Archive for March 23rd, 2016

No one has made any allegation against Najib on timber or bauxite mining but Najib has yet to give satisfactory accounting for the twin mega scandals which have plunged Malaysia to international infamy as one the world’s top corrupt countries

In his speech at the Support Najib Solidarity Gathering in Kuantan on Sunday yesterday, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak declared that he was not “a thief of the citizens’ property” which he alleged was the portrayal by certain quarters who he charged “deliberately wanted to tarnish his image”.

He told the 5,000-people gathering of UMNO and Barisan Nasional members and leaders from 14 divisions in Pahang:

“You already know me. I am not like what is said by the people over there. I am not like that. I have looked after Pahang in the best possible manner.

“If I had wanted to rob, I would have robbed the forest here long ago. I didn’t even take an inch, I didn’t take a single tree in Pahang, I didn’t take the bauxite mine, I didn’t take anything.

“I have not changed my stand when I became prime minister, I will not take the people’s property, don’t think I am a crook, don’t think I steal the people’s property, I am the prime minister for the people.”

No one has made allegations against Najib whether about timber or bauxite mine but there is no doubt that Najib had still to give a satisfactory accounting for the RM55 billion 1MDB and RM2.5 billion “political donation” twin mega scandals, despite these scandals swirling around the Prime Minister for more than year.

It is Najib’s twin mega scandals which have undermined and even destroyed public confidence in the independence, professionalism and integrity of key national institutions in the country and dogged and hounded the country’s international image in the past year until we suffer the international notoriety of among the top corrupt nations in the world – whether by the international website, ForeignPolicy, the international magazine TIME or Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index 2015. Read the rest of this entry »


Politics and business – fundamental differences between Dr M and Najib

By Terence Gomez
Published 22 Mar 2016, 9:20 am

COMMENT These are unprecedented times in Malaysian politics. On March 4, when the Citizens’ Declaration was announced, its signatories comprised such a large number of longstanding political adversaries that the event was deemed the coming together of extremely strange bedfellows. These adversaries included former Umno president and prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and former opposition leader and DAP secretary-general Lim Kit Siang.

What brought them together as joint signatories to this 37-point declaration was their similar goal to compel Najib Abdul Razak to resign as prime minister. Najib, according to this declaration, has refused to sue international news agencies that have made serious allegations of corruption against him involving 1MDB Bhd, a sovereign wealth fund he directly controls as finance minister, and he has curbed institutions from conducting an independent investigation into the charge that he has violated public office.
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Blocked Site’s Closure Underscores Malaysia’s Press Freedom Crisis

By Shawn W. Crispin
March 22, 2016

Committee to Protect Journalists interviews Malaysian Insider editor

On March 14, The Malaysian Insider abruptly closed its editorial operations less than a month after the state media regulator, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, blocked local access to its news site.

The Edge Media Group, owner of The Malaysian Insider, said in a statement that despite the site’s “courageous news reporting” it “did not receive enough commercial support to keep it going.” In a statement posted on The Malaysian Insider website, editor-in-chief Jahabar Sadiq confirmed the site was closed for commercial reasons.

The closure of the English language portal comes amid a government clampdown on independent media, particularly outlets that have critically covered the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) financial scandal that has engulfed Prime Minister Najib Razak’s administration. In recent months, CPJ has documented how authorities have censored, harassed and threatened individual journalists and media outlets in retaliation for their critical coverage.

In an email interview, Sadiq spoke about the government pressure his now-shuttered site experienced and the broad deterioration in press freedom in Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »

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Goldman-1MDB Probe Zeroes In on Bond Deals

Bradley Hope, Justin Baer and Tom Wright
The Wall Street Journal
March 21, 2016

Investigation focuses on whether Wall Street firm misled investors when it sold securities issued by Malaysian fund

U.S. authorities are investigating whether Goldman Sachs Group Inc. misled bondholders when the firm sold securities issued by a Malaysian government-investment fund that is at the center of a corruption scandal, according to a person familiar with the matter.

As part of an inquiry being examined by a U.S. grand jury, investigators are trying to determine if Goldman’s employees had reason to believe that some of the proceeds from bond deals done for the fund, 1Malaysia Development Bhd., known as 1MDB, weren’t being used for their intended purpose, the person said. Federal authorities also are exploring whether Goldman’s hiring practices in the region violated U.S. anticorruption laws, the person said.

The Wall Street Journal has previously reported that Goldman was part of a broad probe by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department. The investigation remains in its early stages, and neither Goldman nor 1MDB has been accused of wrongdoing. Read the rest of this entry »

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ISIS, Malaysia, and the Risks of Lost Moral Authority

By Amy Chew
March 22, 2016

The Malaysian government may have lost its moral authority, but that doesn’t mean ISIS threats aren’t real.

Kuala Lumpur — A plot to kidnap a head of state by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is a serious and worrying event, one that should jolt citizens into extra vigilance – but not so in Malaysia.

When Malaysia’s Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamid told Parliament police had foiled a plot by ISIS to kidnap the country’s Prime Minister Najib Razak, it was greeted with disbelief and ridicule by large segments of the urban population.

“ISIS wants to kidnap Najib? OMG! By all means do,” tweeted Syedsigaraja.

“ISIS wants to kidnap Najib? Netizens don’t believe you, Zahid. We demand proof,” tweeted AmenoWorld. Read the rest of this entry »