Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tajuddin Bailout: GLCs Evasive in Disclosure

Pua: GLCs must reveal contents of Nazri’s Tajuddin letter
By Yow Hong Chieh August 17, 2011

Pua lambasted the failure by MAS and TM to divulge the contents of Nazri’s letter. — File pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 17 — The government-linked companies (GLC) now suing Tan Sri Tajuddin Ramli must disclose the contents of Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz’s letter to settle the cases, in the interest of transparency and corporate governance, DAP’s Tony Pua said today.

The DAP publicity chief said there was no point confirming receipt of the de facto law minister’s letter without providing details as shareholders and the public still did not have confirmation that the GLCs were told to drop their suits and seek an out-of-court settlement.

“Until today, we do not have confirmation of what exactly is in the letter. We have hearsay,” he told reporters at DAP headquarters here today.

“It is ridiculous to say you received a letter but don’t say what’s in the letter. It’s like I’m a company... and I announce that I got a contract but I don’t tell you from who, I don’t tell you the amount, I don’t tell you how long the contract is and I don’t tell you what the contract is about.”

In separate filings made to Bursa Malaysia last night, Malaysia Airline System Bhd (MAS) and Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) confirmed receiving a letter from Nazri instructing them to drop their suits against Tajuddin and to seek out-of-court settlements.

Neither, however, revealed the contents of the letter in question.

Pua also highlighted what he claims to be “unjustified” interference by state investment arm Khazanah Nasional Bhd in GLC operations after several of them issued near-identical statements on Bursa Malaysia last night in connection with their suits against Tajuddin.

Both MAS and TM announcements read: “However to date, MAS/TM has not received any proposal for settlement from TSDTR, and is not engaged in any negotiation with TSDTR in regard [sic] to an out of court settlement of the legal suits concerning MAS/TM.

“As a general rule, MAS/TM is always open to explore an amicable out of court settlement in any dispute it is involved in, provided the Board of Directors of MAS/TM are fully satisfied that based on proper legal advice, a settlement and the terms thereof are in the best interest of the Company and its stakeholders.”

Khazanah has a 48.83 per cent stake in MAS following last week’s share swap with AirAsia, and a 36.78 per cent stake in TM.

“Did Khazanah draft this announcement for them or is it the respective boards and management crafting their own announcements?” Pua said.

“It’s a massive, uncalled for and probably unjustified interference by a major shareholder in the regular operation of these GLCs.”

Read the full article in The Malaysian Insider here.
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