Archive for category Good Governance

More heads in MARA, including that of Annuar Musa, should roll as the MARA INC property corruption scandal probably cost MARA over RM100 million or more than ten times the total sum and magnitude as initially exposed by The Age

For nine days national attention was transfixed by the roiling MARA property corruption scandal which was blown open by the Australian daily, The Age, on June 23, 2015 with its report “Corrupt Malaysia money distorts Melbourne market”, on the outcome of an eight-month Fairfax Media investigation tracing suspicious money flows, court files and corporate records across three continents as part of a global money laundering and bribery scheme turning Australia into an “investment hot spot for the crooked and corrupt”.

The Fairfax Media investigation had zeroed in on MARA Inc’s purchase of the Dudley House property, and found that “greedy local developers and powerful officials overseas” pocketted A$4.75 million (RM13.8 million) in bribes on this single deal.

But this was only the “tip of an iceberg” of the MARA INC property scams in Melbourne, with the Australian Federal Police swinging into action with Operation Carambola after The Age report, raiding houses and seizing computers and files, while the Malaysian authorities continued its Operation Tidak Apa and Business as Usual, with even the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar declaring that there is no element of criminal breach of trust in the MARA property scams in Australia.

Over the next nine days, Malaysians were in turned troubled and shocked by a series of revelations, including:

*Dudley House was only one of four Melbourne properties purchased by MARA Inc where there was gross improprieties involving corruption, money laundering and tax evasion crimes;

*MARA Chairman Annuar Musa, who visited Melbourne in May last year to be briefed about the MARA Inc purchase of the four Melbourne properties, was remiss and negligent in his duties as MARA Chairman in not taking immediate corrective action to stop the hanky-panky in the MARA Inc property purchase corruption scandal; 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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Empire Strikes Back (Part IV) – is the script for 1MDB executives Arul and Shahrol to walk out of PAC hearings, probably escorted by Shafee as their counsel, and boycott of PAC proceedings on 1MDB on the ground that Tony Pua has not stepped down as PAC member?

The highly-paid Public Relations Consultants of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and 1MDB (as Najib is both in law and fact the final approving authority of 1MDB) have gone into an overdrive of offensives since the arrest of former PetroSaudi International (PSI) IT executive, Xavier Andre Justo in Thailand six days ago for attempting to blackmail his former employer on leaked information.

One can already discern four chapters in “The Empire Strikes Back” offensives overdrive:

Chapter 1 – the arrest of the 49-year-old Justo, a Swiss national and former PSI IT executive at around 3 pm on Monday (June 22) at a house in Koh Samui, Thailand with computers, hard drives and other data storage devices.

Chapter 2 – Campaign of demonisation and character-assassination of Justo led by UMNO media like the New Straits Times portraying Justo as a “hedonistic” and “greedy” blackmailer with a photograph of him covered in tattoos on its front-page.

Chapter 3 – Vague and unsubstantiated allegations by Malaysian Cabinet Ministers of tampered leaked information about the 1MDB scandal and threats by the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi against the media under the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA) for reporting “tampered” and inaccurate facts about the 1MDB scandal, again without any substantiation of these allegations.

Are we now in Chapter 4 of “The Empire Strikes Back”, featuring Najib’s choice prosecutor Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah who accomplished the mission to ensure that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is now incarcerated in Sungai Buloh prison as a result of Anwar’s Sodomy II trial. 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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Najib should go on leave as Prime Minister and Finance Minister to allow for a full-fledged investigation into 1MDB by RCI and return to office after he has been cleared of any wrongdoing in the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak should go on leave as Prime Minister and Finance Minister to allow for a full-fledged investigation into the 1MDB by a Royal Commission of Inquiry and return to office after he has been cleared of any wrongdoing in the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal.

There is no need for Najib to resign as Prime Minister, as proposed by former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir that Najib must first resign as Prime Minister to allow full investigation into the 1MDB finances, and that Najib can come back as Prime Minister to lead the Barisan Nasional in the next election “if no crime can be detected and all the money is returned”.

I agree with Mahathir that so long as Najib is still exercising the office and powers of Prime Minister, no proper investigation can be made.

Mahathir should know as during his 22 years as Prime Minister, there could be no proper investigation into the string of financial scandals estimated to cost the country over RM100 billion under his premiership, simply because Mahathir was during this period the Prime Minister of the day.

I do not think it is necessary for Najib to resign as Prime Minister, as taking extended leave would suffice. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysians’ trust in Putrajaya would have plunge far below 45% into the region of the thirties if the Edelman Trust Barometer survey had been conducted in 2015

It has been reported that the 2015 Edelman Trust Barometer survey found that only 45% of Malaysians trusted the government, down from last year’s 54%.

Malaysians’ trust in Putrajaya would have plunged far below 45% into the region of the thirties if the survey had been conducted in the new year of 2015, and not between November 13 and November 24 last year.

If the Trust Survey had been conducted in the new year, it would have to take into account public’s further deteriortion in their trust perceptions on Putrajaya as a result of the following five events: Read the rest of this entry »

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Decentralisation is about effective governance

ZAIRIL KHIR JOHARI
Published: 20 January 2015
The Malaysian Insider

A recent article I wrote proposing greater decentralisation of powers in Malaysia has managed to attract criticism and attacks by Umno apparatchiks, such as Kepala Batas MP Datuk Seri Reezal Merican and Umno-owned national daily Utusan Malaysia. They said my suggestions were nothing short of an attack on the Federal Constitution and, unsurprisingly, seditious (what isn’t, these days?).

I quickly responded by pointing out the obvious – that there is in fact an explicit provision in the Federal Constitution (Article 76A) that effectively allows the delegation of federal power to state authorities. In other words, decentralisation of powers from the federal to the state is not merely allowed but in fact envisioned by our country’s highest law.

Also, I ridiculed Umno’s hypocrisy on the matter. If it is considered seditious or unconstitutional to devolve powers from the centre to the periphery, then why isn’t it the other way around?
Read the rest of this entry »

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Follow the World Bank procurement guidelines to prevent corruption and abuse

— Koon Yew Yin
The Malay Mail Online
August 2, 2014

AUGUST 2 — The World Bank has procurement guidelines which all the borrowers of Bank funding have to follow. The guidelines include the system of calling tenders. It is a system which has helped to prevent corruption even in the most corrupted countries in the world.

Malaysians are getting fed up with the government’s failure to reform the tender system as well as to check corruption and abuse which is costing us billions of ringgit annually, and bleeding the country’s finances dry.

Although the Government has appointed a minister, Paul Low, to take charge of the implementation of transparency in the government, it is clear that he is getting nowhere. Senator Paul Low has claimed that he is highly motivated in promoting and implementing new transparency procedures in order to curb corruption and cronyism. Well, being motivated is one thing but running around in circles and establishing another layer of bureaucratic smoke and mirrors has been the main outcome of the Minister’s more than one year in office. Read the rest of this entry »

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Crying shame that after four years of GTP1 and GTP2, Najib cannot point to any BFR – Big Fast Results – in the “Fighting Corruption” NKRA to contradict Mahathir’s claim that Malaysia today is more corrupt than during his 22-year premiership 1981-2003

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, is ectastic that the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) has been recognized as one of the world’s top 20 leading government innovation teams by United Kingdom’s innovation foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies and Nesta in its publication on Monday.

He said in his latest posting on his Facebook and Twitter accounts today that
he had established Pemandu in 2009 to support the implementation of the National Transformation Programme with its accompanying Government Transformation Programme (GTP) and Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) to turn Malaysia into a high-income economy by 2020.

It is a crying shame that despite having Pemandu named as one of the world’s top 20 leading government innovation teams, Najib cannot point to any BFR – Big Fast Results – to contradict former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir’s claim that Malaysia today is more corrupt than during his 22-year premiership from 1981-2003.

This is a great pity for “Fighting Corruption” is one of the seven National Key Results Areas (NKRAs) pistons for the GTP engine, which cannot succeed or perform in tip-top condition if the piston to fight corrupt falters and fails. Read the rest of this entry »

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Open letter to the President of the United States

– Tony Pua
The Malaysian Insider
April 26, 2014

Dear President Barack Obama,

Welcome to my country, my home, my beautiful Malaysia.

We Malaysians are extremely proud that an American president, the first in 48 years, decided to visit our humble country.

Although you are an American, Malaysians together with the rest of the world celebrated with you when you won the historic presidential election in 2008.

To quote your predecessor, President George Bush, your “journey represents a triumph of the American story”.

I was personally moved and inspired by your victory acceptance speech in Chicago, “If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer… at this defining moment, change has come to America.”

Hence you would surely remember and appreciate the struggles of African Americans in the history of the United States for freedom, justice and equality. Read the rest of this entry »

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Anwar will miss the June meeting of Parliament if he is jailed in two months, which means Permatang Pauh by-election will have to be held in June or July

If Anwar Ibrahim is right in his winding-up speech at the Pakatan Rakyat 5th Convention in Shah Alam yesterday that he might be imprisoned within two months, it would mean another “rush to judgment” to dispose of Anwar’s Federal Court appeal to uphold his five-year jail conviction by the Court of Appeal on Friday.

This is because Anwar would have exhausted his legal remedies and once his 5-year jail conviction is upheld by the Federal Court in two months, Anwar will have to start his second jail incarceration.

It would also mean that Anwar will not be able to attend the June meeting of Parliament, and the forthcoming parliamentary meeting beginning tomorrow will be Anwar’s last parliamentary meeting.

Furthermore, it would also mean that Anwar would be disqualified as MP and the Permatang Pauh parliamentary by-election would have to be held in June or July. Read the rest of this entry »

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When will Paul Low follow Wathamoorthy and resign as Minister in Prime Minister’s Department as the Najib administration has evinced no political will to fight grand corruption and gross abuses of powerful

P. Waythamoorthy is set to resign as Deputy Minister and senator tomorrow because the Najib administration has “committed a historic act of betrayal to the Indian community by not honouring the MOU” with Hindraf to resolve the chronic socio-economic problems afflicting the Indian community.

It would appear that Waythamoorthy and the Persatuan Hindraf Malaysia (PHM) are the only ones in the country who do not know that Najib does not have the political will nor the courage to deliver on the promises in the MOU.

The question now is when Datuk Paul Low will follow in the footsteps of Waythamoorthy and resign as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department as it is crystal clear except to Paul Low that Najib does not have the political will to fight grand corruption and gross abuses of power. Read the rest of this entry »

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Registration Department staff from Putrajaya nabbed in police bust on IC syndicate in Miri

by Desmond Davidson
The Malaysian Insider
November 18, 2013

A National Registration Department (NRD) assistant officer was among dozens arrested by police in Miri as authorities smashed the state’s biggest syndicate behind the falsifying of MyKads and birth certificates.

The 57-year-old officer, attached to the NRD office in Putrajaya, is one of the key players in the syndicate, said Sarawak police commissioner Datuk Wira Mohammad Sabtu Osman.

Mohammad said there could be more arrests as police investigation widens.

“We will be hunting members of the syndicate that have escaped arrests,” Mohammad told a press conference today.

Mohammad said police made the arrests on November 16 after a week of surveillance at a residential estate in Desa Pujut in the Kuala Baram district. Read the rest of this entry »

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Kit Siang questions how Ambank guard got MyKad

Hemananthani Sivanandam
The Sun Daily
18 November 2013

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 18, 2013): Gelang Patah DAP MP Lim Kit Siang today questioned how the security guard in the AmBank officer murder case received a MyKad which enabled him to work in the bank.

Lim said it is rather disturbing on how the suspect, who is a Sulawesi native, managed to circumvent the country’s security system in securing a MyKad.

“How can this person get a MyKad, and even if the MyKad is fake, how can he be allowed to open up a bank account, receive monthly salary and in fact be given a firearm license by the Home Ministry?

“Did this person also vote in the 13th General Election? Is it because the owner of the security firm is a crony of the ruling party?

“How many foreigners have enjoyed these privileges?” he questioned during his speech at the committee stage of the Budget 2014 debate in Parliament today.

The DAP stalwart also said such system has caused states such as Sabah and Sarawak to lose its sovereignty as it seems so easy for foreigners to obtain a MyKad and take over the economy.

“This directly effects the stability and the nation’s security. This also infringes the rights of the people of Sabah who live in such a rich state but are still poor,” said Lim. Read the rest of this entry »

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Where is my government?

— Malaysians for Malaysia
The Malay Mail Online
September 17, 2013

SEPT 17 — As a taxpayer of more than 3 decades I am increasingly disillusioned by the present government. I am not able to call them “my” government as they do not support me or my needs. I can very clearly see the Government of the Malays and the Muslims but I am not able to see the government of the Chinese, Ibans, Indians, Kadazans, Orang Asli and the rest of us.

My hard earned tax ringgit are being used to pay the wages of the Malay majority civil servant (in excess of 90 per cent), build numerous suraus in every government building, finance government projects that benefit their rich families and friends, etc. But why are my needs, and those of my sisters and brothers of other ethnic origins and religious persuasions, not supported? It would be good to see a breakdown of tax contribution by ethnicity. It would be no surprise to see that the majority of our taxes are contributed by Malaysians who are ignored by this government.

I see the government speaking up and fighting for Malay and Muslim rights. But why do they not defend my basic human rights? Why are my needs ignored? Why are my rights trampled on by the government? Recently the minister of the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry was very quick to act against employers who discriminate against women wearing the ‘tudung’ (Muslim headgear) as employees. But why is there no similar response to all the ethnic and religious injustice meted out to those of us from different ethnic and religious persuasions? Read the rest of this entry »

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Home Ministry, police turn a whodunit into a who’ll buy it?

by Elizabeth Zachariah
The Malaysian Insider
September 11, 2013

Wanted: A detective who can solve this mystery.

The whodunit: The Home Ministry says it wants to know who in the ministry had released to the media the names of 30 gang leaders – a name list which includes an MIC politician who has since threatened to sue the government.

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar told The Malaysian Insider that ministry officials were perplexed about who released the names.

“We don’t know who did it but we want to know as well,” he said, adding that he did not know if the list was real or not.

The players: Bernama, the state-owned, pro-government news agency which took a rare stab at investigative journalism and reported the names on Friday, citing the Home Ministry as its source.

Another player, the police. They report to the Home Ministry but say they did not give these names to the ministry… to which they report, by the way.

“I don’t know who is the source at the Home Ministry but the input did not come from the police. We have our own list and some gangs listed by the ministry were already under our watch,” Federal Police secret societies, gaming and anti-vice (D7) principal assistant director Datuk Abdul Jalil Hassan told The Malaysian Insider in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. Read the rest of this entry »

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Will Najib have to abort his new branding slogan of “Endless Possibilities” after it is mired in double-barrelled Israeli and Mongolian controversies some three weeks before official launch?

Even before the official launch of his new campaign to replace his earlier lame-duck “1Malaysia” slogan, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has to grapple with the headache whether his new “Endless Possibilities” campaign should be aborted some three weeks before launch as it is mired in a double-barrelled Israeli and Mongolian controversies.

On the Israeli knot, the Prime Minister’s Office has officially responded to The Malaysian Insider reports declaring that the new “Endless Possibilities” campaign is not lifted from an Israeli campaign idea, claiming that Putrajaya had launched the campaign globally in January before Israel launched its version.

This is a revisit of the earlier 1Malaysia slogan which faced the charge that it was a copy of the 1Israel campaign.

Before the dust could settle on the controversy of the Israeli link of the “Endless Possibilities” slogan, it is now mired in a second controversy involving of all countries Mongolia. Read the rest of this entry »

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Public Inquiry into DAP CEC elections will prove there has been mass production and regurgitation of hundreds of lies and falsehoods against DAP in the Umno/BN media, culminating in the booklet of lies by the fictitious Father Augustus Chen

Will the Registrar of Societies Director-General, Datuk Abdul Rahman Othman, agree to a public inquiry into the DAP Central Executive Committee (CEC) elections in Penang last December to establish that there are reasonable and acceptable grounds for his directive to the DAP for CEC re-election?

He should if the RoS DG believes in the accountability, transparency, good governance, the rule of law and the important concept that public officers should not abuse their powers or act arbitrarily and have a special duty at this stage of national development to ensure public confidence in the efficiency, independence, impartiality and professionalism of national institutions and the public service.

Already national institutions and the public service are facing the worst crisis of confidence in the nation’s history as their efficiency, independence, impartiality and professionalism have been subverted by blatant political interference by their political masters, causing them to be guilty of being very biased and selective in their decisions and actions, whether selective arrests, selective prosecutions and other forms of selective persecution and oppression.

Is public confidence in the national institutions and public service to suffer a “quantum” assault in the RoS case with regard to the DAP CEC elections last December, because the decision of the RoS DG is completely based on lies, falsehoods and deception? Read the rest of this entry »

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It’s Not About the Chinese, Syed Ali!

By Kee Thuan Chye
Yahoo
August 1, 2013

If Umno Cheras division chief Syed Ali Alhabshee thinks he’s reaching out to the Chinese by asking them to tell Umno why they did not support the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) at the 13th general election (GE13) and what they are unhappy about, he’s still missing the point. The rejection of BN at GE13 is not about the Chinese. It’s about governance.

Good governance and an end to corruption are among the things every caring and intelligent Malaysian wants. Why does he single out the Chinese?

True, many Chinese care about the country and therefore want it to do well, and they don’t think that under BN rule, it will, so they voted for a change of government. But then so did a few million others comprising Malays, Indians, Kadazans and Ibans who also care about the country and want a better government.

If Syed Ali can grasp this basic idea, he should instead be telling his own party’s leaders that they need to do much, much better to deserve being in government – in fact, to change. And change drastically. He should be telling them to stop playing the same old politics they are still playing, like exploiting the issues of race and religion to divide the people.

He should tell Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to take back what he said on July 31 and even apologise for it: “Muslims do not insult the religion of non-Muslims such as Christianity and Hinduism. But non-Muslims are insulting our religion.” That’s the kind of inflammatory remark we can expect from an extremist, not from a deputy prime minister. Read the rest of this entry »

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Disclose out-of-court deals

P Gunasegaram
Malaysiakini
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 »

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