Did the Mahathir – Ali family rip off millions?

 |Aug 8, 2016
Legacy of Mahathir ... Until today SUKOM 98 accounts could not be revealed.
Legacy of Mahathir … Until today SUKOM 98 accounts could not be revealed.

What do most Malaysians remember about the 1998 Commonwealth Games or SUKOM 98?

Yes, those were the games held in Kuala Lumpur 18 years ago between Sep 11 and 21, 1998.

Do Malaysians remember how many medals Malaysia won and for which events?

I do not know about you, but what I remember about SUKOM 98 is the biggest ever anti-Mahathir demonstration organised on Sep 20, 1998 that resulted in a spat of ISA detentions, the current Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, amongst those detained.

That was also the day that Anwar Ibrahim went down for good and Keadilan was mooted after which it became PKN and now PKR.

To manage these games, a company called Sukom Ninety Eight Berhad was incorporated with General (R) Hashim Mohd Ali as its executive chairman.

Hashim Ali is Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali’s brother, the then ‘First Lady’ of Malaysia and wife to Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Other members of the large Ali family were also involved in that company.

Around 13 years later, they still could not close the accounts of SUKOM 98 due to massive discrepancies that gave an impression a lot of fraud and misappropriation of funds was involved.

Until today, 18 years on, the government is still unable to reveal SUKOM 98’s accounts and is at a loss as to what to do.

This was what the SUKOM 98 executive chairman Nik Mahmud Nik Yusuf announced on Oct 19, 2010:

‘Walaupun England, Australia dan India telah menganjurkan Sukan Komanwel selepas giliran Malaysia pada 1998, akaun penganjur temasya sukan terbesar pernah dianjurkan di negara ini, iaitu Sukom Ninety Eight Berhad (SUKOM 98), hanya akan ditutup secara rasmi pada Oktober tahun depan.

Pengerusi eksekutif SUKOM 98, Datuk Nik Mahmud Nik Yusuf berkata, syarikat tersebut yang ditubuhkan bagi mengendali Sukan Komanwel di ibu negara pada 1998, telah melantik sebuah syarikat pembubar, Deloitte Kassim Chan, pada awal bulan ini untuk menyelesaikan penutupan akaun itu.

Ketika ditanya kenapa SUKOM 98 memerlukan masa sehingga 13 tahun untuk dibubarkan, Nik Mahmud berkata, antara penghalang utama ialah kes tuntutan di mahkamah, akaun yang belum selesai serta masa yang diperlukan untuk mengutip dan menjelaskan hutang.

“Deloitte Kassim Chan bertanggungjawab untuk menutup akaun SUKOM 98, termasuk menyelesaikan semua kes tuntutan di mahkamah,” katanya kepada Bernama dalam satu temubual di pejabatnya di Bukit Jalil.’

That was six years ago and until today the situation is still the same.

The accounts cannot be revealed because so many questions remain unexplained regarding what happened to all the money.

On March 16, 2012, a blog called Social Affairs wrote ‘No transparency in Sukom 98 winding up’. In that blog posting W.H. Cheng wrote:

‘Recently, we got to know from the news report this week announcing that Sukan Komanwel 98 (Sukom 98) Berhad has been shut down for good.

What was surprising was the winding up of Sukom 98 Bhd was indeed being carried out in such a hurry. First of all, why in a hurry to shut it down? It took nearly about fourteen years for the company and its accountants to wind up the company after the event in 1998. What took it so long to do it? And now they are doing it in just one glimpse.

Didn’t they realise that Sukom 98 Bhd was established as a business entity under the category of public limited company by shares, which was fully funded by the government’s treasury? Since it is a public limited company funded by the government, there should be transparency and accountability on to its accounting transaction, reports, and its activities from 1998 right up to the date of the company’s winding up.

Come on, the formation of Sukom 98 involved a large proportion of public funds being used, as well as contributions from many sponsors. With this, the people and the sponsors are also stakeholders to this process and therefore have their rights to know about what has been carried out during the company’s tenure.

What about the directors? Why aren’t they being called and scrutinised for explanations? Are the transactions in this company really perfect and ‘clean’? Are the directors really perfect too?

Since the winding up is being held in a particular closed-door, we wouldn’t know if their accounts and all its transactions are being properly audited or otherwise? The people should know if this Sukom 98 Bhd is yet another loss making government linked company (GLC) being wound up in order to cover-up something in it.

Our question now is, whether Sukom 98 Bhd was a bankrupt entity prior to its foreclosure?’

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Source: Malaysia Today

Raja Petra Kamarudin or RPK, cousin to the Selangor Sultan, is one of Malaysia's earliest online 'citizen journalists'. He started his website in 1995 before the internet 'explosion' triggered by the Reformasi movement in September 1998. Malaysia Today was launched as a blog in August 2004 and is one of the few pioneer blogs still active and posting articles on a daily basis 24-7. RPK, 66 years old, has been writing since 1990.