Updates on 21-8-2019 @ 3:30 pm: SHOCKER! It’s now confirmed! Ancom Bhd, being the sole shareholder of Redberry Sdn Bhd, and Nylex Bhd did not make any announcement to Bursa Saham Kuala Lumpur (BSKL) of their involvement in the PADU/MOE’s RM340 million tablet project and/or the purpose for the receipt of about RM50 million by Ancom Bhd through Redberry Sdn Bhd and RM20.6 million by Nylex Bhd from the special purpose vehicle bank account, Utusan-Epiweb Collection Account.
BSKL is duty bound to investigate into this serious matter in order to protect the interests of the investing public and to ensure an orderly capital market in Malaysia.
Perhaps our Securities Commission should also be looking into this serious matter.
The imminent closure of Utusan Malaysia and Kosmo newspapers by Utusan Melayu (M) Berhad further complicates the systemic manoeuvring in the shady mega computer tablet project for teachers nationwide.
The situation currently is as follows:
- Utusan Melayu (M) Berhad is broke and cannot continue with the project that includes pre-installed Utusan e-paper.
- PADU Corporation, a company set up by the Ministry of Education (MOE) to manage the RM340 million project to supply free 430,000 tablets to digitalise teaching in schools, is in a big fix.
The ONLY winners in the rip-off failed tablet deal are companies which are not parties to the agreements between PADU – Utusan or Utusan – Epiweb for the failed project.
It would appear from the above mapping table of outflow of funds that Redberry Sdn Bhd (Redberry) and public-listed chemical company Nylex Berhad (Nylex) were paid a whopping RM70.6 million from the very special purpose vehicle bank account, “Utusan-Epiweb Collection Account”. It was set up to receive and disburse payments from PADU for the failed tablet project. The said payment of RM70.6 million represents 26.34% of the total payment of about RM268 million of MCMC Funds that PADU had paid into the said very special purpose vehicle bank account.
RM20.6 million was paid from the said special purpose vehicle account to Nylex Bhd, a company dealing with chemical products. What was this payment all about?
Any Annoucement Made To Bursa Saham Kuala Lumpur?
Since Nylex Bhd is a public listed company, did it inform or make any announcement in Bursa Saham Kuala Lumpur (BSKL) about this significant transaction. The investing public should be kept informed of these significant transactions.
Both companies (Redberry & Nylex Bhd), controlled by the disgraced ex-Tourism chairman, Dato Siew Ka Wei were non-existent in the contracts between PADU-Utusan and between Utusan and the supply, delivery and maintenance agent, Epiweb Sdn Bhd.
The Corporate Genius, Dato’ Siew Ka Wei
On 9 January 2019, Dato’ Siew Ka Wei and his media specialist Ms Elizabeth Ken of Redberry Media Group were arrested and detained by MACC for four days, HERE, in connection with the Speedy Gonzales Geeko RM99.693 million with Tourism Malaysia, HERE.
Seven months have elapsed and there are no charges preferred by MACC. Why?
The Redberry Sdn Bhd
Dato’ Siew Ka Wei is the director and manager of Redberry Sdn Bhd. Ancom Bhd is the sole shareholder of 4 million shares. Similarly, did Ancom Bhd inform or make an announcement in Bursa Saham Kuala Lumpur (BSKL) about this material transaction where Redberry, a subsidiary of Ancom Bhd, had received RM50 million from the said special purpose vehicle bank account.
Dato’ Siew Ka Wei is the executive chairman of the public listed company Ancom Bhd and group MD of another public listed company Nylex Bhd, which had also received RM20.6 million from the same account.
Coincidentally, it was under Siew Ka Wei’s control that Malay Mail, then oldest newspaper in the country, was shut down 31 November 2018 even though at that material time Redberry and Nylex were getting a total of RM70.6 million from the said special purpose vehicle bank account. Until this day, many of the Malay Mail’s ex employees are still without a job.
Datuk Wong Sai Wan, The Best Editor In Asia!!
The famous Datuk Wong Sai Wan, editor in chief of Malay Mail, in his tweet was trying to exhibit his “COMPASSION” for the Utusan staff. Why the same compassion not shown to the Malay Mail staff when Malay Mail was shut down in 2018? Why was a small fraction of the RM50 million received from the said special purpose vehicle bank account not used to alleviate the hardship of the Malay Mail staff, who have slogged so hard for Malay Mail/Dato’ Siew Ka Wei? As a reminder to Datuk Wong, charity begins at home!
Datuk Wong is the BEST editor in Asia, he is also a good businessman and director of Dato’ Siew Ka Wei’s outfit, Titanium Compass Sdn Bhd, which became part of the settlement agreement between Utusan and Redberry. Isn’t it strange?
The Ramifications Of Shutting Down Utusan
This latest development involving Utusan will have severe ramifications for PADU over the RM309,879,325.00 it received from the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) for the scheme.
PADU had imposed about RM50 million in penalties against Utusan for breach of contracts that included non-delivery of tablets, late delivery and off specifications. Despite the breach of contract by Utusan in Phase 1 and 2, PADU under the leadership of Puan Khadijah Abdullah (former CEO of PADU & now with Bank Negara) and En Ahmad Izzat (CFO), Puan Khadijah carried on to sign contract after contract to facilitate payments to the so-called “vendors”.
Sources in MOE said that PADU/MOE has yet to enforce the penalties imposed. They are just playing “masak-masak” like kids!
Khadijah’s “Financial Literacy”
Now that Utusan is closing shop, it is almost impossible for PADU to recover the RM50 million unless Utusan has enough assets to cover it. PADU has to recover another RM18,402,690.25 which PADU paid out under Phase 6 against the decision of JK Pemandu on 17 April 2018, HERE. That was the “FINANCIAL LITERACY”/ZERO GOVERNANCE of Puan Khadijah Abdullah, the former CEO of PADU. She has been head hunted by Bank Negara to head a department that deal with “Financial Literacy”. May God bless Bank Negara!
For this payment under Phase 6, Redberry was paid RM10,402,690.25 from the special purpose vehicle bank account. God knows for what purpose??
Puan Khadijah Abdullah and En Ahmad Izzat Ahmad Zaki, CFO of PADU, should be held personally liable by surcharging them under the General Order for paying out the RM18,402,690.50 in total defiance of the JK Pemandu said decision.
The Suit Between Redberry & Utusan
Redberry Sdn Bhd, meanwhile, is on a roll. It obtained summary judgment of RM8.5 million against Utusan on 11 February 2019, claiming failure to refund the amount for “advertising, branding and communication exercise”, HERE.
The “Settlement Agreement” Between Utusan & Redberry
Strangely on 8 April 2019, Utusan and Redberry entered into a “Settlement Agreement”.
The tablets purchased by PADU and the off specifications of the said tablets were issues recited in the said “settlement agreement”.
Ironically, while the suit was about refund of “advertising, branding and communication exercise”, the said tablets and the off specifications became issues in the ”settlement agreement”!
Utusan is to settle the judgment sum of RM8.5 million under the following conditions:
A full and final settlement of the amount owed to Redberry by Utusan for computer tablets purchased by Redberry for a sum of RM482,194.44 shall be set off against the Judgment sum.
Utusan shall procure Utusan Airtime Sdn Bhd(UASB), a wholly owned subsidiary of Utusan, to transfer its 20% shares in Titanium Compass Sdn Bhd (Titanium) valued at RM6 million to set off against the judgment sum. Pending the approval of the relevant authorities for transfer, Utusan shall procure UASB to hold in trust for Redberry. (Note: Titanium was awarded with 10 years exclusive advertising space contract in MRT Stations, HERE)
As full and final settlement of any claim that Utusan may have against Epiweb Sdn Bhd (Epiweb) arising out of or in connection with the Supply, Delivery and Maintenance Agreement pertaining the computer tablets between Epiweb and Utusan, dated 3 December 2015, Redberry has agreed as follows:
To bear the agreed portion of the loss suffered by Utusan arising from short payment by PADU of RM2,017,805.56 by setting off that amount against the judgement sum.
Utusan and Redberry agree that for any potential claim or legal action that PADU may take against Utusan in connection with the tablets supplied by Lenovo Technology Sdn Bhd which the processor speed of such tablet is below the specifications required by PADU and for which Lenovo is aware of PADU’s specifications:
- Redberry shall procure Epiweb to cooperate and assist Utusan in their discussion and negotiation with PADU.
- Redberry, Epiweb and Utusan shall jointly pursue against Lenovo an order to make Lenovo liable for any damages PADU may claim against Utusan.
- All agreed legal costs incurred in defending the claim by PADU and the claim against Lenovo shall be shared jointly between Redberry and Utusan.
- In the event that the court decides that Lenovo is not liable for any damages arising from PADU’s claim against Utusan, Redberry shall procure Epiweb to assist Utusan to source competitively priced tablets for the remaining gadgets under the Supply Agreement.
- Redberry shall receive from Ancom Bhd a letter of confirmation addressed to Utusan that there is no outstanding amount owing between Utusan and Ancom Bhd.
On 9 April 2019 it was also reported that Nylex had entered into an agreement with Utusan Melayu Bhd to settle their legal dispute over refund of “deposit” totalling RM10 million where Utusan had agreed to transfer a property worth RM6.7 million to Redberry, HERE. It is unknown whether this was part of the settlement between Utusan and Redberry.
Dato’ Siew Ka Wei signed the said settlement agreement on behalf of Redberry.
Many questions arose from the above “Settlement Agreement”? The obvious questions are:
Why did the tablet’s off specifications involving PADU and its supplier Utusan become part of the settlement?
Whywas Redberry was so concerned about the potential suit from PADU against Utusan when it was not a party to it?
On 13 June 2016 Siew also represented Utusan in the “Pre Price Negotiation” for the tablets with PADU, HERE.
One would have thought that Dato’ Siew Ka Wei and Utusan were very friendly parties. From the said lawsuit and the said settlement agreement it would now appear that there was a “SPECIAL” relationship between Dato’ Siew Ka Wei/Redberry and Utusan.
It was also strange that all payments from PADU were paid into the special purpose vehicle account known as “Utusan-Epiweb Collection Account” when PADU only entered into agreements with Utusan.
Why Was RM70.6 mil Paid To Redberry and Nylex Bhd?
On 30 April 2018 RM10,402,690.25 was paid out from the special purpose vehicle bank account under Phase 6 to Redberry. but there were several other payments to Redberry and Nylex Bhd totalling RM70 mil.
It must be noted that both Redberry and Nylex Bhd were not parties to the agreements between PADU – Utusan and Utusan – Epiweb.
PADU/MOE STOP PLAYING DUMB ON ABUSE OF PUBLIC FUNDS
When the news of the MCMC Funds had been abused broke out, on 16 July 2019 YB Gobind Singh, the Minister of Communication and Multimedia, had assured the public that a report will be lodged with SPRM/MACC with regards to the abused of MCMC Funds, HERE. More than a month has elapsed and no such report was made by his ministry. Why? Is the Ministry trying to cover up for MCMC officers, who have disbursed the MCMC Funds to PADU wantonly with no control?
A culture of impunity has long reigned in this scandalous episode and PADU and MOE must come clean to clarify the RM70.6 mil paid out from the said special purpose vehicle bank account, “Utusan-Epiweb Collection Account” to Redberry and Nylex Bhd. The deafening silence is no longer an option for the Minister of Education, YB Datuk Dr Mazlee Malik!
Stay Tuned – Part 10