Politics

Tun Dr Mahathir was my business partner

When you see the above title and the picture below, you would naturally think that I am telling you a joke. Not a joke, I am telling you a true story.

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In 1966 when I started Mudajaya Construction Sdn Bhd, doing construction works in the Muda River Irregation Project, I met Dr Mahathir who was practicing as a GP in Alor Star, Kedah.

In 1962 I founded Malayan Engineering Development Sdn Bhd (MED) with Dato Yap Lim Sen and Wong Leong Thean. We were selling motor spare parts mostly to the Government Drainage and Irrigation Department and MARA transport Department.

At that time, MARA was operating buses in the smaller towns and villages to help the poor people. It had great difficulty in the cost control of buying spare parts.

In 1964 Dr Mahathir started Bumikar Sdn Bhd doing the same business of selling motor spare parts to compete with us. Soon we formed a joint venture company called MED, Bumikar and MARA (MBM) – thus Dr Mahathir became my business partner.

Dr Mahathir became active in the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) and was elected to its policy-making group, the Supreme Council. With the support of the UMNO, he won a seat in the House of Representatives in 1964 and he sold his company Bumikar to us.

He was reelected to parliament in 1973, promoted to a Cabinet position in 1974 and rose to deputy prime minister in 1976. He became prime minister in 1981, just five years later when his predecessor, Hussein Onn, retired.

Finally Dr Mahathir retired as PM in 2003.

MBM expanded its spare parts business to import small Mitsubishi cars for sale as sole distributor in Malaysia in1992.

During Dr Mahathir’s tenure as PM we obtained the license to assemble Perodua. The Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sendirian Berhad (Second Automobile Manufacturer Private Limited), largest automobile manufacturer closely followed by Proton. It was established in 1992 and launched their first car, the Perodua Kancil in August 1994. The shareholders of Perodua are UMW Corporation Sdn Bhd with 38% stake, Daihatsu Motor Co. Ltd. (20%), MBM Resources Bhd (20%), PNB Equity Resources Corporation Sdn Bhd (10%), Mitsui & Co. Ltd (7%) and Daihatsu (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (5%).

As you know, I have stopped posting any more articles on share investment to avoid misunderstanding. The problem is that I can recommend readers to buy shares such as Latitude which went up from Rm 1.00 to above Rm 8.00 within 24 months. Another share is VS Industry which went up 550% within 18 months. But I cannot tell you when to sell if I am selling. You can be sure that with my background I do not need to tell people to buy if I am selling.

My advice to all my critics is that they must really examine their track record. I think many who often make senseless remarks and not willing to learn, are not as successful as they want people to think.

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