Archive for category Financial Scandals

Have Arul and Shahrom good reasons for playing truant from the scheduled PAC hearing on 1MDB scandal today? Did Najib, if not who, approve their “ponteng” today?

Questions galore in people’s mind in the past 24 hours since news spread that 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB)’s president and group executive director Arul Kanda Kandasamy and former 1MDB CEO Shahrol Halmi are playing truant from the Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) hearing scheduled today.

Chief among these questions are:

1. Have Arul and Sharom good reasons for playing truant from the scheduled PAC hearing on the 1MDB scandal today, when the duo had been given more than two weeks’ notice of the hearing?

2. If the PAC hearing scheduled today clashes with their important overseas appointments, why wasn’t the PAC informed immediately after they received the PAC requisition on May 6? PAC was only informed via a letter from the Finance Ministry on May 22 that the duo could not attend.

3. Where are Arul and Sharom now overseas, and what are these important appointments they are attending, could’nt these overseas appointments be rescheduled to give priority to their appearance before the PAC?
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Arul Kanda and Shahrol Halmi skipping PAC hearing – the last straw that breaks the camel’s back on 1MDB scandal and Cabinet must sack the whole board or sack itself

(Scroll down for English text)

Arul Kanda dan Shahrol Halmi tidak hadir perbicaraan PAC – beban terakhir skandal 1MDB; Kabinet mesti memecat seluruh Lembaga Pengarah 1MDB pada hari Rabu nanti, atau sebaliknya seluruh Kabinet mesti letak jawatan

Tindakan kedua-dua presiden merangkap pengarah eksekutif kumpulan 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) Arul Kanda Kandasamy dan bekas CEO 1MDB Shahrol Halmi untuk tidak hadir perbicaraan Jawatankuasa Kira-kira Wang Awam esok adalah apa yang disebut pepatah Inggeris sebagai “last straw that breaks the camel’s back” dalam skandal RM42 bilion 1MDB.

Ia wajar menyedarkan rakyat Malaysia yang masih terlena dan merasakan seolah-olah tiada sebarang masalah dengan skandal 1MDB.

Timbalan Perdana Menteri Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin telah memberitahu dalam sebuah rakaman ucapannya kepada empat Bahagian Umno minggu lalu bahawa skandal 1MDB adalah “last straw that breaks the camel’s back” dan akan menyebabkan kejatuhan kerajaan Umno/BN. Inilah sebabnya kenapa beliau mahu seluruh Lembaga Pengarah 1MDB dipecat, serta disiasat oleh pihak polis.

Rakaman ucapan Muhyiddin itu telah dimuatnaik ke YouTube menggunakan beberapa akaun dan telah ditonton hampir setengah juta kali dalam tempoh empat hari lalu. Read the rest of this entry »

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View from the Umno grassroots

– Muhammad Azaham Wahab
The Malaysian Insider
24 May 2015

I am a member of Umno who had served the party for a good 40 years and was a Branch Chairman for 23 years.

I also served for a few years at the division level and consider myself a grassroots leader of Umno and am qualified to say that I embody the sentiments of members at the grassroots level.

As a branch leader for more than 20 years, we have always obeyed the higher ups in Umno and slogged at every election to ensure the success of Umno-Barisan.

I was proud of Umno and my MCA and MIC friends because for whatever weakness Barisan had we were brothers in arms to develop the country.

I trusted the leaders and they did not betray my trust because the country was peaceful and development in all sectors was satisfactory although it could be much better.

However things have changed and corruption and misuse of power had reared its ugly head. The Barisan leadership condoned corruption and used their power to cover up their corrupt practises on the economic and business sector. Corruption is now so embedded in society we seem to accept it as a normal practice. Read the rest of this entry »

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11th Malaysia Plan made dubious history in being the first 5-year plan which could not even enjoy one-hour wonder as it was immediately overwhelmed and overshadowed by Muhyiddin’s call for heads to roll in the 1MDB scandal

The R260 billion 11th Malaysia Plan made dubious history yesterday in being the first five-year plan in the past half-century spanning six Prime Ministers which could not even enjoy one-hour wonder as it was immediately overwhelmed and overshadowed by the recording of Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s call for heads to roll in the 1MDB scandal.

The glossiest five-year plan document in the nation’s history, which would have involved the greatest expenditures in packaging than in its content, was not able to bathe in the unchallenged plaudits of a “seven-day wonder” or even “24-hour wonder” as was the case with the unveiling of previous five-year plans.

Parliamentary and national attention was affixed not on the 11th Malaysia Plan but on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s reaction to Muhyiddin’s call for heads to roll in the 1MDB scandal – and the implication whether Najib’s head will also have to roll in the process.

In just ten days, all the false camaraderie after the UMNO Supreme Council meeting on May 11 have been torn asunder by the uploading of the recording of Muhyiddin’s speech at an UMNO meeting on Saturday, where Muhyiddin’s warning that the 1MDB scandal would cause the downfall of the UMNO/BN government was greeted with loud applause and even “Sack the President” calls.

Muhyiddin’s “the last straw to break the camel’s back” speech has now become the hottest property on You Tube. Read the rest of this entry »

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Would Muhyiddin propose the sacking of Najib as Prime Minister if Najib is responsible for all the major decisions taken by the 1MDB board in the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal?

(Scroll down for BM version of this statement / Terjemahan BM di bawah)

The RM42 billion 1MDB scandal and the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin stole the thunder from the 11th Malaysia Plan and the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak respectively when a video recording of Muhyiddin calling for heads to roll in 1MDB scandal circulated among MPs when Najib was presenting the 11th Malaysia Plan in Parliament this morning.

After Najib’s presentation of the 11th Malaysia Plan in Parliament, Muhyiddin stood by his speech at an UMNO gathering on Saturday calling for the 1MDB Board to be sacked for the RM42 billion debt scandal or it will bring down the Barisan Nasional government.

In the recording, Muhyiddin said this was his advice to the Prime Minister, adding he was not against Najib’s leadership. Read the rest of this entry »

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Scandalous and Shameless Conflict of interest

By Martin Jalleh

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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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Najib should explain his role in the 1MDB-Tabung Haji fiasco, in particular whether he had approved or directed LTH in the 1MDB land sale

The Lembaga Tabung Haji (LTH) Chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahman has announced that following advice from the Prime Minister, the plot of prime land in the Kuala Lumpur city centre which LTH purchased from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) is to be sold to the highest of three bidders within the next two weeks.

This has however not ended the storm over the scandal and stigma of criminal breach of trust of pilgrim funds to bailout 1MDB, which is acquiring increasing gale force with rising chorus for the resignation of the Chairman and the four top executives of LTH, the termination of the 1MDB-LTH land deal and the refund of the payment made by LTH, and even for the resignation of the Prime Minister himself.

The Prime Minister cannot continue with his policy of elegant silence while giving private and meaningless assurances that “he will not protect those involved” if there was any wrongdoing.

Even his cousin-UMNO Vice President, Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein had broken ranks and joined Deputy UMNO President, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and UMNO Vice President Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal to express concerns about the government’s credibility as to suggest an international, independent auditing firm to examine 1MDB accounts – which tantamounts to a vote of no confidence in Najib’s initiative in early March asking the Auditor-General to audit the 1MDB accounts. Read the rest of this entry »

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Can Najib untangle the 1MDB-Tabung Haji bailout in the next 48 hours or will there be a political explosion when Najib meets the UMNO division leaders on Monday

Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s position as Prime Minister and UMNO President has never been so fragile and precarious as now, and the question uppermost in many minds is whether Najib can untangle the 1MDB-Tabung Haji bailout in the next 48 hours or whether there will be a political explosion when Najib meets the UMNO division leaders on Monday.

Najib’s desperation over the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal as to approve a raid of Tabung Haji funds has created an unprecedented political spectacle of the current Prime Minister being sandwiched under attack by former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir and the current Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Mahathir is demanding that the bailout in the land deal between Lembaga Tabung Haji (LTH) and 1MDB be called off immediately while Muhyiddin warned from Milan that the 1MDB scandal may explode on UMNO.

Muhyiddin admitted that the debt-ridden 1MDB was the biggest factor that led to Barisan Nasional’s (BN) loss in the Permatang Pauh by-election as he was not even able to explain the scandal when campaigning because, “I don’t even know what to say”. Read the rest of this entry »

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The voters of Permatang Pauh must continue to lead the country to achieve what Malaysians failed to achieve in 13GE two years ago – to bring change through a new Federal Government with Anwar Ibrahim as Prime Minister

Two years ago, the hopes and dreams of the majority of 11 million Malaysian voters who voted in the 13th General Elections for a new Federal Government and a new Prime Minister in Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim were frustrated by a undemocratic electoral system resulting in the appointment for the first time in the nation’s history of a “minority” Prime Minister.

On Thursday, on 7th May, in Permatang Pauh by-election, the voters of Permatang Pauh must continue to lead the country to keep these hopes and dreams for change alive and to achieve what Malaysians had failed to achieve in the 13GE two years ago – to form a new Federal Government with Anwar Ibrahim as the Prime Minister in the 14GE.

Malaysia will never become a normal democratic country unless we can effect a peaceful transition of federal power through the electoral process instead of regarding it as a national catastrophe, and there can be no meaningful change of political, socio-economic, educational and whole range of nation-building policies unless there is such a political change.

The movement for change must be based on the formula to unite and mobilise all Malaysians, regardless of race – Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans and Ibans – and regardless of religion – Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs – as Malaysia’s future can only secured and advanced by an inclusive political campaign which has a place of dignity and honour for every Malaysian under the Malaysian sun. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib should come to Permatang Pauh before polling day for a “1MDB scandal – Answer All Questions” Dialogue or he should seek a motion of confidence when Parliament re-convenes on May 18 to demonstrate he still commands support of the majority of MPs

One of the mysteries of Permatang Pauh by-election is not only the disappearance of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, but also his posters, which like his two Prime Minister predecessors, had always pride of place in all previous Barisan Nasional by-election campaigns – and invariably given greater prominence than the contesting Barisan Nasional by-election candidate.

But this is not the case in Permatang Pauh. Has the Barisan Nasional leaders come to a stage where they are embarrassed about the presence of the Prime Minister, even his posters?

Is the disappearance of the Prime Minister and his posters in the Permatang Pauh by-election an eloquent testimony that Najib had got very serious things to hide from the voters of Permatang Pauh?

The voters of Permatang Pauh have a right to chant: Where is the Prime Minister? In particular with regard to his accountability and answers to the endless questions which are being asked by Pakatan Rakyat leaders and recently, former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir about the “mother of mother” of all financial scandals in Malaysia – the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal? Read the rest of this entry »

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10 things 1MDB should disclose

By P Gunasegaram
Malaysiakini
Apr 29, 2015

QUESTION TIME Perhaps, just perhaps, 1Malaysia Development Bhd or 1MDB does not understand what it needs to do to convince the public all is well with it. To help it along, here are 10 things that we feel our national self-styled strategic development company can do to soothe frazzled nerves and convince us Malaysians our money is safe.

CIMB Group chairperson and the prime minister’s brother Nazir Razak is not the only one who has been urging 1MDB towards greater disclosure, but he does make some pertinent points.

“I have no solution to it (IMDB) but I think we probably should know – disclose what needs to be disclosed in order for people to have a full picture and allay their worst fears.

“I just said it’s something that’s there, everyone is concerned about it, so you need to allay concerns. Put concerns to rest, that is all,” he told a press conference recently. Read the rest of this entry »

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Five key issues in the Permatang Pauh by-election on May 7

The Permatang Pauh parliamentary by-election has five key issues, not only for the voters in the constituency, but for all Malaysians, viz:

1. As a clear and unmistakable vote, not only behalf of the people of Permatang Pauh, but of 30 million Malaysians, against the continued victimisation and persecution of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, with his second jail sentence and disqualification as an elected MP, and an unequivocal and categorical call for Anwar’s immediate release from jail.

2. Rejection of GST imposed on April 1 as imposing hardships on the people at large, demanding that the 6 per cent tax be abolished. Read the rest of this entry »

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Repression in Malaysia – Disconnect

Economist
Apr 11th 2015

A thuggish government is playing racial politics. Najib Razak should be dressed down

MALAYSIA’S prime minister, Najib Razak, paints his country as a model of moderate Islam —a multicultural democracy and a beacon of tolerance. He has spoken of scrapping oppressive British-era laws and nurturing a creative economy. Meanwhile, his spin-doctors explain that their liberal master is the man to vanquish the reactionary forces in his political party, UMNO, which has never been out of power and which is prone to cronyism and political thuggery. Barack Obama, for one, buys this story. He is the first American president since 1966 to have visited Malaysia. And late last year in Hawaii he enjoyed a round on the golf links with Mr Najib. The two men are said to click. The White House gushes about a “growing and warming relationship” between America and Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is the 1MDB a tragedy or a farce?

The Edge
Rakyat Times
10th April 2015

The Malaysian Government’s ambitious investment experiment, 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), has turned into a political and financial minefield for Prime Minister Najib Razak and his ministers.

In recent months, the debt-laden sovereign wealth fund has made domestic and international headlines with explosive allegations of corruption, widespread mismanagement of public funds, serious political misbehaviour and opaque corporate dealings.

The relentless attacks on 1MDB – which have included public disclosures of confidential e-mail trails highlighting opaque transactions for highly dubious investments – have not only come from the country’s feisty opposition, but also former premier Mahathir Mohamad, who in recent days has publicly called for Najib’s resignation.

“Najib is facing too many scandals, and there are no answers,” Dr. Mahathir told reporters last week, adding that if the country’s dominant party, the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), which – as the main partner in the Barisan Nasional (National Front) coalition – has helmed Malaysia since independence in 1957, wants to remain in power, then “I think they must change the prime minister”.

Writing Najib’s political obituary, however, may be a little premature, say several senior UMNO officials aligned to the UMNO president and prime minister. Read the rest of this entry »

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Desperate times at 1MDB

By P Gunasegaram
Malaysiakini
Apr 3, 2015

QUESTION TIME Recent developments at 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) have raised fresh concerns over the self-styled national strategic development company, on top of the numerous longstanding concerns it already has.

The changes in decision, flip-flops, contradictory statements and so on indicate an atmosphere of increasing desperation, the overriding reason for the anxiety being money, or more precisely the lack of it.

That is a rather dangerous situation for 1MDB to be in. At last count, end-March 2014, using figures from its annual report, it had borrowings, including some payables, of a massive RM46 billion, liabilities of RM48 billion and assets of RM51 billion.

With RM46 billion in borrowings and only RM13 billion in solid assets in power generation, why is 1MDB so illiquid? It should be floating in a veritable sea of liquidity instead of scrounging around to pay for loans which are coming due. Read the rest of this entry »

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Amendment to Motion of Thanks to direct the PAC and the Police to immediately investigate the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal without waiting for Auditor General’s Report on 1MDB

There are many other issues which explain why Malaysia is now teetering on a crisis as a result of the economic and political gridlock paralyzing the country.

As time does not permit a discussion of all these issues, I will just quickly refer to some of them:

* Malaysia’s reputation as a country safe for investors received a grievious blow when a series of judicial decisions raised national and international questions as to whether Malaysia had restored its previous high international repute for a truly independent judiciary and just rule of law because of the following cases:

i. the Federal Court’s 5-0 unanimous decision to dismiss Anwar Ibrahim’s appeal and five-year jail sentence in Sodomy II trial;

ii. the Federal Court’s decision to convict and sentence to death former police commando Azila Hadri and Sirul Azhar Umar for the 2006 murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu, while leaving completely open the question of motive for the murder and who had ordered Azila and Sirul to murder Altantuya;

iii. the expose by retired Court of Appeal judge Justice K.C. Vohrah that former Chief Justice Eusoff Chin had caused a miscarriage of justice in the infamous Ayer Molek Rubber Company vs Insas Bhd case two decades ago;
iv.the black-listing, discrimination and continued by-passing of Court of Appeal judge Justice Mohamad Hishamudin Mohd Yunus from elevation to the Federal Court;

v. the victimization of the country’s first judicial whistleblower, former High Court judge Datuk Syed Ahmad Idid, who was penalized instead of being rewarded. Read the rest of this entry »

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Twin ghosts haunt Malaysia’s sovereign fund

By Una Galani
Reuters
March 12, 2015

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

Malaysia’s 1MDB faces a daunting task. The six year-old sovereign fund was set up to finance big national projects but expanded too fast, took on heavy debts and is now at the centre of a growing controversy. An ambitious restructuring brings both political and financial risks.

The fund which counts Prime Minister Najib Razak as chairman of its board of advisors has pledged to dismantle itself following a strategic review led by new chief executive Arul Kanda. It plans to stop making new investments and raise cash through an initial public offering of Malaysia’s second largest independent power producer. Selling unused land and finding equity partners for real estate projects that include a new financial centre in Kuala Lumpur and a development built around the terminus for a planned high-speed rail link with Singapore should bring in additional funds.

1MDB’s most pressing objective is to pay down net debt, which stood at around 38 billion ringgit ($10.3 billion) in March 2014. In the same year it made a net loss of 665.4 million ringgit, despite booking a gain from the revaluation of its property portfolio. Absent similar revaluations, it also made a loss in the previous two years. Read the rest of this entry »

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Something is really “rotten in the state of Denmark” when the twitter-happy IGP can chop and change on an important issue on police investigations into the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal

On February 10, former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad quoted Shakespeare’s Hamlet on “something is rotten in the state of Denmark”, and this sense of “rottenness” in Malaysia is increasingly exacerbated with passing weeks and days.

When the twitter-happy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar can chop and change on an important issue on police investigations into the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal, something is really rotten in the “state of Denmark” in Malaysia.

On Monday, 9th March, the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar caused quite a media sensation when he announced a high-powered three-agency special task force to investigate the biggest financial scandal in the nation’s history, the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal comprising the police, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

But Khalid, who said the task force would even investigate the Prime Minister, was contradicted by the MACC Chief Commissioner Abu Kassim Mohamed who said on the same day that the MACC would wait for the Auditor-General’s report on 1MDB before starting its own probe.

The MACC Chief Commissioner seemed to be unaware of the three-agency task force on 1MDB which Khalid said was formed the previous week.

The IGP and the MACC should clarify whether there is such a three-agency special task force on the 1MDB or whether it only existed in the imagination of the IGP.

But strangest of all, the very next day, Tuesday, 10th March, Khalid backtracked and announced that the special task force would only start their investigations into the 1MDB after the Auditor-General had completed his scrutiny and uncovered discrepancies and wrongdoings. 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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