Archive for category Najib Razak
By RICHARD C. PADDOCK
New York Times
JULY 22, 2016
BANGKOK — A United States Justice Department complaint filed in federal court this week directly contradicts repeated assertions by the Malaysian prime minister, Najib Razak, about the origins and purpose of hundreds of millions of dollars that ended up in his personal bank accounts.
While Mr. Najib and other Malaysian officials have insisted that the money was a gift from an unidentified Saudi donor, the Justice Department said that it was stolen from a Malaysian government investment fund that Mr. Najib oversaw. Mr. Najib has said he never received any money from the fund.
The court filing, one of several complaints filed Wednesday in a federal money-laundering investigation, provides the first official public documentation of transactions that challenge Mr. Najib’s version of events in a scandal that has battered his government for the past year.
The revelations could undermine his credibility and give new ammunition to a movement to force him from office. However, he maintains firm control over his governing party and has successfully stifled opposition with the firing of critics from party posts, the closing of online news outlets and the criminal prosecution of social media detractors and political opponents. Read the rest of this entry »
The 136-page US DOJ suit to recover more than US$1 billion 1MDB-linked assets under US Kleptocracy Assets Recovery Initiative 2010 fully vindicated my April comments that PAC Report on 1MDB was only “tip of the iceberg”
The 136-page United States Department of Justice (DO)’s legal suit to recover more than US$1 billion 1MDB-linked assets under the US Kleptocracy Assets Recovery Initiative 2010 has fully vindicated my April comments that the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Report on 1MDB scandal dealt only the “tip of the iceberg”.
In my media statement on April 8, 2016, the day after the PAC Report was tabled in Parliament without the Auditor-General’s Report on 1MDB although it was an integral part of the PAC Report and proceedings, I said the PAC Report had not laid to rest or rebut in any manner international perceptions that Malaysia had become one of the world’s top nations in global corruption.
I said: “In fact, the PAC report will only confirm these international perceptions and doubts, which is why the 1MDB scandal is the subject of separate investigations by half a dozen countries, including the subject of the US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ) under the US Kleptocracy Assets Recovery Initiative, and none of them will halt investigations because of the PAC Report.”
I said at the time that what was important was the “next step” – “how to probe further than just the ‘tip of of the iceberg’ – a job which other countries of the world will do if Malaysians themselves are not up to it to get to the bottom of the truth of the 1MDB scandal, which will be to the eternal shame of Malaysia!”
My brutal forecast has come to pass. Read the rest of this entry »
Although never intended to be taken seriously, the speculation sparked by the US Department of Justice’s (DOJ) legal suit to seize more than US$1 billion assets stolen from 1MDB about the identity of the kingpin of the 1MDB scandal, described merely as “Malaysian Official 1”, included the lighted-hearted one as to whether I could be “Malaysian Official 1”.
But this is a very serious matter, involving the country’s honour and international reputation.
Let me clearly and formally declare that I am not the “Malaysian Official 1.”
Will the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak similarly state his position – to formally deny it or confirm whether he is referred to as “Malaysian Official 1” and if the latter, what he proposes to do about the DOJ action. Read the rest of this entry »
Call for Special Parliament meeting before National Day to establish an International Royal Commission of Inquiry into Najib’s RM55 billion 1MDB and RM4.2 billion “donation” mega scandals to regain world respect for Malaysia as country which upholds rule of law and serious about national integrity
The thirty minutes of the live streaming of the press conference of the United States Attorney-General Loretta E. Lynch, accompanied by other top US officials including Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker of the Central District of California, FBI Deputy Director Andrew G. McCabe and others at Malaysian time 11.30 pm last night on the invocation of the US Kleptocracy Assets Recovery Initiative to recover more than $1 billion obtained from corruption involving the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund, 1MDB, had been the most shameful, humiliating and mortifying experience for me as a Malaysian, and I believe for all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region, who love Malaysia and wants Malaysia to be respected all over the world.
Imagine, Malaysians who have dignity and pride about their nation, having to listen the US Attorney-General Lynch telling the whole world:
“The Department of Justice will not allow the American financial system to be used as a conduit for corruption.
“With this action, we are seeking to forfeit and recover funds that were intended to grow the Malaysian economy and support the Malaysian people. Instead, they were stolen, laundered through American financial institutions and used to enrich a few officials and their associates. Corrupt officials around the world should make no mistake that we will be relentless in our efforts to deny them the proceeds of their crimes. ”
Or the US Assistant Attorney-General Caldwell who said:
“According to the allegations in the complaints, this is a case where life imitated art.The associates of these corrupt 1MDB officials are alleged to have used some of the illicit proceeds of their fraud scheme to fund the production of The Wolf of Wall Street, a movie about a corrupt stockbroker who tried to hide his own illicit profits in a perceived foreign safe haven. But whether corrupt officials try to hide stolen assets across international borders – or behind the silver screen – the Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that there is no safe haven.”
Or US Attorney Decker who said: “Stolen money that is subsequently used to purchase interests in music companies, artwork or high-end real estate is subject to forfeiture under U.S. law. … All of us are committed to sending a message that we will not allow the United States to become a playground for the corrupt, a platform for money laundering or a place to hide and invest stolen riches.”
Or the FBI Deputy Director McCabe who said: “The United States will not be a safe haven for assets stolen by corrupt foreign officials. Public corruption, no matter where it occurs, is a threat to a fair and competitive global economy. The FBI is committed to working with our foreign and domestic partners to identify and return these stolen assets to their legitimate owners, the Malaysian people.”
Or Richard Weber of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) who said:
“Today’s announcement underscores the breadth of the alleged corruption and money laundering related to the 1MDB fund. We cannot allow the massive, brazen and blatant diversion of billions of dollars to be laundered through U.S. financial institutions without consequences.”
I believe many Malaysians share my shame and sorrow last night that the good name of the country, diligently built up generations of patriotic Malaysians in the past six decades, have been brought so low as to be equated with the most corrupt and the most heinous of global embezzlement, money-laundering and corruption, catapulting Malaysia to one of the top nations in the world in the league of global corruption. Read the rest of this entry »
David J Lynch in Washington
Van Gogh paintings, Beverly Hills properties and the rights to profits from the hit movie The Wolf of Wall Street were among $1bn in assets US prosecutors moved to seize on Wednesday as part of a sprawling anti-money laundering investigation into Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund.
In one of the largest seizures in US history, federal law enforcement agents also appeared to link Najib Razak, Malaysia’s prime minister, to a web of corrupt officials receiving stolen funds.
The US justice department case represents the most detailed and sweeping allegations to be brought in the multinational probe into a global scheme to siphon more than $3.5bn from the Malaysian government fund, known as 1MDB.
It is also the first time Mr Najib has been officially tied to the scandal. Mr Najib is not identified by name in court documents but the description of a “Malaysian Official 1” matches his biography and job responsibilities. On several occasions, that official received funds misappropriated from 1MDB, prosecutors say. Mr Najib has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. Read the rest of this entry »
By BRADLEY HOPE and TOM WRIGHT
Wall Street Journal
July 20, 2016
In 1MDB lawsuit, Justice Department trying to seize more than $1 billion in assets
U.S. prosecutors have linked the prime minister of Malaysia, a key American ally in Asia, to hundreds of millions of dollars allegedly siphoned from one of the country’s economic development funds, according to a civil lawsuit seeking the seizure of more than $1 billion of assets from other people connected to him.
The assets, purchased by the stepson of Prime Minister Najib Razak and other persons connected to the fund, include high-end real estate and hotel properties in New York City, Los Angeles and London, artwork by Vincent van Gogh and Claude Monet, and a $35 million jet. They also include rights to the 2013 film “The Wolf of Wall Street,” the civil-forfeiture complaints say.
Mr. Najib isn’t named in the filings, which were made public Wednesday, and he isn’t directly accused by U.S. prosecutors of any wrongdoing. But there are 32 references in the complaint to “Malaysian Official 1,” who allegedly received hundreds of millions of dollars in funds siphoned from 1Malaysia Development Bhd. Read the rest of this entry »
US billion-dollar action by US DOJ to seize 1MDB-related assets proof that Malaysia is careening down the slope of failed and rogue state which must be stopped by all patriotic Malaysians
I am reminded of the first SSS Lge (Support, Sympathy, Solidarity with Lim Guan Eng) campaign 19 years ago when Guan Eng was disqualified as Member of Parliament and jailed for 18 months for defending the dignity and human rights of an under-aged Malay girl.
In that period, Guan Eng was first imprisoned and Anwar Ibrahim attended one of the SSS Lge ceramahs together with his wife Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and his daughter Nurul Izzah, before Anwar was himself imprisoned.
This time, Anwar is in prison and there are people who want Guan Eng to be jailed for one, two, three or even five years.
The common thread of the SSS Lge campaign and the SSS Lge 2.0 campaign spanning a period of some two decades is the need to change the system of governance to ensure that the national institutions in the country are independent, efficient and professional in upholding the values of justice and integrity.
What happened at the other of the world, which has a 12-hour time differential with Malaysia, illustrates the need for the change of our system of governance. Read the rest of this entry »
By LOUISE STORY
New York Times
JULY 20, 2016
The United States government plans to move Wednesday to seize more than $1 billion in assets purchased with money that it believes was stolen from a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund by people close to the country’s embattled prime minister.
Hidden in the United States in real estate, art and other luxury goods, the money was embezzled from the fund and moved around the world using secretive shell companies that masked its trail, a person familiar with the Justice Department plan said.
The $1 billion that prosecutors will allege was laundered in the United States is but a portion of the billions that international investigators suspect was siphoned off by high-level officials at the fund and their associates. The fund — called 1Malaysia Development Berhad, or 1MDB — is overseen by the prime minister, Najib Razak, and has become a focus of rising popular discontent with Mr. Najib’s government amid several investigations at home and abroad.
The forfeiture complaint, to be issued by a unit known as the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative, will be the largest such case brought by the Justice Department. The United States is among several governments, including Malaysia, Singapore and Switzerland, that have investigated the fund. Read the rest of this entry »
Did the Cabinet this morning discuss the breaking news of the WSJ report that the US authorities are set to seize assets linked to 1MDB “in the largest asset seizure in US history” in the war against global corruption?
Did the Cabinet this morning discuss the breaking news at about noon Malaysian time of the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report that the US authorities are set to seize assets linked to 1MDB “in the largest asset seizure in US history” in the war against global corruption?
This seizure, under the US Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative, is expected to exceed the previous record of US$850 million in assets which the US authorities sought to seize from three telecom firms in an unrelated case.
Citing sources, WSJ said the Justice Department’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative is expected to file civil lawsuits seeking to seize the assets as soon as Wednesday morning in the US.
It claimed the seizure will involve properties and other assets bought with “money allegedly misappropriated from the Malaysian fund.” Read the rest of this entry »
Shamim Adam and Laurence Arnold
July 20, 2016
Malaysia’s state-owned investment fund, 1MDB, was supposed to attract foreign investment. Instead, it has spurred criminal and regulatory investigations around the world that have cast an unflattering spotlight on financial deal-making, election spending and political patronage under Prime Minister Najib Razak. A Malaysian parliamentary committee identified at least $4.2 billion in irregular transactions.
1. What is 1MDB?
It’s a government investment company — full name, 1Malaysia Development Berhad — that took shape in 2009 under Najib, who went on to lead its advisory board. Its early initiatives included buying privately owned power plants and planning a new financial district in Kuala Lumpur. The fund proved better at borrowing — it accumulated $12 billion in debt — than at luring large-scale investment.
2. What’s the issue?
Investigators have been trying to trace whether money might have flowed through and around 1MDB and illegally into personal accounts. Some of the money is alleged to have ended up with Najib and his family. That includes $681 million that landed in the prime minister’s personal bank account, according to the Wall Street Journal. Najib has denied wrongdoing, and Malaysia’s attorney general said the $681 million was a donation from the Saudi Arabian royal family, much of which was returned. Another $700 million in 1MDB funds meant for a joint venture with a company known as PetroSaudi International was found to have landed in an unrelated offshore account. Read the rest of this entry »
By BRADLEY HOPE
Wall Street Journal
July 20, 2016
Authorities are expected to file civil lawsuits as soon as Wednesday
Federal prosecutors are poised to launch one of the largest asset seizures in U.S. history as they step up their investigation into billions of dollars siphoned away from a Malaysian government investment fund, according to people familiar with the matter.
Authorities are expected to file civil lawsuits as soon as Wednesday morning seeking to seize assets, which are expected to include properties and other assets purchased with money allegedly misappropriated from the Malaysian fund, according to people familiar with the matter.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that people linked to the fund have invested millions of dollars in real estate and businesses in the U.S.
Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s international corruption unit have also been conducting a wide-ranging criminal investigation into people and institutions connected with 1Malaysia Development Bhd., known as 1MDB, a sovereign-wealth fund set up by Prime Minister Najib Razak in 2009 to drive the country’s economy. Read the rest of this entry »
Koon Yew Yin
17th July 2016
COMMENT So far, if we go by the mainstream and official media reports, it appears as if Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is the big victor in the 1MDB and personal donation double scandals.
But is this such a certainty? Have the Umno rebels and the Umno revolt been crushed? Has Najib been cleared of his alleged political sins and crime, just because the attorney-general (AG) has declared that there will be no charges against the PM and that the RM2.6 billion political donation and RM42 million from SRC International transferred into Najib’s personal bank accounts cases are closed?
Has his nemesis, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, met his Waterloo? Will Najib be leading Umno and BN to another five more years of rule after the next election? Read the rest of this entry »
BY A. ANANTHALAKSHMI AND SAEED AZHAR
16th July 2016
Singapore’s central bank is scrutinizing several banks, including UBS (UBSG.S) and DBS Group Holdings (DBSM.SI), to see if they broke anti-money laundering rules in handling transactions linked to scandal-hit Malaysian state fund 1MDB, three people with knowledge of the matter said.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is looking at several aspects of the banks’ operations including whether they were diligent enough in knowing who their customers were and what the source of their funds was, and whether they were particularly careful in screening politically-exposed persons such as government officials, banking and legal sources aware of the review said.
The probe could lead to fines and other penalties if lapses are found, said the sources who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter. It is unclear which transactions by the banks are being examined.
Switzerland’s Falcon Private Bank and Coutts International, which is owned by Geneva-based Union Bancaire Privee, are also among the banks under review, they said.
UBS, Coutts, and DBS, which is Singapore’s top lender, all declined to comment. Read the rest of this entry »
Will the Police investigate criminal offences of embezzlement, money-laundering and corruption revealed in the Auditor-General’s Report on 1MDB although the AG’s Report is classified under the OSA?
I have been intrigued by the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar’s statement last Saturday that he had to verify from the Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang whether the revelations and exposes by the whistleblowing website Sarawak Report were genuine version of the AG’s Report.
This is because the Police should have a copy of the AG’s Report on the 1MDB.
It is over three months ago that the Police had announced a high-level team to probe the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Report which is headed by none other than the IGP himself.
As the PAC report on the 1MDB is based on the AG’s Report on 1MDB, which in a most unprecedented parliamentary manoeuvre had been omitted as an appendix to the PAC Report when laid in Parliament on April 7, is the IGP implying that the Police did not have a copy of the AG’s Report on 1MDB despite over three months of investigation into the PAC Report because it is classified under the OSA?
What then is this high-level investigation which is being conducted by the police since the tabling of the PAC Report in Parliament in early April?
There seems to be only one farce after another from one national institution to another in the sorry saga of the RM55 billion 1MDB scandal! Read the rest of this entry »
What has happened to the high-level police probe into the PAC Report on 1MDB headed by IGP himself after more than three months?
The Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Abu Khalid said last Saturday that the police will verify with the Auditor-General, Tan Sri Ambrin Buang, whether the Auditor-General’s Report on 1MDB purportedly leaked by the whistleblowing website Sarawak Report was the genuine document.
He said: “We’re also not sure if the document they published is genuine. So let me discuss with the auditor-general (Ambrin Buang) first to make sure whether the document is truly the auditor-general’s report, which has been classified as secret.”
Two questions are in order.
Firstly, as a week has passed, has Khalid verified from Ambrin whether the Auditor-General’s Report on the 1MDB was the genuine report, especially as Sarawak Report is publishing the full AG’s Report on its site.
Secondly, why didn’t the Police have a copy of the Auditor-General’s Report on 1MDB to allow the Police to establish on its own whether the AG’s Report on 1MDB purportedly leaked by Sarawak Report was genuine? Read the rest of this entry »
Najib administration should immediately declassify the Auditor-General’s Report on 1MDB not only to take the wind out of the sails of Sarawak Report but to show to the world that the Malaysian Prime Minister and government have nothing to hide about allegations of 1MDB multi-billion ringgit global embezzlement, money-laundering and corruption
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak should immediately declassify the Auditor-General’s Report on 1MDB not only to take the wind out of the sails of the whistleblowing site, Sarawak Report, but to show to the world that the Malaysian Prime Minister and government have nothing to hide about allegations of 1MDB multi-billion ringgit global embezzlement, money-laundering and corruption.
The option to keep the Auditor-General’s Report on 1MDB secret and classified under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) was never a tenable, sustainable or wise decision in this information age when information travels at the speed of light in a borderless world, especially when the decision went against all notions of good governance and principles of accountability and transparency, as well as public pledges by the Prime Minister, the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and the Auditor-General himself that the AG’s Report would be made available to the public.
With the announcement by the Sarawak Report website that it is publishing in full the Auditor-General’s Report on 1MDB, after it had carried daily exposes of the AG’s Report on 1MDB in the past few days, Najib and the Malaysian Government are only inviting global scorn, contempt and humiliation if they continue to keep the AG’s Report under wraps in Malaysia under the OSA while it is available to the world as well as to Malaysians on the borderless Internet.
The Cabinet at its meeting yesterday should have discussed the subject of the declassification of the AG’s Report to defend Malaysia’s international reputation and image. Was this subject discussed by the Ministers yesterday? Read the rest of this entry »
Jeffrey Voegeli and Chanyaporn Chanjaroen
July 13, 2016
UBS Group AG flagged suspicious transactions linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd. to the Monetary Authority of Singapore, prompting an investigation of the accounts involved, a person familiar with the matter said.
The transactions were not immediately recognized by UBS as suspicious, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. At least $1.24 billion was transferred in 2014 from the account of a 1MDB subsidiary held at BSI SA in Lugano, Switzerland, to a UBS account in Singapore held by what appeared to be a unit of an Abu Dhabi company, U.K.-based investigative blog Sarawak Report said on July 11.
A spokeswoman for UBS declined to comment on the 1MDB transfers. When asked about the UBS case, the Singapore regulator referred to its previous statements made on March 31 and May 24. MAS has said it is conducting supervisory reviews of several financial institutions and bank accounts through which suspicious and unusual transactions have taken place, without identifying the parties involved. Read the rest of this entry »
Can Salleh give one instance to rebut the prevailing view that the publication of AG’s Report on 1MDB would pose no grave national security threat but would only confirm allegations of 1MDB’s global embezzlement, money-laundering and corruption?
The Multimedia and Communications Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak has continued to exaggerate and overstate the case for the unprecedented violation of world-wide parliamentary practice and convention when the Najib government refused to allow the Auditor-General’s Report on the 1MDB to be presented to Parliament as appendix to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Report on 1MDB when the PAC Report was tabled in Parliament on the last day of the March/April meeting on April 7.
This despite three important backgrounds about the AG’s Report on 1MDB, viz:
• Firstly, It is an integral part of the PAC Report on 1MDB, without which the PAC Report would be incomplete;
• Secondly, that the PAC in its proceedings, relied almost entirely on the findings of the AG’s Report to present its deliberations, conclusions and recommendations; and
• thirdly, that PAC members from the government backbench and opposition concurred fully with the AG’s Report and never at any point of time, as recorded in the PAC Hansard, disagreed or rejected the findings.
Salleh Keruak cannot be more wrong: Sarawak Report has not misled public on 1MDB audit findings unless he is challenging the veracity and integrity of the AG’s findings
The Minister for Multimedia and Communications, Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak cannot be more wrong when he accused the whistleblower site Sarawak Report of misleading the public on the auditor-general’s report on 1MDB unless he is also challenging the veracity and integrity of the Auditor-General’s findings.
It is significant that Salleh is not suggesting that Sarawak Report had presented a false, fraudulent or fictitious account of the AG’s Report on 1MDB.
This means that Salleh accepts that the Sarawak Report’s leaks are based on the true and genuine version of the AG’s Report on the 1MDB.
Can Salleh state what are the findings in the AG’s Report which he or the Najib administration is rejecting or is he impying that he does not question the veracity and integrity of the AG’s findings on 1MDB but does not want the AG’s Report to be made public and that it should continue to be classified under the Official Secrets Act because it would be too incriminating for the Prime Minister?
This is a most ludicrous and untenable position and shows that the Najib government has a lot of things to hide, and revives my question yesterday, whether the AG’s Report on 1MDB is kept under wraps because its publication would lead to Najib’s downfall as Prime Minister and UMNO President, as he would have lost all credibility and qualifications to continue as the country’s Prime Minister and President of UMNO? Read the rest of this entry »
Will the public release of the Auditor-General’s Report on 1MDB lead inevitably to Najib’s departure as Prime Minister and UMNO President?
The whistleblower site Sarawak Report today made a third consecutive-day revelation about the Auditor-General’s Report on 1MDB, which had been “conditionally” presented to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and was the basis of the PAC Report on 1MDB, but which was not presented to Parliament when the PAC Report on 1MDB was tabled in Parliament on April 7, on the ground that it was still classified under the Official Secrets Act (OSA).
There have been two official responses so far to Sarawak Report’s exposes of the Auditor-General’s Report on 1MDB – the call for investigations by the Minister for Communications and Multimedia, Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak for breach of the OSA on the ridiculous ground that the AG’s Report on 1MDB is classified for the purpose of “national security” and the confirmation by the Deputy Home Minister and former PAC Chairman, Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamad that police are probing the Sarawak Report leak of the AG’s Report.
As DAP MP for PJ Utara and PAC Member, Tony Pua pointed out, the right thing to do at the moment is for the Auditor-General’s Report on 1MDB to be declassified and made public immediately, instead of allowing the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his administration to suffer the global attrition of what is left of its credibility and integrity not only among Malaysians but also internationally with the continued expose of the Auditor-General’s Report on the 1MDB about 1MDB’s global embezzlement, money-laundering and corruption.
The OSA classification of the Auditor-General’s Report on 1MDB went against the very spirit and intent of Najib’s directive in March 2015 to the Auditor-General to investigate 1MDB and submit its report to the PAC, and that the AG’s and PAC’s 1MDB Reports were meant to be final and conclusive measures in laying to rest all doubts about the 1MDB.
The very opposite has occurred – with the Auditor-General’s Report on 1MDB classified for fear that its publication would stir a hornets’ nest about 1MDB global embezzlement, money-laundering and corruption! Read the rest of this entry »