Archive for category Najib Razak

Salleh should stop making asinine statements like I have said its a waste to vote for the Opposition

The Minister for Communications and Multimedia Datuk Salleh Said Keruak should stop making asinine statements like I have said its a waste to votethe Opposition in the Sarawak state general elections.

Salleh was trying to be “little clever” when he twisted my admission that Adenan Satem will be the Sarawak Chief Minister and that the Sarawak Barisan Nasional will win the 11th Sarawak state general election into saying that in the circumstances its a waste to vote for the Opposition.

In fact it is an argument for voters to vote for the Opposition to ensure that there will be effective check and balance to ensure that Adenan will fulfill his election promises and not commit abuses and excesses of power. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib is only echoing his father’s pledge some half-a-century ago when Tun Razak’s pledge should have been achieved more than one generation ago

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, in his campaigning for the Sarawak Barisan Nasional in the 11th Sarawak state general election, promised that he is committed to bringing Sarawak to greater heights so that it will be on par with Peninsular Malaysia.

Before Malaysia was formed in 1963, many missions and study tours from Sarawak and Sabah were organised to visit Peninsular Malaysia to convince Sarawakians and Sabahans that Sarawak and Sabah would benefit if they agree to form Malaysia with Malaya and Singapore, promising that Sarawak and Sabah would enjoy the type of development in the rural areas in Peninsular Malaysia if they chose to federate with Peninsular Malaysia to form Malaysia.

The series of study tours and fact-finding visits by Sarawakians and Sabahans to Malaya succeeded because Malaysia was formed on Sept. 16, 1963.

One clear promise that Tun Razak, father of Najib, made on becoming the second Prime Minister at the end of 1970 was that Sarawak and Sabah would be developed on par with Peninsular Malaysia.

I am therefore surprised to read of Najib echoing his father’s pledge some half a century ago, when Tun Razak’s pledge should have been achieved more than a generation ago, and not be used as a campaign pledge in the 11th state general elections in Sarawak more than 52 years after the formation of Malaysia.

Najib’s repeating of his father’s pledge some half a century ago is a testimony of how Sarawak and Sarawakians had been neglected in Malaysia in the past decades although Sarawak was firmly under Barisan Nasional Sarawak rule and control all the time. Read the rest of this entry »

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Four issues of the 11th Sarawak state general election

I want to discuss four issues of the 11th Sarawak state general election.

The first issue is Sarawak Chief Minister after the May 7 Polling Day.

This question is as good as decided on Nomination Day on April 25, because there is no doubt whatsoever that the Sarawak Chief Minister of Sarawak after the May 7 Polling Day will be Adenan Satem and nobody else.

Only the mentally weak or deficient would think that Adenan would not the Sarawak Chief Minister for the next five years.

In Siburan yesterday, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said Adenan should be given five more years as Sarawak Chief Minister and it is not fair if Adenan is only given two years.

I fully agree with Najib and there is no doubt whatsoever that Adenan would be given five more years as Chief Minister of Sarawak. Read the rest of this entry »

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The only way Arul can earn some sympathy from the Malaysian public is for him to come clean and own up to all the frauds in the biggest global scam in Malaysian history – including those committed before his time

The only way for Arul Kanda Kandasamy to earn some sympathy from the Malaysian public is for him to come clean to own up to all the frauds in the biggest global scam in Malaysian history – the RM50 billion 1MDB scandal – including those committed before his time.

It is just not good enough for the 1MDB president to canvas the possibilities of “massive fraud” and “collaboration from our side” over the US$3.5 billion worth of payments made to the “fake” Aabar BVI, when the international news media and whistle-blower website Sarawak Report had been detailing such “massive frauds” and “collaboration” for almost the past year.

Didn’t Arul take the most elementary measures to check on the veracity of these very detailed reports in the international media and Sarawak Report?

Even more important and relevant, why did he defend the integrity and good governance practices of 1MDB in these these cases of “massive frauds” and “collaboration”?

Nor can Arul exonerate himself from being complicit in Malaysia’s mega scam by just washing his hands and quitting his MDB post, protesting that the issues and scandals at the 1MDB scam were not his and “not what I signed up for”. Read the rest of this entry »

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As Zeti Term Ends, Malaysia Poised to Name Central Bank Governor Shamim Adam

by Shamim Adam & Y-Sing Liau
Bloomberg
April 25, 2016

Malaysia’s central bank Governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz has one week to go in the job and investors still don’t know who will replace her.

Zeti is credited by investors with strengthening the credibility and independence of Bank Negara Malaysia in the 16 years she’s been at the helm and the longer Prime Minister Najib Razak drags his feet on announcing a successor, the more market analysts are worrying. It’s something the economy can ill afford with sentiment already under pressure as Najib faces his biggest political crisis since coming to power seven years ago.

“Trepidation is particularly pronounced” given the uncertainty over Zeti’s successor, said Jack Chambers, an economist at Moody’s Analytics Australia Pty Ltd. While the ringgit has gained about 10 percent this year after a 19 percent slump in 2015, a measure of its implied volatility is the highest in Asia. Read the rest of this entry »

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How long can Jho Low disappear or go incognito?

Two days ago, I posed five questions to the “alpha and omega” of Malaysia’s first global financial scandal, Penang-born billionaire Jho Low, but as expected, no answer had been forthcoming.

In the past 48 hours, there had been more world-wide developments in Malaysia’s first global financial scandal, a salutary reminder that in the borderless world of 24/7 era of information, where information travels at the speed of light, it is no more possible for one country to sweep scandals under the carpet, especially when the financial scandal is of global reach and dimension like the RM50 billion 1MDB scandal.

In Malaysia, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak can try to impose a total clamp on all investigations and information about the 1MDB scandal, and even virtually ban discussion on the subject in the highest legislative and political chamber in the land, Parliament, but what is the purpose of such puny national efforts at censorship when the global community and some ten countries are conducting separate investigations related to the 1MDB scandal?

Malaysia’s 1MDB scandal has been described by the influential financial weekly, the Economist, as “an important test of how the world deals with cross-border corruption”, especially after the leaking of the Panama papers – after describing investigations within Malaysia as have been “timid or stymied”.

Such adverse international commentary on the 1MDB scandal a fortnight after the tabling of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Report on 1MDB to Parliament vindicated what I had said right from the beginning – that Najib was wrong in regarding the PAC Report as a “comprehensive, conclusive and definitive report” on 1MDB when it was only the first step to reveal and unveil the full “horrors” of Malaysia’s first global financial scandal. Read the rest of this entry »

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Five questions I would like to ask Jho Low

I said at my 108th parliamentary constituency visit to Tanjong in Penang during my “Pantang Undur – Berani kerana Benar” nation-wide tour yesterday that Penang billionaire Jho Low is the “alpha and omega” of Malaysia’s first global financial scandal, that he probably knows more about the RM50 billion 1MDB and RM4.2 billion ‘donation’ twin mega scandals than the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, and that he should return to Malaysia to appear before the Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) to testify in its unfinished inquiry into the 1MDB scandal.

There are five questions I would like Jho Low to elucidate to the PAC, Parliament and the Malaysian public, viz:

1. How much was spent in the special operations during the 13th General Elections to defeat DAP Secretary-General and Penang Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng, in the Penang State Assembly seat of Air Puteh, when money flowed like water in the constituency with free dinners, free-wheeling angpows, lucky draws and the whole paraphernalia of give-aways to the Air Puteh voters? Was it RM30 million or RM40 million? Did the money come from 1MDB through various bogus off-shore companies? Was he ever investigated by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for corruption and money politics for the special operations in the Air Puteh state assembly seat campaign in the 2013 General Elections? Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia Pays Bigger Premium in Debt Sale as 1MDB Delays Payment

Y-Sing Liau
Bloomberg
April 21, 2016

Malaysia paid a bigger premium to bondholders to own some of its new Islamic debt as a delayed interest payment by its troubled state investment fund weighed on demand.

The government priced $1 billion of 10-year notes at a wider spread than an offering a year ago. The sale, which also included $500 million of 30-year notes, drew $6.3 billion of orders, compared with $9 billion for an issuance of the same size in April 2015.

Malaysia warned investors that it faces as much as $4.5 billion in potential liabilities as government investment company 1Malaysia Development Bhd. remains locked in a dispute with Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund over debt obligations. The disagreement has led to a delay in an interest payment of $50 million on 1MDB bonds, hurting confidence in the sovereign just when the outlook for the oil exporter was improving amid a stabilization in crude and strength in the ringgit.

“The 1MDB risk might have spooked investors’ sentiment this round as it reemerged when the deal was about to close,” said Fakrizzaki Ghazali, a Kuala Lumpur-based strategist at RHB Research Institute Sdn. Read the rest of this entry »

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1MDB gatecrashes party for new Malaysian sukuk

Jackie Horne
Finance Asia
Thursday, 21 April 2016

The Federation of Malaysia returned to the international bond markets on Wednesday with a $1.5 billion wakala sukuk whose success will almost certainly be overshadowed by the gathering storm engulfing state-owned 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

The investment fund faces a cross-default across its $11 billion outstanding debt after one of its guarantors failed this Monday to make a $50 million interest payment on a $1.75 billion note that matures in 2022. It has now entered a grace period, which ends on April 25.

The event forced the government to issue a supplementary note to the preliminary offering circular for its sukuk on Tuesday. It said that non-payment will “constitute an event of default, which could result in acceleration of the 2022 notes and could result in cross-defaults or cross-acceleration of other indebtedness of 1MDB.”

The government added that it is liable for up to M$5.8 billion ($1.5 billion) in guarantees and a further $3 billion through a letter of support to 1MDB, but “does not believe any amounts it would be required to pay with respect of 1MDB’s indebtedness would be material to the government.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Razak critic urges 1MDB findings be publicised

The National
United Arab Emirates
April 20, 2016

A leading critic of Malaysia’s prime minister Najib Razak said corruption had reached levels never seen before in the country and urged foreign governments linked to the controversy surrounding a state investment fund to make their findings public.

1MDB, whose advisory board is chaired by Mr Razak, is under investigation in at least five countries including Switzerland and the US over allegations of money laundering and embezzlement.

Dr Mahathir Mohamad, at one time the country’s longest-serving prime minister, said the investigations into the 1MDB fund were not just a problem for Malaysia.

“Being diplomatic isn’t going to help Malaysia or anyone else,” he said on the sidelines of the International Conference on Leadership, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Dubai yesterday. “They must recognise action needs to be taken and do what is necessary.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Let the four Tan Sris in the Special Task Force on 1MDB respond individually to Ali Rustam’s demand for an apology

Following increasing demands from UMNO quarters that former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir should apologise to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak over his “lie” about Najib’s RM2.6 billion “donation” scandal in the wake of the Saudi Foreign Minister’s controversial remark on the donation, former Malacca Chief Minister Tan Sri Senator Ali Rustam has upped the ante and asked the Special Task Force on Najib’s RM50 billion and RM2.6 billion “donation” twin mega scandals to also apologise.

Utusan Malaysia yesterday reported Ali demanding that the Special Task Force on 1MDB and the RM2.6 billion donation should also apologise, as the Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir had “cleared the air” on the money transferred to the prime minister’s personal bank accounts.
Ali said the formation of the task force created a negative perception, as people had the perception that the Prime Minister had committed wrongdoings.

Ali claimed that the allegations by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ)” were just slander and had tarnished the good name of the Prime Minister and the nation.

Ali said: “This cannot recur. The task force must apologise.”

Ali is both wrong in claiming that the Saudi Foreign Minister had confirmed that the RM2.6 billion donation had come from Saudi Arabian government or that Wall Street Journal reports about the RM2.6 billion donation were just slander of Najib, or Najib would have filed defamation proceedings against WSJ to clear his name.

But he had re-opened a can of worms about the Special Task Force on Najib’s twin mega scandals in demanding an apology from the Special Task Force. Read the rest of this entry »

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Opaque fund faces default, uncertain future

Babu Das Augustine, Banking Editor
Gulf News, Abu Dhabi
April 20, 2016

Massive debt burden seen impacting bond pricing

Dubai: Scandal-hit Malaysian government-owned fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) began as Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA) in 2008, a sovereign wealth fund aimed at ensuring economic development for the state of Terengganu. It was renamed 1Malaysia Development Berhad on January 2009 and made a federal sovereign fund in 2009.

The entity focuses on strategic development projects in the areas of energy, real estate, tourism and agribusiness. The 1MDB fund was founded to invest in new industries and attract foreign investment. While little of that investment occurred, the fund rolled up almost $13 billion (Dh47 billion) in debt, a big chunk from dollar-bond issuances, which today it is having trouble repaying.

While the company faced allegations of lack of transparency in its dealings there have been allegations that Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and his associates benefited from various international and domestic deals. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia Defaults on Payment Deal: Trouble Abounds for Prime Minister

Economy Watch
APRIL 20, 2016

1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a strategic development company that the government of Malaysia owns, defaulted on a $1.1 billion loan from a United Arab Emirates wealth fund. Prime Minister Najib Razak founded 1MDB and has faced a string of corruption allegations surrounding the firm, and critics have called for his resignation. 1MDB is a developmental firm designed to commence infrastructure projects and attract foreign direct investment.

Razak’s development firm is embroiled in complex scandals regarding the outright looting of funds, and the prime minister’s problems are just the beginning as domestic and international investigations ensue.

Razak is directly tied to the scandals, with critics alleging that funds had been withdrawn from the firm and deposited into his account, and he did not do himself any favors by squashing domestic investigations and removing critics from his administration. Investigators allege that over $1 billion entered Razak’s personal accounts, and a great deal of those funds supposedly derived from 1MDB, notes The Wall Street Journal. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib Is a Survivor in Malaysia’s ‘Game of Thrones’

Donald Greenlees
National Interest
April 20, 2016

In the court of domestic and international public opinion, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is guilty of a level of corruption and abuse of office not seen in Southeast Asia since the days of the dictators. Najib’s rule evokes memories of Marcos’ Philippines and Suharto’s Indonesia. The parallels include a family bent on amassing vast wealth.

There is now enough evidence in the public domain to warrant the removal of Najib from office. But will he go?

Najib did consider resigning last year when the scandals over the plundered sovereign wealth fund, 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), split his cabinet according to a source familiar with discussions at the time. The condition Najib set was that he and his wife were granted immunity from prosecution.

But talk of an early departure has now dissipated. It appears likely Najib will try to stay in office and fight for re-election in 2018. Read the rest of this entry »

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1MDB board outrage as US$700m goes to Good Star

Aidila Razak
Malaysiakini
10 Apr 2016

Slightly over half a year since its conception as Terengganu Investment Authority, the now Finance Ministry-owned 1MDB made its first deal – and blunder.

On Sep 30, 2009, it parted with a massive US$1 billion after less than two weeks of due diligence – a whopping US$700 million of which went to an unrelated firm, Jho Low-linked Good Star Limited.

On social media that day, Li Lin Seet, an associate of Low whom Sarawak Report linked to the deal, mentioned feeling “the earth moving”. Eleven days later Li was in Las Vegas, guzzling world’s expensive champagne, Cristal.

Over in Kuala Lumpur, however, the 1MDB board was in a less celebratory mood. Read the rest of this entry »

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PetroSaudi’s US$1 billion ruse

Aidila Razak
Malaysiakini
9 Apr 2016

Barely a month after the Finance Ministry took over Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA), a royal suitor came a-knocking.

On Aug 8, 2009, Prince Turki of Saudi Arabia sent a letter to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to introduce PetroSaudi International chief executive Tarek Obaid.

Tarek proposed a joint venture with the fund, now rebranded 1MDB. The deal – US$1 billion from 1MDB and some questionable “oil wells” in Argentina and Turkmenistan said to belong to PetroSaudi International.

But this was not Tarek’s first introduction to the fund. Read the rest of this entry »

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1MDB’s ‘original sin’ and Jho Low

by Aidila Razak
Malaysiakini
8 Apr 2016

The story of 1MDB begins in 2009, in the oil-rich east coast state of Terengganu. Flushed with this black gold, the state decides to start a sovereign wealth fund so its riches could last for generations and more.

But what transpired between the formation of Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA) on Feb 27, 2009 and the day it was rebranded 1MDB on July 31, 2009 is not the stuff of fairy tales.

Instead, it was a tale of boardroom tussles, menteri besar intervention, royal outrage and a special adviser named Jho Low.

Below is the chronology of events, according to the Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) report on 1MDB tabled at the Dewan Rakyat yesterday. Read the rest of this entry »

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I volunteer my services to Najib to nail the “lie” once and for all, provided he could prove to me that allegations that RM2.6 billion “donation” originated from 1MDB was a lie!

I tweeted “Najib’s strategists world’s dumbest unable to nail a lie!” when I read Malaysiakini’s report “PM’s aide: RM2.6b came from 1MDB a lie by Mahathir” last evening.

When Malaysiakini uploaded the Bernama report “Senators urge Mahathir to apologise to Najib”, it confirmed that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has a most dim-witted team of strategists, lacking nimbleness of wit and mind or the ability to improvise on-the-run, but continuing to expect UMNO/BN Ministers, leaders and MPs to follow a script which had already been discredited and should have been chucked into the garbage can.

Najib may have among the world’s highest-paid professionals in his propaganda and psychological warfare team, but what could they produce when they are headed by loud-mouthed and low-IQ czars for strategic media communications? Read the rest of this entry »

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Cost of Insuring Malaysian Bonds Climbs on 1MDB Worries

by Jake Maxwell Watts
Wall Street Journal
April 19, 2016

The cost of insuring five-year Malaysian government bonds rose to $164.20 on Tuesday

SINGAPORE—The cost of insuring against losses on Malaysian government bonds rose Tuesday on concerns that the national government could be on the hook for billions of dollars of debt owed by state development fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd.

The state fund, which is the focus of corruption probes in at least seven countries, has almost $13 billion in debt it is struggling to repay. 1MDB has denied wrongdoing and says it is cooperating with investigations.

A dispute made public this week between 1MDB and the Abu Dhabi guarantor of some of its debt, International Petroleum Investment Company, has put the future of a debt-workout agreement in doubt and in turn has shaken investors who fear the Malaysian government may need to step in.

The cost of insuring five-year Malaysian government bonds rose to $164.20 on Tuesday, up from $160.18 at Monday’s close and 9.7% more expensive than at Friday’s close before the dispute became public. The bond prices themselves were little changed, with the five-year yield at 3.42% on Tuesday, from 3.41% a day earlier. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia faces bailout question after $1 billion spat with Abu Dhabi fund

By Saeed Azhar and Umesh Desai
Reuters
EuroNews
19/04/2016

(Reuters) – The Malaysian government on Tuesday was facing the prospect of having to bail out the scandal-tainted state fund 1MDB, after a $4.6 billion (£3.2 billion) debt deal with an Abu Dhabi sovereign fund collapsed this week.

The International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) said on Monday that 1Malaysia Development Berhad’s (1MDB) had failed to make a $1.1 billion payment, and so was terminating last June’s debt deal.

“The government wouldn’t want to risk having a default on its books, so if it came down to it, they would want to keep a clean record,” said Krystal Tan, a Singapore-based economist at research firm Capital Economics, talking about risk of a bailout for 1MDB.

Any government intervention would pile more pressure on Prime Minister Najib Razak, who founded 1MDB and is on its advisory board. He has faced calls to step down over allegations of graft and mismanagement at the fund.

“It’s (agreement with IPIC) failure not only now places 1MDB itself at risk, but now involves a bailout by the Ministry of Finance,” opposition leader Tony Pua said in a statement.

The Malaysian finance ministry is the sole shareholder of 1MDB. Read the rest of this entry »

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