Farhash exits HeiTech Padu, but still a player in local corporate scene


Datuk Farhash Wafa Salvador has been hitting corporate headlines quite a bit lately. The most recent came in an exchange filing by technology services provider HeiTech Padu Bhd.

In the filing yesterday (April 17), HeiTech Padu announced that Farhash has ceased to be a substantial shareholder ‘by virtue of the change in shareholdings in Mfivesouthsea Sdn Bhd, the holding company of Rosetta Partners Sdn Bhd pursuant to Section 8(4) of the Companies Act 2016.’

On March 14, the former political secretary to now Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim emerged as a substantial shareholder in HeiTech Padu when the private vehicle Rosetta Partners acquired 16.1 million shares or a 15.91% stake in the company.

In a subsequent statement, Farhash clarified that the shares were jointly owned with Kelantan’s Sultan Muhammad V, stating: “The ownership of these shares is also part of the investment strategy between Sultan Muhammad V and me to support Bumiputera companies.”

Almost a month later, on April 15, HeiTech Padu announced that it had signed the letter of award from the road transport department (JPJ) for a RM190 million three-year contract which commences on May 1.

The contract extension, granted with the consent of the Finance ministry, covered critical services such as preventive maintenance, cybersecurity, and software license renewal, with a total mobilisation value of RM 54.32 million.

The announcement got tongues wagging, forcing no less than transport minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook to step in. JPJ falls under his ministry.

Explaining the sequence of events, Loke on Wednesday told the media that the RM190 million contract was awarded before Farhash emerged as a substantial shareholder in HeiTech Padu.

He said the ministry’s board of acquisitions agreed on Nov 24, 2023, that Heitech Padu’s bid for the maintenance of JPJ’s MySikap system and IT infrastructure was the lowest and most reasonable.

“This acknowledgement was submitted to the finance ministry for its final approval on Dec 4 and the Treasury’s approval was given on Feb 8 for a value of RM185 million, excluding service tax,” he told reporters in the press conference.

Loke said the matter was brought up by Anwar Ibrahim in the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, due to insinuations that the project was awarded to HeiTech Padu over Anwar’s ties with Farhash.

At the last general election, Farhash was the Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) election director for Tambun, the seat from which Anwar won, and later became Prime Minister under the unity government. The 15th General Election (GE15) took place on Nov 19, 2022.

The shares of HeiTech Padu which had been trading at below 70 sen for many months began attracting attention in mid-November 2023. It surged 400% from 60 sen on Oct 27, 2023 to RM2.99 on March 11, just days before the announcement of Farhash’s emergence in the company made public by the local stock exchange.

Farshan, the 41-year old politician-turned-corporate figure, emerged visibly on the corporate landscape on Dec 27, 2022 when Apex Equity Holdings Bhd – which is involved in stockbroking, property holding, property development and money lending – announced his appointment as its group executive chairman. He still holds the position.

A week later, in January 2023, he was appointed as non-executive chairman at 7-Eleven Malaysia Holdings Bhd, a company controlled by Berjaya Corp Bhd founder Tan Sri Vincent Tan Chee Yioun.

With his past close connection to Anwar, and seeing how politics and business have intertwined in the past, corporate watchers will watch his every move. He may have exited HeiTech Padu as a substantial shareholder, but not the local corporate scene.