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09 May 2012

Hanafiah’s concern of TH turned out true

There are folks that expect certain pro-BN bloggers to stop raising issues on Khazanah Nasional coming to an election.

are entitled to their view. True, some issues can be kept on hold for
after the general election. However, for issue like MAS-Air Asia CCF, it
would be too late by then. These buggers would want to lock up
everything fast.

Most corporate issues are not election campaign
material unless there are elements of corruption. Even if there is
suspicion of corruption, it has to be comprehensible to a simpleton PAS
politician and supporter. Usually they do not articulate on corporate
issues well and one got themselves sued for saying the wrong fact for

Without fear of that political backlash, there are a
potpurri of concerns over trust companies under the Government, like
Tabung Haji and PNB. It could be about the deviation from formation
objective, personalities, investment policies, and leakage.

As Prime Minister cum Finance Minister cum
Women, Family and Community Development Minister, Dato Najib has a lot
on his plate to chew. Inheriting the premiership from the incompetent
Pak Lah was not easy. It is time he identify a capable Finance Minister
to take some load of his shoulder.

Hanafiah’s concern

objective of Tabung Haji is clear cut. It is a saving mechanism for
potential pilgrims to Mecca. They are also the authorised agency to
manage the pilgrimmage.

For many years, the concern with Tabung
Haji was it’s investment portfolio. Back in 2010, the was much talk that
Tabung Haji was over exposed in stocks with 40% of it’s RM25 billion
fund in equity, unlike EPF which was less than 20% of it’s RM300 billion
fund. Earlier in 2009, despite the market surge, Tabung Haji only
declared 5% dividend vis-a-vis EPF’s 5.65%.

Utusan Malaysia dated
March 8th, 2010 reported former Tabung Haji Chairman, Tan Sri Hanafiah
Ahmad seeking for investigation and questioning their investment. The
report below:

Lantik badan siasatan bebas

LUMPUR 7 Mac – Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) didesak supaya melantik sebuah
badan akauntan bebas yang berwibawa dan profesional untuk menyiasat
secara terperinci segala aktiviti pelaburannya dan anak-anak syarikat.

Pengerusi dan Pengarah Besar TH, Tan Sri Hanafiah Ahmad berkata,
siasatan itu perlu disegerakan kerana terdapat banyak aktiviti pelaburan
lembaga itu yang dipersoalkan oleh para pendeposit yang kini berjumlah
5.1 juta.

Hanafiah berkata, TH merupakan sebuah institusi yang
dimiliki oleh orang ramai khasnya umat Islam dan pihak pengurusan
tertinggi perlu tampil untuk memperjelas dan menunjukkan bahawa segala
urusan pelaburannya telus.

Beliau menegaskan, terdapat banyak
perkara kini dipersoalkan oleh para pendeposit terbaru melibatkan Petra
Perdana, pelaburan dalam syarikat-syarikat tertentu seperti Ramunia,
Silver Bird dan Lityan serta di sektor perladangan bernilai berbilion
ringgit di Indonesia.

Hanafiah berkata, TH sebelum ini pernah bercadang untuk memiliki hotel di London, United Kingdom tetapi tidak menjadi kenyataan.

kenapa boleh timbul cadangan untuk memiliki hotel di negara itu
sedangkan keutamaan perlu kepada pemilikan tempat penginapan di Arab
Saudi yang akan memudah dan menyenangkan umat Islam menjalankan ibadah
haji,” katanya.

Beliau khuatir keghairahan pengurusan lembaga itu
dalam pelaburan menyebabkan tujuan asal penubuhan firma itu dilihat
tersasar lebih jauh.

“Saya memang takut melihat keghairahan mereka melabur.

membuat pelaburan ala koboi kerana ditakuti institusi ini ‘runtuh’
sekiranya ia tidak dipantau dan dikawal,’’ kata beliau kepada Utusan
Malaysia di sini.

Tabung Haji’s officio, Abi Musa Asa’sari
Mohamed Nor denied Hanafiah’s concerns with claims on their performance
and accountable process. [Read Utusan Malaysia here.
] However, Abi Musa, whose position in Tabung Haji was not mentioned in
the report, did not answer precisely the concerns of Hanafiah.

source from Tabung Haji (invesment monitoring unit) reveals then that
Tabung Haji made major losses in equity investment:

Axiata – (>RM150 million)
Tenaga – (>RM150 million)
Ramunia – (>RM50 million)
BIMB Holdings – (>RM150 million)
Lityan – (>RM60 million)
Green Packet – (>RM40 million)
MEMS Technology – (>RM40 million)
Muhibbah Eng – (>RM40 million)
AKN Tech – (>RM30 million)

of 200 stocks owned by Tabung Haji, only 30% (or 60 stocks) are
profitable. The total losses of those 140 stocks that are in the red are
about RM2 billion. That should explain why Tabung Haji paid the same
dividend rate of 5% for 2009 when KLCI surged more 40%.

Bad investment

those concerns of Hanafiah are beginning to realise. What happened to
investment made in Petra Perdana, Ramunia, Silver Bird, Lityan and the
83,000 hectare plantation in Riau, Indonesia?

Why was Tabung Haji getting themselves in desperate cases of bailout like in the case of Ramunia, Silver Bird and Lityan?

While this blog had defended Tabung Haji [read here]
against politicians making mountain out of mole hill with regard to
Silver Bird, Ramunia and Riau plantation, this blog share the concern of

Perhaps, serious reflection need to be made on the
competence and integrity of management and various committee of Tabung
Haji. Phenomenon of moral hazard in banking should not be allowed to
happen in Tabung Haji. Nothing is too big to fail in the world today.

our claim earlier of the lack of intelligence of PAS politician on
corporate matters, Husam tried to spin an issue on the sales of Riau
plantation to the opposition friendly Kuok Group. Trust a PAS politician
to be factually wrong that he got himself sued by Khairy for making
wrongful allegation to link him with Pantai deal.

The more
credible Hanafiah was more concern with the purchase and not the sale of
the multi-billion plantation in Riau. Read the following news report,

Tabung Haji to sell 95% stake in Riau plantation for RM2b

Tuesday, 03 April 2012 09:27
Siti Radziah Hamzah

Tabung Haji (TH) has conditionally accepted a proposal from an
Indonesian-based company to acquire 95% of its equity interest in PT TH
Indo Plantations (THIP), according to a spokesperson from TH.

is estimated to be worth RM2.3 billion, which includes 83,879ha of
plantation land, one kernel crushing plant, six palm oil mills and one
biomass plant in the province of Riau, Indonesia.

If the deal goes through, TH is expected to make at least RM2.19 billion, which is to be satisfied via cash payments.

is understood that TH is actually discussing a price of above the
market valuation of RM2.3 billion to sell the assets and has principally
approved the deal.

“The board of TH has principally approved the
deal, subject to regulatory approvals from the Indonesians,” said the
spokesperson, declining to reveal the identity of the Indonesian buyer.

a statement recently, TH group managing director/chief executive
officer Datuk Ismee Ismail said TH had received the proposal in February

“TH expects to utilise the proceeds from this divestment to be invested in other plantation assets.

will continue to be one of the main investments sectors in TH, taking
into consideration its steady cashflow and long-term prospects.

believe that the offer received provides a good opportunity to realise
the appreciation in value of its investment in THIP,” he added.

THIP owns and operates 83,879ha of oil palm plantations since 1997.

Compared to the value of its initial investment, the offer received will provide a favourable return on investment.

“Transactions such as this will definitely benefit our depositors directly,” Ismee said.

added that TH will continue its efforts to manage its investment
responsibly in the best interest of its seven million depositors, while
ensuring competitive returns.

Now that it is sold to PT Borneo, instead of Kuok Group as claimed by Husam, the question is why was it sold?

is talking Indonesia here. Some vital information is still be held
back. The report was a typical sanitised corporate public statement.

London Property

Now another shocker that was the concern of Hanafiah:

Friday, April 13, 2012, 07.37 PM

Tabung Haji to invest 200m pounds in UK

LUMPUR: Tabung Haji expects to make at least one investment amounting
to 150-200 million pounds (1pound=RM4.8732) worth on a commercial
property in the United Kingdom this year.

Its Managing Director
and Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Ismee Ismail, said the property had
been identified for investment from a study carried out since 2008.

Among the considerations taken in the study included the adherence to syariah principles.

had to be careful as we needed to study each of the tenant company
occupying the property and ensure their compliance with syariah,” he
told reporters after signing the Malaysian Corporate Integrity Pledge
here today, along with his senior management, CEOs of subsidiary
companies and 450 members.

The event was witnessed by Tabung Haji
Chairman, Tan Sri Abi Musa Asa’ari Mohamed Nor, Chief Commissioner of
the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Datuk Seri Abu Kassim Mohamed
and the President of Malaysian Institute of Integrity, Datuk Mohd Tap

Tabung Haji today also became the first government linked
investment company (GLIC) to have taken the corporate integrity pledge
in order to bring further up its corporate governance, accountability
and culture of transparency.

On the sale of its oil palm
plantation in Indonesia, Ismee said Tabung Haji was planning to use the
US$910 million received from the sale towards the purchase of plantation
land in Malaysia.

“We will be looking out for land (oil palm
plantations) which are more closer to us in Malaysia itself or in other
nearby countries which we can manage easily.”

He also reiterated
that oil palm plantations remained a core sector for the company and
that the sale of its land in Indonesia was part of a restructuring in
the sector’s portfolio. –BERNAMA

So does that mean Tabung Haji could not manage easily the Riau plantation it bought. Why did they buy it then?

What a lame excuse of looking for land more closer to Malaysia? Riau is close enough that they speak Malay in Malaysian accent.

the London property, Hanafiah asked for the investment rationale. This
should can be an issue for Husam to build on, if he understand how to
make it an “intelligent” issue.

Poor rationale

doesn’t matter that MACC Commissioner and Pak Lah initiative-MII’s
President are present at the MCIP. It is only a ceremonial pledge.
Actually, MACC should maintain a distance so that they can play their
enforcement role without fear or favour.

When the intention to purchase property in London was first raised, the rationale given was unconvincing. What is this global makbel smoke screen?

That was why Hanafiah raised the question. Read below:

Friday, September 4, 2009
By The Star (by Zazali Musa)

“Tabung Haji sees good opportunities to own properties in Europe”

BARU: Lembaga Tabung Haji (LTH) is now looking at Europe as part of a
strategic investment plan to further expand its property portfolio via
subsidiary TH Properties Sdn Bhd.

The fund’s chief executive
officer Datuk Ismee Ismail said it had explored London and found that
the city offered good returns for property buyers.

“After London,
we are going to other major European cities and we believe there are
good opportunities for us to own properties in Europe,”’ he told
reporters after giving out Hari Raya Aidilfitri contributions to single
mothers here. [Our comment: London and
other major European cities are matured economies. Can one get bargain?
Attractive return but what about capital gain?]

said LTH was already known among investors and bankers in Europe as an
“Islamic economic powerhouse” due to its large fund size.

Properties has invested about RM2.3bil in properties in Malaysia as well
as Makkah and Madinah in Saudi Arabia, according to Ismee.

added that for the last two years, instead of focusing on properties in
Kuala Lumpur, the fund had been going to Georgetown, Johor Baru and Kota
Kinabalu as these places also offered good investment opportunities.
[Our comment: Smoke screen, smoke screen, smoke screen …]

can’t go wrong when it comes to (buying) property but you must remember
the three words – location, location, location,’’ he said. [Our
comment: Tell that to the Japanese when they went heavily into American properties back in the 90s]

[Our comment: The rest are all garnishing.]

Separately, Ismee said the number of LTH depositors had increased to 4.7 million while its fund had grown to RM23bil.

In 2006, there were 4.5 million depositors while its fund stood at RM16bil.

attributed the increase to two main factors – the growing confidence
among depositors and a good dividend pay-out compared with other
syariah-compliant financial products.

LTH paid a 5% dividend to
its depositors last year. It hopes to maintain the rate this year
despite the current global economic crisis, according to Ismee.

Why did Ismee insist and the committee/s approved to buy those London properties?

this a neo-liberal belief from some wet-behind-the-ears kids, whose
never been around the block, claiming the world is conquerable?

of GLC like Tabung Haji cannot be blinded by numbers and return only.
They have a role to play in the local economy on behalf of the Muslim
and Bumiputera community, such as stated by this report below:

January 26th 2012

GLC patut ‘ambil’ kuota bumi


LUMPUR 25 Jan. – Syarikat-syarikat milik kerajaan yang bergiat dalam
sektor hartanah dan unit amanah hartanah wajar membeli kediaman kuota
Bumiputera untuk mengelak aset berkenaan ‘bertukar tangan’.

Kanan Jabatan Pengurusan Hartanah Fakulti Seni Bina, Perancangan dan
Ukur Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Shahrom Md. Ariffin berkata,
pendekatan itu dilihat sebagai cara terbaik dan lebih praktikal dalam
usaha menyelamat hartanah yang diperuntukan kepada Bumiputera.

Beliau berkata, masalah kediaman tidak terjual itu disebabkan pembeli Bumiputera berminat tetapi masih belum membelinya.

katanya, sekiranya kediaman-kediaman berkenaan dibeli oleh GLC ,
sekurang-kurangnya hak yang diperuntukan kepada Bumiputera terjamin.

kata Bumiputera tidak berminat untuk memiliki kediaman, banyak yang
masih mencari-cari dengan tumpuan terhad kepada kediaman berkos rendah
dan sederhana. Jumlah Bumiputera yang mampu memberi rumah sederhana
mewah dan mewah begitu kecil.

”Oleh itu, saya syorkan Permodalan
Hartanah Bhd., Permodalan Nasional Bhd., Majlis Amanah Rakyat,
AmanahRaya Bhd. atau Lembaga Tabung Haji mengambil alih
hartanah-hartanah tersebut.

”Kalau Bumiputera secara individu
tidak mampu, saya yakin agensi-agensi ini berupaya kerana mereka
memiliki dana yang besar,” katanya kepada Utusan Malaysia ketika
dihubungi di sini hari ini.

Beliau berkata demikian ketika
mengulas cadangan Persatuan Pemaju Hartanah dan Perumahan Malaysia
(REHDA) supaya status hartanah lot Bumiputera ditukar secara automatik
kepada bukan Bumiputera jika gagal dijual dalam tempoh masa tertentu.

itu dibuat bagi mengatasi kerugian yang didakwa terpaksa ditanggung
oleh pemaju ekoran gagal menjual hartanah berkenaan, selain perlu
melunaskan kos tertentu untuk mengubahnya ber dasarkan undang-undang

Presidennya, Datuk Seri Michael K C Yam berkata, kaji
selidik yang dilakukan REHDA mendapati masalah kegagalan menjual
hartanah lot Bumiputera merupakan punca paling utama kerugian ditanggung
oleh pemaju untuk empat tahun berturut-turut.

Mengulas mengenai tersebut, Shahrom mengakui REHDA tidak boleh dipersalahkan berhubung cadangan yang dilontarkan.

kerana isu berkenaan adalah perkara lapuk yang dibincangkan hampir
setiap tahun oleh para pemaju tetapi ia tidak dilihat secara serius oleh
mana-mana pihak.

Akibatnya, kata beliau, isu itu bersifat bermusim tanpa tidak diketahui bilakah jalan penyelesaiannya mampu dilaksanakan.

tegas beliau, jalan penyelesaian perlu dilihat secara teliti oleh
kerajaan untuk mengelakkan para pemaju hartanah tempatan rugi dan pada
waktu yang sama pertahankan hak Bumiputera.

Shahrom menambah,
cadangan menukar hak milik hartanah yang diperuntukan itu tidak wajar
dipertimbangkan kerana dikhuatiri keistimewaan itu akan hilang secara

“Mekanisme yang betul perlu dibincang, diteliti
dan dilaksanakan. Tetapi saya berpendapat kuota kediaman Bumiputera
boleh diselamatkan oleh agensi-agensi terbabit,” katanya.

berkata, di sebalik tumpuan agensi-agensi berkaitan kepada hartanah
komersial, mereka boleh menambah hartanah kediaman sebagai portfolio
baharu terutama di kawasan-kawasan utama yang berpotensi besar dan
berdaya saing.

“Contohnya di kawasan Mont Kiara dan tengah-tengah
kawasan segi tiga emas Kuala Lumpur kerana kediaman di kawasan ini
tidak akan jatuh dan baik untuk pelaburan jangka panjang.

pembelian kediaman, entiti-entiti terbabit bukan sahaja membantu
menangani masalah pemaju, pada masa sama GLC mampu mempertahan dan
menyelamatkan hak milik Bumiputera.

“Mungkin kediaman yang mahal
itu tidak mampu dimiliki Bumiputera pada masa sekarang, tetapi mungkin
boleh dijual pada tahun-tahun mendatang. Siapa tahu ketika itu banyak
Bumiputera yang mampu,” katanya.

Questionable links

neo-liberal was earlier mentioned, it actually is raising concern
whether Ismee’s actions has to do with his background and links?

background as CEO ECM Libra Securities used to be put to question
because it means having links with Dato Kalimullah, Lim Kian Onn dan
David Chua. He was attached in Dato Azman Yahya’s Danaharta, which the
talk in the market was that he took oppurtunity to sqeeze cashstrap
businessmen, particularly Bumiputera but not the Cina.

rumour source claimed his father’s boasted around Kampung Tunku that
Ismee got the job over a lunch appointment with Khairy Jamaluddin then.

There is a bigger concern.

Tabung Haji bailed out Lityan in 2010, Ismee was on record personally
given 1,000,000 new shares in Lityan. It was not given to Tabung Haji
but the CEO personally.

His name cropped up in parliament when
Wee Choo Keong raised issues not investigated by SC Chairperson, Tan Sri
Zarinah Anwar. Read here.

were saying that it was a token of appreciation after getting the
relisting approval from SC. Upon listing, Lityan shares flew and talk
was Ismee got himself a brand new Mercedes S320 Plat no XXX19 from the
“free” shares.

Guess who is the Chairman of Tabung Haji’s
Investment Panel, if not the controversial Mr Fix-It husband of former
SC Chairperson, Dato Azizan.

And there is another rumour of Ismee
in Tabung Haji’s sale of 54 acres of prime land at Bukit Jalil to SPPK
at dirt cheap price in 2002 of RM25 psf when market was around 120 psf.
Ismee was awarded a bungalow lot by SPPK and him and his gang made close
to RM500,000 each!

Fact or fiction, true or rumour, the story of
leakages in Tabung Haji’s Investment Department is legendary. It is an
open secret in the market. It has been going on since time immemorial,
as far as many in the market can remember.

When this blogger was
hawking an investment proposal, we met senior management from Tabung
Haji able to afford a cash RM1 million investment.

There is a
high level of distrust in Tabung Haji’s investments decision that there
was uproar when the intention to list TH Plantation was made in 2005.
Read Utusan Malaysia here.

raised lots of suspicion. Was Tabung Haji having acute financial
problem that it needs to list? Is someone getting something out of it?

Despite several measures taken several times, the talk is still going on. Ismee’s name is still being rumoured.

asked why was MACC quiet on this? They claimed MACC had cleared him of
any wrongdoing. More than that, one source claim any whistleblower
leaking info to MACC will be known by morning next day. Great material
for Husam to spin on.

Maybe there is no case against him but how do one explain of the Lityan shares. Hanafiah is fair with his concerns.

apart from the issues raised, it was made known to this blogger decades
ago by a General Manager of Tabung Haji that their assets outstrip the
total savings of depositers in the tune of RM6 billion vis-a-vis RM3

Maybe it is larger now. Tabung Haji does not give out
it’s accounts to depositers like PNB. Enquiry with the PR Department
could raise alarm bells all throughout the organisation.

To whom
does this surplus asset goes to? Who is supposed to own it? Does it
belong to the depositers or Government? Why can’t it be utilised to make
Haj cheaper for the lesser in the Muslim society?

If that
request is not financially tenable, why then is the concern for Tabung
Haji’s investment? Could the surplus asset be attracting many dishonest
operators within Tabung Haji making “ownership claim”?

someone of unquestionable integrity and rumour free background is placed
up there, the public will keep poking issues on Tabung Haji despite
their excellent Haj management ability.

May God save us all, if
trust companies like Tabung Haji, which is intended to perform ibadah,
is corrupted by unscruplous professionals.

* edited 11:30 AM

4/19/2012 09:01:00 AM