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

Umno money-politics: Tomorrow, the president's men turn to be quizzed?

Politik Wang: Giliran orang Presiden disoal esok?

On March 6, I got word that MACC quizzed a senior aide purportedly connected with Azalina Othman for alleged graft involving more than RM70,000. I personally didn’t believe then that it had possibly anything to do with her.

Continue reading “Umno money-politics: Tomorrow, the president's men turn to be quizzed?”