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Tarikh : 4/29/2004 4:39:12 PM

Another conspirator in the Anwar Ibrahim frame-up bites the dust

The ‘big secret’ of the Chairman of Felcra, Hamzah Zainuddin, revealed

Who is Hamzah Zainuddin? Before this not many have heard his name. How did he become the Felcra Chairman, a post normally reserved for those who have ‘served the powers that be’, in this case the one-time Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad? What did he do for Mahathir that resulted in him being appointed the Felcra Chairman?

And how come, as a mere Chairman of Felcra, he is worth so much money that the Ipoh Syariah Court saw fit to command him to pay his abandoned (first) wife an amount as high as RM11.206 million, which is supposed to be only a portion of his vast wealth?

Hamzah was one of the conspirators in the plot to smear Anwar Ibrahim and he is the latest in the long list of conspirators to bite the dust. He is certainly rich but he made his money through foul and corrupted means, even by trying to ‘sell’ his wife and, together with Anuar Musa, robbed RM40 million from the fund set up to assist the hardcore poor.

Pak Lah is paranoid that Mahathir is out to get him

Before we talk about Hamzah Zainuddin, let us first talk about the new Prime Minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (Pak Lah). Why is a person like Hamzah still the Felcra Chairman while Anwar is kept in prison and denied his request for medical treatment?

Not long after Pak Lah became Prime Minister, a few ex-close aides of Anwar went to meet him (Pak Lah) to discuss the possibility of Anwar being allowed his much-needed medical treatment.

And that was around the time rumours were spread that Parti Keadilan Nasional’s Youth Leader, Ezam Mohd Nor, went to meet Pak Lah to discuss his entry into Umno. The truth is, the meeting was about Anwar’s medical treatment.

A series of meetings were held but finally Pak Lah declined the request. He said that his position in Umno is not secured yet -- he is still only the Acting President and is yet to be elected its ‘confirmed’ President at the Umno General Assembly due to be held in June this year -- so he is worried that if he allows Anwar his medical treatment, then ‘Mahathir’s men’ in Umno would view him as weak and may try to oust him from power.

Clearly, Pak Lah is worried about being surrounded by Mahathir’s men and is paranoid that they would make a move on him, his Deputy, Najib Tun Razak, being one of them. And Hamzah is Najib's 'man', so he too must be spared.

“Anyway,” said Pak Lah, “This matter is between Anwar and Mahathir.” He added that, from the beginning, he was never involved in the conspiracy to get rid of Anwar and he refuses to get involved now.

Pak Lah never said Anwar is guilty of the crimes he has been accused of committing or that this is a matter for the courts to decide. He admitted this is all about politics but that this is between Anwar and Mahathir. Because he has not yet successfully strengthened his position in Umno, Pak Lah refuses to undo whatever Mahathir has done lest the ex-Prime Minister instructs ‘his people’ to make a move on him come June this year. And Mahathir appointed Hamzah the Felcra Chairman so he will not interfere in this matter as well, notwithstanding what has now been revealed.

“Justice may be delayed, but it is never denied”

About a year ago, Anwar bumped into one of his old school teachers from the Malay College Kuala Kangsar while undergoing treatment at the Hospital Kuala Lumpur. This teacher has since died, but not before he was able to attend Nurul Izzah’s, Anwar’s daughter’s, wedding.

The teacher hugged Anwar and said, “Justice may be delayed, but it is never denied.”

Well, Anwar may not be able to receive justice from the Malaysian courts. He also cannot get it from the new Prime Minister who is too frightened of incurring Mahathir’s wrath that he refuses to get involved in the Anwar issue. But Anwar certainly seems to be receiving justice from some other higher power even though it may be delayed.

And let us go through the list.

Ummi Hafilda Ali, one of the main players in the Anwar conspiracy, was disowned by her father before he died. Ummi’s father is of course also Azmin Ali’s father so we have it on good authority this is so. What fate do you think awaits a daughter disowned by her father and who died before he could forgive her for the sin she did to Anwar?

Azizan Abu Bakar, Ummi’s partner-in-crime and the one who accused Anwar of sodomy and later retracted his allegation, in turn crashed his car, which resulted in his wife’s death. He was then later arrested for khalwat (close proximity) and sentenced to six months jail.

Aziz Shamsuddin, the head conspirator, too crashed his car and his wife too died. It was reported that when they took her body to hospital they discovered a cheque for RM3 million on her body, which was a bribe for a contract he had awarded a Chinese company. Everyone has to die one day, but dying with dirty money on your body is a terrible way to go.

And we all know what happened to the Attorney-General then who was in charge of fixing Anwar’s trials. He lingered in a one-year coma after falling down and hitting his head when he suffered a stroke.

The doctors at the Subang Medical Centre had to cut open his skull to relief the swelling on the brain but they could not sew it back because of the swelling. The skull finally had to be taped with plaster to prevent the brain from falling out.

When he finally died, his head had shrunk and those who saw him at the time of his death said that his head looked like a monkey’s head. How befitting someone who did not use his brain when he was alive and who ‘monkeyed’ around with the justice system!

Remember Dr Ristina Majid, another conspirator? She was pissed drunk while her niece, who she had been entrusted to baby sit, drowned in the swimming pool. Her father too disowned her and he died without forgiving her for what she did to Anwar.

Dr Ristina herself died of a stroke while in a conference in Jakarta and she went to her grave without her father’s forgiveness. She in fact wanted to marry Aziz Shamuddin but he did not want her. And Azizan Abu Bakar was for a while employed by her as her driver.

Yes, only ‘good’ things come to those who did ‘good’ to others. But while such a fate is befitting some, for others death is too good a punishment. For example, for people like Hamzah Zainuddin, a man who delights in glamour, he should not be given the easy way out. He should be allowed to live but live a life of disgrace. That, to a man like Hamzah, is a fate worst than death.

And what, you may ask, is Hamzah’s fate that is worst than death?

“Suspend unusually rich Felcra chief,” Kit Siang

The Democratic Action Party (DAP) Chairman and opposition leader in Parliament, Lim Kit Siang, has asked the government to suspend the Felcra chairman, Hamzah Zainuddin, following revelations that he has tens of millions of Ringgit in unaccountable assets.

Lim said, “Hamzah’s wealth has raised public queries as to the propriety of their sources, especially as Abdullah had pledged a clean, incorruptible, accountable and trustworthy administration.”

“I am not asking Abdullah to suspend Hamzah as Felcra chairman because of his matrimonial problems, but because his great wealth and assets as revealed by the Syariah Court settlement.”

Lim also took to task the state-owned news agency, Bernama, for attempting to censor the news report on Hamzah’s divorce settlement. According to Lim, Bernama sent a note to all local newspapers two hours after it filed its report on the court order.

It read, “Please do not (repeat) do not use Bernama item datelined Ipoh slugged ‘Felcra chairman ordered to pay over RM11 million to ex-wife’.”

“This is a gross interference with a free press, totally alien to Abdullah's call on the Barisan Nasional leaders to hear the truth,” said Lim.

Lim called on Bernama to identify and suspend the official who had directed the sending out of the ‘kill’ advisory. He said that the news agency should conduct an inquiry on the matter and its report tabled in Parliament when it convenes for the first time on May 17.

Lim also lamented that Felcra - a government agency aimed to lift the socio-economic conditions of some 700,000 smallholders by consolidating and rehabilitating idle land for crop cultivation - has a history of corruption and abuses of power.

“There was the long-running case of the Felcra director-general charged for corruption involving RM40 million belonging to the agency, the long-standing ACA (Anti-Corruption Agency) investigation into the RM72 million Felcra scandal involving fertilizer contract.”

“And, in 1994, I raised in Parliament the catalogue of multi-million Ringgit abuses of the Felcra tender and project development process cheating the Felcra smallholders of their rightful dues.”

Hamzah made to pay his wife RM11.206 million

On 8 April 2004, the Ipoh Syariah Court ordered Hamzah to pay his ex-wife, Nooraini Abdul Rashid, RM11.20 million within a month as a divorce settlement.

The judge, Hassan Basri, said this represents one-third of Hamzah’s assets that includes 21,064,286 shares shares in three companies, Hexagon Holding Berhad (3,013,957 shares), Evermaster Group Berhad (3,496,901 shares) and Asian Pac Holding Berhad (56,682,000 shares).

As an alternative, Hamzah may instead pay his ex-wife an amount of RM10 million in cash in lieu of the shares. Further to that, Hamzah has to hand over to Nooraini two luxury cars and a house in Subang Jaya, Selangor.

Who is Hamzah Zainuddin?

Hamzah was once the Umno Division Chief for Ipoh Barat. For those who may have forgotten, Hamzah was also the one who testified during Anwar’s trials alleging that Anwar had tried to seduce his new (second) wife. In the hearing, Hamzah produced tape-recorded conversations between his new wife and Anwar as ‘proof’.

Actually, Anwar’s ‘voice’ was that of a famous Chinese Muslim comedian who all Malaysians are very familiar with. This impersonator is in fact quite good and can cleverly mimic the voices of Samy Vellu, Lim Keng Yaik, Mohammad Rahmat, Ling Leong Sik, and many more. He once even had his own TV show where he demonstrated his uncanny skill for mimicking every known Malaysian leader.

So there is actually more to the whole episode than what the court was told. While Hamzah’s second wife’s voice was really hers, Anwar’s voice was substituted with that of this famous Malaysian mimic or impersonator.

Anyway, back to the Hamzah story.

Hamzah had earlier abandoned his first wife, Nooraini, who is a very decent and simple village girl, to marry his new glamorous wife, the one Anwar was supposed to have seduced. Hamzah actually married his new wife as a ‘showpiece’ to further his business interest as he was embarrassed by his first wife and felt she was too simple and not sophisticated enough.

Hamzah then asked this new wife to ‘hound’ Anwar and try to get him, who was then the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, to award his company various government contracts. Hamzah felt confident his glamorous would be able to seduce Anwar.

But Anwar was so fed up with the persistent phone calls from Hamzah’s wife that he eventually instructed his office to block all her calls and not allow any calls to get through. This angered Hamzah who then accused Anwar of ‘chasing his wife’ and of trying to seduce her whereas it was the other way around. Hamzah, in fact, was using his glamorous wife to try to seduce Anwar in the hope Anwar would have an affair with her and ‘reward’ her by awarding government contracts to his company.

But it did not work, much to Hamzah’s exasperation, and he wanted to get even with Anwar. And Hamzah is really very capable of doing this to the extent of allowing others to ‘use’ his wife as long as he can financially benefit from it.

Hamzah’s early life

Hamzah started his career as a government contractor way back in the 1980s, more than 20 years ago, when he headed a company in Ipoh called Justera Sdn Bhd. Justera was a subsidiary of a public company called Construction and Supply House Berhad (CASH) that was headed by Dato Syed Ibrahim, a Daim Zainuddin crony. Daim was then Malaysia’s Finance Minister and CASH was just one of his many front companies.

Justera would participate in many government contracts all over Malaysia but all these contracts failed. Hamzah’s modus operandi would be to get the contract and claim the progress payments. Then, once he received the money from the government, he would abandon the project. The Kedah Religious Department housing project and the Gerik Highway are but just two examples where he made millions by abandoning the contracts.

Eventually, his company got blacklisted and he knew he could no longer get any government contracts. He then changed his modus operandi by tendering for government jobs at a very low price. Then he would approach the other contractors, mostly Chinese, and offered to withdraw from the tender and allow them to win it, for a price of course.

Hamzah soon made millions by just tendering for and withdrawing from the tenders for RM500,000 per contract. At five or six contracts a month, millions poured into his bank account.

And that is why he is worth so much money now that the court saw fit to award his abandoned wife RM11.206 million, which is just a portion of what he is actually worth.

But this is not all. There is still more to the Hamzah Zainuddin story.

Hamzah sold illegal pharmaceutical products to pig and poultry farms

Probably amongst Hamzah’s biggest score was selling illegal pharmaceutical products to pig and poultry farms. And this is how he did it.

Hamzah set up a company called Medik & Kimia 2000 Sdn Bhd. Medik & Kimia then acted as the official and sole importer for Rhone Poulenc, a French company with French government interests. The General Manager of Rhone Poulenc, James Aw, of course had an interest in Medik and Kimia 2000 and was its ‘sleeping partner’.

Medik & Kimia 2000 then imported drugs for the pig and poultry farms from France.

But why did Rhone Poulenc need to appoint Medik and Kimia 2000 as its sole importer? Why was Rhone Poulenc not able to import the products themselves?

Because the drugs had not been approved by the Veterinary Department.

The drugs were imported by air through the Subang Airport and the officials at the Subang Airport were paid handsomely to close their eyes to the illegal drug trafficking. But the Subang Airport officials were not the only ones who had to be paid. Once the drugs reached the pig and poultry farms, there were always the watchful eyes of the Veterinary Department officers to be wary of as they made constant checks to ensure no pig or poultry farms were using unapproved drugs.

To ensure no pig or poultry farms that were customers of Medik and Kimia 2000 ever got raided by the Veterinary Department -- or, even if they did, then they would be warned beforehand so that the drugs could be moved and hidden in safe place -- the top man in the Veterinary Department was paid of.

Millions were made in this manner in the years they were running this illegal drug scam. When the top man in the Veterinary Department eventually retired, Rhone Poulenc and Medik & Kimia 2000 could no longer continue with their scam. So, as a last hurrah, they siphoned out RM1.3 million in cash and closed down Medik and Kimia 2000.

To protect themselves from legal repercussions, James Aw and Hamzah forged a guarantee document to show the French head office that the RM1.3 million ‘lost money’ was guaranteed by two people. They then sued the two ‘guarantors’, who actually have nothing to do with the company, and got them declared bankrupt. James Aw and Hamzah, after making millions all those years selling illegal drugs to the pig and poultry farms, got a golden handshake of a further RM1.3 million, and two unfortunate people were made bankrupts in the process.

Yes, Hamzah is worth a lot of money. He is so wealthy that his ex-wife could be awarded more than RM11 million in a divorce settlement. And this is only a portion of what he is worth. Nooraini said Hamzah is worth more than that but she does not have all the details. That was why it took years before she managed to sue Hamzah. She was trying to track down all his assets first as she knew he had more hidden than what she was aware of.

Today, Hamzah Zainuddin is no longer an unknown. Now all Malaysians know who he is and what he is. And he is nothing more than another low-life conspirator who framed Anwar and who made his wealth by robbing the hardcore poor, bribery, cheating, selling illegal drugs to pig farms, and who unsuccessfully tried to 'sell' his wife to Anwar Ibrahim in exchange for government contracts.

Terbitan : 1 Mei 2004

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