Archive for category Corruption

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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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 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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The troubles of Malaysia’s prime minister continue

Economist
Jul 30th 2015 | SINGAPORE | Asia

Najib Razak sacks five ministers, including his deputy

HOW many lousy weeks comprise an annus horribilis? If current conditions continue, Najib Razak, Malaysia’s prime minister, will find out. For months Mr Najib has been buffeted by allegations of corruption at a state investment fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), which he set up six years ago. Earlier this month the Wall Street Journal reported that some $700m from companies associated with 1MDB was paid into what investigators believe are his personal bank accounts. (Mr Najib vigorously denies any wrongdoing.)

On Monday Mr Najib seemed to get a rare bit of good news: Malaysia was bumped up from the bottom to second-to-last of four tiers in America’s Trafficking in Persons report, which ranks governments on their efforts to combat people smuggling. But he did not get to enjoy that news for long. Critics pointed out that, earlier this year, graves were discovered in traffickers’ camps near Malaysia’s border with Thailand, and just this week reports emerged alleging that migrants were forced to work without pay on palm-oil plantations. Some believe that the elevation stemmed not from actual efforts to fight trafficking, but from America’s desire to pass smoothly the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free-trade deal currently being negotiated among a dozen Pacific countries including Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is Apandi as the new Attorney-General going to be Najib’s hatchet man to usher a new dark age subjecting national institutions to a second wave of attacks or will he be sentinel to ensure an “enlightened and democratic” Malaysia

The first statement of the new Attorney-General, Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali is to justify the removal of his predecessor Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail as constitutional and according to law.

Apandi said his predecessor’s rank is not reduced in any way. Are we having two Attorney-Generals in Malaysia – Apandi with all the powers and perks of the office, and Gani, enjoying all the perks but not the powers of Attorney-General?

Apandi said Article 145(6) of the Federal Constitution requiring the setting up of a tribunal for the dismissal of the Attorney-General in the like manner for the removal of a Federal Court judge does not apply, relying fully on Article 145(5) that states that the Attorney-General holds office at the pleasure of the Yang di Pertuan Agong.

I will leave it to the lawyers to address nettlesome question whether Gani’s sudden and summary sacking as Attorney-General on Monday is constitutional or not.

However, in an era when the Government knows best is over, which Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had fully acknowledged when he became Prime Minister more than six years ago, Malaysians are entitled to a full explanation why Gani had been treated so shabbily and humiliatingly that he had been sacked suddenly and summarily after serving for nearly 13 years as AG and will retire in two months’ time on Oct. 6 when he celebrates his 60th birthday.

Gani would not have been taken by surprise by his termination as Attorney-General on Monday if he had applied for early retirement.

Wasn’t he entitled to the basic courtesy of being informed that his tenure as Attorney-General was being terminated, if “health problems” were the real reasons for the termination? Read the rest of this entry »

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Call for emergency meeting of Parliament before August 31 for a confidence vote on Prime Minister Najib and his new Cabinet and to ensure comprehensive and unfettered investigations into 1MDB scandal and WSJ reports

The sudden Cabinet reshuffle today, sacking Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and four other Ministers, following the morning shocking sacking of Tan Sri Gani Patail as the Attorney-General more than two months before his retirement on 6th October are the latest panic efforts to salvage the rapidly sinking UMNO/BN coalition which had governed this country for 58 years.

The Cabinet reshuffle today has been described as “rearranging the furniture on the sinking Titanic” and future history will vindicate this description.

The Cabinet reshuffle is not designed to produce a more competent, efficient and professional Cabinet which can save Malaysia from becoming a failed state because of rampant corruption, socio-economic inefficiencies and injustices, and the failure of good governance, but to give Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak a new lease of political life by removing from the Cabinet Ministers who threaten his political future by demanding that the Prime Minister should give proper public explanation and accountability for the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal and the Wall Street Journal allegation that RM2.6 billion had been deposited into his personal accounts before the 13th General Election.

The important Education Ministry has again been split into two Ministries, one for Education and the other Higher Education, but looking at the Ministers and Deputy Ministers assigned to these two critical Ministries, I fully understand the feeling of the Selangor State Assemby Speaker Hannah Yeoh when she tweeted: “I look at the Education Ministry and I want to cry for our children sake.”

My disappointments at the lack of Ministerial leaderships in both the Education and Higher Education Ministries after the reshuffle are summed up in my tweet: “Not inspiring developments that Malaysian education can restore glorious past.”

But the sine qua non dictating the sudden Cabinet reshuffle is not any higher notions of taking Malaysia to greater political, economic, educational and social heights of achievement, but purely to consolidate Najib’s power position by removing all possible threats to his political survival. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib’s Nixon Moment

M. Bakri Musa
www.bakrimusa.com)
28th July 2015

The Special Task Force and Parliamentary Committee investigating 1MDB (Najib Administration’s business entity) are missing the crux of the matter. They are distracted by and consumed with extraneous and irrelevant issues, either through incompetence or on purpose, as being directed to do so.

The consequence is that what was initially a problem of corporate cash-flow squeeze has now degenerated into a full-blown scandal engulfing not only Najib’s leadership but also the national governance. The only redeeming feature is that for once a national crisis does not parallel the country’s volatile racial divide, despite attempts by many to make it so.

Torrent of ink has been expended on that tattooed Swiss national now in a Thai jail, the suspension of The Edge, the threatened lawsuit against the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), and the blocking of the Sarawak Report website. These are but distracting sideshows. Even veteran and hard-nosed observers and commentators are taken in by these distractions.

The central and very simple issue is this: Did Prime Minister Najib divert funds from 1MDB to his private account as alleged by WSJ and others?

The issue is simple because it requires only a brief “Yes” or “No” response. Read the rest of this entry »

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Andai Watergate di Malaysia: satu imaginasi ringkas

Mohsin Abdullah
The Malaysian Insider
27 July 2015

Sebut Watergate umum terus kaitkan dengan skandal politik besar di Amerika Syarikat (AS) pada 1972. Ramai tahu kisahnya. Maka tidak perlu saya mengulangi apa yang orang sudah tahu. Bagi yang “lupa” atau mereka yang mahu imbas kembali sila google.

Pun begitu, bercakap mengenai Watergate dua nama timbul dengan serta merta. Bob Woodward dan Carl Berstein. Kedua-duanya wartawan akhbar The Washington Post yang membongkar skandal itu dengan “bantuan” pemberi maklumat misteri yang mereka gelar “Deep Throat”. Lantas menyaksikan pelbagai siasatan dijalankan sehingga membawa ke Kongres.

Memendekkan cerita yang panjang, kemuncaknya ialah Richard Nixon, presiden AS ketika itu terpaksa meletak jawatan pada 1974. Woodward and Berstein menjadi terkenal. Mendapat bermacam pengiktirafan termasuk memenangi Anugerah Putlizer. Dan buku buku yang mereka tulis menjadi best seller. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tak mengapa jadi ‘Mugabe’, asalkan terus berkuasa

Amin Iskandar
The Malaysian Insider
26 July 2015

Tiada berita lebih besar di Malaysia minggu ini selain penggantungan permit penerbitan akhbar mingguan The Edge dan harian The Edge Financial Daily.
Mana tidaknya, petanda sesebuah pemerintah atau kerajaan itu menuju kediktatoran adalah menekan media atau menutup surat khabar, sesuatu yang pernah dilakukan diktator-diktator “ulung” Asia Tenggara seperti bekas Presiden Indonesia, Suharto.

Ironinya, jika dahulu majalah Tempo “dikerjakan” Suharto kerana laporan tentang skandal pembelian kapal perang, akhbar The Edge kini digantung kerana menyiarkan laporan tentang syarikat sarat hutang 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Alasan digunakan Suharto pada ketika itu untuk menutup Tempo dan beberapa akhbar lain yang melaporkan skandal “anak emasnya” B. J. Habibie sama seperti digunakan Kementerian Dalam Negeri (KDN) iaitu memudaratkan ketenteraman awam!

Pada masa sama, “ikan-ikan bilis” berkait dengan 1MDB satu persatu didakwa di mahkamah.

Mungkin juga semua ini hanyalah kebetulan akan tetapi menghairankan “jerung besar” seperti Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak yang didakwa The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) menerima RM2.67 bilion wang 1MDB dalam akaun peribadinya tidak pula berdepan apa-apa siasatan atau tindakan. Read the rest of this entry »

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1MDB has become 1Malaysia Disaster Bhd, consuming UMNO/Barisan Nasional Federal Government but it must not be allowed to destroy Malaysia!

When the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi issued a statement on Saturday night that he was mulling action against Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown, including calling for her extradition from United Kingdom for the “crime” of foreign interference in the internal affairs of Malaysia, he was rightly mocked for his presumption in expecting the British government to “play ball” with such a silly notion merely because Claire had exposed a multi-billion dollar financial scandal in Malaysia.

As DAP MP for Segambut Lim Li Eng has pointed out, this is a “big bluff” when those involved in least four high profile cases were now abroad – sex blogger Alvin Tan, Facebook activist Ali Abdul Jalil, Malaysia Today operator Raja Petra Kamaruddin and former policeman Sirul Azhar Umar, who was convicted for murdering Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu.

But apart from the ludicrousness of Zahid’s extradition suggestion, I see a more sinister aspect – the thoughts behind such a ridiculous idea, as the Home Minister cannot be so dumb as to believe that his extradition proposal would have any traction with the UK Government.

The question all discerning Malaysian should be asking is whether a plot is being hatched to launch as wide a dragnet as possible to implicate the maximum number of critics of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the biggest financial scandal in the country, the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal, to rope them in and even charge them for participating in an international plot to topple the elected Prime Minister of Malaysia?

Talk of seeking extradition of Clare is just an icing for the cake of the allegation of an international conspiracy to topple the elected Prime Minister of Malaysia, as for advocates of this extreme option, it is not important whether the extradition request succeeds or not, but suffice for it to provide the “international character” to justify the wild allegation of an international plot to criminalise Najib Razak and topple the elected Prime Minister of Malaysia.

And into such a “plot on a plot”, all the critics of the Prime Minister and 1MDB scandal could be lumped together for allegedly committing “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy”, sabotage or treason for consorting with foreign elements in criminalising Najib and seeking to topple the elected Prime Minister – such as the Edge Media Group owner Tong Kooi Ong, Edge publisher and Group CEO, Ho Kay Tat, MPs Tony Pua and Rafizi Ramli, even the former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir, the Opposition leader in Sungai Buloh prison Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Najib’s brother Nazir Razak?

Far-fetched? We are living in dangerous times. Read the rest of this entry »

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“It Is The Government That Is Truly Jeopardising Public & National Interests”

By Martin Jalleh

“It Is The Government That Is Truly Jeopardising Public & National Interests”

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With three-month suspension of The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily, Malaysia in free fall to become a failed state

Three days ago, I warned: “A darkness is descending on Malaysia.”

Two days ago, DAP MP for Petaling Jaya Utara Tony Pua was barred from leaving the country to fly to Yogyakarta, Indonesia and may be investigated under the new-fangled offence of “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy” which could send him to jail up to 20 years.

Today, the Home Ministry suspended the publishing permit of The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily for three months from July 27, for reporting on the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal which were regarded by the Najib premiership as “prejudicial or likely to be prejudicial to public order, security or likely to alarm public opinion or is likely to be prejudicial to public and national interest”.

Darkness is swiftly descending in Malaysia.

Malaysia has become a topsy-turvy world. Read the rest of this entry »

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The least Abdul Rahman should do as BN strategic communications director is to get Najib to declare at the PM’s birthday bash tonight where the RM2.6 billion in his personal bank accounts in AmBank in March 2013 came from and to whom and where they have gone to

Minister for Urban Well-being, Housing and Local Government, Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan will be guilty of the greatest national disservice if the sole agenda of his appointment as Barisan Nasional Strategic Communications Director is to distract attention from Wall Street Journal’s (WSJ) July 2 report that Malaysian government investigators have found US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) deposited into the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s personal accounts in AmBank in 2013 just before the 13th General Election instead of helping to establish the facts of the Prime Minister’s alleged RM2.6 billion personal accounts.

Since his sudden appearance as BN Strategic Communications Director the previous Wednesday, Rahman had got so much eggs on his face, and on a daily basis, that it is virtually impossible to find a centimeter on his face which is not egg-splattered – whether because of Rahman’s “God-send” Lester Melyani; Lester’s utterly discredited video confession even before all the parts had been aired publicly; the crazy and counter-productive notion for Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to block access to Sarawak Report (forcing Malaysians to undergo an instant education of how to circumvent official Internet blocks) or the hyping of patriotic and valiant efforts to pry open the RM42 billion 1MDB financial scandal whether by journalists in the Edge or by MPs like Tony Pua and Rafizi Ramli as offences like “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy”, sabotage, “toppling the elected government” or even treason! Read the rest of this entry »

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Useless watchdogs, Tinju Dunia and 1MDB

Rama Ramanathan
The Malaysian Insider
23 July 2015

“It would appear… [that] Cerberus, the mythological three-headed hound guarding the gates of Hell, virtually guided and controlled the destinies of the Bank and held its fortunes in [the hands of the 3 accused]. The analogy is perhaps not inappropriate in view of the canine element injected into these proceedings, what with references to watchdogs, toothless, barkless, spineless, chained and all, Government or otherwise, and not forgetting the Press hounds.”

That quote is from Justice Abdoolcader’s 1976 judgment (upheld on appeal in 1978) at the conclusion of the 2 months long trial of Datuk Haji Harun bin Haji Idris & 2 others.

Abdoolcader explicated various aspects of the law. And, in ripe words, he caricatured the so-called watchdogs: toothless, barkless, spineless, chained. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tribute to Ho Kay Tat and shame to Liow Tiong Lai

The publisher and Group CEO of The Edge Media Group, Ho Kay Tat put it very bluntly that when faced with evidence that what was supposed to be a joint venture that will bring economic benefits to the country turned out to be nothing more than a scheme to scam billions of ringgit from Malaysia by a small group of Malaysians and their foreign partners, the Edge Media Group had two choices:

1) Drop the matter like a hot potato and walk away, or

2) Get hold of everything so that the truth can be uncovered.

To their eternal credit as well as the gratitude of all decent and honest Malaysians who want to be able to hold their heads high in a country where ethical, moral and religious values are not just meant for the pulpits but are the compass of everyday living, the Edge decided to pursue the truth. Read the rest of this entry »

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We could not walk away on finding out about the scheme to cheat Malaysia of billions of ringgit

The Malaysian Insider
21 July 2015

The Edge had reported extensively on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) in 2013 and 2014 as it emerged that the government-owned entity had run into financial difficulties.

Information was, however, scarce and limited because its annual audited financial reports were consistently late.

Our journalists have met various contacts and pored through whatever available information they could get hold of in search of the truth.

Early this year, we were told someone was willing to share information that will shed light on 1MDB’s joint-venture with PetroSaudi International. We were not told who he was before we met him.

This person, whom we shall not name, showed us thousands and thousands of emails and document attachments. Read the rest of this entry »

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“Aye” to Rahman’s new appointment as BN strategic communications director as he has made more than half-dozen strategic errors in six days – at least one a day!

I say “aye” to Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister, Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan’s new appointment as Barisan Nasional strategic communications director as he has made more than half-dozen strategic errors in six days – a most admirable rate of one strategic mistake a day.

It will not be easy to find such a bull in a China shop on both sides of the political divide, and it’s a real boon that he has becoming BN strategic communications director.

Just to enumerate half-dozen strategic errors chalked up by the newly-minted BN strategic communications director in his six days in office:

1. To regard former Sarawak journalist Lester Melanyi as a “god-send” not only to end Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s intractable woes from the long-standing 1MBD scandal but an excellent occasion for him to “debut” as Najib’s new right-hand man replacing Jarjis Jamaluddin and Lim Kok Wing. Rahman broke the first rule in failing to check on Lester’s antecedents. Within 48 hours, he acknowledged Lester’s dubious character, which was why he could pen the infamous description “it takes a scum to know another scum”, defaming in the process not only Sarawak Report’s Clare Brown but also the Sarawak leaders of Barisan Nasional and even the Prime Minister himself. Read the rest of this entry »

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Will Cabinet tomorrow discuss the violation of Malaysia’s Bill of Guarantee to the world of “No Internet censorship” in blocking access to Sarawak Report or no Minister would dare to express disagreement?

Will the Cabinet tomorrow discuss the violation of Malaysia’s 17-year Bill of Guarantee to the world of “No Internet censorship” in blocking access to Sarawak Report website or no Minister would dare to express disagreement?

In fact, it is not only the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak who is under a “cloud” with regard to his commitment to the principles of accountability, transparency, integrity and good governance (which are supposed to be the foundation principles of his highly-hyped National Transformation Programme), the integrity of the entire Cabinet is also under question.

This will be the first time in Malaysian history that the integrity of the entire Cabinet has come under a cloud.

Yesterday, I asked the newly-minted Barisan Nasional strategic communication director and Minister for Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government, Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan whether he could “declare publicly that he and UMNO Sabah had not received a single sen from Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s personal accounts in AmBank for the 13th General Election campaign”, referring in particular to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report of July 2 that Malaysian government investigators have found US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) deposited into the Prime Minister’s personal bank accounts in March 2013 just before the dissolution of Parliament and the holding of the 13th General Election.

It is no surprise that there is thunderous silence from Abdul Rahman on this question.

In fact, this question should also be directed to all Ministers in the Cabinet.

Can every Cabinet Ministers declare whether or not he or she had received any funding from Najib through the Prime Minister’s personal accounts in AmBank for the 13th General Election campaigning, and if so, to state the amount and whether the Cabinet Ministers concerned would not participate in any Cabinet discussion or decision relating to the WSJ report on July 2 and 1MDB scandal, in view of their conflict-of-interest position? Read the rest of this entry »

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Art Harun: Sarawak Report ban is laughable and tragic

FMT Reporters | July 20, 2015

Lawyer takes aim at Najib and says the PM prefers to shoot the messenger rather than probe the wrongdoings he has been accused of

PETALING JAYA: The decision by the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to block access to the Sarawak Report (SR) website on the grounds of national security and public order is both laughable and tragic, said lawyer and human rights activist Art Harun.

In a blog posting where he goes at the prime minister and the government with guns blazing, Art accused Najib Razak of preferring to “shoot the messenger” and asked, “Has that (the ban) got to do with the immediate witch-hunting by our authorities against those who dare publish ‘facts’ rather than investigating the wrong-doings that are so apparent from those facts?”

He was referring to the expose by the Sarawak Report and The Wall Street Journal that USD700 million of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) funds had found its way into the private bank accounts of Najib. Read the rest of this entry »

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