Archive for November 13th, 2016

14th General Election will be battle of democracy versus kleptocracy

The next General Elections will be a battle of democracy versus kleptocracy.

There is speculation that the next general elections would be held early next year. It could also be held in the second half of next year, especially after the 60th National Day celebrations centred on August 31, 2017.

Be that as it may, the voters of Malaysia should be asked to vote for democrats or kleptocrats, as to whether they want Malaysia to become a democracy or a kleptocracy.

What recently happened highlights the stark choice of the people between democracy and kleptocracy in the next general elections.

In the last two days, the international media have been screaming with headlines about the first criminal conviction linked to the 1MDB global financial scandal which took place in Singapore on Friday, viz:

“Former BSI boss gets jail, fine in 1MDB-linked case” (Straits Times, Singapore);

“Singapore Court Convicts Ex-BSI Banker in 1MDB Probe” (Wall Street Journal);

“Former banker convicted in Singapore over 1MDB scandal” (Financial Times, London);

“Singaporean banker jailed for role in 1MDB scandal” (Taipei Times);

“Ex-BSI Banker Yak Found Guilty in Singapore 1MDB-Linked Case” (Bloomberg);

“1MDB probe: Singapore banker Yak Yew Chee gets 18 weeks’ jail, S$24,000 fine” (Channel News Asia).

The common theme if these negative headlines is “1MDB”, a Malaysian state-owned investment fund supposed to attract foreign investment but instead spurred criminal and regulatory investigations around the world – and with Najib as the head of its advisory board exercising veto and final executive powers.

But the Malaysian government authorities and institutions pretend that these foreign criminal and regulatory investigations and actions linked to 1MDB’s international money-laundering forays do not exist. Read the rest of this entry »


Singapore Court Convicts Ex-BSI Banker in 1MDB Probe

Wall Street Journal
Nov. 11, 2016

Singapore is the first country to convict someone in the alleged fraud at the Malaysian state fund

SINGAPORE—A Singapore court Friday sentenced a key suspect in an ongoing probe into alleged misappropriation at Malaysian state fund 1MDB, in the first conviction of a person linked to the alleged multibillion-dollar fraud.

Yak Yew Chee, 57, the banker in charge of managing the relationship with 1MDB at the Singapore branch of Swiss bank BSI SA, on Friday pleaded guilty to two charges of forgery and two charges of failing to report suspicious transactions related to dealings with the fund. He was sentenced to 18 weeks imprisonment and a fine of 24,000 Singapore dollars (US$17,105), and agreed to surrender S$7.5 million in salary and bonuses previously frozen by investigators.

The conviction marks a milestone in the investigation of what happened at 1MDB, or 1Malaysia Development Bhd., a fund set up by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in 2009 that raised as much as US$13 billion — with a public mandate to promote the country’s economic development. Read the rest of this entry »

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1MDB probe: Singapore banker Yak Yew Chee gets 18 weeks’ jail, S$24,000 fine

By Vanessa Paige Chelvan
Channel News Asia
11 Nov 2016

SINGAPORE: Former private banker Yak Yew Chee, whose clients included Malaysian tycoon Jho Low and subsidiaries of Malaysia’s scandal-hit state fund 1MDB has been jailed 18 weeks and fined S$24,000.

Yak, 57, pleaded guilty on Friday (Nov 11) afternoon to four of seven charges: Two for forging reference letters vouching for the Low family and two for failing to report suspicious transactions involving tens of millions of dollars coursing through BSI bank in Singapore.

Mr Low was named on Thursday as a person of interest in Singapore’s ongoing probe into illicit transactions involving 1MDB, amid allegations he embezzled billions from the state fund. Read the rest of this entry »

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Singaporean banker jailed for role in 1MDB scandal

Taipei Times
November 13, 2016


A Singaporean private banker was jailed on Friday on fraud charges relating to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) financial scandal, becoming the first figure to be convicted in the international multibillion-dollar saga.

Allegations that huge sums were misappropriated from the Malaysian state fund through money laundering have triggered a massive corruption scandal that has embroiled Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Prosecutors said Yak Yew Chee (易有志), a former managing director at the Singapore branch of Swiss bank BSI SA, helped manage funds linked to 1MDB, which was set up by Najib with the help of a close family friend, Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho (劉特佐).

Yak, 57, who was also a private banker to Low, forged reference letters to Swiss banks and funds, and failed to report suspicious money transfers involving accounts belonging to his client, the prosecutors said.

He was sentenced to 18 weeks in jail after pleading guilty to four charges of forgery and failure to report suspicious transactions related to the investment fund.

He was also fined S$24,000 (US$17,000) by a Singaporean district court.

One of these transactions saw a 1MDB subsidiary transfer US$110 million, channeled through six banks and nine accounts, to the Swiss bank account of Selune Ltd, a company US investigators said is owned by Low.

The banker for the subsidiary, 1MDB Energy Ltd, was Falcon Private Bank Ltd, whose Singapore branch was shut down by regulators this year.

The complex web of transactions cut across international borders as the money passed through accounts controlled by Low and his father.

The transactions were flagged as suspicious by BSI compliance officers, but dismissed by the bank’s senior management who said that “intra-family transfers are not always going to be logical,” according to court documents.

Yak was paid a bonus of S$7.5 million for his dealings with Low that has now been forfeited to the state. Read the rest of this entry »

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Former banker convicted in Singapore over 1MDB scandal

Jeevan Vasagar in Singapore
Financial Times
NOVEMBER 11, 2016

Yak Yew Chew ‘motivated by a desire to please’ Malaysian businessman Jho Low

A private banker in Singapore convicted on Friday of forging documents and failing to disclose suspicious transactions was “motivated by a desire to please” Jho Low, the Malaysian businessman linked by US prosecutors to the 1MDB scandal, a court has been told.

Yak Yew Chew, 57, a managing director of BSI, a Swiss private bank, was convicted of four charges relating to forgery and failure to disclose information.

The case, the first criminal conviction linked to the multibillion-dollar 1MDB affair, has highlighted the risks posed by the rapid growth of the private banking industry in Singapore, and the influence exerted by powerful clients on their wealth managers.

The court was told Mr Low had informed BSI he was helping 1MDB, the Malaysian state investment fund, to invest.

Mr Yak’s lawyer, Lee Teck Leng, said in a plea in mitigation: “Our client was motivated by a desire to please Low as Low was his most important customer at BSI. Low had brought in a lot of business, not just for our client but for BSI as a whole.” Read the rest of this entry »

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