Wee Firm on Claim, Tourism Malaysia Denies RM99M Deal Dubious

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Responding to Tourism Malaysia’s denial of his claims that the deal between the agency and a local company was done in haste and without due diligence, Wee retorted that Tourism Malaysia did not answer his questions.

The deal:

  • With local company Geeko Technology acting as middleman, Tourism Malaysia to tap into Tencent’s reach of 980 million Chinese nationals to increase tourist arrivals

Wee claims:

  • Deal with Geeko Tech settled within a day
  • Suspicious amount of RM99 million, as RM100 million deals must be via open tender
  • “Powerful” holder of just one Geeko share signed off official documents
  • Evidence of dubious deal, will lodge a report with MACC

Siew’s claims:

  • Geeko Tech chosen by Tencent
  • All documents clear, transparent, according to administrative procedures
  • Wee’s allegations malicious and false, attacks baseless and reeking of “bitterness and personal vendetta”

Speaking to FMT, Wee said Tourism Malaysia chairman Siew Ka Wai had not addressed the questions raised by him in his blog post on the matter.

Although Siew had spoken of a report by Deloitte Singapore, Wee added that as far as he knew the report had never been completed.

“The documents reproduced in my blog clearly show that some procedures were all done on one day, April 4, which normally would take days, if not weeks or months.”

He was referring to his claim of a “Speedy Gonzales” contract between Tourism Malaysia and a local company identified as Geeko Technology which he alleged had acted as a go-between for Tourism Malaysia and Tencent Holdings in China.

The former Wangsa Maju MP also asked how a contract involving RM99.693 million could have been settled in just one day, questioning the haste in which the deal had been sealed.

Likewise, he said, the RM11 million payment by Tourism Malaysia to Geeko Technology had been made on May 6, three days before GE14.

Wee also questioned why Tourism Malaysia’s collaboration with Tencent, China’s largest internet and digital corporation, was done through a third party.

“In all their press statements and functions, they have never been transparent about this matter.

“They have talked about the collaboration being between Tourism Malaysia and Tencent Group. This is not the case. The collaboration was done through a middleman, or ‘Special Purpose Vehicle’, Geeko Tech.

“If it is a tourism ministry project, why can’t they deal directly with Tencent Group? Instead, they have chosen to draw agreements through a third-party company.”

Wee said another suspicious matter was the amount of the deal, which was just shy of RM100 million. According to regulations, he said, any agreement that touches RM100 million and above must be dealt with via an open tender.

“In this case, it isn’t,” he added.

Wee also called on Siew to explain the identity of a shareholder named Elizabeth Ken Tzu Ying.

“From a letter I highlighted in my blog, this Elizabeth Ken holds one share unit in Geeko Tech Sdn Bhd. She isn’t even a director.

“But she seems to be very powerful as she signed off all of Geeko Tech’s official documents with Tourism Malaysia.”

In his reply yesterday to Wee, former chairman of Tourism Malaysia, Siew had said Geeko Technology was the local partner chosen by Tencent to implement the project in Malaysia.

Siew said Tourism Malaysia inked a contract with the Tencent Group, the largest internet and digital corporation in China with a reach of 980 million Chinese nationals, to increase the number of tourist arrivals in the country.

He said all documents signed for the digital marketing initiative were made in a clear and transparent manner according to administrative procedures.

“We welcome any authority to check and verify his claims,” Siew said, adding that such allegations be stopped and withdrawn immediately so as not to jeopardise the Smart Tourism project.

Siew also called Wee’s claims malicious and false, and the former chairman’s attacks baseless and reeking of “bitterness and personal vendetta”.

Wee had called on the Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa to instruct the Auditor-General to investigate the deal and take action against senior ministry officials who had disregarded regulations.

Wee, who claims to have evidence of the dubious deal, said that he will be lodging a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.