Why did PEMANDU Corporation take over BFR Institute and why are its accounts ‘empty’?

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 22nd of May, 2016

Why did PEMANDU Corporation take over BFR Institute and why are its accounts ‘empty’?

I refer to PEMANDU’s statement dated 19th May 2016 in response to my press conference in parliament on the same day.[1] My statement referring to Dato’ Sri Idris Jala’s 51% ownership of BFR Institute Sdn Bhd was based on a company search I did on the 25th of February, 2016 (See below). The transfer of Idris Jala’s 51% stake to PEMANDU Corporation was not reflected in the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM)’s accounts as of the 25th of February.

According to the company search I did today, 22nd of May, 2016, Idris Jala now holds 51 out of 400,000 shares of BFR Institute Sdn Bhd with the remainder being held by PEMANDU Corporation.

According to PEMANDU’s statement, Idris Jala held his shares of BFR Institute Sdn Bhd in trust as PEMANDU Corporation was not allowed to have a greater than 49% stake in another company.

I apologise to Idris Jala if I have caused anyone to think that Idris Jala benefitted financially from his then 51% share of BFR Institute which was held in trust which has now been diluted down to 51 shares as per the latest CCM records.

At the same time, I would like PEMANDU or Idris Jala to clarify if the remaining 51 votes he holds in BFR Institute is still being held in trust or whether the latest CCM records are not up to date and that he no longer holds any shares in BFR Institute. This is related to PEMANDU’s statement which says that PEMANDU Corporation currently owns 100% of BFR-I directly. As long as Idris Jala still holds on to a single share in BFR Institute, whether directly or in trust, it is not accurate to say that PEMANDU Corporation currently owns 100% of BFR Institute directly.

However, the takeover of BFR Institute by PEMANDU Corporation raises a whole set of new questions. Firstly, why should PEMANDU be involved in the business of giving government consulting services, presumably for profit, to other governments and entities overseas, as it has been doing?

Secondly, why should the tax payer have to bear the net cost of RM3.9m of hosting the 3 day Global Transformation Forum in 2015 given that budgetary cuts were being implemented left and right on other government agencies, including our public universities?

Thirdly, the statement by PEMANDU that the balance of the RM10m allocated to the Global Transformation Forum 2015 is sitting in the accounts of PEMANDU and not BFR Institute should not be seen as an assurance.

Since PEMANDU Corporation was incorporated on the 26th of October 2009, it has submitted four annual accounts to the CCM – for Financial Year 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014. For each of these annual accounts, the revenue and the profit / loss recorded was zero (See below). Does this mean that PEMANDU Corporation did not receive any grants from the federal government for its operating costs? Does this also mean that PEMANDU Corporation did not spend a single sen of operating expenses, especially for its many labs held, payments to consultants, and rental for their many open days? Is there another entity which PEMANDU uses to park its expenses and grants? I hope that PEMANDU can answer these questions in as speedy a fashion as when they clarified the facts pertaining to the share ownership of BFR Institute.

Dr. Ong Kian Ming
Member of Parliament for Serdang

[1] https://www.pemandu.gov.my/assets/publications/annual-reports/Idris_Jala_Holds_No_Shares_In_BFR-I.pdf