Archive for December 29th, 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 »

No Comments

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 »

1 Comment

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 »

1 Comment

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 »

1 Comment

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 »

No Comments