Archive for category Najib Razak

UMNO/BN can only be defeated in the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar parliamentary by-elections if there is a “game changer” giving the two by-elections unprecedented national significance and importance

After the 11th Sarawak state general election on May 7, the country is poised for the two Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar parliamentary by-elections next month.

Everybody’s first option is to have a one-to-one contest with UMNO/BN in the two by-elections, but this may not be a feasible or even the best political choice.

I have said that although the inability of Pakatan Harapan to campaign as one united team was a cause of great disappointment not only in Sarawak but also in Malaysia, the results of the Sarawak state general election showed that the multi-cornered contests involving Pakatan Harapan parties had not materially affected the outcome of the state election results.

Regardless of whether Pakatan Harapan had been able to present an united front, the results of the 11th Sarawak state general election results would have remained largely the same – Adenan Satam as Chief Minister of Sarawak, Barisan Nasional Sarawak forming the Sarawak state government with continuing two-thirds State Assembly majority and the question to be decided on the May 7 polling day was whether there could be a strong, effective and principled Opposition grouping in the Sarawak State Assembly. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib’s Ministers have been very busy indulging in sophistry, prevarication, obfuscation and downright evasion instead of being true and frank about the RM50-55 billion 1MDB and RM4.2 billion “donation” global financial scandals

Malaysian Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s Ministers have been very busy indulging in sophistry, prevarication, obfuscation and downright evasion instead of being true and frank about the RM50-55 billion 1MDB and RM4.2 billion global financial scandals.

It would be difficult to find a denser statement than the one made by the Communications and Multimedia Minister, Datuk Salleh Said Keruak that the Wall Street Journal cannot convince Malaysians if it does not reveal the sources of its stories.

In fact, WSJ must thank Salleh for giving greater publicity to its latest report about Najib’s stepson Riza Aziz’s purchase of a RM137 million property in London is now part of the 1MDB probe by international investigators.

Salleh cannot be more wrong when he suggested that WSJ reports have no credibility unless they reveal the sources of its stories, as it is the Prime Minister and his ministers who have been haemorrhaging from a credibility crisis since the 1MDB global scandal burst on the global scene more than a year ago, till today there is considerable truth in the claim that “For foreign media, Malaysia now synonymous with kleptocracy”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Did regulatory slips ‘enable’ the 1MDB scandal?

The Business Times, Singapore
Wednesday, May 18, 2016

WITHIN the span of six years, 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) debt had ballooned 10 times to RM50 billion (S$17 billion) and its business deals are now the subject of probes in seven jurisdictions, including Singapore. Could the mammoth scandal around the state-backed fund have been averted?

The answer is “Yes”, given the events at the strategic investment firm from the outset, which ought to have set off alarm bells at various government agencies, regulatory authorities and financial institutions.

In fact, had there been vigilance and proper checks and balances in the first place, the 1MDB controversy could well have been nipped in the bud. Read the rest of this entry »

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Will any Minister resign tomorrow on a matter of principle if Cabinet is not prepared to take a policy decision not to emulate communist countries and closed societies by countermanding undemocratic ban on Maria Chin and Tony Pua from free travel overseas?

The Deputy Home Minister, Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said that the issuance of a passport is a privilege and not a right.

Nur Jazlan’s argument is flawed, for the right to free travel (which includes the right to a passport and to travel abroad) is a fundamental human right recognized by universal human rights declarations, whether Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human rights, Article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights or Article 10 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Nobody claims that such a human right is absolute, as it is limited like all other human rights under certain circumstances, but the government must act bona fide, fairly, honestly and honorably and not guilty of arbitrary abuses or excesses of power.

The ban on Bersih Chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah from travelling to South Korea to receive the Gwangju Prize on Human Rights Award and on DAP National Publicity Secretary, MP for PJ Utara and Public Accounts Committee (PAC) member, Tony Pua from travelling overseas are clear examples of such abuses of power and egregious violation of human rights in Malaysia.

This a major regression of human rights in Malaysia, as it marks a lowering of human rights standards which had never been contemplated or practiced by the five previous Prime Ministers of Malaysia – Tunku Abdul Rahman, Razak, Hussein Onn, Mahathir and Abdullah. Read the rest of this entry »

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Stepson of Malaysia’s Najib Razak Bought $34 Million London House With 1MDB Funds

By SIMON CLARK, GEORGI KANTCHEV and BRADLEY HOPE
Wall Street Journal
May 19, 2016

Investigators believe that money from the Malaysian fund was used to buy home in 2012

The stepson of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak bought a £23.25 million ($33.6 million) house in central London in 2012 with money originating from the troubled Malaysian state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd., according to people familiar with the situation.

The redbrick four-story house, built around 1900, is part of a row set back from the road and protected by security gates, a short walk from Malaysia’s diplomatic mission in London’s exclusive Belgravia neighborhood. The registered owner of the house is Qentas Holdings Ltd., a company based in the British Virgin Islands. Mr. Najib’s stepson is the beneficial owner, the people familiar said.

Investigators believe that money from the Malaysian fund known as 1MDB was used to buy the house in July 2012. The Wall Street Journal has previously reported that Riza Aziz, a film producer and stepson of the Malaysian leader, used money that originated from 1MDB to buy $50 million worth of properties in New York and Los Angeles and to finance the 2013 movie “The Wolf of Wall Street.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Myths about the forthcoming Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar parliamentary by-elections

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak has said that he would reshuffle his Cabinet.

Instead of reshuffling his jumbo-sized Cabinet of 36 Ministers, he should do some pruning and remove his Cabinet of deadwood and half-past six Ministers, starting with Najib himself relinquishing the Finance Minister’s portfolio and more than halving the number of Ministers in the Prime Minister’s Department who now comprise some 30 per cent of the Cabinet.

How many of the 36 Ministers were in Parliament yesterday to pay last respects to two BN/UMNO Members of Parliament, Sungai Besar MP Datuk Noriah Kasnon who was Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities and Kuala Kangsar MP Datuk Wan Mohammad Khair-jl Anuar Wan Ahmad, who was also the Malaysian Palm Oil Board Chairman, in the minute of silence observed at the beginning of Parliament?

The first row of the first block in Parliament headed by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi, the Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and the Health Minister Datuk S. Subramaniam was totally empty while the first block was virtually empty!

Why were some 90 per cent of the jumbo-sized Cabinet absent in Parliament yesterday to pay the one-minute last respect to Noriah and Wan Mohammad Khairil?

There have been some myths about the impending Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar parliamentary by-elections, with nomination fixed for June 5 and polling on June 18. Read the rest of this entry »

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Four ways for Najib and Parliament to redeem their abject failure to ensure responsibility and accountability for first global financial scandal in nation’s history

I have visited 130 parliamentary constituencies in the country in my nation-wide “Pantang Undur – Berani kerana Benar” nation-wide tour during my six-month suspension from Parliament in October last year.

Only three days ago, I visited Kuala Terengganu, Marang, Setiu and Besut in Terengganu and Pasir Puteh in Kelantan.

Wherever I went in the 130 Parliamentary constituencies in the past six months, Malaysians regardless of race, religion or region want the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razal to answer the two simple questions about his global financial scandal – where the money came from and where the money had gone to! Read the rest of this entry »

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I have visited 130 parliamentary constituencies during my six-month suspension from Parliament and all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region want Najib to answer two simple questions about Najib’s global financial scandal – where the money came from and where the money had gone to!

This morning, I want to report to the voters of Gelang Patah that I have visited 130 parliamentary constituencies in the country during my six-month suspension from Parliament and I will return to Parliament tomorrow.

Only two days ago, I visited Kuala Terengganu, Marang, Setiu and Besut in Terengganu and Pasir Puteh in Kelantan.

Wherever I went in the 130 Parliamentary constituencies in the past six months, Malaysians regardless of race, religion or region want Najib to answer the two simple questions about his global financial scandal – where the money came from and where the money had gone to!

I apologise to the people of Gelang Patah for being suspended for six months from Parliament, not because I had stolen, robbed, murdered or guilty of corruption, but because I had wanted the Prime Minister to answer two simple questions about his global financial scandals – Where the money came from and where the money have gone to.

Six months later, Najib has not been able to answer these two simple questions, but his twin mega scandals have continue to mushroom to become ever more monstrous, with Malaysia topping the global charts as among the most corrupt nations in the world like the third place in international website, foreignpolicy.com’s ranking of the world’s “worst corruption scandal in 2015” at the end of last year, TIME magazine’s second ranking of “global corruption” in March or the Economist’s second placing in its second index of crony capitalism early this month.

Six months ago, we were talking about Najib’s RM2.6 billion “donation” scandal and the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal – today, we are talking about Najib’s RM4.2 billion “donation” scandal and the RM50-55 billion 1MDB scandal! Read the rest of this entry »

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Why is Najib absconding to UK next week when he should be in Parliament to give full and satisfactory accounting on the exploding 1MDB global financial scandal?

It has been reported that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak will be making a “working visit” to the United Kingdom from Sunday to May 18 to promote investment between the two countries.

It would appear that Najib’s overseas itinerary had been planned to enable him to avoid parliamentary responsibility and accountability with Parliament scheduled to reconvene on Monday.

Why is Najib absconding to UK when he should be in Parliament to give full and satisfactory accounting on the exploding 1MDB global financial scandal?

Why is Najib going away from the country when he should have given top priority to his attendance of Parliament among all his Prime Ministerial duties especially with the 1MDB scandal assuming such an explosive dimension? Read the rest of this entry »

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Challenge of Pakatan Harapan is to convince all voters that the victims of the RM50 billion 1MDB scandal are the 30 million Malaysians as corruption is not a victimless crime

The challenge of Pakatan Harapan is to convince all voters that the victims of the RM50 billion 1MDB scandal are the 30 million Malaysians as corruption is not a victimless crime.

In normal crimes like theft, robbery or murder, it is easy to know the victims but corruption seems to be a remote and distant matter of little or no concern to the public, especially as there appears to be no victims.

This is however the greatest fallacy of all – that corruption is a victimless crime. Read the rest of this entry »

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Terengganu is a peculiar state where Opposition Assemblymen help to prop up the UMNO Mentri Besar to defeat a no-confidence motion in the State Assembly from an UMNO Assemblyman

Marang is the 127th parliamentary constituency I am visiting since my six-month suspension from Parliament for wanting the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak to answer two simple questions about the twin global corruption scandals which had been haunting and hounding him for over a year – where the astronomical sums of money running into billions of ringgit in the twin mega scandals come from and where the monies have gone to.

I am returning to Parliament on Monday but these two simple questions about Najib’s RM50 billion 1MDB scandal and RM4.2 billion “donation” scandals are as elusive as ever, although the twin mega scandals have merged into one gargantuan global scandal spanning over a dozen countries.

The Global Anti-Corruption Summit in London yesterday has among its objeectives to:

* expose corruption so there is nowhere to hide;

* punish the perpetrators and support those affected by corruption; and

* drive out the culture of corruption wherever it exists.

Will Najib as Prime Minister of Malaysia declare full support for these three objectives of the Global Anti-Corruption Summit in London, or is the Malaysian Government terribly frightened of these triple goals. Read the rest of this entry »

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Four parliamentary measures to redeem national honour and reputation in the handling of Malaysia’s first global scandal – RM50 billion 1MDB scandal

Kuala Terengganu is the 126th parliamentary constituency that I am visiting in my “Pantang Undur – Berani Kerana Benar” nation-wide tour since my six-month suspension from Parliament in October last year for demanding two simple answers from the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak with regard to this twin mega scandals which have put Malaysia among the top 10 countries infamous for global corruption – where the monies for the RM50 billion 1MDB and RM4.2 billion “donation” scandals came from and where the monies have gone to.

I will return to Parliament when it reconvenes on Monday 16th May, but six months after my suspension from Parliament, the two questions of “Where the monies came from and where the monies have gone to” have still to be answered, and have writ even larger, with major developments in Najib’s twin mega financial scandals confirming Malaysia as home to one of the great global corruptions of the time.

In fact, never before had Malaysia seen a local scandal taken such global dimension as to be almost in frequent international limelight, sometimes for days at a stretch, in the past year or more, and if anyone googles “1MDB scandal”, there would be more than half a million returns!

This is not to the credit or honour of Malaysia – but to our great national shame and humiliation. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysian Leader Najib’s Stepson Allegedly Funded U.S. Property Deals With 1MDB Money

By BRADLEY HOPE and TOM WRIGHT
Wall Street Journal
May 11, 2016

At least $50 million allegedly diverted from state investment fund was spent on luxury real estate in the U.S.

At least $50 million allegedly diverted from a state investment fund in Malaysia was spent on luxury properties in New York and Los Angeles by the stepson of the Malaysian prime minister, according to documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and people familiar with the matter.

Riza Aziz, a film producer and stepson of Malaysian leader Najib Razak, used money that originated from the 1Malaysia Development Bhd. fund to acquire a 7,700-square-foot, $33.5 million duplex in the Park Laurel condominium tower overlooking New York’s Central Park, the documents and people said.

Mr. Aziz also used money originating from 1MDB to buy an 11,000-square-foot walled mansion in Beverly Hills with a 120-foot-long pool for more than $17.5 million, the documents and people said.

The financing of those acquisitions is under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is conducting a wide-ranging inquiry into alleged misappropriation of billions of dollars from 1MDB, according to people familiar with the probe. 1MDB was set up in 2009 to benefit the Malaysian people. Read the rest of this entry »

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The victims of RM50 billion 1MDB scandal are the 30 million Malaysians as “corruption is not a victimless crime”

Malaysia and the Malaysian Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak should be playing a leading role in the historic Anti-Corruption Summit in London today hosted by the United Kingdom Government, as this is the second important global anti-corruption conference held after the 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) in Putrajaya last September with the theme of “Ending Impunity: People, Integrity and Action”.

Unfortunately Najib dodged and ducked the 16th IACC which was supposed to be the high-water mark of his six-year anti-corruption campaign and show-case him as one of the exemplary global leaders spearheading a transformation programme with anti-corruption as one of its core objectives.

When Najib’s keynote address for the conference hosted by the Malaysian government was cancelled at the last-minute, and Najib’s photograph and biography quietly and ignominiously removed from the conference website, the 30 million Malaysians had to endure a humiliating opening speech delivered by Transparency International Chair José Ugaz who told about 1,000 delegates from all over the world that the measures taken by the Najib government in connection with the 1MDB financial scandal “are not the actions of a government that is fighting corruption.”

Jose Ugaz said: “No one can be in Malaysia and not be aware of the corruption allegations of recent months and how damaging they are to the country. There is a corruption crisis here.

“We want to see more progress but that cannot happen while there are unanswered questions about the $700m that made its way into the prime minister’s personal bank account.

“There are two questions that need to be answered: Who paid the money and why? Where did it go?

“One man could answer those questions.”

Eight month forward, these two simple questions about Najib’s RM50 billion 1MDB and RM4.2 billion “donation” twin mega scandals (only cited as RM42 billion and RM2.6 billion respectively during the 16th ICAC) are not only no nearer to answer, but have been swarmed by more serious issues about integrity, accountability and good governance. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call to Najib to present White Paper on 1MDB in next week’s Parliament and to set aside three days for debate on it, as well as PAC Report on 1MDB

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said yesterday a failed initial public offering (IPO) exercise, as a result of being “attacked”, was the main reason why 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) encountered problems.

He said 1MDB used the debt funding approach to operate its business, which required an IPO to be undertaken in the shortest possible time. The authorities did not foresee that 1MDB would come under relentless “attacks”, which resulted in the IPO exercise could not be carried out, hence the cashflow problems.

Was this the real reason why 1MDB had exploded to become the nation’s first global financial scandal, keeping the nation constantly in the international limelight for massive transborder financial frauds, irregularities and money-laundering?

Or was the Economic Planning Minister, Datuk Sri Abdul Wahid Omar more to the point when he admitted last month that 1MDB model of low capitalization and huge borrowings was unsustainable from the very start.

What was the “original sin” of the 1MDB global financial scandal – the IPO failure, the unsustainable model of low capitalization and huge borrowings or something more fundamental, conceived right from the beginning as a mega global scam that has triggered investigations by several countries on international embezzlement and money-laundering to the tune of some USD11 billion stretching from Singapore to the United States? Read the rest of this entry »

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Elections in Malaysia – Rumbles in the jungle

Economist
May 7th 2016 | KUCHING

A cakewalk in Borneo is a boon for Najib Razak— at least for now

IN A hut on stilts on the island of Borneo, a dozen skulls hang in a cage. They are those of long-dead victims of the Dayaks—indigenous tribes whose members make up the majority in Sarawak, a sprawling Malaysian state. Once thought to harbour protective spirits, the heads are now tourist curios. Few indigenous people still live in the communal dwellings such relics guard, and those who remain hang Christian crosses on their doors.

This month many Malaysians would like to see the Dayaks take one last scalp. Sarawak’s state election on May 7th is a chance for voters to rebuke Najib Razak, Malaysia’s unpopular prime minister, who has spent much of the past year denying that hundreds of millions of dollars which entered his bank accounts were wangled from an ailing national investment firm. Investigations into 1MDB’s dealings are under way in half a dozen countries; some of its borrowings are in default. Yet parties loyal to Barisan Nasional, Mr Najib’s coalition, will probably retain a crushing majority in Sarawak’s state assembly. That prospect illuminates the prime minister’s resilience, which outsiders find bizarre. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s Najib Has Little to Cheer Over Sarawak Triumph

By Luke Hunt
May 11, 2016
The Diplomat

The election win is rooted in local rather than national factors.

Victory for the incumbent at Malaysian state elections in Sarawak has been billed by the government-friendly press as a turning point for the embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak. The state poll was won by chief minister Adenan Satem and Najib was quick to claim the credit.

But any applause for Najib is misplaced and overlooks Adenan’s popularity, which was achieved on the back of promised reforms and his stand against corruption in the aftermath of his predecessor Taib Mahmud, who retired with his family ranked among the world’s richest following over three decades at the helm of Sarawak.

This weekend’s election was not a test of national policies. It was fought on local issues in a state, which legally is an equal part of a three-way Malaysian federation that encompasses neighboring Sabah and the Malaysia peninsula.

In the election, Barisan Nasional (BN), the ruling coalition which is led by the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) which Najib heads, secured 72 out of 82 seats. UMNO has been the dominant party within BN at the federal level ever since Britain told Malaysia it was time to evolve into a country in its own right. That was almost 60 years ago and ever since then, politicians have enjoyed conflating the two political outfits when it suits their political purposes.

In this case, it is quite clear that Najib attempted to steal the headlines and craft national-level spin for a local story written by Adenan, who had earned high marks after Taib stood down by promising to respect the rights of the long-marginalized indigenous tribes, crack down on corruption and “put the fear of god into people who are dishonest.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s Hobbled PM Taps Local Election Win For Support: Why It’s Not Enough

Ralph Jennings
Forbes
MAY 10, 2016

Malaysia’s ruling coalition and embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak got some breathing room this month but aren’t out of the ICU.

Najib’s Barisan Nasional party won 72 of 82 state assembly seats in Sarawak on Saturday, indicating that the party’s coalition has a chance of holding parliament in national elections expected by August 2018. To carry on politically, Najib needs to rebuild his name. He has been suspected since last year of moving about $700 million from government-run development company 1MDB to personal bank accounts. The 62-year-old leader faces no formal charges, but based on suspicion alone a lot of people want him out after seven years as prime minister.

The state election, his party’s first contest since the bank account issue erupted, gives Najib a narrow margin to grapple his way back to good standing before the nationwide vote.

His continuation in power would mean more economic development, his thing all along. The well-off Southeast Asian nation of 30 million people relies mainly on resources such as gas and rubber but faces risks from drops in fuel prices and oil-related taxes that the World Bank says account for around 17% of public revenues. So it’s building up an Islamic finance sector, manufacturing (up more than 20% in 2014) and even a film industry.

The Sarawak victory is a quick fix for the leadership. It’s not necessarily enough to last through the national election, per analyst views. Read the rest of this entry »

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1MDB – A wonderland saga

Tan Siok Choo
Making Sens
The Sun Daily
20 April 2016

“CURIOUSER and curiouser,” said Alice as she grew to more than nine feet high in Lewis Carroll’s fabled novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

This is the likely response of non-partisan readers of often contradictory articles about 1Malaysia Development Berhad (IMDB), the report by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and strongly-worded statements by Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund, International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC).

In a joint announcement on April 11, IPIC and its subsidiary Aabar Investments PJS (Aabar) categorically denied Aabar Investments PJS Ltd, established in the British Virgin Islands (Aabar BVI), is “an entity within either corporate group”. Both IPIC and Aabar also said they had received no payments from Aabar BVI.

In response, 1MDB said it was “curious” IPIC and Aabar had waited “until April 2016” to issue a denial and was surprised “neither IPIC nor Aabar has knowledge of, nor has benefited from, payments made by IMDB to Aabar BVI.”

Under a debt-asset swap agreement on May 28, 2015 involving Aabar, Malaysia’s Ministry of Finance (MOF) and 1MDB, IPIC agreed to:
» provide US$1 billion to enable 1MDB to settle its liabilities;
» pay interest on the US$3.5 billion bonds;
» repay the US$3.5 billion bond; and
» forgive certain 1MDB debts.

In return, 1MDB would transfer to IPIC by June 30, 2016 assets with an aggregate value of all the sums paid by IPIC.

DAP MP Tony Pua says the value of assets 1MDB must transfer to IPIC total US$4.7 billion – US$1 billion to settle 1MDB’s liabilities, US$3.5 billion for the 2012 bonds and up to US$200 million in interest payments. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib has gained no respite for Malaysia or for himself on the 1MDB global scandal despite the landslide Barisan Nasional victory in Sarawak state general elections on Saturday

JP Morgan Asia’s downgrade of Malaysia’s status to underweight is the latest bad news for Malaysia and potent testimony that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak has gained no respite for Malaysia or for himself on the 1MDB global scandal despite the landslide Barisan Nasional victory in Sarawak state general election on Saturday.

The equity research team cited concern about Malaysian banks, which also account for about 30 percent of the iShares MSCI Malaysia ETF (EWM), as one of the main reasons for the downgrade.

It said: “Negative outlook on financials driven by increasing credit costs due to declining loan and deposit growth. Banks are grappling with rising non-performing loans (expected to peak at 3.1 percent in 2018).”

The iShares MSCI Malaysia ETF had fallen 7.7 percent in the second quarter, which makes it the second worst performing market in Asia after Taiwan.

In the past fortnight, while Najib has led the campaign in the Sarawak state elections to rain money throughout the state, Malaysia has not ceased to be at the receiving end of adverse international developments and references, like being named number two by The Economist in its second index of crony capitalism, just behind Russia which clinched the crony capitalism crown. Read the rest of this entry »

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