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Sunday, July 19, 2009


Indonesian tycoon Peter Sondakh has been identified as one of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's team of advisors, specialising in Indonesian affairs.

According to Singapore daily Straits Times, Sondakh met Najib during negotiations to sell to his telecommunications group, Excelcomindo Pratama, to Telekom Malaysia in 2004.

Records of the duo's links were more apparent this year when Sondakh were among a select few invited to witness Najib's swearing-in as prime minister in April.

That same month, Sondakh was singled out by Najib during the new prime minister's press conference in Jakarta, as an example of close business ties between the two countries.

Sondakh had earlier invested heavily in two luxury hotels in the Malaysia.

Following this, Sondakh was one of the few foreigners who have been awarded the Tan Sri title by the King last month.

Named as Indonesia's 14th richest individual by Forbes Magazine in 2009, Sondakh controls conglomerate Rajawali Group, which has a diverse interest including cement and tobacco products.

Along with Sondakh, Straits Times also named four others as part of Najib's inner circle:

Siew Ka Wei, 53

  • Controls several listed companies include Nylex and Ancom.
  • Together with senior Umno politician Mohamed Al-Amin Abdul Majib, he is believed to be in the process of acquiring the Malay Mail.

Tan Kay Hock, 61

  • Believed to be Najib's golf buddy.
  • Controls public-listed investment holding company Johan Holdings.

Omar Mustapha, 38

  • Owner of business consultancy Ethos & Co and former special assistant to Najib when he was deputy premier.
  • Believed to be architect of Najib's '1Malaysia' slogan.
  • Proposed by Najib as Petronas board member but rejected by the board for failing to honour scholarship agreements with the company, which financed his studies in Britain.

Joe Low

  • Architect of Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA), a multibillion-ringgit sovereign wealth fund.
  • Believed to be an advisor to the king, Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin.

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