‘Anwar’s RM445m plot against Dr M’

The money was obtained through a syndicate of lenders in 1997, claims blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin.

Syed Jaymal Zahiid, Free Malaysia Today

Blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin today levelled another serious allegation against Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, accusing his one-time ally of siphoning off RM445 million when he was deputy prime minister.

The firebrand blogger claimed in his latest posting on Malaysia Today that the money was to finance his political ambition – ousting then premier and archrival Dr Mahathir Mohamad who later sacked him and had him jailed for sodomy and corruption charges.

Raja Petra claimed that the money, obtained through a syndicate of lenders in 1997, was “arranged” by tycoon Quek Leng Chan whom the blogger alleged was one of Anwar’s closest “cronies”.

Quek owns one of Malaysia’s biggest bank, Hong Leong Bank Bhd, then known as MUI Bank Bhd. Raja Petra charged that he had managed to buy the bank with the help of Anwar who was also the finance minister at the time.

He added that Anwar’s alleged hands in the bank acquisition gave him the needed financial backing to plot his coup against Mahathir, while Quek wanted the former as premier to further his own ambitions.

“As I have always said: behind every Malay Umno politician is a Chinese business tycoon. The Chinese need the Malays to get ahead. The Malays also need the Chinese to get ahead.”

Plot thickens

Raja Petra claimed that it took Anwar RM200 million to oust Ghafar Baba as the Umno deputy president in what was described as the “dirtiest” Umno polls in 1993, so the former deputy prime minister needed more to oust Mahathir.

Quek had allegedly arranged for Anwar to receive RM445 million. The loan was originally meant for the purchase of Inchcape Timuran shares as well as the purchase of a least known financial institution, Kewangan Bersatu Bhd (KBB).

Several of Anwar’s supposed cronies were allegedly involved in the arrangements, said Raja Petra. He named then Penang Umno treasurer Ishak Ismail and one of Anwar’s speech writers, Faiz Abdullah.

Ishak was the owner of KBB while Faiz was the person tasked with arranging the Inchcape Timuran deal with the help of Seow Lun Hoo, the former president and CEO of Hong Leong Credit Bhd.

“The plan was to use the RM420 million syndicated loan facility to acquire Inchcape Timuran and KBB. KBB, which had a finance licence, would then borrow from another financial institution to repay the original loan from Hong Leong.

“And the beautiful part about this whole thing is: KBB was already owned by Ishak… so it would be merely transferring money from one pocket to the other,” said the blogger.

Where’s the money?

Raja Petra said that the acquisition of KBB, however, did not take place and Hong Leong had filed a legal suit against eight nominees used to obtain the loan in what he claimed was an intentional move to implicate Anwar.