Archive for category Najib Razak
July 28, 2015
Critics say Najib Razak is trying to avoid prosecution amid allegations that he received $700 million in state funds
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, stung by allegations that he received some $700 million in government money, fired the attorney general who had been investigating him and a deputy who has been among his most prominent critics on Tuesday.
Najib is under increasing pressure over leaked confidential documents that allegedly show the money, from state investment fund 1MDB, went into his personal accounts.
Najib announced over national television Tuesday that his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin will be replaced by Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, a Cabinet member who will also retain his home minister portfolio. Earlier Tuesday, the government announced it had terminated the services of Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail.
Najib said he also dropped four other ministers to strengthen his administration and ensure they can “work as a team.” Read the rest of this entry »
Call for emergency meeting of Parliament before August 31 for a confidence vote on Prime Minister Najib and his new Cabinet and to ensure comprehensive and unfettered investigations into 1MDB scandal and WSJ reports
The sudden Cabinet reshuffle today, sacking Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and four other Ministers, following the morning shocking sacking of Tan Sri Gani Patail as the Attorney-General more than two months before his retirement on 6th October are the latest panic efforts to salvage the rapidly sinking UMNO/BN coalition which had governed this country for 58 years.
The Cabinet reshuffle today has been described as “rearranging the furniture on the sinking Titanic” and future history will vindicate this description.
The Cabinet reshuffle is not designed to produce a more competent, efficient and professional Cabinet which can save Malaysia from becoming a failed state because of rampant corruption, socio-economic inefficiencies and injustices, and the failure of good governance, but to give Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak a new lease of political life by removing from the Cabinet Ministers who threaten his political future by demanding that the Prime Minister should give proper public explanation and accountability for the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal and the Wall Street Journal allegation that RM2.6 billion had been deposited into his personal accounts before the 13th General Election.
The important Education Ministry has again been split into two Ministries, one for Education and the other Higher Education, but looking at the Ministers and Deputy Ministers assigned to these two critical Ministries, I fully understand the feeling of the Selangor State Assemby Speaker Hannah Yeoh when she tweeted: “I look at the Education Ministry and I want to cry for our children sake.”
My disappointments at the lack of Ministerial leaderships in both the Education and Higher Education Ministries after the reshuffle are summed up in my tweet: “Not inspiring developments that Malaysian education can restore glorious past.”
But the sine qua non dictating the sudden Cabinet reshuffle is not any higher notions of taking Malaysia to greater political, economic, educational and social heights of achievement, but purely to consolidate Najib’s power position by removing all possible threats to his political survival. Read the rest of this entry »
Its High Noon in Malaysia.
Who will be left standing after the political showdown in UMNO?
What is expected in the next few days will be played out in the next few hours.
A look at the front-page headlines of the mainstream media today shows that the Malaysian people are being prepared for this High Noon: Read the rest of this entry »
M. Bakri Musa
28th July 2015
The Special Task Force and Parliamentary Committee investigating 1MDB (Najib Administration’s business entity) are missing the crux of the matter. They are distracted by and consumed with extraneous and irrelevant issues, either through incompetence or on purpose, as being directed to do so.
The consequence is that what was initially a problem of corporate cash-flow squeeze has now degenerated into a full-blown scandal engulfing not only Najib’s leadership but also the national governance. The only redeeming feature is that for once a national crisis does not parallel the country’s volatile racial divide, despite attempts by many to make it so.
Torrent of ink has been expended on that tattooed Swiss national now in a Thai jail, the suspension of The Edge, the threatened lawsuit against the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), and the blocking of the Sarawak Report website. These are but distracting sideshows. Even veteran and hard-nosed observers and commentators are taken in by these distractions.
The central and very simple issue is this: Did Prime Minister Najib divert funds from 1MDB to his private account as alleged by WSJ and others?
The issue is simple because it requires only a brief “Yes” or “No” response. Read the rest of this entry »
The Malaysian Insider
27 July 2015
Sebut Watergate umum terus kaitkan dengan skandal politik besar di Amerika Syarikat (AS) pada 1972. Ramai tahu kisahnya. Maka tidak perlu saya mengulangi apa yang orang sudah tahu. Bagi yang “lupa” atau mereka yang mahu imbas kembali sila google.
Pun begitu, bercakap mengenai Watergate dua nama timbul dengan serta merta. Bob Woodward dan Carl Berstein. Kedua-duanya wartawan akhbar The Washington Post yang membongkar skandal itu dengan “bantuan” pemberi maklumat misteri yang mereka gelar “Deep Throat”. Lantas menyaksikan pelbagai siasatan dijalankan sehingga membawa ke Kongres.
Memendekkan cerita yang panjang, kemuncaknya ialah Richard Nixon, presiden AS ketika itu terpaksa meletak jawatan pada 1974. Woodward and Berstein menjadi terkenal. Mendapat bermacam pengiktirafan termasuk memenangi Anugerah Putlizer. Dan buku buku yang mereka tulis menjadi best seller. Read the rest of this entry »
The Malaysian Insider
26 July 2015
Tiada berita lebih besar di Malaysia minggu ini selain penggantungan permit penerbitan akhbar mingguan The Edge dan harian The Edge Financial Daily.
Mana tidaknya, petanda sesebuah pemerintah atau kerajaan itu menuju kediktatoran adalah menekan media atau menutup surat khabar, sesuatu yang pernah dilakukan diktator-diktator “ulung” Asia Tenggara seperti bekas Presiden Indonesia, Suharto.
Ironinya, jika dahulu majalah Tempo “dikerjakan” Suharto kerana laporan tentang skandal pembelian kapal perang, akhbar The Edge kini digantung kerana menyiarkan laporan tentang syarikat sarat hutang 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
Alasan digunakan Suharto pada ketika itu untuk menutup Tempo dan beberapa akhbar lain yang melaporkan skandal “anak emasnya” B. J. Habibie sama seperti digunakan Kementerian Dalam Negeri (KDN) iaitu memudaratkan ketenteraman awam!
Pada masa sama, “ikan-ikan bilis” berkait dengan 1MDB satu persatu didakwa di mahkamah.
Mungkin juga semua ini hanyalah kebetulan akan tetapi menghairankan “jerung besar” seperti Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak yang didakwa The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) menerima RM2.67 bilion wang 1MDB dalam akaun peribadinya tidak pula berdepan apa-apa siasatan atau tindakan. Read the rest of this entry »
1MDB has become 1Malaysia Disaster Bhd, consuming UMNO/Barisan Nasional Federal Government but it must not be allowed to destroy Malaysia!
When the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi issued a statement on Saturday night that he was mulling action against Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown, including calling for her extradition from United Kingdom for the “crime” of foreign interference in the internal affairs of Malaysia, he was rightly mocked for his presumption in expecting the British government to “play ball” with such a silly notion merely because Claire had exposed a multi-billion dollar financial scandal in Malaysia.
As DAP MP for Segambut Lim Li Eng has pointed out, this is a “big bluff” when those involved in least four high profile cases were now abroad – sex blogger Alvin Tan, Facebook activist Ali Abdul Jalil, Malaysia Today operator Raja Petra Kamaruddin and former policeman Sirul Azhar Umar, who was convicted for murdering Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu.
But apart from the ludicrousness of Zahid’s extradition suggestion, I see a more sinister aspect – the thoughts behind such a ridiculous idea, as the Home Minister cannot be so dumb as to believe that his extradition proposal would have any traction with the UK Government.
The question all discerning Malaysian should be asking is whether a plot is being hatched to launch as wide a dragnet as possible to implicate the maximum number of critics of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the biggest financial scandal in the country, the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal, to rope them in and even charge them for participating in an international plot to topple the elected Prime Minister of Malaysia?
Talk of seeking extradition of Clare is just an icing for the cake of the allegation of an international conspiracy to topple the elected Prime Minister of Malaysia, as for advocates of this extreme option, it is not important whether the extradition request succeeds or not, but suffice for it to provide the “international character” to justify the wild allegation of an international plot to criminalise Najib Razak and topple the elected Prime Minister of Malaysia.
And into such a “plot on a plot”, all the critics of the Prime Minister and 1MDB scandal could be lumped together for allegedly committing “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy”, sabotage or treason for consorting with foreign elements in criminalising Najib and seeking to topple the elected Prime Minister – such as the Edge Media Group owner Tong Kooi Ong, Edge publisher and Group CEO, Ho Kay Tat, MPs Tony Pua and Rafizi Ramli, even the former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir, the Opposition leader in Sungai Buloh prison Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Najib’s brother Nazir Razak?
Far-fetched? We are living in dangerous times. Read the rest of this entry »
July 24, 2015
Ex-PetroSaudi employee says he was never paid what prominent Malaysian businessman promised him
Swiss national Xavier Andre Justo – who is now in jail in Thailand in connection with trying to blackmail his former employer, PetroSaudi, which is entangled in a huge scandal involving the Malaysian government – has claimed that he was promised US$2 million (S$2.7 million) in exchange for data he stole from his former employer.
He also told The Straits Times in a prison interview that he was never paid what he was promised by a prominent Malaysian businessman. Justo claimed a deal was reached in Singapore in February on the sale of the documents, which was followed by lengthy discussions on how he would be paid.
The group of people he met in Singapore to negotiate the sale of the data were named in a 22-page confession Justo made to Thai police. He showed a copy of the confession to The Straits Times. Read the rest of this entry »
By John Berthelsen
July 24, 2015
Government action comes as owner, publisher, say they obtained documents through a ruse
The Edge Financial Daily, the country’s leading financial newspaper, and The Edge Weekly have been suspended from publishing for three months by Malaysian authorities for reporting on the scandal-tarred 1 Malaysia Development Bhd development fund that authorities said was “prejudicial or likely to be prejudicial to public order, security or likely to alarm public opinion.” It also stated that the reporting on 1MDB was “likely to be prejudicial to public and national interest.”
The suspension is unprecedented. Last week, the government also blocked The Sarawak Report, written by Clare Rewcastle Brown from the UK, which has been equally critical of the government. Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has been tied directly to the scandal by reports that US$680 million had been spirited from 1MDB-related companies into his personal accounts.
Tong Kooi Ong, the owner of The Edge Group, and Ho Kay Tat, the publisher, have both been threatened with arrest. Ho was forced to report to the police on July 22 and was questioned for two hours over the paper’s publication of a 3,800 word on July 21 report describing in deep detail, with flow charts, how money had flowed out of 1MDB into PetroSaudi International, a Middle East-based oil exploration company, and that US$1.83 billion allegedly was stolen by company officers and others. Read the rest of this entry »
Jul 25th 2015 | KUALA LUMPUR
Soldiering on – Malaysia’s prime minister battles claims of corruption
WHATEVER the truth of them, the accusations levelled against Najib Razak, Malaysia’s prime minister, have astonished a country that some had thought inured to scandal. In early July the Wall Street Journal reported that it had seen documents produced by government investigators suggesting that nearly $700m from companies linked to a troubled state-backed investment fund had been paid into what they believed to be Mr Najib’s personal bank accounts. With worries about an oil-dependent economy, the controversy is the last thing Malaysia needs.
The allegation is that the money was received shortly before the general election in 2013, in which a coalition dominated by Mr Najib’s party, the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) scraped home, despite narrowly losing the popular vote. The prime minister helped launch the fund, known as 1MDB, in 2009 and chairs its board of advisers. It has acquired land and power plants, yet has struggled to service debts of around $11 billion. The firm’s affairs were already the subject of official investigations, but until this month no one had claimed to have evidence that the prime minister himself had received any money. Read the rest of this entry »
Based on reasons given by Home Ministry for 3-month suspension of The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily, will 1MDB become a new “sensitive” issue which will attract the full weight of Najib’s law if discussed or mentioned?
The Home Ministry’s secretary-general, Alwi Ibrahim has given three reasons for suspending The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily for three months, from July 27.
Firstly, the headings and reporting by the two publications has raised questions and created negative public perceptions towards 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and also implicated the government and national leaders.
Secondly, the published news reports were based on doubtful and unverified information, which might alarm public opinion and could/might be prejudicial to public order and national interest.
Thirdly, the 1MDB issue is being investigated by an investigation team that has been set up. Therefore, it is inappropriate for the reporting (on the issue) to create negative perceptions and done continuously, and it is unfair for 1MDB and consequently for the government and national leaders.
Based on the reasons given by Home Ministry for the three-month suspension of The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily, will 1MDB become a new “sensitive” issue which will attract the full weight of Najib’s law if discussed or mentioned? Read the rest of this entry »
By ANWAR IBRAHIM
Wall Street Journal
July 23, 2015
Why I’ve chosen to stay and continue the fight for peaceful, democratic reform from my prison cell.
Since Prime Minister Najib Razak’s 2013 electoral victory, which was plagued by widespread allegations of gerrymandering, fraud and voter intimidation, Malaysia has taken a turn for the worse. Mr. Najib, who once promised democratic and economic reforms and pledged to allow “the voices of dissent” to be heard, has doubled down on political repression.
A former deputy prime minister of Malaysia and leader of the opposition, I am now in the fifth month of a five-year prison sentence that has been roundly condemned by governments and human-rights groups around the world. I spend my days in solitary confinement in meditation and in the company of the few books that are allowed into my cell. Meanwhile, allegations of corruption at the highest levels of Malaysian government have surfaced.
In 2012, the draconian Internal Security Act was repealed by the Najib government with much fanfare, only to be replaced by the Prevention of Crime and Prevention of Terrorism Acts, which are equally, if not more, repressive. Beyond encroaching on Malaysian citizens’ fundamental liberties, these new laws rob judges of their discretionary sentencing powers. Read the rest of this entry »
By Kee Thuan Chye
Jul 24, 2015
COMMENT Counter-measures to discredit the credibility of citizens and media organisations making allegations against Prime Minister Najib Razak and 1MDB are sick and getting out of hand.
And the reported latest action of limiting the movements of a few concerned citizens who have been in the thick of exposing what might be terribly wrong with 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) appears to be sinister.
It also prompts the public to make connections – rightly or wrongly – between this latest measure and related incidents that have occurred in the last couple of months.
These include the arrest of former PetroSaudi International director Xavier Andre Justo in Thailand; the hoax perpetrated by the fictitious NGO Citizens for Accountable Governance Malaysia (CAGM) to entrap Malaysian online media and The Wall Street Journal (WSJ); and the allegation made by former Sarawak Tribune editor Lester Melanyi of opposition leaders having colluded with Sarawak Report to tamper with 1MDB documents.
The inference one could make from all this is that some forces are doing their darnedest – and, in the process, sinking to the lowest depths – to tamper with the truth regarding 1MDB.
It begs questioning, too, that Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar appears to favour Lester’s allegation that “there are those who are attempting to overthrow the government through undemocratic means”. Read the rest of this entry »
By Mohamed Hanipa Maidin
Jul 24, 2015
MP SPEAKS By now everyone on this planet knows that The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has made a very serious allegation against Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.
The allegations may be true or false and only Najib is able to determine that.
If he really cares about protecting his reputation, he has no choice but to put the record straight by suing WSJ for defamation.
The issue now is whether he is willing to do that.
For the record, so far, Najib has sued several individuals for defamation. He has sued MPs Tony Pua, Rafizi Ramli and Nga Kor Ming; Dr Rosli Yaakob (Harakah); and Taufek Yahya (harakahdaily.com). All the suits have been filed in Malaysian courts.
It is interesting to note here that Harakah’s Rosli is being sued for an article which substantially contained reports from The New York Times (NYT).
When asked by reporters as to why he decided to sue harakahdaily.com, Najib stated that he has to protect his integrity as well as his family’s reputation. Read the rest of this entry »
The Malaysian Insider
24 July 2015
Malaysia is being plagued by one of its biggest scandals and it is even getting significant attention from the international community. You know it – the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.
Sure, it’s a difficult issue for a lot of people to understand, me included. Complicated financial transactions and business negotiations can confuse a lot of people, even the experts.
But as the case develops and more media agencies cover the unfolding story, people understand it better and better. And when people start understanding it better, the more questions get asked. Read the rest of this entry »
With three-month suspension of The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily, Malaysia in free fall to become a failed state
Three days ago, I warned: “A darkness is descending on Malaysia.”
Two days ago, DAP MP for Petaling Jaya Utara Tony Pua was barred from leaving the country to fly to Yogyakarta, Indonesia and may be investigated under the new-fangled offence of “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy” which could send him to jail up to 20 years.
Today, the Home Ministry suspended the publishing permit of The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily for three months from July 27, for reporting on the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal which were regarded by the Najib premiership as “prejudicial or likely to be prejudicial to public order, security or likely to alarm public opinion or is likely to be prejudicial to public and national interest”.
Darkness is swiftly descending in Malaysia.
Malaysia has become a topsy-turvy world. Read the rest of this entry »
The least Abdul Rahman should do as BN strategic communications director is to get Najib to declare at the PM’s birthday bash tonight where the RM2.6 billion in his personal bank accounts in AmBank in March 2013 came from and to whom and where they have gone to
Minister for Urban Well-being, Housing and Local Government, Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan will be guilty of the greatest national disservice if the sole agenda of his appointment as Barisan Nasional Strategic Communications Director is to distract attention from Wall Street Journal’s (WSJ) July 2 report that Malaysian government investigators have found US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) deposited into the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s personal accounts in AmBank in 2013 just before the 13th General Election instead of helping to establish the facts of the Prime Minister’s alleged RM2.6 billion personal accounts.
Since his sudden appearance as BN Strategic Communications Director the previous Wednesday, Rahman had got so much eggs on his face, and on a daily basis, that it is virtually impossible to find a centimeter on his face which is not egg-splattered – whether because of Rahman’s “God-send” Lester Melyani; Lester’s utterly discredited video confession even before all the parts had been aired publicly; the crazy and counter-productive notion for Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to block access to Sarawak Report (forcing Malaysians to undergo an instant education of how to circumvent official Internet blocks) or the hyping of patriotic and valiant efforts to pry open the RM42 billion 1MDB financial scandal whether by journalists in the Edge or by MPs like Tony Pua and Rafizi Ramli as offences like “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy”, sabotage, “toppling the elected government” or even treason! Read the rest of this entry »
Najib is taking Malaysia to his Vision 2020 of a “banana republic” and not a fully developed nation under original Vision 2020
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, clearly has a very different Vision 2020 from former premier Tun Mahathir, for from what is happening in recent days, weeks and months, Najib is taking Malaysia to his Vision 2020 of a “banana republic” and not a fully developed nation under the original Vision 2020.
It is only in a “banana republic” where the principles of accountability, transparency and good governance are totally alien in practice, whatever the hifalutin slogans eulogising them, that there is a Prime Minister who could keep dumb for close to three weeks about allegations in an internationally reputable newspaper that Malaysian government investigators have found US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) had been deposited into the Prime Minister’s personal bank accounts just before the previous general elections in 2013, without being frank and truthful where the RM2.6 billion came from, where and to whom they had gone to – as the Prime Minister had tacitly admitted the deposits into his private bank accounts by repeating the refrain in the past three weeks that he had not taken funds for personal gain.
It is only in a “banana republic” that either the entire or the overwhelming majority of the Cabinet is “suspect” and “tainted” of having received improper funding from these personal banking accounts of the Prime Minister for the 13th General Election campaign, and for three weeks, the Ministers dare not make any statement to clear themselves of such impropriety, malpractices and conflict of interest.
No wonder former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir in his blog “Conspiracy” on 20th July 2015 commented:
“11. To all comments made against 1MDB, the standard answer is to deny, to say “No it is not true.” It is like somebody upon being asked whether he had stolen the money as alleged, simply denies that he had stolen, expecting the judge to acquit him simply because he denied.
“12. There is no denial that money was deposited in the private account. The explanation to UMNO is that it was for the elections. UMNO seems satisfied. Don’t they know that Government money cannot be used to help a political party to win elections? But the money was from donation. Who donated 2 billion Ringgit? No answer.”
by V. Anbalagan
The Malaysian Insider
22 July 2015
The Malaysian judiciary, already perceived as being subservient to the executive, could be under further strain now that Datuk Seri Najib Razak has filed defamation suits against his political rivals and some media outlets, lawyers said.
Whether the suits were in his personal capacity or not, lawyers said Najib’s administration would have to contend with public perception of him going to court for defamation – making him the first sitting Malaysian prime minister to do so.
Najib, as head of the executive arm of government, has a role in the appointment and promotion of judges. The prime minister appoints some members of the Judicial Appointments Commission, which selects judges.
While he still has the right to legal recourse, lawyers said it would be better for the prime minister to reply to criticism by engaging the media and to speak in Parliament to clarify issues.
Lawyer S.N. Nair said Najib’s moves to sue has certainly placed the judiciary in state of discomfort. Read the rest of this entry »
By Giulia Zino
SINGAPORE – Malaysia has generated a considerable volume of negative press coverage over the past year, but none as eye-catching as the recent scandals surrounding controversial debt-ridden sovereign investment company 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). After brewing for months, the 1MDB saga took a startling turn on July 2 when the Wall Street Journal published details of leaked bank documents, apparently showing that nearly $700m had been channelled through the investment company and directly into the personal accounts of Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Najib established 1MDB in 2009 with the visionary aim of facilitating investment and trade with the Middle East, and of developing a new financial district in Kuala Lumpur. Najib chairs 1MDB’s board and also heads the Ministry of Finance, which fully owns the company. 1MDB has collected a portfolio of 16 power and desalination plants in Asia and the Middle East and launched two ambitious, high-profile real estate developments in downtown Kuala Lumpur, accumulating debts of MYR 42bn ($11bn) along the way. Critics have centred on the company’s auditing problems: particularly MYR 8.24bn ($2.17bn) allegedly hidden somewhere in the Cayman Islands, its bond issuance program, and allegations that it has overpaid for its Malaysian power assets, essentially bailing out politically connected independent power producers.
The July 2 report dealt a huge blow for the ruling party, the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), and brought to a head a long-brewing struggle within the party to oust the prime minister. Conservative circles surrounding former prime minister and UMNO kingmaker Mahathir Mohamad have relentlessly tried to eject Najib, whose weakness and unpopularity they view as extremely detrimental for the party’s survival. Najib appears far too compromised to see the end of his term in 2018, even if the multiple ongoing investigations do not directly implicate him in wrongdoings within 1MDB. Read the rest of this entry »