Performance and Management Delivery Unit (Pemandu) chief Idris Jala has denied that he owned the majority stake in BFR Institute Sdn Bhd which received RM10 million from the government.
"You got it wrong. BFR Institute is 100 percent owned by the government," Idris said in a Twitter posting to DAP's Serdang MP Ong Kian Ming.
Ong earlier today claimed that Idris owned a 51 percent stake in the company, based on a Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM) search which showed Idris controlling 51 shares while Pemandu Corporation possessed the remaining 49.
However, a CCM search by Malaysiakini today found the information was updated on March 1, 2016.
The updated information showed BFR Institute's shares had been increased to 400,000, with Pemandu Corporation now controlling 399,949, or 99 percent of the shares.
The document showed Idris still retaining 51 shares, but with the increase in total shares, his portion had been reduced to a negligible amount of 0.01 percent.
Idris also retweeted a post by one VK Nishan of a CCM letter stating that Pemandu Corporation's takeover of BFR Institute had been approved on July 20, 2015.
Ong had questioned the RM10 million allocation to BFR Institute to organise the Global Transformation Forum (GTF) in October 2015.
The money was used, among others, to pay speakers including former Hollywood star and California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who was paid US$200,000, not including other related travel fees, he claimed.
'Not all of RM10mil was spent'
Pemandu, in a statement later, said it had initially owned 49 percent of the company due to limitations in its Memorandum & Articles of Association (M&A), which disallowed it from owning more than 49 percent equity in other companies.
"When BFR institute was set up on April 30, 2014, Pemandu Corporation held 49 percent equity. The balance 51 percent was held by Idris Jala, as Pemandu Corporation's trustee.
"Permission was granted by the Minister of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism, on July 10, 2015 to amend Pemandu's M&A.
"This enabled the 51 percent equity held by the trustee to be transferred to Pemandu Corporation on July 20, 2015.
"At no point in time did Idris Jala hold any shares in BFR within his personal capacity," it said.
Pemandu also defended the cost of the Global Transformation Forum, stating that even though the government allocated RM10 million for the event, Pemandu only utilised RM3.9 million of the sum.
This, Pemandu said, was because it succeeded in raising its own funds to support the event.
"The total cost of the event was RM12.5 million, for which BFR managed to raise RM8.6 million.
"Therefore BFR only needed to draw down RM3.9 million from the allocation to make up for the shortfall.
"The balance of the allocation remains in Pemandu's account, not BFR," it said.
Pemandu noted the event was attended by some 3,000 delegates from 70 countries and was capable of boosting overseas confidence in the country and attracting interest for collaborative efforts.