Archive for category Financial Scandals
Never before have there been so many time-bombs ticking away in Malaysia which could spell disaster for the nation if they are not defused or detonated
(Speech at the DAP Gelang Patah forum “1MDB in RM42 billion debt – Is Malaysia on the Verge of Financial Turmoil” in Johor Baru on Tuesday, 16th December 2014 at 8 pm)
My first book “Time Bombs in Malaysia” in 1978 quoted my speech in Parliament on the Third Malaysia Plan in July 1976 where I warned that several time bombs were ticking away in Malaysia and unless these time bombs were defused, Malaysia could be blown to smithereens.
I would never imagine that today, more than 36 years later after the first edition of “Time Bombs in Malaysia”, we are faced with even greater dire straits as never before in our nation’s history have we a situation where so many time-bombs are ticking away in Malaysia which could spell disaster for the nation if they are not defused or detonated.
The RM42 billion 1MDB scandal, which is the subject of tonight’s forum, is one such Time Bomb in today’s Malaysia.
This mega financial scandal, exposed by Pakatan Rakyat MPs Tony Pua and Rafizi Ramli, is now also being questioned by UMNO forces led by former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Mahathir, his cohorts like Tun Daim, to the extent that a police report against 1MDB has been lodged by an UMNO division leader, creating huge waves in UMNO.
Until the seventies, when there was greater regard for good governance, public integrity and financial probity, the biggest financial scandal was the RM65 million Bank Rakyat scandal.
The then Prime Minister, Tun Hussein Onn, who could not stomach any corruption or misuse of power, was shocked by the RM65 million Bank Rakyat scandal and insisted on parliamentary accountability and a White Paper was issued following a Price Waterhouse inquiry into the Bank Rakyat scandal – and the RM65 million Bank Rakyat was the subject of parliamentary debates and scrutiny in 1979.
Since the eighties, corruption and financial scandals increased by leaps and bounds from the RM2.5 billion Bumiputra Malaysia Finance (BMF) scandal, the RM600 million Maminco tin-buying scandal and the RM1.5 billion Co-operatives Finance scandal in the 80s, to the RM30 billion Bank Negara foreign exchange scandal and RM11 billion Perwaja scandal in the 90s, and the multi-billion ringgit Scorpene and defence procurement scandals and the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone scandal in the last decade.
Now, Malaysia has shot into the stratosphere of mega-financial scandals running into tens of billions of ringgit which is becoming the rule rather than the exception, with the RM42 billion 1MDB Scandal reigning currently as the King of Mega Scandals – and I leave to Tony Pua who, together with Rafizi, have become the unchallenged authorities on this “mother of all scandals” to elaborate later at this forum.
But the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal is not the only Time Bomb now ticking away in Malaysia. We are faced with a host of economic, financial, political, education, race and religion, nation-building Time Bombs which if not defused or detonated will spell disaster for Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »
Why after 57 years of Umno/BN government, and the “seminal” 22 years of Mahathir premiership, Malaysia is producing minnows instead of towering personalities so much so that we have to appoint an “orang putih” to save MAS?
The suggestion by former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir that Malaysia should have a white man (orang putih) as Prime Minister is most amusing and even comical, coming from a person who had breathed fire and brimstone in the last general elections, throwing all political scruples to the winds in falsely accusing me of spearheading a Chinese grab of the political power of the Malays by contesting in the Gelang Patah parliamentary constituency, who suddenly produced a “new rabbit from his hat” – an ‘orang putih’ Prime Minister in Malaysia.
Of course, Mahathir was indulging in his classic “tongue-in-cheek” Mahathirism in objecting to the appointment of a German, Christoph Mueller as MAS chief executive officer to manage and save the revamped national airline, MAS from next year.
I agree with Mahathir that it is an indictment of Malaysia’s talents, skills, expertise and intellectual prowess that we could not find a Malaysian to save MAS.
Are Malaysians so bereft of talents, skills, experience and expertise that we have to go outside the country to source for a saviour for MAS?
The question all Malaysians must ponder is why after 57 years of Umno/BN government, and in particular what is regarded as a “seminal” 22-year Mahathir premiership, followed by the Abdullah and Najib premierships, to produce Towering Malaysians, Malaysia seems to be producing minnows instead of towering Malaysians in various fields of human endeavour whom we can export all over the world to help other countries in distress with their talents, skills, experience and expertise?
How can we save the world when we cannot even save ourselves?
Why have we been increasingly reduced to a near “basket case” as to have to appoint an “orang putih” to save our national airline? Is there not a single soul in Malaysia who could be appointed to do the job? Read the rest of this entry »
Three unfinished business which Najib should present to Parliament before it adjourns next Thursday until next March
There are three unfinished business which the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak should present to Parliament before it adjourns next Thursday until March next year.
The first is the Report of the Royal Commission of Illegal Immigrants in Sabah (RCIIIS), which is meant to end once-and-for-all the 40-year problem of illegal immigrants in Sabah which had multiplied 15 to 19 times in four decades from 100,000 in the seventies to 1.5 million to 1.9 million at present.
If the Report of the RCIIIS, which was presented to the Federal Government on May 14, is not presented to Parliament next week for a full parliamentary debate, it could only mean one thing – that there is complete absence of political will to resolve the long-standing problem of illegal immigrants in Sabah and the establishment of the Royal Commission of Inquiry was just a Barisan Nasional electoral ruse for the 13th General Election in May 2013 to secure votes for BN from the people of Sabah, and for which it succeeded.
Furthermore, the establishment of the Joseph Pairin Kitingan Review Committee for the RCIIIS Report announced by Najib in Kota Kinabalu last week is just the latest “merry-go-round” sleight-of-hand to kick the problem of illegal immigrants of Sabah into a distant and indefinite future, while the problem snowballs to pass the two million mark for illegal immigrants in Sabah – reducing native Sabahans to a minority and foreigner status in their own land! Read the rest of this entry »
Najib should not set bad example to other Ministers by using threat of legal suit against Tony Pua to evade accountability and should make Ministerial statement to answer teeming questions on 11 aspects of the multi-billion ringgit 1MDB scandal in Parliament on Monday
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, should not set the bad example to other Ministers by using the threat of legal suit against the DAP MP for PJ Utara Tony Pua to evade accountability and he should make a Ministerial statement in Parliament on Monday to answer teeming questions on 11 aspects of the multi-billion ringgit 1MDB scandal, viz:
1. Why did the Government issue a “letter of support” for 1MDB’s US$3.0 billion (RM9.6bn) bonds issued in Mar 2013 which not only explicitly binds the Government to repay the debt in the event 1MDB fails to do so, but surrendered legal jurisdiction to the Courts of London? Despite the denial that the letter represents an explicit “guarantee”, why isn’t this amount recorded as a Federal Government contingent liability since Malaysia is legally bound to repay the debt in the event of 1MDB default?
2. Why did 1MDB pay an average of more than 10% in “certain commissions, fees and expenses” to raise its loans – US$3.0 billion (Mar 2013) and US$1.75 bilion (May 2012), when other developing nations such as Uruguay pay as little as 0.1% to raise US$2.0 billion? Even Penerbangan Malaysia Bhd which raised US$1 billion recently paid only 0.5% in such fees. Read the rest of this entry »
COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
12 November 2014
So much has happened over the years that one is forgiven for forgetfulness about what went wrong or right in Malaysia.
Malaysians have seen a series of financial scandals, each that seem bigger than the previous one.
Right now, the focus is on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). Everyone is concerned about its debts and the government’s liability if it fails. That includes Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tun Daim Zainuddin, and rightly so, as the two men navigated Malaysia through tough economic times in the past.
But what about the huge gaping hole called Perwaja, not to mention Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and PKFZ during Dr Mahathir’s long 22 years in power. Or Maminco or Bank Negara’s forex scandal if that ever strikes one’s minds.
Weren’t they scandals that hogged the headlines in the past, only to be quickly dismissed by the government of the day and either government guarantees or public funds poured in to bail them out? Read the rest of this entry »
by Azly Rahman
Feb 22, 2014
Malaysia’s monopoly corporate crony capitalism, framed and flourishing ethnocentrically and laced with economic fascism continue to take root, fashioned after the ethos and eerie-ness of America’s Enron Corporation which was said to be too big to fail yet fell like a house of cards that turned into ashes after an internal combustion of a self-immolation.
It also brought down one of one of the world’s biggest accounting fraudsters and master of creative accounting – Arthur Anderson. This is a feature of the many a Wall Street-fashioned American corporation – grow bigger with bigger lies with the help of world-class lying accounting firms.
What will Malaysia see decades after the seeds of destruction have germinated out of the three-pronged policies of Malaysian-styled Reaganomics and Thatcherism and Marcos-Mugabeism of Malaysia Incorporated, Look East Policy, and Privatisation Policies. Or have we not seen the impact of these policies in terms of the growth of big businesses whose survival also lie in the political-economic patronage of race-based political parties? Read the rest of this entry »
Malaysia must stop being an international laughing stock as “land of mega financial scandals without criminals” with all patriotic Malaysians demanding that those responsible for the RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal must be identified and brought to book
I would have won if someone had betted with me whether the RM12.5 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) “mother of all scandals” had ever been raised or discussed at the second 2014 Cabinet meeting yesterday, especially after the shock double acquittal of two former Transport Ministers in their multiple charges in connection with the scandal.
On Monday, former Transport Minister Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy walked free from the High Court from cheating charges in connection with the PKFZ scandal, the second former Transport Minister to be acquitted in less than three months in connection with the PKFZ scandal.
But clearly, none in the Cabinet meeting yesterday wanted to rock the boat and everybody prefered to “Let sleeping dogs lie”!
But this irresponsible, craven and cowardly attitude cannot be acceptable to Malaysians who want to see the fulfillment of the Malaysian Dream – a united, harmonious, just, competitive and great plural Malaysia nation built on the principles of tolerance, justice, freedom, integrity and good governance where there is zero tolerance for corruption.
Read the rest of this entry »
Jul 19, 2013
QUESTION TIME When a ball goes out of court, it goes out of play and play stops. But not so when a case goes to court and then there is an out-of-court settlement. Things are still very much in play, only the public does not get to see the action any more.
Out-of-court settlements are great if the dispute at hand is nobody else’s business but the parties in conflict. It is the right thing when matters are private, for example divorce cases when there is no reason whatsoever why it should become a public matter.
But when it involves the government, it is against the public interest to have out-of-court settlements, and if there are, then it would be best if the full terms of the settlement are made known to the public. Otherwise, who knows what will be hidden from the public eye?
Two incidents earlier this week caused us to be alarmed and relieved in turn. It was alarm when The Star reported that speculations were rife that a suit between tycoon Halim Saad on one side and former minister and government special adviser Nor Mohamed Yakcop, the government and Khazanah Nasional Bhd on the other, will be settled out of court – for RM1 billion. Read the rest of this entry »
12 Questions about the biggest corporate catastrophe in nation’s 56-year history – the RM2.34 billion UEM-Renong deal in 1997 – which still cry out for answer after 16 years
The mega-billion-ringgit suit filed by Umno-created tycoon Tan Sri Halim Saad against the government three days before the 13GE Nomination Day on April 20, 2013 to demand full settlement of an over RM2 billion deal that forced him to relinquish his controlling stake in Renong Bhd more than a decade ago has re-opened questions about the nations’ biggest corporate catastrophe in the nation’s 56-year history.
This was the RM2.34 billion UEM-Renong deal in 1997 which precipitated the biggest crash in the Kuala Lumpur stockmarket in the 1997 financial crisis, causing the Kuala Lumpur Composite Index to fall by 19.58 per cent, from 667.29 to 536.62 points in three days, wiping out RM70 billion of the investors’ funds in the stock exchange.
In his mega-billion-ringgit suit, Halim, once the sole corporate nominee of the ruling Umno, was offered RM1.3 billion in cash and property as well as control of a private waste management company, roughly valued at RM2 billion, in exchange for his disposal of Renong in the 2001 agreement.
But Halim had since only received RM165 million despite giving up his business empire and will be demanding the remainder.
The Edge Malaysia reported that Halim attempted to pressure the government into full settlement, but in 2010, former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad told him the agreement would not be honoured.
The Edge Malaysia article wrote: “Halim held numerous meetings with Dr Mahathir — even after the latter quit as premier in November 2003 — and Nor Mohamed to push for a full settlement but he was repeatedly fobbed off.
Read the rest of this entry »
Pengiraan Detik 47 Hari ke PRU13 – Suruhanjaya Siasatan Diraja menyiasat kerugian RM100 bilion daripada skandal kewangan sepanjang 22 tahun Mahathir menjadi Perdana Menteri
Semalam, portal berita perniagaan yang baru berusia tiga hari KiniBiz melaporkan “Syed Mokhtar eyes Malaysia Airlines” oleh Jose Barrock, laporan bahawa Syed Mokhtar Albukhary mencadangkan kerajaan persekutuan mengambil alih cabang pelaburan negara, 69.3 peratus kepentingan ekuiti Khazanah Nasional Berhad di dalam Malaysia Airlines yang termasuk sebahagian daripada subsidi minyak jangka panjang oleh kerajaan untuk 60 tahun.
Rakyat Malaysia menanti pendedahan sepenuhnya perkembangan terbaru ini dalam kerumitan hubungan korporat-kerajaan, dengan “sumber yang dekat dengan Syed Mokhtar” menafikan terdapat cadangan untuk mengambil alih MAS dengan “dua sumber berlainan” mengesahkan bahawa urusan sedemikian sedang difikirkan.
Bagaimanapun laporan ini telah mengkedepankan isu utama dalam Pilihan Raya Umum yang bakal menjelang tentang kebimbangan orang ramai terhadap tadbir urus yang baik di Malaysia sama ada melibatkan skandal kewangan lama yang muncul dari penswastaan secara menyeluruh dan khususnya tentang penerbangan milik negara yang bermasalah; empayar perniagaan Syed Mokhtar dan hutang mega beliau mewujudkan kebimbangan sama ada ianya akan diselamatkan (bail out) kerajaan menggunakan duit penbayar cukai dan sejarah korupsi, kronisme dan penyalahgunaan kuasa di dalam senarai panjang Umnoputra yang diselamatkan dengan tanggungan rakyat sejak berdekad lalu.
Pilihan Raya Umum ke-13 merupakan waktu paling sesuai untuk meninjau kembali isu-isu yang membimbangkan orang ramai tentang akauntabiliti, ketelusan dan tadbir urus baik.
Read the rest of this entry »
47-Day Countdown to 13GE – Royal Commission of Inquiry into the RM100 billion losses from financial scandals in the 22-year Mahathir premiership
Yesterday, the three-day-old business news portal KiniBiz carried the report “Syed Mokhtar eyes Malaysia Airlines” by Jose Barrock, reporting that Syed Mokhtar Albukhary is proposing to the federal government to take over national investment arm, Khazanah Nasional Berhad’s 69.3 per cent equity interest in Malaysia Airlines which includes as part of the deal a long-term fuel subsidy by the government for as many as 60 years.
Malaysians await the full disclosure of this latest development in the byzantine government-corporate nexus, with a “source close to Syed Mokhtar” denying that there is such a proposal to take over MAS with “two separate sources” confirming that such a deal is being contemplated.
This report has, however, brought to the fore as priority issues in the impending 13th General Elections public concerns about good governance in Malaysia whether about past financial scandals arising from privatisation as a whole and specifically about the ailing national airline; Syed Mokhtar’s far-flung business empire and his mega-debts creating genuine fears whether they will require a massive bailout using taxpayers’ money and the history of corruption, cronyism and abuses of power in the long list of bailouts of Umnoputras at the public expense in the past few decades.
The 13th General Elections is the most appropriate time to revisit these issues of public concern about accountability, transparency and good governance.
Read the rest of this entry »
By Pak Sako | Thursday, 21 February 2013 11:34
Former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad claimed last week that Malaysia’s current debt level is “healthy” compared with Greece’s.
But the debt-to-GDP percentage Mahathir relied on tells next to nothing about the full extent of Malaysia’s debts; the nature of these debts; or what can happen next.
The real devil lies in the details, namely:
(i) the trend in the debt level.
How has it changed in the recent past? Is there momentum in a certain direction? The federal government’s debt had doubled in just four years from 2007 and 2012. Will it stop growing, or will the trend and absolute totals continue their upward rise?
In the last decade, our finance ministers have repeatedly pledged to reduce the budget deficits. This has not happened. Instead, deficits have ballooned and the federal government’s debt has mounted.
(ii) the causes of debt.
For what are the borrowings and for whom? Are these borrowings for worthwhile investments that benefit the public? Are these liabilities being used to cover government operating costs or to prop up failing crony companies or the stock market? Is the use of costly loans for projects with low or no rates of return justified?
Almost a trillion ringgit was recently whisked out of the country in the form of illegal outflows. This is capital flight. It is conclusive evidence that our economy is ‘leaking out’ wealth.
Read the rest of this entry »
Feb 14, 2013
QUESTION TIME I became a journalist at the Business Times, then a standalone newspaper, in 1978.
Three years later in 1981 Dr Mahathir Mohamad became prime minister of Malaysia, its fourth, succeeding Hussein Onn.
I have followed his career quite closely since and frankly I am not impressed. He started off with promise – and promised a lot – but fulfilled none if any.
In fact I would go so far as to say that he was positively the worst prime minister this country has ever had.
Through destruction of institutions such as an independent judiciary, running roughshod over civil servants, bringing his brand of power, patronage and poor economics into decision making, and making use of oppressive laws he used an iron fist to rule and in the process brought more harm to this country than any other person alive or dead.
Much of the problems of Malaysia can be traced back to him and he has made it difficult for his successors to make major changes going forward, much of which would involve unwinding processes and linkages he had put in place before. Read the rest of this entry »
By Lucius Goon | November 09, 2012
The Malaysian Insider
NOV 9 — What have Malaysians done to deserve discredited politicians like Shahrizat Jalil, Chua Soi Lek, Nazri Aziz, Mahathir Mohamad, Ibrahim Ali, Musa Aman, who still tell us anything or advise us on anything.
I mean, what moral standing, or for that matter any standing, does:
A) someone who shamelessly defends a family venture gone awry and then attempts to airbrush history;
B) someone who was a serial adulterer until being caught out.
C) someone whose defence of his son included industrial language and convoluted but ultimately unconvincing explanation of the political donation to Sabah Umno.
Read the rest of this entry »
A brief summary
by Koon Yew Yin
September 24, 2012
Pakatan Rakyat has invited Suaram to talk about the Scopene Submarines Purchase and the Murder scandal at 8PM at Hotel Excelsior , Ipoh on Sunday, 30th Sept 2012. My purpose of writing this summary is to help the attendees understand the talk better. As you know Suaram needs money to do the work for us in exposing the corruption and murder involved. We are expected to donate whatever we like at the admission.
In November of 2009, Suaram, the Kuala Lumpur-based human rights NGO, asked a French investigative law firm to look into what appeared to be huge bribes and kickbacks paid to Malaysian politicians by the French state-owned defence company DCN and its subsidiaries for the 2002 purchase of two submarines and the lease of a third.
The story was complicated by the sensational 2006 death of a Mongolian translator and party girl, Altantuya Shaariibuu, who was shot by two of then-Defense Minister Najib Tun Razak’s bodyguards and her body was blown up with military explosives. While the bodyguards were convicted of her killing, the court appeared to have actively suppressed any mention of who allegedly paid the two to kill her, raising Suaram’s concerns that there would be no justice delivered. Read the rest of this entry »
REFSA (Research for Social Advancement) | 29 August 2012
In conjunction with Malaysia’s 55th year of Independence on 31 August
In the run-up to our 55th Merdeka Day celebrations, the federal government has been particularly keen on reminding Malaysians of all it has done for us.
Read the rest of this entry »
By Dr Chen Man Hin, DAP Life advisor
I feel there is a gross miscarriage of justice by charging Rafizi for revealing bank accounts of NFCorp.
In my opinion, Rafizi by revealing the bank accounts of NFCorp has shown that the officers of NFCorp were involved in a major offence of laundering money belonging to the people.
NFCorp obtained a sum of RM250 million from the government, ostensibly to invest in a major cattle venture.
The company officers led by its chairman Datuk Seri Mohamed Salleh misused the money and attempted to hide the money in properties in foreign countries. They were engaged in money laundering.
Rafizi discovered this and reported the money laundering operation to the press, based on bank accounts in the names of NFCorp officers.
Read the rest of this entry »
Jul 12, 2012
Our political leaders evidently have a not-so-smart-ass response for everything under the hazy Malaysian sun.
Some – the few who can read – probably would have read that story about the French queen, Marie Antoinette, apparently saying `Let them eat cake’ upon learning that the French peasants had no bread.
Yes, perhaps that is why our home minister, upon hearing that the ISA detainees were on a hunger strike, twittered that it was the choice of the ISA detainees to hold the hunger strike, just as it was his choice to have lamb chops.
Not very sensitive of him, it could be argued. But then, neither was the French queen who, history tells us, was later executed by guillotine. Yes, she had her head chopped off.
Many of our politicians, I think, share this misconception that they are so darn smart and can deliver flippant comments, inane lines and get away with it. Read the rest of this entry »
Mahathir is worried that the truth will be out about all the financial scandals during his 22-year premiership if Pakatan Rakyat forms national government in next polls
Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has been more than his hyper-active self in the past fortnight, not only making preposterous statements about the political situation in the country but doing his utmost to fob off any possibility that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak might stick to his earlier timetable to hold 13th General Election in June/July.
It was in the past two weeks that Mahathir:
• Made the wild and preposterous statement that the Bersih 3.0 rally was a “preparation” and “warm-up” by Pakatan Rakyat for violent demonstrations to reject the results of the 13th general election should the opposition fail to win it.
• Made another wild and preposterous statement when warning that the defeat of UMNO would be akin to the Malays losing power in their own country, when the coalition that would replace UMNO/Barisan Nasional would be Pakatan Rakyat comprising PKR, PAS and DAP;
• Returned again and again to the theme that because of the Abdullah premiership, the Najib government is still weak and not ready for the 13th General Election which he wants to be held off until after the fasting month which ends in August.
However, the real reason why Mahathir is so hyper-active in the past fortnight and making so many wild and preposterous statements is because the former Prime Minister is worried that the truth will be out about all the financial scandals during his 22-year premiership if Pakatan Rakyat forms the national government in next polls. Read the rest of this entry »
Athi Shankar | June 3, 2012
Free Malaysia Today
An ex-Bank Negara insider reveals the inside track on the currency speculation undertaken by Nor Mohamed Yakcop and other powerful people about 20 years ago.
GEORGE TOWN: A former Bank Negara insider has named four powerful elites as main players to have caused the central bank’s massive RM30-billion loss in the international foreign exchange speculation scandal some 20 years ago.
In his explosive revelation, retired Bank Negara deputy manager, Dr Rosli Yaakop named former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamed, ex-finance minister Daim Zainuddin, ex-Bank Negara Governor, the late Jaffar Hussein and current Minister in Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Economic Planning Unit Government Nor Mohamed Yakcop as the “forex scandal elite club masters.”
Rosli told a forum here yesterday Jaffar and Nor were biggest culprits by going overboard in the speculative foreign currency venture.
He said the duo speculated and they gambled recklessly and irresponsibly with no regard to the safety of Bank Negara’s assets.
He revealed that they wanted to beat George Soros, perhaps, to impress their bosses that they were experts in forex dealings.
The former high ranking Bank Negara officer said the forex speculation activities were against the very grain of central bank principles.
He asked on how a central bank can be heavily involved in massive forex speculations when its task was to stamp out excessive speculations?
“Bank Negara’s duty was to protect and strengthen the value of ringgit, not to gamble ringgit in forex market.
“I think it was a deliberate attempt to make money for certain people using Bank Negara as piggy ride,” Rosli hammered home his conclusion during a question-answer session later.
He accused Nor to have directly caused the forex losses given that the Tasek Gelugor MP was the man tasked to speculate, and ultimately gamble, Malaysian Ringgit against foreign currencies. Read the rest of this entry »