Archive for March 3rd, 2015

50 shades of religious harmony

by Emmanuel Joseph
The Malaysian Insider
3 March 2015

Somehow, over the years, ‘harmony’ in Malaysia, much like ‘democracy’ and ‘liberty’, has been reduced to more of a buzzword than an accepted social norm.

We are, now, in effect, at best, an occasionally harmonious country. When it suits tourism and business interests, we put on this façade of a melting pot of culture, race and religion.

But the once-very-real concept of accepting each other as brothers and sisters of different faiths and cultures appear to have been replaced with a more practical, clinical version of harmony. Read the rest of this entry »

No Comments

As amendment bill to the 1993 Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code has not yet been presented to Pakatan Rakyat Leadership Council for study, suggest deferment of any presentation to Kelantan State Assembly this month

Overnight, the political position of Datuk Seri Najib Razak seemed to have undergone a sea-change for the worse, particularly with the London Sunday Times report on Sunday, March 1, 2015 that its joint in-depth investigations into the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal with Sarawak Report website had been completed and they had obtained access to thousands of documents and emails relating to 1MDB, including its initial joint venture with the little known oil company PetroSaudi International from 2009.

As the news portal Asian Sentinel as aptly headlined its report, “Emails Blow Malaysia’s 1MDB Fund Wide Open”, the joint investigations by Sunday Times London and Sarawak Report had foiled abrupt attempts by 1MDB at the end last year to call in all of its computers, employee laptops and servers to wipe them clean of all emails.

This evening, in an email interview with Malaysiakini, Sarawak Report editor and founder Clare Rewcastle Brown confirmed that she is in possession of “thousands documents” on the dealings of 1MDB and businessman Taek Jho Low’s role in the 1MDB which were neither “forged nor hacked” material.

Although these are body blows to Najib politically, he remains a paradox of being a very weak Prime Minister whose major policy initiatives had all been dismal failures but a strong UMNO President largely because no strong UMNO contender has emerged to threaten his position – unlike his predecessor Tun Abdullah Badawi who was both a weak Prime Minister as well as a weak UMNO President, setting the stage for his easy replacement.

However, the political dynamics and disequilibrium both inside UMNO and outside will increase in intensity, focusing immediate attention not only on the forthcoming national UMNO Divisional Meeting on March 8 but also on the Kelantan State Assembly scheduled to meet on March 18.

The greater the political pressures on Najib arising from a host of political, economic, financial and family scandals, the more Machiavellian UMNO leaders and strategists will be to distract public attention from their political woes, which means the doubling up of plots and conspiracies to try to destabilize, divide and destroy PAS and Pakatan Rakyat as promoting “UG” (Unity Government between UMNO and PAS) and the false lure of Kelantan UMNO State Assemblymen offering support to Kelantan PAS for hudud implementation in the Kelantan State Assembly this month. Read the rest of this entry »


Emails Blow Malaysia’s 1MDB Fund Wide Open

Asia Sentinel
By Our Correspondent
Posted on March 1, 2015

Sarawak Report blog details how deeply a flamboyant financier and friend of PM Najib actually ran the fund

In December of last year, the controversial investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd abruptly called in all of its computers, employee laptops and servers and wiped them clean of all emails.
(Read: Controversial Malaysian Investment Fund’s Computer Records Wiped Off)

It was too late. The reason has come embarrassingly clear with a report by Clare Rewcastle Brown, the indefatigable blogger who edits The Sarawak Report. Rewcastle Brown had already obtained thousands of emails and documents before the shutdown, detailing that transactions by the fund were actually run by Taek Jho Low, a close friend of the family of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak. There were times when the CEO of 1MDB, Shahrol Halmi, and his Malaysian colleagues had no idea what was going on.

Jho Low has repeatedly told the media that he has had nothing to do with 1MDB’s investment activities, and that he has received no money or benefits. But the emails allegedly show that he orchestrated a 2009 joint venture between 1MDB, as the fund is known, and a fledgling oil exploration firm called PetroSaudi International, which was little more than a shell. Read the rest of this entry »


Harrow playboy linked to troubled Malaysian fund

Jon Ungoed-Thomas, Clare Rewcastle and Josh Boswell
The Sunday Times London
1 March 2015

IN THE summer of 2009, a Malaysian nicknamed “the Whale” appeared on the New York nightclub scene. He would travel with a large entourage in a fleet of Cadillacs and his party would spend tens of thousands of dollars a night in the company of socialites such as Paris Hilton.

“The Whale” is said to have celebrated his 28th birthday with a four-day event in Las Vegas that included a party at a pool surrounded by caged lions and tigers. Manhattan was abuzz with questions over his identity and the source of his wealth.

It emerged that the “mystery man” of the nightclubs was the Malaysian tycoon Taek Jho Low, who had been educated at Harrow School and the Wharton School in Pennsylvania. He claimed his success was due to being in the “right place at the right time”.

Low certainly has a wide range of business interests, building up a £650m investment fund that he started at university. He also runs Jynwel Capital, a Hong Kong fund with investments in media, retail, property and commodities. His family is independently wealthy. Read the rest of this entry »


Cabinet tomorrow must decide whether to establish RCI headed by Zaid Ibrahim into RM42 billion 1MDB scandal or give support for full-scale PAC public inquiry taking priority over all other PAC agendas

Will the Cabinet meeting tomorrow hide and run from the biggest financial scandal in the country and the issue which is casting the greatest cloud and doubt on the credibility, integrity and good governance of the Malaysian Prime Minister and government, both nationally and internationally – the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal?

The Cabinet tomorrow should give special focus to the 1MDB scandal, and either decide to establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry headed by former Law Minister Datuk Mohd Zaid Ibrahim and other independent credible Malaysians into the 1MDB scandal or give support for a full-scale PAC inquiry into 1MDB scandal, taking priority over all other PAC agendas.

The five Pakatan Rakyat MPs on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Deputy PAC Chairman Dr. Tan Seng Giaw (Kepong – DAP); Kamarul Baharin Abbas (Telok Kemang – PKR); Kamaruddin Jaffar ( Tumpat – PAS), William Leong Jee Keen (PKR – Selayang) and Tony Pua (PJ Utara – DAP) want a PAC hearing on 1Malaysia Development Bhd so that the Finance Ministry-owned firm’s past and present chief executives and auditors would be held accountable.

Even the PAC Chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Muhamad (Pulai) has recently changed his stand on the 1MDB scandal and wants the Auditor General’s Department to immediately carry out an audit of the government-owned 1MDB’s deals before PAC calls up the company.

But this is all before the latest shock expose that Sarawak Report website with London’s Sunday Times newspaper have completed an in-depth investigation into the trail of the missing billions at the heart of the 1MDB scandal, claiming to have obtained access to thousands of documents and emails relating to 1MDB transactions which the company had attempted to wipe clean from its computers and servers at the end of last year.

This development has changed the picture completely. Read the rest of this entry »


MACC should launch a full-scale investigation into the PMO Statement in the New York Times attributing the Prime Minister’s expenditure, including the multi-million dollar purchases of his wife, to his inheritance or is MACC a mere “paper tiger”?

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission should launch a full-scale investigation into the Prime Minister Office’s Statement in the New York Times of February 9, 2015 attributing the Prime Minister’s expenditure, including the multi-million dollar purchases of his wife’s jewellery and shopping sprees, to his inheritance or is the MACC a mere “paper tiger”?

The PMO statement to New York Times said:

“Neither any money spent on travel, nor any jewellery purchases, nor the alleged contents of any safes are unusual for a person of the prime minister’s position, responsibilities and legacy family assets.”

The PMO statement in the New York Times had greatly offended and outraged the four brothers of the Prime Minister, Johari, Nizam, Nazim and Nazir who, in a rare private statement expressed worry that the name of their father, who was known for his frugality, would be tarnished by such talks of family assets. Read the rest of this entry »

1 Comment

Leaders to debate MH370 search funding

Jamie Smyth in Sydney and Tom Mitchell in Beijing
Financial Times
March 2, 2015

Australia, China and Malaysia will hold talks next month to consider whether to carry on funding the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which went missing almost a year ago.

Canberra said on Monday it remained “cautiously optimistic” about finding the missing aircraft and rejected media reports that discussions had already begun on whether to call off the search — the most expensive and complex in airline history.

“Discussions are not under way to call off the search,” said a spokesman for Warren Truss, Australia’s deputy prime minister.

“Discussions are ongoing about the search. We remain cautiously optimistic about finding the plane.”

But he said that ministers at April’s tripartite meeting in Australia may discuss how to proceed if the aircraft is not found. Operations in the current search area are due to be completed by May. Read the rest of this entry »

No Comments