Desperate, quiet ‘fire-sale’ of profitable Menara KL sparks furore

SO, there was after all an attempt by unscrupulous quarters to siphon off fruits from profitable government ventures – which are rightfully assets owned by the rakyat – during the 40-day period between the dissolution of Parliament on Oct 10 and the 15th General Election (GE15) on Nov 19.

As newly minted Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil called for an official probe to be carried out into claims that the ownership of KL Tower was transferred from Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) to an unknown financially troubled entity, Hydroshoppe Sdn Bhd, his predecessor Tan Sri Annuar Musa has washed his hands clean of any knowledge nor involvement in the matter.

“I was made aware of the matter recently and have ordered for an internal briefing by Telekom Malaysia as well as the ministry, itself,” he told the New Straits Times, adding that he had, in the meantime, requested for some basic information on the matter from TM.

“I also welcome an investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on the matter.”

In a statement later, the Lembah Pantai MP said he had been briefed on the matter by ministry officers on Dec 14 and would be meeting with TM on Jan 3.

“I view this as a serious issue … I was made to understand that the management concession for KL Tower is now in its third interim period until Dec 31, 2022, by Menara Kuala Lumpur Sdn Bhd,” the Pakatan Harapan (PH) communication director pointed out.

“The ministry is monitoring this issue very closely and is ready to give its full cooperation if the relevant authorities deem it necessary to be investigated.”

The issue came to light yesterday (Dec 27) in the social media realm when a netizen questioned the unthinkable act of “10 million shares owned by TM in Menara KL Sdn Bhd were quietly transferred to Hydroshoppe Sdn Bhd”.

“It is not a loss-making business but a business that generates tens of millions of ringgit in net profit every year for TM,” claimed the netizen.

“For example, in 2019 (before COVID-19), the net profit recorded by Menara KL Sdn Bhd through concessions and the right to manage Menara KL was as much as RM20 mil. In 2018, Menara KL recorded a net profit of RM25 mil.”

“Because the business of managing Menara KL brings profit to Menara KL Sdn Bhd, it also brings profit to TM,” he added.

Although he does not know who Hydroshoppe is, the netizen said a Registrar of Companies (ROC) review found that it was a troubled company and was on the verge of being delisted for failing to make declarations and filings on schedule.

“It is problematic and is in the process of being thrown out, but PN (Perikatan Nasional) has made a decision to channel net profits of tens of millions of ringgit a year from the bank account of TM to the bank account of a troubled company.”

Interestingly, a source told FocusM that while Annuar might be in the dark over the matter, surely there is one top ranking government officer who must have sanctioned the share transfer transaction.

“I believe the Government has a golden share in TM through MOF Inc. MOF Inc would have a nominee director on TM’s board who would have acted as the eyes and ears to the relevant minister – in this case, it is usually the finance minister,” he suggested. – Dec 28, 2022

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