Archive for category Media

Would a person like Najib have survived as China’s top leader with two mega scandals swirling around him causing the country to be named No. 3 in world’s “worst corruption scandals in 2015” and the subject of investigation by seven different countries, including by US FBI, whether he is a kleptocrat?

The Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamad Apandi Ali allowed a rare but very insightful though frightening peep into his mind in his interview with Sin Chew Daily today.

Apandi’s interview deserve fuller dissection and analysis, but for the immediate moment, what warrants immediate response is the revelation that the Attorney-General is mulling laws to increase the punishment of those who leak state secrets and journalists who report, and that the Attorney-General’s Chambers is proposing to amend the Official Secrets Act 1972 to include life imprisonment and 10 strokes of the rotan as punishments.

Apandi said: “In some countries, the leaking of official secrets is a serious offence, like in China where it carries the death sentence.”

Apandi insisted that should journalists protect or refuse to reveal the sources by invoking journalistic ethics, they will be considered collaborating with a potential saboteur.

“We may charge journalists who refuse to reveal their sources.

“I am not joking. If I have 90 percent of evidence, I will charge the journalist, editor, assistant editor and editor-in-chief. I am serious, no kidding. We have too many leakage of secrets in Malaysia.

“The right to know is not granted by the constitution.”

This must be the first time the Attorney-General of Malaysia expressed admiration and envy for the laws and system in China, as it had never been done by his predecdessors. Read the rest of this entry »

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A virtually impossible feat – Najib’s twin mega scandals entering new year in 36 hours with even more questions than answers

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s twin mega scandals – the RM2.6 billion “donation” and RM55 billion 1MDB – have performed a virtually impossible feat, entering the new year in some 36 hours with even more questions than answers.

This, despite being the subject of multiple investigations inside the country – at one time, even by the highest-powered multi-agency Special Task Force under four “Tan Sris” led by the then Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail himself until Gani was summarily sacked in a government purge on July 28 whose victims included the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the Special Task Force dissolved – and the target of separate investigations by at least seven foreign countries, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and United States.

How could this happen?

On Monday (Dec. 28), Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi urged the people not to fall for the latest report by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) which cited an unknown source in explaining how US$850 million was transferred from 1MDB to a phantom offshore entity. Read the rest of this entry »

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Was Hasan Arifin speaking for PAC or only for himself about being “satisfied” with Arul Kanda’s testimony on 1MDB, and if the former, was a vote taken of the PAC members whether they are “satisfied” with Arul’s evidence?

On the way to the launch of the Perak State Pakatan Harapan in Ipoh from a DAP dinner at Chuichak new village, I read that after its meeting today, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman Datuk Hasan Arifin issued a statement saying that he is satisfied with 1MDB president Arul Kanda Kandasamy’s explanation after a three-hour grilling.

I find Hasan’s statement most shocking as it contradicted the earlier statement by Tony Pua, the PAC member who is most knowledgeable about 1MDB, who had said that Arul Kanda’s answers were “not perfect” and “incomplete” and that the 1MDB president had evaded certain questions.

When Hasan said he was “satisfied” with Arul Kanda’s explanations at the continued PAC investigations into the 1MDB, was this a reflection of his “cari makan” mode of operation or did he take a vote from the PAC after Arul Kanda’s testimony to determine whether the PAC was “satisfied” with the 1MDB CEO’s testimony?

If Hasan had not taken a vote of PAC after Arul Kanda’s testimony, and merely given his own views, he was guilty of misleading Members of Parliament and the Malaysian public who have been following the PAC proceedings with great interest and anticipation.

The Malaysian public does not want the views of a “cari makan” PAC Chairman but the views of the PAC as determined by a vote as to whether PAC is satisfied with Arul Kanda’s testimony. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib must learn quick and fast that there is no way to resolve his grave problem of trust deficit unless he gives full and satisfactory accountability on his twin mega scandals

Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s trust deficit, already lowest for any Prime Minister among all racial groups in the nation’s 58 year history, continued to nose-dive after the UMNO General Assembly, with over a dozen adverse developments and stories keeping Najib’s twin mega scandals alive and kicking in the past three days.

There were six such adverse stories in the last 24 hours in Malaysiakini, viz:

1. PM’s flirtation with gaming world draws scorn

2. Australian court shuts down 1MDB-linked funds

3. Delay in handing over auditor-general’s 1MDB report to PAC

4. To uncover 1MDB truth, cross examine Najib in court – by Nurul Izzah and Tian Chua.

5. The colourful family and friends of 1MDB

6. Malaysian police record Justo’s statement in Bangkok

A day earlier there were two news reports about former MCA President Tun Dr. Ling Liong Sik legal entanglements with Najib’s over the latter’s twin mega scandals, about Najib’s claim against Ling and Ling’s counter-claim against Najib, and the former MCA President’s accusation that Najib had not instituted the legal suit against Ling with the genuine intention to seek legal redress, or Najib should have sued all UMNO leaders, past and present, who have criticised him, such as Tun Mahathir as well as Wall Street Journal and Sarawak Report. Read the rest of this entry »

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Parliament must take a stand on Monday whether it wants to have a “cari makan” Chairman of PAC, especially as it is poised to continue its “derailed” investigations into Najib’s RM2.6 billion “donation” and RM50 billion 1MDB twin mega scandals

The Malaysian Parliament must take a stand on Monday whether it wants to have a “cari makan” Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), especially as it is poised to continue its “derailed” investigations into Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s RM2.6 billion “donation” and RM50 billion 1MDB twin mega scandals.

PAC Chairman Datuk Hasan Arifin has compounded his faux pax with a ban on all PAC press conferences on the ground that he is victim of a diabolic plot by the media to present him in the worst possible light.

Why should the media have such an animus towards him and not others, as no other UMNO/BN leader, whether Minister or other parliamentary personality, had ever lodged such a serious complaint of collective bias against the parliamentary media.

Does the fault lie in the media or in Hasan himself? Read the rest of this entry »

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A call to sanity

— Dan Ling
Malay Mail Online
November 17, 2015

NOVEMBER 17 — We live in a world of manufactured outrage. From one incident to the next, media does its best; knowingly and unknowingly, to polarise opinion and encourage consumers to adopt a certain stance. From incident to incident, we see this happening with alarming frequency.

It does so by inciting our more base emotions, poking and prodding them. It does so by being selective about what it decides to highlight, covering certain news with front page headlines, while relegating other news to the back pages with nary a few lines of detail. It sets up the perfect breeding ground for the more easily influenced among us to grow a black-and-white, us versus them mentality. And it is dangerous.

You’d have to have been living under a significantly large rock to not have heard about the recent attacks in Paris that claimed over a hundred and thirty lives. But have you been hearing about all the drone attacks over a large portion of Middle Eastern territory? According to official reports, 41 men were specifically targeted due to their involvement in terror cells, yet 1,147 innocent lives were taken as a result of these “precise” drone strikes that were apparently aided by “reliable intelligence.” Did you hear about the Beirut attack that occurred the day before the Paris attacks? Probably not until afterwards, when people started to draw the stark comparisons between how the two were treated by world media. Read the rest of this entry »

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Police and MCMC raid of Malaysiakini and Star Online must be condemned in strongest possible terms as part of a repressive plan to create culture of fear to stifle freedom of expression and dissent in country

The police and Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) raid of Malaysiakini and Star Online yesterday must be condemned in the strongest possible terms as part of a repressive plan to create a culture of fear to stifle freedom of expression and dissent in the country.

Pakatan Harapan leaders had been on the receiving end of lies and criminal defamation for years but I do not see the police and MCMC taking any action against the UMNO/BN and pro UMNO/BN media or cybertroopers for these flagrant lies and falsehoods.

A classic case is the Utusan Malaysia front-page report that the DAP wanted to create a Christian Malaysia, which was not on a most mischievous, malicious and diabolical lie – but no action had been taken by the authorities against Utusan Malaysia not only in this instance but also many similar such cases by the same guilty parties. Read the rest of this entry »

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Twenty-eight years and eight days ago…

— Lee Yew Meng
Malay Mail Online
November 4, 2015

NOV 4 — On Oct 27, 1987, The Star managing director Datuk Steven Tan told his top management that the newspaper’s publishing permit had been withdrawn with immediate effect. The letter was hand-delivered earlier during a downpour.

The front page on that day read: “DETAINED — 19 picked up in swoop”. The masthead was in black, dramatising the events of the previous day.

I have no recollection of what was discussed during that meeting. Stuck in my head was: “Hey, this is ridiculous. Our chairman is Tunku Abdul Rahman (our first prime minister) and we are owned by MCA, a senior coalition partner in the government.”

All employees were on a quarter-month’s pay henceforth. It was a double whammy for couples on The Star’s payroll. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib is sounding the death knell for Global Movement of Moderates if he is not prepared to uphold moderation as represented by Bersih 4 and marginalize extremism as represented by Sept. 16 Red Shirts Rally

The cat is out of the bag – the mission of irresponsible, dishonest and insidious propagandists in the UMNO/BN camp out to twist facts, distort the truth and even tell outright lies and falsehoods to influence public perceptions and events.

This comes from the admission by the UMNO Secretary-General Tengku Adnan yesterday blaming the UMNO-owned Utusan Malaysia for exacerbating the diplomatic flap involving the Chinese ambassador to Malaysia Huang Huikang who, to quote Adnan, went to Petaling Street with good intentions but Utusan Malaysia took Ronnie Liu and Teresa Kok’s blog and “twisted” them into the headlines, and it became a problem!

There would be no kid-glove treatment of Utusan Malaysia if it is not a UMNO-owned publication or the authorities would have descended on it like a ton of bricks, even suspending or cancelling its publication licence for activities prejudicial to racial harmony and national interests.

This highlights the UMNO/BN administration’s hypocrisy and double-standards especially as this is not the first time that Utusan had been guilty of journalistic excesses, abuses and anti-national activities prejudicial to social peace, racial harmony and national unity. Read the rest of this entry »

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Challenge to Najib to institute legal proceedings against five international media for defaming him or his administration – Wall Street Journal, Al Jazeera, New York Times, Economist and Channel News Asia

It is understandable that the new Communications and Multimedia Minister, Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak is so upset that he has shot off another protest against international media reporting on Malaysia – this time complaining that Channel News Asia (CAN)’s documentary, A Fractured Nation, for being biased because the sources quoted were only from the Opposition.

Salleh had been Minister for Communications and Multimedia for only two short months, but the number of bad press for Malaysia in the international media during Salleh’s tenure as Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s Communications czar is already many times the bad press under his predecessor, Datuk Seri Shabery Cheek, even putting together Shabery’s two spells as Information Minister for 13 months under Tun Abdullah and Communications Minister for 26 months under Najib.

Who must bear responsibility for the current spate of bad international press by Malaysia, whether printed or electronic – Salleh, Najib or the international media?

Salleh complained that the CNA documentary A Fractured Nation portrayed a bad image of Malaysia.

The pertinent question is whether CNA had irresponsibly given a bad image of a good condition in Malaysia, or had truthfully reflected what is undoubtedly a bad situation in Malaysia! Read the rest of this entry »

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Call for Commission of Inquiry by Malaysian Elders on whether there was an attempted “coup” to topple Najib as Prime Minister, the sacking of Gani Patail as AG and Muhyiddin as DPM, the arrest and harassment of top government officials and whether they are related to the twin scandals of 1MDB and RM2.6 billion in Najib’s personal accounts

The best response to Barisan Nasional’s (BN) strategic communications director Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan’s denial that he had confirmed in his Star Online interview that there was a draft of a corruption charge sheet against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is Abdul Rahman’s own words: “Excuse me. I was not born yesterday.”

Abdul Rahman has asked me to re-read his Star Online interview, and I have done so, and I reiterate that anyone reading it will come away with the ineluctable conclusion that there was an attempted coup against the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak by criminalising him and toppling him from office; and “given that scenario”, a “flurry of action” was taken by the Prime Minister, including drastic action to “take these people out first, so that things will get back to normalcy and see what happened next”.

Those who were “not born yesterday” would realise that Abdul Rahman was giving a very graphic account of the atmosphere of great distrust, suspicion and division in the corridors of power and the “cloak-and-dagger” power play in Putrajaya in the last days of July 2015, where he was undoubtedly one of the main backroom players.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Police arrests and investigations under Section 124B in the current crackdown against the Ministerial assurances when the law was passed in Parliament that this section will only be used against those who used “violent and unconstitutional means”

Until a month ago, nobody has heard of Section 124B but in the past few weeks, Section 124B of the Penal Code has forced itself into public consciousness as the new monstrous weapon which the Najib administration is using to launch a major crackdown and usher a new Dark Age in Malaysia.

How many people have been arrested or investigated under Section 124B of the Penal Code.

I do not know, but it is safe to say that never have so many people been arrested or investigated under Section 124B of the Penal Code on “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy” which can send a person to jail for a maximum of 20 years – and all these police arrests and investigations are against the ministerial assurances given to Parliament in 2012 when the new law was enacted that it would only be used against those who carry out “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy” by “violent and unconstitutional means”.

When pressed in Parliament on why Section 124B had not spelt out clearly that Section 124B only referred to “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy” by “violent and unconstitutional means”, the then de facto Law Minister, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz claimed that this is understood and even referred to Oxford Dictionary that “activities detrimental to Parliamentary Democracy” means “by violent and unconstitutional means”.

When Nazri presented the Penal Code amendment of the new Section 124B, Parliament was in fact given to understand that it was meant to tackle terrorism previously covered by the already repealed Internal Security Act. Read the rest of this entry »

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Penolong pengarang Utusan cabar menteri, pengarah Jasa debat isu derma RM2.6 bilion Najib

The Malaysian Insider
11 August 2015

Menteri Komunikasi dan Multimedia Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak dan Pengarah Jasa Datuk Dr Puad Zarkashi perlu bersedia berdebat dalam isu RM2.6 dimasukkan ke dalam akaun peribadi Datuk Seri Najib Razak bagi membuktikan mereka pembela perdana menteri, kata Ku Seman Ku Hussain.

Penolong pengarang akhbar milik Umno edisi Ahad, Mingguan Malaysia itu berkata Salleh dan Puad memutar belit kenyataannya yang sama sekali tidak mempersoalkan dana RM2.6 bilion itu datang daripada sumber rasuah.

“Kedua-dua panglima ini sama sekali tidak menyentuh isu yang saya bangkitkan iaitu derma RM2.6 bilion itu bukan milik Umno. Hujah saya seluruh kepimpinan tertinggi termasuk bekas timbalan perdana menteri Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin tidak tahu tentang kewujudan derma itu. Read the rest of this entry »

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The never-ending fight for the facts

Boo Su-Lyn
Malay Mail Online
Friday July 31, 2015

JULY 31 ― When I applied for a job as a journalist, my boss told me that journalism was about reporting the “facts”, not the “truth.”

I didn’t really understand him then. Wasn’t it the same?

But I’ve come to realise that “truth” has its own shade of meaning, a play on passion and emotions, while “facts” are unemotional, leaning neither right nor left. You, the reader, are free to make your own judgment. But with the “truth”, it sometimes comes with the writer’s own judgments.

When we journalists uncover facts ― whether it’s about how the boom in tudung brands shows the trend of conservative Islam in Malaysia, or how public funds are diverted into the pockets of powerful people ― it’s so that people can decide what to do now that they’re better informed.

If Malaysians aren’t comfortable with how religion is encroaching into governance and public policies in a secular country, they can speak up. If they’re perfectly fine with even a seven-month-old baby wearing a headscarf, that’s up to the people. Read the rest of this entry »

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Andai Watergate di Malaysia: satu imaginasi ringkas

Mohsin Abdullah
The Malaysian Insider
27 July 2015

Sebut Watergate umum terus kaitkan dengan skandal politik besar di Amerika Syarikat (AS) pada 1972. Ramai tahu kisahnya. Maka tidak perlu saya mengulangi apa yang orang sudah tahu. Bagi yang “lupa” atau mereka yang mahu imbas kembali sila google.

Pun begitu, bercakap mengenai Watergate dua nama timbul dengan serta merta. Bob Woodward dan Carl Berstein. Kedua-duanya wartawan akhbar The Washington Post yang membongkar skandal itu dengan “bantuan” pemberi maklumat misteri yang mereka gelar “Deep Throat”. Lantas menyaksikan pelbagai siasatan dijalankan sehingga membawa ke Kongres.

Memendekkan cerita yang panjang, kemuncaknya ialah Richard Nixon, presiden AS ketika itu terpaksa meletak jawatan pada 1974. Woodward and Berstein menjadi terkenal. Mendapat bermacam pengiktirafan termasuk memenangi Anugerah Putlizer. Dan buku buku yang mereka tulis menjadi best seller. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tak mengapa jadi ‘Mugabe’, asalkan terus berkuasa

Amin Iskandar
The Malaysian Insider
26 July 2015

Tiada berita lebih besar di Malaysia minggu ini selain penggantungan permit penerbitan akhbar mingguan The Edge dan harian The Edge Financial Daily.
Mana tidaknya, petanda sesebuah pemerintah atau kerajaan itu menuju kediktatoran adalah menekan media atau menutup surat khabar, sesuatu yang pernah dilakukan diktator-diktator “ulung” Asia Tenggara seperti bekas Presiden Indonesia, Suharto.

Ironinya, jika dahulu majalah Tempo “dikerjakan” Suharto kerana laporan tentang skandal pembelian kapal perang, akhbar The Edge kini digantung kerana menyiarkan laporan tentang syarikat sarat hutang 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Alasan digunakan Suharto pada ketika itu untuk menutup Tempo dan beberapa akhbar lain yang melaporkan skandal “anak emasnya” B. J. Habibie sama seperti digunakan Kementerian Dalam Negeri (KDN) iaitu memudaratkan ketenteraman awam!

Pada masa sama, “ikan-ikan bilis” berkait dengan 1MDB satu persatu didakwa di mahkamah.

Mungkin juga semua ini hanyalah kebetulan akan tetapi menghairankan “jerung besar” seperti Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak yang didakwa The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) menerima RM2.67 bilion wang 1MDB dalam akaun peribadinya tidak pula berdepan apa-apa siasatan atau tindakan. Read the rest of this entry »

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In times of crisis, truth is first casualty

Khoo Ying Hooi
The Malaysian Insider
27 July 2015

There is a saying that in war, truth is the first casualty.

No one expects journalists to risk their lives for a story. Yet, if the media constantly come under attack, we risk an information crisis.

Media, also popularly known as the fourth estate, can influence public opinion and shape policy direction.

It is a double-edged sword especially for politicians. It can help one to get unconditional publicity, at the same time it could also ruin a politician’s life.

Last week we were slammed with news of the three-month suspension on The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily beginning today (July 27), just few days after the authorities blocked access to Sarawak Report that has been extensively covering the 1MDB controversy. Read the rest of this entry »

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I was offered $2.7m for stolen data: Ex-PetroSaudi employee Xavier Andre Justo on the 1MDB saga

Nirmal Ghosh
Straits Times
Bangkok
July 24, 2015

Ex-PetroSaudi employee says he was never paid what prominent Malaysian businessman promised him

Swiss national Xavier Andre Justo – who is now in jail in Thailand in connection with trying to blackmail his former employer, PetroSaudi, which is entangled in a huge scandal involving the Malaysian government – has claimed that he was promised US$2 million (S$2.7 million) in exchange for data he stole from his former employer.

He also told The Straits Times in a prison interview that he was never paid what he was promised by a prominent Malaysian businessman. Justo claimed a deal was reached in Singapore in February on the sale of the documents, which was followed by lengthy discussions on how he would be paid.

The group of people he met in Singapore to negotiate the sale of the data were named in a 22-page confession Justo made to Thai police. He showed a copy of the confession to The Straits Times. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s Edge Group Publications Suspended

By John Berthelsen
Asia Sentinel
July 24, 2015

Government action comes as owner, publisher, say they obtained documents through a ruse

The Edge Financial Daily, the country’s leading financial newspaper, and The Edge Weekly have been suspended from publishing for three months by Malaysian authorities for reporting on the scandal-tarred 1 Malaysia Development Bhd development fund that authorities said was “prejudicial or likely to be prejudicial to public order, security or likely to alarm public opinion.” It also stated that the reporting on 1MDB was “likely to be prejudicial to public and national interest.”

The suspension is unprecedented. Last week, the government also blocked The Sarawak Report, written by Clare Rewcastle Brown from the UK, which has been equally critical of the government. Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has been tied directly to the scandal by reports that US$680 million had been spirited from 1MDB-related companies into his personal accounts.

Tong Kooi Ong, the owner of The Edge Group, and Ho Kay Tat, the publisher, have both been threatened with arrest. Ho was forced to report to the police on July 22 and was questioned for two hours over the paper’s publication of a 3,800 word on July 21 report describing in deep detail, with flow charts, how money had flowed out of 1MDB into PetroSaudi International, a Middle East-based oil exploration company, and that US$1.83 billion allegedly was stolen by company officers and others. Read the rest of this entry »

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Based on reasons given by Home Ministry for 3-month suspension of The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily, will 1MDB become a new “sensitive” issue which will attract the full weight of Najib’s law if discussed or mentioned?

The Home Ministry’s secretary-general, Alwi Ibrahim has given three reasons for suspending The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily for three months, from July 27.

Firstly, the headings and reporting by the two publications has raised questions and created negative public perceptions towards 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and also implicated the government and national leaders.

Secondly, the published news reports were based on doubtful and unverified information, which might alarm public opinion and could/might be prejudicial to public order and national interest.

Thirdly, the 1MDB issue is being investigated by an investigation team that has been set up. Therefore, it is inappropriate for the reporting (on the issue) to create negative perceptions and done continuously, and it is unfair for 1MDB and consequently for the government and national leaders.

Based on the reasons given by Home Ministry for the three-month suspension of The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily, will 1MDB become a new “sensitive” issue which will attract the full weight of Najib’s law if discussed or mentioned? Read the rest of this entry »

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