Archive for December, 2015

WSJ’s Last Bombshell For The Year – Najib’s $700 Million Came From 1MDB
29 Dec 2015

If 2014 was the year of Malaysia Airlines where it lost two Boeing 777s, one disappeared while another shot down; the year 2015 is definitely the year of Prime Minister Najib Razak. The prime minister’s multi-billion dollar scandals easily eclipse any other financial scandals one could imagine in the history of the country, including Mahathir’s.

Najib Razak

The Wall Street Journal dropped another bombshell (*yawn*) yesterday, Dec 28, 2015, linking the highly explosive RM42 billion 1MDB scandal with PM Najib Razak’s private banking account, which had suddenly swollen with US$700 million (then RM2.6 billion but now RM3 billion due to ringgit depreciation) from some unknown generous donor(s).

Najib had called and met a group of senior (UMNO) leaders in July to remind them everyone had benefited from the money. A cabinet minister who was present claimed the prime minister said the US$700 million funds weren’t used for his personal enrichment, but channelled to politicians or into spending on projects aimed at helping the ruling party win elections in 2013. Read the rest of this entry »


Shame of shame – Malaysia named among world’s six “worst corruption scandals of 2015”

It is a shame of shame – Malaysia named among the world’s six “worst corruption scandals of 2015” by the international website,, which is published daily online by the Slate Group, a division orf Washington Post Company.

A report uploaded on Dec. 29 (Washington time), entitled “The worst corruption scandals of 2015” said that “massive corruption scandals embroiled world leaders, high court judges, and the men who run the world’s soccer industry, among many others” in 2015.

Heading the list of infamy was the FIFA (the Federation Internationale de Football Association) corruption, followed by Nigeria, with Malaysia in a dishourable third place.

The rest were taken up by Honduras and Guatemala which took fourth place, Ghanian judges and the UN General Assembly fifth and sixth places.

The infamous plaque of dishonour for Malaysia cited as follows: Read the rest of this entry »

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1MDB’s love affair with the Arab world

By Khairie Hisyam | Kinibiz
DECEMBER 21, 2015 8:00AM

From its first ever deal seven years ago, controversial 1MDB has had a persistent association with parties from the Arab world. The pressing question, on account of its mysterious and self-harming decisions while benefitting these friends, is why.


When it was first set up as Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA) in early 2009, 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) set out to drive strategic development of national interests. After it was taken over by the federal government by mid-2009, however, the meaning of “strategic” seems to have taken an Arabic flavour.

The company’s board of advisors, for starters, count two prominent Middle Easterners as advisors – former Qatar prime minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani as special advisor while advisor Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak is CEO of Mubadala Development Co, an investment company owned by the Abu Dhabi emirate in the United Arab Emirates.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Time has come for realignment of progressive political forces to save Malaysia and to keep faith with the vision of an united, inclusive, moderate, democratic and prosperous Malaysia

(2016 New Year Message on 31.12.2015)

Twenty-eight years ago, many DAP leaders and Members of Parliament, including the late Karpal Singh and P. Patto, the Penang Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng, the Deputy Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Dr. Tan Seng Giaw and I were incarcerated under the infamous Internal Security Act in Kamunting because we opposed the “shits” (to use the colourful vocabulary of the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi) of the lopsided highway privatisation contract which the then Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Mahathir Mohamad wanted to impose not only on Malaysians but future generations as well.

Today, while railing against these “shits” of the past UMNO administrations, of which the present top UMNO leader were themselves party to but had done nothing to ameliorate, the incumbent UMNO leadership is trying to impose even worse “shits” on the present and future generations of Malaysians through major betrayals of trust like the RM2.6 billion “donation” and the RM55 billion 1MBD twin mega scandals.

To fight the worse “shits” of the present, all forces and contributions are welcome, including those who were responsible for the “shits” of the past, like Tun Mahathir Mohamad.

The year 2015 had indeed been an “annus horribilis” for Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »

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The UMNO Rednecks and their Cohorts

Sakmongkol AK47
December 30, 2015

Who is the typical UMNO redneck? The answer is- he or she is someone who blames the Chinese forever as the source of their unhappiness.

The other favourite bete noire is Dr Mahathir. On this I am really surprised. If the UMNO people can turn on their own while he is still UMNO, this speaks volumes on the morality of UMNO people. Suddenly he is also the cause of all the problems. Najib has merely inherited the problems. The lopsided contracts with IPPs, the ERL, KLIA , Proton etc.etc.

Where is the cut-off point? Najib was preceded by Pak Lah. Pak Lah’s tenure ought to have extinguished all links to Mahathir. Najib should take responsibility over his tenure because the people gave him the mandate. They did not give to Dr Mahathir.

In any case, people are asking about 1MDB, the RM2.6 billion into his private account while in his public capacity as UMNO president and PM, the money from SRC. These issues are the makings of Najib. So how is the link to Mahathir established? Read the rest of this entry »

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A virtually impossible feat – Najib’s twin mega scandals entering new year in 36 hours with even more questions than answers

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s twin mega scandals – the RM2.6 billion “donation” and RM55 billion 1MDB – have performed a virtually impossible feat, entering the new year in some 36 hours with even more questions than answers.

This, despite being the subject of multiple investigations inside the country – at one time, even by the highest-powered multi-agency Special Task Force under four “Tan Sris” led by the then Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail himself until Gani was summarily sacked in a government purge on July 28 whose victims included the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the Special Task Force dissolved – and the target of separate investigations by at least seven foreign countries, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia and United States.

How could this happen?

On Monday (Dec. 28), Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi urged the people not to fall for the latest report by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) which cited an unknown source in explaining how US$850 million was transferred from 1MDB to a phantom offshore entity. Read the rest of this entry »


How 1MDB overpaid for its power assets

DECEMBER 20, 2015 10:30AM

On Nov 23, 2015, 1MDB announced that it has signed a deal with China General Nuclear to sell its power assets in return for RM9.83 billion in cash. This sale at a massive loss brings full circle its questionable purchases of the power assets while paying grossly inflated figures several years ago.


Most of 1MDB’s power assets were acquired within a 16-month time frame between March 2012 and July 2013. The spending spree raised many questions at the time, which remain unsatisfactorily unanswered as at writing time.

The underlying logic of buying over independent power producers (IPPs), as understood by market observers, would likely be the strong cash flow. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ahmad Maslan wins Crown of Clowns 2015?

By Martin Jalleh

Ahmad Maslan wins Crown of Clowns 2015?


1MDB and the Money Network of Malaysian Politics

by Tom Wright and Bradley Hope
Wall Street Journal
Dec. 28, 2015

Prime Minister Najib Razak tapped wealth fund to ease ruling-party’s victory

KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was fighting for his political life this summer after revelations that almost $700 million from an undisclosed source had entered his personal bank accounts.

Under pressure within his party to resign, he called together a group of senior leaders in July to remind them everyone had benefited from the money.

The funds, Mr. Najib said, weren’t used for his personal enrichment. Instead, they were channeled to politicians or into spending on projects aimed at helping the ruling party win elections in 2013, he said, according to a cabinet minister who was present.

“I took the money to spend for us,” the minister quoted Mr. Najib as saying. Read the rest of this entry »


The RM7 bil PetroSaudi caper

By P. Gunasegaram | Kinibiz
DECEMBER 19, 2015 10:30AM

First, it was a JV, and some US$700 million out of US$1 billion initial capital ended up in an unrelated company linked to Jho Low. And then it became a loan, and then it became an equity stake and an option which was subsequently sold and invested, over RM7 billion, in the Cayman Islands and redeemed. As much as RM4.2 billion could have gone into extinguishing an option. The rest is still somewhere out there.


The first major investment that 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) made – an injection of US$1 billion into a joint venture (JV) with PetroSaudi Holdings (Cayman) Ltd, 1MDB-PetroSaudi Ltd – ended in tragedy as US$700 million was immediately siphoned off to a company allegedly related to Jho Low, Good Star Ltd.

Basically, 1MDB injected US$1 billion cash into the JV but PetroSaudi’s share was an asset dubiously valued at US$1.5 billion. The valuation report was presented on the day the valuer was appointed.

While 1MDB was supposed to have injected the US$1 billion into the JV, the JV inexplicably received just US$300 million, with the remaining US$700 million being transferred to a company which was totally unrelated to the JV. Leaked emails indicate that the company, Good Star Ltd, was related to Jho Low.

This was one of the most shocking revelations about 1MDB and although it happened way back in 2009, some six years ago, this was revealed in reports only this year.

Sources say the 1MDB board was extremely unhappy with this then and instructed the management to get the US$700 million back but this was not done. Two board members, Mohd Bakke Salleh and Azlan Mohd Zainol, resigned because of this, the former in October 2009 and the latter in January 2010.

For the first three years of its life since 2009, 1MDB’s sorry role was to put money into the JV and fund PetroSaudi. As at end of Mar 31, 2012, its financial year-end, 87 sen of every ringgit borrowed of RM7.9 billion, or some RM6.9 billion, went into the JV. Read the rest of this entry »

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More pain ahead seen for Malaysia economy

By Pauline Ng
Singapore Business Times
Dec 29, 2015

Slumping ringgit, oil prices, business and consumer sentiment add up to a pessimistic 2016 outlook

Currency analysts predict further devaluation in the ringgit in 2016 with projections ranging from 4.49 to 5.00 to the greenback from about 4.30 at year end.

Kuala Lumpur –

“KU” or bitter was the Chinese character most picked by Malaysian Chinese businesses to characterise 2015 which saw the introduction of a consumption tax, public transport hikes and numerous other cost increases made worse by a tanking ringgit that has lost nearly a fourth of its value against the US dollar over the year after dropping 8 per cent in the previous year.

Sadly, the signs are pointing to an even more tumultuous 2016.

With global oil prices slumping below US$40 a barrel – bad news for oil producers such as Malaysia – and business and consumer sentiment stuck at lows last seen during the global financial crisis of 2008, the reality of a diminishing ringgit is expected to hit businesses even harder in the new year because of price adjustments for new stocks.

In truth, there have been a number of price revisions in the past year, especially in April when a 6 per cent Goods & Services Tax (GST) kicked in. Read the rest of this entry »

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Very soon, comedians like Harith would have to call it a day because Ministers like Ahmad Maslan, Abdul Rahman Dahlan, Paul Low and even Najib would have taken over their jobs

When comedians like Harith Iskandar pillory Ministers not just on stage, but in the public domain, the stocks of His Majesty’s Ministers and Deputy Ministers have fallen to a new low.

Harith is right that going by Ahmad’s definition that the deputy minister has got three jobs as Pontian MP, deputy international trade and industry minister and Umno information chief, he (Harith) would have got six jobs – as comedian, emcee, writer, actor, coach and director!

However, as Harith rightly pointed out, it does not mean he has six jobs but only that he does six different things.

In fact, going by Ahmad’s definition, the person having the most jobs in the country would be none other than the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak himself. Read the rest of this entry »

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What is the reason for Najib’s five-month silence on whether the sacking of Gani Patail as Attorney-General has anything to do with preparation of corruption charges by Attorney-General’s Chambers against him as the Prime Minister?

It was exactly five months ago that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak purged the government by sacking the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, a senior Cabinet Minister, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal and the Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail and unleashed forces which resulted in “nine days of madness” in Putrajaya dissolving not only the high-powered multi-agency Special Task Force into the RM55 billion 1MDB scandal headed by the then Attorney-General but also the arrest or immediate transfers of recalcitrant officers in various investigative and enforcement agencies like the Police, the Attorney-General’s Chambers, Bank Negara and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency (MACC), as well as the derailing of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) investigations into the 1MDB scandal for more than three months until the election of a “cari makan” PAC Chairman.

Many strange and extraordinary things happened in these five months and one of them is Najib’s silence on whether the sacking of Gani Patail as Attorney-General has anything to do with the preparation of corruption charges in the Attorney-General’s Chambers against him as Prime Minister.

Najib is a seasoned politician and he cannot be unaware of such prevalent talk, not only in the country but worldwide, that he saved his premiership and political life by the skin of the teeth with the sudden and pre-emptive sacking of Gani Patail as Attorney-General exactly five months ago, or he would have found himself in the dock answering corruption charges.

Will Najib clear the air on the sacking of Gani Patail as Attorney-General before the year 2005 ends in four days’ time, as nobody gives credence to the official reason of health given for Gani Patail’s termination of service – especially as Gani looked very healthy and well in his three public appearances after his summary sacking: twice in September in connection with the murder of DPP Kevin Morais and third time at the Bar Council forum on “Sosma: Wolf in sheep’s clothing” in early November.

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Departmnet, Datuk Paul Low, is right – it is a stigma that the Najib Cabinet is not “God-fearing” when not a single Cabinet Minister, including Low, had dared to voice any protest or even query as to the propriety for the sudden and pre-emptive sacking of Gani Patail as Attorney-General three months before his retirement! Read the rest of this entry »

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Did Paul Low imply that the Najib Cabinet is not a “God-fearing” one, which is why the country is inundated with so many political, economic and nation-building crisis?

Yesterday, I had asked what the ”cryptic” speech of the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Paul Low at the Christmas high-tea reception organised by the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) really meant – when he said that if the government is
God-fearing, then there would be no need for him to be in the Cabinet.

To the overwhelming majority of literate Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or politics, it could only mean two things:

Firstly, the Najib Cabinet is not a God-fearing one, and needs God-fearing Ministers to ensure that it does not completely lose its moral compass; and

Secondly, Low is “God-fearing”, and he is either fighting a very lonely battle or in any event, fighting a losing battle among a handful of “God-fearing” Ministers who are committed to a national and sacred mission to ensure that the Cabinet keeps to the straight and narrow path of serving the people and nation and not just themselves and their cronies.

Who are the other Cabinet Ministers who are “God-fearing”, whether Muslim or non-Muslim?

Furthermore, was Low implying that the country was inundated with so many political, economic and nation-building crisis precisely because the Najib Cabinet is not “God-fearing”? Read the rest of this entry »

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How 1MDB overpaid Goldman Sachs

DECEMBER 18, 2015 8:00AM

With a number of questionable dealings over its seven years or so of existence, a considerable part of 1MDB’s shenanigans have involved Goldman Sachs who were handsomely, and extremely generously, rewarded. But why is the US firm so close to 1MDB?


As the fires of the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) controversy, long confined to embers unnoticed by the public, continue burning this year, authorities foreign and domestic have turned their attention to one of the company’s friends: Goldman Sachs.

It is no secret that Goldman Sachs seems to enjoy an intimate working relationship with 1MDB, having seen its services engaged for all three of 1MDB’s foreign market bond issuances.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Another questionable use of loans – the Goldman bonds

DECEMBER 17, 2015 8:00AM

In just one year, 2013, 1MDB had a huge US$6.5 billion (some RM27 billion at current exchange rates) of borrowings from bonds arranged by Goldman Sachs, nearly 65% of total borrowings. The problem is that it is not possible to ascertain how the funds were used.


In 2013, 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) finalised US$3.5 billion through two bonds of US$1.75 billion each, both jointly guaranteed by 1MDB and International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC). They carried effective interest rates of close to 6% (see Part 3 of this issue on the bond mispricing).

And then there was the US$3 billion bond, also priced at around 6% effectively, which had a letter of support from the Malaysian government.
Read the rest of this entry »

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How 1MDB lost RM6 bil through bond mispricing

DECEMBER 16, 2015 8:00AM

1MDB has already lost some RM6 billion by mispricing its bonds. So was this deliberately done, and whose pockets ended up bursting at the seams?


A big chunk of 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) fundraising over the years had been through issuing bonds. However, the company had been massively underpricing its bonds, losing some RM6 billion according to KINIBIZ estimates – and this is not paper but real, cold, hard cash.

When a bond is issued, it has a coupon rate and a face value. The coupon rate typically remains constant over the life of the bond and is a promise by the issuer to pay a certain percentage of the face value of the bond each year.

Bonds are commonly priced to give roughly similar yields as other comparable bonds in the open market. Yields are the annual coupon payments for the year divided by the price of the bond. Yields are adjusted by raising or lowering the bond price – they move in opposite directions.
Read the rest of this entry »


After ‘annus horribilis’, can M’sians look forward to a better year?

Koon Yew Yin
26th Dec 2015

COMMENT Our prime minister is said to have had an “annus horribilis”. He will probably be very happy when this stressful year for him comes to an end.

Malaysians who are not familiar with this Latin term may have dirty thoughts when hearing the term for the first time. They should be excused for thinking of rude or four-letter words when cursing the BN government for making the lives of many Malaysians so hard and miserable.

It is safe to say that our prime minister is not alone in his year of disaster and misfortune. Millions of Malaysians are having it worse – much worse.

At least the PM’s personal bank account has increased by RM2.6 billion. But pity him; let’s not forget that much of this money has had to be distributed to Umno leaders, including members of parliament, state assemblypersons, supreme council members, division leaders, bloggers, media experts, etc. Read the rest of this entry »


Will God-fearing Paul Low ask the Prime Minister to withhold presentation of NSC Bill to the Yang di Pertuan Agong for Royal Assent until Shahidan’s promise to Parliament to improve the Bill’s “shortcomings” had been honoured?

What are Malaysians, Christians and non-Christians, to make of the cryptic speech by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Paul Low, that if the government is God-fearing, then there would be no need for him to be in the cabinet?

Speaking yesterday at the Christmas high-tea reception organised by the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM), which should have been attended by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak himself, Low said:

“If we have the fear of God, actually there is no need for me to be in the government.

“If we have this fear, we will be concerned for justice, good governance, integrity, the environment, fairness. We will not abuse the power that is entrusted on us ourselves as leaders.”

Deferring the very intriguing issue raised by Low whether one should be in a Cabinet when it is God-fearing or not God-fearing, the most pressing issue facing the country is one of the unfinished business of the year 2015. Read the rest of this entry »

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The colourful family and friends of 1MDB

DECEMBER 15, 2015 8:00AM

From its inception to the present-day state of disarray, 1MDB counts an interesting – and colourful – group of people who are either directly involved in its operations or who are linked to the company in some manner.


Controversial 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) has a “triple-tier” corporate governance structure, with a board of advisors chaired by the prime minister himself in addition to having a board of directors overseeing the senior management team.

That adds another shade of perplexing contradiction in light of the company’s dodgy dealings and controversial decisions in the past. KINIBIZ examines in no particular order some important characters involved:

Jho Low, the dealmaker Read the rest of this entry »

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