Archive for category Najib Razak
Paul Low – where were you when the table was turned, the hunters become the hunted as the Special Task Force probing 1MDB was displaced by a Police Probe on 1MDB Special Task Force?
The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Paul Low has vowed to protect the officers of the multi-agency Special Task Force investigating 1MDB, coming from the four key agencies of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), the Royal Malaysian Police and the Attorney-General’s Chamber (AGC).
He said he had been brought into the federal cabinet specifically to promote good governance and to strengthen transparency and accountability in the government, and in line with this mandate, he assured the public that he would continue to stand firm in protecting these institutions and their respective officers, and will see to it that they are allowed to conduct the investigations until a satisfactory conclusion is reached.
Tragically, Paul Low was completely impotent when the key officials and the multi-agencies of the Special Task Force investigating 1MDB came under assault, with the most important officer, the Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail himself sacked suddenly and summarily, while key institutions like the AGC, MACC and BNM were humbled and intimidated, with the arrest of a former MACC adviser and an officer from AGC by the police today.
Where was Paul Low after making the vow to protect Special Task Force officers? Read the rest of this entry »
Is former AG Gani Patail a free man, and if so, why he could not appear in public to explain truth or otherwise of alleged draft corruption charge sheet against Najib?
The newly-minted Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali has dismissed the purported draft of a corruption charge sheet against Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak published on whistleblower website Sarawak Report as false.
When the new Attorney-General could not say a simple “Yes” or “No” whether Gani, who had served as Attorney-General for nearly 13 years and was only about two months away from Oct. 6 when he is reaches 60 years and mandatory retirement, was summarily sacked as AG on Tuesday on July 28, 2015, Apandi is telling all Malaysians that he is capable of varnishing the truth, quibbling and equivocating instead of telling “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth”!
Under these circumstances, Apandi’s denial must be taken with a pinch of salt until and unless he could produce the former AG, Gani Patail, to publicly explain the circumstances and the truth or otherwise of the draft corruption charge sheet against Najib. Read the rest of this entry »
Will there be some 20 UMNO MPs and 20 BN MPs from Sabah and Sarawak prepared to join with some 80 MPs from DAP, PKR and Gerakan Harapan Baru to form a new coalition government with a new Prime Minister with new policies to save Malaysia from becoming a failed state?
It is becoming a popular refrain from top government circles in the past few days alleging that there is an international conspiracy plotting the toppling of a serving Prime Minister by “criminalizing” him, as if the Najib government is preparing the ground for a new dragnet of arrests, using Section 124 of the Penal Code on the new-fangled crime of “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy” which can send a person convicted for the offence to jail for up to 20 years.
The latest person to join in this government chorus is none other than the new Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamad Apandi Ali who, in his fourth day as the top law officer of the government early this morning, dismissed the purported draft of a corruption charge sheet against the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak by former Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail, published on whistleblower website Sarawak Report, as false.
Apandi went on to declare that the alleged draft corruption charge against Najib point to “a conspiracy to topple a serving prime minister by criminalising him” and warning “stern action against the perpetrators” as “the full force of the law will be applied without exception on any that are found guilty”.
In fact, more than a dozen names have been circulated in the social media in the past few days of persons from the press, Parliament, the “special task force” on the 1MDB which is a multi-agency constituted by Bank Negara Malaysia, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the Royal Malaysian Police and the Attorney-General’s Chambers alleging that they are going to be picked up in the crackdown on these plotters of the international conspiracy to “criminalise” Datuk Seri Najib Razak and to topple the elected Prime Minister of Malaysia – and it really surprises me that the Inspector-General of Police who have been issuing all sorts of warnings to various quarters in the social media seems to be blissfully unaware of such sites and their activities.
This is why in the past two days, I had specifically asked whether Malaysia is on the brink of a “new Dark Age” and another round of attacks on the independence, integrity and professionalism of the national institutions which had suffered and had not fully recovered from the earlier round of attacks on the national institutions in the country. Read the rest of this entry »
Is the sacking of AG and DPM a multiple attack on the national institutions including the Press, Parliament, the 1MDB “special task force” comprising AGC, BNM, MACC and Police to save Najib from the 1MDB scandal?
The past 72 hours have deepened the mystery and national foreboding about the sacking of the Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Othman, the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the Minister for Rural and Regional Development, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal.
The question that is looming ever larger is whether the sackings represented a prelude to a multiple attack on the national institutions including the press, Parliament, the 1MDB “special task force” comprising the Attorney-General’s Chambers, Bank Negara Malaysia, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency and the Royal Malaysian Police to save the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak from the 1MDB scandal.
The latest political hurricane started with the totally unacceptable reason for the sudden and summary sacking on Tuesday of Gani as Attorney-General who had served as the first legal officer of the Crown for 13 years and two months short of retirement on reaching 60 years old, on the ridiculous ground of “health reasons”. Read the rest of this entry »
Patrick Wintour Political editor in Kuala Lumpur
Thursday 30 July 2015
Najib Razak asked by Cameron about imprisonments of political opponents and allegations he misused $700m of government money
David Cameron has pressed the Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak over claims he has imprisoned his political opponents and taken government money for personal gain, at a private meeting between the two men in Kuala Lumpur.
In a meeting at Najib’s residence, Cameron also urged his Malaysian counterpart to accept the importance of a free press, the need for ethics in business, and the fight against corruption. He stressed the importance of an open economy and open society.
Cameron has made the fight against corruption a key theme of his four-day trade mission to south-east Asia, and the British prime minister had arrived in Malaysia in the week in which corruption claims prompted Najib to sack both the attorney general, who had been investigating him, and his own deputy, who had been a prominent critic. Read the rest of this entry »
By Matthew Holehouse, Kuala Lumpur
30 Jul 2015
The Prime Minister urged Mr Razak to clean up his government and challenged the treatment of Anwar Ibrahim, the country’s opposition leader in jail
David Cameron has confronted Najib Razak, the Malaysian prime minister, over the deepening corruption scandal that threatens to bring down his government.
Allegations that $700 million (£450 million) in state development funds ended up in Mr Najib’s personal bank accounts overshadowed a visit by the Prime Minister designed to build trade ties.
During a long, one-to-one meeting, Mr Cameron on Thursday urged Mr Najib to clean up his government.
In a pointed move, he then met with civil society leaders, including journalists, the G25 group of campaigners and lawyers, who are campaigning for greater democracy and a free press.
Mr Cameron also challenged Mr Najib over the treatment of Anwar Ibrahim, the opposition leader in jail on sodomy charges. Read the rest of this entry »
30th July 2015
The hasty top-level reshuffle by Malaysia’s embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak in the wake of a corruption scandal will do little to encourage foreign investment amid an already tense political backdrop and a sustained currency crisis, analysts warn.
Announced on Tuesday, the Cabinet reshuffle involved the sacking of Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin after he called on Najib to explain the controversy surrounding a Wall Street Journal (WSJ)report earlier this month that revealed nearly $700 million from quasi-sovereign wealth fund One Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) was deposited into the Prime Minister’s personal bank accounts. The accusation is particularly explosive given that 1MDB is in debt to the tune of $11 billion.
The Prime Minister has denied accepting money for personal gain and is reportedly considering a defamation lawsuit against the WSJ.
Tuesday’s reshuffle also saw cabinet posts given to four senior members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) – the group overseeing the 1MDB parliamentary investigation. Read the rest of this entry »
Channel News Asia
30th July 2015
Amid sackings, step-downs and new appointments following the 1MDB saga, Channel NewsAsia’s Insight explores the prime minister’s motivation and game plan.
KUALA LUMPUR: In the weeks since the Wall Street Journal reported on the investigation of Malaysia’s troubled state wealth fund, 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), significant cabinet changes have been made by Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Amid allegations that US$700 million (RM$2.7 billion) from companies linked with 1MDB was transferred to the prime minister’s account, Mr Najib on Monday sacked his deputy prime minister, Mr Muhyiddin Yassin, following his public remarks on the ongoing investigation.
On Tuesday, Malaysia’s Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail had his tenure terminated with immediate effect, citing health reasons. Mr Patail, who headed the special task force investigating the allegations concerning 1MDB, suffers from a kidney ailment and was set to retire in October.
As electoral reform group, Bersih, demands Mr Najib’s resignation, analysts speaking to Channel NewsAsia’s Insight try to make sense of Najib’s game plan, his motivations, and what is in store for the Malaysian prime minister and his party. Read the rest of this entry »
As David Cameron arrives to talk trade, Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak’s bank accounts, his wife’s handbags and her son’s Hollywood deals are making the headlines
By Philip Sherwell, Asia Editor
30 Jul 2015
David Cameron might have hoped that his few final hours in Malaysia at the end of a four-day, four-state whirlwind trade tour of South East Asia would have been the chance to start winding down before heading home.
Instead, he finds himself flying in to a deepening controversy on Thursday as a multi-million dollar scandal engulfs his host Najib Razak, the prime minister of the former British colony.
Nor is it just Mr Najib who is under attack from his foes in Malaysia amid allegations that he ended up with $700 million in his personal accounts from a state investment bank that he founded.
The Malaysian leader’s wife Rosmah Mansor has been derided for her alleged penchant for luxury and free-spending ways – claims that her husband has dismissed as political assaults.
And Riza Aziz, her son from her first marriage and Mr Najib’s step-son, is also a staple in the gossip as well as financial pages.
He has emerged as a major Hollywood film producer with multi-million property deals in Manhattan and Los Angeles since becoming close friends with a Malaysian playboy investor during their education in London. Read the rest of this entry »
Jul 30th 2015 | SINGAPORE | Asia
Najib Razak sacks five ministers, including his deputy
HOW many lousy weeks comprise an annus horribilis? If current conditions continue, Najib Razak, Malaysia’s prime minister, will find out. For months Mr Najib has been buffeted by allegations of corruption at a state investment fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), which he set up six years ago. Earlier this month the Wall Street Journal reported that some $700m from companies associated with 1MDB was paid into what investigators believe are his personal bank accounts. (Mr Najib vigorously denies any wrongdoing.)
On Monday Mr Najib seemed to get a rare bit of good news: Malaysia was bumped up from the bottom to second-to-last of four tiers in America’s Trafficking in Persons report, which ranks governments on their efforts to combat people smuggling. But he did not get to enjoy that news for long. Critics pointed out that, earlier this year, graves were discovered in traffickers’ camps near Malaysia’s border with Thailand, and just this week reports emerged alleging that migrants were forced to work without pay on palm-oil plantations. Some believe that the elevation stemmed not from actual efforts to fight trafficking, but from America’s desire to pass smoothly the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free-trade deal currently being negotiated among a dozen Pacific countries including Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »
JUL 28, 2015
These days, feeling that the press is no longer marching to his tune, Mahathir communicates to the world through a blog, Chedet.com – a name taken, he tells me, from a childhood nickname conferred upon him by his sisters.
It is a consistently strident piece of work, as one would expect, with a tag-line: “Blogging to unblock”. In it, until recently beneath the incongruous herald of a pizza delivery ad, he rails against the issues of the day, from Kuala Lumpur traffic to intervention in Syria, from the nature of modern Islam to racial polarization and the endless question of the Malaysian national car. The English language entries alone in the second half of 2014 have taken on deforestation and the logging trade, the nature of state education, monetary handouts and national economics, ISIS, American foreign policy, British jihadists, the bombing of Gaza, Malaysian tourism, Formula One, the privatization of Malaysian Airlines, censorship of the internet, the Jews and the history of Israel, the oil price, the nature of an Islamic state, and Joe Biden (a piece that concludes: “America is a land stolen from the Red Indians through genocide. Americans should really bow their heads down in shame forever”).
They take an ordered, numbered form, not always reaching an obvious conclusion but never short of a boisterous opinion. Thus does Mahathir put his country and faith to rights, shouting not from a rooftop but from a desktop, to the masses of the net. The top-flight Malay establishment tolerates him politely, accepting the voice of a man who is part of much of their history even if no longer directly relevant to its present. Read the rest of this entry »
– Greg Lopez
The Malaysian Insider
30 July 2015
The president of Umno is always the prime minister of Malaysia. It is Umno who decides who becomes the prime minister. Leadership crisis in Umno always has serious implications to national leadership and Malaysia.
The leadership crisis within Umno occurs almost every decade. The outcomes of these leadership crises are balanced as the context is important in determining the survival of the incumbent.
The first leadership crisis happened almost as soon as Umno was established.
Leaders from Umno’s Islamic Department left in 1951 to form the Pan Malaysian Islamic Party of Tanah Melayu, now known as the Pan Malaysian Islamic Party or PAS. Read the rest of this entry »
Is Apandi as the new Attorney-General going to be Najib’s hatchet man to usher a new dark age subjecting national institutions to a second wave of attacks or will he be sentinel to ensure an “enlightened and democratic” Malaysia
The first statement of the new Attorney-General, Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali is to justify the removal of his predecessor Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail as constitutional and according to law.
Apandi said his predecessor’s rank is not reduced in any way. Are we having two Attorney-Generals in Malaysia – Apandi with all the powers and perks of the office, and Gani, enjoying all the perks but not the powers of Attorney-General?
Apandi said Article 145(6) of the Federal Constitution requiring the setting up of a tribunal for the dismissal of the Attorney-General in the like manner for the removal of a Federal Court judge does not apply, relying fully on Article 145(5) that states that the Attorney-General holds office at the pleasure of the Yang di Pertuan Agong.
I will leave it to the lawyers to address nettlesome question whether Gani’s sudden and summary sacking as Attorney-General on Monday is constitutional or not.
However, in an era when the Government knows best is over, which Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had fully acknowledged when he became Prime Minister more than six years ago, Malaysians are entitled to a full explanation why Gani had been treated so shabbily and humiliatingly that he had been sacked suddenly and summarily after serving for nearly 13 years as AG and will retire in two months’ time on Oct. 6 when he celebrates his 60th birthday.
Gani would not have been taken by surprise by his termination as Attorney-General on Monday if he had applied for early retirement.
Wasn’t he entitled to the basic courtesy of being informed that his tenure as Attorney-General was being terminated, if “health problems” were the real reasons for the termination? Read the rest of this entry »
by BINOY KAMPMARK
JULY 28, 2015
He is, like many of his colleagues in the United Malays National Organisation (Umno), a stubborn barnacle. The Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has struggled cleaning up the mess that ensued after revelations that he has been effectively ransacking the Malaysian state during his time in office. Pity a country with natural resources, and government policies that pride connections over industry; sleeping partners over industrious ones.
The so-called 1MBD revelations have done much to tarnish, and possibly sink Najib in the kleptocratic maelstrom. The 1Malaysia Development Bhd, Fund or 1MDB, has been riddled with rotten apples, and there always was a looming question as to whether one of them came from the PM’s office. Najib, for one, founded the body while heading its board of advisors. During the course of his stewardship, the government investment fund accumulated a weighty $11 billion in debt. Promised ventures have not taken place: the failure to develop the Tun Razak Exchange project, and the lack of promised contributions from partners.
After some investigative digging on the part of the Sarawak Report and Wall Street Journal, a link was supposedly established between Najib’s personal accounts held at AmPrivate Banking in Kuala Lumpur and the 1MDB money trail. Amounts totalling $US681,999,976 (RM2.6 billion in local currency) was wired from the Singapore branch of the Swiss Falcon private bank owned by Abu Dhabi fund Aabar into the AMBank account on March 2013 ahead of the General election. Such is the nature of “strategic partnerships”.
Then came the amount of RM42 million stemming from the notorious SRC International Sdn Bhd, another company with links to 1MDB. The money also happened it find itself in Najib’s accounts and came from unaccounted funds provided by the public pension fund KWAP.
The exposure has produced more than a flutter in Malaysian politics. Malaysiakini mocked the prime minister’s reaction to questions on the scandal as he left an open house gathering with former prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi: “Okay lah.” Read the rest of this entry »
East Asia Forum
29 July 2015
At least embattled Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is right about one thing. The current mess in Malaysian politics is the making of his greatest nemesis, Mahathir Mohamad, who led the Southeast Asian nation with an iron fist from 1981–2003. What Najib fails to fathom is that Mahathir has not produced this mess by criticising his leadership, but by paving Najib’s path to power in the fashion he did during his decades in office. Mahathir may believe that he can end the crisis by bringing Najib down. But history should judge Mahathir himself as the author of a long national decline that has culminated in this latest crisis.
To be sure, Najib’s fingerprints are all over the current mess. The proximate source of the crisis has been the collapse of Najib’s pet sovereign-investment company, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). This has caused Malaysia’s stock market and currency, the ringgit, to plummet in turn. All this has transpired amid credible allegations that the prime minister siphoned an eye-popping US$700 million into his personal bank account.
But this road toward ruin commenced with Mahathir, not Najib. Read the rest of this entry »
July 28, 2015
Washington is having serious trouble finding dependable allies in Southeast Asia
The U.S.’s “rebalancing” toward Asia has two main pillars: being a counterweight to China and securing a free-trade deal called the Trans-Pacific Partnership. If Washington is to succeed on both fronts, it needs as many friends in the region as it can win. The U.S.’s newest ally is Malaysia, this year’s chair of the 10-member Association of Southeast Nation, collectively a growing market, and, on the surface, a modern, democratic, Muslim country. In April 2014 U.S. President Barack Obama paid an official visit to Malaysia, the first sitting President to do so in decades, and, later in the year, played golf with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak when both were on holiday in Honolulu. This November, Kuala Lumpur will host the next East Asia Summit and Obama is due to attend.
But recently, all the news coming out of Malaysia is negative. After becoming embroiled in a corruption scandal, Najib on Tuesday sacked his deputy and Malaysia’s attorney general in an apparent purge of critics. British Prime Minister David Cameron is facing a domestic backlash for pushing forward with a visit to Kuala Lumpur this week despite the snowballing controversy. Here are five reasons why Obama might want to break from Cameron by giving Najib a wide berth. Read the rest of this entry »
– Shahrul Yusof
The Malaysian Insider
28 July 2015
I remember it was in early September 1998, when TV3 broke the news about then prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad sacking his deputy, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
It was during my summer holiday and I was back home with my family. Immediately after that I rang my friend Yazid in the UK and told him about the news.
Surprised he certainly was, and immediately conveyed the message to my other friends who were in England, and within a few days news reached everyone in the mosque there.
Six hours ago, I woke up at 6am in Manchester and grabbed my phone and to my surprise, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was out.
My Facebook timeline flashing with news after news about the sacking. Here in the UK, at the same time, Malaysian’s were already in chapter 4 of the chronological discussions, and it was less than an hour after Najib’s press statement. Read the rest of this entry »
by Greg Earl
Australian Financial Review
29 July 2015
Malaysia was once the beacon of modernity in post-colonial south-east Asia, but it is now increasingly at the front line of an unnerving decline in government stability across the region, with Thailand under persistent military rule, Myanmar winding back an open election and Indonesia turning distinctly economic nationalist.
And, after sacking his independent-minded deputy on Tuesday, Prime Minister Najib Razak is looking a lot like Monty Python’s Black Knight as he refuses to acknowledge that his country is facing big questions over its ability to deal with corruption scandals.
He’s now sacked the man who might have replaced him, removed the minister overseeing an investigation getting too close to home, closed the country’s most innovative newspaper and is threatening to sue The Wall Street Journal just when US officials are doing their best to keep Malaysia inside the planned Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade zone. And that’s not counting dismissing the relentless campaign by former strongman Mahathir Mohamad to tear down all his successors.
But reshuffling his ministry on Tuesday to neuter potential rivals and a corruption investigation, Najib scarcely even conceded a flesh wound. Read the rest of this entry »
Khairie Hisyam Aliman
Malay Mail Online
July 27, 2015
JULY 27 — On Sunday, Barisan Nasional strategic communications director Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan published a 26-point comment on his Facebook page on the suspension of The Edge and the scandal around 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
In that posting Datuk Abdul Rahman, also the federal housing minister, makes a long argument for the suspension and other things. You can read it here.
But the heart of the current scandal remains simple.
As BN’s strategic communications director Datuk Abdul Rahman would surely be strategically well aware of the best and most strategic question to strategically answer in order to strategically kill most of the speculation going around on the current scandal, which has evolved beyond just 1MDB.
Did RM2.6 billion in money, not units, make its way to personal bank accounts belonging to the prime minister as alleged by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ)?
That’s all we need to know first and foremost. We don’t need yet to hear about what the money was or was not used for, if the transfer happened. Nor do we need yet to hear about whether there was personal gain involved, if the transfer happened. Just yes or no for starters. Read the rest of this entry »
Why are the lawyers in Cabinet silent about Gani’s sacking as Attorney-General when it is patently unconstitutional and an affront’s to Malaysia’s commitment to uphold the rule of law
Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin accepts that it is the Prime Minister’s prerogative to sack the Deputy Prime Minister and to remove any Minister from the Cabinet.
It is for the court of public opinion and history to judge whether the Prime Minister had made a colossal political blunder or had made a brilliant political move.
But has the Prime Minister the prerogative to sack the Attorney-General, the highest legal officer of the land, on his whims and fancies without regard to due process?
The answer must be a firm “No”, for Article 145(6) of the Malaysian Constitution makes it very clear that the Attorney-General “shall not be removed from office, except on the like grounds and in the like manner as a judge of the Federal Court” and Article 125(3) lays down the procedure for the removal of a Federal Court judge, which requires the equivalent of a judicial tribunal to adjudicate his removal whether on the ground of breach of the code of ethics or of inability, from infirmity of body or mind or any other cause, properly to discharge the functions of his office.
The immediate and instant sacking of Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail as Attorney-General, in the manner of the announcement yesterday morning by the Chief Secretary to the Government, Tan Sri Dr. Ali Hamsa without Gani even knowing about it beforehand is clearly unconstitutional and an affront to a country which upholds constitutionalism and the rule of law. Read the rest of this entry »