I am getting particularly concerned that Malaysiakini continues to highlight the speculation of a water deal behind the Kajang Move while turning a blind eye to the disquiet in the market of what will be the most controversial out of court settlement between Khalid Ibrahim and Bank Islam.
So far, only a handful of online portals which has covered the issue. Even then, it was not pursued with the same vigour that it should have been given the implication of the settlement.
RM80 MILLION HAIRCUT?
Just to recap, The Edge Financial Daily had queried Khalid Ibrahim on the terms of the out of court settlement because rumour has it that Bank Islam withdrew a lawsuit against the Selangor Menteri Besar in exchange for a haircut to the tune of RM80 million.
Khalid Ibrahim had once borrowed about RM60 million from Bank Islam to purchase shares and when the share price tumbled, he ended up owing that much (plus interest) with Bank Islam.
It is a common knowledge in the banking circle that the out of court settlement is brokered by Rashid Manaf who is well known for his connection as Daim’s ex-lawyer and Umno’s crony through Renong and other transactions.
What is perhaps not known is how Khalid Ibrahim had completely kept all discussions on the settlement from his lawyer, Malik Imtiaz who was not in the know.
Hair cut finalized after Khalid agreed to surrender water assets
This took place at the most opportune time – after Selangor has announced that it was willing to surrender its water assets to the federal government and Khalid Ibrahim’s reticence in dealing with the manufactured race religion issues in Selangor.
To the inquisitive mind of normal Malaysians, the series of developments is arguably highly suspicious and warrants a closer scrutiny especially on the part of Khalid Ibrahim, at least for the sake of transparency and integrity.
When The Edge Financial Daily put this question to Khalid Ibrahim, he was quoted as dismissively saying that it was his private transaction that has nothing to do with the state or the party.
When Haris Ibrahim began to publish the issue on his blog, I feel obliged to write to online portals because for the sake of transparency and integrity, Khalid Ibrahim and Bank Islam need to explain what are the basis and terms of the settlement.
Let the people decide for themselves whether there was any deal involved as it is necessary to clear the air immediately. Otherwise, rumours that Kajang Move was initiated because Khalid Ibrahim has been compromised will continue to become the talk of the town.
Which is why I think it is only fair that online portals like Malaysiakini and others pursue the matter more vigorously than it pursues the hypothetical speculation of alleged deal on the water deal.
I understand that Khalid Ibrahim’s image is good in the eyes of the public. To safeguard that image, he must be subjected to a public scrutiny to explain especially when a broker closely linked to Umno such as Rashid Manaf is involved.
I now await to see whether Malaysiakini, The Malaysian Insider, The Malaymail Online, Malaysia Chronicle, fz.com, The Heat, FreeMalaysiaToday and others will run the story.
If they do not (which I am not surprised), perhaps the bigger problem remains the biased media, whichever side they support.