Saturday, June 1, 2024

Hannah Yeoh: A case of Murphy's Law

Recently, two KLIA Royal Custom officer was charged in court for accepting bribes in amounts less than RM10,000 for over few years. 

A small sum in these days where billions are being squandered. It helped dispel the accusation that the RM19,000 MACC case against Perlis MB's son and Hadi Awang's son-in-law as political nitpicking. The RM600,000 case is standing by. 

The size of the financial consideration may not determine an offender get charged or get away scot free. Perhaps, the attention that the offense attracted could be the reason. 

For instance, had the owner of Lagenda Properties, whose shares went limit down last week, try to "buy" their way out of the illegal sales of subdivided Malay Reserve land as developed homes to non-Bumiputera, the case attracts too much attention to get KIV-ed.  

Blackrock participation in the offer bid on MAHB attracted attention. But it is too complex a corporate deal for political opposition the likes of PAS and Bersatu to put their finger. They will miss the point, thus could not sustain public attention. It will eventually die off.   

If there is no exact science in raising issues that will attract public attention, Perhaps it is merely the game of chance as observed in Murphy's Law: "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong." Sometime it is described as "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong, and at the worst possible time." 

Hannah Yeoh and her husband

That seemed to be the best explanation for the predicament faced by the husband to the Minister for Youth and Sports, Ramachandran Muniady upon his company Asia Mobility being awarded "contract" by the Selangor Government for Demand Responsive Transit (DRT). 

Not quite sure what the transportation related contract is. Supposedly it has something to do with the last mile of public transportation. 

The announcement by a state exco invited accusation of cronyism and nepotism, and on DAP for failing to adhere to their manifesto to practise open tender.  Getting caught lying and outright hypocrasy can change voters' trust towards politicians from surplus to deficit. 

When asked by media, MACC Chief Commissioner Tan Sri Azam Baki clarified that legally speaking, there seem to be no conflict of interest. Hannah Yeoh is a member of the Federal Government Cabinet. She cannot be linked to any decision of the Selangor State government. 

More so, the decision to award Asia Mobility was likely made by a committee and not by any single person. It is such situation that afford Tan Sri Shafee Abdullah his Rolls Royce from repeatedly winning corruption cases (except Najb's for the time being). Thus rules out corruption or abuse of power 

MCA made police reports on the matter. They argued there exist conflict of interest since Hannah is an office bearer of DAP. Her party holds the Transport Ministerial post and has active presence in the Selangor state government. 

In these days of No Viral No Justice, to borrow the term used by Nuclearbursaman, MACC was forced to investigate and perhaps to save face, they now claim there were some lead to look into

On social media, Asia Mobility shareholders were scrutinised. CEO of Malaysiakini and state health portal, Selangkah Selangor were Directors of the company. 

There were also questions raised on the companies financial capacity to undertake the RM25 million contract. 

Thus far it is not clear whether to describe the award as contract. DAP state exco denied it is direct negotiation, but Asia Mobility said open tender will result in monopoly

Then it is referred to as Request for Proposal (RFP) but why was an on-going concern KUMPUL not invited for RFP? Is that why it is now claimed to be at Proof of Concept (POC) stage?

Not sure whether that is what MACC need to ascertain. Almost for certain, it look to be a case of  "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong, and at the worst possible time."

Past moral posturing

Khairy said it rightly that it gone wrong in failing to explain how the contract was awarded. It is not about involvement of Hannah Yeoh family or race or anything. To quote from MMO below:

"The point is not who got it or what race the recipient is. He just needs to explain that there is no conflict of interest,” he said.

According to Khairy, critics made “noise” because of their dislike for Yeoh’s moral posturing and the way she criticised the Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders when the coalition was in full power.

“One of the Harapan leaders who tried to show that she was sanctimonious, and morally superior, was actually Hannah Yeoh.

“She made a trademark of herself as being sanctimonious as though the other side, at that time, BN was immoral, crony capitalism and so on,” he said.

He claimed that Yeoh’s “sanctimonious” personality continues to trigger not only her political rivals in Perikatan Nasional, but also her allies in Pakatan Harapan.

Blogger Helen Ang saw it coming but she was 10 years too early. Just like what Rafizi is facing and Tony Pua once faced, it was about Hannah's past words coming back to haunt her. 

To all upcoming politicians especially those fighting to seek public attention, this is a reminder on the danger of loudly claiming to be holier than thou. 

Heitech and Farhasy Wafa

And it is certainly Hannah's bad luck that her husband's business venture attracted more attention than Heitech Padu's MySikap contract. 

By right, Heitech should because it had the involvement of Anwar's controversial former Political Secretary, Farhasy Wafa. He appeared as substantial shareholder during the bid for the NIISE 2.0 contract. The emergence of MyEg as shareholder, as happened before in Iris and with S4, strengthen the believe that the contract was their's for the taking.   

Two contracts merged into one in the MySikap award from JPJ, but yet the total sum is strangely bigger. It attracted curiousity within the IT industry.

Anthony Loke had to step in to defend more than one month ago, below:

Loke: HeiTech Padu's MySikap contract value raised due to job merger; no link to Anwar’s former aide

By Izzul Ikram /

17 Apr 2024

PUTRAJAYA (April 17): Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook said the value of the MySikap contract awarded to HeiTech Padu Bhd rose to RM190.01 million due to a job merger, and refuted any connections between the contract award and the group's new shareholder Datuk Wira Farhash Wafa Salvador Rizal Mubarak, a former aide to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

According to Loke, the maintenance and technical support contract had merged two contracts that were previously awarded separately via direct negotiations — one for MySikap (a driver and vehicle information system) and another for its accompanying mainframe (the server that stores MySikap data) — which resulted in a higher value for the contract.

The Ministry of Transport (MOT) had, in 2014, decided that the MySikap and mainframe contracts should be made separate, Loke said. But last year, it decided to merge them into one, and to award the merged job via an open tender.

The tender took place before Farhash became a shareholder of HeiTech Padu, Loke told a press conference on Wednesday.

Three companies participated in the tender, and all three passed the technical and financial evaluation stage.

Compared to the project’s internal ceiling estimate of RM207.32 million, HeiTech Padu offered to undertake the job for RM185.08 million (excluding service tax), while the other two bidders offered RM186.89 million and RM199.51 million respectively, Loke said.

“On Nov 24, 2023, the MOT procurement board convened and certified HeiTech Padu as the best offer, as it had the most reasonable and lowest price that passed all evaluative stages,” Loke said.

“Treasury approval was obtained on Feb 8, 2024 for a value of RM185 million (excluding service tax),” he added.

Decision made before Farhash's emergence in HeiTech Padu

The tender was concluded prior to Farhash emerging as a substantial shareholder of the company in March this year, Loke stressed.

“In February 2024, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) gave approval for the tender certificate, which means that this approval was not given yesterday. It was already made in February, and Farhash only bought a 15.9% stake in HeiTech Padu on March 16.

“The tender decision was already made before Farhash bought shares in HeiTech Padu. He had nothing to do with it [prior to] his involvement in the company. He got to buy the shares in March. It's your respective right to buy shares,” Loke said.

Anwar and the Cabinet take seriously any claims that the contract was awarded to HeiTech Padu due to Farhash’s connection with Anwar, and welcome any party still not satisfied with the government’s explanation over the matter to lodge a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, so that a detailed investigation can be undertaken, Loke added.

The minister also dismissed allegations of insider trading, saying Farhash does not serve the government in any capacity, and that the letter from the MOF to the MOT regarding the tender certificate’s approval was confidential and protected under the Official Secrets Act 1972.

“To make that allegation is something that is not right,” he added.

The clarification came a day after Loke explained that the higher contract value of RM190.01 million awarded to HeiTech Padu was also due to a longer contract duration of three years instead of one previously.

On Wednesday, Loke further explained that the government decided to award a longer contract duration as shorter contract periods tend to cost more. “Normally, maintenance contracts are something that we give for long periods,” he added.  

Loke also noted that pending the merger of the contracts and the open tender, the Road Transport Department (JPJ) had granted HeiTech Padu one-year extensions for both the MySikap and mainframe contracts — from May 1, 2023 to April 30, 2024 — for an aggregate RM54.33 million. HeiTech Padu announced both extensions to Bursa Malaysia in July last year.

The company announced that it had secured the RM190.01 million job, which works out to an average RM63.34 million a year, from the JPJ on Monday. It said the job involves “maintenance and technical support services for the JPJ’s information and communications technology infrastructure and MySikap system”.

HeiTech Padu’s history with MySikap

HeiTech Padu developed MySikap for the JPJ after securing a four-year contract to do so in July 2010 for RM282 million, including two "warranty years". On completion of the system in 2013, the JPJ rolled it out in November that same year to replace the department’s Sikap system used since 1992.

In September 2014, the JPJ contracted the company, on a direct negotiation basis, for a “mainframe capacity upgrade” for RM177 million over five years until September 2019.

HeiTech Padu then received a MySikap maintenance contract in 2016 for RM79.77 million for two years — from November 2016 to December 2018. This was followed by another MySikap maintenance contract in 2021 for RM36.25 million for slightly over 12 months from Sept 6, 2021 to Sept 30, 2022. This contract received a RM10.49 million extension in 2022 for four months to Jan 31, 2023, followed by a one-year extension in May last year. 

As for the mainframe maintenance job, HeiTech Padu secured a RM126.02 million contract in 2020 for 29 months from May 1, 2020 to Sept 30, 2022, followed by an extension valued at RM13.23 million for four months to Jan 31, 2022, and a one-year extension in May 2023.

Shares in HeiTech Padu ended two sen or 0.84% lower at RM2.37 on Wednesday, giving the company a market capitalisation of RM239.90 million.

Read also:

Loke: Higher contract value awarded to HeiTech Padu due to longer extended duration

MyEG, HeiTech Padu form partnership to collaborate on IT projects

HeiTech Padu bags RM190m system maintenance contract from JPJ

Actually the lengthy explanation did not fully explained but invite more questions. Facebooker Lim Sian See commented the same here


This seemed to be a serious communication weakness of Pakatan Harapan to repeatedly fail to anticipate problems and address it ahead in a transparent manner before it becomes a problem. 

Heitech's MySikap contract can be a bigger issue but it did not attract the attention as Asia Mobility did. 

For personal reason not pleasant to share, Farhash quit the company and gone on low visibility. Heitech is no more in the running for the NIISE 2.0. The present frontrunners are Theta Edge and DNex. 

Heitech was able to convince that MySikap had been their's from the beginning and did not involve Farhasy. It received the endorsement of a reputable whistleblower portal, Corporate Secret to come out in Heitech's defense. 

Off course, the expectation for Hannah to resign and her husband reject the offer is extreme and vindictive. 

Unfortunately, the all out effort by her DAP sisters and coming out of political hibernation with nasty remark, Tony Pua to come to her defense will not make it any better. They are birds of the same feathers. 

With his reputation tarnished as blocking freedom of speech, Fahmi Fadzil's assistance to lend a hand only made matter worse

That's Murphy's Law at work and PH is now at the receiving end.  

No comments: