Umno’s ‘six million dollar man’ gets deputy minister post

Umno’s ‘six million dollar man’ gets deputy minister post

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid

KUALA LUMPUR, May 15 – Umno’s “six million dollar man” Datuk Tajuddin Abdul Rahman, who was tied to allegations of corruption in the award of a RM1.3 billion 23-year concession to his company to build the Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Tapah campus, has been made a deputy minister.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in naming his Cabinet today announced the appointment of the controversial Pasir Salak MP (picture) as a Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry.

Tajuddin was given the moniker after he was sacked from Umno in 1995 following allegations that he had paid RM6 million to secure his position as a division chief.

Just as early as April, PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli claimed that Tajuddin’s firm, Detik Utuh Sdn Bhd, is not an active construction company and has no performance record in the industry.

He said that in an announcement to Bursa Malaysia in 2010, Detik Utuh’s partner joint venture partner for the mega project, Crest Builder Holdings Berhad, put the university’s construction cost at just RM285.89 million which, he said, was a justifiable sum.

But to make up the total concession value of RM1.3 billion, Rafizi said the concession agreement between the Higher Education Ministry, UiTM and the construction firms in May 2010 had also listed other hidden costs to be borne by the federal government.

Tajuddin, who is also the chairman of government-linked plantation company Felcra, is the majority shareholder in Detik Utuh, a firm that Rafizi labelled an “Ali Baba company”.

The Pasir Salak MP denied the allegations and had threatened to sue Rafizi.

The PKR “expose man” said he was not afraid to be hauled to court over his latest allegation, insisting that he had sighted legitimate documents on the agreement.