Archive for August 4th, 2015

An open letter to Paul Low

By Robert Hum
Aug 1, 2015

Mr Paul Low
Malaysian Minister of Integrity and Good governance

Dear Sir

Please allow me to add some comments concerning your press statement of July 31, 2015.

Excerpt from your press statement: “I was brought into the federal cabinet specifically to promote good governance and to strengthen transparency and accountability in the government.”

Firstly the all important concept of good governance involves the rule of law, transparency and accountability.

Mr Low, all of these basic points were missing in the unceremonious dismissal of the attorney-general (AG) on Monday by PM Najib Abdul Razak. The incongruent statement of dismissal of the AG due to ill health by the chief secretary to the government smacks of the arrogance and the contempt of the PM for the office of the AG in order to stay in power at all costs.

There was no rule of law evidenced in the dismissal of the AG who was in the process of leading the investigation into the conduct of the PM concerning 1MDB. On the contrary the AG’s dismissal from office by PM Najib is against natural justice and is a direct interference by the PM who is being investigated. Read the rest of this entry »


Akmal Saufi Khaled’s hard questions about the RM2.6 billion in Najib’s personal bank accounts give hope to Malaysians facing a new dark age that the future is not totally lost

The hard questions about the RM2.6 billion in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s personal bank accounts by Akmal Saufi Khaled, son of Johore Mentri Besar Khaled Nordin, give hope to Malaysians facing a new dark age that the future is not totally lost.

It shows that the extraordinary statement by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) yesterday that the RM2.6 billion deposited into Najib’s personal accounts in AmBank in March 2013 just before dissolution of Parliament for the 13th General Elections came from donation and not from 1MDB funds is not only questioned by the older generation of Malaysians, but also by the thinking young generation as well.

Among the questions posed by Akmal, who is the Youth Parliament’s security, law and integrity committee chairperson, in his Facebook are:

Read the rest of this entry »


The onus is on Najib to convince Malaysians and the world of his innocence

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak has continued his roller-coaster governance of Malaysia after his “Black Tuesday” of July 28.

In the “Black Tuesday” last week, Najib summarily sacked the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Gani Patail who had served three Prime Ministers for nearly 13 years and some two months short of mandatory retirement when reaching the age of 60; launched the nation’s second wave of attacks on national institutions including Parliament, the Executive, key agencies comprising the “Special Task Force on the 1MDB” such as the Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) and the Press; sacked his Deputy Prime Minister-cum-Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin and Rural and Regional Development, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal for raising questions about the 1MDB scandal which Malaysians and the world have been asking; reshuffled his Cabinet with “loyal people over smart people” and form his trio of Cabinet “spin doctors” to defend him and 1MDB; and most serious of all, setting off unprecedented convulsion in the most fractured Government in the nation’s history, with one enforcement agency investigating and pouncing on another.

The Prime Minister and his UMNO lieutenants have over the weekend been on a national roadshow with UMNO members bussed in tens of thousands to declare their support and loyalty to Najib at every stop, but all these theatrics, even with the support of UMNO’s erstwhile opponent, PAS President Datuk Seri Hadi Awang, cannot hide the fact that Najib is the weakest Prime Minister in the nation’s history.

This is not just in terms of popularity rating as Prime Minister with Malaysians – which fell to 44% in January but could have plunged now to the lower 30% levels – but most important of all, plumbed the lowest depth never reached by Malaysia’s previous five Prime Miniters, Tunku, Razak, Hussein, Mahathir and Abdullah in terms of moral authority, standing and credibility as Prime Minister. Read the rest of this entry »


The onus is on Najib to convince the world of his innocence

South China Morning Post
02 August, 2015

Malaysia’s prime minister, Najib Razak, has repeatedly denied wrongdoing over the state sovereign fund 1MDB’s huge debts. He claims opponents are trying to orchestrate his removal through allegations that almost US$700 million was transferred into his bank accounts. Yet his explanations have not been convincing. The dismissal of critics in his cabinet, the disarray surrounding an official inquiry and the silencing of media have only heightened speculation. Restoring lost moral authority requires ensuring a genuinely independent investigation.

There is every reason why this has to happen. The 1MDB scandal has damaged Malaysia’s image and outlook, causing the stock market and the ringgit currency to plummet. Malaysia’s oil-driven economy was already in trouble over the sharp fall in prices. Allegations of corruption shrouding the leadership only deepens the crisis. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s ringgit takes a wild ride

Leslie Shaffer
3rd August 2015

Malaysia’s currency, already under pressure from a political scandal and the oil price drop, really fell out of bed Monday, with the ringgit falling nearly 1 percent.

The central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), has been intervening in the market to support the currency, but analysts said those efforts may be stumbling.

“(The central bank) can’t hold the level of the currency where it is, given that their reserves have been declining. Now maybe they’re starting to throw the towel,” Khoon Goh, senior foreign-exchange strategist at ANZ, told CNBC Monday, noting he hadn’t expected the currency to hit the 3.85-handle until next year.

The U.S. dollar was fetching as much as 3.85 ringgit in Asian trade Monday, compared with around 3.8156 ringgit Friday, before the Malaysian currency abruptly strengthened to 3.8460 against the U.S. dollar around midday. That’s still hovering around its weakest levels since 1998, during the Asian Financial Crisis, with the currency among the world’s worst performing after falling around 10 percent so far this year.

“Domestic political developments are suddenly to the fore and on top of that we have (central bank) Bank Negara, which tried to hold the currency earlier in July at around the 3.80 level (against the U.S. dollar) and using up around $5 billion of their FX reserves,” Goh said. “I think that reserves are probably under the psychological $100 billion mark now and I think that is starting to spook the market.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s overdue housecleaning clamor

by Gary Kleiman
Asia Times
August 3, 2015

Malaysia’s stock market was down over 10 percent at end-July after Prime Minister Najib Razak, fighting to extend his six-year tenure in the wake of the 1MDB debt and campaign funding scandal, sacked his deputy and other cabinet members openly challenging him.

His public approval rating at 45 percent has suffered since the United Malay party won re-election last year, despite the opposition getting a larger vote total.

His predecessor Mahathir Mohamed did not think he deserved another term for lack of economic and political vision, as the household debt burden, which soared to 85 percent of GDP through government programs to boost consumption, is no longer sustainable to offset falling oil exports.

Foreign investors, with respective one-third and one-quarter ownership in the local bond and equity markets, were once enthusiastic about early promises to change the state-dominated business and financial sector model. But the results were meager and with the currency now at a 15-year low as the region’s worst performer, aversion is spiking as in the Asian financial crisis aftermath. Read the rest of this entry »

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