Supermax's Stanley Thai apologises to Najib for involvement in politics

From left: Deputy Federal Territory Minister Senator Datuk Dr Loga Bala Mohan Jaganathan, Thai, Malaysian Indian United Party president Tan Sri S Nallakaruppan, and an unidentified friend of Thai

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KUALA LUMPUR (Apr 14): Former Supermax Corporation Bhd managing director Datuk Seri Stanley Thai has apologised to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for his involvement in Malaysian politics.

In a statement read at a press conference here today, Thai said he regretted getting involved in the 13th General Election (GE13) and believed that he had been influenced by the opposition.

"With much regret, I realised that I was being influenced by the propaganda and the opposition during the election time and I truly regretted it and realised it was wrong to get involved in politics as a businessman. Thus. I hereby tender my apology to the Prime Minister Najib for what I have done in GE13," he said. 

In his statement, Thai said that prior to GE13 his comments at a dinner in March 2013 was quoted by Bloomberg in a report two weeks before the polls. 

In the article, he was quoted as saying that he would join Malaysian Chinese in abandoning support for Najib and vote for the opposition for the first time in GE13.

In GE13, the Barisan Nasional coalition, led by Najib, retained power in Putrajaya, despite losing the popular vote.

Today, Thai said he has completely stopped all political activities and has no affiliation with any political parties since May 2013.

"I have even requested Institute Rakyat to remove my name from their website as a member of their advisory panel thereafter. I also like to reiterate that I will continue to fully support the ruling government’s sound economic policies. 

"After GEl3 elections, I was focusing on my business and most of the time I was travelling overseas. I am now sincerely seeking the forgiveness from Datuk Seri Najib for what I have done in the last election and I truly regretted it," he said. 

"Just for record purposes, I have been a supporter of the ruling government’s economic policy from day one including the economic policies implemented by Datuk Seri Najib. The frustrations that we had over the years has been the infrastructure delays in expanding our glove manufacturing business. The last two projects, there were delayed for two and a half to three years due to the water supply issues in Selangor state where most of our plants are located," he added. 

It is worth noting that in the last three years, Thai has been fighting an insider trading charge related to Supermax unit APL Industries Bhd (APLI). 
Late last year, he was sentenced by the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court to a five-year jail term and RM5 million fine for the insider trading offences committed when he was CEO of APLI, a company that was delisted from Bursa Malaysia in 2009.

The sentence was the first time a jail term was imposed for insider trading. It is also the harshest sentence passed down thus far by the court for the offence.

It has been reported that Thai would appeal against the sentence. 

Thai's full statement below:

1. First and foremost, I would appreciate very much that the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak would allow me to render my explanation with respect to the previous GE13 circumstances leading to unfortunate mistake I have made in the past. I hereby calling for this press conference to make a formal apology to our beloved Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib. Again, the main purpose of this press conference is to apologise to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib and Barisan Nasional for what I have done in the previous GEl3. 

2. I regretted getting involved in GEl3 which I believe that I have been influenced by the opposition. Being a businessman, I should not be involved in Politics under any circumstances & I truly regretted it 

3. Prior to the last GEI3, I was invited to be a member of the advisory panel of Institute Rakyat. During that time, I met Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for the first time. 

4. I attended the launching of the Institute Rakyat on January 2013 and thereafter I never attended any meeting associated with Institute Rakyat. 

5. Sometime in February or March 2013, I was involved in organising an Economic Forum through Institute Rakyat held at Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur. The speakers include Anwar Ibrahim as the keynote speaker. the then Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim, Chief Minister of Penang and a few other speakers. 

6. Subsequently sometime in March, 2013. I was invited for a dinner by Bloomberg Malaysia. Considering Bloomberg being a Business Media, I attended the dinner. During the conversation when I was casually asked “why some of the Chinese are not supporting Barisan Nasional”. Considering it a casual dinner I made my comments. However, when my private & casual conversation was reported and published two weeks before the GEl3, I begin to realise that the contents of the news article went virus quickly in the social media and it was exploited by the opposition politicians. Subsequently other opposition parties invited me to speak at their ceramah. 

7. I went to Bukit Tinggi in Klang for a fund raising dinner for Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim. One of my printing suppliers invited me to this ceramah and I also attended ceramahs in Johor few days before the election. During the election eve, I attended ceramah at Lembah Pantai. 

8. After the election & on 8 May 2013, I attended a rally at Kelana Jaya Stadium. Those were my only involvement in political activities during the election period. 

9. Subsequently, with much regret, I realised that I was being influenced by the propaganda and the opposition during the election time and I truly regretted it & realised it was wrong to get involve in politics as a businessman. 

Thus. I hereby tender my apology to the Prime Minister Najib for what I have done in GE13. 

10. Thereafter, I stopped completely all political activities and have no affiliations whatsoever with any political parties since May 20l3. I have even requested Institute Rakyat to remove my name from their website as a member of their advisory panel thereafter. I also like to reiterate that I will continue to fully support the ruling government’s sound economic policies. 

11. After GEl3 elections, I was focusing on my business and most of the time I was travelling overseas. 

12. I am now sincerely seeking the forgiveness from Datuk Seri Najib for what I have done in the last election and I truly regretted it. 

13. Just for record purposes, I have been a supporter of the ruling government’s economic policy from day one including the economic policies implemented by Datuk Seri Najib. 

14. The frustrations that we had over the years has been the infrastructure delays in expanding our glove manufacturing business. The last two projects, there were delayed for two and a half to three years due to the water supply issues in Selangor state where most of our plants are located. 

15. Bank Negara has confirmed our country’s economy is doing well and this will not be possible without the able leadership of the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib. International rating agency also reaffirmed the high rating of the country’s economy. 

16. As far as the proposed increase of minimum wage to RMl,500 over the next five years, I strongly support this initiative as it is in line with the government’s intention to improve the standard of living of the B40 and to bring the country into a high income nation. 

17. As a member of the business community, I like to see political stability. Businesses operating in Malaysia will continue to prosper with the sound economic policy of the ruling government that is led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib. Foreign investors will continue to have hill confidence to participate and drive the economic growth and continue to expand their investment in Malaysia. 

17. Again, I would like to repeat that this press conference is to specifically to present my apology to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib for what I have done in GE13 and reiterate again that I am in full support of the ruling government sound economic policies. 

Thank you

Datuk Seri Stanley Thai
Kuala Lumpur
Apr 14, 2018