Archive for category Corruption

Anti-graft organisation founder says Najib must come clean on RM2.6 billion donation

by Muzliza Mustafa
The Malaysian Insider
3 September 2015

Another global anti-graft activist piled pressure on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to come clean on the RM2.6 billion donation in his personal bank accounts, saying the “delay tactics” used to obstruct investigations would not work in the long run.

Transparency International (TI) co-founder Michael J. Hershman said Najib’s inability to address questions about the donation had affected the prime minister’s credibility.

“My advice to the prime minister would be not to cover up, not to obstruct justice because it doesn’t work.

“Tell the truth about where did the money come from and address the accusation. And if he did something wrong, then asked for forgiveness and face the consequences,” Hershman told the audience at the 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC), which Malaysia is hosting.
He said that such delays would not make the allegations go away.

“The truth will come out and in my experience the sooner it comes out the better it is for the accused and for the country,” he added.

Hershman said the explanations given so far were not good enough. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is Malaysia’s parliamentary democracy “one of a kind” in the world where no-confidence motion is not allowed?”

Malaysia is now the daily staple of international news – with at least four items of international news yesterday, viz:

• AP Report: “Anti-graft group: Malaysian PM must explain $700M in account”;

• New York Times report: “Switzerland Investigates Fund Executives in Malaysian Corruption Case”;

• Economic Times: “Fitch warns of downgrade risk in Malaysia’s rating outlook” and

• BBC: ”Malaysia police to question former PM Mahathir over rally”.

All these international attention are not for Malaysia’s edification but only contribute to Malaysia’s disrepute and demonization in the global community – to the great pain and sorrow of Malaysian patriots locally and internationally.

An item which will pique international interest is the issue of no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak in Parliament – which will be unprecedented in Malaysian history, whether finally moved or otherwise. Read the rest of this entry »

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1,000 IACC delegates from 130 countries should send instant mass signature petition to Najib to attend 16th IACC to come clean on the “two elephants in the room” – the RM50 billion 1MDB and RM2.6 billion “donation” scandals

OPEN LETTER To Transparency International President and 1,000 delegates to 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) by DAP Parliamentary Leader and MP for Gelang Patah Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, September 3, 2015:

Transparency International President Jose Ugaz made a powerful speech at the opening of the 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) yesterday when he said Malaysia’s commitment towards fighting corruption cannot be taken seriously as long as it did not provide answers to the RM2.6 billion “donation” to the Malaysian Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s personal banking accounts – who paid the money, why and what happened to it.

Harkening back to the mottos of Malaysia’s founding father, Tunku Abdul Rahman, on “Independence and freedom” and “honesty and integrity”, Ugaz referred to the “corruption crisis” in Malaysia and said:

“As a global anti-corruption movement it is our role to ask questions, to challenge those who abuse their power, to champion those who cannot speak and to engage with those who sincerely wish to change.

“Let us recall those two words – honesty and integrity.

“What does that mean for Malaysia? Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia police to question Mahathir Mohamad over rally

Michael Peel in Putrajaya
Financial Times
2nd Sept 2015

Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia’s influential former prime minister, faces questioning by police as tensions deepen over his efforts to topple his scandal-hit successor Najib Razak.

Authorities have also called in leaders of a 34-hour street protest last weekend against Mr Najib after the government declared the rally illegal.

The targeting of people associated with the demonstration, which Mr Mahathir attended, comes as Mr Najib fights allegations of corruption over mysterious payments of more than $675m into bank accounts in his name.

The prime minister and the country’s anti-graft commission say the money came from an anonymous Middle Eastern donor, rather than Malaysian state funds.

Malaysian police said Khalid Abu Bakar, inspector-general, would take a statement from Mr Mahathir, who at the rally called for a “people’s power” movement to oust Mr Najib. Read the rest of this entry »

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Switzerland Investigates Fund Executives in Malaysian Corruption Case

By NICK CUMMING-BRUCE
New York Times
SEPT. 2, 2015

GENEVA — The Swiss authorities said on Wednesday that they had started a criminal investigation of two executives of a Malaysian state investment fund at the center of a corruption scandal that has led to calls for Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia to resign.

The Attorney General’s Office in Switzerland also said it had frozen bank account assets amounting to tens of millions of dollars in relation to the case, but declined to give details.

The office said it was investigating two executives of 1Malaysia Development Berhad, the troubled investment fund also known as 1MDB, and other “person(s) unknown” over a series of offenses, including money laundering, corruption of foreign officials and suspected misconduct in public office.

Investigators are “analyzing and consolidating the evidence,” Anna Wegelin, a spokeswoman for the Attorney General’s Office, said Wednesday. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s anti-corruption efforts undermined by questions about scandal: corruption fighter

BY ASTRID ZWEYNERT
Reuters
2nd Septemnber 2015

PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Malaysia’s commitment to fighting corruption cannot be taken seriously as long as it does not explain how millions of dollars ended up in Prime Minister Najib Razak’s bank account, the head of the world’s largest anti-graft organization said on Wednesday.

Jose Ugaz, chair of Transparency International, said Malaysia had taken many measures and initiatives to tackle corruption but that none of its claims to tackle corruption would be credible until it provided answers to the finance scandal.

“We want to see more progress but that cannot happen while there are unanswered questions about the … millions that made its way into the prime minister’s personal bank account,” Ugaz told the International Anti-Corruption Conference. Read the rest of this entry »

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16th IACC – the climax that became the nadir of Najib’s six-year anti-corruption campaign with “two elephants not one in the room”

The 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) was meant to the high-water mark of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s six-year anti-corruption campaign and show-case Najib as one of the exemplary global leaders spearheading a transformation programme with anti-corruption as one of its core objectives.

It has however turned out to be the nadir of Najib’s premiership in transparency, good governance and anti-corruption with “two elephants not one in the room”, resulting in the embarrassing and disgraceful last-minute decision by Najib to pull out from officiating at the IACC opening, for fear of “hostile” reception from the 1,000 delegates from 130 countries attending the conference.

Imagine some 1,000 delegates from 130 countries attending an international conference turning “hostile” against the head of government of the host country!

Unthinkable! Unimaginable! Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib should not set a negative tone for the 16th IACC on “Ending Impunity: People. Integrity. Action” by last-minute pull-out which is tantamount to defiant declaration that Impunity is Order of the Day in Malaysia

Just checked the official website of the three-day 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) on “Ending Impunity: People. Integrity. Action” in Putrajaya from tomorrow till Friday.

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak is still in the distinguished guest-list for the Opening Ceremony, which includes Datuk Paul Low, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Tan Sri Kassim Mohamed, MACC Chief Commissioner, Akere Muna, IACC Chair, Datuk Akbar Satar and President of Transparency International Malaysia, Jose Ugaz Chair of Transparency International.

Despite Najib’s last-minute pull-out from the opening ceremony and delivery of a key-note address for the 16th IACC, will Najib have a last-minute change of plan to honour his earlier promise to open the 16th IACC together with a key-note address?

Ironically, Najib’s absence because of the last-minute pull-out will be the most momentous event at the 16th IACC, overshadowing all the speeches to be delivered, for it would in fact set the negative tone for the international anti-corruption conference on “Ending Impunity: People. Integrity. Action” – as his pull-out and absence will be tantamount to a defiant declaration to IACC and the international community that Impunity is the Order of the Day in Malaysia!

Najib’s absence will be as good as throwing down the gauntlet to the IACC and the international community that they could congregate for impotent global conferences of ending impunity among top leaders in the battle against corruption, but what could they do when a head of government like him defies them and act with utter impunity despite the swirling rumours and allegations about “grand corruption”, or specifically in his case, the RM50 billion 1MDB (according to Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin his last speech as Deputy Prime Minister to the Cheras UMNO Division on July 26) and the RM2.6 billion “donation” twin finance scandals. Read the rest of this entry »

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What Malaysians want is for Najib to break his silence on the RM2.6 billion “donation” scandal which has hogged both national and international news

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak has finally broken his silence over the Bersih 4 rally, criticizing organisers for timing the demonstration in a way that it would clash with the Merdeka celebration.

Najib could have made the Bersih 4 rally an outstanding part of the Merdeka celebrations, especially if he is ready to make an appearance at the Bersih 4 rally and have a dialogue with the Bersih 4 organisers and principal supporters on the state of democracy, economy and nation-building 58 years after Merdeka in 1957.

But what all Malaysians want from the Prime Minister is for him to break his silence on the RM2.6 billion donation scandal in his personal bank accounts, which had hogged both national and international news.

In the past two months, Malaysia have repeatedly made international headlines – but for all the wrong reasons which are either most unedifying to the nation or prejudicial to the good name and standing of Malaysia in international circles. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak dodging anti-corruption spotlight

Lindsay Murdoch
South-East Asia correspondent for Fairfax Media
Sydney Morning Herald
August 28, 2015

Bangkok: Embattled Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has cancelled a speech at the world’s top anti-corruption conference as he refuses to explain $US700 million ($982 million) in his personal bank account.

Mr Najib was listed as a speaker to the up to 2000 delegates from more than 100 countries attending the International Anti-Corruption Conference in Kuala Lumpur next week.

But the Prime Minister’s photograph and biography have been removed from the website of the conference which the Malaysian government is hosting. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia PM Najib Razak ‘has to go’, says ex-leader Mahathir

David Pilling in Kuala Lumpur
Financial Times
August 26, 2015

Behind the political crisis engulfing Najib Razak, prime minister of Malaysia, lies nearly $700m that somehow made its way into his personal bank account. Behind that, according to leaked documents, lies a state development fund with $11bn in debts. Behind everything, however, sits a 90-year-old, for two decades the unassailable leader of this erstwhile Southeast Asian success story, who is doing all in his power to topple the present prime minister.

That at least is the claim of those around Mr Najib, who accuse Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia’s forceful former prime minister, of mounting what they describe as a coup d’état. “He has abused his position and done everything he can to undermine his successors just because his list of personal demands is not being met,” says a person close to government.

Mr Najib strenuously denies any wrongdoing or accepting money for personal gain. The funds in his account, he says, came from an unnamed Middle Eastern benefactor — an explanation endorsed by the country’s anti-corruption commission. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib is a liability to Umno, say party grassroots

By MD IZWAN
The Malaysian Insider
23 August 2015

Some Umno grassroots members, who now feel uneasy facing the public, are saying that scandal-tainted Datuk Seri Najib Razak is a liability to the party.

Trust among the rank and file towards the party president has been affected by ongoing controversies, from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) to the RM2.6 billion put in his personal accounts, allegedly as a donation, with members finding it hard to swallow the explanations given.

“The people want Najib to step down. Even if we talk nicely they do not want to hear, so what more to say?

“Umno members still love Umno, but Umno members no longer love Najib,” said former Tenggara Umno youth committee member Asrul Esreen Mohd Salleh to The Malaysian Insider. Read the rest of this entry »

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I believe three million UMNO members want UMNO to “Save Malaysia” to become United Malaysians National Organisation instead of degenerating to become Abdul Aziz Kaprawi’s United Morons National Organisation

I do not know whether to laugh or to cry when I read that the Sri Gading UMNO chief and deputy transport minister, Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi told his division’s meeting in Parit Raja, Johore yesterday that the Arabs donated RM2.6 billion to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to fight off “Jewish backed” DAP because DAP was a threat to Islam in the country.

Does Abdul Aziz think that UMNO has degenerated to become United Morons National Organisation and no more United Malays National Organisation as to believe in such trash by a power-hungry UMNO neophyte who has no political principles or scruples to concoct bald-faced lies and falsehoods?

It is shocking that Abdul Aziz’s moronic speech was made in the presence of the new Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister, as if Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi has become the new chieftain of the United Morons National Organisation in Malaysia!

What a contrast between Parit Sulong and Parit Raja UMNO Divisional meetings although they are just adjacent UMNO divisions.

So near and yet so far! Read the rest of this entry »

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Political funding and transparency: an Islamic perspective

– Maszlee Malik and Musa Mohd Nordin
The Malaysian Insider
21 August 2015

It is widely accepted that the practice of good governance leads to higher investment and growth, hence development. And political accountability has been highly regarded as one of the sine qua non elements in the governance equation.

Transparency in party financing as well as asset disclosure are amongst the crucial characteristics of political accountability in many developed nations.

A myriad of researches and reports have shown that the lack of openness in money and politics has often contributed to the corruption of political finance.

Thus, policymakers aspiring for sustainable national development must seriously address the transparency of money in politics. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s Many Scandals

By AMBIGA SREENEVASAN
New York Times
AUG. 20, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysia’s ruling party is facing its greatest crisis of legitimacy yet. Long seen as a modern and moderate Muslim democracy, Malaysia has been riding on its economic growth and good diplomacy for years, and the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), which has led coalition governments for nearly six decades, has been claiming the credit.

But rampant corruption, curbs on freedom of expression, a slowing economy and a currency in free fall have eroded public trust in the government’s stewardship. It hasn’t helped that Prime Minister Najib Razak recently reshuffled the cabinet, and sacked the deputy prime minister and the attorney general for asking uncomfortable questions. Or that once again the ruling coalition, Barisan Nasional (BN), is using its influence over government agencies to bypass or manipulate electoral rules to its advantage, most recently through gerrymandering in the eastern state of Sarawak. Read the rest of this entry »

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Did the new Attorney-General start off his tenure making a public statement which is far from the truth when he said that the purported corruption charge sheet against the Prime Minister was a fake?

The 2015 Sabah earthquake which struck Ranau with a magnitude of Richter 6.0 on 5th June lasted for 30 seconds, but it killed 18 people on Mount Kinabalu and caused some 90 aftershocks for the following next three weeks.

Similarly, the convulsions in the very sanctum of Federal government in Putrajaya in the last days of July, which saw the sacking of the Attorney-General and Deputy Prime Minister on 28th July and the arrests and harassment of top government officers in key institutions are still having their aftershocks – like yesterday’s sudden and abrupt transfer out of the Special Branch (SB) of the deputy director of the police intelligence agency, Datuk Abdul Hamid Bador to the Prime Minister’s Department reporting directly to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak!

Abdul Hamid, who had been with the Police force for 37 years, was completely in the dark on the reasons for his abrupt transfer to the Prime Minister’s Office, reminiscent of the sudden transfer of two Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) directors, Bahri Mohd Zin (special operations division) and Rohaizad Yaakob (strategic communications) at the height of the recent stand-off between the Police and MACC over investigations into 1MDB and the RM2.6 billion Najib personal accounts, which also saw the most extraordinary solat hajat (special prayers) by MACC officers seeking divine intervention to allow MACC officers to carry out their anti-corruption duties.

Although the immediate and punitive transfer of Bahri and Rohaizad out of MACC to the Prime Minister’s Department had been cancelled because of adverse public reactions, penalties are being considered to punish the two MACC directors – which the powers-that-be should know could not be kept secret but would have to be fully explained and accounted for when Parliament reconvenes on October 19 for the 2015 Budget meeting.

And what of Abdul Hamid? Read the rest of this entry »

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Why is Anifah Aman the only one out of 69 Ministers and Deputy Ministers who dare to declare that he has not received any funding from Najib’s RM2.6 billion personal accounts?

I commend the Foreign Minister Anifah Aman for declaring publicly that he has not received any funding from Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s RM2.6 billion personal accounts in AmBank in 2013 for 13GE campaign.

Malaysians are intrigued why Anifah is the only one out of 69 Ministers and Deputy Ministers (Senators will have to be excluded) who dare to declare that the has not received any funding from Najib’s RM2.6 billion personal accounts for 13GE campaign.

Although my 96-hour notice to all Cabinet members to demonstrate that the Najib administration is serious when it proposed the National Consultative Council on Political Funding by individually declaring whether they had received any funding from Najib’s RM2.6 billion personal accounts for the 13 GE campaign, and if so, how much they received and spent, Cabinet Ministers could still declare whether they had been connected in any way to Najib’s RM2.6 billion personal accounts.

Since the DAP forum “Ke Mana Halatuju Malaysia” at Tropical Inn, Johor Baru on Monday night, I had named 18 Ministers and two deputy ministers and asked them to declare whether they had received funds from Najib’s RM2.6 billion personal accounts for the 13th General Election campaigning, and if so, to state the amounts.

Anifah is the only Cabinet Minister to respond and in the negative. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib Razak has too much power for Malaysia’s good

David Pilling
Financial Times
August 19, 2015

Once a model of development, the country’s reputation is sinking and so is that of the PM

The story is that in March 2013 one or more unnamed Middle Eastern donors transferred a total of nearly $700m into the personal account of Najib Razak, prime minister of Malaysia. The generous amount was a donation to be lavished on that year’s election campaign of the ruling United Malays National Organisation as Mr Najib saw fit. So sordid are the goings-on in Malaysia these days that, astonishingly, this is not the case being mounted against the prime minister. This is the case for Mr Najib’s defence. Malaysia’s widely lampooned prime minister is in such a deep, dark and money-stuffed hole that this is the version of events being promoted by his allies.

It was also the finding this month of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission. It turns out that an anonymous donation from a foreign benefactor is the least damaging explanation of how 2.6bn ringgit found its way into Mr Najib’s account. The prime minister has denied committing any wrongdoing or accepting money for personal gain.

If this is the positive take, the negative version is worse. Read the rest of this entry »

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Amid economic uncertainty, G25 warns against undermining BNM’s Zeti

The Malay Mail Online
August 19, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 19 — Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) must remain free of political influence and be allowed to execute its duties professionally, a group of Malay ex-civil servants said amid rumours of pressure on the central bank’s governor.

Citing economic uncertainty fuelled by the declining ringgit as well as the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal, the so-called G25 urged the federal government not to cast aspersions on BNM officials as well as those among the country’s vital institutions.

The group pointed out that confidence in BNM’s ability to carry out its duties has been the most important factor contributing to investor confidence and economic development for Malaysia, as speculation remains that Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz may be forced to leave over an alleged leak of information from an investigation into 1MDB.

“While there were doubts on the independence of the judiciary and capacity of other institutions, the confidence in the strength and capability of Bank Negara Malaysia in steering the financial sector to support economic growth has always been sustained and has been the single most important factor contributing to investor confidence and favourable economic prospects for Malaysia,” the statement read. Read the rest of this entry »

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Will Cabinet today resolve that all Ministers and Deputy Minister should seal their lips on the amounts of funds they received from Najib’s RM2.6 billion personal accounts for 13GE campaigning?

I have given the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the expanded Cabinet of 37 Ministers 96 hours to prove that they are sincere in political funding – and this 96-hour challenge expires at the Cabinet meeting later in the morning.

Will there be any surprises from Najib and the Ministers in announcing steps and measures to demonstrate that they are sincere in political funding as a follow-up to the Prime Minister’s recent proposal for a national consultative committee of political parties, NGOS, civil societies and youths to formulate guidelines on political funding with the aim of ensuring that funds are sourced with integrity?

Malaysians do not expect any surprises, and will in fact be shocked if the Cabinet could produce a rabbit from the hat and come up with initiatives to demonstrate that it is sincere about regulating the baneful effects of money politics in Malaysia.

Najib suffers from a grave case of trust-deficit in the country, but he is making a grave error if he thinks Malaysians suffer from an equally serious case of judgment-deficit.

All Malaysians can see through what Najib is up to when he proposed a National Consultative Council on Political Funding which will be given a year to come up with proposals and guidelines in place in time for the next general election.

Najib wants to buy time for up to one whole year to be able to continue stonewall from giving a full and satisfactory account of the RM2.6 billion deposited into his personal accounts in AmBank in March 2013 before the 13th General Election – where the money had come from, who had received handouts from Najib’s accounts, what is the remainder in the accounts after the 13th General Election, and whether there is any truth in last Saturday posting on Sarawak Report website that over US$650 million (RM2 billion) was transferred from Najib’s AmPrivate Bank account in Kuala Lumpur to an account in Singapore after the 13th general election. Read the rest of this entry »

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