One of the as yet unreported recipients of Najib’s cash, according to the papers released to ABC Australia’s Four Corners programme, was the Sarawakian mover and shaker Bustari Yusof.
He received a million ringgit from the money that found its way into Najib’s personal account from the 1MDB subsidiary SRC.
People who are currently being gifted with water butts and maybe RM50 per family as bribes to vote BN in the coming election might think this is a lot of money.
But, in fact, it is nothing to either the billionaire Najib or the billionaire Bustari. The former plainly just wasn’t prepared to pay his pal out of his own money, so he used the KWAP pension fund, sourced through SRC, into his own account.
Far more serious than even this outrage, however, is the new evidence obtained by Sarawak Report that Bustari’s companies have been positioned by his friend Najib to leach out billions more public money, not only from the RM27 billion allocation to the Pan Borneo Highway, but even more shockingly from Sarawak’s under-funded public health services, which have been recently restructured to give Bustari a fat cut.
As Sarawak Report has previously noted, Bustari Yusof and his brother Fadillah are Najib’s key agents in Sarawak.
Businessman Bustari is one of the Prime Minister’s closest current confidants and golfing partners and he has taken care to become part of Adenan’s closest inner circle as well.
This ex-PBB Treasurer originally thrived under Taib Mahmud, gaining vast timber concessions through his company Sarako and also massive public contracts through his construction outfit KACC, but now he has even grander future designs on the state.
His brother Fadillah is of course directly in politics, with the lucrative present position of Minister for Public Works.
He also heads up and pays for the Sarawak Youth Wing of PBB, which has become his power-base. Fadillah has succeeded in getting many of his key followers nominated for many of the seats in the State Assembly elections, which will give him great influence should they win (as he expects them to once he has poured money into their campaigns).
There is a game plan here, which is that Fadillah is known to be positioning to become the next Chief Minister once elderly Adenan has been pushed aside after the election.
This plan is supported of course, by Najib, who more than anything desires control of Sarawak through his personal proxies.
So, how has the Yusof family exercised its powerful influences both in Sarawak and in Malaysia? Sadly, largely to make money.
Sarawak Report has already exposed the blatant and outrageous scam by which Fadillah, as the Minister of Public Works, has handed a ‘turnkey’ role to a company controlled by his own brother for the whole of the much vaunted Borneo Highway.
Bustari’s Lebuhraya Borneo Utara Sdn Bhd (where around 40% of the shares are held by his long-term employee and a close political friend) was disgracefully awarded the so-called role of ‘Project Delivery Partner’ by the ministry, without the slightest attempt at a tendering process.
Observers calculate that the scam should enable LBU to cream off at least 5% of the entire budget of RM27 billion – i.e. over a billion ringgit and probably far more: because, as the Sarawak Building and Civil Engineering Constractors Association (SBCECA) has protested, the awarding of behind doors ‘project management’ contracts of this nature is known to inflate the costs of projects “by at least 30%”.
“SBCECA urges the Government to ensure all future projects are openly tendered and awarded to the lowest qualified tenderer in a transparent manner,” its chairman Lau Kah King said in a statement.
“Open tenders will save the Government at least 30% in construction cost. ‘Selected tenders’ and direct negotiation procurement methods, not only cost more to the Government, it also doesn’t guarantee timely completion and better quality,” Lau said.
It is not hard to guess Najib’s objective in sanctioning this arrangement for his golfing friend, who has always had a key role in funnelling funds into BN’s election campaigns and whose brother is now seeking to buy control of PBB.
However, now an even more pernicious raid on public funds has come to light, with the restructuring that has taken place in the provision of Sarawak’s public hospital services. At the centre of the scandal is a company named One Medicare Sdn Bhd, which after the last General Election was given a key share of the budget for hospital support services.
The public company that had previously managed this provision and invested heavily in the service, Faber Group Bhd, was elbowed out of 60% of its share of their contract in Sabah and Sarawak in March last year. According to the Star newspaper:
“Analysts also said they wanted to know what the other joint venture parties were bringing to the table as Faber would have already invested a hefty sum throughout the years to acquire and sustain these assets when the company wholly owned the concessions in both states.
Faber managing director Azmir Merican.. said the company was not “able” to release any financial information pertaining to these contracts and how it would impact Faber but would do so once it had obtained “clearance” from the Government via the Health Ministry.” [The Star]
So, who are the new joint venture parties who have been foisted on a public health contract in this secretive deal and what expertise do they indeed ‘bring to the table’ to benefit Sarawak and Sabah’s health services?
The 60% shareholder of One Medicare Sdn Bhd is now Metrocare Services Sdn Bhd, whereas the remaining 40% remains in the hands of Faber, through Edgenta:
There is a give-away as to who owns parent company Metrocare Services in One Medicare’s line up of Directors, which not only includes the experienced Azmir Merican, but also no less than three members of the Bustari family:
An even bigger give away is the identity of the Chairman of One Medicare, Anthony Bujang. Bujang is also the CEO of Bustari’s major public company Petra Energy Bhd.
So, who owns Metrocare? It turns out to be yet two more companies, Pop Media Sdn Bhd and Obyu Resources Sdn Bhd!
Obyu Resources, which holds 4/5 of the shares (above), is no stranger to readers of Sarawak Report, which has already named its parent company in previous exposes about crony contracts. OBYU Holdings Sdn Bhd is a major investment company based in Sarawak, which has benefitted from numerous government favours.
It was incorporated soon after Taib took power in 1983 and Bustari Yusuf (who had made the game changing decision to back Taib against his uncle in their power struggles) has been its Executive Chairman ever since:.
This means Bustari owns a 48% share of One Medicare Services and its fat contract, which has been granted for the next ten years.
Where was the supposedly “reformist” Adenan Satem when all this was going through? Of course, we remember that Satem was appointed by his brother in law Taib and is best friends with the Bustaris too.
As for Pop Media Sdn Bhd, this is partly owned by the Sarawak Economic Development Corporation SEDC, the head of which is Soedirman bin Aini.
Soedirman caught the headlines earlier this year when his daughter Tidja Norain married none other than Bustari’s son Subky Bustari in one of the most lavish and extended weddings of the decade.
The grand reception in KL was attended by Najib, of course, and all his inner circle of advisors, interestingly, including his master of communications UK national Paul Stadlen.
The celebrations then moved to Kuching, where the same pantheon of cronies gathered again, featuring Adenan as a key guest. The friendship between Bustari, Najib and Adenan has also been carefully preserved into the next generation. Subky Bustari has been photographed on numerous occasions with Najib’s son Norashman.
Those around this clique say that the strategy is clear. Najib aims to control Sarawak, helped by the wealthy Bustari’s close ties to Adenan, but more importantly with the plan of replacing Adenan with Bustari’s brother Fadillah.
This way, lament dissenters within PBB, Najib will finally achieve UMNO control of Sarawak in the same way that it controls Sabah.
Fadillah’s prominent role within the UMNO community in West Malaysia has likewise been noted with anxiety amongst these Sarawak BN supporters, who fear that their coalition is being made a vehicle for UMNO to capture the state through Fadillah and Bustari’s political and economic power-base.
Meanwhile, there is one remaining shareholding at One Medicare Sdn Bhd, that raises some eyebrows. The private company Simfoni Dua Sdn Bhd in fact has a larger share of the 12% of the company owned by Pop Media Sdn Bhd than the SEDC.
So, who are these guys at Simfoni Dua Sdn Bhd, who have been give around 8% of the contract for the entire of Sarawak’s hospital support services?
It turns out the company coyly hides behind yet another company, which is called Fieldmart Sdn Bhd. This in turn is owned by two people, who appear to be rather low key. One is a ‘banking service manager’ and the other gives his “employment” as being “formerly” at Simfoni Dua Sdn Bhd itself, where both are Directors.
What are these two chaps doing owning 8% of Sarawak’s hospital procurement contract, alongside the State Government itself, which indeed has the lesser share of the company?
Sarawak Report wonders if there is a hint in the identity of one of the Directors of Simfoni Dua, who is none other than a serving State Assemblyman, Karim Hamza, formerly Taib Mahmud’s garrulous political secretary?
Hamza has of course gone on record supporting his boss Taib on the subject of using political connections to “do business” on the side. He thinks it’s fine and sees no problem over conflict of interest.
Why should only business leaders be able to fly around in private jets, he once lectured Radio Free Sarawak? Surely, political leaders also deserve such perks, given all their “sacrifices” and “hard work”?
So, perhaps Karim Hamza can enlighten Sarawakian voters why he is a Director of Simfoni Dua and what expertise he has on hospital provision?
Also, can he explain who the shareholders of the company are exactly, given they are also employed by the company?
And why has Bustari Yusof been given a controlling 60% share, via secret tender, of a medical contract to supply hospitals, which was once managed by a public company with expertise in this field?
Because, voters should understand that this is how BN plans to service Sarawak’s public hospitals for all of the next decade, given this ten year contract handed to Bustari.
Readers might also like to remind themselves how former Sarawak Health Secretary and Deputy Chief Minister, George Chang signed off medical contracts also, before Sarawak Report exposed him and voters booted him out at the last state election – Read Here