Another interesting fact about Gamuda – the largest shareholder is also the second richest woman on the 2008 Forbes 40 Richest Malaysians at #35 spot. She is Raja Datuk Seri Eleena Raja Azlan Shah, the daughter of the Sultan of Perak, Raja Azlan Shah. She was worth RM773 Million ($228 Million) at #25 spot in 2007’s 40 Richest Malaysians but this figure dropped to RM510 Million ($150 Million) in 2008 at #35 spot. Based on today’s stock price of RM1.91 a share her fortune is only at RM287.46 million based on her remaining stake of 7.5% in Gamuda via Generasi Setia (M) Sdn Berhad. Naturally when his father refused to dissolve the state assembly for a fresh election various rumors and speculations began its circulation.
Malaysian politics is perhaps the dirtiest but you can’t blame the public to have a perception that the federal government was twisting the arms of the Sultan (silly assumption, is it not?). However on the business perspective you do not need to wake Einstein up from his grave to tell you that Gamuda is basically at the mercy of the Federal government. With water taps closed by the federal government to three of the most developed states, Selangor, Perak and Penang, Gamuda is screaming for projects. Certainly the nation has the money. In fact the country is flushed with more money than before the Mar 2008 general election simply because the federal government does not know where to pump the money to since the most developed states such as Selangor, Perak (was) and Penang are controlled by opposition parties.