Bestino investors say Ahmad Husni lacks the political will to help them get their money back.
KUALA LUMPUR: Disgruntled investors in a scandal-ridden scheme run by the Bestino Group today asked the Finance Ministry to summon the political will to take concrete steps to help them get their money back.
They accused Finance Minister II Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah of doing nothing more than act as a messenger for Bestino’s managing director, Chong Yuk Ming.
“He should use his political will and ministerial power to resolve our problems,” said K Kunasekaran, who coordinates the activities of the Bestino Investors Action Committee.
He told a press conference that Ahmad Husni’s office had simply forwarded to the action committee a letter that Chong wrote to the ministry on Aug 28, saying he was unable to meet his own Aug 31 deadline to provide proof that funds were available for Bestino to return the investors’ money.
He sought an extension of the deadline to the end of September “or a later date”.
“Don’t be a postman,” Kunasekaran said. “Resolve the problem instead of being a messenger for the Bestino Group director.”
Kunasekaran’s committee submitted a memorandum on the matter to the ministry this morning.
Bestino started a gold investment scheme in 2006 and collected funds amounting to RM411 million from 6,764 investors.
In 2009, Bank Negara and the Securities Commission raided the company’s offices on suspicion that it was engaged in illegal deposit-taking operations.
Bank Negara confiscated funds amounting to RM24.2 million for use as evidence.
According to Kunasekaran, Chong has told the ministry that Bestino had managed to gather 80% of the proof of funds.
The investors are unhappy with the ministry for not forcing the company to reveal such proof, especially since Chong had also admitted that he was in possession of gold bars.
“Why is the government still silent on this matter? They can sell the gold bars and return the money to investors,” said Kunasekaran.
He also took Bank Negara to task for keeping the confiscated RM24.2 million instead of returning the money to investors.
Four Bestino directors were charged in February last year over 322 financial offences. They were released on bail and the case is yet to be heard in court.
The Bestino Investors Action Committee is organising a gathering for all the investors this Sunday at the Buntong multipurpose hall to decide on their next course of action.
Kunasekaran said he would ensure that the plight of the investors would be used as an issue against Barisan Nasional during the 13th general election campaign if the problem were to remain unresolved.