Shahidan Kassim










How the Shahidan clan acquired the Bernas cash cow
(Free Anwar Campaign, 27 August 2003) - Lembaga Padi Negara or LPN was privatised about eight years ago into what is known today as Padiberas Nasional Berhad (Bernas). -brings in a turnover of almost RM2 billion per annum and profits averaging about RM80 million per year.
Though it is supposed to be a public company, Bernas is very much controlled by one family, that of the Menteri Besar of Perlis, Shahidan Kassim.

Shahidan was then the Member of Parliament for Arau, Perlis, the Chairman of Parliament’s Back Benchers Club (BBC), Chairman of FAMA, Chairman of Yayasan MARA, Director of MARA, and many more. The then Menteri Besar of Perlis was Dr Hamid Pawanteh who was slotted for ‘retirement’ due some ‘indiscretions’ that was threatening to blow up if he continued as Menteri Besar.

Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad summoned Shahidan and told him that he and Dr Hamid would have to switch jobs. Dr Hamid would be contesting the 1995 General Election on a Parliament seat while Shahidan would in turn take over his state seat. The reason being, Shahidan would have to take over as the next Menteri Besar of Perlis.

And this was what Shahidan discussed with the Prime Minister as revealed by one of his business partners whose company Shahidan was the Chairman of.

Why should I want to be the Menteri Besar of Perlis?” asked Shahidan Kassim when I met him just before the 1995 General Elections. “What has Perlis got?”

At least if I am Menteri Besar of Kedah that is something. Kedah is big. There are a lot of business opportunities there. Perlis is so small, it has nothing!”

And that is what I told the PM,” said Shahidan. “I told him I am not interested in being the Perlis MB. I want to do business.”

The PM was taken aback,” added Shahidan. “He asked me what business I wanted to do and I told him I wanted to take over the privatisation of Bernas.”

The PM was puzzled. He told me he has offered me the Perlis MB’s post and I reject the offer. Other people would jump at the chance.”

I told him I am more interested in getting rich,” laughed Shahidan.

The PM said he will think about it and get back to me later. A few days later the PM told me that he will agree to me taking over Bernas if I agree to become the MB.”

I asked the PM, how is this possible? The PM replied to leave that to him. He will clear it with the Cabinet. He will explain to the Cabinet that the Bernas deal is part of the terms for me accepting the MB’s post.”

And that was how Shahidan ended up with control of the privatised Bernas.


Once I saw what they were going to do, I decided to quit,” explained a senior officer of LPN.

I saw the move to privatise LPN as just one more move to make some people rich and I wanted nothing to do with it.”

I spent practically my entire working life serving LPN. Our only mission in life was to serve the rice farmers and ensure that their welfare was well taken care of. But what they wanted to do to LPN is criminal. So I just left in disgust.”

It’s not only what they wanted to do that was so wrong. It is also the people who were behind the whole exercise that was not right.”

I personally know Shahidan so I know what type of person he is. He is just out to make money. And he was going to do so at the welfare of the rice farmers.”


Malaysia Today

2 comments:

Victor Tan said...

thank you for your article

Adely said...

ur welcome