Although Najib has succeeded in frightening off Mahathir in not talking about 1MDB scandal, there are still enough patriotic and public-spirited Malaysians who still insist on their rights to demand proper accountability and not to be fobbed off by Najib’s delaying tactics

I fully agree with former Cabinet Minister and Kedah Mentri Besar, Tan Sri Sanusi Junid that Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s reshuffled Cabinet is unashamedly a 1MDB Cabinet, imbued with the “Charge of the Light Brigade” spirit of “Theirs not to make reply, Theirs not to reason why, Theirs but to do and die, Into the Valley of Death” to give blind support and loyalty to Najib on the 1MDB scandal.

We can already see a trio of Najib’s Cabinet Ministers, two of whom are newly brought into Najib’s Cabinet, who have taken the position as Najib’s vanguard to resort to all means, whether fair or foul, to shield and cocoon Najib from demands of accountability, transparency and good governance principles on the 1MDB scandal.

Although Najib has succeeded in frightening off former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir, from further talking about the 1MDB scandal, it is fortunate that there are still enough patriotic and public-spirited Malaysians who refuse to bow down to Najib’s strong-armed tactics and are still insisting on their rights to demand proper accountability on the 1MDB scandal and not to be fobbed off by Najib’s various delaying tactics, including: Read the rest of this entry »

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Pilihan raya lokal hakis hak Melayu?

Saifuddin Abdullah
Sinar Harian
3 OGOS 2015

MINGGU lalu, Presiden Pas Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang menuduh DAP “cauvinis” kerana ingin mengadakan semula pilihan raya Pihak Berkuasa Tempatan (PBT). Enam bulan terdahulu, beliau menyatakan yang pilihan raya tersebut akan menghapuskan hak keistimewaan orang Melayu.

Saya tidak terlibat dengan perselisihan antara beliau dengan DAP. Tetapi, saya tidak bersetuju dengan pendapatnya tentang hak orang Melayu dalam konteks pilihan raya PBT.

Pada 13 Mac 2015, saya telah menyampaikan syarahan khas bertajuk “Adakah Pilihan Raya PBT Menghakis Hak Keistimewaan Melayu” di Persidangan PBT di Malaysia: Menilai Laporan Athi Nahappan Untuk Masa Kini, anjuran Penyelidikan Untuk Kemajuan Sosial (REFSA). Teks syarahan itu diterbitkan dalam REFSA Quarterly, Isu 1 2015.

Saya mula berbicara dan menyokong diadakan semula pilihan raya PBT sejak 1986. Saya pernah menjadi Ahli Majlis PBT Temerloh selama enam bulan, pada 2007, iaitu sebelum menjadi Ahli Parlimen Temerloh pada 2008-2013. Oleh kerana pada saya, Majlis Daerah dan Majlis PBT tidak partisipatori dan representatif, maka, sebagai Ahli Parlimen, saya telah menubuhkan mini-parlimen tempatan, iaitu Majlis Perundingan Parlimen Temerloh. Read the rest of this entry »

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I agree with new Minister in PM’s Department in charge of parliamentary affairs Azalina Othman for an emergency Parliament sitting but with the agenda to appoint new PAC chairman as well as to decide on future of “Special Task Force on 1MDB”

I agree with the new Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Azalina Othman Said for an emergency Parliament sitting but with the agenda to appoint the new Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman as well as to decide on the future of the “Special Task Force on 1MDB”.

I am very surprised that Shahidan Kassim has been so summarily removed as the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of parliamentary affairs after being assigned the portfolio for less than 27 months, without the basic courtesy of an announcement of the change of portfolio by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak but by Azalina herself in Kota Tinggi, Johor on Saturday.

Does this tantamount to a verdict that Shahidan had failed as the Minister in charge of parliamentary affairs and if so, why is he retained as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department?

Does Shahidan know before Azalina’s announcement that he had lost charge of parliamentary affairs, or is this a “coup” by Azalina considering that she has very powerful forces backing her as a new Cabinet Minister?

This is a most shabby treatment for a UMNO loyalist like Shahidan but we are apparently in for very shabby times, considering the shabby and humiliating manner in which Tan Sri Gani Patail had been sacked as Attorney-General, although he had served as the No. 1 top legal officer of the government for nearly 13 years and was only two months short of mandatory retirement to reach the age of 60, as well the shabby treatment meted out to key officers of the “Special Task Force investigating 1MDB” – with the hunters of 1MDB crimes becoming the hunted themselves. Read the rest of this entry »

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Labi Gone, Next Labu!

M. Bakri Musa
www.bakrimusa.com

Remember Labu and Labi, the two bumbling idiots in P. Ramlee’s 1962 comedy movie of the same title?

Today we have a political version of that duo. With the latest cabinet reshuffle, Labi is gone. Next should be Labu, aka Najib Razak. The leadership of Malaysia is too important to be entrusted to these jokers.

In a twist of irony, this latest exercise eases the process. By firing his deputy, Najib has set an important precedent – decoupling cabinet positions from party leadership. It has been the tradition, and only that as it is unsupported by the constitution, that leaders of the ruling party should also lead the country.

By having someone other than the party’s deputy leader be the Deputy Prime Minister, that sets the stage whereby the Prime Minister too could be someone other than the party’s President. That is the only silver lining to this latest reshuffle. That excepted, Najib’s new cabinet remains a yawner. The elusive “wow” factor still eludes him.

In picking his new ministers Najib is taken in by the glint of pebbles, confusing that for the sparkle of diamonds, or in kampong expression, pasir berkilau disangkakan intan. No surprise there as Najib himself is a pebble. He values loyalty over smarts, pebbles over diamonds. Expect Malaysia to be continually grinded down. Read the rest of this entry »

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What Can Ensure a Real Political Breakthrough

Koon Yew Yin
3rd August 2015

Recently I wrote of developments on the opposition side that had the potential to lead to a political breakthrough for the country. I was referring to the formation of a new party led by Pas moderates and progressives.

I had also written on the need for the new Islamic party to adhere to the Common Policy Framework and reject a hard line and extremist Islamic ideology; oppose the move to introduce hudud in Kelantan and the federal parliament; support the constitutional position on democratic and human rights and the equality of all citizens, irrespective of race or creed and to fight racial and religious extremism wherever it comes from.

But in politics it is not enough to have the right manifesto or ideology. To win power, it is equally – if not more important – to have the right leaders. Today we have a clear political leadership crisis in the country in both government and the opposition. Read the rest of this entry »

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Save Najib, Save UMNO or Save Malaysia?

It has been a roller-coaster month which Malaysians had not have the misfortune to experience before.

It began with the explosive Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report alleging that government investigators had discovered US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) deposited into Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s personal bank accounts in AmBank in March 2013 just before the 13th General Election, which Najib had not denied but repeatedly declared he had never taken funds for personal gain, to a major and ongoing purge and crackdown of key institutions started with the sacking of the Deputy Prime Minister and the Attorney-General and followed by the overawing and intimidation of the Cabinet, Parliament, the Press and the multi-agency Special Task Force investigating 1MDB comprising Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), Royal Malaysian Police and the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC).

In one month, the country went from the “high” of the Prime Minister assuring the nation that no stone would be left unturned to get to the bottom not only of the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal but the WSJ report of RM2.6 billion deposited into the Prime Minister’s personal bank accounts, (and Najib was so confident that he publicly declared that all investigations will clear him), to the “low” of the “hunters being hunted”, allegations that the sacked Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail was in the final stage of drafting corruption charges against Najib himself, and the Special Task Force investigating 1MDB virtually accused of being involved in an international conspiracy to topple the elected Prime Minister of Malaysia.

How does one separate fact from fiction, truth from lies. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib’s desperate shuffle for survival

By Bridget Welsh
Malaysiakini
Jul 31, 2015

COMMENT Najib Razak’s cabinet reshuffle was an expected step in the repertoire of many measures that the prime minister has used to stay in office.

In this manoeuvre, he has removed the immediate leadership threats among the Umno hierarchy, closed down the two avenues of negotiation involving the 1MDB scandal, and purportedly strengthened the ‘strongman’ dimensions of his leadership.

Many argue this Mahathirian move has secured Najib’s position by neutralising challengers. I disagree. In fact, Najib’s measures of late reveal weakness – not strength – and are likely to deepen his leadership crisis.

With the reshuffle, Najib has forged new alliances among the various factions in Umno. In the Umno party elections of 2013, Najib made a strategic alliance with Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s appointees and the former premier’s son-in-law Khairy Jamaluddin to secure dominance over internal party opposition seen from the Mahathir Mohamad camp.

Najib managed to position considerable loyalists as division chiefs in the party contests, but did not fully secure control over the Supreme Council or have a majority of division chief loyalists on his own, relying heavily on allies to shore up his position. Read the rest of this entry »

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Paul Low – where were you when the table was turned, the hunters become the hunted as the Special Task Force probing 1MDB was displaced by a Police Probe on 1MDB Special Task Force?

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Paul Low has vowed to protect the officers of the multi-agency Special Task Force investigating 1MDB, coming from the four key agencies of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), the Royal Malaysian Police and the Attorney-General’s Chamber (AGC).

He said he had been brought into the federal cabinet specifically to promote good governance and to strengthen transparency and accountability in the government, and in line with this mandate, he assured the public that he would continue to stand firm in protecting these institutions and their respective officers, and will see to it that they are allowed to conduct the investigations until a satisfactory conclusion is reached.

Tragically, Paul Low was completely impotent when the key officials and the multi-agencies of the Special Task Force investigating 1MDB came under assault, with the most important officer, the Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail himself sacked suddenly and summarily, while key institutions like the AGC, MACC and BNM were humbled and intimidated, with the arrest of a former MACC adviser and an officer from AGC by the police today.

Where was Paul Low after making the vow to protect Special Task Force officers? Read the rest of this entry »

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Tony Pua’s Impian Malaysia

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Is former AG Gani Patail a free man, and if so, why he could not appear in public to explain truth or otherwise of alleged draft corruption charge sheet against Najib?

The newly-minted Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali has dismissed the purported draft of a corruption charge sheet against Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak published on whistleblower website Sarawak Report as false.

When the new Attorney-General could not say a simple “Yes” or “No” whether Gani, who had served as Attorney-General for nearly 13 years and was only about two months away from Oct. 6 when he is reaches 60 years and mandatory retirement, was summarily sacked as AG on Tuesday on July 28, 2015, Apandi is telling all Malaysians that he is capable of varnishing the truth, quibbling and equivocating instead of telling “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth”!

Under these circumstances, Apandi’s denial must be taken with a pinch of salt until and unless he could produce the former AG, Gani Patail, to publicly explain the circumstances and the truth or otherwise of the draft corruption charge sheet against Najib. Read the rest of this entry »

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Will there be some 20 UMNO MPs and 20 BN MPs from Sabah and Sarawak prepared to join with some 80 MPs from DAP, PKR and Gerakan Harapan Baru to form a new coalition government with a new Prime Minister with new policies to save Malaysia from becoming a failed state?

It is becoming a popular refrain from top government circles in the past few days alleging that there is an international conspiracy plotting the toppling of a serving Prime Minister by “criminalizing” him, as if the Najib government is preparing the ground for a new dragnet of arrests, using Section 124 of the Penal Code on the new-fangled crime of “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy” which can send a person convicted for the offence to jail for up to 20 years.

The latest person to join in this government chorus is none other than the new Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamad Apandi Ali who, in his fourth day as the top law officer of the government early this morning, dismissed the purported draft of a corruption charge sheet against the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak by former Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail, published on whistleblower website Sarawak Report, as false.
Apandi went on to declare that the alleged draft corruption charge against Najib point to “a conspiracy to topple a serving prime minister by criminalising him” and warning “stern action against the perpetrators” as “the full force of the law will be applied without exception on any that are found guilty”.

In fact, more than a dozen names have been circulated in the social media in the past few days of persons from the press, Parliament, the “special task force” on the 1MDB which is a multi-agency constituted by Bank Negara Malaysia, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the Royal Malaysian Police and the Attorney-General’s Chambers alleging that they are going to be picked up in the crackdown on these plotters of the international conspiracy to “criminalise” Datuk Seri Najib Razak and to topple the elected Prime Minister of Malaysia – and it really surprises me that the Inspector-General of Police who have been issuing all sorts of warnings to various quarters in the social media seems to be blissfully unaware of such sites and their activities.

This is why in the past two days, I had specifically asked whether Malaysia is on the brink of a “new Dark Age” and another round of attacks on the independence, integrity and professionalism of the national institutions which had suffered and had not fully recovered from the earlier round of attacks on the national institutions in the country. Read the rest of this entry »

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The never-ending fight for the facts

Boo Su-Lyn
Malay Mail Online
Friday July 31, 2015

JULY 31 ― When I applied for a job as a journalist, my boss told me that journalism was about reporting the “facts”, not the “truth.”

I didn’t really understand him then. Wasn’t it the same?

But I’ve come to realise that “truth” has its own shade of meaning, a play on passion and emotions, while “facts” are unemotional, leaning neither right nor left. You, the reader, are free to make your own judgment. But with the “truth”, it sometimes comes with the writer’s own judgments.

When we journalists uncover facts ― whether it’s about how the boom in tudung brands shows the trend of conservative Islam in Malaysia, or how public funds are diverted into the pockets of powerful people ― it’s so that people can decide what to do now that they’re better informed.

If Malaysians aren’t comfortable with how religion is encroaching into governance and public policies in a secular country, they can speak up. If they’re perfectly fine with even a seven-month-old baby wearing a headscarf, that’s up to the people. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is the sacking of AG and DPM a multiple attack on the national institutions including the Press, Parliament, the 1MDB “special task force” comprising AGC, BNM, MACC and Police to save Najib from the 1MDB scandal?

The past 72 hours have deepened the mystery and national foreboding about the sacking of the Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Othman, the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the Minister for Rural and Regional Development, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal.

The question that is looming ever larger is whether the sackings represented a prelude to a multiple attack on the national institutions including the press, Parliament, the 1MDB “special task force” comprising the Attorney-General’s Chambers, Bank Negara Malaysia, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency and the Royal Malaysian Police to save the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak from the 1MDB scandal.

The latest political hurricane started with the totally unacceptable reason for the sudden and summary sacking on Tuesday of Gani as Attorney-General who had served as the first legal officer of the Crown for 13 years and two months short of retirement on reaching 60 years old, on the ridiculous ground of “health reasons”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ruling party leaders are dangerously disconnected from the grass roots.

Wall Street Journal
July 29, 2015

OPINION

The scandal engulfing Malaysian politics isn’t getting any easier for Prime Minister Najib Razak. On Sunday Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin broke ranks with his boss and urged him to answer questions swirling around state-owned investment fund 1MDB. On Tuesday the Prime Minister sacked Mr. Muhyiddin and also replaced the Attorney General leading an investigation into the fund.

The firestorm began July 3, when the Journal reported that Malaysian-government investigators found evidence that nearly $700 million linked to 1MDB transited through Prime Minister Najib’s personal accounts. Those documents can now be viewed on WSJ.com. The origin and ultimate destination of the money is not clear.

Mr. Najib’s office denied that the report was true and called it “political sabotage.” But that is not enough for Mr. Muhyiddin. On Sunday he warned that grass-roots support for the ruling United Malays National Organization (UMNO) is evaporating because its leaders aren’t offering a public explanation for what happened with 1MDB. “We cannot explain properly because even we don’t know the real facts, so who is going to tell us the real facts, it should be the Prime Minister, true or not,” the Star newspaper quoted him saying. Read the rest of this entry »

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David Cameron presses Malaysian PM on corruption claims

Patrick Wintour Political editor in Kuala Lumpur
Guardian
Thursday 30 July 2015

Najib Razak asked by Cameron about imprisonments of political opponents and allegations he misused $700m of government money

David Cameron has pressed the Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak over claims he has imprisoned his political opponents and taken government money for personal gain, at a private meeting between the two men in Kuala Lumpur.

In a meeting at Najib’s residence, Cameron also urged his Malaysian counterpart to accept the importance of a free press, the need for ethics in business, and the fight against corruption. He stressed the importance of an open economy and open society.

Cameron has made the fight against corruption a key theme of his four-day trade mission to south-east Asia, and the British prime minister had arrived in Malaysia in the week in which corruption claims prompted Najib to sack both the attorney general, who had been investigating him, and his own deputy, who had been a prominent critic. Read the rest of this entry »

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David Cameron challenges Malaysian PM Najib Razak on corruption

By Matthew Holehouse, Kuala Lumpur
The Telegraph
30 Jul 2015

The Prime Minister urged Mr Razak to clean up his government and challenged the treatment of Anwar Ibrahim, the country’s opposition leader in jail

David Cameron has confronted Najib Razak, the Malaysian prime minister, over the deepening corruption scandal that threatens to bring down his government.

Allegations that $700 million (£450 million) in state development funds ended up in Mr Najib’s personal bank accounts overshadowed a visit by the Prime Minister designed to build trade ties.

During a long, one-to-one meeting, Mr Cameron on Thursday urged Mr Najib to clean up his government.

In a pointed move, he then met with civil society leaders, including journalists, the G25 group of campaigners and lawyers, who are campaigning for greater democracy and a free press.
Mr Cameron also challenged Mr Najib over the treatment of Anwar Ibrahim, the opposition leader in jail on sodomy charges. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia must accede to Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court

Excellencies, Esteemed Colleagues, dear Friends,

I would like to thank the organizers for inviting me to address the distinguished audience at this important meeting, which has great potential to further the participation of the Asia-Pacific region in the Rome Statute system, and in particular to encourage Malaysia and Indonesia to accede to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

As a member of PGA, I would also like to thank the present EU Ambassador His Excellency Luc Vandebon for the support given to PGA by the European Union.

The Asia-Pacific region is clearly the most underrepresented region in the ICC’s Assembly of States Parties. Of the 53 countries of the Asian Group of States, merely 19 are party to the Rome Statute of 17 July 1998 and only one has ratified the Kampala amendments of 11 June 2010.

It is crucial that we, the elected representatives of our nations, take decisive actions to further the universality of the Rome Statute in the Asia-Pacific and by joining a global movement of 123 States Parties to contribute to ensuring that the worst crimes known to humanity are not tolerated and impunity is no longer awarded to the perpetrators of those crimes. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia cabinet reshuffle saps confidence

Nyshka Chandran
CNBC
30th July 2015

The hasty top-level reshuffle by Malaysia’s embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak in the wake of a corruption scandal will do little to encourage foreign investment amid an already tense political backdrop and a sustained currency crisis, analysts warn.
Announced on Tuesday, the Cabinet reshuffle involved the sacking of Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin after he called on Najib to explain the controversy surrounding a Wall Street Journal (WSJ)report earlier this month that revealed nearly $700 million from quasi-sovereign wealth fund One Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) was deposited into the Prime Minister’s personal bank accounts. The accusation is particularly explosive given that 1MDB is in debt to the tune of $11 billion.

The Prime Minister has denied accepting money for personal gain and is reportedly considering a defamation lawsuit against the WSJ.

Tuesday’s reshuffle also saw cabinet posts given to four senior members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) – the group overseeing the 1MDB parliamentary investigation. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysian cabinet reshuffle: Shrewd move or political gamble for Najib?

Channel News Asia
30th July 2015

Amid sackings, step-downs and new appointments following the 1MDB saga, Channel NewsAsia’s Insight explores the prime minister’s motivation and game plan.

KUALA LUMPUR: In the weeks since the Wall Street Journal reported on the investigation of Malaysia’s troubled state wealth fund, 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), significant cabinet changes have been made by Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Amid allegations that US$700 million (RM$2.7 billion) from companies linked with 1MDB was transferred to the prime minister’s account, Mr Najib on Monday sacked his deputy prime minister, Mr Muhyiddin Yassin, following his public remarks on the ongoing investigation.

On Tuesday, Malaysia’s Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail had his tenure terminated with immediate effect, citing health reasons. Mr Patail, who headed the special task force investigating the allegations concerning 1MDB, suffers from a kidney ailment and was set to retire in October.

As electoral reform group, Bersih, demands Mr Najib’s resignation, analysts speaking to Channel NewsAsia’s Insight try to make sense of Najib’s game plan, his motivations, and what is in store for the Malaysian prime minister and his party. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s first family are under the spotlight as David Cameron flies in

As David Cameron arrives to talk trade, Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak’s bank accounts, his wife’s handbags and her son’s Hollywood deals are making the headlines

By Philip Sherwell, Asia Editor
The Telegraph
30 Jul 2015

David Cameron might have hoped that his few final hours in Malaysia at the end of a four-day, four-state whirlwind trade tour of South East Asia would have been the chance to start winding down before heading home.

Instead, he finds himself flying in to a deepening controversy on Thursday as a multi-million dollar scandal engulfs his host Najib Razak, the prime minister of the former British colony.

Nor is it just Mr Najib who is under attack from his foes in Malaysia amid allegations that he ended up with $700 million in his personal accounts from a state investment bank that he founded.

The Malaysian leader’s wife Rosmah Mansor has been derided for her alleged penchant for luxury and free-spending ways – claims that her husband has dismissed as political assaults.

And Riza Aziz, her son from her first marriage and Mr Najib’s step-son, is also a staple in the gossip as well as financial pages.

He has emerged as a major Hollywood film producer with multi-million property deals in Manhattan and Los Angeles since becoming close friends with a Malaysian playboy investor during their education in London. Read the rest of this entry »

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