Saturday, March 24, 2007

Swapping shares for cash - Iskandar Development Region

According to press reports...

Foreign investors in selected zones and sectors within Johor’s Iskandar Development Region will be exempted from the Foreign Investment Committee rules, including the 30% bumiputra equity participation requirement.

However, the authority that oversees the IDR later issued a statement saying that in lieu of exemption from the FIC rules, qualified companies would have to contribute to the "Social Projects Fund" for, among others, bumiputra "development".
Call me a suspicious bastard, but all I can tell from this - is that the 30% bumi equity participation requirement has been swapped with a cash payout to a "fund". A fund which will presumably "distribute" the cash to "selected" bumis.

Wait a minute, so instead of giving them free shares, you're giving cash?!

Farking genius. Who wouldn't prefer cash to shares? Easier to launder, stash away in Swiss or Cayman Island bank accounts and much more convenient to pay for luxury goods during taxpayer funded "lawatan sambil belajar" holidays facilitated by the spanking new 200 million ringgit jetliner.

Different shit, same bad smell.

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