Aussie, NZ investors lose savings in Labuan: MP

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A group of Australian and New Zealand investors, including retirees, claim they have lost millions in  savings invested in debentures issued by a Labuan-based firm.

They say they have lost a total principal sum of US$25-35 million along with millions more in unpaid interest.

The matter was highlighted by Klang MP Charles Santiago in Parliament during a debate on 15 December 2009 on the Labuan Offshore Financial Services Authority (Amendment) Bill 2009.

The investors have written more than a hundred letters to various Malaysian government agencies and regulatory bodies to complain about the matter. Among other things, they want to know why the company is still in operation; they are also calling for a full-scale investigation.

Charles said it was important for the Malaysian authorities to look into the plight of these investors.

Deputy Finance Minister Awang Adek responded that the case was before the courts and the assets of the firm had been frozen. (The investors, however, are not a party to the case and seem to be in the dark about the proceedings.)

He added that the new Bill would expand the powers of regulatory bodies and agencies such as Lofsa and the Income Tax department.

Charles argued that the Ministry had to keep the investors abreast on the status of their investments if it wants to improve confidence in Labuan as an offshore financial centre.

Awang Adek said he was certain Lofsa was playing an appropriate role in keeping the investors informed. “I ask Lofsa to do this and I will oversee this to ensure that it is done.”

Much debate also ensued on why the Labuan off-shore financial centre, now being rebranded as the Labuan International Business and Financial Centre, hasn’t quite reached the levels of other off-shore centres after 13 years of existence.

Kamaruddin Jaafar (Tumpat) pointed out that water supply problems had not yet been resolved and noted that  Labuan was still under-achieving despite its tax rate of 3 per cent being lower than the 18-20 per cent of Singapore and Hong Kong – a comparison Awang Adek described as “unfair”.

For the full and illuminating exhanges between Charles and Awang Adek and others on Labuan, look up page 158 onwards of the parliamentary Hansard.

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Concerned

This Labuan based Trust Company was happy to take overseas investor’s funds and invest those funds into their own Investment Company and claim that every investment is going great, but when the debentures start to mature they dson’t pay back on their debenture debts but claim that the investments have been lost and then they produce their secert terms, clauses and deeds to say that they don’t have to pay back on their debenture debts and so far what has the regulatory body done about this deception. This Trust Company does not pay back its debts and still keeps trading… Read more »

041YAHOO

Good evening Anil, Having read all the comments i can see a good cross section of opinions, this is good. To Gerekan K What was the misunderstanding for the investors? The investments were made through a Trust Co what more can you do to safe guard your money. Yes it did happen before PM Najibs term but there have been no changes since. To O We have been complaining since our Debentures ran their term. To LBJ You hit it on the head, No Monitoring,No Enforcement. To approving Authorities, The unpaid interest is of course higher than the principle as… Read more »

Gerakan K

You can evaluate relevant KPI there. That is why we need something which is measurable. However nothing we can measure about it when it comes to PR administration. They work or sleep we don’t know.

O

Gerakan K, You are so so confusing. How can KPI be ever evaluated? It is a real waste of time and the KPI portfolio was created for your leader, KTK because he is otherwise jobless. This is a government, not a corporation or a company, where at the end of the year, we have the bottom line to evaluate. Here what is there to evaluate and what KPI are you talking of? How can there be KPI when every institutions of the BN led Governmnent is being screwed? Penangnites should be thankful for being the best administered Government, according to… Read more »

Gerakan K

Another good news for East Malaysia:

Sarawak allocated RM470million to achieve 50% Internet penetration
(http://www.bintulu.org/news/2010/01/28/swak-allocated-rm470million-achieve-50-internet-penetration.php)

With this rate of support, I believe BN will easily win GE13.

O

Gerakan K,

Taking into consideration the 60% to be siphoned and along the way, the remaining 40% will be diluted again by all your BN friend, right? Agree or not agree and why? End result, of the 470 million budgetted, crumbs will be left for our poor East Malaysian brothers and sisters. They have always been mistreated since BN took over power there.

BN goons will announce the allocated development budget, spend they will they 470 million, but deliver they will not, agree or not? Why?

Cheers bro.

LBJ

Kamaruddin Jaafar (Tumpat) pointed out that water supply problems had not yet been resolved and noted that Labuan was still under-achieving despite its tax rate of 3 per cent being lower than the 18-20 per cent of Singapore and Hong Kong – a comparison Awang Adek described as “unfair”. I am afraid this Awang Adek seemed to be out of his depth. What is fair or unfair. Trust and security are two very important factors not just lower tax. What is the point of lower tax if I cannot be sure that my money in Labuan is safe. As it… Read more »

Anthony Tan

Looks like one failure after another, what’s new from the BeEnd? These failures will continue to happen since it had becomes a culture for BeEnd as no further actions will be taken for all wrong doings. Isn’t this Koreh,koreh,koreh? Even this koreh episode has been swept under the carpet. “Much debate also ensued on why the Labuan off-shore financial centre, now being rebranded as the Labuan International Business and Financial Centre, hasn’t quite reached the levels of other off-shore centres after 13 years of existence.” Hey people!, as we are the tax payers, We need an explanation for this like… Read more »

Yang

The government has no credibility. Its consistently lies and seeks to cover up events. Whether it be the treatment of the local ethnic group or the Penan, the unexplained … judiciary where BN appeal take less than 24 hrs while Nizar has to wait for month, their refusal open up transparency of the various scandals. With such low prestige and credibility, how can one not lose his saving in such … investment.

Motorist

(Was) Labuan … set up to help politicians & cronies syphon $$$ out? Best way to ‘clean’ dirty $$$ gained via dubious means…?

Now the $$$ are safely parked in South Africa, UK, Aust, Canada, India. The mansions in Cape Town are ready & just waiting for them to live out a comfortable exile after GE13.

casper

Labuan is a gold mine, what with its incorporation but will not achieve the staggered heights promised, not with UMNO in government. The last decade has seen dubious schemes, scams etc with Labuan as a launch pad so this latest revelation just adds to that list of dubious activities. Still, there might be a future but the necessary must be done before we revisit that potential. May I suggest, the govt in waiting, grant Labuan tax fee status outright but with stringent oversight and see it bloom. Potentially, Labuan can be turned into a mecca of high finance with just… Read more »

Approving Authorities

The alleged unpaid interest is more than the principal meaning that either the interest payable on these debentures are relatively high or the case has been dragging on for a long time for the interest to accumulate.

Since the company is still in operations, there is no reason not to keep the investors updated.

LBJ

Bad governance, poor monitoring, slow and enforcement by Malaysian authorities. Before long, Labuan will be on the blacklist of all the countries.

PR Man

Malaysia is attracting all kinds of international attention of the unsavoury kinds. Just how low those in authorities and powers are going to continue abusing their powers…? Corruption and misrule, bad governance and irresponsibility, these are all very soon going to be associated to Malaysia. Is there any solution or at least some form of accountability from all these public and financial institutions? How is the Government going to address these stinking problems to make us a competent state? The tax rate of 3 per cent lower is not going to attract investors! Competency, accountability and transparency are! We can… Read more »

Gerakan K

DO re-read the entire article again. There was misunderstanding for the investors. Anyway there was solution for that too. I want to remind you that these things occurred before PM Najib era. That is why PM Najib comes to rescue. The purpose of NKRA and KPI is to establish a measurable performance for a particular target. Be it regarding to crime rate, work performance, etc. So that improvement plans can be devised and implemented. Our PM Najib uses modern management techniques to his administration which is good. With PM Najib, at least I can see his efforts for the betterment… Read more »

O

Bro, the gist of the article is that investors from Australia and NZ had complained about their lost in investments of US 25-35 millions plus interests.

NEDA

Gerakan K alias Hyperpolishia.

Don’t talk about KPI and NKRA, where is the H1N1 vaccine for pregnant women in Malaysia?other countries have given their citizen doses of the vaccine. RM2.1 billions for Sabah & Sarawak? until today Sabah general hospital still no where to be seen. You can only see abandon projects (eg. Sabah airport highway) here and there. Blackout here and there..and Sabah Amanah Saham still not came back to its original price(people’s sweat and blood money.) Gerakan K, which country are you from? or you have simply blinded your consciousness.

Motorist

Gerakan K aka Cinta M’sia K will say $emuanya OK.