Archive for July 11th, 2015

Musa Hitam can be caretaker Prime Minister if agreement can be reached for him to be elected to Parliament in an early by-election or the search should look at other candidates like Tengku Razaleigh or someone from Sabah or Sarawak

Although it is more than a week since the publication in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) previous Friday on July 3 that Malaysian government investigators have found almost US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) deposited into Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s personal accounts at AmBank in March 2013, Najib has failed to answer four simple questions, viz:

*Whether he has three personal accounts in AmBank;

*Whether some US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) of funds were deposited into his personal accounts in 2013 just before the dissolution of Parliament on April 3, 2013 in the run-up to the 13th General Election;

*If so, where the RM2.6 billion came from; and

*Where these RM2.6 billion have gone to.

I call on Najib to publicly answer these questions before Hari Raya, latest in his Hari Raya message, so that the 1MDB will not become the dominant subject during the Hari Raya holidays and in the weeks leading up to the 58th Merdeka anniversary on August 31 and 53rd Malaysia Day anniversary on Sept. 16, 2015. Read the rest of this entry »


New Islamist party has higher purpose than hudud, says Mujahid

Looi Sue-Chern
The Malaysian Insider
11 July 2015

The new political party being mulled by a group of “purged” progressive PAS leaders will take the position that Islam is bigger than just the Islamic penal code or hudud.

Former PAS central committee member Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa said Islam instructed its believers to preserve the greater peace, instead of bulldozing laws.

“This was why the late spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat put hudud on hold. He understood this very well. He knew that the issue had not been settled.

“Is hudud everything? It is just a criminal law,” he told The Malaysian Insider in an interview at his office in Parit Buntar. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cut losses in 30 BN bastions, DAP strategist says in polls gambit

The Malay Mail Online
July 10, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, July 10 — The opposition should forgo 30 Barisan Nasional (BN) strongholds in its bid for Putrajaya and focus resources on 38 marginal seats to make Umno fall like dominoes, a DAP strategist said today.

Liew Chin Tong, the DAP election planner whose brazen plan to contest against Umno in its stronghold state Johor in Election 2013 saw Pakatan Rakyat taking five out of 26 seats, said the opposition should not stretch itself by trying to take seats where the odds of victory are low.

“Let’s be clear, elections are won or lost in marginal seats. For the new Opposition coalition to form the next government which is stable and with a strong legitimacy, defeating Umno in the Peninsula has to be the priority.

“But to cause Umno to fall like dominoes, we should not set our sights on its strongholds but work on where it is weakest: the marginal seats,” the DAP national political education director said in his analysis titled “The Peninsula Dominoes”. Read the rest of this entry »


16th IACC Conference in Putrajaya in September should have sub-theme of “1MDB Financial Scandal” as it provides perfect and rare counter case study why the conference theme “Ending Impunity: People, Integrity and Action” so difficult to achieve

May be the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of integrity, Paul Low, is right – the 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) to be held in Putrajaya in September should go on as scheduled as Malaysia would be presenting a perfect and rare counter case study why the conference theme of “Ending Impunity: People, Integrity and Action” is so difficult or even impossible to achieve.

In fact, the 16th IACC, which has described itself as “world’s premier global forum for bringing together heads of state, civil society, the private sector and other stakeholders to tackle the increasingly sophisticated challenge posed by corruption” should have a sub-theme of “The Mother of all Financial Scandals in Malaysia – the RM42 billion 1MDB Scandal”!

The 16th IACC is very lucky for it will have the special privilege and honour not only to have a major participant but the key player of 1MDB scandal to give the keynote address which will allow the 800 to 2,000 international participants an excellent opportunity to have special insights to discuss and dissect a live case example of the need to achieve the conference theme of “Ending Impunity: People, Integrity and Action” in the global fight against corruption.

In fact, not only the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak but the quartet of four Tan Sris who head the special task force, Attorney-General Gani Patail, Bank Negara Governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz, Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief commissioner Abu Kassim Mohamad should appear before the ICAC sessions to impart their experience and expertise to an international cionference as they must the only outfit in the world of subordinate officers investigating the No. One authority in government and nation, the Prime Minister.

As former Deputy Prime Minister, Tun Musa Hitam, conceded in his interview with The Malaysian Insider today, “An unprecedented thing is happening as a sitting prime minister is being investigated by a task force”. Read the rest of this entry »


Default risk climbs for Malaysia as Najib probe outweighs Fitch

The Edge
July 10, 2015

(July 10): Less than two weeks after Fitch Ratings refrained from downgrading Malaysia, the cost of insuring the nation’s debt is at a six-month high amid a graft probe involving Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Five-year credit-default swaps protecting sovereign notes climbed as much as 12 basis points in July to 148 after the Wall Street Journal reported last week that $700 million of a state investment company’s funds may have ended up in Najib’s bank accounts, a claim he is disputing. The contracts could rise toward 200, a level last seen in 2011, according to Macquarie Bank Ltd.

Heightened credit risk is lifting bond yields, raising funding costs to build railways, roads and power plants as Najib presses ahead with a $444 billion development program. It’s also weighing on the ringgit, which has led losses among Asian currencies this year as lower oil prices hurt Malaysian exports. Brent crude is down 7.2 percent this month and is 49 percent cheaper than it was from its high a year ago.

“Everything seems to conspire against Malaysian bonds and the ringgit in the last couple of weeks,” said Nizam Idris, head of currency and fixed-income strategy at Macquarie Bank in Singapore. “The political scandal involving the prime minister was a big surprise that hit market sentiment” and the CDS price could surpass 160 and head toward 200, he said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib Razak’s links to Malaysia fund need transparency

Financial Times
July 9, 2015

Prime minister is under pressure over allegations regarding 1MDB

Ever since Malaysia gained its independence from Britain in 1957, the country has been ruled without interruption by one party, the United Malays National Organisation.

After more than six decades in power, UMNO, which represents the Muslim Malay majority, has much to celebrate. Malaysia has the third-largest economy in Southeast Asia, and is an all-too rare example to the world of a moderate and democratic Muslim state. But UMNO’s longstanding grip on power is under threat, raising doubts about the country’s political stability.

One sign of the pressure on the ruling party came at the 2013 general election, when Anwar Ibrahim, leader of the three-party Pakatan Rakyat coalition, came close to toppling UMNO from power. Campaigning to reform Malaysia’s political system, which he stigmatised as ossified and corrupt, Mr Anwar’s performance was good enough to raise fears within UMNO about a possible defeat at the next election in 2018. Read the rest of this entry »

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Answer critics, not accuse them of trying to topple you, Musa Hitam tells Najib

by V. Anbalagan
The Malaysian Insider
11 July 2015

Datuk Seri Najib Razak must respond decisively to serious allegations made against him and his administration over various issues, including the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) fiasco, instead of accusing detractors of seeking to topple his government, Tun Musa Hitam said.

The former deputy prime minister said toppling leaders and bringing down governments were part and parcel of politics.

“Instead of answering questions and doubts by his political opponents and well-wishers, Naib cannot make the accusation that this was done to topple his administration,” Musa told The Malaysian Insider in an exclusive interview.

Musa, who was deputy to former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad between 1981 and 1986, said this in apparent reference to Najib’s oft-repeated statements against his critics in response to issues related to troubled 1MDB. Read the rest of this entry »

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Clamour over 1Malaysia Development Berhad falls on deaf ears

Michael Peel in Kuala Lumpur
Financial Times
10th July 2015

Malaysia is gripped by the biggest financial scandal in its modern history—although you might not know it from the reaction of Najib Razak’s

Claims of large-scale misappropriation at a state investment fund now embroil the prime minister — but he and his administration are trying to shrug it all off by dismissing it as a political plot. That curt response to the ever-widening 1MalaysiaDevelopment Berhad affair tells of the grip on power enjoyed by the ruling United Malays National Organisation since independence in 1957.

“If there is no one shouting ‘I have been robbed’ why would anyone think there has been a robbery?” says Tony Pua, an opposition legislator, explaining the lack of official outrage over how a fund setup with the Malaysian people’s money came to be drowning in more than$11bn of debt. “That’s the problem at the moment.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Apology that Pakatan Rakyat is dead but vow that PR Common Policy Framework aspirations for an united, inclusive, progressive, just and prosperous Malaysia will live on and continue to be basis of DAP struggle for a new Malaysia until there is a new government in Putrajaya

I want to apologise to the people of Malaysia that after seven years, Pakatan Rakyat is dead but we vow that the Pakatan Rakyat Common Policy Framework aspirations for an united, inclusive, progressive, just and prosperous Malaysia will live on and continue to be the basis of DAP struggle for a new Malaysia until there is a new government in Putrajaya.

We in the DAP recognize the political reality that under the present circumstances, no single race or even single political party can rule multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-cultural Malaysia and that the Federal Government from Putrajaya and the various state governments will have to be formed from a coalition of political parties.

DAP is prepared to be a partner of coalition governments, but it must be a coalition of common political principles and objectives and not a coalition of self-interests and political opportunism just to cling to political offices and position.

This is why the DAP Central Executive Committee at its meeting on June 15 took two decisions:

• Recognition that the PAS top leadership had killed Pakatan Rakyat after the PAS Muktamar resolution to sever ties with DAP and repeated violation by the top PAS leadership of the PR Common Policy Framework and the PR consensus operational principle in the past one year;

• Full support to the Selangor Mentri Besar Azmin Ali to reframe the Selangor state government with a new functioning coalition based on the PR Common Policy Framework and the Selangor Pakatan Rakyat general election manifesto.

Read the rest of this entry »


Fissures appear in Umno as crisis deepens

By Bridget Welsh
Jul 10, 2015

COMMENT As Prime Minister and Finance Minister Najib Razak faces explosive allegations of embezzlement, corruption and electoral manipulation that go to the very core of his leadership and the legitimacy of his government, the country is plunged into yet another crisis.

Sadly crises have become common developments of the Najib government, whose responses to 1MDB even before the revelations by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) brought to the fore questions of economic mismanagement which has undermined the reputation of the Malaysia’s financial institutions.

For many, the issue at hand is what Najib will do – he has already done serious damage to the country and unfortunately every day he stays in office, his leadership negatively affects the country’s reputation. Not only is Malaysia’s international credibility is on the line, its currency, access to foreign capital and future economic prosperity are at risk.

Unlike his father, Malaysia’s second premier Abdul Razak Hussien, Najib has apparently chosen to put himself first rather than the country. During his tenure, Najib has distinguished himself from Dr Mahathir Mohamad in his effectiveness in using the country’s political institutions to strengthen his personal position. He has indeed taken the office of the prime minister to a new low.

Najib deserves a fair and impartial investigation of the allegations made by WSJ. This can be done if he opts to go on leave during the investigation period and appoints respected impartial individuals to lead the investigation. Neither of these have been done so far, as the approach has been to issue denials, thus raising suspicions of a potential cover-up, and this sends conflicting signals about the investigation.

In a ‘fox guarding the hen house dynamic,’ members of the task force assigned to investigate are neither impartial nor distant from developments. In some cases, their job was to review these bank transactions and as such should also be subject to an independent investigation in their failure to act before the WSJ report. The lack on impartiality of the task force does not build credibility, especially in international markets.

Najib’s decision to hold onto power and stay in office compromises any investigation due to the inherent conflict of interests involved and this assures that any departure will be an even harder landing for himself, his family, his political party, Umno, and worst of all, the country. Read the rest of this entry »