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7th Rangers: Pressed on Invoke shareholdings, Rafizi tells BN, PN to declare assets

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Pressed on Invoke shareholdings, Rafizi tells BN, PN to declare assets
Monday, November 07, 2022


Malaysiakini : Facing attacks by Perikatan Nasional over details in his asset declaration, PKR's Pandan candidate Rafizi Ramli said the attacks are "trivial" and neglect the fact that others have failed to provide the same level of transparency.

He said the attacks were a mere "deflection" strategy, which actually shows their shallow understanding of the business world.

"As expected, the reaction from BN and PN is to raise trivial matters about my assets. I anticipate this will give us an advantage in the GE15 campaign," he said in a statement today.

"BN and PN do not have the courage to declare their assets. At a time when the rakyat are looking for candidates who don't only claim to be clean but are proven to be clean, their failure to declare their assets differentiates PKR's anti-corruption credibility against BN and PN parties," he said.

Among criticisms include the accusation by Bersatu's Rashid Hasnon that Rafizi had amassed wealth through public donations, as Invoke had solicited donations when it first started.

They also questioned the valuation of the Invoke assets, and the data analytics company's financial standing.

PKR deputy president Rafizi Ramli

Invoke is the focus of attacks because the bulk of Rafizi's assets declared were shares in the company, which he founded in 2017 and majority-owns. In the declaration, this was valued at RM17 million.

'Critics can't read a balance sheet' 

Responding to the criticism, the PKR deputy president said he did not inflate the value of Invoke shares, and that the valuation was based on the price investors paid for them on a "willing buyer and willing seller" basis.

"Invoke shares were last issued in 2022 at RM75 million. This is a lower value than the official valuation made by Cradle, a government agency, which valued Invoke at RM105 million," he said.

He added that claims that Invoke was in the red show that his rivals cannot read a balance sheet. This is because Invoke has been profitable as a business, except for its first year in 2019 when it changed from a not-for-profit entity to a commercial entity.

This year the projected profit is RM1.5 million, he said. He added that the company is audited, while international investors have also appointed their own valuers to assess the share prices before subscribing.

'Rashid got his seat partly because of Invoke'

Meanwhile, on PN's Batu Pahat candidate Rashid's claim that Rafizi enriched himself from public donations, he stressed that the bulk of the investments into Invoke was from his savings.

PN's Batu Pahat candidate Rashid Hasnon

He said he had a lot of savings because he started work as a chartered accountant in London, and earned in pounds, and later returned to work in Petronas where he made RM25,000 a month, received annual bonuses of up to RM12,000 a year and was compensated RM400,000 when Petronas revised retirement age from 60 to 55.

"That's why my savings reached RM2 million by the time I was 30, and I used these savings on this start-up," he said. He added that Rashid won on the PKR ticket in 2018 was in part, thanks to Invoke.

"All of Invoke's revenue up to 2018 was spent entirely to fund the 14th general election which contributed to Pakatan Harapan's victory, which gave seats to those former PKR MPs, who jumped ship like Rashid.

"After GE14 was over and all the revenue was spent entirely, I had no other choice but to change Invoke's model to make it commercial and to issue new shares to investors so all 150 of Invoke's skilful staff can be retained," he said.

Bersatu leader Abdul Latiff Ahmad

This morning, Bersatu leader Abdul Latiff Ahmad's statement said Rafizi had reneged on his 2017 promise to distribute Invoke's shares to its staff, as he still holds the lion's share.

That year, Rafizi put out a call for donations to keep Invoke afloat, as it prepared for the general election in 2018. At the time, it had been operational for nine months, had 80 staff members and was running at a cost of RM300,000, mostly used to pay salaries and administration costs.

He said Invoke was operating on his savings and small public donations but was looking to crowdfund RM3 million to last until GE14.

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posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 6:06 PM  
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