British protesters descend on Najib in London over failed investment

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A group calling itself British Victims of Investing in Malaysia (BVIM) yesterday protested outside a convention centre in London where Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was attending a business conference.

The group, made up of 60 families, came to voice their disappointment in the investigations of a fraud case in Malaysia.

Comprised of bus drivers, small business owners and city workers, they protested for 4 hours - from 5pm and 9pm - at the Excel International Convention Centre, the venue of the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF), of which Najib is the patron.

They lamented lack of action by Malaysian authorities against Doxport Technologies Sdn Bhd, which they said embezzled £2.5m (RM12.7 million) from the investors in 2008.

In 2011, the disgruntled investors lodged complaints with the Bukit Aman police headquarters, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission and the Companies Commission of Malaysia.

Doxport Technologies chairman and director was Datuk Seri Abdul Azim Mohd Zabidi, who was once the Umno treasurer. The managing director was Sivalingam Thechinamoorthy while Gurmeet Kaur was listed as a director.

The protesters said they were under the impression that Malaysia had "secure and accountable business system', and as such, had expected to profit from their investment. Their money was invested into purchasing Telekom switches and equity in Doxport.

They said the police report in 2011 was lodged after discovering that there were no such Telekom switches operating in Malaysia.

Earlier this year, the group filed a lawsuit against Azim and the company.

Azim was chairman of Bank Simpanan Nasional from 1999 to 2009, and vice-president of the World Savings Bank Institute from 2006 to 2009. He was also the director of Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd, the company at the centre of the scandal-ridden Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) project.

BVIM also issued a statement, questioning Malaysia's "rule of law" in protecting foreign investors.

“It is ridiculous that after more than two years since we lodged a criminal case in Malaysia, that no charges have been made or people arrested. I will tell all my friends, colleagues and the people I meet never to invest in Malaysia,” said Steve, a bank worker from London.

Another investor known as Mohammed said he had spent his life savings on the failed investment.

“I invested my life savings because I liked Malaysia, my family is really suffering and it seems the law means nothing in Malaysia. I hope no one invests in Malaysia and suffers like us," Mohammed, a bus driver from London, said.

On their website, the group pointed out that it had already met Najib along with former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir and other Malaysian politicians and dignitaries over the last 3 years to highlight their case.

They said investors, accompanied by British House of Lords member Nazir Ahmed, visited Malaysia to meet Najib to get an assurance that they would be given justice.

"PM Najib promised that this would be the case. In addition, when PM Najib visited the City of London to promote Malaysia as a place for inward investment, several investors met him and were assured that any police investigation would be fair," the website said.

The group, backed by 15 British MPs, also voiced their concern about the "safety" of British investments in Malaysia. - October 30, 2013.

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