Archive for category Corruption

Call on progressive UMNO leaders to support the patriotic call for the scrapping of auction rights of “Patriot” number plates to Yayasan Patriot Negara Malaysia (YPNM)

I am pleasantly surprised that an UMNO State Assemblyman, Tengku Putra Haron Aminurrashid (Kempas – Johor) has spoken up against the ludicrous, disgraceful and most unpatriotic decision granting auction rights of “Patriot” number plates to Yayasan Patriot Negara Malaysia (YPNM) purportedly to promote “patriotism”.

Although the language used by the Kempas UMNO Assemblyman is rather down-to-earth, he undoubtedly expressed the feelings of the majority of Malaysians when he said that the Ministers who allowed an NGO to auction the “Patriot” vanity plates have effectively put “patriotism” on their “backside”.

Have decency, civility and good sense in Malaysia at the Cabinet level gone to the dogs that Ministers can approve such a mercenary and cheap-skate idea of auctioning “Patriot” number plates, as if those who used money to use the “Patriot” number plates are the greatest patriots in the country – even more “patriotic” than the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers and ordinary Cabinet Ministers?

Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein (who approved the hare-brained scheme when he was Acting Transport Minister) and Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves for the “Patriot” number plates auction decision and I fully agree with Tengku Putra Haron that “the application should have been shot down upon presentation”.

His question whether the Cabinet had approved the “Patriot” number plate auction scheme deserves an answer from the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak himself. Read the rest of this entry »

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Annuar Musa should be sacked as MARA Chairman as he had failed the MARA Vision for MARA to be “an outstanding organization of trust, upholding the nation’s pride” and spearhead new breakthroughs for Bumiputeras

The AGE report last Tuesday (23 June) on the MARA Inc. property scams, particularly over the Dudley International House apartment block in Melbourne, which was acquired with A$22.5 million (RM65.4 million) MARA funds, but involving a bribe of A$4.75 million (RM13.8 million), as well as investigations into MARA Inc’s other Australian properties, has opened up a can of worms of abuses of power, criminal breach of trust and corruption in MARA.

I had earlier asked whether Datuk Seri Annuar Musa would resign as MARA Chairman to take responsibility for MARA’s international corruption scandal and to pioneer a culture of responsibility for government leaders and captains of statutory boards and corporations.

In his response on Saturday, Annuar said there was no need for him to quit over the allegations of corruption of MARA’s property purchases in Australia, as his term as MARA chairperson would expire in two weeks’ time.

True, Annuar’s tenure as MARA Chairman ends on July 18, but the events of the past eight days since The Age expose last Tuesday seem to point inexorably to one conclusion: that Annuar should be sacked as MARA Chairman as he has failed the mission entrusted to him to fulfil the MARA Vision to ensure that under his chairmanship, MARA is an “outstanding organization of trust, upholding the nation’s pride” and spearhead new breakthroughs for bumiputeras in the fields of entrepreneurship, education and investment.

The abuses, malpractices and criminal offences in the MARA property scams in Australia are gross violations of the MARA Vision to be “an outstanding organization of trust, upholding the nation’s pride” – as under Annuar‘s chairmanship, MARA has degenerated into a “disgraceful organisation in criminal breach of trust, representing the nation’s shame” not only in Malaysia but in the international arena!

Even worse, the MARA property corruption scandal has dragged into the international mud not only the reputation of MARA, but also the good name of Malaysia and the Federal Government, as well as the professionalism and integrity of the nation’s anti-corruption agency, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). Read the rest of this entry »

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Is Shabery prepared to have a debate with Tony Pua on TV on 1MDB to gauge whether Pua has popular support for his sterling role in demanding accountability and transparency in the 1MDB scandal?

The UMNO/Barisan Nasional agenda to remove DAP MP for PJ Utara, Tony Pua from Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) hearings on the 1MDB scandal is still on stream and seeking to gather greater support, enlisting Ministerial endorsement after the campaign opener by Prime Minister’s choice lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah and former Cabinet Minister and PAC Chairman Datuk Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad.

This is why the Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Shabery Cheek has waded into the 1MDB/PAC controversy to spearhead the UMNO/BN guerrilla campaign and tactics demanding that Pua be removed from the PAC hearings on the 1MDB scandal.

Shabery claimed that by his outspokenness on the 1MDB scandal, Pua had “not only shamed the PAC, but also the parliamentary system itself and was no longer qualified to sit in the PAC”.

Shabery was quite hysterical when he charged: “He (Pua) makes biased statements, he should be ashamed, his party should be ashamed, his supporters and those associated with him should also feel ashamed.”

Shabery has indeed made a sorry spectacle of himself.

It is Shabery who should be thoroughly ashamed, and UMNO/BN and the Cabinet who should feel ashamed, for his hysteria and spearheading the UMNO/BN guerrilla campaign and tactics to remove Pua from PAC hearings on 1MDB scandal. Read the rest of this entry »

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MACC should do soul-searching why its credibility on war against corruption in high political places is zero and explain why it has failed to land a single shark in the past six years

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) should come out of its cushy air-conditioned offices and go to the ground and do a soul-searching why its credibility on the war against corruption in high political places is zero, whether the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal, the MARA property corruption scandal blowing up in Melbourne or the recent Wall Street Journal expose that 1MDB funds were used to bankroll Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s campaign in the 13th general elections.

It is a reflection of the MACC’s utter lack of credibility and impotence as far as fighting corruption in high political places is concerned that 10 days after the Wall Street Journal report (June 19) on electoral abuses and corruption in the 13th General Elections, several NGOs, led by Coalition for Free and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0), Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) and Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) had to gather at the MACC to demand action by the anti-corruption agency yesterday.

What have the MACC officials been doing in the past 10 days over the WSJ report?

Just twiddling thumbs?

Have MACC officers called in the officers and personnel from 1MDB, Genting Plantations and Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia (YRIM) in the past 10 days to begin investigations arising from the Wall Street Journal report?

Has the MACC opened a file to investigate whether Najib as Prime Minister had misused his position and channel funds from 1MDB to bankroll his 13GE campaign?

Or has absolutely nothing been done on the Wall Street Journal report in the past 10 days? Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysians owe debt of eternal gratitude to Wan Junaidi who resolved week-long mystery about allegations of Justo’s 1MDB “tampered emails” – no evidence whatsoever but just “logical assumption”!

Malaysians owe the Deputy Home Minister, Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar a debt of eternal gratitude for he has resolved a mystery which had vexed thinking Malaysians for a week – the allegations of about 1MDB “tampered emails” which surfaced after the arrest of Swiss national and former PetroSaudi International (PSI) IT executive, Xavier Andre Justo at a house in Koh Samui, Thailand the previous Monday (June 22).

Type in “1MDB tampered email” in Google search and there will be scores of news report about the allegations about “tampered emails” associated with the 1MDB scandal – all a week-old vintage after Justo’s arrest.

For months and years since the surfacing of the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal, nobody had ever raised the issue of “tampered emails”.

Even after shocking expose four months ago when the whistleblower website Sarawak Report in its article “Heist of the Century” of Feb. 28 announced that together with London Sunday Times, they have completed an in-depth investigation into “thousands of documents and emails” relating to the transactions by 1MDB, including its initial joint venture with the little-known oil company PetroSaudi International from 2009, nobody had breathed a word about “tampered emails”.

Even the police report lodged in the United Kingdom at the London Police’s National Fraud and Cyber Crime Report Centre by PSI on March 1 was not about “tampered emails” but about confidential emails and servers had been hacked into and the contents made public.

Why did the issue of “tampered emails” burst into the public domain and only after the arrest of Justo, but only in Malaysia but not elsewhere in the world and not even in Thailand where Justo was arrested for blackmail – with one Minister after another assuming that it is Gospel truth and threatening action against the media and all and sundry who spoke up on the 1MDB scandal? Read the rest of this entry »

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National and international shame that Malaysia’s anti-corruption ranking so low when MACC sets world record with the greatest superstructure with the most number of bodies monitoring it to uphold integrity and accountability

It is no use the Anti-Corruption Advisory Board coming out with a sanctimonious statement that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) should be given room to conduct a full and thorough investigation into the MARA property corruption scandal in Australia, and urging “all parties, including politicians” to refrain from making statements which could jeopardise the image of MACC.

Both the MACC and its Advisory Board should know that it is its own record and performance as an anti-corruption fighter which is the most powerful determinant of its image whether it is a fearless and feared anti-corruption fighter or just a “toothless tiger” as far as the corrupt among the “high and mighty” in the political world is concerned.

Next month is the sixth death anniversary of innocent DAP aide, Teoh Beng Hock, who lost his life in the very sanctum of MACC headquarters in Shah Alam on 16th July 2009, and up to now, no MACC officer has yet been penalised for Teoh’s death.

If MACC cannot even ensure that is officers uphold integrity and accountability in the death of Teoh Beng Hock, is it any wonder that public confidence in the MACC’s commitment to wage an all-out war against corruption and to upold integrity in high political places is virtually non-existent?

The MARA property corruption scandal in Australia will be an acid test whether the MACC is going to start showing that it has teeth and claws as far as fighting the corrupt among the high and mighty in the political world is concerned, or that MACC is only capable of abusing the powers as in the deaths of Teoh Beng Hock and Ahmad Sarbani Mohamad in April 2011. Read the rest of this entry »

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MACC may be guilty of gross incompetence and inefficiency if after tip-off in March, it still have to sent officer to Melbourne to investigate MARA Inc property corruption as if fresh from scratch

I could not believe my eyes when I read the Bernama report in The Malaysian Insider yesterday.

Entitled “Mara Inc to open doors to Melbourne property deal probe”, the report quoted the MARA Inc Chairman Datuk Mohammad Lan Allani and the MARA Inc Chief Executive Officer Datuk Abdul Halim Rahim in a joint statement as saying:

“We welcome any investigation or inquiry in respect to our investment, locally and internationally.

“We will pledge our full cooperation and assistance to the relevant authorities for a fair and transparent investigation on the matter or any other matters in respect of MARA Incorporated Sdn Bhd”.

What impertinence! What impudence! Read the rest of this entry »

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Both Annuar Musa and MACC should explain whether MARA and MACC have received earlier tip-off about corruption of MARA Inc property purchase in Melbourne, and if so, why no action until The Age expose on Tuesday

The Najib administration continues to tie itself in knots, in one scandal after another.

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said yesterday that MARA officials named in Australian newspaper The Age’s report on the Melbourne property scandal are innocent until proven guilty.

He said no action can be taken against them based on a “trial by media” as they must be thoroughly investigated first.
“No action has been taken against them yet. Investigation must be done to determine whether they broke the law,” Najib told a press conference after chairing Umno’s supreme council meeting.

“We cannot take action based on suspicion or a trial by media or social media. It must be based on the rule of law. You are deemed innocent until proven guilty.”

He said the government would remain transparent over the case and assured that the scandal would be thoroughly investigated.

This is very different from the tenor of the statement made by the MARA Chairman, Tan Sri Annuar Musa, at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) yesterday to submit several documents relating to the purchase of properties in Australia by MARA Inc. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why did Annuar make the U-turn in 48 hours from National Economic Council chaired by Najib approving the Melbourne Dudley Street property deal by Mara Inc to Najib opposing the Melbourne purchase?

MARA Chairman Tan Sri Annuar Musa should explain why he made the U-turn in 48 hours from saying at his media conference on Wednesday that the National Economic Council chaired by the Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, had approved the Melbourne Dudley Street property deal by MARA Inc. to his statement today that Najib had actually opposed the Melbourne purchase?

Annuar should know that this is the 21st century and Information Age and he cannot just behave like monarchs of olden days when information could be controlled and manipulated for him to wilfully and arbitrarily insist that he had never said what he had actually uttered, or that he had been misunderstood or his statements had been twisted when what he said was crystal-clear.

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Annuar could complain that the latter’s statement had been “twisted” by news portals like Malaysiakini and The Malaysian Insider to mean that Najib had personally approved the purchase, when the decision to buy Dudley House in Melbourne was made by the National Economic Council by consensus.

Or in the subsequent words of Annuar in his Facebook: ‘There is no question of approval by any individual, including the prime minister. As I said, it was approved by the National Economic Council and done according to procedure. I hope this is clear.”

Najib and Annuar were only trying to quibble that it is wrong to say that Najib had given approval for the Dudley House purchase when it was decided by the National Economic Council by consensus although chaired by Najib. Read the rest of this entry »

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Annuar must convene emergency MARA Council meeting to demand that MARA Inc Chairman Mohd Lan Allani and CEO Halim Rahman cough out the A$4.75 million (RM13.8 million) bribe MARA paid for the Dudley House apartment block in Melbourne

MARA Chairman Tan Sri Annuar Musa is not presenting himself as a model public servant when he refuses to convene an emergency meeting of the MARA Council following the Tuesday expose in Australian daily, The Age, on the MARA Inc. property scams, particularly over the Dudley International House apartment block in Melbourne, which was acquired with A$22.5 million (RM65.4 million) MARA funds, but involving a bribe of A$4.75 million (RM13.8 million), as well as investigations into MARA Inc’s other Australian properties.

Following The Age report, the Australian Federal Police have launched Operation Carambola with raids in Melbourne as part of an international bribery and money-laundering investigation involving high-ranking Malaysian officials, businessmen and the purchase of Melbourne property, seizing computers and files from a home in Vermont South with several other properties targeted across Melbourne.

But it is business as usual in MARA back in Malaysia, although Malaysia has been thrust into the global stage with an international corruption scandal involving a key government statutory body and public servants.

What is most shocking is the rather indifferent reactions of the government authorities, in particular the MARA Chairman who said in a media conference yesterday that MARA will not deny the claims and allegations in the Australian newspaper report and was treating the media expose as “information” to facilitate investigations.

It would appear that Annuar was not surprised at all by the expose in The Age, which completely undermines his claim that he was not aware that the value of Dudley House property had been inflated until he read the reports.

Was Annuar telling the truth and could he be so ignorant about the MARA Inc property scams in Australia? Read the rest of this entry »

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All MARA Council members should collecitlvely resign if they caanot explain why they agreed to the establishment of offshore companies in tax havens to buy properties overseas as if engaged in dubious and dishonourable transactions

Yesterday, MARA Chairman Tan Sri Annuar Musa said MARA Council has given its subsidiary, Mara Incorporated Sdn. Bhd (MARA Inc.) seven days to provide a detailed written explanation on all matters pertaining to various property deals in Australia.

Annuar said he wants not only an account of the purchase of the Dudley Street apartment block in Melbourne raised by the Australian newspaper, the Age, but also a report on the various transactions in Australia.

He said a special meeting will be held within the next two weeks to probe this matter and discuss further action, based on the report to be provided to the council by Mara Inc.

What Annuar is doing is too little and too late. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is there a Cabinet Minister courageous, public-spirited and patriotic enough to suggest at Cabinet meeting tomorrow that Najib should take leave as PM until the growing number of scandals involving 1MDB, Felda Global Venture (FGV), Tabung Haji and now MARA are resolved?

Is there a Cabinet Minister who is courageous, public-spirited and patriotic enough to suggest at the Cabinet meeting tomorrow that Datuk Seri Najib Razak should take leave as Prime Minister until the growing number of scandals involving 1MDB, Felda Global Venture (FGV), Tabung Haji and now MARA are resolved?

The unusual spectacle of the Prime Minister taking to tweets to protest that certain media had twisted the remarks by the MARA Chairman, Tan Sri Annuar Musa that he had approved the MARA purchase of the five-storey Dudley International House apartment block in Melbourne in 2013 has raised even more questions about the Najib premiership – including whether Najib was personally sending out the tweets or whether it was being handled by his grossly-overpaid but misguided “Public Relations” consultants.

I have closely listened to the video recording of Annuar’s press conference statement and I do not think it is fair on the Prime Minister’s part to blame any media for highlighting that Najib had personally approved the MARA acquisition of the Dudley House apartment block in Melbourne.

May be the Prime Minister and his grossly-overpaid Public Relations consultants would like to consider hosting a meeting of all journalists in the country, whether print or online and embracing all languages, and asking them to vote by secret ballot whether Malaysiakini and The Malaysian Insider had twisted Annuar’s statement when they chose the headline “Najib luluskan” (Najib approved) on the MARA purchase of the Melbourne property. Read the rest of this entry »

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Will Annuar Musa resign as MARA Chairman to take responsibility for MARA’s international corruption scandal and to pioneer a culture of responsibility for government leaders and captains of statutory boards and corporations?

Will Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Annuar Musa resign as MARA Chairman to take responsibility for MARA’s international corruption scandal and to pioneer a culture of responsibility for government leaders and captains of statutory boards and corporations in Malaysia?

Annuar’s revelation today that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak had approved Mara’s purchase of the property in Australia, which has become the subject of MARA as well as Malaysia’s international scandal, can be no refuge for him or excuse that he can enjoy immunity for bringing MARA and the country to such international disrepute.

Annuar’s claim that MARA was not aware of the kickbacks and inflated price for Dudley House as reported by The Age yesterday, although committed by a subsidiary firm, Mara Inc Sdn Bhd, is can be no defence for Annuar as MARA Chairman from taking responsibility for the corruption scandal. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call on Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to review the decision not to investigate serious allegation of 1MDB’s indirect funding of BN’s 13GE campaign

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) should review its decision not to investigate the serious allegation of 1MDB’s indirect funding of Barisan Nasional’s (BN) 13th General Election campaign with public funds.

It is surprising that the PAC chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed has decided that the PAC would not investigate into the 1MDB’s indirect funding of BN’s 13th General Election campaign, telling Malay Mail Online that it was premature to claim wrongdoing in Genting Plantations’ US$10 million donation to a Barisan Nasional-linked charity, Yayasan Rakyat 1 Malaysia (YR1M) which used the funds for the 13GE campaigning.

After the Wall Street Journal expose, “Fund Controversy Threatens Malaysia’s Leader” last Friday that Genting Plantations contributed US$10 million to YR1M after its parent sold a power plant to 1MDB five times its actual value for RM23 billion when the plant was only worth RM400 million, it was naïve for Jazlan to say that Genting Plantations could have made the donation for a variety of reasons, including CSR (corporate social responsibility).

Although Jazlan said there is nothing wrong with corporates making CSR contributions, the PAC will be seriously remiss and negligent of its parliamentary duties to uphold probity and integrity in the handling public funds if it ignores the prima facie case that grave impropriety in expenditure of public funds had been committed in 1MDB’s indirect funding of BN’s 13th General Election campaign.

PAC must get to the bottom of the Wall Street Journal report that 1MDB paid inflated prices for energy assets from Genting Group whose subsidiary later contributed to YR1M that is linked to BN and which featured during the campaign for the 13GE. Read the rest of this entry »

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Corrupt Malaysia money distorts Melbourne market

Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker, John Garnaut
The Age
June 23, 2015

Even in Melbourne’s booming property market, the $22.5 million price tag for a building designed like an IKEA cupboard seemed well above the odds. That’s because it was.

Named Dudley House by developers keen to imbue it with a sense of grandeur, it seems the last place to host any untoward dealings.

But the sordid tale of this building highlights one reason that federal treasurer Joe Hockey is so concerned about the foreign funds flowing into an already overheated property market, as well as why local and international corruption fighters say Australia has become an investment hot spot for the crooked and corrupt.

An eight-month Fairfax Media investigation has traced suspicious money flows, court files and corporate records across three continents to uncover why Dudley House’s purchase price was so high.

Its sale was part of a global money laundering and bribery scheme engineered by greedy local developers and powerful officials overseas who pocketed $4.75 million in bribes on this single deal.

Fairfax Media has also discovered that some of these same figures are linked to tax haven companies which are also behind the purchase of around $80 million in Australian properties. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why things like 1MDB happen

By P Gunasegaram
Malaysiakini
May 28, 2015

QUESTION TIME Malaysia had no major financial scandals – as in billion-ringgit ones – until the infamous case of Bumiputra Malaysia Finance or BMF emerged in the early eighties and captured the imagination of the press and the public.

Before we are a bit quick to point the finger at former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad for that, let’s point out that Mahathir became prime minister only in 1981, after BMF, Bank Bumiputra’s wholly-owned Hong Kong subsidiary, started loaning money to George Tan’s Carrian group, eventually amounting to RM2.5 billion in all.

The loans were made between 1979 and 1983, which means that loans continued to be made to Carrian even after Mahathir became PM, implying that Mahathir cannot be totally absolved.

Carrian was a rising star in the Hong Kong property market then but subsequently went bust, making it the biggest bankruptcy in Hong Kong at the time. The scale of the scandal was simply enormous and record-breaking, putting Malaysia on the top of the list in terms of banking failure at that time.

The question is what was a unit of Bank Bumiputra, a bank set up to provide bumiputeras access to funding as part of the effort to increase their participation in business, doing lending money to a Hong Kong property group?

This was at that time, the largest banking scandal in the world and the interest in it spiked further when a Bank Bumiputra senior officer sent to Hong Kong to investigate was murdered and his body dumped in a banana plantation. Read the rest of this entry »

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Will Mahathir knuckle under the threat of RM1 million reward for information about his wrongdoings as Prime Minister for 22 years causing RM100 billion losses to Malaysia from his various financial scandals and fade from the political scene?

I read today of a new NGO which has offered a reward of up to RM1 million for information about the wrongdoings of Tun Dr. Mahathir during his 22 years as Prime Minister causing RM100 billion losses to the country from his various financial scandals.

As one of the few who had stood up in and out of Parliament to consistently and persistently criticise and oppose the series of financial scandals and abuses of power during Mahathir’s premiership from 1981 – 2013 – and paying a heavy price of being detained for a second time for 18 months under the Internal Security Act during Operation Lalang where Guan Eng and I were the first to be detained but the last to be released – I find the report of a RM1 million bounty for information about Mahathir’s wrongdoings both amusing and interesting.

Why wasn’t such a RM1 million bounty offered during Mahathir’s 22-year tenure as Prime Minister from 1981-2003? Was it because such an offeror would find himself in incarceration even before the ink of such an offer could dry?

Why was such a RM1 million bounty offered only 12 years after Mahathir had stepped down as the fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia? Were they sleeping for the past 12 years and could not pluck up the courage for such a public-spirited offer?

Has the RM1 million bounty any connection with Mahathir’s stepping up of his attacks on Datuk Seri Najib Razak as Prime Minister of Malaysia, whether on the RM42 billion 1MDF financial scandal or the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu, which will bring it within the zone of a proxy war in the escalation of the Najib-Mahathir titanic battle? Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib Government is even more shambolic than the Abdullah Government, not only the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing, but Cabinet Ministers and DPM in the dark as to what the PM is doing

The Najib Government is even more shambolic than its predecessor, the Abdullah Government, not only the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing, but Cabinet Ministers and the DPM in the dark as to what the PM is doing.

It has resulted in the Sabah Speaker and Sabah UMNO Deputy Liaison Chief , Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak virtually demanding for the resignation of the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and three Cabinet Ministers, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal and Khairy Jamaluddin for “trying to save their own necks” on the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal and the latest 1MDB-LTH bailout fiasco by breaching the principle of collective Ministerial responsibility, “making statements as if they are outsiders and not part of the Cabinet”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Making Corruption Unsustainable in China

By Yukon Huang
Wall Street Journal
March 26, 2015

Xi Jinping’s anticorruption campaign will only succeed if more is done to address the structural factors making corruption possible.

A decade from now, President Xi Jinping’s reign might be defined more by the success of his anticorruption campaign than his country’s material progress. China has always been the outlier on many economic issues, and so it is with corruption. Studies show that for most developing countries, corruption retards economic growth. They also suggest that developed countries are less corrupt than developing ones. So has China managed to grow so rapidly because or in spite of rampant corruption? And why has corruption in China gotten worse rather than better?

Corruption has featured prominently in China’s dynastic history, but this current bout stems, ironically, from the major reforms launched by Deng Xiaoping. His opening-up of the economy four decades ago paved the way for a hybrid socialist market economy that, similar to the former Soviet Union republics, is particularly prone to corruption during its transition. Deng’s famous saying that “to get rich is glorious” removed any moral qualms about making money—legally or illegally. Read the rest of this entry »

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Auditor-General’s assurance of professional audit of 1MDB most welcome although public confidence have not been helped by contradictory or uncharacteristic statements by MACC and Police

I welcome the promise by the Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang that his department will call up any individual necessary even Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in completing an independent audit on strategic fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

The Auditor-General’s assurance of professional audit of 1MDB and not to be swayed by extraneous considerations is most welcome, although public confidence that the various authorities would adopt a professional, accountable and responsible approach in the handling of the 1MDB scandal had not been helped by contradictory or uncharacteristic statements by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the Police.

Suddenly, there seems to be a competition among the various departments to show courage and eagerness to investigate the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak himself – as not only Ambrin does not rule out such possibility, even the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar pointedly said that Najib would be one of the targets of investigation by a three-agency task force to probe the 1MDB scandal.

In fact, the IGP’s announcement has detracted the credibility of the Auditor-General’s statement that his department’s audit would not exclude an investigation into the Prime Minister, for who would believe the IGP’s claim when he had been guilty of kid-glove treatment to BN Ministers and leaders, letting off the Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Datuk Ismail Sabri for the most racist and seditious incitement in calling on Malay consumers to boycott Chinese businessmen and allowing the former Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Mashitah Ibrahim to enjoy impunity and immunity for spouting heinous lies to incite religious hatred, conflict and tension in plural Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »

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