The full Malay Mail report of 5-4-2018 is reproduced in full below for record purposes. You can skip the Malay Mail report by going down the page to read the story about the RM99.693 mil “Speedy Gonzales” contract.
Just to digress a little. It is an open secret that Malay Mail is one of the outfits of the famous Datuk Siew Ka Wei, who is the Chairman of Tourism Malaysia (TM) and also the Chairman of the public listed company, Ancom Bhd (“Ancom”). He is a very powerful personality in the corporate world and politically well connected before the collapsed of BN on May 9, 2018 (14 GE). Under Ancom there are many wholly-owned subsidiaries namely Redberry Sdn Bhd (aka Redberry), Meru Utama Sdn Bhd, Focus Media Network Sdn Bhd and many more HERE. Some of these companies have been awarded contracts for advertising or advertising spaces in public places like KLIA1, KLIA2 and etc.
Below is the Malay Mail report of 5-4-2018.
“KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 — Tourism Malaysia and internet company Tencent Holdings launched today an initiative to create a digital tourism ecosystem in Malaysia to attract Chinese tourists.
In his opening speech at the launch of Malaysia Smart Tourism 4.0 Powered by Tencent, Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said the initiative was a game changer which would carry the industry forward.
“The world is now undergoing the so-called fourth industrial revolution which will see growth being driven by huge amounts of data exchange, advancements in technology and the development of high-tech interfaces,” Nazri said.
“For the tourism industry, this will have a huge impact on how people travel and in this new demanding environment, tourism-related businesses must either transform the way they operate or lose out on opportunities.”
The Malaysian Smart Tourism 4.0 is an initiative that marks the first milestone in Malaysia’s 10-year tourism roadmap and is a collaborative effort between Tourism Malaysia and Tencent Holdings.
Tencent Holdings is the fourth most valuable internet company in the world and will provide a digital ecosystem for Malaysia to reach out to the 1.4 billion-strong Chinese population using precision marketing methods like market segmentation and targeted advertising.
A digital ecosystem refers to an interdependent group of enterprises, people and/or things that share standardised digital platforms.
Nazri said that with global outbound tourism numbers expected to reach 1.8 billion people by 2030, now was the time for the country to leverage on the changing environment.
“A huge portion of that number will be tourists from China. In fact, the Chinese made 130.5 million trips overseas last year, a 7 per cent jump from 2016, and spent an estimated US$115.3 billion (RM445.67 billion).
“They account for more than a fifth of the money spent by outbound tourists and twice as much as the next biggest spender, the Americans,” he said, adding that 200 million tourists from China would be making outbound trips by 2020.
“The question is how many of them will be coming to Malaysia and how will you make them your customers,” Nazri told the audience, which included representatives from various tourist associations.
Tourism Malaysia Chairman Datuk Siew Ka Wei said the initial phase of the initiative would include the joint production of 40 five-minute videos on Malaysia’s tourist offerings and make them available to the Chinese market.
“This will include hotels, food and other experiences that will be documented and made available to potential customers who will be able to see for themselves what is available here.
“Together with the participation of key opinion leaders or influencers, who form a key component in generating interest in our offerings, we expect to reach a wide audience effectively,” Siew said.
Siew said this was a major project for the industry as millions of jobs will be created, whether “running a coffeeshop to being the general manager of a hotel”, with the establishment of the ecosystem.
“The RM425 billion tourist receipts in 2030 will have a tremendous effect on our economy because every ringgit spent will have a multiplier effect of 10 times. The tourism industry will bring in trillions of ringgit.
“We will become the main engine of growth for the country. This is a project for the whole country,” he said.
Siew added that as Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had made it clear the industry would be a national priority, he encouraged young people to come forward with ideas and take their place in the new environment.
“If the numbers do not change, tourism will become the biggest global industry and Malaysia has all the right assets from attractions to the best people,” he said.
“Young people need to come forward and participate. These changes will affect them and it is up to these individuals to come up with ideas that will help Malaysia capitalise on the opportunities that lie ahead,” Siew added.
The initiative is expected to increase the country’s tourism revenue from RM96.60 billion to RM425.04 billion by 2030, a four-fold increase.
China is an especially important market for Malaysia with 2.2 million Chinese visiting the country, spending an estimated RM9.05 billion last year alone. Malaysia is among the top 10 Asia-Pacific destinations preferred by Chinese tourists.” The link of this report is HERE. Yours truly hopes that this link will still remain in the website of Malay Mail.
THE “SPEEDY GONZALES” DEAL
It must noted that in the above Malay Mail report there was no mentioned of the cost of the “Speedy Gonzales” Contract or with whom. Even TM’s news release it did not mentioned about the RM99.693 million “Speedy Gonzales” Contract or GEEKO, HERE. Isn’t it strange that contract of the size was kept as a secret but it was highlighting Tencent Holdings instead.
As recent as 25-5-2017 Datuk Siew Ka Wei and Datuk Mirza were still very active to highlight the joint collaboration with Tencent but they never once mention about the “middleman” Geeko Tech Sdn Bhd.
“China’s Tencent Holdings is set to draw more Chinese tourists to Malaysia through a new digital tourism ecosystem called Smart Tourism 4.0, a joint collaboration with Tourism Malaysia.
The initiative includes the joint production of 40 five-minute videos on Malaysia’s tourist offerings that will be then made available to the Chinese market.
Tourism Malaysia director general Datuk Seri Mirza Mohammad Taiyab said Tencent will develop and produce the videos as they know their market best, and Tourism Malaysia will sponsor the production.
“Malaysia has set a big target for tourists from China and therefore, a conventional approach is no longer relevant,” he told Malay Mail today. For full report see HERE.
For more story reading Yg Bhg Datuk Mirza trying to promote the so-called collaboration with Tencent Holdings, HERE .
It seems that stories involving the so-called collaboration between Tencent Holdings and Tourism Malaysia usually originated from Malay Mail, one of the outfits of Yg Bhg Datuk Siew Ka Wei.
Why both Datuk Siew Ka Wei and Datuk Mirza are so keen about this and both never mentioned about the Geeko Tech Sdn Bhd’s “Speedy Gonzales” contract or deal? Was the deal too fishy? Yours truly wouldn’t know.
WHO ARE BEHIND THE “SPEEDY GONZALES” CONTRACT OR DEAL?
The “Speedy Gonzales” Contract was between TM and GEEKO TECH SDN BHD (“GEEKO”). We will have to wait for MACC and Auditor-General to investigate in order to know who are the master minds in this “Speedy Gonzales” Contract.
Why It Was A “Speedy Gonzales” Contract?
Now let us examine the chronology of events from the inception of GEEKO in November 2017 up to 6 May when TM made the payment of RM11,963,160.00, especially the glaring events on 4-4-2018. They were based on reliable information and the documents. 4 April was a very significant date not only for Tourism Malaysia but YB Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz and Yg Bhg Datuk Siew Ka Wei. In Cantonese “4 4 (April)” was a good day for them.
From the said Malay Mail report it would give an impression to the public that a lot of studies have been carried out on the digital marketing, a budget for it had been approved by TM, Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Finance before this so-called collaboration between Tourism Malaysia and Tencent Holdings of China was launched on 4 April 2018.
Yours truly has been reliably informed that there was no budget or a proper plan for this “Special Project”. By the way the so-called “collaboration” was launched in the afternoon of 4 April 2018 at Istana Hotel and on the same day the processes of preparing and execution of the “Spoeedy Gonzales” Contract. Was this a “Special Purpose Vehicle” Project (SPV)? Just asking only.
In the said Malay Mail report or other news reports there was no mention at all about the agreement for this so-called digital marketing for China was signed between TM and GEEKO for a whooping RM99,693,000.00. By the way GEEKO was only incorporated on 6-11-2017, just a few months before 4-4-2018.
Be forewarned to hold tight to your seat before you read on.
The Total Cost of the agreement was RM99, 693,000.00.
If the contract price is above RM100 millions the project has to go though “Open Tender”. Then it will take a longer process. If it is below RM100 million then it could be done through “Direct Negotiation”, which is the case in this transaction.
Chronology of Events of the Speedy Gonzales Contract with GEEKO
6-11-2017 The incorporation date of GEEKO (Co No: 1254344)
April 2018 RM1.3 million paid GEEKO –for “kajian untuk service on demand, data collection from hotels in Malaysia” . There was another “Kajian” to be done Delloitte RM2.5 million but could not be proceed with because procedural issues and BN lost in the 14 GE.
3-4-2018 Jawatankuasa Penilaian & Rundingan Harga (JKPTRH) met to evaluate the proposal by Geeko Tech Sdn Bhd with regards to the promotion of Malaysia through internet in China via Tencent’s platform for a total cost of RM99,693,000.00. As expected this evaluation was just to follow through with the procedures or going through the motion. JKPTRH did not reject the said sum and send it to Lembaga Perolehan “A” for its approval.
4-4-2018 The ex-Minister of Tourism and Culture and Datuk Siew Ka Wei, Chairman of Tourism Malaysia launched this “Speedy Gonzales” project in the afternoon at Istana Hotel. See the Malay Mail report on top of this page.
4-4-2018 This Letter of Intent for the proposal of Digital Marketing for 2 years for RM99,693,000.00 from TM to GEEKO was signed by Datuk Mirza Mohammad Taiyap (DG of TM) given to GEEKO. The third paragraph of the letter reads: “The relevant officers of Tourism Malaysia will be discussing with you on other specific terms and condition of the proposed advertising campaign.” The time at which this letter was prepared and sent to Ms Elizabeth Ken was not stated. This paragraph suggested it was still in the discussion stage.
On the same day, GEEKO replied “We are delighted to accept the offer and agree to the content of the letter of intent.” It was signed by one Ms Elizabeth Ken. Yours truly has been informed that in the month of April 2018 she had been quite a regular visitor in TM’s office and Datuk Siew’s office on 16 Floor.
The Minutes of Lembaga Perolehan “A”
Item 1.3 of the Minute of Lembaga Perolehan “A”
Under item 1:3 of the minutes of Lembaga Perolehan “A” states “…setiap perolehan yang akan dibincangkan di dalam LPA ini mesti mempunyai peruntukan yang mencukupi. Sekiranya tiada peruntukan, mesyuarat ini tidak boleh diadakan, sebagaimana dinyatakan dalam SOP Tempahan Terus Media LLPM 2018”.
It must be noted that at that material time TM has no budget or ready fund for any project with the cost of RM99,693,000.00. In fact, as it were TM has been operating with a few hundred millions RM deficit!
4-4-2018 At 11:45 am Lembaga Perolehan “A” (Tempahan Terus Media) met. It was chaired by Yg Bhg Datuk Rashidi bin Hasbullah, KSU of Kementerian Pelancongan & Kebudayaan Malaysia. It was attended by Datuk Seri Mirza Mohammad Taiyap (DG of TM) and Tuan Syed Nasir Syed Ahmad (Rep from MOF). The meeting ended at 1:15 pm
4-4-2018 It had to be well after 1:15 pm of 4-4-2018 that Bahagian Pentadbiran TM sent a memo to Bahagian Pengiklanan & Digital to inform that Lembaga Perolehan “A” has approved the “Proposal Papers for Internet advertising in China using Tencent Platform for 2018 – 2020” with the total cost of RM99,693.000.00 for two years.
4-4-2018 Pengarah Bahagian Pengiklanan minuted on a memo: “Untuk tindakan segera bagi penyedian kontrak”. This instruction had to be made well after 1:15 pm when the Lembaga Perolehan ‘A” had ended its meeting.
Puan Nor Razifah Siarap (the sister of Datuk Kamarudin Siaraf, the former DG of TM) the TM’s Senior Legal Officer was very efficient and brilliant that within a few hours she got the 14 page Agreement done the earliest well after 1:15 pm of 4-4-2018 (the time the Lembaga Perolehan “A” ended its meeting). Of course, it was a very simple agreement with no termination clause in place. This is very unusual for government contracts. Presumably, Ms Elizabeth Ken was equally efficient and had read through it without any amendment and executed it. From hereon, everybody must be very happy for a job well done!
The “Speedy Gonzales” Contract
4-4-2018 The “Speedy Gonzales” Contract between TM and GEEKO was signed by Yg Bhg Datuk Mirza Mohammad Taiyap (DG of TM) and Ms Elizabeth Ken (for Geeko Tech Sdn Bhd). She holds 1 share in Geeko and not even a director of Geeko. Page 3 Clause 4 of the agreement provides no termination right for TM. It is not the standard form of agreement for government agencies. It is a condition precedent that all agreements involving the government or government must have the termination clause. But in TM the little napoleons can do anything as they like.
The Ministry of Finance Rules – Registration of Companies
4-4-2018 Two days before registration with MOF, the Lembaga Perolehan “A” had already approved the GEEKO’s proposals and the signing of the Agreement. This transaction was concluded within 1 day. It is extremely unusual for the government agencies to consider any proposal from any company if it is not registered with MOF. This is against item 7.15.2 (2.1.2) Tata Peroalehan Perkhidmatan Penyiaran Pengiklanan Melalui Media Cetak (Slot Iklan – Advertisement Space) dan Media Elektronik. This GEEKO’s must be a very “extraordinary” case that the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and TM could ignore the said rules. Is this a “special Purpose Vehicle” contract? This is a very serious matter.
6-4-2019 Kementerian Kewangan (MOF) issued the “Sijil Akuan Pendaftaran Sayarikat” to GEEKO. All the processes of approving the GEEKO’s proposals and signing of the agreement were already completed on 4-4-2018 (2 days before registration). The about events prior the said registration were in clear violation of the procurement regulations PK 7.15 of MOF that is applicable to all government department and agencies. Please see below.
6-4-2018 The then PM YAB Datuk Najib made an announcement to dissolve Parliament
7-4-2017 Parliament was dissolved
10-4-2018 Letter of Appointment from TM signed by Yg Bhg Datuk Seri Mirza Mohammad Taiyap. This was done 6 days after the execution of the said “Speedy Gonzales” contract.
10-4-2018 Acceptance of TM’s letter of Appointment by GEEKO on the same day.
25-4-2018 GEEKO sent “Work Completion Certificate” signed by Ms Elizabeth Ken. Your truly is not sure whether at this material time all the conditions under the said contract have been met.
27-4-2018 TM issued “Certificate of Work Completion” for GEERKO’s Invoice NO: 002/2018 signed by Datuk Sri Khani Abdul Khani Daud (Deputy DG of TM), who had also recommended payment of RM11, 963,160.00 for “production scrip, scripting, shooting location identification channel booking and initial mobilization for the said Production Work”. Datuk Seri Khani Daud was also very efficient.
6-5- 2018 Three days before 14 General Elections TM made a payment of RM11, 963, 160.00 to Geeko presumably based on Datuk Seri Khani’s recommendation of 27-4-2018. Reliable sources have confirmed that at tha material time TM has no budget or ready fund to pay this RM11,693,000.00 on May 6, 2018. It was due to the little napoleons’ intelligence and expertise on “creative accounting” process that they managed to pay it. It was, of course, taken from the sum that was reserved for Visit Malaysia 2018 – 2020 Campaign.
9-5-2018 14th GE Polling Day
Last but not least, your truly has been reliable informed that in 2015 – 2016 TM had appointed KRAKEN INTERACTIVE SDN BHD (“Keraken”) to do digital marketing, which were similar to that of GEEKO. TM paid Keraken a whooping RM40 millions for two year contract which ended a few months ago. The key man behind Kraken / “Executive Director” is Raja Mohd Firdaus Raja Zainal (aka Raja Firdaus). But at all material times his name never appeared as a Director in the SSM records for Kraken. Raja Firdaus was a member of the management team of TM several years ago. Kraken is another matter that deserves a posting by itself at a later date.
This matter is an affront to good governance and a very serious violation of all the rules within the government. Yours truly calls upon the PH Government to immediately instruct the Auditor General to move in into TM to have an in-depth audits of all its transactions in particular this “Speedy Gonzales” Contract. A report will be lodged at the MACC HQ in due course.