Archive for January 11th, 2017

Swiss Banker Latest Conviction in Singapore’s 1MDB-Linked Cases

by Andrea Tan
Bloomberg
January 11, 2017

Sturzenegger is first foreigner charged in Singapore’s probe
Former Falcon Bank branch manager charged with 16 counts

Jens Sturzenegger, a former branch manager at Falcon Private Bank Ltd. in Singapore, became the first foreigner convicted in the city’s probes linked to a Malaysian state investment fund.

Sturzenegger, 42, pleaded guilty to six charges, including failing to report suspicious transactions, and was sentenced to 28 weeks in jail and fined S$128,000 ($89,000). Prosecutors had sought a jail term of as long as 32 weeks. His lawyer Tan Hee Joek said in court that Sturzenegger is remorseful and didn’t gain financially from the offenses. Tan said after the hearing his client won’t appeal the sentence. Read the rest of this entry »

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Falcon Bank’s Former Singapore Manager Sent to Prison in 1MDB Probe

By P.R. VENKAT
Wall Street Journal
Jan. 11, 2017

The former branch manager is the fourth person to go to prison in the city-state’s probe of a Malaysian state investment fund

A Singapore court Wednesday sentenced a former branch manager of Switzerland’s Falcon Private Bank AG to prison for crimes connected to the alleged multibillion-dollar misappropriation at Malaysian state investment fund 1MDB.

Jens Sturzenegger, 42, a Swiss national who managed Falcon’s Singapore unit, was charged last week with 16 offenses under various laws, including one that requires banks and their officers to enact due-diligence checks on clients to prevent money laundering.

The court Wednesday handed a 28-week prison sentence and a fine of 128,000 Singapore dollars (US$89,000) to Mr. Sturzenegger after he pleaded guilty to six offenses. These include three counts of providing false information to police and central bank authorities, and three counts of failing to report suspicious transactions. The remaining charges were taken into consideration in his sentencing but won’t be pursued separately by the prosecution.

While the charges didn’t directly link Mr. Sturzenegger to fund flows at 1Malaysia Development Bhd., Singapore’s central bank and regulator had said in October that the branch manager had been arrested that month in connection with the city-state’s probe into the alleged misappropriation of billions of dollars from the Malaysian fund. Prosecutors have called the investigation Singapore’s largest-ever probe of alleged money laundering. Read the rest of this entry »

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Condolence messages flood Twitter following Adenan’s passing

Malaysiakini
11th January 2017

Messages of condolences flooded social networking site Twitter following the passing of Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem.

Adenan, who was recently warded at Sarawak General Hospital Heart Centre in Kota Samarahan, died at the age of 72 this afternoon.

Among the earliest to express their condolences were Umno leaders Mas Ermieyati Samsudin and Khairy Jamaluddin.

Khairy in his tweet, expressed his condolences to Adenan’s widow, Jamilah Anu, his family, as well as the people of Sarawak over Adenan’s passing.

Soon after, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak also took to Twitter to express his sorrow over Adenan’s death.

“I will be going to Sarawak to pay my last respects,” he tweeted.

Stating how Adenan had contributed greatly to Sarawak, Malaysia, Najib added that Malaysia had lost a respected leader.

Other Barisan Nasional leaders who expressed their condolences were Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Tengku Adenan Tengku Mansor, Razali Ibrahim, Ahmad Shabery Cheek, Bung Moktar Radin, Liow Tiong Lai, Ahmad Maslan, Tan Keng Liang, P Kamalanathan, Mary Yap and Azalina Othman Said.

Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said today was a “sad day for all, especially Sarawak”.

“(We have) lost a leader who had contributed a lot and he is also someone I respected. May his soul rest in peace among the pious,” tweeted Hishammuddin.

Opposition leaders also tweeted their sorrow over the passing.

Among them were Azmin Ali, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Lim Kit Siang, Mohd Shafie Apdal, Mahfuz Omar, Fuziah Salleh, Darrell Leiking, Charles Santiago, M Kulasegaran, and Hannah Yeoh.

Azmin in his tweet, prayed for Adenan to be granted “husnul khatimah” (good end) and to be placed in heaven.

Lim, on the other hand, expressed his “deepest condolences to the bereaved family”.

“Malaysia and Sarawak have lost a great visionary leader,” he tweeted. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mainstream media practitioners should stop their hypocrisy belly-aching about “fake news” on social media when they are themselves the worst purveyor of false news

Mainstream media practitioners should stop their hypocrisy belly-aching about “fake news” on social media when they are themselves the worst purveyor of false news.

Two days ago, one mainstream media admitted purveying “fake news” about Ketua Umum PKR Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in its articles in 2013 alleging that Anwar was a dishonest politician involved in money-laundering activities, including giving RM50 million to the late Karpal Singh to fix judges.

This same mainstream media was recently purveying the “fake news that I had met Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad on Dec. 3 last year and “sealed a deal” that Mukhriz Mahathir would become prime minister and I would become Deputy Prime Minister.

Despite my denial, this mainstream media continued to carry reports on this “fake news”.

Yet this mainstream media had the temerity to conduct a campaign against “false news” in the social media, with an major article entitled “DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN REAL AND FAKE NEWS” on New Year’s Day and another entitled “Non-truths must be treated with contempt” today.

What moral high ground do these mainstream media practitioners possess when they are equally guilty of creating or purveying “fake news” in the mainstream media? Read the rest of this entry »

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Will Malaysia slide down to its lowest ranking and score in 22 years in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index 2016 which will be released in a fortnight’s time?

Will Malaysia slide down to its lowest ranking and score in 22 years in Transparency International’s (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2016 which will be released in a fortnight’s time?

I do dread the TI CPI 2016 release, as the past year had been one of the worst years on the corruption front for Malaysia.

Malaysia which dropped four places in the TI CPI 2016, falling from No. 50 to No. 54, and the CPI score slipped from 52 in 2014 to 50 in 2015, would have fallen lower in ranking in TI CPI 2015 if five countries, Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Puerto Rico and St Vincent – which had been ranked higher than Malaysia – had not been excluded due to technical reasons like not meeting three minimum secondary sources for research.

The TI CPI 2015 had not taken into account the last bad news on the Malaysian corruption front on the last few days of the 2015, when Malaysia was rated third in international website, foreignpolicy.com’s “worst corruption scandal in 2015”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Barack Obama legacy: Did he improve US race relations?

Nick Bryant
New York correspondent
BBC
10 January 2017

Barack Obama sealed his racial legacy the moment he sealed victory in the 2008 election – a black man would occupy a White House built by slaves, a history-defying as well as history-making achievement.

In 1961, the year of Obama’s birth, there existed in the American South a system of racial apartheid that separated the races from the cradle to the grave.

Whites-only water fountains. Whites-only schools. Whites-only graveyards.

In some states, his very conception – involving an African father from Kenya and a white mother from Kansas – would have been a criminal offence.
Washington, too, remained a largely segregated city.

When in the 1950s, a former TV executive by the name of E Frederic Morrow became the first black White House aide not to have a job description that included turning down beds, polishing shoes or serving drinks with a deferential bow, he was prohibited from ever being alone in the same room as a white woman.

Back then, as Morrow recounted in his memoir, Black Man in the White House, African-Americans were routinely stereotyped as sexual predators incapable of controlling their desires.

Little more than half a century later, a black man ran the White House – occupying the Oval Office, sitting at the head of the conference table in the Situation Room, relaxing with his beautiful young family in the Executive Mansion – a family that has brought such grace and glamour to America’s sleepy capital that it is possible to speak of a Black Camelot. Read the rest of this entry »

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Paradise in Penang

Noor Ashikin Abdul Rahman
The New Paper, Singapore
Jan 10, 2017

We are only 10 days into the new year, but if that all-too-familiar feeling called wanderlust is already creeping in, its not your fault.

Besides, it is never too early to start planning your next getaway.

If a short vacation that will not break the bank is what you are eyeing, consider Penang.

The Malaysian state is not just steeped in culture and tradition – it is also a haven for foodies.

The best part? We have done the calculations for you – the airfare will set you back less than $100, while decent accommodation will cost less than a $100 per night. Read the rest of this entry »

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