My Anthem

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

More on the Banking Sector -- Daim Zainuddin's Connections...

From the Malaysian Insider, to be read in conjunction with yesterday's posy:

Alliance Bank linked to Daim, not Anwar, says Nik Nazmi

UPDATED @ 05:15:23 PM 24-10-2012
October 24, 2012

Daim’s ties to AFG could be traced as far back as 1982, says Nik Nazmi. — File pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24 ― Alliance Bank had its roots in deals connected to Tun Daim Zainuddin and was not favoured by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to the detriment of the Malay agenda as alleged yesterday by ex-minister Tan Sri Sanusi Junid, PKR’s communication chief pointed out today.
Sanusi claimed yesterday that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had been inspired by Germany’s anti-Jewish past in his economic policies to help the Malays, but this was thwarted by Anwar giving two banking licences to non-Malay interests, including Alliance Bank.
PKR accused the Umno veteran of being blinded to his party and the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition’s financial abuses and cronyism at the public’s expense.
“Sanusi’s allegation is without basis. Alliance Bank Malaysia Berhad is a banking company under the Alliance Financial Group Berhad (AFG) that was linked to Tun Daim Zainudin,” Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said in a statement today.
He was responding to the Umno politician’s remarks yesterday that Anwar had derailed the banking reforms aimed to help the Malays increase their economic clout that were mooted by the ex-premier and former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin.
Nik Nazmi said it was actually Daim who was behind the two non-Malay banks as the latter owned a 14.8-per cent stake in AFG through another company, Langkah Bahagia Sdn Bhd, which had also bought shares in a Sabah bank named Hock Hua Bank through a proxy the PKR man identified as Mohd Nasir Ali.
But he did not mention that the history of Hong Leong Bank — the other non-Malay licence recipient — which dates back to the 1900s in Sarawak.
He said that Daim’s “relationship” with AFG dated back to 1982 when the former minister bought the Malaysian French Bank, which was renamed to Multi-Purpose Bank.
He added that Hua Hua Bank was renamed the International Bank Malaysia Berhad, which later merged with Multi-Purpose Bank and six other financial firms and became the corporate entity known as AFG.
“Maybe the Malay agenda that was meant by Sanusi is to take care of the shareholder interests of Umno-BN’s cronies, like how Petronas was pressured to save the company owned by Mahathir’s son, Mirzan, which is the Konsortium Perkapalan Berhad during the 1997 economic crisis with an above market-rate price,” Nik Nazmi said.
He claimed that it was Anwar who blocked that effort.
“His bigotry in attacking Anwar and defending Mahathir and Daim has made him unable to see the economic misappropriation that has made Malaysians in general and Malays specifically the victims,” the opposition politician said.
Hong Leong Bank was founded by Lam Ji Chiew and started out as Kwong Lee Mortgage & Remittance Company in 1905.
In 1982, when Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah was Finance minister, the Kuching-based firm was acquired by another Chinese company controlled by tycoon Tan Sri Khoo Kay Peng and renamed as MUI Bank.
It was only in 1994, when Anwar helmed the Finance ministry, that Hong Leong Group acquired MUI Bank and subsequently changed its name to Hong Leong Bank.
Malaysia’s banking system was once largely controlled by the Chinese but many were taken over by or forced to merge with government-controlled entities.
The loss of Chinese-founded banking institutions is widely perceived by the Chinese community as of one of the ways they have been discriminated against under the guise of helping the Bumiputera community.
The Umno-led Barisan Nasional government, however, had previously maintained that direct intervention was required to uplift the Bumiputeras and that mergers would help create stronger banks that could withstand globalisation.
The Najib administration has said, however, that it will gradually liberalise the financial sector and any banking mergers should now be based on market forces.

DESIDERATA: With PKR communication chief's latest disclosure, it is a good update to correct any wrong "depictions" by former UMNO minister Sanusi Junid also reported also by the MI. Desi wll let the esteemed readers to judge for themselves the roles of the various protagonists -- still in progress, and may take on greater significxance with changing roles played by the major players, whetrher in UMNO or formerly in UMNO -- so let's keep watch over the economic landscape carefully. With a discerning eye. especially certain parties are prone to twisting the facts in the leadup to the make-or-break GE13! 

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