Archive for category Mahathir

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Darkness is swiftly descending in Malaysia.

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

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For his best self-interest, Najib should immediately direct MCMC to stop blocking access to Sarawak Report or he is transforming 1MDB scandal from a local into an international scandal of first magnitude

What a Hari Raya “gift” from the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak – blocking access to the Sarawak Report website and overnight undergoing three transformations for Malaysia’s “Father of Transformation”, viz:

• Transforming the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal and the posts on the Sarawak Report website from a local scandal into an international scandal of the first magnitude;

• Transforming Najib from a Nothing2Hide to Everything2Hide Prime Minister, all in a matter of 45 days from June 5, 2015 – the date of Najib‘s ill-fated and aborted 1MDB “Nothing2Hide” forum at Putra World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur.

• Transforming Najib from the most Internet-savvy Prime Minister of Malaysia into Malaysia’s most frightened-of-Internet Prime Minister, even violating Tun Mahathir and the Malaysian Government’s 17-year-old Bill of Guarantee of “No Censorship of Internet”.to the world.

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Malaysia PM Najib ready to take on raging bull Mahathir

Rowan Callick
Asia Pacific Editor
The Australian
July 18, 2015

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has been under political siege for the two years since ­support for his UMNO-led ­coal­ition, which has ruled since independence in 1957, slid to less than 50 per cent at the last election.

The attacks — from outside and from within his own political camp — have intensified in recent months, becoming increasingly more personal, with a series of claims of corruption.

He has now begun to fight back, launching — and threatening to launch — defamation cases within Malaysia and overseas, ­including against Fairfax newspapers in Australia and The Wall Street Journal.

The opposition grouping led by Anwar Ibrahim attracted more voters at the 2013 general election, but failed to win power due to the gerrymander that gives rural ­ethnic Malay voters an overwhelming advantage. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mahathir has lost control of his puppet

John Garnaut
The Age
July 17, 2015

The ageing dictator thinks the decay in Malaysian politics is all about personal failings.

On Eid al-Fitr, the most festive day of the Islamic calendar in South-east Asia, Nurul Izzah Anwar should be celebrating with her family and visiting her famous father in jail. But Malaysia’s politics are now so combustible, and the name of Anwar Ibrahim so potent, that the family has been barred from resuming its conversation about the future of Malaysia until the fifth day after the breaking of the fast.

But Nurul Izzah, like the rest of middle-class Malaysia, already knows exactly what her father thinks.

“For the first time in our history, a sitting prime minister is under investigation for the misappropriation of funds,” said her father in a statement released by his lawyers this week, referring to a report that showed how $920 million was siphoned from a sovereign wealth fund into a bank account in the name of Prime Minister Najib Razak​. “From behind these prison walls, I feel a great concern and worry for my country,” said Anwar Ibrahim. “Corruption, abuse of power, arrogance and appallingly poor governance has brought Malaysia to this state. The utter collapse of the Greece economy is a warning of what can yet happen.” Read the rest of this entry »

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The special task force into allegations of PM misconduct by Najib has zero credibility and legitimacy when DPM and Cabinet Ministers completely in the dark about its establishment, composition, terms of reference and latest change of Chairmanship

The special task force investigating into allegations of Prime Ministerial misconduct by Datuk Seri Najib Razak, in particular into Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report and allegation on July 3 that US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) were deposited into Najib’s personal accounts in AmBank in March 2013, shortly before the dissolution of Parliament on April 3, 2013 and the holding of 13th general elections has zero credibility and legitimacy.

How can the “special task force” have credibility and legitimacy when Cabinet Ministers, and even the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, do not know about its establishment, composition, terms of reference and the latest change of Chairmanship of the special task force?

Yesterday, former Attorney-General Tan Sri Abu Talib urged the Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail to disassociate himself from the special task force, saying this would help enhance public perception and integrity into the probe.

Abu Talib’s views were also shared by lawyers who said the top government lawyer should not be part of the investigation or else his office would not be seen as being independent.

Talib and the lawyers said Gani’s immediate disassociation from the task force would enhance public confidence and integrity over the three investigating bodies – police, MACC and Bank Negara – in executing their duties.

The principle of check and balance between investigation agencies and the public prosecutor must be observed to ensure justice to all parties, including the public.

Talib, who was A-G from 1980 and 1993, said it was not desirable for Gani, as the public prosecutor, to be a member of the task force. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia is going through “the worst of times”. Are there enough Malaysians to make it “the best of times”?

Never before has Malaysia been in such a mess.

What is devastating is that there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

Malaysia’s spirit cannot soar and reach for the skies, to seek and attain an ever-higher level of national achievement and human excellence.

Instead, we are daily bogged down by the mundane and sordid details of one scandal after another, as if we need constant reminders as to how far Malaysia has fallen from grace from the era of Tunku Abdul Rahman, Razak and Hussein Onn.

Dominating the landscape of scandals is the 1MDB “mother and mother of all financial scandals”, a hydra-headed monster capable of unending combinations and permutations to unveil the gravity of the collapse of an ethical government and the principles of accountability, transparency and good governance in the country. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia Premier Najib Under Fire: What You Need to Know

by Niluksi Koswanage Shamim Adam
July 9, 2015

As Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak fights claims aired in a Wall Street Journal report that about $700 million in funds connected to a state investment company allegedly ended up in his personal bank accounts, here’s a guide on the key players in the furor and what to watch for.

Q: What is 1Malaysia Development Bhd. or 1MDB?

Najib chairs the advisory board of the debt-ridden state investment company. The Wall Street Journal reported July 3 that money may have moved through government agencies and companies linked to 1MDB before apparently appearing in Najib’s personal accounts. A task force investigating the claims visited 1MDB’s Kuala Lumpur headquarters on Wednesday and left with documents.

1MDB had its origins in the Terengganu Investment Authority, which was created in 2009 to invest oil royalties from the state of Terengganu. When Najib became prime minister that year it was renamed 1MDB, became a national entity and its funding source was changed to government-backed debt.

The company has courted controversy, accumulating $11 billion of debt in less than five years, paying a premium in the acquisition of energy assets, and criticized for overpaying Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to manage its bond sales.

1MDB flirted with default when it missed a loan repayment late last year and eventually settled it in February. It announced plans the same month to wind down, with asset sales or an initial public offering of its energy unit, and the spinning off of its property businesses. Its purpose was to serve as a catalyst for projects of strategic importance, it said Feb. 18, and it’s “achieved this.”

The auditor-general has been probing 1MDB’s finances since March. It is set to hand its interim report on Thursday to a parliamentary committee. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib should heed Musa Hitam’s advice and immediately go on leave as Prime Minister pending investigation by an independent commission of inquiry

Datuk Seri Najib Razak should heed the advice of his former mentor, former Deputy Prime Minister, Tun Musa Hitam that he should go on leave as Prime Minister pending investigation into the Wall Street Journal report and allegation of US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) deposited into his personal accounts in AmBank within to weeks of the dissolution of Parliament on 3rd April 2013 and his role and involvement in the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal.

Najib had accused former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir of “working hand in glove with foreign nationals” in “a concerted campaign of political sabotage to topple a democratically-elected Prime Minister”, but Najib cannot make such an accusation against Musa.

In an exclusive interview with The Malaysian Insider, Musa said Najib has three options: (I) to remain in office and fight the allegations; (ii) resign as Prime Minister; and (iii) go on leave pending investigations by a special government task force.

Musa personally would prefer if Najib takes the third option to allow for an open and transparent investigation, as he holds dear to the legal maxim that one is innocent until proven guilty and this applies to Najib. Read the rest of this entry »

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Siapa untung jika Najib berundur?

The Malaysian Insider
8 July 2015

Siapakah yang bakal mendapat manfaat daripada krisis dihadapi Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak sekarang?

Siapakah bakal dilantik perdana menteri sekiranya Najib terpaksa melepaskan jawatan ekoran skandal syarikat sarat hutang 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) yang sudah menjadi perhatian antarabangsa.

The Malaysian Insider cuba menyenaraikan tokoh yang mungkin mendapat manfaat sekiranya anak kepada perdana menteri kedua, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein berundur. Read the rest of this entry »

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Inquiry Into Malaysian Fund Also Puts Spotlight on Prime Minister

by Austin Ramzy
New York Times
July 7, 2015

HONG KONG — Officials in Malaysia said on Tuesday that they had frozen bank accounts as part of an investigation into the country’s troubled development investment fund and accusations that hundreds of millions of dollars from the fund had been transferred to Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Government investigators have been looking into the finances of the heavily indebted 1Malaysia Development Berhad, also known as 1MDB. News reports have said that some of its funds have been routed to accounts controlled by Mr. Najib. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s Najib Razak fights for political life amid 1MDB claims

by Michael Peel in Kuala Lumpur
Financial Times
July 6, 2015

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak faces a struggle for survival amid growing fallout from allegations that hundreds of millions of dollars were channeled from a state development fund into his personal bank accounts.

Investigators of the escalating scandal at 1Malaysia Development Berhad have passed the country’s Attorney-General evidence relating to transfers totaling almost $700m shortly before the last elections.

Mr Najib has denied taking money for personal gain and has denounced the accusations as “a concerted campaign of political sabotage to topple a democratically elected Prime Minister”.

The Financial Times has not been able to independently verify the allegations. They have added to turmoil in Malaysian politics at a time when Mr Najib’s United Malays National Organisation faces a grave challenge to its near six-decade hegemony.

Analysts say the claims, reported on Friday by the Wall Street Journal and the Sarawak Report website, are potentially fatal for Mr Najib’s career. They appear to make the first direct link between the premier and the long-running scandal over how 1MDB racked up debts of more than $11bn. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s PM Extends Feud to Mahathir’s Son

Asia Sentinel
July 2, 2015

Sources say government is delaying funds and slowing proposals in state Mukhriz controls.

The scorched-earth war between Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and his one-time mentor, former Premier Mahathir Mohamad, has extended to the northern state of Kedah, where Mahathir’s son, Mukhriz, rules as chief minister.

The federal government in Putrajaya reportedly has cut budget allocations to the state, one of the country’s poorest, and is dragging its heels on a proposal by Mukhriz to build an airport in the city of Kulim which Mukhriz deems crucial to boosting the local economy. Reportedly other economic initiatives have been blocked through the federal government’s refusal to pay full land premium for land that Mukhriz is attempting to convert to industrial uses. He is also encountering sniping from Najib forces in the state over his performance as chief minister

It was his father, Mahathir, who paved the way for Najib to become prime minister, first grooming him as defense minister, and then, in 2009 playing an instrumental role in driving his successor, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi from power. Anointed by Mahathir, Najib became prime minister only to lead the Barisan in 2013 to the first loss of the popular vote since 1969, although it retained its majority in parliament through gerrymandering. Read the rest of this entry »

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Has Gani Patail joined Mahathir’s camp in the “political sabotage” of Najib when the AG confirmed that government probe on 1MDB had found documentary evidence on the RM2.6 billion deposit into Najib’s private account?

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak blamed his predecessor and one-time patron, Tun Dr. Mahathir of being the “mastermind” for the latest allegation of him siphoning money from 1MDB.

Najib said he believe that Mahathir, “working hand in glove with foreign nationals, including the now discredited political attack blog Sarawak Report, is behind the latest lie”.

The Prime Minister made this accusation in reference to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report on Friday which alleged that US$700 million (RM2.6 million) of 1MDB’s fund was deposited into the Prime Minister’s private account.

Najib declared that he had never taken the government’s money for personal gain.

He said the latest allegation is part of a series of “unsubstantiated and many simply outrageous” claims made against him and his family when he refused to implement Mahathir’s personal demands.

Najib said: “I refused, because I do not believe it is right for Malaysia to be ruled by proxy.”

Nobody knows what Najib is actually referring to with regard to Mahathir’s personal agenda, as it is for him to spell out Mahathir’s “personal demands” for the public to judge whether to believe the Prime Minister or the former Prime Minister.

However, I am not the only one in Malaysia who, in the last five years, had been bamboozled and bewildered by one of the longest and elaborate “smoke and mirrors” displays in the nation’s history – the RM42 billion MDB financial scandal. Read the rest of this entry »

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Investigators Believe Money Flowed to Malaysian Leader’s Accounts Amid 1MDB Probe

By Tom Wright And Simon Clark
Wall Street Journal
July 2, 2015

Prime Minister Najib’s bank accounts are scrutinized in probe of investment fund 1MDB

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia—Malaysian investigators scrutinizing a controversial government investment fund have traced nearly $700 million of deposits into what investigators believe are the personal bank accounts of Malaysia’s prime minister, Najib Razak, according to documents from a government probe.

The investigation documents mark the first time Mr. Najib has been directly connected to the probes into state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd., or 1MDB.

Mr. Najib, who founded 1MDB and heads its board of advisors, has been under growing political pressure over the fund, which amassed $11 billion in debt it is struggling to repay.

The government probe documents what investigators believe to be the movement of cash among government agencies, banks and companies linked to 1MDB before it ended up in Mr. Najib’s personal accounts. Documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal include bank transfer forms and flow charts put together by government investigators that reflect their understanding of the path of the cash.

The original source of the money is unclear and the government investigation doesn’t detail what happened to the money that went into Mr. Najib’s personal accounts. Read the rest of this entry »

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Could this be the Smoking Gun for Malaysia’s PM?

By John Berthelsen
Asia Sentinel
July 3, 2015

Najib said by Wall Street Journal and Sarawak Report to divert US$700 million in 1MDB funds into his own accounts

The publication today, Friday July 3, of devastating articles in the Wall Street Journal and the Sarawak Report tying Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to the diversion of nearly US$700 million from the state-backed 1Malaysia Development Bhd into his own accounts could be the final blow to bring down a leader who has been bullet proof from years of charges against his integrity.

The danger is that there have been so many smoking guns in the past, including detailed evidence by French investigators of bribes to buy French submarines when Najib was defense minister, that yet another won’t matter. Nonetheless, according to the two publications, government investigators in Malaysia have traced the money in deposits from 1MDB into Najib’s personal bank accounts. The investigators’ findings apparently were leaked, possibly through former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who has been on a two-year crusade to drive Najib from office and put him in jail.

Given the considerable details of the information now in print, he may well succeed. Indeed sources in Kuala Lumpur have told Asia Sentinel that Mahathir has considerably more information. Attempts to reach the former premier in the past have been uniformly unsuccessful.

“If this is true, it’s a TKO for Najib,” said a Kuala Lumpur-based lawyer. “Go to jail, do not pass go. It looks like the Tun [Mahathir] has dropped the nuke.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib: Dr M behind WSJ report

The Malay Mail Online
Friday July 3, 2015 11:49 PM GMT+8

KUALA LUMPUR, July 3 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak accused Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad of working with foreigners to produce the Wall Street Journal report accusing the former of receiving funds from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

In arguably the most direct attack against his most vocal critic, Najib said the latest allegation against him was just another in the series of claims made by Dr Mahathir in his campaign to oust the prime minister.

“The latest allegation is that I have taken state-linked funds for personal gain. I believe Tun, working hand in glove with foreign nationals, including the now discredited political attack blog Sarawak Report, is behind this latest lie,” Najib wrote on Facebook today.

“These attacks began when I refused to implement Tun Mahathir’s personal demands. I refused, because I do not believe it is right for Malaysia to be ruled by proxy.”

Pointing out that all the attacks against him and 1MDB were not been backed by evidence, Najib said it was clear that they were part of a concerted campaign to sabotage and remove him as the democratically-elected prime minister of Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »

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1MDB Scandal – The Empire Strikes Back after four months

Since the arrest of the former PetroSaudi International (PSI) IT executive in Koh Samui, Thailand at around 3 pm on Monday (June 22) for attempting to blackmail his former employer on leaked information, we have seen “The Empire Strikes Back” on the six-year 1MDB scandal in Malaysia.

Suddenly, some Ministers have becoming quite articulate on the 1MDB scandal, with the Home Minister Datuk Zahid Hamidi claiming ominously that the former PSI executive Xavier Andre Justo in his interrogation by Thai police had implicated several Malaysians who had asked him to manipulate the leaked information which was passed to whistleblower site Sarawak Report.

He even said Putrajaya was prepared to extradite these individuals if there is request from Bangkok.

Zahid also threatened to act against local media that used the leaked information which had been the source of unremitting embarrassment to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak since the end of February when the Sarawak Report website and London’s Sunday Times newspaper reported in-depth investigations into the trail of the missing 1MDB missing billions after gaining access to thousands of documents and emails relating to transactions by 1MDB, including its initial joint venture with the little known oil company PetroSaudi International from 2009.

PSI’s leaked information included communications with 1MDB that had embroiled the latter in controversy as it highlighted questionable transfer of funds to a company controlled by Malaysian billionaire Jho Low, who is close to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s family.

PSI and 1MDB have yet to deny these allegations but both insisted that it is based on “tampered” evidence.

Zahid appears to be unfazed when a police source from Thailand’s crime suppression division, which arrested Justo, told Malaysiakini that Interpol and the Malaysian authorities were not involved in the investigation. Read the rest of this entry »

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The untouchable Dr M

Kapil Sethi
The Malay Mail Online
June 22, 2015

JUNE 22 ― On the surface, it seems even more lopsided than a David and Goliath battle. On one side is a frail, almost 90, long gone from the corridors of power old man whose bark is practically all that is left of what was 22 years of autocratic but arguably economically robust rule. On the other is a man decades younger and a second term prime minister controlling all the levers of power who is increasingly comfortable in deploying them to crush all dissent, whether through legislation, 3am wake-up calls by the police or even by suing through the judiciary.

The PM also has publicly-funded government largesse to dole out as and when the situation requires. He has a plethora of government and party posts and contracts to hand out to keep his party cadres in line. He controls all the mainstream media and has a large, ever-expanding public relations machine at his disposal to run down all enemies, real or imagined.

So it would seem bizarre that things have reached such a head that the battle is not only not over, but has spilled out on the international stage courtesy of the New York Times. In a sign of exactly how difficult the situation is for the incumbent PM, his foreign minister is reduced to replying to the article by criticising Dr Mahathir for internationalising the issue rather than rebutting the issues themselves. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia Gets a Dose of Real Talk

By William Pesek
Jun 18, 2015

Asia-based journalists have missed Mahathir Mohamad since he left office in 2003. The former Malaysian prime minister’s mercurial governing style and fiery rhetoric made for great copy. I was in a Hong Kong ballroom in 1997 when Mahathir — the man credited with turning the agricultural backwater Kuala Lumpur, which literally means “muddy river,” into one of Asia’s most impressive skylines — responded to his country’s crashing economy by castigating hedge fund managers. He singled out George Soros as a “moron.”

Mahathir now has a new target — Najib Razak, Malaysia’s current prime minister. The daily squabbling between Najib and his predecessor has unsettled Malaysian markets, with the ringgit falling to its lowest value in a decade. But Najib has nobody to blame but himself for the attacks, given the country’s underlying economic distress. Malaysia’s prolonged slow growth, which has Fitch now threatening a downgrade of the country’s credit ratings, traces back to Najib’s refusal, or inability, to make good on his pledges to dismantle race-based policies that strangle innovation, feed cronyism and repel multinational companies.

You don’t have to take Mahathir’s word for it — Malaysia’s most successful entrepreneurs say the same thing. Just ask Tony Fernandes of AirAsia. Read the rest of this entry »

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