Ezam received RM10 million from his sponsor to buy over the NewGen Party and change it to Parti Bebas Rasuah. But then he did not pay the owners what was promised and now the whole thing is in a mess. Once the takeover and change of name was done, Ezam was supposed to receive another RM90 million to finance the party for the next one year until the coming general election. Will that money still come in or will this be it?

Mohamad Ezam Mohd Nor has this inherent problem. He cannot see money. Once money passes through his hands it stays in his hands. And that was the main reason for the collapse of the PKR Youth Movement in 2004.

The plan was simple. The sponsor gave Ezam RM10 million to buy over an existing/registered political party, the NewGen Party, after which he is to change its name to Parti Bebas Rasuah. Then he would fill the party with a few hundred new members. The initial target was 300. PAN only has about 20,000 members while PPBM a.k.a. Pribumi has about 10,000. So, at best, Ezam can expect 5,000 or so members for his new party.

Once money gets into Ezam’s hand it stays in his hands

But then Ezam’s greed got him into trouble and the whole thing became a disaster. With RM10 million in his hands, money should not have been a problem. All he needed to do was to spend RM50,000 or so to hold a proper meeting with about 300 members in attendance (even if you have to pay RM100 per person to attend). But he did not even want to spend that small amount of money. He would rather pocket it in spite of the RM10 million he had to play with.

So Ezam faked the meeting. There was actually no meeting and the venue plus attendees and their signatures were all bogus. The address of the meeting was a tile shop while those signatures of the attendees were all doctored. And now the Registrar of Societies has caught Ezam with his pants down. And all that because of a few thousand ringgit.

The NewGen Party is itself in a mess. There is a tussle between the former secretary-general, S. Gobi Krishnan, and the new acting secretary-general, Mohamad Zaini Jaafar. There is also the police report about Gobi stealing RM105,000 of the party’s money.

Not a good start to a new party that is being set up specifically to oust Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and for no other purpose other than just that. In fact, to convince his sponsor that he is serious about wanting to oust Najib, last week Ezam filed a suit against Najib. This is a class-action suit but class-action suits do not really work in Malaysia like, say, in the United States. So Ezam is just main wayang to impress his sponsor and get him, her or them to give him money.

Lokman Adam, Ezam’s assistant, revealed back in 2003 that Ezam received millions but refused to help fund the PKR Youth Movement

The reason for this mess is actually very simple. Ezam was supposed to pay an agreed sum to buy over the NewGen Party and to buy off all the old office bearers for them to walk away. And that was why his sponsor gave him RM10 million. But then after promising to pay to take over the party, Ezam short-changed them, as is his tendency to do so. So now no one wants to let go, and until the money is paid this crisis and the allegations, plus the counter-allegations, are going to continue.

Once everything is settled Ezam was supposed to receive another RM90 million to finance the party until the next general election in about a year’s time when they hope to oust Najib. That would be reasonable considering that back in 1988-1996 Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah had to spend RM60 million on his Semangat 46 (and that was more than 20 years ago). And yet after RM60 million and two general elections (1990 and 1995) Semangat 46 still could not make it — which was why Tengku Razaleigh finally decided to close down the party and rejoin Umno.

Even Rafizi needs RM4 million just to finance ten months of Invoke’s operation

With this mess and negative publicity, and with the revelation that Ezam has pocketed almost all that RM10 million and did not pay the people he was supposed to pay, will his sponsor still give him the balance RM90 million?

That appears doubtful. Ezam is so greedy he did not even want to spend any money holding a proper meeting. He faked the meeting and now got caught. Why couldn’t he have spent just a few thousand of that RM10 million and hold a proper meeting? Now the Registrar of Societies is going to nail him good and proper, and all because of a little bit of money.

This was the reason why the PKR Youth Movement collapsed in 2004. In 2003 the PKR Youth leaders had already warned the party that they could not continue without funding but their their grouses were ignored. As fas as the party was concerned the PKR Youth Movement was Ezam’s responsibility and he had been receiving millions. So why was Ezam not taking care of the Youth Movement?

Ruslan Kassim, Muhammad Zahid Mohamed Arip, Hamdan Taha, Dr Abdul Wahid Ahmad Suhaimie, Mohamed Hanafiah Man, Fakhrul Azman Abu Bakar, Shamsul Bahari Shamsuddin, Rosli Mohamed Johar, Zainuddin Awang, Datuk Bujang Ulis, Rusli Mohamed Shariff and Jeffry Nizam told the party they were struggling to stay alive with no funding. But nothing was done.

Even Rafizi Ramli needs RM4 million for just ten months of Invoke’s operation. PKR Youth was the backbone of the general election machinery and they needed at least RM50 million to face the 2004 general election in March 2004. But they could not get even RM50,000 from Ezam who was sitting on millions. So, in February 2004, a month before the general election, they all resigned from the party and PKR practically collapsed.

Will Ezam’s real sponsor please stand up?

So that is Ezam. Everyone who has ever dealt with him knows what type of animal he is. It is all about money. But the problem with him is if you give him money and he delivers at least that is some consolation. But with Ezam once the money comes into his hands it is never spent for the purpose it was given and he never delivers.

So will his sponsor come out with the balance RM90 million or will this be the first and last RM10 million? An even more interesting question is who is his sponsor, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad or Lim Kit Siang? Interesting is it not?

Raja Petra Kamarudin

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