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Asiaweek: Down And Out In K.L. [Halim Saad, Renong]
By Chris Wong
1/9/2001 10:20 am Sat
[Walau apa pun Halim naik dan turun di zaman Mahathir juga.
Malah beliau kerapkali membela Renong bila pembangkang mempertikaikan
keistimewaannya. Jika Mahathir betul-betul berwawasan seorang seperti
Halim tidak seharusnya dibiarkan membolot banyak projek raksaksa namun
masih rugi jua.
SEPTEMBER 7, 2001
For years, Halim Saad has embodied Malaysia Inc. As head of government-linked
Renong, he built one of the country's most powerful business groups. But Halim's
star has fallen. Prime Minister Mahathir - determined to entice investors back
to a more transparent, depoliticized Malaysia - recently removed Halim and installed
Azman Yahya to clean up the mess.
JUNE 1984 Halim becomes one of two directors of a newly formed
investment holding company called Hatibudi. Within a year, it acquires
United Engineers (Malaysia), or UEM, which becomes one of the nation's
dominant construction companies
JULY 1987 Opposition politicians challenge a major construction
contract awarded to UEM. Months later, a Malaysian court rules that the
nation's dominant political party, UMNO, is illegal. That touches off
a restructuring of the party and its assets. By early 1990, many of the
assets are consolidated by Halim under a listed company called Renong
AUGUST 1995 Renong and subsidiaries UEM and Time Engineering soar.
Renong stock hits an all-time high, up 113% on the year. Time Engineering
is touted as one of the best picks in Asia, while UEM is winning construction
contracts around Malaysia, including the contract to build a sports complex
for the country's 1998 Commonwealth Games.
NOVEMBER 1997 UEM props up the stock price of a plummeting Renong
by buying one-third of its parent. Halim pledges to make good on any loss
UEM incurs buying Renong
FEBRUARY 2001 An IPO by Time Engineering subsidiary Time dotCom
bombs on its first day, prompting an outcry against banks and government-linked
pension funds that invested in the initial offering - only to see
the value of their holdings plummet
JULY 2001 Mahathir announces that UEM will be bought by the government
and installs Azman Yahya to head restructuring efforts, which will likely