Malaysians must be able to hope again that change of Federal Government which was within a whisker of achievement in the 13GE was possible and realizable in 14GE, even if held in July/August next year
In the 13th General Election in 2013 three years ago, Malaysians regardless of race and religion were never so united in wanting to bring about a change of Federal Government, which would be regarded as unthinkable and impossible just five years earlier before the “political tsunami” of the 12th General Election in 2008.
Although the majority of voters voted for change of Federal Government, the undemocratic and unfair electoral system allowed Datuk Seri Najib Razak to become the first minority Prime Minister in the country because he won some 60 per cent of the parliamentary seats with only some 47% of the popular vote.
Many Malaysians have become disappointed, disenchanted and given up hope that there is a possibility of democratic change in Malaysia, and have voted with their feet with a surge of migration in the past three years.
The greatest challenge in Malaysia today is to ensure that Malaysians can hope again that change of Federal Government, which was within a whisker of achievement in the 13GE, is still possible and realizable in the 14th General Election even if it is held in July/August next year. 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 »
DAP does not want UMNO to die, but to reform and renew itself which can only occur if it is defeated at least once in general elections to mark Malaysia becoming a normal democratic country
Yesterday’s Malaysiakini report “’DAP must die’ – Umno protesters cast hell notes” by Alyaa Azhar on the Red-Shirt UMNO demonstration outside the DAP Hqrs in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, said:
“Quizzed on the hell notes, one of the protesters replied: ‘Kerana kita nak kasi orang DAP mati ma (We want DAP people to die).’
“Chipping in, Federal Territory Umno Youth chief Mohd Razlan Muhammad Rafii said: ‘Something to that effect. They (DAP) wants Umno to die, so we want DAP to die.’”
I do not want here to touch on why the Police have repeatedly allowed irresponsible and extremist elements in our society to stage demonstrations to provoke and incite racial and religious hatred threatening to burn down headquarters whether of DAP, PKR or Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall but it is necessary to set the record straight so that the extremists and bigots are not allowed to mislead others to commit senseless acts.
DAP had never said it wanted UMNO to die. I am not aware of any person, political party or organization who had ever said that they want UMNO to die.
DAP does not want UMNO to die, but through the electoral contest, to reform and renew itself which can only occur if it is defeated at least once in general elections to mark Malaysia becoming a normal democratic country.
I have said many a time that UMNO/BN must be voted out of Putrajaya at least once if Malaysia is to become a normal democratic country and break the present national trajectory trending down the slippery slope towards a fractured, failed and rogue state. Read the rest of this entry »
DAP MP for Batu Kawan, Kasthuri Patto, wrote a touching article on the occasion of the 21st anniversary of the death of her father, P. Patto, one of the giants in the pantheon of Malaysian leaders in the half-century history of the DAP.
Patto was never just an Indian leader as he was always a Malaysian leader.
He dedicated his life not for an Indian Malaysia, definitely not a Chinese Malaysia, but a Malaysian Malaysia where every Malaysian, regardless of whether Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan or Iban; Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian or Taoist is proud to be a Malaysian first and last. Read the rest of this entry »
12th July 2016
COMMENT Today, July 12, marks the 21st anniversary of the passing of my father, P Patto.
Twenty-one years have passed and the void left behind hits hard, for not only my mother, my sister and my family but to all his old friends, party cadres, supporters and Malaysians alike, from all walks of life.
It was on a Wednesday morning that he left us so suddenly and the news shook many Malaysian comrades, parliamentarians, statesmen, leaders of nations and also from dear members of civil society.
Condolence messages poured in from all over the world via phone calls, letters, condolence cards, telegrams and bouquets of flowers. 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 »
By Jacquielynn Floyd
Dallas Morning News
8 July 2016
Dallas Police Chief David Brown is not an especially polished speaker. He doesn’t love the cameras; he doesn’t always have carefully prepared remarks ready to deliver with a politician’s effortless grace. When he can, he leaves it to somebody else.
That makes his remarkable performance on what was surely the most anguished day in the Dallas Police Department’s history so moving, and so persuasive. In the hours after five officers – four Dallas policemen and one Dallas Area Rapid Transit officer – were murdered by a deranged sniper, Brown’s delivery was pitch-perfect, unrehearsed and straight from the heart.
“We are heartbroken. There are no words to describe the atrocity that occurred in our city,” Brown told reporters early Friday, less than eight hours after his officers were mowed down while escorting a peaceful protest through downtown Dallas.
“All I know is that this must stop, this divisiveness between our police and our citizens.”
With those words, he spoke for every police department in America – many of which have far worse relationships with their minority communities than ours.
“We don’t feel much support most day,” he said. “Let’s don’t make today most days. We need your support.”
The nobility in that direct appeal was profound. If he had responded with tough talk about hunting ’em down, vowed vengeance, assigned blame, it would have been understandable, given the depth of the tragedy.
If he felt such rage, Brown kept it to himself. He was matter-of-fact about the measures taken to negotiate with and ultimately kill the gunman. 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 »
The two latest whistleblowing feats of Sarawak Report raised the disturbing question whether Malaysian Parliament is the first in the world to be denied opportunity and materials to decide whether its PAC had done a proper and competent job, viz the inquiry into a RM55 billion 1MDB scandal
The two latest whistleblowing feats of website Sarawak Report have raised the disturbing question whether the Malaysian Parliament is the first in the world to be denied the opportunity and materials to decide whether its Public Accounts Committee (PAC) had done a proper and competent job, in its inquiry into the RM55 billion 1MDB scandal.
Yesterday, Sarawak Report published some of the contents of what it claimed was the Auditor-General’s report on 1MDB, which was submitted to the PAC on March 4 and was the basis of the PAC Report on 1MDB presented to Parliament on April 7, but the AG’s Report on 1MDB was not tabled in Parliament on the ground that it was classified under the Official Secrets Act (OSA).
Sarawak Report listed out the various concerns that auditor-general Tan Sri Ambrin Buang had pointed out in his report, especially with regard to several questionable fund transfers.
Sarawak Report said it will publish more details from the auditor-general’s report in the coming days.
Today, Sarawak Report made the revelation of another key document in the PAC probe on 1MDB, a letter from Bank Negara Malaysia to the PAC Chairman, Datuk Seri Hasan Arifin, related to its correspondence which among other things, confirmed Penang billionaire Jho Low was the sole owner of Good Star Limited, which had received US$1.03 billion from 1MDB. Read the rest of this entry »
South China Morning Post
06 July, 2016
A crackdown on opponents may strengthen his position, but is threatening the country’s racial and religious harmony and the possibility of clean and effective governance
A scandal that may well rank as Malaysia’s biggest has not dented the political fortunes of Prime Minister Najib Razak. His Barisan Nasional ruling coalition easily won two by-elections last month and a state poll in May, prompting a cabinet reshuffle and a fresh crackdown on critics. A prominent opposition figure has been arrested on graft charges and a new investigation launched against vocal detractor and former leader Mahathir Mohammad. The moves strengthen Najib’s position ahead of the 2018 national elections, but are also threatening the country’s racial and religious harmony and the possibility of clean and effective governance.
Lim Guan Eng, the chief minister of Penang and secretary-general of the Democratic Action Party, is the latest in a string of opponents to be accused of wrongdoing. Other critics, among them members of Najib’s United Malays National Organisation (Umno), the leading party in the coalition, have been removed for claiming the law has been selectively enforced over the money-laundering scandal involving the state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad. The latest are Umno vice-president Shafie Apdal, who quit the party after being suspended, deputy president Muhyddin Yassin and Mahathir’s son, Mukhriz Mahathir, who were both sacked. Read the rest of this entry »
6 July 2016
Sir John Chilcot delivers highly critical verdict on Iraq war but ex-PM says: ‘I believe we made the right decision’
Chilcot report: ‘A devastating critique of Blair and the British government’
A defiant Tony Blair defended his decision to go to war in Iraq in 2003 following the publication of a devastating report by Sir John Chilcot, which mauled the ex-prime minister’s reputation and said that at the time of the 2003 invasion Saddam Hussein “posed no imminent threat”.
Looking tired, his voice sometimes croaking with emotion, Blair described his decision to join the US attack as “the hardest, most momentous, most agonising decision I took in 10 years as British prime minister”.
He said he felt “deeply and sincerely … the grief and suffering of those who lost ones they loved in Iraq”.
“There will not be a day when I do not relive and rethink what happened,” he added.
But asked whether invading Iraq was a mistake Blair was strikingly unrepentant. “I believe we made the right decision and the world is better and safer,” he declared. He argued that he had acted in good faith, based on intelligence at the time which said that Iraq’s president had weapons of mass destruction. This “turned out to be wrong”.
Blair also said the Iraq inquiry – set up by his successor Gordon Brown back in 2009 – shot down long-standing claims that he had lied about the war to the British public and cynically manipulated intelligence. Where there had been mistakes they were minor ones involving “planning and process”, he said. He said he “couldn’t accept” criticism that British soldiers died in vain.
Blair’s extraordinary two-hour press conference came after Chilcot, a retired civil servant, published his long-awaited report into the Iraq debacle. In the end, and seven years after hearings first began, it was a more far-reaching and damning document than many had expected. It eviscerated Blair’s style of government and decision-making. Read the rest of this entry »
6 July 2016
The main points from Sir John Chilcot’s inquiry regarding Tony Blair’s decision to go to war and how he put his case.
The Chilcot inquiry has delivered a damning verdict on the former prime minister Tony Blair’s decision to commit British troops to the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. It says:
The UK chose to join the invasion before peaceful options had been exhausted
Chilcot is withering about Blair’s choice to join the US invasion. He says: “We have concluded that the UK chose to join the invasion of Iraq before the peaceful options for disarmament had been exhausted. Military action at that time was not a last resort.”
Blair deliberately exaggerated the threat posed by Saddam Hussein
Chilcot finds that Blair deliberately exaggerated the threat posed by the Iraqi regime as he sought to make the case for military action to MPs and the public in the build-up to the invasion in 2002 and 2003. The then prime minister disregarded warnings about the potential consequences of military action, and relied too heavily on his own beliefs, rather than the more nuanced judgments of the intelligence services. “The judgments about Iraq’s capabilities … were presented with a certainty that was not justified,” the report says. Read the rest of this entry »
by RICHARD ENGEL
JUL 6 2016
ISTANBUL, Turkey — Muslims around the world on Wednesday were celebrating Eid, the holiday that marks the end of Ramadan. But this year, the end of the month of fasting brings special relief because ISIS turned Ramadan — a time of prayer, charity and self-restraint — into a month of terror.
The terror group used Ramadan as a rallying cry for violence.
But was the wave of attacks — from Turkey to Bangladesh, Baghdad to Medina — a sign of ISIS strength or weakness? The answer may be a bit of both. Read the rest of this entry »
Hari Raya 2016 will be held in a very sombre backdrop, both nationally and internationally.
On the eve of Hari Raya Aildifitri, the Police have confirmed that Malaysia is in the crosshair of Islamic State terrorism, with the attack on Movida nightclub in Puchong last Tuesday the first act of terror by Islamic State (IS) elements in the country and the arrest of 15 IS militants.
Internationally, there has been a wave of unprecedented Islamic State terrorist attacks killing hundreds of innocent lives, ranging from Indonesia, Bangladesh, Iraq, Jordan, Yemen, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
Malaysia and the world must stand guard against extremist interpretations of Islam, like turning Ramadan from a month of restraint and reflection into a month of war and conquests or nearer home, the classification of DAP and non-Muslims as “kafir harbi” who could be slain. Read the rest of this entry »
Does the Najib government accept Merdeka Constitution 1957, Malaysia Agreement 1963 and Rukunegara 1970 that provide that all Malaysians are citizens and not “kafir harbi” or “kafir dhimmi” and what it proposes to do to stop the rhetoric of hate, intolerance and bigotry
The Pahang Mufti Datuk Seri Dr. Abdul Rahman Osman is trying to pull the wool over the people’s eyes, by inventing a new category of “kafir harbi” who need not be slain or put to death, following religiously the Prime Minister’s Office’s statement last Wednesday which “whitewashed” instead of condemning the mufti’s statement by coining a new category of “kafir harbi”.
Does the Najib government accept Merdeka Constitution 1957, Malaysia Agreement 1963 and Rukunegara 1970 that provide that all Malaysians are citizens and not “kafir harbi” or “kafir dhimmi” and what it proposes to do with official religious officers who preach the dangerous message of hate, intolerance and bigotry in plural Malaysia by classifying DAP and non-Muslims who disagree with Hadi’s hudud motion or hudud law as “kafir harbi”?
Three days ago, the Christian Federation of Malaysia chairperson Eu Hong Seng expressed dismay at the “silence over the years as our society is hit by the divisive issues of race and religion” and called for the Prime Minister’s leadership at such an “incendiary” statement by the Pahang mufti by eradicating such rhetoric.
Eu stressed that Malaysians had a constitutional right to question implementation of Islamic laws as “Questioning, doubting, or rejecting any change in laws or policy – such as with establishing hudud – is the fundamental constitutional right of all Malaysians”.
Eu said hudud is a small part of the syariah, not even constantly or consistently applied throughout the history of Islam, so how can such Malaysians be designated as enemies of Islam?
Five days ago, 55 NGOs of the Malaysian’s multi-racial and multi-religious civil society, in a joint declaration, stressed that all Malaysians are citizens, and no more “kafir harbi” or “kafir dhimmi”. Read the rest of this entry »