Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The FOURTH FLOOR : Malaysiakini

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad yesterday attacked private equity and venture capitalist company Ethos Capital, warning Datuk Seri Najib Razak against taking advice from those with links to Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi's advisers known as the "Fourth Floor".

Writing in his popular blog yesterday, Malaysia's former PM accused Ethos Capital of being a "hedge fund" and suggested the firm was eyeing RM300 billion from the Employees Provident Fund (EPF).

"Look at the role of ECM Libra. Will Ethos, who are also linked to the Fourth Floor, become another ECM Libra? "They (Ethos) are interested in getting a portion of the EPF worth some RM300 billion, to manage its investments, apparently with returns of up to 40 per cent."

Dr Mahathir said Najib should remember what happened to Orange County in the United States as it went bankrupt a number of years ago due to investments in hedge funds. He urged Najib to distance himself from Abdullah's advisors from "The Fourth Floor".

"I was informed that Najib has his own influential and young advisors. They have a close relationship with Abdullah's son-in-law and the fourth floor, in fact they are from the same group," said Dr Mahathir in his latest blog posting. Early this month, a political blog had reported that Najib has appointed advisors linked to the Fourth Floor to work in his office.

"With Abdullah's resignation in March 2009, his deputy Datuk Seri Najib will take over as the Prime Minister. Will Najib be free from the Fourth Floor advisors?" he asked. He accused Abdullah's advisors of abusing their position for financial gains and for causing the Barisan Nasional coalition to perform badly during the last General Election.

"Oxford and Cambridge graduates are special, but there are just too many of them and it does not guarantee special ability. And these youngsters are inexperienced in administration, politics and the economy," said the former prime minister.

"Advise made by the young advisors, which were highly regarded by Tun Musa Hitam, brought disaster to Abdullah. Najib must be careful not to allow this to happen again," said Dr Mahathir.

Since taking over the premiership in late 2003, Abdullah has constantly been accused of leaving most of the decision making process to his son-in-law, Khairy Jamaluddin and his advisors, although none of the allegations have been substantiated.

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