Ex-banker takes up Jabu’s challenge on Salcra
[size=85]Joe Fernandez | Dec 11, 08 2:03pm [/size]
Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Alfred Jabu has issued a challenge to Dayaks to come forward if they can do just 10 per cent of what Salcra has done (under him) over the years and then, I will consider them as genuine in helping the people. His challenge on Dec 8 was carried by the Borneo Post.
One candidate, nettled by persistently disparaging remarks against Dayak graduates who have taken the blogging route, has come forward to inform Malaysiakini in confidence that hes willing to take up Jabus challenge.
Salcra, listed under the State Land Development Ministry headed by Dr James Masing, is the Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority and modeled after Felcra at the federal level. Jabu is the chairperson of Salcra but doesnt report to Masing since he out-ranks the latter.
The candidate, an ex-banker who holds an MBA from the United States and presently running his own outfit serving a niche market in the oil and gas industry, is willing to put his money where his mouth is and head Salcra to turn it around just like what Idris Jala has done with Malaysia Airlines.
He claims that as a banker for many decades with one of the largest banking groups in the country, he has helped advise, re-structure, re-finance and turn around many large companies and that people in the banking industry know my track record.
Worried of being shot at
For the moment, the ex-banker who can assemble a team of experts straight away once he gets the go ahead, wants to remain in cognito in his own words, lest they shoot us straight away.
Better protect our identity first. Jabu doesnt like anyone being smarter than him. Nanti susah cari makan. (Or, it might be difficult to earn a living in Sarawak.) Test the response (from Jabu) first. What is 10 percent. Its nothing.
The ex-banker fears for himself and not without reason, citing the case of a Sarawak financial officer who was beaten senseless by unknown assailants two years ago as he was trying to uncover something at a RM 2 billion silicon project in the state.
I dont want to be a sacrificial lamb, said the ex-banker. It may not be worth it. Its too dangerous to step on peoples toes. But I am willing to do it just to prove to that there are other people (Dayaks) who are more capable than him. He has never ceased to run down the Dayaks, especially the intellectuals. I am not challenging him. I just want to help. Frankly, I would rather enjoy my golfing.
He added: We understand that there has been no proper accounting and auditing at Salcra and so it may be an exercise in futility trying to grope in the dark where there has been no transparency. Nevertheless, we have to try and do due diligence of the organisation before we move forward.
The ex-banker doesnt explain how he is going to head Salcra if hes not willing to come forward and reveal himself in public but added that he was willing to meet Masing, as the land development minister, and explain further.
Accused the Dayaks
Masing, when asked, did not want to be drawn into the subject at length but admitted, laughingly, that he was surprised the ex-banker can deliver alternative proposals for Salcra. He was silent at first on whether he would be at least willing to meet with the ex-banker and hear him out but neither did he rule it out, just adding rather mysteriously, this I got to see.
If hes serious I can set up the appointment for him to meet with Masing, said Tedewin Ngumbang Datu, a senior member of the PRS supreme council and a longtime confidante of Masing, and a close friend of the ex-banker.
I will persuade Masing to meet with the ex-banker. said Ngumbang who came into the picture after the ex-banker agreed to have his identity revealed to him. Ngumbang, like Jabu, hails from Betong, which the latter represents in the state legislative assembly.
Jabu, who continues to head Salcra as chairperson despite being asked openly by PRS to make way for Masing, issued the challenge in recent days after coming under attack from Dayak bloggers and two community organisations, SDNU (Sarawak Dayak National Union) and Sadia (Sarawak Dayak Iban Association), for not saying thank you to him for all the good work he has done with Salcra over the years.
He openly accused Dayaks and other bloggers on Dec 8 in the Borneo Post of discrediting him and Salcra, instigating the people to go against the government and hampering its efforts by abusing and misusing the internet. They blog day and night and have done nothing for the people, said Jabu. They only talk.