Syed Mokhtar, an Umno cash register?
YOURSAY 'The weakness with Malay businessmen who made it big is that their business dealings are invariably and intricately linked with politicians.'
Unspin: Tycoon Syed Mokhtar Albukhary's list of companies are all based in Malaysia such as MMC, DRB-Hicom, Bernas, Tradewinds, Malakoff, Aliran Ihsan Resources, Bank Muamalat, Senai International Airport, Tanjung Pelepas Port, Gas Malaysia, Proton and Pos Malaysia.
None of his wealth is generated outside of Malaysia. Let me ask a couple of hypothetical questions:
1. If Syed Mokhtar is forced to diversify his business outside of Malaysia like Robert Kuok, Ananda Krishnan or Quek Leng Chan, would he have made it?
2. If Syed Mokhtar is not one of the main beneficiaries of the New Economic Policy (NEP) that was bastardised by Mahathir to help his cronies, would he have come this far?
The simple answers to both questions are ‘no'.
Anonymous #63753867: "I wonder why I get bad press when others have systematically abused the system for personal gain, but they are not subject to much media scrutiny. Perhaps it is time to come out and defend myself," says Syed Mokhtar.
He has said much about Umno thieves.
FellowMalaysian: The weakness with Malay businessmen who made it big is that their business dealings are invariably and intricately linked with politicians.
Their fortunes are closely tied to the winds of the political arena. Syed Mokhtar do come across as a warm and personable person and he does charity with an open heart.
Unlike tycoons Daim Zainuddin or Tajudin Ramli, Syed Mokhtar readily reveals his flocks of fortune and does not feel uncomfortable about his wealth.
Rahman: I wonder the quality of life that this man seeks. He has so much under his stable, so how does he spend time between his family and his business?
Many of his lieutenants in Yayasan Al-Bukhary are ex-government servants who probably helped him to secure government approvals and projects.
It is interesting that despite his affinity with PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad, he also nurtures friendship with Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim. Until recently, Syed Mokhtar will provide a limousine and a chauffeur whenever Anwar visits Dubai.
Indeed, he is charitable and builds friendly network. As to his business empire, it looks to me being unreasonably huge.
I don't discount he is a trusted Umno nominee. After failing with Fleet Group and the coterie of nominees from Daim's Peremba stable, Syed Mokhtar remains Umno's cash register.
But the revelation of his biography on the eve of GE13 and his media appearance sparks speculation on the new captains at Putrajaya.
Anonymous #40538199: Whenever a person wants to do charity, the person should not use the money belongs to the public-listed companies controlled by him.
While he can encourage his shareholders to join him in his charity works, he should only use the dividend these companies declared and he received to do charity, especially if he wants his name to be associated with the charity.
Otherwise, that is not charity but vanity. Let other shareholders to decide what they want to do with their dividend. Maybe they also want to do charity in their own name.
Pemerhati: Mahathir and the other Umno leaders, such as Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Najib Razak, have been using trusted cronies like Syed Mokhtar, Vincent Tan and Patrick Lim to siphon off the people's money.
They do this mostly by giving huge contracts to cronies without calling for open tenders. The price is negotiated with the cronies so that they can make huge profits.
The cronies then give a stipulated proportion of the profits to the top politicians who awarded them the contracts.
Anonymous_5fb: Put it this way, Syed Mokhtar has nothing to lose. He is just another example of what Mahathir claimed, a success story of NEP.
Just see if he would be like Tajudin Ramli, Halim Saad, etc, that Mahathir also once claimed as success stories of NEP.
Time will tell, but I hope not, as if this happens, the ones who suffer are the rakyat.
Akutuan: I met Syed Mokhtar a few years back and I can say he is down to earth. From what I can remember, most of the companies he took over are already in bad shape and he turn those companies into profitability (not all).
As long as he does his part for the country, I can live with it, compare to Halim Saad, Tajudin Ramli and the Shahrizat Abdul Jalil family, etc.
Who do not use their contact to expand their business? Who do not want to make more profit? Ask yourself, if we are in his position, will we do the same?
I am 100 percent sure, all businessman will not let go an opportunity to reach the top. Talk is easy, doing it is another story.
iKn.t: Who do not know sugar prices went up a few times after Syed Mokhtar bought over Perlis Plantation?
He did not save the company from bankruptcy or mismanagement but the government helps him with price increases so that he can get better profits.
Ferdtan: Many said Syed Mokhtar is a very nice man - who wouldn't be, with the type of contracts that he keeps on getting from Umno?
Have you heard of Syed Mokhtar doing business overseas? Oh yes, I heard one - a small Malaysian restaurant in London, officiated by Mahathir himself.
Result - believed it was close down. Guess there was no special bumiputera privileges in England.
Save Our Currency: Why the cost over-run of RM3.6 billion for the electrified double-track project (EDTP)?
If it were a foreign company, they would be ashamed to ask even a sen and would complete the job whether gains or losses were made. That is called reputation.
The project caused floods in many areas. The government had to pay compensation to those affected. So much for success.
Odin: I would read the book had it been written by the likes of Barry Wain, and am prepared to get a copy even if it cost RM199. This one? I wouldn't bother to take it even if I were given it free.
Ex-wfw: When you made billions without a sweat, you can afford to be generous. I can, too.
The above is a selection of comments posted by Malaysiakini subscribers. Only paying subscribers can post comments. Over the past one year, Malaysiakinians have posted over 100,000 comments. Join the Malaysiakini community and help set the news agenda. Subscribe now .