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Dr Muiz Murad @drmuizmurad
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back in 2013 i developed a comprehensive green tech programme proposal for rail infrastructure, targeted to improve the country existing LRT network. the proposal eventually led me having to deal with a group of individuals nicknamed the lanun of MOF..
after having spent 13yrs living abroad in aus, i finally returned home in msia in june of 2009. main reason for returning? my late mother was diagnosed with cervical cancer in jan and as the eldest son, it was the right thing to do to return home and spend as much time with her..
i was glad to make that decision. she passed on in aug 2009, a few days short of her 55th b'day.

returning home after 13yrs living abroad meant, i had to start fresh. i left for aus in 96 as a 19yo teenager, and i came home as a 33yo man...
i just obtained my phd that year in march. prior tp that i was working as a researcher and lecturer in my uni..and later on as a consultant in sustainable development and green technology in several firms in aus.
finally when i returned home in 2009, i have fulfilled my intention to complete my tertiary studies in aus and obtained valuable working experience.

my intention was to always return back home to msia and to contribute back in any way that i can in the dev of msia..
to me this is common sense as i was very fortunate to get all the opportunities that i had thru the education system in msia at that time.
in 2008 the msian gov decided to make sustainable dev and green tech one of the country new priority for economy and growth.
i took this as a positive sign that the time was right to be back in msia as i wud be in a position to contribute and apply the knowledge and exp that i hv acquired in aus.
it was very tough for me after i returned home in 2009. i opened up my firm in dec and for a good six mths, i had to knock on doors, mtg up potential clients, write up countless proposals without much luck.
gov have just opened a new ministry called kettha to take care of SD and GT..and the pusat tenaga msia was converted into the now msia greentech corp.
even back then i was already dissapointed as kettha and mgtc was not open to new ideas and project proposals in SD and GT (even until now).

i remembered having a fellow msia phd student who was close to peter chin at the time and feeding him with a lot of info on GT..
i was hoping to be able to get a chance to meet the minister & maybe lucky enough to be offered a project or even employment...but the invitatation never came.
the so called friend eventually graduated & managed to get a post in ukas & now a deputy ksu in kettha...but still no call up...despite having bumped into him from time to time thru out the yrs...some friend..
i also tried to meet up with a senior guy in mgtc that eventually became its ceo to hv a chat abt SD ans GT in msia and see if theres any opps available. only for him to snub ke and told to only communicate with him in email as he is too bz to meet.
and during those email comms i quickly found out that he's area of expertise is in solar energy and nothing else. that was my first encounter and frustration with mgtc and it continues to this day.
my luck changed in mid 2010. my new firm managed to secure a consulting project with a prominent developer. the project was in johor.
from that point on we grew from strength to strength.

if i were business man i could have become rich back then.

but no. my intention returning home was to contribute in building the nation.
i used my firm and the projects that we had as an incubator to produce world class SD professionals.

by 2013, we did not just have local graduates working for us, we had interns coming all the way from french reunion island wanting to learn from us.
and they with full scholarships obtained from the EU.

and i ran this operation from a small 1,700sqft second floor office in lembah subang.

no govt funding. no corp csr funding. all came from projects that we bid fairly from the private sector.
in 2013 my incubator model worked. i was set to produce world class SD prof. that i can then send oseas for them to get more experience.

all these SD prof can then be exported world wide as talents..they can develop various GT products, k-based materials...the sky is the limit.
i just need the hov to recognize my efforts as the incubation programme shud be absorbed under a gov agency programme with mgtc for example.

but no one was willing to give me that opportunity. friends and family that was in the position to help did not help. i was desperate.
by 2013 i hv developed all sorts of proposals, outlines for SD programmes etc.

i knew back then that all these IR 4.0 and disruptive tech is just waiting to dominate, and SD & GT will play a big role in this for the betterment of the msia and its ppl.
and this is how the lanun MOF saga started...
towards end of 2013, i met a friend who was looking for opp to do business. i explained to him what i was working on and when i told him abt the GT programme for rail, he said he can help. his brother is CEO for pride, one of the subs for prasarana.
lets name my friend S and his brother RA. mtg was set with RA and during the mtg RA informed us that he will look at the proposal.
after two mths nothing happened. S followed up with his brother RA but no answer was given.

S then introduced me to E. E is a lady that according to S has some connection within prasarana that can help.
thru E, we found out that my proposal was on the verged of being hijacked. the team that wanted to hijack the paper was ku Nan ppl i was told and behind them was our first lady RM.
E took back the proposal before it ws being hijacked. but in the process, E received ph calls & ws threathened by the individuals tht wanted to hijack the proposal.

E then informed us tht we shud submit the proposal to rapidKL. pride does x handle rail & ws the wrong subsidiary.
E also informed us tht if were really serious abt the proposal, we needed a bigger team. E knew the right ppl tht can take the proposal all the way to the top to secure the project.
E informed us that these ppl are gate keepers and were known as the lanun of MOF from the systematic and innovative way they execute projects thru MOF using the gov money.

she told us to be prepared for kickbacks and other "requests" as these ppl "makan besar"..
by tht time i knew too well what to expect as tht was the common recurring theme tht i heard from every businessman and entrepreneur that i talked to.

to do business with the former govt will not be easy as there will be kickbacks and negotiations will be done thru gatekeepers..
and to me, i needed the govt support to take my business and incubation model to the next level. so its make it or break it..

so i informed E that i am willing and comitted to take this to the end.
E then arranged a mtg with a gentleman called SM. we briefed SM of the project and what we wanted to do. SM told us to give him a week to contact the necessary ppl that can make it happen.
after a week i met with the gate keeper that was going to make this whole deal happen. he was known among his circle as DZ and goes everywhere with his assistant AS.
DZ was truly a character. he was closely associated to several tycoons in the country as he was the one that helped to broker deals between them and the msian govt.

the stories and tales that came out from DZ was unbelievable to say tue least.
DZ used to be linked closely with pak lah when he was PM. and he was also close with the owner of Maju Holdings TSAS...

mtg with DZ was positive. he said he can help. but it wont be cheap as lobbying will come at a cost. and for my project, we will have to deal with MOF Inc.
why MOF Inc. because prasarana and all its subsidiary is parked under it.

org MOF makan besar DZ said but not to worry. the project will happen.
after one week of mtg DZ...instructions finally came. i was to prepare a more detailed proposal addressed to MOF Inc.

the individual in MOF Inc? the now TKSP for investment DrIH. he was then THE person in charge of MOF Inc.
was told that IH was so powerful that he just wants to be in MOF Inc. altho he was suppose to hold a higher position.

i was to meet IH but first...the detailed proposal.
the instruction tht came to do the proposal ws very specific to the point i was informed wht type of font to use, format, type of paper etc.

i ws given a proposal as a ref. it ws a paper for a concession project worth hundred of millions tht ws approved in 2wks upon submission.
after two wks the paper was ready and submitted to MOF Inc. by this time it was already first Q of 2014.

shortly after, DZ informed me that IH have seen the paper and was happy with it..

& the time has come to take it up a notch and make him happier. i ws informed to standby.
further instructions came..IH was going to indo for a golfing weekend. if i am serious abt the project, i hv to contribute...

how to contribute i asked.

12k was the answer.

what do i get from it.

u will get an audience with IH.

i was already this far. so i said yes.
of course...the transaction had to go thru proxies and cannot be directly to IH.

i asked AS, DZ its being done.

i ws told..we have a system..mmg dh lama buat..dont worry..we also do cash distribution for GE so we know what we are doing..
a few days after the golfing weekend i was told to standby as we are going to meet IH. this is the first mtg so it will be informal, at a kopitiam close to where IH lives.
prior to this i did my own checking and due diligence to make sure that DZ and IH is the real deal...

checked with my umno connections, checked with ppl that have dealt with IH in tue govt...everything came back as positive..
if i want to make this project happen i will eventually have to deal with IH. the buck stops with him.

and DZ is one of the few ppl that he trusted to broker ive got to deal with DZ as well. no choice.
all $$ transaction when dealing with this grouo ws done in cash. the dont get their lanun title for being sloppy so they make sure there is no traces that goes back to them.

the 12k? cash.
so finally the day came and i get to meet IH. he was not well as he got sick immediately after returning home from the golf trip.

and during the mtg he was casual, made jokes amd pleasant.

his reputation from ppl that hv dealt with him was far from that. very grumpy guy.
DZ did what was expected of him during the mtg. salam cium tgn...pecahkan half boil egg for IH and even put the kicap n pepper for him..kacau kan air...i just cudnt belive my eyes. first class ass licking at its best and i ws there to witness it.
DZ spoke very softly to IH and briefed him of the project while preparing IH meal.

at one point i tried to cut in and state a point but was immediately asked to keep quiet.

it seems, only DZ talks to IH and no one else...
finally after discussing and eating...DZ told IH that...

"ini la company yg sponsor trip golf"

IH gaveus a big smile and told us...

"oh bagus...jgn risau...selalu kalau kita buat benda dgn DZ ni memang akan jadi punya..."
after that mtg and just before we parted ways...DZ pulled me aside...

he told me that the 12k ws just the appetizer...the real lobbying starts from there on...
the GT programme proposal for the LRT network involved 4 phases over the existing ampang and KJ lines. 49 stations all together.

first phase involves audit and obtaining baseline figures for all stations...

the programme covered all aspect of GT from EE, IEQ, WE etc...
for the proposal we came up with both technical and financial proposals. PH1 costs at around RM4mil inclusive of profits for 6mths work. this works out at around rm13.6k per station per mth. costs includes specialize man power and equipment for the audit work, data analyses etc.
instructions came in from DZ to bump it up to RM8mil to cover all the other "costs" for the project.
by this time, we were already given instruction to start communicating with rapidKL. and we did. met with the then CEO and we were given letter of invite for the project.
things moved very fast from there on. we were told that everything has to start in parallel. LA for the project will take sometime to prepare and by starting with the project we are showing seriousness and commitment to the govt..easier for them to award it seemed.
at the same time when things were moving very fast, DZ told us to prep rm200k to cover intial "costs" on the project.

since he hs vested interest he will also put in rm200k of his $.

bt of course i never saw the rm200k frm his side & later ws informed he x put any $ at all.
and so we had to prepare the rm200k. cash. that was the deal breaker. a NO means they will call everything off.

by this point we were too deep in the project already. all the initial work requests to prepare for the project forced us to hire more ppl and contractors etc.
exiting now will be...a choice of a better word...suicidal...
and this how my friends...professional conmen and lanun MOF slowly suffocate and kills you...just like a phyton with its victim...slowly but surely...
eventually we got the rm200k...all in cash prepared. i still remember the day. all the cash was packed inside a backpack.

i was so nervous i had to hire two body guard escorts to take me from usj to the drop of at hilton pj...
one body guard was with me in my car and the other one escorted us from behind in another car...

in case if you ask how much i paid for the two body guards for the short trip?

total rm400. so next time if u decide to hire one. u know the rates.
AS was the designated runner that waited for me at hilton pj. i went to the parking lot with AS. gave him the back pack.

i asked him again how this will work. he told me not to worry. he will meet the other party runner at putrajaya..
from there on the rest of the parties will be notified and green light for project execution will be given...
during all these exercise, DZ instructed as to make sure tht all documentation reg the project ws monitored and compiled properly.

specific project emails were created and all documents were printed in triplicates and filed accordingly.

put it simply, our doc control was good.
DZ asked us to engage a lawyer to make sure that all project communications goes thru proper legal advisory.

i recommended one of my niece, HA. DZ requested for a mtg. what happened during the mtg was mind boggling..
DZ started talking to HA and asked here the projects that her legal firm was working on. one particular project made DZ eyes lit up...

"you are doing the GS project" asked DZ.

"yes...we are representing the banks"... said HA.

"pening kepala...agreement semua tak"
"tp duit dah drawdown...GS bising. call MO1...MO1 bising call bank suruh release duit..."

apparently GS is a balck ops project involving an oseas investor dev a project in langkawi.

no local partner. promised to put in money but just lips service..
and obtained funds thru ukas with a local development bank..

who was in ukas? u guessed it...IH. the lanun team at its finest.

this is no small project. we are talking in hundreds of million..
DZ was happy with HA.

"anyone who is doing GS project...definitely we can absorb to do this project..."
in one of the mtgs with DZ, i ws introduced to a gentleman. told his name was LA. former oppo member..defected to trying to "cari kerja".

"if everything goes well, we will make LA as chairman of your firm. so nanti senang to get more jobs". tht was DZ masterplan.
i just agreed to the plan. what choice do i hv at that point.

i met LA several more times during the course of the project.

one time was over dinner in MO. of course AS told me tht DZ expects that i pay fr dinner.

dinner ws in a private room. attended by one more senior guy.
senior gomen guy from mindef. also a candidate to be absorbed into the company once everything ia being set.

i've heard of umno putra companies before. several family members tht i know belongs to such companies.

didnt expect my own company is going to be turned into one..
LA played his cards right. eventually he became director of comms for MOF and ran propaganda for the then govt. i was even added into hia whatsapp group.
after the rm200k shifted hands, another mtg was set. this time it ws with IH in his office in MOF.

i attended the mtg with DZ, AS and SM.
DZ told us that IH likes the nasi lemak in kg baru. maybe we can get some for him and give it to him when we meet him.

and so SM got the nasi lemak and we all met in MOF. morning mtg.
IH was happy that we came. it was my first time in his office (i had mtgs two more times with during tue course of the project).

big office. even got a dining table. eventually we all sat and had the nasi lemak breakfast. in his office. at the dining table.
DZ briefed IH on the progress of the project as we ate.

DZ even told IH that we hv fulfilled the "requirement" that was set for us. IH smiled and nodded.

after breakfast IH took out his mobile and made a phone call...
the person on the other line was the then MD of prasarana DSSM. was informed by DZ that DSSM was first lady RM blue eyed boy, thats why he is there as the MD.

(shortly after he ws transferred to MRT. ws told tht RM ws not happy with the then CEO of MRT corp. too straight).
(shortly after the transfer all the MRT pillars were painted in grey. this ws not in the initial MRT budget but it was done anyway..maybe someone somewhere needs the extra cash).
IH informed DSSM of our project. the whole conversation was on speaker so we heard the whole conversation.

DSSM was told to instruct rapidKL CEO to not interfere with the project & provide all the assistance tht we need.
DSSM obliged.

IH then told us..."bila jadi bapak ni..senang sikit ckp dgn anak.."

i assumed he ws implying that MOF Inc as the bapak and Prasarana as the anak...
we were also told to CC all comms and documents to DSSM as well.

he needs to be in the loop.
IH then asked DZ on the payment structure and drawdown for PH1 of the project...

DZ told him that we need a monthly drawdown as a lot of things needs to he paid..

either the drawdown comes from MOFInc thru "special" off balance sheet budget allocated.. or
it will thru grants tapped from various ministries and agencies that is linked with transportation esp the LRT.

IH nodded. DZ told us that he will hv a private discussion on this with IH.

but again not to worry as everything is under control..
we officially started PH1 in aug of 2014 and everything went smoothly from the operations standpoint...

financially the company ws bleeding as this ws the biggest job we had done so far and needed funds to sustain the project operational costs.

we had to resort in borrowings..
during my dealings wth these lanun's it ws during th mth of ramadhan. and not to mention it ws football world cup yr in brazil.

DZ ws a very hard man to catch as he will be jetsetting ard th world fixing deals wth everyone.

arrangment of hotels in london. WC tickets in brazil.
the guy flies in a private jet and drove around in a maserati.

everytime we ate, say a pax of 5..he will order for a pax of 20. always excessive.

and most importantly always paid in cash.
all th deals tht he ws brokering he showed us thru sms, whatsapp, make sure tht he ws telling th truth.

& the deals tht he makes, his straight from a hollywood mov.

some of th stories he told us, it ws so bizzare tht i tell friends even to this day.
during the final days of ramadhan in 2014, he invited me over to his hse. lives near one utama.

as u wud expect...the whos who was there...celebs...sportsmen...politicians...u name it. his connection was everywhere...
and the door gift that i brought home that night..filled my car boot to the brim..
between june2014 to nov2014 DZ was a difficult man to catch as he was constantly travelling.

he had a highway concession project deal that he had to close akd several other projects that he needed to troubleshoot for several tycoons.

of project had to wait.
and he was our gate keeper ans access to IH. sure, all docs and comms were still cc'd to all stakeholders involved but without DZ presence everything was status quo...
by november DZ was back. we were two mths away from completing PH1 of project. we had massive cashflow problem trying to sustain the project...

only way to get fast cash was thru commercial banks. they offered no collateral term loans.

we did not resorted to loan sharks...
apart from this project, we were also working very hard to close another project involving solar energy. but this was with another government linked body...

the pressure was intense. we could not fail.

the solar peoject was an animal on its own...another story for another day..
but the worse was to come...

we got news that DZ came back but his situation was not good. in fact it was critical. he was in a verge of dying..
turned out he's diabetic. and all those jet setting and partying that he did between june14 to nov14... he did not take care of himself.

its not that he wanted to come back in nov14...he had to. no choice. his blood sugar level was insanely high.

and he was in critical condn.
we went to visit him. he looked f*ucked. well..worse than that..

he apologised to us...asking us to be patient and let him recover.

at that point i just felt like kicking him in the face there and then.

but he is no good dead..need him to finish off what he started..
during the middle of all that i bumped into IH one day at TPC KL. he just finished golfing. this was at the parking lot.

"byk nya duit org tua ni..main kat TPC"... i told myself. well maybe someone sponsored the club membership for him i assumed..
what ws i doing in TPC? attending a bday party of a tycoon...also happened to be related to my family..

& throughout this episode, this are th kind of things tht frustrates me..

throughout my circle..i ws connected to family members & friends...all within th circle of power..
all knew what i was doing and in the position to help...but choose not to..

in other words...semua nak makan sorang. no sharing is caring for these ppl..
so back to IH...met him at the parking lot..std SOP salam cium tangan is a must and we exchanged pleasentries...

he asked me on the project to which i updated him..also updated him on DZ.
he told me to wait until DZ recover since DZ is the fixer..

he also told me to cont with the project and finish it off...

i just nodded and we said our goodbyes...

this was the last time i saw of IH...
nov14 to jan15 was hell. we ran out of money & our solar project deal was far from closing..

our contractors pulled their hand brakes & backed off. & with this all th data for most of the stations..

they were demanding for their payment..

we are also waiting for our payment..
rapidKL kept reminding us to conclude our work by end of dec14.. we told them we needed 6mths and we started in aug14. means we will conclude and submit our report by jan15..
since our contractors pulled off...we had to quickly go back and took data from selected stations...

by december14 we literally ran out of cash. office staff started to resign knowing that we might not survive into the new year..
the company that i had built from scratch in 2009 is now sinking...and it was sinking fast...

internally we were a mess...i was witnessing 5yrs worth of hardwork going down the drain right in front of my eyes...
right up to that point we did everything right..we built tye business organically..

had international links..we invested in our branding...& by dec14 we were finalising our iso9000+.

the first SD and GT service based company to achieve that feat in msia if we cud pull it off..
& achieved all that without special govt bumiputera handouts...

we tried going into teraju & all other govt agencies thatvwas suppose to help us...

all had their gate keepers and cover charges...

meaning dealing with other DZ & IH from other agencies & ministries..
by end of jan15...we miraculously finished our work..

rapidKL told to submit our report in which we did..

we were then told to standby as we will be called for a presentation probably by mid feb15..

then a series of events happened that nailed the coffin shut for us...
it was brewing for some time..and finally it happened...both DSSM and CEO of rapidKL was replace in a series of internal mgmt change...this spelt trouble..big trouble as things will definitely get get delayed...

but that was not all...
what was initially thought as an internal mgmt shift within prasarana was actually bigger than that...

the MOAB...1MDB...
1MDB have been heating up for some time...and finally in Jan15...MACC swooped in MOF for a series of crackdown..

and because of this everything stopped...

we were not allowed to come into contact with MOF Inc as that was where the centre of activity is at..
under cover MACC officers were everywhere and all companies under MOF Inc including Prasarana and its subsidiaries were under heavy scrutiny..

that was the main reason for the internal reshuffling in Prasarana...

but that was not all...
finally after everything was over at MOF...we found out that IH was no longer in MOF Inc.

he was promoted to tksp...

this was the biggest f*cked up for the project and pretty much sealed our fate...
by the time DZ came back into action in april14 everything was over for us..

new change in mgmt means all the new heads refuse to acknowledge what was done by us...

and all the old heads just wiped their hands cleans and moved on with things in their new position..
i had to shut down the company in march15.. the toughest moment in my life was to let all the staff go.

mixed emotions...angry, sad..

when everyone left...i just had to pick up the pieces...whatever that was left and tried to move on..

2015 was a bad year...very bad year.
few of th core team members still stayed on post march15. by th time DZ came bk in apr15, he instructed us to invoice rapidKL & send copies of th invoice to all related bodies & ministries incl. PMO..

we spent apr till june sending reminders after reminders without any success..
by aug15 it was getting harder to trace and have meet ups with DZ.. kept giving empty promises to try to sort things out..finally we decided to give up and try use other means to help us with our payments...
over the span of more than one year from aug15 to dec16 we used various different groups to assist...

most wont assist without any payment upfront..which we declined...but this was after wasting time in mtgs and prep docs for submission..
other groups symphatise..but they are not prepared to be the bearer of bad news to M01...

others just simply told me to go back to someone who is educated and ambitious will never have a place in msia as long as UMNO/BN is in power as i will always be seen as a threat..
the whole episode ended by dec16. by that time i was too tired mentally amd physically to pursue the case..a few advisers even told to take legal action against prasarana but i decided not to for the sake of closing the chapter and moving on...
there were plenty more sub plots and stories that i did not share. just decided to focus on the main plot...

maybe i will share them in a separate thread...
from 2009 to 2018...i hv spent a decade home in msia...after hv lived in aus for 13yrs from 1996 to 2009.

my lanun MOF story is just one of many experience that i hv encountered during my decade returning to msia...
if the culture of corruption is not enough...the difficulty to access to funds makes msia a cesspool full of loan sharks & conmen just waiting to pounce on easy victims..

and i can tell u..theres a lot of conman in msia..professional ones too..
the environment in msia is too toxic for nurturing entrepreneurs and to attract our talents to return from overseas...
not all talents that returns from oseas wants to work in msia. where can they find a job that can match their salaries oseas?
most just want to come and contribute by using their talents and experience to create jobs...and transfer the skills to the next person...for this...they hv to create business that can offer enployment...
but unfortunately agencies such as talentcorp does not have such programme.

i know this because i met with the ceo in 2016 and shared this with her.

i even volunteered to assist to set up such a programme if resources is a problem. they do not have to pay me.
but nothing has happened since that meeting...

even after follow ups..

i still remember the ceo telling me...

"we treat all our talents like starfish washed up a shore...we make sure that we put every single one back into the sea"...

back into the sea my a**..
and until this day i have problems with talent corp... and green tech malaysia and a few other agencies...

i just want to end this thread by thanking everyone that have read it. ive read every single comment. even the nasty ones. i am okay with what everyone thinks of me..
at the end of the day, i know that my intentions are pure and i leave it to god to judge and punish me for all the sins that i have done..
i have nothing against anyone...even the lanun themselves where ever they are now.

its a game that we play as entrepreneurs and the risks that we take...definitely not for the faint hearted..
for those that have similar stories, i urge u to come out and tell you story...i have told mine...

whatever that has happen in the past lets just keep it in the past.

time for a new beginning...

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