Businessman Wan Khalik says he is not 'fronting' for anyone


Wan Khalik: Of course I have a number of close associates who have similar interests and I ventured into these businesses with some of them.

PETALING JAYA: Wan Khalik Wan Muhammad, who catapulted into the corporate scene with substantial stakes in DWL Resources Bhd and G3 Global Bhd recently, says he was not fronting for anyone when he bought into the companies.

The 46-year old businessman with Sarawak connections said he has been in business for quite some time, albeit unlisted ones and brings “value plus good networking” to the table for the two companies he has emerged in.

Such talk undermines “decades of gritty hard work”, he told StarBiz.

“Since my early forays into the corporate world I have always acted on my own. Of course I have a number of close associates who have similar interests and I ventured into these businesses with some of them,” he said.

Wan Khalik is the executive chairman at both companies.

He had surfaced with a 10% stake in DWL in January when he bought 19.86 million shares via his private investment vehicle Total Sejati Sdn Bhd.

In April, the ceramics and pottery products manufacturer, which is looking to transform itself into an infrastructure player, saw the entry of another new shareholder, namely Datuk Mohd Aminul Islam Abdul Nor with a 30% stake.

Mohd Aminul is well-known in corporate circle as being the owner of the concessionaire that manages the foreign worker centralised management system (FWCMS).

The entry of Mohd Aminul into DWL has sparked talk that FWCMS could be injected into the loss-making company.

According to Wan Khalik, Mohd Aminul’s participation in DWL is purely in his personal capacity and as one of many shareholders in the company.

Prior to his entry as a DWL shareholder, Wan Khalik said he did an assessment on the firm.

“I see tremendous growth potential at DWL. If you recall, we do have experience in the past handling construction and engineering works but in a relatively small scale.”

According to him, the collaboration with Gadang Holdings Bhd is a natural progression for DWL to play a bigger role in the infrastructure industry.

“Gadang has vast experience in infrastructure works in Malaysia and is well known within industry circles so we know that we are partnering with the right party.”

He views Gadang’s recent 10% stake purchase in the company as a “testament of confidence.”

As for G3 Global, Wan Khalik emerged as substantial shareholder early last month with a 24.24% stake.

He said since his appointment to the board of the IoT company, it had announced the collaboration with SenseTime and soon after, plans for the first Artificial Intelligence (AI) park in Malaysia.

“The (AI) industry is experiencing a global growth ... I would love to see mass adoption of AI technology to generate greater advancement for the country across all economic sectors.”

He said he is positioning G3 to be the leading AI company in Malaysia in the near future.

“I do not think that it is overly ambitious as we have the right ingredients and tools to achieve this.”

He laughed off suggestion that he has taken the market by storm going by the share price rise of these stocks following his entry.

“ I started a software development company way back in 2000. I was also involved in other businesses such as construction, engineering, marine and F&B. “

In 2013, he joined the Sarawak public service where he was special officer and principal private secretary under three chief ministers of the state.

Wan Khalik then returned to the corporate sector in July last year.

“As you can see, I have been around for quite some time and have myriad of experiences.”As for G3 Global, Wan Khalik emerged as a substantial shareholder early last month with a 24.24% stake.

 

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