The Malaysian Maverick Hero


Zainal Abidin

While the media chooses to spotlight Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s unending tirade about Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and his family’s spending patterns, the immense and unbelievable success story of Dr Mahathir’s sons seems to have fallen through the cracks.

This scenario makes me question if stringent corporate governance exists in the country because the patronage system seems to still be in effect.

Malaysians, stirred to hatred for the Prime Minister, have chosen to close a blind eye to all the strange and inextricable ways in which the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. The infamous autocrat masquerades as the enlightened patriot marauding for a new Prime Minister while his own family thrives and lives in wealth, opulence and affluence.

Datuk Mokhzani Mahathir holds a large stake in SapuraKenchana Petroleum, which according to Forbes has a market capitalisation of US$7.83 billion. When Mokhzani Mahathir was running Kenchana Petroleum, he reaped immense advantages from the upstream sector of the oil and gas industry, as Dr Mahathir is the advisor of PETRONAS.

In 2012, Mokhzani emerged with about 15 per cent of SapuraKencana after his Kencana Petroleum Bhd merged with Sapura Crest Petroleum Bhd. He later disposed of 90 million shares at for an estimated RM387 million. In 2014, he added another RM1.59 billion to his coffers over the last year to raise his estimated wealth to RM4.22 billion.

The Star reported that for years, their companies had survived on jobs from Petronas, though they claim their other clients include Shell, Exxon, and Chevron. SapuraKencana has an order book of jobs worth RM13bil for now that can last them the next three years. By 2011, SapuraKencana became one of Malaysia’s biggest oil and gas service provider companies that is ranked fourth or fifth in the global market place.

Year                        Net Worth                                                Forbes Ranking

2011                        $560 million                                                 #15 in M’sia

2012                        $685 million (increased by 37%)             #14 in M’sia

2013                        $980 million (increased by 43%)             #15 in M’sia

2014                        $1.206 billion (increased by 23%)           #15 in M’sia #1372 Billionaires in the world

2015                        $700million (decreased by 42%)             #26 in M’sia

This year, even though the global oil-price collapse cost him $500 million (a drop of 42% in net worth), Mokhzani bought a McLaren P1 (which costs over USD$1.4 million) and a Porsche 918 which costs over USD$900, 000. In his famous car collection, he also has a Bugatti Veyron (costing over USD$1.8 million) and a Pagani Zonda S, which is priced at over USD500, 000. These four cars alone cost USD4.6 million or RM17 million.

A few days ago, Dr Mahathir declared he was puzzled by Najib’s spending power. Clearly, he has forgotten how Mokhzani’s expenditure on cars is enough to build low cost housing projects for many.

He practices selective retention whereby he forgets his son’s wealth, focuses on that of others.

Via selective vision, he only sees the wealth and opulence of others but cannot see the many luxury cars or the opulent lifestyle that his sons enjoy.

Selectively ignorant, he evades questions about his son’s wealth or his children’s lavish lifestyle but happily attacks his enemies on any display of extravagance.

Dr Mahathir practices selective perspective whereby others are corrupt and bad.

Relentlessly, as the Malaysian Maverick Hero, he races through media portals with incessant complaints, blind to his own faults but amplifying that of others.

Mirror, mirror on the wall; who is the richest of them all?

Will he ever declare the colossal wealth amassed by his family and enjoy the final lap in his life?

Pray tell how your sons became so rich that we too may learn from you and prosper in your footsteps.

Above all else, let us live in Malaysia happily minus your daily dose of damning diatribe against the Prime Minister and the government.

Spend more time looking into the mirror of your life.