Dato’ DR Siew Ka Wei (“Dato’ DR Siew”) is the chairman of Tourism Malaysia (“TM”), executive chairman of Ancom Bhd, Redberry Media Group, director of Titanium Compass Sdn Bhd (“Titanium”) and Puncak Berlian Sdn Bhd (“Puncak”), both of which share common registered office and company secretary with Geeko Tech Sdn Bhd (“GEEKO”).
Titanium had been awarded with an exclusive 10 years contract for advertising in the MRT and stations, HERE. See how “Hebat” is Titanium and Dato’ DR Siew!
GEEKO was awarded with the “Speedy Gonzales” RM99.693 million contract by TM, HERE. It has to be re-emphasised that Titanium and Puncak, which arerelated to Dato’ Dr Siew, share the same registered office and company secretary with GEEKO and EN Vogue Media Sdn Bhd (EN Vogue), HERE.
EN Vogue is wholly owned by Ms Elizabeth Ken Tzu Ying (“Elizabeth Ken”) and her sister, Jessie Ken Tzu Hsein. Ms Elizabeth Ken is a shareholder and the CEO of GEEKO.
GEEKO shares the common registered office & company secretary with companies connected to Dato’ Dr Siew Ka Wei! Of course, Dato DR Siew was not aware about these glaring facts. Dato’ DR Siew is extremely innocent in all these scandals. He is also the cleanest corporate man in Malaysia and did not receive any benefit from Najib’s government.
Yours Truly’s Posting of 7 June 2018
The legitimate expectation of yours truly and the rakyat was for Dato’ DR Siew, as Chairman of TM, to issue a press release to swiftly respond to yours truly posting of 7 June, 2018 “Dato’ DR Siew: “Speedy Gonzales” RM99,693 mil Deal Tainted With Clear Conflicts of Interest! Part –2 (pertaining to his related companies (Titanium & Puncak) which share the same registered office and company secretary) with GEEKO and to also declare his position on the followings:
WHETHER HE KNEW OR OUGHT TO HAVE KNOWN OF THE ABOVE GLARING FACTS (i.e. Dato’ Dr Siew’s two related companies sharing the same registered office and company secretary as GEEKO)?;
HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH GEEKO AND/OR MS ELIZABETH KEN TZU YING, THE CEO OF GEEKO?; and
WHETHER HE HAS ANY DIRECT OR INDIRECT INTEREST IN THE “SPEEDY GONZALES” RM99.693 MILLION GEEKO CONTRACT WITH TOURISM MALAYSIA?
Dato’ DR Siew did issue a press release on 8-6-2018 but he chose not to address the above issues. He, as the Chairman log TM, must bear in mind at all times he is the custodian of public fund and must be prepared to answer questions truthfully about any contract especially on those under “Direct Negotiation”, which TM has very good appetite for them. Since he chose to ignore the above said three common features and three glaring issues arose from the said posting of 7 June, 2018, yours truly leaves it to the readers to make your own conclusions.
Background of Digital Marketing in TM
Just to digress a little. In order to understand this issue, we need to know the history of the so-called “Digital Marketing Platform” in TM.
In 2016 Kraken Interactive Sdn Bhd (“Kraken”) was awarded a contract for two years to implement “Digital Marketing” for TM. The total cost was a whooping RM40 millio! Kraken was picked against many better qualified companies with “Digital Marketing” experiences. The said TM’s decision to appoint Kraken had stunned the advertising industry! The reason was very simple because Kraken had no experience in digital marketing. Its nature of business is “Computer Programming Activities”, which is totally different from Digital Marketing. Digital Marketing is a complex business where the company needs the backing of Google, Yahoo and the like as its search engines and the data bank. The difference between Kraken and a real digital marketing company is like day and night.
Raja Mohd Firdaus RaJa Zainal
Although at the material time Raja Mohd Firdaus Raja Zainal (“Raja Firdaus”) is neither a director nor shareholder of Kraken, he was the man who dealt with the little napoleons in TM then. At the material time when Kraken was appointed to provide Digital Marketing platform, it was 100% non-Bumi company. By right, such appointment was against the government policy.
Raja Firdaus was an ex-employee and members of the top management. of TM. He was a very talented businessman. He had been seen in photographs on family holiday with one or two of the little napoleons.
The Kraken contract had expired in December 2017. Having paid the RM40 million, by now TM should have on its website a working Digital Marketing platform in it. One can go to the TM’s website now, there is no resemblance of a Digital Marketing platform.
Had the last appointment of a company to task with the implementation of Digital Marketing platform was administered with transparency, a qualified provider would have been appointed instead of Kraken. If that was the case, today TM needed to only improve the old digital marketing platform by paying just a fraction of the RM99 million to improve and service it. TM would also have been spared to embattle with the problems caused by this “Speedy Gonzales” “Direct Negotiation” contract.
“Direct Negation” Contracts are too many in TM and Ministry of Tourism and Cultures because “Direct Negotiations” Contracts have became the norm. For a start, just look at the “direct negotiation” contracts dished out to the outlets in Saloma! Such culture must be put to a stop failing which it will be very cancerous. if not stop, PH government will have to face with more “Speedy Gonzales” Direct Negotiation Contract 2.0, 3.0 and so forth.
MACCC and/or Auditor General need to investigate this matter and other “Direct Negotiation” contracts in TM and the Ministry of Tourism and Cultures.
Firstly, let us examine Dato’ DR Siew’s press statements of 1 June, 2018 then 8 June 2018 in chronological order for clarity.
On 1 June 2018 Dato’ DR Siew Had Said GEEKO Has Been Chosen By Tencent Holdings As Its “Special Purpose Vehicle (“SPV”)
Yours truly has been reliably informed that paragraph 6 of page 1 of the above press release was totally FALSE or a Fake News. There was NO such study by Deloitte Consultant Singapore (“Deloitte”) as stated in the above press statement. Yours truly hope that MACC will ask Dato’ DR Siew to produce a copy of the so-called report by Deloitte, which was supposed to have cost TM a whooping RM2.5 million! This did not materialise.
However, in March/April 2018 GEEKO was commissioned by TM to prepare the so-called “KAJIAN”/”Study” on Digital Marketing / Transformation Platform. GEEKO was paid a whooping RM1.3 million for this so-called “Kajian”/ “Study”! MACC and the Auditor General will have to find out who was instrumental in appointing GEEKO for this task, which had resulted in TM signing the “Speedy Gonzales” contract with GEEKO.
To simply put:
“TM appointed GEEKO to do a so-called “Kajian”/ “study;,
GEEKO did the so-called “Kajian”/ “study” in lightning speed;
In the so-called “Kajian”/”Study”, GEEKO recommended GEEKO for the task;
TM paid GEEKO RM1.3 million for the study; and thereafter
GEEKO signed an agreement with TM also in lightning speed.”
Don’t you think that the GEEKO’s transaction is similar to 1MDB. In fact, yours truly would say that it is a miniature 1MDB.
Paragraph 9 above of Dato’ DR Siew’s press release, it clearly showed the OFFICIAL STAND of TM on 1-6-2018 on the issue of “SPECIAL PURPOSE VEHICLE” is as follows:
“Geekoo Technology was the local partner chosen by Tencent to implement the project here. The principal officers are known to the Tencent Group. The choice of Geeko as a Special Purpose Vehicle for the project was made by Tencent,”
In a nutshell, on 1 June, 2018, on behalf of Tourism Malaysia, Dato DR Siew had unequivocally told Malaysians that it was Tencent Holdings that picked “Geeko as its Special Purpose Vehicle” for the TM’s Digital Marketing Project. The said TM’s statement was an attempt to show that the “Speedy Gonzales” Deal was above board!
When yours truly first read this part of the press release, two pertinent questions came to mind:
Why was it necessary for a big company like Tencent Holdings to use a SPV for a deal with TM???
Is it the business model of a big company like Tencent Holdings to device a scheme using SPV for business deal?
From past experiences of yours truly in TM, all companies would prefer to deal direct with TM for all supplies and services. The reason being that there is security for payment.
Now let us examine Dato’ DR Siew’s press release of 8 June 2018 below.
Dato’ Dr Siew’s Press Release Of 8 June 2018 As Published In The Star on 9 June 2018
On 8 June 2018 Dato’ DR Siew, the chairman of TM, had issued a press release and it was published in the Star on 9 June, 2018..
The Dato’ Dr Siew’s press release in Star, HERE.
It is now clear from Dato’ Dr Siew’s said press release, he didn’t refute the allegations of registered office and company secretary of the companies related to him and GEEKO are the same. Therefore, we can now assume that the allegations in the said posting on 7 June 2018 are true.
However, Dato’ DR Siew did specifically refer in passing to one particular sensitive matter in his press release regarding the issue of “SPECIAL PURPOSE VEHICLE” (SPV). It would appear to be a desperate act of damage control. This was what he said in the 8th paragraph (underlined in red above) which states as follows:
“Geeko Tech is NOT a special purpose vehicle chosen by Tencent, …”.
This was a total change of stand taken by Dato’ Dr Siew on 1 June 2018. Now with his new press release we are more confused than before.
THE TWO CONFLICTING VERSIONS ON “SPECIAL PURPOSE VEHICLE” (SPV) On 1 & 8 JUNE 2018
The two positions on the issue of “SPV” in the press statements of Dato’ DR Siew cannot be both true. One of them must be a WHITE LIES! Based on the glaring discrepancies, from now on we have to treat his press release with extreme caution.
The Ministry of Tourism and Cultures must come clean to clarify which of the two conflicting versions was a white lies.
The above two serious conflicting versions on “SPV” are very alarming and no good for the image of TM and the Ministry.
In the light of these rather very conflicting stands taken by Dato’ DR Siew, as chairman of TM, whether or not GEEKO is indeed a “SPV” chosen by Tencent, yours truly felt obliged to explain the implications of the matter.
THE SERIOUS IMPLICATIONS
If GEEKO is indeed, “NOT A SPV chosen by Tencent“, which is the new stand taken by Dato’ Dr Siew on behalf of TM, can we then assume that GEEKO was set up by someone in TM and/or outside TM with the predominant intention to facilitate the “Speedy Gonzales” GEEKO contract involving RM99.693 million of Tax Payers’ money, bypassing Corporate Governance and Government’s Procurement process that are normally and/or legally required in an otherwise proper and formal “DIRECT” dealing with Tencent?
KOPEMA’s Shareholding in GEEKO
To reach such an assumption is not at all far fetch or unreasonable because one of the shareholders in GEEKO is Koperasi Kakitangan Kemeterian Pelancongan dan Kebudayaan Malaysia Bhd (“KOPEMA”). KOPEMA’s President is Datuk Musa Yusop (Senior Director, International Promotion Division [Asia/Africa]) and Deputy President is Datuk Ammar A Ghapar (Senior Director Domestic & Events), Puan Azizah Aziz (Senior Director of Management) and a few others. The KOPEMA’s office bearers are part of the top management team of TM, HERE.
At one time or another during or after the incorporation of GEEKO, these top management officers knew or ought to have known KOPEMA is connected to GEEKO and the purpose of incorporating GEEKO. To say that they knew nothing about GEEKO as a “SPV” for some kind of business deal, will be laughable to say the least.
When GEEKO submitted its proposal for the RM99.693 million “Speedy Gonzales” Deal to TM top management, the said deal would have been vibrated amongst the members of the top management if not openly known to them. Under such circumstances, they should have objected to the submission of the proposals by GEEKO because the deal involved TM.
At the material time, the said KOPEMA office bearers, who are part of the top management of TM, opted to be on “business as usual” mode, by doling nothing to stop the said deal and/or alert the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, MOF, Auditor-General Department and/or MACC of the obvious serious conflicts of interest, which were against the best interest of TM , may be accused of complicity of causing loss or damage to TM?
Officers of Top Management of TM involved In Decision Process
For the record that the “Speedy Gonzales” Contract was valued, negotiated, sealed and executed by TM’s top management and GEEKO in one day (on 4 April 2018). It was two days later that the GEEKO’s “Sijil Akuan Pendaftaran Syarikat” (Registration Certificate) with MoF was issued on 6 April 2018. By normal practice, before any dealing with a company a government officer would have asked to view the said “Sijil Akuan” first before going a step further.
The sequence of events leading to the signing the “Speedy Gonzales” contract showed a serious violation of the standing procedures. If we were to take into account the other issues like the registered office and company secretary of companies related to Dato’ Dr Siew and GEEKO are the same then this “Speedy Gonzales contract was untenable in all aspects. The obvious violations could have been detected with due diligence and the deal would have been stoped by the top management if the officers concerned have no indirect interest through KOPEMA or others.
There is a serious question arose where TM could be been seen as attempting to evade public accountability and scrutiny, which is legitimately expected of a government agency like TM, by dealing directly with a rather new and inexperience GEEKO (date of incorporation 6-11-2017 which was about 5 months old on 4-4-2108), where TM is presumably to assert indirect control over. Why must we utilised public fund in such a manner?
The quantum of the contract is the key to the whole story. How can a Government Agency recklessly award a RM99,693 million “DEAL” in such a manner to a newly incorporated and rather empty company in such lightning speed and total disregards of the Government Regulations and Corporate Governance.
There are too many holes in the said press releases. To discuss all of them here will be too lengthy. Yours truly will discuss it a latter stage.
In the light of the above and the previous postings and public interests, yours truly begs the Auditor-General and MACC to immediately send in a team to investigate this “Speedy Gonzales” GEEKO Deal and other “Direct Negotiation” contracts with the view to revamp TM and the said Ministry.
Your truly will upload another posting later today, which will be more shocking than the rest of the stories posted so far.
Please stay tuned.