Santhara has more than just kin in NZ, even applied for PR, govt docs show
Segamat MP held 20% stake in company based there before his wife took total control of firm
Updated 1 hour ago · Published on 02 Mar 2021 5:42PM
KUALA LUMPUR – While the flurry of criticism at Datuk Seri Edmund Santhara Kumar over his 55-day leave to visit New Zealand has barely abated, documents reveal that the deputy Federal Territories minister applied for permanent residency in the Pacific country about a decade ago.
Checks by The Vibes also found that the Segamat MP was a director of a New Zealand-based company called V3S Trustees, holding a 20% share for a mere five days before the stake was transferred to his wife, Carline D’Cruz.
According to a document in the New Zealand government’s Land Information New Zealand portal, Santhara and his wife had initially planned to purchase a house and sought to emigrate there some time before 2011, with the purposes of educating and bringing up their family.
The filing stated that they applied to the New Zealand Immigration Department for permanent residency before “a change in circumstances” led them to reverse their intentions.
It also noted that Edmund intended to purchase property in “sensitive land” at Lakes Hayes, Queenstown, as a lifestyle block for NZ$3.8 million (RM11.1 million today).
However, their application to buy the house was rejected on March 22, 2011, as it did not comply with Section 12 (a) of the Overseas Investment Act 2005, possibly due to the fact that they no longer intended to move.
Section 12 (a) concerns acquisition of “sensitive land” by any overseas persons or associates of such persons.
It is not known if the Segamat lawmaker had made a fresh application for permanent residency status, although a recent article by whistle-blowing site Sarawak Report claims his family members have been granted such status.
For the record, Santhara’s daughter, Valentyn, became the only democratically elected youth MP in 2019 when she won the Epsom seat.
Meanwhile, a separate check on New Zealand’s Companies Register found that V3S Trustee Ltd was incorporated on September 27, 2019, with Santhara and his wife at the helm as directors. They held a 20% and 80% stake, respectively.
Santhara subsequently disposed of his shares and position in the company to D’Cruz on October 2, 2019, giving her full ownership of the firm.
The company filings also records that the couple currently reside at Cedar Road in Mount Eden, Auckland.
The house is valued at NZ$4 million.
Last week, it was reported the deputy minister had gone “missing”, before he issued a statement to explain that he had taken 55 days’ leave to visit his family in New Zealand.
His leave, which started on December 18, was approved by both Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa and Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
Santhara said he had gone to visit his children, who are studying in New Zealand, as well as his wife, who suffers from health problems. – The Vibes, March 2, 2021
Additional reporting by Amar Shah Mohsen
Has deputy FT minister been in NZ since December, MP asks
Published 27 Feb 2021, 7:14 pm
Modified 27 Feb 2021, 7:15 pm
A PKR lawmaker has questioned the whereabouts of Deputy Federal Territories Edmund Santhara Kumar following a report alleging that he has travelled to New Zealand to rejoin his family since December 2020.
In a statement today, Batu MP P Prabakaran said Santhara should immediately provide clarification if what was alleged by whistleblower Sarawak Report was true.
He demanded that Santhara quit as Segamat MP if he is in New Zealand as alleged by Sarawak Report.
“Is it true that Perikatan Nasional has lost another MP? Where is the Segamat MP? Has he deserted his political career because he could not stand PN’s politics?” he said. Santhara left PKR to join Bersatu last year.
“If you are a voter in Segamat, do you want to meet your MP? Or are you a civil servant who wants to meet the deputy federal territories minister?
“Ever since last Christmas, has anyone met Santhara? Where is he now? Sarawak Report has alleged that he is now in New Zealand. Is it true ?”
Prabakaran said Santhara (above) was nowhere to be seen when the floods hit Segamat last month nor was he seen resolving an issue in connection with a fire incident in Kuala Lumpur.
“According to Sarawak Report, he is staying comfortably with his family in New Zealand as his children are studying there. What about the fate of the poor children in Segamat who need educational aids?”
“An MP who abandons his parliamentary constituency when the people are suffering from disasters such as fire, floods and the Covid-19 pandemic should immediately quit his position.
“Many other politicians and leaders are more hardworking in resolving the issues of the people,” he said.
“If the report is indeed true, he should also return his salary and allowance paid to him since Dec 23, 2020 to the people as this is the public’s money,” said Prabakaran.
Malaysiakini is trying to contact Santhara, and Federal Territories Minister Annuar Musa for comments.
Missing Minister – A Hop Too Far For PN Frog MP Edmund Santhara?
- 27 February 2021
Are you an official in the Federal Territories Department looking for input from your Deputy Minister? Or perhaps a constituent of Segamat looking for urgent assistance from your MP?
Forget it for now, because the person concerned, wealthy former businessman Edmund Santhara MP, has not set foot in Malaysia this year according to dismayed insiders.
He dived out during lockdown to enjoy Christmas in New Zealand thanks to a little string-pulling in the Home Affairs Ministry, according to reliable reports received by Sarawak Report (he is thick as thieves with Minister Hamzah Zainuddin) and has not so far bothered to return.
Of course, Santhara’s other paid public role is that of a parliamentarian, which he can rightly argue he is no longer able to perform, owing to the closure of Parliament under the bogus pretext of an emergency to do with Covid (all Malaysians know that Parliament is actually suspended because the present coup government no longer has a majority).
With Santhara in New Zealand PN has even less of a showing of MPs of course, since he was one of the handful of defectors from PKR who gave the coup conspirators a fleeting sliver of a majority. That was after GPS and some others had been bought following weeks of bartering once the Agong had appointed ‘PM8′ with his pal Zaifrul to be in charge of the all important finances.
PKR’s former rogue deputy president Azmin Ali had boasted of a far bigger defection to his co-conspirators, such as Hamzah, making the whole plot to overturn the democratically elected government extremely shaky.
However, thanks to Santhara and the Sarawak jumping frogs, the backdoor administration achieved its primary goal of forcing through the all important budget (as demanded by the Agong) thereby giving themselves present billions with which to play, whilst the rest of the country has been intimidated into compliant curfew.
This has turned Santhara into a PN hero. He has been made an honorary member of Bersatu (after all there are issues with his DNA which make full recognition tricky) and more importantly he has been given his plum political job, doubtless full of potential for ‘satisfying policy initiatives’ given all that budget.
Lockdown government has made Malaysia itself very dull however. A very unrewarding place to live for such a successful political animal, who almost single-handedly overturned a government.
Santhara had already decided his family are better off living down south in a real democracy like New Zealand anyway. They have permanent residence and the kids go to school in Auckland rather than some failing Malaysian outfit where you pass maths with 6% (thanks to his new government).
So, none of that nonsense of sweating it out living in the constituency for him – particularly now the neighbours will have turned less friendly towards himself and the Mrs after he betrayed their votes to bring back the government of kleptocrats they worked so hard to turf out.
Come Christmas, therefore, it appears he understandably decided to join his loved ones in Covid free New Zealand, flying out December 23rd. The necessary ‘business’ pretext must have been easy to cobble together, given all the important to-ing and fro-ing of PN MPs compared to the rest of the country who must continue to live in lockdown.
Malaysians plainly needed him to do urgent public business in New Zealand over Christmas. And he hasn’t bothered to return…. can you blame him?
There is, however, the remaining question of his enormous publicly funded salary, which he is officially supposed to earn by tending to the needs of his constituents and performing ministerial duties. What about that, some might ask, since MPs are at least supposed to give the appearance of performing public duties, even if they are actually concentrating on filling private pockets?
Santhara seems to think he has found the solution. Over the past days, weeks and months his Facebook page has uploaded photos of his “team” going around the constituency handing out government assistance in his name.
There have been pictures of his car, kindly loaned for assisting flood relief. Also a boat with his name on it to deliver food with his name on it. All there on Facebook with his dutiful staff photographed displaying charity to homeless folk flooded from their homes or facing other problems.
Just no sign in all those months of Santhara himself photographed in terra firm in Malaysia, let alone in the more wretched areas of his own constituency.
So, good enough?
Delegating the team
Not according to certain outraged folk who asked not to be named. As one pointed out floods hit the region in January, but it was his office staff who made the appearance:
“His constituency was hit by floods in January, but he wasn’t there in to help his constituents – all events attended by his PA. Early January during the Wilayah Day celebration Santhara was awarded Datuk Seri title by the King but he wasn’t around to receive the award as well because he was already in New Zealand by then!”
Team Santhara worked hard through the flood, posting good deeds online on behalf of the MP – who himself was absent throughout
team provides publicly funded relief to constituents ‘on behalf’ of the absent Mp
If Santhara thinks that thanks to modern technology and the efforts of his ‘team’ he is performing all his duties satisfactorily from the comfort of Covid-free New Zealand, perhaps he would at least care to provide his public explanation?
He can perfectly easily do so on Zoom of course – and post his statement on Facebook like all the other stuff.
This way he can at least find out how his constituency and the tax paying public feel after finding out their handsomely rewarded representative has flown out of the mess that he’s in charge of, whilst they themselves are forbidden to leave.
However, talk is he doesn’t care about their reaction because he is already planning to use his PN contacts to execute another hop come election time and move to a more congenial urban seat:
“He is confident he can win in Batu or Hulu Selangor and he is flashing his credentials (deep pockets) to party leaders to gain nomination to one of those”
explains one disillusioned insider. So, it looks like “Team Santhara” via Facebook is all his constituents, officials and colleagues are likely to hear from the wealthy MP for sometime yet.
Missing in action – the MP for the area was nowhere to be seen during the flood aid handed out in his name