The combination of Redberry Media Group’s (Redberry) managing director Dato Siew Ka Wei (SiEW) and its media specialist Elizabeth Ken has rattled the burgeoning scandal involving RM340 million to provide free computer tablets to teachers nationwide. For background articles on the tablet project please read Part 1 and Part 2.
SIEW is the current executive chairman of public listed Ancom Bhd and Group MD of Nylex Bhd. Redberry is part of Ancom Bhd’s group of companies. Redberry owned the defunct Malay Mail, whose editor in chief is none other than Datuk Wong Sai Wan.
SIEW’s involvement in meetings between PADU Corporation (PADU)– a company incorporated by guarantee under the purview of the Ministry of Education (MOE) — and Utusan Melayu (Malaysia) Berhad, which was awarded the contract, raises serious questions.
SIEW, the disgraced ex-Tourism Malaysia chairman, sat without a designation as a Utusan Melayu (Malaysia) Berhad representative at a price negotiation meeting on 13 June 2016, HERE.
Ms Elizabeth Ken Signed The Agreement As Witness
The Redberry’s media specialist (Ms Elizabeth Ken), signed the Supply, Delivery and Maintenance Agreement between Utusan Melayu and politically connected EPIWEB Sdn Bhd as a witness for the latter on 3 December 2015.
EPIWEB Sdn Bhd’s nature of business is “information technology consultation and related services”. It would appear that En Khairul Firdaus Akbar Khan is not a director of Epiweb Sdn Bhd.
It would also appear from the above that as early as in December 2015, Elizabeth Ken, the media specialist of Redberry, had prior knowledge of the impending tablet project, which was only proposed by the then Minister of Communications and Multimedia, YB Datuk Seri Salleh Syed Keruak, at the end of April 2016.
The contract, without open tender, was for the free supply of 430,000 computer tablets with pre-installed Tutor Guru app and Utusan Malaysia e-paper to teachers by June 2018.
While it is acceptable for anyone to sign as a witness, Ms Elizabeth’s part in the agreement could suggest a lead role taken by her boss SIEW in the project.
Ms Elizabeth Ken is also a signatory in the ‘Speedy Gonzales’ Agreement involving Tourism Malaysia.
The Siew – Elizabeth connection first surfaced in the dubious Tourism Malaysia’s RM99.693 million “Speedy Gonzales-Geeko” tech deal that was done at lightning speed.
The Arrest & Detention of Siew & Ms Elizabeth Ken By MACC
Both were arrested and remanded for four days by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in January 2019. Investigations are continuing.
The tablet project meant to narrow the divide between teachers and students failed miserably due to zero governance, as did the Tourism Malaysia – Geeko Tech Sdn Bhd (GEEKO) scheme, HERE.
Elizabeth was the CEO of GEEKO, a 5-month old company, while Siew was Tourism Malaysia chairman when the deal was evaluated and negotiated. The contract was exchanged and sealed in ONE day on 4 April 2018!
Now that SIEW and Ms Elizabeth Ken have re-emerged into the public eye, we need to know the truth about the tablet deal.
The deafening silence by PADU and Ministry of Education over the issue is shameful.
In fact, all the parties including the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), which channeled the funds to PADU, should take responsibility and come clean.
If we really care about stopping corruption, we should be prepared for whatever may come of investigations. We should not protect shady characters but rather ensure that our trust and confidence are not exploited for the wrong reason.
Stay tuned for Part 4.