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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Kota Kronibaru

On January 29, PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi launched the Sabah Development Corridor (SDC). The program aims to turbo-charge Sabah's economic pulse with a four-fold increase in GDP to RM63.2 billion by 2025. As usual, the hype is rosy and full of promises.

But sift a little; you'll find the foundations of the program sitting on family sewage.

One highlight of the Sabah Development Corridor is the Kota Kinabalu City Waterfront (KKCW). It's a collaboration between Waterfront Urban Development Sdn Bhd (WUD) and the Dewan Bandaraya Kota Kinabalu (DBKK).

Reports the New Sabah Times:

The Kota Kinabalu City Waterfront is an integrated mixed seafront development situated on the waterfront of Kota Kinabalu city centre along Jalan Tun Fuad Stevens. Expected to be completed by 2010, KKCW will feature a key attraction the 2km-long boardwalk, built using eco-friendly materials rising above the sea on stilts. It is set to be a thriving waterfront pedestrian walkway that will seamlessly connect a variety of retail, lifestyle, residential and hotel establishments.

But let's leave the merits of the project for now, and ponder upon this.

WUD's managing director is Reymee Mohamed Hussein. He will be 32 years old this year. He's in the news every so often.

Quite recently he (right in pic) was reported as the chief festival director for the Live & Loud 07 held in late November. Reymee has music in his roots; he is/was a member of the local R&B band Innuendo. His dad was a member of the Strollers, a local band back in the 70s. But for more interesting background, you need to go here.

Some facts:
1) Reymee is the nephew of PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
The relationship works this way - Reymee is the son of Noor Asiah Binti Mahmood. Noor Asiah is PM Abdullah's sister-in-law; she was Endon's sister. Even more curious, Asiah's brother, Osman was once married to Jeanne Abdullah, current wife of the PM. Your antenna tingling yet?

2) Remember the Iraq Oil-for-Food Scandal? Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, then Deputy Prime Minister, was shown to have signed letters of recommendation on behalf of a few local companies. One of these companies is Mastek Sdn Bhd.

And who owns Mastek? From Malaysia Today's archives (Title: How to make more than RM11 billion with just one letter):
Mastek Sdn Bhd is owned by Obata-Ambak Holdings Sdn Bhd and Noor Asiah Binti Mahmood (Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s sister-in-law). Obata-Ambak Holdings Sdn Bhd is in turn owned by Noor Asiah Binti Mahmood plus three others of the same surname and living at the same address as Noor Asiah. Therefore, Noor Asiah Binti Mahmood owns Mastek Sdn Bhd directly, as well as indirectly through Obata-Ambak Holdings Sdn Bhd.
Mastek has two directors. It is a mother-and-son team: Noor Asiah and yes, Reymee. But please, you read the report for yourself. You join the dots. You decide.

All we know is, there's a RM500 million animal called the Kota Kinabalu City Waterfront that's set for completion by 2010. And by some very strange coincidence, it's bound quite tightly to the inner family circle of the current Prime Minister of Malaysia.

It's become a predictable pattern, don't you think. So how: Five more years?

Picture credit:
Topmost - The Star
Above - NST

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