Offshore firm could not bring profits out, had to reinvest in same country, says Zahid on Pandora Papers’ leak

Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was among a number of high-profile politicians and former ministers named in the report. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was among a number of high-profile politicians and former ministers named in the report. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 4 — Umno President Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today responded to allegations in the Pandora Papers’ leak which tied him to an offshore firm in the British Virgin Islands saying the profits could not be reinvested in Malaysia.

He said that the country the company was publicly listed in allowed for an Institutional Placement Programme (IPP) but the dividends had gone to the shareholders and all profits had to go to reinvesting in the said country.

Ahmad Zahid was answering a question from Jelutong MP RSN Rayer as to revelations in the Pandora Papers that Ahmad Zahid had overseas investments that were unaccounted for.

“When I was the CEO of this company in a big country they allowed concessions for it to go public with an IPP. The profits could not be brought into Malaysia and had to be reinvested back in the said country.

“Since it’s publicly listed the dividends went to the shareholders. This company however does not exist anymore,” he said in the Dewan Rakyat today.

Ahmad Zahid was among a number of high-profile politicians and former ministers named in the report.

According to Malaysiakini, Ahmad Zahid was the director of a firm called Breedon Limited in the British Virgin Islands.

Breedon was incorporated in September 1996 with Ahmad Zahid and the company’s name was changed to Rising Resources (BVI) Limited in November the same year.

The Pandora Papers are the biggest leaked offshore data in history with documents coming from offshore service providers operating in Anguilla, Belize, Singapore, Switzerland, Panama, Barbados, Cyprus, Dubai, the Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands, Seychelles and Vietnam.

The files were leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists or ICIJ, which has not revealed its source.

The ICIJ gave 600 journalists around the world remote access to the leaked data.

Former finance minister and financial guru Tun Daim Zainuddin were one of those exposed by the report for having his two sons Muhammed Amir Zainuddin Daim and Muhammed Amin Zainuddin Daim named owners of a British Virgin Islands (BVI) firm Newton Invest & Finance Limited (BVI) in 2007 when they were nine and 12 respectively.

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