SARAWAK businessman Bustari Yusof’s role as Prime Minister Najib Razak’s right-hand man has come under scrutiny after reports emerged that he had “advised” Lim Kang Hoo not to raise a fuss over the collapse of the multibillion-dollar Bandar Malaysia real estate project.
Bustari, 65, was despatched by Najib to meet the Iskandar Waterfront Holdings boss, Lim, following the termination of the RM7.42 billion deal to develop the 197ha Bandar Malaysia, the ultra-modern transport hub in the city centre.
According to a Straits Times report today, Bustari told Lim that challenging Putrajaya’s decision would only dim his chances for future government contracts.
The low-key businessman, described as Najib’s golf buddy, is also the brother of Works Minister Fadillah Yusof. Both have been described as the prime minister’s “key agents” in the Borneo state.
“He would easily count as one of the PM’s closest friends. They play golf (together) regularly and Bustari often goes for holidays with the (Najib’s) family,” a chief executive of a government-controlled bank was quoted as saying.
A Bustari-owned company, Lebuhraya Borneo Utara Sdn Bhd, is the project delivery partner for the RM27 billion Pan Borneo Highway. The Star said in a July 4, 2015 report that LBU stands to earn RM1.3 billion from the highway.
Another Bustari firm, One Medicare Sdn Bhd, was also granted a 10-year concession to operate and manage hospital support services in Sarawak.
Bustari’s flagship company, BYU Holdings Sdn Bhd, is a major shareholder of Petra Energy with a 27.47% indirect interest through Shorefield Resources Sdn Bhd. Among Petra’s major shareholders is Nizam Razak, Najib’s brother, with a 9.09% stake as at April 17, 2015.
The Singapore daily, quoting another source, said Bustari “is the only person who straddles both business and politics within the inner circle, and what he says matters very much to the PM”, highlighting the Sarawakian role as the “No. 1 go-to person who can make things happen in the Najib administration”.