Archive for February 28th, 2016

Mystery Malaysian high roller at center of global laundering probe

By Jennifer Gould Keil
New York Post
February 28, 2016

He arrived from out of nowhere in 2009, a mysterious, geeky 28-year-old dropping ridiculous amounts of money all over the city.

When Lindsay Lohan was celebrating her 23rd birthday at 1Oak, he sent 23 bottles of Cristal to her table. He spent $160,000 on bottle service one evening at Chelsea hot spot Avenue and once flew eight waitresses from Greenwich Village club Pink Elephant to an after-party — in Malaysia.

Yet no one knew who this man, Low Taek Jho — otherwise known as Jho Low — was, or where he got his money.

The intrigue only deepened over the next few years, as Low collected a staggering amount of luxury real estate and famous artwork. He spent $30.55 million for an apartment in the Time Warner Center, as well as $23.98 million for a condo at the Park Laurel.

He bought Monets, Basquiats, Rothkos. He is widely thought to be the person who bought Picasso’s “Women of Algiers” last May for $141 million at auction — the most expensive painting ever purchased. He made the ARTnews list of the world’s 200 top private collectors.

Now the mystery of Jho Low may have finally been solved, thanks to a scandal that threatens the government of Malaysia and Wall Street titan Goldman Sachs.

Real-estate brokers in New York are being asked questions about the deals they worked on involving Jho Low, The Post has learned.

Federal investigators are probing what could end up being “one of the largest money-laundering frauds in the world,” a source told The Post. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is Azalina seriously suggesting that Muhyiddin should lodge a police report that when he was DPM, he had been informed by Gani Patail, then Attorney-General, that Prime Minister Najib had committed a criminal act?

Two most extraordinary statements in Malaysian politics were made yesterday – one by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who was sacked as Deputy Prime Minister in the Najib “purges” of July 28 and suspended as UMNO Deputy President on Friday and the other by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, one of the beneficiaries of the Najib “purges” and now a member of the troika of Najib’s foremost propagandists.

Muhyiddin revealed that before he was summarily sacked as Deputy Prime Minister, he was presented with evidence by the then Attorney-General, Tan Sri Gani Patail about the deposits from the state-owned SRC International into Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s personal bank accounts and informed that a crime had been committed by Najib.

This has led promptly to a statement by Azalina with the accusation of Muhyiddin in “a high-level conspiracy to topple” Najib as Prime Minister.

She said Muhyiddin’s statement about being briefed by the Attorney-General about criminal proof against Najib was an admission that there was “a high-level conspiracy to topple the Prime Minister, in what would have been a coup against the democratic process and the decision of the people at the last general election”.

One can dismiss such a silly and shallow understanding of a “conspiracy” and a “coup” to topple Najib as Prime Minister when the Attorney-General had proof of criminal wrongdoing by the Prime Minister, though such an accusation is still a surprise coming from a lawyer – as if Azalina would want the Attorney-General to seek audience with the Prime Minister to ask what he as Attorney-General should do with the evidence of the Prime Minister’s criminal wrongdoing, whether to suppress or how to suppress.

But the real sting in Azalina’s statement was at the end, where she asked: Read the rest of this entry »


Sliding towards an authoritarian state

Ooi Kok Hin
The Malaysian Insider
27 February 2016

A government that uses state agencies to silent its critics. A government that demands loyalty from mainstream media.

A government that abuses state resources for its political advantage and distributes propaganda books in the universities. A government that bans a newspaper and threatens its critics with sedition.

Is this Malaysia, Egypt, Thailand or North Korea?

On its eighth birthday, The Malaysian Insider is banned by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) in the name of “national security”.

The country is becoming more and more unrecognisable. When I read the news these days, I feel a tinge of shame and anger because these are the kind of news that are reported from and about despotic regimes around the world. Is this really Malaysia and not North Korea, Egypt or Thailand? Read the rest of this entry »


Time to find new allies, opposition tells Muhyiddin

by Mayuri Mei Lin
Malay Mail Online
February 27, 2016

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 27 — Left without a position, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin should seriously consider how successful he can be in pushing for institutional government reforms from within Umno, his political foes said today.

Lawmakers from DAP and PKR added that they are willing to ally with the suspended Umno deputy president and work towards a common goal if he leaves the country’s largest political party.

“Muhyiddin should ask himself whether Umno is the right platform for him.

“If Muhyiddin truly believes in serving Malaysians, then he has to look for an alternative platform,” Bukit Bendera MP Zairil Khir Johari said in a text message to Malay Mail Online.

He added DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang has extended an olive branch to other sidelined Umno members to join forces and form a “new political realignment”.

“I believe Kit Siang has said we are open to working with anyone who wants to save Malaysia from corruption and the narrow politics of race and religion,” Zairil said.

Last January 3, Lim sought to reach out to disaffected Umno leaders, saying that his party and the new federal opposition alliance Pakatan Harapan is willing to call for a “new political realignment” to restore Malaysia’s internationally battered image for the country’s future. Read the rest of this entry »