Why was Muhyiddin Yassin so power-crazy that he willingly betrayed friends and allies in Pakatan Harapan, leading to the collapse of the democratically-elected government after just 22 months? Why was he so obsessed with power that he didn’t mind being laughed as the first backdoor prime minister? Why was he so daringly ignored multiple royal decrees, just to cling to power during his 17-month regime?
Why was the former premier so afraid of sharing power with Pakatan Harapan leader Anwar Ibrahim despite a royal decree by the King to form a unity government following the 15th General Election that produced a hung Parliament? More importantly, why is Muhyiddin’s Perikatan Nasional still desperately and shamelessly wants to snatch power through backdoor again?
All the answer can be found after the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) arrested a chief executive officer of a private company on Thursday (Jan 5) night. The 42-year-old man was detained over his role as “middleman” in brokering government projects related to Covid-19 stimulus packages worth RM92.5 billion (US$21 billion) in exchange for bribes.
The suspect – Adam Radlan Adam Muhammad – turns out to be Muhyiddin’s right-hand man. A former chief executive of Maju Assets Sdn Bhd, Adam is also Segambut divisional leader of Muhyiddin’s political party – Bersatu (Malaysian United Indigenous Party). The best part is Adam is the cousin of Muhyiddin’s son-in-law, Muhamad Adlan Berhan, who in turn was involved in several scandals.
Adlan married to Muhyiddin’s daughter, Nabilah, who is a shareholder of Agathistwo Jia Sdn Bhd, a company involved in the scandalous RM1.2 billion NIIS (National Integrated Immigration System) concession. The NIIS was hatched by Muhyiddin (then-Home Minister under the Pakatan Harapan government) after cancelling its predecessor Sistem Kawalan Imigresen Nasional (SKIN).
Muhamad Adlan was also linked to 1BestariNet, a 15-year project worth RM4.47 billion introduced by then-Education Minister Muhyiddin in March 2011 to provide 4G broadband connectivity and virtual learning environment (VLE) to 10,000 government schools nationwide. However, the “failed project”, awarded to YTL Communications, has been plagued with slow internet access and problematic Frog VLE, which could easily be replaced with Google Classroom.
Adam Radlan’s involvement in Muhyiddin’s web of cronyism, nepotism and corruption was exposed after Muhyiddin-led Perikatan Nasional coalition failed to form a government post 15th General Election. And this is precisely why the former backdoor prime minister desperately wanted to return to power by hook or by crook – to “cover up” the skeleton in the closet.
So, how did Mr Mahiaddin (Muhyiddin) become billionaire during his 17-month short stint as 8th Prime Minister? From the beginning, he saw the golden opportunity to make tons of money from the Covid-19 pandemic. Unlike his former boss Najib Razak, he did not need a complicated project like 1MDB to steal and plunder the national coffers. He just needed to rule with absolute power under a State of Emergency.
It was Muhyiddin himself who bragged in April 2021 that the Perikatan Nasional backdoor government under his leadership has splashed more than RM600 billion (RM340 billion in economic stimulus packages and RM322.5 billion for the 2021 Budget to fight the Covid-19 pandemic). The scam was to boastfully create a narrative that massive of funds were used to help people and rescue the economy.
But when opposition Pakatan Harapan return to power after the Nov 2022 national election, all his lies and corruptions are exposed. Newly crowned PM Anwar revealed at a media conference on Dec 5 last year that the Finance Ministry had informed that there had been several breaches involving the Covid-19 funds. Panicked, Muhyiddin screamed that he did not steal any money.
Suddenly, Muhyiddin admits there was no such thing as RM600 billion, contradicting his previous claims. He said it was only RM530 billion. Even then, he played down the numbers. Spilling the beans, he said his administration had only spent RM83 billion in fiscal injections. This means Muhyiddin’s government did not actually help the people to the tune of RM530 billion as shamelessly trumpeted.
However, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has confirmed it will now focus its investigation on the RM92.5 billion directly funded by the Muhyiddin regime after it was established that RM437.5 billion was not from the government. Still, the difference between MACC’s RM92.5 billion and Muhyiddin’s RM83 billion means about RM10 billion might have gone “missing”.
But there are already problems with the dubious spending of RM92.5 billion funds. Unlike Najib’s 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal, Muhyiddin used traditional low-tech tactic to enrich himself and his families. Adam Radlan was sent out as his representative to connect contractors with high-ranking government officials before projects were distributed.
After the MACC raided 8 government agencies and 9 companies in December 2022 as part of its investigation into the suspected misappropriation of RM92.5 billion by the Perikatan Nasional government during its 33-month rule, it was found that at least 5 middlemen of several companies were involved in obtaining projects worth between RM50 million and RM500 million through direct negotiations.
Contractors who have been questioned by the anti-graft agency admitted that they agreed to pay a commission of 3% to 5% to secure projects from those middlemen. But the fact that only Adam was arrested so far suggests that the Muhyiddin’s proxy could be the key man on top of the food chain. It would be interesting to see if other middlemen would turn witness against the corrupt ex-PM.
The commission means more than RM4.5 billion had been paid to Adam and his band of middlemen, who clearly collected the bribes on behalf of Muhyiddin between 2020 and 2022. But get your popcorn because the fun has just begun. About 90% of the projects obtained via direct negotiations had not been executed as no acceptance letters (P.O. or Purchase Order) were issued. What does this mean?
This means about RM4 billion had already been paid by contractors to Muhyiddin and his gang of crooks, but all the 90% projects cannot take off. The dirty money had been deposited into the account of a political party, believed to be Bersatu. Hence, Muhyiddin is in deep shit as the furious contractors might turn witness, not to mention the money trail leading to his party.
Perikatan Nasional, comprising mainly Bersatu and PAS Islamist party, had bet the wrong horse. It thought at worst case scenario, the same Malay-centric political parties – UMNO, Bersatu and PAS – would form a government again after election, the same way they did in March 2020 (Muhyiddin became the 8th Prime Minister) and in August 2021 (Ismail Sabri elevated as the 9th Prime Minister).
The contractors similarly had bet the wrong horse that Perikatan Nasional would be part of the federal government. Now, not only they won’t get the projects, the money they had paid disguised as “political funding” to Muhyiddin to fund his lavish election campaign, including buying Malay votes at RM350 per pop, have gone up in smoke. Muhyiddin has already pocketed RM4 billion – in offshore accounts.
While 3%-5% commission was solicited for Muhyiddin, the middlemen and government officials demanded at least RM200,000 for themselves just to grant a meeting with every contractor – “without guarantee” that they will get projects linked to the RM92.5 billion stimulus programmes. This is how everyone benefited from the gravy train during the backdoor regime.
A good example that leakages occurred was the RM7 billion contracts approved under the RM15 billion flood mitigation project that were awarded through direct negotiations (in exchange for kickbacks) to dubious companies like Mangkubumi Sdn Bhd. Exactly how could Mangkubumi won the deal when it has been involved in a court case for illegal money laundering as much as RM139 million?
Adam Radlan, who has since disabled his Instagram, is also a council member of the Tan Sri Muhyiddin Charity Golf Foundation. Without Muhyiddin’s protection, he was dressed in the MACC’s iconic orange suit and will be charged under Section 16(a) of the MACC Act 2009, which provides imprisonment for up to 20 years and a fine of up to 5 times the amount of the bribe, or RM10,000, whichever is higher, upon conviction.
When Muhyiddin claimed that he was not afraid to be investigated, he lied. He was incredibly terrified, but as usual, trying to play poker with the new premier. Thinking PM Anwar was bluffing, he has even challenged the prime minister to prove it. The PM warned Muhyiddin not to challenge him as he has all the files and evidence. A month later, Muhyiddin son-in-law’s cousin has been nabbed.
The new unity government has not even started exposing how Muhyiddin obtained proceeds from gambling companies to help finance the 15th General Election campaign. Under Muhyiddin government, special lottery draws were increased from 8 to 22, despite the anti-gambling stance of Islamist party Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS), which is part of the ruling Perikatan Nasional coalition.
The special draws, designed to boost the government’s revenue, contributed RM80 million in extra revenue for the government in 1999 (the year it was first introduced during the premiership of Mahathir). Revenue reached as high as RM238 million in 2017, and averaged RM200 million a year in recent years – money that enabled Bersatu and PAS spent lavishly.
Another dumb person who kept shooting his own foot is former finance minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz. Trying to protect his former boss, he said there was nothing suspicious in the Perikatan Nasional-led government’s management of funds when it was in power. The clueless and incompetent Zafrul might have signed some documents that could come back to haunt him.
Source : Finance Twitter