Saturday, 2 March 2013

The rich link to 1MDB

The rich link to 1MDB

THE Pakatan Rakyat (PR)’s 13th General Election Manifesto Rakyat, themed Pakatan Harapan Rakyat, aims to break monopolies to encourage healthy business competition.
Listed under The People’s Economy are 13 measures to turn Malaysia into a vibrant economy for the rakyat and Malaysia, not Barisan Nasional-Umno’s cronies.
One interesting aspect on revitalizing competition is this clause:

Dissolve 1MDB so that Khazanah remains the only state investment body.

Why is this so? Perhaps the following blog posting provides some hints:
Note: The details of the PR manifesto are now available online. You have a choice to view the summary or full manifesto, in Bahasa Malaysia, English, Chinese, Tamil, Iban or Kadazan.
Just click the link below:

From the blog Happily Speaking
Friday, 12 October 2012
The Most Romantic Dinner in the World
This is possibly the most romantic dinner in the world that i have ever come across. This dinner was hosted by a 29 year old Malaysian young man called Low Taek Jho (or more commonly known as Jho Low). It was said to be a dinner for a wedding proposal to Taiwanese singer, Elva Hsiao (萧亚轩), aged 33. You must watch the video to feel it. Looking at some pictures are just not good enough. It is only a 5 minute video. You wont regret watching it.

The dinner was held at a private beach of Atlantis Hotel, Dubai. You can see that the dinner was exclusive, only both of them were at the dinner.

Elva is a well known female artist in Taiwan releasing quite a few hit songs in Taiwan over the years. Whether there was a marriage proposal or not, she must have felt lucky to be treated with a 1 million British pound or RM5 million dinner by Jho Low. Just one dinner, k. Not a diamond that can last forever.

Looking at the way Jho Low spends money, one can only guess that he is a billionaire. He became famous in Malaysia and possibly in the world for spending a staggering 3.5 milliion Euros or RM14 million to buy gigantic bottles of Cristal champagne for Paris Hilton during a night in St Tropez, France. Apparently Jho Low decided to splash out on the champagne on Paris Hilton after the socialite had come face-to-face with her ex Doug Reindhart who was in the same club as them. According to club revellers Doug tried to compete with Jho Low by buying four gigantic bottles of Cristal but that was no match for this Malaysian man who then went onto buy the club’s entire supply of Cristal. Jho Low also bought more than 40 bottles of Cristal champagne in Lindsay Lohan's 23rd birthday at the Angel Ball after-party at 1Oak, New York. He is reported to be flying around the world in private jets and very close  to reality show star, Kim Kardashian. Now the saying is that 'one never have a champagne buying fight with Jho Low, you will lose'. Despite a born Penangite, Jho Low does not seem to carry the typical Penangite traits of being down-to-earth and thrifty.

Mr Low is the youngest son of Datuk Larry Low, a former shareholder and director of MWE Holdings Bhd, which currently has a market capitalisation of RM400 million. Jho Low is made a popular household name in Malaysia by the Star newspapers in 2010. The newspapers featured him on front page and run exclusive articles on him. Not an opportunity that an average 28 year old Malaysian man could usually get. In the articles, no opinions or comments of his friends, relatives or school mates were published. The Star summed up Jho Low's success formula as 'Right time, Right place, Right people'. His formula is in marked contrast to the richest people in this world like Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. Warren Buffets, world's greatest fund manager and investor, talked about hard work and being thrifty. Bill Gates created personal computers for almost every households. Steve Jobs made the very user-friendly iPod, probably the most intuitively fun to use iPhone and iPad. Each of them has many years of strong and proven track record in providing goods and services. Of course, they made plenty of money in between.

'Right time, Right place, Right people' formula sounds more suited for connection business? This formula may be required in instance where the bidder of contract may not qualify for the tender criteria. It was reported that George Kent, a listed company with current market capitalisation of RM230 million, was leading a consortium and awarded RM1 billion contract to extend Ampang LRT. George Kent was the highest price bidder, and not the lowest, of the tender. Owner of George Kent is mentioned to be the golf buddy of the Malaysian Prime Minister. Recently, it is reported that two companies that failed the tender criteria were awarded with the largest government quotas to supply paddy seeds to Malaysian farmers. The Agriculture Minister, Noh Omar, who approved the tender awards insisted that the criteria were met, despite it was Ministry of Finance which highlighted the discrepancy in tender criteria fulfilment.

Jho Low is apparently very close to wealthy personalities in Middle East and manage their money. He has created a few billion US dollar funds since he was 20 years old. As a money manager, Jho is definitely very successful. His stature should be quite close to Warren Buffet. It is a matter of time that international publishers will seek to write books about Jho Low.

Logically speaking, if I am an investor of Jho Low' funds, I am probably worried about my money left with him, when I see the way he spends his money. I give him benefits of doubt that the money spent was all his. He must be a billionaire and earns a very good income. Notwithstanding, I will be curious whether he is making enough money for the funds or if he is making more money for himself. I should be scrutinizing very closely the capital invested and income generated by the fund where my money is. It is intriguing for him  to tell the Star that his Arab friends where the ones who spent the money in those parties. I stand to be corrected but I neither see any ethnic Arabian  in his dinner with Elva, nor any mention of Arabian names in many of the news with regards to his parties with Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan.

Jho Low is a director and group adviser of UBG Bhd, a listed company reported to be owned by family of Sarawak chief minister, Abdul Taib Mahmud. He is also rumored to be in control of 1 Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), a government entity, that was established to drive strategic initiatives for long-term economic development for the country by forging global partnerships and promoting foreign direct investment. 1MDB raised RM5 billion under a guarantee of Malaysian federal government in 2009.

Hypothetically, as long as Jho Low is spending his own money, his investors should be happy. If he spends his investors' money indirectly by diverting some return from his investors' fund, his investors may not be too happy. If he is spending directly or indirectly some other people's money which may or may not be related to government money, he may cause many people to be unhappy in Malaysia. Jho Low is enjoying high profile and flamboyant  lifestyle. He has to make extremely good income by ordinary Malaysian standards. After all, this is a country where 80% of the households are making less than RM3,000 per month income.

Come to think of it. Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Razak should not be somewhat selfish and keep Jho Low's roles to only 1MDB and development of Razak Exchange in Sungai Besi, Kuala Lumpur that was previously military base of the country. Razak Exchange is named after the Prime Minister's father and is Najib's pet project. Instead, he should make sure that Jho Low manages all the important large funds for the people of Malaysia. This is where Jho Low's forte is. PNB is a good place for him to start with. He can help to uplift the income level of Malaysians who subscribe to the funds by increasing the return on investment of those funds. We cannot possibly be a developed country by 2020 when 80% of our households are still earning less than RM3,000 a month. Can we?

A few lovely picture of the romantic dinner at a private beach of Atlantis Hotel, Dubai.