September 11, 2008

Who Is This Recalcitrant Politician?

Man of controversy
11 Sep 2008 - The Sun

GEORGE TOWN (Sept 10, 2008): Raised in a family of contractors in Penang, Datuk Ahmad Ismail, 53, has been embroiled in controversies in the political, business and sports arenas.

He joined Umno in 1974 and has been the party’s Bukit Bendera division chief for 20 years during which all legislative seats in the Bukit Bendera constituency have been contested by only Gerakan and MCA.

In 1995, a special purpose vehicle called Peninsular Metroworks Sdn Bhd (PMWSB) was set up and Ahmad was made its executive chairman. PMWSB was given the Penang Outer Ring Road (PORR) concession, but the federal government recently put off the project.

Ahmad was also director of Nadi Senandung Sdn Bhd, which held a 55% stake in PMWSB in the early years. The remaining stakes were held by Setegap Bhd and Kumpulan Pinang Holdings Sdn Bhd (KPHSB).

KPHSB was a full subsidiary of Yayasan Bumiputra Pulau Pinang Bhd.

In 2002, Ahmad was appointed a councillor on the Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) and assumed the role of “Barisan Nasional whip”.

In February 2003, MPPP appointed him alternate chairman of the Building and Planning Committee, sparking criticism from then DAP chairman Lim Kit Siang who called it “outrageous”.

Lim labelled Ahmad as Penang’s “Super Councillor”, and said the appointment showed the government’s “utter contempt… for the legitimate objections and sensitivities of Penangites who are opposed to the PORR project for violating the principles of good urban governance.”

Ahmad was removed as councillor in May 2006 when he was declared bankrupt by the Insolvency Department. He was reinstated after obtaining a stay of execution of the bankruptcy order.

But his days as councillor ended because he had served the maximum term of four years.


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