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POLITICS

AZMAN YAHAYA : SYMPHONY LIFE SDN BHD.

1. Azman Yahya’s claim that his company didn’t buy nearly 20 acre of government land near Istana Negara at a discount is clearly not true at all. Jakel Land paid RM774.9 psf. (see here), which was below the government’s initial asking price of RM1,000 psf and later revised to RM900 psf. That deal was the largest land transaction in KL that year.

2. When Jakel Land bought the land, its shareholders did not include PNB. Only after they acquired the land did a portion of the company were sold to PNB and Symphony Life Sdn Bhd (owned by Azman Yahya). We know that Azman Yahya is a buddy of Najib Razak and Wahid Omar, chairman of PNB at the time. Please remember this is the same Wahid Omar who signed off RM4b of people’s retirement savings to 1MDB. That money is all but gone. ALL. Yet the Najib-Muhyiddin government rewarded him with the chairmanship at PNB and now at Bursa Malaysia.

3. If PNB had wanted to get involved in the venture, why didn’t it bid for the land directly? PNB was at that time already in property development, it was developing Menara 118 – one of the largest property projects in the country. It already owns Sime Property and SP Setia. Jakel on the other hand is a very small property player. Will Azman Yahya and Wahid care to explain this? Why invest in office space when PNB is already committing to Menara 118?

4. Azman Yahya said Jakel did not profit from the share sales, and all parties agreed to be equal partners i.e. 1/3 each with all shareholders issuing equal capital i.e. RM25m each to this JV company. Does he think we are stupid? After PNB bought the shares from Jakel (despite PNB being able to tender directly and acquire the land themselves), it gave the JV company an RM225m loan. Yes it is quite normal, but don’t you think it is silly for PNB to:

Join only AFTER the bid was won by a small-time player, and
Loaned the JV company it owns to top up RM225m to pay for the land? Was PNB trying to rescue Najib’s crony?

5. Azman Yahya said ‘PNB had a great deal’, ‘a fair deal ‘more in favor of PNB’. No!

6. What he conveniently forgot to state is the fact that the project’s profitability was suspect. To build tall towers (five in total!) in Damansara; what are the chances of that being sold? The profit share is only a profit if units are sold.

7. And the investment was made at a time when properties in the Klang Valley were already in a glut. With land prices like that, you’d need to sell the units at RM1500 psf. Who is going to buy at those prices?

8. Azman also claimed the venture posed no risk for PNB. Oi, PNB gave the loan, didn’t they? Isn’t that a risk? Yes, the loan is guaranteed. But what he did not mention was that Jakel was not in great financial shape. And the weirdest part about the loan explanation is this: since PNB now owns 1/3 of the project, it had basically loaned money to itself and will be servicing that loan at an interest rate of 8%!

9. Furthermore, if Azman (who was just appointed as a board member of Bank Negara by an UMNO run government led by Muhyiddin Yassin) suggested the interest rate of 8% is so high that it would benefit PNB, why not secure financing from other banks that offer much lower interest rates? The truth is, no banks were willing to because it was not a bankable project. Hence why you needed PNB to come in. That is why the loan to pay for the land came from a PNB-owned bank – Maybank! Azman forgot to mention this eh? And have you started paying that 8% to PNB?

10. The truth is PNB was a silent guarantor. When shit hits the fan, PNB (read poor Orang Melayu that put their life savings in PNB) have to bail out the corporate tycoons.

11. Did he bother to explain why PNB had gotten involved in the first place when the venture veered way off tangent with PNB’s direction? Maybe to ‘tolong Malay tycoons’?

12. Thus, PNB’s call not to develop properties after Menara 118 made economic sense.

13. And to say Jakel and Azman didn’t benefit from the venture is false. You got a good shareholder with deep pockets and you got them to loan you to pay for the land. That’s the fact. Please stop peddling crap.

14. So Azman and the gang should stop the fakery. We know what you did when you were in Danaharta, selling assets at bargain prices to your buddies. And we know you kowtow to Najib when you sat with him on the Khazanah board. You hid so much stuff that Khazanah had to post RM6 billion losses after you and your band of bandits were sacked.

15. For clarity’s sake I will summarise the gist of the venture:

a) Jakel got the land below the asking price
b) PNB came in and bought the shares from Jakel.
c) PNB then lent money (using both PNB and Maybank) to help Najib’s crony companies to pay for the land.
d) PNB was exposed to a highly risky property project despite the huge financial commitment. 
e) PNB had been used to prosper the wealthy and connected while ASB holders get meager dividends.
f) The rich get richer, the poor get poorer.

16. Shameful indeed. And that’s not the end of it. In due time, we will expose another dubious deal involving an oil and gas company that resulted in massive losses. All this at whose expense? As always, your Mak Cik Kiah and Pak Leman.

 

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