It’s more complicated than you think.
Update (24th Aug): According to a recent post by our good friends at Malay Mail, a check with the Companies Commission of Malaysia showed that Cleo International is an entity that is barely one week old.
Prior to October 16th, it was known as Mideast Peak Sdn. Bhd., a transport and logistics service provider which was incorporated in December 2016. They have also dabbled in other activities such as general trading involving import and export activities as well as providing consultancy and management services.
The third-party involved in this kerfuffle, Orange Esports’ parent company, Esports Business Network Sdn Bhd (EBN) told Malay Mail that they were invited to the meeting by Cleo International “to introduce a youth initiative to the Youth and Sports Ministry”.
Why would an established esports organisation rely on a third party bereft of any relevant experience take the lead in an esports discussion is anyone’s guess. We will update you once we have more information on this.
For the past few days, Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq has been getting a lot of flak for having a meeting with a group of people plus one noteworthy kebaya-wearing woman.
Allegations of the woman being a transperson or that she is Saddiq’s secretary were thrown around in social media. Recent clarifications have revealed that she was there to discuss Malaysian esports.
The meeting was held about a week ago. Earlier today, Saddiq clarified that they were there to discuss and plan the execution of a youth initiative programme that also included esports. The woman, simply called Cleopatra based on her Instagram username, is part of a company called Cleo International Sdn Bhd.
When asked by Malay Mail about Cleopatra and the meeting, Saddiq answered that she was a part of a delegation from Orange Esports. Just a few hours ago, Orange Esports released a statement clarifying that Esports Business Network (parent company of Orange Esports) was first contacted by Cleo International to be project partners in the youth initiative.
In the same statement, it was explained that Cleo International and Cleopatra herself are not a part of the EBN group nor are they employed by the group. Apparently, Cleo International is the one leading the youth initiative programme while EBN and Orange Esports are solely service providers for the esports aspect of the programme. Cleopatra is a woman known as Nur Fathiah Syazwana Shaharuddin, according to verification by her ex-husband Datuk Nasir Yaacob via Harian Metro.
Most people raise their eyebrows the moment they read about Cleo International because it’s a company rarely heard of. I looked up company in the database of the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) and it looks like it definitely exists. Prior to this, there have been rumours of Cleo International either being a shell corporation or a Hong Kong company.
Malaysian esports fans have a lot of questions but the two biggest ones are: Who is Cleopatra and why was Orange Esports chosen? We’ll have to wait and see if Saddiq will provide further clarifications.