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Can Nanyang Be Saved?
By Kim Quek

3/6/2001 9:31 pm Sun

[Tindakkan Ling membeli Nanyang tanpa mendapat restu sebulat suara atau mesyuarat terlebih dahulu para pemegang amanah pelaburan MCA seperti Lim Ah Lek dan Chua adalah satu kesalahan pecah amanah (CBT - Criminal Breach Of Trust). Polis sepatutnya menyiasat perkara ini di bawah unit jenayah komersial (Commercial Crime Division).

Oleh kerana Quek adalah hartawan yang tidak kesempitan wang (kerana baru sahaja beroleh RM11 bilion melalui penjualan bank di Hong Kong) tidak mungkin dia melepaskan pegangannya begitu sahaja jika tidak ditekan oleh seseorang yang amat berkuasa. Siapa lagi jika tidak Mahathir? - Editor]



MCA Deputy President Lim Ah Lek and Vice-President Chua Jui Meng are commendable for having stood up to oppose MCA's take over of Nanyang Press and China Press. But regrettably they have not taken any step to correct the flagrant breach of law and party discipline in this massive and dubious transaction.

MCA President Ling Liong Sik has shockingly disclosed that the transaction was done on 28th May, Monday, before the Party Central Committee meeting convened on 30th May to approve the purchase. And Lim and Chua, 2 of the 4 Trustees of Huaren Holdings the purchaser, also disclosed that there has never been any Board of Trustees or Shareholders meeting to approve this deal.

Since the Purchase Agreement was sealed without the approval of the Trustees and Shareholders of Huaren, the transaction is deemed illegal. Lim and Chua should immediately report to the Commercial Crime Division of the Police Department against whoever illegally executed this Purchase Agreement for criminal breach of trust; and they should also seek an urgent court injunction to suspend this deal.

Meanwhile, they should take steps to convene an extraordinary general meeting of the Party to censure President Ling for breach of party discipline and trust, for having secretly completed a massive, dubious and controversial purchase without the prior approval of the Central Committee or the General Assembly, thus putting the Party's political and financial future in potentially grave jeopardy.

If the above legal and political measures are pursued expeditiously, and considering the unanimous opposition of the Chinese community and the ground swell of objection from the MCA grassroots to this deal, Nanyang Press and China Press may still see the light of day, and Malaysians can continue to enjoy a tiny measure of independent news. Reluctant seller, tycoon Quek Leng Chan, will only be too happy to re-embrace Nanyang.

But the question is not MCA, or Quek Leng Chan, but Mahathir.

Who could have been so powerful as to have forced tycoon Quek to relinquish his beloved jewel Nanyang, if not Mahathir? Keep in mind that Quek is flushed with cash since his recent sale of Dao Heng Bank of Hong Kong for RM 11 billion, and the financially sound Nanyang is his most prestigious possession, not only as a pre-eminent voice of the Chinese in Malaysia, but also as a well known and respected media by oversea Chinese throughout the world. There is no possibility that Quek would let go of Nanyang and China at that pittance price (to him) of RM 230 million to Ling Liong Sik, unless he is coerced by the very top.

Only Mahathir could have forced through the deal with such lightning speed, circumventing Huaren Holdings and MCA, and compromising the professional integrity and ethics of merchant bank advisers, solicitors, lending banks and the Stock Exchange for having breached the mandatory requirement of their respect fields in this highly irregular and illegal transaction.

Will Mahathir change his mind? That depends on how determined and how much sacrifice the Chinese and Malaysians in general are willing to put up, so that the Chinese will still have a small voice to air their aspirations and all Malaysians can continue to read drips of Opposition news that may slip through the dragnet of the Home Ministry from time to time.

Kim Quek.