malaysians have lost confidence in the EC.

The EC has come under increased scrutiny especially after GE13 after the opposition complained that the election was marred by rampant fraud. While this is undoubtedly a positive step, Najib must demonstrate his sincerity by firing the two UMNO goons in charge of the EC, namely, Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof, the chairperson and Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, the deputy. Only then will I trust Najib’s word.

The last point to note is that a royal commisison would be the best way forward. This oversight committee looks like another type of quick fix like the last Parliamentary Select Committee on electoral reform. I really hope Najib is not playing games again!

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