Will The Shining Star Of Ambitious But Incompetent Zafrul Shine After GE15?

The ambitious but incompetent Zafrul posing with the then Minister of Finance YB Lim Guan Eng

The Shining Star, Zafrul!

To begin with the superstar Zafrul’s mother is the one-time powerful Raja Datuk Zaharaton Raja Zainal Abidin.  She was the former Director-General of the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) of the Prime Minister’s Department during Tun Mahathir’s administration.  While his father, Tengku Abdul Aziz Bin Tengku Harris is a businessman. The rest was history.

Zafrul, the MD of Avenue Capital Resource Bhd

In 2002 – 2005 Zafrul was the MD of Avenue Capital Resource Bhd (Avenue Capital), which was originally owned by Minister of Finance Inc.  Avenue Capital was incorporated on 3 March 1926, HERE.  

From 2003 – 2009 Abdullah Badawi was the PM.  It was an open secret that during this period a group of “punahsihat” aka known as “Budak Tingkat 4” was running amok in the PMO.  The Tingkat 4 was practically running PMO and everywhere!

During Badawi’s reign, his son in law the present Minister of Health, Khairy Jamaludin was flying very high!

Government / Rakyat Owned Avenue Capital Merged With ECM Libra

Soon after Zafrul left Avenue Capital in 2005, there was a move to merge ECM Libra, the then small share broking firm, and Avenue Capital. The said merger was extremely controversial to say the least.  

In 2006 YB Kamaruddin Jaffar, the then Secretary-General of PAS had questioned the sudden sale of Avenue Capital to ECM Libra, HERE

PAC’s Investigations Into The Controversial Merger

Just to digress a little. The merger was the talk of the town in 2007. In 2007 Public Account Committee (PAC) of Parliament was compelled to launch an investigation into the ECM Libra Bhd and Avenue Capital merger.  The controversies were about why a government / rakyat owned company had to merge with ECM Libra, which was many times smaller than Avenue Capital in every sense of the word!

Unfortunately, or fortunately for some the PAC investigation was abruptly halted by the power that be under the pretext of so-called principle of sub judice and the controversies died down, HERE.   

The so-called merger took place during Badfawi’s administration aka Tingkat 4 administration.

Kalimullah, Lim Kian Onn – ECM Libra

Kalimullah & Lim Kian Onn, who is still a director of AirAsia X

The founders of ECM Libra are:  

  1. Dato’ Seri Kalimullah Bin Masheerul Hassan, the chairman of ECM Libra. 
  1. Dato’ Lim Kian Onn

In 1979 Dato’ Seri Kalimullah Bin Masheerul Hassan aka Kali was just a NST reporter prior to the incorporation of ECM Libra. Prior to that Kali was attached to foreign press including Singapore Strait Time.  In September 2002, he was appointed as the chairman of Bernama. On 1 January 2004 he resigned as Bernama’s chairman and was appointed as the Group Editor of NST.    

Khairy Jamaluddin who is popularly known as SON IN LAW to Badawi, was one of the shareholders in ECM Libra. Of course, it was believed that this happened by chance!

In 2016 Khairy (when he was deputy chief of  UMNO Youth) sold his 10.2 million shares in ECM Libra which he purportedly had bought them in December 2015 for 71 Sen and sold it at 65 Sen according to the report, HERE

In June 2011, when there were allegations / rumours that Khairy Jamaluddin held shares in AirAsia, he threatened to sue who ever said that, HERE.   

Left to right: The still powerful former deputy minister of finance II, Nor Mohamad Yakop, the super star Zafrul, his good friend Tony Fernandes of PN17 AirAsia and Kalimullah Bin Maheerul Hassan, the former NST reporter, AirAsia X shareholder and founder / Chairman of the famous ECM Libra.

By the way the famous Nor Mohamad Yakop may have retired from active politics, he is very much around! Watch carefully then you will understand!

In 2007 Tony Fernandes of AirAsia appointed Kalimullah as chairman of AAX. He was at one time one of substantial shareholders in AirAsia X Bhd (AAX).  In September 2015, AAX was bleeding badly and he had sold part of his shareholdings in AAX at 67.8 Sen and 66.4 Sen per share, HERE.  

AAX is now under PN17 and its share price is about 0.6 Sen only per share! 

Lim Kian Onn was and still is a director of AA and AAX. 

In June 2011, when allegations were amidst that Khairy Jamaludin held AirAsia shares, he threatened to sue, HERE

AirAsia Aviation Group Appointed Additional Directors – Jamaluddin & Norza Zakaria

On 23 March 2022, AirAsia Aviation Group (AAG) had announced four new board members initiatives to reflect the company’s commitment to deliver a new strategic direction for growth and gold standard corporate governance.  

Left: Tan Sri Jamaluddin Bin Ibrahim the former CEO of Axiata, now non executive chairman of AirAsia. Extreme right: Tan Sri Mohamad Norza Bin Zakaria, former UMNO Youth Chief of Federal Territory and current president of BAM, now a director of AA

Amongst the four is the famous Tan Sri Jamaluddin Bin Ibrahim aka Jamal, who was the former CEO of AXIATA, was appointed as non-executive chairman of AAG and Tan Sri Mohamad Norza Bin Zakaria (Norza Zakaria), HERE.

In March 2009 Norza Zakaria, the then Federal Territory UMNO Chief, was charged for bribing others to help him to win the UMNO elections, HERE.  In 2011 he was freed because the witnesses were not co-operative. 

In 2017 when Khairy Jamaludin was the then Minister of Youth and Sports, Norza Zakaria was appointed as the President of the Malaysia Badminton Association.

Rumour has it that Norza Zakaria has powerful connections!

Zafrul’s Rise From Tune Money Sdn Bhd To CIMB

In 2007, Zafrul was one of the substantial shareholders of Tune Money Sdn Bhd, Asia’s first “no-frills” online financial service provider.  In March 2007 he was appointed the CEO of Tune Money. 

Thereafter, Zafrul was flying to a majestic height then!  

On 16 June 2010, when Wahid Omar was the president of Maybank, Zafrul was appointed as the COO of Maybank Investment Bank.

In 2013, Zafrul left Maybank after losing the race to become the Maybank CEO.  Zafrul was then parachuted into CIMB and personally vouched for by joker Nazir Razak himself:

“He has a proven record in investment banking in Malaysia and ASEAN. He now has the opportunity to spearhead the largest indigenous APAC ex-Japan IB franchise to greater heights”. HERE 

Ambitious Zarul’s great achievement in CIMB was in 2015, when CIMB recorded its lowest net profit in nine (9) years while Zafrul was at the helm, HERE

In May 2018 soon after the collapse of BN government in GE14, the joker Nazir Razak abruptly resigned from his cozy CEO post and disappeared to London. After the collapse of PH government at the end of February 2020, Nazir Razak suddenly reappeared in Malaysia trying to spearhead so-called reforms under his pet project called “Better Malaysia Assembly” with his so-called 55 eminent Malaysians including Tony Fernandes and 54 others, HERE.

After The Infamous “Sheraton Move” – Zafrul Was Catapulted To Stardom!

On 9 March 2020 soon after the collapse of PH government, out of the blue Zafrul was appointed as senator and thereafter parachuted to be the new Minister of Finance.  He has no political experience whatsoever. Rumour has it that he has special connection with the power that be and the playmate of certain powerful non-politician with special “payung …”!   May be those in the know could tell us who is that powerful person. 

The Pandora Papers & Zafrul

In 4 October 2021, Pandora Papers published about Capital Investment Bank (Labuan) Ltd, a boutique bank incorporated in the offshore jurisdiction of Labuan, in a cache of documents from leading Panama law firm Alemán, Cordero, Galindo & Lee (Alcogal).  There was an explanation by Zafrul’s aide on the date when he was the director of Capital Investment that he was no longer a director, HERE

Zafrul & His New Found Dream To Be A Full Fledge Politician in GE15

After Zafrul having tasted powers and trappings as an un-elected minister, rumour has it that this ambitious Zafrul is dreaming to stand for election in the Kuala Pilah Parliamentary seat come GE15!  Unfortunately, Kuala Pilah is an UMNO’s stronghold.  Rumour has it that he is using his special payung … to lobby for him!  Let’s watch the moves of this unelected minister which “Tongkat” he will be using to facilitate and realise his new found day dream / ‘mime siang’ for Kuala Pilah! 

Stay Tuned – Next Change

Now Everyone Cannot Owe PSC!

In December 2018 Malaysia Airport (Sepang) Sdn Bhd (Malaysia Airport) had filed three law suits against AirAsia X Bhd (AAX) for the recovery of cumulative unpaid Passenger Service Charge (PSC), which was previously known as Airport Tax, amounting to RM40,728,327.50 and unpaid late payment charges RM792,381.00.

In November 2017, Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) announced the final step for the full equalisation of PSC across all local airports in Malaysia effective from January 1, 2018. This was to equalise the PSC for non-Asean international flights at KLIA-2 to be the same with those at KLIA and other airports in Malaysia from RM50 to the regulated RM73 PSC. During this period  Tony Fernandes voiced out his dissatisfaction over Mavcom’s roles, noting that the commission’s airport tax was charged “unfairly” and other complaints about Malaysia Airport and MAVCOM, HERE.

The case numbers for the said three law suits are:

KL High Court Writ Summon No: WA-22NCVC-816-12/2018, WA-22NCVC-817-12/2018 and WA-22NCVC-58-12/2018.

On 18 July 2019 the Learned High Court Judge, YA Datuk Azimah Binti Omar, had adjudged that AAX to pay Malaysia Airport the unpaid cumulative PSC sum of RM40,728,327.50 and unpaid late payment interest of RM702,381.00.  In September 2019, it was reported that AAX applied for a stay of execution of the said Judgement and it was dismissed by the court.  

Recently the Learned Judge has delivered her 74 page Grounds of Judgment against AAX.  It is not unusual for Judges to deliver their Grounds of Judgement a few months after they they had given their judgment in a case. The reason being that the Judges have to handle many cases especially in the big towns like KL. More importantly the Learned Judges have to consider the written submissions of the parties, sieve through all the evidence led during the hearing/trial (Notes of Evidence can be thousand of pages) and apply the law to the evidence. It is not an easy exercise to write the Grounds of Judgment, which will be subsequently published in the law reports to be read by students, lawyers, academics and others.

It is a damning judgment for AAX!

Below is the summary of the said Judgment:

  1. The power to determine the regulated PSC rate lies solely with the Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM). See: para 42 of the Judgement.
  2.  Malaysia Airport is enforcing the PSC set by MAVCOM. See: para 47 of the Judgement.
  3. PSC is a Fixed Rate and not a ceiling rate to be negotiated upon. If AAX was unhappy with the PSC rate, it should have taken it up with MAVCOM and not vex Malaysia Airport. The contention that the PSC Rate was a ceiling rate was clearly an afterthought. See: para 48 & 66 of the Judgement.
  4. AAX was bending the law to suit its narratives. “This Court cannot stand with the Defendant’s attempt to bend the law to suit its narrative” (in verbatim). See: para 48 of the Judgement.
  5. It was a backdoor attempt on Judicial Review against MAVCOM’s statutory decisions in determining the PSC Rates by AAX, and the court will not be manipulated as an instrument to assist AAX indolence”. See: para 52 of the Judgement.
  6. While AAX had accepted the Regulations and/or Conditions of Use for Kuala Lumpur International Airport Malaysia (COU) 2017, AAX ought not to be allowed to willy-nilly shift the goal post as and when it suits its fancy and narrative.” “No man can be allowed to go back on his own words and admissions.” (In verbatim.) See: para 87 of the Judgement.
  7. PSC can not be set off by other claims. See: para 91 – 93 of the Judgement.
  8. AAX had also agreed that Malaysia Airport shall not be liable for any loss and damage due to planned or unplanned closure of KLIA and KLIA2 or suspension of the airport by Malaysia Airport.  See: para 96 of the Judgement.
  9. AAX is barred from claiming losses or damages from Malaysia Airport.  See: para 96 of the Judgement.

Below are the important excerpts of the said 74 page Grounds of Judgement.   

Now Everyone Can Defraud Shareholders Of AAX

Left: Tony Fernandes Rt: Kamaruddin Meranun. The top executive of AirAsia Group and AirAsia X. Lets see whether they will issue another statement on this scandal in connection with the 2017 RR case.

Updates on 7-2-2020 @ 5:30 pm:   PMO has clarified that the press reports of what YAB Dr Mahathir Mohamed had said about the Airbus had bribed the AirAsia executive 1 and 2 are inaccurate. What the PM had said was:  “If payment goes to the individuals then it is a bribe”.  If the benefits goes to the individual it is also bribe. Please read HERE.

Updates on 6-2-2020 @11:30 pm: Sri Lanka arrest its former airline chief executive Chandrasena and his wife over the Airbus bribery scandal exposed in the Judgment of the UK Crown Court on 31-1-2020.  In the same Judgement the evidence is crystal clear that Airbus had paid bribe of RM204 million to two AirAsia executives 1 & 2, HERE.

The Statement of Facts and Approved Judgment in the case of Serious Fraud Office UK vs Rolls Royce Energy System Inc (RR) dated 17 January 2017 provides a clear insight into the modus operandi of the top executives and/or senior officers in AirAsia Group and AirAsia X internationally.  It was all about personal enrichment at the expense of the rakyat (investing public).

With their track records in this RR case and the recent Airbus bribery scandal, one will not be very wrong to suspect they had been and still are operating with the same or similar modus operandi in Malaysia or other countries.  Can our past and present Ministers and/or top officials in the enforcement agencies like Security Commission, Bursa Kuala Lumpur and others speak up on these “uncovered” corrupt practices?  Of course, their motto is “silence is golden” at this difficult time for their “friends”. These top executives of AirAsia Group and AAX referred to in the said two cases of RR and Airbus have brought Malaysia into disrepute internationally.

Let see what actions the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Sport & Youth (on the chairman of Stadium Board) under “Malaysia Baru” are going to take or for how long both are going to play dumb in the light of the findings of bribery or corrupt practices in connection with the top executives of AirAsia Group and AirAsia X.

For background articles please read, HERE, HERE, HERE & HERE.

The 2017 RR Case in UK

The RR case was about the top executive or senior of AirAsia Group who in 2011 wanted to buy a PRIVATE JET and was devising a scheme for the maintenance cost of the said private jet to be paid through the account of AirAsia X with RR. The private jet was finally bought in late 2011. There were more than sufficient evidence found in the said RR case on how blatant was the modus operandi of the said executive and/or senior officers of AirAsia Group and AirAsia X in securing the free maintenance for the AirAsia Group executive’s personal jet at the expense of the shareholders of AirAsia X!

The Judgement  & Statement Of Facts On The RR Scandal

They AirAsia Group executive and AirAsia X senior executive were specifically referred to in the Judgement of the Learned Honourable Justice Sir Brian Leveson, the President of the UK Queen’s Bench Division (court) in UKThe Statement of Facts comprised  of 52 pages. This bribery or corrupt practice case was investigated by SFO and Department of Justice USA (DOJ).

The said Rolls Royce’s bribery / corrupt practice case also happened in Indonesia (Garuda), Thailand (Thai Airways), India (Defence),  Russia, Indonesia (Energy), Nigeria (Energy), Indonesia (Civil), China and of course, Malaysia (AirAsia & AirAsia X) can not be left out.

In the said Statement of Facts of the UK Crown Court, there were three important personalities from AirAsia Group and AirAsia X, They were referred to as:  

“AirAsia Group (AAG) executive”

AAX executive”

 “AAX senior employee”

Count 12 Of The Statement Of Facts (AirAsia & AirAsia X)

Summary of Count 12:

RR Failure to Prevent Bribery between 1 July 2011 and 30 November 2013.

RR failed to prevent its employees from providing an Air Asia Group (“AAG”) executive (“the AAG executive”) with credits worth US $3.2 million to be used to pay for the maintenance of a private jet despite those employees believing that, in consequence, the AAG executive intended to perform a relevant function improperly. This financial advantage was given at the request of the AAG executive, in return for his showing favour towards RR in the purchase of products and services provided by RR and its subsidiaries, including TCA services to be supplied to Air Asia X (“AAX”), a subsidiary of AAG.”   (see page 48 – 49 para 314 below – the Statement of Facts)

In a nutshell, in August  2011AirAsia X senior employee  had approached RR for information about RR’s engine maintenance programe in respect of a private jet which AAG executive was planning to purchase.

In November 2011 RR senior employee met AAG executive. RR senior employee reported to RR other employees that AAG executive was offended because of  the Corporate Care rate had offered on the new Global (private jet) that the AAG executive had just bought.  (see para 316 below).

This AAG executive was loaded with cash to be able to buy a private jet.

There was an internal email sated:

On the corporate jet, not good news it’s a syndicate of private Malaysian investors. So working a trick between deals is a non starter. I’ll check with legal though.” (see para 318 below)

RR compliance provided the following advice:

“As discussed, the expectations of the [AAG executive] need to be tempered.
RR cannot give preferential rates on Corporate Care for the [AAG executive’s] personal aircraft  just because of the business done with RR by the Airline of which he is [an executive]. The two should not be linked as there are both legal and ethical implications to doing so.
Let me know if you require the extracts from both the FCPA and UKBA that underpin this.” (see para 319 below)

Please see para 326 – 330 below where many discussions on how to flout the law on compliance and other laws by creative accounting and concealment of the Total Care Agreement (TCA).

When RR employee pursued prompt payment of debts by AAX which upset AAX senior employee who later requested the removal of this RR employee. (see para 333 below).   Of course, this RR employee was later removed!

On 15 March 2013 this RR employee emailed one of his senior employee that “AAX senior employee wants a cash settlement that is off record and not visible to the AAX group. (see para 334 below)

He later explained to his RR senior employee that what the AAX senior employee was seeking was an “unlawful cash payment for [AAG executive]’s private jet.”  (see para 335 below)

Were The Shareholders Of AirAsia X Bhd Been Defrauded?

Below are the relevant pages for paragraphs 312 to 349 of the Statement of Facts for all to read and judge whether this was a case of AirAisa Group executive and/or AirAsia X senior employee had defrauded the shareholders of AirAsia X  Bhd.

It is most surprising that in 2017 this serious case between SFO vs Rolls Royce was not highlighted by the local media.  It is equally shocking that our Security Commission (SC) was oblivious about the Approved Judgment and evidence as stated in the Statement of Facts below.

Security Commission / Bursa KL To Investigate

Perhaps this might be an opportune moment to ask Security Commission ( SC) and Bursa Kuala Lumpur why they were not aware about this matter and if they were aware then why no actions taken against the culprits in AirAsia Group and AirAsia X as shown in the said Statement of Facts.

Or did the then SC chairman / top officials classified this serious matter under NFA (no Further Action) in 2017? 

Was this a case of “HARAPKAN PAGAR, PAGAR MAKAN PAD”?

No wonder Kamarudin Meranun of AirAsia was let off very lightly with a settlement of only RM3.64 million for insider trading during the MAS – AirAsia Share SUAP, HERE.  SC is a laughing stock.

MACC Should Investigate Into The Then Decision Makers In SC and Bursa KL

MACC should also investigate into why there was no actions taken or the case was classified under NFA by then SC chairman or top officials and/or Bursa Kuala Lumpur on such a serious violations of our security law i.e. defrauding the shareholders of a public listed company.

SC / Bursa KL and MACC To Investigate On The Status Of The  Private Jet

All the three enforcement agencies namely SC, Bursa Kuala Lumpur and MACC should also investigate what is the status of this private jet that was owned buy the AirAsia Group executive, AirAsia Group 2nd executive and another individual (the evidence in the RR case) and whether this private jet was later sold to company related to AirAsia Group.

                                        Statement of Facts

Statement of Facts – page 48

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Statement of Facts – page 49

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Statement of Facts – page 50

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Statement of Facts – page 51

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Statement of Facts – page 52

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Statement of Facts – paGE 53

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You can read the full Judgment by Sir Brian Laveson – Regina v Rolls Royce, Statement of Facts and Deferred Prosecution Agreement, which have been published in the website of Serious Fraud Office UK, HERE.