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Either The Government, Metramac Corporation Sdn Bhd Or Datuk Halim Saad and Anuar Othman Must Clarify How Much Profits Metramac Earned From The Cheras Toll Collection Concession Agreement.
(Muar, Friday): The Metramac Corporation Sdn Bhd continued to grip the attention of Malaysians with former Tun Daim Zainuddin denying the findings of the Court of Appeal against him as erroneous and promising to give a comprehensive reply when he returns from overseas next week. Former Finance Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has also rebutted then Metramac director-cum-shareholder Datuk Halim Saad’s statement that Anwar was the minister of finance when the Metramac deal was completed as insinuatory and utterly mischievous.
Anwar claimed that the whole project was a done deal by the time he was appointed Finance Minister after Daim resigned on 14.3.1992. Two of the judges in the Court of Appeal Gopal Sri Ram and Hashim bin Dato’ Yusoff, after going through oral and documentary evidence has also pointed out at Daim as the minister who favoured Halim and Anuar Othman allowing both of them to reap huge profits.
The two judges even made direct references to Halim and Anuar for siphoning off RM 32.5 million of the companies’ funds where an intentional misappropriation of such a company’s property is a criminal breach of trust within section 405 of the Penal Code. If the misappropriation is done by directors, as was the case here, it is the aggravated form of criminal breach of trust under section 409. By doing so, the two businessmen could face a maximum 20-year jail term with whipping and fine upon conviction.
Yesterday the third judge in the Court of Appeal Justice Datuk Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin's in his written judgment concurred with the critical statement that, “The concession project generated huge profit to the Metramac as well as to the shareholders of Metramac (Datuk Halim Saad and Anuar Othman).”
Malaysians are interested to know how much Metramac earned from such favoured treatment as stated by the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal had stated those famous words, "Not long after the takeover, a strange thing happened. Where doors were once closed before the takeover, as if by the utterance of a magic spell, all bureaucratic doors were opened to Metramac after its takeover. And as if by the rub of a magic lamp, the Federal Government and DBKL, who hitherto, claimed to be impoverished, suddenly found themselves flush with funds. They were now in a financial position to compensate the Metramac a total sum of RM756.7 million.”
Apart from the compensation of RM 756.7 million in compensation, Metramac collected another RM 200 million from toll collection receipts before it was closed down. This makes a total of RM 956.7 million in revenue out of the original RM 97.5 million invested. Not bad for getting RM 10 for investing RM 1 in the Cheras toll collection.
If the Court of Appeal found that the Metramac earned huge profits after the takeover by the new shareholders, the public has a right to know how much as they are paying the bill. Either the government, Metramac Corporation Sdn Bhd or Datuk Halim Saad and Anuar Othman must clarify how much profits Metramac earned from the Cheras toll collection concession agreement